February 2011

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Minutes – Thursday 17th February 2011

1) Introductions to delegates and visitors, new and old. ATTENDANCE and apologies:
BROTHERS: Cole (NUT), Grant (UCU), Fraser, Turner, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Chadwick (UNISON CVS), Purchase & Marris (UNITE 5/836), Baynham (UNITE 0758M), Childs (CWU), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Weaver (TUC)
SISTERS: Ceresa & Sharkey (UNISON Gen), Halfpenny (NUT), Taylor (CYWU-UNITE), Petford & Sebastian (UNITE 0758M), Elson (PCS)
APOLOGIES: Bro. Hartshorn (UNITE), Rahimi (UNITE 0758M), Grant (NUT), Marriott (UNISON Gen), Juss (GMB), Brackenridge (FBU). Sis. Brealey, Sagoo, & Burth (UNISON Gen), Kelsey (CWU)
2) Minutes of December meeting – agreed correct and matters arising none.
3) Executive Committee Report 10th February 2011 and correspondence
Urgent matters arising from December minutes & January Executive Committee – acted upon:
Designed and purchased 2 banners for local Palestine Solidarity campaign £47.98. This represents the donation of £50 agreed at a previous meeting.
Still need to contact Stoke Council regarding International Brigade. Bro Marris to liaise with Bro Kelleher. Motion also passed at WMCATUC meeting.

2.1 A report on branch re-affiliation was presented by the secretary.
2.3 Re- affiliations to Labour research, Cuba Solidarity and for the PO Box were agreed.
2.9 Early Day Motion 1334 For Morning Star to be included in Newsnight and other press reports headlines etc. on TV and radio. Also Vietnam Agent Orange Early Day Motion 1366 agreed by the meeting.
2.10 Bro Grant to report on TUC greening the workplace at March meeting.
2.11 Discussion on Alternative Vote system and agreed to invite speakers on the subject – suggestions needed.
2.14 Agreed Donation Asbestos support £25.
7. 2,500 Workers Memorial Day leaflets to shift before 28th April.

Anti Cuts
• Our next meeting will be a public meeting at Dunstall Community Centre against the cuts; leaflet to be printed, deliver in Whitmore Reans meet Pegasus 7pm 10-3-11.
• Wolverhampton public Services Alliance no meetings. Lobby of council budget setting meeting Wednesday 2nd March
• Labour has reversed some of the Tories increased service charges for the vulnerable in day centres and meals-on-wheels as a result of petitioning and campaigning.
• Leaflets for March 26th still available. 7 coaches currently booked from various local unions. Likelihood coaches will not be allowed to drop off at Embankment. TUC to negotiate with Transport for London on cheaper deal. Need to buy day Oyster cards from National Express Queen Street beforehand? Bro.Purchase suggested announcement of coach details/drop off arrangements via Midlands Today & Phil Bateman.

4) Speaker – Alan Weaver Midlands TUC on the Threatened Future of the Chainmakers’ Festival and examples of local anti –cuts campaigning.
a) The history of the festival was explained. A paper from the TUC executive 18.01.11 was also circulated concerning the current position. It is very unlikely that the festival will be at the Black Country Museum in 2011. It will have to move away! Whatever the TUC put on will be freer concerning content. A venue such as park or football ground or indoors. How many to cater for? As a fringe to congress? It could be reinvented as something completely different. It is the only festival that celebrates the achievements of women. The venue needs to be in Cradley Heath or Dudley. Bro Weaver will return to a future meeting to update on progress. Many thanks from TUC to all those Trades Union Councils and unions which have contributed.

Discussion followed – Blists Hill possible venue. It must keep going. Important to email museum to voice feelings. Lobby Wolverhampton and Sandwell councils re contributing to the Black Country Museum. 2012 is centenary of the Workers’ Institute. Need to invite museum to explain themselves. What is the museum’s status believed to be Charitable trust. Agreed to write to Wolverhampton Council Leader to seek their response.

b) Local anti-cuts campaigning has included marches, Valentine’s day cards presented to councillors, four areas want to re-establish Trades Councils – Nuneaton, Corby, Kettering, and Leamington. The TUC has offered very good opposition to cuts agenda. Nowhere is doing any better campaigning than Wolverhampton.

5) Elections:
a) the following were elected: Executive Committee – Dave Cole NUT, Brian Clarke POA
Treasurer – John Grant UCU
Assistant Secretary(minutes) – Marion Halfpenny NUT
Publicity Officer – Bobbie Petford & Sindu Sebastian UNITE 0758M
b) observers at TUC conferences still unfilled, deadlines passed by next meeting
c) 3 vacancies for WMCATUC still unfilled
d) Trades Union Council Annual Conference Peterborough 13-15 May 2011 Bro Kelleher will reluctantly attend.

6) Resolution from UNISON General
Phasing out cheques
We note that the banks intend to phase out cheques by 2018.
We believe this will have a particularly adverse impact upon:
Those who, like certain older people and people with disabilities, depend upon trades people and upon home deliveries and who need a safe and reliable way to pay; and many trades union and community groups for whom making payments by cheque which require more than one signature is central to their financial administration and key to preventing fraud.
We therefore oppose withdrawing cheques unless there is an alternative to address these concerns.

A friendly amendment had been accepted in which “older people and people with disabilities”, had replaced “elderly and disabled” and “who” added near start. Formally moved by Bro Kelleher. Passed unanimously as amended.
The purpose of the motion is to draw people’s attention to the issue and raise it through our own trade unions.
Unity Trust Bank has been approached for a speaker on the issue of cheques and also banking morality, to a future meeting.

7) Reports and Discussion
a) delegates' workplace reports: These arose during earlier parts of the meeting concerning the impact of cuts

b) Secretary’s report: Hope not Hate 5th March Manchester Bro Deacon available to go.
No further business due to lack of time.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply