NSSN 516: Teachers and school support staff force Tory U-turn!

January 5, 2021 in Bulletins

The NSSN sends all our supporters New Year greetings. We will continue to build support solidarity for workers and their unions taking action and to the increasing number of union reps and members being victimised by employers.

2021 has started with a bang, with teachers and school support staff forcing Boris Johnson’s Tory government to retreat on the re-opening of schools. The NEU backed by Unison cited Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act to demand that primary schools be closed and teaching carried out remotely online to protect the safety of pupils, staff and the wider community. It is estimated that 600 schools saw Section 44 letters being submitted by staff yesterday.

Hackney NEU strike

On Sunday, Tory Prime Minister Johnson claimed that schools were safe despite warning of new restrictions in response to the new COVID variant. But what changed in the space of 24 hours? A huge mobilisation by education unions.

On Sunday, the NEU union organised an online meeting which they report was watched by 400,000 people. The huge numbers of primary schools closed by collective action yesterday shows the power of workers organised in unions. We believe that parents who have to stay home to care for children should have their job guaranteed and be paid 100% of their wages.

Unions now need to come together immediately to draw on this template to fight for workplace safety in all sectors and stop the offensive by the Tories and the bosses to make workers pay for the COVID crisis with our lives and livelihoods. The NSSN will continue to play our part in this struggle.

Education unions’ joint statement on the safe reopening of schools

NEU: Call for all primary schools in England to move learning online

NEU advises primary members it is unsafe to return to work

NEU: Northern Ireland primary and post-primary schools to extend remote learning

NASUWT calls for an immediate nationwide move to remote education

Scottish First Minister’s COVID announcement – EIS response

Lockdown announcement and schools impact – EIS response

EIS West Lothian College Staff Vote in Favour of Industrial Action

EIS: Teachers in Edinburgh back move to Dispute over School Safety

EIS: Teachers in three local authority areas back move to dispute over school safety

UCU says government plans for a return to in-person teaching ‘doomed to fail’

Unite calls for schools to be closed and staff properly protected

Ministers must delay school reopening by a fortnight, says UNISON. Government must act immediately for primary schools

GMB welcomes U-turn on schools re-opening after PM claimed schools were safe

GMB: Government must apply common sense and postpone schools re-opening

POA call for suspension of education in youth prisons

PCS expresses solidarity with school teachers and support staff in Covid fight

 

Fight together against the Tory Pay Freeze

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a public sector pay freeze last Wednesday. NSSN Chair Rob Williams said, “Just as the Tories are exposed over giving COVID contracts to their cronies and a day after a big rise in defence spending is announced, millions of public sector workers face yet another pay freeze.

“After standing on the front line, putting their lives at risk, they face sinking further into poverty. This is on top of a decade of Tory pay cuts that saw workers lose up to 14% of their income. Sunak cynically ‘exempts’ NHS workers from this pay cap but they won’t be fooled. Any rise will go nowhere close to the 15% rise demanded this summer by protesting health workers to close the gap on what has been lost on the last 10 years.

“The NSSN sends our solidarity to public sector workers and their unions. This announcement will take place virtually on the 10th anniversary of George Osborne’s brutal austerity offensive.  That cuts blizzard led to 2 million public sector workers walk out together on the November 30th N30 pensions strike.

“Workers need to fight together now to send the clearest message to the Tories and the employers: we won’t pay the price in terms of our jobs and income for your total mismanagement of the COVID pandemic and any economic crisis. Especially when the super-rich increase their wealth at our expense.

“The NSSN calls on the TUC and the unions to organise protests in towns to start the mobilisation of workers that can lead to the co-ordinated industrial action that we need to defeat the Tories and inflict on them yet another U-turn.”

 

Support the NHS pay protests – Over the last few months, there have been demonstrations and rallies in many towns and cities. Workers in the NHS and care sector workers demand an immediate 15% pay rise that starts to close the income gap caused by a decade of pay freezes. Please join the protests that are taking place. Details of some of these events can be found here in the Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality Facebook group and on the Keep Our NHS Public website. Also visit the website of Health Campaigns Together. We support the call of many health workers for industrial action ballots, co-ordinated across all the health unions and linking up with all other workers in public services. We are confident that this would be supported by workers in the private sector and all those who benefit from health and social care, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic where so many staff put their lives on the line. Sign the petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak – ‘We demand a pay rise for key workers’

Unite urges Johnson to open government’s wallet to give NHS staff a substantial pay rise for 2021 (23 Dec) – Boris Johnson has been urged to open the government’s wallet and give NHS staff  a substantial pay rise to make up for a decade of pay austerity and in recognition of their role in the continuing battle against Covid-19. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has written to the prime minister to highlight the union’s demand for an early and significant pay rise for NHS workers of £3,000-a-year or 15 per cent, whichever is the greater. The three-year NHS pay deal ends in April 2021, and health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has asked the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) to report early next May on the award for 2021/2022. The PRB will be making its deliberations against a background of chancellor’s Rishi Sunak’s ‘divide and rule’ tactics on public sector pay when millions, such as teaching assistants, will be subject to a pay freeze, while NHS staff can expect an increase. Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, called for the pay deal to be brought forward to compensate for the 19 per cent pay decrease in real terms for many NHS staff since 2010 read more

GMB slams Matt Hancock’s scrooge NHS pay letter (18 Dec) – NHS union condemns misleading use of pay statistics as Government undemines trust in the NHS Pay Review Body process. GMB, the union for workers in the NHS, has hit out after the Health Secretary’s remit letter to the NHS Pay Review Body for 2021/22 was published late this Friday afternoon [18 December 2020]. GMB said that Matt Hancock’s much-delayed ‘Scrooge’ letter lays the grounds for another real terms pay cut for NHS workers next year. The union also slammed the Health Secretary’s misleading use of statistic read more

Cruel to make NHS staff wait months for pay rise, says UNISON (18 Dec) – Sara Gorton says exhausted staff need morale boost now. Commenting on the start of the NHS pay review process announced today (Friday) which means staff must wait until at least May 2021 for a rise, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “It’s cruel to make staff wait until next summer to learn what their pay rise will be. The Chancellor and Prime Minister must do the right thing and fund decent a wage increase now. This would give exhausted staff a morale boost and get services fit for the year ahead.” Read more

 

The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic

The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.

You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.

You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]

We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN

But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in December’s Queens Speech last December and cannot be trusted.

We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights. The Tory government have announced measures that include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. This furlough scheme was due to end but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown.

However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. We say: work or full pay. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of COVID, childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.

We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.

Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum.

 

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. Feel free to use this affiliation letter

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 [email protected]

Watch The NSSN pre-TUC Rally and follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

 

  

Union News

RMT

BREAKING NEWS!! RMT slams company for failing to take new variant of COVID seriously (5 Jan) – RMT slams company for failing to take new variant of COVID seriously on East Midlands Railway and accuses bosses of playing fast and loose with staff lives. RAIL UNION RMT today wrote to management on East Midlands Railway demanding that they stop ignoring the science, start taking the threat to lives posed by the new variant of COVID-19 seriously and take immediate action to review and rewrite risk assessments to reflect the current, dire situation. The union is are also issuing fresh advice to its members to ‘safe stop’ should they be asked to work in conditions they regard as being unsafe read more

RMT issues renewed guidance to members as new COVID strain ramps up risks (4 Dec) – SPECIALIST TRANSPORT UNION RMT today issued fresh guidance to members across all sectors reminding them of their right to a safe working environment as the new strain of COVID 19 ramps up the risks to staff and passengers alike read more

RMT calls for investigation into bus and coach fires (3 Jan) – A rising trend of bus and coach fires must be “thoroughly investigated”, transport union RMT has demanded after figures obtained by The Scotsman showed they increased for three consecutive years read more

RMT ramps up campaign to protect catering services on SWR (30 Dec) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that it is ramping up the campaign calling for the Government to urgently intervene and reverse South Western Railway’s reckless decision to axe its on-board catering provision. SWR’s decision puts over 130 jobs at risk of redundancy in January 2021, and shows no regard for passengers who now risk losing the catering provision across SWR services. Thousands of passengers have already signed an online petition calling for catering services to be retained and protected on SWR read more

RMT set to declare dispute on East Midlands Railway over safety (23 Dec) – RMT set to declare dispute on East Midlands Railway over company refusal to implement safety measures. RAIL UNION RMT’s national executive will be meeting today with a recommendation to declare a dispute on East Midlands Railway over the company’s refusal to implement the most basic safety measures. The union has been inundated with complaints by furious members over issues read more

RMT calls for urgent Government support to protect Eurostar and ferry jobs and services as COVID crisis deepens (21 Dec) – RMT calls for urgent Government support to protect Eurostar and ferry jobs and services as COVID crisis deepens. Eurostar and ferries union RMT called today for urgent and decisive Government action to support and protect thousands of jobs caught in the crossfire of the closures to UK traffic across Europe overnight read more

Support RMT strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper – Email messages of support via [email protected] and send donations to RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1JD read more    Sign RMT petition demanding Transport Scotland takes action over worker fatigue on the Serco Caledonian Sleeper

RMT launches global on-line petition to halt jobs carnage at Trump’s Turnberry resort

Sign this petition: RMT steps up campaign for TfL funding

Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London

Please Support RMT Members With No Wages! – RMT London Transport Region Zero Hours & Self-Employed members need our Solidarity Now! Many of our regions self-employed members and those on zero hours have not any had wages for 2 months since March. They have been abandoned by London Underground, TfL, the London Mayor and their agency employers. They MUST NOT be abandoned by us too; their RMT sisters and brothers! The RMT London Transport Regional Council and LU Engineering RMT branch are calling out to all branches, members and friends to dig deep and give meaningful solidarity to our hard pressed members facing poverty and possibly eviction from their homes. To help support by donating to the fund or to ask after support for yourself, please email: [email protected]  read more

 

TSSA

TSSA Calls For Urgent Assistance Over Eurostar After Belgium Ban (20 Dec) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has issued an urgent SOS for Eurostar after Belgium halted trains from Britain. The Belgian Government said Eurostar trains will be stopped from entering the country for a minimum of 24 hours as of midnight (Sunday 20th December) in a bid to prevent the transmission of the new highly infectious Covid strain. There are fears this could be extended beyond Christmas after the Netherlands, on Sunday, issued a ban on flights from the UK which could run until the new year read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Industrial action escalates at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council as mediated talks collapse after management refuse trade union proposal to end dispute (Jan 5) – All four staff trade unions, Unite, GMB, NIPSA and SIPTU, warn work-to-rule will result in severe disruption to services hugely dependent on overtime and staff goodwill read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Strikes suspended in DHL Liverpool Wagon Wheel dispute for talks, but local management undermining negotiations warns Unite (5 Jan) – Strike action involving workers employed by DHL Supply Chain in Liverpool on the Burton Biscuits and AB World Foods delivery contract has been suspended as an act of ‘good faith’ as the company indicated it was prepared to make ‘a significantly improved offer’. The strike action planned for 29 and 30 December did not go ahead and the strike planned for Wednesday 13 January has also been suspended. Acas talks will take place on Tuesday 12 January but if there is not a satisfactory resolution then the strikes planned for Thursday 14 January and Friday 15 January will go ahead read more

Moy Park bosses must test entire workforce at Randalstown feed mill after latest Covid outbreak (Jan 4) – Unite warns that virus outbreak has potential to impact feed supply to millions of chickens across Northern Ireland read more

Heroic NHS staff working under siege desperately need support and correct PPE (31 Dec) – Hard-pressed, heroic NHS staff continuing to battle the Covid-19 crisis are being badly let down by a government which, ten months into this crisis, is still failing to ensure that the workforce is getting the protection it needs, says Unite the union read more read more

McCluskey: More inspectors and on the spot payroll checks by unions needed to prove government serious about stopping minimum wage cheats (31 Dec) – Responding to the government’s minimum wage “name and shame” list, Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary said: “It’s good to see that robbing employers are being shamed, deservedly, again but it would be far better to make stealing from them unappealing in the first place. “Too many bad bosses get away with it. The rogues don’t fear the inspector’s knock at the door. They probably think, with justification, that they have more chance of winning the lottery than being caught for their crime read more

Christmas Plymouth Devonport tug strikes postponed for ACAS talks (23 Dec) – Tractor tug crews employed by Serco Marine at Devonport’s naval base in Plymouth have postponed strikes over the Christmas holidays to allow for talks mediated by the conciliation service ACAS, Unite said today (Wednesday 23 December). Around 40 tractor tug crew members were planning to strike between 25 December and 30 December after Serco Marine imposed a change to working patterns from a one-week cycle to a three-week cycle. The duty rota changes also mean the workers lose annual leave allocations. Planned strikes from the 11 January to 16 January 2020 are still scheduled to go ahead if the ACAS negotiations are not successful read more

BA Cargo strikes to begin on Christmas Day as talks fail (23 Dec) – British Airways workers employed in its cargo division will begin nine days of strikes on Christmas Day, in the dispute over the decision to fire and rehire the workforce on inferior pay and conditions. Since Unite initially announced the strike dates, talks between British Airways and the union have taken place but have failed to make significant progress. Over 840 British Airways cargo workers, predominantly based at Heathrow airport, recorded a 98 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action. The very strong yes vote reflects the anger of the workforce to the deep cuts they face to their pay and conditions. Under BA’s fire and rehire plan workers are losing up to 24 per cent of their pay which amounts to between £5,000 – £11,000 per annum. Strike action will begin at 00:01hrs on Friday 25 December and will end at 24:00hrs on Saturday 2 January read more

Stop the BA Betrayal! – This groundswell has been mobilised by reps and the campaign #BAbetrayal – a ‘crisis leverage campaign, which is part of Unite’s Leverage strategy. ‘Crisis leverage’ applies many of the same principles and takes a similarly robust, muscular approach but in a much more streamlined, nimble way. In a crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic, with a company behaving like British Airways, we have to move fast and to scale. Find out more and support the #BAbetrayal campaign by Joining the #BAbetrayal Facebook campaign and follow the @BAbetrayal campaign on Twitter. Sign the petition today

Major concerns raised about Heathrow’s fire safety during strikes at the airport

Strikes at Leeds bus maker Optare suspended after agreement reached (23 Dec) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, and Optare PLC, a leading UK producer of mass-transit buses, have today (Wednesday 23 December) announced the immediate suspension of the industrial action taken by Unite’s members at Optare’s manufacturing plant in Sherburn in Elmet, Leeds. After comprehensive discussions, both parties recognise that some form of pay settlement is important but at this time of considerable uncertainty, accept that it is not currently possible. Unite and Optare have agreed to work together on a payment mechanism to address this, ready for implementation once recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is clear and future orders have come in read more

Hull Croda workers to strike over years of missing holiday pay (22 Dec) – Hull workers at chemical giant Croda Europe Ltd will take industrial action, including strike action, over years of missing holiday pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 22 December). Around 90 Croda workers, who are members of Unite, were balloted for strike action in November over the company’s failure to incorporate holiday entitlement into their shift rotas at its Oak Road site. In a ballot with an 80 per cent turnout, nearly 90 per cent voted in favour of industrial action, which will take place in January. Shift workers at the factory have suffered miscalculations in their annual leave for as long as 21 years, with long serving staff owed thousands of pounds in holiday back pay read more

Workers at International Paint in Gateshead to vote on pay offer (22 Dec) – Unite the union members employed at International Paint in Gateshead will be voting on a pay deal, the result of which will be known in the new year. As a gesture of goodwill, Unite members have dropped an overtime ban due to start on Monday 4 January, but dates for two 24-hour strikes on Wednesday 27 January and Wednesday 10 February remain in place, depending on the outcome of the ballot read more

Security guards at Reading hospital to stage second wave of strikes in ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle (22 Dec) – Security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle with their employer, will be striking over 20 days during January and February. The 23 security guards are striking from 07.00 on Monday 4 January over the failure of their employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd to make a decent pay offer for 2020. Their strike action will end at 19.00 on Friday 12 February. They have already taken five days of strike action which ended on Friday (18 December). The security personnel, members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, provide security for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust read more

Jammie Dodgers strike gets ‘sticky’ as DHL accused of ‘wasting police time’ by Unite (21 Dec) – Logistics giant DHL has been accused of ‘wasting police time’ after claims that it called out hard-pressed officers on spurious grounds to the peaceful picket line of striking Liverpool delivery drivers and warehouse staff. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said that the bosses at DHL Supply Chain had called out police ‘at least 10 times’ with multiple vehicles to the Portal Way site where its 120 members have been on strike since Saturday (19 December). Unite said that the company had been abusing already stretched police resources which could be better used ensuring that Covid-19 regulations were adhered to and tackling the high crime levels in Croxeth area where the delivery centre is situated. In November, striking workers at Leeds-based Optare bus manufacturer were moved on by the police, prompting Unite legal action that forced the government to issue guidance to police forces that workers can undertake socially distanced picketing during lockdown, as it is covered by the exception on the right to go to work read more

Strike action continuing at logistics giant Dachser (Dec 10) – Dates for further actions to be decided on Monday. Stoppage follows company refusal to implement Labour Court recommendation. Unite members working for German logistics giant Dachser (formerly Johnston Logistics) in Rathcoole have been taking strike action since this morning (Thursday December 10th) and the current action is set to continue until 6 am on Saturday December 12th.  The dates of further actions in the run-up to Christmas will be decided by a meeting of workers on Monday. The stoppage comes on foot of the company’s refusal to engage collectively with their workers through their union, Unite, notwithstanding a Labour Court recommendation that they do so read more

Support the #BattleforBarnoldswick – More Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick strikes announced as company set to be quizzed by MPs over offshoring plans – Please send messages of support to: [email protected] #BattleforBarnoldswick #SaveOurSite.  Sign this petition to Rolls Royce and the UK Government: Save Our Site – Battle for Barnoldswick (Rolls Royce)

Reinstate sacked Unite London bus rep Judith Katera Judith a longstanding union rep and activist in Battersea garage in South London has been dismissed by Abellio. Judith is adamant that false claims are being alleged against her. Judith and Moe Muhsin Manir, the rep at Walworth garage in the same company feel that they are both being targeted.

In October, she was facing a disciplinary meeting and possible dismissal. A solidarity protest was organised and then postponed because the disciplinary process wasn’t completed. However, she has discovered that the company sacked her on December 4th! She even had to contact the company to find out that she had been dismissed! Just a few weeks before Christmas, Judith was dismissed with no income. An online appeal has been set up to support Judith and her family.

Unite the union are ran a consultative ballot before Christmas to launch the campaign to get Judith reinstated. We understand that there was an overwhelming vote of support, which sends the message to Abellio that bus drivers in Battersea will fight to for Judith’s job and stop attacks on the union. We hope that such a vote will force management to reinstate Judith but if they still refuse, the union are now able to launch a full industrial action ballot.

The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to Judith, her members and her union Unite and pledge to do everything we can to get her reinstated. We will keep our supporters and affiliates fully informed of developments and any protests and action that are called. Stop union busting!

Sign petition: St Mungo’s brutal treatment of BAME worker opposed by Unite – Without income for twenty-one weeks. Female worker comes to the end of a period of sickness during the pandemic. Health conditions put her at raised risk. She is also older and from a BAME background. Her normal job would expose her to further increased risk. Rather than furlough her or find her alternative work the employer simply stops her pay without going through any personnel procedure. Management reject appeals to senior levels from Unite leaving the worker without income and desperate for twenty-one weeks

Sign this petition: Please sign and share: Extend the bereaved family payment to UK bus workers now

MTVHA – Stop the Sackings! Sign petition: To: Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association – Please cease all compulsory redundancies during the recruitment freeze caused by Coronavirus restrictions which would make it impossible for anyone to find alternative employment read more from Unite Housing Workers branch

 

PCS

Home Office staff at UK’s busiest airport to be balloted over strike action (23 Dec) – PCS members at Heathrow airport are in dispute over imposed new rosters hitting women and disabled hardest. Today (24) PCS served notice on the Home Office of our intention to ballot members at Heathrow airport after the employer announced it will impose shift changes with new team working fixed rosters from the 6 January 2021 read more

PCS launch petition and pledge to fight redundancies at National Museums in Liverpool – We have launched a public campaign and petition to fight redundancies at National Museums in Liverpool. Management at the museums warned that there might be compulsory redundancies next year but not before negotiations took place. However, the commercial arm of the museums, National Museums Liverpool Trading immediately moved to make workers in the cafés, shops and events, redundant with just 4 weeks’ notice. These employees have been working and supporting the running of museums as “essential staff” since July. The union understands that over 20 employees are being made redundant but the company which doesn’t recognise trades unions is refusing to engage with PCS read more

Keep supporting ISS HMRC strikers – PCS members who clean HMRC’s Merseyside offices for multinational company ISS returned to work following a solidly supported four weeks of strike action through August. The strike is part of the members’ long-running fight for the living wage, improved working conditions and job security. Because of the demand for full occupational sick pay from day one, it is also directly linked to PCS’s Dying for Sick Pay campaign, which aims to secure occupational sick pay for all workers across the government estate…The members are meeting this week to discuss their next steps. Under the Tories’ 2016 Trade Union Act, a further postal ballot is required before they can take any more strike action, and members will need to discuss where the campaign goes next. In the meantime, you can continue to support the campaign by signing the e-action to Jim Harra on the TUC’s Megaphone site and donating to the strike fund: account name: PCS Liverpool/Bootle Campaign Account, sort code: 60-83-01, account number: 20415772

Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax Officewe ask that you sign this eaction to the Chancellor calling on him to intervene urgently, to halt the office closures and redundancies, and consult fully with the union and work to retain the experience and vital knowledge contained within Ealing Tax Office. Support our call to SAVE JOBS, SAVE SERVICES and STOP THE CLOSURES

 

NIPSA

Holiday Pay Update – NICS Holiday Pay Going Forward Temporary Policy (21 Dec) – Members in the NICS will receive payments backdated to April 2020 in their December Pay arising from the implementation of the Holiday Pay Temporary Arrangement Policy. In practice this means that Holiday Pay entitlements will now be paid to staff who are entitled to payments going forward. It does not include the main retrospective payment (see below). Management Side have produced a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) Document which explains among other issues how holiday pay will be calculated and how this is recorded on staff payslips. Should members have any queries they should contact their respective seconded offices read more

 

GMB

Support the GMB strike against ‘fire and rehire at British Gas send a message of support

Five day January walkout at British Gas over fire and rehire plans (21 Dec) – Union announces action in January following overwhelming vote for strike action. GMB members employed as service and repair gas engineers, will stage a total withdrawal of labour for five days in January in a dispute over the fire and rehire plans of British Gas managers. The only exceptions will be dealing with emergencies and problems for households with vulnerable people. The initial stoppage will be for a five-day strike which will run from 00:01 on Thursday 7 January through until 23:59 on Monday 11 January. This will be followed by further stoppages to be announced later. Alongside the 4,500 service and repair gas engineers being called on to strike will be 600 central heating installers, 540 electrical engineers and 170 specialist business gas engineers and 1,700 smart metering engineers. The move comes after last week’s overwhelming 89% “yes” vote in favour of industrial action by GMB members at British Gas. The industrial action ballot followed by a decisive rejection of British Gas’ parent company’s plan to cut pay, terms and conditions. In response, British Gas issued an ultimatum for workers to agree cuts to pay, terms and conditions by Wednesday 23 December on pain of dismissal. The use of ‘fire and rehire’ tactics has been roundly condemned across the political spectrum and devolved nations read more

Scrooge of the Year is British Gas Boss Chris O’Shea (23 Dec) – Fire and rehire plans do mean very substantial cuts in the pay per job for the British Gas engineers as well as much longer hours says GMB. GMB, the union for British Gas workers presented the Scrooge of the Year 2020 award, on December 23rd in Berkshire, to British Gas boss Mr O’ Shea.  This is for his role in provoking a strike by British Gas engineers and because he personally stands to scoop £300,000 if his shareholding of £1.2m rises by 25% as forecast by City analysts. Earlier this month GMB members at British Gas overwhelming rejected his plans involving substantial cuts in pay per job and longer hours over an extended duration. Faced with fire and rehire for refusing to “accept” these cuts, earlier this week GMB announced a total withdrawal of labour for five days from 00.01 on Thursday, 7th January 2021 read more

Council leaders turn up heat on British Gas (23 Dec) – Pressure is mounting on British Gas as local authorities demand Centrica remove fire and rehire threats and return to the negotiating table. GMB, the union for workers in British Gas, is calling on the company to publicly acknowledge that a major part of the fire and rehire plans are for substantial cuts in the pay per job for gas and electrical engineers and that this group of workers have voted overwhelmingly to reject the plans. This is a direct response from GMB to the company statement commenting on the announcement of five days of national strike action from Thursday 7 January. British Gas wrongly said that dispute is about “flexibility” and they misled the public that only a minority of gas engineers had voted to reject the cut in pay and  for strike action. The reality is the exact opposite. Cuts in the pay per job is at the heart of what the dispute is about. An overwhelming majority of gas and electrical engineers have voted to reject the cuts in pay read more

GMB members at British Gas in overwhelming vote for strike action (17 Dec) – Shop stewards and officials to meet to consider ballot result, nature and dates of industrial action and emergency cover to get ‘fire and rehire’ off the table. British Gas were told today (17th December) that GMB members had, as predicted, responded to the fire and rehire demands of CEO Mr O’Shea with an 89% “yes” vote for strike action. This follows another landslide vote last week by 86% of gas and electrical engineers, to reject cuts to pay and conditions which for gas repair and service staff are up to 10% read more

Sign the GMB petition against the academisation of these Sussex schools! – We oppose the plans to turn Peacehaven Heights and Telscombe Cliffs Primary Schools in to academies. Sign our petition below if you oppose them too! GMB, the union for school support staff, oppose any plans to turn state schools into academies.  That is why we have set up a petition against the academisation of Peacehaven Heights and Telscombe Cliffs Primary Schools in East Sussex. Please sign and share our petition if you agree, at https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/stop-the-academisation-of-peacehaven-heights-and-telscombe-cliffs-schools. Our flyer for distribution is also available to download on this page too! Read more

 

Unison

NHS employers must “dig deep” to avoid spiral of exhaustion for health workers. Staff must not be left to burn out (31 Dec) – Health employers must do all they can to find ways of maintaining staff levels at swamped hospitals without burning out already-overwhelmed NHS workers, says UNISON. With hospital departments around the UK struggling to cope with rising coronavirus cases and winter pressures, staff are being pushed to the brink, the union says read more

Support the Birmingham NHS Unison Heartlands Porters Dispute – UNSION members who are Heartland Hospital Porters are currently taking strike action about the proposed imposition of a new rota. This will result in them working detrimental rotating 8 shifts pattern. The proposed rota impacts on our members health and well being; their caring responsibilities; their work/life balance and results in a significant cut in wages for many read more on Facebook page. The next strikes are Monday and Tuesday this week: January 11-12

Carmarthenshire County Unison Branch Members Bulletin 37 | Trade Union Action needed – Mass Co-Ordinated Trade Union Action Needed To Smash the Pay Freeze read more

Support the Tower Hamlets Unison workers – Read more here and on Tower Hamlets UNISON Facebook page and follow @UNISON_TwrHmlts on twitter

 

CWU

RMG & CWU key principles framework agreement: the Pathway to Change (Dec 22) – We are pleased to announce that at its meeting yesterday today, the Postal Executive unanimously endorsed the negotiators’ agreement reached with the Royal Mail Group on Friday 18th December 2020 last Friday. This agreement marks the end of our two year dispute with Royal Mail Group and brings closure to one of the most adversarial periods of our history. It builds upon and does not replace our previous agreements including the spirit and intent of the 2018 Four Pillars Agreement. It reflects and re-positions a joint philosophical approach to the future based on growth and not decline, opportunity and optimism, and a re-designed Royal Mail Group, importantly including Parcelforce, thriving in the modern day read more

Royal Mail Withdrawal of Shared Vans – Following Covid-19 Tier 4/Lockdown Announcements in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Dec 21) – As a result of the weekend’s announcements from the UK Governments regarding the introduction of the ‘Tier-4 Lockdown’ arrangements to tackle the rapidly rising Covid-19 infection numbers and faster transmission rate of the newly detected Covid-19 Virus strain, the Royal Mail Executive Board have decided, as an ‘emergency measure’ to withdraw their current shared van arrangements which they state is on the basis of putting the safety of the workforce and communities Royal Mail operates in first. The Union certainly welcomes that prompt reaction to the Government announcements as the Union’s position has remained that shared vans should not have been reintroduced in the first place (See LTB No. 489/20 dated 6 October 2020). Royal Mail state that that this is a ‘temporary cessation’ of the use of shared vans in Tier-4/Lockdown areas which will be kept under review read more

CWU: ‘Push us at your peril’, BT Group warned in 97.9% consultative ballot vote on industrial action (Dec 10) – Members across BT, Openreach and EE have delivered the starkest possible warning to management that, if necessary, they are prepared to take industrial action in defence of job security and hard won terms and conditions. In what is undoubtedly the most important vote involving the CWU’s entire BT Group membership since the 1987 national strike, over 74% of the CWU members balloted across BT Group participated in the poll and of them 97.9% voted ‘YES’. The consultative ballot, which closed at noon today (Thursday) after three weeks of voting, had been initiated to allow members to register their willingness to take industrial action ahead of a formal strike ballot. If  replicated in a statutory ballot, the overwhelming ‘YES’ vote they have delivered would comfortably pass the onerous legal thresholds that need to be met. As such, CWU members have fired a very clear warning shot across BT’s bows that,  unless bosses change direction on their vicious programme of compulsory redundancies, site closures and attacks on pay, terms and conditions, the company is on a direct collision course with its workforce read more

More redundancies announced in Technology as BT Group-wide consultative ballot on industrial action enters its final hours (Dec 9)

Double-decker shame for ‘beyond belief’ BT as CWU goes on the buses (Dec 8)

 

NAPO

Latest position on Tier 4 (22 Dec) – High level representations have been made by Napo with employers over the weekend and in the last two days to seek urgent revisions to Exceptional Delivery Models. These efforts have been supported locally by Napo activists and have resulted in decisions being made by the NPS and CRC providers to move to Red status in Kent and the South East. At the time of writing we are pressing for further revisions and are awaiting more news from today’s meeting of the NPS National Health and Safety Committee and further details from other employers about revisions to operating models read more

Napo and TUC unions to campaign against the pay freeze (22 Dec) – More bad news on pay has come in the form of the Chancellors announcement of a Public Sector Pay freeze next year. As you would expect the Napo General Secretary has already made representations to senior HMPPS level to say that we will totally oppose this. Ian has also been in touch with sister unions through the TUC Public Sector Liaison Group and the TUC General Council. More news of the developing campaign against this disgraceful policy will follow in the new year read more

NPS Pay Ballot result masks members anger (22 Dec) – Napo members have voted to accept the NPS 2020/21 Pay offer by a margin of 65% to 35%. In a joint letter to the NPS notifying them that all unions had voted to accept the offer, we have made it absolutely clear that the employer should take no comfort with the result. As was made clear in our information to members which accompanied the ballot, this was an inadequate pay offer which has caused a good deal of anger amongst members, especially in respect of the divisive special payments scheme which was structured around strict Treasury rule read more

Probation Reunification CRC Measures Consultation (22 Dec) – As we move closer to the reunification of the Probation service following the dramatic Government U-turn this year, important wok lies ahead as the CRC’s engage with trade unions in the consultation exercise on ‘Measures.’ This is the process by which staff will know what terms and conditions they will be moving to upon transfer from the CRCs to either the NPS or a provider of Dynamic Framework support services. More news will follow from your Napo National Officials as this work takes shape read more

Cafcass partnership progress and pay talks to start soon (22 Dec) – Some highly constructive engagement has taken place between Napo and senior Cafcass management this year on a number of issues and it is hoped that a joint statement can be issued soon to reflect this. We have also heard that the Treasury have now authorised a pay remit which means that formal negotiations can at last get underway in January read more

 

BFAWU

Sign ‘War on Want’ petition: END SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT MCDONALD’S McDonald’s has a sexual harassment problem. Women from across the world are joining together and speaking out about the harassment they have faced whilst working at the company. Workers in the USA have even been on strike about it. But still McDonald’s is refusing to take the action needed to end sexual harassment in its restaurants. The evidence is clear: a formal complaint submitted by workers in May 2020 shows at least seven countries where McDonald’s has failed to properly address harassment complaints, and the company’s global CEO even had to resign because of inappropriate relationships with employees. Please email McDonald’s UK CEO today and demand that the company listens to its workers and takes steps to end sexual harassment

 

NEU

BREAKING NEWS!! Education unions condemn STRB restriction (16 Dec) – Three education unions condemn Gavin Williamson for restricting the STRB. Three education unions – ASCL, NAHT and NEU – are today making a statement on the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) and the remit given to it yesterday by Gavin Williamson read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Greenwich Council (15 Dec) – This Government really has taken a step too far. They should hang their heads in shame. Parents, students and school staff will not forgive this wilful neglect of their safety read more

Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC Newham – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere. There are further strikes this week from Tuesday to Thursday

Support Newham Little Ilford School strikes against unsafe expansion – NEU members are taking strike action at the enormous comprehensive in Manor Park, east London, which already teaches 1,470 students. Labour-run Newham Council wants it to take 1,800. Sign petition: Newham Council is trying to force Little Ilford School to expand to 1800 pupils. But expanding will mean an overcrowded school and an overwhelming environment for all staff and pupils. It will undermine the quality of education and care that can be provided to pupils. And the expansion is opposed by virtually the entire staff body

 

EIS

Scotland’s College lecturers back industrial action to protect lecturer posts – Further Education (FE) lecturers in Scotland have voted in resounding numbers to take industrial action to oppose the replacement of lecturers with instructors and other support staff grades. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) initiated a national dispute on colleges’ plans to replace lecturers with support staff (instructors) and today’s consultative ballot result gives a clear mandate to move onto to a statutory ballot in pursuit of this dispute read more

 

UCU

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes. As always, members are asked to contribute whatever their circumstances allow. A donation in solidarity of any amount will be gratefully received by members taking action.

 

NUJ

How to fund the desire for quality Welsh news (10 Dec) – The pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of quality, relevant journalism and also highlighted the Welsh media’s fragility, lack of diversity and pluralism, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, told an online town hall meeting hosted by the union’s Welsh Executive Council and NUJ Training Wales read more

NUJ supports UN complaints against Israel’s treatment of Palestinian journalists (9 Dec) – The National Union of Journalists has backed its sister union in Palestine and the International Federation of Journalists in complaints to the UN relating to systematic targeting of journalists working in Palestine by Israel and its failure to properly investigate the killings of media workers. The complaints to the UN state that Israel’s actions are a breach of international law and amount to war crimes. They are also a violation of the right to life and freedom of expression, and show systematic targeting of media workers, the use of excessive lethal force, discrimination and impunity read more

 

Prospect

Victory for 23 members following employer’s failure to consult on redundancy (4 Jan) – Twenty three Bectu members have won an employment tribunal claim and been awarded maximum compensation for their employer’s failure to consult them before being made redundant. Workers at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre (STCC), which was managed by Bliss Space (Southport) Limited, were placed on furlough in March 2020 for what they expected to be a temporary closure due to the national Covid-19 restrictions read more

Industrial action announced at HIAL airports over remote towers (21 Dec) – Prospect, which represents air traffic control staff and other in Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, has announced that its member are to take industrial action over the company’s remote towers plan. Unless HIAL changes tack nearly 50 staff will be made redundant with HIAL needing to recruit a similar number in Inverness at very significant expense to the taxpayer. Action will commence on 4/5 January and will initially consist of the withdrawal of any work relating to the remote towers plan and the closure of local air traffic facilities. Prospect’s ballot of members in HIAL closed last week with a significant vote in favour of both action short of a strike and strike action. Due to the ongoing pandemic, which has decimated the aviation industry, Prospect members have decided not to take either strike action, or action short of a strike which would cause disruption to travellers or local economies at this time read more

 

Equity

Equity wins bespoke insurance scheme for over 70s working in film and television (21 Dec) – Following a concerted campaign by Equity members over the last two months, the Government has extended insurance coverage for up to two cast members aged 70 and over as part of the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme. Equity President Maureen Beattie welcomed the changes, saying: “Thanks to the campaigning efforts of thousands of Equity members who have been signing petitions, writing to their MPs and highlighting this issue in the press and media, we have secured ​this important step forward in ​our work to increase employment opportunities for older workers. ​We remain committed 100% to equal opportunities for all” read more

 

USDAW

MPs’ inquiry into violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers welcomed by USDAW (18 Dec) – Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed today’s announcement of a ‘Violence and abuse towards retail workers’ inquiry by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee. Yesterday the union secured 100,000 signatures on a ‘protect shopworkers’ petition that should now trigger a parliamentary debate read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

A Christmas Crisis – Arcadia workers protest job losses in retail (23 Dec) – Mandate Trade Union members employed by Arcadia (Topshop, Topman, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Outfit, Wallis and Evans) held a socially distanced protest on Kildare Street yesterday (Tuesday, December 22nd) where they handed a letter into the Dail demanding stronger protections for workers losing their jobs due to liquidation scenarios read more

Support striking Debenhams Workers: Email messages of support to the strikers via [email protected] and Mandate through [email protected]. Also, follow Stand with Debenhams Workers Facebook page

 

UVW

Trainee Rabbi comes out in solidarity with striking care workers at Sage Nursing Home in Golders Green (5 Jan) – Care workers and cleaners at Sage nursing home in North London, a care home specialising in the care of elderly and vulnerable Jewish residents, are gearing up for two days of strike action from the 15th – 17th of January in their battle for a Living Wage of £12 per hour and parity in sick pay and annual leave with NHS workers. They are also fighting for trade union recognition and to finally force Sage’s trustees to seriously address the numerous grievances filed by the workers alleging shocking cases of discrimination. Student Rabbi Lev Taylor recently summed up just how disgraceful the treatment of these workers has been at the hands of Sage’s trustees read more

 

IWGB

Outsourced University of Greenwich workers vote to strike for equality (31 Dec) – The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) Universities of London Branch voted for industrial action at the University of Greenwich today. Outsourced cleaners, porters and security officers are demanding trade union recognition for the IWGB, a commitment to end outsourcing and equal terms and conditions. 69 percent of workers voted “Yes” to the strike, with 31 percent of workers voting “No”. University of Greenwich workers are outsourced via multi-billion pound company Sodexo and therefore denied the basic rights that university employees are entitled to, including equal pay, pensions, sick pay, annual leave and parental leave. Those who kept the university open working overtime through lockdown are also demanding Covid-19 bonus pay, which they report was unfairly paid to some workers but not others. The strike hardship fund has already raised over £1,000 and the ballot follows victory for the IWGB’s flagship #EndOutsourcing campaign at the University of London read more

 

Other news

From Caerphilly Trades Council – Support the ‘the Free Siyanda campaign’

Secretary: Mariam Kamish        President: Clare Gibbs        Treasurer: Jaime Davies Email: [email protected]

Dear Comrades,

Siyanda Mngaza is currently serving a four and a half year prison sentence for defending herself against a racially motivated hate crime.

Siyanda worked for South Wales Fire Service in HR – recruiting fire fighters. She had never been in trouble before.

In May 2019 at a camping site in Brecon, she was attacked, without provocation, by a family group she was socialising with. Siyanda defended herself, resulting in a slight cut to the forehead of one of the attackers. Siyanda herself was beaten badly and knocked unconscious – with stamps and kicks to her head and upper body.

I should note that Siyanda is 4 foot 10 inches tall and has suffered since childhood with health problems. For her, running away was not an option. Two of her three attackers were men nearly twice her age.

Siyanda’s attackers called the police. When they arrived, Siyanda explained what had actually happened, but instead of protecting her, the police treated Siyanda like a criminal. They did not investigate the hate crime. They even allowed her attackers to continue to verbally abuse her after she’d been arrested.

At Siyanda’s trial, it emerged that the police had not provided the CPS with photographs of her injuries – including a footprint on her face. The investigating officer told the court that his supervisor had told him not to obtain Siyanda’s medical records and not to continue to investigate the hate crime.

Self-defence is no offence. Siyanda does not belong in prison. We are building a campaign to get Siyanda released – and to ensure that no one else has to suffer from institutional racism in future at the hands the police, the CPS and the judicial system.

Please help us to get affiliations from trade union branches, trades councils and trade unions nationally. Contact the Free Siyanda campaign. http://freesiyanda.com/

You can also email Siyanda’s mother, Cammilla Mngaza – [email protected] Thank you very much for your support.

Mariam Kamish,

Secretary, Caerphilly Trades Council.

  

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

The NSSN sends our solidarity and support to all those taking part in the Undercover Policing Inquiry who have suffered from state surveillance into the labour and trade union movement and a whole number of campaigns from anti-racism to environmentalism.

Watch video: ‘You’re Muted’ – What’s Up at the #SpyCopsInquiry? – Five minutes of highlights from the ‘Public’ Inquiry hearing evidence in secret about undercover policing  in England and Wales since 1968

Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group

Blacklist Support Group opening statement to the public inquiry – Dave Smith posted this message on the BSG Facebook page:-

“I’d like to publicly thank everyone from around the globe who has sent messages of support after our opening statement at the undercover policing public inquiry. I was proud to deliver the speech on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group; but this is a collective endeavour. We got to this point by blacklisted union members working together with investigative journalists, campaigning lawyers, world class researchers, MPs, unions, anti-racist campaigns and rank & file activists. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all the non-state, non-police core participants in the public inquiry, especially our sister campaigns; Police Spies Out of Lives, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance and the family justice campaigns. This is what solidarity looks like”.

Full text of the BSG opening statement is now online via the Hazards magazine website: https://www.hazards.org/blacklistblog/2020/11/17/blacklist-support-group-opening-statement-for-ucpi-dave-smith/

It can be watched via this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JegrwaVKRfs&feature=youtu.be

Some of the media coverage:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/police-urged-union-members-to-bomb-shop-ll0mv8bs7

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/17/police-chief-who-spied-on-activists-went-on-to-work-for-union-blacklist-inquiry-told

https://www.union-news.co.uk/i-am-a-blacklisted-construction-worker-i-will-not-be-silenced-read-dave-smiths-explosive-evidence-to-spycops-inquiry/

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/former-cop-who-spied-on-trade-unionists-left-the-force-to-join-blacklist-firm

http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/2020/11/17/ucpi-daily-report-17-nov-2020/

To support the ongoing campaign for justice, please share some of the press articles on social media

Builders Crack: The Movie

In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.

Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg

Blacklist Support Group

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

Reinstate sacked Unite London bus rep Judith Katera Judith a longstanding union rep and activist in Battersea garage in South London has been dismissed by Abellio. Judith is adamant that false claims are being alleged against her. Judith and Moe Muhsin Manir, the rep at Walworth garage in the same company feel that they are both being targeted.

In October, she was facing a disciplinary meeting and possible dismissal. A solidarity protest was organised and then postponed because the disciplinary process wasn’t completed. However, she has discovered that the company sacked her on December 4th! She even had to contact the company to find out that she had been dismissed! Just a few weeks before Christmas, Judith was dismissed with no income. An online appeal has been set up to support Judith and her family.

Unite the union are ran a consultative ballot before Christmas to launch the campaign to get Judith reinstated. We understand that there was an overwhelming vote of support, which sends the message to Abellio that bus drivers in Battersea will fight to for Judith’s job and stop attacks on the union. We hope that such a vote will force management to reinstate Judith but if they still refuse, the union are now able to launch a full industrial action ballot.

The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to Judith, her members and her union Unite and pledge to do everything we can to get her reinstated. We will keep our supporters and affiliates fully informed of developments and any protests and action that are called. Stop union busting!

Sign petition: St Mungo’s brutal treatment of BAME worker opposed by Unite – Without income for twenty-one weeks. Female worker comes to the end of a period of sickness during the pandemic. Health conditions put her at raised risk. She is also older and from a BAME background. Her normal job would expose her to further increased risk. Rather than furlough her or find her alternative work the employer simply stops her pay without going through any personnel procedure. Management reject appeals to senior levels from Unite leaving the worker without income and desperate for twenty-one weeks

Sign petition and support the strikes to Reinstate Sharon Morgan LONDON DESIGN AND ENGINEERING UTC – At the start of this term, teacher and NEU rep Sharon Morgan was summarily dismissed from her job by London Design and Engineering UTC. Sharon was sacked without due process, with no formal investigation or a hearing where she could put her case. At an employment tribunal the judge described LDE’s behaviour as “morally reprehensible” and LDE subsequently agreed to reinstate Sharon. But the next day LDE changed their mind and refused to reinstate her. In reality, Sharon was sacked for helping NEU members stand up for better working conditions for staff, in the interests of the whole school community. This is trade union victimisation and it’s unacceptable. The sacking of Sharon is an attack on all trade unionists at LDE, in Newham, and everywhere

Security guard seeks ‘groundbreaking’ injunction to stop his ‘unlawful’ sacking in what his union UVW describes as the first case of its kind for a low paid worker (23 Nov) – A security guard at the Francis Crick Institute in London is set to face off against his employer Wilson James in an injunction hearing in what his trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), has described as an “unprecedented legal showdown”. On 11th November after only 3 weeks in his new job Cetin Avsar, the security guard from Turkey bringing the legal action, received a letter inviting him to a probationary review hearing stating “[his] conduct has not reached the required standards” citing only his membership of his trade union, his previously having participated in a strike and his views, shard by his union, that outsourcing is ‘discriminatory’. The letter warned him that he might be dismissed after the hearing read more

FCC dismiss Tony Smith Hull Unison Activist

Trade Unionists and activists will be outraged to hear that Unison activist Tony Smith’s dismissal has been upheld by FCC. As previously reported, Tony’s dismissal on trumped up charges was because of his trade union activities. It took nearly five weeks from the appeal to the outcome for FCC to confirm the sacking. Tony has faced the mental torture of not knowing whether he has a job or not, but the time taken reflected that dismissing him was not a simple issue because of the high profile that Tony has in the local Labour movement. Unison will be seeking compensation and the campaign focuses on Hull City Council to end its contract with FCC. Mick Whale Chair Hull Trades Council

PCS: Trade unionists asked to send solidarity to PCS rep dismissed after blowing the whistle (25 July) – Trade unionists are being urged to send solidarity messages to a PCS rep dismissed after whistleblowing at the Department of Work and Pensions. Enrico La Rocca, who had worked for the DWP for more than 27 years, lost his job in May after highlighting serious concerns with management over a number of years. His complaints resulted in questions being asked about the department’s handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments by the National Audit Office (NAO) and raised by in a Work and Pensions Select Committee report read more from Union News

RMT: SUSPENSION OF RMT REPRESENTATIVES, FRATTON – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY – Following my previous Circular (IR/171/20) dated 14th May 2020, as you are aware, two of our representatives, Mark Gamble and Brian Perren, were suspended from duty using unscrupulous charges. South Western Railway’s actions throughout this dispute have been appalling. The company have clearly targeted our members as they are hardworking and effective representatives. The callous action of South Western Railway has been abhorrent from the very start of this dispute. Our members recently had their disciplinary hearings and after successful representation Brother Brian Perren has been reinstated to his substantive role. However, Mark has been left in limbo by the company and still faces these ridiculous charges. This means that the ballot that was due to close today (4th June) has been cancelled. As one of our members has been reinstated, this changes the basis of the original ballot. Unfortunately, because of the anti-trade union laws we would not have been able to use any mandate we received from this ballot. Therefore, we have to run a fresh ballot and this will be to continue to defend our suspended Brother Mark Gamble. The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has congratulated our members and all those who assisted Brian in proving his innocence and ensuring he is reinstated to his substantive role. The NEC has also instructed me to run a fresh ballot in defence of our Brother Mark Gamble who still remains suspended. It is incredibly disappointing that the company has failed to see sense and instead have chosen to drag on an unnecessary dispute. It is disgraceful that Mark remains suspended and we have no choice but to stand shoulder to shoulder and defy SWR’s callous and distasteful decision. I have written to the company today to advise them of this union’s position and they have been left in no doubt that we will not allow them to pursue outrageous charges against our from democratically elected representatives (from RMT general secretary Mick Cash)

Clara Paillard PCS victoryWe are delighted to announce that the threat of dismissal has been lifted and Clara, PCS president in the Culture sector, is ‘back at work’ (although from home during the current pandemic).

Reinstate Percy Yunganina UVW union – Percy is a cleaner at King’s college with 5 years on the job, and a UVW executive committee member, who’s just been sacked after a disciplinary hearing he refused to attend due to observing the government’s social distancing guidelines but which King’s College proceeded with anyway in his absence without even letting him know or inviting him to attend via phone. The hearing would have had 8 people cramped together in a small room in complete disregard of the government’s instructions about social distancing. Percy has explained the reaons for not attending and asked for the decision to be overturned and the hearing to be reconvened via phone or in person after Lockdown. However, King’s have scandalously refused this request and have insisted on upholding his dismissal which now leaves Percy out of work and out of pocket in the middle of a pandemic! He will formally appeal but it could take months to hear and deliver an outcome. We will also take King’s to tribunal but that could take over a year. This is utterly shameless conduct by King’s HR team, led by Nigel Smith, the Head of People Services. They need to be held to account. Everyone deserves the right to a fair hearing and should not have that right denied them for respecting the government’s public health guidelines about social distancing. Please repost this and write to Nigel Smith at the following address telling him to reinstate Percy – [email protected]

Sign the petition: Reinstate Ezra Christian RMTWe, the undersigned, are appalled at the treatment and summary dismissal of our Bakerloo Line colleague Ezra Christian. Ezra has been treated very harshly and does not deserve to be sacked. We call on London Underground to do the right thing in this case and Reinstate Ezra back into London Underground Employment immediately

Reinstate Clive Walder Unite: the campaign continuesUnfortunately, we have to inform you that the appeal by Unite against Clive’s dismissal by National Express in Birmingham was unsuccessful. In the hearing on 5 March, the company downgraded his offence from gross misconduct to misconduct and altered the penalty from summary dismissal to dismissal with four weeks’ notice. We believe dismissal is totally disproportionate and Clive should be reinstated. Clive and his union Unite the union will shortly decide the next steps in his campaign against his sacking. Clive would like to thank all those who have expressed solidarity with him, including supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network who took part in the protest leafleting of his workplace before the appeal hearing. It was successful enough for National Express to report it to the Unite full time official. Please continue to send protest emails to [email protected]. The NSSN has produced a flyer which can be downloaded and printed off to give to National Express employees and customers in support of Clive. We are appealing to our supporters to take photos of any solidarity protests and post on social media

Support Danyal Aziz Unite Daniel was a Unite rep at London City Airport, who was recently sacked. Labour MP Sam Tarry has tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in support of Danyal. Email your local MP to get them to sign the EDM

Defend Paul Williams PCS Stop the victimisation of senior PCS rep Paul Williams – Paul Williams has a long and proud history of defending his colleagues at the Department for Transport, and predecessor departments, for nearly 40 years but as a result of his union activities is facing compulsory redundancy even though there are vacancies at his grade read more

Sign the petition: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists at Alternative Futures Group (AFG)

Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers faced being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat hanging over them was unless they agree to the new ‘Contract 6’ which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays. The same employer is sacking North East GMB member Michael Hunnam. Michael’s fight is part of the same struggle to resist the offensive of the ASDA bosses. Michael’s supporters believe that his determined opposition to Contract 6 is what has put him in the ASDA firing line. Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael!

Guardian: Ricky Tomlinson’s criminal convictions to be re-examined

Appeal court to look again at case of Royle Family actor after claims he may have been unjustly jailed

The criminal convictions of actor Ricky Tomlinson, who starred in the TV comedy the Royle Family, are to be re-examined by appeal court judges after an official body suggested he may have been unjustly jailed. Tomlinson and other trade unionists have been campaigning for years to clear their names after they were jailed during a strike in the 1970s. On Tuesday, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the public body that scrutinises alleged miscarriages of justice, announced it had asked the court of appeal to review the cases of Tomlinson and others. Tomlinson, 80, said it was “good news” and an opportunity to prove that he and 23 other men were prosecuted in what amounted to a politically motivated attack on the trade union movement by the government, police and managers read more in Guardian

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

 

International

NUJ condemns execution of dissident journalist read more

NUJ: Turkey – Can Dündar sentenced to over 27 years in prison read more

USA: (from the Independent) – Google responds after staff form a union and voice concerns about company read more

 

Diary

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

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