October 2011



MINUTES of 20th October 2011 Delegate meeting



Welcome & Introductions

Present:  Sis. Taylor (NUT), Kelsey (CWU)

Bro. Kelleher, Fraser, Deacon, (UNISON Gen)  Rahimi (UNITE 0758M)  J Grant (NUT)  Marris (UNITE 5/836) Smith (Thompsons), Sourani (UNITE)

Apologies:  Sis. Halfpenny (NUT), Elson (PCS), Sharkey, Ceresa (UNISON Gen), Petford, Sebastian (UNITE 0758M), 

Bro.  Juss (GMB), Thomas (Community),  Turner & Marriott (UNISON Gen)  S.Grant (UCU), Brackenridge (FBU), Cole (NUT)











Minutes of last meeting agreed correct

Matters arising:

FOI request re Chief Exec pay as election agent

List of local tenants groups to be sought

Sylvia Pankhurst film, chase up

Not applied for TUC grant

National Express 50% concessionary fare scheme withdrawn for older people. Write to MPs.

To send Anti-EDL pamphlets















Executive Committee Report

  1. Bob Crow – Invite to trades union councils’ Peoples Charter conference Derby – Saturday 10 Dec 1-3pm
  2. Palestine Solidarity TU conference Sat 29 October –POSTPONED TO JAN 2012
  3. Written to WMCATUC re inquorate meeting held with just two delegates yet they passed a motion to Midlands TUC AGM next year. Response received was that it was held anyway.  Secretary instructed to write stronger formal letter.
  4. Invited new TUC Midlands secretary to speak Nov or Dec no reply yet – email
  5. Future speakers suggested: Youth Council – chair Hannah Scrogg, Wolverhampton Law Society re legal Aid cuts, a GP re NHS changes
  6. 2012 Affiliation letter to be sent – contacts from Chainmakers to be followed up: Cheryl Pidgeon – UCATT, Musicians’ union, GMB
















Wolverhampton Against Cuts – new banner unveiled. 

Stall to be run from 7.30pm November 11th @Fight the Cuts show booked by UNISON @ Arena Theatre ring 554095 for tickets

Discussion of trade union response to council cuts – no proposals to come from unions for cuts involving workers or conditions only assets. The Art Gallery has Warhol, Lichtenstein, Lowry & Turner etc








November 30th strike  agreed action:

Joint union meeting held 18-10-11, all unions invited.  PCS, UNISONx2, NUT, UCUx2, WB&DTUC attended. UCATT’s ballot is taking place. No contacts for FDA and NAHT.


Wolverhampton rally and demo agreed for November 30th:

  • after morning picketing, assemble outside civic centre 11am

Short speeches – speakers from local leaders of striking unions from about 11.15 to 11.30am

Short demo around town from civic, past university, along Princess St, down Queen St past Ex & Star, towards bus station and return for about 15 minutes for speeches – use sheltered area by steps for rally if raining – until about midday.

  • Seek legal observers from Thompsons to assist on our demo.
  • Book Azaad Dhol players for demo and march
  • Invite Ken Purchase, Rob Marris to speak too
  • Need better PA system (non-mains) than WB&DTUC’s megaphone
  • Do unions have supplies of whistles?
  • Leaflet advertising W’ton strike rally – also use for pickets on strike day


Discussion of whether to take part in regional demo in Birmingham. Agreed unlikely many people would want to travel to Birmingham in cold weather; also problems with venue for demo and rally in Birmingham due to German market. Likely to be afternoon event now so should be time to travel across too. Priority is our own local demo.


Where will main picket lines be held by each union? – details to be sent to info@wolvestuc.org.uk  and circulated amongst unions and on www.wolvestuc.org.uk


Agreed a joint exemption policy – if work Xmas day normally then maybe exempt, but all have right to strike         


Simultaneous TU stalls on Saturday 26th November 10.30am til 12.30

 on Bilston High St AND Wednesfield High St

  • Use union leaflets for public & use a letter/petition for MPs/councillors to engage public
  • Railway/Bus station – 7.30am Monday 28th, Tuesday 29th (& Wed 30th?)


Tuesday 29th November – meet on/outside civic centre outside car park

 Stewards/activists meet at 5pm and 6.30pm to put up strike placards on workplace gates in readiness for morning in places where picket lines not needed.


Unions organising members’ meetings on pensions should invite speakers from other striking union branches to show to members the broader nature of dispute.


Unions to do own press releases for: stalls, meetings & November 30th and circulate to unions via info@wolvestuc.org.uk WB&DTUC has no Publicity Officer at present – on agenda next meeting


Agreed to place adverts in Express & Star prior to Nov 30th once all unions have successful ballot results (after 3 Nov). Four half pages cost £3,000 seek funding from individual branches. UNISON Gen placed similar adverts already this month.  Use all union logos under banner of WB&DTUC – to agree content between unions, advertise rally.

Encourage members to write letters to editor using own personal examples of low pensions.


set up Facebook event and make others admin so they can invite other people





















Need lead for each stall
Stewards & activists
All branch secretaries

All branch secretaries




Delegates Workplace Reports

CWU input into EU Commissionon future of Royal Mail. Privatisation will be hard with complex pension scheme

CYWU Youth Service £½million cuts from £3million budget and privatisation threatened

NUT lobby of Parliament next week








Secretary’s Report

Anti-EDL demo Birmingham noon Saturday 29 Oct

Chainmakers to be discussed at Midlands TUC EC 22nd November

Midlands TUC meeting cut to half hour to be followed by publicity stunt in Derby.

Write letter of complaint re curtailment of democratic process; not against additional publicity work.







Resolution, from EC:  Chainmakers


We are disappointed that difficulties with organisation, as well as the change of venue, contributed to the very low turnout for the historic Chainmakers’ Festival held this year in Cradley Heath on 17 September, and we regret that most of the publicity and the tickets were only available only a few days before the event, resulting in these materials not being circulated nearly as widely or as promptly as in previous years, and therefore we urge Regional TUC to:

  1. announce before 15 December 2011 a date and venue for the 2012 Festival; and
  2. to ensure that publicity materials are circulated to affiliates and other interested parties before 1 February 2012; and
  3. to lobby hard, especially urban West Midlands municipal council representatives on the Board of the Black Country Museum, for that venue to be made available for the 2012 Festival; and
  4. if the Black Country Museum is not to be the 2012 venue, then to make entry free

passed unanimously- to be sent to West Midlands County Assoc. of TUCouncils







May Day Committee

No other meeting held. All £1800 now raised covering full 2011 costs, £200 so far for 2012, initial budget £1400. Artists bookings to be followed up








 Palestine Solidarity – local newsletter distributed







Speaker: Agency Workers Regulations

Rob Smith,Thompsons Solicitors’ Employment Rights Manager delivered excellent address on the implementation of the Agency Workers Regulations which came into effect this month; and provided documents specifically produced for our meeting.

Day 1 rights: collective facilities, information on permanent jobs @ hirer’s expense.

After 12weeks continuous in same role for hirer (sickness and annual leave put qualification period on hold): same pay, hours, annual leave but not; sick, maternity or redundancy pay, nor pension, nor time off for trade union activity.

If worker is re-engaged within 6 weeks then it counts as continuous work

Some employers by-passing Regulations by creating in-house agencies e.g. Sandwell Council & Post Office.

If a detriment suffered, worker should ask agency to explain difference within 28 days else ask hirer then approach Employment Tribunal. It is a statutory right to make these requests.





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