Minutes of delegate meeting Thursday 15th December 2016
Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

1. Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Whyte, Dixon, Dugmore (UNISON Gen),
Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh,Turner (UNISON Gen), Childs (CWU), Marris (UNITE) Brackenridge (Labour Group, FBU), Beuno (Sandwell UNISON), Martin (MU)
Apologies Sis Brealey, Weaver (UNISON Gen) Halfpenny (NUT),Bros S Grant(NUT), Rahimi (UNITE), Everall (UNISON) Juss (GMB), J Grant (UCU)
All were welcomed and introduced.
2. Minutes of last delegate meeting and no matters arising
3. EC report
a) future speakers, AGM? invite sent to Cnllr Pete Lowe to speak on WM Combined Authority, offer from Greig Campbell re conclusion of Bilston Steelworks project; more copies of his pamphlet have been given to us available at meeting free; contact made with Shrewsbury2 campaign and Ricky Tomlinson, or POA. Invite Lee Barron to attend AGM.
b) TUC Action for Rail 7-9am Tuesday 3 January 2017, @ Wolverhampton Rail Station Bridge. 1,000 postcard order confirmed. Facebook event launched. Press release to be done.
c) heart/love unions week 7-14 February 2017 – 250 red carnations in holders stalls: Sat 11 Feb @Wednesfield, Sun 12 Feb@Bilston market – need to produce visual backdrop for event, see if any official merchandise available, use join TU info
d) Peoples Assembly offer of “I, Daniel Blake” public showing DVD/film @£60 to be arranged, or for ouutdoor showing in town centre or 1st May daytime – it is showing in Lighthouse this month

Correspondence of note
e) Press releases to local and national press and archives, Mids TUC, LP re online version of Wolverhampton Worker. W'ton History Society have sent invition to speak. Wolverhampton Archives have requested our copy as theirs is poor quality. Discussion held and suggestions made of its display in Mayoral chamber or permanent loan to library with one of their duplicates on display? Sec to contact Archives
f) Midlands TUC establishing three working groups to look at the 2017 Chainmakers Festival to be held on Saturday July 1.
g) recontacted Common Ground re Ten Towns post brexit discussion and they finally responsed. They to arrange interviews. Their website http://www.commongrounduk.com shows them to be campaigning to still remain in EU and they have began in Wolverhampton. Newsnight Bexit interviews in Goose pub in Wolverhampton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWch1i2d6vQ&feature=youtu.be Hope not Hate also launching ‘Post-Industrial Communities Project’.
h) Cnllr M.Jaspal re TUC Dying to Work campaign positive response expected agreement to sign up and recognise terminal illness as a protected characteristic in sickness policy in January. Midlands TUC offer to help with publicity has been passed on. UNISON to do joint press release and pointing out that it is a trade union campaign. Wolverhampton Homes, academies, College and University to be written to.
i) Hazards (Keele 28-30 July 2017) appeal £25 to pay; Workers Beer Co Glastonbury & Tolpuddle £882 total – half i.e. ( £300 (donation) & £141 (pre-fund adverts) to be sent to Morning Star); receipts from Stop the War affiliation £50 and London Recruits crowdfund £25 paid online; sold 150th anniversary badge on ebay £5
j) www.wolvestuc.org.uk 3,500 page views and 2,200 post reach of Wolverhampton TUC facebook in last month
k) 2017 WB&DTUC affiliation forms and nomination form for executive officers sent out to branch secretaries

4. Emergency Resolution re TU Education for Midlands TUC AGM adapted by EC from Shrewsbury TU Education :
The TUC national education programme has trained and developed over half a million Trade Union representatives in the last decade.
Yet it's future Government funding is uncertain.
Without state funding it could be replaced by a non-accredited short on-line course and only larger unions would have the facilities to replicate the existing teaching methods.
The Midlands TUC Regional Council calls upon the TUC:
to keep open the existing Trade Union Studies units and protect the jobs of the 127 trade union studies lecturers
to keep the national TUC education programme accredited at level 1 and 2 and reinstate level 3
and for the national TUC to continue to fund the TUC education programme for the for 2017/18 academic year if government funding has not by then been reinstated.
Passed unanimously

5. Bro Kelleher was elected as our delegate to Midlands TUC regional council

6. Reports/discussion:
a) delegates' workplace reports: FBU – reduction of councillors on West Mids Fire Authority; roles changing to assist iin home care eg lifting people fallen from beds; government looking again at the failed model of combined authority call centres.
b) Secretary’s report – written report circulated.
c) Midlands TUC Pensioners Network – Bro Deacon reported on NHS Sustainability and Transformation 5-year Plans (STPs) regional ‘place-based plans’ for the future of health and care services.
4 March NHS DEMO London – local coach?
Planned Bedroom Tax on pensioners has been postponed. No statement yet from Wolverhamptonm Council on Pay to Stay yet.
Rob Marris MP gave positive responses to Attendance Allowance letter.
d) Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign – West Midlands Local govt Pension Fund divestment discussions ongoing. AGM 21 Jan London Bro Kelleher & Sis Taylor nominated to be delegate they to arrange if either can go.
e) Latin America conference London, Sis Taylor gave report, excellent conference.
f) Tributes made to Fidel Castro and the internationalism of Cuba by delegates.

7. Black Country entertainer Tim Martin performed his latest material + seasonal refreshments enjoyed.

8. Any other business - none

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Delegate Meeting Minutes 17 November 2016

1. Welcome and Introductions to delegates and visitors plus apologies:
Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Whyte, Weaver (UNISON),
Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh,Turner, Quigley (UNISON Gen), J Grant (UCU), Childs (CWU), Stoll, Royale (Dudley TUC – UNISON)Beuno (Sandwell UNISON)
Apologies Sis Brealey (UNISON) Halfpenny (NUT),Bros S Grant(NUT), Brackenridge (Labour Group, FBU). Marris, Rahimi (UNITE), Everall (UNISON) Juss (GMB)
All were welcomed and introduced.

2.Minutes of October Meeting: agreed with correction Bro.Martin (MU) gave apologies matters arising 4b) Pegasus pub, May Day venue, appeal to magistrates will be January. 6a) Bro Kelleher attended the successful anti-fascist rally organised by Telford and Shropshire TUC. They organise Funky Fridays Against Austerity night 1st Friday each month.

3.Executive meeting was inquorate
a) future speakers, AGM; Pete Lowe on WM Combined Authority and POA suggested. Agreed to book Tim Martin to entertain at Dec meeting
b) “Wolverhampton Worker” Wolverhampton Trades and Labour Council newspaper to be taken to delegate meeting. Bro. Kelleher has scanned, with help from Unison office the majority of the 24 editions in the two years it was printed May 1913- April 1915; to be put online.
c) Correspondence of note:
1. Channel 4 contacted us 17/11/16 seeking struggling working people in Wolverhampton to interview this Monday, circulated via Facebook to over 300 people, no response.
2. TUC Action for Rail 7-9am on Tuesday 3 JANUARY 2017, action organised@ Wolverhampton Rail Station Bridge. 1,000 postcards ordered. Facebook event to be done; Aslef and RMT contacted. RMT new branch Secretary Bro.Smith asked about venues, Network House suggested.
3. another TUC heart/love unions week 7-14 February 2017 – 250 red carnations in holders agreed as worked well last year- need better promotional material. Agreed Sat 11 Feb @Wednesfield Sun 12 Feb@Bilston market – book stalls.
4. Midlands TUC - Common Ground post brexit discussion Ten Towns project includes W'ton; have emailed on 7 Nov, no response yet
5. motions by 16 December for Midlands TUC Regional Council Sat 25 Feb '17
6. London Recruits crowdfund request £25 agreed.
7. Thanks agreed to Marion Halfpenny, Minutes Secretary for her work over years as she expected to move from area.
8. Peoples Assembly offer of “I, Daniel Blake” public showing DVD/film @£60 agreed in principle, Secretary to make arrangements for future showing maybe with local PA or at May Day. Excellent film 1hr30min
9. Hazards 2017 appeal – agreed to donate £25
10. Workers Beer Co copies of BACS payments received for Glastonbury & Tolpuddle £882 total – half i.e. ( £300 (donation) & £141 (pre-fund adverts) to be sent to Morning Star)
11. Rob Marris - unemployed claimants in Wolverhampton South West constituency in - have put on website
12. bought printer cartridge £9; stamps x48 £26.40 NK reimbursed
13. sent: Stop the War affiliation request £50
14. sent: 2017 affiliation forms for WB&DTUC to branch secretaries
15. to UCU College re affiliation cheque which was returned by bank
16. messages of support sent to Worcester TUC 125yrs anniversary and Birmingham TUC 150yrs anniversary
17. 3,100 page views on our website www.wolvestuc.org.uk in last month
18. best wishes sent re resignation as delegate Bro. Martin Musicians Union; retirement Bro Heathcock RMT
19. request to Wolverhampton Authority sign up to the TUC's 'Dying to Work' campaign; also raised by UNISON

4. Reports/discussion:
a] Delegates' workplace reports - UNISON threatened strike of workers who escort transported children settled; hours reduction but payment of shift allowance to them and other workers. Job losses in schools, more expected in council. Threat to cut in refuge collection, online questionnaire with no comments allowed as the “consultation”. SOS Care day held with over 70 letters to councillors completed dozen helpers in Queen Square. 48 councillors so far failed to respond.
b] Secretary's report - written report spoken to.
d] Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Judicial review re legality of council regulations currently unclear. Lobby of Parliament Rob Marris not involved as PSC had not listed his comments last time. Film night 2 December.

5. Speaker at 8pm: Paul Quigley spoke on the Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine Committee Alternative Plan, conference (26 Nov) – They'd lobbied the Sec State Tony Benn in 1974 at his suggestion drew up the plan over 18 months. 150 new potential products in medical, transport and alternative energy were put forward, including Hobcart a vehicle for children with spina bifida and hybrid vehicles, but were rejected by management. Put forward by lay officials but neither TU leadership or Labour Party fully took it up. It was nominated for a Nobel prize in Industrial Democracy. Relevance 40 years on of the pioneering effort by workers to fight job losses by proposing alternative, socially useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills as Britain's economy remains over dependent on arms production. The company 13,000 workers at plants in Wolverhampton, Coventry and four in Birmingham, now UTC in Wolverhampton. £50 donation agreed

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Delegate Minutes 20 October 2016

 

1. Welcome and Introductions to delegates and visitors plus apologies: Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Halfpenny (NUT), Dixon(UNISON), Lowe (UNITE). Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh, Morris, Cardy (UNISON), J Grant (UCU), Childs (CWU), Marris, Rahimi, Burais (UNITE), Juss (GMB),

Apologies recieved from: Sis Weaver, Brealey (UNISON) Bros S Grant(NUT), Brackenridge (Labour Group, FBU), Martin (MU), Page (UNITE) and Barnsley (speaker). All were welcomed and introduced.

 

2.Minutes of Meeting: 15 September 2016 agreed a correct record. Matters Arising: 5(a) UNISON dispute settled. 5(d) Attendance Allowance - responses from MPs were shared.

 

3. Executive Committee and Correspondence:

Executive meeting was not held as the secretary was absent.

1) Midlands TUC Unity in the Community event now possibly cancelled in Stoke 11 November

2) Lucas Plan 40th anniversary November 26 Birmingham, day conference see website, 'The Lucas Plan was the pioneering effort by workers at the arms company Lucas Aerospace to fight job losses by proposing alternative socially useful applications of the company's technology and their own skills'.

3) Midlands TUC have produced a post Brexit presentation. Copies available by email from Secretary upon request. Thomson's solicitors also have a presentation regarding Health and Safety issues.

4) MP Pat McFadden replied concerning attendance allowance and was supportive.

5) Wednesday 2 November 'Stand up to Racism' rally Priory rooms, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham 7pm.

6) Agreed affiliation to Stop the War £50 agreed. Treasurer to check whether donation has already been made,

7) 'Wolverhampton Worker' TUC 1913-15 newspaper purchased for £150 and collected may eventually send to TUC Library in Manchester, if copy not in Wolverhampton archives. Will be scanned and digitised on the website if possible.

8) Manifesto for Labour Law received from Institute of Employment Rights.

9) Show Racism the Red Card, GMB Friday 21 October Woodman Corner B70 7AB.

10) The unemployment figures for Wolverhampton South West were shared by Bro Marris.

11) Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity film showing , 'Where Should the Birds Fly?' Friday 4 November 19.00 Friends Meeting House, Summerfield Road, Wolverhampton, WV1 4PR,

12) Nicaragua Solidarity - Mend a Roof appeal

13) Cuba Solidarity hurricane appeal launched.

15) 24 October debate in parliament concerning the petition for a 'Debate in the House the Local Government Pension Scheme Investment Regulations.' This was promoted by UNISON. There was a discussion as to whether all local authorities are making employers contributions.

20) Bro Martin has resigned from the MU and retirement of Bro Heathcock RMT delegate; sec to write.

 

4. Reports/discussion:

a] Delegates' workplace reports - UNISON next Wednesday is Health and Safety inspection day. It is European Health and Safety week, an annual event. It would be good if Trades Union delegates could do some workplace inspections and report back. On Monday at 12.00 any Health and Safety issues to be notified to UNISON "thunderclap" tweet and retweet tweet.

 

b] Secretary's report - Wolverhampton Pride 2016 Saturday 1 October several delegates took part in the march with our banner, which was well supported despite bad weather. Stall inside went well. Bro Kelleher won raffle!!

Midlands TUC -'Austerity has failed- Unwelcome the Tory Conference to Birmingham 2016. Sunday 2 October was attended by 10,000 our banner was again paraded.

Problems with the Pegasus Pub where the May Day celebrations are usually held. Appealing decision of loss of licence to Magistrates court. Pub still open. Also there is a petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-and-support-the-pegasus-pub-from-closure-and-losing-licence

'Blacklisted' new film of 7 year campaign to get justice for blacklisted workers and their supporters around the Blacklist Support Group, A settlement of £75 million was won by workers and their unions - UCATT, UNITE, GMB. Fight for real justice is still ongoing. The film can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRfVcfQWNE4

Axe The Housing Act Summit on 22 October 11.30 am, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD Presentation at Wolverhampton Tenants' Association explained that Wolverhampton Homes Tenants must declare their income to the landlord or will have to pay full market rent. Items from Wolverhampton tenants will be put on website.

c] City of Sanctuary launch report - Bro Kelleher attended on behalf of the Trades Council. 70 present, many from religious groups. There are 790 asylum seekers in Wolverhampton. A booklet was produced about the City of Sanctuary There needs to be meaningful work undertaken by various groups. Bro Kelleher to circulate information about 'wants'. The Trades Council will support campaigning for refugees with a Trade Union background who need assistance. Bro Kelleher will keep delegates updated.

d] Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign - Bro Deacon mentioned film night - see 3. 11). There was a meeting with councillor Brookfield concerning the West Midlands Pension fund which was quite productive. Hewlett Packard are the target on 25 November week of action. They are providing the technology for biometric ID used to control the people of Gaza. A large data base for Israeli Intelligence Service and an aggressive supporter of Israel. The technology supports the Israeli occupation which breaches the Geneva Convention by controlling the movements of Palestinians.

e]Midlands TUC Regional Council - A report of the meeting in Derby 10 August was tabled by Sis Taylor. She commented that the venue was not conducive to note taking as it was a theatre setting. Coping with Brexit. Has Wolverhampton Authority signed up to the 'Dying to Work' campaign? we need to keep a watch on this. Bro Brackenridge to be asked to raise with Labour group. Also this could be raised at branch meetings. Terry Renshaw spoke about the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign

  1. Speaker Sandwell UNISON, on ballot for action against privatisation of Children's services - There was no speaker due to ill health. Instead those delegates which had knowledge of the situation had a discussion. Some of the points raised were as follows :- Parents etc kill children not social workers, austerity is having an effect on services, social work has changed no time to get to know families - tick box exercise, The Children and Social work bill with exemption clauses no public consultation. There is a petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-the-rights-of-vulnerable-children-and-care-leavers which was finished 8 November 2016. Will privatisation improve the children's service? Lack of accountability of trusts, It was agreed that Trades Council will try to reschedule the speaker on this issue.

     

  1. Any Other Business -a) 5 November Telford TUC antifascist rally 13.00 Telford Park against EDL.

    b) On Wolverhampton Trades Council Facebook - Pensioners and bedroom tax alignment.

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council   

Delegate Meeting Minutes 15 September 2016

 

1. Welcome and Introductions to delegates and visitors plus apologies:  Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Halfpenny (NUT), Weaver, Whyte(UNISON), Lowe (UNITE), Walsh (UCU).  Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh, Turner, Morris (UNISON ),  J Grant (UCU), Childs (CWU), Martin (MU),Brackenridge (Labour Group, FBU).

Apologies Sis Brealey (UNISON) Bro S Grant(NUT), Marris, Page(UNITE)

All were welcomed and introduced.

 

2. Minute's silence and memorials to Bro Ken Purchase MP: There were tributes from many delegates to the part Bro Purchase had played in people's lives, Wolverhampton and the Trade Union Movement. He was a good working class MP who represented his constituency well. His excellent skills of debate and oration were praised and his continuous support of WB&DTUC. Funeral to be held Monday 18 September, 2.15pm at Bushbury Crematorium and afterwards at Fordhouses Cricket Club. 

 

3.Minutes of Meeting: 21 July 2016 agreed with  the correction 4d] pleasant not peasant for a correct record. Matters Arising: none

 

4. Executive Committee Report and Correspondence:

Executive meeting was held.

4) Midlands TUC Unity in the Community  event in Wolverhampton.  Executive Committee views sent, event now cancelled in favour of smaller Stoke event in pub.

 5) Dudley TUC community  events- We shall Overcome Saturday 8 October at Katie Fitzgerald's, 187 Enville Street, Stourbridge DY8 3TB 14.00 to 23.30, Sunday 9 October at Scary Canary the Venue, 108a High Street, Stourbridge DY8 1DT same time. https://www.facbook.com/events/1765959626987757 , https://www.facebook.com/events/1880806742141492

6) Greater Manchester County Association of Trades Union Councils Conference on Devolution and Decentralisation in England Saturday 24 September 2016 - Cross Street Unitarian Chapel, Manchester 10.30am to 5.00pm. Representation needed.

11) Institute of Employment Rights renewal of subscription £70 proposed and seconded, agreed.

Extra Correspondence from CitizensUK concerning Combined Authority Mayorhustings March 2017 Birmingham 7.00pm. Saturday 19 November, any delegates attending see Trades Council Facebook Noted.

 

5. Reports/discussion:

a] Delegates' workplace reports -  UNISON (Local Government Branch)There is a strike ballot for workers who escort transported children, often with special needs, to and from school. These are mainly female part time employees. Journeys and timings have been reassessed with a reduction of 33% in pay for some workers. The balloting is a local issue. The staff have to accept this worsended pay or lose their jobs if they do not sign a new contract. UNISON is meeting with the council on Monday. Bro Brackenridge reported this had not been discussed in Labour group and would support a proper dispute resolution procedure. There was full solidarity from Trades Council. Trades Council to be updated on progress with dispute.

UCU Still in dispute at the university regarding pay. the previous ballot is still in effect. 19 professors were due to be made redundant  but all managed to secure a satisfactory outcome. 

FBU (West Midlands) Fire authority meeting - The service not to be subsumed under the Police Commissioner's role, public accountability important, These outcomes sent to Civil Servants dealing with the matter. There are cuts of 50% from 2010-2020 by government. Many roles performed by Fire Service are not funded eg flood rescue, cats in trees, cutting rings off fingers etc.

 

b] Secretary's report - Problems with the Pegasus Pub where the May Day celebrations are usually held. Licence revoked by council against recommendation by police. Pegasus appealing the decision. Pegasus appealing decision. Letters to magistrates concerning keeping licence from May Day committee and W&BTUC. Also there is a petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-and-support-the-pegasus-pub-from-closure-and-losing-licence Thanks to bro Kelleher for his swift actions.                                      

Action for Rail Day of action 16 August a dozen union members from Wolves TUC, ASLEF,UNISON and UNITE handed out 1000 cards to commuters. As part of a national campaign to highlight the abuse of building and construction workers by Umbrella companies, Midlands UCATT is organising a public rally and leafleting session in Birmingham to coincide with all of the construction work currently under way in the city on Thursday 22 September 2016, (see website)

Wolverhampton Pride 2016 Saturday 1 October Donation sent to this event. We can have stall if staffing available. March leaves Fold Street Car Park at 1pm. Official opening by mayor at 2pm LGBT Centre, School Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4LJ celebration continues until 9pm. 

Sunday 1 October Counter Tory Conference  10.30am to 5pm, Birmingham Town hall, Victoria Square, B3 5DQ. Midlands TUC -'Austerity has failed- Unwelcome the Tory Conference to Birmingham 2016. Sunday 2 October Assemble 11.30am Victoria Square- Dave Prentis and Owen Jones speaking. Sunday 2 October at 7:30pm–10pm, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Broad Street, B1 2EP, JC4PM = at the Tory Conference

 

c] Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign - Bro Deacon reported there is a bit of a lull in activity at the moment as Sainsburys' campaign has finished.  Difficulty in finding suitable place in Wolverhampton to campaign and leaflet. A positive meeting with Councillor R Lawrence regarding procurement. However Ian Brookfield new chair of the West Midlands Pension Fund has not responded.  There are 2 film evenings planned at the Friends meeting House, Wolverhampton. Possible dates evenings of 4 November and 2 December.

 

d] Midlands TUC Pensioners' Network - A report of the meeting in Derby 10 August was tabled by Bro Deacon. 

Attendance Allowance Campaign Speaker - Bro Deacon  The issues concerning the attendance allowance which may become Local Authorities' responsibility were flagged up. These government plans were hidden in other documents concerned with altering the business rates.. If so it would change from being a national payment not based on income but need.  It is likely Local Authorities will use their own criteria as in the case of Council Tax rebates. It is harder to advise people when it is not a national scheme. If a fuss is made at this stage. The government may not get its way as they will not want to upset 'oldies' who are reliable voters. the changing of Business rates is a move for the government to do away with grants to local authorities. A letter was circulated to send to MPs concerning this matter and delegates were urged to complete the template at the meeting and return to Bro Deacon for mailing. http://www.wolvestuc.org.uk/index.php/local-campaigns/other-campaigns/795-attendance-allowance-campaign   The possibility of a National campaign with Carers UK was mentioned.

 

6. Any Other Business - Bro J Grant updated delegates about the progress of his son Bro S Grant following a serious operation followed by chemotherapy. Best wishes were sent to Bro S Grant from the Trades Council and it is hoped he will be at a meeting in the near future,

Sevacare based in Wolverhampton have a court case against them taken out by UNISON.

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Delegate Minutes 21 July 2016 1. Welcome and Introductions to delegates and visitors plus apologies: Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Halfpenny (NUT), Weaver, Whyte (UNISON Gen) Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh, Turner, Morris (UNISON Gen), Rahimi (UNITE), J Grant (UCU), Childs (CWU), Brackenridge (Labour Group, FBU) Apologies Sis Battell (NASUWT), Dixon, Brealey (UNISON Gen) Bro S Grant(NUT), Martin (MU), Juss (GMB) All were welcomed and introduced. 2.Minutes of Meeting: 16 June 2016 agreed with correction that Bro Martin (MU), and Sis Whyte (UNISON) had given apologies which should be added for a correct record. Matters Arising: 3) Death of Jo Cox MP message of condolence sent to her constituency Labour Party. 3. No executive meeting, Bro Kelleher working at Tolpuddle. Correspondence: 1) Greig Campbell (former visiting speaker) has now produced a booklet, 'In the Shadow of Elisabeth, The Battle for Bilston Steelworks', and this is available to delegates. There is also an exhibition 'Tempered not Quenched - The Battle for Bilston's Steelworks' 10th June 2016 to 9 October 2016. 2) Burston School Strike Sunday 4 September, agreed to donate cost of 3 tickets £36, for Coach from Coventry. Details on Website http://www.wolvestuc.org.uk/ 3) Venezuela Solidarity AGM 15 October London, Booklet on Workers' Rights Circulated 4) Defend Council Housing campaign meeting 23 July 1-5pm Collier Room, Manchester Methodist Central Building, Oldham Street M1 1JQ. Put Link on website 6) Action for Rail 7-9am 16 August, 1,000 postcards ordered. Facebook event 7) Palestine Solidarity Campaign reaffiliation agreed £25. 8) Midlands TUC Pensioners Network agreed to help funds with a donation of £50. 9) Midlands TUC meeting tomorrow July 22, 12noon 24 Livery Street , Birmingham, UNISON office re organising Anti-Racist Music Events. Bro Turner will try to drop in. 11) Chainmakers Festival, Saturday 2 July, was a good idea but publicity too late. Leaflets in windows, more local publicity so shopkeepers know what is happening. Bro Kelleher will email information for debrief. 12) Midlands TUC statement on EU referendum vote circulated. 14) Wolves Pride, LGBT network donation. Planned for October 1 with march around town. Trades Council to express full support and circulate information to branches. £50 donation agreed. 15) Mary Quaile club £7,000 appeal noted. 16) Following TUC request for pictures regarding Trades Councils it was agreed to send pictures of Mayday, Love Unions, International visitors,and Workers' Memorial Day. 17) Fascist Britain First to hold rally in Coventry 30 July. Will send statement of support for tomorrow. 19) Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, affiliation request of £75, agreed to send a donation of £25. 20) North Staffs TUC summer social, 7pm London Alehouse Stoke delegates invited. 21) Merchandise sales - stall at Chainmakers, Morning Star etc £85. 4. Reports/discussion: a] Delegates' workplace reports - none b] Secretary's report - Action for Rail day of action on 16 August for an affordable railway under public ownership. Leafleting at station from 7 to 9am. TUC courses sign up now, last occasion they will be put on due to lack of funding. Unwelcome the Tory Conference to Birmingham 2016, Saturday 1 October Counter Conference, Sunday 2 October TUC demo/rally with Victoria Square and Colmore Row booked. Owen Jones to speak plus other national and local speakers. c] Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign - Slow response from Ian Brookfield re West Midlands Pension investments. Successful fundraising garden party. National campaign concerning 3 authorities - Leicester, Swansea, Gwynedd to not buy goods from occupied territories. Local Authorities won. Report to the Labour Party from Shami Chakrabarti 'not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews'. d] Miscellaneous Items - Wolverhampton Federation of Council Tenants- Housing planning act new law need to keep going? NK to investigate. Bro Brackenridge raised the following points - FBU (i) Future governance working group of Local Authorities to look at spending cuts 50% 2010 to 2020.(ii) Opposition to Police Commissioners increased role including fire service. (iii) Smaller fire authority (iv) Absorbed into regional Mayor's role. Will try to have representation from whole authority. "not peasant". Raised over £700 from Glastonbury and Tolpuddle. At Tolpuddle folk very positive towards Corbyn. 5. Discussion on Future of Labour Party - There was a wide ranging discussion amongst delegates on this subject. Some delegates are members of the Labour party but not all. Bro Brackenridge as a Labour Councillor was able to answer some issues raised about the structure and day to day running of the Labour Party. Some of the points raised are mentioned below. There is a leadership election between Corbyn and Smith. Massive increase in membership. 170 MPs are not currently supporting Corbyn. Do constituencies support those MPs? What will happen if Corbyn remains leader? Blairites and middle ground are base of party. Major trade unions are backing Corbyn. It is disappointing and annoying that Labour party members can be ignored by MPs. There is likely to be a split if Corbyn remains leader. Disappointment in some local MPs. Are there ways we as trade unionists can work with the Labour Party. Different groups - 'Progress', 'Momentum', 'Labour First'

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

delegate meeting minutes Thursday 16th June 2016



  1. Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Dixon (UNISON Gen), Gaitan FETSALUD, Richards (Trade Union and Communications Co-ordinator Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group Bros Kelleher, Deacon & Turner (UNISON Gen), Bueno (Sandwell UNISON) Childs(CWU), Marris (UNITE), Brackenridge (Labour Group, FBU), Simm (PCS) , Jelic (UCU), Perez General Secretary of UNE (speaker)

    All were welcomed and introduced.

    Apologies - Bro Juss (GMB) J Grant (UCU) S Grant (NUT). Sis Halfpenny (NUT), Battell (NASUWT), Weaver, Ceresa, Whyte & Brealey (UNISON Gen)

     

  2. Minutes of last delegate meeting, agreed with correction £200 agreed May Day Committee donation, no matters arising.

     

  3. Bro.Marris raised the death of Jo Cox MP for Battley and Spent who had been murdered by a constituent with far right sympathies and possible mental health issues. Rob had worked with her and paid tribute to her work. Minute's silence was held, agreed to write to her CLP with condolences to her husband and two children.

     

  4. no Executive held, correspondence of note:

  1. footage of 1st May but on blu-ray – needs converting and editing, no offers.

  2. Campaign for TU Freedom re-affiliation request £35 agreed

  3. Chainmakers (Sat 2 July) stall info – copies of public liability insurance sent

  4. events also listed on our website: Derby Silk Mill rally demo Sat 18 june; Amnesty Garden Party 26 June Wolverhampton; Wolverhampton PSC garden party Sat 9 July; Wigan Diggers festival 10 September

  5. mug, t-shirt sales £10. Book order £5 invoiced

  6. 3,000 page views on our website www.wolvestuc.org.uk in last month

  7. sent : Cuba solidarity raffle tickets; Boxes x50 for anniversary badges ordered £14.89

     

5. Reports/discussion:

    1. delegates' workplace reports - Bro.Brackenridge is on West Midlands Fire Authority from council – they have plans to cut over 100 from 1,250 firefighters by 2020 – taking on care link contracts.
    2. Midlands TUC report – written report spoken to, mentioning of note the PCS Welsh National Museums strike (donations being sought); Derby council has a Jobs and Fair Employment cabinet member and have adopted the TUC Employment Charter; Sandwell council has signed up to the TUC's Dying to Work Campaign. Bro Turner said he'd raised it with Wolverhampton Council. The report is listed on our website.
    3. Annual conference of Trades Union Councils, Bro. Kelleher's report written report spoken to, mentioning of note the lack of direct input afforded to individual trades unin councils in the conference; only report missing from annual report was that of West Midlands; WMCATUC motion seemingly directed against our TUC; TUCJCC. In the ballot for the West Midlands Trades Union Councils Joint Consultative Committee (TUCJCC) rep, Dorothy Heath from Walsall was re-elected with four trades councils voting for her, Bro.Kelleher had three votes and Jason Hill from North Staffs TUC had two votes; the same split as last year. The report is listed on our website.
    4. Secretary’s report – written report discussed. Chainmakers leaflets were received just today, distributed at meeting. We are having a stall.Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Bro Deacon reported on a very good meeting held at the university. A positive meeting was held with council leader Roger Lawrence regarding procurement. Another meeting is due with councillor Ian Brookfield chair of WM Pensions Fund.

 

6. speakers at 8pm Mariana Gaitan, a physiotherapist and FETSALUD branch sec, Sandinista Health Workers' Federation (est 1990) and Domingo Perez General Secretary of UNE (Union Nacional de Empleados), Nicaragua’s largest public sector workers union. The UNE has 30,000 members, up from a post-revolutionary low of 7,000. UNE had strong links with NALGO in the 1980s and UNISON has twinning links.

55% of the population are women; 60% under 35. Sandinista Government (73% approval rating), priorites are peace and stability. Collective agreements have been maintained. Religion strong.

Most of Nicaragua's working population of 2.2 million work in the informal sector; attempts to organise them. Free healthcare and medicines since 2007. Presidential elections 6 Nov. Louise Richards from Nicaragua Solidarity translated. Copies of our history and anniversary badges were presented.

 

7. Any other business - Sis Taylor visited the UCU picket line on behalf of WB&DTUC.

 





 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Delegate meeting Minutes 19 May 2016

 

1. Welcome and Introductions to delegates and visitors plus apologies: Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Halfpenny (NUT), Welch(UCU) Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh (UNISON Gen), Bueno (Sandwell UNISON) Childs(CWU), Marris (UNITE), Brackenridge (Labour Group, FBU),G.Taylor, C.Taylor & Matthews (speakers)

Apologies Bro Juss (GMB) J Grant (UCU). All were welcomed and introduced.

 

2. Minutes of Meeting: 21st April 2016 agreed.

Matters Arising: 3a) Wolverhampton Worker 1913-1915 newspaper still to be purchased for £150, 3c) Wolverhampton Credit Union still to be contacted re Why we won't be wearing Wolves strip next season. 4e) Ian Brookfield new chair of West Midlands pensions is prepared to talk to group regarding unethical investments. Bro Deacon to meet.

 

3. Executive Committee Report and Correspondence of note:

No executive meeting.

1) UNITE-CYW, UNISON Acute and New Cross hospital have reaffiliated.

3) Cuba solidarity raffle tickets circulated and purchased..

5) People's Post Campaign - Birmingham Saturday June 4th 17:00 to 19:00 Open air rally to put on Trades Council Website, part of national CWU campaign contact NK if interested.

7) Wolverhampton May Day accounts not all monies raised yet, contact NUT for funds. It was agreed Trades Council make a donation to the account.

 

4. Reports/discussion:

a] Delegates' workplace reports- PCS Copies of petition re closure of HMRC office closure circulated. Details of event in Wolverhampton to follow.

UCU On strike in pursuit of pay claim 1% offered- Chancellors getting huge pay rises. 2 days together striking Wednesday 08.00 to 10.30 picket in Wulfruna Street main entrance, hope to take Trades Council banner.

UNISON 'Restructures' continue-1,000 redundancies between June 2016 and June 2017. Centralisation and investment of Pension Funds seems dubious no TU representation. Look at Parliamentary Petitions website re pension petition. NK to put link on website https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125475 Where does pension fund money go? Bro Kelleher made redundant as part of local government cuts. Discussion regarding redundancies followed and how councils can have efficiencies without redundancies. Is process being followed the best? In event of combined authority Sandwell could be a good example. Wolverhampton council should look at officials and management which seem top heavy Some services shed and will have problems funding statutory services soon. Need to fight and oppose national government stand up together with council. There is a lack of fight back from Wolverhampton.

b] Midlands Trade Union Councils conference report None presented as one delegate injured foot and could not go and other delegate did not attend either. Therefore our motion concerning housing did not go forward but may now go to Midlands Trades Council Executive. Kill the Housing Bill.

c] Secretary's report- Workers' Memorial Day there was an excellent attendance of more than 60 and free mugs were available for those whom attended. The May Day event was also very well supported with around 300 and 200 meals served. The event was voluntarily filmed for Wolverhampton digital archive. Protect our Steel Industry union and Labour Party campaigning in Wednesfield High Street.Unusually good press from the Express and Star. Plenty of signatures gained and thanks to Trades Council and Bro Brackenridge. Saturday 2nd July Chainmakers' Festival, Cradley Heath High Street, 11am. Volunteers needed to staff stall.

d] Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign - Tuesday 7th June 19.30 to 21.00 Protest in Palestine Speaker - Marwan Darweish at University of Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, room MC001. This is a breakthrough with the University. Successful film meeting 6th May lots of interest perhaps due to discussion regarding Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

 

5. Nick Matthews & Carl Taylor, speakers on How we lost the Co-op Bank and the possibility of regaining it - Bro Matthews is the chair of Cooperatives West Midland, the representative body of cooperative enterprises in the West Midlands. Some of the points he made in his talk are as follows:- Co-op and trades unions relationship has always been fraught so what can we do today? The current state of the Co-op bank. The Rochdale Pioneers who started the first Co-op were from a non-conformist democratic religious background. Trade Unions and the Co-op fell out at the turn of the 1900's. There is a need currently to develop hybrid co-op Unions for precariats such as the self-employed, musicians union, credit unions, zero hours contracts etc.

The collapse of the Co-op bank £7billion debt caused by acquisitions and mergers such as the Britannia Building Society. There are now more Co-ops than ever in Britain. The co-op movement fitted, ironically, very well into the concept of the 'Big Society' in 2012. There was a new Co-op act in 2014 and it is the first time that Co-ops have been a legal entity. Retail Co-ops are doing well as are Credit Unions. There is a very small percentage of Co-ops in Britain compared with other countries and Britain could be considered the most capitalist country in the world. There is growth in niche areas and the sector is doing well from a low base. 2012 UN year of the Co-op. With the bank the solution was to change the governance of the group without knowing or understanding the problem. The chief executive felt the bank group was too small. The blame was laid on the democratic elected members and directors. Directors are now appointed by the main group on the board. It is too much of a bank and not enough of a Co-op. Taken on the banking culture which cannot be done much about. The bank in poor shape writing off assets. One way is just to forget it!! The bank could be returned to some sort of asset for the Co-op group. https://saveourbank.coop/savethecoopbank is trying to use 'crowd power' to keep the bank ethical, and may work some way to regaining it. Bro Matthews had a lot to tell us and for us to debate, perhaps could be invited to a future meeting to discuss the Cooperative movement. He was presented with a WB&DTUC 150 years anniversary badge.

 

6. any other business- none due to lack of time

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

delegate minutes Thursday 21st April 2016

 

  1. Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Whyte, Dixon, Weaver (UNISON), J.Williams (WEA)

    Bros. Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh, Morris, Turner (UNISON Gen), Purchase & Rahimi (UNITE), Childs (CWU), Beuno (UNISON Sandwell), J Grant (UCU), Brackenridge (FBU/LP), N.Williams (WEA)

    Apologies – Bros. Juss (GMB), Martin (MU), Marris (UNITE), S Grant (NUT), Sis. Halfpenny (NUT), Brealey (UNISON Gen) All were welcomed and introduced.

     

  2. Minutes of March delegate meeting agreed, no matters arising

  3. Executive Committee report April; correspondence of note:

 

  1. Wolverhampton Worker 1913-15 newspaper of WB&DTUC @ £200 from closing bookshop; agreed to offer £150 as copies already in Archives

  2. Wolverhampton Federation of Tenants Assoc. 11 May Parliament lobby agreed £25 donation. Seeking woman speaker for Womens Hour interview – sent contact but they using their Chair.

  3. Wolverhampton Credit Union re Why we wont be wearing Wolves strip next seaso, discussed agreed to add publicity on website, Rob Marris and Pat McFadden made press statements already.

  4. TUCJCC ballot 3 candidates, agreed to support Bro Kelleher

  5. Midlands TUC Chainmakers stall & appeal for funds agreed donation £100 – volunteers needed for stall

  6. Mids TUCs – Sat 14 May conference 10.30am Derby 2 delegates from each TUC, can send motions – Sis Whyte & Dixon nominated, motion on Housing Bill agreed:

     

    Kill the Housing Bill

 

Conference notes that (after amendments by the House of Lords yet to be debated by the Commons) the government’s Housing and Planning Bill will:

  1. Force councils in England to sell “higher value” homes when they next become vacant and remit at least some of the proceeds of these sales to the government to be used, it says, to help fund extending Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants;

  1. Introduce “Pay to Stay”, in effect a tax on households with incomes over £40,000 a year (or £50,000 in London). This tax will be collected by councils (so they will be required for the first time to keep records of tenants’ incomes and of the identities and incomes of everybody in the household) but will not benefit the local Housing Revenue Account as it will also be passed to the government;

  1. Replace secure tenancies for new tenants (including those acquiring tenancies by assignment or succession) with agreements for, generally between two and five years but possibly longer for certain tenants; and,

  1. End the Section 106 “Planning Gain” arrangement whereby developers can be required to provide low-rent homes as part of new developments and let them instead build homes for sale at up to £250,000 (or £450,000 in London).

 

Conference further notes that the Tory government has also:

  1. Imposed 1% annual rent reductions on councils and housing associations thereby diverting even more of the proceeds of Housing Benefit to private sector landlords who include, among others, the present owners of more than a third of former council houses sold under Right to Buy;

 

  1. Continued cutting Housing Benefit by carrying on with the Bedroom Tax, removing Housing Benefit from young people, reducing the Benefit Cap and limiting Housing Benefit in a way which may jeopardise provision of supported housing; and,

  1. Failed to tackle growing homelessness and rough sleeping.

 

Conference welcomes the formation of the Kill the Housing Bill coalition. It congratulates the coalition on the success of its lobbies of parliament on 2nd February and 3rd May and its national demonstration on 13th March.

Conference urges Trades Union Councils in the Midlands to consider inviting speakers about the Bill and circulating Kill the Bill material to their delegates and affiliates and to seek ways to work with local tenants’ groups and relevant unions in their localities to campaign against the bill, lobby local Members of Parliament to oppose it and continue to work jointly in future on campaigns to reverse the legislation and to sustain council housing and social housing.

Conference urges the Regional Executive Committee to support and publicise such local campaigns.

 

  1. TUC Grunwick model resolution - noted

  2. LP -Corbyn meal @ Royale, Wolverhampton 23 April 6pm– Morning Star sale

  3. Past pixels agreed buy 30 cards & 5 posters @ £55

  4. Tolpuddle film Festival -seeking agreed donation £25

  5. York Disabled workers Coop – banner makers – add link to website

  6. badge/book/mug sales £39.89; stamps bought £59.80; POBox renewal £312 sent; TU Friends searchlight reaffiliation £30 sent

  7. 12,500 page views on our website www.wolvestuc.org.uk in last month

4. Reports/discussion:

  1. delegates' workplace reports UNISON – 1,000 announced redundancies now starting to take place.

  2. West Midlands Combined Authority meeting report - Sis Taylor spoke to her circulated written report – imposed by Tories, details still unclear. There will be 3 TU seats on the WMCA, but no direct link to trades union councils. Elected mayor with cabinet from local councils and reduction in councillors. Bro. Brackenridge to arrange speaker for June/July.

     

  3. Midlands TUC Pensioners Network – written report from Bro Deacon; only delegates were from UNITE & UNISON – activity in Birmingham 6 April. Very slow movement to pensions equality.

  4. Secretary’s report – written report circulated; 23 people (TU & LP) helped collect 800 signatures in Wednesfield and made front page Chronicle & Ex & Star. Wednesfgield Steel park is profitable. Workers' Memorial Day arranged; 1st May leafleting of Whitmore reans to be undertaken and more volunteers needed to set up on night. Additional PCS speaker. 150,000 took part in Peoples Assembly demo last weekend. Only 10 from Wolverhampton on UNITE coach. Thanks from Bro S.Grant received for the card we sent last month.

  5. Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign - 6 May film night on Isaeli arms industry. Bro Backenridge agreed to speak to Council Leader re lack of engagement with Cnllr Jasbir Jaspal, chair of Pensions Investment.

     

    5. speaker at 8pm Ned Williams, on the history and fate of the Wolverhampton Workers' Education Association. WEA is largest educational charity with 80,000 students, 500 branches and 9,500 courses but recently closed in Wolverhampton; Dudley and Walsall WEA also closed. Wolverhampton TUC was frst involved in 1924. 75% of funding from Skills Funding Agency to make students more employable. Copies of our History and an anniversary badge were presented.

     

 

6. Any other business - plans for similar demo and 4-day event during Tory conference week in Birmingham in October as last year in Manchester.

 

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

delegate minutes Thursday 17th March 2016

held at: Unite the union, 6 Victoria Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1LD

 

 

  1. Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Whyte (UNISON)

    Bros. Kelleher, Deacon, Everall (UNISON Gen), Taylor, Purchase, Rahimi, Marris (UNITE), Childs (CWU), Martin (MU), Beuno (UNISON Sandwell), Pemberton & Slater (WFTA)

    Apologies – Bros. J Grant (UCU), Juss (GMB), Brackenridge (FBU/LP), S Grant (NUT), Pugh, Turner (UNISON Gen)

    Sis. Halfpenny (NUT), Ceresa & Weaver (UNISON Gen), Battell (NASUWT)

    All were welcomed and introduced.

  2. Minutes of February delegate meeting and matters arising

  3. Executive Committee report 10 March; correspondence of note:

  1. 2016 affiliation & payments from NUT, NASUWT, RMT, PCS West Mercia, Community Craft & Region 4 affiliates & UNISON General.

  2. UCU College, CYW-UNITE, UNITE WM6503, UNISON Sandwell, UNISON University and Musicians Union still to re-affiliate to us for 2016. UNITE-CYW and UCU college being chased up by MT & JG, reminders sent to other branches.

  3. 1,000 colour A4 Wolverhampton Workers Memorial Day flyers (£44 paid but maybe 3,000 were received) and 1,000 Workers Against EU leaflets from TUAEU (free), some distributed at meeting – more available

  4. sent: £50 donation W'ton Federation of Tenants for minibus funding for 13 March demo; £50 donation to All Hands disaster relief in memory of Norman Brackenridge; public liability insurance renewal £189.25 paid; re-affilations sent: Venezuela Solidarity £40; Peoples Assembly £20; Abortion Rights £40; Labour Research £47.25; £10 West Mids CND; STW Walsall request donation towards Trident demo coach c/o Walsall TUC – coach cancelled so donation not sent

  5. Bro John Thomas branch Sec of Community 17000 passed away (Sept)

  6. invite accepted to speak at May 19th meeting by Nick Matthews on the co-operative movement. Delegates agreed to request to speak on Co-op Save Our Bank campaign.

  7. WB&DTUC anniversary badge given to Derek Robinson.

  8. Agreed to request video message from Frances O'Grady for May Day

  9. 12,000 page views on our website www.wolvestuc.org.uk in last month

4. Reports/discussion:

  1. UNISON – Bro.Kelleher reported that 240 jobs were lost with closures of older peoples homes by council as their response to government cuts. Redundancies currently being fought in his own Enablement Team in council.

  2. NUT - no delegates present but report texted to meeting by Sis.Halfpenny on Small Heath school NUT dispute Birmingham. Rep Simon O'Hara reinstated on original allegations but suspended again on new ones. Strikes had been suspended after 24 days of action had forced negotiations.

  3. NASUWT – strike today over refusal to pay national terms and conditions at St Peters Colliagete school.

  4. Bro.Purchase to send Socialist Education Association letter to teaching unions. All scholls to be forced to Academies by 2020- removes accountability. Local Authorities never “controlled schools”, schools did. Control will go to Trust of Academies with CEOs with £200k+ salaries. Axeing of parent governers announced today. National petition and lobbying continue.

  5. Bro. Beuno –councils had 75% government funding, this has now been slashed and the intention is to reduce to zero. He believed that business rate exemptions could could transfer from Wolverhampton to S.Staffs.

  6. Secretary’s report – written report circulated. Trade Union Bill – Lords defeated government on votes on electronic balloting, facility time, and the funds used by unions for political campaigning. Workers' Memorial Day organised. However some work still to do on 1st May event. Letter (printed in written report) from TUC General Secretary thanking us for an anniversary badge (no.100) sent and praising us for our campaiging and our Love Unions campaign recently.

  7. Midlands TUC AGM written report circulated and spoken to by Bro.Kelleher. Sis Taylor ran a stall and sold £44 of badges/book/mug.

  8. Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Chair West Midlands Pensions Fund Committee is now Cnllr Jasbir Jaspal – refusing to meet. Dismissal of “divesting” in place of “engagement” - need to try and clarify what they mean by that. Only Government guidance no change to law, Wolverhampton still have powers. G4S and Veolia have pulled out of Israel.

5. John Pemberton & Andrew Slater made passionate speeches from the Wolverhampton Federation of Tenants Associations Board on the Campaign Against the Housing & Planning Bill - right to buy social housing will use council house sales to fund government to compensate Housing Associations. Secure tenancies to be reduced to 3-5years then buy or be evicted. Downsizing due to the Bedroom Tax would lose secure tenancy. Bedroom Tax has cut benefits intended to be the minimum required to live on. Universal credit and online applications will cause more problems. Household incomes over £30k would pay 80% market rent. Campaign is lobbying to raise this. Council Housing has reduced from 33% to 8%. Labour increased council housing to 46,000 homes – now under 21,000. Capping private rental and more building is the answer. At the London march last weekend of over 2,000, the Wolverhampton Federation were the only ones from outside London. They thanked us for our donation. Rough sleeping in Wolverhampton is rising. Important campaign with little public awareness. Lobbying of House of Lords – they have poor and bigoted opinions of council tenants. Need to involve UCATT. Discussed possibility of a march in Wolverhampton.

 

6. Any other business Get Well Soon card was signed by delegates to Bro. S.Grant.

Ken Purchase: “I advise everyone to buy the Morning Star”.

 

 

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

 

Delegate meeting minutes 18 February 2016

 

1. Present - Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Halfpenny (NUT), Dixon, Whyte, Brealey (UNISON)

Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh, Cooper, Parke, Morris (UNISON Gen), J Grant, Edwards (UCU) Purchase, Rahimi, Marris (UNITE), Childs (CWU), Martin (MU) , Goalby (FBU)

Apologies - Bro Macmillan (CWU) , Juss (GMB) , S Grant (NUT)

All were welcomed and introduced.

 

2. Minutes of Meeting: 17th December 2015 agreed with the correction that Bro G Brackenridge was present.

Matters Arising: 3m) Meeting to be organised soon with Paul Quigley re: exhibition.



3. Executive Committee Report and Correspondence:

No meeting due to apologies.

1) Additional affiliation from UNISON Black Country Health

3) Donation agreed of £50 to Walsall Stop the War Campaign cost of Trident demonstration coach to London c/o Walsall TUC Trident Leaflets available.

4) Request from Wolverhampton Federation of Tenants Associations for minibus to demonstration against the Housing and Planning bill on March 13. A discussion followed and Bro Deacon clarified whom the group was. More links with them would be good perhaps through UCATT and UNISON to send affiliates. It was agreed following the discussion to donate £50.

6) Affiliation requests were agreed to - Venezuela Solidarity £40; Peoples' Assembly £20; Abortion Rights £40; Labour Research £47.50

8) West Midlands County Association of Trades Unions March 19 Conference on the new West Midlands Combined Authority at TUC, 24 Livery Street, Birmingham - Sis Taylor and Bro Childs to go.

9) Discussion of venue for next meeting as Civic Centre not available.

11) Midlands TUC AGM 27 Feb– Bro Kelleher to attend as our delegate

late correspondence

  • public liability insurance renewal agreed

  • A play regarding women in the miners' strike 'Tea and Tenacity' wanting crowd funding for the drama group in order to put the production on, noted



4. Reports/discussion:

a] UNISON- This week issued with notice of another 1,000 redundancies over next 12 months. Local Authority organisation in constant state of flux and restructure. in middle of consultation on pay. Wolverhampton Homes position relating to council may change becoming a company?



b] NUT- Simon O’Hara, an experienced teacher and the NUT Representative at Small Heath School, Birmingham was suspended from school on 7 January. he was the active NUT representative campaigning against academisation and management issues. The school will not become an academy now but Bro O'Hara has still not been reinstated. There is a petition which is on the WB&DTUC Facebook page. https://www.change.org/p/the-ieb-at-small-heath-school-and-birmingham-city-council-reinstate-simon-o-hara-no-academy-at-small-heath-school



c] Other delegates' workplace reports -none

d] Secretary's report- The Trades Council benefits from funds raised by volunteer trade unionists working on bars at Latitude and Glastonbury festivals. Need to apply to work by 21st March.

Dudley TUC open meeting 1 March, Lamp Tavern, Dudley 7pm. Dave Smith- Blacklisting Support Group Secretary, activist and co-author of 'Blacklisted' Then music by Tim Martin

Love Unions campaign (literature never arrived) excellent event in Bilston and Wednesfield with photos of supporters and flowers given out - very effective. Photos on Wolverhampton TUC Facebook page.



e] Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign - West Midlands Pension Fund seems to now be out of hands of Local Authority regarding any ethical discussions.

Liaison with Labour group on council to have a meeting with Jasbir Jaspal chair of the Pensions Committee to find out what is being done. Pension Funds are not Public Funds but are deferred benefits. The new rules undermine local democracy.



  1. Mike Edwards, speaker on the future of TUC Education - Bro Edwards runs trade union studies courses through Shrewsbury college. These are presently funded by the state in the furtherance of good industrial relations. Trade Union Studies teaches the rules of engagement and Health and Safety at Work. It is very successful at Shrewsbury College.

    Union representatives need to be trained. There were 6 colleges offering Trade Union Studies in the Midlands Derby, Stoke and Solihull have closed, leaving only 3 departments. Trade Union Studies are being attacked by the government and Bro Edwards appeals to the Trade Councils for help. Quoting from 'A History of Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council 1865-1990'. It is clear that WB&DTUC supported the Workers' Education Association in 1924 and the more militant Labour colleges.

    It has been known that cuts were coming. Courses are fully funded this academic year. 2016-2017 50% cut in funding, transition year from state to self-funding. 2017-2018 no funding at all. this is likely to lead to all Trades Union Studies Units closing in the country.

    The TUC is giving a one off £1.4million payment to top up the short fall in 2016 – 2017 from the Eleanor Roosevelt fund.

    Shop Stewards are continuing to enrol. Union Representatives Levels 1 and 2, Health and Safety Levels 1 and 2 secure at present. Level 3 diploma courses, employment law, occupational health and safety will go this year. as will university access courses. If people enrol on a diploma course by 31st July it will pull down funding from this academic year. Blended learning partly on line may be a way forward.

    The Skills Funding Agency which funds Further Education will go in 18 months time. Further Education will be devolved to the regions.

    In the Midlands there might be some political influence through labour councils. Trade union Education as we know it will disappear.

    There is confusion between Union Learn and Trade Union Education. Some unions such as UNITE and UNISON already offer their own courses. Do not know effect of combined authorities, UNITE Education Centre In Birmingham could also drain resources from Further Education Colleges.

    Bro Edwards was thanked for his explanation of the situation and answered questions. He was presented with a WB&DTUC 150 years anniversary badge.



6. any other business Bro Kelleher nominated for election to Trades Union Council Joint Consultative Committee.