September 2016

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council   

Delegate Meeting Minutes 15 September 2016


1. Welcome and Introductions to delegates and visitors plus apologies:  Present – Sis Taylor(UNITE-CYW), Halfpenny (NUT), Weaver, Whyte(UNISON), Lowe (UNITE), Walsh (UCU).  Bros Kelleher, Deacon, Pugh, Turner, Morris (UNISON ),  J Grant (UCU), Childs (CWU), Martin (MU),Brackenridge (Labour Group, FBU).

Apologies Sis Brealey (UNISON) Bro S Grant(NUT), Marris, Page(UNITE)

All were welcomed and introduced.


2. Minute’s silence and memorials to Bro Ken Purchase MP: There were tributes from many delegates to the part Bro Purchase had played in people’s lives, Wolverhampton and the Trade Union Movement. He was a good working class MP who represented his constituency well. His excellent skills of debate and oration were praised and his continuous support of WB&DTUC. Funeral to be held Monday 18 September, 2.15pm at Bushbury Crematorium and afterwards at Fordhouses Cricket Club. 


3.Minutes of Meeting: 21 July 2016 agreed with  the correction 4d] pleasant not peasant for a correct record. Matters Arising: none


4. Executive Committee Report and Correspondence:

Executive meeting was held.

4) Midlands TUC Unity in the Community  event in Wolverhampton.  Executive Committee views sent, event now cancelled in favour of smaller Stoke event in pub.

 5) Dudley TUC community  events- We shall Overcome Saturday 8 October at Katie Fitzgerald’s, 187 Enville Street, Stourbridge DY8 3TB 14.00 to 23.30, Sunday 9 October at Scary Canary the Venue, 108a High Street, Stourbridge DY8 1DT same time. ,

6) Greater Manchester County Association of Trades Union Councils Conference on Devolution and Decentralisation in England Saturday 24 September 2016 – Cross Street Unitarian Chapel, Manchester 10.30am to 5.00pm. Representation needed.

11) Institute of Employment Rights renewal of subscription £70 proposed and seconded, agreed.

Extra Correspondence from CitizensUK concerning Combined Authority Mayorhustings March 2017 Birmingham 7.00pm. Saturday 19 November, any delegates attending see Trades Council Facebook Noted.


5. Reports/discussion:

a] Delegates’ workplace reports –  UNISON (Local Government Branch)There is a strike ballot for workers who escort transported children, often with special needs, to and from school. These are mainly female part time employees. Journeys and timings have been reassessed with a reduction of 33% in pay for some workers. The balloting is a local issue. The staff have to accept this worsended pay or lose their jobs if they do not sign a new contract. UNISON is meeting with the council on Monday. Bro Brackenridge reported this had not been discussed in Labour group and would support a proper dispute resolution procedure. There was full solidarity from Trades Council. Trades Council to be updated on progress with dispute.

UCU Still in dispute at the university regarding pay. the previous ballot is still in effect. 19 professors were due to be made redundant  but all managed to secure a satisfactory outcome. 

FBU (West Midlands) Fire authority meeting – The service not to be subsumed under the Police Commissioner’s role, public accountability important, These outcomes sent to Civil Servants dealing with the matter. There are cuts of 50% from 2010-2020 by government. Many roles performed by Fire Service are not funded eg flood rescue, cats in trees, cutting rings off fingers etc.


b] Secretary’s report – Problems with the Pegasus Pub where the May Day celebrations are usually held. Licence revoked by council against recommendation by police. Pegasus appealing the decision. Pegasus appealing decision. Letters to magistrates concerning keeping licence from May Day committee and W&BTUC. Also there is a petition Thanks to bro Kelleher for his swift actions.                                      

Action for Rail Day of action 16 August a dozen union members from Wolves TUC, ASLEF,UNISON and UNITE handed out 1000 cards to commuters. As part of a national campaign to highlight the abuse of building and construction workers by Umbrella companies, Midlands UCATT is organising a public rally and leafleting session in Birmingham to coincide with all of the construction work currently under way in the city on Thursday 22 September 2016, (see website)

Wolverhampton Pride 2016 Saturday 1 October Donation sent to this event. We can have stall if staffing available. March leaves Fold Street Car Park at 1pm. Official opening by mayor at 2pm LGBT Centre, School Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4LJ celebration continues until 9pm. 

Sunday 1 October Counter Tory Conference  10.30am to 5pm, Birmingham Town hall, Victoria Square, B3 5DQ. Midlands TUC -‘Austerity has failed- Unwelcome the Tory Conference to Birmingham 2016. Sunday 2 October Assemble 11.30am Victoria Square- Dave Prentis and Owen Jones speaking. Sunday 2 October at 7:30pm–10pm, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Broad Street, B1 2EP, JC4PM = at the Tory Conference


c] Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Bro Deacon reported there is a bit of a lull in activity at the moment as Sainsburys’ campaign has finished.  Difficulty in finding suitable place in Wolverhampton to campaign and leaflet. A positive meeting with Councillor R Lawrence regarding procurement. However Ian Brookfield new chair of the West Midlands Pension Fund has not responded.  There are 2 film evenings planned at the Friends meeting House, Wolverhampton. Possible dates evenings of 4 November and 2 December.


d] Midlands TUC Pensioners’ Network – A report of the meeting in Derby 10 August was tabled by Bro Deacon. 

Attendance Allowance Campaign Speaker – Bro Deacon  The issues concerning the attendance allowance which may become Local Authorities’ responsibility were flagged up. These government plans were hidden in other documents concerned with altering the business rates.. If so it would change from being a national payment not based on income but need.  It is likely Local Authorities will use their own criteria as in the case of Council Tax rebates. It is harder to advise people when it is not a national scheme. If a fuss is made at this stage. The government may not get its way as they will not want to upset ‘oldies’ who are reliable voters. the changing of Business rates is a move for the government to do away with grants to local authorities. A letter was circulated to send to MPs concerning this matter and delegates were urged to complete the template at the meeting and return to Bro Deacon for mailing.   The possibility of a National campaign with Carers UK was mentioned.


6. Any Other Business – Bro J Grant updated delegates about the progress of his son Bro S Grant following a serious operation followed by chemotherapy. Best wishes were sent to Bro S Grant from the Trades Council and it is hoped he will be at a meeting in the near future,

Sevacare based in Wolverhampton have a court case against them taken out by UNISON.

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