WOLVERHAMPTON, BILSTON & DISTRICT TUC
Minutes of Delegate Meeting – Thursday 15th March 2007
Attendance: Sis: Ceresa, May Bros. Kelleher, Farmer, Grant, Hardacre, Deacon, Ash & Rahimi
Apologies: Bro Williams, Marris, Cole, Juss Sis Halfpenny, Taylor
In the absence of the chair and vice-chair, it was agreed that Bro. Kelleher would chair the meeting.
(1) Welcome to all delegates and visitors, old and new.
Bro. Hardacre agreed to chase up the affiliation due from ASPECT.
(2) Minutes of delegate meeting – 15/02/07 The minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record.
The Walsall WEA (Health & Safety Bulletin) Bro. Kelleher believes that the affiliation should be £7.50. Bro. Kelleher proposed that the affiliation should include a donation and that the sum of £20 should be sent. This was AGREED.
Last months affiliations should now be actioned.
(4n) Bro. Hardacre has not received any leaflets re: BNP activity and there is currently no evidence of a BNP candidate in the Bushbury area. A conference to deal with this issue has not been arranged – executive meetings have been inquorate. Bro. Kelleher spoken to councillors
(4e) County Association (which meets quarterly) – The efforts of Sandwell TUC, to open a bank account, were discussed. This may be possible, through Unity Bank; Bro Kelleher agreed to check on their progress. It was felt that Sandwell TUC would gain support and meet activists through anti BNP campaigning. It was a agreed that a joint meeting between UAF and Sandwell, after the local elections, would be beneficial.
It was AGREED to send £30 to the United Campaign to Repeal the Anti-Trade Union Laws. John Hendy is prepared to speak to us about this matter, Bro. Kelleher will ask him to be a May Day speaker.
A donation of £20 to The Working Class Movement Library was AGREED.
Samar and Jawad Freedom for Justice Campaign. Bro Deacon gave an update. They are now halfway through their prison sentences. Jawad’s first application for parole was rejected by the Home Secretary. They are non-British Nationals and therefore subject to deportation upon release. The Home Secretary can hinder the process by continually calling for reports. Jawad is appealing for the second time, now his case will go before a parole board. Samar has been waiting for 18 months for her parole application, this process usually takes 5 weeks. Concerns were expressed around the way Jawad had been treated, he recently received medical treatment for cancer and was double hand cuffed for hospital appointments, thankfully he is now in remission. Bro Kelleher offered to write to the parole board in support of their applications, this was AGREED.
A reply from Rob Marris has been received re: Solidarity (is registered as a Trade Union but is not independent of the BNP).
Correspondence received from Football Action Alert protesting against the England V Israel match – to keep racism out of football.
Post Office pack from CWU is available for delegates to look at. Secretary will put details on the website.
The Secretary has written to the TUC (twice) asking for TUC JCC minutes. No reply received as yet.
The secretary has written to the 3 local MPs asking them to do everything possible to oppose Trident replacement. He made six key points:
• There has been no public consultation.
• The costs involved.
• The war with Iraq – which was accused of having weapons of mass destruction.
• The nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
• The fact that the existing system will not be obsolete until 2024, why replace it now?
• Tony Blair could change his legacy as a warmonger – it is shameful that a Labour government is pushing this through.
Ken Purchase has AGREED to vote AGAINST Trident replacement.
Rob Marris sent a lengthy reply, this was circulated. Pat McFadden has NOT responded.
(4a) Secretary’s Report
There was leafleting (anti-fascist) on 10/03/07. The Hope Not Hate event in Sandwell on April 1st will The Christmas party night at Sugar. The secretary wrote to this establishment in January requesting the return of the deposit of £200. He has been down to the venue, written, E-mailed and rung without success. He has been informed that the establishment has now closed down. The secretary is doing research as there is another club in Nottingham; according to them the Wolverhampton site is in liquidation. Trading Standards have informed the Secretary that WB&D TUC will be a creditor if the business is in liquidation. The Treasurer advised that if this is the case the money probably would not be recovered because WB&D TUC would be “at the bottom of the list as a unsecured creditor”. Bro Grant proposed that Bro Kelleher should be reimbursed (as he had paid the deposit). Bro Hardacre proposed an amendment; that this payment should be an honoraria – this was AGREED.
feature Billy Bragg. Leafleting sessions are starting in Redditch.
(4b) Treasurer’s Report
There was one question regarding the accounts. Bro Deacon queried the unpresented cheque made out to “Broken Arrow” this should actually be “Broken Rainbow” – no reply has ever been received from this group. The accounts are still to be audited.
(4c) Workplace Reports – None
(4d) Midlands TUC AGM – Bro Kelleher attended, a written report was circulated. There was a presentation from AMICUS about a campaign to supply footballs – details will be on our website.
There was also a written report from the Midlands TUC Executive meeting which was attended by Sis Halfpenny. Bro. Deacon requested clarification on point 3 of the report and Bro Kelleher agreed to raise this. There were no further comments/questions.
(4f) Pensions Campaign – a brief report was given by Bro Kelleher. Some activists attended a conference at Alexander Palace on behalf of UNISON. A proposal to ballot for strike action was LOST so future industrial action related to this issue is unlikely.
(4g) Worker’s Memorial Day – Plans are fairly standard. Bro Kelleher has spoken to one of the Industrial Chaplains. It falls on a Saturday this year, Bro Kelleher proposed organising the event in the same way as other years, this was AGREED.
May Day – This is not yet planned. Bro Kelleher has ‘phoned venues but has yet to receive replies. Suggestions for speakers and entertainment were welcomed. Bro Kelleher suggested convening a planning meeting at his house on Thursday next week, refreshments will be provided from about 6pm onwards. As it is the 40th Anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank Bro Deacon agreed to track down a speaker. Suggestions were made regarding a jazz quartet and a singer who had performed in the past.
(4h) Public Meeting re: Palestine – Bro Deacon circulated leaflets about this meeting. It is to be held on Friday 23rd March 7-9pm at St. Andrews Church Hall, Avion Centre, Whitmore Reans. Bro. Deacon asked delegates to display posters, circulate leaflets and to attend! There is a national demo. in London on 12th June, to mark the 40th anniversary of the occupation. He is trying to get financial pledges to enable interested groups to book a coach.
A motion has been put through the County Association re: Palestine, this was nearly ruled out of order and has now become a composite. The composite motion will be circulated when available.
(4i) No report – Bro Cole absent.
(5a) No nominations for vacant EC seats.
(5b) Bro Kelleher was elected as Trade Union Council Conference delegate at the last delegate meeting, this should have been minuted.
(6) Resolutions – None
(7) Speaker – Sis Ceresa – The Learning Disability Day Centres Campaign.
Sis Ceresa updated delegates about this ongoing campaign (which is supported by Wolverhampton General Branch of UNISON and is conducted in partnership with the families of service users). The joint implementation plan was put before cabinet on 21/02/07 and a group of people (including parents and workers – who had booked leave) lobbied councillors. The plan suggests the substantial downgrading of about 20 posts and parents are concerned about possible reductions in services. The employer has, as yet failed to respond to UNISON’S concerns. Since the lobby two Unison members, who are delegates to WB&D TUC have been subjected to investigations by their employer (W.C.C.). It is believed that they are being victimised for their Trade Union activities and that this is an attempt to stifle free speech. Bro Hardacre proposed that a letter of support be sent to the Branch Secretary of UNISON (Wolverhampton General Branch). It was AGREED that the Treasurer Bro Grant would write this letter in the absence of the Chairperson.
(8) A.O.B. – Bro Deacon informed delegates that the Children & Young Peoples Services Department were launching an action plan on gender and sexual orientation equality. At present no Trade Union names have been put forward, there are no delegates from youth & play or the youth council etc. The meeting will take place on Tuesday 27th March at 7.30pm at The Science Park.