Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Delegate Minutes Thursday 21st June 2018
1. Present:Sis Taylor(UNITE), Jones (RMT), Simm (PCS) Bro Smith (RMT), Grant (UCU), Kelleher, Foxall, Baker (Unite WM6150) Rahimi (UNITEWM5103), Childs (CWU), Brackenridge LP/FBU,
Apologies Martin (MU) Simm (PCS), Marris (UNITE WM6150), Deacon, Pugh, Cooper (UNISON City) Sis Ceresa, Whyte, Dixon (UNISON City)
2. Delegates stood for a minute silence in memory of Bro Stuart Grant of NEU-NUT followed by tributes; Stuart had been delegate from NUT for around 15 years and had always stood up against incidences of racism as well as our anti-bnp campaigns.
3. Minutes of May delegate Meeting agreed; Matters Arising: letter to be drafted to police for use if far-right come to Wolverhampton again.
4. EC report discussed with correspondence of note:
a) 2018 affiliation RMT received and two new delegates were welcomed and thanked for moving their meeting date to encourage attendance as previously clashed.
b) from UNITE WM Reg Sec re intention to affiliate en bloc at £500/yr – awaiting lists of branch delegates. BACS details supplied
c) NHS demo Sat 30 June UNITE the union are offering FREE coach seats
d) UNITE - “Tackling the Housing Crisis with publicly owned construction direct labour organisations” - book and author Tony O'Brien (UNITE) agreed to speak Thurs 19 Jul, flyer produced – agreed to purchase 15 books to distribute at meeting. Bro Brackenridge to invite councillors. Could delegates circulate please?
e) Workers Beer company – no places for Labour Live due to collapse of ticket sales
f) WMCND re-affiliation £7+£8 donation agreed
g) Evening with Dennis Skinner – @Lighthouse 23 June tickets available from WBDTUC
h) Midlands TUC Chainmakers' (7 July) stall volunteers needed
i) LP organising NHS stall in Qu sq and Wednesfield also 7 July
k) Tolpuddle festival weekend 20-22 July for 4 people,1 car, 2 tents =£65ea go Fri return Mon + beach visit, no work! – anyone interested?
l) 1,400 UK page views on our website this month, www.wolvestuc.org.uk; 200 reach on Facebook
m) sent: Institute of Employment rights £50 re-affiliation; CSW Waspi £50 donation + £15 travel expenses ; Midlands TUC £100 donation towards Chainmakers' festival
a) delegate reports:
UNITE – W'ton Homes terms & conditions review announced -fight expected; demo at Smethwick Midland Met hospital site where work stopped due to Carillion collapse, 5-30 5th July
PCS - strike ballot started for action over 5% pay claim ends 23 July
RMT -Oxley Sidings maintenance yard, Alstom Traincare Centre, closure announced this week will be a loss of 92 jobs; also four other sites, 200 jobs total. Trains currently terminate at Wolverhampton and are fixed overnight. Safety concerns for future. Support pledged for any campaign. Write to Cnllr Roger Lawrence. Negotiations due for Save the Guard campaign.
UNISON - delegates at conference
LP – reported that officers being challenged more often by councillors. Most cuts already made 40% reduction in gov.grant here only 7% in Oxford. Beaties potential of residential housing/hotel conversion after closure. Retail decline, redevelopment plans locally put on hold after financial crash and developers have sat on future compulsory purchase plots.
b) Midlands Trades Union Councils conference – Bros. Kelleher and Simm attended. 15 delegates, 2 visitors and 7 on panel; no introductions or reports from TUCs only one out of date motion with nowhere for it to go. Redundant conference without purpose or use.
c) WBDTUC Secretary's report – written report discussed
d) Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity – garden party on 8 July
6. speaker at 8pm: FBU West Midlands strike mandate – Cnllr Greg Brackenridge FBU, on WMids Fire Authority and National Fire Safety Scrutiny Group spoke.
9:1 in favour of strike over 5 key points, 80% turnout - FBU says the new contracts are exploitative of the newest employees in the fire and rescue service. It would mean firefighters entering the service would have to take on any work the service dictates outside the agreed role of a firefighter and the employer would make these changes without negotiation with the union. The contracts would allow the employer to unilaterally change the work of firefighters at any time breaching nationally negotiated agreements with the union.
Ancillary staff trained online to cover fall response that FBU refusing; some cleaners paid £47k last year.
1947 Act specified levels of fire appliances which should attend each type of fire and in what time; removed by Tories. Since 2010 40% cut, 250 less firefighters in Wmids, 1150 remain; only 350 on duty at any one time across region. Increased use of retained firefighters without a station meaning call times can be 20 not 5 minutes. Non attendance at suspected false alarms; inspections cut; smoke alarm campaign cut; advice to government on building safety such as Grenfell now with a private company. Non-fire retardant cladding would not have been fitted to New Cross Heart & Lung Centre if Fire Brigade involved.
Since election new LP councillors on Fire Authority change of political direction and expected that FBU campaign could be successful. Suspensions and 2 dismissals of FBU activists still outstanding. Write offering support to Andrew Scattergood.