NSSN 543: Support the Bexley Bin Strike

July 13, 2021 in Bulletins

The NSSN headlines this week’s bulletin with the strike by refuse workers in Bexley Council. This is the third Unite dispute with outsourcing company Serco in the last few weeks, along with traffic wardens in Ealing as well as catering workers at the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, who are closing in on successful resolution.

We were on the Bexley picket on the first day of their two week strike and will continue to support the workers’ action. They are taking confidence from the recent victory of bin workers at Thurrock, another Tory-controlled council. We also call for an end to privatisation in local government and across the public sector and for all outsourced workers to be brought back in-house.

Unite Bexley bin strike

Unite Bexley bin strike

Bexley council warned ‘shoestring’ Serco refuse contract risks ‘years of industrial unrest’ as bin strikes begin (12 July) – Unite the union warned Bexley council that its ‘shoestring’ refuse and street cleaning contract, which is run by Serco, risks ‘years of industrial unrest’ as two weeks of bin strikes began today (Monday 12 July). The refuse and cleaning contract has recently been retendered by Bexley council. But Unite understands that Serco is the only bidder because the profit margins are so low. Bexley council is facing financial difficulties and plans to reduce the contract by £2.5 million over five years – a move that Unite warned could result in ‘years of industrial unrest’ if staff bear the brunt. The warning came as around 140 Serco refuse and cleaning workers, who are members of Unite, began striking from today until 25 July, with a picket line between 5am and 10am being held every weekday. Outsourcing giant Serco has failed for half a decade to include refuse and cleansing staff on a stipulated pay progression scale. The situation has led to instances of refuse truck drivers being on the same pay scale as street sweepers, with some staff being owed thousands in back wages. Unite members are also angry at the company’s 2021 pay offer of 1.5 per cent. Unite members have worked throughout successive national lockdowns to keep the service running, risking their own safety as well as that of their families. Refuse staff in Bexley earn much less than their counterparts in other areas of the capital. For example, in neighbouring Greenwich refuse staff earn a minimum of £13 an hour, compared to £10.25 paid by Serco in Bexley, which is below even the London Living Wage. Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “Serco have backed our members into a corner with their pathetic pay offer, refusal to pay owed back wages and lack of fair pay. New drivers are paid £5k more than some experienced drivers…” read more

Send messages of support to [email protected]

To donate to the hardship fund, you can pay online to Unite LE/649 – sort code 60-83-01 and account number 20441911

 

Protest: Stop the Tories’ NHS Health and Care Bill (organised by Keep Our NHS Public) – 12.30pm-2.30pm Wednesday 14th July opposite Old Palace Yard, Parliament, Westminster, SW1A 0AA

On July the 14th Parliament will hold the second reading of the new NHS Health and Social Care Bill which promises greater NHS privatisation, the rollout of the Integrated Care Systems and much more. Keep our NHS Public calls for widespread public opposition to the Bill, and for MPs and Lords to vote against it at every opportunity. Please join us on Wednesday outside Parliament as the reading commences to make our opposition clear Facebook event

 

NSSN Organising meeting: Stop the Freeports Race to the Bottom7.30pm Wednesday 21 July Facebook event

The NSSN would like to thank Solidarity Shouts for merging their planned meeting on Freeports into ours. They are supporting this meeting along with Southampton & South West Hampshire Trades Union Council and others.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82518457821?pwd=dWUrS3JyaUMyenZteDAycjhMUEVZZz09

Meeting ID: 825 1845 7821   Passcode: 429630

 

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

BREAKING NEWS!! RMT to take strike action on London Underground (13 July) – RMT to take strike action over London Underground plans to abolish Night Tube Train Drivers’ grade. TUBE UNION RMT said today that it will be taking strike action across the Tube network over plans by London Underground to abolish the Night Tube Train Drivers’ grade. Following a solid vote for action late last month and subsequent talks that failed to resolve this issue RMT has instructed members as follows;

All LUL Train Operators are instructed not to book on for any duty:

  • Commencing from 12:00 (noon) on 3.8.21 until 11.59 on 4.8.21
  • Commencing from 12:00 (noon) on 5.8.21 until 11.59 on 6.8.21
  • Commencing from 12:00 (noon) on 24.8.21 until 11.59 on 25.8.21
  • Commencing from 12:00 (noon) on 26.8.21 until 11.59 on 27.8.21

LU propose to axe the grade from the 16th May in what the union says is a cash led move aimed at shunting staff around the combine at will which will threaten the loss of 200 jobs and destroy the work life balance of 3000 Tube drivers. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “London Underground’s proposals to rip up an agreement that protects 3000 Tube drivers work life balance has caused uproar in the depots amongst drivers. This breach of trust by an out of touch management abolishes the part time jobs of workers – mainly women – who want them. This is the thanks that Tube drivers have been given for keeping the service running through the Covid pandemic. This is a blatant attempt to now use that pandemic to start bulldozing through a savage programme of cuts. The union remains available for talks.” Read more

Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff strike to go ahead tomorrow (13 July) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley will be going ahead with strike action tomorrow. The action follows a recent 100% vote by members in support of strike action. 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

A picket line will assemble at the top of Edinburgh’s Market Street at 08:00 hours read more

RMT responds to rail regulator report (13 July) – RMT responds to rail regulator report into rail industry’s performance and safety record. RAIL UNION RMT today responded to rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road’s annual report into Network Rail’s performance and safety. The report, which details Network Rail’s record over the last 12 months praises the rail industry for its response to the Covid19 crisis whilst highlighting the role of health and safety on our railways following several tragic and avoidable fatalities over the last year read more

RMT warns of “fatal folly” of removing transport Covid protections (12 July) – On the day politicians are set to confirm final steps in lifting of lockdown RMT warns political leaders of “fatal folly” of removing transport Covid protections. In a letter to Boris Johnson, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford RMT has today warned of the fatal folly of removing Covid transport protections. The warning comes as governments are finalising changes to Covid-19 protections. In the letter to the leaders RMT general secretary Mick Lynch seeks assurances the governments will read more

ScotRail staff standing firm again (11 July) – ScotRail staff standing firm again today as gate line vote to join fight for equality and justice. RAIL UNION RMT said that Scotrail conductors and ticket examiners are standing firm again today in a long running battle for pay justice and equality as gate line staff vote for action this week and cleaners prepare to join the fight on the 13th July read more

RMT calls for emergency support for iconic Black Cabs (9 July) – RMT calls for emergency support for iconic Black Cabs as government figures show 29% drop in vehicles in the last year. TRANSPORT UNION RMT, which organises among London’s iconic black cabs, has called for a package of emergency support from government, the Mayor and Council leaders as Department for Transport statistics showed a catastrophic 29% drop in the number of Licensed vehicles plying for hire on London’s roads. The drop means that the number of licensed taxis operating in London has fallen to its lowest level since 1983 and it means that there are more than 5,000 fewer wheelchair accessible vehicles operating in the capital read more

RMT demands summit to resolve the crises on Scotland’s Ferries (9 July) – SCOTTISH FERRIES Union RMT today urged Transport Minister Graeme Dey MSP to call an urgent Ferries Summit to involve trade unions and passengers in finding solutions to the crisis on the Clyde and Hebrides network operated by CalMac Ferries read more

RMT condemns unsafe extension to lorry drivers’ hours (8 July) – RMT condemns unsafe extension to lorry drivers’ hours to fill labour shortage. TRANSPORT UNION RMT today condemned the Government’s unsafe extension to road haulage driver’s permitted driving hours due to a significant labour shortage of lorry drivers. Lorry drivers will be permitted to legally extend their driving hours to previously illegal levels with the aim of temporarily filling the labour shortage which is already having a significant impact on supply chains read more

On the eve of ACAS talks, RMT welcomes support from Scottish MSPs for pay justice for Serco Caledonian Sleeper workers (8 July) – On the eve of ACAS talks between RMT and Serco in relation to an ongoing dispute over pay justice for Caledonian Sleeper workers, the Union has welcomed support from MSPs for a Scottish Parliamentary motion which calls on the Scottish Government to intervene in order to find a fair resolution to this dispute. RMT members employed on the Serco Caledonian Sleeper have already taken a number of days of industrial action in their ongoing fight for pay justice, after being subjected to a pay freeze, despite being key workers who have worked throughout the pandemic read more

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

Public Accounts Committee report slams government rail policy (7 July) – RMT calls for rail rethink as Public Accounts Committee report slams government rail policy. Britain’s specialist transport union RMT said today that the need for a government rethink on rail is now urgent after a powerful Parliamentary committee warned that the government has neither the necessary urgency nor appreciates the scale of the challenge ahead of the future of rail transport and the need to get to grips with the environmental dangers of a car led recovery read more

RMT’s warning over Covid-19 Bus Service Support Grant (7 July) – RMT warns that the end of the Government’s Covid-19 Bus Service Support Grant must not lead to a service cuts crisis. With confirmation from the Government that the Covid-19 Bus Services Support grant will end in August 2021 and be replaced by a lower level of ‘recovery funding’ from September 2021 until April 2022, bus union RMT has warned that with passenger numbers still far below pre-Covid levels, action must be taken to prevent the commercial bus operators slashing services as the CBSSG comes to an end read more

Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff to strike after 100% vote for action  – 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

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

The only way is public ownership (7 July) – A white train with orange accents speeding past a platform. This morning, the UK Parliament Public Accounts Committee released a report on the English rail system. The report is the result of an inquiry by the committee, during which they take written and oral evidence from different sources, deliberate and discuss what should be done read more

 

TSSA

Johnson “playing fast and loose” on covid relaxation (12 July) – The government is “playing fast and loose with our country’s health” warns TSSA in reaction to confirmation that protective measures aimed at restricting transmission of coronavirus will be lifted from Monday 19 July read more

TSSA tells Network Rail not to jump the gun, on lifting COVID control measures (12 July)

TSSA says appointment of Belly Mujinga inquest expert gives “real confidence” (12 July) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said news that an expert is to be employed to help look into the circumstances surrounding the death of TSSA union member Belly Mujinga gives “real confidence” in the process. Belly, a front-line railway worker, died on 5 April 2020 just two weeks after it was reported she was coughed on by a customer at London’s Victoria station (21 March) read more

TSSA comment on Euston incident (8 July) – London Euston station was closed today after a ‘serious assault’ on a train left two people injured, including a railway worker. Armed police rushed to the major transport hub shortly after 7am following reports of an attack. TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, commented – “This is a shocking incident and our entire TSSA union sends our thoughts and solidarity to those involved and their families read more

CrossCountry Trains – Stakeholder Liaison Managers and Internal Communications Advisor – Industrial Action Ballot (8 July) – From Tracy Wines – TSSA CrossCountry Organiser. A ballot for industrial action, both action short of a strike and strike action will open for the above-mentioned posts ONLY on Monday 12th July. Our members have been left with no option but to be balloted for industrial action due to the Company’s failure to engage in meaningful negotiations about the introduction of on-call working. We have written to the Company and spoke to senior managers several times offering them to meet with us to try and resolve this issue, but they have refused or are unwilling read more

Government facing ‘home truths’ over rail future – TSSA (7 July) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said the government is facing some ‘home truths’ after minsters were slammed over the future of rail by the powerful Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC). In a wide-ranging report, MPs on the PAC said the Department for Transport (DfT) ‘has neither the necessary urgency nor appreciates the scale of the challenge ahead’ about the future of rail transport read more

 

Unite                      

BREAKING NEWS!! Local people to stage public rallies in Wrexham, Llandudno, Cardiff and Swansea demanding £20 Universal Credit uplift be made permanent (13 July) – Local people from across the principality will join hundreds of community campaigners from around the UK on Wednesday 14 July appealing to all MPs to get behind the growing calls to cancel the cut to Universal Credit and extend the £20 weekly uplift to all claimants. The public rallies are part of a nationwide summer of activity led by Unite the union’s Community branches to galvanise support and highlight the financial cliff edge faced by thousands of local people, as figures reveal 237,739 individuals in Wales rely on Universal Credit to get by read more

Unite raises Amazon’s pandemic profiteering with the Competition and Markets Authority (13 July) – Unite, Britain’s leading union, has submitted the first formal complaint to the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) against Amazon for abuse of its market position in relation to price gouging at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic (a copy of the formal complaint is available on request). Vulnerable and older people who had to stay at home and those who relied on home deliveries would have been particularly exposed to inflated prices for essential items on the Amazon website. Unite is calling for Amazon to repay the overcharges. For example, Carex antibacterial hand lotion usually costs around £1. In March 2020 the price on Amazon increased to £26.41. The price of a Braun Thermoscan 7 digital thermometer shot up over £100 – going from £39.99 to £149.99. Competition lawyers Preiskel & Co LLP have submitted a formal complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority on behalf of the union read more

Former Amazon boss must not lead NHS (12 July) – Unite, Britain’s leading union, says news that a former Amazon boss is being considered to lead NHS England is an alarming signal from this Tory government. It has been reported that the former head of Amazon UK, Douglas Gurr has applied to become the next chief executive of the NHS read more

Mask wearing should be compulsory in NHS settings as Covid infection rates soar, Unite said (12 July) – Mask wearing in hospitals, clinics and other NHS buildings should remain compulsory  when Covid restrictions are eased next Monday (19 July), Unite the union said this evening (Monday 12 July). Responding to Boris Johnson’s press conference, Unite said that mask coverings and social distancing should remain in place for the foreseeable future within the NHS as infections rates are still rising. Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, understands that some NHS trusts in England will insist that masks continue to be worn by staff, patients and visitors after next Monday, but the union said that it should be underpinned by law read more

RAF Valley job losses “huge shock” for workforce (12 July) – Unite the union has reacted with shock to the news that up to 70 jobs are to be lost at RAF Valley as part of the UK government’s defence review. Daryl Williams, Unite regional officer, commented: “The news that more jobs are to be lost at RAF Valley will come as another huge blow to the workforce and the local economy read more

Bus drivers briefed on safety rights after government confirms ending of mask wearing rules on public transport (12 July) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents tens of thousands of bus drivers, has written to its members setting out their legal rights, after the government confirmed that passengers in England will no longer have to wear masks and face coverings when travelling on public transport. Last week, when it was first announced that the government intended to remove the requirement for passengers on public transport to wear masks and face coverings, Unite described it as an act of “gross negligence” read more

MoD outsourcing undermines workers’ conditions, is inefficient and risks safety, Unite warns select committee (12 July) – Giving evidence at the defence select committee today (Monday 12 July) Unite, the UK’s leading union, will warn that the ongoing outsourcing of civilian functions at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is leading to cuts in pay, a deterioration in standards, severe reductions in service levels and increases in safety risks. Unite will also explain how the outsourcing of services frequently creates a two tier workforce, with new starters recruited on vastly inferior terms and conditions from workers who were TUPEd over on MoD contracts read more

Unite wins significant legal victory for Carillion workers seeking compensation following company’s collapse (12 July) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has secured a significant legal victory in its battle for compensation for workers who lost their jobs when construction and outsourcing giant Carillion collapsed in January 2018. Unite is representing 263 members who are seeking compensation due to Carillion’s failure to inform and consult them before they lost their jobs when the company collapsed into compulsory liquidation. This week the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that the case could proceed, dismissing the Carillion group’s appeal read more

Tower Hamlets’ privatisation of elderly assessment unit slammed as workers strike (12 July) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has slammed Tower Hamlets’ privatisation of its initial assessment unit for elderly residents in need of assistance, as members of the unit go on strike. Five assessment staff, who are Unite members, are striking from today (July 12) to Friday 16 July at being terminated as council employees and being transferred to Age UK East London. The workers, who are being moved to Age UK under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE), were promised by the council they would not be transferred. Unite said the move will reduce service quality for residents and needs to be stopped. Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “As a Labour council, Tower Hamlets should not be contracting this service out for the sake of it…” read more

£3bn council funding blackhole from pandemic will ‘tear communities apart’ unless fixed (9 July) – A £3 billion council funding blackhole caused by the cost of the pandemic will ‘tear communities apart’ unless it is fixed, Unite, which represents thousands of local authority workers, said today (Friday 9 July). Responding to a BBC investigation that found 170 councils in the UK are facing a total funding shortfall of £3 billion by 2023-24, Unite national officer for local authorities Jim Kennedy said: “For 10 years Tory austerity policies unleashed cuts upon cuts upon cuts on local authorities. Services that hold communities together and are a lifeline for poorer and more vulnerable members of society were slashed…” read more

Unite warns Clarks’ entire Somerset operation could strike over fire and rehire attacks (8 July) – The entirety of shoemaker Clarks’ operations in Street, Somerset, including headquarters and warehouse staff, could strike over ‘dramatic’ fire and rehire attacks, Unite, the UK’s leading union, warned today (Thursday 8 July). Unite, which represents around 200 Clarks headquarters staff, said its members are considering strike action after being told they will be ‘fired’ from their old employment contracts and ‘rehired’ onto new inferior ones. More than 100 Clarks warehouse staff, who are members of the Community Union, as well as a smaller amount of warehouse staff who are members of Unite, are also considering strike action over similar proposals. Unite said that it will work with Community to stop the fire and rehire attacks, including coordinating any potential strike action read more

Rethink on £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit that will hit millions of struggling families, urges Unite (8 July) – The government’s decision to end the £20-a-week boost to Universal Credit in the autumn is the news that struggling families have been ‘dreading’, Unite the union said today (Thursday 8 July). Unite urged the chancellor Rishi Sunak to think again on the proposal that will hit the six million households that receive Universal Credit and has drawn criticism from six former Conservative work and pensions secretaries, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of Universal Credit read more

Agricultural employers must pay their workers more if they want to end widespread labour shortages impacting harvest of fruit and vegetables across Northern Ireland (July 9) – Unite submits response to DAERA consultation opposing proposed abolition of Agricultural Wages Board by DUP Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots seeks abolition of Agricultural Wages Board. Agricultural field and farm work is tough and exhausting – workers need to be properly rewarded for their labour read more

Government’s decision to relax lorry driver rules will not solve driver shortage, warns Unite (7 July) – The decision of the Department for Transport (DfT) to relax the regulations on the maximum number of hours lorry drivers can work will not resolve the problem of a shortage of drivers in the industry, the trade union Unite, which represents tens of thousands of lorry drivers, has warned read more

Greenwich housing repair staff win ‘one of best’ pay and productivity deals at London councils, says Unite (7 July) – Housing repair staff employed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich have voted in favour of a ‘pay and productivity’ package which is now one of best for such workers across London councils. Unite the union hailed victory for the more than 120 directly-employed carpenters, decorators, electricians and plumbers in the long-running dispute which, it said, had resulted in ‘one of the highest paying productivity agreements for local government housing repair workers in London’. The dispute erupted at the end of last year over threats by council bosses that could have seen some of the staff losing £20,000-a-year in wages which then led to an overwhelming vote for strike action. Unite had accused the council of using the pandemic as an excuse to axe wages read more

Fire and rehire turns into ‘sign or be sacked’ for striking East Midland’s Brush Electrical Machines engineers (7 July) – Engineers employed by Brush Electrical Machines (BEM) striking over fire and rehire cuts of up to £15,000 have now been threatened with a ‘sign or be sacked’ ultimatum, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 7 July). The ultimatum came after it emerged that BEM, in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, had been sold by venture capitalists Melrose to private equity firm One Equity Partners. The 30 engineers, who live in the East Midlands but service generators around the world, have been on continuous strike since 25 May over attempts to shift them onto vastly inferior contracts. They have now been told by BEM that if they do not sign the new contracts by 24 July they will be sacked. 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, leaving them on wages that are well below industry standard read more

Maintain mandatory face masks in banks to protect staff, says finance union (7 July) – Staff working in bank branches face danger and unnecessary risk if the government goes ahead with scrapping face covering rules, according to banking union Unite. The union, which represents staff working in bank branches across the UK and Ireland, is calling on mandatory face masks to be maintained in order to keep staff safe. Banking staff are classified as key workers and have worked in branches throughout the pandemic read more

Unite seeking urgent meetings with London mayor and TfL over maintaining face masks on capital’s public transport (6 July) – Unite the union, which represents over 20,000 London bus workers, is seeking urgent meetings with the mayor of London Sadiq Khan and senior figures at Transport for London (TfL), to argue that passengers in the capital should continue to be required to wear masks read more

Exhausted NHS staff face ‘unbearable’ pressures as Covid infection rates set to soar, warns Unite (6 July) – Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid’s forecast that Covid cases could top 100,000 daily, as restrictions ease, will leave already exhausted NHS staff buckling under the ‘unbearable’ pressure, Unite the union warned today (Tuesday 6 July). Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that there were serious questions to be asked over what it described as the ‘gung-ho’ easing of restrictions from 19 July unveiled by the prime minister yesterday (Monday 5 July). Unite said that the pressures, for example, on the biomedical scientist workforce who test for Covid are intolerable, with holidays being curtailed to meet the expected surge in demand for testing. Extra funding was needed urgently to meet the increase in cases and hospitalisations as the successful vaccination programme had not completely broken the link with people getting infected. Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “We have serious questions about Boris Johnson’s gung-ho approach to the easing of restrictions from 19 July. All bets have been placed on the vaccination programme holding the line, but there is no guarantee that this will be a completely successful strategy…” read more

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

Striking St Mungo’s staff protest over bullying at housing charity’s Oxford shelter – 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

Serco Ealing traffic wardens begin two weeks of all out strike action with townhall rally – 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 (30 June). 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

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

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

 

PCS

Anger as the Southbank Centre moves forward with fire and rehire (12 July) – Staff working as hosts at the Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery are facing 20% pay cuts and a reduction of hours following the Southbank Centre’s announcement to only extend their contracts if they agree to inferior terms. In a move which has shocked members, the Southbank Centre has confirmed that staff working as hosts in the Hayward gallery will need to sign up to vastly inferior pay and fewer hours if they wish to continue working at the site. Hosts have been told that their pay will be slashed by nearly 20% in the new contracts, proposed to begin on 1 August read more

PCS opposes George Osborne’s appointment as chair of the British Museum (12 July) – The appointment is a slap in the face to the hundreds of staff who have seen a decade of pay freezes and attacks on terms and conditions as a result of his policies as chancellor. PCS members at the British Museum have reacted with anger that the Trustees have appointed George Osborne as their chair. For over a decade now the austerity politics, of which he was a principal architect, have devastated the museum and the wider culture sector read more

2021 Home Office Pay (12 July) – Despite submitting our pay claim, the settlement date has passed with no proposals from the department. As we pass our pay settlement date of 1 July, PCS has received no formal information about the Department’s intentions in relation to how they intend to approach this.  The lack of information about pay is worrying given rising levels of inflation and increased costs of essentials.  PCS has submitted our claim on behalf of members this year, which has been rejected out of hand, but we are yet to receive any proposals read more

Hands Off British Council campaign (12 July) – PCS has launched a #HandsOffBritishCouncil campaign against the slash and burn cuts announced at the end of June. British Council workers feel betrayed after suffering the uncertainty of 2020 and a pay freeze which has meant they have not received any cost of living increase since 2019. They now face compulsory redundancies following the announcement of over 2000 job cuts across the globe read more

Great support for DVLA strike with action going ahead next week (9 July) – The PCS strike action in the drivers medical section of DVLA has been phenomenally well supported this week with staff numbers on some floors down to single figures. We continue our targeted action as part of our Covid safety strike at DVLA next week in the casework and enforcement group (CAEG). PCS members within CAEG are striking on Monday (12), Thursday (15) and Friday (16). PCS met with DVLA management yesterday (8) to review the reintroduction of staff who came back into work on site from Tuesday of last week. We raised concerns about significant increased transmission rates in the local area and rising cases among staff, as well as areas where we felt the site could be made safer. When asked by PCS what emergency measures the DVLA would be implementing to ensure the current increase in rates in the community and among staff does not escalate as it did in September 2020, management told us that unless workplace transmission could be proven no action would be taken. The employer is effectively repeating its past mistakes read more

Formal consultation on redundancies begins in HMRC (9 July) – HMRC has begun formal consultation with the recognised trade unions on the latest redundancy scheme which was launched on 24 June 2021. The main unit of redundancy covers the offices in Cumbernauld and Saxon House, Leicester, that are due to close in 2022. Offers of Voluntary Redundancy have been made to 157 people at these locations who have been declared to be beyond Reasonable Daily Travel (RDT) of an alternative HMRC location. There is a further unit of redundancy comprising 70 people read more

PCS condemns end of Covid restrictions and sets out safety demands (9 July) – PCS believes Boris Johnson’s decision to end Covid restrictions in England on 19 July is wrong and we have made a series of demands to the Cabinet Office with the aim of ensuring staff and workplaces are safe. Given the rising numbers of cases caused by the Delta variant of the various and because the vaccination programme is incomplete we believe it is premature to end restrictions read more

Ask your MP to call for Mitie to withdraw fire and rehire threat (9 July) – Government security guards and other outsourced facilities management workers employed by Mitie are facing detrimental changes to their pay arrangements and being threatened with ‘fire and rehire’ if they don’t sign up to the changes. Outsourcing giant Mitie is planning to align the pay arrangements of ex-Interserve employees to that of Mitie employees resulting in low-paid, key workers losing hundreds of pounds every month read more

PCS to highlight to MPs impact of outsourcing in defence sector (9 July) – PCS will highlight the impact on communities of outsourcing of key services across the Ministry of Defence, as well as the potential benefits of bringing services back in-house, at a meeting of the parliamentary defence select committee on Monday read more

 

GMB

‘Freedom day’ must mean workers are free to stay safe (12 July) – We all want to get back to normal, but not at the cost of the putting lives at risk read more

Water industry ‘rotten’ with bosses taking millions as sewage dumped in sea (12 July) – It’s time to take back the tap and bring water back into public hands. GMB, the water union, has said the industry is ‘rotten’ as Southern Water is fined millions for dumping raw sewage into the sea. The company has been fined a record £90m for deliberately dumping between 16 and 21 billions of litres of raw sewage into protected seas over several years to avoid costs and penalties read more

GMB ambulance driver makes successful breach of contract claim against G4S (12 July) – Legal win sends clear message to thousands of employers who bid for contracts across the country that GMB will support any members when breaches occur, says union. GMB, the union for workers in the ambulance sector, can announce that a member has won in court his claim for breach of contract against G4S Health Services (UK) Limited, in a case that has ramifications for many more G4S workers who used to work for NSL read more

Care workers ‘underpaid and undervalued for too long’ (9 July) – Carers workers need a proper living wage for the amazing work they do in wake of charity report. GMB, the union for carers, says care workers have been underpaid and undervalued for too long. The warning comes as charity Community Integrated Care said other workers with similar skillsets receive an average of £7,000 more per year read more

Yodel faces ‘complete standstill’ as summer strike looms (8 July) – Anyone looking to use Yodel deliveries this summer should think again. Yodel faces a strike bringing their entire network to a standstill amid a huge driver shortage, says GMB Union. The delivery giant has imposed unworkable driver schedules, robbed drivers of annual leave by not adhering to long held agreements and offering agency drivers enhancements whilst not offering the same to the loyal directly employed workforce. GMB members working for Yodel up and down the country have asked the union to ballot them for industrial action, meaning that a strike of Yodel drivers during their peak summer trading period now looks imminent. The potential strike comes amid a mass driver shortage across the country – with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announcing a temporary extension of lorry drivers’ working hours to meet the shortage read more

HC-One faces ‘landslide of legal action’ over forced covid jabs (8 July) – Company must partake in genuine negotiations for change or GMB Union will take further action. GMB, the union for carers, says HC-One faces a ‘landslide of legal action’ if it goes ahead with plans to force all staff to get a covid jab if they want to keep their jobs. The union wrote to the company this morning asking why staff had been told the changes would come into effect from September 13 – before consultations with GMB. GMB also questions why the changes are being implemented in Scotland and Wales where there is no mandate for compulsory vaccines read more

Grieving caretaker Gary Bolister ‘callously’ sacked by council after 24 years service (7 July) – Hundreds sign petition after much-loved council workers dismissed after life time service to the borough… Gary Bolister, a 43-year old caretaker, took part in a Facebook live video as part of a protest against Islington road closures in November last year. During the clip – which Mr Bolister appeared in but did not film – an Islington Councillor was inadvertently filmed in her home by accident. The video was immediately stopped when the camera operator realised. Mr Bolister, who was mourning the loss of his father at the time, expressed full remorse – offering to write an apology to the councillor. Despite this – and despite 24 years unblemished service – Islington Council sacked Mr Bolister and refused his appeal. Hundreds of people have signed a petition and joined Facebook group in anger at his dismissal read more

Mayor of London must make proper workers rights condition of license (6 July) – In the wake of GMB Union’s historic deal with Uber all private hire operators licensed by TfL should provide proper worker rights. GMB, the union for private hire drivers, has called on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to make proper worker rights a condition of holding an operating license in the capital. Following years of court hearings, Uber drivers are now legally classified as workers. GMB recently signed an historic recognition deal with Uber that will allow at least 70,000 drivers to join the union read more

NHS workers need pay rise not further fragmentation and privatisation (6 July) – New Secretary of State gives himself more power to hand out favours to money-grabbing mates instead of putting money in the pockets of workers. GMB, the union for health and social care workers, has responded to the Government’s new Health and Social Care Bill read more

Hundreds of England fans strike at Spitfire company over pay dispute – 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

 

Unison

The forgotten frontline: council and school staff need a 10% pay rise (12 July) – UNISON is calling for a 10% pay rise for all local government workers, as financial recognition for their commitment to public service. The heroic sacrifice of NHS workers has never been far from the headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic – and rightly so. And while health workers have pulled out all the stops to keep the country going, a forgotten frontline of less visible local service workers have been tirelessly supporting schools, providing cleaning and administrative services, and caring for the elderly. These workers were underpaid and undervalued long before the pandemic hit, yet put themselves in harm’s way to help the most vulnerable in our communities read more

Masks are still crucial in the fight against Covid (13 July) – Now isn’t the time to ditch mandatory mask wearing. The Prime Minister should be providing direction to the public read more

Waiting lists won’t be reduced without investing in staff (8 July) – Proper pay rise and rest will motivate workforce. Responding to the latest NHS England data published today (Thursday) showing the extent of the treatment backlog, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “Record numbers of people are waiting for treatment, leaving them anxious and often in agony. These figures are a clear sign NHS staff will be under considerable pressure for months, if not years, to come…” read more

Reduced isolation creates more confusion and sick pay needs fixing (6 July) – More detail needed about impact on health and care isolation. Responding to the health secretary’s announcement today (Tuesday) about reducing the need to self-isolate for people who​’ve had two vaccinations, UNISON assistant general secretary Jon Richards said: “There’s a woeful lack of detail about how this will operate and how it affects health and care workers. Infections can still be passed on by those who’ve been jabbed ​but show no symptoms. There are now more questions than answers​. This announcement ​has simply created more confusion…” 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

 

CWU

Ely members give a big ‘thumbs up’ to new Royal Mail PDAs (July 9) – The East Anglian delivery office is the first in the UK to switch to the updated handheld device, and the feedback so far is all positive read more

BT strike ballot scheduled 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

 

FBU

Gillender Street fire 30th anniversary: calls for safety advances to be preserved (12 July) – Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack spoke out on the 30th anniversary of the Gillender Street fire in Tower Hamlets, London. Two firefighters died in the fire after running out of air. Wrack has personal links to the tragedy, having worked at Kingsland fire station with one of the firefighters who died, and having attended the tragedy himself on behalf of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU). The fire, on 10 July 1991, claimed the lives of Terry Hunt and David Stokoe. The fire was not brought under control for several hours, and was attended by more than 25 fire engines.  Breathing apparatus safety procedure was later criticised in relation to the fire. Wrack has drawn a clear link between the tragedy and current attempts to weaken breathing apparatus regulations for today’s firefighters, saying that the progress made after this fire and several other tragedies is in danger of being turned back. There are currently moves to weaken breathing apparatus regulation, with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) producing guidance to this end read more

NJC pay rise implemented (9 July) – The FBU has agreed to the pay proposal put forward by fire and rescue service (FRS) employers. The Executive Council (EC) agreed to the implementation of the pay proposal on 28 June, after considering the results of a members’ consultation, which took place over a three week period. The National Joint Council (NJC) has now issued the new rates of pay and CPD. The pay proposal, at a 1.5% increase (with effect from 1 July 2021), has been recognised by the EC as not enough to address the long term needs of members. However, prior to the member consultation the EC acknowledged the need to urgently improve the wages of FBU members and therefore agreed to recommend to members that the pay proposal be implemented read more

 

NEU

Support these strikes:-

Suspend Academization of Moulsecoomb Primary – Please respond to the three questions here so we can add your name to the petition. Watch Reel News video: Moulescoomb parents and staff block road at DfE

Action Date Contact
Lees Brook / City of Derby

(Restructure)

Tuesday 13 July

Wednesday 14 July

[email protected]

 

Merrill Academy / City of Derby

(Restructure)

Tuesday 13 July

Wednesday 14 July

[email protected]

 

Valence Primary /Barking & Dagenham

(Restructure)

Tuesday 13 July

Wednesday 14 July

Thursday 15 July

[email protected]
Alleyn Court Prep School/ Southend on Sea

(TPS)

Tuesday 13 July

Wednesday 14 July

Thursday 15 July

[email protected]

 

Rise in Coronavirus Clusters in Schools (8 July) – Rising infection rates increase the disruption to education, but DfE still fail to act read more

 

NASUWT

Jersey Government “reckless” in removing isolation requirements (9 July) – The decision by the States of Jersey to remove the self-isolation requirement is reckless at a time of rising cases of Covid, both in schools and the wider Jersey community, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union believes. The Union has condemned what appears to be a snap decision by ministers and its timing, which gave schools no ability to prepare for the change in measures read more

 

UCU

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

University of Liverpool hit with global boycott (9 July) – UCU hit the University of Liverpool with the ultimate sanction of an international academic boycott over the university’s refusal to halt the sacking of 21 health staff. The global boycott is the most recent escalation by the union in the long running dispute. It means UCU is asking its members, other trade unions, labour movement organisations and the international academic community to support its members at Liverpool in any way possible read more

Proposed £400m University of Cambridge collaboration with UAE ‘shameful’ (9 July) – Varsity has reported that the University of Cambridge is set to enter into a £400m financial deal with the United Arab Emirates. UCU said the proposed deal was shameful and problematic read more

Record increase in applications means universities must invest in staff (9 July) – The latest figures from UCAS show that record numbers of people are applying to study at university. Responding to the data, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘It is hugely encouraging to see record numbers of applicants to UK universities. With applications up across the sector, this is an overwhelming vote of confidence in the high-quality teaching and support that university staff provide students…” read more

Landmark agreement guarantees pay rise and job security for over 4,000 Open University staff (7 July) – New contracts will be ‘life changing’ for associate lecturers, says UCU. UCU  welcomed a transitional agreement reached with the Open University (OU) to ensure improved pay and job security as the university moves more than 4,000 associate lecturers onto new contracts. After originally agreeing new contractual terms for associate lecturers in 2018 for implementation in autumn 2021, in March OU backtracked and announced a delay read more

Government showing a ‘reckless disregard for health and safety’ (6 July) – UCU said the government was wrong to scrap Covid-19 health and safety measures in colleges & universities and needs to get the vast majority of students vaccinated 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 the Welsh Government Locked Out report about the impact of Covid-19 on disabled people (7 July) – The Equality Council calls for scrutiny of the evidence that 68 per cent of Covid-19 related deaths comprised disabled people read more

BBC survey shows an “unhappy” staff (6 July) – The BBC has reduced its workforce by more than 1,200, equivalent to 6 per cent, according to its annual report 2020/21. Senior leader numbers were also down by more than 5 percent, with spend on top stars reduced by 10 per cent. The BBC said it had made £272m annual recurring savings (up from £199m the previous year), bringing its cumulative savings since 2017/18 to £890m this financial year. In 2021/22, it plans to make cuts of more than £950m 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

Safe transition needed for returning to the workplace (9 July) – Mike Clancy responds to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s remarks about returning to the office: “At last week’s press conference, the Prime Minister said that the safe return to workplaces for those that have been working from home was a matter for employers and employees to agree, now the Chancellor is undermining that by telling employees to get back to the office…” read more

 

USDAW

BCM Fareva staff to take industrial action – Usdaw urges the Nottingham based employer to withdraw their ‘fire and rehire’ threat (9 July) – Usdaw has today announced an initial 24-hour stoppage at BCM Fareva, the Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots, which will start at 5.30am on Thursday 22 July 2021. Usdaw members voted by almost 90% to take industrial action after BCM Fareva 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 read more

Usdaw urges the Government not to weaken safety in stores and work with the union and employers on guidance (9 July) – Retail trade union Usdaw has written to the Business Secretary calling on the Government to reverse their plans to end compulsory face coverings and social distancing in shops on 19 July 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 – 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

 

IWGB

Enfield cycling instructors to protest 12 year pay freeze equivalent to 30% real pay cut Wednesday 14 July – Cycling instructors from Enfield and their colleagues will demonstrate outside Enfield Civic Centre, Silver Street from 18.45 on Wednesday 14 July, protesting against a 12 year pay freeze and worsening terms and conditions. Organised by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) the event will begin with a protest ride from their office in Bethnal Green, reaching Enfield Town Station at approx. 18.30. The main photo opportunity will be 18.30-19.30 when protesters will ride and march with banners and the IWGB samba band to demonstrate outside the Enfield Civic Centre while council is in session. The pay freeze is equivalent to a 30% real terms pay cut or £172 per week read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU members to take industrial action in Doyle Shipping Group at Dublin Port (9 July) – SIPTU members employed by Doyle Shipping Group (DSG) at Dublin Port have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in a dispute concerning their pay, terms and conditions of employment and safety concerns within their workplace read more

SIPTU members protest over plans to privatise local employment services (8 July) – SIPTU members, working in local employment services, will stage a socially distanced protest outside the Department of Social Protection to highlight their opposition to plans to privatise these essential community services on Friday, 9th July at 12.30 outside the Department of Social Protection, Áras Mhic Dhiarmada, Store Street, Dublin 1. At the protest, SIPTU representatives will launch the ‘Our Community is Not for Sale’ campaign demanding an immediate halt to tenders for private companies to bid for state contracts to run programmes to assist people getting back into the workforce read more

 

Other News

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

Romania: Stop union busting in Bucharest metro read more

Turkey: Groupe Bel – Respect collective bargaining rights & end the strike read more

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]

NUJ “shocked” at shooting of Peter R de Vries (7 July) – The union has joined the condemnations and expressed its shock at the shooting of the Dutch investigative journalist in Amsterdam on Tuesday 6 July read more

 

Diary

NSSN Organising meeting: Stop the Freeports Race to the Bottom – 7.30pm Wednesday 21 July Facebook event

Sunday September 12th – 1pm NSSN TUC Rally

 

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP   or STOP The CUTS  Likes page

ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE