2011 Trades Union Councils Conference - it's a woman's world

This year's trades union councils' annual conference takes place this coming weekend - 14th and 15th May - at Peterborough Town Hall and delegates will hear from an all woman line up of speakers.

The keynote speaker is NUT General Secretary Christine Blower. The government proposals for education have been a key element in the work of trades union councils around the country whether it's the cuts to local authority education funding or the introduction of academies and free schools. The NUT has been a long time supporter of trades union councils.

Jean Lambert MEP, a former teacher from Walthamstow, East London, has been London's Green MEP since 1999. Greening the workplace and sustainable development have been central to the trades union councils programme of work for the last two years. Jean, who has close ties with community activism and work with trade unions, will bring a fresh perspective to the work of the trades union councils in this area encouraging them to develop further their links with community campaign groups and like minded organisations.

Dr Janice Fine is an assistant professor in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutger's University, a senior fellow at the Centre for Community Change and a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute. Janice has been involved with union and community organising in the United States for many years developing radical initiatives to get unions to engage with communities outside of the workplace as well as enabling local communities to realise their won potential and power. Until 2003 she was the organising director at North East Action, the hub of a regional network of statewide progressive coalitions and citizen action groups. Janice is author of, Worker Centers: Organizing Communities at the Edge of the Dream. Janice's experiences fit in well with the work of trades union councils which have been shown to be pivotal links between unions and the local community in the campaigns against the cuts and in the build up to the March for the Alternative.

Megan Dobney is SERTUC Regional Secretary. The Southern and Eastern Regional Council of the Trades Union Congress represents TUC affiliated trade unions in London, the South East and the East of England. SERTUC directly represents the interests of those unions' two million members who live and work in this region which includes Peterborough. SERTUC has been a keen supporter of the work of trades councils in the region, a region that has seen a number of new trades union councils created in the last year. Megan's presence at the conference will reaffirm that relationship that SERTUC has with trades union councils.

Further details about the conference can be found at http://unionsinthecommunity.org.uk/

Minutes and agendas (500 words) issued 12 May 2011