BTUC in Solidarity with Enrico La Rocca PCS member

“At an extraordinary delegates meeting on the 6th August, Birmingham TUC discussed and unanimously passed a motion in solidarity with Enrico La Rocca, recently dismissed by the Department of Work and Pensions after 27 years of service.

Enrico has been dismissed for exposing “shocking ineptitude” (the words of the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, not ours) at the DWP in relation to their treatment of recipients of the Carers Allowance.

We offer Enrico and all workers facing punishment for whistleblowing and doing the right thing our solidarity and we hope we will be joined in doing so by the whole labour movement.

Enrico has been punished for doing the right thing and that is a disgrace.

You can read more here:

In Solidarity

The Officers of Birmingham Trades Council”

Tim Martin Musician and Singer

Tim Martin

Singer/song writer available to perform songs at political events &

protests as well as private bookings (MU Rates)

Facebook please search for Tim’s Protest Songs


Tel: 07941141428

BTUC Delegate Meeting 6th August 2020 7 pm (Zoom)

Birmingham Trades Union Council is holding an extraordinary delegates meeting on the 6th August. The meeting is being held over the zoom. Under normal circumstances BTUC does not meet in August. However, because of unprecedented circumstances the Labour movement and the Trade Unionists face we have decided to hold the extra ordinary delegates meeting in August.

The meeting will be hearing from Trade Unionists who are currently engaged in disputes with their employers either to protect their jobs or protecting their conditions of employment. These include UNISON representatives from Tower Hamlets, PCS member talking about the victimisation of one of its members. Also, there will local trade unionists talking about what our affiliates and their members might soon face in Birmingham as Birmingham Council grapples with the deficit caused by the Corona virus and years of austerity. Joanne Shemmans who is actively engaged on the homeless issues will be talking about the housing situation in Birmingham and how it effects some of the most vulnerable families and individuals in the city.

Tower Hamlets UNISON assistant branch secretary Kerie Anne said: “It’s shocking that a Labour council would resort to sacking and re-engaging staff in order to force through unpopular and unfair contract changes.     

“It beggars belief that workers who’ve put their health on the line to deliver critical services throughout the pandemic are being treated in this way.”

Trade unionists are being urged to send solidarity messages to a PCS rep dismissed after whistleblowing at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Enrico La Rocca, who had worked for the DWP for more than 27 years, lost his job in May after highlighting serious concerns with management over a number of years. His complaints resulted in questions being asked about the department’s handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments by the National Audit Office (NAO) and raised by in a Work and Pensions Select Committee report.

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BTUC Meeting (Zoom) on Racism and Black Lives Matter Thursday, the 16th July 2020 7 pm

The death of George Floyd while being arrested by the Police force in the US highlighted institutional racism within the police force and other state institutions. The accused police officer had previously been fifteen complaints of abuse over his twenty year career. This has resulted in demands de-funding the police force eradicating racism within institutions of the state.

Similar incidences, with multiple deaths in custody in this country, including in Birmingham suggest significant presence of institutional racism within our state institutions and in particular within the police and judicial services.

Birmingham Trades Union Council has organised a meeting the issues around racism and we can help combat racism in all its form and in particular within our institutions and societal structures.

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BTUC Meeting on Economic and Employment impact of Covid19 in the Midlands

Thursday the 9th of July 7 pm – via Zoom

The meeting is called to discuss the gravity of the looming economic crisis and its effect on employment in the region. Key union representatives have been invited to speak about how the unions propose to overcome the crisis which could see millions of workers being left unemployed across the country. After the key speakers have spoken there will be an opportunity for attandees to ask questions and discuss with the panel the impact of the covid 19 on employment in the region and how they can be circumvented. Please join us.

Asif Mohammed who will be speaking from a trade union perspective on the West Midlands manufacturing base, their concerns and policies for future developments. Asif is chair the UNITE’s regional committee.Stefan

Cholewka will be expressing concerns on the short & long term effects of covid-19 on the manufacturing base.Stefan is from the Manchester TUC

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BTUC Delegate Meeting 2nd July 7 pm (Zoom)

Speakers include

John Rees from the Campaign to stop Extradition of Julian Assange

Keith Venables speaking on the National Health Service

Tim Martin will provide musical entertainment

The campaign to stop the extradition of Julian Assange is an important campaign to defend journalistic freedom and the campaign

is supported by the National Union of Journalists. Wiki-links is most famous for releasing a military video from a US helicopter which

guns down dozens of unarmed Iraqi civilians in central Baghdad, a blatant attack on civilians which was clearly a war crime. Even

the American prosecutors accept that no US military personnel has been harmed by the rele

ase of the Wiki-link files.

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BTUC Delegate meeting Thursday 4th June 2020 7 pm

Pre delegate meeting interview with Ian Scott, President of BTUC on Corona crisis and its impact or Trade Unionists and other working communities

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Delegates meeting Discussing the Corona Virus and its impact on the economy and how we as part of the Trade Union movement should respond as we face huge job losses and severe austerity impacting millions of working people across the country. At the same time our health and safety is severely challenged. This will be first of the several meetings BTUC will be organising over the next few weeks and months to help prepare the labour and trade union movement for the coming storm.

This meeting is titled Coming out of the pandemic – the task for the labour movement. The discussion will be introduced by Michael Roberts Marxist economist. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to thousands of extra deaths in the UK and elsewhere. Because health systems were run down resourced, most governments were forced into lockdowns of the economy in varying degrees to contain the virus. This has led to the collapse of production, investment and employment across most major economies. In the case of Britain, it is the largest drop in economic activity for 300 years!

Workers have been sent home, sacked or furloughed. The damage is most felt by those in key necessary jobs and among the lower paid. While professionals and others can work at home, millions of others must go to workplaces and travel to do their jobs, putting themselves at risk of infection.

The government has announced a series of spending programmes to provide incomes for those out of work or furloughed. The Bank of England has

printed money for banks to lend to small and large businesses to tide them over. But these measures will run out by the end of the summer. Most

worrying, millions of workers may find that there are no jobs for them to come back to as their employers make them redundant or go bust. Many other companies are preparing to reduce the hours of work and demand pay cuts. The TUC has called for jobs to be protected and is promoting a jobs guarantee for at least six months, particularly for young workers who will be the first to lose their jobs. Colleges remain closed for those who need to study for qualifications and apprenticeships.

Despite the emergency measures, millions can be expected to take significant hit to their income and employment for years to come. At the same time, the British government is running up a huge bill with the annual budget deficit set to triple this year and next. The public debt will rocket to levels not seen since the end of WW2, as large and small companies demand bailout funds. Once the pandemic is contained and the lockdowns are ended, we shall not return to normal. Moreover, the Conservative government is very likely to want to re-introduce the policies of austerity that workers experienced after the end of the Great Recession ten years ago. There are plans for tax rises, cuts in spending on public services and a new public sector pay freeze -despite the courageous efforts of health and other essential workers during the pandemic. Companies too will be demanding that workers accept poorer work conditions to ‘make ends meet’.

How should the labour movement react to this likely new attack on incomes, jobs and public services? Michael Roberts, former City economist and long supporter of the labour movement, will discuss how the labour movement must prepare to defend working class livelihoods when the pandemic is over.

BTUC Constitution


1.      NAME

           The name of the Council shall be “Birmingham Trades Union Council”, which shall be registered with the T.U.C.

2.      OBJECTS

           The objects of the Council shall be:

(a)       To provide a coordinating centre for the Trade Union Movement and to promote the interests of all it’s affiliated organisations. To secure united action on all questions affecting or likely to affect those interests, and, where needed, to give help to local branches or societies.

(b)       To help to promote suitable educational, social and sports activities for all workers.

(c)       To maintain close relations between its affiliated organizations and the Trades Union Congress and to support and work for such objectives as the Trade Union Congress from time to time determine.

(d)       To improve generally the economic and social conditions of the workers; and to take part in international, national and local efforts to promote the welfare of Trade Unionists.

(e)       To combat racist, sexist or fascist ideas and oppose discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, colour, sex, marital status, disability or sexual orientation.

(f)       To publish a journal in support of these objectives.


           The Council shall consist only of delegates of Trade Unions or branches of Trade Unions whose places of meeting are within the City of Birmingham and the District of Solihull and any adjacent area subject to the consent of the West Midlands County Association of Trades Councils.

(a)       The affiliation fee shall be 25p per member plus £10.00 per branch payable between 1st January and 31st December in each calendar year.

(b)       The application of any organisation desiring to affiliate shall be submitted to the E.C. for its approval or otherwise.

(c)       Delegates must be members working or who have worked at the various trades or callings they represent, or are paid T.U. Officers of the society they represent.

(d)       The Council may invite to its meetings any persons who may for the time being be representatives of the Trades Union Council or Labour Party on a public body, and such persons shall not have power to vote unless bona-fide delegated to the Council.

(e)       Each Society or branch of a Society of 100 affiliated members or less shall be entitled to send two delegates; numbering 101 and under 300 may send three, and one further delegate for every additional 200 members or part thereof.

(f)       The Council shall have power to reject any delegates whom they may consider are not bona-fide members of the Society they represent.

(g)       Life membership can be conferred on the recommendation of the E.C. upon delegates for services rendered to the Trades Union Council. Life members shall be invited to all Council meetings with a power to participate in the discussions but not to vote. A life member shall not be entitled to be appointed as a delegate.

(h)       In no circumstances shall the Council cooperate with or subscribe to the funds of any organization whose policies or activities are contrary to those of Congress. Nor shall the Council cooperate with or subscribe to the funds of any political party other than the Local Labour Party, with which the Council may cooperate providing that no part of the funds of the Council derived from the General funds of affiliated Trade Unions shall be applied directly or indirectly in the furtherance of the political objectives specified in Section 3 (3) of the Trade Union Act 1913.

4.      OFFICERS

(a)       The Officers of the Council shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Equal Opportunities Officer, Anti-Racist Officer and Assistant Secretary.

(b)       The President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Equal Opportunities Officer, Anti Racist Officer and Assistant Secretary shall be elected at the January meeting of the Council. On retirement from office they shall hand over to their successors, or to the E.C. all books, cash, keys, papers and other property of the Council.

(c)       The Officers shall be ex-officio members of all Standing Committees and Sub-Committees of the E.C. with power to vote.


(a)       President– The President shall preside at all meetings of the Council and E.C. and see that the business at the meetings, and the Council generally is conducted in a proper manner. At Council meetings in addition to his/her vote as a delegate, he/she shall have the power as Chairperson, to give the casting vote upon any question when the votes are equal. The President shall have the power to name any member who persistently refuses to obey the ruling of the President. In the event of any member being named twice, the President shall be empowered to move a motion suspending the member from taking any further part in the meeting, also to report the member to his/her Society, and if the circumstances of the case demand it, the President may move that the member’s name be removed from the list of delegates.

(b)       Vice-President– In the absence of the President the Vice-President shall take over the President’s duties. At meetings where the President and Vice-President are not in attendance the meeting shall elect one of the members present to preside.

(c)       Secretary– The Secretary shall be responsible for the general conduct of the business of the Council under the instruction of the Council and E.C. 

         The Secretary shall keep a correct record of the proceedings and conduct the business of the Council in accordance with the rules. 

(d)       Assistant Secretary– In the absence of the Secretary the Assistant Secretary will take on the Secretary’s duties.

           On a day-to-day basis the Assistant Secretary will take on such of the Secretary’s duties as the Secretary, Assistant Secretary and the Executive Committee shall from time to time determine.

(e)       Treasurer– The Treasurer shall keep an account of income and expenditure and shall receive all monies due to the Council and pay this into the Council’s banking account without delay. 

          The Treasurer shall prepare a quarterly statement of accounts, a copy of which shall be supplied to all E.C. members and shall prepare the annual statement of accounts and balance sheets.

(f)       Equal Opportunities Officer– The Equal Opportunities Officer has responsibility for convening the Trades Union Council’s Women’s Group and for liaising with and initiating projects which relate to the rights of women, lesbians, gay men and people with disabilities on behalf of the Trades Union Council.

(g)       Anti Racist Officer– The Anti Racist Officer has responsibility for liaising with anti racist campaigns and black and ethnic minority organizations as well as initiating anti racist projects on behalf of the Trades Union Council.

6.      AUDITORS

           There shall be two auditors who shall serve for two years, one retiring each year and be subject to re-election. Their duties shall be to examine all books and vouchers, together with the whole of the receipts and disbursements for the year and certify the result of their examinations to the Executive Committee and the Council.


           The E.C. shall consist of:

(a)       The Officers.

(b)       Ten members elected by delegates at the January meeting. Nominations will be taken at the November meeting. Nominations for women delegates shall be taken first. If there are three or fewer nominations for women delegates, they shall all be declared elected. In the event that there are more than three nominations for women delegates, and where there are more than ten nominations in total, a ballot shall be held. A minimum of three women delegates must be declared elected in this ballot regardless of votes cast.

If there are ten or fewer nominations in total all nominations will be declared elected. Where there are more than ten nominations no union shall have more than 3 members elected to the Executive. 

Where there is a casual vacancy there will be no limitation on union numbers. In the event that there is a casual vacancy, when there are fewer than three women Executive Committee members, a nomination for a woman delegate will take precedence. A women delegate nominated in these circumstances will be declared elected.


(a)       Nominations for President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Equal Opportunities Officer, Anti Racist Officer, Assistant Secretary, Auditor, Executive Committee, 8 stewards and Review Committee shall be taken at the November meeting. Nominations shall be accepted subject to compliance with Section C below.

(b)       Ballot papers for the election of Officers, Auditor, Review Committee, E.C. and stewards shall be sent by post or emailto all delegates, together with the agenda for the January meeting. In order to ensure an informed vote each candidate shall be entitled to submit within seven days of being nominated an election statement of up to 100 words for distribution with the ballot papers.

(c)       The ballot shall be taken at the January meeting of the Council from the ballot papers of those present. The Council shall also accept ballot papers from absent delegates provided that such ballot papers have been addressed to the Scrutineers, c/o the Secretary, and delivered at the Trades Union Council Office not later than the first post on the day on which the ballot is to be taken. The affiliation fee for any person seeking election must have been paid by their respective society/ branch for the previous year prior to the date of the meeting in January, other than the Review Committee.

(d)       Under no circumstances shall ballot papers for absent delegates be accepted which are handed in at the meeting.

(e)       Duplicate ballot papers shall not be issued.

(f)       The E.C. shall notify any casual vacancy to the next ordinary meeting of the Council when nomination shall be taken and ballot papers issued to delegates for the following ordinary meeting when the ballot shall be conducted according to rules (8c, d and e).

(g)       A member of the E.C. shall be deemed to have resigned on failing to attend three successive meetings without (in the opinion of the E.C.), good and sufficient reason. The E.C. member shall have right of appeal to full Council.


(a)       The E.C. shall conduct the detailed business and report to the meetings of the Council.

(b)       The E.C. shall prepare the agenda of the Council meeting, placing thereon any reports and motions submitted by the E.C. or accepted from any Standing Committee and any motions accepted from affiliated societies in accordance with Standing Orders.

(c)       The E.C. shall control the Council finances; pay the salaries as instructed by the Council.

(d)       The E.C. shall arrange for such securities or insurance, as it deems necessary.

(e)       The E.C. may create such trusts or funds as deemed necessary and may appoint or remove trustees of such funds.

(f)       The Officers shall have the power to vote. The Chairperson shall also have a casting vote.

(g)       Seven members of the E.C. shall form a quorum.

(h)       Ordinary E.C. meetings shall be at least nine days before the Council meeting.


(a)       A special meeting of the E.C. may be called when deemed necessary by the President and the Secretary.

(b)       A special meeting shall be called on the requisition of seven E.C. members. The object of the meeting must be clearly stated on the requisition.


(a)       The E.C. may at any meeting appoint a subcommittee to examine any matter and report to the E.C.

(b)       Each subcommittee shall appoint its Chairperson and a quorum shall consist of a majority of its appointed members.

(c)       The E.C. may appoint standing advisory committees each of which shall function in accordance with a constitution approved by the E.C.

(d)       At least one of the appointed members must be an E.C. member who will be responsible for preparing the minutes of the Sub-Committee or Advisory Committee, such minutes to be submitted to the E.C. for approval.

12.    OFFICERS, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND                                   AUDITORS EXPENSES

           Expenses incurred in carrying out the duties of Officers, Executive Committee members and Auditors shall be reclaimable. Claims shall be made on a monthly basis to the Treasurer.


(a)       The ordinary general meeting of the Council shall take place on the first Thursday in each month, unless otherwise decided by the Council.

(b)       An agenda shall be issued in accordance with Rule No. 9 (b) and any affiliated branch or society desiring to introduce a subject for the consideration of the Council shall be at liberty to do so by giving written notice to the Secretary prior to the E.C. Meeting in order that such subject may be brought before the E.C. Any branch or society sending a motion may request the E.C. to receive a delegation to attend to answer any objections that may be raised.

(c)       The Executive Committee and delegates shall have the right to propose amendments to a motion appearing for the first time on the Council Agenda.

(d)       Amendments from branches relating to adjourned motions shall be sent to the E.C. for inclusion on the Agenda. The E.C. shall have the power to put forward amendments to adjourned motions.

(e)       The E.C. shall have the power to make alterations of a purely drafting nature and exclude any personal matter from any motion previous to its being placed upon the agenda.

(f)       A matter of urgency notified by a branch to the Secretary and Chairperson before the meeting and accepted by the Chairperson, as an emergency shall require a two-thirds majority of those present before being included in the agenda.

(g)       A special meeting may be called at any time by the E.C. or in the case of urgency, by the President and Secretary, and shall be called on the written requisition of thirty delegates representing not less than three societies. In the latter case the object of the meeting must be clearly stated upon the requisition. Any special meeting shall have the power to adjourn.

(h)       No business shall be transacted at any meeting of the Council at which fewer than twelve delegates are present

(i)        The Council may at any of its meetings appoint special committees of not less than three members to examine any matter under consideration. Such committees shall present a report in writing, as early as possible and on its reception by the Council such committees shall be dissolved. Where the committee is not fully agreed a minority may present a separate report also in writing. Notice of this shall be given to the committee at the time their report is brought up for adoption, previous to presentation to the E.C. Every such committee shall first report to the Executive Committee.


(a)       The bank accounts shall be kept at the Unity Trust Bank in the name of the Trades Union Council. The President, Treasurer and the Secretary shall be authorized to sign cheques, these to bear two signatures. The Secretary may keep a floating balance of £200 as Petty Cash.

(b)       The E.C. shall appoint Officers and three E.C. members to keep under constant review the finances of the Council.


           Delegates attending meetings, conferences or transacting business on behalf of the Trades Union Council shall be entitled to actual loss of earnings and subsistence allowance in accordance with the current scale of allowances for the time being for unpaid public service. Any travelling expenses incurred shall be allowed but the amount shall not exceed second-class railway fare unless especially authorised by the Executive Committee. The affiliation fee for any delegate representing the Birmingham TUC must have been paid for the previous year prior to their acceptance of attending meetings, conferences, etc.


           Nominations to various Committees shall be vested in the E.C. Where appropriate reports shall be given as required.


           The use of the name of the Council is forbidden except for the legitimate purposes of the Council.


           In the event of the Council’s annual registration by the TUC not being continued the Officers shall hand over the funds and property of the Council to the TUC to be held in trust until such time as the Council is re-established and registered by the TUC Failing such re-establishment the TUC shall distribute the funds to the Council’s affiliated organizations in the proportion to which they have contributed affiliation fees during the preceding two years.


           These rules shall not be amended or rescinded without the consent of a two-thirds majority of the delegates present. Notice of any proposed amendment shall be included on the agenda of that meeting and of the previous meeting.



           In order to facilitate transaction of Council business, the following Standing Orders shall apply.

1.        The Meeting shall commence at 7.30 pm and terminate at 9.30 pm.

2.        Business shall be taken in the following order:

(a)       Confirmation, if approved, of Minutes of previous Trades Union Council Meeting.

(b)       Adoption, if approved, of Minutes of Executive Committee meeting.

(c)       Adjourned motions from previous meetings.

(d)       Correspondence, Notices and Announcements.

(e)       Welcome to New Delegates and Lifts Home.

(f)       Visiting Speakers.

(g)       Reports of Special Committees, delegates, or representatives.

(h)       Adjourned business not covered in ‘c’ above.

(i)        Motions (to start no later than 20.45 hours)

3.        All motions and amendments, unless included on the Agenda, shall be reduced to writing, signed by the movers and delivered to the President.

4.        When the President rises all other members must be seated. In case more than one delegate rise at a time, the President shall decide who shall have the floor. The ruling of the Chairperson on any question under the Standing Orders or on points of order or explanation shall be final unless challenged by at least four members, and unless two-thirds of the members present vote against such ruling.

5         Whenever an amendment is made to a motion, no further amendment shall be discussed until it is disposed of. If the amendment is carried, it becomes the question, whereupon any further amendment, of which notice has been given to the meeting prior to the vote being taken, may be moved. No member of the Council shall move or second more than one amendment to any motion.

6         The mover of any original motion, but not an amendment, shall have the right to reply, but no other delegate shall be allowed to speak more than once on the same question unless permission be given to explain or on a point of order, addressed to the President, when the remarks made must be confined to the explanation or point of order.

7         Seven minutes shall be allowed to the mover of a motion, and three minutes for each succeeding speaker. The mover shall have five minutes to reply to the discussion but shall not introduce new matter into the reply. The motion shall be put immediately the mover has replied.

8         The time limits for speakers shall not apply in a special address to the Council.

9         Each member addressing the meeting shall preface his/her remarks with his/her name and name of his/her Society.

10       No discussion can take place on the following motions, which must obtain a two-thirds majority vote of those, present before becoming effective:

(a)       “That the vote be now taken”

(b)       “To proceed to the next business”

(c)       “That the Council now adjourn”

11       To suspend Standing Orders, the member moving shall previously furnish the President with the nature of the suspension required and the reason thereof, which on being seconded, shall be put to the meeting without debate or amendment and to be effective, must be carried by a two thirds majority of those present.

12       No resolution passed by the Council shall be rescinded or amended at the same meeting at which it is passed. Notice of intention to rescind or amend a resolution shall not be included in the agenda of the Council until the third ordinary meeting of the Council after such resolution has been passed, and such rescission or amendment shall only become effective if passed by a two-thirds majority of the delegates present at that meeting.


BTUC Delegates Meeting over the Zoom Thursday, 21st May 5 pm

Birmingham Trades Council Delegates meeting will take place over the zoom and is open to everyone. The Meeting will discuss the threats posed by the easing of the lock down. In particular, the meeting will hear Bernard Regan from the National Education Union will talk about the various threats teachers, pupils, parents and other staff can face if schools are opened up without sufficient safety features against the virus.

Pat Collins and Kathryn Gaffney executive members of the BTUC will also be part of the panel discussing issues of safety related to public transport and generally as more workers return to work.

How to join the meeting:

Topic: BTUC Delegates Meeting Thursday 21st May 2020 5 pm UK time
Time: May 21, 2020 05:00 PM

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Pat Collins Secretary Birmingham RMT Engineering section on hazards of easing lockdown