Secretary: Gordon Glassford, Corby, Northants, NN17 2LL
Summary of the branch meeting held on 25.04.18
The labour party women’s forum is to mount a series of events in June around the winning of votes for women. The secretary will get more involved after Workers Memorial Day.
A member working for St. Andrews healthcare in Northampton, had taken a grievance to his employers and had been advised at the hearing by Martyn Reuby. The member had been very pleased by the outcome and is now eager to get more GMB members in the workplace. Rachelle will contact him and arrange a meeting.
The secretary had been contacted by the branch secretary for Northampton Borough council, which is in the Birmingham region, about opening talks concerning the proposed unitary authority. It appears that his branch is in favour of the proposal which is definitely not the view of this branch. No meeting has been arranged as yet.
Arrangements for Workers Memorial Day are just about complete. After some problems with the original band Corby Silver Band have agreed to play. They will be paid £200. The buffet has been arranged but the secretary is hopeful that it won’t be enough for everyone who turns up. Speakers will be Tim Roache, Beth, Nick MacWilliam from Justice for Columbia and Mick Scrimshaw from Northants County Council. The weather forecast has changed from day to day but it now looks as if it will be dry but cold. It was agreed that we donate £500 to the Mesothelioma fund. Cheques have been quite slow coming in. £200 from region, £25 from the MU and £100 from the UNISON Northants Health workers branch. More can be expected on the day. If the amount raised doesn’t come to £1000 the branch will make up the difference.
The branch finances remain healthy
Presidents Report: Jackie spoke about the dire effects universal credit is having on the less well off and how it driving some into the hands of so called ‘pay day lenders’. Members should join the GMB Credit Union and go to them first for loans should the need arise.
Equality officers Report: Martyn noted that the number of employment tribunals in the system has gone up 100% and PIP tribunals similarly. He welcomed the unveiling of the Statue of Millicent Fawcett in parliament square, the first statue of a woman. There are still no statues of any labour party members, trade unionists or anyone from Scotland or Ireland.
Communication Officers Report: The website has been updated to include all new info. The newsletter has had 28% opens. Facebook remains steady. Twitter traffic had increased significantly mostly to do with Tim Roache and Workers Memorial Day. We will have to find out how the new General Data Protection Regulations affect us.
Matalan Warehouse. David reported that the employer offer had been rejected there is no other offer on the table. One of the reps has been investigated for abuse and had been found to have no case to answer after CCTV footage had been reviewed. A number of management now have questions to answer. Also two members who had been suspended last year have been reinstated and all pay owing has been paid. Hopefully management have learned their lesson.
BCA: Martyn reported that he and his colleagues are still refusing to do stop and search on employees. Management don’t seem to realise that this is against the law.
Kier: Fergus still feels that members are being kept in the dark about the proposed merger of services with Kettering Borough Council. Meetings have taken place about which he had no knowledge and a newsletter had been published which his members hadn’t received until Ray Beeby had given them some. More can be done to keep them in the loop.
Accuma: Rajko will be meeting with Richard Taylor and Rachelle to sort out the current problems.
Tom Beattie has stood down as a delegate to Corby and East Northants CLP. He will be replaced by Matt Reay.
The branch nominated Ross Armour as Corby and EN CLP secretary, Martyn Reuby as treasurer and Gordon Glassford as TULO (on the understanding that he will stand down if anyone else wants to do it).
Rachelle gave a report on Northants County Council. It is becoming increasingly clear that the council was being run for the benefit of a few at the very top to the detriment of everyone else. Local Government Shared Services (LGSS) is an operation wholly owned by Northants, Cambridgeshire and Milton Keynes councils. As our council has now gone bust it has left the other councils looking extremely foolish. We are asking the council to pay the money owed to workers from the £11,000,000 they received from selling the new council offices. The £9,000,000 taken from the education budget and put in the general fund still hasn’t been put back. The means that the vital work needed to be done to replace asbestos in school buildings hasn’t been done putting the lives of schoolchildren and staff at risk.