February 2019

MINUTES Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Delegate Meeting

Thursday 21st February 2019


  1. Welcome & introductions to delegates & visitors present + apologies

Present: Bro Kelleher, N.Hill, A.Hill, Marris, Taylor UNITE WM6150, Baker, M.Foxall, UNITE W’ton Homes, Baynham UNITE Ret Mem, Pugh, Cooper, Deacon City of Wolverhampton UNISON, Simm PCS, Rahimi, Z.Ali UNITE Community, Childs CWU, Bueno UNISON Sandwell, Moreton Students Union Sis Taylor UNITE CYW, Millar UCU, Ceresa UNISON, Lisa (PSOL)

Apologies: Bro Grant UCU, Cross, Booker UNITE WM6150, J.Foxall UNITE, Turner UNISON, Sis Simm PCS

  1. Minutes of December delegate Meeting & Matters Arising

Minutes Agreed. Matters Arising: Page 1 Period Poverty, Wolverhampton Council are running foodbank style bins at civic centre for sanitary products. Page 2 UCAT Banner, There has been no progress on finding a home for the UCATT banner as yet.

3. WB&DTUC Executive Committee REPORT 13th February 2019 noteworthy items:

    1. Cnllr Roger Lawrence – Invite to Unveil Wolverhampton Tin Plate Workers Plaque – Fri 15 Feb; report sent to Prof Tulley in Tasmania. Bro Simm set up Facebook event.

    2. more Undercover books bought for next meeting/stall 9 copies total £25.43

    3. from Banner Theatre First of May set with a variety of songs from all our recent productions. full fee is £800, £650 is our solidarity rate, inc. PA and a sound technician.

Funding: Apply for TUC Development grant; Tony and Nora Southall Trust appears to be none functioning and TUC grants are now for campaigning only and not cultural events. Sunday 14 July at Wednesfield amphitheatre nr Sainsburys contact Bro Brackenridge

Bro Brackenridge added that the Wednesfield site should be free to use and will work with Exec to make it happen. Bro Kelleher asked about toilets and Bro Brackenridge confirmed they would be in place.

      1. HeartUnions week Wednesfield nine volunteers, Bilston ten volunteers. Final cost £343.02; flowers, plastic sleeves, water holders, leaflet printing, TIM MARTIN Bilston market performance; Bilston stall rent. Sent £300 grant application for Heart Unions week activity . Offered to do work with BFAWU – again no response

      2. Wolves PSC – Sat 23rd Feb – the next campaign day calling on HSBC to divest from Israel 10-12 Qu Sq

      3. Sunday 24th February, HOPE not hate workshop in Birmingham

      4. Workers Memorial day speakers invited: Chris Pugh on mental health in workplace (awaiting response); BCUIM (confirmed). Dave Smith Blacklisted campaign invited. Roy Rickuss Community union Gen Sec(from Wolves) unable to attend. Suggestion: Margaret Greenwood shadow minister over HSE or Thompsons.

      5. Midlands TUC regional council dates Saturday 30 March at The Derby Conference Centre and Saturday 14 September, 11-1, at TUC, Birmingham Bro Simm delegate Sis Simm observer.

      6. Health Campaigns Together £50 affiliation agreed

      7. Challenging the Alt Right Narrative – Winning in the Workplace – TUC Midlands Free Residential Event 14th & 15th March Coventry

      8. Using Video Effectively for your Union, your members and your campaigns GMB Nottingham, NG3 5FJ Wednesday 20 March 10.30 – 15.30

      9. Celebrate the Bus 2019 28-30 March

      10. no re-affiliations since last month; resent out to other branches by post/email

      11. DPRTE Arms fair has been moved out of Birmingham in response to the planned protests.

      12. Sent: TUC registration and £10 fee; Leftspace annual webhosting £120; Labour Research renewal £52.50; £223 to Access Underwriting Ltd for £5m public liability insurance renewal

      13. 600 UK page views on our website this month www.wolvestuc.org.uk 1100 reach on Facebook with 417 liking, sharing, commenting

      14. Venezuela Solidarity campaign – re-affiliation renewal, take at April meeting ; protest Sat 23 Feb Bank of England, London 1pm Stop Trump’s gold and oil grab

      15. 1st May – venue Pegasus, booked Attila the Stockbroker and Reckless bboy crew. Request for funds have been sent to unions. No speakers invited as yet. Request received from May Day Committee for funds

      16. UNITE Birmingham Refuse Collectors. All picket lines will be between 5am to 2pm (their usual working hours) Dates of the Birmingham Bin Strikes: 19th February; 22n February; 4th March; 8th March Plus 48 hour stoppages on: 27th & 28t February; 12t & 13T March; 21s & 22ndMarch

      17. Shrewsbury 24 latest update

4. Reports/discussions:

  1. Unison: Bro Pugh; Currently in discussions about having to buy 3 days of annual leave for Christmas. It depends on whether environment is classed as Essential Service. If its is not classed as such they get holiday pay but if it is then they go unpaid. Bro Bueno added that in Sandwell its normal leave. Bro Kelleher clarified that having to buy the leave amounted to a pay cut in disguise.

UCU: Sis Millar: National pay ballot is closing this Friday. It is the second time this ballot is being held as it was unsuccessful last time.

Labour Group: Bro Brackenridge – In response to Unison pressuring council over these matters including the suggested no pay for first 3 days sick and 3days unpaid /yr – the blame needs to be placed on central government budgets. The Tories are currently looking to cut deprivation index which would be a £3 to 4 million cut for Wolverhampton. Roger Lawrence to retire

FBU: Bro Brackenridge; Successes have been made in no longer having to run ambulance type service as it was costing an extra 2.1 million instead saving 0.5 million as proposed. Cultural review is starting and strike action has been avoided. FBU challenged government on pensions scheme changes. Government is appealing and could lead to a cut to pay its court costs.

  1. WBDTUC Secretary’s report – Bro Kelleher 1st May appeal. Bro Marris suggested £250 and review in future. Meeting agreed.

  2. Midlands TUC Pensioners’ Network – Bro Deacon

No report this time, Newsletter updated and financial appeal.

  1. Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity – Bro Deacon HSBC protest in queens Square next Saturday, many rewarding conversations can be had with the public. Pension funds should not be funding occupation. Hearing date is set for October, request made to trades council for court costs. Bro Marris suggested £100, meeting agreed.

5. any other business none

6. speaker Lisa from Police Spies Out of Lives campaign – tens of thousands of trade unionists have been spied on, MP’s officers, 18 Family Justice campaigns

additional copies of Undercover- true story of Britain’s secret police, were given out

Motion “Opposing Undercover political policing” passed unanimously, Delegates to take to branches and Bro Simm to take to Regional conference. Donation of £150 agreed plus £19 travel. Public enquiry expected until 2024, 12 civil cases by women ongoing, only one with legal aid:

Motion Opposing Undercover ‘Political Policing’

We note with concern that police chiefs have admitted that undercover infiltration of political, activist and justice campaign groups in the UK has been consistent since 1968, in the form of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).

We understand that a tactic of these infiltrations was for officers to form long-term intimate relationships with women activists, to bolster officer’s cover identities in activist circles. Many of these ‘relationships’ lasted for years.

We believe that this reveals that institutional sexism is endemic within the police and other state bodies that sanctioned this behaviour.

We understand that police were forced to admit, in just one case so far, that they infringed upon a woman’s right not to be ‘subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. 

This was a violation of the women’s rights to privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of association and assembly.

Also this was a violation of the women’s rights to a home and family life, and to privacy of communications.

Further, this was an infringement of the women’s right to participate in the struggle for legal, social and environmental justice.

We believe that the use of sexual relationships has no place in any form of undercover policing and the Regulation Of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) should be amended to reflect this. 

We firmly oppose this type of political undercover policing and believe that infiltrations of this kind have no place in a democratic society.

We call for the Undercover Policing Inquiry to be extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland, and to undertake a fully transparent and truly public inquiry, providing disclosure to those whose rights have been violated by undercover operations and to fulfil its terms of reference as a means to allay public concern.

This meeting agrees to:

1/ share details of this motion with its membership

2/ profile the work of Police Spies Out Of Lives in members bulletins and newsletters

3/ raise awareness amongst trade unionists, in trade union branches, the TUC and political allies of undercover ‘political policing’, to help prevent a re-occurrence of this type of grossly intrusive policing

4/ support and publicise the demonstration by those spied upon and their supporters.

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