40th Anniversary Celebrations: Stoke College Trade Union Studies Unit

9 04 2014


To mark 40 years of Trade Union Education in North Staffs, Stoke College TUC Trade Union Studies Unit would like to invite you to their solidarity celebration event on:

Friday 2nd May 2014



Commencing 7.00pm – ‘till late

To confirm please contact Kay Urwin 01782 603539 kurwi1sc@stokecoll.ac.uk

Or Ron Foulkes 01782 603660 rfoul1sc@stokecoll.ac.uk

Presenting our Specially Commissioned Banner

Bring your Trade Union Banners and Flags!

Buffet, Music, Late Bar



Workers’ Memorial Day

1 04 2014

To mark Workers’ Memorial Day on 28th April, North Staffs TUC invite you to a ceremony in remembrance of those who have lost their lives at work.

We usually hold an event at the Workers’ Memorial tree outside the Potteries Museum in Hanley but with this year being the anniversary of the Miners’ strike, we decided that it would be fitting to hold the ceremony at a memorial to miners. We have chosen the Sneyd Colliery Memorial  in Burslem.

Please meet at the Peace Centre, Burslem School of Art, Queen Street, ST6 3EJ from 6.30pm for refreshments and then we will march with banners to the Sneyd Colliery memorial at 7pm for speakers, song and a minute silence.  The memorial is on the Market Place in Burslem, ST6 4AT – opposite the Queen’s Theatre. There is car parking at the rear of the Peace Centre.

Confirmed speakers:

Brenda Procter – National Chair of Women Against Pit Closures and the North Staffs Miners’ Wives Action Group.

Steve Pearce – former miner and health and safety officer at Trentham Colliery

Jason Hill  -  Musicians’ Union and President of NSTUC

Dave Lyddon – Keele University and Colleges Union and NSTUC executive


WMD 2014 picture

Poster for workers’ memorial day

New batch of Zaytoun Fairtrade goods

28 02 2014

As readers will know North Staffs Trades Union Council is a volunteer distributor for Zaytoun – a Fairtrade community-interest company supporting the distribution of Palestinian artisan produce in the UK.

We will be taking some produce to tonight’s talk at the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek, organised by Leek Fairtrade group, where Taysir Arbasi, the Palestinian director of Zaytoun, will be speaking as part of Fairtrade Fortnight.  It starts at 7.30pm. Admission is free (there will be a bucket collection) and there is free parking in the Market place opposite.

Below are the products that the Trades Council has in stock. These items are good value, the quality is amazing, and you are supporting a good cause!

Email northstaffstuc@gmail.com to order anything and arrange collection. We may even be able to drop them off for you depending on where you live.

Products available:

Organic Couscous, 250g £1.80

This large-grain, wholewheat organic maftoul (giant cous cous) is hand-rolled and sundried for a distinctive nutty flavour. Healthy, fast-cooking, versatile, inexpensive and tasty…

Organic tree-ripened black olives, 130g £3

These organic fairtrade tree-ripened black olives come in olive oil with a dash of sea salt. They have a unique, strong flavour that olive-lovers will adore. These olives are produced by farming cooperatives within the Palestinian Fairtrade Association who harvest their trees by hand every October.

Their green sisters are out of stock unfortunately, but we will hopefully get some in when we make our next order.

Honey roasted almonds, 75g £2.00 ***SOLD OUT***

Plain almonds, 75g £1.25

These nutrious ‘Om Al-Fahem’ almonds are traditionally grown in Palestine as they thrive on the arid and rocky terrain, producing a large, sweet almond. These are sourced from a farmers’ cooperative in the Jenin area and are very tasty! Eat them straight from the pack, or try one of Zaytoun’s recipes.

Fairtade Medjoul dates, 250g £3.00

Grown in the Jericho area which has the perfect climate for producing these delicious, soft and succulent dates. They are sourced through the ‘Palm Farmers Cooperative’ and are a vital source of income in this area which is seeing vast tracts of land illegally confiscated by Israel. Find out more about the dates and their production on the Zaytoun website.

Olive Oil handmade soap Gift Pack of 4, 400g £7.10

Made by Sindyanna of Galilee, a women-led non-profit organisation in Nablus, these fair trade olive oil soaps in a decorative box make a wonderful and original gift. Each package includes a postcard representing the work of a Palestinian artist, as part of a new Sindyanna project, which sponsors Palestinian art in Israel. The lovely box contains lemon, pomegranate, plain and sage varieties.

Palestinian Fairtrade Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 750ml £8.80

Zaytoun’s organic Fairtrade olive oil has been sourced through Canaan Fair Trade in Jenin. It is pressed from the fruit of ancient trees which have been tended by hand through generations of family farmers.

It is produced by farming cooperatives within the Palestinian Fairtrade Association who harvest their trees by hand every October and send the olives to village presses within 24 hours.

Palestinian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 500ml (£5.50) or 1 litre (£9.50)

Zaytoun’s non-certified oil is sourced from a number of different farming cooperatives in Palestine. Although not yet certified, it is free of pesticides and harvested by hand.

It is produced by a number of different farming cooperatives in Palestine, and collected and bottled by organizations committed to farmer support and the principles of fair trade.

Za’atar, 80g £2 ***SOLD OUT***
Za’atar is an everyday staple in the Middle East – a herb mix of wild thyme, toasted sesame and sumac. It is a zesty seasoning, delicious with olive oil on fresh bread, on tomato salads, with pitta bread and hummus, and many other uses.

Organic sun dried tomatoes, 170g £4

These succulent organic and fair trade sundried tomatoes are absolutely gorgeous on their own or in salads, pasta, sandwiches and much more. A favourite!

Olive Twig basket, 27cm diameter £10.80

The making of Qirtalla baskets is an ancient Palestinian tradition that persists in a few villages in the Ramallah and Jerusalem area. Qirtallah making goes hand in hand with olive orchard maintenance, as crafters use the branches that grow on the bottom of the tree trunk that become harmful to the fruit bearing branches if not pruned. This is an attractive, strong and functional basket.

The Gaza Kitchen Cookbook £15 softback or £19 hardback ***SOLD OUT***

Over 120 fantastic recipes, with vibrant photos, profiles of farmers and cooks, and in-depth stories of daily life and culinary traditions on the Gaza Strip. Find out more at http://www.gazakitchen.com/

Please email northstaffstuc@gmail.com to order any of the above goods and arrange collection. In some cases, free delivery may be available depending on your location.

Letter from NSTUC to Tristram Hunt

15 02 2014

                                                                                                             15th February 2014

Dear Tristram

I am writing on behalf of North Staffordshire Trades Union Council to express our extreme dismay at your decision to cross a picket line on Monday 10th February.  Your action fundamentally undermined members of the University and College Union (UCU) who were taking two-hour national action that day over fair pay.  Furthermore, it demonstrated a lack of respect for your colleagues at Queen Mary University, which is one of eleven universities in the UK where staff were engaged in a full day’s strike to protest at their institution taking the unprecedented step of deducting a full day’s pay for previous two-hour strikes.

As a front bench member of the Labour Party (the party founded by the trades unions to represent the working class) and as someone who works in higher education, you should be acutely aware of both the extent to which colleagues have faced a real terms 13% pay cut since 2009, and of the importance of showing solidarity by not crossing a picket line.  Members of UCU, Unison, Unite and EIS have been willing to sacrifice their pay as part of strike action for fair pay for all in the higher education sector.  You must have understood that they would be utterly dismayed to see the shadow education minister undermining the action and crossing their picket line.  UCU members – who are paid less than academics in most of the English-speaking world, including the USA, Canada and Australia – are feeling the squeeze of years of pay freezes and under-inflation pay offers and are not, like yourself, in the privileged position of having a MP’s salary of over £66,000 to supplement their pay.

It is also particularly troubling to read that you publicly defended your crossing of a picket line by saying that you did so due to a personal commitment to the students that you lecture.   Staff on picket lines across the country are striking precisely because of their commitment to students and to the future of higher education.  Staff who are not fairly paid are never going to be able to give students the best experience, however committed they may be to their profession.  Indeed the National Union of Students has highlighted the clear benefits that fair pay has to students in attracting excellent staff and maintaining a motivated workforce.  Furthermore, the ironic disjuncture between crossing a picket line of workers who are trying to defend fair wages and doing so to teach students about Marx and Engels, surely makes a mockery of the subject matter that you are teaching.

We urge you to make a public apology to the trades union movement, and especially UCU, Unison, Unite and EIS members in higher education, for crossing the picket line. We feel that this, alongside you joining the relevant trade union for your employment as a lecturer (UCU), will go some way to rectifying this situation.

Jason Hill

President of North Staffordshire Trades Union Council

Crisis in the NHS conference

15 02 2014

Conference on the dangers of Privatisation

“Private care isn’t fair. Keep Our NHS Public.”

Saturday 22 February 2014, 11.30am to 4pm

Please show support for this conference.

Venue: Priory Rooms, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham, B4 6AF

Confirmed Speakers

  • Lord Hunt, Why we must repeal the 2012 NHS and social care act & why we need whole-person care
  • Terry Mandrell, Keep our NHS Public (KONP Solihull)
  • Prof. Ann Davis, Emeritus Professor, Social work & Mental Health, University of Birmingham Peter Last, National Pensioners Convention
  • Dr John Lister, Health Emergency campaign
  • Lewisham hospital campaign

Other speakers invited

Organised by the Birmingham Trades Union Council

All enquires -  please email i.scott212@btinternet.com


Photos from the Save Our NHS demo

30 09 2013


Some pictures from yesterday’s Save Our NHS march at the Conservative Party Conference, which saw over 50,000 trade unionists and other members of the community rally against Tory cuts.

Hanley Tax Protest

21 08 2013

Our friends in the North Staffs Pensioners’ Convention have organised a protest on Monday 2nd September around noon regarding the tax affairs of corporations.

Their regular Potteries Museum Public Meeting (starting  at 10.30am that day) will feature speakers committed to a fairer tax system and opportunities for questions and debate. The meeting will end at 11.45am and the group will make their way up into Hanley town centre for a short protest, finishing 1.30pm at the latest. For more details call 01782 201724

Find out about taxes and corporations at:


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