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New ACAS Council members appointed

17 November - Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers made four new appointments to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Council.

The new Council members are:

William Coupar, Director of the Involvement and Participation Association and Chairman of the DTI Partnership Fund Assessment Panel.
Other Public Appointments: Chairman of the DTI Partnership Fund Assessment Panel. This post is part-time and attracts no remuneration.

James Knapp, General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.
Political Activities: Mr Knapp stood as a Labour Party candidate for St Albans City Council and canvassed for the Labour Party during elections.
Other Public Appointments: 1981 to 1985 - sat on industrial tribunals as a part-time paid member; Currently part-time member of Transport for London which attracts a remuneration package of 10,000 per year.

Veronica (Ronnie) McDonald, Deputy General Secretary of the STUC.
Political Activities: Canvassed on behalf of the Labour Party during elections.
Other Public Appointments: August 2000 to August 2003 - part-time unpaid member on Scottish Executive's European Structural Funds Forum; June 1997 to December 1999 - part-time unpaid executive adviser to Women's Minister, Scottish Office.

John Steele, Group HR Director for British Telecom plc.
Other Public Appointments; 1997 to October 2000 part-time unpaid Board Member of the Teacher Training Agency; 1999 to 2002 - part-time unpaid Board Member, Investors in People.

The ACAS Council consists of a part-time Chair and eleven part-time members. The new members are appointed until 30 April 2004. They receive an annual payment of 1,367 plus 139 for each day on Council business. Under the selection system set down in section 248 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 the Secretary of State was required to consult organizations representing workers for two of the posts and organisations representing employers for one position.

Mr Byers said:

"The quality, depth and range of the employment relations experience of the new members appointed today will greatly assist ACAS in its role of keeping employment relations disputes in the UK to a minimum."

The new members replaced Cecilia Wells, Bill Knox, John Edmonds and Tony Pointon who completed their terms of office as Council members in August.

The ACAS web site is at


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