NSSN 432: Victory for Unison Strikers at Liverpool Women’s Hospital as OCS Agree to Pay NHS Rates

April 9, 2019 in Bulletins

From North West Unison website: The staff will no longer be paid just the legal minimum wage but receive the NHS rate for the job.

UNISON members who work as domestics, catering staff, porters and security staff at Liverpool Women’s Hospital have won their campaign to secure NHS rates of pay.

Unison Liverpool Women's Hospital

The staff will no longer be paid just the legal minimum wage but receive the NHS rate for the job.  This is worth more than £1 an hour, and over £2,000 a year for full-time staff.  Staff will also as part of a 3 year deal get the same payments as their colleagues for working anti-social hours, overtime and weekends.

The pay increase is to be jointly funded by the private contractor OCS and the Trust.

Staff took three days of strike action on 25 February, 11 March and 13 March.  The strike action planned to begin on Monday 1 April will now not take place

 

More Unison

Environment Agency staff back industrial action over pay (4 April) – Workers at the Environment Agency are to take industrial action after a below-inflation pay rise was forced on staff earlier this year, UNISON said today (Thursday). Staff overwhelmingly backed industrial action in their demand for a fairer offer than the 1.3% rise they were given back in January.  More than 85% of votes cast supported taking action, which includes stopping unpaid overtime and work travel during personal time. Senior managers at the Agency have refused to make a better offer or hold further talks, despite repeated UNISON efforts read more

Dundee Home Care Workers defeat SNP council attacks – Home Care Workers employed by Dundee City Council have, after almost two years campaigning, defeated the SNP-run council and their attempts to enforce changes to contracts and shift patterns. The council had given this overwhelmingly female workforce a “choice” of either moving onto split shift working or face a cut in their contracted hours that would mean a pay loss of up to £4,500 a year. As talks dragged on, the workers said enough was enough and consultative ballots were held across the three unions involved. Nearly 90% of members voted to take industrial action, on high ballot turnouts, unless these proposals were dropped. It was no coincidence that on the very day the employer was notified by UNISON and GMB that they would be proceeding to an official strike ballot, the council sent a text to all workers saying that no one would now be forced to work split shifts or have their contracted hours cut. Negotiations were proposed and a joint mass meeting of the whole workforce agreed to this while UNISON and GMB proceeded to carry out an official strike ballot. Those ballots closed on Friday 5th April. 85% of UNISON members voted in favour of strike action on a 64% turnout. GMB members also voted overwhelmingly in favour of action with a turnout over the 50% needed to take legal industrial action read more

Support the striking Birmingham homecare workers – Please send messages of support and donations to Unison Birmingham branch, 46 The Priory Queensway Birmingham  B4 7LR. Email info@birminghamunison.co.uk    Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/birminghamunison/

 

 

NSSN news

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Date for your diaries:

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Union News

Unite

Support the Swindon Honda workers – watch video of the March 30th demonstration against the planned closure of the plant

Unite: Honda trade unions from across Europe pledge to save Honda Swindon

Unite: MPs urged to back Save Honda Swindon Early Day Motion

Mitie workers vote for industrial action in Sellafield and City airport disputes (8 April) – Troubled outsourcer Mitie is facing fresh disruption as members of Unite have voted for industrial action in separate disputes at London City airport and at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing centre in Cumbria. The Sellafield dispute concerns pay and involves workers employed as security guards, catering, vending and laundry operatives. The workers at the category one nuclear site are paid just £8.45 an hour. Despite overwhelmingly rejecting Mitie’s pay offer, the company has refused to allow Unite a seat at the negotiating table and, therefore, the union undertook an industrial action ballot. Unite’s 180 members voted by 98 per cent in favour of strike action on a 70 per cent turnout. Unite has announced two 10 day periods of strike action the first beginning at 00:01 on Friday 19 April, concluding at 06:00 on Monday 29 April 2019, followed by a further strike beginning at 00:01 on Saturday 4 May, concluding at 06:00 hours on Monday 13 May. This will be complimented by a discontinuous ban on overtime commencing at 00:01 on Friday 19 April 2019 read more

Outrage as outsourcing giant withholds workers’ pay (5 April) – Thousands of low paid workers employed by ISS, a multibillion pound global outsourcing giant, are up in arms after being told the company will withhold up to a week’s pay from workers. ISS staff provide vital public services and support for private businesses. Unite is spearheading a demo later today (Friday 5 April 2019, 13:00) to protest against ISS’ plans at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Broadgreen Hospital. ISS workers affected also include security staff at Barclays bank in Canary Wharf and Goldman Sachs. The outsourcer has unilaterally decided to change its pay cycle for its workers including hourly paid workers. When workers get paid on the new pay date of 9 May 2019, hourly paid workers will have worked three weeks but will only be paid for two on the new pay day. The change means ISS will withhold a week’s pay. The staff will not receive the money owed until they eventually leave the company. Workers on low pay are already struggling to make ends meet and will face genuine hardship as a result, with many not knowing how they will meet their financial commitments. And in an act of ‘astonishing nerve’ ISS, which has a global revenue worth billions, offered to loan workers their own money but they will have to pay it back within eight weeks. ISS employs around 40,000 employees across the UK, many of whom are paid hourly and earn the minimum wage read more

Biffa workers on Anglesey set to strike over Easter (4 April) – Unite members at Biffa Municipal Limited have today (4 April) confirmed they intend to take seven days of industrial action commencing from Monday 22 April 2019. The workers carry out refuse collection services for the Ynys Mon local authority read more

Unite strike ballot at Essar Stanlow set to go ahead next week (3 April) – Unite will begin balloting more than 500 members at Essar Oil (UK) in Ellesmere Port next week on whether they wish to take industrial action up to and including strike action over potential job losses. The ballot opens on Monday 8 April 2019 and closes on Monday 29 April 2019. Up to 155 workers’ jobs are under threat at the Stanlow site following Essar’s plans to decommission the Shell Higher Olefins Plant (SHOP) and Alcohols units, leaving staff desperately worried about their future read more

Strike dates announced at Angus council – Unite the union today (27 March) has announced the scheduled days of industrial action at Angus council. Unite members by 92 per cent on a turnout of 87.2 per cent voted for strike action last week. The dispute centres on Angus council imposing changes to the terms and conditions of 140 staff who work in Environmental Services. From April 2019, household waste will be collected from 06:00 until 22:00 which will mean that workers will be required to move to a day shift/back shift work pattern. Unite members have raised concerns about the dangers of operating the service safely and effectively, and the negative impact that these changes will have on work-life balance. The strike action, which will include a ban on overtime and work to rule, will take place from April until late June 2019. The first days of industrial action will take place from 00:01 hours on 8 April 2019 concluding at 23:59 hours on 12th April 2019. A series of 48 hour stoppages will commence at 00:01 hours on:

  • 15, 22, 29 April 2019
  • 6, 13, 20, 27 May 2019
  • 3, 10, 17, 24 June 2019 read more

 

PCS

Support the PCS national pay strike ballot – PCS: All you need to know about the pay ballot and how to vote

Good start to 3-day BEIS catering staff strike (8 Apr) – There was strong support from the public, trade unionists and civil servants at the start of a 3-day strike by PCS members who are contracted catering staff working at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in a dispute over pay. The staff who work for contractor Aramark are angry at their demands for the London Living Wage (LLW) of £10.55 an hour being repeatedly ignored. PCS has strongly argued that the contractors should pay the LLW and that BEIS should be putting pressure on the contractors to do so. We believe the scandal of low pay and poor conditions is caused by outsourcing and we are campaigning to bring these services back in-house. There was a well-attended, lively picket outside the BEIS building at 1 Victoria Street, Westminster, where striking workers were joined by local PCS branches in Whitehall, representatives of the PCS National Black Members’ Committee and PCS NEC members. There was heartfelt support from civil service BEIS members, some boycotting the canteen and going out for coffee, as well as genuine understanding and sympathy from the public. The pickets even had an unexpected visit from TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, who arrived for a meeting but refused to cross the picket line and instead joined the strikers. Lunchtime protest Wednesday 10 April – 12noon – 14:00 outside BEIS read more Facebook event 

You can support these workers on social media using the hashtags: #LivingWage #PCSstrike

Please donate to the strike fund and send messages of support to leeds@pcs.org.uk

Voting to end poverty pay in courts (2 Apr) – PCS is balloting members working for G4S and MITIE on a HMCTS security and cleaning contract over the failure to meet our demands on pay and terms and conditions. PCS launched a campaign in G4S and Mitie for members working on the HM Courts and Tribunals Service contract with the aim of achieving improved terms and conditions including an end to poverty pay, increased holiday, sick pay from day one and PCS recognition for all employees on the contract. The ballot will open on Monday 8 April and close on 29 April.  Members are being asked if they will take part in strike action.  Such action could result in courts being closed and hearings being cancelled read more

Highways England pay ballot opens 8 April (3 Apr) – PCS members at Highways England are set to be balloted on industrial action over pay from Monday (8) to 29 April. Highways England imposed a 1% pay offer on its staff from 1 January and the government-owned company plans to cap pay at 1% every year until 2025 under its second roads investment strategy. This comes after staff have faced a three-year pay freeze and a seven-year 1% pay cap. Senior staff meanwhile have enjoyed increasingly high pay increases, with the CEO Jim O’Sullivan, now earning three times as much as his predecessor over £400,000 a year, or £1,103 a day, up from £366,868 last year; a rise of 9.7% and the pay bill for executive directors having almost doubled in four years read more

Great community and political support for Ealing tax office strike (3 Apr) – PCS members stepped up their strike against the closure of Ealing tax office today (3 April) with a well-supported one-day walkout. They were joined on a picket line outside their office and were strongly supported by their community, politicians and fellow trade unions. The workers at International House, the only remaining tax office near Heathrow Airport, could see their office close as early as 2020. This puts many of them at risk of redundancy as part of HMRC’s misnamed Building Our Future proposals which will see 90% of HMRC offices closed and replaced by fewer than 20 ‘regional centres and specialist sites’. Picket lines were in place from 7:30am as management had already restricted opening hours due to the action. There was support for the strikers from local trades councils, PCS Assistant General Secretary Chris Baugh, a representative of local Unite Community, as well as the public. The strikers were also joined by Onkar Sahota, Labour’s GLA London assembly member for Ealing and Hillingdon, who is raising the matter with London Mayor Sadiq Khan. A rally which took place outside the office this morning heard from Chris and from branch chair Lydia Ndoinjeh; as well as several branch executive committee members and from sister union Unite. The well-supported one-day strike follows two half-day walkouts held last month. Members are also refusing to do non-contractual overtime. More than 84% voted in favour of striking, and 95% backed action short of a strike in a ballot. If the employer continues to refuse to change its position a three-day strike is planned for next week from 10-12 April. There will be a strike rally at 10am in Ealing on Wednesday (10), which will be addressed by PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka, This will take place in the hall at Ealing Green Church, just along the road from International House. Messages of support can be sent to saveealingtaxoffice@gmail.com and you can donate to the PCS Fighting Fund read more

 

RMT

RMT cleaners on Arriva Rail North to hold protest outside Manchester Victoria station on Wednesday 10th April (8 April) – RMT cleaners working for ISS on the Arriva Rail North contract will be holding a protest on Wednesday 10th April outside Manchester Victoria station between 7am and 9am. The protest is over plans by private contractor ISS to unilaterally change the low paid workers terms and conditions so that they will be forced into accepting 11 days’ pay owed in arrears. Currently they work 5 days paid in arrears read more

RMT to hold protest in London on Friday 26th April to mark 3 years of campaigning to keep the guard on Southern railway (5 April) – Rail union RMT will be holding a national protest on Friday 26th April from 12:00 outside Keolis UK, Evergreen Building North, 160 Euston Road, London NW1 2DX. The event coincides with the 3rd anniversary of the start of RMT strike action on Southern Rail – Britain’s longest running industrial dispute – against Driver Only Operation and in defence of keeping the guard on the train. The protest will be targeting the Keolis, which owns 35% of Southern franchisee Govia, which is itself 70% owned by the French state railway. The action will attract RMT members from across Britain in a show of solidarity with those involved in the dispute who are continuing to fight to retain a second safety critical person on the train read more

RMT rejects Tube pay offer and moves to ballot for action (4 April) – MAIN TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that it has rejected a pay offer from London Underground bosses and is beginning preparations for a ballot of all tube members for both strike action and action short of a strike as it launches a London-wide campaign for pay justice that improves living standards and working lives across the combine. RMT’s negotiating team met with London Underground senior management yesterday who made their derisory pay offer of a one-year, RPI only deal, which works out as 2.5% based on the February 2019 figure. This offer was conditional on the union removing all other aspects of our pay claim, for example a shorter working week, better work/life balance and improved travel facilities read more

Nine to one vote for strike action by over a thousand key London Underground staff (3 April) – TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that over a thousand key London Underground maintenance and engineering staff have voted by around nine to one for both strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over the hacking back of train preparation and inspection schedules which the union warns would have a devastating impact on both service reliability and public safety. The staff work at tube fleet maintenance depots right across Greater London. The result will now be considered by the unions executive who will decide the next steps in the dispute read more

 

TSSA

Strikes on London Underground Next Month after TSSA Rejects Pay Offer (8 April) – TSSA members have rejected a pay offer for London Underground staff describing it as ‘derisory’ and ‘well short of members’ aspirations. The union is warning that as a result a ballot for industrial action is ‘almost inevitable’. TSSA says it is prepared to return to the negotiating table provided ‘substantial improvements’ to the offer can be made. The offer from London Underground – rejected unanimously by reps at a meeting this morning (Monday 8th April) – is a one-year deal from 1st April 2019 increase of 2.5 per cent RPI (Feb 2019) in basic pay for all grades. The offer was also made on the basis that the union drops claims relating to leave, meal breaks, maternity and paternity, working hours and annual leave entitlement read more

 

FBU

Polls close in FBU pay consultation ballot (8 April) – After three weeks of voting, the Fire Brigade Union’s (FBU) pay consultation closed at noon today, 8th April. The FBU held a consultative ballot asking firefighters to consider both a pay proposal from fire service employers and the union’s strategy in pay negotiations. The results will be released on Thursday, following a meeting of the FBU’s executive council. Local and regional officials will consider whether to hold discussion meetings to assess the results in advance of FBU conference in May. The union’s executive council recommended that firefighters reject the pay proposal, which offered open-ended role expansion in return for a small increase in pay that did not have the approval of central government and thus could not be guaranteed. Members were also asked to re-endorse the union’s strategy of reigning in local role-expansion through national negotiation. The FBU’s executive council recommended that members vote “yes” to both questions. Speaking at the announcement of the ballot, Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “It is unacceptable to expect firefighters to agree to this list of dreamed up responsibilities.” Read more

 

NASUWT

Jersey teachers put states on notice of further industrial action (1 Apr) – Following the day of strike action on 26th February and in the absence of any progress on resolving the dispute over pay, the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in Jersey, has today issued notice to the States Education Board that from the start of next term, in furtherance of the dispute over pay, NASUWT members will refuse to cover classes for absent teachers read more

 

UCU

Strikes to hit three West Midlands colleges in pay row (5 April) – UCU members will be on strike next week at Coventry College, City of Wolverhampton College and the Warwickshire College Group in a dispute over pay. UCU members will walk out on the following days:

City of Wolverhampton College – Monday 8, Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 April

Warwickshire College Group – Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 April

Coventry College – Tuesday 9, Wednesday 10 April and Thursday 11 April read more

 

GMB

Seven unions warn of dispute with UK’s largest academy chain (3 Apr) – The UK’s largest academy chain faces a potential dispute with seven education unions over job cuts, low wages and outsourcing. GMB, Unison, Unite, ASCL, NAHT, NASUWT, and the NEU have now registered a failure to agree with London-based Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) which means the trust now has to halt all cuts and outsourcing to allow for last ditch talks at conciliation service ACAS. Unions have been forced into this step by AET’s refusal to engage in meaningful negotiation over a variety of issues read more

 

BECTU

Read the latest about the Picturehouse dispute 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

 

Prospect

SONI strike action is on the way. A one-day strike at SONI will take place on 15 April. (8 Apr) – Prospect Trade Union members at SONI, who operate the electricity transmission system for Northern Ireland have given notice to strike. A one-day strike at SONI will take place on 15 April for 24 hours. The move comes after SONI staff voted strongly in favour of the action up to and including strike. Workers at the EirGrid owned company have not received an annual pay award since 2015. There has been no breakthrough in negotiations, as SONI have failed to initiate contact with Prospect in any way. Unfortunately, SONI appear to be in complete denial read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other news

Donate to the film: ‘Wapping – the workers’ story’ – During the 1986 battle between News International and the print trade unions, the strikers were sustained by the solidarity of thousands of workers in the UK and abroad. In this country, 50 Print Workers’ Support Groups were set up, some of them directly linked to local Trades Councils which played a key role, organising public meetings, raising money to sustain the strikers and picketing sites connected with News International.

We are now appealing to Trades Councils and others for donations towards the completion of: ‘Wapping – the workers’ story’ a film about the momentous year-long industrial dispute which began when Rupert Murdoch plotted to move production of his papers overnight from central London’s Fleet Street to a secretly equipped and heavily guarded plant at Wapping, a docklands district in east London.

5,500 men and women lost their jobs and centuries of tradition in one of London’s last manufacturing industries came to an end.

Military-style police tactics, the use of new laws which shackled the unions’ hard won freedoms and strike-breaking organised by the electricians union led to a Murdoch victory.

The dispute had international ramifications for Murdoch’s expanding press and broadcasting empire in the United States and around the world.

It took place as the Thatcher government broke with the post-war consensus and embraced monetarism – deregulating finance, privatising key industries and undermining local democracy.

You can watch the film’s TRAILER here: https://vimeo.com/311110278

Ken Loach has written this about the film: ‘We need to know the story of the print workers’ battle against Murdoch. We can understand our enemies and see our strengths. Chris Reeves is a fine film maker and a true friend of the workers movement. I know this film will be good and necessary. Please help get it made.’

Ann Field (retired Unite print sector national officer and a founder member of the News International Dispute‎ Archive) said: ‘From the 1980s conspiracy to get rid of an entire workforce of 5,500 workers to the notorious phone hacking and corruption scandals 30 years later – this film exposes the deep-seated and enduring immorality at the heart of the Murdoch-led News International empire.  Please help to finance the completion of this film to ensure a wider audience learns of the impact on the workers, their unions and the media.’

Tony Burke (Unite Assistant General Secretary ) said: ‘During the dispute between the print unions and Rupert Murdoch’s News International in 1986 the media provided only fragments of the ‎real issues at stake and virtually nothing of the effects on the sacked workers, their families and our unions. Only a small number newspapers supported our members.

Unite are proud to be associated with this film to tell the real story of the workers’ struggle with Murdoch, the police, the Tory Government and the right wing media.

Your donation and support will help to ensure the film is completed and the voices of working people and those directly involved is available to set the record straight.’

The documentary is being made with the News International Dispute Archive group whose  publications, website and travelling exhibition have given a voice to the sacked workers and their families.

We have filmed 20 interviews with sacked printworkers and the ‘refusenik’ journalists who joined them, and have made a rough cut of the film. But we need £ 20,500 (£4,000 for editing, £2,500 for on-line editing, and £14,000 for archive material transfers and copyright clearance).

We would appreciate any support you can provide. All donors will receive a DVD and be credited in the final film.

Yours fraternally,

Chris Reeves – Platform Films

You can donate on our website: http://www.platformfilms.co.uk

Or cheques, made out to Platform Films, can be sent to:

Platform Films, Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU

 

 

 

 

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

Appeal for solidarity with striking postal workers in Serbia

There is a strike of postal workers in Serbia. It started on Friday 22 March in the main sorting office in Belgrade and by now has spread across the country.

The worker’s demands are:

– Pay increased to the national average;

– An increase in staffing;

– No victimisation of strikers.

The dispute is about wages which are at the same level as six years ago, but in real terms lower by 30%. At around 300 Euros a month they are much below the Serbian average, which is among the lowest in Europe – around 450 Euros a month. Strike action puts the workers in a desperate position financially.

Only 150 workers work on the night shift in the busy sorting office in Belgrade and workload is a massive issue.

All postal workers will know that even with good conditions this can be a demanding job, but with so few workers the job becomes unbearable. It is obvious that the employer is trying to save money by employing fewer workers.

Real fury arose when the Post Office director recently splashed almost a million Euros on luxury company cars for her cronies, showing that the Post Office doesn’t lack money. Anger at this served as the immediate spark for the strike.

Postal workers have been suffering for years. Last year they were involved in numerous protests and a few limited strike actions. This strike promises to be the biggest struggle so far. Workers are organising supported by unions active in the Post Office (Samostalni Sindikat Poštanskih Radnika – Independent Union of Postal Workers). All workers have already been threatened with dismissals because of the strike action. They are however saying they will not back down until their demands are met. The demands are; a wage rise to national average, more workers employed at skilled and demanding jobs and withdrawal of threats of dismissals.

It is of immense importance that the strike succeeds. It would be a first major victory for workers for a long time – stretching decades – and as such would mark a turning point in the workers’ and trade union struggle in Serbia.

The Serbian Post Office is still under state ownership, but workers believe that management is preparing for privatisation in the future.

Messages of support from trade unionists internationally can be a big boost to workers in Serbia.

Messages of support from trade unionists internationally can be a big boost to workers in Serbia

Send messages to: natasa22.rs@gmail.com

Please copy: miraglav@live.co.uk

 

Myanmar hotel workers released from prison, struggle continues for rights and reinstatement read more

 

 

 

Diary

 

2019

April

4 NSSN Solidarity Meeting: ‘Support the Honda workers – stop the plant closure’ – 7pm Thursday April 4th in the Great Western Hotel, 73 Station Rd, Swindon SN1 1DH

Speakers: Rob Williams NSSN national chair & former Unite car convenor and a Honda shop steward

 

July

6 NSSN Conference Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Facebook event

 

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