Sunday, July 7


Calling Notice: Birmingham & Coventry NUJ July Branch Meeting

Wednesday 10th July
Carrs Lane Church Centre
Carrs Lane
B4 7SX
6:00 pm for 6:30 start

Any apologies to branch chair:


1) Introduction by chair/those attending

2) Minutes of May meeting

3) Secretary/Treasurers reports

4) Branch reports

5) NUJ finances, attached Annual Return for financial year ending September 2012. Any comments/questions Email: <>

6) Up date on disputes

7) NUJ Delegate Meeting 2014

8)  'Gripes, Grumbles and Grievances'

9) Any other business

Topics in this message:

Delegate Meeting (DM) 2014 - Eastbourne 11th - 13th April 2014
Unison to Judicially Review 'Brutal' Employment Tribunal Fees
Age Immaterial: TUC Survey of Union Members Over the Age of 50
Matchwomen's Strike - Gave Birth to the UK Trade Union Movement
Public Sector Parents Hit Worst by Austerity Drive
Invitation: People's Assembly Group Birmingham!


Unison to Judicially Review 'Brutal' Employment Tribunal Fees
News that Unison has applied for Judicial Review of the Government's controversial plans to introduce fees in the Employment Tribunal has gone viral in the Labour Law community.  A key theme in the application is access to justice for working people, particularly women. Unison has described the proposed fees of up to£1000 for individuals to bring a claim and have that claim determined in the Employment Tribunals as "brutal".

In summary, the basis of the legal argument is four-fold:

    The fees make it difficult, to the point of impossibility, to enforce workers' rights under European Community law.

    There are no fees for enforcing domestic rights at a First Tier Tribunal - which is at a similar level to the Employment Tribunals - so the proposed fees offend against the principle of equivalence.

    There was no adequate assessment of the proposed fees system by the Government in accordance with the Government's Public Sector Equality Duty (introduced by the previous Labour Government).

    The fees are indirectly discriminatory; that is although apparently neutral in expression or written form, the effect in practice would place women at a particular disadvantage, including in the application of the scheme for the partial remission of the fees.

Read more: <>  Lauren Godfrey, UK Human Rights Blog, 21/06/13


Delegate Meeting (DM) 2014 - Eastbourne 11th - 13th April 2014
All DM packs containing NEC, Industrial Councils and DM nominations plus information about motions will be sent out early September. The following dates are important deadlines that branches and tabling bodies must adhere to for DM 2014:

Close of motions and nominations (DM bodies)  1:00 pm 25th November. Close of amendments and  confirmation of motions and DM nominations 2013 1:00pm 10th February 2014. All deadlines will be strictly enforced.

Information on how to register delegates for conference will be issued in January 2014. Please note branches may wish to consider potential delegate / observer nominations prior to their January branch meeting.


Age Immaterial: TUC Survey of Union Members Over the Age of 50
The TUC is running a survey aimed at union members over 50 (both men and women) to gather information on the impact of caring responsibilities on work and planning for retirement. If you're a union member aged over 50, please take 2 minutes to fill in this <>short survey.

Age Immaterial is a new blog that will provide a platform to highlight and discuss issues affecting working women over 50. We will gather the best campaigners, writers and women of experience to write about key issues facing women over 50 in the work place focusing on five key areas: pay, jobs, discrimination, caring and health.

We will report the latest news, employment issues and reports whilst ensuring a wide range of voices get to contribute to the debate via our blog, links and work with the leading organisations championing older women.

Women over 50 face significant discrimination in the workplace, we are going to use this blog to shout about it, to raise awareness of the issues and to call for action.
Read more <>   here . . . .


Public Sector Parents Hit Worst by Austerity Drive
Parents working in the public sector will take the biggest hit to their household incomes from government cuts and stagnant wages, according to Trades Union Congress research published ahead of George Osborne's spending review this week.

The TUC says its findings undermine government attempts throughout the austerity drive to pit private sector workers against "allegedly well-paid public sector workers." Its calculations also suggest that more than 180,000 children with a parent working in the public sector will be pushed into poverty by 2015, proportionately a far bigger rise than for the private sector.
Read more: <>  Guardian, 24/06/13


Matchwomen's Strike - Gave Birth to the UK Trade Union Movement
125 years ago the Matchwomen's gallant struggle and victory against all the odds led to the new union movement.

For far too long they have been unsung heroes in the pages of history. Celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Matchwomen's victory, and the beginning of the modern labour movement!

The festival will be the kind of 'knees- up' the Matchwomen themselves would have enjoyed - there will be bands, comedians and actors, choirs, stalls, and great food and drink.

Bishopsgate Institute, London. 6th July 2013. Admission Free. Children and family friendly

In July 1888, several hundred women walked out of an East London match factory - and changed the world. The strike was a reaction to management bullying and terrible conditions, and it should have failed. Bryant & May were powerful and prosperous, with friends in government. The women were mere 'factory girls', and even worse, mostly Irish.

However their courage, solidarity and refusal to back down impressed all who saw it. What they revealed about conditions inside the factory, including the horrors of the industrial disease 'phossy jaw', shamed Bryant & May, and their shareholders, many of whom were MP's and clergymen.

In just two weeks, the women won better rates of pay and conditions, and the right to form the largest union of women in the country. Their victory was remarkable, but until now, rarely acknowledged as the beginning of the modern trade union movement.

Following the Matchwomen's victory a wave of strikes, including the 1889 Great London Dock Strike, swept the nation. Multitudes of the most exploited workers formed new unions, sowing the seeds of the modern labour movement, and Labour Party. The Dock Strikers never denied the Matchwomen's influence. In the throes of the Dock Strike, leader John Burns urged a mass meeting of tens of thousands to 'stand shoulder to shoulder. Remember the Matchwomen, who won their fight and formed a union.'


People's Assembly Group Birmingham!
Birmingham Trades Union Council invites you to a meeting to establish a People's Assembly Group in Birmingham

7:00pm Monday 1st July
Unite Offices
211 Broad Street
Birmingham B15 1AY

The People's Assembly in London on Saturday was a massive success. At least 4000 people attended, bringing together trade unionists, community organisations and a whole range of people from the various sections of society. All were looking for an alternative to cuts, poverty and social misery.

The size of the Assembly, the level of discussion and commitments to future activity were impressive. Our meeting on Monday is in response to the call for local People's Assembly groups to be established to campaign on an anti-austerity agenda.

Below is the Founding Statement of the People's Assembly to help inform our discussions and activities.

Let us work together for the benefit of all.

In Solidarity
Mary Pearson / President - Birmingham Trades Union Council

This is a call to all those millions of people in Britain who face an impoverished and uncertain year as their wages, jobs, conditions and welfare provision come under renewed attack by the government. With some 80% of austerity measures still to come, and with the government lengthening the time they expect cuts to last, we are calling a People's Assembly Against Austerity to bring together campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade unionists in a movement for social justice. We aim to develop a strategy for resistance to mobilise millions of people against the Con Dem government.

The assembly will provide a national forum for anti-austerity views which, while increasingly popular, are barely represented in parliament. A People's Assembly can play a key role in ensuring that this uncaring government faces a movement of opposition broad enough and powerful enough to generate successful co-ordinated action, including strike action. The assembly will be ready to support co-ordinated industrial action and national demonstrations against austerity, if possible synchronising with mobilisations across Europe.

From: "Mary pearson" <>

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