AGM 2014 Details

TRAFFORD METROPOLITAN UNISON AGM 2014

 

To download a copy of the below information, click here

 

Part I – Tuesday 4th March 2014 @ Sale Waterside Council Chambers

12.15pm – 12.45pm (free buffet available)

 

Part ll – Wednesday 5th March 2014 @ Trafford Town Hall Council Chambers

12 noon – 12.45pm (free buffet available)

 

Part Ill – Wednesday 5th March 2014 @ Sale Waterside Council Chambers

5.30pm – 6.15pm (free buffet available)

 

Part IV – Tuesday 11th March 2014@ Room 3 Urmston Library

5.00pm – 5.45 (free buffet available)

 

Part V – Wednesday 12th March 2014 @ Unison Branch Office Warwick Road

12.15pm – 13.00pm (free buffet available)

 

FINAL AGENDA

 

 

  1. Opening remarks by Chairperson
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. Minutes of the AGM 5, 6 & 12,13 March 2013 (pages 1-11)
  4. Matters Arising

5.        Branch Accounts 2013
i)         Expenses (page 12)

ii)            Honoraria (page 12 )

iii)           Branch Treasurer’s Report 2013 (page 13-14 )

 

6.      Election of Branch Officers 2014 (page 15)

7.      Election of Delegates to:

i)          National Delegate Conference 2014 (page 16)
ii)          Local Gov’t Service Group Conference 2014 (page 16)

iii)         North West Regional Council (Page 16)

8.      Election of:

i)          Stewards 2014 (page 17)

ii)         Health and Safety Stewards 2014 (page 17)

iii)           Other Representatives (page 17)

 

9.       Branch Officer Reports. (Page 18 -21)

10.     Employer Reports (Page 22)

11.     Any Other Urgent Business (Page 22)

 

If you would like this information published in an alternative format, i.e. large print, braille or if you wish to receive the full set of paperwork in advance of the meeting please contact the Branch Office on 877 9840, email:unison@trafford.gov.uk or visit our Web Site at:-www.traffordmet.unison.org.uk

Access

All buildings have disabled access.  If any member has any special requirements please contact the Branch Office as soon as possible.


 

TRAFFORD METROPOLITAN UNISON

 

MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD ON

5th, 6th, 12th and 13th MARCH 2013 (combined)

 

TUESDAY      5th MARCH 2013    12.15 PM – 12.45 PM
SALE WATER SIDE
Attendance:             49 members

 

 

TUESDAY      5th MARCH 2013        5.00 PM – 5.45 PM
URMSTON LIBRARY
Attendance:             17 members

 

 

WEDNESDAY 6th MARCH 2013       5.30 PM – 6.15 PM
SALE WATERSIDE
Attendance:             12 members

 

 

TUESDAY 12TH MARCH 2013          6PM – 6.45 PM

URMSTON LIBRARY

Attendance:             4 members

 

 

WEDNESDAY 13TH MARCH 2013    12.20 PM – 1.00 PM
BRANCH OFFICE, WARWICK HOUSE, WARWICK ROAD
Attendance:             21 members

 

 

Chair:                         Derek Austin

Minutes:                    Margaret Carroll

 

 

  1. 1.           Opening Remarks by Chairperson

 

Chairperson welcomed members to the meeting.

He thanked the Gaynor Harrison the Assistant Branch Secretary for providing the paperwork and Margaret Carroll for taking the minutes.

 

He outlined the process for the AGM.  Five meetings are to be held in various venues and at different times of day to enable as many members as possible to attend.  He asked that all should sign the attendance sheet and take a raffle ticket. The raffle is to be drawn at the end of the meeting for a box of chocolates.  All tickets to be put back in for the final draw after the final AGM meeting on Wednesday 13th March.  Prizes are £30 shopping vouchers and £20 shopping vouchers.

 

He spoke briefly about the challenges facing members and the attacks on public sector services. He had worked in Local Government for 40 years across 7 separate Local Authorities.  It was only now that he found his working life to be stressful, with cuts to jobs, reduction in service provision and the threats to terms and conditions.   He urged all present to come forward and volunteer to be a steward or a branch officer to fight these threats.

 

He introduced the various Branch Officers in the room and the North West Regional Organiser.  The NW Regional Organiser present at each meeting was:

 

Sale Waterside         05/03/2013    Sara France

Urmston Library        05/03/2013    Sara France

Sale Waterside         06/03/2013    Neal Linsky

Urmston Library        12/03/2013    No Regional Organiser present

Branch Office           13/03/2013    Sara France

At each venue he confirmed there was no fire drill or alarm test planned and gave details of the procedure for evacuating the building in the event of the alarm sounding.

  1. 2.           Apologies for Absence

 

Jackie Bevan, Tracy Hope, Helen Graham, Jerry Wieczorek, Jonathon Baker

 

 

  1. 3.           Minutes of AGM 6th / 7th / 8th March 2012

 

i) Minutes of the AGM meetings held on 6th / 7th / 8th March 2012 were previously circulated.

There were no changes made to the minutes and there were no matters arising.

 

It was proposed that the minutes be agreed as a correct record and a vote was taken.

Sale Waterside 05/03/2013

FOR:  49                    AGAINST: 0              ABSTENTION:  0

Urmston Library 05/03/2013

FOR:  17                  AGAINST: 0             ABSTENTION: 0

Sale Waterside 06/03/2013

FOR:  12              AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION: 0

Urmston Library 12/03/2013

FOR:  4                  AGAINST: 0             ABSTENTION: 0

Branch Office – Warwick House 13/03/2013

FOR:  21                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION: 0

 

 

 

 

  1. 4.           Expenses              

A report was previously circulated. The Branch Treasurer outlined that active members of the union are reimbursed their expenses when on UNISON business so that they are not out of pocket.

Travelling expenses and subsistence are paid in line with the rates as published from time to time by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and UNISON’s Branch expenses document.

For information the current published rates are: –

Rates per business mile

Type of vehicle

First 10,000 miles

Above 10,000

Cars and vans

45p

25p

Motorcycles

24p

24p

Cycles

20p

20p

Subsistence Allowance

Lunch

£13.50

Tea

£6.50

Dinner

£20.00

Daily Rate

Daily rate up to 8 hours £20.00
Daily rate over 8 hours £40.00
The individual meal allowance rates are also used for deduction purposes when a daily rate

is paid and when a meal has been provided by UNISON or an outside body

It was proposed that Trafford Metropolitan Branch pay expenses in line with the rates as published from time to time by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).   Seconded:  Paul McDermott

 

Sale Waterside 05/03/2013

      FOR:  49                    AGAINST:  0             ABSTENTION:  0

      Urmston Library 05/03/2013

      FOR: 17                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

      Sale Waterside 06/03/2013

FOR: 12                   AGAINST:  0           ABSTENTION: 0

Urmston Library 12/03/2013

FOR: 4                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

Branch Office 13/03/2013

FOR: 21                  AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

 

 

 

5.      Branch Treasurer’s Report 2012

A copy of the Treasurer’s report for 2012 was previously circulated.

 

The Treasurer presented the accounts for the year ending 31st December 2012.

 

Total amount of income received during the year was £77,678.59.

The total expenditure incurred was £59,973.79 resulting in a surplus for the year of £17,704.80.

 

This surplus increased the total reserves to £60,049.04 as at the end of December 2012.

 

The Treasurer explained that income mainly comes from union subscriptions which are paid to UNISON’s Head Office and they then pay the local branch approximately 20% of the total received. The local branch has to conduct its business within the percentage received.

 

Members asked the following questions: –

 

Q.  Why is there a reduction in employee costs from the 2011 figure of £45,024 to the 2012 figure of £15,341?

 

A.  The Treasurer replied that in 2011 there were two people working in the Branch Office, one full time employee and one part time.  This had changed during 2012 to one part time employee only.

 

There were no other questions raised.

 

The Treasurer confirmed that the accounts had been audited. Two auditors had checked every entry in the accounts to ensure their accuracy and to confirm that all expenditure was appropriate.

 

It was proposed that the accounts be accepted.

Seconded:  Paul McDermott

 

Sale Waterside 05/03/2013

FOR:  49                    AGAINST:  0             ABSTENTION:  0

Urmston Library 05/03/2013

      FOR: 17                  AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

Sale Waterside 06/03/2013

      FOR: 12                   AGAINST:  0           ABSTENTION: 0

Urmston Library 12/03/2013

FOR: 4                   AGAINST: 0                   ABSTENTION:  0

Branch Office 13/03/2013

      FOR: 21                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

 

 

 

6.      Honoraria

 

The Treasurer and the Auditors present left the meeting temporarily while this item was discussed.

 

The Branch Secretary outlined the reasons for paying honoraria and that the Branch Committee had recommended a payment to the Treasurer and the two Auditors at the following rates: –

 

2 x Auditors:              £300.00 each.

Treasurer:                  £1,250.00

 

No questions were asked

 

 

It was proposed to pay Honoraria as follows:

Treasurer       Margaret Carroll       £1,250.00

Auditor           Janet Hughes           £300.00

Auditor           John Loftus               £300.00

 

Sale Waterside 05/03/2013

Proposed:  Paul McDermott                       Seconded:  Keith Bradshaw

      FOR:  49                    AGAINST:  0             ABSTENTION:  0

Urmston Library 05/03/2013

     Proposed:  Paul McDermott                      Seconded:  Amanda Gough

FOR: 17                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

Sale Waterside 06/03/2013

      Proposed:  Paul McDermott                     Seconded: Gaynor Harrison

      FOR: 12                   AGAINST:  0           ABSTENTION: 0

 

Urmston Library 12/03/2013

      Proposed:  Paul McDermott                       Seconded: Mark Lilley

      FOR: 4                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

 

Branch Office 13/03/2013

     Proposed:  Paul McDermott                      Seconded: Audra Brandy

      FOR: 21                 AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

 

 

7.    Election of Branch Officers 2013

 

A list of elected Branch Officers was previously circulated.  The Chairperson informed members of the vacant posts and encouraged members to think about putting their names forward to fill the vacancies.

 

He spoke about the importance of members getting involved so that the Branch remained strong.  Training and facility time was available for Trafford employees.  This was particularly important during the consultation periods when members had invaluable knowledge that could be used to put forward alternative proposals.

 

Members were advised that they could contact the Branch Office for an informal discussion if they wanted more information about the various roles and duties.

 

Following a vote, the Branch Officers, as shown in the circulated list were elected: .

Sale Waterside 05/03/2013

      FOR:  49                    AGAINST:  0             ABSTENTION:  0

Urmston Library 05/03/2013

      FOR: 17                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

Sale Waterside 06/03/2013

      FOR: 12                   AGAINST:  0           ABSTENTION: 0

 

Urmston Library 12/03/2013

      FOR: 4                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

 

Branch Office 13/03/2013

     FOR: 21                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

 

 

8.    Note the Election of Delegates to:

 

i)  National Delegate Conference 2013

The Branch was entitled to 3 delegates, 2 of whom must be women and of these 1 must be a low paid female. If the branch is unable to elect a low paid female the place remains unfilled.

 

The delegates elected by the Branch Committee are:

Robina Sheikh

Margaret Carroll and Mike Smith (shared)

Low Paid female seat – unfilled

 

 

ii) National Local Government Service Group Conference 2013

The Branch was entitled to 4 delegates, 2 of which must be women and of these 1 must be a low paid female. If the branch is unable to elect a low paid female the place remains unfilled.

 

The delegates elected by the Branch Committee are:

Robina Sheikh

Karen Nicholson

Derek Austin

Low Paid female seat – unfilled

 

 

 

     iii) North West Regional Council 2013

This body meets four times a year and is made up of delegates from the 140 North West UNISON Branches. Elected delegates are:

The delegates elected by the Branch Committee are:

Margaret Carroll

Gaynor Harrison

Paul McDermott

Robina Sheikh

Mike Smith

 

It was proposed to elect the named delegates to the NDC, Local Government Service Group and North West Regional Council.

 

Sale Waterside 05/03/2013

      FOR:  49                    AGAINST:  0             ABSTENTION:  0

     Urmston Library 05/03/2013

      FOR: 17                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

      Sale Waterside 06/03/2013

      FOR: 12                   AGAINST:  0           ABSTENTION: 0

Urmston Library 12/03/2013

      FOR: 4                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

Branch Office 13/03/2013

      FOR: 21                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

 

9.         Election of Stewards

 

i)  Stewards 2013

A list of elected Stewards was circulated

 

ii) Health & Safety Representatives 2013

A list of elected Health & Safety Representatives was circulated.

 

The Chairperson asked members to consider putting their names forward as stewards and health & safety representatives.

He emphasised that it is always better to have a steward in your own service area.

 

He went on to confirm that all stewards receive appropriate training and the reimbursement of all relevant expenses.

 

Following a vote, the named stewards and Health and Safety representatives were elected.

 

Sale Waterside 05/03/2013

      FOR:  49                    AGAINST:  0             ABSTENTION:  0

Urmston Library 05/03/2013

      FOR: 17                  AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

Sale Waterside 06/03/2013

      FOR: 12                   AGAINST:  0           ABSTENTION: 0

Urmston Library 12/03/2013

      FOR: 4                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

Branch Office 13/03/2013

      FOR: 21                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.    Annual Report

 

i)             Branch Secretary

The Branch Secretary’s report was previously circulated.  The Branch Secretary spoke about the various issues that faced the Branch during 2012 and continue to cause concern.

 

Organisational Change

Negotiations around organisational change, redundancy and voluntary early retirement continue to be part of the work carried out by the branch.  It is important that during restructures that there is a local steward who can inform the process.  Most successes have been achieved where local knowledge informs the negotiations.

 

Where there are stewards with local knowledge about how the service works, we have been successful in questioning and changing proposed structures resulting in the saving of jobs.  So please consider coming forward to be a steward or contact for your workplace.  It could save jobs.

 

Redundancy Matrix

For those of you undergoing re-structures and at risk of redundancy, the Council has introduced a redundancy matrix.  We have not agreed to the redundancy matrix.  If any managers say that this has been agreed – it has not.

 

Terms and Conditions

There is a threat to our terms and conditions.  Ideas include 5 days unpaid leave – that is equivalent to a 1.9% pay cut.

 

Then there is the threat to essential car user allowance and changes to the sick pay scheme.

 

We do not approve or agree to any changes to terms and conditions that are detrimental to our members.

 

Schools

More schools have moved to academy status.  For the first year, schools have money and there are no problems with staffing levels.  This is not sustainable, we are now visiting schools in their second year of being an academy and they are in financial difficulties and looking to reduce Teaching Assistants and support staff.

 

An academy can cut terms and conditions and can put pay.  If you hear of anything like this please let us know.

 

Equal Pay Tribunal

The Equal Pay Act came into force in 1970.  Trafford Council has still not yet complied fully with this.  Equal Pay claims have been heard by an Employment Tribunal.  The Employment Tribunal ruled in our favour.  The Council has appealed against that decision, lost their appeal and is still appealing against that decision.

 

We have repeatedly asked that the Council make reasonable offers to these women.  The Council is using rate payers’ money to defend the indefensible.

 

Branch Organisation

He urged all present to get involved with the Branch.  The more stewards and Branch Officers we have the stronger the Branch is.

There are vacant Branch Officer Posts for Education Co-Ordinator and Welfare Officer amongst others

 

Questions / points raised by members:

 

Q.  For the changes to terms and conditions the sacrifice should come from Directors and Senior Managers.

 

A.  Agreed.  This is a point we put forward at the terms and conditions work shops that took place.  At each one a UNISON steward put forward the point that directors and senior management should volunteer to do their job for one day per month.

 

Q.  Is the union privy to any information from management about car users that work for Children’s Social Services?

 

A.  We have not been invited to any formal negotiations.  There is an argument that is critical for some job roles to use their car for work and we will be putting this case to the Council.

 

Q.  If essential user allowance is cut would there be a redraft of our contracts?  Currently our job needs a car.  If we don’t meet our timescales and statutory duties would management take action?

 

A.  We have asked that question, but we have not had a response.

 

Q.  Have any timescales been mentioned?  I am hanging fire on deciding to pay the car parking fee because I am waiting for a decision on car user allowance.

 

A.  No not yet.  The change to the car user allowance is just an idea that has been suggested by management.  There is no firm proposal to change it and we have not yet entered into the formal consultation that must take place.

 

 

Q.  How does the union feed back to members?

 

A.  We feedback through work place stewards or contacts.  That is why we need stewards or contacts in each work place.  Please come forward to be a workplace contact, even if it is just to receive information to feedback to your team.

 

Q.  Cars are used to transport children who are in foster care.  The cost of providing taxis will far outweigh the cost of essential car user allowance.

 

A.  Yes it will.  This is another argument for some jobs to be classed as “critical car users”.   This is why we need work place contacts or stewards with local knowledge about how the service works.   It is essential that we are notified of these job roles and the problems that you will encounter if you don’t use your car.  It will add weight to the discussions we will be having with the authority.

 

Q.  Duty Social Workers need their cars to carry out their job.  What will happen to them?

 

A.  This is why we need information from car users.  If you use your car and you feel that you are not able to do your job without a car, then we need information from you about how that affects the people in your care and the impact that will have.  We don’t know how your service works.  Get together with your colleagues and put together your case.  Bring that to the Branch Office and we shall discuss with you how to take that forward.

 

Q.  On the redundancy matrix system has any decisions been made yet on the compulsory redundancies in ETO?

 

A.  No decision has yet been made.

 

 

ii)            Women’s Officer and International Officer Report

A report was previously circulated for information.  This included information on a link to a film on Toxic Debt.

 

iii)           Employer Reports

Trafford College

Trafford Leisure Trust

Trafford Housing Trust

 

The Chair informed the meeting that Jan Ward, one of the long serving stewards at the Housing Trust had now decided to retire from her stewardship.  He sent best wishes from the Branch to her for her work for UNISON members at the Housing Trust.  He then welcomed the new steward, Sue Savage.

 

Following a vote, the Branch Officer reports were accepted:

Sale Waterside 05/03/2013

      FOR:  49                    AGAINST:  0             ABSTENTION:  0

     Urmston Library 05/03/2013

      FOR: 17                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

      Sale Waterside 06/03/2013

      FOR: 12                   AGAINST:  0           ABSTENTION: 0

Urmston Library 12/03/2013

     FOR: 4                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

Branch Office 13/03/2013

    FOR: 21                   AGAINST: 0            ABSTENTION:  0

 

 

  1. 11.       Any Other Urgent Business

 

The raffle was drawn.

 

First Prize: £30 Shopping Voucher

Winning ticket number: 714

Jan Eales Gray

 

Second Prize: £20 Shopping Voucher

Winning ticket number: 756

John Miller

 

The Chair thanked all for attending and was delighted to note that the 2013 Annual General Meeting of Trafford Metropolitan Branch was quorate.

BRANCH ACCOUNTS 2013/14

 

i) Expenses

 

Active members of the union, particularly officers and stewards, are first and foremost volunteers who give freely of their own time and should not be expected to spend their own money as well.

 

Expenses incurred when on Unison business may be reimbursed to ensure that no member is debarred or deterred from Trade Union activity because of financial considerations and that no member is out of pocket.

 

It is proposed to continue to align the amount paid for travelling expenses to those rates as approved by HMRC and published in Unison’s Scheme for Branch Members Expenses.

The current rates for mileage claims are: –

 

Rates per business mile

Type of vehicle

First 10,000 miles

Above 10,000

Cars and vans 45p 25p
Motorcycles 24p 24p
Cycles 20p 20p

 

Subsistence Allowance

Lunch

£13.50

Tea

£6.50

Dinner

£20.00

Daily rate up to 8 hours £20.00
Daily rate over 8 hours £40.00
The individual meal allowance rates are also used for deduction purposes when a daily rate

is paid and when a meal has been provided by UNISON or an outside body

 

ii) Honoraria

 

In the past, elected representatives of Trafford Metropolitan UNISON have been paid honoraria in recognition of work carried out in their own time on behalf of the union and its members.

The following has undertaken union work in their own time and it is therefore proposed to pay the following honoraria: –

Auditor – 1 Janet Hughes

Auditor – 2 John Loftus

 £300.00

£300.00

Treasurer Margaret Carroll

£1250.00

 

The figures quoted are the amounts to be paid before income tax is deducted.

AGENDA ITEM 6

Election of Branch Officers 2014

Chairperson                                                   Derek Austin

Branch Secretary                                           Paul McDermott

Assistant Branch Secretary                           Gaynor Harrison

Auditor (not committee)                                 Janet Hughes

Auditor (not committee)

Treasurer                                                       Margaret Carroll

Health & Safety Officer

Communication Officer                                 Vacant

International Officer                                       Robina Sheikh

Retired Members Secretary                          Elected at Retired AGM

Welfare Officer                                              Ricardo Rowe

Education Co-ordinator                                 Vacant

Young Members Officer                                Vacant

Equality Officer                                              Vacant

Sports and Social Secretary                          Vacant

Affiliated Political Fund Officer                       Vacant

Lifelong Learning Co-ordinator                      Vacant

Membership Services Officer                        Vacant

Self Organised Groups

Black members Officer                                 Vacant

Women’s Officer                                           Robina Sheikh

Disabled members Officer                            Vacant

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender        Vacant

Officer

 


 

 

AGENDA ITEM 7

ELECTION OF DELEGATES TO:

i)             National Delegate Conference 2014

The branch is entitled to send 3 delegates, 2 of whom must be women and of these 1 must be a low paid female.  If the branch is unable to elect a low paid female then the place remains unfilled. Low paid classification is £8.91 per hour. Anyone who fulfils this criteria and wishes to attend please do not hesitate to contact the branch to discuss. Facilities time would be requested.

 

There are currently no delegates for election:

 

ii)            Local Government Service Group Conference 2014

 

The branch is entitled to send 4 delegates, at least 2 of whom must be women and 1 must be a low paid female.  If the branch is unable to elect a low paid female then the place remains unfilled.

 

There are currently no delegates for election :

 

iii)           North West Regional Council 2014/2015

 

This body meets four times a year and is made up of delegates from the 140 North West UNISON Branches.  Elected delegates are:

 

Gaynor Harrison

Paul McDermott

Robina Sheikh

Mike Smith

 

 

 

 

AGENDA ITEM 8

 

ELECTION OF:

 

i)             Stewards 2014       

Derek Austin                    TBC

Diana Burns                     Trafford Leisure Trust

John Miller                        The Dean Trust

Robina Sheikh                  TBC

Geraldine Sherliker           Flixton Academy

Karen Nicholson               Trafford Housing Trust

Susan Savage                  Trafford Housing Trust

Amanda Childs                  Lostock College

Scott Caplan                     TBC

Vernetta  O’Loughlin         Northenden Road

Ricardo Rowe                   Trafford College

Owen Thompson               Carrington Depot

 

ii)            Health & Safety Representatives 2014

 

Derek Austin

John Miller

Owen Thompson

 

 

iii)           Other Representatives 2014

 

No interest shown

 

 

AGENDA ITEM 9

 

TRAFFORD METROPOLITAN UNISON ANNUAL REPORT 2014

 

 

BRANCH OFFICER REPORTS

 

Branch Secretary’s Report

 

New Organisational Model

 

We have heard this all before. Staff have been sent questionnaires to complete to “have their say” on the best way to save money for the authority, £50 million pounds or thereabout. The subject of the email to all staff asks “are you ready for change”. Unison says that change has been ongoing at least for the last 5 years. Just to brand the exercise differently is merely to disguise the fact that this authority will not only be reducing services but also large numbers of directly employed staff, by another re-branding of the term privatisation, which with a sprinkle of Trafford’s ubiquitous fairy dust transforms miraculously into Rightsourcing. A perfect example of this process is the way that 24 members of the Ground force and Street scene staff will be made redundant in the next couple of months we believe this exercise is a cynical attempt to bring down the costs of these essential services, creating a viable commodity ripe for the private sector to take over.

In 2010 we stated in our Unison Newsletter that Trafford did not need a Town Hall extension because it would not need it to house the few remaining commissioning officers that were required to fulfil the authorities needs and  requirements, this may have been conveyed in a tongue and cheek manner but the message was very clear.

There are job losses across the authority with many more anticipated, members are choosing to leave on either Voluntary Redundancy or Voluntary Early Retirement. As ever the brunt of redundancies are falling on women members.

The branch have been involved in all restructures, where we have been able to  challenge and put forward alternatives to the benefit of our members, whilst not supporting any proposed job losses.

We would like to be pro active in challenging all consultations as the most successful in retaining jobs have been the ones where members have fully engaged with the lead officer from the branch and put forward alternative proposals. Ideally if more work areas had their own stewards we would anticipate a more focussed challenge to the proposals put forward by management in specific service areas.

 

Terms and Conditions

 

On the 1st April 2014 the detrimental changes to our Terms and Conditions will take effect. As advised in our newsletter November 2012 this should come as no surprise to our members. We fully expected members to become engaged in our challenge to these proposals by attending any of the 5 AGM’s that took place in March 2013, the attendance at our AGM’s was not only disappointing to say the least but clearly signposted the lack of engagement of the majority of our members out of a membership figure of 2600 with 1250 being directly affected our attendance over the 5 AGM’s was a dismal 74.

We at Unison have not and would not ever agree to accept willingly any detrimental changes to Terms and Conditions, be under no illusions with vast savings needing to be made by Trafford Council and the apathy shown by members and non members, 60% agreeing to willingly accept the changes. Trafford Council will be back.

 

Schools

Schools in Trafford continue to transfer to Academy status, we at Unison are aware of further applications in the pipeline. This still may hold potential threats to terms and conditions for support staff, nothing has emerged yet but we anticipate that as school budgets are squeezed support staffing levels as well as Terms and Conditions are the easy target.

 

Equal Pay

 

We have waited a considerable period of time to relay some positive information, but we would like to inform all members that Trafford Council at a cost of well over £2million have discharged their legal responsibilities and paid compensatory payments to approx 300 members mainly women who submitted equal pay claims through Trafford Metropolitan Branch.

Thanks to the support offered to members by Thompson’s Solicitors, particularly John Tanner who has led for the Branch.

 

 

Education Co-Ordinator

 

There is currently no one in this position. All training is being dealt with via the Branch.

 

Welfare Officer

 

This position has now been filled by Ricardo Rowe Trafford College. Ricardo is looking forward to undertaking his training and exploring the role further, we hope to see Ricardo on the Branch Committee.

 

UNISON Welfare offers a wide range of help and assistance ranging from debt advice to direct payments from the Welfare funds. Well being breaks to individuals and families in need, signposting to other agencies and confidential support in other areas. The important thing to remember here is that the service is completely free to members of UNISON and it really does help in needy times.

 

Information for Unison Annual Report 2014

Women’s  & International Officer

Public Service employees are being hit hard and fast as our Terms and Conditions are being eroded and will continue to be hit even more as we move towards 2015. The enforced 3 days leave in real terms means a 5% pay cut.

Little consolation as we accept the 1% pay increase and in May it was revealed that a survey conducted by the Tax Payers’ Alliance (TPA) indicated that three staff members were earning more than £100,000 in 2010/11, a number which had increased to seven by 2011/2.

Women’s  Report

During 2013, as an Organising Steward I supported 9 female members on a variety of cases that included, Capability, Dignity at Work, Attendance Health Reviews of all stages, general and maternity enquiries. I also provided many hours of telephone/email support to members.

I represented the Branch at the 2013 Women’s Conference that took place during February in Liverpool.

 

Women’s National Conference is the major Unison event for women and this year over 600 women delegates from across the UK met in Liverpool during February to discuss and debate issues relevant to women today.  At Women’s Conference women  debate motions and there is ample opportunity to   learn about issues such as

 

  • Women and the economy
  • Women’s pensions
  • Domestic abuse /Rape
  • Sexual exploitation of women

 

The main theme for the 2013 National Women’s Conference was

 

•           Recruiting, Organising, Representing and Retaining Members

•           Negotiating and Bargaining

•           Campaigning and Promoting Unison

•           Developing an Efficient and Effective Union

 

During the year I reported to Branch Committee

Be active and reduce your rate of acquiring bowel, breast and womb cancer

 

Lack of exercise puts UK women near top of cancer league table: Britons among most likely to suffer bowel, breast and wombs forms of the disease. The UK has the tenth highest rate of bowel; breast and womb cancer Experts said that poor physical fitness is increasing women’s risk.

 

A lack of exercise means British women are among the most likely in the world to suffer from three forms of cancer.  The UK has the tenth highest rate of bowel, breast and womb cancer out of more than 180 countries, research has found. Experts said that poor physical fitness is increasing women’s risk of developing the three forms of the disease, all of which are linked to a lack of exercise.

 

We are advised to do 150 minutes a week of moderate activity. This is thought to help by allowing people to stay slimmer, which cuts the amount of cancer-promoting hormones produced by body fat.

 

International Report

Bhopal 2–3 December 1984

 

On the night of 2nd December 1884, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal leaked 27 tons of the deadly gas methyl isocynate. This huge cloud of poison gas was 500 times more toxic than cyanide which spewed from a factory belonging to Union Carbide Corporation.

This gas killed thousands of innocent men, women and children as well as maiming hundreds of thousands. Evidence suggests that none of the six safety systems were operational which allowed the gas to spread across the city of Bhopal.  Corporate cost-cutting, greed, incompetence and stupidity left over 25,000 dead as a result of the exposure and more than 120,000 people still suffer from ailments caused  by the accident and the continued pollution of the plant site.

More info www.bhopal.org and www.bhopal.net

 

The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds the Sambhavna Trust Clinic and the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre which are the only places where those affected by the gas and water contamination in the city can access free healthcare.

 

The BMA also supports the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) which campaigns to achieve justice and a life of dignity for the survivors of the Union Carbide Disaster in Bhopal, which includes all affected by the gas leak of 1984 and the subsequent soil and water contamination and children who are born damaged as a result of their parents’ exposure. They continue to put pressure on Union Carbide’s owner Dow Chemical to take responsibility for the disaster and to provide remediation to the site which continues to poison local residents.

 

The Bhopal Marathon is the story of how for nearly three decades some of the poorest people on earth – sick, hungry, illiterate, without political allies or clout – have found themselves struggling for their basic human rights, and often their lives, against one of the world’s richest corporations and its friends in the US and Indian governments. It’s an unequal and often hopeless-seeming struggle. The corporation and its allies have it all: wealth, influence, the ear of presidents and prime ministers, battalions of lawyers, PR flacks and billions to spend on advertising and sponsorship. A copy of The Bhopal Marathon is available on line http://bhopalmarathon.org/cryforbhopal/index.html

 

 

Robina Sheikh

Trafford Unison Women’s Officer/ International Officer

Information for Unison Annual Report 2013

AGENDA ITEM 10

 

EMPLOYER REPORTS

 

Trafford College

 

No report received

 

Trafford Housing Trust

 

Regional Officers visited Trafford Housing Trust on Wednesday 5th February to speak to members and non members.

It was a successful day and there is a possibility that they may have found one or two new stewards – watch this space.

 

Trafford Housing Trust Landlord has a new Statement of Purpose, the reason we exist, “We provide a place to call home for a range of customers where they can learn, grow and be safe.”

 

The Trust not only looks after their customers, they also offer assistance to their staff during these difficult times, by offering Debt Advice and Budgeting Skills.

 

This was brought about by Karen Nicholson, the Unison Steward at the Trust’s Stretford office.  Karen thought it would be a good idea for this service to be extended to the staff who work for the Trust after she became aware of staff struggling with their money.

 

Trafford Leisure Trust

 

Diana Burns is the steward for the leisure trust.

 

 

 

AGENDA ITEM 11

 

 

Any Other Urgent Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.