March 2014

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Delegate meeting minutes of Thursday 20th March 2014


  1. Present: Sis. Battell (NASUWT), Taylor (CYW-UNITE), Ceresa(UNISON Gen) Bros. S Grant, Cole (NUT) J. Grant (UCU), Deacon, Turner, Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Marris, Purchase, Rahimi (UNITE), Childs, MacMillan (CWU) Apologies: Sis. Halfpenny (NUT), Kelsey (CWU), Watson, Sharkey, Dixon (UNISON Gen), Bros. Juss (GMB) Everall (UNISON). Delegates were welcomed and introductions made.


  1. Minute’s silence in remembrance of Dennis Turner, Bob Crow and Tony Benn followed by discussion led by Bro. Purchase who had known and worked with Dennis for over 40 years. He had led Social services for many years, developing elderly services. Ken & Dennis were threatened with expulsion after negotiating a council matched £400k government package with Tony Benn to set up a workers co-operative to save Norton Villiers. Benn was sacked and Villiers closed. He had led the fight with brother Bert to save Bilston steelworks before being elected as MP and had been a great admirer of William Morris. Praise was given to the leadership of Bob Crow, feared by the establishment loved by his members. Memories of Tony Benn’s lifelong contribution to the labour movement and history of this country were also shared particularly his passionate attempts at peace making during the Balkans invasion.


  1. Minutes of February delegate meeting agreed with correction Sis Battell is NASUWT. No matters arising


  1. Executive Committee report

  1. Re-affiliation fees received from Unison General, Unison Acute, Unison Police, PCS (C&V) & RMT. Agreed to re-affiliate: FBU, GMB, CYW-UNITE.

Awaiting response from POA, UCU college, UCU University.

  1. booked Coach Choice £575 for Sat 18 Oct 2014 TUC demo. Will apply for Midlands TUC reserved fund grant

  2. Labour Research re-affiliation £44.50 agreed

  3. Working Class Movement library funds appeal agreed £25

  4. Peoples Assembly next local meeting Mon 31 March 7.30pm Lych Gates Tavern W’ton centre – need delegates from WB&DTUC (MT apols)

  5. TUC re silver badges JG contacted TUC re NK – TUC agreed


  1. bar volunteer place requests for festivals 2014 to Workers Beer Company

  2. UCATT seeking joint work re Shrews 24 play – no reply received

  3. £7 paid website name hosting for next 2 years. Over 34,000 pageviews in the last month; 90% seeking information on minimum wage but over double traffic too on other pages.

  4. Our public liability insurance £184 renewal (no rise); WMids CND renewal £10; £30 postage stamps; £50 UAF from money held for Black Country Peoples Assembly agreed by BCPA has paid for 10 seats for Roma Wolverhampton (£267.89 remaining)

  5. To send: Letter to Rob Johnson re WMids CATUC by EC was agreed by delegates


5. Election: Bro.Kelleher elected as delegate to Midlands Trades Union Councils conference in Birmingham


6. Reports/discussion:

  1. NUT teachers’ industrial action. Two street stalls were held prior to strike on 26th March since no meaningful talks with Education minister Gove. Our banner will be present at regional rally. Government reported showed primary teachers working 60hour week and secondary 56 hours. 20% of work is data gathering.40% of young teachers leave in first 5 years. As well as excessive workload, pensions cuts, Victorian style-performance related pay threat. NASUWT reported continuing non-strike joint action with NUT and expect to strike nearer election.

  2. UNISON – 500 voluntary redundancies accepted, a third of non-school workers threatened with job loss. National terms and conditions being threatened. 180 at this month’s branch meeting threatened industrial action. Elderly, Learning Disability and Children’s services threatened with privatisation. Much heralded councils’ Living Wage guarantee in single status already being threatened within a year of agreement. Future is ‘barely legal’ service. Unknown where council’s legal advice coming from as in breach of legal agreement. Heath Town Community Centre promises being reneged on by labour councillors. Education managers being paid off while consultants and interims being employed on £500+/day. Whole of education HR have resigned. More schools leaving service level agreement costing millions. LP neither locally nor nationally opposing government cuts, no alternative economic and political strategy. Ending tax avoidance is solution.

  3. CWU-UNITE – youth service redundancies July. Consultation reported as farce. Bullying into voluntary redundancy, council is bypassing TUPE laws.

  4. Secretary’s report – BBC Midlands & ITV Midlands TV interviews, Express & Star and BBC West Midlands radio interviews by President and Secretary and local trade unionists on protest against 2,000 council job cuts. Turnouts were poor however on the three recent lobbies. We produced leaflet with BCPA for lobby on 19th March.

  5. Workers Memorial Day speakers: Stuart Baker UCATT & Bro Marris, Rev Bill Mash Cuts cost lives theme Monday 28th April 12.30pm Cenotaph Wolverhampton. 1,000 flyers ordered to be distributed to NUT, NASUWT, UNISON & CYW-UNITE.

  6. Thursday 1st May 7pm annual International Workers’ Day 20th celebrations @Pegasus, Wolverhampton WV6 0QQ Entertainment arranged: inc.Urban Roots, Transit Trix, Tim Martin, Ade Turner & Rob Marris. possible Nicaraguan Fetsalud union speaker via UNISON. Cost £1,400 10,000 flyers ordered

  7. Midland TUC Bro. Deacon reported 50 present. Midlands TUC re funding for Protest at Tory Party Conference in Birmingham on the first day of the conference (Sunday September 28th) Delegates agreed to offer £100. Work with Hope Not Hate in Lincolnshire around migrant workers.

  8. Palestine Solidarity Campaign 5th April leafleting against Israeli products at Sainsbury’s.

7. speaker: Sis Taylor gave a report on the national People’s Assembly conference. Lot of motions all agreed.

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