May 2013

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Minutes 16 May 2013



Present: Sis Taylor (CYW-UNITE)  Jassal & Sharkey (UNISON Gen), Dixon (speaker)

Bros. Thomas (Community), Turner, Cardy, Kelleher, Everall & Deacon (UNISON Gen), Juss (GMB), Rahimi & Marris (UNITE), Retnasangham (UNITE Legal&Finance),

Apologies: Bros. Heathcock (RMT), Hardacre(Prospect), S.Grant (NUT), J.Grant (UCU), Macmillan & Childs (CWU), Sis. Ceresa & Whyte(UNISON Gen), Elson (PCS), Kelsey (CWU), Halfpenny (NUT)


Minutes of last delegate meeting (April) agreed with following corrections: 3.6. email was from Roger Lawrence;  4c.grant applications NEED clear standards for inclusion. Approximately 30 jobs could be lost. There is a joint CYW-UNITE/UNISON campaign.   No matters arising




















Executive Committee April; correspondence of note:

 agreed re-affiliations: International Brigade Memorial Trust @£30, Unite Against Fascism £50

Possible joint work with Whitmore Reans Advice Centre Bro Juss & Marris to discuss with EC

TUC new trades union councils leaflet called “Community” which EC thought confusing

TUC Chainmakers & Tolpuddle festival leaflets – some available for branch use, contact us

Birmingham Black Activist Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) 6.30pm Thursday 6th June @The Drum, Potters Lane Birmingham, B6 4UU – circulated. Bro. Retnasangham will attend and report back

People’s Assembly Against Austerity Sat 22 June, London – Sis Taylor attending

£19.67 income from mug sales & Thatcher is Dead CD

WMDay wreath spent £25

Morning Star adverts we have a credit balance of £337.18 – we’ve since placed some ads for Chainmakers

June meeting for Chinese TU delegation from Hubei Provincial Trade Union Federation who will be in Britain that month – no more details received – contact again


Letter in support of Palestinian Youth refused visa to speak at our delegate meeting & to 3 MPs with covering letter seeking their support; send again to Wolves PSC.

Cllr Roger Lawrence re Procurement Policy meeting

Chainmakers stall application – approved

Venezuela Solidarity financial appeal £50;  Warrington TUC Fiddlers Ferry Hardship Fund appeal re Bro. Steve Acheson Blacklisting Campaign £50;  Troops Out £20 re-affiliation; POBox renewal £303.60

TUCJCC ballot for WMids rep J.Hill













branches affiliated for 2013: ASLEF, Community 17000, Community (W’ton Craft), Community Hall Palm, Community (West Midlands), CWU (W’ton),  FBU, GMBx13, NASUWT, NUT, PCS(West Mercia),  POA, Prospect,  RMT, UCATT, UCU College, UCU University, UNISON Acute,  UNISON General, UNISON Police Staff, UNISON University, UNITE (Finance &Legal)


16 female delegates, 33 male. 15,000 affiliated trade unionists from 22 branches;

last year 28 branches affiliated 18,000 trade unionists with 38 male and 18 female delegates.


Update on Re- affiliations

UNISON CVS branch AGM was inquorate though new affiliation was proposed

ATL Brenda Walters rang – AGM 2 May – ring again

UNITE branches: UNITE-CYW, 0758M, 5/836 & 5/998 awaiting outcomes of branch meetings – Bro Retnasangham has had letter sent out to UNITE branches seeking affiliations to local trades union councils

CWU (W.Mids & Worcs) – no response


dates: for stalls:       theme:

Sat. 25 May  CHILDRENS CENTRES 10am-1pm Wednesfield near Co-op/Alfred Squire Rd junction UNISON plus local campaigners plus WB&DTUC assistance

Sat. 1 June    YOUTH SERVICE 11am near market/Skatepark, Wolverhampton CYW-UNITE plus UNISON plus WB&DTUC assistance

Sat. 8 June    WB&D TUC stall @Chainmakers festival 11am-5pm

Sat. 15 June       Sat. 22 June       Sat. 29 June       to be decided

Possible themes:

  • Bedroom Tax – have materials from UNITE as well as own postcards to Wolverhampton councillors
  • Keep the Post Public – contact CWU with possible dates
  • NHS – contact UNISON Health again with possible dates

Possible venues: Bilston entrance to market: Thurs, Fri or Saturday; Wednesfield High Street: Wed or Saturday best?; Wolverhampton near market rather than Queen Sq: Tues or Saturday

Equipment available: We have 2 aluminium traders table; pvc anti-cuts banners for tables; clipboards & pens; small PA or megaphone if needed; leaflets for: joining a union, bedroom tax, Chainmakers, petitions for Youth service and Children’s centres


























CYW-UNITE / UNISON – Youth Services – initial meeting held 5 evenings per week working pattern rejected unanimously. Alternative proposals to be discussed with trade unions re terms and conditions.

UNISON – 1% pay offer consultative ballot being organised.

Children’s Centre campaign – speaker Nicola Dixon

Campaign in new phase – initial campaign aims appeared to be achieved as 9 centres threatened to close appear now not to be.

HOWEVER, as with libraries recently, the council proposes severely reducing the hours of opening of a number of centres for the 6,000 families that the Express and Star said use the council’s childcare services.

£1.5million has been cut by the government of the early Intervention Grant, the equivalent of 60 full-time council jobs.

Childcare for working families is currently offered at 7 centres but this appears to be ending if proposals go through.

“This means an attack on working women of Wolverhampton” said campaigner Nicola Dixon.  “We want our children to mix with other children of all backgrounds, financially and culturally, which private care does not offer. 

Public childcare offers a better staff:child ratio from better qualified and better paid staff.”

The council has an obligation to provide affordable childcare and given the death of Baby Ryan here, the council should be especially vigilant.

There is a lack of publicity from the council around the consultation but it is here  the first consultation consisted of just 40 questionnaires being collected in a week in the Mander’s Centre during working hours thus excluding working parents who use the services.


NUT/NASUWT regional rally last weekend with over 1,000 in Birmingham. Autumn strike in West Midlands plus one-day national strike in November and action in individual schools in addition.

CWU – Delegates were tonight conducting gate meetings on a consultative ballot on: pay, resolving workplace issues, an end to unfair competition and Save the Royal Mail campaign

Midlands TUC – no delegates were present

Secretary’s report; Workers’ Memorial Day over 60 there speeches went well. Bedroom Tax campaign; materials available for stalls; possible volunteers from Facebook group. Sis Sharkey reported a lot of recently boarded up larger properties,

Wolverhampton May Day Committee good turnout, cost £1,180– letter has been sent to TU branch secretaries affiliated to Wolverhampton TUC Re: sponsorship of 19th Wolverhampton May Day rally; promises from UNISON Gen £250, CWU £50, FBU £50, NUT; to be discussed by UCU Univ & Bro Marris’s UNITE branch.  Agreed donation from WB&DTUC of £300.   £530 still to raise. Planning meeting for next year to be arranged.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign – recent public meeting had much lower turnout than previous meetings despite leafleting of area as before. Stall on 1st May went well. Good PSC stall at USDAW conference impressive activist training.


Black Workers’ TUC report speakers: Suresh Retnasangham (UNITE) & Warinder Juss (GMB) theme was “Put Race back on the Agenda” – but when was it off it? Conference seemed a bit stagnant.  GMB’s motion on Carillion and racial harassment at Swindon hospital was ruled out of order.  An RMT delegate praised Thatcher which caused a stir! The conference was not recognising gains in racial equality won by trade unions and their education of their memberships.

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