NSSN 389: March against the Tories on Saturday’s TUC demo – Newham Academy victory!

May 8, 2018 in Bulletins

The NSSN calls on all our supporters and affiliates to continue to build for this Saturday’s ‘A new deal for working people’ demonstration. We believe that it is an opportunity to provide a platform to launch a movement that can take on this weak and divided Tory government.

Unions such as the PCS are using it to step up their fight to break the Tories’ 1% pay cap in the civil service that could see a strike ballot shortly after the union’s conference in two weeks’ time.

We’ve already seen this year the CWU and UCU push the employers back after winning national strike ballots, overcoming the undemocratic voting thresholds in the new Tory Trade Act.  There has also been a whole wave of local strikes, with many resulting in victories, including the latest by NEU members in Newham against academisation. We send our solidarity and congratulations to the NEU nationally and in Newham, where we are proud to say that the union’s secretary Louise Cuffaro is a NSSN supporter.

Workers’ anger and frustration is enormous and the willingness to fight is shown on a regular basis – captured in our weekly bulletin. But how much could be achieved if we marched and went on strike together?!!

The NSSN will be holding a stage at the start of Saturday’s demonstration. Come along and have your say!

TUC demo snip

TUC demonstration ‘A new deal for working people’: Saturday May 12th – assemble 11am at Victoria Embankment between Hungerford Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge. For details, including transport to the demonstration – https://www.tuc.org.uk/events/new-deal-working-people-tuc-march-rally

 

 

 

NEU

Avenue School (Newham) Governors withdraw plans for academy transfer

(NEU statement, 8 May 2018) – The Governing Body of Avenue Primary School has confirmed that, at its meeting last Thursday, it took a decision NOT to move forward with plans to convert the school to academy status.

Newham demo Feb 26

Newham demo Feb 26

Martin Powell-Davies, London Regional Secretary, who spoke to the Governors’ meeting, said: “Staff and parents will be delighted to hear that, after a campaign that included nineteen days of strike action to oppose academy transfer, members of the National Education Union can now end their strikes, knowing that Avenue Primary is going to remain a community school. The NEU would like to thank Avenue Governors for reaching this decision and all in the school community who took part in the vibrant campaign to oppose Avenue becoming an academy. The lively rallies on the school gates on strike days, always supported by dozens of local parents, left Governors in no doubt that the campaign showed no signs of weakening. The determination and unity across the school community shown at Avenue School over the last six months of action will be an inspiration to other campaigns organising to stop academisation in their schools…” read more

Plans for strikes over low pay at five East Sussex schools – Teachers at five schools across East Sussex are set to go on strike over being “denied recommended national rates” of pay. The National Education Union (NEU) has called for strikes at Priory School in Lewes, Uckfield Community Technology College, St Catherine’s College in Eastbourne, Peacehaven Community School and Seaford Head School to take place on Tuesday and on May 3. Teaching staff at Seaford Primary School were also meant to join them but have now called off the strike after management at the school agreed to meet the their pay requests read more on The Argus website

 

Unite/GMB

Hull Energy Works: Unofficial strike action reinstates victimised workers – Workers at a large £200 million waste to energy plant site in East Hull have taken successful strike action against victimisation by management.

Keith Gibson, a plater on site and a GMB activist, spoke in a personal capacity about the dispute to fellow NSSN supporter Janet Gibson:

“On 25 April construction workers, across all trades, walked off Spencer Group’s new energy from waste plant, in East Hull, after a catalogue of health and safety incidents. The final straw came when an underground joint to the pipework gave way, lifting concrete and spraying debris into the air. The workforce took matters into their own hands and agreed to implement a safety stand down, the nightshift followed suit…” read more

FCC strikers joined by construction workers who walked out on May 1st on nearby Spencer site

FCC strikers joined by construction workers who walked out on May 1st on nearby Spencer site

 

 

NSSN news

NSSN Conference moved to Saturday July 7th – support the June 30th NHS 70th anniversary events

Conference_first_flyer

The NSSN steering committee has decided to put our annual conference back a week to avoid a clash of dates with a national day of action to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS on June 30th. We will do all we can to build these protests against continuing Tory health cuts.

The 2018 National Shop Stewards Network Annual Conference will be from 11am-4.30pm on Saturday July 7th in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. The attendance fee is £6 and it is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners. Affiliation letter and conference appeal letter is here

We also want to give advanced notice that once again we will be organising a rally at TUC Congress. This year it will be in Manchester on Sunday September 9th.

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

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 or you can choose to unsubscribe. But you must click here to subscribe/unsubscribe

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

 

 

 

Union News

RMT

RMT welcomes key public ownership victory on Isle of Man Steam Packet (8 May) – Isle of Man Steam Packet union RMT today welcomed the decision by the Isle of Man Government to take the lifeline Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSP) into public ownership. The IoMSP is currently owned by Portuguese financiers Banco Espirito Santo read more

RMT strike on Greater East Anglia last Saturday (5 May) – see photos of pickets out in Norwich today in strike at Greater Anglia over guards and rail safety

RMT confirms further strike action on Northern Rail in disputes over guards and safety – RMT members will strike for 24 hours on Wednesday 9th May 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

Nov 8 picket at Farnham with RMT President Sean Hoyle

Nov 8 picket at Farnham with RMT President Sean Hoyle

 

Unite

Construction Rank & File meetings:-

National – 12.30pm Saturday 19 May Unite the Union, Jack Jones House, 2 Churchill Way, Liverpool L3 8EF

London – 6.30pm Thursday 10 May Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

Scotland – 10.30am Saturday 12 May Iron House, West Nile Street, Glasgow

Dacorum dustbin redundancy pay dispute settled (8 May) – The redundancy payments’ dispute at Dacorum borough council in Hertfordshire, which had seen delays in the collection of dustbins, has been settled. Unite said that its 40 drivers and loaders had now accepted a revised deal, following negotiations with the council’s management team read more

First ever strikes over £250 wage grab herald summer of disruption at TGI Friday’s (4 May) – Workers at TGI Friday’s restaurants in Milton Keynes (Stadium) and Covent Garden, London take their first ever strike action on Friday 18 May in a dispute over tips and minimum wage abuses which could cost waiting staff £250 a month in lost wages. The workers, members of Unite voted by 100 per cent, on a 75 per cent turnout to walk out. The American dining chain, which has 81 restaurants in the UK, will be hit with a series of 24 hour strikes starting on Friday 18 May and continuing over consecutive Friday’s during the summer. The dispute arose when the company introduced a new tipping policy with only two days’ notice which would see money earned by the waiting staff redirected to top up the low wages of kitchen staff, a move driven by the need to stop the high turnover of kitchen staff.  The move means waiting staff can lose up to £65 per week from their wage packets. With industrial action ballots at four more restaurants currently underway, and more planned, the restaurant chain is facing a summer of major disruption as the chain’s world-class waiters and waitresses stop work. The ballot results of workers at TGI Friday’s restaurants in the Trafford Centre, Manchester and Haymarket in London Piccadilly are due on Friday 11 May 2018, with the vote by workers at two restaurants in Gateshead Metro Newcastle and in Enfield, greater London closing on Friday 18 May 2018 read more

Workers at Staffline Recruitment in Carlisle start strike ballot in pay dispute (3 May) – Unite members working on contracts by Staffline Recruitment Limited at the Pirelli Tyres site in Carlisle have begun balloting for strike action and an overtime ban this week in a dispute over pay and terms conditions. The workers, including store workers, forklift drivers and process operators at the Pirelli production site, are balloting for strike action over low pay and the deterioration of workers’ terms and conditions. Many of these workers are employed on a ‘contract for services’.  This means they are, effectively, on a zero hour agency contract with virtually no employment protection. The ballot will close on Tuesday 15 May. If members vote in favour of strike action then walk outs could begin from end of May. Unite, the country’s largest union, said such strike action would have an adverse impact on tyre production. Pirelli supplies tyres to Audi, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes, Porsche Volkswagen and Volvo. Unite is calling for Staffline Recruitment management to engage in urgent and constructive talks to resolve the dispute read more

Support Ian Allinson: Protesters accuse Fujitsu of victimising whistleblowers read more. Keep up to date with Unite: Our union in Fujitsu website. Protest Fujitsu at HR Directors’ Dinner Thursday at 17:30–19:00 Eversheds, One Wood Street, London EC2V 7WS Facebook event

United We Organise! Unite Housing Campaign – 6pm June 14 Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8SP Facebook event

 

PCS

Support striking Acas conciliators – Show support for PCS members working as conciliators at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service who are striking next Friday (11) to protect their jobs and services. Our conciliator members are taking industrial action in a long-running dispute over the imposition of detrimental changes made by ACAS management. They have been taking action short of strike since 25 April and unless management improves its position will be striking on 11 May, and again on 6 and 7 June read more. Email your message of support to denisc@pcs.org.uk and leeds@pcs.org.uk. Use the hashtag #NoAcasCuts. Donate to the PCS Fighting Fund to support members taking action

Mark Serwotka appears on Dispatches calling for Universal Credit roll out to stop after damning survey (7 May) – PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka called on the government to halt the roll out of Universal Credit during an interview on C4 Dispatches programme: Britain’s Benefit Crisis read more

Government forced to review Teesside Tax office closure (4 May) – PCS have welcomed news that a planned tax office closure in Teesside has been put on the back burner while the government undertakes a review. Local MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Simon Clarke and Stockton South MP Paul Williams have both been putting pressure on the government to stop George Stephenson house being closed. HMRC management is intent on pushing through office closures and job cuts, despite calls from PCS since 2016 to halt the ‘Building Our Future’ plans. Under the plan, the majority of offices are scheduled to close resulting in thousands more jobs being lost jobs by 2021. This latest intervention from the two MPs helps add weight to our calls to stop office closure plans read more

PCS parliamentary rally 9 May – show your support for museum workers (3 May) – PCS is holding a rally in parliament from 6.30pm on Wednesday (9 May) to highlight how jobs and services at our national museums and galleries are being impacted by government cuts and privatisation. Privatisation in our culture sector isn’t working. The collapse of Carillion, which provided support services at the British Museum, is just the latest example…The 100 facilities management and cleaning services staff on the British Museum contract are now being paid by the receivers and face an uncertain future

House of Commons – Committee room 5 – Wednesday, 9 May 6.30-8pm.

Speakers:

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary

Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy

Kevin Brennan, shadow minister for arts and heritage

Chris Stephens, PCS parliamentary group chair

Clara Paillard, PCS culture group president

Janice Godrich, PCS president (chair) read more

Campaign for ex-Carillion staff to be brought in-house at the British Museum Sign our online petition

 

BFAWU

Support the McDonalds strikers who took their 2nd day of action on May 1stKeep sending solidarity to the BFAWU, post cheques to BFAWU, Stanborough House, Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 7TA and donate to the strike fund. Also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website

Watford strikers at protest

Watford strikers at protest

 

UCU

UCU members start new wave of FE strikes over pay and jobs this Friday – read here for information about strikes at Hull, Tower Hamlets College, Hackney Community College, Sandwell College, Epping Forest College, Lambeth College, Lewisham Southwark College, City and Islington College (CCG), College of Haringey Enfield and North East London (CCG), Westminster Kingsway College (CCG) and Havering College

Staff at Hull College Group to walk out over job cuts (8 May) – Staff at the Hull College Group will walk out on strike tomorrow (Wednesday) over plans to slash jobs. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at the college’s Hull and Harrogate campuses will be on picket lines from 7am. In Hull, striking staff at the Cannon Street and Queens Gardens sites will run a programme of teach-outs*, with activities ranging from Tai Chi and cookery to plumbing and motor vehicle checks. The row centres on plans to cut 231 full-time equivalent posts across the college group’s three campuses in Hull, Harrogate and Goole. UCU says the proposals would lead to around a third of the workforce being cut and fewer learning opportunities for local people. A further two days of strike action are planned for Thursday 17 and Friday 18 May read more.   Messages of support to Dave Langcaster via email dlangcaster@gmail.com. Demonstration: Saturday May 12 outside Hull College, Queens Gardens, Wilberforce Drive, Hull HU1 3DG

Strikes dates announced at Lewisham Southwark College (4 May) – Members of the University and College union (UCU) at Lewisham Southwark College will be on strike later this month in a row over pay. Staff say they will walk out on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 May unless the college addresses their concerns over falling pay. The union said that staff at Lewisham Southwark College had been offered only one pay increase (of just 1%) in the past five years and don’t receive a London weighting read more

Staff overwhelmingly back strike action at Bradford College (3 May) – UCU members at Bradford College have given their backing to strike action in a dispute over plans to cut jobs and change contracts. Eight-eight per cent of members who voted backed strike action on a turnout of 61 per cent. UCU said the strong mandate for strike action should focus the college on working with the union to resolve the dispute and avoid serious disruption. The union added that if the college refused to engage then it would announce strike dates. Bradford College has announced plans to cut 75 jobs as part of an effort to tackle a funding deficit after the college was issued with a financial notice to improve in March read more

Sign this petition to stop the anti-union dirty tricks in the Coventry University Group – We the undersigned condemn the management of the CU Group, a subsidiary company of Coventry University, who have sought to block UCU from applying for recognition by setting up a company union and recognising it

 

TSSA

TSSA suspends this weekend’s planned strike pending talks but Cup Final strike is still on the cards (3 May) – TSSA has called off the strike action which would have brought Scotland’s rail network to a halt this coming weekend following a new offer by ScotRail to allow for further talks. However, the one planned for the Scottish Cup Final remains on pending the outcome of ongoing discussions read more

 

Unison

Solidarity with Kirklees Bin Workers! Rally (Huddersfield TUC) – 7pm Tuesday May 22 Huddersfield Mission, 3-13 Lord Street, HD1 1QA Huddersfield Facebook event

Hull recycling workers strike again for sick pay – Branch appeals for donations to hardship fund as workers start two weeks on the picket line for sick pay from international company worth hundreds of millions. Recycling workers working for FCC Environment in Hull are striking again from May 1st-14th for decent pay sick pay, and are asking for donations to their hardship fund. Please send messages of solidarity and financial support to the Wilmington Strikers c/o Adrian Kennett Hull City UNISON 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG. Please make cheques payable to UNISON Hull City Branch read more

Sign petition: Support sacked NHS Midwife Jane Greaves

Sign petition: End victimisation of trade unionists at Belle Vue Buses in Manchester

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

 

GMB

GMB North West paramedics vote for strike action over long-running pay dispute (4 May) – NWAS has so far refused to budge – but now our members have voted to strike maybe they will get round the table with a genuine commitment to finding a solution, says GMB. GMB, the union for ambulance staff, has informed North West Ambulance Service that paramedics have voted for strike action in a long running pay dispute. In the ballot, which closed yesterday, more than 84% of those who responded voted for strike action. GMB hopes strike action can still be avoided and NWAS will get round the table to resolve this outstanding job evaluation issue read more

 

POA

Prison officers take legal action over pensions – The POA has started the process of initiating Employment Tribunal proceedings which will challenge the introduction of a new pension scheme for Prison Officers in 2015. It is anticipated that more than 3,500 POA members will join in the proceedings read more

 

FBU

Firefighters in the West Midlands to ballot for strike action – Firefighters and emergency control operators in the West Midlands will ballot for strike action in an escalating row over the imposition of new contracts, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said today. Contracts introduced by West Midlands Fire Authority mean new firefighters entering the service will have to take on work outside the agreed role of a firefighter. The contracts would allow the employer to unilaterally change the work of firefighters at any time breaching nationally negotiated agreements with the union. The FBU has demanded the contracts be withdrawn immediately. The news comes amid growing tensions between firefighters and the fire authority over a number of issues including the imposition of non-fire service work, dictatorial management practices and interference with day to day trade union activities. Union reps have been threatened with discipline for conducting health and safety investigations as they are entitled to do under the law. Andrew Scattergood, chair of the FBU in the West Midlands, said: “The new contracts give management an unhealthy amount of power to dictate the work firefighters do. The so-called ‘Labour led’ fire authority is creating a two-tier workforce between those who are contracted to do any work and those who have contracts that the public would expect a firefighter to have. It is a classic divide and conquer strategy…”

Sign petition: Stop West Midlands Firefighters being taken away from the frontline! #FiredUp

 

NUJ/BECTU

Al Jazeera staff to vote on two-year pay deal worth nine per cent (8 May) – Staff at Al Jazeera English are to vote in a consultative ballot on an ACAS-brokered pay deal of a 9 per cent increase over two years. Tomorrow’s (Wednesday) strike and the withdrawal of goodwill have been called off. The deal for 2018 is an across-the board pay increase of 6 per cent backdated to 1 January and a consolidated pay increase of 3 per cent for 2019. Members of the NUJ and Bectu will now vote to accept or reject the offer. The management’s offer follows three years of negotiations and four years without a pay rise.  The joint unions said they hoped the offer was proof that Al Jazeera will now take the collective bargaining process, and its relationship with the staff unions, seriously. The result is expected to be announced next week read more

 

BECTU

BECTU backs US writers’ union in dispute with ITV (2 May) – Members of BECTU and the Writers Guild of America East will be joining forces next Thursday 10 May in a protest at the ITV Shareholders’ Meeting in central London read more

Support the Picturehouse workers and sacked reps – 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

 

USDAW

Dagenham Tesco distribution staff to take strike action over pay – Workers in Tesco’s Dagenham distribution centre are to take 24 hour strike action commencing on Thursday 17 May 2018 and running into Friday, 18 May. The strike action is taking place as a result of a dispute over the 2017 Pay Review. Usdaw hopes that the company will now bring forward a suitable offer so that industrial action can be averted to avoid disruption read more

 

IWGB

IWGB President writes to Ernst & Young cleaning bosses to denounce intimidation of workers read more

 

United Voices of the World

The cleaners at Kensington and Chelsea town halls – all of whom are migrant workers and members of UVW – are set to strike for the London Living Wage of £10.20 per hour. They are currently only paid the minimum, poverty wage of £7.83 per hour. Stay tuned for strike dates and solidarity actions! Once again low paid migrant and precarious workers are taking the fight to the bosses! www.facebook.com/uvwunion

 

 

Other news

Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) Annual General Meeting 2018

Saturday 26th May, 2pm – 4pm, at the NEU/NUT Headquarters, Hamilton House, Mabledon Pl, London WC1H 9BD

SPOT was launched in March 2014, following the Gezi Park uprisings in Turkey during the summer of 2013. Since then as events in Turkey have unfolded and intensified, SPOT (supported by Trade Unions and campaign groups in the UK) has actively supported the struggle of the people of Turkey through every means possible, including sending delegations to Turkey, press releases, awareness raising campaigns, conferences, petitions and public demonstrations. The SPOT Network not only aims to strengthen the struggle of the people of Turkey but also to provide opportunities for learning and sharing between Turkey and the UK. We are confident that solidarity between the people of Turkey and England will strengthen the struggle for fundamental freedoms and democracy in both countries. With your support, our AGM will aim to strengthen and develop this purpose. Affiliate to SPOT by using this model motion

 

 

 

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

 

 

International

Pakistan’s deadly mines – 23 workers killed in one day read more

 

 

Diary

 

2018

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 NHS 70th anniversary rally

 

July

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

 

September

9 NSSN TUC Rally in Manchester

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE