The Home of Local Trade Unionism

Welcome to the website of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Trades Union Council. Here you will find information about campaigns, meetings and other events that are being organised – along with materials and links to other useful websites.

Today, the trade union movement is about much more than simply defending people’s rights at work. We aim to be the voice of working people – whether employed or unemployed – in the community. Our ability to influence and our effectiveness will be strengthened by ensuring that every trade union branch in the area is affiliated and actively involved in our work.

Together we can provide a progressive alternative. Don’t just get angry – get organised!


The Annual General Meeting of the trades council is open to all trade union delegates and will take place on Tuesday 30 January, 7pm, Unite office, Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth. The meeting will hear from Dan Weissmann of Bournemouth University who will be presenting his initial findings into youth attitudes towards trade unionism, the communication challenges facing the movement and what can be done.

A copy of the BCPTUC Annual Report for 2017 is available here: BCPTUC Annual Report 2017.

Love Unions 2016

BCPTUC President Neil Duncan-Jordan speaks at the Bournemouth event on 9 February 2016 about why unions are important. See it here

Remember the dead – fight for the living

Every year the Trades Council marks Workers Memorial Day as a way of remembering those who have died or been injured at work. This year’s event took place in Poole Park with representatives from GMB, NUJ and Unite taking part.

BCPTUC members mark the 2016 Workers' Memorial Day in Poole Park

BCPTUC members mark the 2016 Workers’ Memorial Day in Poole Park

Pat Stevens of UNITE lays a wreath on Workers' Memorial Day 2016

Pat Stevens of UNITE lays a wreath on Workers’ Memorial Day 2016

Being in a union makes sense

The gap between hourly earnings of union members and non-union members has widened to 21.6% in the public sector and 8.1% in the private sector. Around 6.4m employees in the UK were trade union members in 2014; broadly unchanged from the previous year. Once again, union membership levels rose in the private sector for the fourth consecutive year to 2.7m, and women outnumber men in terms of membership – with 3.55m women and 2.9m men belonging to the movement.

Why immigration is good for us

Read the new pamphlet from CLASS on why immigration is good for society. It contains lots of useful facts and figures – just what you need to explode all the myths that exist surrounding this issue. Download a copy here.

Members of the BCPTUC leaflet the public ahead of the TUC national demo

Members of the BCPTUC leaflet the public ahead of the TUC national demo

NHS Pay Strike 13 October 2014

See a film of the action by Mark Rigler here.

We Are Bournemouth celebration 23 August 2014

Over 350 local trades unionists, community activists, faith groups, political parties and residents turned out in force to celebrate Bournemouth’s diverse population. The event was called by the trades council in response to a demonstration being planned by the fascist EDL on the bank holiday weekend. Event organiser, Steve Attwill said: “This was an example of how the trade union movement can bring together different groups in society, give a lead in the organisation and at the same time strengthen its own credibility and standing in the community. Quite clearly Bournemouth gave a resounding “NO” to the racist and fascist message being given out by the EDL. They are not welcome here.”

Britain Needs A Pay Rise Demo 10 July 2014

Up to 300 local public sector workers took action on 10 July over pay, pensions and working conditions. The trades council organised a demonstration outside the Bournemouth International Centre. A video link can be viewed here http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/video/3667669025001/?ref=vidshare

Remember the dead – fight for the living!

Members of the BCP TUC gathered on Workers’ Memorial Day (April 28) to remember those who had died whilst at work over the last year. A wreath was laid at the War Memorial in Poole Park.

Commenting at the event, Shelley Wilson BCP TUC secretary said: “The government says that the UK is a safe place to work and that we don’t need any more regulation, but the UK is ranked just 20th in the health and safety risk index of 34 developed nations, so we’ve hardly got a record to be proud of. Too many employers are already happy to cut corners and take risks with their employees’ lives and there is a real danger that further deregulation will destroy workplace safety with disastrous effects on workers.”

BCP TUC members mark Workers' Memorial Day 2014

BCP TUC members mark Workers’ Memorial Day 2014

Britain Needs a Pay Rise! – TUC march and rally, 18 October 2014, central London

The trades council plans to put on a free coach to this event for local trades unionists, their families and friends. More details on pick up points, times and how to book a seat will be available shortly. Put the date in your diary.

Death of Bob Crow

Bob Crow
The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Trades Union Council expresses its sadness at the sudden death of RMT leader, Bob Crow. He was always an active supporter of the trades council movement and has been described as one of the most successful general secretaries of his time. He will be sadly missed.

Truth, lies and migrants

The South West TUC has produced an excellent new booklet to counter the myths and lies surrounding the issue of immigration. You can download a copy here: https://bcptuc.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/myths-book-2013_0.pdf

Local MPs get the tax payer to fund their fuel bills!

Three local MPs, Annette Brooke, Conor Burns and Christopher Chope have all claimed expenses in order to pay their energy bills. BCPTUC President Neil Duncan-Jordan said: “These MPs are completely hypocritical and out of touch with ordinary people. They vote to cut the winter fuel allowance for Britain’s pensioners and then ask the tax payer to foot the bill for their own energy bills. It’s a disgrace and I think they should pay the money back.”

Campaigners welcome rise in Living Wage to £7.65

Local campaigners have welcomed today’s announcement that the Living Wage is to rise from £7.45 to £7.65 an hour. The announcement comes at the start of Living Wage Week, which aims to celebrate those employers that have signed up to pay their staff a higher wage.

The Living Wage For Dorset campaign said: “We know that in Dorset, around 1 in 4 workers gets less than the living wage, and yet 75 per cent of all local employment is provided by just 16 per cent of companies. This means that some very big employers are choosing to increase their profits rather than pay their staff a decent wage. We also know that for every £1 spent on the living wage, the tax payer gets back 50p in higher taxes and a reduction in claims for in-work benefits. It’s an absolute scandal that 60 per cent of all benefit claimants are also working. Dorset is renown for being a low wage economy with large numbers of people employed in low paid sectors such as retail, hospitality, care work, agriculture and food production, but the bubble is going to burst. Why should tax payers and low paid workers subsidise some of the most wealthy businesses in the country?”

Over the next six weeks the Living Wage for Dorset campaign is embarking on a social media campaign, aimed at raising the profile of the issue amongst the public and securing more support. Campaigners are also in talks with leaders of political parties, faith groups and local businesses and hope to announce new living wage employers over the next few months.

Action for Rail Demo

Members of the Trades Council joined the RMT to leaflet the public outside Bournemouth station at the beginning of September. The campaign is not only calling for more staff to be employed on stations to improve the safety and assistance to passengers, but also for the railway to be taken back into public ownership.

Leafleting outside Bournemouth station

Leafleting outside Bournemouth station

Living Wage for Dorset Campaign

Over the last few weeks the trades council has been helping to launch the new Living Wage for Dorset campaign. Meetings have taken place in Bridport, Dorchester and Bounremouth and more are planned. The Bournemouth event attracted a good crowd to hear Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, Dr Graham Kings, the Bishop of Sherborne and Paul Nowak, Assistant Secretary of the TUC. Shortly the campaign wil launch its own website on http://www.livingwagedorset.org.uk. Visit it to find out more.

Natalie Bennett "How can you build a life when you face the insecurity of low pay?"

Natalie Bennett “How can you build a life when you face the insecurity of low pay?”

Bishop Graham Kings "When a government tightens its belt, it tightens it around the necks of the poor."

Bishop Graham Kings “When a government tightens its belt, it tightens it around the necks of the poor.”

Paul Nowak "Poverty pay has no place in one of the world's richest countries."

Paul Nowak “Poverty pay has no place in one of the world’s richest countries.”

The next BCP TUC Business Meeting will take place on 18 December 2013, 7.30pm, Unite, 238 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth.

Download a copy of the BCPTUC Annual Report 2012 here.

We didn’t vote to die at work

Members of the BCPTUC held a short ceremony on 28 April 2013 to mark Workers’ Memorial Day. Campaigners gathered at the War Memorial in Bournemouth Centre Gardens, heard speeches, laid a wreath and held a minute’s silence in memory of all those who had died at work. The event was particularly poignant given the recent disaster in Bangladesh in a factory making clothes for UK outlets.

Steve Attwill, BCP TUC Treasuer and UNITE official told the assembly: “According to figures from the Health and Safety Executive, every single year over 8000 people die of cancers that are caused by their work, and another 4000 die from lung disease. In addition 800 people are killed on the roads while working and 8000 die from work-related heart problems. Last year a staggering 1.9m people also suffered an illness that was caused or made worse by their work. As a result, the UK comes 20th out of the 34 OECD countries when judged on its safety record. The TUC believes all these deaths and injuries could have been avoided if employers took the proper precautions.”

“There is nothing more basic than having the right to go to work in the morning and return home again at the end of the day, but for a significant number of people work is a hazard to their health. The government has cut the funding for the Health and Safety Executive and is trying to reduce essential health and safety regulations. This will inevitably lead to an increase in the number of people that are injured or killed at work. On Workers’ Memorial Day we will therefore be remembering the dead, but pledging to continue the fight for the living.”

2013_4_28 Workers' Memorial Day B'mth 14 (1)

Say NO to sell-off of DSG Bovington

The Government is planning to sell off Defence Support Group (DSG) which is dedicated to maintenance and repair of vehicles, weapons and communications systems for British Armed Forces’ as well as saving money through inventory management. This would affect workers at DSG Bovington. You can support the campaign against the sell-off by visiting http://www.unitetheunion.org/dsg.

Defend the Minimum Wage

This April we’ve seen the Government hit some of the country’s most vulnerable families with the Bedroom Tax, cuts for legal aid and changes to disability benefits. Yet 13,000 millionaires are now getting a £100,000 tax cut.

But that’s not enough for this Government. They have now ordered the Low Pay Commission to consider freezing, or even cutting, the National Minimum Wage, if the economy doesn’t pick up. Workers earning the lowest legal wage could be paying the price for this Government’s failed economic policies.

Add your name now to the petition calling on the government to drop its plans to cut the National Minimum Wage:


Say NO to privatisation

All across our area, local trades unionists are under attack – threatened with changes to their terms and conditions or with privatisation and redundancy. Local PCS members at the Poole Magistrates Court staged an impromptu walkout on 30 November 2012 in opposition to plans to privatise their work.

PCS members, supported by the trades council, take a stand against privatisation

PCS members, supported by the trades council, take a stand against privatisation

A Future That Works Solidarity Evening

The Trades Council staged a successful open meeting on 28 September 2012 in support of the forthcoming TUC national demo. Speakers covered the South West NHS Pay Cartel dispute (See petition below) and the economic crisis (download an easy to read explanation and campaign briefing here. ).

From left: James Meadway (Coalition of Resistance), Neil Duncan-Jordan (BCP TUC President) and Gareth Drinkwater (UNISON Bournemouth Hospital Branch Secretary) before the Solidarity Evening kicks off

Campaigners Call For Fair Taxes

Members of the Trades Council and the local anti cuts group, BPACC, gave leaflets to the audience as they went into the Lighthouse Theatre, Poole to see comedian and tax avoider, Jimmy Carr perform on 21 September 2012.

BCPTUC and BPACC members leaflet the audience outside Jimmy Carr’s show at the Lighthouse Theatre, Poole

Unions Fight Regional Pay Plan

Members of Unison, GMB, Unite and other campaigners took part in a lobby of the Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust AGM outside the Carrington Hotel, Bournemouth on 6 September 2012 to protest over plans by 20 NHS Trusts to introduce new regional pay arrangements. The proposal is a serious threat to national pay bargaining and the TUC has pledged to defend workers’ terms and conditions. See Events page for details of future protests. You can also sign the campaign petition here.

College criticised for backing Workfare programme

At its last meeting the BCP TUC pledged to oppose the government’s Workfare programme and has called on the Bournemouth and Poole College to withdraw its support from the scheme, after it emerged the college was encouraging employers on their website to “Try before they buy” – describing the unemployed as expendable commodities. Whilst the phrase has now been removed, the Work Programme still enables unscrupulous employers to use staff for up to three months without offering them any pay, formal training or travel expenses. Amid widespread controversy, a number of high street names have withdrawn their backing for the scheme, but attention has now turned to the local college.

Neil Duncan-Jordan, President of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Trades Union Council said: “The Work Programme is the modern-day equivalent of slavery. Unemployed people are being used as a form of cheap labour, with no real chance of ever finding a proper job. It’s a shabby scheme that is exploiting those who are desperate to find work and the college should immediately withdraw its support for such a discredited programme.”

The local TUC and anti-cuts group, Bournemouth and Poole Anti Cuts Coalition (BPACC), plan to target the college with a wave of protests if it refuses to distance itself from the Work Programme.

Trades Council Relaunch

On 31 May the Trades Council staged a special Relaunch Meeting with guest speakers Nigel Costley (SW TUC) and Rodney Bickerstaffe. They both stressed the importance of trade councils and how they can build the social connections that will be necessary to create an alliance that can defeat the government’s austerity programme.

To coincide with the relaunch the Trades Council has produced a badge – priced £1 and available on request – so that we can advertise our support for local trade unionism. Wear it with pride!

Rodney Bickerstaffe (left) and Darren Brown BCPTUC Secretary (right) make a presentation to David Lockwood (centre) for his 20 years’ service to the local trades council

M10 Pension Strike

The Trades Council organised a well supported Pre-Strike Solidarity Rally on 9 May, involving speakers from PCS, Unison and Unite.

David Higgins (Unison), Michael Derbyshire (PCS), Berewyn Long (PCS), Neil Duncan-Jordan (BCPTUC President), Mandy Priest (PCS) and Steve Attwill (Unite) (Picture courtesy of Keith Hatch)

Over 1000 workers marched through the centre of Bournemouth on November 30 2011 as part of the Decent Pensions For All campaign