Annual General Meeting January 2017

Minutes of Annual General Meeting WB&DTUC
Thursday 19th January 2017

1. Present: Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Welch (UCU), Lowe (UNITE) Bro.Kelleher, Turner, Deacon (UNISON Gen), J Grant (UCU), Childs (CWU), Marris, Page(UNITE), Parker (PCS), Juss (GMB), Barron (Mids TUC Sec)
Apologies Bro S.Grant (NUT), Rahimi (UNITE), Pugh (UNISON), Dodd (Community Craft) Sis Dixon, Whyte, Weaver, Brealey (UNISON), Elson (PCS)


2. Minutes of 2016 Annual General Meeting: agreed. Matters Arising:
(2.2)Still no progression on an update of the book ‘A History of Wolverhampton, Bilston and District Trades Union Council 1865 – 1990’. A volunteer is needed to undertake this task. (2.4) Wolverhampton Tinplate workers 200th anniversary in 2019 – no plans for commemoration as yet.

3. Presidential Address: Sis Taylor gave verbal report. Homelessness more visible now locally and clearly increasing. No council homes being built and little or no new social housing. Written report to be put on our website.

4. Reports:
a] Secretary – Supplementary report for January and Executive Committee January Report circulated.
i. Questionnaire suggested for branches about involvement with meetings and activities of our trades union council, timings of mailings for meetings etc – refer to EC
ii. Black Country Stand up to Racism’s recent criticism of UNITE Midlands Secretary was ignored since it is was not correct for a trades union council to interfere in a union. There were also inaccuracies in their criticism.
iii. Our website working again after Leftspace cured a hacking attack over Xmas.
iv. Dying to Work -Cnllr Jaspal informed us that the report would be going to council in February not this month now.
v. Ten Towns Project did not contact us nor Midlands TUC despite offers of help in their research on Brexit views.
vi. Bro Kelleher spoke to the WB&DTUC Annual Report. Sis Halfpenny’s contribution to our trades union council as NUT delegate and as our Minutes Secretary was praised by delegates and best wishes were expressed for her continued activity in Shropshire & Telford TUC. An increased number of branches affiliated and attendance up 40%, but still very few new delegates being elected or attending; exception is UNISON Wolverhampton General our largest affiliate. This month’s Action for Rail activity was again successful with involvement of new RMT officers. We have been doing this twice yearly for 4 years. Work was done with Community Craft over steel closure threats in Wednesfield. Support for UCU strike, work with UNISON too. Request to branches to send in info of public activity for us to publicise/assist also for branch resolutions for debate. We had welcomed some excellent visiting speakers during the year including a Nicaraguan union delegation. Outcome awaited on 1st May venue Pegasus pub licence which we had campaigned for. This year is 125th anniversary of first Wolverhampton May Day in 1892.
vii. Plan for 2017:
viii. #heartunions campaign – worked very well last year and repeating in Wednesfield and Bilston mid-Feb; merchandise from Midlands TUC; all branches have been written to, to join in with the recruitment campaigning.
ix. NHS demo March 4th London, agreed to purchase train tickets jointly with UNISON General.
x. Sis Welch (UCU) elected as substitute delegate for Midlands TUC AGM 25 February
xi. 1st October demo at Tory conference, Manchester

b] Treasurer: audited funds held in bank. Money to be used for active campaigning. Bro J Grant congratulated on a very clear statement of accounts and thanked for his hard work as Treasurer and to Bro. Turner the Auditor.

5. Elections: No officer nominations received. Sis Welch moved that section 5a-5e of AGM be deferred until next meeting, this was agreed.
f) other members of the Executive Committee positions vacant – put on next agenda
g) Auditor – Adrian Turner (UNISON General) elected
h) observer for each TUC conference no nominations – put on next agenda
I) Midlands TUC Pensioners’ Network Bro Deacon (UNISON Gen) nominated. No nominations for Equality Forum, Women’s Committee or Young Persons’ Network
j) Trades Union Councils Annual Conference delegate no nomination – put on next agenda

6. urgent delegate reports: none

7. speaker: Vince Parker, PCS speaker on campaign against HMRC closures. 97,000 workers in 1997, 60,000 now and systems not working. There is an urgent need for parliamentary and public scrutiny of HMRC’s plans to close its 170 offices, the Public and Commercial Services union says in response to National Audit Office findings. The plans announced in November 2015, which would mean a move to 13 regional centres, nearest is Birmingham, are already expected to cost more and will lead to large areas of the country being miles from a tax office. Tax recovery up but Walsall office closed, Wolverhampton due by 2020 with 300-400 jobs although it seems to be going faster. Wolverhampton HMRC has local knowledge of local business over many years; more than 100 people come to office each week about pensions, especially older non-internet users. One third cut in redundancy packages in last 18 months. Decline in morale. Rob Marris had given support to campaign, letter circulated.
The union says HMRC must halt the proposals now and allow for full consultation with MPs and members of the public. Support was offered from delegates for joint public campaigning and help in campaigning. Info requested from PCS branch to put on our website about campaign.

8. AOB : Lee Barron (Mids TUC Sec) praised our trades council for it’s activities over the last year, highlighting the praise that we had received last March from TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady. He explained that our resolution to the Midlands TUC AGM on TUC Education had been challenged by WMCATUC to have it ruled out of order and from our delegate to be de-recognised. They had put forward 6 delegates from their 5 TUCs and expect us not to be allowed to participate. It was noted that they did not expect us to participate in the WMCATUC and they had not sought our affiliation for 3 years. Two other motions on agenda regarding TUC Education.
WMCA – announcement due of TUC seat on Economic Regeneration statutory board.

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