Vice Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that the Chair was not enjoying good health and had to tender his resignation. Apologies from the Secretary also reported to the branch.
Reports & Business
Ian attended the NHS Lobby on 7th March 2012 organised by Unite. A lobby of parliament was organised by the union in addition to a rally at Westminster Hall (packed out). Activists also demonstrated support for NHS by holding hands all around St Thomas hospital. Ian lobbied Chris Leslie MP (Nottingham East) and discussed the East Midlands ‘At Risk Register’.
With respect to the E-On Asbestos policy, Trevor advised the branch that Unite keeps a database for workers to register with if they have come into contact with asbestos during the course of their work.
Workers Memorial Day Ribbons and Raffle prizes had been purchased for campaign at E-On. Receipts to branch in due course.
Donation to Unilever Pension campaign: thank you letter received from Jennie Formby of Unite.
TUC Workplace Manual: purchased and delivered – will come to next branch meeting.
Branch Financial Return 2011 has been signed off and sent to head office.
Ian requested a donation to Spinwatch, a research group based out of Strathclyde University who map the lobbying and funding activities of corporations and individuals and the influence it has upon the UK parliamentary system. Unite does make use of research in their campaigns, particularly on the NHS. Donation proposed by Graham, seconded Neil and agreed by branch with one abstention.
Notts Trades Council has requested a donation for May Day proposed by Adam and seconded by Trevor. Approved by branch.
Hazards Conference has requested sponsorship for 2012. Adam proposed, seconded formally and approved by branch.
Nottinghamshire Pride (28 & 29th July 2012) is seeking funding to enable the two day local community event. Paul explained how the money will be used and the intentions of the committee and proposed a sponsorship donation. Two main concerns raised by branch: firstly would the branch name appear as a sponsor in the program – Paul confirmed it would.
Secondly, what does the Regional Office contribute – Adam responded that the Region does support 3 prides (Derby, Nottingham and Leicester), spending at least several thousand pounds on hiring the stall and stocking it with information and merchandise, not including the costs of the Equality Officer. Graham proposed an initial part donation with an additional part to be considered at the next meeting. Seconded by Dennis and approved by branch.
Secretary, via email, proposed that she organised a gift and card to say thank you to the outgoing Chair and his wife who supported his attendance. Seconded by Adam and approved unanimously by the branch.
The Vice Chair advised the branch that it would need to re-elect a new Chair and the most appropriate time to do that would be at the next AGM. The branch understands that the AGM needs to be held by June 2012, which means that the meeting of 22 May 2012 would be the date of the AGM and this would need to be announced in the paperwork for the April 2012 meeting.
In addition to information given elsewhere in the meeting, Treasurer informed the branch that the final quarter allocation had been received by the branch on 2nd February 2012
Alstom - Neil
Wage negotiations almost finalised at 3%. 3 Technician (electro-mechanical) vacancies coming up in the immediate future at Alstom, with more jobs to follow in associated trades and office work.
Nottingham South CLP Delegate
Graham informed the branch that he was standing down from this delegacy with effect from the next AGM and advised the branch to choose a new delegate. The MP for Nottingham South is also the Shadow Transport Minister.
East Midlands Trains (EMT)
Undergoing a ballot over a pay offer that covers three sites (Nottingham, Derby and Leeds), which if rejected, will turn into a ballot for industrial action.
Pensions are also becoming an issue with the company reducing it’s pension contributions, moving from RPI to CPI inflationary measures. ASLEF have already called for industrial action on this issued and Unite FTO to be instructed to ballot members.
Recognition for Unite was achieved in December 2011 but E-On has stopped recruitment and appointment of new union reps whilst a review is carried out. Both the training of reps and their movement between sites has been restricted. FTO, Andy Faughnan, appears to be negotiating without reference to reps at E-On and supporting the employers review process.
Meeting ended 21:35
Next Meeting 19:30, 24 April 2012