Morning Star the left's daily paper, essential reading for all trade unionists
Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council (established 1865)
Secretary: Nick Kelleher PO Box 2917 Wolverhampton WV2 2YA
Delegate meeting minutes
Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Minutes - Thursday 16th December 2010
1) Introductions to delegates and visitors, new and old: BROTHERS: Cole (NUT), Woodstock (PCS), Grant (UCU), Grant (NUT), Fraser, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Chadwick (UNISON CVS), Purchase & Marris, (5/836), Baynham (UNITE 0758M)
SISTERS: Halfpenny (NUT) Taylor, Petford & Sebastian (UNITE 0758M), & Kelsey (CWU)
APOLOGIES: BRO. Marriott (UNISON Gen), Dodd (Unite 3210M), Childs (CWU), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Bechler (ATL), Brackenridge (FBU), Juss (GMB) SIS. Ceresa & Burth (UNISON Gen), Elson (PCS)
2) Minutes of October meeting – agreed correct and matters arising none.
3) Executive Committee Report 9th December 2010 and correspondence
Urgent matters arising from November minutes – acted upon:
3.2a Agreed re-affiliation to Walsall Health and Safety Bulletin £25
3.2c The future of WMCATUC website unlikely to continue but still undecided.
3.2g aluminium traders’ table purchased at a cost of £43-90
3.3 Wolverhampton Public Service Union Alliance coach to leave 8am Faulkland Street 26th March for national demonstration. Delegates can sign up through Face Book. £10 waged £4 unwaged
Affiliated unions could cover cost of members. Agreed £5 returnable depoisit.
3.3c Still need to invite Paul Uppal MP to a public debate
3.3d £500 will be received from the POA who agreed a donation
3.4 Sunday 1st May 2011 at the Pegasus Fargo are booked and Attila the Stockbroker. It is intended to ask Wolverhampton Brass Band to open the event. Discussion around the suitability of the venue was held.
3.5 Workers Memorial Day 12.30, 28th April 2011is planned. Mugs commemorating the event will be given to newly affiliated branches to publicise the event.
a) Secretary’s report: Lobby of council 15th December 2010 – Labour put motion to take control of the council and won the vote. They will take control immediately. Non statutory members of scrutiny panels who lost posts under the Tories may will be reinstated. Hopefully there will be more consultation on the restructure of the council. There has been a report to council on pay for positions, 6% reduction is likely on all councillors pay.
The English Defence league was thwarted with no violence. Trades council to approach Roger Lawrence, Leader of the Council, about EDL threat in Wolverhampton. Trades Council would like to know in advance about any future demonstrations. Brother Kelleher was thanked for his excellent short notice organisation. The consensus was not to create confrontation or abuse.
b) Wolverhampton Public Service Union Alliance: Local campaigning is needed. Agreed toleaflet in Wednesfield or Bilston. Queen Square not successful as so many leafleters e.g. religion, insurance. We will leaflet for the National Demonstration with something local on the other side. Dates agreed 15th January Bilston and 22nd January Wednesfield leafleting from 11o’clock to 1 o’clock.
c) delegates' workplace reports: PCS – Crown Prosecution Service office will be closed by June. Half will move to Wednesfield Police Station (magistrates’ court) and half to Birmingham (crown court). Witness care will also be centralised to Birmingham. Is there another service to the public that will be affected? There is a question as to whether there is room at Wednesfield. UNITE – There is a campaign regarding car parking at the Civic Centre it is proposed to charge staff for parking. This is a battle which has engaged members. UNISON – Changes in the NHS and use of the ‘3rd sector’.
d) Anti-fascist campaign: No plans a present.
e) Palestine Solidarity campaign: 29th, 30th January leafleting at ASDA contact detals to be put on WB&TUC website
f) Pensioners’ Report: none
5) Resolution – International Brigade Memorial Trust proposed UNISON General branch
‘The world is too dangerous to live in – not because of the people who do evil but because of the people who sit and let it happen.’
In 1936 when the fascist General Franco (with the help of Hitler) sought to overthrow the democratically elected Spanish Government, over 31,000 workers across the world did not stay sat down, they travelled to Spain and fought for the Spanish Republic.
2000 of these were from Britain, many of them never returned, 74 years on few survive.
The selfless act of these volunteers is one of the greatest examples of international solidarity displayed by the international labour movement.
But even more so now as the threat of fascism in the guise of the BNP and EDL march on our street, their memory, their sacrifice and the cause for which they fought and died should be preserved for future generations.
The International Brigade Memorial Trust works hard to keep alive the memory of those brave men and women who went to Spain in the 1930s to fight Fascism.
This Trades Union Council agrees to:
1. affiliate to the International Brigade Memorial Trust and encourage our branches to affiliate.
2. send this motion to the West Midlands County Association of Trades Union Councils with the aim of eventual progression to the Midlands Trades Union Congress.
Moved Brother Kelleher Seconded Brother Grant
Amendment proposed by Brother Marris – add:
3. Urge Stoke-on-Trent City Council to reinstate its annual lecture; commemorating those who fought fascism in Spain.
This was accepted by the mover. The resolution as amended was agreed unanimously.
There is a lack of events around the West Midlands. Consider inviting a speaker from the Trust. What was the position in the Black Country re volunteers for Spain?
6) Short film ‘Let there be Light’ about free eye operations for people in Cuba was not shown as lack of facilities. Show at future meeting?
There were Christmas drinks and nibbles – season’s greetings wished to all delegates.
Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
Minutes - Thursday 18th November 2010
1) ATTENDANCE - BROTHERS: Thomas (Community), Grant (UCU), Grant (NUT), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Barnsley, Fraser, Marriott, Turner, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Purchase, Dodd , Marris, Brookfield (UNITE), Childs (CWU)
SISTERS: Elson (PCS), Taylor, Petford & Sebastian (UNITE), Sharkey & Ceresa (UNISON Gen)
APOLOGIES: BRO. Cole (NUT), Bechler (ATL), Brackenridge (FBU), Juss (GMB) SIS. Kelsey (CWU), Brealey & Burth (UNISON) Halfpenny (NUT)
Introductions to delegates & visitors, new & old, & apologies. Bro.Bostock chaired meeting.
2) Minutes of October meeting – agreed correct & matters arising
3) Executive Committee Report & correspondence
Urgent matters arising from October minutes - actioned:
i) ABCD Phoenix festival £25 donation
ii) Venezuela Solidarity campaign affiliation £30
iii) Campaign Against Euro-Federalism re Mode 4 attack on trade unions letter agreed to send to all local MEPs
iv) National Palestine solidarity campaign affiliation renewal £25
v) £50 donation to local PSC – costs of workshop covered but will use for future events
vi) Letter to Chilean President re miners – Spanish translation being checked, before sending
vii) Letters to President Venezeula & National Shop Stewards Network response to be sent
viii) £10 white poppies bought for Remembrance day leafleters
ix) Working Class Movement Library annual appeal £25 agreed
x) Abortion Rights re-affiliation £40 agreed
xi) County Assoc of TUCs re-affiliation £37.50 agreed, delegate nomination forms. AGM 4th Dec – apologies from Sis Taylor – no volunteers as replacement delegate
xii) Pat McFadden – the only response from MPs re our public sector pensions letter.
xiii) UNISON General, further £384.28 donation for May Day 2010
xiv) WB&DTUC re-affiliations from ATL, Community 17000, NUT, UNISON University
xv) Express & Star 1979 picture of our delegates, recently reprinted
xvi) Hazards 2011 agreed sponsorship £25
xvii) public liability insurance enquired about – awaiting response
xviii) speaker AGM agreed invite Len Aldis British Vietnam Assoc? Book hotel if agrees
xix) May Day 2011 – Pegasus booked, organising meeting to be called on a Thursday
a) Secretary’s report attended Wolverhampton Archives re Tin plate union – added info to website. Possibly more info in national archives?
Merchandise - some internet sales after email to all trades union councils
Xmas party booked at Revolution 22 Dec tickets available
Lawful Industrial Action Minor Errors bill 2nd reading – no W’ton MPs attended – Bill was talked out – not enough Labour MPs to force vote. Will be on agenda next June but bottom of list so won’t be debated.
b) Anti-fascist campaign - Questionnaire to be designed to attract HnH supporters from their website. HnH organiser to spend week in Wolverhampton postponed due to illness. Leafleting of Bushbury, Oxley, Coseley, Bilston and Ashmore Park with HnH Remembrance Day leaflet. Local anti-cuts leaflet was distributed t same time.
c) W’ton Public Service Union Alliance – Agreed stall on December 4th use letters to MPs as focus – make postbox.
Lobby 8th Dec 4pm will be followed by next meeting of WPSUA. Lobby 15th Dec 4.30pm. Unlike all other local campaigns we are very restrictive in inviting branch secretaries only – need to involve public and community organisations. Change in constitution would be required. 250 at recent Sandwell lobby, 50 at Dudley public meeting, though lacked focus. 5 coaches of students locally went to London demo.
Discussion of strategy for group – any public meeting would need focus – what, why, who to attract; and afterwards? Continue local activity in run up to TUC national demo 26 March 2011 – agreed to book a coach.
Could produce a newspaper for local distribution pre-March.
Challenge Paul Uppal MP to public debate re public concern of affevt on jobs and services – offer dates in next 3 months.
d) delegates' workplace reports – Bro.Turner reported 500 jobs in council lost in last 6 months though not by compulsory redundancy will impact on local private sector spending. 103 redundancies in Home Support – new service will not be on national conditions, resulting in up to 25% pay cut on already low wages.
Planned cut of all non-statutory services and council to only commission services from private sector. Wolverhampton has second highest claimant count.
Labour motion to council to cut the increase on Meals on Wheels was defeated due to absence of several Labour councillors at meeting.
e) Palestine Solidarity campaign – 23 at workshop on boycott – all unions signed up. Illegal settlers denying access to Palestinian olive groves 51 weeks per year, diverting slurry onto groves. Zionist complaints received after leafleting of civic centre. Supermarket leafleting 26th and 27th Nov ASDA
5) Speaker: Tony Barnsley on the Chainmakers’ centenary. 90% chain was made in Cradley at half national wage and 54 hour week. Won minimum wage at double rate after 10 week strike. Solidarity and publicity helped secure victory. He also be signed copies of his new book.
WOLVERHAMPTON, BILSTON + DISTRICT TRADES UNION COUNCIL
MINUTES OF MEETING 21st October 2010
BROTHERS: Cole (NUT), S.Grant (NUT), Fraser, Kelleher, Deacon, Turner, Jones (UNISON Gen), Thomas (Community), Chadwick (UNISON CVS), Rahimi, Baynham (UNITE 0758), Marris (UNITE 5/836), J. Grant (UCU), Purchase, Councillor Lawrence.
SISTERS: Halfpenny (NUT), Ceresa, Sharkey & Brealey (UNISON), Sebastian (UNITE 0758), Taylor (CYWU/UNITE), Elson (PCS).
Apologies: Brothers – Childs (CWU), Juss (GMB), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Evans (UNITE).
Sisters – Burth (UNISON), Petford (UNITE 0758), Kelsey (CWU).
1. WELCOME and introductions.
2. MINUTES OF MEETING 16th September 2010 were agreed as correct. Matters Arising:
(3) Donation to Friends of Phoenix Park and Venezuela Solidarity outstanding.
(7) Chavez won the election. Proposed we write a letter of congratulations – agreed.
Proposed we write to President of Chile regarding Health and Safety laws and Chilean miners – agreed.
3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT
Lobby MPs on HSE in October. Briefing pack available. Bros. Cole and Kelleher and Sis. Halfpenny will lobby, more volunteers needed.
Lawful Industrial Action (minor errors) Bill – post cards distributed. Little response.
Agreed affiliation to Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Chainmakers victory 23/10/10 1pm Cradley Heath.
TUC not to use name and logo – prohibited.
4. SPEAKER – CLLR ROGER LAWRENCE Leader of Labour Group
Cuts 7.1% per year over 4 years for Local Government. A significant number of area based grants will also be cut and damaged. These likely to be lost. Redistribution of money to protect rural (Tory) shires at cost of (Labour) urban areas. Attack to reduce state to a residual. No intent to reinstate Public Services. These cuts are at a dangerous level and will threaten recovery which is already fragile. David Blanchflower says about the damage it will do.
High deficit this year, total deficit is 56% lower than some other countries like U.S etc. This is not a mess left by Labour Government.
Over dependant on bankers. Labour acted to protect people in Wolverhampton in setting budget. £4m cuts already identified. Need to find another £12 - £14m on a budget of £208.
In the negotiations the emphasis has moved away from Central Government into other areas e.g. Local Government, Higher Education etc. Some grants will be rolled up in other funding. Nearer £75m for Wolverhampton over 4 years.
Control of the Council? Labour will put forward an alternative budget which may be put through. Use reserves to make an invest to save capital. Assumptions about pay, energy prices etc. Need to challenge cuts and work with MPs, need to look at imaginative ways of delivering services.
Relationship between Local Authority and State. Big Society – our vision of our society sharing services, Councils working together. Asset rationalisation, getting rid of unnecessary buildings, regular meetings within house Trade Unions. Campaign for fairness and values. Single issue campaigns work well with specifics.
Priorities are young people, social housing, City centre. Absence of focus on equalities.
Need equalities commission. Investment in training should not be cut. Need quality to continue.
1000 less on payroll of Council since 2007. Labour need to work more closely with UNISON against cuts.
Roger answered questions.
Statutory Services will be given very high priority. Wolverhampton high area of unemployment. Private sector employment did not increase under Labour. Workforce needs to be skilled. Reinstatement of non-statutory members of Scrutiny Panels. Partnership with Trade Unionists, Private Sector and Voluntary Sector. Will be hard to work with health with no PCTs. Money for prevention work is insufficient. Mentally ill, drug, alcohol problems will not get priority.
Some short comings in HR practices. Importance of changing mind set about training. Control of Officers is difficult. Officers need to know what the Councils priorities are.
Good full and frank discussion followed. Message is that there is an alternative way.
a) Anti BNP campaign - Successful leafleting at Wolves v West Ham last Saturday. November 13th/14th is next Hope not Hate campaign. Bushbury North or Wednesfield North to be decided.
b) Wolverhampton Public Service Union Alliance - New leaflet to be produced. Letter to MPs available.
£50 donation agreed towards 13/11/10 Justice for Palestine workshop.
6. AOB None.
WOLVERHAMPTON, BILSTON + DISTRICT TRADES UNION COUNCIL
MINUTES OF MEETING 16TH SEPTEMBER 2010
ATTENDANCE - BROTHERS: Chadwick (UNISON CVS), Thomas (Community), Grant (UCU), Grant (NUT), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Fraser, Marriott, Turner, Deacon & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Baynham, Goodall & Matheson (UNITE)
SISTERS: Kelsey (CWU), Petford & Sindu-Sebastian (UNITE), Taylor (CYWU/UNITE), Dugmore, Sharkey & Ceresa (UNISON Gen), Halfpenny (NUT)
APOLOGIES: BROTHERS: Cole (NUT), Bechler (ATL), Marris (UNITE), Juss (GMB), Hardacre (ASPECT)
SISTERS: Burth (UNISON) Cnllr Hodgkiss,
1. WELCOME - Introductions to delegates and visitors new and old and apologies.
2. MINUTES OF MEETING July 2010 - agreed as correct. Matters Arising - None.
3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Report 9/9/10
a) Donation of £25 to Phoenix Park Festival agreed.
b) In foyer of Civic Centre there is a blue plaque about tinplate makers who were arrested in 1819 and transported to Tasmania. More research is needed. Details on www.wolvestuc.org.uk
c) Demonstration at Tory Conference in Birmingham on 3/10/10.
d) Affiliation to Venezuela Solidarity Campaign £30 agreed.
e) Possibility of our own newspaper like Oxford TUC.
f) Campaign against Euro Federation re: Mode 4 attack on Unions. Bro. J Grant reported on an editorial from The Democrat. It allows low paid workers to move from places such as India to EU Countries for example the UK. The trade agreement is between multi nationals and Europe. European Court of Justice backs these arrangements. David Cameron appears to have some part in it. Another erosion of rights. Letter to be drafted to MEP by Bro.Grant.
g) Money from Glastonbury volunteer bar team £650.
h) Speakers: Derek Robinson cannot attend next month. Tony Barnsley to be asked to speak regarding Chainmakers’ book and Friends of Vietnam – Doug Nicols, speaker.
i) Rule change to be put to AGM re executive quorum; lowering from 7 to 3.
a) Secretary: Merchandise printed and delivered – mugs, t-shirts, May Day polo shirts, hats and anti-Thatcher CD (offensive). Anti-Thatcher T-shirts suggested for production.
Spare branch Chainmakers’ tickets were distributed. 4 tickets also received for Friday evening event.
Pensioners Convention - 11am 25th September 2010 at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham.
b) CWU - ‘Keep Post Public’ – Sis. Kelsey. Targeting of marginal seats including W’ton SW to get message out. This fight has been on for 15 years. Demonstrations in Liverpool and Birmingham before Party Conferences.
c) Wolverhampton Public Services Union Alliance. Bro. Bechler sent apologies. Bro. Turner Chair reported. Group agreed to be sub-committee of Trades Union Council. Costs could be borne by the Trades Union Council. Not very community based at present. Voluntary Sector Council and tenants groups suggested for contact. Need to engage public. Bro. Turner to produce a leaflet for 29/9/10. 12pm, Queens Square – The lower your income, the worse the cuts. Discussion about the way forward with this campaign; whether the Labour group should be part of the campaign. Put this item on the agenda for next meeting.
d) City Council Report – Bro.Turner present - previous evening’s meeting had been expected to announce wholescale cuts but reports were not tabled as one Lib-Dem councillor had refused to support the coalition lost them control of council. Bonfire reinstated in Bilston but Meals-on-Wheels increase still to happen; drop in take up of meals since rise earlier in year.
e) TUC Congress Report – Sis Taylor - Need to band together and fight Lib/Con Government. Public need to know what they will lose. RMT walkout during Bank of England speaker. Good public sector debate, else flat. Increase in public sector campaigning in run up to May elections. Links agreed with Vietnam Trade Unions via a TUC motion.
f) Palestine Solidarity leafleting 24/9/10 4:30 – 5:30pm Wolverhampton Sainsbury’s. 25/9/10 11am-1pm – Perton Sainsbury’s. Day School 13/11/10.
g) No pensioners’ report and insufficient time to take workplace reports.
5. PUBLIC SERVICE PENSION UPRATING RESOLUTION Moved by Bro. Turner UNISON Wolverhampton General; amended & seconded by Bro. J Grant UCU
“This Trades Union Council moves that, in the Emergency Budget, the Government announced that, from April 2011, public sector pensions will rise in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Price Index (RPI).
This Trades Union Council believes this decision is hasty and unreasonable since:
1. It pre-empts the review of public sector pensions due to report in September;
2. It breaks the promise in the coalition agreement that accrued rights would not be subject to review;
3. There has been no consultation;
4. There will be no lead-in time to enable people to alter their own arrangements;
5. The switch from RPI to CPI takes place a year sooner than it does for the state pension;
6. The impact is particularly harsh when taken together with 2010 (when there was no increase because RPI was negative in September 2009 while CPI remained positive throughout) and;
7. There is no basis for treating pensions and benefits alike with respect to housing costs.
Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council agrees to write to local MPs and forward to CATUC”
Our task is to oppose not just cuts in services but cuts to income, pensions and benefits. The Consumer Price Index is 1% lower than Retail Price Index.
6. HOPE NOT HATE ANTI-Bnp campaign
No reply to various contact of university so no stall at Freshers’ Fair.
Discussion of 2/9/10 Organising meeting; 14 had come. Our campaigning has worked.
Hope Not Hate organiser to come to Wolverhampton for a week to help further build our campaign.
Leafleting can be a pleasant morning. National Hope not Hate weekend in October. Agreed to leaflet Bushbury North.
Changes to Parliamentary boundaries may be an issue. Bnp stood on our borders in Coseley & Willenhall
7. speaker: Venezuelan Trade Union delegation report by Sis. Taylor, who visited in August.
Tense situation between Venezuela and Colombia; Chavez recent visit very successful with hope of new president winning parliamentary vote to revoke US base licenses in Colombia.
Now is election time in Venezuela.
Talked about how Chavez had turned around literacy levels and communications and infra structure through using money from oil wealth.
Subsidised food for poorer people and improved agriculture; striving for self-reliance.
Health access improved enormously; holistic approach with a strong emphasis on prevention.
Yet wealth is still in hands of capitalists.
Oliver Stone film ‘South of the Border’ could be shown at Lighthouse in future.
Bro. J Grant will receive his TUC Long Service Silver Badge of Merit for 21 years as our Treasurer at this year’s Chainmakers’ event; to be presented by Tony Benn.
Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
minutes of delegate meeting Thursday 15th July 2010
1) introductions to delegates & visitors, new & old present : Bro. Cole (NUT), Rahimi & Marris (UNITE), Bechler (ATL), Fraser, Kelleher & Deacon (UNISON Gen), Grant (UCU), Thomas (Community) Sis Taylor & Petford (UNITE), Kelsey(CWU), Ceresa & Sharkey (UNISON)
apologies: Bro. Juss(GMB), Hardacre (Aspect), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Marriot (UNISON), Grant (NUT), Childs(CWU), Sis Halfpenny(NUT), Burth (UNISON)
2. Minutes of June meeting – correction: CYWU rally report omitted from minutes;
i. Bnp’s annual Red white & Blue festival cancelled after our continued counter protest
ii. Morning Star industrial dispute settled without strike; 2year pay deal
iii. Shrewsbury 24 campaign – offer from WB&DTUC to fund a new website for them via Leftspace if they require
iv. UCU had good rally against cuts with support and speakers from WB&DTUC
3) Executive Committee Report (8-7-10) Sis Kelsey gave apologies;
1. Cheryl Pidgeon re Midlands trades union councils conference – proposals discussed and suggestions made – item on delegate meeting agenda
2. Campaign for LP Democracy in support of Diane Abbott.
3. British Pensioners TU Assoc – request support for travel to Burston Strike School rally Sun 5 Sept. – agreed to donate £20
4. Standing apologies for executive meetings from Bro. Thomas due to commitment to East Park Management Group Bro. Cole apologies for September meetings
5. NUT – re Bro.Cole retirement Thurs 22 July Jennie Lee Centre 4-6pm
6. Tues 13 July 7pm B’ham council Chamber B1 1BB anti-Academies meeting
7. W.Mids UNISON £300 for May Day – receipt & DVD sent
8. Shrewsbury24 Campaign affiliation £25 plus £100 donation, details emailed to delegates for raising at their branches.
9. Haldane Socialist lawyers affiliation £20 sent
10. To be sent thanks for May Day donations and POA donation– send with DVD of event
11. TUC Development Grant £300 request for May Day work
future TUC speakers? Contact Derek Robinson again
Merchandise ordered 100 t-shirts “Trash the Fash”,8 red wolvestuc hats, 24 May 1st polo shirts £319.01 agreed to order 2 designs of mugs wolvestuc and workers memorial day approx £480 for 200 mugs. Question raised re ethical nature of t-shirt production, further info to be sought by secretary.
4) Reports: a) Secretary – written report circulated
delegates sent best wishes to Bro.Clarke for a speedy recovery from bad health
Hope not Hate, Bilston N 29th July by-election anti-bnp campaign underway using our own Bilston Matters - TU Alternative 5000 A4 doubled sided flyers, (HnH printers used, very good). UCU and CYWU which have bases in the ward have taken on areas to leaflet.
HnH re possible meeting for new volunteers – 15th & 18th July had been suggested to new national HnH organiser, no response so far
Dudley UAF counter-protest against EDL – 17th July delegates to attend in solidarity
Phoenix festival Sunday 18th July, Blakenhall HnH stall volunteers needed 10am-4pm freebies and union literature provided by delegates
b) discussion of planned regional Trades Union Councils meeting, further amendments made to comments by our Executive – to be sent out by email
c) Bro. Bechler (ATL) - gave a report on the establishment of Wolverhampton Public Services Union Alliance next meeting Sept. 3rd other public sector unions to be invited – lack of direct democratic relationship with WB&DTUC queried. All unions have public sector members
d) delegates' workplace reports – UNISON - bigs cuts and merging of services between councils announced last night; no info on jobs
NUT & ATL no local schools signed up for free schools/ new academies. Government is stating interest as any school checking website information. Freedom of Information request via Emma Reynolds suggested to see how many have actually registered.
UNITE – NHS white paper paves way for privatisation. Local Mental Health services will be taken over by Sandwell; Health improvement to council; IT, payroll and others privatise? Over next year; West Mids Strategic Health authority dismantled
e) Midlands TUC - Reclaim the night B’ham 23rd October roadshow at T&G office in afternoon followed by 1 hour social centenary square 6pm
f) Midlands TUC Pensioners’ Network written report circulated by Bro.Deacon, the April demo in London we attended did not get widespread support
g) local Palestine Solidarity boycott Israeli goods direct action being taken at local supermarkets
5) Resolution moved by Wolverhampton General Branch was passed
“Given the planned punitive cuts in public services by the Con Dem Government and their clear intention at the same time to attack trade union rights.
This Trades Union Council views with serious concern the TUC's intention to invite the Prime Minister to speak at this year's Trades Union Congress.
This Trades Union Council believes this is a mistake and at a time when trade unions particularly public sector unions are preparing to fight against Government attacks. The invitation sends the wrong message. [“ to our enemy” at end of sentence was deleted by amendment].
This Trades Union Council therefore agrees:
1. To call on the TUC to withdraw the invitation
2. Send this motion to the West Midlands CATUC with the intention that it is sent to the Midlands TUC.”
6) Film Premiere – Wolverhampton Workers’ Day 2010 a short film was shown - copies available from secretary.
7) Any Other Business - Bro.Kelleher took delegates to the ground floor of the civic centre to the plaque, marking the transportation of Wolverhampton Tin plate union (now UNITE 3120M) members in 1819, before the Tolpuddle Martyrs – he gave the background of the events which took place on the very site of our meetings, using information from Bro.Dodd, the current branch secretary of what is certainly one of the oldest trade union branches in continued existence. Hand-outs were produced giving all known details and that info is now on the website. Further research needs to be done by volunteer and it could form an addition to trades council history as a preface – info to be put on website. 200th anniversary in 2019.
MINUTES of Delegate MEETING 17th June 2010
WOLVERHAMPTON, BILSTON + DISTRICT TRADES UNION COUNCIL
ATTENDANCE - BROTHERS Cole & S.Grant (NUT), Rahimi & Marris (UNITE), Grant, Dwight & Edwards (UCU), Thomas (Community), Bostock & Clarke (POA), Stoll, Kelleher, Frazer & Marriot (UNISON), (UCU), Renshaw (UCATT) SISTERS Petford (UNITE), Taylor (CYWU UNITE), Sharkey & Ceresa (UNISON Gen), Halfpenny (NUT)
Apologies: BROTHERS Deacon & Turner (UNISON Gen), Childs (CWU), Hardacre (ASPECT), Juss (GMB). SISTERS Burth & Brealey (UNISON Gen), Kelsey (CWU), Reynolds (GMB).
1. WELCOME Delegates introduced and welcomed.
2. MINUTES of meeting 20th May 2010 - agreed correct
Matters Arising: May Day – still need some grants towards cost.
4) a Anti BNP election campaign Will have stall at Phoenix festival 11am – 4pm 18/7/10. Volunteers needed. No knowledge of events at Northicote. Designs for T-shirts discussed. Polo shirts may be possible. Need to get testimonials from volunteers.
4) c CYWU/UNITE rally – 19/6/10 at Coventry Central Hall 12pm – 4pm.
4) g Cuba Solidarity Campaign – ‘Fireflies in Night’ – short film about Cuba to be shown at Bilston 19/6/10
3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT
3.1 Report tabled.
3.2 Telford anti BNP leaflets done by commercial company. Too late to use CWU Royal Mail. Leafleting of 2 constituencies cost £6000. It appears only 40% leaflets were delivered. Now legal claim against company.
3.3 Agreed affiliation to Shrewsbury 24 - £25. Future donation possibly.
3.5 Haldane Socialist Lawyers have led campaign against internment – Guantanimo Bay – Anti Iraq war – affiliation agreed. Bro. Clarke proposed. Seconded by Bro. J Grant.
a) Secretary written report circulated. 3/7/10 – Justice for Shrewsbury 24 pickets - to demand an enquiry.
another EDL demonstration in Dudley 17/7/2010.
14/8/2010 possible Red, White and Blue festival Denby may be Codnor as border near to each.
b) TUC disability Conference - Written report distributed.
c) Bro.Adam Dwight UCU - Due to strike 21/6/10 threat of compulsory redundancy was withdrawn. National United for Education protest against funding cuts in H.E and F.E to go ahead with protest in Bilston –Metro then walk to meeting at Wulfrun Hall at 12.30pm where there will be a rally. 11.45am for protest. Support needed. NUS in college are not particularly political, but have become more supportive since May.
d) Delegates Workplace Reports - none. Still working on Joint Union Campaign.
e) Morning Star AGM Sis. Taylor reported. 1 day strike due this Sunday, by majority of 1 by NUJ Chapel. No paper on Monday. Editor excluded from ballot. Deals offered have been rejected. It may not be a dispute about pay but about power. The paper cannot sustain strike action and will go in to receivership.
f) Pensioners report. None.
g) Palestine – meeting.
5. SPEAKERS: Terry Renshaw UCATT(one of Shrewsbury 24) and Mike Edwards UCU
6th September 1974 was the first National strike, demanding more pay and to highlight death and accidents. Deaths were 1 per day. 52 killed in construction & 4000+ accidents last year. Bogus self employment in industry; employers believe they have no legal duty to workers.
Went to Oswestry, escorted strikers from site to site and ended up at Telford New Town. 24 building workers were criminalised as a result of lawfully picketing; 6 went to jail, 18 suspended sentences. Charged not with criminal damage or assault, but under 1875 Conspiracy Act. This still can be used; should have been revoked by Labour. McAlpine, his son and Metropolitan Police involved. Papers pertaining to trial, refused release under 30 year rule. Jack Straw referred to Section 23 of Freedom of Information Act; threat to National Security! MI5 were involved but why? in cahoots with CIA; agent provocateurs. Seeking to get case back in courts and admit political and MI5 involvement. TUC and UCATT nationally is giving full support to this campaign. Charges were conspiracy to cause an affray. Pressure to plead guilty. “I am a Trade Unionist not a criminal”. WB&DTUC would like to be kept updated about campaign. Also talked about international problems – Australia. Recommendation of donation of £100 agreed.
6. AOB - Trade Union Studies Unit at Shrewsbury College 10 years ago. Gone from strength to strength.
No Trade Union Studies Unit in the Black Country and TUC has worked with Wolverhampton City College. There will be partnership between Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton College for TUC courses. At the moment Trade Union studies ticks boxes and funding is secure. Important to make it work. Hope to establish Trade Union Studies Unit in Black Country.
All the speakers were presented with History of WB&DTUC.
Minutes WB&DTUC 20th May 2010
1) Introductions to delegates & visitors, new & old;
Present : Sis Petford, Taylor & Turner (UNITE), Ceresa, Sharkey & Burth(UNISON) Bro. Childs(CWU), Fraser, Turner, Kelleher & Deacon (UNISON Gen), Clarke & Bostock (POA), Cole (NUT), Rahimi (UNITE)
Apologies: Bro. Marriott(UNISON), Brackenridge(FBU), Grant(UCU),Hardacre(ASPECT), Thomas(Community), Sis. Kelsey(CWU), Reynolds(GMB), Brealey(UNISON)
2) Minutes of April meeting - corrections & matters arising Sis.Taylor will be our delegate to Morning Star AGM B’ham Thurs 3rd June 7pm. Invite Shrewsbury 24 speaker to next meeting. Seek presentation at Chainmakers’ festival – secretary to contact Midlands TUC
3) Executive Committee Report (13-5-10) & correspondence actioned:
3.1. 36th Burford Levellers’ Day Bro.Deacon attended for first time and was very impressed – like a mini Tolpuddle. Recommended future attendance, Saturday nearest 17th May.
3.2. TUC new www.unionsinthecommunity.org.uk website – resource for TUCs
3.3. Re-affiliations – none now outstanding
3.4. Trades Union Councils’ conference– no delegate was sent, a written report from Coventry delegate was distributed
3.5. Haldane Socialist lawyers affiliation £20 – put to next meeting Bro.Clarke to report
3.6. five complaints from fascist sympathisers from the 20,000 pieces of literature bearing our name and anti-fascist message distributed this month.
3.7. Sat June 12th Leicester TUC conference with Shop Stewards’ Network on Internationalism seeking £10 donations from sponsors – EC recommends £10
3.8. Manchester TUC new book You are Working Class £7.33 inc p&p or download free – circulate by email
3.9. Bro. Cole attended compulsory Workers’ Beer Company seminar – no new info received.
3.10. spent: £25 Workers’ Memorial Day wreath
3.11. TU Friends of searchlight £50 re-affiliation agreed
a) Secretary – discussion of: anti-Bnp election campaign:
• Pheonix festival Sunday 18th July, Blakenhall agreed to run a TUC/HnH stall.
• Check with Searchlight if there will be a stall at Chainmakers
• Any events at Northicote to run stalls at?
• Seek report from Telford campaign which used commercial leaflet distributors at a cost.
• Need to leaflet Bilston North ward again due to higher than expected fascist vote.
• Design Wolves TUC anti-fascist T-shirts
• Delegates to write articles for their union newsletters based on written reports – seek any assistance needed from secretary.
• Use testimonials of volunteers – why they helped and how they found it.
Workers’ Memorial Day – good turnout but event had too much religion and singing did not work – Secretary to speak to BCUIM. POA delegates involved in Winson Green & rugby events.
May Day - £850 income this year but expenditure £2143. Seek further donations from local branches and apply for a development grant. UNISON General offered further support if needed. 30sec video on website - a longer version also produced.
look into a new design for a lightweight mesh banner for WB&DTUC
b) POA conference Bro.Bostock (national vice-chair POA) gave report – no ministers came for first time in years; privatisation of prisons, not even market testing now on cards so major battles ahead. General strike motion to TUC.
c) delegates' workplace reports & discussion:
on the way forward for unions after the election
UNISON - HR1 issued at W’ton college affecting UCU also. Threats to delegates’ jobs in Day Centres temporarily delayed due to union pressure and poor management. Single Status ongoing. Council having problems selling off some social care to private sector. W’ton Homes 100 job cuts and no more money for improvements has been result of the Arms Length management Organisation (ALMO) which UNISON campaigned against.
NUT – government plans to break-up education, giving schools to businesses and churches
CYWU-UNITE rally in Coventry 19th June – leaflet circulated government plans to outsource youth service
NHS- private health promotion and break-up attempts and pension attacks expected, local PCT being carved-up now. Voluntary sector is a business not charity.
CWU – privatisation threats increased on postal service
All unions need to support each other’s campaigns
Joint union campaign needed – Bro.Cole & Turner & WB&DTUC EC to arrange JULC (Joint Union Liaison Committee) as a planning meeting with view to developing a broader forum and a plan of action. Suggestion of linking around TUC-backed Peoples’ Charter. Oxford TUC campaigning newspaper very impressive – investigate possibility of producing similar as union alternative. Link with anti-bnp work and promote engagement of unions and community.
d) Midlands TUC – none of the delegates were present.
g) Cuba Solidarity campaign: Maria Aleida Del Reigo, Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) “Fireflies in the Night” short film about Cuban doctors in Haiti 7pm Saturday 19th June, the Olde White Rose, Bilston Free admission, All welcome.
No garden party this year.
h) Wolverhampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign public meeting, Friday 25th June 7-9pm
St Andrew's church hall, Avion Centre, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton with Ken Purchase
6) Any Other Business Sis. Petford moved that an advert for Housman’s Books the on-line Alternative to anti-union Amazon, be placed on website - agreed
WB&DTUC Minutes 15th April 2010
1) Introductions to delegates & visitors, new & old; present : Sis Petford(UNITE), Kelsey(CWU), Burth(UNISON) Bro. Fraser, Kelleher & Deacon (UNISON Gen), Clarke & Bostock (POA), Grant (UCU), Cole (NUT), Millington (NUJ), Thomas (Community), Rahimi (UNITE), Woodstock (PCS)
apologies: Bro. Childs(CWU), Juss(GMB), Marris(UNITE 5/836), Sis Taylor(CYWU-Unite), Halfpenny(NUT), Ceresa(UNISON)
2) Minutes of March meeting – agreed. Matters arising: 4a) Bro. Cole wrote to Wolves FC seeking anti-fascist quote, no reply. 4d) update on Heath Town Asylum Team – being run down until end of contract in 2011. 6) council tips now shut 2 days per week and on short hours has resulted in increased fly tipping.
3) Executive Committee Report (8-4-10) & Correspondence of note:
1. Midlands TUC - nomination for observer to TUC Disability conference accepted Sis Kelsey – report at June delegate meeting
2. United Campaign to repeal anti-union laws agreed re-affiliation £35
3. TUC Women’s committee – no funding from TUC - funds sought White Ribbon Day this Sunday appeal to midlands unions only raised £50 so agreed £70 donation to cover remaining cost of balloon launch
4. Haldane Socialist lawyers affiliation £20 put to next delegate meeting
5. Shrops & Telford TUC poster for Shrewsbury24 demo July 3rd – INVITE AS SPEAKER MAY/JUNE
6. Rob Marris re use of counterfeit passports by Israel
7. TUC re Silver Badge discussed
8. Invite to LP councillors for WMDay; Secretary to write to Tory Leader re half mast flags
9. Workers Beer Co. festival Glastonbury details of just 4 volunteers granted
10. Spent £74 & £54 on election leaflets £55 on printer toner
a) future TUC speakers? Stoke NUT re difficulties working with fascist governors
4) Reports: a) Secretary – discussion of: anti-Bnp election campaign – report from delegates at Dudley UAF protest against EDL.
4 council seats being contested East Park, Bilston N, Bushbury N and Tettenhall Wightwick plus NE constituency. Timetable drawn up – venues to be decided once literature received. Ask Methodist church to assist again. Postcards for East Park & Bilston N already designed and ordered.
May Day- £200 donation to May Day Committee agreed. Likely cost for event to be £2000. News release to be done, 3000 flyers distributed, 2000 still to deliver in Whitmore Reans. Extensive mailings.
Workers’ Memorial Day news release to be done, distribution of 2500 flyers complete
b) Treasurer –healthy balance reported.
c) UNISON – update against council cuts
d) other delegates' workplace reports: Community 4333 now known as Community 1700.
e) Pensioners’ report of Welfare State demo in London, coach provided by UNISON and attended by several delegates.
5) speakers: Sis Kelsey: White Ribbon Domestic Violence campaign – 125 black balloons were released before a Wolves home game. Stayed on pitch until players came on and had good announcement. Sis Kelsey & Dugmore involved.
Sis Kelsey: Women’s TUC conference report – Mary Davies had detailed the history of women’s struggle, highlighting the lack of women in trade union leaderships and Parliament, the continued pay gap; gains under Labour such as increased maternity pay, Equality Bill, minimum wage yet poor pensions. Women’s votes could prove very important in the fight against the far right. The call was to unite behind the Women’s Charter.
John Millington, NUJ Morning Star Chapel spoke on the future of the labour movement’s daily paper. Legacies from wills have been keeping the paper solvent. The ruling class has attempted to close the paper repeatedly over the last 80 years. Last year 6 new journalists taken on and paper size increased, bucking industry trend. Agreed to increase our shareholding in the PPPS by £100, the readers’ co-operative which owns the paper. Delegates were encouraged to take out individual shareholdings. AGM is in Birmingham Thurs 3rd June 7pm Carr’s Lane, admission by share card.
6) Any Other Business - none
WB&DTUC Minutes 18th March 2010
1) Introductions to delegates & visitors, new & old;
present : Bro. Sourani & Hashim (UNITE), Marriot, Fraser, Kelleher & Deacon (UNISON Gen), Clarke (POA), Childs, Grant (UCU), Grant & Cole (NUT), Smiles (speaker) Sis Petford(UNITE), Kelsey(CWU), Dugmore & Sharkey (UNISON)
apologies: Bro. Juss(GMB), Bostock(POA), Bell (FBU), Turner(UNISON) Marris (UNITE 5/836), Sis Taylor (CYWU-Unite), Reynolds(GMB), Halfpenny(NUT), Ceresa & Burth(UNISON)
2. Minutes of February delegate meeting – corrections: attendance list for December was found and added to those minutes – available on www.wolvestuc.org.uk matters arising: TUC LGBT Network £25 donation will be sent.
3) there was no Executive Committee since members attended Arthur Scargill public meeting – 100 present. Correspondence auctioned or of note:
3.1. TUCJCC ballot, Bro.Hill nominated
3.2. Rob Marris MP ministerial response re labelling of illegal Israeli settlement goods sold in Britain
3.3. HnH coach to Stoke 17th April pick up Wolverhampton
3.4. Wolverhampton Together meeting held – venue at Methodist church for our leafleting arranged subsequently
3.5. Labour Research renewal £39.95 agreed
3.6. Cuba Solidarity, details of medical and educational support in Haiti – copied for delegates, donations for the Cuban work can be done via CSC 0208 8000155
3.7. Keele Uni TU course taster sessions will run on Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th April 2010
3.8. CND Sat 24 April, Carrs Lane Centre B’ham 2pm Bruce Kent on Trident
3.9. un-affiliated branches for 2010 chased up outstanding; FBU & ASPECT(positive responses) & PCS (no response)
3.10. UNITE 0758 delegate Ali Rahimi – details sent out to delegates re his recent arrest and (uncharged) release
3.11. Local Fire stations to try and get FBU more involved.
3.12. Workers Beer Co. festival applications - Glastonbury 21 volunteers, Leeds 20 volunteers
3.13. Midlands TUC - nomination for observer to TUC Disability conference &
Our observer nomination to TUC Disability conference
a) Secretary – written report + discussion of anti-Bnp campaign; 27/28 March Wednesfield agreed to pay for food for volunteers’ lunch. Local leaflets to be produced for council elections if possible. Bro.Cole to seek comment from Wolves player for leaflet. April 17th HnH providing coach from Wolves to Stoke to help with their campaign.
May Day – meet 7pm night before at Pegasus to help set up venue. Raffle prizes sought. Sis Petford to arrange main article for programme from Morning Star reporter. Invite Emma Reynolds to speak.
Workers’ Memorial Day we’ve now got stickers & ribbons (150 of each) distribution of flyers and publicity
b) Treasurer – balance at all time high.
c) UNISON – council cuts report given
d) other delegates' workplace reports – Asylum Seeker team, Heath Town which runs 123 homes for 300 asylum seekers, generating £250k p.a. profit for the council is threatened. Implications discussed.
PCS strike 24 March
e) Pensioners’ report - April 10th defend Welfare state demo – unison offering free places on coach
5) Resolution – Proposed by UNISON General was passed unanimously, delegates were urged to attend
“No to Racist Marches. We note with concern:
1. The EDL (English Defence League), a mixture of football hooligans and BNP supporters, is planning to march through Dudley on Saturday 3rd April.
2. That the EDL march in Stoke earlier this year saw 1,500 supporters singing racist chants. Once the counter protest ended the Police dropped their containment and the EDL went on a rampage through estates damaging cars and smashing shop windows. A Mosque was also daubed with racist graffiti.
3. That whilst the EDL claim not to be racist their actions of singing racist chants, holding racist placards and some making Nazi salutes show otherwise.
This meeting believes that the Black Country is a peaceful multi-cultural area and the EDL march is designed to intimidate or spark ‘race riots’. Therefore it is important that all those that oppose racism and fascism, Black, Asian and White, show unity in opposing the EDL.
We therefore agree to:
i. support and publicise a counter protest being organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Dudley TUC.
ii. urge our contacts to attend the UAF Unity protest in Dudley on 3 April.
iii. take our banner on the counter protest. “
Local transport for demo against EDL Bolton this weekend. Report on Stoke demo – 1500 fascists bussed in outnumbered anti-fascists. Fascist attacks on police, shops, cars; not protesters.
6) speaker Chris Smiles, (Enterprise) on 'Delivering the green agenda - local recycling in the workplace & at home' provoked a lively and interesting discussion but who said trade unionists weren’t good at talking rubbish!
1- home composting rather than use green bin
2- Love Food Hate Waste, publicity campaigns to reduce consumption and pressure on supermarkets
3- Real Cloth Nappies – local incentive scheme www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/recycling they also have nappy adviser who visits new mothers
4- Info on how to deregister from junk mail
Kerbside recycling up from 22 to 33% in last year. Waste reduced from 125,000 tonnes to 118,000 tonnes per year. Neither bin chipping nor 2-weekly collections planned in Wolverhampton. NO recyclables have been land-filled in Wolverhampton – new sources have been sought since collapse in Chinese export market. Free can crushers available.
Lack of non-domestic recycling discussed especially at schools and council buildings. Performance indicators are for domestic recycling and commercial recycling has to be done by different lorries etc. Pilots in some schools being undertaken and plans are afoot for more trade recycling.
7) Any Other Business - Bro.Sourani received support in his efforts to campaign for a Judicial Review of Britain’s role in the attack of Iraq, chemical and depleted uranium use. There have been five enquiries but none of them judicial so far. Help promised from Bob Marshall when he retires as MP shortly. He will keep us informed of progress or any assistance required.
WB&DTUC Minutes of Thursday 18th February 2010 delegate meeting
1) Introductions to delegates & visitors, new & old.
Present: Bro. Rahimi (UNITE 0758 ), Marris (UNITE 5/836), Kelleher & Deacon (UNISON Gen), Clarke (POA), Pepe (CYWU-Unite), Sis Ceresa (UNISON Gen), Taylor & Seaman (CYWU-Unite)
Apologies: Bro. Juss, Bostock, Childs, Thomas, Grant, Grant Sis Petford, Reynolds, Kelsey, Halfpenny, Burke.
2) AGM minutes not yet available. Minutes of December delegate meeting – minutes lost by Chair – re-written by Secretary; no corrections;
2.10 £300 Development Grant(2009) application received
2.16 TUC LGBT Network £25 donation agreed
2.17 update on Two Sisters – FTO contacted but no response. Sis Taylor reported there had been a “satisfactory settlement” to the dispute.
3) REPORT: EC WB&DTUC 11-02-10
3.1 Re-affiliations 2010 – FBU, ASPECT, ASLEF, GMB, PCS,UNISON Uni, UNITE-CYWU being chased up
3.2 Workers’ Memorial Day 28-4-10 – volunteers needed to distribute remaining flyers to branch members & publicise
3.3 confirmed speaker March 18th – Chris Smiles, Enterprise on workplace recycling - future TUC speakers? Ask Derek Robinson - Bro.Grant would offer lift
3.4 Birmingham TUC - Feb 26th Defend Jobs & Services & People’s Charter launch; also lobby protest of budget meeting 23rd Feb
3.5 Workers’ Memorial Day car stickers & ribbons; 150 of each; bought for £75; distribute via mailing & at event. POA will also use. Over 1000 WMDay flyers already distributed in other groups’ mailings @ £47
3.6 Campaign for LP Democracy renewal £15 – TREASURER to CHECK if already PAID.
3.7 Pensioners TU Action Assoc. National Day of Action Thursday 1st April
3.8 Midlands TUC seeking nominees for observers at TUC Equality conferences – Sis Kelsey nominated for TUC Disability conference observer.
3.9 W’ton Council – confirmation of Councillors’ Remuneration Panel nominee – Bro. Clarke; he has been interviewed and accepted – first meeting held, lot of work. Council want discussions to remain confidential.
3.10 Thanks to Aspect union for their donation of new laser printer to us.
3a) Elections – Trades Council conference, Black workers & LGBT TUC conference observers –no nominations; put to next meeting
a) Secretary written report circulated; May Day venue still to be booked. anti-Bnp campaign – leafleting on Holocaust Memorial day using new HNH leaflets & mailing to religious groups – report by Bro.Cole sought. Sis. Halfpenny to attend a recalled meeting of Wolverhampton Together and report back. Our next campaign March 27/8th; Wednesfield North agreed. 5000 leaflets to be ordered. Sis. Taylor approach Ashmore Park Community Centre.
b) UNISON – campaign against council cuts – Bro.Kelleher & Sis.Ceresa reported on redundancy threats to their jobs in Learning Disability services as jobs to replaced with low paid workers. Frontline workers and services to vulnerable people being attacked by Tory/Liberal council.
c) other delegates' workplace reports – POA reported staff cuts and attempted recruitment at lower rates and threats of privatisation.
d) West Midlands County Association of TUCs report – Sis Taylor gave report: little happened.
e) Pensioners’ report – Bro.Deacon organised coach to London April 10th Defend Welfare State & Public Services demo London, via UNISON – will be open to other TUists – 554096. 8.30am start Falkland St
f) local Palestine Solidarity model letter to PM to be put on website; AGM 450 attended. 1000 increase in membership to 4,500 in last year. Activity increase after attacks on Gaza, had been largely sustained. Last Trades Union Congress was seen as a breakthrough and the postcards included in our mailing were part of the TUC’s support for the Palestinians.
5) speaker @ 8pm: UNITE – CYWU Pat Seaman, branch Sec, Coventry community & youth workers – report on their union’s longest industrial action, ongoing since last November – similar cuts being attempted under Tories in Coventry as here. Consultation a sham. Councillors approving cuts 2-3 years in advance using vague reports without financial breakdowns to make carte blanche cuts, as here. Consultants being brought in to make cuts large enough to pay their fees. WB&DTUC delegates had taken part in their demo last year.
6) Any Other Business - none
WB&DTUC's 146th AGM (2010)
WOLVERHAMPTON, BILSTON + DISTRICT TRADES UNION COUNCIL
MINUTES of 146th AGM – 21st January 2010
BROTHERS – Deacon, Turner & Kelleher (UNISON Gen), Rahimi (UNITE), Thomas (Community), Childs (CWU), Juss (GMB), Cole & S.Grant (NUT), Hardacre (ASPECT), J.Grant (UCU), Clarke, Caton, Gillan, Bostock & Death (POA) McElhinney.
SISTERS – Petford (UNITE), Reynolds (GMB), Reynolds-Tyson & Smith (BCUIM), Kelsey (CWU), Taylor (CYWU/UNITE), Pearson & Halfpenny (NUT).
Apologies: Brothers – Marris & Purchase (UNITE), Bechler (ATL), Sis. Sagoo (UNISON Gen).
1. WELCOME - to delegates and visitors and apologies taken. Welcome to Bro. Thomas who is from COMMUNITY 4333 a new branch.
2. MINUTES OF AGM 2009; agreed as correct record; no matters arising.
3. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS - Unelected PM. Investigation into Iraq War. Trades Union Council active in opposing Council cuts. Some excellent anti-fascist work led by Bro. Kelleher. Holocaust Memorial Day 27/01/10.
a) Secretary’s Report is laid out under the headings for this year’s TUC Programme of Work. Branches have had up to 4 reminders to re-affiliate. Attendance has stayed high. A lot of delegates have been involved in work.
Tremendous cuts in Wolverhampton Council, especially attacking vulnerable people. The Secretary is under threat of redundancy. Campaigns involving UNISON and also service users. Another announcement next week regarding jobs, more campaigns.
CWU’s Carphone Warehouse campaign had success.
BNP have been kept out of Council. Will need to campaign again in May election. Wards have been leafleted outside of election. Congratulations to Secretary for his constant hard work. Huge debt of gratitude to Bro.Kelleher from all members.
b) Treasurer - Accounts were presented and in good order. Good revenue from Workers Beer Co. A number of cheques have not been cashed. Some are now out of date.
5. ELECTION results
a) President – Bro. Cole
b) Secretary – Bro. Kelleher
c) Treasurer – Bro. J.Grant
d) Vice President – Sis. Taylor
e) Minutes Secretary – Sis. Halfpenny
f) additional Executive Committee – Bro. Clarke, Bro. Thomas, Sis. Kelsey.
g) Auditor – Bro. Turner
h) no nominations: LGBT TUC observer, Women’s TUC observer, Black workers’ TUC observers
k) Disability TUC observer – Sis. Kelsey
l) West Midlands County Association of Trades Union Councils – Sis. Taylor elected; 3 vacancies.
m) Trades Union Councils Annual Conference – Blackpool – 16th/17th May 2010, no nomination
n) Brian Clarke was elected as representative of WB&DTUC for Wolverhampton City Council Councillors Remuneration Panel.
The unfilled positions will be on next agenda.
6. GUEST SPEAKERS
CAHILL McELHINNEY, brother of Kevin McElhinney killed on Bloody Sunday.
Subsequently there was a rise in support and membership of the IRA. Saville Report has still not been published. 38 years since it happened. 30th January is the anniversary. All families want justice. Local MP Bro. Marris has been raising this. It cost £200m. Families have had to suffer too long. Website Bloody Sunday Trust with link to Saville enquiry.
Donation to Troops Out movement agreed of £50.
BRIAN CATON – General Secretary Prison Officers’ Association (POA)
General Secretary for 10 years, rough 10 years. He was President of Wakefield Trades Council. President of Justice Group in Europe. Was the Police and Prison Officers Union in 1908 rumblings made about strike. 1917 action against police, who were union officers.
Any racism in Prison Officers would mean they would differentiate between inmates. Prison Officers are in a position to abuse their power. No BNP in Prison Service or racist organisation due to POA pressure.
Action on conditions, over-crowding, which makes it worse for staff.
Offer of Trades Council visit to Birmingham prison. 8 Officers to 300 prisoners. The job is done on behalf of “us”. 86% of prison population have mental health problems. Labour privatised more of Prison Service and Public Sector than Tories. Rights removed in 1993 by Michael Howard. POA have stood up to Government. People don’t get the opportunity to understand prisons. Prison Officers work very hard. High proportion of foreign nationals in prison feeds the BNP; the biggest threat to our society. Make sure prisons stay our prisons.
STEVE GILLAN POA General Secretary elect
Public Services not for Profit campaigns have no got message across; need to continue campaigning. Trade union movement not good at collective support. 6.8 million trade union members now compared to 23 million in the past. Need to be organised to protect and promote. Employers and Government are always one step ahead. PFI doesn’t work, more costly in the long run. Recession used as an excuse to cut terms and conditions and pay.
POA has shareholding and position on Morning Star, only newspaper to support trade unions. Encourage your Union to take seat on Morning Star board. Next 5/10 years not easy for any Public Sector worker. Trade union movement need to waken up or there will be no trade union movement. Big debate needed at TUC regarding Public Services. No cohesive strategy. Delegates Conference to understand our purpose. Prison Service should not have private share holders making money out of it. Stop love affair with privatisation. POA giving WB&DTUC a donation of £500 in new year.
Delegates made further contributions. Petitions’ regarding privatisation of prisons is continuing hierarchal approach to Trade unions doesn’t matter.
Finance Sector has caused problems; there is no reason to therefore cutback on Public Sector.
article supplied by Rob Marris one of our local MPs:
The £188 million “Bloody Sunday” Inquiry report is delayed – yet again …
Lord Saville has, yet again, delayed the publication of the report of his Inquiry into the events of ”Bloody Sunday” in Londonderry. That is a disgrace.
I almost feel sorry for the judge: he used to have a good reputation. That reputation is now in tatters. It’s easy to see why see why, if one looks at the timetable below, and the £188 million cost (yes, that’s right, almost £200 million for one inquiry … ).
1972, Sunday January 30:
British paratroopers open fire on protesters in the Bogside, in the city of Derry.
14 people died.
To encourage the peace process, then Prime Minister Tony Blair sets up the Saville Inquiry.
Lord Saville at last begins to take evidence. 2,500 witness statements, 922 of whom gave oral evidence.
Taking evidence from witnesses effectively ended (3 witnesses gave late evidence).
2010, March 22;
Latest publication deadline announced by Lord Saville.
He has a history of announcing publication dates, and subsequently saying that he won’t meet them. So, even now, it is not at all certain that he will meet this one. Reportedly, his latest excuse is problems with the printers!
What, you may wonder, happened between Tony Blair establishing the Inquiry in January 1998, and the start of the witness hearings almost 3 years later in November 2000?
So do I.
Lack of resources was clearly not the problem (see below).
What, you my ask, happened between the end of taking witness evidence in 2004, and publication 6 years later in 2010?
So do I.
Lack of resources was clearly not the problem (see below).
How, you may ask, could one Inquiry cost almost £200 million?
So do I.
Equally worrying: will the families and friends of the 14 dead people have confidence in the outcome of this Inquiry, given the way in which it has been conducted?