WOLVERHAMPTON, BILSTON & DISTRICT TRADES UNION COUNCIL
Minutes of Delegate Meeting 19th February 2009
Sisters – Halfpenny (NUT), Ceresa (UNISON General), Taylor (CYWU unite)
Brothers – Grant (UCU), Hardacre (ASPECT), Watts (POA), Ratcliff (POA), Clarke(POA), MacKinnon(POA), Veric (PCS), Woodstock(PCS), Deacon (UNISON General), Rahimi (UNITE), Kelleher (UNISON General)
Sisters – Petford (UNITE), Smith (PSC)
Brothers – Muir (CYWU unite), Grant (NUT), Bechler (ATL), Marriot (UNISON General), Juss (GMB), Cole (NUT), Bostock (POA)
1. WELCOME and introductions new and old. The speakers were also welcomed. Sister Taylor took the chair in the absence of Brother Cole.
2. MINUTES of 18th December 2008 were agreed a true record. Matters Arising:
4(e) Sister Halfpenny missed the meeting of Wolverhampton Race Equality Partnership but it looks as though it will fold as council grants have been withdrawn.
4(i) Brother Hardacre will in Cuba for 1 week in May and will be able to fill ¾ suitcase with necessities for Cuba.
3. February EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE report was tabled – points to note:
c) Affiliation – Encourage branches to send more delegates. Brother Kelleher has chased up as many branches as possible on more than one occasion. Personal approaches may be needed from delegates.
d) Correspondence – The main items for note were:
1) TUCJCC Raise the question of who is to pay expenses for delegates. The secretary will write. There was no nomination.
2) UNISON public meeting 5th March re Banana Workers University 6 pm
3) CWU national demo Bilston 14th March Save the Post
4) TUC Women’s day event 14th March nomination forms available – Black Country Museum
6) Defend Saudi Trade Unionist – working for Aero-space South Wales after 4 years has been sacked and deported. He lost the appeal. Today 19th February – Day of Action. The secretary wrote in support.
8) Correspondence regarding the National Pensioners’ Convention – there seemed to be a misunderstanding. There followed some discussion about this item as to how we should work with pensioner groups, regarding pensions? The British Pensioners Acton Association was set up by Trade Union movement. It was proposed that two representatives one from each group should be invited to speak at a meeting. This was put to a vote which was equal. The chair had the casting vote and the proposal was rejected.
10) UAF affiliation £20 agreed.
14) Campaign for Labour Party Democracy £10 agreed.
4. ELECTIONS to Vacant Observer Positions at TUC Equalities Conferences
Womens’ Conference – March, Black Workers’ Conference – April, LGBT – July. No nominations received although it is believed that Brother Juss will attend the Black Workers’ on behalf of the GMB
5. Speaker: The Challenge To Trade Unionists In The Capitalist Crisis – Bro.Veric PCS
The speaker highlighted the way government and business/banking are inextricably linked with personnel moving in and out between the systems like a revolving door! The message was that this was the time for unions to become more relevant, organise, and make. There followed a discussion about recent trade union ‘victories’ – e.g. final pension schemes, use of data and the strong hold SERCO has, the importance of the vote in the forthcoming elections. A suggestion was made that it would be worth looking at the PCS website – pcs.org.uk regarding the voter registration campaign. Speaker thanked and presented with History of WBD&TUC as is customary.
6. REPORTS AND DISCUSSION
a) Secretary’s Written Report – this was circulated to delegates.
Details about festivals and working on bars via Workers’ Beer Company which raises funds for the Trades Council. The information about volunteering was circulated to members and by email.
b) Treasurer’s Report – the balance is healthy!
c) UNISON & CYWU-UNITE – council cuts campaign – No decision has been made by council. There is a care homes petition in the mailing. The council will accept voluntary redundancies to reduce workforce. The consultation period is still on-going. Any resident of Wolverhampton can complain regarding cuts. Budget meetings have been farcical with differing sets of figures.
d) Delegates work place reports – POA have had a national ballot 90% voted to reject 3 year pay deal
e) anti-fascist campaign – Ettingshall by-election 26th March 2009
g) Palestinian Solidarity – over £6,000 approximately was raised on15th February for Gaza.