March 2022

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Delegate Minutes

Thursday 17th March 2022

1. Welcome & introductions to delegates & visitors.

Present: Sisters Welch UCU Wolverhampton University, Adams UCU Open Univ, Aujla & Buttnert UCU Birmingham Univ. Taylor UNITE LE/372, D.Weaver UNITE WM/5203, Hyatt UNITE Community, C.Simm PCS, Dixon UNISON City

Brothers Byrne UCU University, Grant UCU College, Smith RMT, Martin MU, Juss GMBx13, Childs CWU, B.Simm UNISON City of Wolverhampton, Vaughan UNISON Staffs, Kelleher, Oakley & Marris UNITE WM/6150, Rahimi Unite +delegate Deacon UNISON City of Wolverhampton

Apologies none

2. Minutes of last Delegate Meeting (February) agreed, no matters arising.

3. EC Report, urgent correspondence

  1. affiliations – 2022 branch forms received from FBU, UCU College, UNISON University, UNISON Staffordshire, NEU, GMBX13; previously received: ASLEF, MU, RMT, UNISON Sandwell, UNISON City of Wolverhampton, UNITE LE/372, UNITE WM/5203 (Ret Mem), UNITE WM6150 and form but no fees from Community. Request has been sent again individually to: CWU, NASUWT, UCU University, UNITE Community, UNITE Wolverhampton Homes; also CS has raised with PCS W’ton
  2. Heart Unions week – Facebook join a union adverts cost £57.59 – reached 10,230 working age Wolverhampton people with 125 clicking to join a union.
  3. Speaker for April John Dunn Orgreave Truth & Justice; Barry Gardiner MP offered meeting on no fire and rehire in Wolverhampton Thurs 19 May – joint meeting with SW CLP?. Future suggestions to invite Shrewsbury 24; Greening the Workplace; Roger McKenzie of Liberation; FBU on Grenfell update; no response from Sharon Graham UNITE
  4. Wolverhampton Ukraine-Aid group co-ordinated by mayor is meeting to raise medical supplies, with Bro Marris involved, but we were not invited.
  5. CAAT is asking friends and supporters to lobby their MPs for Yemen on 10th March, a war that has claimed over 377,000 lives in last 7 years fuelled by £20billion of UK arms exports to Saudi
  6. Workers’ Memorial Day Thurs 28 April 12-30pm– John Welsby of BCUIM has agreed to speak – other speakers? Unison probably unavailable as have own regional event but MT to ask Bro Turner. Invite RMT to speak. Sis Simm & Weaver both available to speak. Mich Rahmen also a possible. Flowers for all to lay or use photos of those who’ve died.
  7. 1st May – Covid increasing again. Socially distanced rally at W.Park bandstand agreed from 2-30pm. Venue needs to be booked. Volunteers for local leafleting Kelleher, Smith, D.Weaver, Marris, Taylor, Vaughan. Not much time to organise and local elections 5 May. TU stalls requested with join a union theme.
  8. CS will raise with Labour group WMCND’s request to ask councillors to sign the pledge supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons –
  9. Cancelled by TUC: Sat 19 March Britain needs a pay rise! TUC demo at Tory Spring conference in favour of a London demo on 18 June.
  10. Police Spies Out Of Lives has made a short video explainer to the Jan 2022 case, with a landmark judgment for one of the duped women and the police paying all legal costs. put on our facebook page
  11. PA system has arrived: QTX Mixcab-15, stand and cover – offer out for use to our affiliated union branches/local campaign groups? Dudley TUC agreed to have smallest spare PA. Offer other old PA to branches/local groups.
  12. Bro Andy Goodall, former delegate terminally ill – update given,surgery on brain tumour due tomorrow.. Solidarity greetings to be sent.
  13. Stop the War meeting Wolverhampton 15 March – details circulated
  14. Midlands TUC – 1pm March 23rd to see how trades councils across the WMCA area may be able to coordinate activity around bus campaigning with our Pensioners Network. Bob Deacon to attend.

4. Reports and discussion:

  1. RMT Wolverhampton – Bro Smith gave report on Cleaners’ pay strikes picket at Oxley, who had rejected a 1.75% offer. They get £9.68/hr for night work with no sick pay and had been keyworkers in pandemic. Had the company used just £3m from its £10.8million shareholder dividend, then all the cleaners could be paid £15/hr. WBDTUC delegates who attended in support on three of four pickets were thanked. Bro Rahimi took somosas. Strikers isolated from public at depot a on night pickets. Next strike days expected to be 9 & 10 April, though NEC to decide as it is a national dispute. RMT branch and Wolves TUC have both had lot of interest on social media with over 1200 views for individual posts. More publicity needed. Details of strike hardship fund to be sent through. Rail franchises change from 1st April which could have effect. RMT – invite to Sec & Pres to attend branch award ceremony with RMT Gen Sec Mick Lynch 26 March
  2. UNISON Sandwell Leisure Trust – rally was attended by several of our delegates and City of Wolverhampton branch members – further update to be sought by Sis Taylor.
  3. UNITE HGV bin drivers’ strike, Coventry – UNITE petition for suspended Pete Randell shop steward at Coventry UNITE HGV strikers branch put on website. sent £100 donation to Coventry UNITE HGV strikers branch. Midlands TUC AGM postponed in favour of: Coventry Bin Strike Solidarity Rally, 11am – 1pm Saturday 26th March Broadgate. Coventry CV1 1FS
  4. GMB member Paulette Hamilton elected as first Afro-Caribbean MP in Birmingham
  5. MU – no update on busking ban. Bro Martin performing at Upper Clyde Shipyard play at Newhampton Arts Centre next week.
  6. PCS – Sis Simm reported DWP to close 42 offices. Walsall proposed to merge with Wolverhampton.
  7. UNISON – availability problem of lateral flow tests as care workers expected to test daily.
  8. Labour Party report by Sis Weaver was circulated
  9. Wolverhampton links to slavery research publishing update – Angelina Osbourne has sentreport on her research into local slavery links. Zoom meeting of NK, RM,GM,WJ held 5/3/22; – our corrections and comments sent. Further zoom to be held with AO. Awaiting edited report and invoice. Proposed online launch of research to nationwide audience and local physical launch later with printed copies of research, edited to make it accessible for education.
  10. Secretary report, Midlands TUC EC report both circulated– Bro Kelleher
  11. Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Bob Deacon reported National Demonstration and March  End Apartheid – Free Palestine  Saturday 14 May noon Portland Place, London. Last Tuesday each month protest at Elbeit factory at Shenston, near Lichfield. Oldham factory closed after protests.

5. any other business – request for non-gendered recording in minutes

6. at 8pm Dr Caitlin Adams, UCU Branch President at the Open University spoke

on the UCU’s ongoing campaign of industrial action over pensions and pay, unsafe workloads, casualisation and equality failings. 15 days of strikes this year. Further week of strike action next week in UCU’s biggest ever strike campaign.25% real-term pay cut since 2009 whist workloads have increased. 0% pay offer last year 1.5% this year. Increase in casual contracts, leaving work gaps in the summer, part-time pay, 15% gender pay gap. Pension Fund has healthy surplus but was re-valued at the first lockdown stock market drop, giving massive pension cuts of 35% and 50% for new starters from April. Universities are cash-rich. Some are imposing deductions up to 100% pay for not doing their work on strike days – union legal challenges are underway.

Agreed send £100 to UCU Open University Hardship Fund.