Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Minutes 18 December2014

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Present: Sis. Taylor (CYWU-UNITE), Halfpenny (NUT), Dixon (UNISON)

Bros. Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Childs & Macmillan (CWU), Cole (NUT), Rahimi, Marris & Purchase(UNITE), J Grant (UCU), Juss (GMB), Baron (MTUC) and Kholosha (visitor)

Apologies: Sis Kelsey (CWU) Bro Thomas (Community)

Delegates were welcomed and introductions made.

 

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Minutes of last delegate meeting (November) agreed,

Matters Arising 3.2 Greig Campbell, Project co-ordinator of the Heritage Lottery Funded 'In the Shadow of Elisabeth' exploring the union fight to save Bilston Steelworks. Launch is due in January Greig Campbell to be contacted. Needs tobe noted and reported to branches and fellow trade unionists. Suggested a contact for Frank Reeves was needed.

3.11 Midland CND rethink Trident statement signed

 

 

 

 

 

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Executive Committee Report and Correspondence of note: (meeting inquorate)

1. 2015 affiliations to WB&DTUC from UNISON University, UCATT, Community 17000

2. TUC's Action for Rail protests January 5th, will be dependent on quality of leaflet which seems inadequate. Some volunteers came forward NK to contact if going ahead.

4. Nominations needed for Midlands TUC Equality forums. Bro Deacon nomination for Pensioners' Network agreed. Sis Dixon to be nominated for Women's Committee if able to take up position

 

10. Agreed to invite speaker from Defence Support Group workers at MOD Donnington in Shropshire to AGM.

11. UNISON police staff strike called off as negotiations but send message of solidarity.

12. Agreed re-affiliation to Anti Academies Alliance

13. Miami 5 freed. Progress but struggle continues.

15. Trades Union Councils conference new date 13-15 June 2015 Crewe. Delegates to be elected at AGM.

18. Letter sent to Pat McFadden MP asking why he did not vote on Palestinian recognition.

 

Reports/discussion:

a) UNISON -Council Cuts Settlements for councils announced today. Need report next month regarding the situation. Last Thursday public consultation. Bilston Town Hall. 2017 Council insolvent. Privatisation. Labour needs to stand-up to cuts! There is a cost to monitoring privatised services. There need to be a message that these are central government cuts. There has been a disappointing response from Labour Councils in the Midlands. Put on next agenda

b) Other delegate workplace reports -None

c) Secretary's Report -Bro Deacon & Kelleher visited UNISON & GMB picket line at New Cross during NHS pay strike end November.

d) Midlands TUC Pensioners' Network - Bro Deacon presented a report. It is a small group becoming more active and no longer talking about its constitution. The TUC National Pensioners Committee seems to have no purpose. Bro Marris raised the question as why there should be a TUC Pensioners' Network at all as nothing to do with workers trade union rights. There followed a lively discussion. this issue could be a future debate.

e) Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign - Film 'The Colour of Olives' Friends Meeting House, 16th January 2015 at 7.15. Letters to West Midlands Pensions Fund regarding investments. Progress being made through some councillors and Trade Union representatives. Need to keep the Issue alive. The pension scheme is administered in Wolverhampton on behalf of the 7 urban West Midlands authorities.

Speaker - Lee Baron - New Midlands TUC Secretary.

Decent jobs week 15 - 19 December has taken up some of Bro Baron's time. Rights for workers with zero hours contracts. A lot of places to visit in the week. cards regarding Decent Jobs were circulated and signed.

There are 16 Trades Councils and the difficulty with the WMCATUC needs to be resolved if possible without constitutional change. If there is to be a rule change it will not happen until 2017. Bro Baron to work with Congress House. The TUC had a debate regarding Trades Councils.

The Membership of trades unions is holding but the average age is increasing. Some youngsters actually LIKE zero hours contracts!! if the hours become regular the worker should have a proper contract.

The TUC should be a positive movement for change - campaigning not a Think-tank. It is the longest voluntary working agency in the country.

Shrewsbury24 when were the TUC last involved?

An issue concerning members with terminal diseases who want to work as well as having treatment. there needs to be reasonable adjustments. But then can be sacked. Labour is supporting this. it is not a left/right issue but right or wrong.

Regionally the TUC is campaigning for fair pay 16th February to 1 March 2015. Talking and changing the language. Need to showcase the good things unions do. Employment law briefings with Thompsons.

Bro Baron 4th secretary in the last 5 years. Hopefully there will be some permanence now. The reach of Trade Unions greater than the number of members.

There was further discussion concerning zero hours contracts What is the trade union position? Are there suitable materials for younger workers?

Bro Baron was presented with 'A History of Wolverhampton, Bilston and District Trades Council 1865 - 1990'

 

Sis Taylor was thanked for her delicious cake and season's greetings were shared.

 

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Minutes 20 November 2014

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Present: Sis. Taylor (CYW-UNITE) Bros. Turner, Everall, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Rahimi(UNITE), Childs (CWU), Grant (UCU)

Apologies: Bros. Juss (GMB), MacMillian (CWU), S Grant (NUT), Marris (UNITE), Thomas (Community) Sis. Halfpenny (NUT), Battell (NASUWT), Ceresa & Brealey (UNISON)

Minutes of last delegate meeting (October) agreed, with Matters Arising:

1. apologies from Bro J Grant.

3b13. Secretary to write to Pat McFadden asking why he did not vote to recognise Palestine.

3c6. Report of 18 Oct demo to be sent to Midlands TUC

4a. Bro.Purchase raised issues from speaker re CAB cuts to deaf services and correspondence was passed on.

4d.TTIP mailing group and Institute of Economic Rights – EC to look at affiliation.

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correspondence of note – (no EC meeting)

  1. Midlands TUC Womens' Committee - 22 November White Ribbon day has been postponed until March – contact new officers of committee

  2. Greig Campbell, Project Coordinator of the HLFfunded 'In the Shadow of Elisabeth' (ITSOE) project, exploring the unionfight to save Bilston Steelworks.

  3. Pat McFadden MP agreed to attend parliamentary debate on NHS bill 21st November and wrote re Action for Rail expressing Labour's policies, but no mention of re-nationalisation.

  4. TUC advice on lobby Act affect on our campaigning

  5. TUC new model rules for trades union councils - noted

  6. TUC is coordinating Decent Jobs Week from 15-19 of December – how would we engage public?

  7. Hazards 2015 sponsorship appeal £25 agreed & Unite Against fascism re-affiliation £50 agreed

  8. UCATT demonstration regarding the immoral use of Umbrella Companies Birmingham 26thNovember – details on our website

  9. Cuba Solidarity – for the 23rd consecutive year the United Nations (188 countries)

  10. www.wolvestuc.org.uk 5,000 page views last month; 70% seeking info on minimum wage

  11. Midland CND rethink Trident agreed to sign statement

  12. £153.50 paid to us by WMCATUC for trades union council expenses; £175 for cancelled coach paid; sent TU Friends of Searchlight re-affiliation £30 and Justice for Columbia affiliation £60; £100 to UNISON towards Oct 18 demo

  13. invitations to speak to be sent: Midlands TUC Regional Secretary Lee Barron – to be invited plus need to brief re CATUC; FBU – Time to take over Energy Companies; and Connolly Association

  14. Midlands TUC Pensioners Network agreed to nominate Bro. Deacon when forms arrive



delegates' workplace reports -UNISON – council lobby by neighbourhood wardens Nov 5th. 35 hour week and increment freeze threat has been withdrawn. Sick pay no under attack by labour council. Old Tree Nursery workers raised a 2,000 strong petition on top of postcard campaign. Between 600 and 1,000 jobs have already been lost. Very few senior managers in council are from or live locally and have no loyalty to the city. Local authority Education decimated. A future discussion for us? Some money was saved after a UNITE suggestion to refinance some loans.

Secretary’s report - NHS workers in England will be striking again 4hours on 24 November and taking action short of a strike for the rest of the week over pay.

Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Iron Wall - free film show @ Friends’ Meeting House, Friday 28th November – Divest Israel from WM Pensions fund campaign, model letters distributed and put on website

 

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Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Minutes 16 October 2014

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24 Present: Sis. Taylor (CYW-UNITE), Halfpenny (NUT),Battell (NASUWT), Jones (speaker), Lowe (UNITE), Ashcroft(UCU), Arnold plus 3 other sisters

Bros. Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Marris, Baynham & Purchase(UNITE), Bueno & Maybury (UNISON), Cole (NUT), Childs & MacMillian (CWU), Lord, Bueno del Carpio (speaker) & 2 other brothers

Apologies: Bros. Juss (GMB), S Grant (NUT), Thomas (Community)

Delegates were welcomed and introductions made, with interpreter. The chair reminded that there would be 2 guest speakers so contributions needed to be concise.

Minutes of last delegate meeting (September) agreed,

Matters Arising 4. Women Chainmakers Festival - Friends of Women Chainmakers another meeting planned for 2nd December? Information to be put on website.

 

 

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Executive Committee Report and Correspondence of note:

a) 4. No response from strictly Black Country

b) 7. Over £2,500 from festivals and donation to Morning Star still owing.There was a glowing mention in the paper for our donations.

b) 13. MP McFadden did not support recognition of Palestine although MP Reynolds voted for. Letter to be sent to McFadden asking him to explain his actions. PSC reported that at a recent parliamentary lobby it was very hard to gain Mc Fadden's interest.

 

c) 2. Re-affiliation agreed £30 to TU Friends of Searchlight

 

c) 3. Affiliation agreed £60 to Colombia but to include letter to state that the affiliation fee seems very high compared to similar organisations.

 

c) 4. Postcards for Old Tree Nursery Campaign in mailing and circulated at the meeting.

 

c) 6. October 18th coach cancelled due to lack of response. So all on UNISON coach leaving at 7.00am.

 

c) 7. An Evening with Michael Mansfield QC , Arena Theatre, Friday 14th November 7.30pm £5

 

c) 8. "United we Stand" play about injustice to Shrewsbury 24 building workers in 1973, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury - October 30, 31, November 1 - 7.30pm, October 31 - 2pm.

 

c) 9. Film "Still the Enemy Within", Lighthouse, Wolverhampton, 3 November - 7.45pm

 

c) 10. TUC report about defending the Independent Living fund which faces cuts.

 

c) 11. 22 November, TUC Women's committee, White Ribbon Day, Wolves re Notts, details from Sis Crawley UNITE unclear what volunteers might be asked to do.

Reports/discussion:

a) Ernesto Bueno Del Carpio - deaf advisor at Citizens Advice Bureau, Wolverhampton Cuts have been made to benefit advisors and debt specialists. The cuts for deaf people are completely different as the deaf advisor can talk to them directly. Ernesto cannot make telephone calls but has an interpreter with him. Letters need to be translated into British Sign Language. Assistance for clients filling in forms. Ernesto works independently with supervisor support. A hearing person can read English, take phone calls in the way deaf cannot. A large number of deaf people are unable to read and write. When the support is gone where will it come from in future? Three years ago there were 22 recommendations from the council but nothing happened due to lack of funding. The funding has now been cut to one day a week. British Sign Language has to be undertaken face to face so it is expensive for access to work , legal responsibilities under equalities to access council services. bro Purchase suggested service will not be lost as he is on CAB board. Petition has been set up which Trades Council can support . Put link on website. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/petition-to-save-wolverhampton-deaf-services?

Bro Del Carpio and the Interpreter were presented with a 'History of Wolverhampton and Bilston District TUC 1865-1990'.

b) October 13th and 14th national pay strikes -13th Health workers striking but no report received from them. Bro Marris suggested it was poorly supported. There is little affiliation from health workers unions and PCS to trades council. Any information will be put on website. 14th suspended as improved pay offer.

c) Britain Needs a Pay Rise -Demonstrations 18th October, London - coach now 7am from Faukland Street.

d) Other delegate workplace reports - NASUWT- Changes to Teachers Pay and Conditions hence dispute regarding deregulation. recruitment and retention of staff difficulties leading to "poaching" eg math dept. Discussion about "free" schools followed Child Protection a worry in these schools. It is believed that the Labour Group needs a strategy for education in Wolverhampton. It was agreed that education should be a discussion at a future meeting.

Speaker - Carolyn Jones, Director of the Institute of Employment Rights (IER)

THE TRANSATLANTIC TRADE and INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (TTIP) - a proposed trade deal between the European Union and the United States

The IER is a network of academics, educationalists and trade unionists with an alternative agenda. Sis Jones explained the significance of TTIP to us.

A free trade agreement between US and Europe =60% of global gross domestic product. Talks on TTIP in 2013 and due to be completed in 2015. Negotiations are in secret between the EU and US government and meet every 2months. There is a 30 year ban on the documents being available(official secrets!) not even MPs or MEPs can gain access. Proponents believe TTIP will bring winners -create growth, employment, prosperity - €120 billion. There is already free trade agreements in place. Could be less than 1million jobs between the US and EU.

Three main pillars of TTIP -deregulation, privatisation, and shift of power to large corporations. There are very few tariffs between the US and EU currently but TTIP will bring about removal of regulatory barriers so there will be less difference between Europe and the United States e.g. environment, food safety values, health and safety, financial etc. In Europe products cannot be produced without risk considered but in the United States the approach is reversed. The EU banned genetically modified produce but in the US 70%of food is genetically modified. Europe banned beef with bovine growth hormones but it is permitted in the United States.

The private sector will be expanded into new markets. 70% new contracts with the NHS are private. There will be further lucrative contracts in Health and Education through the area of public procurement.

War on Want Director said that TTIP will be the biggest transfer of power from government to national corporations. Investor State Dispute Settlement will be the way cases are taken between the US and Europe. A secret court in private, World bank, Washington, bypasses our system of justice. Corporations can sue governments for reduction of profits. the government plays down these concerns. American companies have sued nations 127 times in the last 15 years.

Workers rights are impacted but the government says not the case. Nearly half the American States do not use Right to Work law which secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union. There is no agreement with employers. The International Labour Organization - the US signed 2 conventions.

Opposition to TTIP is growing but time is not on our side. Another similar agreement was made with Canada in September known as CETA, which is the blueprint for TTIP. this is still to be agreed by European Council and Parliament. it is possible to lobby MEPs to stop CETA going through.

What can we do? TUC motion at congress opposes TTIP and CETA. Possible campaigning through European Citizens Initiative, 38 degrees, War On Want, George Monbiot of the Guardian, Join the NOTTIP mailing group - trades council to affiliate.

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/pages/ttip_home

http://www.waronwant.org/news/latest-news/18168-war-on-want-response-to-eu-consultation-on-ttip

http://www.monbiot.com/category/corporate-power/

http://www.nottip.org.uk/

Sis Jones was thanked for her detailed explanation of TTIP and presented with a 'History of Wolverhampton and Bilston District TUC 1865-1990'.

There was time to return to the remainder of the agenda.

e) Secretary's Report - Most already covered. Lobby of full council outside Council Chamber Level 4 Civic Centre from 5 to 5.30 pm Wednesday November 5th led by UNISON.

f) Black Country People's Assembly - Meeting at the Lichgates Monday 20th October 7.30.

g)Wolverhampton Palestinian Solidarity Campaign - Saturday 1st November leafleting outside Sainsburys. Continuing to pursue council's position on Veolia, NHS Trust also has a big contract. Contact concerning this with Trust Board, Jeremy Vanes Chair. Socialist Health Alliance?

Any Other Business Send congratulations to Evo Morales on re-election, agreed

 

 

 

 

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Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

 

Minutes 18 September 2014

 

1) Present: Brothers Kelleher, Turner, Everall & Deacon (UNISON Gen), Rahami, Purchase & Marris (UNITE), Childs & Macmillan (CWU) Delegates welcomed & introductions made.

Apologies: Brothers Juss (GMB), Grant (UCU), Brackenridge (FBU) , Thomas (Community)

Sisters Taylor (CYWU-UNITE), Halfpenny (NUT), Battell (NASUWT)

 

  1. Minutes of last delegate meeting (July) agreed, correction 3i) successful LP candidate in police commissioner elections (10% turnout) was David “Jamieson”.

    Matters Arising:

4a) next UNISON local government strike is October 14th not September. 1% pay offer refused. Academies and ALMO due to strike this time too. UNISON NHS also successfully balloted by strike date is unknown. Rally planned by UNISON.

4c) UNISON Neighbourhood Wardens got 4,500 signatures and a debate and lobby will take place 5th Nov council chamber

4d) put next FBU strike on website

 

3) Correspondence of note:

  1. Midlands TUC re new Regional Secretary Lee Barron – invite to speak – possibly Dec – Sis Taylor

  2. CATUC holding meetings; still no minutes – seek meeting with new Regional secretary to explain our position that it is an unnecessary bureaucratic layer that stifles activity regionally.

  3. FBU – Time to take over Energy Companies booklet agreed to take up offer to speak at meeting

  4. Women Chainmakers’ Festival consultation about plans going forward. Tuesday 30 September at 2.30pm, UNISON offices, 24 Livery St, Birmingham. Agreed Cradley Heath only site; we can help by website publicity; assist with leafleting if given details; best in June – our views to be emailed

  5. Cuba solidarity raffle tickets – circulated amongst delegates £10 sold

  6. TUC reps course details – put on website

  7. 2014 affiliation received to us from Unite-Cyw

  8. Connolly association seeking affiliation – agreed invite to speak and discuss

  9. paid coach parking @ Wembley 18 October £34 (refund due to NK)

  10. enquiry re Chinese TU delegation re agriculture – sent to E Mids TUCs

  11. Save NHS rally 27 Sept Shrewsbury – put on website

    Sent

  12. £1,330 invoice to workers beer co for latitude festival and £1,256.50 for Glastonbury festival – thanks recorded for all this year's volunteers which included several Iranian refugees.

  13. invoice sent to CATUC £153.50 re unpaid TUC conference delegate fees

  14. invited to speak – Distinctly Black Country







4 Reports/discussion:

  1. Midlands needs a Pay Rise demonstration: Sunday 28 Sept Birmingham/Midlands TUC Hard-up festival @Tory conference. On Wed 1st October Midlands TUC has backed Pensioners groups who will demonstrate in Broad St 11am-1pm. Daily events had been agreed during the conference but this was the only one organised.

  2. Britain needs a Pay Rise demonstration:Saturday 18 Oct London – our coach 8am free/£5/£10 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. also UNISON coach @ 7am 01902 554096 £5 refundable deposit

  3. UNISON – Save Old Tree Nursery Campaign – Bro Kelleher the shop steward reported that consultation finishes end November. Over 1,000 signatures already. 10 disabled workers under threat of redundancy – Facebook campaign launched – to be added to website. Suggested to contact Mencap, DPAC etc

  4. no other delegates' workplace reports

  5. Secretary’s written report circulated:

  1. Pride 27th Sept seek permission for our banner – NK & RM; UNISON has a stall.

  2. Action for Rail – leafleting went well and commuters distributed them on trains, but no rail unions involved this time due to holiday. Campaign needs local initiatives. Need a visible banner for future events.

  1. Black Country Peoples Assembly – no recent activity

  2. Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Case management hearing for Shenstone 9 on October 6th but there isn't a rally as previously advertised.

    51 day attack on Gaza by Israel; over 3,000 killed almost all civilians. 100,000+ homeless and no rebuilding due to Israeli embargo. Hamas absorbed attack politically and came out stronger within Palestine. Wolves PSC did well helping mobilise 200+ in July many young people and Muslim women. There were fundraisers of £7.5k via a Muslim group and £12k for Medical Aid for Palestine. Coach to London demo, another local rally and lobby of Parliament though Tory Paul Uppal refused to meet his constituents.

  3. Discussion of the 2014 Trades Union Congress. Even Bank of England speaker seemed to agree with Britain Needs a Pay Rise campaign. A TV newsflash had interrupted the General secretary's call for “no return to Downton Abbey” announcing the latest royal foetus.

  4. Other business:

  1. Peoples March for NHS had been successful but only covered by Morning Star. Media, entertainment, pop music, Olympics – all dominated by the privately educated who have no knowledge of the working class.

  2. Anton Apiania who spoke at previous meeting won his appeal against deportation after living here almost 20years

  3. Next month's meeting – flyers produced, on TTIP US/EU trade deal with Carolyn Jones. Canada/EU CITA trade deal already signed off and North America Free Trade Agreement may give US firms back-door entry to privatise NHS

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Minutes 17 July 2014

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Present: Sis. Taylor (CYWU-UNITE), Halfpenny (NUT)

Bros. Deacon (UNISON Gen), J.Grant (UCU), Marris (UNITE), Childs (CWU), Juss (GMB), Cole (NUT)

Apologies: Bros. Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Grant (NUT), Rahami (UNITE), Brackenridge (FBU) Sis Battell (NASUWT)

Delegates were welcomed and introductions made.

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Minutes of last delegate meeting (June) agreed,

Matters Arising Silver badge for Bro Kelleher discussed

 

 

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Correspondence of note:

1) Sad death of Bob Jones. Celebration of Bob's life Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Wednesday 23rd July, 1pm. this has caused by election 21st August called by UKIP. Very bad time for election. It was discussed what trades council can do. Information to be put on website and unions to be mailed regarding the importance of the vote. Labour candidate David James.

3) Venezuela Solidarity AGM 4 October, London

4)Burston School Strike Rally Sunday 7th September, £12 including meal. Coach leaves Coventry 8am returns 8pm.

 

5) NATO summit anti- war demonstration Newport, Saturday 30th August.

 

6) October 16th Trades Council speaker - Carolyn Jones IER - Need good attendance.

 

8) Invoice sent to Birmingham Trades Council for money owed for conference expenses

 

9) Donations for Mayday £100 from NUT plus £20 from Sis Ceresa.

 

10) No more affiliation fees for WB&DTUC, 2014.

 

Reports/discussion:

a) July 10th National Strike Rally in St Peter's Square - small numbers but good atmosphere with steel drums etc, well organised. it was noticeable that there were 4 male speakers and 3 females serving food!! Next strike in September. Necessary to try and improve coordination between unions for next occasion. Consult affiliates to ascertain whether they wish WB&DTUC to coordinate next date?

b)Britain Needs a Pay Rise Demonstrations 28th September, Birmingham; 18th October, London

c) UNISON - Anti-cuts campaigning- Neighbourhood Wardens halved and having to apply for own jobs so remainder can be removed. Campaigning continuing regarding community groups. If insufficient cuts are made, then the financial officer of the council will have a duty to declare the council bankrupt.

d) FBU Industrial Action 14th to 21st July and continuing.

 

 

 

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e) Other delegates’ workplace reports - none

f) Secretary’s Report circulated - Union Learn no longer funded

g) Black Country Peoples' Assembly - National demonstration - good event

 

Speaker - Bro Deacon from Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GAZA? local solidarity action Here is a summary of some of the points made.

Coverage by the BBC of the 'cease fire' which wasn't a cease fire on Tuesday as Hamas were not included in discussions between Israel and Egypt. There needs to be a fundamental solution. Hugh Lanning chair of national Palestine solidarity Campaign visited Gaza 2 years ago and wanted a solution for ALL Palestinian people. Refugees are flowing out of Syria into Lebanon and Jordan. Palestinian refugees were already in Syria and there was always a lot of movement due to proximity. It is no longer possible for Palestinian and Western leaders to say "Share Israeli values"

3 Israelis kidnapped and murdered but there was no proper judicial process instead there were raids, homes of suspects demolished but no convictions. Hamas activists arrested. Many had been released to sustain peace talks in April. Israel will not halt settlements in order to have talks. The talks collapsed as the last prisoners were not released. Now nearly all have been rearrested. The Israeli Labour party also advocates the invasion of the Gaza strip. The Israeli consensus is moving to the right.

There is a need to join the campaign and boycott investments etc. http://www.palestinecampaign.org/ there followed a discussion. Bro Deacon was thanked for his detailed report.

 

 

 

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Minutes Thursday 19th June 2014

 

The meeting was held at the Electric Club Chapel Ash Wolverhampton WV3 0QH

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Present: Sis. Taylor (CYWU-UNITE), Halfpenny (NUT), Ceresa (UNISON Gen), Battell (NASUWT) Bros. Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Childs (CWU)

also Sis Dugmore, Bro J.Goodall & Jones for the speaker

Apologies: Sis. Elson (PCS), Brealey (UNISON Gen) Bros. S Grant (NUT), Marris, Goodall, Rahimi (UNITE), Juss (GMB), Turner & Everall, (UNISON Gen), J.Grant (UCU)

 

Delegates were welcomed and introductions made.

 

Minutes of the last meeting were agreed correct with the following addition Sis Halfpenny had raised the fact that a report of the TUC Pensioners Network had not been circulated by the secretary since March. Bro Deacon requested that this report be circulated to delegates at the July meeting. NK Some affiliations still not received despite numerous reminders – PCS, CYW-UNITE, FBU all promised! Plus POA.

 

3 EC report /correspondence

1 Sis Taylor tabled a report of the Trades Union Conference in Cardiff which she attended. A motion concerning the West Midlands CATUC was discussed there. The Regional TUC requires a motion from trade union regional body to Midlands TUC to abolish/amend WMCATUC.

2 Agreed that a pre-loaded credit card is available for use by the secretary for purchasing stationery/printing bills etc. Treasurer to arrange. JG

3 Agreed to show North Staffs Miners' Wives video 'Going through the Change' at a future meeting. Equipment to be organised. MT

6 Shrewsbury 24 meeting with Ricky Tomlinson 25th June

d) Press release was sent and sis Taylor chaired tonight's meeting Behind the Violence in Venezuela

 

4 a) Delegates' workplace report - UNISON - More jobcuts announced this week.

NASUWT - People being pushed out of jobs in teaching through competency, often older teachers. In future there is likely to be a teacher supply problem.

b) Secretary's Report - Anti-BNP campaign and local elections - Trades Council organised 8 leafleting sessions of Hope Not Hate anti-BNP material in Bushbury North and Springvale wards. Anti- UKIP leaflets were distributed in Wednesfield South where there was a Labour gain. BNP vote was the lowest ever. It was agreed to invite a HOPE not HATE speaker to a future meeting in Autumn to discuss anti UKIP strategy. NK

Chainmakers' festival - weather poor, attendance therefore poor, future??

c) Black Country Peoples' Assembly -national demonstration 21st June - coaches paid for by NUT leaving Falkland Street 8am.

d) AOB Simon Cardy sponsored walk for Palestinian Solidarity Campaign agreed £25 from the Trades Council.

 

PUBLIC MEETING -BEHIND THE VIOLENCE IN VENEZUELA

Speaker Dr Francisco Dominguez - Secretary of Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign

A Chilean political refugee, now head of Latin American Studies at Middlesex University.

There has been a 3 month wave of violence in Veneuela organised by the right wing. Places attacked - ministries, health centres, schools, buses, 15 universities over this period. Barricades were set up with razor wire and thugs with masks carrying out attacks. Sabotage of underground transport. 42 died. Further information available http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/whatisreallygoingoninvenezuela

Where does the violence come from. Efforts have been made to counteract reporting in Guardian, BBC, etc through letters via VSC and Embassy. The right wing are trying to overthrow government. Funding comes through US funding various groups such as "National Government for Democracy". Public and Private money through the National Republican party think tank. The aim to destabilise Venezuela. Venezuela has large deposits of oil hence targets by the US. It is dependent on oil and lacks agriculture 70% food is imported. Now repairing the economic damage. Labour MP Venezuela group successful in making a stand. UN resolution.

Following this interesting explanation of the complicated situation in Venezuela there was a brief question and answer session. Bro Dominguez was thanked and presented with a history of WB&DTUC History

 

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Delegate Minutes 15th May 2014

 

1 Welcome and introductions made.

Present: Bro. Turner, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Childs (CWU), Goodall (visitor), Rahimi & Marris (UNITE) Sis. Watson (UNISON Gen), Halfpenny (NUT), Taylor (CYW-UNITE)

Apologies: Bro. Grant (NUT), Grant (UCU), MacMillan (CWU), Juss (GMB) Everall (UNISON Gen) Sis. Ceresa & Brealey (UNISON Gen)

 

2 Minutes of April meeting agreed; matters arising:

2.4i FBU, CYW-UNITE, POA and one PCS branch still not received this year’s affiliation.

2.4.xi NK to check with Midlands TUC re meeting about CATUC on Fri 13thJune as Alan Weaver is leaving TUC for a job abroad.

3 (no EC held) Correspondence of note:

  1. Midlands TUC £300 reserved fund grant received(Oct 2014 TUC demo) coach booked

  2. Distinctly Black Country info – future speaker?

  3. To pay: £25 invoice Hope Not Hate for 10,000 anti-Bnp & 1,000 anti UKIP flyers; £30 Workers' Memorial day wreath; £25 room hire on behalf of Black country peoples Assembly; £500 still to raise for 1st May event;£250 donation for May Day Committee

  4. Venezuela Solidarity further appeal – organise speaker for next month

  5. www.wolvestuc.org.uk now averaging over 800 page views per day in the last month; 15 times normal traffic; 90% seeking information on minimum wage.

  6. sent: re-affiliations Venezuela Solidarity £30; Hope not Hate £50; Campaign TU Rights £35; PO Box renewal £313.01

 

4a) FBU have taken further industrial action. Dave Peters new brigade secretary spoke at Sandwell May Day could be invited as future speaker.

b) UNISON - re threat to council jobs Other councils had different strategies looking at service, knowledge, skills, expertise, networks etc. Compulsory redundancies while voluntary being refused. Lot of Wolverhampton council's money is spent out of borough £32million on 800 looked after children – prevention is needed but will suffer under cuts. If increment freeze goes ahead it will open the door to new equal pay claims by unions. Seems unelected officers have not thought through financial implications fully

c) CYW-UNITE - youth service - whole service dismantled; buildings shut up; equipment thrown in skips or given to voluntary sector. Staff were coerced into voluntary redundancy rather than have compulsory redundancy. 31st July service will cease. there is a lack of council involvement in many areas e.g. all Heath Town council amenities now shut down - public connection with council disappearing.

d) Anti-BNP campaign and local elections Leafleting dates were distributed. No joint Labour party leafleting. Used national Hope not Hate leaflet. Bit over ¼ delivered to date; more planned.

e) Secretary's Report - Chainmakers' festival. We have a stall on the Saturday of the Chainmakers'. Workers' Memorial Day went well about 60 people turned out. 1st May was well attended 300+, good atmosphere very attentive audience to speakers and silence for founder member Gurmel Singh. The accounts were circulated. Short of £470 still. Bro Kelleher & Goodall both spoke at the Indian Workers Association's remembrance event of comrade Gurmel Singh.

f) Black Country Peoples' Assembly National Demonstration 21st June in London and NUT is booking coaches. £200 towards cost of coach if it leaves from Wolverhampton. The last local meeting of the assembly was poorly attended. There was a discussion as to whether or not the Peoples' Assembly is a fledgling political party. Generally delegates believe it is an umbrella organisation with a 25-point 'plan'. The Peoples' Assembly is filling a void.

g) Palestinian Solidarity Campaign Friday 27th Junepublicmeeting atFriends Meeting House. It is the UN year of solidarity. The Israeli, Tzipi Livni, allowed to visit UK due to diplomatic immunity, protecting her against arrest and potential prosecution for alleged breaches of international law, including war crimes.

5 AOB The low level station venue contacted us regarding rooms for hire but are a bit pricey.

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Minutes 17th April 2014

1

Present: Sis. Halfpenny (NUT), Dixon (UNISON Gen)

Bros. Deacon, Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Rahami(UNITE), Juss (GMB), MacMillan (CWU), J.Grant (UCU),

Apologies: Sis. Battell (NASUWT), Ceresa (UNISON), Taylor (CYWU-UNITE) Bros. S Grant, Cole (NUT) Marris (UNITE), Thomas (Community)

Delegates were welcomed and introductions made

2

Minutes of last delegate meeting were agreed as correct.

Matters Arising

4(i) Affiliated branches ASLEF, Community 17000, Community Craft, Community Region 4 Associates, CWU. GMBx13, NASUWT, NUT, PCS (C&V), RMT, UCATT, UCU(college), UNISON Acute, UNISON General, UNISON Police Staff, UNISON University, UNITE WM6150, UNITE 6151

Branches affiliated to us last year but not so far for2014: FBU, CYW-UNITE (both have agreed) and POA

4(ii) Saturday 18th October Demonstration  Britain Needs a Pay Rise in London - Midlands TUC Reserved Grant agreed £300, £300 ticket sales expected; will need to raise £300 ourselves. Coach £575, but will have to pay for tube tickets from coach park to demo. Charges:- waged £10, unwaged £5.00 and those with no money free of charge.

4(xi) Meeting with Rob Johnson, Midlands Regional TUC secretary, and Sis Taylor and Bro Kelleher to ascertain purpose of West Midlands CATUC. Regarding motions to regional TUC the rules do not seem to be in 'sync' with national TUC. This will be checked to see if so. Rule change would be hard to bring about as cannot go through non-functional WMCATUC. Would have to be put via trade union such as UNISON so it will have a long time scale before there is a change. Currently each trade council does not have a seat on regional council which seems unfair.

 

 

 

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Correspondence of note

3.Bar volunteer places available at Glastonbury and Latitude.

6. Workers Memorial Day 28th April 2014 at 12.30. Speakers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and Satinder Bains expert on the effects of asbestos.

7. Birmingham Peoples Assembly - 'Hands Off Our Unions' meeting 7pm Monday 28th April, The Priory Rooms, Bull Street.

8.No More Pinochets in Latin America! No to extreme Right Coup Plotters in Venezuela, Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham Tuesday April 29th 7pm. There is evidence that the media portrayal of Venezuela uses lies and errors including using photographs of Chile, Spain etc

9. Ruskin College - International Labour and Trade Union Open days all 11am to 1pm - Friday 2nd May, Friday 30th May, Saturday 21st June, Wednesday 30th June. Subject Taster Day Social and Political Studies Friday 6th June 10am start. See website http://www.ruskin.ac.uk/study/open_days

10. The possibility of Banner Theatre productions in the future were discussed, maybe more suitable for Peoples Assembly.

11.More places arefollowing our lead and doing their own May Days. Coventry 1st May 7pm £1 music., speakers, food etc Sandwell TUC 4th May

12. Re-affiliations: Campaign TU Rights £35, Hope Not Hate £50, Venezuela Solidarity £30 all agreed.

 

Information that Farage is speaking at Dudley and protest 18 April

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reports/Discussion

a) NUT - teachers' industrial action report - There was a good rally in Birmingham on the day of strike action 26th March 2014 and a decent turn out. Victoria Square was full. Bro Grant believed that Wolverhampton had the highest number of schools closed in the area.

b) UNISON - re threat to council jobs - Ongoing sis Ceresa and Bro Kelleher both offered jobs in similar fields. Groups of workers who have had essential car user allowances withdrawn will not be using cars.

c) CYW-UNITE - No further information.

d) UCU/ UNISON strike action in University and Higher Education – There is a planned Anti-Casualisation Day of Action Wednesday 6th March. No delegate present to report.

e) Other delegates’ workplace reports - None

f) Secretary’s Report - Attended Midlands Trade Union Councils Conference on 29th March

The meeting was in Fairpay fortnight and an activity was planned in the Bullring by the Bull but had to move away as not 'booked'! There was just photographs of people holding posters and it was a missed opportunity of interacting with the public by giving out leaflets etc. Only 14 delegates at the conference no one from Birmingham or Sandwell. There were no motions. Presentation by Andy Goodall, Leftspace on websites for trades union councils.

Black Country Peoples' Assembly 29th April venue to be confirmed. meetings seem to be about organising promotion of each other's events. 21st June Peoples' Assembly national demonstration London.

Leafleting for May 1st - Tuesday 22nd April 6pm, Wednesday 23rd April 6.30pm, Thursday 24th April 6.30pm all at Pegasus.

f) Palestine SolidarityCampaign- There is leafleting Saturday 3rd May at Sainsbury's St George's from 10 am to 1pm. there is a social event/ meeting Friday 20th June, Haya Al Farra

from the embassy will speak the venue to be confirmed. This year is UN year of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

 

Bro Deacon Attended Midlands TUC pensioners AGM and was elected as vice chair. A previously submitted report will circulate at the next meeting.

 

No Speaker - discussion - elections 22nd May 2014 Nominations for local elections and European due 22nd April. Some delegates believed UKIP should be targeted as well as BNP. It was agreed that BNP should be challenged as a matter of course as BNP are aligned with fascists. Farage was a different matter but some delegates supported fighting against UKIP. Unions21 campaign on the Internet may be helpful. Sis Dixon to publicise voter registration amongst young BME groups. Sis Taylor could target youth council.? Bro Kelleher to send out email to delegates to ascertain opposition to UKIP and willingness to undertake a campaign.

It was agreed that if the BNP stand we will leaflet wards as previously. If we are against UKIP then delegates need to come forward and put arguments forward.

 

Any Other Business It was proposed and agreed that £250 should be donated to Wolverhampton May Day Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Delegate meeting minutes of Thursday 20th March 2014

 

  1. Present: Sis. Battell (NASUWT), Taylor (CYW-UNITE), Ceresa(UNISON Gen) Bros. S Grant, Cole (NUT) J. Grant (UCU), Deacon, Turner, Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Marris, Purchase, Rahimi (UNITE), Childs, MacMillan (CWU) Apologies: Sis. Halfpenny (NUT), Kelsey (CWU), Watson, Sharkey, Dixon (UNISON Gen), Bros. Juss (GMB) Everall (UNISON). Delegates were welcomed and introductions made.

 

  1. Minute’s silence in remembrance of Dennis Turner, Bob Crow and Tony Benn followed by discussion led by Bro. Purchase who had known and worked with Dennis for over 40 years. He had led Social services for many years, developing elderly services. Ken & Dennis were threatened with expulsion after negotiating a council matched £400k government package with Tony Benn to set up a workers co-operative to save Norton Villiers. Benn was sacked and Villiers closed. He had led the fight with brother Bert to save Bilston steelworks before being elected as MP and had been a great admirer of William Morris. Praise was given to the leadership of Bob Crow, feared by the establishment loved by his members. Memories of Tony Benn's lifelong contribution to the labour movement and history of this country were also shared particularly his passionate attempts at peace making during the Balkans invasion.

 

  1. Minutes of February delegate meeting agreed with correction Sis Battell is NASUWT. No matters arising

 

  1. Executive Committee report

  1. Re-affiliation fees received from Unison General, Unison Acute, Unison Police, PCS (C&V) & RMT. Agreed to re-affiliate: FBU, GMB, CYW-UNITE.

Awaiting response from POA, UCU college, UCU University.

  1. booked Coach Choice £575 for Sat 18 Oct 2014 TUC demo. Will apply for Midlands TUC reserved fund grant

  2. Labour Research re-affiliation £44.50 agreed

  3. Working Class Movement library funds appeal agreed £25

  4. Peoples Assembly next local meeting Mon 31 March 7.30pm Lych Gates Tavern W’ton centre – need delegates from WB&DTUC (MT apols)

  5. TUC re silver badges JG contacted TUC re NK – TUC agreed

Sent:

  1. bar volunteer place requests for festivals 2014 to Workers Beer Company

  2. UCATT seeking joint work re Shrews 24 play - no reply received

  3. £7 paid www.wolvestuc.org.uk website name hosting for next 2 years. Over 34,000 pageviews in the last month; 90% seeking information on minimum wage but over double traffic too on other pages.

  4. Our public liability insurance £184 renewal (no rise); WMids CND renewal £10; £30 postage stamps; £50 UAF from money held for Black Country Peoples Assembly agreed by BCPA has paid for 10 seats for Roma Wolverhampton (£267.89 remaining)

  5. To send: Letter to Rob Johnson re WMids CATUC by EC was agreed by delegates

 

5. Election: Bro.Kelleher elected as delegate to Midlands Trades Union Councils conference in Birmingham

 

6. Reports/discussion:

  1. NUT teachers’ industrial action. Two street stalls were held prior to strike on 26th March since no meaningful talks with Education minister Gove. Our banner will be present at regional rally. Government reported showed primary teachers working 60hour week and secondary 56 hours. 20% of work is data gathering.40% of young teachers leave in first 5 years. As well as excessive workload, pensions cuts, Victorian style-performance related pay threat. NASUWT reported continuing non-strike joint action with NUT and expect to strike nearer election.

  2. UNISON – 500 voluntary redundancies accepted, a third of non-school workers threatened with job loss. National terms and conditions being threatened. 180 at this month's branch meeting threatened industrial action. Elderly, Learning Disability and Children's services threatened with privatisation. Much heralded councils' Living Wage guarantee in single status already being threatened within a year of agreement. Future is 'barely legal' service. Unknown where council's legal advice coming from as in breach of legal agreement. Heath Town Community Centre promises being reneged on by labour councillors. Education managers being paid off while consultants and interims being employed on £500+/day. Whole of education HR have resigned. More schools leaving service level agreement costing millions. LP neither locally nor nationally opposing government cuts, no alternative economic and political strategy. Ending tax avoidance is solution.

  3. CWU-UNITE – youth service redundancies July. Consultation reported as farce. Bullying into voluntary redundancy, council is bypassing TUPE laws.

  4. Secretary’s report - BBC Midlands & ITV Midlands TV interviews, Express & Star and BBC West Midlands radio interviews by President and Secretary and local trade unionists on protest against 2,000 council job cuts. Turnouts were poor however on the three recent lobbies. We produced leaflet with BCPA for lobby on 19th March.

  5. Workers Memorial Day speakers: Stuart Baker UCATT & Bro Marris, Rev Bill Mash Cuts cost lives theme Monday 28th April 12.30pm Cenotaph Wolverhampton. 1,000 flyers ordered to be distributed to NUT, NASUWT, UNISON & CYW-UNITE.

  6. Thursday 1st May 7pm annual International Workers’ Day 20th celebrations @Pegasus, Wolverhampton WV6 0QQ Entertainment arranged: inc.Urban Roots, Transit Trix, Tim Martin, Ade Turner & Rob Marris. possible Nicaraguan Fetsalud union speaker via UNISON. Cost £1,400 10,000 flyers ordered

  7. Midland TUC Bro. Deacon reported 50 present. Midlands TUC re funding for Protest at Tory Party Conference in Birmingham on the first day of the conference (Sunday September 28th) Delegates agreed to offer £100. Work with Hope Not Hate in Lincolnshire around migrant workers.

  8. Palestine Solidarity Campaign 5th April leafleting against Israeli products at Sainsbury's.



7. speaker: Sis Taylor gave a report on the national People’s Assembly conference. Lot of motions all agreed.

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council   Minutes 20th February 2014

1)                  Present: Sis. Taylor (CYW-UNITE), Halfpenny (NUT), Kelsey (CWU), Watson, Dixon(UNISON Gen), Malarova (Roma) and three other sisters from Wolverhampton Roma.   Bros. Deacon, Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Marris, Rahimi, Purchase(UNITE), Juss (GMB) Childs, MacMillan (CWU), Balaz (Roma uk)

Apologies: Sis. Battell (NASUWT) Baugh (UNISON),  Bros. S Grant, Cole (NUT) J. Grant (UCU), Turner, Everall (UNISON).  Delegates were welcomed and introductions made.

Minutes of last delegate meeting were agreed at AGM. AGM minutes enclosed for information only

 

2)            Correspondence

1.lobby/protests against Wolverhampton cuts called by UNISON: Tuesday 4th March 5.30pm; Wednesday 5th March 5.45pm and Wednesday 19th March 5.45pm all at Civic Centre , Wolverhampton.

2. Jeanette Scroop former NUT activist and Partner of Dick Scroop former Trades Council activist died this month as did Gurmael Singh of the Indian workers Association.

3. Midlands TUC Development grant and reserved fund 18th October 2014 TUC demonstration in London  Britain Needs a Pay Rise. Agreed to book coach and seek grant from fund.

6.Resignation Sis Battell as publicity officer.

7. Agreed to renew affiliation to West Midlands CND £7  requested but £10 agreed.

10. Agreed to renew public liability insurance £184.

11.Protest at Tory Party conference in Birmingham. Help to organise demonstration  on first day of conference Sunday 28th September. Planning meeting Thursday February 27th at 7pm Unite Office, Broad Street.

12. Peoples Assembly national Recall conference - London Saturday 15th March. Up to 10 delegates can be sent agreed Bro Kelleher and Sis Taylor. Local meeting Monday 31st March Lych Gates Tavern 7.30pm Wolverhampton town centre.

13. Information about a Paul Robeson performer was circulated to consider for a future talk or performance.

16. ATOS Healthcare protest was successful. There were about 24 people present. Ex & Star coverage and quote from secretary.

19. Twelve branch affiliations received for 2014 still awaiting about 14 more.

20. Shrewsbury 24 Campaign Possible performance of new play by Townsend productions 'United We Stand' To be explored with UCATT

3)            Elections:

a)Sis Taylor is our delegate to Trades Union Councils conference in Cardiff 14th  & 15th June

b) No nominations for West Midlands TUCJCC rep or TUC Equality conference observers. None filled and will not be on next agenda

4)            Reports/Discussion

a) UNISON- re threat to council jobs - A report was sent to the meeting by Bro Turner. 2,000 council job losses  ⅓ workforce. Cuts to terms and conditions.  35 hour week but not time scale. Council will be devastated.  Likely that adults and children's services will be privatised. Council says it will not have enough budget to cover statutory services. Government is not funding in full. Youth services is partially statutory but not ring fenced. Wolverhampton to cut more than 70% to youth service.  All youth workers sacked and 8 project workers  to be appointed. Charity to provide services from one central location. How can a Labour council implement these Tory policies?? There was no prior discussion with trade unions. Measures to move away from national collective bargaining.  Meeting Monday with UNISON and the chief executive. No voluntary redundancies? 2,000 compulsory. Proposal for freezing annual increments could have equal pay implications. Once services are gone they will never be replaced. How can the voluntary sector pick up the shortfall

b) NUT- National Strike Action by Teachers in England and Wales – 26 March 2014  This is in pursuit of the disputes that Michael Gove has caused with the profession around pay, pensions and conditions. In the run up to the strike the NUT will engage in all talks and encourage our members to leaflet parents and engage with politicians. “The responsibility for this situation lies fairly and squarely at the door of this intransigent Education Secretary. His policies are losing the coalition parties votes. It is time he changed his attitude and listened to the genuine concerns of teachers.” There is likely to be a rally in Birmingham.

c) Fire Brigade Union  report on industrial action campaign- No delegate present to report

 d) UCU/ UNISON strike action in University and Higher Education – There is a planned  Anti-Casualisation Day of Action Wednesday 6th March. No delegate present to report.

e) Other delegates’ workplace reports - CWU following privatisation currently have a good agreement with the employers

f) Black Country People's Assembly launch report - There was a grant from the Midlands TUC for Wolverhampton and Bilston, Dudley and Sandwell Trades Councils to launch.  It was a successful event  held at the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton on Saturday 25th January 2014. There were about 100 people present with Stephen Morrison-Burke, Birmingham Poet Laureate and Tim Martin as entertainment. There were workshops :- Break the Bedroom Tax, Collective Gardening, Countering the far right,  Defending NHS, Fighting local services cuts and No Cuts to Public Transport. About 20 people took part in sessions. There were 80 new sign ups with 50 from Wolverhampton. It was agreed to thank Bro Kelleher for all his hard work co-ordinating and catering this event.

g) Secretary’s Report -The focus of this report was the dates of future events (see web site) The following dates were highlighted - Wednesday 26th February Walsall Against Cuts meeting 6.30pm Royal Hotel WS1 2EL, Tuesday  4th March Dudley at 7pm Fords Dagenham speaker Lamp Tavern, High Street, DY1 1QT

h) Midlands TUC Pensioners' Network - AGM  Friday 21st March, Derby. Agreed to nominate Bro   Deacon as chair, Sis Washbourne as chair and Sis Whitehouse as executive member of this group. There is an issue concerning the winter fuel payment for pensioners which has not changed from £200 since it was introduced in 1997. there is a campaign to increase the amount in the light of increased fuel prices over this time. Letters to M.Ps over this matter were distributed and completed ready for posting.

i)  Palestine Solidarity Campaign- A report was circulated. There is leafleting  Saturday 1st March at Sainsbury's St George's from 10 am to 1pm. The 2014 PSC sponsored walk will be held in July in the stunning scenery of South Snowdonia organised by Sue Shreeve,  formerly of Wolverhampton. Bro Deacon will be seeking sponsors. Bro Marris drew delegates attention to a Case in Covent Garden which had been overturned meaning it was now not illegal to sell West Bank products which have been made in illegal Israeli Settlements.

5)            Speakers - Marcela Malarova and a delegation from the Wolverhampton Roma Community are seeking help in establishing a community group.  this session took the form of a dialogue following an introduction from the group.  There are about 100 Roma families from Czech and Slovak backgrounds in Wolverhampton.

They aim to open a centre in Wolverhampton for, advice, interpretation, children after school and holiday club. Suggestions included linking with a group who currently meet in Lea Road URC on Fridays; Citizens Advice Bureau;  Zip Theatre; Bro Rahimi' s own experience and help from St Patrick's RC Church in Stafford Road;  Hope Family Project already operating in Heath Town.

Another Roma Speaker from Birmingham Bro Balaz talked about the general picture and steps that were needed:

    (i) Importance of English language - adults cannot speak English.

   (ii)Getting a room in a church or community centre

  (iii)Ways of getting help, fund raising and donations

  (iiii)Human rights and support of Amnesty. In the Czech and Slovak Republics Roma children automatically receive 'special education' at special schools and are not allowed to be part of mainstream education.

The group were wished good luck with their project and  the delegation presented with copies of History of Wolverhampton,  Bilston and District Trades Union Council 1865- 1990

Any Other Business -  healthcare data info to be put on website                               NK