November 2015

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council

Delegate Minutes 17 November 2015

  1. Welcome and introductions to delegates and visitors plus apologies:

    Present – Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Halfpenny (NUT)

Bros Kelleher, Turner, Everall & Pugh (UNISON Gen), Childs & Walder (speaker) (CWU), Rahimi & Purchase (UNITE), Councillor G. Brackenridge

Apologies Bros Juss (GMB), J Grant (UCU), Marris (UNITE), Macmillan (CWU), S Grant (NUT) Sis Battell (NASUWT) All were welcomed and introduced.


  1. Minutes of Meeting: 15 October 2015 agreed correct Matters Arising:

    i) follow up re John Harris miners’ exhibition

    ii) contact council leader re TU Bill

    iii) Socialist Health Association speaker? re infant mortality

    iv)future of EC – only been a 2 or 3 quorate EC meetings this year – branch secretaries have been written to re nominations for EC – proposed: a wider EC group for decision making/planning via an email group


3. Executive Committee Report and Correspondence:

  1. thank you from Greg Brackenridge and family – attended meeting. £50 donation agreeed to All Hands disaster volunteer group

  2. payments from Workers Beer Company £1603 Glastonbury £455 Latitude being chased up – email sent re-invoicing

  3. Labour Leave EU – offer of speaker

  4. Midlands TUC Health & Safety Forum Launch 11am, Thurs 3rd December Derby

  5. The Hop Project explores the social and political implications of hop production in the West Midlands (i.e. the history of agricultural labour, stories of migration and immigration). Historically, a mass-exodus from Birmingham & the Black Country – having stall on May 1st

  6. TUC – Usdaw Sunday trading laws put on hold – have written to MPs

  7. TUC reveals that the Chancellor’s tax credit cuts will hit the West Midlands harder than London and the South.

  8. WMCATUC AGM 5 December

  9. Justice for Colombia £60 affiliation request noted

  10. Cuba Solidarity – record UN vote 191-2 against blockade of Cuba

  11. 10,500 page views on our website in last month, 82% related to our minimum wage page

  12. Midlands TUC accepted and confirmation of payment received for our application for TUC Development grant £300 for our 150th anniversary

  13. room booking requests civic 2016 request confirmed but civic unavailable for March meeting

  14. British Pensioners Trade Union Action Association Burford School Strike trip donation £36 sent

  15. sent to Midlands TUC re disproportionate allocation of Midlands TUC council places to trades councils – went before Midlands TUC EC 10 November – Reg Sec has responded and our points accepted; letter circulated, response to TUCs due out

  16. sent EC/officer nominations and 2016 affiliation forms by email & post to branches


4. Reports/discussion:

a] delegates workplace reports- UNISON gave a report on council’s decision to close elderly care and respite homes despite the 5,500 petition and six times on Ex & St front page. No labour councillors visited the affected homes during the campaign. 250 lbs at threat mostly women workers.

Secretary’s written report circulated. Quote given to Express & Star re women’s pay in Wolverhampton being in the bottom 2% of the country.


5. Speaker – Bro Clive Walder told us of his situation. He is chair of CWU Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester Branch. A long standing CWU representative and activist with British Telecom who had an appeal against unfair dismissal rejected by them 9th November.

He had worked for BT for 38 years. He was sent to a Call Centre in West Bromwich and had currently been redeployed there for 4 years. Before commencing this role there was no assessment of his capability to do the job. The role was below his skill level, although he still received the higher pay grade. He described the stress involved in the job. Targets that were set and hours worked.

He was dismissed after an aggressive customer reported him to management just after 33seconds into a telephone call. The decision was made without taking stress into account despite CWU reporting that 7% of staff at the call centre leave their jobs each month, some walking out mid-shift. Management took the decision without consulting any medical advice or considering any mitigation. They did not look objectively at previous service either.

Bro Walder believes his union activity and high pay were also factors in his dismissal but impossible to prove. Conciliation will commence through ACAS. Protest emails to BT executive – Chief executive Gavin Patterson Contact Bro Walder with messages of support 07771931185. Donations through his union branch 01212304157 2.41 Midland ATE, 60 Station Street, Birmingham, B5 4AL. Donation of £50 agreed


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