Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Delegate meeting Minutes 15 October 2015
1. Welcome and Introductions to delegates and visitors plus apologies: Present – Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Halfpenny (NUT)
Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh (UNISON Gen), J Grant (UCU), Childs (CWU), Brackenridge (FBU) Rahimi, Pender (speaker) (UNITE),
Apologies Bros Juss (GMB) Sis Battell (NASUWT) All were welcomed and introduced.
2. Minutes of Meeting: 16th July 2015 agreed correct Matters Arising: 3.f) Despite contacts being made with Paul Quigley regarding John Harris’ Miners’ Strike photography exhibition there has been no response. Maybe other avenues need to be tried? NK
3. Executive Committee Report and Correspondence: No executive as
inquorate. This needs to be made a quorate group. Future discussion as to how this could be achieved.
1) Trade Union Bill lobby November 2nd, minibus – if wish to go contact UNISON 554095
2) Bro Marris TU Bill briefing see website. https://www.tuc.org.uk/tubill
3) Agreed to donate £36 to British Pensioners and Trade Union Association Burford School Strike trip
4) USDAW members lobby of parliament re Sunday trading laws 16th October. USDAW have not affiliated to Trades Council for many year. Agreed to write to local MPs with USDAWs views. NK
5) Institute of Employment Rights ‘Kill the Bill’ booklet circulated and loaned to Sis
Taylor and Halfpenny.
6) WMCATUC meeting 19th September – no minutes received. AGM 5th December 2015
8) TUC right to strike meetings last month – attendance Dudley – 18, Birmingham 120, Wellington approx. 20. Need to contact Tory MPs about this and also Local Councillors. Bro Brackenridge to circulate list of councillors emails. Leader of Council to be contacted. NK
9) Accounts from 150 anniversary celebration circulated. well attended but not many local trade unionists.
10) UNISON has run a good campaign to save elderly services in Wolverhampton Information on meetings and council lobby will be on Trades Council website.
11) May be possibility of losing right to vote due to new registration methods. Hope not Hate are running campaign http://www.wolvestuc.org.uk/national-voter-registration-drive Can check on local council website whether you are registered or not.
12) Palestine Solidarity Campaign – has caused Veolia to withdraw investments in Israel. Some success after lots of pressure. Benjamin Netanyahu visited UK but government kept it quiet to avoid protests. Public Service Pension such as the West Midlands run by Wolverhampton has funds in Israel and apparently the Tory’s will not allow funds to disinvest on ethical grounds!
a] delegates workplace reports
UNISON Workplace inspections of cemeteries are due Issues to be reported on at November meeting.
NUT – Education matters More schools in Wolverhampton are becoming academies and the local secretary has many workplaces to deal with instead of local authority alone. A great deal of casework arising from changes and stress caused to teachers. Performance related pay such that pay rises are not automatic. Due to Bro J Grant’s workload he is unable to negotiate this in individual schools. Staff have to get together to fight unfairness. A toolkit is available on the NUT national website. http://www.teachers.org.uk/paytoolkit UNISON members at St Peter’s School made redundant without apparently proper process.
b] Secretary’s report & TU Bill- Bro Kelleher tabled his report. TUC Midlands first Equality Conference for activists and representatives in the region. 11am Saturday 31st October, CWU Offices, Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3TH. http://www.wolvestuc.org.uk/tuc-midlands-equality-conference Good response so far. Bro Deacon will report back.
Progress is a group which is part of the Labour Party. At a recent West Midlands Conference Wolverhampton MPs – Pat McFadden and Emma Reynolds were both speakers.
At the Trade Union Congress a motion from the Trades Councils to allow a delegate to Congress who can speak to a Trades Council motion was passed. One delegate from England and Wales will represent Trade Councils.
c] TUC Pensioners’ Network – Bro Deacon tabled a detailed report of the meeting 12th August. There was also a conference in Coventry 1st October concerning pensions unfortunately only retired people not workers were present. Problem with working longer for those in demanding jobs such as the health service. Is it worth reviving the campaign 68 is too late? A strange motion from ASLEF was carried unanimously at Trade Congress pensioners believe it is not ‘old v young’. ‘Young Again’ booklet recommended.
d] Black Country People’s Assembly – This appears now to be ‘a failure’. It was set up a couple of years ago(Sandwell and Walsall never got involved). initially quite a good response with different people involved. it has subsequently dwindled and dwindled. Little democracy or information circulated. Brother Kelleher is disappointed as it now has very little basis.
e] – Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign – See correspondence 12) A documentary film by Katie Barlow – 10 years old but just as relevant as when it was made. Friday 23rd October, 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Summerfield House, Summerfield Road, Wolverhampton
Speaker – Bro Shaun Pender – He is new to role with UNITE Community in the area. Community has very little presence in the West Midland. UNITE Community was started 3 years ago to offer unemployed, carers, disabled etc. protection. There is a discounted rate of member ship of 50p per week. It is an opportunity to empower people who had lost a sense of agency. It can organise people in the community through UNITE to challenge austerity collectively. Stoke and Worcester have active branches in local and national campaigns. Some success with highlighting and changing practices in Sports Direct and Pizza Express through campaigning. Community hubs are a way forward to help people access welfare, food banks etc.. Industrial Branches with funds can finance initiative. A group is being piloted in Shropshire. There are 230 members of Community in the Black Country. A branch needs to be developed locally in Wolverhampton.
UNITE also has a schools programme for Secondary Schools and Further Education College. There is a set of materials which raise issues such as democracy and inclusion etc. It slots into PSHE and Citizens Curriculum. Getting into schools is problematic Sis Taylor will contact Youth Council. There was a discussion about the lack of support that Trades Council receives from the UNITE office in Wolverhampton. www.unitetheunion.org/communitybenefits