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THE NEWSLETTER OF THE CWU GREAT WESTERN BRANCH
RETIRED MEMBERS SECTION
ISSUE 5 MAY 2021
Welcome to the latest issue of the Retired Members Newsletter for the CWU Great Western Branch.
Now that the restrictions imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic appear to being relaxed, life for some of us is getting back to the NEW NORMAL and we can only be grateful that so many of us survived in one piece.
Unfortunately, not all our Retired Members made it through as you may well know.
One thing that this terrible time has reinforced is just how important to maintain contact with all our Retired Members be it face to face or by a phone call. Loneliness came to the fore during the 2nd and 3rd lockdowns with families not being able to be in physical contact with their loved ones.
In order to make it as easy as possible for the Retired Members to meet up, renew old friendships and make new ones the Retired Members Committee will be arranging lunch time get togethers at various venues around the area. Details will follow but please try to attend when we arrange them as it is GOOD TO TALK.
THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING:
The AGM was held on the 31st March and on the instructions of CWU Head Office the following Officers will remain in position until CWU Head Office permit elections to be held.
Chairperson : Paul Clark
Secretary: Neil Crothall
Treasurer: Glenn Morris
For my sins the same applies to me.
It is deep regret that I have to inform you of the passing of the following Retired Members: Bernard Lakeland (Eastleigh).
I will take the liberty of including the name of a member of a Branch Member who has passed away due to Covid – JJ Hawksby who was well known to many if you ever went into the stores at Bath, Bristol, Gloucester or Swindon.
This is a new item for the Newsletter where I will try to critic the history of the members of the Retired Members Committee starting with myself – so here goes:
Born in London – moved to Trowbridge in Wiltshire – then Bath – Bristol and finally Keynsham.
Started as a 3 year Youth In Training in London West Area becoming an external planner – Moved to Trowbridge as I could not afford a house in London – Time on general purpose gang – strowger mtce – external planning then 20 plus years as Secretary of the Bath External Branch – various roles in Bath Combined Branch – Assistant Secretary Bristol Branch – learning rep running 2 learning centres and health a safety rep. – Secretary SW Region Learning Committee – SPOC for SW stores and supplies – Welfare Officer and finally on retirement after 46 years – Retired Members Officer Bristol Branch and then Great Western Branch.
So that is my history in a nut shell in the GPO – BT – British Telecom and Openreach.
IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS:
During lockdown it became clear that there was an unending knowledge base among our Retired Membership. So that this is not lost I have persuaded the Branch to start a Library of the memories of our Retired Members. So, if you have any memories, good, bad or funny then please write them down and send them to me. I will get the typed up and put them in the library and send a copy to you.
NOW BACK TO THE PRESENT:
Whilst as Retired Members we sit on the outside of the day to day running of the CWU, I would be surprised if anybody was not aware of the ongoing dispute in BT and EE. As you know the CWU is preparing for an Industrial Action Ballot so I thought that I would outline the reasons behind the dispute.
What are they fighting for?
BT,EE & Openreach members are facing the biggest threat to their working
future. At a time of economic uncertainty & worry, BT Group are ploughing ahead
with a radical reorganisation of its business, in order to protect its’ profit, at
the expense of the workforce.BT Group’s Plans include:
Mass closure of sites.
A threat to existing voluntary leaving terms.
An un-orchestrated approach to selecting sites for closure, thus
reducing member’s chances of re-deployment and promotion.
Undermining & totally ignoring existing agreements that protect grading
Dramatically reducing Pay, Terms & Conditions of existing staff & new starters,
Extending the use of contractors & Off Shoring work to India
NO PAY INCREASE
ACTION NEWSFLASH: As of today, the Repayment Planners (Bournemouth – Bristol – Southampton) are continuing their targeted strike days. The latest news from CWU HQ is that BT & the CWU have re-0pened negotiations but if no progress substantial progress is made the Union will move to an Industrial Action Ballot at the beginning of June.
I have managed to obtain a number of leaflets from Union Line. These cover: Care Home Fees – Disabled Persons Trust – Inheritance Tax – Lasting Power of Attorney – Personal Injury Trust – Probate – Property Ownership and are FREE to Retired Members on request.
Well that’s all folks – Keep well, keep safe & Vaccinate
Retired Members Officer
CWU Great Western Branch
Mobile 07743 139 647