NSSN 457: PCS wins again in BEIS!

October 22, 2019 in Bulletins

 

The NSSN sends congratulations to PCS and its outsourced members in BEIS who have won another victory. Weeks ago, it was workers in Aramark and now those working for ISS have won. We echo PCS’s call for all outsourced workers to be brought back in-house.

PCS BEIS2

PCS: ISS staff win London Living Wage at BEIS after months of indefinite strike action (21 Oct) – ISS staff working at BEIS have won “gold standard” terms and conditions, including the London Living Wage after 3 months of indefinite strike action. PCS members employed by outsourcing contractor ISS at BEIS have won the “gold standard” in pay,  terms and conditions, including the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour along with better terms & conditions, after many months of strike action. Porters, security, post room, cleaners and receptionist staff have taken rolling strike action in the long running dispute which began with action against the previous contractor Engie in January 2019, and continued when ISS took over the contract in March 2019. Cleaners took the decision to take indefinite strike action for 3 months in order to win a just settlement. In the longest ever indefinite strikes by outsourced workers in Whitehall, members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) won better pay, sick pay and increased annual leave following the action. The agreement covers over 10 Government Department/Agency sites nationwide. There is also a commitment to extend the deal to other Government sites covered by the contract in April 2020. PCS members working for catering contractor Aramark, who were also on indefinite strike, won their dispute last month read more

 

From Kate Leslie PCS BEIS London South branch secretary:

We’ve only gone and done it again! It’s a double whammy win. Today my members accepted a deal after 10 months of strike action and the longest ever indefinite strike in Whitehall’s history against ISS and BEIS.

The win is historic, with not only the first and longest indefinite strike action of outsourced workers, but also in the concessions they’ve won against the outsourcing giant ISS.

The deal covers several Government buildings (including some in Cabinet Office) around England and other Nations, and covers numerous Arms Length Bodies, with commitments that the rest of the buildings will move up from 1 April 2020.

The deal includes:

– Living Wage Foundation rates as a minimum (with many professions above);

– Pay rises in March 2020;

– Occupational sick pay for the first time on full pay;

– Up to 6 extra days annual leave; and

– Increases in overtime and day rates.

This week our cleaners will return to work and we’ll be cheering them in. But there is a chance for you to come and celebrate with us and a chance for us to thank you all for your support. On Wednesday 6 November from 17:00 at the Civil Service Club we’d like to invite you all to come and share food and drinks with us (and some BEIS picket lines tunes).

There’s power in a TRADE UNION!

 

 

 

CWU

Support the postal workers after massive strike vote! We support the call of the union for Royal Mail to be re-nationalised read more                    National Dispute – resources page

Don’t trigger a needless industrial relations meltdown, CWU warns BT (Oct 17) – The CWU has issued the starkest possible warning to BT that it will be placing more than 30 years of industrial harmony in jeopardy if today’s announcement of hundreds of job losses in BT Enterprise ends with even a single compulsory redundancy. Responding to today’s bombshell that the division is seeking a substantial headcount reduction taking place between April and August, the CWU has reminded the company that any move to cross the union’s fundamental red line on compulsory redundancies will trigger the most serious industrial relations crisis within BT since the 1987 national strike read more

 

Support these indefinite industrial actions:-

Unite

BROMLEY LIBRARY STRIKERS – FIGHTING ON TO SAVE OUR LIBRARIES

From Unite regional officer Onay Kasab:

Following the announcement of job cuts in Bromley Libraries, it is now vital that we escalate the campaign again. Our members have been on continuous strike since 6th June. I have included again (below) the details for our crowdfunding page.

Over October, we are organising a number of events. The events below have been confirmed. We are asking that RISC members and officers do what you can with your branches to build support and attendance for these events. One part of our strategy will be to target Greenwich Councillors who are on the board of GLL and who to date have said nothing, despite our approaches. We are also targeting the Chartered Institute of Information and Library Professionals (CILIP) calling on them to cut links with GLL.

This is a key dispute not just in the Region but for the local government sector of Unite. It is the longest running indefinite all out dispute for some years and demonstrates vividly all the points we have made in our opposition to outsourcing. It is therefore vitally important that we do all we can over the next few months to bring this dispute to a victorious conclusion not just for Bromley Unite members but for our sector.

OCTOBER CAMPAIGN EVENTS:-

22 OCTOBER – GREENWICH COUNCIL CABINET

Demonstration from 4.30 pm

Woolwich Town Hall

Wellington St SE18 6PW

 

30 OCTOBER – GREENWICH FULL COUNCIL

Demonstration from 5 pm

Woolwich Town Hall

Wellington St SE18 6PW

We are going to fight this campaign until we win. We are making a fresh appeal for funds. Here is a link for our crowd funding site which has just been set up. Please forward this to stewards and members and encourage them to donate. This is a vitally important campaign – and we will win a vitally important victory!

Also, cheques can be made payable to Onay Kasab and forwarded to 33 – 37 Moreland St, London, EC1V 8BB and messages of support via onay.kasab@unitetheunion.org   bank details are: Unity Trust Bank, Bromley LG Bromley Branch, A/C NO. 20272821 Sort 60 83 01

Sign the petition to defend Bromley Library Service Call and support the indefinite strike. Please send messages of support and any financial assistance via Unite regional officer Onay Kasab Onay.Kasab@unitetheunion.org

Pharmacy support workers ‘fury’ at NHS Tayside as industrial action continues – Band 3 Now! Support the striking Tayside pharmacy workers. This followed an almost unanimous vote by this group of workers to enter dispute regarding low pay. These workers, some of the lowest paid in NHS Tayside, have been graded as a band 2, despite an ever-increasing and evermore skilled set of duties. This is part and parcel of the “filtering down” of roles within the NHS to aid cost-cutting by bosses read more

Support Tayside Pharmacy Workers Facebook page

Donate to the strike fund

 

 

 

NSSN news

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

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

Watch NSSN TUC Rally video

 

 

 

 

Union News

More PCS

Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) staff vote for strike action (16 Oct) – PCS members working as senior caseworkers, caseworkers and admin, voted overwhelmingly for action following a below inflation pay offer. The 2% offer from bosses marks the 10th consecutive below inflation (RPI) pay imposition leaving PHSO members worse off each year. During negotiations management claimed that PCS costings were “unaffordable” despite acknowledging that a just pay rise would only cost £50k. Senior executives at the Ombudsman have been treated differently however, with many getting a 4% pay rise and executive directors receiving bonuses of up to £10,000. Management have now decided to impose the pay offer without reaching a collective agreement with PCS reps read more

Support the DVSA workers who have been on strike – donate to the strike fund online using account number: 20331490, sort code: 608301, quoting the reference DVSA Strike Fund. Send your solidarity messages to Midsbargaining@pcs.org.uk   read more

Support the cleaners in the fight for a Living Wage in HMRC on Merseyside – PCS members employed by ISS to clean HMRC offices on Merseyside have been on strike read more on Justice for HMRC Cleaners and the PCS website

Support the Stockport UC strikers – these workers took action recently. Donate to the PCS Stockport and Tame Valley Branch Hardship Fund: Sort code 60-83-01, account number 20260684. Send messages of support to leeds@pcs.org.uk and all will be forwarded on read more

 

RMT

Get a RMT anti-fascist ‘No Pasaran’ t-shirt – All sizes . £10 per T-shirt including postage . Bulk orders are fine . Email to rossmarshallrmt@gmail.com or text 07932 576 955. Payment by bank transfer or cash

RMT demands that C2C drop ticket office plans (21 Oct) – On the closing day of the consultation over C2C’s plans to cut ticket office hours across the network, rail union RMT has written to both Transport Focus and London TravelWatch to object to the proposals which the union says would lead to a significant reduction in passenger service and accessibility in the drive towards a faceless railway in the name of profit read more

 

More Unite

Greenwich council housing repair workers to strike for five days over new pay structure (22 Oct) – About 120 housing repair workers at Greenwich council are to strike for five days in disgust over the way they have been treated, Unite said today (Tuesday 22 October). Unite said its members had voted by 95 per cent for strike action over a plan to introduce a new pay structure which will cut pay by 20 per cent and will now strike on 28 October and 1, 2, 3 and 4 November. The strikes will be staged by carpenters, electricians and plumbers, based at the Birchmere depot, Eastern Way, London SE28 8BF. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich council has a very poor employment relations’ culture. “Our members are faced with proposals to introduce a new pay structure which will cut pay by 20 per cent and are disgusted by the way they have been treated by this local authority. The failure of the council’s bosses to address our members’ legitimate concerns has now resulted in five days of strike action. Unite has endeavoured over a long period to reach a fair settlement to this dispute, but, so far, we have been met with an intransigent management. That said, Unite’s door is open 24/7 for constructive talks before strike action starts next Monday (28 October).”

Len McCluskey attacks hardline Lincolnshire council over ‘divide and rule’ jobs move (16 Oct) – Unite general secretary Len McCluskey made a blistering attack today (Wednesday 16 October) on hardline Lincolnshire council bosses attempting to impose a two-tier ‘divide and rule’ jobs role on their health visiting workforce. Len McCluskey told delegates at the annual conference of the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) that the cash rich county council was failing in its public duty to resolve the long-running dispute. The dispute has escalated from the first bout of strike action – 32 days since July with the loss of around 450 shifts which centred on health visitors having lost more than £2,000 a year since they were transferred from the NHS – to the council’s insistence on different contracts for grade 9 and grade 10 health visitors. More than 70 Lincolnshire health visitors are currently being balloted for strike action on the contracts’ issue. The ballot closes on Friday 25 October. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey told the Harrogate conference: “All our Lincolnshire health visitors ask for is fair pay, and what is rightfully theirs. They have lost over £2,000 a year since being transferred from the NHS to the county council three years ago, a move they never wanted and should never have happened…” read more

Derbyshire flooring workers to hold the first of 20 days of strike action tomorrow over pay, after rejecting last minute offer – More than 70 production workers at Forbo Flooring UK Ltd in Ripley, Derbyshire will stage the first of ten 48 hour strikes tomorrow (Tuesday 15 October), after rejecting a new ‘unsatisfactory’ pay offer, Unite said today (Monday 14 October). The workers at the High Holborn Road site rejected a slightly improved two year package backdated to 1 January 2019 and running to 31 December 2020 by a large majority today. Unite said that a culture of staff being undervalued and disrespected hangs over this dispute read more

 

Unison

Low-paid UCL workers celebrate UNISON-brokered pay deal (21 Oct) – Pay, pension and holiday rights to be upgraded. Hundreds of outsourced UCL staff are celebrating after UNISON secured the same pay, pension and annual leave rights as directly employed workers doing the same jobs. From 1 December 2019 – as part of a phased retreat by UCL – porters, security and catering workers will receive the same holiday entitlement as directly employed staff, says UNISON. By autumn 2021 the pay, overtime, pension options and sickness allowances of the 900 outsourced staff will be brought in line with directly employed UCL workers, ending years of unfair treatment, the union said. UNISON negotiators are working with university managers to speed up the process so staff can benefit before 2021. UCL will join other London universities – including King’s College London, the London School of Economics, and Goldsmiths, University of London – in employing outsourced and directly employed staff on the same rates read more

Compass flouting mandatory criminal record checks while recruiting hospital workers in St Helens to cover six day strike (16 Oct) – Private contractor Compass is failing to complete the necessary disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks while recruiting hospital cleaners and caterers to cover the latest strike action in St Helens. Around 300 staff employed by private contractor Compass within two NHS trusts in St Helens and Blackpool are taking strike action over the company’s failure to match health service pay rates and working conditions. The new staff have been recruited to cover permanent workers who began a further six days of strike action on Monday. Compass have been recruiting for new staff at local job centres, including Huyton Job Centre. A source close to UNISON enquired about a vacancy and was given the name and phone number of a Compass recruitment manager who explained that there were temporary domestic and catering vacancies to cover the ongoing strike action. The same manager added that the catering vacancies were only needed to cover the industrial action, but some of the domestic posts might be made permanent. In a revelation which will shock patients and staff at St Helens and Whiston Hospitals, the Compass manager then stated that new recruits would not need to undertake a DBS check, something which is normally mandatory for new hospital staff. It has also emerged that Compass are paying these new recruits £10.50 per hour – almost £1.50 more than the striking workers are asking for read more

 

GMB

Matalan strike suspended after bosses offer new pay deal (18 Oct) – A long-running Matalan strike has been called off after bosses made GMB members a new pay offer. More than 500 workers at Matalan’s Northern Distribution Centre based in Knowsley, Merseyside, had been on strike after management made a pay offer which amounted to a real terms pay cut. The industrial action has been going on since August, with some strikers erecting tents outside the warehouse read more

‘Don’t sack 12,000 Asda workers just before Christmas’ (21 Oct) – GMB, the union for Asda workers, has written to company bosses calling on them not to sack 12,000 workers just before Christmas. In an open letter to senior vice president Hayley Tatum, GMB calls on the company to withdraw its threat to sack all workers who don’t sign the controversial Contract 6 on November 2. Last week Asda workers handed in a 23,000 strong petition opposing the contract to Asda HW during a mass protest in Leeds read more

 

NEU

Sixth form colleges – why we are taking action: The relentless attack on 16-19 funding since 2010 has resulted in job losses and increased workload for all education workers. Pay for teachers and support workers has fallen drastically in real terms since 2010, and teachers are being told that employers cannot afford to match the 2.75 per cent for teachers in schools, after getting less than school teachers last year. With less money to spend on resourcing the curriculum, there is reduced curriculum provision in many colleges. Our students suffer increased class sizes and the removal of enrichment activities, ever reducing access to mental health services while need increases, and reduced financial help with travel and educational supplies. Too many sixth form colleges have been forced into mergers. Is it any wonder then that our members in sixth form colleges have voted decisively for strike action? Read more

Support strikes at Peacehaven Community School in east Sussex against academisation – Send messages of support to: Phil Clarke 07709696561 phil.clarke@neu.org.uk and Jack Tyler 01444 894500 jack.tyler@neu.org.uk   Hands Off Peacehaven Community School Facebook group

 

UCU

Striking staff at Nottingham College announce 14 strike dates for November – Nottingham College will be hit with another 14 strike days from Tuesday 5 November after striking staff announced plans for further action and accused the college of reneging on promises over workloads. UCU members entered their fourth week of strike action on Monday 7 October and will have walked out for a total of 15 days this academic year. The increasingly bitter dispute centres on the college’s plans to impose contracts which would leave some staff more than £1,000 a year worse off, as well as reducing holiday entitlement and removing protections against work overload. Staff at the college have not received a pay rise since 2010. The union says that the college has now backtracked on a commitment to limit teaching hours to 24 hours a week while a new contract is negotiated. UCU says the college’s refusal to negotiate in good faith has left members with no alternative but to announce more strike dates. The second wave of strikes will consist of three and four-day walkouts over a four-week period covering most of November. The full strike dates for the second wave are:

Tuesday 5, Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November

Monday 11, Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 November

Monday 18, Wednesday 20 and Friday 22

Monday 25, Tuesday 26, Thursday 28 and Friday 29 November read more

Local politicians slam Nottingham College’s handling of lecturers’ strikes

Support sacked Sandwell College lecturer Dave Muritu read more

 

EIS

ULA statutory ballot: EIS-ULA Executive recommends that you Vote YES in this statutory ballot for industrial action – Since 2009, the value of members’ pay has fallen by over 20%!  The Employers’ pay offer for 2019/20, a headline uplift of only 1.8%, compounds that real terms drop in the value of your pay. The reality is that Universities are choosing to invest in other areas – such as buildings – rather than in their staff. After nearly a decade of sub-inflationary pay settlements, the only avenue left open to us to secure a significant improvement in lecturers’ and academic related staff pay is through industrial action read more

 

TSSA

TSSA Warns of Industrial Action Over TfL Talks Breakdown (17 Oct) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has raised the prospect of industrial action across Transport for London (TfL) after a breakdown in talks over pay. TSSA represents thousands of TfL staff across the Company in all grades. After the talks Cortes said: “This morning we met TfL bosses and they have refused to increase their paltry pay offer. Sadly, they have told our members they need to take yet another pay cut. In effect this would be the sixth successive year of pay cuts. “Our union represents some of the lowest paid people within the TfL family and they are sick to the back teeth of having to put up with pay cut, after pay cut, after pay cut. They have had more than enough. In a recent ballot of our members they told us overwhelmingly that they wanted us to reject the 1 per cent pay offer from TfL and that they were willing to take part in industrial action if it became necessary. Today I have told TfL that we are willing to go to ACAS for further talks but on the understanding that TfL will be tabling an improved offer…” read more

 

Prospect

Museum of London staff announce half-day strike – Prospect union members working at the Museum of London have announced a half day strike on 24 October. The strike is part of an ongoing pay action after the museum imposed a 1.5% pay rise. The 1.5% pay rise is the latest in a series of below-inflation pay rises which have left workers in the Museum of London experiencing a 6% real terms pay cut since 2013. Over this time the gap between the highest and the lowest paid in the organisation has grown. The director’s salary has increased by 4.7% in real terms, this includes a 5% increase (including bonus) last year, and the number of employees earning over £100k a year has doubled read more

 

BECTU

Bectu wins tribunal case for Interserve security officer (18 Oct) – A security officer based at BBC New Broadcasting House has won his unfair dismissal claim against his employer, Interserve. Bectu member Oluwagbemi Ogundolie, had worked for Interserve for 12 years when he was dismissed for failing to report an incident.  Oluwagbemi, was covering for a colleague at the front desk, when an unauthorised individual was escorted out of the building by a member of staff read more

 

UVW

Hundreds of outsourced cleaners, porters & caterers to strike for equality with NHS staff at major London hospital (21 Oct) – Hundreds of migrant workers have voted overwhelmingly to take prolonged strike action at St. Mary’s Hospital in what promises to be one of the longest strikes in NHS history. The workers will begin their strikes on 28th, 29th and 31st of October to demand equality in pay and working conditions with directly employed NHS staff.  Their union United Voices of the World has publicly committed to successive weeks of strike action that will stretch well into December if the demands of its members remain unmet read more

Major disruption at three University of London universities bracing for successive weeks of strike action (18 Oct) – This October, workers at the University of Greenwich’s café, who are outsourced to BaxterStorey, have voted unanimously to take repeat strike action, whilst two other University of London universities — St. George’s and the University of East London (UEL) — are also braced for similar action. Organised by the trade union United Voices of the World (UVW), workers at the University of Greenwich will walk off the job demanding occupational sick pay in line with university staff and a reduction in their workloads read more

 

IWGB

Protest! – UCL End Outsourcing: Protest from 3:30pm Tuesday October 29th, meet in Malet Place

Outsourced workers at UCL are fighting for equality. Security officers, cleaners and porters have organised and are determined to fight to end the scourge of outsourcing. UCL is one of the richest universities in the world, yet for years they have exploited their outsourced workers Facebook event

 

 

 

Other news

Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions conference: Saturday 16th November 2019 – jointly organized by the Blacklist Support Group

A major trade union conference ‘Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions: The Political and The Personal’ is taking place at the University of Greenwich on Saturday 16th November 2019. The event is jointly organised by the Blacklist Support Group and our sister campaigns Police Spies Out of Lives and the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS). The conference is officially supported by UNITE the Union.

Amongst other issues, the conference will cover undercover police infiltration of trade unions, police collusion in blacklisting, the human rights violations against female activists by the British state and ongoing corporate surveillance of union activists. The speakers will include spied on activists, blacklisted union members, lawyers, politicians, investigative journalists and artists. See the attached documents for more information.

Attendance is free but registration is essential. Please raise the issue at your union committee and encourage people to apply for a space online via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/undercover-policing-and-trade-unions-the-political-and-the-personal-tickets-64167284074

Affiliate to the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPs) and to send representatives from your trade union branch/organisation to our Trade Union Conference on Saturday November 16th at University of Greenwich, Stephen Lawrence Building, Old Naval College, 30 Park Row, London, SE10 9LS.

Return Address: Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), c/o 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX

 

 

 

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

End the attacks on democratically elected Mayors in Turkey

Democratically elected local Mayors in Turkey are being arbitrarily arrested and detained for opposing the Turkish state’s war on Syria.

Erdogan’s AKP government is using the war as an opportunity to target all those who refuse to support him. The Diyarbakir Co-Mayor, Selcuk Mizrakli, who had previously been dismissed from his post illegally was arrested on the morning of 21 October.

Almost simultaneously co-Mayors of Kayapinar, Bismil and Koakoy were also arrested and the local authority buildings were searched. All of these were areas in which the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had gained over 60% of the vote in the local elections on 31 March 2019.

It is clear that these Mayors have been targeted and arrested because of their refusal to support the invasion of northern Syria (Rojava) and because of their anti-war stance.

Eyewitnesses and news stories from Turkey show that the situation is only becoming more desperate, with Erdogan and the AKP government continuing its attacks on the democratically elected representatives of the people. More than 1,000 people have been arrested and detained for opposing the war and calling for peace. Turkey is now a country in which being anti-war is considered a crime.

We condemn these attacks on democratic opposition and the people of Turkey.

We call on the UK government to publicly condemn the Turkish state’s attacks on democracy and the rule of law, permanently end all arms sales to Turkey, and stop all political and trade relationships with immediate effect.

Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT)

 

 

 

Diary

 

2019

November

16 Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions conference: Saturday 16th November 2019 Eventbrite

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:info@shopstewards.net

 

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