June 2017

Minutes of Delegate Meeting WB&DTUC – Thursday 15th June 2017

1. Present: Sis Welch & Lamand (UCU), Taylor(UNITE-CYW), C. Simm (PCS), Dugmore (UNISON), Beaumont
Bro. Brackenridge (LP/FBU), Kelleher, Deacon (UNISON Gen), Juss (GMB), Beaumont (NUT), Rahimi (UNITE), Childs (CWU), B. Simm (PCS)
Apologies Bro S.Grant (NUT), J.Grant (UCU), Marris (UNITE), Cole (NUT), Pugh, (UNISON Gen) Sis Weaver (UNISON Gen)

2. Minutes of May Delegate Meeting: agreed, matters arising. 4.11) Bro Marris considering his delegate status since recent retirement. 5b) Sis Heath from Walsall card sent still unwell. 5c) Abortion is a Workplace issue and West Midlands Combined Authority Trades Co meetings – Sis Welch lost notes.

3. no Executive Committee held, correspondence of note:
a) affiliation fees received £200 from UNITE WM/6150. Union branches not affiliated this year that previously affiliated UCU college, NASUWT, PCS West Mercia and CV branches, UNITE-CYW, UNISON Acute, Black Country Health and UNISON University branches. Awaiting fees GMB
b) 19th June 2017 the Midlands TUC moves to 47, Summer Lane, Birmingham B19 3TH temporary telephone number will be: 07824 698383
c) National Conversation on Immigration run by Home Affairs Committee. Thursday 6 July 2017 meeting with local stakeholders Hope not Hate/British Future involvement – Sec to attend.
d) Thompsons photography competition to submit a photograph which shows the human side of why health and safety is important, photos that illustrate why the legislation to uphold health and safety should not be considered a burden or “red tape”, but an essential protection for all. The competition runs until 28 June. Winning entries will be exhibited at the People’s History Museum and share a £5,000 prize. Information at www.thompsons.law/focus open to all with entrants
e) PCS petition re HMRC closures circulated
f) Refugee Week Monday 19 June 6pm Wolverhampton Amnesty are putting on the film Fire at Sea. tickets from Lighthouse WV1 1HT only. Amnesty Garden Party on Sunday 9 July 2-5pm 23 Newbridge Street, WV6 0EE
g) Workers Beer Company – Glastonbury arrangements – meeting has been held with volunteers. Payment is £7/hour again this year. Sec to write to Battersea & Wandsworth TUC re NMW
h) Labour Land Campaign – agreed to invite speaker
i) 1,600 UK page views on our website last month www.wolvestuc.org.uk; reach of 2,400 on our facebook page in last month
j) To pay: Campaign for TU Freedom reaffiliation £35 “SERTUC(Sylvia Pankhurst)” statue appeal £25 ; £25.25 travel expense request WASPI speaker “Lynn Trannah”. N.Kelleher £22.49 (last month exp +500 envelopes)

4. Reports:
a) delegate reports – Bro Brackenridge (member of our local fire authority) spoke on the Grenfell Tower fire in Britain’s richest borough Kensington. Significant loss of life yet to be fully determined. Extraordinary damage to flat. Cladding should have had self-contained areas. Fire Service advice to stay in flats as they should withstand 3 hours fire, communal areas should be free from any flammable material; paint in communal areas should be non flammable; communal staircases enclosed with non-flammable building structure. Stairwells not suitable for mass evacuation. Cladding has been heavily criticised by the Fire Brigades Union for many years the worry for this block is that wood and polystyrene behind zinc(turned out that aluminium was used) may have acted as a chimney on the external cladding that had been put in. Retrofitting of water sprinklers does not seem to be a priority in tower blocks where there are poor and vulnerable residents in Kensington.
Government is responsible for slashing the fire service budget by 50% in 7 years; inspections and checks down, often taken over by councils who are also under severe cuts; firefighters no longer test dry riser water main valve on each landing in a communal block physically instead a visual inspection is done and the water main not tested. It is possible that builders may cut corners as they know they’ll be no checks. There had been so many warnings regarding the management of the building by residents that were documented prior to the fire. Wolverhampton homes has done the same tests as Kensington did prior to the fire. Risk Assessments by private companies not fire service. No concierges. Councils unable to spend sales monies on repairs. Bro Brackenridge to speak to Wolverhampton Tenants Federation.
b) Bro.Simm PCS – his appeal against sacking was lost but there was a superb demo outside which could be heard in hearing. Tribunal on DDA grounds about 3 strikes and out policy to follow, national campaign in support he’d spoken to all PCS groups.
c) Secretary report – Bro Kelleher written report circulated.
d) TUC Pensioners’ Network – Bro Deacon, next meeting 12 July.
e) Palestine Solidarity – Bro Deacon 30+ at Queen Sq vigil about hunger strike which won concessions and was ended but had no BBC coverage. Garden party Sun 16 July. Local Government Pensions Fund ethical investment court case ongoing. Israel are witholding taxes taken on behalf of Palestinian Authority.

5. General Election discussion Eleanor Smith from UNISON was elected in SW, 3 Labour MPs in Wolverhampton. Nationally it felt like a victory for Corbyn and Labour is already significantly ahead in the polls just weeks after the election. DUP heavily criticised as homophobic, anti abortionist, right wing. Notably Emma Reynolds and Pat McFadden’s majorities dropped but neither mentioned Corbyn their leader. 40% for Labour; biggest swing since the 1945 Attlee government.
Labour won thanks to Jeremy Corbyn’s campaigning during the election period; youth vote; Labour’s manifesto was at last different to the Tories it meant something and it took the public’s imagination – demonstrates the Labour Party’s been out of touch with the working class for many years as suspected. Campaigning info was sent out by trades council when info was found but hard to find.

6. AOB : none

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