Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Thursday 17 December 2015
Welcome and Introductions to delegates and visitors plus apologies:
Present – Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Halfpenny (NUT) Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh (UNISON Gen), Child (CWU), Purchase (UNITE), Martin (MU), Juss (GMB) Brackenridge (FBU/LP)
Apologies Bros Marris (UNITE), Macmillan (CWU) Sis Battell (NASUWT)
2. Minutes of Meeting: 17 November 2015 agreed correct
Matters Arising: 2(iv) There had been no nominations to Executive Committee. Branches to be contacted for nominations. NK
3(b)Payments now received from the Workers Beer Company for work at Glastonbury and Latitude. Half donated to Trades Council and half to Morning Star. There is sometimes a problem with payments to delegates and other expenses incurred by the secretary when the treasurer is away for long periods. Increase cheque book signatories or investigate electronic transfers were 2 suggestions. This matter to be considered by the EC.
3. Executive Committee Report and Correspondence:
Correspondence: EC again inquorate. Correspondence considered.
a) Good response for 2016 affiliations so far. New affiliation from UNITE Faith Workers branch – new vicar at Pennfields.
b) Councillor Brackenridge elected as Labour Group Trade Union Council Liaison Representative.
c) West Midlands Combined Authority proposed conference (see agenda item 5c))
d) Ongoing difficulty concerning West Midlands County Association of Trade Union Councils has been circumvented by Midlands TUC agreeing that we can elect a delegate and send motions directly to Midlands TUC regional Council. The WMCATUC has requested a meeting to challenge this.
e) Bro Marris supporting USDAW Sunday Trading Campaign. No response from other 2 Wolverhampton Labour MPs.
f) A letter from Black Country Peoples’ Assembly to Labour Councillors circulated.
g) £25 agreed for Hazards 2016 sponsorship. It is a very good campaign Report from 2015 t0 be given at next meeting by Bro Pugh.
h) £50 Unite Against Fascism affiliation request agreed.
j) Request for 1,000 postcards for Action for Rail activity on 4 January agreed. MPs to be contacted details and cards circulated.
m) Sis Taylor in progress re contacting Paul Quigley re Miners’ Strike exhibition at Art Gallery.
4. Election of Delegates to Midlands TUC
Sis Halfpenny and Bro Deacon nominated to Midlands TUC Pensioners’ Network.
Bro Kelleher elected as delegate to Midlands Regional TUC.
a) delegates workplace reports- Musicians Union: Bro Martin informed delegates that there would be a demonstration on Monday 21 December outside the Barclay Card Arena in Birmingham where the Pantomime Cinderella is being performed with recorded music and NOT live music.
b) Secretary’s report- http://strongerunions.org/2015/12/09/if-you-heartunions-join-our-week-of-action-against-the-trade-union-bill/ Heart Unions is a TUC national ongoing campaign with a week of action 8-14 February 2016. 9 Feb World’s largest workplace meeting. Agreed to hold ‘an event’ to be determined. (executive to discuss) Ideas welcomed.
Bro Kelleher also reported on continuing cuts regarding jobs relating to care of the elderly and disabled, future cuts to street cleaning services, highways etc. next year. There was a wide ranging discussion on the situation. Labour TU councillor to be asked to enlighten us on the council’s proposed cuts.
Rail fares to rise again 2 January 2016 (see correspondence 3j)Over last 5 years fares have risen nearly 3 times faster than average wages. 1% increase this time. New banner Action for Rail – Bring Back British Rail.
The Co-operative bank has closed the national Cuba Solidarity and national Palestine Solidarity accounts without warning. Also local accounts affected. Unity Trust Bank is the one for political accounts. discussion about where to do personal banking. Agreed to invite a speaker from the Co-operative Movement to a future meeting to explain the position.
Trade Union Representatives’ Programme- Wolverhampton, Beckminster House , Birches barn Road, Wolverhampton WV3 7RJ. Spaces still vacant. 10 week courses commencing in January- Union Representative Stage 1 Mondays 9-4, and Health and Safety Stage 1 Tuesdays 9-4.
Bombing of Syria was discussed. The response of our MPs as follows – R Marris against, P McFadden for, E Reynolds for. Proposed to invite 3 MPs for a full debate about this matter.
c) West Midlands Combined Authority – Possible threat to jobs, services and local democracy a conference was proposed of trade union councils by the treasurer of Birmingham TUC. However having consulted Bro Barron of Midlands TUC it was a TUC meeting and we did not participate. The combined authority will happen so we need to try and get something out of it!!
d) Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Bro Deacon gave a brief report concerning the investment of West Midlands Pension funds in Israeli companies etc. Meeting with Jasbir Jaspal chair of Pension Fund. Remainder of Bro Deacon’s report deferred to next meeting due to time constraints.
6 Slideshow of 150 Years of WB&DTUC + Seasonal Refreshment
This concluded the meeting