It used to be that in the summer work became a little less stressful; a bit more relaxed, enabling us to catch up on those things we had omitted to do in the months since Christmas. It used to be! Not anymore!
In the Midlands TUC office we are juggling a number of projects which will come to fruition in the autumn - not least the two mass mobilisations for the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham and the march for a Future that Works in London on 20th October. More about these later in the newsletter but we have a plea on both these events - We need stewards.
You know how it is, union marches are well mannered, well organised. Essentially people follow the person in front and we make our protest in a good humoured way. But for things to go smoothly we need volunteers to steward the marches. That's where you come in. Details of how to volunteer appear later in the newsletter - think if you can help and contact Michelle in the office for Birmingham and your union for London.
Midlands TUC Regional Secretary
This October will see two major demonstrations against government policy - and urging people to join the campaign for a Future that Works.
On Sunday 7th October the TUC is organising a march through Birmingham City Centre to coincide with the Conservative Party conference which is being held at the International Convention Centre. The march will skirt the ICC and end with a rally at St Marks Space behind the National Indoor Arena.
Speakers for Birmingham have been booked and we currently have a number of trade union general secretaries lined up to give their views of where the country should be heading to improve employment, skills and economic regeneration. To date we have:
Christine Blower NUT; Bob Crow RMT
Sally Hunt UCU; Tony Kearns, CWU
Chris Keates NASUWT; Len McCluskey Unite
Steve Murphy UCATT; Mick Whelan, ASLEF
Matt Wrack FBU
The march will assemble from 11:00 a.m. on High Street, Birmingham, with a move off from 11.30 a.m. Further information will be posted on the TUC website and Midlands TUC blog at: http://midlandstucmedia.blogspot.co.uk/
Two weeks later there will be a huge mobilisation in London where we will be marching through the capital from the Embankment to Hyde Park. Details will be posted on the dedicated TUC website: http://afuturethatworks.org/
Our friends at False Economy are hosting the coach and train travel pages for October 20:
Anyone who has booked transport to the march and wants to offer seats to others can use this facility to advertise them. Or if you're looking for a place on a coach, keep checking it out. As more coaches are added, the map will fill up, and make it easy to locate cheap travel options to get you to London on the day.
We are pleased to announce that Wembley Stadium is now accepting coach parking bookings at a total cost of £32.00 per coach. The website for booking is www.gotocsp.com
>Click on Stadium Events>Search through to TUC by clicking on 'Next' button>Then follow the site payment procedure.
The direct website link is:
Please let coach operators know, as they often book their own parking directly. Coach park is allocated on arrival. The post code for the coach park location is HA9 OWS. Coach drop off arrangements will be finalised nearer the event time.
Please note we expect to announce other coach parking options soon - which may better serve coaches travelling into London from Southern & Eastern directions. Some operators are too busy with Olympics events at present to firm up arrangements.
People who wish to offer coach places can now use the False Economy website to do so. Although we won't expect this to be busy until much nearer the time, the facility is now live at:
For these two major mobilisations to be effective and safe we are looking for union members to come forward and volunteer to be a steward. If you can help steward in Birmingham, email Michele Kesterton on email@example.com so we can add you to our database and keep in touch with information about the day, when to arrive, where to go etc.
For London, unions are being asked to provide stewards for particular parts of the march route so talk to your union about how you can play your part in making the London march a success.
Rail unions and pressure groups, under the 'Action for Rail' campaign leafleted railway stations on 14th August to coincide with the publication of the inflation figures which will determine the minimum fare rise in January 2013. With inflation increasing to 2.6% this means that the minimum rise in train tickets is likely to be 5.6% - inflation plus 3%. In some parts of the country this could be as high as 11%.
TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: "These fare rises will add even more pressure to passengers already feeling a massive squeeze on their incomes.
"The government is asking train operators to make cuts to staff on trains, stations and in ticket offices while continuing to receive public subsidy and give millions in dividends to shareholders.
"Passengers are being asked to pay more to get less. We want cuts to rail fares, not rail staff."
The Pensioners Network has a new Chair and vice chair, Yvonne Washbourne - Wash to all that know her - and Bob Deacon. Wash and Bob are keen to get a higher profile for retired members and have offered contributions to this newsletter. The first contribution, below, is on elder abuse and is reprinted by kind permission of Unison Wolverhampton branch.
Retired Members Network Chair and Vice Chair Yvonne Washbourne and Bob Deacon on the campaign trail. (Picture @RoyPeters)
UNISON's National Conference, held at Bournemouth in June, carried a hard-hitting resolution on Elder Abuse.
UNISON calls for legislation in England, Wales & Northern Ireland to protect vulnerable adults from abuse. (Scotland passed a law in 2007.) The resolution also recognises the relationship between enforceable legal remedies and developing an equality and human rights based approach to delivering old people's services.
The resolution's prominent place on the conference agenda indicates how seriously UNISON takes this issue. Retired UNISON Members in Greater London have launched an e-petition to try to get a debate in parliament. To sign it, go to http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions27208
A huge amount of abuse and neglect takes place in care settings but even more happens at home at the hands of sons, daughters, partners and so-called 'friends'.
Abuse can be:
¨Physical - being hit or slapped;
¨Emotional - having your decisions taken for you or being bullied;
¨Financial - being tricked out of your money;
¨Neglect - not being given enough to eat or drink or helped when you need the lavatory;
¨Sexual - being touched or kissed when it's not wanted; or,
¨Discrimination - jokes and assumptions e.g. about your race, religion or sexuality.
If you think somebody you know is being abused you must share your worries with a person who can help. Ring Adult Social Care Services 01902 551199 or tell a doctor or a police officer.
The Midlands TUC Executive Committee has supported the establishment of an annual Reps Awards Dinner. The date for this inaugural dinner has now been confirmed as Friday 23 November 2012 at the Novotel Birmingham City Centre.
Nomination forms for the four reps awards are available from Michelle Kesterton in the office, but need to be signed off by your union Regional Secretary.
Health & Safety Rep; Union Learning Rep
Campaigning Rep; Organising Rep
The closing date for replies and nominations is Wednesday 31 October 2012.
Please be advised that any nominations for the awards will only be considered if they are approved and signed off by union Regional Secretaries. The winner of each award will be determined by the Midlands TUC Executive.
We look forward to a successful inaugural awards dinner and hope that the dinner becomes an established date in the calendar of the labour movement.
If you require further information, please contact Michelle Kesterton on 0121 236 4454 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Many trade unionists Tweet these days - and many unions have official Tweet feeds too. Increasingly, union branches and trades councils are getting on board and sending out really useful information. If you send us a tweet @MidlandsTUC we will forward it on and hopefully expand our range of influence in so doing.
We are publishing all our media releases on our blog: http://midlandstucmedia.blogspot.com/
This includes links to the False Economy website where cuts information is added on a daily basis:
You can also follow us on Twitter @MidlandsTUC
E: email@example.com T: 0121 262 6383
Published by TUC Midlands Region, 24 Livery Street, Birmingham B3 2PA
Copyright in this publication is held by the TUC unless otherwise stated. For more copies of this newsletter contact Michelle Kesterton on tel: 0121 262 6383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This text may also be made available, on request, in accessible formats such as Braille, audiotape and large print, at no extra cost.
Newsletter (1,700 words) issued 17 Aug 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-21336-f0.cfm
printed 24 May 2013 at 14:07 hrs by 126.96.36.199