March 2013

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Minutes 21 March 2013



Present: Sis Jassal (UNISON Gen), Taylor (CYWU-UNITE), Elson (PCS), Kelsey (CWU)

Bros. Turner, Cardy, Kelleher & Deacon (UNISON Gen), Macmillan (CWU), J.Grant (UCU), Rahimi & Marris (UNITE), Retnasangham (UNITE Legal&Finance), Baynham (UNITE)

Apologies: Bros. Juss (GMB), Brackenridge (FBU), Cole (NUT), Everall (UNISON) Sis. Ceresa, Sharkey & Brealey (UNISON Gen)


Minutes of last delegate meeting (February) agreed,

matters arising                                                                                      

Bro.Kelleher to send letter to support Palestinian youth denied visa to speak in Wolverhampton.

NK to contact UNISON Health to speak to delegates or meet EC to discuss possibilities for NHS campaigning; if no response maybe union activist Annette Mansel-Green of Hospital Consultants Assoc.

Sis.Ceresa attended Wolverhampton Together meeting, but no minutes and different delegates meant little was achieved.

Discussion of future work for our trades union council this year- special TUC grant available for work. EC to discuss








Executive Committee March. Correspondence of note:

1)   TUC/Action for Rail will be staging a national day of action on Wed 27 March – agreed early morning leafleting of Wolverhampton station 7-8.30am and to contact RMT, ASLEF & TSSA.

2)   Midlands TUC re Chainmakers’ festival seeking stewards and donation Sat 8 June – Agreed £100 donation to include stall rent

3)   agreed re-affiliation £50 TU Friends Hope Not Hate; British Pensioners TU Action Assoc. £20; Troops Out £20

4)   TUCJCC/People’s Charter Joint Initiative – seek stall @ May 1st and possible speaker

5)   Venezuela national conference Sat 27 April, London Sis Taylor likely to attend agreed as our delegate £10 if needed as in London anyway

6)   Tim Martin re WEA

7)   Swaziland protest postcards circulated, request more for 1st may since last year’s speaker was from the banned Swazi TUC


8)   Chair & Vice-Chair nominations Midlands Pensioners Network

9)   After seeking and getting new volunteers; requested places at festivals for Workers Beer Company: Glastonbury (10), Latitude (6), Leeds (10). Midlands TUC requested places for TUC Youth Unemployed group but was past deadline.

10)      150th anniversary of History of W’ton TUC – need to compile proof-read chapters and chase up last few.  Contacted Bro.Cole to see if he still willing to compile last 25years.

11)      public liability insurance £184 –from 1-3-13 we’ve been insured

To send

12)      Cuba Solidarity raffle tickets

13)      Tasmanian comrades re Tinplate workers 1819

14)      Xmas party still awaiting DJ to collect event costs of £200 less £90 sales (£33 other sales)




















2013 remaining re-affiliations:

ASPECT – Bro. Hardacre replied that now merged with PROSPECT & will chase

POA – Bro.  Bostock has responded and should be received before end of March

ATL & NASUWT – sent emails – no response. Bro. S. Grant visited twice

GMB X13 – Bro.Juss’s branch sent him email – no response

UCU City College – Bro. Dwight      – no response Br.J.Grant to chase

CWU (W.Mids & Worcs) – no response

UNITE branches: UNITE-CYWU, 0758M, 5/836 & 5/998 awaiting new branch structures










Delegates’ reports:

UNISON General – Children’s Centre campaign, Government cut to Early Intervention Grant means Council threatening to cut 17 centres to just 8 to save £1.5m. 3month consultation from 1st March. Half staff turned up to union meeting. Ex & Star said 6,000 families use the service. Petition of 2,500 needed to get council debate. £17m planned re-vamp of Civic still seems to be planned. Put info on our website.

Single Status ballot result 78% voted yes to accept new terms and conditions giving 80% pay rises and 20% cuts and losing weekend rates and bonus scheme. (37% turnout) Living Wage now guaranteed by Wolverhampton Council as a result.

CYWU-UNITE – no formal discussions on cuts proposals to Youth Services or any council information to the public.

CWU – universal delivery under threat, TNT delivering mail in London. Bullying management has caused highest suicide rate yet for postal workers. Government need to find a buyer for Royal Mail before 2015 general election

PCS took strike action on Budget Day, 90% out at Deansgate; rolling programme to follow over terms & conditions, pay. All Enquiry centres due to close by April 14. TU facility time being refused Sis Elson was unable to attend TUC Womens’ conference on our behalf.  11 staff sacked including 3 with cancer locally in last weeks.

NUT will strike with NASUWT in rolling programme over next few months. Teachers will have 30% real-time pay cuts under this government.  Half-day walkout 1pm Fri 5th April

Halesowen UCU – action short of strike due to start March 25th

WB&DTUC prepared to assist branches with joint street stalls on cuts campaigning



WB&DTUC Secretary’s March report circulated – TUC courses at Bilston start April

Workers’ Memorial Day

  • Ivan Monkton UNITE, Steve Witton UCATT, Warinder Juss GMB/Thompsons(attacks on laws) & BCUIM all confirmed
  • poster designed and back from printers £54.92 for 1000; requested VAT refund £9.15 returned.   500 flyers left at moment
  • sent out to labour councillors, UCATT, UNITE, UNISON, BCUIM each of which will re-circulated; also sent to TUC & our delegates – please pass onto contacts
  • request to Labour council for Civic flags to be flown at half mast confirmed
  • wreath to be ordered, UNISON arranging – need delivery address for Sat 27th for florists
  • need to advertise online, Skiddle, Indymedia, What’s On? etc. Facebook event set up a dozen already pledged attendance, mostly non-delegates
  • still to send out to churches and voluntary sector

1st May – Pegasus is booked, performers agreed.  TO BE DONE: publicity & book speakers











Hope Not Hate sought our views on possible campaign against UKIP.

Our Executive considered the pros and cons put forward and after discussion, agreed that our campaign should continue to highlight fascist parties (ie not UKIP, yet), but to raise the issue if it arises of fascists in UKIP and other parties and to counter individual statements in press/locally as necessary.

Leafleting against UKIP would not draw out our supporters and may in elections help Tory candidates to win.

Broad anti-racist work should continue working with communities to counter right-wing myths.



Palestine Solidarity film shows held Feb & March. Public meeting with Betty Hunter St Andrew’s church Hall, Whitmore Reans 19 April



Midlands TUC AGM; better turnout – Eleanor Smith, UNISON is new Chair and a 10p levy of all members in region was agreed though the EC will look into it. Could raise £90kpa; a budget was requested.



Bedroom Tax campaign;  Bro.Kelleher led discussion. Local petition, street stalls, Fbook to begin to build campaign. Evictions by autumn. Put pressure on council to stop evictions. Need tenants/EMB involvement. 340 homes affected in H.Town. Bushbury tenants been featured in Guardian.


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