NSSN 542: Strike victories show fighting unions vital

July 6, 2021 in Bulletins

The NSSN sends our solidarity and congratulations to members of Unite and NEU after their members won important victories after both sets of workers took week-long strike action.

This shows again that organised fighting unions are the most important protection workers can have to defend their livelihoods and keep themselves and their families safe. This is essential as the Tories announce their plan to lift Covid restrictions on July 19th, despite infections rising again.

Whatever the Government says, unions need to demand that agreed safety procedures and protections in the workplace must remain in place as long as the risk to workers’ health remains.

Unite: Royal London hospital strikes off as Serco offers major concessions in bullying and roster dispute (5 July) – Strike action at the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, involving back of house catering staff, has been suspended after their employer, outsourcing giant Serco, largely capitulated to the workers’ demands. The workers took five days of strike last month as a last resort, as they had been trying to resolve problems around an unworkable roster system and bullying for a year, without success. Following talks at the conciliation service Acas last week, Serco has agreed to adopt a workable roster system and the manager accused of bullying will be moved from the department and provided with training. As a consequence Unite has suspended the latest five day strike, which was due to start today (Monday 5 July), in order to consult its members on the offer and to allow for the exact details of the deal to be finalised. Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “This is a tremendous victory for our members who have stood together and faced down Serco, a multinational company. This dispute was about our members seeking fairness and decency in the workplace…” read more

NEU update on Tring Park Teachers’ Pension Scheme dispute – Teaching staff at Tring Park embarked on five-days of industrial action over a dispute with the governing body on proposals for the school to leave the Teacher’s Pension Scheme (TPS).  On Friday, 2 July, members voted 100% in favour of a settlement proposed by the school governors. Under its terms, the governors have confirmed: “The decision has been made to withdraw the proposal and all eligible staff will be able to remain in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme if they wish to do so. The threat of fire and rehire is no longer applicable. Governors assure staff that no consultation regarding the TPS membership will occur until the announcement of the Government revaluation at the earliest.” Paul McLaughlin, eastern region NEU secretary said: “The NEU is very pleased that a resolution has been reached with the governors of Tring Park School. This is a reflection of our members willingness to stand up and take action in order to defend their pensions. It was regrettable strike action was required as a last resort, however, we are pleased that the governors have now taken the decision not to make changes to our members pension scheme. Members have shown that by sticking together and standing up for themselves, real change can be achieved.” Thanks to everyone for their support. Together we are strong

DVLA strike#4

RMT responds to latest Government Covid confusion (5 July)

TSSA: Johnson ‘gung ho gambling’ over lifting covid restrictions (5 July)

Mask wearing should remain compulsory on public transport, warns Unite (5 July)

GMB: ‘Freedom day’ plans must leave workers free to stay safe (July 5)

Unison: This isn’t the time to throw caution to the wind over mask wearing (5 July)

Prospect: The end of the work-from-home guidance must not lead to a chaotic free for all (5 July)

USDAW: Too much too soon – Usdaw slams the Government’s weakening of safety measures in stores (5 July)

 

Sunday September 12th – 1pm NSSN TUC Rally

This year’s TUC Congress will again be virtual due to the Covid pandemic. Therefore, like last year, the NSSN will be holding an online rally. More details to come

 

Stop victimisation of union reps

Donate to the reinstatement campaign of Declan Clune RMT bus driver in Southampton (on behalf of Declan Clune and all RMT Southampton District Bus and Coach Branch members). Email message of support: [email protected]

Support GARY CARNEY, TRAIN OPERATOR – LONDON UNDERGROUND

Defend Adrian Mitchell RMT driver on London Underground

Donate to solidarity campaign of Moe Muhsin Manir Unite bus rep   Email messages of support to Moe: [email protected]

Trade union rep victimisation at Woolwich Ferry reaches ‘obscene levels’, says Unite

Unite: Ealing’s Labour council ‘actively helping’ Serco ‘hound’ union rep from civil enforcement job

St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite rep

Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council

Watch Reel News video: Victimised union reps: Act like it’s you and fight back

Sign petition: Overturn Final written warning for John Boken (NEU Representative at Shrewsbury Colleges Group)

Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon

Watch Reel News video: Huddersfield teachers strike to defend Louise Lewis

Defend NEU Exec member Tracy McGuire. Stop the victimization of Tracy!

NSSN sends our solidarity and congratulations to Kirstie Paton, her members in John Roan School and the NEU in Greenwich and nationally after successfully defending her job – watch Reel News video: NEU rep Kirstie Paton wins dismissal case: School safety matters..

 

Support the NSSN

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 from last September and follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook

 

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 the Queens Speech in December 2019 and cannot be trusted and is now attacking the right to protest through its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

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 finish but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown. But it’s clear that the Tories are looking to end it asap.

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 and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK

 

Union News

RMT

RMT remembers Piper ‎Alpha 33 years ago today (6 July) – OFFSHORE UNION RMT today remembers the 167 offshore workers who died on this day in 1988 in the explosions and fire that destroyed the Piper Alpha Platform in the North Sea. RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “We ask that offshore employers allow all workers to take a moment today to remember the 167 offshore workers and the devastating effect that this disaster had on their families and communities, especially in north east Scotland. The men of Piper are gone but will never be forgotten. This year, the anniversary of Piper Alpha takes place during the UK Government’s Maritime Safety Week. We call on Ministers to respect the memory of Piper Alpha’s victims by delivering the offshore safety culture of continuous improvement recommended in the Cullen Report into the disaster” read more

RMT responds to latest Government Covid confusion (5 July) – RMT responds to latest Government confusion in advance of announcement on July 19th move out of COVID measures. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Yet again there’s a real danger of the government making up policy on the hoof on critical issues and that is reflected in the comments of ministers this morning…” read more

ScotRail action rock solid again today (4 July) – ScotRail action rock solid again today as cleaners set to join fight for equality and justice. RAIL UNION RMT said that action by conductors and ticket examiners in a long running battle for pay justice and equality remains rock solid again today as the company’s cleaners prepare to join the fight on the 13th July. ScotRail train presentation/cleaning staff are set to take action over equality in rest day working payment as follows. Abellio ScotRail Train Presentation (Cleaner) Grade members to take industrial action short of a strike as outlined below:

  • No Overtime, Higher Grade Duty or Rest Day Working from 18.00 Hours on Tuesday 13th July 2021 until further notice read more

RMT hits back at CalMac campaign of misinformation (1 July) – RMT hits back at campaign of misinformation as union says it’s proud to stop the use of blatantly unsafe vessels on ‎CalMac services. SCOTTISH Ferries Union RMT today responded to a passenger group’s claims over the factors behind Pentland Ferries withdrawal from a time charter agreement with CalMac, as the fall-out from the Scottish Government’s failed ferry procurement policies continues read more

Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff to strike after 100% vote for action (30 June) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley will be striking next month after a 100% vote for action this week. The action will take place as follows. Rail Gourmet members at Edinburgh Waverley are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • 06.00 hours on Wednesday 14th July 2021 until 05.59 hours on Thursday 15th July 2021
  • 06.00 hours on Saturday 17th July 2021 until 05.59 hours on Monday 19th July 2021
  • 06.00 hours Saturday 31st July 2021 until 05.59 hours on Sunday 1st August 2021 read more

SERCO Caledonian Sleeper refuse ACAS talks – RMT strike on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper remains rock solid three days in as company refuse ACAS talks. RAIL‎ UNION RMT said today (18 June) that strike action on SERCO Caledonian sleeper remains rock solid three days in as the company blocks union efforts to get ACAS talks underway to discuss ending the pay freeze they are imposing on employees. The current action will last for eleven days with the company preferring to reimburse fares, cancel services and create disruption for the travelling public rather than agreeing to union calls for ACAS talks with a view to negotiating a settlement. RMT members on Caledonian Sleeper are to take the following strike action by not booking on for any shifts that commence between:-

  • 11:59 hours on Tuesday 15th June 2021 to 11:59 hours on Saturday 26th June 2021

Furthermore, with effect from 12:00 hours on ‎Saturday 26th June 2021, until further notice, members are instructed:-

  • Not to work any overtime
  • Not to work on your rest day read more

Support East Midlands Railway strike – RMT senior conductors are set to strike every Sunday throughout the summer as part of the long running dispute. RMT have confirmed that nearly 200 Train Managers have also now voted overwhelmingly for action in a parallel dispute. That ballot result will now be considered by RMT’s executive. EMR Senior Conductor members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 27th June 2021
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 4th July 2021
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 11th July 2021
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 18th July 2021
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 25th July 2021
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 1st August 2021
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 8th August 2021
  • 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 15th August 2021 read more

 

ASLEF

ASLEF victory against proposed Covid disciplinary action (2 July) – ASLEF reps have fought back against a policy which could have seen London Underground drivers disciplined for following the rules on Covid-19. At a scheduled meeting with trade unions on Thursday 1st July, London Underground management announced plans to count Covid-related absence from work as an item under the Attendance at Work procedure. ASLEF reps have fought back against a policy which could have seen London Underground drivers disciplined for following the rules on Covid-19. At a scheduled meeting with trade unions on Thursday 1st July, London Underground management announced plans to count Covid-related absence from work as an item under the Attendance at Work procedure. This procedure would mean drivers absent due to Covid-19 – either having contracted the disease or as a result of being asked by Track and Trace to isolate – could have faced disciplinary action. This procedure would mean drivers absent due to Covid-19 – either having contracted the disease or as a result of being asked by Track and Trace to isolate – could have faced disciplinary action read more

 

TSSA

Johnson ‘gung ho gambling’ over lifting covid restrictions (5 July) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has accused Boris Johnson of ‘gambling with lives’ over the lifting of Covid restrictions in England later this month. Cortes said the Prime Minister was sticking to a ‘gung ho’ strategy even while admitting that the pandemic was far from over. Speaking at Downing Street Johnson said the legal duty on wearing face coverings will end but guidance may remain, especially where you are in crowded places like public transport. The rule of six inside private homes will be removed and instructing people to work-from-home will also go. The PM said he expected the final step would happen as planned on 19 July but this will be confirmed on 12 July. Commenting, union leader Cortes said: “We are still very much in a pandemic, something that the scientists in Downing Street recognise, even if the Prime Minister seems not to. Opening up on this scale while infection rates are rising is simply gambling with lives…” read more

Great Western Railway: TSD Restructuring (5 July) – Last week saw a flurry of activity as GWR announced plans to restructure certain roles within their Trains Service Delivery Function. As a result, TSSA has sent those members directly affected a survey for them to complete by 10am on 8th July in advance of the company’s deadline to select staff representatives from the effected group. Please ensure you complete that survey as soon as you can upon receiving it read more

Government ‘Wilfully Ignorant’ Over Travel Trade Support (1 July) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has accused Ministers of “wilful ignorance” over the plight of the travel trade as the Government starts winding down its furlough job support scheme which has been in place throughout the pandemic. It’s thought around 1.5 million workers remain on furlough and from today employers will pay part of that for the first time read more

London Underground – Funding Update (29 June) – On Wednesday (23 June) London Underground (LU) called an ad hoc meeting which featured a presentation making it clear plans are about to be accelerated at LU to discuss change involving some kind of cuts package. No exact details were provided other than emphasising the need for change, the financial challenges and conditions attached to Government’s short term funding deal across Transport for London (TfL) read more

 

Unite                      

Trade union rep victimisation at Woolwich Ferry reaches ‘obscene levels’, says Unite (6 July) – The victimisation of two Unite trade union reps by the management of the Woolwich Ferry has reached ‘obscene levels’, the union said today (Tuesday 6 July). Unite the union said the case of the victimisation of reps at Woolwich Ferry, at the epicentre of a long-running industrial dispute, was one of the worst currently on Unite’s ‘books’ and called on the Transport for London (TfL) bosses at the ferry ‘to drag themselves into the 21st century in terms of progressive employment relations’. A total of 57 Unite members are taking part in a rolling programme of strike action this month over the victimisation issue; failure to agree a new pay and reward scheme; the excessive use of agency staff; and the failure to provide adequate health and safety training to new employees – these are issues which have arisen since TfL took back control from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd in January this year. The next 24 hour strikes are scheduled for 9,12,16,19,23,26 and 30 July. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Unite now has two reps representing our members at the ferry operation who have been through a gruelling – and unjustified – disciplinary process…” read more

GKN Birmingham workers to stage protest against factory closure plans (6 July) – Workers at the GKN Automotive factory, alongside members of the local community, will hold a protest tomorrow (Wednesday 7 July) in opposition to the plans by its parent company GKN Melrose to close the site.

WHEN: Wednesday 7 July between 13:00 – 14:00.  WHERE: Sorrel Park (at the rear of the GKN site) Egerton Road, Erdington, Birmingham B24 0RG.

The protest follows immediately on the heels of a lobby of parliament by workers at GKN, which occurred today (Tuesday 6 July). Earlier this year, GKN Melrose announced that it intended to close the factory, which makes drivelines for the automotive industry, in 2022, with the loss of over 500 jobs. GKN Melrose has said it intends to transfer the work to Europe read more

GKN workers to lobby parliament in battle to save factory from closure (5 July) – A group of workers employed at GKN Automotives in Birmingham will hold a lobby at Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday 6 July) in their campaign to prevent the factory from closing.

When: Tuesday 6 July at 13:00    Where: Old Palace Yard (opposite Parliament), London SW1A 0AA.

The workers, who are based at the factory in Chester Road, Birmingham, produce drivelines for the automotive industry. In January the 500 strong workforce was left stunned when the parent company GKN announced that the plant was earmarked for closure, with work being transferred to Europe read more

GKN workers in Birmingham prepare to ballot for strike action in battle to save factory (30 June) – Workers at the GKN Automotive factory in Chester Road Birmingham are preparing for a strike ballot, as part of the campaign to keep the factory, which is critical for the successful electrification of the UK’s automotive industry, open. In a consultative ballot the workforce has overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action and Unite, the UK’s leading union, is now actively preparing for a full industrial action ballot. If members vote for strike action, stoppages could begin later this summer. In January this year the 500 strong workforce at the factory, which produces drivelines for cars, were informed by the company’s owners GKN Melrose that the plant was earmarked for closure in 2022, with work being offshored to Europe. The strike action is a result of GKN’s Melrose’s rejection of an alternative business plan put together by a joint consultative committee and its stated intention to press ahead with plans for closure. Unite and the local workforce are also highly dismayed that initial government promises of support to ensure that the factory remains open and is able to play a key role in the electrification of the UK’s automotive industry, have so far amounted to nothing. As a consequence of the government’s inaction, Unite will organise a demonstration and lobby of parliament read more

Royal London hospital strikes off as Serco offers major concessions in bullying and roster dispute (5 July) – Strike action at the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, involving back of house catering staff, has been suspended after their employer, outsourcing giant Serco, largely capitulated to the workers’ demands. The workers took five days of strike last month as a last resort, as they had been trying to resolve problems around an unworkable roster system and bullying for a year, without success. Following talks at the conciliation service Acas last week, Serco has agreed to adopt a workable roster system and the manager accused of bullying will be moved from the department and provided with training. As a consequence Unite has suspended the latest five day strike, which was due to start today (Monday 5 July), in order to consult its members on the offer and to allow for the exact details of the deal to be finalised. Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “This is a tremendous victory for our members who have stood together and faced down Serco, a multinational company. This dispute was about our members seeking fairness and decency in the workplace…” read more

Mask wearing should remain compulsory on public transport, warns Unite (5 July) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents tens of thousands of public transport workers, is calling on the government to reverse proposals to end the requirement for masks to be worn on buses and trains. Unite issued its warning as ministers have indicated that from Monday 19 July the wearing of face masks will no longer be compulsory but a matter of ‘personal responsibility’. The requirement for passengers to wear masks is particularly sensitive for bus drivers due to the very high numbers who have died of Covid-19. Unite also believes that restrictions on the maximum capacity of passengers on buses should also remain in place. Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said: “To end the requirement to wear masks on public transport would be an act of gross negligence by the government read more

Living with Covid without furlough or sick pay `utterly irresponsible’ and will cost jobs, says Unite (5 July) – The country’s leading union, Unite, has denounced the government’s insistence that the country must `live with Covid’, while refusing to provide the furlough and sick pay support needed to protect workers’ jobs and health read more

Hackney parking wardens seek pay justice in last year of outsourcer’s contract (5 July) – Hackney’s parking wardens are to be balloted for strike action over pay justice in the last year of the contract held by Apcoa Parking (UK) Ltd, Unite the union said today (Monday 5 July). Hackney borough council decided in November last year – after a long campaign by Unite – that the wardens, also known as civil enforcement officers (CEOs), employed by Apcoa should come back under local authority control when the contract ends in March 2022. However, Unite said that even in the last year of its contract the outsourcer’s bosses were ‘playing hard ball’ and refusing to enter into meaningful pay negotiations with the union. Unite’s 36 members will now be balloted for strike action over the pay issue; the victimisation of a union rep; unfair disciplinary measures against staff;  deductions of pay without agreement; and the imposition of shift changes without consultation. The ballot opens on Wednesday 21 July and closes on Wednesday 18 August. Unite said its members are paid the London Living Wage currently £10.85 an hour. However, in-house parking enforcement officers in other boroughs are paid significantly more, for example, in Greenwich it is the equivalent of £15 an hour. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Apoca Parking is a compelling advertisement for why outsourced contracts should be taken back in-house. Even in the last year of its troubled contract, the firm is ‘playing hard ball’ in denying our members a decent pay rise read more

Time for Javid to hand the NHS a ‘generous’ 73rd birthday present, says Unite (5 July) – New health and social care secretary Sajid Javid should give the NHS a generous birthday present to celebrate its 73rd birthday today (Monday 5 July), as the first step in rejuvenating the health service and rewarding staff for all their hard work during the pandemic, Unite the union said. Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that Javid needs to unwrap ‘a golden hello’ by pledging the resources to substantially boost NHS pay and tackle the ‘frightening’ backlog of nearly five million patients in England waiting for procedures and operations, such as cancer treatments and hip replacements. Unite said that the accelerating pace of the expensive, and often inefficient, privatisation of health services to profit-hungry healthcare companies needed to be reversed by Javid read more

Morrisons must give unbreakable guarantees on workers’ jobs and pay in stampede for sale (3 July) – Unite, the union representing Morrisons workers, has called today for urgent talks with the supermarket amid the news that a US private equity consortium is making a move to purchase the business. The union is warning that without ‘unbreakable guarantees’ on jobs and conditions, it will not cooperate with any sale. Adrian Jones, Unite national officer for road transport, representing Morrisons’ warehouse and distribution workers, said: “Unite is now seeking urgent talks with Morrisons to protect our members’ jobs and conditions. We won’t allow another takeover of  a strong UK business see the workers trampled over as the boardroom and shareholders stampede towards their bonanzas…” read more

Unite welcomes compensation for API Foils workers in Livingston (2 July) – Unite the union today (2 July) welcomed the news that former API Foils workers are set to receive compensation following an employment tribunal decision due to the closure of the Livingston based factory. Around 130 former workers are now eligible for a protective award against API Foils Limited after legal action initiated by Unite on behalf of the workforce. The award is remuneration for the protected period of 90 days starting on 3 February 2020, which means workers could receive up to £4,200 (for 8 weeks) subject to tax and deductions read more

Striking St Mungo’s staff protest over bullying at housing charity’s Oxford shelter (1 July) – Striking maintenance workers at the St Mungo’s housing charity will stage a protest in Oxford tomorrow (Friday 2 July) over bullying and anti-union behaviour by the management. Around a dozen members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, who are responsible for day-to-day repairs of charity’s housing units, have been on all out strike since April 22. The strike was called after several staff grievances against property services senior management were dismissed. The union said these claims had not been properly investigated and that a workplace representative is now being unfairly subjected to disciplinary proceedings as a direct result of raising the initial grievance. The all-out strike follows a warning in March by Unite, which has more than 500 members at St Mungo’s, that a ‘bullying and anti-union culture’ amongst the management at the London-based charity needed to be addressed. St Mungo’s staff staged walk-outs last year, in part due to the charity’s unbalanced and unfair use of disciplinary procedures read more    Donate to strike hardship fund – Unite LE/1111, sort code 60-83-01, account number 204183

Great Bear lorry drivers on Port Sunlight Unilever contract secures bumper day deal (1 July) – Lorry drivers employed by Great Bear Distribution who work on the Unilever contract at Port Sunlight have secured an inflation beating pay deal, thanks to their union Unite. The 18 month pay deal for the drivers, who deliver soap, shower gels and detergents, will see all elements of pay increase by 12.32 per cent. Overtime rates will also increase from time and a third to time and a half, with double time now paid if drivers undertake additional shifts. The pay increase has been driven in part by a national shortage of lorry drivers, which has resulted in employers being charged extortionate rates by employment agencies when they need to recruit drivers read more

Government steel U-turn buys ‘breathing space’ for industry but long-term solutions needed (1 July) – Commenting on the government’s U-turn on retaining safeguards to prevent cheap steel flooding the UK market, Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing, Steve Turner, said:  “Kwasi Kwarteng’s intervention buys our steel industry some breathing space, and we’re relieved he has listened to unions and the employers. However, the can has just been kicked down the road. In another year’s time, the threat of cheap imports destroying UK jobs will be back again. UK steel can’t keep limping from crisis to crisis like this. We urgently need a plan and government support to bring some stability and security to this strategically vital sector” read more

Takeover of London GP practices by private US healthcare company could face judicial review, says Unite (1 July) – The takeover of GP practices in London by US health insurance giant Centene Corporation could be the subject of a judicial review, Unite the union has said. Campaigners, including members of Doctors in Unite (DiU), have ‘crowdfunded’ about £40,000 towards a possible judicial review regarding the recent takeover by Centene’s UK subsidiary Operose of the privately-owned AT Medics set up in 2004 by six NHS GPs and which runs 37 GP practices across London read more

Scottish government’s slap in the face to local government workers condemned (30 June) – The three trade unions representing local government workers across Scotland have written to the Scottish government condemning their decision not to provide additional funding to COSLA to improve the local government pay offer. In a hard-hitting message to the cabinet secretaries for finance, local government and education they also call out reports that in their discussions with COSLA the cabinet secretaries allegedly sought to argue that local government workers were ‘not on a par with health workers and so could not expect a similar offer’ read more

British Sugar wage dispute ‘could turn sour’ with factory strikes across east England (30 June) – A wage dispute between domestic sugar producer British Sugar and its workers at factories across east England ‘could turn sour’ after a ‘not so sweet’ pay offer resulted in a strike ballot, Unite said today (Wednesday 30 June). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said its 500 members in British Sugar factories in Norfolk, Suffolk and Nottinghamshire, had rejected a two per cent offer by the company by 86 per cent in a consultative ballot. The result of the consultative ballot from the technicians, engineers and supply chain operatives at British Sugar’s Newark, Wissington, Cantley and Bury St Edmunds factories has led Unite to launch a ballot for strike action which opens on 5 July and closes on 26 July read more

Masonry industry workers to receive monumental pay increase (30 June) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has secured an inflation busting pay rise for monumental masons. Unite negotiates on behalf of monumental masons and labourers, covered by the National Monumental Masons Industry (NAMM) agreement, whose members undertake various roles in the funeral and burial industry, in particular highly skilled work sculpting and erecting headstones read more

Serco Ealing traffic wardens begin two weeks of all out strike action with townhall rally (29 June) – Serco traffic wardens will begin two weeks of strike action that will result in a ‘parking free for all’  in Ealing with a rally outside the town hall tomorrow. Since May 5, more than 40 civil enforcement officers have taken intermittent strike action over Serco’s offer of severance to elected Unite representatives, activists, and lay members, made to undermine trade union organisation and collective consultation. The fresh strikes mean that there will be no parking enforcement in Ealing between 30 June and 14 July. The dispute is also over Serco refusal to negotiate a new absence management policy for employees working on the Ealing contract. Unite believes the present policy is being used to unfairly dismiss employees and should be renegotiated. The demonstration outside of Ealing town hall is being held on the same day as Unite and Serco enter talks under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas read more

Reading hospital security guards renew strikes in July, as Unite calls on NHS bosses to take them back ‘in-house’ – NHS bosses should take the security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading back ‘in house’, after the guards announced new strike dates for July against their outsourced employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd. Unite the union said the new strike dates would run from 07.00 Monday 12 July until 24.00 Saturday 31 July, after the 20 security guards voted by 84 per cent for strike action. The guards, who provide security for the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, have been locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay and conditions battle with their employer, resulting in a wave of strikes since December last year. Because of the way that Kingdom Services has treated its staff, Unite is urging the trust to take the security guards back ‘in house’ under NHS management when the current three-year contract ends on 31 December this year. As the NHS celebrates its 73rd birthday on Monday (5 July), campaigners wishing to keep it out of the hands of profit-hungry companies, such as Kingdom, will be staging a march and rally in Reading on Saturday (3 July), starting at 12.00 from Royal Berkshire Hospital to Forbury Gardens in the town centre where there will be speeches read more

Support striking Reading hospital security guards – Text solidarity messages via Jessica 07718668497 and donate to strike fund: Acc. No.: 20173991   Sort Code: 60-83-01.  Sign petition to Mark Wallace , Kingdom Service Group Managing Director: Pay Royal Berkshire Hospital security staff a wage they can live on

Two weeks of talks to resolve Banbury coffee workers ‘fire and rehire’ dispute, Unite announces – Unite the union and the management of JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) will be holding two weeks of intensive talks in a bid to resolve the ‘fire and rehire’ dispute at the plant in Banbury, Oxfordshire, the union announced today (Friday 25 June). Unite will now suspend the industrial action that has been running since the beginning of May for the next fortnight, while JDE has agreed to push back the implementation of ‘fire and rehire’ plans affecting 291 employees until 13 September read more

Email messages of support and donate to the hardship fund via [email protected]. Follow #Banbury300 @Banbury3001 on twitter

Production at historic Shropshire wheel factory will ‘roll to a halt’ during pay strikes – Production at an historic Shropshire wheel factory will ‘roll to a halt’ during strikes over pay and redundancy packages, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 23 June). Unite members employed at GKN Wheels and Auto Structures in Telford will strike in July over the company’s refusal to implement a pay rise without workers first accepting detrimental changes to a collective redundancy agreement. The strikes, conducted in conjunction with GMB members at the site, will impact wheel production at the factory, which produces off road wheels for clients such as JCB. Unite members will hold three 24 hour strikes at GKN Wheels and Auto Structures in Telford on 5, 12 and 19 July. The historic factory, which is more than 100 years old and produced Spitfire planes during the Second World War, was bought by private equity firm Aurelius in 2020. Unite regional officer Jason Richards said: “Our members are incensed at being offered a pay rise only on the condition that the collective redundancy agreement is weakened…” read more

Sullom Voe Terminal talks break down as industrial action set to begin – Unite Scotland can confirm that talks to prevent industrial action at Sullom Voe Terminal have ended with no movement on the part of Shetland Islands Council (SIC) to resolve the dispute. Around 40 towage workers employed by SIC are set to begin an overtime ban on 5 July which will continue over a seven-week period (see notes to editors). Unite has confirmed that if no progress takes place in the coming weeks, then strike action remains a possibility which would represent a major escalation in the dispute. The overtime ban will ‘hugely disrupt’ the multi-million pound contract to bring oil tankers on to the shore for oil processing and also on production for the Brent and Ninian fields. In April, Unite announced that towage workers on a return of 86.5 per cent voted by 87.1 per cent to take industrial action. The dispute revolves around workers being denied a ‘service award’ after their transfer to SIC in 2006. The towage workers have been told by SIC that they will not receive the long service award if they fulfil 25 years’ service, which is the equivalent of one month’s salary like other council workers. Instead, the workers will continue to receive a flat rate of £250 read more

Support striking Unite members in escalating ‘victimisation’ dispute at Woolwich Ferry – Unite’s 57 members have been taking strike action since mid-May with more already announced strike days on 18, 21, 22, and 25 June. The nine new 24 hour strikes are scheduled for 2,5,9,12,16,19,23,26 and 30 July read more

Shame of the NHS bosses who refuse talks to resolve Lancashire biomedical scientists’ pay upgrade dispute – Hardline NHS bosses at a Lancashire NHS trust have, so far, spurned the offer of any talks, including under the auspices of conciliation service Acas, to resolve the biomedical scientists’ upgrading pay row. As a result, Unite the union said that the 21 biomedical scientists at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust will hold a month of strike action from 21 June to 28 July, following on the current strike action that started on 31 May and ends on 21 June. The crux of the dispute is the ‘bad faith’ that the trust management has shown when it reneged on the 2019 pay upgrade deal that it originally agreed to read more

Royal London hospital patients facing ‘food chaos’ as Serco workers to strike in bullying and roster clash – Patients at the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, East London, are facing the prospect of ‘food chaos’ later this month, after workers employed by troubled outsourcing giant Serco voted for strike action. The workers, who are members of Unite the union, are based in the hospital’s back of house catering department. They play a key role in ensuring that meals are prepared and delivered to patients on the wards. The dispute is a result of bullying from management and the introduction of a disastrous new roster system that has severely impacted the workforce’s personal lives. Unite has been seeking to resolve these matters since July 2020. The workers overwhelmingly voted for strike action in April. Since then Unite has been seeking to avoid industrial action, but negotiations with Serco have stalled and an initial five days of strike beginning on Monday 21 June have been called. Further strike dates are likely if the dispute is not resolved. The bullying by management concerns the aggressive use of sickness absence triggers and the abuse of power in the allocation of shifts and holidays, which has left members at breaking point, during the pandemic read more

Engineers at Leicestershire’s Brush Electrical strike over fire and rehire cuts of up to £15,000 – Engineers employed by Brush Electrical Machines, owned by venture capitalists Melrose and based in Ashby de-la Zouch, will stage summer strikes in response to ‘fire and rehire’ pay cuts of up to £15,000, Unite said today (Tuesday 11 May 2021). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said the 30 engineers, who service generators around the world, voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking and will stage industrial action every day from 25 May to 16 August. The proposed contracts include reductions to overtime rates, allowances, holidays and other terms and conditions that would result in a pay cut of between £10,000 and £15,000 a year. The engineers’ jobs have been threatened if they do not sign the new contracts, which will leave them on pay rates ‘well below the industry standard’. The union said the strikes will ‘cause havoc to the firm’s worldwide servicing schedule and serious inconvenience to its international clients’. Parent company Melrose has a reputation for targeting workers and viable operations to boost short-term profits read more

Read document by Unite Community Cumbria branch: ‘Covid and the Tories – a world beating catastrophe’

 

PCS

Stay strong in DVLA dispute – a message from Mark Serwotka and Sarah Evans (2 July) – In spite of our demand to pause return to work, rapid increases in positive Covid cases in Swansea Bay, rising positive cases on site and a pause to the easing of restrictions, the DVLA has pressed on with its plans to bring 450 more staff on site. We can confirm that next week’s planned strike action will go ahead on Monday (5), Wednesday (7) and Friday (9) July. This applies to all staff who work in, or are on loan to, Drivers Medical, whether working in the office or from home read more

DVLA dispute raised at Prime Minister’s Questions (2 July)

Continued success of strike action at DVLA (28 June)

Further pressure put on Homes England to remove fire and re-hire threat (2 July) – PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has urged housing secretary Robert Jenrick to take action. Homes England is the public body that funds new affordable housing in England. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has urged housing secretary Robert Jenrick to direct senior managers at Homes England to scrap plans to fire and re-hire staff on worse contracts using section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act read more

Fighting for fairness in the Royal Parks (2 July) – PCS has begun balloting its cleaner/toilet attendant members who work for outsourcing company Just Ask Services in the Royal Parks in London. Members have put forward 6 demands to Just Ask Services, the key ones being union recognition, parity of pay with employees of the Royal Parks and no job cuts. The ballot ends on 14 July and if Just Ask don’t negotiate – the company hasn’t so far – then members will take strike action. Of course the underlying problem is that the Royal Parks chooses to outsource vital services. They don’t have to have staff on the legal minimums, that is a deliberate decision. Therefore after this dispute finishes members together will campaign to end the two-tier workforce but now the ballot must be won read more

2021 pay talks in Efra: fairer pay, not a pay freeze (1 July) – Each year PCS is drawn into dozens of different sets of pay talks across the public sector, ending up with workers facing different pay rates for similar work depending who their employer happens to be. his even happens within our own department, with colleagues in Natural England, core Defra and JNCC, for example, all being paid at different rates. We’re demanding sectoral pay in this year’s pay talks read more

ISS staff in BEIS deliver impressive ballot result (30 June) – Cleaners, security guards and other support staff employed by contractor ISS are one step closer to taking strike action after delivering a resounding yes vote in a PCS industrial action ballot. Our members voted 97.3% in favour of strike action on an impressive 82% turnout. Our low-paid members working for ISS in BEIS offices in London are demanding:

  • an end to low pay and improved working conditions
  • extra bonuses for working through lockdown
  • annual leave entitlement owed from last year.

PCS also has concerns around Covid safety of staff and is calling on ISS to agree a return to work protocol read more

Two thousand job cuts proposed at the British Council (30 June) – After its income was hit by the pandemic, the British Council has notified us that it intends to begin formal redundancy consultation. This could lead to around 2000 job cuts across the organisation, in addition to cuts overseas read more

Government rips up pensions cost sharing agreement (30 June) – For two years PCS has campaigned for full implementation of the 2% reduction in pension contributions recommended by the Pensions Board in 2019 as a result of the scheme valuation. After pausing its response on the pretext of the cost of losing at the Court of Appeal over the age discrimination in its 2015 changes the government has now announced a plan to simply rip up the cost sharing agreement for the public sector schemes. Any surviving cost sharing mechanism will not be allowed to get in the way of the government’s pre-determined outcome read more

Assumed consent in Jobcentres (29 June) – Since the introduction of the Employee Deal in 2016, staff in most Jobcentres have found it difficult to invoke Assumed Consent, mainly due to the nature of the customer facing work that they do and the pressure put upon them from local management. This situation has got progressively worse as DWP moved to mandatory face-to-face appointments in Jobcentres. With Work Coaches being instructed to carry out up to15 face-to-face appointments every day, tremendous pressure has been put on them not to invoke Assumed Consent. PCS hag been raising the issue of Jobcentre staff not being able to take Assumed Consent for the past five years. DWP senior management have repeatedly told us that they don’t think that this is an issue and have asked PCS to provide examples of where Jobcentre staff cannot take Assumed Consent. A PCS survey of Jobcentre staff in 2019 showed that 51% of Work Coaches who responded stated that they had difficulty in invoking Assumed Consent. In many cases the Work Coaches were told by Jobcentre managers that it was wrong to cancel an appointment and that Assumed Consent was not available to Jobcentre staff. Jobcentre staff are entitled to take Assumed Consent read more

 

GMB

Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council

‘Freedom day’ plans must leave workers free to stay safe (5 July) – Rather than pander to pandemic hawks, PM should make safety of workers and public a top priority, says GMB Union. GMB Union has responded to the unlocking measures announced by the Prime Minister today. Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: “Today’s announcement to throw covid caution to the wind is a political decision. The UK has the unenviable status as one of Europe’s covid hotspots – with eight of Europe’s 10 highest infection rates in England and Scotland…” read more

NHS Birthday: offer workers pay rise instead of forcing through ‘chaos’ bill (5 July) – Rather than clapping, Government should support ‘proud but beleaguered’ health service after its finest hour battling pandemic, says GMB. GMB, the union for NHS staff, says the best way to mark the NHS’s 73rd birthday today [July 5, 2021] is to offer workers a proper pay rise – rather than forcing through ‘chaotic’ new legislation. The long-awaited health and care bill is expected to be put before parliament this week despite concerns among hospital bosses and NHS workers read more

‘Worker safety won’t improve unless Amazon embraces unions’ (5 July) – Bezos still in charge – Putin once stepped down, says GMB Union. Amazon worker safety will not improve until it embraces unions says GMB as the company welcomes a new CEO today. Amazon will not move on and embrace fundamental change to deliver better safety standards until they sit down with unions like GMB across the world read more

Hundreds of England fans strike at Spitfire company over pay dispute (5 July) – GKN needs to show the sense of English fair play embodied by the Three Lions and respect the hard-won rights of their workers says GMB Union. Hundreds of England fans will go on strike today at a famous spitfire company in a dispute over pay. More than 200 long-service workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike at GKN Sankey in Telford after months of attacks on their onslaught on redundancy packages and pay read more  The strike will begin on Monday July 5, with more dates to be announced

Steel emergency legislation ‘victory for common sense’ (1 July) – New measures will provide temporary relief – but they should go further. GMB Union, which represents steel workers, has responded to the introduction of emergency legislation to enable the extension of import safeguards on a greater of range of goods read more

Ending furlough too quickly could ‘kill recovery before it starts’ (1 July) – Instead of driving us off a furlough cliff edge later this year, the Government should provide continued support for employers says GMB Union. GMB Union has warned ending the furlough scheme too early could kill any recovery before it even starts read more

Social care cash boost ‘welcome’ but sticking plaster not the answer (29 June) – Hopefully this money reaches the pockets of the low paid workforce, says GMB union. GMB has described a social care coronavirus cash boost as ‘welcome’ but will not resolve years of drastic underfunding. The Government has announced an extra £250 million for coronavirus protections read more

Serco Sandwell waste collectors strike ballot begins after shielding disabled workers sacked (30 June) – GMB Union members have had enough and are flexing their industrial muscle. A strike ballot has begun for workers at Serco Sandwell waste collection services after bullying from management and disabled workers were sacked for shielding. The vote opens today Thursday, July 1 2021 and will last for three weeks until Thursday, July 22. Any strike action could start in early August read more

 

Unison

This isn’t the time to throw caution to the wind over mask wearing (5 July) – Government must not act too hastily and risk safety. Commenting on reports that the government is to scrap rules requiring face coverings to be worn in enclosed public spaces, UNISON assistant general secretary Jon Richards said today (Monday): “This isn’t the time to throw caution to the wind, especially with infections on the rise. The economy is important, but so is public confidence…” read more

Greatest gift for NHS birthday would be a proper pay rise for a secure future (5 July) – PM should show how much the country appreciates health workers. Commenting on the NHS’s 73rd birthday celebrations and service of commemoration at St Paul’s Cathedral in London today (Monday), UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “NHS staff have given everything over the past 16 months, and they’re owed a great deal…” read more

Formal dispute lodged with higher education employers (2 June) – After a clear majority of HE members reject the final pay offer, UNISON wants to bring employers back to the negotiating table. UNISON’s higher education service group executive (SGE) have lodged a formal dispute with HE employers after the outcome of the pay offer consultation for 1 August 2021. The pay offer was a 1.5% increase for all members on pay point 22 and above, with staff on the lower pay points between 3 to 21 being offered pay increased on a sliding scale between 3.6% to 1.54%. Results from the consultation show that a clear majority of members have rejected the employers’ final pay offer. The SGE have now lodged a formal dispute with the HE employers over the pay offer, and are asking branches that are not currently balloting on the August 2020 pay freeze to consider whether they wish to ballot on the 2021/22 pay offer read more

School funding formula takes from the poor and gives to rich, says UNISON (2 July) – NAO report finds funding cuts for most deprived schools. Responding to a National Audit Office report published today (Friday) that found real-terms cuts in funding for some of the country’s most deprived schools, UNISON assistant general secretary Jon Richards said:  “Despite promises to level up education funding, the government has acted like Robin Hood in reverse, taking from the poor and giving to the rich…” read more

Ending school bubbles and isolation will be dangerous, says UNISON (30 June) – Rolling back safety measures risks spread. Responding to education secretary Gavin Williamson’s comments today (Wednesday) that he expects school bubbles to be removed in England if Covid restrictions are lifted on 19 July, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “Removing school bubbles and halting self-isolation will lead to more disruption, not less…” read more

All eyes on Boris: open letter to the PM on NHS pay (29 June) – UNISON has launched an open letter for thousands of NHS workers and their supporters to sign in support of a proper pay rise read more

Tower Hamlets Unison: #BuildTheBallot for Further Action • Opens Thursday 24 June – By a thumping majority, our members rejected management’s most recent proposal to end the Trade Dispute on Tower Rewards. Shamefully, those terms were imposed on us last summer at the height of the pandemic, by our Labour council using “Sack and Re-engage” measures that have been widely condemned and that Kier Starmer says he will outlaw read more

 

RCN

After RCN members reject pay offer from Marie Curie, the RCN has entered formal negotiations to secure a better deal (6 July) – RCN members have voted to reject a pay offer from Marie Curie, prompting formal pay negotiations. Almost half of all eligible RCN members took part in a ballot on Marie Curie’s offer of a consolidated 2% pay uplift. Eight in 10 members chose to reject the offer for 2021-22 read more

RCN Scotland members lodge trade dispute with Scottish government over NHS pay deal (23 June) – Nursing staff ‘left with no other choice’ in fight to secure Scotland’s nursing workforce read more

 

CWU

Capita Tesco Mobile ‘final’ pay offer accepted (July 5) – Members in the Capita Tesco Mobile (TM) Partnership, have voted by three-to-one to accept a pay deal brokered by the union against the difficult backdrop of a recently announced site closure bombshell and the renegotiation of the TM contract read more

New Royal Mail uniform – a wardrobe for all seasons (July 2) – Next year, postwomen and postmen can wear their shorts all through winter AND keep those legs warm, with the addition of stretch leggings to the Royal Mail uniform range. And the new tech-fit ‘base layer’ undershirt will keep arms and bodies warm, while an ‘explorer’ hat and ‘pioneer’ cap have been added to the headgear options read more

Overwhelming ‘yes’ vote in Capita 02 Partnership consultative pay ballot (July 1) – Members in the Capita O2 Partnership have voted by more than nine-to-one to accept a CWU-brokered pay deal which will see everyone on the contract receive a minimum of 2.15%, backdated to April 1. Crucially the deal – which applies to members working in Preston Brook and Leeds ABC in the recognised Capita O2 bargaining unit – maintains the company’s commitment to pay an absolute minimum of the Real Living Wage, while simultaneously delivering a consolidated pay rise for everyone paid above that level. Beneficiaries include those employees who last year received no rise whatsoever on account of the Capita-wide pay bill freeze – which, in Customer Management, translated to an embargo on any increases at all for anyone paid over a £28,000 threshold and pay cuts for senior management read more

Big ‘yes’ to 2.5% pay deal from CBRE members (July 1) – Members in CBRE have voted by nine-to-one to accept a CWU-brokered pay deal which delivers a fully consolidated 2.5% increase. Set against a relevant RPI inflation rate of 1.5% in March, the settlement represents a real term increase for members in CBRE, most of whom transferred from BT Facilities Services in 2019 read more

BT strike ballot scheduled for early June if no agreement reached – Andy Kerr gives the company three weeks’ notice to halt its attack on the workforce, or face the prospect of a nationwide strike…The first UK-wide industrial action in BT since 1987 will be on the cards unless company bosses “see sense,” warned CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr this morning, as he and CWU president Karen Rose headed into talks requested by the company in response to the groundswell of outrage from angry members across the country. Both Andy and Karen stressed their thanks and praise for the “fantastic support” from the membership for the union’s vigorous ‘Count Me In’ campaign, which has, they insisted, been the key factor in forcing the business to seek negotiations. And, in return for the company agreeing to pause its redundancy programme, the union has agreed to pause triggering the statutory industrial action ballot process. “This is a small victory,” said Andy, in a live broadcast earlier. “We’re around the table now and we will work 24/7 over the next three weeks to make sure we get the right deal for all of you.” But Andy assured the thousands of members watching that, unless sufficient progress is made in these talks, the union will “push the button” on a statutory national industrial action ballot of some 40,000 members working for BT, Openreach and EE at the beginning of June. “We want a negotiated settlement, but if that fails, we will ballot in early June for industrial action,” he vowed read more

 

NEU

Update on Tring Park Teachers’ Pension Scheme dispute – Teaching staff at Tring Park embarked on five-days of industrial action over a dispute with the governing body on proposals for the school to leave the Teacher’s Pension Scheme (TPS).  On Friday, 2 July, members voted 100% in favour of a settlement proposed by the school governors. Under its terms, the governors have confirmed: “The decision has been made to withdraw the proposal and all eligible staff will be able to remain in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme if they wish to do so. The threat of fire and rehire is no longer applicable. Governors assure staff that no consultation regarding the TPS membership will occur until the announcement of the Government revaluation at the earliest.” Paul McLaughlin, eastern region NEU secretary said: “The NEU is very pleased that a resolution has been reached with the governors of Tring Park School. This is a reflection of our members willingness to stand up and take action in order to defend their pensions. It was regrettable strike action was required as a last resort, however, we are pleased that the governors have now taken the decision not to make changes to our members pension scheme. Members have shown that by sticking together and standing up for themselves, real change can be achieved.” Thanks to everyone for their support. Together we are strong

Support these strikes:-

Suspend Academisation of Moulsecoomb Primary – On Tuesday 6th July, members of NEU, GMB and UNISON will be taking strike action and calling on The Pioneer Academy to withdraw as the sponsor. On the same day, parents, staff and members of the community  have hired a bus to visit the DFE to deliver a petition. We want to show Gavin Williamson that staff across Brighton and Hove schools and services want the academisation suspended. Please respond to the three questions here so we can add your name to the petition

Action Date Contact
Packwood Haugh School/Shropshire (Teachers’ Pension Scheme) Tuesday 6 July [email protected]
Valence Primary/Barking & Dagenham (Restructure) Wednesday 7-Thursday 8 July [email protected]
Roe Green Junior School/Brent (Pay) Thursday 8 July [email protected]
St Mary’s C of E Primary School/Brent Thursday 8 July [email protected]

National Audit Office on School Funding (2 July) – Schools cannot thrive without proper financial support and without a proper assessment of costs. Yet again, the Department for Education have been found out on school funding read more

Self-Isolation and Schools (29 June) – The DfE “possible arrangements for testing in September” scarcely qualify as a plan at all. The DfE “possible arrangements for testing in September” scarcely qualify as a plan at all read more

 

UCU

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

University of Liverpool slammed for failing to give almost 1,500 students their degrees (5 July) – Situation ‘entirely avoidable’ say staff and students

Management at the University of Liverpool should be ‘ashamed’, students and staff said today after it became clear that entire courses would not receive their results for this academic year until next week at the earliest read more

‘End exploitation’ of postgraduate researchers, UCU tells universities (1 July) – UCU launches manifesto calling for universities to end the exploitation of PGRs. Universities must give postgraduate researchers (PGRs) the same protections as university staff, UCU said today as it published its new ‘postgraduate researchers as staff’ manifesto. PGRs produce high-quality research that furthers their university’s research outputs yet they do not get the same rights or pay as staff because they are classified as students. Non-funded PGRs even pay to produce data that the university takes ownership of. As a result, PGRs miss out on terms and conditions that are afforded to colleagues on employment contracts, including sick leave and parental leave. UCU said this is an injustice and that employers must agree to the principle that PGRs are treated as staff so they can access benefits read more

Three days of strikes begin tomorrow at University of Leicester – Staff at the University of Leicester will down tools tomorrow (8 June) in the first of three continuous days of strike action as they fight against 26 compulsory redundancies. The strikes come after around 70% of staff who voted in an industrial ballot said yes to strike action to stop the sackings. University of Leicester vice-chancellor Nishan Canagarajah has since handed the 26 staff their redundancy notices, and they are set to lose their jobs from Tuesday 3 August. 72 senior Leicester staff and professors have written to University of Leicester’s executive board setting out concerns that some staff have been targeted for redundancy because of the intellectual approaches of their research, which they say is a serious threat to academic freedom. A marking and assessment boycott by university staff has also now entered its second month. The marking boycott and strike action are both taking place during the crucial end of year examination period, meaning disruption for the university will be especially severe. UCU has additionally hit Leicester with the ultimate sanction of a global boycott, meaning the union is asking its members, other trade unions, and the international academic community to boycott the university. This includes not speaking at events, accepting invitations to give lectures, or applying for jobs at Leicester. Since the global boycott began last month at least 19 events have been cancelled, indefinitely postponed or moved elsewhere read more

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

NUJ statement on Stephen Nolan (2 July) – Belfast and district chapel expressed support for colleagues on the Nolan Show. Robin Wilson, chair of the Belfast and district branch of the NUJ, expressed support for colleagues in BBC Northern Ireland working on the Nolan Show, following the revelation that the source of an online petition seeking to have the programme taken off the airwaves had used a pseudonym and had admitted, through his lawyer, to making defamatory comments read more

NUJ Equality Council calls on governments to ratify convention on violence and harassment at work (2 July) – On June 25 the International Labour Organization Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work came into force. ILO Convention No. 190 is the first international treaty to recognise the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment read more

Combatting online harassment and abuse – a legal guide for journalists in England and Wales (29 June) – Today the Media Lawyers Association has published a legal guide for journalists in England and Wales focused on combating online harassment and abuse read more

 

Equity

Equity responds to Prime Minister’s latest Covid press conference (5 July) – Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming has responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement today, confirming the relaxation of lockdown restrictions in England: “Today’s announcement is a veneer of order atop a sea of chaos. The government is privatising public health decisions by pushing them onto producers, venues, and working people. There’s no word on insurances for theatre and live entertainment, and no meaningful guidance as to what a new testing and isolation regime should mean. Businessmen can now fly in and out of the UK unfettered, but British creatives working abroad can’t. There’s no word on extending SEISS – which barely covered the creative workforce. There’s no confidence that future lockdowns won’t happen and no strategy to engage the Unions – or even the bosses – to figure out a backup plan. The pandemic of precarity is set to get worse, Equity wants to deal with it – does Dowden?​” read more

 

Prospect

The end of the work-from-home guidance must not lead to a chaotic free for all (5 July) – Prospect has responded to a statement by the Prime Minister on moving to the next stage of the COVID roadmap in England. Mike Clancy, Prospect General Secretary, said: “The end of the work-from-home guidance must not lead to a chaotic free for all with employers making decisions about their workforce with no consultation, and little guidance from government…” read more

Bridging support is crucial to avoid redundancies in the culture sector (5 July) – Ahead of the expected announcement on the loosening of coronavirus restrictions, Bectu has warned that bridging support for workers and businesses in the creative industries will be needed before we can return to business as usual read more

Transfer of AWE back into public ownership has been a shambles from start to finish (1 July) – A government minister has visited the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) today to mark the establishment’s formal transfer back into public ownership read more

 

USDAW

Usdaw members are gutted that MPs voted down a protection of shopworkers law, Government must deliver on a promised Lords amendment (5 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw is disappointed that MPs have this evening rejected an amendment to the Government’s flagship policing bill, which would have provided greater protection for shopworkers from violence, threats and abuse. Usdaw now calls on the Government to deliver on their promise to bring forward an amendment in the House of Lords read more

Too much too soon – Usdaw slams the Government’s weakening of safety measures in stores (5 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw has slammed the Government’s plan to lift safety measures in stores as part of the release of Covid restrictions due on 19 July read more

MPs today have the opportunity to support long overdue protection of workers laws – Usdaw members appeal for their support (5 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw welcomes three amendments to the Government’s flagship policing bill, due for debate this afternoon/evening , which will provide greater protection for workers from violence, threats and abuse. Usdaw members are urging MPs not to let this opportunity pass them by and to support all three amendments read more

Morrisons buyout – Usdaw seeks urgent meetings (3 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw, which represents Morrisons, staff is seeking urgent meetings with the business after confirmation that the company is being bought out read more

Striking Usdaw members at DHL/M&S Long Eaton start a third 24-hour stoppage on Thursday and have gained support from MPs (29 June) – Members of the retail logistics trade union Usdaw will begin a third 24-hour stoppage at the Long Eaton DHL / Marks and Spencer distribution centre at 5.15am on Thursday 1 July. Alex Norris MP (Labour/Co-op, Nottingham North) and Paddy Lillis (Usdaw General Secretary) will join protesters supporting the picket line at 12 noon. Lilian Greenwood MP (Labour, Nottingham South) has also pledged her support. The continuing industrial action affects a Marks & Spencer third-party logistics contract, operated by DHL at Long Eaton in Derbyshire. Usdaw members voted by over 90% in favour of strike action in a dispute about the amount of redundancy pay that long serving staff will receive when the site closes at the end of July read more

Usdaw members appeal to their MP to vote on Monday for a new protection of workers law (30 June) – Retail trade union Usdaw is encouraging members and the public to ask their MP to support a protection of workers amendment to the Government’s flagship policing bill on Monday 5 July 2021 read more

Low Pay Commission investigates the disproportionate impact of low pay on Black workers and hears from Usdaw members (30 June) – Members of the retail trade union Usdaw are today meeting with members of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) as they investigate the disproportionate impact of low pay on Black workers. The meetings will take place in two sessions online read more

BCM Fareva staff vote decisively to strike – Usdaw urges the Nottingham based employer to withdraw their ‘fire and rehire’ threat – Usdaw members have voted by over 90% in favour of industrial action at BCM Fareva, the Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots. BCM Fareva has proposed slashing members’ terms and conditions, including sick pay and redundancy payment provisions, while pre-emptively threatening to ‘fire and rehire’ staff if agreement cannot be reached on the proposed changes. Usdaw has informed the company of the result and again calls on them to avoid industrial action by removing their threat to ‘fire and rehire’ read more

 

IWGB

Cynical Uber cut pay as they give with one hand and take with the other, says IWGB (29 June) – Yesterday Uber announced to drivers that their longest serving drivers would see the service charge that they take from their pay increase from 20% to 25%. This comes at a time when drivers are still desperately trying to recover from being hit hard by the pandemic. Last year drivers saw wages reduced to almost nothing while rental fees and other overheads continued. Many drivers were forced to work in unsafe conditions, chasing the minimal work that was on offer just to try and make ends meet. The majority of private hire drivers are from the BAME community- studies have shown to be adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Uber has cynically claimed that the change, which comes into effect on the 13th July, is in order to bring equality amongst drivers as new starters are already charged the 25%. In the same breath as announcing the pay cuts, Uber made reference to the worker contracts and improved pay and conditions that they were forced to implement in light of the Supreme Court ruling. This latest move by Uber proves that while they have rolled out new contracts, they are now making drivers pay the costs. This is a big challenge to the voluntary recognition agreement recently signed by Uber, making it look even more like a PR stunt. Uber’s main aim is still to extract as much value from driver’s labour as possible read more

End The Freeze Enfield! Enfield cycling instructors to demonstrate against 12 year pay freeze (29 June) – Cycling instructors in Enfield and their colleagues will demonstrate outside Enfield Civic Centre, Silver Street, on Tuesday 29th June 2021, against a 12 year pay freeze and worsening terms and conditions. The pay freeze is equivalent to a 30% real terms pay cut or £172 per week. Instructors are also subject to unfair cancellation policies, where they can lose all income from booked lessons with 24 hours’ notice. Furthermore, instructors need to carry out more and more unpaid preparation work which is needed to keep adults and children safe. Press and photographers are invited to attend from 19:00-19:20 read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Bar workers’ interests must not be sidelined as economy reopens (29 June) – Mandate Trade Union has urged the Government not to forget the interests of workers in the bar/hospitality sector and called for a meeting with ministers before the next crucial move is made towards reopening the economy. It follows the Government’s announcement on 29th June that the return of service in bars and restaurants – planned for early July – will not now go ahead until a system is put in place to verify vaccination and immunity read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU calls for a stop to the privatisation of local employment services (2 July) – SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 2nd July) called for an end to tenders for state contracts to run programmes to assist people getting back into the workforce which include financial rewards for companies, as they are the beginning of a process of wholesale privatisation of local employment services read more

 

 

Other News

TUC: BME workers 3 times as likely as white workers to have seen their hours reduced since start of pandemic (2 July)

  • 1 in 11 (9%) BME workers told the TUC they their usual working hours were reduced during the pandemic, compared to 1 in 33 (3%) white workers
  • Union body says BME workers are facing the “double whammy” of losing working hours and their jobs at a far greater rate than white workers
  • TUC calls on ministers to act now to tackle the structural discrimination in our jobs market

Black and minority ethnic (BME) workers are three times more likely than white workers to have lost working hours during the pandemic, says a new TUC poll published today (Friday) read more

Tamil Solidarity trade union newsletter and model motion

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

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

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

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

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload – Ancillary staff at government hospitals in Israel are taking strike action after three years of negotiations with the ministry of finance. An agreement was not reached over the question of workloads. The finance ministry totally ignored the demands of the workers leading the negotiations to a dead end. The issues in dispute are unsustainable workloads which are crushing the ancillary staff, extra payments for dealing with Covid, and refusal of the finance ministry to implement the decisions of its own committee which recommended pay parity with the workforce of the Kupat Holim Clalit hospitals. Messages of solidarity can be sent to Eli Badash at [email protected]

Iran: The NSSN sends its greetings and solidarity to the oil, and other, workers in Iran currently in involved in struggles and striving to build an independent workers’ movement. We note that these are taking place despite repeated repression of the workers’ struggles and imprisonment of workers and pensioners’ activists and leaders. We demand the release of all imprisoned workers and pensioners activists. We send our greetings and solidarity to the oil workers currently nationally on strike for permanent contracts and an end to temporary, contract and agency employment, a single national wage structure, wage increases in line with inflation, no redundancies, a 20 day working month and better accommodation for workers working away from home. The NSSN believes that the revival of the workers’ movement in Iran and its striving to build independent and democratic workers’ organisations has an international significance that will help inspire similar developments against all the dictatorial and authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. We offer our solidarity in whichever way possible.

 

 

Diary

Sunday September 12th – 1pm NSSN TUC Rally

 

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

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