Banner Theatre presents: Saltley Gate to PartyGate (16 September 2022, 7pm)

Moseley All Services Club 91 Church Road Bham B13 9EA

Tickets are available from Banner Theatre via Eventbrite. For further enquiries relating to the event, please contact Banner Theatre at: bannerauto2013@gmail.com

The above event has been organised by Banner Theatre in commemoration of the 1972 Saltley Gate action. Birmingham Trades Union Council takes no responsibility for ticket sales and all enquiries relating to the event should be directed to Banner Theatre.

May Day 2022 Celebration in Birmingham 1st of May 2022 –

Part – 1

Part 2

Motions on Ukraine

At the 3rd March, 2022 BTUC Delegate meeting two motions were passed on the ongoing Ukraine conflict. For the purposes of clarity, these motions which were originally a motion and amendment were split into two distinct motions. They are as follows:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Emergency EC Motion: Stop the War in Ukraine
BTUC endorses the following statement, issued by the Executive Committee, in defence of
Zarah Sultana MP:
‘The Executive of Birmingham Trade Union Council unreservedly condemns the recent abuse
against Coventry South Labour MP Zarah Sultana.

Zarah, a young working-class woman from Birmingham with a strong history of trade union
activism, has bravely spoken out against imperialist aggression, condemning the Russian invasion
of Ukraine, resisting the clamour for Britain to become involved militarily and raising questions
around the history of NATO expansion in Eastern Europe.

She should be applauded. But instead, she has received death threats.

We have seen throughout history that in times of war the British establishment and their political
spokespeople unleash a torrent of abuse, condemnation and red‑baiting against anyone who
even dares question a rush to war. They know the consequences of their actions and the danger
it places critics of conflict in: in fact, that is often the objective.

Trade Unionists and socialists in particular are accused of treason, siding with and being
‘mouthpieces of the enemy’, and face physical threats. We are seeing that again now.
We expect nothing better from the Tories and the right-wing press. But it is nauseating that
right-wing Labour MPs like Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy and Ben Bradshaw are
whipping up the hysteria too. They know full well that by adding fuel to the fire they are
potentially placing people in harm’s way.

They should withdraw their comments, apologise and offer public support to MPs like Zarah
and Jeremy Corbyn, who are once again showing they are on the right side of history.
Birmingham Trades Union Council offers Zarah our full and unconditional solidarity. We will
continue to bring working people together to fight for a better future: one without war and
needless slaughter.

We offer our full solidarity to all those affected by the conflict in Ukraine, all those calling for a
peaceful resolution and call upon the UK government to open the borders to conflict refugees.’

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Second Motion

Bham TUC notes

  1. The international call by Anti-War campaigns for a day of protests on Sunday 6th March
    to oppose the war in Ukraine,
    for the withdraw of Russian troops and the call for stopping the expansion of NATO.
  2. The call by Bham StWC and others for a public protest on this basis in Victoria Square 3
    pm Sunday 6th March.
  3. The suspension of independent news outlets in Russia who are critical of the Putin’s war
    policy. The call of Kier Starmer
    for similar repression of democratic discussion on the war in Ukraine by calling for the closure
    of RT and the closure of the
    Young Labour organisation thus copying Putin’s repressive policies.

    Agrees
  4. To support the Bham StWC protest on Sunday calling for the end to war in Ukraine,
    assisting it financially by paying for the
    promotional leaflet and the cost of the transportation of the sound equipment to the protest.
  5. To condemn the call by Kier Starmer for the closure of RT (which directly contradicts his
    supposed support for freedom
    and democracy) and his closure of the Young Labour organisation for their critical comments on
    NATO.
  6. To send the full motion agreed at the TUC meeting to the local press and Bham Labour
    Party organisations.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There was strong interest shown by delegates towards a third motion, recently passed by BCU UCU’s branch, that could possibly serve as a model template motion for sister unions in Birmingham to adjust or use as a base for a similar motion. As some delegates could not seem to download the motion, it has been included below here. For clarities sake, this motion was not passed at the most recent meeting as it was not on the agenda – it was only discussed.

BCU UCU Model Motion

BCU UCU unequivocally condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the continuation of the war.
In launching an invasion of a sovereign state, Russia has committed a war crime. Reports suggest
that additional actions against international law have taken place, including the use of cluster
munitions. We call on Russia to unilaterally withdraw from Ukrainian territory.

We also call on the UK to take steps to deescalate the conflict. This should include but not be limited
to making assurances that UK will not support the expansion of NATO to include Ukraine or Georgia.
We also call on the government to provide safe passage to Ukrainian, and other refugees.

We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. We stand with journalists in Ukraine and Russia
providing independent media coverage of the conflict. We also stand in solidarity with those
speaking out against the invasion in Russia, and as a union of education workers, we especially stand
with academics at Russian universities who have spoken out against the invasion, many who are
facing censorship and arrest.

We are also concerned that there may be a conflation between the Russian state that is committing
war crimes and ordinary Russian citizens, Russian speakers, or those of Russian descent. We oppose
any discrimination against Russian staff and students at BCU and discrimination against Russians in
the UK more generally. We want to make it clear that not all Russian citizens are oligarchs or allies of
Putin. We urge those at other universities to do the same.

We condemn Western political leaders and media persons/outlets employing Western-/Euro-centric, stigmatised, Islamophobic, racist discourses in their comments on and comparisons of
Ukrainians to those fleeing wars and conflict zones in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia; and
the hostile and discriminatory treatment of non-White refugees and asylum-seekers from Ukraine as
well as other parts of the world.

Within these alarmingly dangerous developments we:

  • call for solidarity among all people on earth and for no involvement in this war that contributes to
    violence or hate
  • encourage providing support to academics who are at risk due to speaking out against the invasion.
  • call on BCU to work with CARA, an NGO for academics at risk (https://www.cara.ngo/who-we-are/)
  • encourage UCU members to write to their MPs to call for the UK to provide safe passage for
    Ukrainian and other refugees
  • will circulate lists humanitarian organisations that are accepting donations:
    https://reliefweb.int/report/ukraine/ukraine-emergency-resources-refugees
  • urge universities not to penalise Russian students and members of staff
  • support independent media in Ukraine, to counter Russian propaganda and disinformation: for Kyiv
    Independent, see https://www.gofundme.com/f/keep-ukraines-media-going
  • oppose censorship of Russian content due to concerns that this will have implications for freedom
    of the press elsewhere.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Finally, which may be of interest to delegates, there is an ongoing CWU fundraiser to support refugees of the conflict currently situated in Poland. If you wish, you may donate at this link: https://justgiving.com/campaign/cwuhaUkraineAppeal

Boris Must Go Protest Bull Ring Birmingham 2pm Saturday 18th December 2021

Assemble on Saturday and spread the message wear a mask and carry a sanitiser to keep yourself and others safe

Former Man Utd footballer Gary Neville has called for a protest at Downing St this Saturday calling for Boris to go. While we’re not sure if this is happening, given the amount of sleaze, Covid deaths, government officers and advisors not following Covid rules, increases in poverty, attacks on the rights to protest, more racist immigration controls, clearly rising poverty, attempts to lower living standards through wage restraints, letting the planet burn for profit and more, Gary is right to call for protests.Birmingham TUC is calling for trade unions, community groups, civic organisations, anti-racist groups, feminist groups, equality campaigners, environmentalists, faith groups, anti-poverty campaigners and more to say that enough is enough. For all of the reasons stated above and more, Boris needs to go and he should take the rest of this shambles of a Government with him.Join us at 2pm this Saturday by Waterstones at the Bullring.**Make sure that this is Covid safe.**
If you, or anyone you live with, have Covid symptoms, please show your solidarity at home. Everyone else, please wear masks and use hand sanitiser at the event.NB. THIS IS NOT A PROTEST AGAINST COVID RESTRICTIONS OR VACCINES.
Any need for increased Covid restrictions should be seen as a failure of Government in dealing with the crisis to date and as a product of under-funding the NHS.
The national TUC is very clear that vaccines are an essential part of solving the Covid crisis. For more details of their campaign, see here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/…/lets-vaccinate-britain-time…

Rally at the UCU Picket @ Birmingham University

UCU Rally and Picket at Birmingham University

T

Generally strong showing at the pickets, seems full of positivity. Incredibly strong student showing. Treasurer Darcy spoke on behalf of BTUC, we got some turnout from various Labour figures over the days (some councillors on Thurs, Tahir Ali showed up on Friday). All the various Marxist groupings you normally expect on a picket. Strong solidarity extended by Unison picketers from the UoB Unison branch, and there was a Unite banner there too. There is a picture of all the banners together which I’d want to grab but it hasn’t gone up anywhere yet – when it does I’ll stick it up there. Across the 4 picketlines there were a lot of people, and the rallies at the end of the picket had a great turnout.

The most impressive thing about the UCU turnout is who turned out to the picket – it was a lot of the younger members turning up to demonstrate against the increased tendency of casualisation and pay discrimination. A good sign for a branch future – shows that the branch will remain active and strong going forwards. There are still I believe a further 17-20 strike days planned for BUCU and nationally, but they will come after the Christmas break to ensure they happen when they will cause meaningful industrial disruption.

University & College Union out on strike in Birmingham

Picket of UCU strikers University of Birmingham Friday 3rd December 2021
UCU Picket outside Birmingham University

UCU Picket outside Birmingham University Defending Higher Education

58 universities were hit with three days of strike action from Wednesday 1 December to Friday 3 December.

Earlier in November UCU members backed strike action in two separate ballots, one over pension cuts and one over pay & working conditions.

In the pension ballot, 76% of UCU members who voted backed strike action and 88% voted in favour of action short of strike. In the pay & working conditions ballot more than seven in 10 members who voted (70.1%) backed strike action with 85% (84.9%) voting for action short of strike. The National Union of Students (NUS) is backing staff who are taking industrial action.

The overall turnout on the pension ballot was 53% and on pay & conditions it was 51%. Ballots were disaggregated and 58 branches secured a mandate for strike action. UCU called on university bosses to urgently start negotiating to avoid disruption across UK campuses before Christmas. The disputes are over cuts of 35% to guaranteed pensions, pay cuts, casualisation, equality pay gaps and unsafe workloads.

Last week UCU wrote to employer representatives, Universities UK and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, setting out how university bosses could avoid strike action before Christmas. The union is asking for pension cuts to be revoked; and for employers to improve their pay offer and commit to meaningful agreements and action on casualisation, workload, and equality pay gaps. But employers are currently refusing to revoke pension cuts or to even acknowledge issues like casualisation.

Staff pay has fallen by 20% after twelve years of below inflation pay offers; one third of academic staff are on insecure contracts; the gender pay gap sits at 15% and the most recent Higher Education Statistics Agency figures reveal that, of 22,810 professors in the UK, under a third (27%) were women and only 155 (1%) were Black; staff are also experiencing a crisis of work-related stress with over half showing probable signs of depression.

As well as the three day walkout, staff at 64 universities have a mandate to take action short of strike [NOTE 2]. This will also begin on Wednesday 1 December and will include strictly working to contract and refusing any additional duties. This is set to go on indefinitely for the five months staff have a mandate to take industrial action for.

UCU also intends to reballot a number of branches that missed the 50% turnout threshold imposed by Tory anti-trade union laws. The union said the three day strike will just be the start of sustained disruption for the sector if employers fail to negotiate.

The union intends to escalate its disputes next term. If employers do not make improved offers, further industrial action is likely to continue into the spring, at which point branches that gain a mandate in their reballots will be able to join the action.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘Strikes over three consecutive days are set to hit university campuses next month unless employers get round the table and take staff concerns over pension cuts, pay and working conditions seriously.

‘UCU has repeatedly asked employers to meet with us to try to resolve these disputes. But while we set out pragmatic solutions that could halt widespread disruption to UK campuses, university bosses refuse to revoke unnecessary, swingeing pension cuts or even to negotiate on issues like casualisation and the unbearably high workloads that blight higher education. 

‘A resolution to this dispute is simple. But if employers remain intent on slashing pensions and exploiting staff who have kept this sector afloat during a pandemic then campuses will face strike action before Christmas, which will escalate into spring with reballots and further industrial action.’

National Union of Students national president Larissa Kennedy said: ‘Students have a rich history of standing shoulder to shoulder with university staff, who have seen their pensions, pay and conditions slashed in recent years. With vice chancellors’ average total pay packets rising to £269,000 per year, it’s clear employers can afford to resolve their dispute with UCU over staff pay, which has fallen by an average of 20% in real terms since 2009. Staff teaching conditions are student learning conditions, and we mustn’t forget many postgraduate students on casualised teaching contracts will be striking. The onus for minimising disruption for students lies with university bosses: they must come back to the table to address the clear issues in how higher education is currently run.’

A recent report by the Office for Students shows total remuneration for vice chancellor’s averages £269k.

BTUC Rally with Indian Farmers on their struggle against corporatising agriculture in India

About Birmingham TUC

Since its foundation in 1866, Birmingham Trades Union Council has brought together local trade union branches to support working people in their workplaces and within local communities. It continues to provide a coordinating centre for affiliated trade union branches to protect and advance the interests of workers in Birmingham.

Officers & Executive Committee members 2022

President – Martin Hoare (Unite)
Secretary – Phil Child (Unite)
Vice President – Carl Jones (UCU)
Assistant Secretary – Elio di Muccio (UCU)
Treasurer – Darcy Luke (UCU)
Equalities Officer – Dave Muritu (Unite)
Anti-Racist Officer – Farheen Ahmed (Unite)
Executive Committee Members – Lucy Baines (Artists Union), Kirsten Forkert (UCU), Mark Holland (Unite), John Kelsey (Unite), Pat Collins (RMT), Stephen Booth (Unison), Catherine Christian (Unite), David Bailey (UCU), Rory Shannon (Unison), Alison Dingle (Unison)

How to Affiliate

BTUC meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month and are open to anyone interested in trade unionism in Birmingham, whether part of an affiliated branch or not. However, we welcome new affiliations and would encourage members across the region to ask your branch to affiliate. The annual affiliation fee rate is set out in the BTUC constitution. All enquiries regarding affiliation can be sent directly to the Secretary at secretary.btuc@gmail.com

Affiliated Branches 2020-21

  • Artists’ Union (1)
    • Birmingham
  • BFAWU (1)
    • Birmingham District Office (331)
  • CWU (1)
    • Birmingham
  • GMB (1)
    • Birmingham Public Services
  • MU (1)
    • Birmingham
  • NEU (1)
    • Birmingham
  • NUJ (1)
    • Birmingham
  • PCS (1)
    • EFRA
  • RMT (1)
    • Birmingham
  • UCU (3)
    • Birmingham City University
    • University of Birmingham
    • Retired Members
  • Unison (2)
    • Birmingham
    • University of Birmingham
  • Unite (11)
    • Birmingham South/6030
    • Birmingham Central/6010
    • Community WM/5112
    • Community North/5114
    • WM 7147
    • WM 7342
    • WM7685
    • LE/7076L
    • LE/975
    • 76KS
    • IA/76

May Day with Banner theatre & BTUC- 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Saltley Gate

Saltley Gate 10th February 1972
Banner Theatre performing in support of the Bin HGV drivers on strike since 31st January 2022

50th Anniversary of Saltley Gate 10-February 2022

BTUC Delegates Meeting – 3rd February, 2022

BTUC will be hosting it’s February Delegates Meeting on Thursday, 3rd February, 7pm.

We have a number of guest speakers lined up for this month’s meeting, calling on leading figures of the West Midlands labour movement that are currently engaged in industrial disputes.

Come along for a chance to hear from;

  • Vicky Blake – UCU President, on the national dispute over pensions and the Four Fights
  • Haydn Jones – UNITE WM/7116 Coventy, on the Coventry driver’s dispute.
  • Tony Barnsley – Unison, on the Sandwell Leisure trust dispute
  • Russell Farrington – GMB, speaking to the Somers Forge dispute

It is a packed agenda of strong workplace politics, so it promises to be a good meeting. At this meeitng you can find out all about these disputes, and how we can support them as trade unionists.

Meeting Agenda

  1. Attendance and apologies for absence
  2. Welcome to New Delegates
  3. Guest Speakers
    a. Vicky Blake – UCU President
    b. Haydn Jones – Unite WM/7116 Coventry Local Government (Whitley
    Depot)
    c. Tony Barnsley – Unison, Sandwell Leisure Trust
    d. Russell Farrington – GMB, Somers Forge
  4. Correspondence
    a. Invitation to send representative to the BCC East Birmingham Inclusive
    Growth Programme Board
    b. Mary Wilkins – request for details of BTUC guest speaker on climate crisis
  5. Minutes of the previous BTUC Delegates’ Meeting
  6. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the previous BTUC Delegates’ Meeting
  7. Action Reports from the Minutes of the Executive Meeting
  8. Officers’ Report and other reports
    a. Treasurer’s Report
    b. Equality Officer’s Report
    c. Anti-racist Officer’s Report
  9. Resolutions
    a. Nationality and Borders Bill (Birmingham District NEU)
    b. Support the Coventry bin workers’ strike (Unite WM/6030)
  10. Important Workplace Reports
  11. Any other business and announcements notified to the Secretary in advance

Email btucsec@hotmail.com to register your attendance to this event.

Birmingham Trade Union Council

“Since 1866” 

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