Minutes of Annual General Meeting WB&DTUC Thursday 15th January 2015
1. Present: Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Battell (NASUWT), Halfpenny (NUT),
Bro.S.Grant (NUT), Kelleher, Deacon, Turner, Everall & Pugh(UNISON Gen), Rahimi, Purchase, Marris, Parlhurst, Jones (UNITE), J Grant (UCU), Goodall (visitor)
Apologies Sis Brealey, Ceresa & Sagoo (UNISON Gen) Bro Juss (GMB), Macmillan (CWU)
2. Minutes of 2014 Annual General Meeting: agreed. Matters Arising: We have not achieved an update of the book ‘A History of Wolverhampton, Bilston and District Trades Union Council 1865 – 1990’. It would be good if this could be achieved as 150 years anniversary. 25 years to be added.
3. Presidential Address: Sis Taylor’s full report is printed in the WB&DTUC Annual Report.
2014 was a very difficult year, a very low point politically as we are dealing with a most vicious
Tory government who have come to power and changed the way Britain is ruled. They are dismantling the social state and there has been little opposition to the austerity lies. The only growth in Wolverhampton is the food banks! Poverty is beginning to ‘bite’. The Peoples’ Assembly was formed to gain momentum against the Tories, but has not been as effective as desired. Cuts against services has not been a popular fight in our city. People keep their heads down and hope ‘it’ will go away. Important to support Bro Marris who is standing as Labour MP in Wolverhampton South West and hoping to win the seat from the Tory.
a] Secretary – discussion of the Annual Report: The report was printed by UNISON who were thanked. This our 150th year . There are lots of activities in the TUCs programme of work for Trades Councils. FBU and POA not affiliated. Less delegates nominated last year. Attendances a little lower. Some meetings only 10 present. More people attend when speakers are present. Cuts to pay have been responded to by unions. FBU changes to conditions and pensions on-going. There were 22 strikes by them last year. Some campaigning success. Anti Atos campaign covered in the Express and Star. Save Central Baths reprieve won. Neighbourhood Warden Campaign in the summer but still awaiting outcome. Old Tree Nursery Campaign Bro Kelleher invited to address petitions committee. Public campaigns do have some effect. NUT had a good rally in Birmingham.
John Tulley from Australia visited regarding the Tinplate workers who were deported although it has been impossible to discover their names. There will be a memorial in Tasmania. The tenth Chainmakers’ Festival will be held 12 July 2015. Website traffic has increased. Our Thanks are recorded for all the very hard work of the Secretary Bro Kelleher.
b] Treasurer: £8,609.37 funds held highest total ever due to record money raised by our volunteers at festivals in summer (though half to be donated to Peoples Press Printing Society and Morning Star Fighting Fund). £250 to cost of May Day Bro J Grant thanked for his work as Treasurer and to Bro. Turner the Auditor.
5. Elections: officer nominations received from UNISON General and the following were elected:
a)President (Chairperson) Marie Taylor CYW-Unite
b)Secretary Nick Kelleher UNISON Gen
c)Treasurer John Grant UCU
d )Vice-President Rob Marris UNITE
e) Minutes Secretary Marion Halfpenny NUT
g) Auditor Adrian Turner UNISON Gen
f) other members of the Executive Committee including Green Officer and Publicity Officer positions vacant.
h) observer for each conference
LGBT TUC Thurs 25 & Fri 26 June [deadline
Black Workers’ TUC Fri 17th – Sun 19th April (time to take this back to branches to get delegate. Bro Juss who has attended on a number of occasions questions how worthwhile the conference is?
Disability TUC Thursday 21st to Friday 22nd May
Women’s TUC Wednesday 11th to Friday 13th March (too late for nomination
Trades Union Council Annual Conference delegate at Crewe Friday 12th June to Sunday 14th June, keep on future agenda.
6. urgent delegate reports:
UNISON – Monday -188 notice for further 1000 redundancies up to March 2015 Just accepted no alarms now!! On top of redundancies 500 other jobs gone. Services gone. Outsourcing is the name of the game and the devil is in the detail! The council is unlikely to make planned savings. Tories need to be voted out in next election if things are to improve. Dismantling NHS, PCS etc. 32 million a year is spent on looked after children. Concern about facilities time being lost for unions but this saves council money in the long term. Agreed to invite Roger Lawrence to a future meeting to explain outsourcing. NK
7. speaker: Ollie Jones UNITE – engineer and shop steward from MoD Donnington, Shropshire The cause of the strikes before Christmas and continuation of their strike was explained. The Defence Support Group (DSG) repair and maintain tanks , military vehicles etc for the ministry of defence. Overtime pay has fallen 1% rise as in effect been a cut. pay offers each year have been rejected but the unions never took a stance. This time there were shop floor meetings across the country as to what figure workers should be paid. Pay claim made up to 8% to cover losses. The union wanted pay talks. There was strike in June, Donnington supported with a ballot for 85% industrial action and 75% for strike action, 2 days out; November 4 days, before Christmas 2 weeks. DSG now being sold to Babcock so makes real pressure.. The workers are capped at 1%. There were 100 pickets but really 200 are needed on gate. The aim is to smash the pay cap. Last week of January due to be on strike for a week. Pickets are needed from 7.30 to 9.00 and 5.30 am. In the whole of DSG UNITE have 800 members. There were 377 members at Donnington and now 450. Across the whole organisation 766 on strike. About 350+ have been on strike at Donnington throughout the dispute. ACAS phoned the UNITE national office. National UNITE officer in HR discussion as 1st April Babcock will take ownership.
Bro J Grant thanked the speaker and wished good luck with the dispute. Keep Trades Council informed about progress. Let Trades Council know of any support needed. It was agreed that £200 be given to the fighting fund. Proposed Bro J Grant seconded Bro S Grant. Solidarity Greetings to be sent tot the picket line. Bro Kelleher to circulate by email. The speaker and comrades received copies of ‘A History of Wolverhampton and Bilston Distict Trades Union Council 1865 to 1990 and commemorative mugs.
16th January Palestinian Solidarity Campaign film ‘Colour of Olives’ Friends Meeting House
7th February English Defence League coming to Dudley. Black Country Unite Against Fascism are calling a counter protest ‘Dudley United against Racism’
23rd January ‘In the Shadow of Elisabeth (Bilston Steel Works) launch Bilston community Centre
21st March United Nations Anti Racism day rally in London. Walsall TUC are organising a coach and it was agreed W&BTUC would support this with a donation of £100.