September 2020

Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council Delegate Meeting

Minutes Thursday 17th September 2020

Zoom virtual meeting

  1. Present Sisters Taylor Unite, Welch UCU, Simm PCS, Whyte & Weaver UNISON City. Brothers Turner UNISON City, Kelleher, Marris, Oakley Unite WM6150, Simm PCS(Assoc), Juss GMBx13, Vaughan UNISON Staffs, Foster, Hopkins. Apologies Sis Millar UCU, Dixon (UNISON City), Bro Grant UCU, Taylor Unite  WM6150

  2. Minutes of last Delegate Meeting (July) & Matters Arising Sis Dixon was again in hospital recently. Stand Up to Racism walk from to Wolverhampton, about 40 there; no update on unionisation of wrestling

  3. EC Report & urgent correspondence

possible future speakers: Bilston steel works closure campaign and aftermath via Grace Millar -maybe October; Grace Millar Social Media & the Law; Freedom for Abdulah Ocelan, Kurdish leader jailed in Turkey

new affiliation – UNISON Staffordshire County Council

publicity for next week’s meeting; chairing /control of 8.15pm public meeting discussed

Coventry TUC re CATUC reply sent, agreeing criticism of CATUC and seeking closure of WMCATUC (Walsall & Dudley TUCs currently not registered)

Health Campaigns Together (re-)affiliation £50 – agreed £25 donation

Report from Midlands TUC EC given

PCS- Give government workers a fair pay rise:

USDAW – Protect retail workers from abuse, threats and violence:

WM Pensions Fund – Sis Simm reported letters regarding Dis-investment funds linked to Israel’s illegal occupation still going to Chair Cnllr Jaspal

  1. Reports and discussion:

  • GMB – Bro Juss (GMB NEC member) spoke on the very damning report of misogyny, sexual harassment and cronyism exposed in the union. He had been personally surprised but he said others were not. GMB will need structural change, not policy add-ons. Any action plan for outcomes needs a timescale. Previous Race review was not actioned. Regional Secretaries at NEC meetings was identified as a problem. Issues wont be entirely unique to GMB so other unions should take opportunity to self-examine. Unions should always be lay-member led.

  • delegate reports:

  • PCS DWP consultative ballot 80% for strikes over Covid H&S and extra opening hours until 8pm and weekends

  • UCU – Sis Welch, no date for campus return, some face to face, increased workload, no test system for Covid.

  • UNISON – office closed still, with working from home. Council issued Section 188 for 500 redundancies in next year. UNISON usually helps reduce these maximum figures. General Secretary nominations ongoing.

  • UNITE – offices open but not for public walk-in. General Secretary nominations ongoing also

  • LP – full council meeting held virtually this week for the first time since lockdown last March. Wolverhampton local lockdown expected due to local rise in covid cases.

  • National Trades Union Councils’ virtual conference –call for new Peoples march for Jobs but restrictions ongoing – report on

  • Midlands TUC EC report – Bro Kelleher now attends as TUCJCC(Midlands West) rep – NUJ 2 weeks strike in dispute over payments, redundancies of NUJ officers and editorial standards at Bullivant Worcester/Coventry regional newspapers; Leicester TUC, GMB, Community, Unite and BFAWU(!) working on a garment workers statement with employers exposed as employing below minimum wage and low H&S standards there; hospitals re-introducing car parking charges involvement in local campaigns encouraged; NEU- clinically vulnerable teachers in classrooms of 30 with no ppe, chaos, over 60 schools sent year groups home in first few days; first Midlands TUC Regional council will be 10 October, Frances O’Grady speaking (virtual) an AGM postponed to March 2021.

  • Trade Union Congress report – virtual conference viewable on line as well as a host of fringe meetings – Bro Kelleher gave report – NEU has embraced online organising, recruiting 50,000, increasing reps, 7,000 trained and a record 20,000 members on an online meeting since lockdown. TUC pushing for a Job retention Scheme that would mean part time work with government paying remaining hours for workers to train or up-skill.

    5. speaker at 8-15pm- public meeting:

Speaker: Simon Foster Police & Crime Commissioner candidate

PCC elections postponed a year until 6 May 2021 along with council and regional mayor elections. Simon Foster was a legal aid housing tenant solicitor. The job has three roles: Police and Crime Plan, setting police budget and holding the police service to democratic account.

First election 2012 Bob Jones the Wolverhampton councillor, elections unpopular with 12% turnout at a by-election. Region underfunded, police numbers cut significantly and knife crime an issue. Labour PCCs have signed up to Real Living wage and opposed privatisation of call handling.

Discussion: Would mandatory use of body cams make the police more likely to treat the public decently and equitably?

  • BAME people treated worse: stop & Search 4x; under section 60 13x; tazered 3.5x; violence used against 3x

  • Police body cams used in 66% of stop and searches(when mandatory) and 77% of use of force incidents (when discretionary) in 2020; 98% stop and search reports are signed off as adequate despite a third not having mandatory body cam footage.

  • Complaints against police drop when BWV used – evidence provided to Simon Foster

  • can or should BWV be recording all the time? – against current Police College advice.

  • EC to discuss progressing campaign.

6. any other business

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