Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Annual General Meeting Thursday 18th January 2018 held at Unite Office, Wolverhampton
- Present: Sis Taylor(UNITE), Simm (PCS), Weaver (UNISON Gen), Dugmore(UNISON) Bro Turner, Kelleher, Deacon, Everall & Cardy (UNISON Gen) Foxall, Marris, Rahimi, Baker (UNITE), Childs (CWU), Simm (PCS) Grant (UCU), Brackenridge (FBU/LP), Stoll, Royale (UNISON Dudley), Clarke (POA), Bro Juss (GMB) Caldwick (visitor) all introduced and welcomed
- apologies Sis Welch (UCU), Whyte, Brealey (UNISON Gen), Bro Pugh (UNISON Gen) Grant (NEU-NUT) Martin (MU)
- Minutes of 2017 Annual General Meeting agreed, no matters arising.
- Presidential Address by Sis Taylor – political analysis of last year up to this week’s Carillion liquidation. 600 local jobs affected directly. Carillion base here took over Tarmac and Robert McAlpine all blacklisting firms, big Tory donors. Carillion giving big bonuses and dividends but skimping on pension fund and company investment.- written report to be published by WBDTUC on website. Marie resigned as President since her UNITE-CYW branch despite repeated requests to pay affiliation [of £7] had failed to do so, so she was no longer eligible to stand. Vote of thanks for many years service.
4a] Secretary- discussion of Annual Report & Plan for 2018 presented by Bro Kelleher.
Supplementary report for January also discussed – 8 union branches re-affiliated so far including UNISON Acute (New Cross) who had not affiliated last year.
Request from Peoples Assembly for joint statement on Carillion was not taken up since we have no members affiliated from there and it was for their union UNITE to lead.
Invite to organising meeting on 20th January, for half day conference and then a party in Wolverhampton on Saturday 21st April. to discuss racism and resistance 50 years since Powell made his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. Johnson and Lee Barron expected at organising meeting from Midlands TUC.
Delegates endorsed the previous delegate meeting decision not to be involved with events re-linking Enoch Powell with Wolverhampton. The feeling amongst the delegates was that Wolverhampton has moved on and should not constantly be linked to a racist speech made half a century ago, and that a conference proposing “to challenge the narrative that in Wolverhampton everybody supported Powell’s ideas” was based on an incorrect assumption – in 1968 there was considerable outrage in Wolverhampton, not least from the Express & Star. The proposed conference was described as “picking at a scab”. Send letter and copy to Midlands TUC.
Midlands TUC also involved in Rivers of Love daytime event at venue of speech in Birmingham on 20 April.
b] Treasurer – annual accounts presented by Bro Grant, audited by Bro Turner (UNISON). Votes of thanks to both. £7,500 at start of year, £6,300 at end. Donations £2,530 was higher last year since included donations to Morning Star from festivals 2016 and 2017. Most of our income is derived from volunteer work at festivals, only 30% from affiliation fees. We are yet to receive a reply to our concerns about the £7/hour paid, NMW will be £7.83 by festival time.
- Elections: nominations were only received in time from UNISON General branch – thanks given. They had also been made at UNITE WM6150 meeting but not received yet.
a] President – Marie Taylor UNITE-CYW was persuaded by interventions from a number of delegates who praised her work and elected as non-voting as awaiting branch affiliation
b] Secretary elected Nick Kelleher UNITE WM6150
c] Treasurer John Grant UCU elected also awaiting branch affiliation
d] Vice-President elected Rob Marris UNITE WM6150
e] Minutes Secretary elected Bob Simm PCS but as non-voting as awaiting branch affiliation
f] other members of Executive Committee elected Paulette Whyte UNISON General
g] Auditor elected Bro Turner (UNISON)
h] no one proposed or elected as: observer for each conference; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender TUC; Black Workers’ TUC; Disability TUC; deadlines not expired; Women’s TUC (deadline Jan18).
I] no one proposed or elected as: delegates to Midlands TUC’s Inclusion Committee, Regional Womens Committee, Young Workers Network – Bro Deacon already accepted as Pensioners Network delegate
j] no one proposed or elected as: Trades Union Council Annual Conference delegate – half of all trades union councils do not send delegates – all business is through CATUCs.
- urgent delegate reports UNITE – Stuart Baker gave report on Carillion which collapsed this week. Appears to be hundreds of divisions and joint ventures of Carillion where Unite has members which are then subcontracted out to other companies and agencies – but Unite office got as many calls from press and MP as members. Cnllr Brackenridge agreed to take up complaint of UNITE with Cnllr Reynolds that unions were being ignored or sidelined – officers using councillors as rubber stamps. Handful of huge companies getting all major government contracts; many were blacklisters and tax avoiders. They have been withholding payments to their subcontractors, Carillion extended payments to 120 days, holding smaller companies to ransom. Still getting government contracts after 3 profit warnings – civil servant overlooking Carillion was not replaced last year when left. Interserve also published profit warnings could end up same way. Publicly funded schools spending with private companies like G4S, Capita and Carillion.No way to run public services. Problems with communication from some UNITE branches maybe cause of lack of affiliations to WBDTUC
- NHS Trusts are setting up private companies to avoid tax – UNITE highlighting potential future problems. A lot of private maintenance contracts are currently being taken back into public hands because of cost and performance issues.
- UNISON Adrian Turner who is also on West Mids Pension Fund believed shares could be held in Carillion ventures. Carillion involved in several Wolverhampton school PFI projects and workers employed. Ex & Star had reported that council would pay the affected workers wages. Their future employment and conditions are unknown.
- speaker arranged from Birmingham UNISON Home Care Workers did not attend meeting. They will be striking 20th Jan with rally in Birmingham and on 6 February. Sis Simm’s mother is one of the strikers, being made to apply for own job on worse conditions. UNISON General has made £2000 donations and had delegations speak. Historic strike first after new anti-trade union laws – a lot of work had to be done to follow up members especially since their work has no base and they do not meet, branch did well. Unclear as to current financial need, consider donation at next meeting. Send letter of support. Proposals to make 150 from 350 redundant and introduce 3 split shifts meaning some could be away from home 15 hours per day.
- NHS national demo 3 Feb, low take up of Unite coach seats so far from West Brom & Birmingham, leaving 8am – Unite the Union coaches leave 8am from West Brom and Birmingham (Wolverhampton if enough interest) – please contact Sallie O’Prey 0121 647 4832 for reservations