December 2005

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC

Sisters:  Taylor (CYWU),  Ceresa (UNISON)
Brothers:  Kelleher (UNISON),  Cole (NUT),  Ash (UNISON),  Tinsley (FBU),  Juss (GMB),  Deacon (UNISON)
Apologies:  Marris (TGWU), Sagoo (UNISON),  Halfpenny (NUT),  Farmer (UNISON), Grant (NATFHE),  Goalby (FBU).

Correction: 3.2.14; Nick Kelleher had already written to TUC re: Organising Unions Organising Communities – he had also received a reply – which indicated that Trade Union Councils had been omitted from the mailing list.
With this one amendment the minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record. Matters arising:
2.3.4. No response from Councillor Tersaim Singh re: public liability insurance and the use of Dunstall Hill Community Centre.
3.2.5. Letter to UNISON Health branch (re:disaffiliation) still to be actioned.
4g.     Letter has been drafted.

3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT meeting cancelled therefore no report
3.1.4. Response about the F.L.A.G. Staff Association at Wolverhampton City Council. Issues about this group were discussed. It was AGREED that letters would be sent to Councillors outlining our concerns.
3.1.5. Bro. Deacon has drafted letter for MPs.
3.1.6. Bro. Kelleher attended a meeting of the Rahimi Family Must Stay Campaign; he asked that delegates write in support (if they haven’t already done so) and that copies of letters should be retained. They are asking for a review of Ali’s case, Zoriah’s is a new case. After seven weeks the family is still awaiting news, if unsuccessful they will seek a judicial review. At a recent meeting, Navid, their young son gave a speech. Next campaign meeting: St Patrick’s Church, Wednesfield Road (rear entrance), 17th January 2006 at 7.30pm.
3.1.6. Saturday 17th December 2005 the Rahimi family are holding a Xmas Party at St Patrick’s Church Hall, 7.30/8pm start. It was agreed that a small gift would be sent to Navid.
3.1.7. Midlands Region TUC has sent paperwork seeking nominations for LGBT Network, Women’s Committee and Race Task group. The paperwork appeared to be aimed at county associations. It was agreed to nominate Warinder Juss for the Race Task Group. Nomination agreed for the LGBT Network – Bob Deacon.
3.1.11 Rob Marris has received a response from local Trading Standards re: Data Protection Agency scam. Locally Trading Standards have a lack of funds to pursue this unlawful activity and the matter is further complicated by the fact that the company in question is located in Blackpool. After discussion it was agreed the Bro. Deacon would write to the W.V.S.C. – asking that they include a news item in their next mailing to warn local groups and charities about this scam. It was also agreed that the secretary would write to Blackpool Trading Standards and to Rob Marris.
3.1.16 Wolverhampton LGBT Census Report – Questions supplied by Wolverhampton, Bilston & District TUC were not included. The Census identified employment issues but there was no mention of Trade Unions. Equality courses are not running locally early next year. There was discussion around circulating the findings of the census it was AGREED that the LGBT Network would follow this up.


a) Secretary – The Stop the War Vigil will take place in Queen’s Square when the 100th British soldier is killed. Press releases need to be prepared and publicity is required. There was discussion around the anti-terrorism laws and concerns that they are being used to silence peace protesters, pensioners and individuals wearing T-shirts with slogans on them! Suggestions were invited for a speaker at the AGM. It was AGREED to invite a speaker to address us about anti-terrorism laws.
b) Treasurer – On holiday, apologies received.
c) Pensions Campaign – The Local Government Scheme is expected to abolish the 85 year rule in October. More information is expected and ballots likely in due course. Teacher’s pensions – The Government has backed down from initial proposals but concerns remain. This issue will be discussed at the next meeting, after the AGM.
d) WB&D TUC Employment Advisory Sub Committee – Sis. Taylor has spoken to Andy Burford. Funding and business plans need to be addressed, a meeting is to be arranged for the new year and the WB&D TUC will be updated.
e) Workplace Reports:
FBU – Ballot finishes tomorrow. Same offer as before. Result will be announced shortly, update will be given at next meeting.
NATFHE – Day of industrial action has taken place, no delegate present to report.
f) West Mids. COUNTY ASSOCIATION of TUC’s AGM – Bro. Kelleher re-elected as President. We haven’t applied for a fund development grant. Suggestion to seek funding for May Day celebrations – perhaps to make a DVD of the event? Attempting to merge West Bromwich and Warley T.U. Councils to form a Sandwell TUC. Halesowen was a very active group but is now struggling since the death of its Secretary – the County Association is to offer support. There were concerns about the report of the review of Trades Councils It was suggested that Roger McKenzie be invited along to speak.
g) Rahimi Family Campaign – covered under Matters Arising.
h) CSC – Quiz raised over £90, refreshments were available and the venue was praised. Nationally, Trades Union Conference in February is bringing European and Cuban Trade Unionists together in London.
i) PSC – Held a successful meeting in November, which was well attended. Plan to arrange follow up meeting to try to increase active membership. Ken Purchase has been on a Parliamentary visit to the occupied territories, the aim is to invite him along on Thursday 5th January 2006, venue to be confirmed. Fundraising Xmas cards are available from Bro. Deacon.

Justice For Colombia – Rob Marris has signed the Early Day Motion. Delegates were urged to write to Ken Purchase.
New OFSTED Inspection Framework – now each child within a school is to receive a letter which is critical of teaching staff and Governors. This is intended for children of infant school age upwards. This process is demoralising for staff and is leading to conflict between parents and teachers. This issue will be discussed at the February meeting.
The meeting closed at 8.45pm

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