NSSN 376: Feb 3rd NHS demos – “Prepare for battle!”

February 7, 2018 in Bulletins

 

National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) supporters took part in protests around the country last Saturday on the day of action called by Health Campaigns Together (which we are affiliated to) and the People’s Assembly. Tens of thousands took to the streets, including on the emergency London demonstration, to send a message to the Tories that we want the privatisers out of the NHS and more beds and staff in.

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In last week’s bulletin, we showed an interview with a nurse Jacqui Berry, who is also a Unison NEC member and on the NSSN steering committee about the crisis in the NHS. Jacqui spoke at Saturday’s London rally about what is now needed to take the fight forward:-

“In the last 6 years we have lost 15,000 beds. While claiming that there is no magic money tree, successive governments have thrown £billions at the likes of G4S, Carillion and Virgin Care…and all the while we are 100,000 members of staff short in the NHS and 8 years of pay cuts to the value of 14%…Today we have marched for more staff, more beds and more funds…but these things are not compatible with a Tory government…if we want an NHS we have to bring them down.

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“…When NHS workers are served up another insulting pay offer, we will have no choice but to reject it and say to our trade union leaders that they will need to prepare, organise and build co-ordinated industrial action across the health service. And after eight long years of pay restraint, I don’t think that this weak minority government will be able to withstand the pressure of picket lines made up of nurses and porters and cleaners with the public behind them…We will bring down this Government and replace it with one that we demand ends cuts and the scourge of privatisation, pays NHS staff what we are owed and builds a fully-funded, publicly-owned and provided national health and social care service. Today we have marched together, tomorrow we will probably have to strike together…prepare for battle!”

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UCU

UCU announces 14 strike dates at 61 universities in pensions row – Strikes will begin on Thursday 22 February. UCU has written to the 61 universities* to inform them of an escalating wave of strikes over a four-week period that will begin with a five-day walkout either side of a weekend. There will then be four days of strikes from Monday 5 – Thursday 8 March and a full five-day walkout the following week (12 – 16 March). The strike dates are:

Week one – Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February (two days)

Week two – Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February (three days)

Week three – Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March (four days)

Week four – Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March (five days)

Due to their academic calendar four universities – King’s, Queen Mary, Edinburgh and Stirling – will not take action in week one. They will start their action in week two on Monday 26 February. They will then walk out for two days on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 March. Last week talks between UCU and the employers’ representative Universities UK (UUK) ended without agreement and UUK’s plans to transform the scheme were forced through by the chair’s casting vote read more

Defend Education: London March for Pensions and Pay (called by London UCU) – 12noon Malet Street, London, WC1E 7 Facebook event

UCU snip

National Union of Students’ message of support to staff ahead of USS pension strikes

UCU ballots members in FE Colleges on pay – The college employers’ pay offer of 1% is yet another kick in the teeth (and a real terms pay cut of 3%) for FE staff in England who work hard every day to transform the lives of learners, their families, and the wider community. That’s why UCU is stepping up our campaign for better pay and better jobs. The ballot opened on 23 January, so any member who hasn’t yet received their paper should request a replacement here. These branches have so far been authorised to proceed to a full industrial action ballot

 

 

NSSN news

Advanced notice: the 2018 National Shop Stewards Network Annual Conference will be from 11am-4.30pm on Saturday June 30th in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London. It is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners

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 is below

Download the ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet 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 info@shopstewards.net

You can receive this bulletin via email. Click here to subscribe 

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

 

 

 

Union News

RMT

RMT confirms further strike action on DLR in dispute over breakdown in industrial relations (6 Feb) – RMT cleaners, security staff and travel safe officers on Docklands Light Railway will be taking part in a further phase of strike action over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations, the union confirmed today, as the intransigent attitude of the management continues to block any chance of progress towards a negotiated settlement. The workers involved in the dispute are employed by contractor ISS on the KAD contract and will take further strike action as follows: Not to book on for any turns of duty that commence between:- 05:30 hours on Thursday 22nd February 2018 and 05:29 hours on Saturday 24th February 2018. The announcement today follows on from the latest 48 hours of rock solid strike action last week when RMT exposed the fact that ISS were prepared to bribe scabs with bundles of cash in a desperate effort to break the strike while denying their permanent staff the pay and workplace justice they are entitled to. RMT said today that it’s about time London Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan stepped in and helped a broker a solution to a dispute involving a key group of transport workers on his watch which shames the City read more

RMT calls for immediate renationalisation of East Coast line (5 Feb) – RMT calls for immediate renationalisation of East Coast mainline as Government admit Virgin/Stagecoach in breach of financial covenants read more

RMT confirms further industrial action on South Western Railway in Guards’ safety dispute (5 Feb) – RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed that members on South Western Railway will be taking further action from Friday 16th February in the dispute over safety, the role of the guard and the rolling out of Driver Only Operation read more

National dispute fund (DOO disputes) – If you would like to donate to the RMT National Dispute Fund which makes payments to support their striking members taking part in National DOO disputes then you can donate via PayPal using the donate button below or make a cheque payable to RMT National Dispute Fund and send it to the address below. Alternatively, you can ring their Freephone helpline on 0800 376 3706 who will be happy to process a credit card payment for you, or, if you would like to pay via internet banking, please email l.rolles@rmt.org.uk for further details. Vicky Thompson, Finance Manager RMT, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD. Tel: 020-7529-8843

RMT DLR strike action rock solid again this morning as union hits out at ISS bribing scabs while refusing a fair deal for all (2 Feb) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “Our members on DLR are standing rock solid again this morning in their fight for workplace justice. They are standing up for their own rights as well as sending out a fighting message to all workers getting a raw deal from these greedy out-sourcing companies. Whilst management have refused to pay overtime to RMT members on DLR they have no trouble paying double wages to entice strike breakers. Our members have rightly questioned how money could be found to pay bonuses to scabs whilst money owed to the main workforce is being withheld. RMT members on DLR have pledged to fight on until all their demands are met.‎” Read more

RMT raises employment concerns over Government’s Maritime Growth Study Review (1 Feb) – SEAFARER RATINGS union RMT today reacted with concern at the findings of the Government’s Maritime Growth Study (MGS) Review, published today. The MGS, published in September 2015 was designed to increase the competitiveness of the UK maritime industries. RMT’s SOS 2020 campaign argues that the MGS was written by ship owners and City-based maritime services, to the detriment of UK seafarers, who only occupy around 10% of seafarer jobs in the UK shipping industry read more

 

Unite

Unite preparing legal action in Crossrail dispute in response to Balfour Beatty ‘thievery’ (7 Feb) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, is preparing to take legal action in the increasingly bitter Crossrail dispute, after Balfour Beatty ceased paying agreed bonuses. Unite has described Balfour Beatty as acting like ‘guttersnipes and common thieves’. The dispute involves 76 electricians employed by Balfour Beatty on the Woolwich Crossrail station. Workers took their third day of strike action today (February 7) following previous strikes on 10 and 31 January. Further strikes are planned for 14 and 21 February. The strike is a result of Balfour Beatty’s refusal to pay an improved second tier payment and an industry standard four week finishing bonus (payable when workers are made redundant). In response to the entirely legal strike action Balfour Beatty has deducted the workers’ bonus payments from their wages, which are part of their contracted earnings. In response Unite will step up its industrial activity and hold a series of demonstrations at different Crossrail sites to coincide with the next strike on Wednesday 14 February. It has also emerged Balfour Beatty is attempting to cut the pay of supervisors on the project by £1 an hour. Balfour Beatty has told the affected workers they have been overpaid them and the company is now trying to recoup the money read more   Unite warns of Crossrail delays as Balfour Beatty ‘not interested’ in resolving dispute (2 Feb)

EDF Energy ‘hypocritical’ smart meter vehicle tracking row escalates with seven days of strikes (7 Feb) – Strike action by EDF Energy smart meter installers in London is set to escalate in the row over the imposition of tracker devices in vehicles, and also random drug and alcohol testing. Unite, the country’s largest union representing 60 meter installers and fixers in the capital, has announced seven days of strike action, starting on Monday 19 February, which will seriously hamper the installation of EDF’s smart meter programme. The dispute, which has already resulted in one 24 hour strike on 29 January, has prompted accusations of hypocrisy by the bosses over the introduction of a vehicle tracker system for workers installing smart meters, but ruling them out in their own company cars. The 24 hour strikes, starting at 00.01, will be held on 19, 22 and 27 February, and 1 March, followed by a 72 hour strike commencing on 6 March. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “London-based field operatives at EDF are taking strike action to fight off the imposition of tracker devices in vehicles, as well as random drug and alcohol testing read more

Unite in key right to picket legal victory in north west Sutton Tankers dispute (5 Feb) – Unite has won a key legal victory overturning attempts to restrict the right to picket during strike action. The legal case arose as a result of a dispute involving Sutton Tanker workers based at Ellesmere Port. The 30 workers have been on strike since Friday 19 January as a result of the company’s plan to dismiss and re-engage them on inferior terms and conditions, which would result in their pay being slashed. On Wednesday 24 January Unite was given less than 30 minutes warning that Eastham Oil Refinery Ltd of Ellesmere Port, where the workers are based, was in court seeking an injunction to prevent picketing in the locality. As Unite was given no time to attend court and defend the case, a temporary injunction was granted and the case was adjourned until Thursday 1 February read more

Strike action at 3M in Newton Aycliffe cancelled following improved pay offer (31 Jan) – Strike action due to begin next month at dust mask and respirator makers 3M, based in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, has been called off after a vastly improved pay offer was accepted by the workforce. The workers who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, were due to strike on Tuesday 13 February and Thursday 15 February, with an overtime ban also in place read more

Support Ian Allinson: ‘Discrimination’ of union reps sparks 11 days of strike action at Fujitsu in Manchester from January 24 The next strike dates are Thursday 8 – Wednesday 14 February. More than 250 Unite members in Manchester have voted for 11 days of strike action at IT giant Fujitsu in one of the longest running industrial disputes in the UK. One of the features of this dispute has been a ‘victimisation culture’ of union reps, which has included the dismissal of Unite rep of 26 years standing Ian Allinson read more    Keep up to date with Unite: Our union in Fujitsu website

Support Manchester Mears housing workerssend messages of support to Unite rep Colin Pitt: colinpitt65@hotmail.co.uk and Unite regional officer Andy.fisher@unitetheunion.org and post donations to: Unite House, Merchants Quay, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3SG

Support bus strikes at First Bus Rusholme in Manchester – Send messages of support and donations via Neil Clarke, neil.clarke@unitetheunion.org c/o Unite, Jack Jones House, 2 Churchill Way, Liverpool  L3 8EF

Please donate to support Sutton tanker workers at Eastham Refinery in Cheshire who are fighting cuts to pay and conditions, donate to support the strikers. Tanker Drivers employed by Sutton’s Tankers Limited on the Nynas Bitumen contract at Eastham in Cheshire were given proposals by their management on 18th December 2017 Accept redundancy and sign a compromise agreement of face being dismissed on 19th January 2018. As part of the company proposals the drivers were offered a new contract of employment on inferior contracts of employment with pay rates being slashed by between 32% & 40% with other elements of their terms which delivered a mandate of 100% in favour of an all out strike

 

PCS

Acas told in court ruling that consultation rules apply to them too (7 Feb) – PCS has today (7) released the findings of the Employment Appeals Tribunal in its case against the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. The EAT ruled against the appeal submitted by Acas on the question of whether or not the organisation is covered by regulations on consultation with its staff. PCS, which is the largest union among Acas staff, had taken a case against Acas to the Central Arbitration Committee in 2016 claiming that Acas had not consulted properly with the trade unions on issues around its recent ‘Transformation’ programme, which includes closure of the non-departmental public body’s Liverpool office read more

Help celebrate LGBT History Month (1 Feb) – The theme for this year’s LGBT History Month in February is ‘Geography: Mapping the World’, looking at the differences in LGBT equality across the globe read more

Justice IT failure frustrates staff (1 Feb) – Around 1,000 staff employed by HM Courts and Tribunal Serivce’s National Compliance and Enforcement Service are fearful for their future after HMCTS proposed to centralise the work of its 50 offices to just three service centres in Cwmbran, Runcorn and Leeds. The reduction of offices is reliant on a modern Debt Management IT System. HMCTS did not consult staff at the planning stage but yesterday (31 January) staff were invited to a webchat to ask management questions about their plans. Unfortunately due to a technical glitch it is thought that up to 50% of staff were unable to join the online exchange. Staff were frustrated that using computers installed in 2017 they could not join the webchat to ask questions. PCS opposes the move to so few sites and is committed to fighting compulsory redundancy and relocation read more

Cuts to blame for criminal trial disclosure crisis (1 Feb) – PCS members in the Crown Prosecution Service say deep cuts which have led to a chronic lack of resources and significant additional work placed upon lawyers and the police are really to blame for the current crisis of confidence in prosecution handling of the disclosure of unused material in criminal cases read more

PCS protestors demand an end to the pay cap (31 Jan) – PCS members across the United Kingdom have been holding payday protests on the first payday of 2018 and highlighting how much they have lost under the civil service pay cap. Following on from the successful payday protests in October and November last year, PCS members have been keeping up the momentum with protests at their workplaces to mark the first pay day of the new year read more

Support DWP strikes:

  • Send messages of support to Leeds@pcs.org.uk
  • Send donations to the strike fund to PCS DWP Group, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY

 

CWU

Negotiators Agreement Reached in Royal Mail Talks (Jan 26) – DGSP Terry Pullinger gives members an update on talks with Royal Mail. The Postal Executive meet on 30/31 January 2018 and more information will follow this read more   draft agreement

NSSN Solidarity Forum on Oct 28 sends support with PCS Wales chair Katrine Williams

NSSN Solidarity Forum on Oct 28 sends support with PCS Wales chair Katrine Williams

Assurances demanded for Telefonica contract staff at crisis-hit Capita (5 Feb) – Turbulence at Capita – which has spooked the markets and triggered fears that the outsourcing giant could be in danger of becoming the ‘next Carillion’ – has prompted CWU demands for Telefonica to make contingency plans to safeguard nearly 2,000 staff, including many of its ex-employees, who conduct vital customer-facing work for the O2 and Tesco Mobile brands read more

Catch up on the latest with the CWU’s campaigns and disputes: Royal Mail Four Pillars, BT Pensions and Close the Gap/Justice for Agency Workers in BT

 

Unison

Local government pay consultation – Members in schools and local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are being consulted on two-year pay offer read more

Equal Pay – Or We Walk Away! Public protest: Join us in our protest, we demand justice for the thousands of women and men who have suffered from pay inequality at the hands of Glasgow City Council. Hosted by Unison Glasgow City Branch – 11:30–14:00 Saturday 10 February. Assemble Glasgow Green, Saltmarket entrance

Wigan hospital workers vote for strike ballot (5 Feb) – Wigan NHS members reject plans to transfer them to wholly-owned subsidiary company. UNISON members working at three hospitals in Lancashire are on course for industrial action over plans to outsource their jobs to a new company, set-up and owned by the NHS trust, in May. Members at the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS foundation trust voted to reject the plans and ask the union for a strike ballot by 93% in a 79% turn-out. Nearly 900 NHS staff who work in estates and facilities across the trust’s three hospitals are threatened by the plan to outsource them to the wholly owned subsidiary company, WWL Solutions. They are worried that their terms and conditions could be cut, that new starters will get inferior pay and pensions, and that they could all ultimately be moved to a private-sector company read more

Support the Birmingham Homecare Workers read more on Birmingham Unison website Facebook page

Support the Royal Devon and Exeter porters, who have taken strike action against the imposition of 12 hour shifts. Donate to their hardship fund. Send a cheque to the branch at: UNISON Office, Baker House
, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW. Or make a direct donation to the branch account

Account Name: UNISON Royal Devon and Exeter Health 10296 Branch

Account Number: 20323929 Sort Code: 60-83-01

 

POA

Sign the petition against the Government reducing the Prison Officer Pension

 

FBU

New film tells story of firefighters and their union over 100 years (1 Feb) – A new documentary style film, The Firefighters’ Story: 100 years of the Fire Brigades Union, is being launched in Bristol this Sunday, 4 February, on the anniversary of the death of firefighter Fleur Lombard, who died on duty after arsonists set a supermarket alight in 1996 read more

Sign petition: Stop West Midlands Firefighters being taken away from the frontline! #FiredUp – Recent events such as the fire at Grenfell Tower and terrorist attacks across the country have shown that when you need the fire service, you need them quickly. But now, councillors in the West Midlands want to use flexible contracts to make firefighters undertake non-emergency work such as transporting people from hospital and picking up people who fall in their home. This will involve frontline firefighters and their emergency vehicles. Our message is clear; if firefighters are tied up with non-emergency work then they cannot be there for you and your family in your time of desperate need: This is unacceptable

 

NEU

NEU calls for a significant increase in teacher pay – The National Education Union is calling for a significant pay increase for teachers to help address the growing crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, pay teachers fairly and help deliver the best possible education for pupils. As part of its evidence submitted to the School Teachers’ Review Body, the National Education Union is calling for:

An immediate 5% pay award for all teachers to begin the process of restoring pay levels in both real and comparative terms;

Pay levels which remain competitive in the longer term with other professions and reward teachers fairly;

A common pay increase for all teachers, recognising that different pay awards for different groups are ineffective and demotivating; and

Additional Government funding for all schools to help them implement the award read more

Support the London strikes against academisation: A number of schools in Newham and Brent have been on strike against threats of academisation, including Avenue Primary, Royal Docks, Cumberland and Village primaries. You can tweet messages of support to @NUTLondonOffice

 

BECTU

Keep supporting the Picturehouse workers – they have voted by huge majorities to continue their action: read the latest on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Dulwich East and Duke of York Brighton

Donate to the Picturehouse Cinema strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike

 

BFAWU

Keep supporting the McDonald’s workers: Protest for Trade Union Recognition at McDonald’s – #HeartsUnion week – 5pm, Monday February 12 Mcdonalds, Queen street Cardiff Facebook event

Cambridge picket

McDonalds Cambridge picket – September 2016

Public · Hosted by Cardiff Trades Council

Keep sending solidarity to the BFAWU, donate to the strike fund and also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website

 

 

 

More news

Stop the Haringey HDV demo: Assemble 5.30pm Wednesday 7th February – Ducketts Common (Turnpike Lane tube) we march at 6.15  Lobby Civic Centre (Wood Green tube) from 7.00

TUC ‘Heart Unions’ week 12 to 18 February www.tuc.org.uk/heartunions-week

Sign the petition: Make ‘trade unionism’ a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010

 

 

 

Blacklisting & Victimisation

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)

‘Carillion ruined my life by blacklisting me for raising health and safety concerns’ – Dave Smith Joint Secretary of the Blacklist Support Group in the Metro

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

 

 

International

Big political strike against Finnish government’s attack on unemployed read more

 

Diary

 

2018

February

10 Stand Up To Racism trade union conference 2018 details

 

March

13 PCS pay lobby of Parliament

17 National Marches against Racism in London, Glasgow and Cardiff Facebook event

 

May

12 TUC demonstration ‘A new deal for working people’ https://www.tuc.org.uk/events/new-deal-working-people-tuc-march-rally

 

June

30 National Shop Stewards Network 2018 Annual Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE