WOLVERHAMPTON, BILSTON + DISTRICT TRADES UNION COUNCIL
MINUTES OF MEETING 16TH SEPTEMBER 2010

ATTENDANCE - BROTHERS: Chadwick (UNISON CVS), Thomas (Community), Grant (UCU), Grant (NUT), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Fraser, Marriott, Turner, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Baynham, Goodall & Matheson (UNITE)
SISTERS: Kelsey (CWU), Petford & Sindu-Sebastian (UNITE), Taylor (CYWU/UNITE), Dugmore, Sharkey & Ceresa (UNISON Gen), Halfpenny (NUT)
APOLOGIES: BROTHERS: Cole (NUT), Bechler (ATL), Marris (UNITE), Juss (GMB), Hardacre (ASPECT)
SISTERS: Burth (UNISON) Cnllr Hodgkiss,

1. WELCOME - Introductions to delegates and visitors new and old and apologies.

2. MINUTES OF MEETING July 2010 - agreed as correct. Matters Arising - None.

3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Report 9/9/10
a) Donation of £25 to Phoenix Park Festival agreed.
b) In foyer of Civic Centre there is a blue plaque about tinplate makers who were arrested in 1819 and transported to Tasmania. More research is needed. Details on www.wolvestuc.org.uk
c) Demonstration at Tory Conference in Birmingham on 3/10/10.
d) Affiliation to Venezuela Solidarity Campaign £30 agreed.
e) Possibility of our own newspaper like Oxford TUC.
f) Campaign against Euro Federation re: Mode 4 attack on Unions. Bro. J Grant reported on an editorial from The Democrat. It allows low paid workers to move from places such as India to EU Countries for example the UK. The trade agreement is between multi nationals and Europe. European Court of Justice backs these arrangements. David Cameron appears to have some part in it. Another erosion of rights. Letter to be drafted to MEP by Bro.Grant.
g) Money from Glastonbury volunteer bar team £650.
h) Speakers: Derek Robinson cannot attend next month. Tony Barnsley to be asked to speak regarding Chainmakers’ book and Friends of Vietnam – Doug Nicols, speaker.
i) Rule change to be put to AGM re executive quorum; lowering from 7 to 3.

4. REPORTS
a) Secretary: Merchandise printed and delivered – mugs, t-shirts, May Day polo shirts, hats and anti-Thatcher CD (offensive). Anti-Thatcher T-shirts suggested for production.
Spare branch Chainmakers’ tickets were distributed. 4 tickets also received for Friday evening event.
Pensioners Convention - 11am 25th September 2010 at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham.

b) CWU - ‘Keep Post Public’ – Sis. Kelsey. Targeting of marginal seats including W’ton SW to get message out. This fight has been on for 15 years. Demonstrations in Liverpool and Birmingham before Party Conferences.

c) Wolverhampton Public Services Union Alliance. Bro. Bechler sent apologies. Bro. Turner Chair reported. Group agreed to be sub-committee of Trades Union Council. Costs could be borne by the Trades Union Council. Not very community based at present. Voluntary Sector Council and tenants groups suggested for contact. Need to engage public. Bro. Turner to produce a leaflet for 29/9/10. 12pm, Queens Square – The lower your income, the worse the cuts. Discussion about the way forward with this campaign; whether the Labour group should be part of the campaign. Put this item on the agenda for next meeting.

d) City Council Report – Bro.Turner present - previous evening’s meeting had been expected to announce wholescale cuts but reports were not tabled as one Lib-Dem councillor had refused to support the coalition lost them control of council. Bonfire reinstated in Bilston but Meals-on-Wheels increase still to happen; drop in take up of meals since rise earlier in year.

e) TUC Congress Report – Sis Taylor - Need to band together and fight Lib/Con Government. Public need to know what they will lose. RMT walkout during Bank of England speaker. Good public sector debate, else flat. Increase in public sector campaigning in run up to May elections. Links agreed with Vietnam Trade Unions via a TUC motion.

f) Palestine Solidarity leafleting 24/9/10 4:30 – 5:30pm Wolverhampton Sainsbury’s. 25/9/10 11am-1pm – Perton Sainsbury’s. Day School 13/11/10.

g) No pensioners’ report and insufficient time to take workplace reports.

5. PUBLIC SERVICE PENSION UPRATING RESOLUTION Moved by Bro. Turner UNISON Wolverhampton General; amended & seconded by Bro. J Grant UCU

“This Trades Union Council moves that, in the Emergency Budget, the Government announced that, from April 2011, public sector pensions will rise in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Price Index (RPI).
This Trades Union Council believes this decision is hasty and unreasonable since:
1. It pre-empts the review of public sector pensions due to report in September;
2. It breaks the promise in the coalition agreement that accrued rights would not be subject to review;
3. There has been no consultation;
4. There will be no lead-in time to enable people to alter their own arrangements;
5. The switch from RPI to CPI takes place a year sooner than it does for the state pension;
6. The impact is particularly harsh when taken together with 2010 (when there was no increase because RPI was negative in September 2009 while CPI remained positive throughout) and;
7. There is no basis for treating pensions and benefits alike with respect to housing costs.
Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council agrees to write to local MPs and forward to CATUC”
Our task is to oppose not just cuts in services but cuts to income, pensions and benefits. The Consumer Price Index is 1% lower than Retail Price Index.

6. HOPE NOT HATE ANTI-Bnp campaign
No reply to various contact of university so no stall at Freshers’ Fair.
Discussion of 2/9/10 Organising meeting; 14 had come. Our campaigning has worked.
Hope Not Hate organiser to come to Wolverhampton for a week to help further build our campaign.
Leafleting can be a pleasant morning. National Hope not Hate weekend in October. Agreed to leaflet Bushbury North.
Changes to Parliamentary boundaries may be an issue. Bnp stood on our borders in Coseley & Willenhall

7. speaker: Venezuelan Trade Union delegation report by Sis. Taylor, who visited in August.
Tense situation between Venezuela and Colombia; Chavez recent visit very successful with hope of new president winning parliamentary vote to revoke US base licenses in Colombia.
Now is election time in Venezuela.
Talked about how Chavez had turned around literacy levels and communications and infra structure through using money from oil wealth.
Subsidised food for poorer people and improved agriculture; striving for self-reliance.
Health access improved enormously; holistic approach with a strong emphasis on prevention.
Yet wealth is still in hands of capitalists.
Oliver Stone film ‘South of the Border’ could be shown at Lighthouse in future.

8. AOB
Bro. J Grant will receive his TUC Long Service Silver Badge of Merit for 21 years as our Treasurer at this year’s Chainmakers’ event; to be presented by Tony Benn.