June 2021

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Delegate Minutes Thursday 17th June 2021

  1. Present: Sisters M.Taylor Unite, C.Simm PCS, Whyte UNISON City, D.Weaver UNITE Ret & SWCLP TULO, Welch UCU, Wooley BFAWU, McGarrity

    Brothers Kelleher, Oakley Unite WM6150, Deacon UNISON City, Vaughan UNISON Staffs, Juss GMBx13, Childs CWU, B.Simm PCS(Assoc), Rahimi & Z.Ali Unite Community

    Apologies Bro Marris Unite WM6150, Grant UCU, Sis Millar UCU

  2. Minutes of last Delegate Meeting (May) agreed.

    Matters Arising: 4) NK, JG and MT attended Dorothy Clarke’s funeral with banner, too many there so were unable to go inside; letter thanking us from Roger Clarke read out. 5.Better Buses campaign, Bro Deacon attended webinar launch – future agenda item

  3. EC Report & correspondence, of note:

  1. 2021 branch affiliations still to be followed up by EC: PCS DWP, PCS ACM, UNITE employed staff branch

  2. 22 Applications received for the researcher into Wolverhampton links to slavery. NK anonymised, PW drew up selection criteria. PW, WJ, RM and GM short-listed. GM,RM,WJ to interview. Additional £100 from Dudley TUC received. Agreed add £50 from our funds for £2,500 total. W’ton Art Gallery wants to share research around around decolonising art and culture at the gallery.

  3. 100 Great Black Britons – NK attended photocall at Colton Hills, with 3 pupils and Cnllr Hardacre today. Awaiting response from council about the assistance they need for distribution. NEU or Wendy Bond (UNISON) could be approached, else volunteers from WBDTUC to drop off at schools/libraries near them. We could include our history to secondary schools. NK gave one to Colton Hills.

  4. Unity Trust account NK and JG now have online access

  5. West Midlands UNISON Workers Memorial Day 2022 event, tree, bench plaque at Wrottesley park, Staffs (but they listing as Wolverhampton); also lack of public transport. WMD plaques and bench already in Staffordshire at National Arboretum – Bro Vaughan of UNISON Staffs will raise issue of confusion with our event. Also pass to UNISON W’ton.

  6. Website update – no news

  7. we still have 280 copies of Guide to Claiming Benefits and Credits following Redundancy – suggested send to Citizens Advice (Snow Hill) and IWA Welfare centre. MT wants 10.

  8. PSC request to write to MPs from EC; Indian Farmers’ strike message of support still to be sent

  1. Reports and discussion:

    • Sandwell Leisure Trust rally 22 June, strike 25 June. Still to send £100 donation to UNISON Sandwell Fire & Rehire at Sandwell Leisure Trust strike fund

      • delegate reports:

      • CWU – delegate Bro Childs wished happy 80th birthday

      • GMB – Gary Smith is new General Secretary and has frozen membership subscriptions.

      • PCS – concerns re safety and customer facing roles

      • UCU – Vice chancellors threatening staff post pandemic, so far no problems in Wolverhampton

      • UNISON – national conference this week; new NEC hopes for more public campaigning by union. International reports highlighted much greater problems for trade unionists around the world due to covid compared to UK. Saved £7m by online conferences which have been better attended, better for planet, though lack of spontaneity, less easy to debate motions or to intervene in debates.

      • UNITE – general secretary elections ongoing

      • Labour councillor Mac Singh defected to Tories just 6 weeks after being elected on behalf of LP in Spring Vale; had been selected quickly after joining LP.

      • Secretary report – Bro Kelleher circulated

      • Trades Council Conference report NK & DW attended. Frances O’Grady spoke, no debate on motions – all remitted for next programme of work.

      • Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign event against arms sales Chapel Ash Mon 14 June was attended by delegates with banner. 8 July Parliament lobby, 10 July day of action

at 8pm public meeting: Right to Food campaign speaker: Sarah Woolley, General Secretary of BFAWU, the Bakers’ Union spoke.

Right to Food campaign by Ian Byrne MP. BFAWU report on food poverty https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h_FU55hhDyVrCiocEsoJDklb1DYvqAkM/view highlighted food workers and focussed on ending zero hours contracts, £15/hr minimum and increased statutory sick pay. Food industry is not unskilled and been key work during covid. Workers put at risk due to lack of mask wearing. Some city councils have become Right to Food cities. Universal Credit £20/week increase due to be cut by government in September. Food poverty not spoken of due to embarrassment, BFAWU promoting awareness and of solidarity not charity. Leeds and Leicester trying similar campaigns to Sheffield TUC/BFAWU Sheffield needs a Pay Rise recruitment campaign.

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