NSSN 381: Victory to the lecturers as pension offer is rejected

March 14, 2018 in Bulletins

NSSN 381: Victory to the lecturers as pension offer is rejected

The UCU USS pensions dispute in the pre-1992 universities continue as the employer’s proposals were yesterday rejected after a meeting of the union’s Higher Education Committee (HEC) and a national reps meeting.

Lecturers lobby UCU reps meeting March 13

Lecturers lobby UCU reps meeting March 13

In an incredible show of strength by rank and file lecturers, thousands were mobilised around the country in emergency branch meetings – many virtually unanimously. Hundreds of UCU members, perhaps up to a thousand across the day, converged on UCU HQ to lobby the HEC and reps meeting.

Lecturers believe that their 14 days of strike action, with massive picket lines and support from their students, has forced concessions from the employers but that more can be won, even an outright victory. Therefore this week’s 5-day strike continues and the threat of a further 14-day stoppage remains.

UCU and their members need the support of the whole labour and trade union movement more than ever. The NSSN calls on all our supporters and affiliates to get in touch with any UCU branch taking action in the USS pension dispute as well as those who will take more action on pay at FE colleges at the end of March. Invite them to your union branch and trades council, make a donation to UCU and, visit a picket line and join one of the strike rallies and demonstrations taking place today. Victory to the UCU – victory to the lecturers!

Sheffield UCU meeting

Sheffield UCU meeting

Wednesday 14 March – Defend Education: March for Pensions and Pay (Hosted by UCU London Region) – 12pm Malet Street, London, WC1E 7 Facebook event

University strikes remain on as UCU rejects proposals (13 March) – UCU has rejected a proposal drawn up at talks between the union and Universities UK (UUK) to end the university pensions strike. UCU representatives from the universities where staff are on strike over plans to cut their pensions met at the union’s headquarters today (Tuesday) read more

Strikes at 12 colleges confirmed for late March (13 March) – UCU members at 12 colleges will take a second wave of strike action later this month in an ongoing row over pay. Staff at 11 London colleges and Sandwell College in the West Midlands will walk out on either 27 or 28 March for two or three days of strikes. The colleges affected and dates of strikes are here



March against Racism this Saturday in London, Glasgow and Cardiff

NSSN members will be taking part in the day of action against racism this Saturday at these demonstrations:-

London – 12pm Portland Place, London, W1B 1 Facebook event

Glasgow – 11am Holland Street, Glasgow, G2 4 Facebook event

Cardiff – 12.30pm Grange Gardens, Cardiff, CF11 7LJ Facebook event


The NSSN supports the Refugee Rights Campaign who will be marching on Saturday. They fight for the right of refugees to work, the call of the unions for a £10/hr minimum wage for all, the closure of detention centres and homes and services for all. This is a video from the campaign

Click here for the motion to be used in union branches and trades councils to affiliate to the Refugee Rights Campaign 


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 here

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


On first anniversary of Merseyrail guards’ dispute RMT demands that Metro Mayor calls a halt to the cuts madness (13 Mar) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “This dispute has needlessly dragged on for a year now due to the fact that it hasn’t cost the employer, Merseyrail, a single penny piece. Liverpool City Region council tax payers are having to secretly repay Merseyrail all of their losses and costs of the year long strike in a public bail out of epic proportions. Local people are paying to finance a potentially lethal policy that they have made it clear they don’t support read more

RMT Arriva Rail North protest at German Embassy today (13 Mar) – RAIL UNION RMT lobbying the German Embassy in London today on the first anniversary of Northern members striking to save the role of the safety critical role of a guard, before handing over a letter to the ambassador about the dispute. RMT is demanding that the German state end their profiteering on UK railways through their rail operation Arriva, which runs the Northern Rail franchise, and is helping to drive the moves to axe guards on the service read more

RMT at ACAS today as industrial action looms on Docklands Light Railway (13 Mar) – RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed that it will be attending ACAS talks today with Keolis Amey Docklands as industrial action looms on Docklands Light Railway. The union has confirmed the following dates for action on KAD/DLR. • 04:00 hours on Wednesday 28th March 2018 and 03:59 hours on Friday 30th March 2018 •         04:00 hours on Friday 20th April 2018 and 03:59 hours on Tuesday 24th April 2018. The second phase of action coincides with the London Marathon which winds its way around the DLR area read more

RMT protest in Portsmouth Friday calling for the sacking of Condor and fair employment on ferries to the Channel Islands (12 Mar) – Maritime union RMT will be holding a protest this Friday 16th March, from 1330 hrs at Portsmouth International Port, George Byng Way, Portsmouth PO2 8SP. The protest will be calling for an end to Condor Ferries paying poverty wages on their ships. Condor is contracted by the Jersey and Guernsey governments to operate lifeline ferry services between Portsmouth and Poole and the Channel Islands. Ukrainian Seafarers working on a 3-month contract with Condor Ferries have been paid £2.46 per hour for a 12-hour working day read more

RMT action “solid and united” this morning on Southern Rail in Britain’s longest running industrial dispute (12 Mar) – General Secretary Mick Cash said; “Our members stand solid and united again today in the fight for passenger safety and access on Southern Rail in Britain’s longest-running industrial dispute. “The sheer grit and determination of our members on Southern to put public safety before private profit over the past two years of this dispute is a credit to the trade union movement and the communities they are standing up for.” Read more

RMT confirms further 48 hours of strike action on Northern Rail in fight over guards and rail safety (9 Mar) – RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed that a further 48 hours of strike action on Northern Rail over attacks on the role of the safety-critical guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of increased profits will go ahead as follows: Members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:- • 0001 Hours and 2359 hours on Monday 26th March 2018 • 0001 Hours and 2359 hours on Thursday 29th March 2018. The union has also demanded tripartite talks with the company and the DfT aimed at reaching a solution 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 to hold Nationalise Northlink public meeting on Shetland – Scottish ferries union, RMT, will be holding a public meeting on Shetland calling for the nationalisation of Northlink’s lifeline ferry services. The meeting will take place on Fri 16 March, from 19:00 at Shetland Hotel (St. Catherine Suite South), Holmsgarth Road, Lerwick, ZE1 0PW. RMT Regional Organiser Gordon Martin will put the positive case for nationalising NorthLink read more



Water workers in north west to strike for ‘21st century pensions’ (13 Mar) – A 1,000 workers employed by United Utilities in the north west of England will strike for two days in a pensions’ dispute which could see them thousands of pounds worse off in retirement. The workers, members of Unite are protesting at the closure of their final salary pension scheme on 1 April 2018 which is being replaced by a hybrid scheme. The workers will strike for 24 hours, starting at 00.01, on Friday (16 March) and the next Monday (19 March), as well as imposing an overtime ban, no call outs and suspending an advice service mainly for local authorities between 16-23 March inclusive

North West car workers begin balloting for strike action as shift pay threatened (12 Mar) – Workers at Adient Seating UK Ltd in Ellesmere Port have begun balloting for strike action this week, in a dispute over the axing of shift pay which would see workers eventually losing up to £70 of their income per week. The workers, who are members of Unite are being balloted as the company is proposing to end shift pay which is worth 15 per cent of workers’ wages. Adient Seating supplies seats directly to Vauxhall Motors. The ballot will open today (Monday 12 March) and closes on Monday 19 March. If members vote in favour of strike action then walkouts could begin soon after Easter read more

Unite accuses Anglian Water of seeking industrial unrest over pension scheme closure (9 Mar) – Unite accused Anglian Water of seeking to provoke strike action today (Friday 9 March) after the water company refused to enter talks at the conciliation service Acas over the closure of its final salary pension scheme. Over 5,000 workers at Anglian Water are affected by the pension scheme’s proposed closure, which could see some losing up to £100,000 should the new planned defined contribution pension scheme fail to deliver. A further 3,700 workers are affected by proposed changes to a separate existing defined contribution scheme. Unite along with the GMB and Unison held a last ditch meeting with Anglian Water chief executive Peter Simpson yesterday where the water boss refused a request to meet at Acas to resolve the brewing dispute read more

Workers at London Luton Airport up in arms over pay (9 Mar) – Workers at London Luton Airport (LLA) are up in arms over a pay offer which is almost half the rate of inflation despite sky high increases for the bosses and record passenger numbers. The latest financial statements showed that the directors’ remuneration increased 59 per cent and the highest paid director received an increase of 48 per cent. Following months of negotiations the company has offered to increase workers’ pay by just 2.15 per cent at a time when the Retail Price Index (RPI) is up by 4 per cent. Furious workers are warning that unless the company makes a substantial improvement, an industrial action ballot could get underway read more

Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign (8 Mar) – The news has been filled with reports about the robot future and while it gets the odd mention, there has been relatively little detail reported about the impact on workers – save for the occasional sensational headline warning of a robot take over. Unite the Union has correctly given the matter priority attention and produced informative reports. More importantly, Unite members working on the Woolwich Ferry in London have shown how to take the matter on in the workplace. This October will see the delivery of new, hybrid boats. The technology involved will make a number of jobs on the ferry no longer necessary – mainly in the onsite workshop. The employer put forward a reorganisation plan, which involved compulsory job losses and pay cuts. The union responded by uniting workers in order to deal with a challenge that will be increasingly common as automation advances. This challenge, where older groups of workers may wish to take the opportunity of a retirement or redundancy package but where equally there are workers who cannot afford to leave and want to fight for their conditions, requires a campaign that takes up the demand of both groups. To the immense credit of union members on the ferry, this is what was agreed and on this basis, a ballot for strike action took place with 98% of members voting for strike action on a turnout that also beat the threshold set by the latest anti-trade union legislation. This forced the employers into serious negotiations where the union held the line that both sets of workers’ demands must be met read more

Bromley library staff and care workers indefinite strike action to begin in all Bromley libraries from 28th March amid outsourcing chaos – Unite members overwhelmingly backed action in two separate strike ballots. 100 per cent of library staff working for Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) across the London borough’s 14 libraries backed strike action on a turnout of 87 per cent in a dispute over staffing, pay and time off for union duties read more

Support Ian Allinson: Protesters accuse Fujitsu of victimising whistleblowers read more. Keep up to date with Unite: Our union in Fujitsu website



PCS demands formal talks on pay (8 Mar) – PCS is calling on branches to prepare for a statutory ballot on pay to put pressure on a government that has so far failed to enter into formal talks to fund above-inflation pay rises across the civil service. Meeting on Tuesday (6 March) our national executive agreed to write to Cabinet Office minister David Lidington to demand immediate talks on our national pay claim for a fully-funded 5% or £1,200, whichever is the greater read more

Join protest: Bring Carillion staff at British Museum back in-house – 12.30pm Tuesday March 20th British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG Facebook event

DWP compulsory redundancies: send PCS e-letter to permanent secretary – PCS is calling on all DWP members in the Department for Work and Pensions to send an e-letter to permanent secretary Peter Schofield to support 2 of our members at Plymouth Benefit Centre who are needlessly facing compulsory redundancy. Bizarrely the office that these two members – who are administrative officer grade staff – work in is not actually closing. However, the work that they do is moving to another location that is outside their mobility and the DWP claims that it can find no other AO work in Plymouth for these staff to do. Help support the campaign by registering your protest against this shameful decision by sending an e-letter to the DWP permanent secretary Peter Schofield 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



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



Support striking waste transfer station workers in Hull – Willmington FCC waste disposal workers are likely to go back out on strike for two weeks starting on Good Friday. We have had a very good intervention into the dispute, which is interesting because it is an offensive strike to try and get improved sick pay benefits for those workers who have not TUPEd previous sick pay across. After a first week’s strike which has brought the strikers together but not budged the management, the workers are planning to come out again for two weeks strike action starting on Good Friday. Send messages of support and donations. Cheques should be made out to Hull Unison 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG Hull Unison

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



Hinkley Point C project back under way after ‘beast from the east’ sit in protest (7 March) – GMB is satisfied those workers who were due to work on site last weekend when the site was closed due to heavy snowfall will be paid. GMB, the union for Hinkley Point C workers, has announced the project is back underway after the ‘Beast from the East’ sit in protest. Work on the £18bn nuclear power station was halted for four days as the Siberian weather system battered Britain. When Kier Bam employee’s returned to the site on Tuesday they were told they would not be paid for the days they were off. This led to a two-day sit in by approximately 600 Kier Bam employees. But all returned to work after this morning after GMB – along with sister unions Unite and Prospect – achieved a breakthrough in negotiations read more



Sign the petition against the Government reducing the Prison Officer Pension



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



Support the London teachers’ strikes: three schools in Newham were on strike again recently against threats of academisation: Avenue Primary is on strike again for 3 days this week – Tuesday-Thursday. Also, Connaught in Waltham Forest is on strike this Tuesday and Thursday

Connaught picket

Connaught picket

Avenue picket

Avenue picket

Please support other London teachers who have been on strike over the last few weeks such as the Village in Brent and the City of London Academy in Bermondsey

You can tweet messages of support to @NUTLondonOffice



Concern over Great Western Railways’ bully boy tactics (13 Mar) – Following reports to TSSA of several breaches of employment practice – potentially discriminatory and unlawful, TSSA are conducting an investigation into Great Western Railway’s (GWR) attempts to boot staff out without due process read more

Great Western Railway: Redundancy by Duress (9 Mar) – TSSA has heard reports of managers being bullied into being made redundant, with no collective consultation to prevent or mitigate those redundancies and underhand tactics being used to force people out. We have written to the interim HR Director setting out the need for urgent action to stop these potentially unlawful and discriminatory acts read more

Strike action back on the cards at ScotRail as union warns overstretched CCTV department puts passengers at risk (7 Mar) – Strike action is back on the cards for struggling ScotRail after the TSSA raised concerns of major security breaches across the network in a dispute over the CCTV department read more



Unions at Al Jazeera ballot for industrial action (13 Mar) – BECTU and the NUJ are balloting members for industrial action at Al Jazeera English. The move comes in the face of Al Jazeera International Ltd’s continued failure to negotiate an across the board pay settlement for staff. The ballot opened at 12 noon today, Tuesday 13 March, and will close at 12 noon on Tuesday 27 March 2018 read more

Tribunal hearing begins for sacked Picturehouse reps (12 Mar) – The Employment Tribunals begin taking evidence today in the case of three BECTU representatives dismissed by Picturehouse Cinemas during the long running industrial dispute over the Living Wage read more. 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



Campaign to save Burton Mail gains momentum (9 Mar) – Journalists on the Burton Mail have written an open letter to management and readers saying that Trinity Mirror’s plans to close its website and merge it with the new Derbyshire Live website will be huge mistake read more



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


United Voices of the World union

Cleaners at the Daily Mail – all of whom are migrant workers and members of UVW – are set to strike over poverty wages! – They are demanding the London Living Wage of £10.20 p/hour! Stay tuned for strike dates www.uvwunion.org.uk. Sign the petition: Pay the Living Wage to migrant cleaners at the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail has a long history of hatred for migrants and foreigners. In 2018, it also exploits them directly.  The Mail’s cleaners are paid a poverty wage of just £7.50 per hour.  They are demanding £10.20 p/h, which is the current London Living Wage. UVW will never give up on their struggle.  They will organise and lead the campaign, showing the world that black & minority ethnic workers can be more proactive than the majority when it comes to getting what they deserve. Anything you can contribute to this campaign will be democratically used to boost its chances of success in the proven UVW style, which has overcome Harrods, Sotheby’s and the London School of Economics

UVW has landed its first recognition deal in respect of the cleaners at Lee Hecht Harrison. Before securing recognition our members there had previously gone on strike and won a 30% wage increase. You can read the CAC’s judgement here



CAIWU day of action Thursday March 8th On Thursday March 8th, CAIWU, the Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union, mounted four separate protests in response to a series of co-ordinated attacks on its members. Appropriately enough, the union chose International Women’s Day, the day of the Women’s Strike, to launch its fightback against the corporations that seem determined to destroy it. CAIWU may not be the biggest or wealthiest of unions, but the protests attracted up to 400 passionate supporters, who issued a powerful warning to their wealthy adversaries that the ‘Spanish Union’ is no walkover read more




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)

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




Ethiopia: Three-day strike against regime’s state of emergency read more

USA: Lessons of teachers’ strike, West Virginia read more






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



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



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

NHS 70th anniversary rally



PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE