April 2021

Minutes of Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Delegate Meeting Thursday 15th April 2021

  1. Present: Sisters Taylor Unite, C.Simm PCS, J.Weaver & Whyte UNISON City, D.Weaver UNITE Ret & SWCLP TULO, Momenabadi Community

    Brothers Kelleher, Marris, Oakley Unite WM6150, Turner & Deacon UNISON City, Vaughan UNISON Staffs, Juss GMBx13, Martin MU, Childs CWU, Simm PCS(Assoc), Rahimi Unite Community, Grant & Scroop UCU, Barnsley Sandwell UNISON

    Apologies Sis Dixon UNISON City

  2. Minutes of last Delegate Meeting agreed & no Matters Arising

  3. EC Report items of note

  1. 2021 RMT branch affiliation received since last month.

  2. Our 100 Great Black Britons in each Wolverhampton school and library Campaign £1,457.50 paid to buy 110 books & poster. Has Wolverhampton City Council paid? return cheque to UNITE WM6150 if not needed. Need to check if delivered and how distribution will be done by council.

  3. Workers’ Memorial Day 28 April – request for video in next few days to showcase the trade union response to covid, particularly how your branch has kept members safe in the last year. It is also an opportunity to pay tribute to any of your members who have died or suffered from covid as a result of their work. Sis Momenabadi offered help editing videos.

  4. May Day- agreed to hold a trades council quiz

  5. GM has drawn up an advert for the researcher into Wolverhampton links to slave owners paid state compensation at abolition. £2,150 was raised. Check with Sis Millar re where to advertise at university.

  6. Sat 24 April TUC 11-12-30pm Midlands and the Morning Star are jointly hosting a conference to explore how we can build a new deal for workers following the Covid-19 pandemic. Register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_n4LSWlbcTrq85oQuyEwXYA

  7. PCS DVLA strike 6-9 April call centre workers forced back to worst covid-hit workplace, while managers and other civil servants working from home. Donations via https://www.pcs.org.uk/department-for-transport/news/donate-to-help-striking-members-in-dvla-win-on-covid-safety

  8. Shrewsbury 24 victory at last in court convictions quashed. Not seeking further donations or affiliations.

  9. Website update – GM to convert from Joomla to WordPress [still awaiting].

  10. letters sent to Governor, Dist attorneys re Mumia Abu Jamal – calling for release

  11. sent £35 Worcester TUC produced with union labour Guide to Claiming Benefits and Credits following Redundancy has been updated for latest figures going to printers.

  12. Report given on non-TUC scam unions The Workers Union and GWI – General Workers Independent union both Coventry based.

  13. Morning Star – informed we have £351.68 credit on our advertising account.

  1. Reports

  • GMB – General Secretary elections underway 3 candidates. British Gas have started sacking strikers. 43days strike action over 9 months. donations for this should be sent to Kate Caswell (GMB Regional Finance Officer) Kate.Caswell@gmb.org.uk 07957 292213 Account name – GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Region, Sort Code – 60-83-01 (Unity Trust Bank), Account Number – 33010614, Ref: BG Strike Fund. Agreed WBDTUC send another message of support and £25

  • PCS – government pressurising job centres to re-open more fully, increasing risk on staff and unemployed. Assaults on staff had increased prior to lockdown.

  • UNISON – no pay offer until after May council elections unusually. Conferences virtual this year. In talks re re-opening of Civic Centre. Lateral testing centre underused currently.

  • UNITE General Secretary elections underway 4 candidates.

  • LP – council election campaigning now underway, help sought contact Sis D.Weaver

  • Secretary’s report on website

  • Midlands TUC AGM – Terry Renshaw gave very moving thanks to unions as one of the Shrewsbury 24.

  • TUCJCC report on website – Bro Kelleher

  • TUC Pensioners Network – Bro Deacon all local authorities to produce Bus Improvement plans by October, but they have little influence on privatised services.

5. any other business none

at 8pmpublic meeting

  • speaker Tony Barnsley, Sec UNISON (Sandwell) on the Sandwell Leisure Trust dispute.

    SLT is a limited by guarantee company with charitable status running 9 council owned leisure centres. Last year announced 2 year pay freeze and end to national conditions. UNISON, GMB and UNITE all had successful consultative ballots and SLT offered 1% annual pay rises for 2 years which members rejected. GMB representing most of the 280 workers and UNISON both won ballots, though UNITE failed to reach the threshold despite only a handful of members. Workers furloughed so couldn’t take strike action. Needed to re-ballot as six months had elapsed. UNISON which had taken a pro-active approach to keeping in contact with members by text/email throughout and during ballot period, got increased vote for strike action. GMB didn’t reach threshold.

    UNISON also leafleted the council leader’s ward (in 2hours) and council tried to intervene but offers of financial help to SLT (which already had £4m in reserve) were rejected. Now putting pressure on council to take Leisure centres back in-house.

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