April 2013

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council   Minutes 18 April 2013


Present: Sis. Taylor (CYW-UNITE), Halfpenny (NUT), Jassal & Ceresa  (UNISON Gen)

Bros.  Kelleher & Deacon (UNISON Gen), Macmillan &Childs (CWU), J.Grant (UCU), Purchase, Rahimi & Marris (UNITE), Retnasangham (UNITE Legal&Finance),  Dodd (COMMUNITY), Cole (NUT)

Apologies: Bros. Juss (GMB), Turner, Everall (UNISON Gen), Sis. Elson (PCS) Sharkey (UNISON Gen)

Delegates were welcomed and introductions made. The Chair Sis Taylor made a brief speech concerning the death of Thatcher and the cost she inflicted on workers then and subsequently. There is an irony that she advocated independence and individualism yet “we” had to pay towards the cost of a lavish funeral when working people are reliant on food banks.  As trade unionists we need to promote an alternative so the current generation is not a lost generation.


Minutes of last delegate meeting (March) agreed; matters arising 10. Bro.Cole still to do last 25 years of History of Wolverhampton TUC.






















Executive Committee April was inquorate.  Correspondence of note:

1)   TUC/Action for Rail picketing railway station led to RMT affiliation.

4)   Warrington TUC Fiddlers Ferry Hardship Fund appeal re Bro Steve Acheson Blacklisting Campaign – Carillion – £50 donation agreed.

Discussion regarding Carillion’s influence in Wolverhampton. Are they courting the Local Authority?  The council is adopting a procurement policy and can this be used as a means to highlight employment issues? e.g. Living wage employer , ethical considerations.

Secretary to write to leader of the council for a meeting with Trade Union Delegates. Sis Brealey  has a lot of knowledge in this field

5)  Correspondence from Pat MacFadden MP re: abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board There was no debate in the commons and it was grouped with amendments so no vote or discussion. It was debated in the Lords!

6)   Email from Roger Lawrence Council leader to find out further information about the effect of the bedroom tax in Wolverhampton 8½%. Clarity is needed to update the website

7)   TUCJCC – D Heath and J Hill nominated. As agreed previously we will vote for J Hill.

8)  Venezuela Solidarity appeal for financial help. There followed a debate as to whether such an organisation should be supported due to the links with Iran.  Accurate information concerning the campaign can be found at http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org.uk Following a vote it was agreed that £50 should be donated.

10)  £90 profit since selling 2 dozen Thatcher CDs on line. CDs £3, badges £1 for sale

12) There are other Mayday events – Coventry TUC (1st May), Sandwell TUC (4th May), Birmingham TUC (4th May) Notts TUC (4th May), Oxford TUC (4th May, Chesterfield TUC (6th May) http://www.wolvestuc.org.uk/index.php/may-day6/may-day-committee/514-wolverhampton-1st-may-2013-workers-day for further details of our celebrations and others. Our Mayday has inspired events.


13) Letter sent for New Cross UNISON re NHS campaign.

20) Final affiliation requests sent to unions but some still outstanding.

22) Still awaiting possible Chinese TU delegation invited to the June Meeting



JG, NK            













Delegates’ reports:

a) PCS- Industrial action report – No delegate to give report – strike this month

b) UNISON General – Children’s Centre campaign- signatures for petition needed.

c) CYW-UNITE – Youth Services – Report Development and Transformation of Youth Services is an insult to the Labour Government Document.  There is a proposal to transfer staff to new terms and conditions.  5 days less annual leave as an increase in productivity.  5 evenings a week instead of 8 a fortnight to be worked.  On the positive is that a grant is being set up to support community groups to apply for grants to supplement existing provision but it needs clear standards for inclusion. There will be a change from 48 weeks service to 44, therefore current staff will lose a month’s pay.  There is a 90 day consultation regarding redundancies.  Approximately 30 posts lost and 44% cut in management and administration.  IT post will be deleted and teams merged. To protect services there is a joint union campaign – UNISON and CYW-UNITE. Management keen to move youth services to the voluntary sector. The Youth council is moving from current offices without consultation. Councillors are very misguided if they think that the Youth Council is just following what youth leaders have fed them support is needed from the Trades Council.  Mini buses will be reduced from 5 to 3 but they could be used as income generation. There is some statutory basis for Youth Provision in Education Act 1996. There needs to be an equality impact assessment. Elements of the youth service will be put out to tender. 

 d) CWU – Save Royal Mail Campaign. No delegate to give report

e) NUT – Rally for Education – open to all Birmingham, ICC, Broad Street Birmingham, B1 2EA, Saturday 11 May 2013, 11.00 – 12.30. Since 2010, the Government has embarked on massive changes to education. But the majority of these changes are not supported by parents, teachers or schools. .  Members of the NUT and NASUWT are saying ‘Enough is Enough- it’s time to rally for the education of our children and young people. There are regional strikes planned in Autumn term.

f) Delegates’ workplace reports – none

g) Secretary’s Report: Workers’ Memorial Day – Please take and circulate leaflets for Workers’ Memorial day to be held on Sunday 28th April at the peace tree by the cenotaph at 12.30pm.

Sign  for Justice for the Shrewsbury 24 Pickets Downing  Street Petition  – personal letter from Ricky Tomlinson http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/35394

Wolverhampton Bed Tax protest was very successful. 150 people turned up and some spoke. There followed a discussion as to how to move the campaign forward which was not initiated by us!  The local federation of tenants associations need to get active in this. A strategy is needed. There may be evictions. Some Local Authorities have refused to implement.  There is a local dimension. Can the council do anything? House building needed to get housing benefit down.  Feature of a future street stall and then need to build on material and add material to Website – Facebook- Wolverhampton Bedroom Tax https://www.facebook.com/groups/179125605570388/ Trades Council will focus more on this following the May day event.  

2pm Market Square, Stafford, Saturday 20th April Demonstration to protect Staffordshire Hospital sponsored by UNISON.

h) 1st May (Wed 7pm, Pegasus)- Wolverhampton May Day Committee –Leafleting  on Saturday and Sunday at 10.30.  10,000 leaflets.  Donations to fund the event needed. £50 from CWU promised. Set up the night before at 7pm. May Day cards for sale produced by Northampton Connolly Association.

i) Palestine Solidarity  Campaign– Public meeting with Betty Hunter St Andrew’s Church Hall, Whitmore Reans 19 April 7.30. Protest to UEFA as the Youth Cup is being played in Israel.



 Speaker – none


 Any Other Business – Bro Retnasangham attended Black workers Conference and a report of this will be an agenda item at the next meeting.



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