May 28, 2014 in Bulletins
The NUT’s executive committee has voted to make preparations to give notice for strike action on 10 July. This is the day that school support staff unions have put forward as the date when they hope to be able to call a co-ordinated strike.
Other public sector unions like the PCS have live ballots already in place are also discussing the possibility of co-ordinating action too. Over a million workers could be on strike together.
There will also be other campaigning activity including campaign stalls, Education Question Time events, a Lobby of Parliament on 10 June and the People’s Assembly national demonstration on 21 June.
There will also be consultation with local officers and members on patterns of further strike action in the autumn term, including surveys of reps and random samples of members to be conducted after 10 July.
Reassurances were given that the June Executive meeting could discuss the draft content of any survey before it was issued (as well as getting an update on talks with government and news from other unions).
Importantly, it was recommended by officers that the survey results be reported to the July National Executive – in time to make sure we could – if agreed – make plans for further action earlier in the autumn term, perhaps alongside other unions too.
Martin Powell Davies website
Member of the National Union of Teachers (NUT’s) national executive and NSSN steering committee
Come to the 8th Annual NSSN Conference on Saturday July 5th – ‘What recovery? We want our share! Fight Together for a Pay Rise! – Break the pay freeze, fight for a real living wage, oppose zero-hour contracts, fight for PAYE’. Leaflet – http://www.scribd.com/doc/221151679/NSSN-2014-conference-leaflet
It will be on from 11am-5pm in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6. Confirmed speakers include Ronnie Draper BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary, POA General Secretary Steve Gillan and Janice Godrich PCS President. Email us now if you want to come as well as if you want leaflets – email@example.com.
If you want to put yourself forward for the NSSN steering committee, email us by 12noon on Thursday July 3rd
Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter here
And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on firstname.lastname@example.org
NHS maintenance staff at Aintree University Hospital strike over ‘£3,200 loss of pay’ (May 28) – About 25 NHS maintenance staff employed at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool started six days of strike action today (Wednesday 28 May) in the continuing dispute over a ‘£3,200 loss of wages’. Electricians, plumbers, technicians and maintenance staff – members of Unite, the country’s largest union – started their strike at 06.30 today which will run until 06.30 Tuesday 3 June. The crux of the dispute goes back to April 2013 when the national recruitment and retention payment in place since 2004 and designed to ensure that NHS maintenance staff received wages comparable to outside industry was unilaterally removed, with the proviso that local employers negotiated their own deals. This has not been possible at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which has meant that the maintenance staff have lost nearly 20 per cent of their income – about £3,200 – which would be additional to their basic pay of £19,000- 22,000 a year. The staff are working-to-rule and have already taken strike action earlier this month in pursuit of their claim for a fair deal. They had voted overwhelmingly for industrial action
Rock solid support for strike at Leeds-based bus maker (27 May) – Unite is urging Leeds-based bus and coach manufacturer Optare to settle a dispute over workers’ holiday entitlement, following rock solid support for today’s (Tuesday 27 May) 24-hour walkout as workers vow to strike again on Monday 2 June read more
Zero hours contracts at Tilbury docks at the centre of 48-hour stoppage (27 May) – A move by the hardline management of SCA Logistics, based at Tilbury docks, to drive down wages by introducing zero hours contracts, has provoked a two day strike read more
Wrexham aerospace workers vote to strike over ‘inadequate’ pay offer (27 May) – Workers at Magellan Aerospace in Wrexham have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over a ‘very inadequate’ three year pay offer at a time when the aerospace industry is making good profits read more
VIDEO! Umbrella Scam: Sparks lead the fightback (May 23) – Electricians in London alongside the Blacklist Support Group and other construction workers take direct action against the “Umbrella Scam”, which will mean construction workers employed by agencies losing 20-25% of their take home pay see Reel News video
Don’t gamble with justice (23 May) – No to privatisation and cost-cutting in the justice sector is the message of a new campaign we are backing. The Speak Up for Justice campaign launched by the TUC today and backed by 7 justice sector unions, including PCS, GMB, Unite, POA, Napo and Unison, is against cuts to jobs and services, and for a properly funded justice system read more
Coordinated action to break pay cap (21 May) – Our assistant general secretary Chris Baugh spoke passionately for the NEC in support of coordinated strike action across the public sector to break the pay cap. Chris, speaking to conference on Tuesday, pointed to the ‘pivotal role PCS has played in galvanising action’ in the face of the brutal attacks on jobs and pay… Fran Heathcote of DWP Northumbria told conference that it was clear that “the pay freeze could continue indefinitely” and she pointed to the fact our pay is now 6% lower than in the private sector. She said that “members are saying enough is enough” and coordinated strike action was the best way to challenge the grim pay reality… Michael Kavanagh of HM Land Registry agreed. He said: “It’s clear the attack is joined up, predominantly on public sector workers, and so we need a joined up response. At last it seems that others are waking up to this fact.” read more
Listen to London – the future of London Underground (28 May) – Conference, Saturday 26 July, 10am – 2pm, TUC, Congress House, London. Tube union RMT has called a major conference in July to fill the void left by the Mayor of London and Transport for London over a genuine and meaningful consultation with service users and providers on the future of London Underground against a background of austerity cuts and surging public demand read more
RMT backs Derby Rally to Support UK Train Manufacturing (27 May) – Rail union RMT is backing a major event in Derby this Friday – 30th May – in support of the on-going fight to secure the future of train building in the nation that gave the railways to the world and to reinforce the case for public ownership read more
MP’s call for justice for RMT official Mark Harding (22 May) – MP’s call for justice for RMT official Mark Harding as he faces imprisonment under UK anti-union laws read more BREAKING NEWS – latest protest, meet Monday June 2nd at 9am outside Hammersmith underground station H&C line
Rail Gourmet staff to strike on East Midlands trains (22 May) – Rail Gourmet staff to strike on East Midlands Trains over total breakdown in industrial relations. Rail union RMT confirmed today that following a massive vote for action and a total failure by the company to make any progress in talks members working for Rail Gourmet on the East Midlands Trains contract will take 24 hours of strike action from the 31st May through to the 1st June read more
RMT ballot First Capital Connect engineers for strike action (21 May) – RMT to ballot First Capital Connect engineers for strike action over threat to jobs from Siemen’s fleet deal and new Thameslink franchise read more
BREAKING NEWS…SETTLEMENT REACHED! RMT calls industrial action – DB Regio (Tyne & Wear Metro) (20 May) – dismissal, M. Pringle – RMT calls industrial action on May 28 read more
Hands off London Transport day of action June 13 – To link up with the RMT’s national organising day on Bob Crow’s birthday, 13 June, the Hands Off London Transport campaign is organising leafleting of the public and other action to raise awareness of the harmful effects of Tube cuts read more
Vote YES in NJC local government pay strike ballot – open May 23-June 23 read more
Northern Ireland members begin to vote on pay offer (May 27) – Thousands of UNISON members working in local government and schools in Northern Ireland are being given an opportunity to have their say on pay. Between 23 May and 22 June, they will be receiving details on the pay offer from NJC employers and have the opportunity to vote on it. Trade unions are urging rejection of the offer read more
Doncaster Care UK workers – Send messages of support to email@example.com and donations/cheques made out to: “Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch” and sent to: Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ.
Strike Ballot At Norwich Airport (May 23) – GMB official strike ballot for ground staff at Norwich Airport in dispute over pay after members reject 2% offer. Members are fed up with below inflation rises over the last three or four years who currently earn well below £8 per hour and increase they seek will only put them on £7.98 per hour read more
Hull Museum Cuts Strike Ballot (May 22) – GMB call for public support against hull museum cuts as go ahead is given for strike ballot. GMB are to ballot members in Museum Services for industrial action over Hull Council’s proposals to cut funding and services resulting in job losses to members read more
Indefinite strike action to begin at Lambeth College on Tuesday 3 June (27 May) – Members of UCU will begin indefinite strike action at Lambeth College on Tuesday 3 June, the union announced today. Members will walk out next week and have vowed not to return to work until their increasingly bitter dispute over proposed changes to terms and conditions is resolved read more
Ritzy workers take campaign message to Hackney (22 May) – From South West London to East London, BECTU members at the Ritzy spread the message about their campaign for the London Living Wage yesterday (21 May). Union members were on strike for the fifth time since 11 April in their battle to persuade management to incorporate the London Living Wage into pay policy; the company responded once again by closing the Ritzy Cinema from 5pm read more
Justice for Sale (May 23) – unions voice concern over increased privatisation and cost-cutting read more
Justice for sale – the privatisation of offender management services read more
Newsquest NUJ newspaper chapels unite to ballot for strike action (21 May) – The NUJ has notified Newsquest of co-ordinated ballots for strike action in response to redundancy threats, pay freezes and plans to transfer staff and work away from local communities. The ballots will start next week and will cover five NUJ Newsquest chapels. Union members have decided to come together to oppose the company’s existing plans and the co-ordinated ballots show the strength of feeling amongst the staff involved. If the proposals go ahead, the company will cut staff with decades of experience and skill, risk editorial quality and create heavy workloads for those who remain. NUJ members included in the ballot have only had one pay rise in the last six years
Summer of discontent: letter to University of London management (May 22) – Dear University of London and colleagues, the continuing and stubborn refusals of yourselves, Cofely GDF-Suez and Aramark to negotiate with the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) over the fate of around 80 jobs at the Garden Halls of Residence have forced us to escalate our campaign read more Please contribute to Garden halls strike fund
Sympathy With Turkish Miners – The National Union of Mineworkers express our deepest sympathy with the Turkish Miners and their families on the sad news of the mine disaster at Soma in the Manisa province
Blacklisting & Victimisation
Police were called to the UK head office of the Danish owned employment agency Atlanco Rimec today (Friday 23rd May 2014) when it was occupied by campaigners from the Blacklist Support Group and members of the UCATT and UNITE trade unions. The employment agency that operates in the UK and Ireland construction industry is centre of a storm after it was exposed on Danish TV that it kept a secret blacklist of workers who joined a union and denied them work. The revelations were made by an ex-manager of the firm in a documentary broadcast on the DR1 TV channel last week.
The Labour MP Ian Davidson, who chaired the parliamentary Select Committee investigation into blacklisting issued a statement saying:
“What we have seen shows clearly that the use of agency workers is a weak spot in eradicating blacklisting and we therefore recommended that direct employment and transparent recruitment practices should be standard for all public-sector contracts in the construction industry,”
Among the blacklist protesters was Northampton grandfather and blacklisted bricklayer Brian Higgins who has suffered decades of unemployment after his name appeared on the illegal Consulting Association blacklist. Higgins 49 page blacklist file is the largest file kept on the covert database and records when he stood up for his fellow workers as a UCATT shop steward and elected convener on building sites in London area during the 1980 and 90s.
Higgins, branch secretary of Northampton UCATT and told the occupation:
“Blacklisting of workers for demanding basic human rights such as safe working conditions or unpaid wages is a national disgrace. For decades my family has suffered because of this evil conspiracy and for decades the major construction companies lied about the existence of a blacklist. For from being a thing of the past, we now have evidence from Danish TV that the practice is still going strong among employment agencies. If the government wont do anything to stamp out this disease, then rank and file workers themselves will take direct action to stop it reoccurring.”
The Northampton blacklist protest was part of a national day of action against the umbrella company tax scams and abuses by employment agencies in the building industry which saw building sites occupied and blockaded in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff hitting projects such as Crossrail and Manchester City training ground.
Reel News video of the Whitechapel protest: Umbrella Scam: Sparks lead the fightback
Oppose EDL in Stevenage
An Urgent Appeal to all Eastern region TUC’s: The EDL have announced that they are holding a regional march in Stevenage on the Saturday 7th June.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
Please ask all your affiliates to mobilise for this event (Stevenage TUC has a proud record of supporting other TUC’s in the past now we need you)
We will assemble at 1pm behind the swimming pool in the Town Centre gardens and will march to the other end of town to the vicinity of the EDL rally. This is subject to final conformation with the police and council.
On their face book page they claim 259 of their supporters coming, so we need a good turnout.
Secretary Stevenage & District TUC
International (also see Labourstart)
BREAKING NEWS!! E-campaign suspended – Germany: Solidarity with strikers at Autogrill read more
Diary (see & use false economy)
8 The Wakefield Socialist History Group is holding a Kinsley Evictions Commemorative Guided Walk starts 2pm at the winding wheel outside Fitzwilliam Railway Station.
The route takes in part of what is now Fitzwilliam Country Park and ends with a pint at the Kinsley Hotel.
All welcome; no charge.
For more information call Alan Stewart on 07931927451
13 Hands off London Transport day of action – To link up with the RMT’s national organising day on Bob Crow’s birthday, the Hands Off London Transport campaign is organising leafleting of the public and other action to raise awareness of the harmful effects of Tube cuts http://handsofflondontransport.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/holt-day-of-action-13-june/#more-224
14 Orgreave mass picket and festival on 30th anniversary of Miners’ Strike – 11am-7pm Catcliffe Recreation Ground S60 5TZ
21 “No to Austerity” demo at the BBC, 21st June….No More Austerity – Demand the Alternative National Demonstration + Free Festival, Sat 21 June 2014 – Assemble 1pm BBC HQ, Portland Place London W1 1AA Then march to Parliament
Hurrah for the Luddites: challenging the myths about Luddism – 2-4pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
The event is about seeing the Luddites in their proper historical context. Contrary to myth, they weren’t a bunch of head bangers. Luddism was a genuine social movement made up of normal working people fighting for justice. They had immense support, were well organised and for a time were immensely successful. Come along and hear more about the true Luddites!
Ken Rowley: Ken is a former Vice President of the National Union of Mineworkers. He is a member of the Wakefield Socialist History Group. He has spoken widely on the Luddites and their West Yorkshire connections to both the University of the Third Age and to local history groups.
Shaun Cohen: Shaun is a member of the Ford-Maguire Society. The Society is named after two notable Leeds socialist pioneers Isabella Ford and Tom Maguire. Shaun’s particular interest is the radical history of Leeds. He has researched widely into the Luddite revolutionary tradition.
Admission to the event is free and there will be a free buffet.
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group
5 8th Annual NSSN Conference – Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
12 Durham Miners Gala 2014 visit Durham Miners’ Association official website here
18-20 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival – Tolpuddle, near Dorchester, Dorset visit Tolpuddle Martyrs museum here
18 TUC demonstration in London – ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’. It will begin with a march through central London, culminating in a rally in Hyde Park read more here
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