October 2008

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
MINUTES of DELEGATE MEETING of Thursday 16th October 2008

1. ATTENDANCE -Sisters: Taylor (CYWU/UNITE), Kelsey (CWU), Ceresa (UNISON).
Brothers: Kelleher (UNISON), Cole (NUT), Clarke (POA), Turner (UNISON), Childs (CWU), Deacon (UNISON), Marris (T&G/UNITE), Grant (UCU).
Delegates were welcomed and everyone introduced themselves.
Apologies were received from: Bros. Ash (UNISON), Farmer (UNISON), Bechler (ATL), Brackenridge (FBU), Bostock (POA), Jones (CWU),Muir (CYWU/UNITE) Sis: Halfpenny (NUT) Brealey (UNISON).

2. MINUTES of the SEPTEMBER MEETING were agreed.
Matters Arising: 2,3,a) Travel pass letter still to be written.
4,7) Letter has been sent 4e) National Pay Rally Saturday 8th November (CYWU/UNITE) Sis Taylor to circulate information via Email.

3. CORRESPONDENCE (please refer to list)
1. Postcards – re: Anti-Union laws the Secretary asked those present to circulate, complete and send them off. Emails have been sent via Searchlight and Regional TUC re: Employment Bill and reinstating Section 18.
2. Searchlight Day school to be held in Manchester on November 22nd – Sisters Ceresa & Taylor & Bro. Kelleher expressed an interest in attending.
3. More Anti-BNP postcards for Wednesfield North &South are available.
5. AGREED to affiliate to County Association at a cost of £46.50
6. Officer nominations for County Association – Bro. Kelleher is prepared to continue as Chair; Sis. Taylor Proposed this Bro. Marris seconded and all present AGREED. It was also AGREED to support the nominations of George (Vice-Chair) & Steve (Secretary).
8. Banner Theatre – Free performance and discussion in Digbeth on Saturday 8th November 10am – 3.30pm. Subject – migrant labour, trade unions and the community.
10. Women volunteers still being sought for a balloon launch against domestic violence on Saturday 25th November at the Wolves ground. It was AGREED to find out further details and circulate them to the women’s groups of the individual unions and also to The Haven. Sis. Kelsey agreed to gather more information from Caroline and forward it to Bro. Kelleher for distribution.
13.The Secretary offered copies of the report from Colombian Solidarity (re: Trade Union deaths) , a model letter is included in the pack. It was AGREED that a letter would be completed on behalf of WB&DTUC.
15. West Midlands CND mailing – re-affiliation was AGREED, it was also AGREED that a total of £20 would be sent.
16. Letter from Sis. Petford re: The Rahimi Family. The current circumstances were discussed, particularly an incident when a W’ton Homes tenant subjected them to racist abuse. It was AGREED that Bro. Kelleher would clarify the exact details with Ali, it was also AGREED that W’ton Homes should be contacted and asked to supply details of their policies and procedures related to racism and Race Relations Amendment Act information.
24. Bro. Kelleher has made contact with the PCS.

4a) Secretary’s Report – a written report was circulated
The announcement (on local news) of the closure of certain fire stations was discussed.
The Xmas party night has now been arranged and posters were circulated.
It is being held on the evening that Trades Council should have met so a brief meeting will take place at Revolution Vodka Bar, prior to the party to deal with any urgent issues.

4b) Treasurer’s Report – Bank balance is currently healthy. A donation of £100 has been received from the CWU in respect of Anti-BNP work. No questions were raised.

4c) Delegate’s Workplace Reports:
Local Government pay dispute – Employer has failed to make a better offer, further consultation of UNISON members has taken place. Now the matter is dealt with by ACAS – binding arbitration. UNISON members in colleges have accepted 3.25%. Members in Scotland are being offered 3% in year 1 & 2% in second year. Some UNISON branches have initially accepted the 2.45% “on account” and this has been paid to members. It is expected that the dispute will not be resolved until after Xmas, During the September TUC Conference UNISON leaders talked about joint campaigning but this was not forthcoming.CYWU/UNITE organised a rally in Manchester to lobby the Labour party Conference and their talks are ongoing. Pay Dispute NUT – Balloting for further strike action. Bro. Cole expressed the need for unions to work together to deliver joint action. Bro. Cole also discussed the issue of academies and a press release signed by local union leaders was circulated; all Councillors have also been contacted. The unions concerned have sent information to members. Ed Balls told Rob Marris (in Parliament) thatWolverhampton didn’t need to have an Academy to get BSF money. Bro. Cole explained some of the facts, figures & fears; that the unions in Wolverhampton are not being properly consulted.
4d) Anti-BNP Campaign – Wednesfield – 20 men and 9 women leafleted. 9,500 leaflets were distributed. Both BNP candidates appear to be using unoccupied premises as their personal addresses, a complaint will have to be made for the matter to be pursued. This was AGREED. Free ticket for the Xmas disco were then given to those who leafleted.

5) Speaker – Doug Jewell of Asbestos Support West Midlands – This project was started by The Hazards Trust. Leaflets were circulated. Historical information was shared; the first asbestos related death occurred in 1899. A ban was achieved in 2000 but every year more cases are diagnosed but 20 trades people are still dying weekly and buildings built before 2000 still contain asbestos. Asbestos is still being mined and sold in S.E.Asia – a world wide ban is desperately needed. This organisation can offer home visits and will offer support to members suffering from asbestos related diseases. This group is funded charitably by donations and a donation of £100 was AGREED. It was also AGREED to circulate information to affiliated branches.

6) A.O.B. – On October 7th Sis Taylor went to the Miami 5 vigil at the American Embassy. More information is available form Bro. Cole or the website.

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