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Join us on Monday 31 January, 7pm for the Book Launch and Campaign Rally on ‘Climate Jobs: What Are They & How to Get Them’

The pamphlet Climate Jobs: Building a Workforce for the Climate Emergency outlines the type of workforce, in housing, transport, industry, nature and more, needed to combat the climate emergency.

It argues that to deliver this, we need to break from the failed reliance on the market. Instead, we need investment in a huge expansion of public sector jobs in all these areas.

Our speakers at this meeting will be:
– Suzanne Jeffery, Campaign Against Climate Change (and editor of the Climate Jobs report)
– Denis Fernando, Friends of the Earth (An Emergency Plan On Green Jobs For Young People)
– Fran Wilde, Extinction Rebellion Birmingham
– Martin Cavanagh, PCS National Deputy President.
– Stuart Graham, South West Scotland UNISON on Glasgow retrofitting.

Come to the launch either in person or by Zoom and help build the movement. Please register if coming to The Warehouse (54-57 Allison St, B5 5TH) so we can ensure social distancing at the Warehouse Cafe.

Zoom details:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83352701672?pwd=SGpKT2lCeXpEY1ZLZk50bVBoQ0xrZz09
Meeting ID: 833 5270 1672
Passcode: 290261

The meeting is supported by:
– COP26 Coalition West Midlands
– Birmingham Friends of the Earth
– Campaign Against Climate Change
– Extinction Rebellion Birmingham
– The Active Wellbeing Society
– PCS Midlands
– The Musicians Union (Midlands)
– West Midlands FBU
– Birmingham Trades Union Council
– Birmingham NEU
– Birmingham UNISON
– Birmingham UNITE Community
– Birmingham City University UCU

The fight for a sustainable future is the struggle of our time. Working people must put themselves at the heart of this movement, demanding climate jobs that can create an economy run in the interests of people and the planet.

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Birmingham campaign against the Nationality and Borders Bill

Mailing from BTUC to Delegates:

We’re writing to you in response to the threat posed to our members, families and communities posed by the Nationality and Borders Bill.

As the latest in a series of authoritarian moves by the Government, this Bill will essentially make it impossible for people to legally claim asylum. It legalises the deadly “pushbacks”, which permit the Border Force to turn people away as they attempt to reach safety in the UK, in violation of international maritime law. This legislation is not only threatening those seeking protection in the UK. One clause in the Bill will empower the government to strip the citizenship of naturalised British citizens without their knowledge. This could affect many members of your branches, their families as well as countless others in your local community.

As trade union activists and members of the labour movement, it’s important that we use every possible avenue to publicly oppose this racist Bill, in solidarity with people seeking asylum, refugees and migrant workers. 

The Bill is now in the House of Lords, with a committee stage reading on the 27th of January (see: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3023/stages). As such, we would urge you to liaise with members of your branch and others in your community to campaign on why this Bill is so devastating and why it must be opposed!

In terms of ways to campaign as a branch:

  • Please try to get the model motion (below) passed in your branches
  • There are also template letters below, which can be sent to MPs and peers. If you don’t know who your MP is, see https://www.theyworkforyou.com/. In terms of peers, we suggest targeting the Bishop of Birmingham as he is not currently known to hold anti-immigration views. You can find other peers here: https://members.parliament.uk/members/lords
  • Spread the word about this legislation, via social media and/or direct correspondence with your members
  • Find and support local organisations working to assist those who are likely to be most affected by this legislation (e.g. ASIRT Immigration and Asylum Support; Birmingham Refugee and Asylum Solidarity; Birmingham Asylum and Refugee Association; The GAP Arts Project; Journey LGBT+ Asylum Seekers; St Chads Sanctuary; Brushstrokes Community Project, among others)

We have also attached a leaflet that was produced by Communities and Trade Unions Campaign to Protect British Citizen’s Rights, prior to a Press Conference at Birmingham Central Mosque in relation to this Bill.There is a Zoom meeting of the campaign on Thursday 20 January at 7pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85877974742?pwd=VGo0NGMrUWxJU1JZbFRUTnJ0ZXpCdz09

Meeting ID: 858 7797 4742, Passcode: 771165

Should you have any questions about any of the above, please contact btucsec@hotmail.com.

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Council non-profit in-house retrofit – Birmingham should follow Glasgow

Our recent article on the Council’s plans for East Birmingham called for a joint union-community plan and campaign for retrofitting homes, one of the key policies for combating the climate crisis. [1]

It argued for the Council to launch an in-house retrofitting organisation, in line with the commitment of ‘Building a better Birmingham: Labour’s Local Manifesto 2018-2022’ that ‘We will re-state the case for the municipal provision of services in Birmingham… And the Labour council in Birmingham will lead by example … by adopting a policy of in-house preferred for all contracts.’

Is this practical? Yes, because Glasgow is already doing it. ‘City Building’ is Glasgow Council’s building organisation, run as a not-for profit social enterprise with an in-house training centre, a large apprenticeship scheme, and a highly unionised, directly employed workforce of 2,200 workers. It is estimated that it supports a further 2,000 jobs through its supply chain, and contributes to the generation of thousands of other jobs in and around Glasgow. It is reported that it contributes £56 million a year to Glasgow City Council. Continue reading

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The ‘East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy’

This paper is a detailed analysis of Birmingham City Council plans for local area development and of a related plan for community engagement. It ends with making the case for a radical joint community-trade union strategy – social movement unionism.

Below is a summary version of the paper. The full version, with all the references, can be found here: https://anticapitalistresistance.org/the-east-birmingham-inclusive-growth-strategy/

The ‘East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy’ is Birmingham City Council’s most ambitious project for green economic development. The population of East Birmingham is about 230,000 and includes some of the poorest areas of Birmingham.

‘Strength in Common: A Just Transition and Recovery – in a Post-COVID World’ by Lisa Trickett and Bryan Nott advocates ‘Community Learning Platforms’ as a collective process of policy design to empower communities and build consensus in East Birmingham.

This paper is organised in three parts:

Part 1: The ‘East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy’

Part 2: ‘Strength in Common’

Part 3: Collective action for radical change Continue reading

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The failure of ‘levelling up’ since the 2019 election

Today NEF published a really important piece of research exposing the failure of levelling up’ since the 2019 election. It shows how both income and regional inequality have grown significantly.

Key findings include:

  • The incomes of half of families have fallen by an average of £110 a year
  • The richest 5% are £3,300 a year richer
  • There are 300,000 more people in poverty
  • The income gap between UK regions has widened
  • Single parents and pensioners have been hit the hardest

Torn apart, not levelled up

Worse still, things look certain to deteriorate further. We need new approaches, starting with a Living Income, which sets an income floor’ that ensures everyone has enough to live on in these challenging times.

Our research has already been reported by the BBCITVGB NewsIndependentDaily Mail and Yorkshire Post – but it’s vital that we keep spreading the message so we’ve produced this 60-second videoPlease watch and share it with friends, colleagues and family.

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Right to Protest – Wed 8 Dec 5pm Waterstones

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by | December 3, 2021 · 4:40 pm

Climate Change – join the Trades Council discussion Thur 2 Dec 7pm

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by | December 1, 2021 · 10:07 am

Does the Council’s zero carbon policy depend on ‘green’ profits for investors?

Birmingham Council has a new in-house Climate Change team, led by Ellie Horwitch-Smith, Assistant Director. She explained at the Council’s Sustainability and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 17 November that she is currently ’Appraising existing and proposed council projects’.  The theme of her presentation was the need to attract private investment. Continue reading

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Uncomfortable Home Truths – the People’s Manifesto for Fair Housing in Birmingham

As Jane Haynes writes in a powerful report in today’s Birmingham Mail:

Fast trains and the Games won’t level up Birmingham – people need decent homes

‘The report poses a direct challenge to everyone with a stake in the city’s future, including the Government, Birmingham City Council, the regional mayor’s office, MPs, developers and planners, landlords and housing associations, residents and businesses – urging them all to play their part in ‘levelling up’ our city.’

Join the Campaign

Birmingham Fair Housing Campaign has carved out a ‘People’s Manifesto for Fair Housing’. Our campaign brings together people directly affected by the housing crisis as well as our allies. 

Our vision is for everyone in our city to have a safe, secure and affordable home and for this to be a human right. You can read our full manifesto here. https://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/campaigns/community_organising_birmingham

To make our vision a reality, we’re demanding the following from our political leaders and decision-makers:

  • WE WANT SOCIAL HOUSING 
  • WE WANT RIGHTS FOR PEOPLE IN EMERGENCY AND TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION 
  • WE WANT RIGHTS FOR RENTERS 
  • WE WANT AN END TO DISCRIMINATION 
  • WE WANT HOUSING WITH COMPASSION 
  • WE WANT AN END TO HOMELESSNESS 

We need as many Brummies as possible to take a stand, join the campaign, and help make Birmingham a place we can all call home. Please, join the campaign today.

Read the Mail report here:

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Join the COP26 Coalition lobby of West Midlands Combined Authority Board meeting, Wolverhampton Civic Hall this Friday 19 Nov 10:30

People from around the region will present this petition to Mayor Andy Street https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/zero-carbon calling on the regional authority and all local councils and businesses to move rapidly to zero carbon policies.

Please sign the online petition and share with your own networks. We need to send the strongest possible message that current policies and plans are totally inadequate to deal with the climate emergency.

We demand immediate drastic cuts in carbon emissions and a more open and accountable body to make decisions on this crucial issue which affects everyone in our region.

At present the WMCA has an Environment and Energy Board to deal with climate issues. It consists only of 8 councillors plus  representatives of the Birmingham and Solihull LEP and the Environment Agency. We call for a Climate Forum, meeting regularly, with representatives of climate campaigns and trade unions across the West Midlands, to hold the Combined Authority to account.

Assemble outside the Civic Centre, St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH at 10:30am. Bring placards and anything to make a noise.

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