April 2007

Minutes of Delegate Meeting – 19th April 2007

Attendance: Sis Ceresa (UNISON), Taylor (CYWU). Bros. Kelleher (UNISON), Farmer (UNISON), Dodd (AMICUS), Hardacre (ASPECT), Rahimi, Deacon (UNISON), Cole (NUT), Jones (CWU), Childs (CWU), Ash (UNISON), Marris (T&GWU) Goodall
Apologies: Sis. Halfpenny (NUT), Kelsey (CWU). Bros. Juss (GMB), Brackenridge (FBU), Muir (CYWU).

(1) Welcome to all the delegates and visitors, old and new. Bro. Hardacre AGREED to chase up the affiliation from ASPECT, which is still outstanding.
(2) Minutes of delegate meeting – 15/03/07 – Correction: Item 4, page 1, first line; after the word “will” the last line of the item on the second page should follow to complete the sentence correctly. With this one correction the minutes were AGREED as a true & accurate record.
Matters Arising:
(3) The letter to the parole board re: Samar & Jawad is still outstanding.
Re: TUC JCC Minutes – Bro. Kelleher has received a reply, he has still not received the minutes as they are not normally distributed, this issue will be raised at their next meeting.
(5b) The documentation to elect Bro. Kelleher as Trade Union Conference delegate was not sent off, this will be actioned immediately.
(7) Learning Disability Campaign: Bro Grant wrote to UNISON in support of Sis Ceresa & Bro Kelleher. Bro Kelleher was informed of the investigation 2 days after its completion. Both activists have been vindicated. The leader of the council has replied (to correspondence from UNISON & Bro. Grant) to say that Councillors cannot instigate or halt investigations and that there have been no complaints from councillors in recent memory. Bro. Kelleher has written and complained to his employer, seeking a full investigation into this flawed enquiry and asking for the instigator to be identified, Sis Ceresa is seeking Regional advice from UNISON. 
(8) Claire Gough is the new Equality & Diversity Officer for Children & Young Peoples Services, she appears to be knowledgeable and interested in challenging homophobic bullying. Bro. Hardacre apologized for not attending the recent event at the Science Park.
     (3)  Correspondence – (1) Birmingham May Day Event (2) New Affiliations:
           CYWU, GMB, T&G 748, UNISON University. The FBU are still to affiliate but
            have given £500 sponsorship to the May Day Committee. (3) TUC have written
            re: May Day Demos asking for us to adopt the theme of  Anti- Privatisation. (4)
            European petition re: public services, aiming to get one million signatures. (5)
            Letter from Black Country Living Museum, they have set up the worker’s                         
            Institute and are now appealing for women’s Trade Union memorabilia to go in         
            this building; badges, banners etc. If anyone can help they can get a copy of this
            letter from Bro. Kelleher. (6) Military Families Against War – who were involved                       
            in the vigil to mark the 100th death last year – are appealing for support – Noted.
           (7) Details of all slave trade abolition events in Wolverhampton. Plenty of events
            but not well publicized. Some events have been over subscribed, many events are
            being held at The Lighthouse up until October. (8) Cuba Solidarity Affiliation is
            about to expire, renewal at a cost of £30 was AGREED. (9) Saturday 7th July is
            National Shop Stewards Conference – details to be included in the next mailing.
           (10) Tolpuddle Martyrs Event, details to go in next mailing – no local transport.
           (11) The Regional office of UNISON has written to local branches to find out
            which branches are affiliated to local TUC, a new affiliation has followed. (12)
            An invitation to the annual council meeting & buffet – Noted. (13) Various
            Newsletters & magazines – circulated during the meeting.

(4a) Secretary’s Report – Covered by Agenda items – however the secretary reported that  Tony Benn has been confirmed as a speaker at The Chainmakers’ Festival.
(4b) Treasurer’s Report – None.
(4c) Delegates’ Workplace Reports – None.
(4d) Hope Not Hate Anti-Fascist Campaign – The close of nominations for the local election was 2 weeks ago. The BNP have put up 6 candidates, in the following wards; Bushbury North & South, Wednesfield North & South, Fallings Park and Tettenhall/Wightwick. Research is currently being undertaken. The Wednesday before the meeting of local labour councillors, agents and leaders of the strategy group met, the Branch Secretary and Chair of Wolverhampton General Branch of UNISON were invited as was a Regional Officer. Roger Lawrence has since spoken to Bro. Kelleher, and said that Searchlight leafleting would increase the BNP vote and that the recent mass leafleting of Sandwell was a waste of time! Councillor Andrew Johnson has sent a list of areas which he doesn’t want to be leafleted,
these directions are contradictory to Searchlight advice. Bro. Kelleher has sought advice from Roger McKenzie (TUC), he has contacted searchlight and confirmed the proposals of the secretary. There was then substantial debate around this issue and delegates were invited to assist. Bro. Marris proposed that an Anti-Fascist conference should be convened when the results are known, this was seconded by Bro. Deacon and AGREED.
Bro. Marris suggested that the conference should be arranged for the third week in June, he then offered to facilitate and this was also AGREED.
(4e) Workers Memorial Day – Saturday 28th April – leaflets have been put in the mailing. Delegates were asked to publicize this event. Benson Healey from Dudley will be conducting the service.
(4f) May 1st Festival – Appeal for volunteers to help set up and publicise the event. Extra copies of programmes, posters and flyers can be provided. This event will be held at The Pegasus pub in Whitmore Reans. Doors open at 7pm, everything free – except the bar!
Main act is Attila the Stockbroker. An application has been made to the TUC Development Fund – to assist with this event. Bro. Cole said that the NUT would contribute.

Meeting closed at 8.45pm. Sister Taylor’s report (re: TUC Women’s Conference) was
circulated, she will answer questions at the next delegate meeting.

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