WOLVERHAMPTON, BILSTON + DISTRICT TRADES UNION COUNCIL
MINUTES OF MEETING 20-11-08
ATTENDANCE delegates & visitors:
BROTHERS – Cardy, Deacon, Kelleher (all UNISON General), Clarke (POA), Cole (NUT), Goodall (UNISON Health), J.Grant (UCU), Hardacre (ASPECT), Childs (CUW), Rahimi (Amicus), S.Grant (NUT), J.Goodall (UNISON), Heathcock (RMT), Ahmed and Akhbar.
SISTERS – Taylor (CYWU/UNITE), Ceresa (UNISON General), Kelsey (CWU), Halfpenny(NUT), Petford (AMICUS/UNITE), Walker(NUT)
Apologies: Brothers – Bostock (POA), Juss (GMB), Farmer (UNISON General), Muir (CYWU/UNITE).
Sisters – Reynolds (GMB), Brealey (UNISON General)
1. WELCOME – New members were welcomed and introduced themselves.
2. Minutes of October meeting agreed accurate. Matters Arising:
(2.) Searchlight dayschool now 29th November, which we will not attend as it is focusing on Euro elections in NW England. There will be a West Midlands dayschool, Saturday 7th Feb. ‘09
(2.10) women volunteers will support Balloon launch on 9th December.
(3.) Thanks for work regarding anti-BNP. Work in Wednesfield which made a big difference from Bro.Hardacre.
(4.d) anti-BNP leafleters can claim free tickets for Union Party night at Revolution.
3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – November – No EC due to prior commitments.
New affiliation from PCS.
Affiliation forms for branches next year. Nomination forms for officers also available.
a. Copies from Rob Marris MP regarding responses to United Campaign. He abstained in vote.
b. Request for leafleting regarding axing Wolverhampton – Walsall line for RMT. 28th & 29th November, they are not currently affiliated to Trades Council.
c. Nominations for Midlands TUC networks. Bro. Deacon LGBT Network – proposed Sis. Taylor, seconded by Sis. Ceresa.
d. Post cards from RMT regarding “Stop Violence in the Workplace” circulated and completed. Walsall has completed anti-BNP leafleting with some help from us.
a) Secretary circulated written report – Reclaim the Night – women only march – 22nd November – West Park Hospital, WB&DTUC sends its support.
Revolution Union Party night 18th Dec. Tickets available
b) Treasurer’s Report – healthy finances, waiting for payment from Leeds Festival.
c) Delegates’ Workplace Reports
Bro. Goodall has been suspended. Defence campaign backed by UNISON Region.
He has been a Staff nurse since 1986, in Wolverhampton since 2000. Promoted to Senior Staff nurse in 2002. UNISON member all working life and been a steward. 29 bed Integrated Critical Care Unit with 150 staff. Previous massive cuts in the department. Introduced O/T payments in line with Agenda For Change in early 2008 and unilaterally withdrawn in June 2008. Nurses told to work extra shifts on Bank, paying less than normal pay. UNISON has boycotted this system. Nurses on Cardiac part of ICCU (around 50 staff) said “NO” and agreed Boycott. Overwhelming success winning continued O/T payment. Bro. Goodall returned to work after being absent for an operation and immediately suspended with no right to a rep or any advance warning. Legal advice received by UNISON is clear that the allegations relating to the boycott are transparent attacks on a TU activist and victimisation by employer. Allegations include: boycott was for personal financial gain. Disruption on unit led to 3 cancelled operations. Putting poster on notice board without management approval. (Notice board in question was TU notice board!) A 4th allegation from male member of staff alleging he was intimidated. Bro. Goodall has support from UNISON.
Bro. Clarke proposed WB&DTUC supports campaign for Bro. Goodall. Sis. Petford seconded. Carried unanimously.”
d) Anti BNP Campaign, list of membership discussed. Need to draw up volunteers for future leafleting – ONE HOUR PER PERSON PER YEAR minimum.
e) Midlands TUC meeting- written report circulated (also by email). £10,000 bid for Rewind anti-racism education group, had been made before Midlands Regional Council meeting was held.
f) Bro. Heathcock, Secretary of RMT branch talked about Wolverhampton to Walsall line threat. Leafleting times given and volunteers sought. Good luck wished with campaign. Info to be put on our website.
g) Employment Bill report circulated.
6. SPEAKER – Sis. Petford
Zapatista Solidarity Campaign DVD shown. Supporting a health campaign. Threatened with dispossession of lands since 1994.
1994 uprising. Attacked by Mexican government, peace in 1996. Peace agreement was betrayed. Have to cover faces to protect their identity from Mexican forces. Rebels are forming their own autonomies government. Much poor health as cannot rely on government. Have set up own autonomies regional health centre. Scottish funds have helped building of centre.
They make amber jewellery they sell to us. They sell textiles to us. Coffee sales also support Zapatista Solidarity groups. Also help to form schools.
Proposed we purchase copy of DVD. Items are for sale.
Blank letters for letter writing campaign. 2008 there has been more military activity against Zapatistas in Chiapas with support of multi-nationals. Put link on website. Could Sis. Petford produce letter that Trades Council could send for next meeting. Possible campaign 2009.
Two Palestinian delegates were present. Walsall is twinned with Kobar near to Ramala in Palestine. DVD showed effect of Wall on Palestinian Life. Palestinian Trade Unionists are here for 2 weeks. Training conference this weekend. Checkpoints, Wall through olive groves, splitting off water supply etc. Have to travel miles around. Israeli’s make it very difficult to travel round wall. It is shocking story. We will come back to cause of Palestine. Produce from West Bank comes from illegal Israeli settlers not Palestinian. Contribution to group from Walsall agreed £100.