545: United action against the Tories on public sector pay

July 27, 2021 in Bulletins

Public sector workers, headed by those in the NHS and education, are rightly furious after the Tories finally made their pay announcements.

The 3% to be awarded to NHS staff, who have been on the front line risking their lives during Covid, is nowhere near what has been lost over the last decade. That’s why many health workers have been demanding 15%. But to rub salt in to the wounds, this rise must come out of the existing NHS budget. This means brutal cuts on top of all the Tory austerity we’ve already had.

It’s even worse for teachers, with a pay freeze. Local government workers have already been offered 1.75% and those in higher education 1.5%, further education staff 1% while many civil servants just a paltry £250 for lowest paid members and nothing for the rest.

The NSSN stands in solidarity with these and all public sector workers who are effectively receiving a pay cut as RPI inflation moves over 3%. After years of cuts to their income, the most effective way to get the pay rise they deserve is to fight together.

We support all demonstrations and industrial action that workers take. NSSN chair Rob Williams spoke at the ‘NHS Workers Say NO’ parliamentary protest last Tuesday to bring solidarity from the Network. He said that if NHS workers took action, it would get massive support.

Workers are stronger when they take action together. The NSSN calls on unions and their members to reject these insulting offers and co-ordinate industrial action ballots so that if the Tories don’t back down, millions of public sector workers can take action together to get the pay rise they deserve.

‘NHS Workers Say NO’ parliamentary protest 20 July

‘NHS Workers Say NO’ parliamentary protest 20 July

Health protests this week in London:-

Tuesday 27th July – Doctors in Unite ‘Over lack of enhanced PPE for health and social care staff’. 6pm outside Department of Health, 39 Victoria St, London SW1H 0EU

Friday 30th July – Unite, GMB, NHS Workers Say NO ‘Enough is Enough: 3% is an insult! Now is the time to fight’. 5pm St Thomas and UCLH hospitals

 

Pay Review Body’s three per cent pay recommendation ‘grossly inadequate’ for NHS staff, says Unite (21 July)

Unite: Proposed 3 per cent pay award for Welsh NHS workers “insulting” (23 July)

GMB: ‘Insulting’ NHS pay offer fails to value health workers (21 July)

GMB: NHS workers lose up to £9,000 per year during decade of real-terms pay cuts (22 July)

GMB Southern announces series of lunchtime hospital protests on Tuesday August 17 over insulting 3% pay offer (23 July)

GMB nurses stage Sheffield banner protest over real-terms pay cut (23 July)

Unison: Delayed pay rise will leave staff disappointed, say health unions (21 July)

Unison: Government’s treatment of NHS staff is disgraceful (21 July)

Unison: Prime Minister must intervene to fund a fair pay rise for council workers (26 July)

RCN: We’ll consult members on what action they want to take in response to 3% pay award (21 July)

NIPSA: Update for Members re NHS (Agenda for Change) Pay (23 July)

NIPSA: Health Service Workers’ Pay Offer ‘Derisory’ (22 July)

NIPSA: NHS Pay Announcement (21 July)

NEU: Teacher pay freeze (21 July)

Education unions react to publication of STRB report on pay (23 July)

“Pay freeze will further anger already demoralised teachers”, says the NASUWT (21 July)

Prospect: Constraining pay in this way is economically illiterate (22 July)

 

Support these NHS strikes:-

Lancashire biomedical scientists to hold second strike ballot in pay upgrade dispute – Biomedical scientists at a Lancashire NHS trust are being re-balloted for strike action in an upgrading pay row, after bosses failed to ‘meaningfully engage’ in talks with Acas, the conciliation service. The 21 biomedical scientists at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust have been on strike since 31 May and that action is due to end on Wednesday 28 July. The strike ballot opens on Wednesday 21 July and closes on Tuesday 27 July and could result in industrial action into the autumn. 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

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

 

GMB Yorkshire hospital strike off after massive pay win for workers (23 July)

 

Report of NSSN ‘Stop the Freeports Race to the Bottom’ meeting

The NSSN hosted an impressive online meeting on Wednesday 21 July on Freeports.

The Tories have announced their plan for 8 new Freeports, allegedly to boost jobs. But correctly unions have flagged up the dangers of bosses using them to attack trade union agreements that protect workers’ pay, terms and conditions and pensions.

The NSSN agreed at our annual conference in June to assist with initiatives in opposing more attacks on workers, on top of the fire and rehire offensive that we are currently seeing.

National executive members from Unite, RMT and USDAW spoke at the meeting and a national officer from the RMT. It was agreed to ensure that the issue of Freeports was raised at the NSSN TUC Rally in September and that another national meeting would take place in the autumn, with a plan for a national day of action against the race to the bottom.

The NSSN thanked Solidarity Shouts for merging their planned meeting on Freeports into ours. They supported this meeting along with Southampton & South West Hampshire Trades Union Council and others.

Unite signs historic ‘freeports’ recognition deal with XPO on Nestle contract at East Midlands Gateway (21 July)

Unite: Questions asked over Teesside petrochemical job losses as Freeport boom looms (21 July)

 

Sunday September 12th – 12pm 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

Confirmed speaker: Sarah Woolley BFAWU General Secretary   Facebook event

Zoom details:-
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86116774093?pwd=OVNvZldISGozKzd6U0QvL1hBWEI3Zz09

Meeting ID: 861 1677 4093
Passcode: NSSN2021

 

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!

 

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, ASLEF, TSSA: Online Public Meeting – ‘The Future of Eurostar, how can we save out green link to Europe?’ 6.30pm Wednesday 4th August details

 

RMT

BREAKING NEWS!! Train Managers to strike on East Midlands Railway (27 July) – RAIL UNION RMT said that Train Managers on East Midlands Railway will be striking on Sundays in August and September as they escalate industrial action in their ongoing dispute over safety on Class 360 trains. East Midlands Railway has imposed new working arrangements on the multi-unit 12 carriage Class 360 Trains that the union believes are unsafe with only one Train Manager working on them. The industrial action will take place as follows:

The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and believes that we have no other alternative than to escalate the dispute and call strike action in the form of not working 12 car trains alone and strike action cross a number Sundays. Therefore, East Midlands Railway Train Managers are instructed to not book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 8th August 2021
  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 15th August 2021
  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 22nd August 2021
  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 29th August 2021
  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 5th September 2021
  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 12th September 2021
  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 19th September 2021
  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 26th September 2021

Furthermore, you and your colleagues are instructed to take part in the following strike action in the form of:

  • Not to work 12 car trains alone from 0001 Hours on Saturday 7th August 2021 until further notice.

Please Note: The above industrial strike action, is suspended during the Sunday strike action dates above, but will commence again immediately at 0001 hours on the Monday, following the Sunday strike action, and will be suspended again at 2359 on each Saturday, on the eve of the Sunday action read more

BREAKING NEWS!! NIGHT TUBE STRIKE GOES AHEAD (27 July) – Strike action over London Underground plans to abolish Night Tube Train Drivers’ grade goes ahead next month as company ‎block progress in ACAS talks. TUBE UNION RMT said today that strike action across the network over plans by London Underground to abolish the Night Tube Train Drivers’ grade will go ahead next month after the company refused ‎to make any serious progress in ACAS talks this week. 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 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 entered ACAS talks in good faith this week only to meet a wall of opposition from London Underground who refused point-blank to engage with any constructive proposals aimed at resolving the dispute. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “RMT is angry and frustrated at the Tube bosses’ refusal to engage in constructive discussions through the offices of ACAS that could resolve this dispute…” read more

Video: abolition of Night Tube grade dispute ACAS update 2 (July 26) – In this second update video, filmed after today’s ACAS meeting (26th of July 2021), regional organiser John Leach updates members on the dispute. In the video, John Leach explains our position and management’s response. At present the dispute remains on – more info, including strike dates read more

RMT to take strike action on London Underground – RMT to take strike action over London Underground plans to abolish Night Tube Train Drivers’ grade. TUBE UNION RMT said today (13 July) 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 read more

Scotrail members fight on for pay justice (25 July) – RMT Scotrail members fight on for pay justice in long-running dispute. RMT Scotrail members are standing strong and fighting on again today for pay justice and equality in one of Britain’s longest running industrial disputes read more

RMT demands clarification on isolation scheme (24 July) – Transport union RMT demands urgent clarification on expanded isolation exemption scheme. TRANSPORT UNION RMT‎ has demanded urgent clarification and discussions on the reported expansion of isolation exemptions for some transport workers, warning that the failure to brief unions on the plans risks sewing more confusion and doing more damage read more

Merseyrail cleaners strike and protest tomorrow in fight for pay justice (22 July) – Rail union RMT Mitie station and accommodation cleaners on the Merseyrail Contract are taking strike action and demonstrating in support of pay justice tomorrow – Friday 23rd July. The demonstration, involving the cleaners and their supporters, will be outside Mitie and Merseyrail’s Liverpool Headquarters at Rail House, Lord Nelson Street, Liverpool L1 1JF at 8am on Friday 23rd July. The cleaners voted by a massive majority for action over the offer of a pitiful increase in their poverty pay rates which would have still left them far short of the Real Living Wage and the absolute minimum of £10 an hour which RMT is campaigning for as recognition of these real heroes of the COVID pandemic who have worked throughout read more

RMT demands urgent investigation into Troon Station fire (22 July) – RMT demands urgent investigation into Troon Station fire following revelations station was completely unstaffed. RAIL UNION RMT today demanded an urgent investigation from the rail health and safety regulator into the risks posed by unstaffed stations following revelations that Troon station was completely unstaffed at the time of a devastating fire at the weekend read more

RMT responds to Government review (22 July) – RMT responds to Government review of long-term plans for major road and rail schemes. RAIL UNION RMT has responded to an announcement by the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP to review the National Policy Statement for National Networks read more

RMT on Seafarer fatality on Seatruck Ferries (21 July) – RATINGS UNION RMT today responded to the news of the death of a seafarer following an incident on the Seatruck ferry Clipper Pennant, moored at Brocklebank Dock, Port of Liverpool. RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch said: “Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the seafarer who lost his life at work yesterday on the Clipper Pennant…” read more

Transport for Wales rail services become dangerously overcrowded (21 July) – As Transport for Wales rail services become dangerously overcrowded RMT writes to Welsh Government transport minister to demand the government “get a grip” and take urgent action to stop the abuse of rail workers read more

MPs and Peers backs ending the privatisation of cleaning (20 July) – In the week lockdown restrictions are eased a new Cross-party coalition of MPs and Peers backs rail and tube safety case for ending the privatisation of cleaning read more

RMT calls new Serco Caledonian Sleeper‎ strike dates (20 July) – RMT calls new phase of industrial action in Serco Caledonian Sleeper‎ pay fight. RAIL UNION RMT has called a new phase of industrial action in its ongoing dispute over pay justice for Serco Caledonian Sleeper workers. The action has been called after negotiations with Serco, under the auspices of ACAS, failed with the company refusing to offer a revised pay award without a series of “efficiency savings”. RMT members employed on the Serco Caledonian Sleeper have already taken a number of rock-solid days of strike 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. The union’s National Executive Committee has taken the decision to call further action as follows:-

With effect from 00:01 hours on Friday 30th July 2021, until further notice, members are be instructed:-

  • Not to work any Higher-Grade Duty

Additionally, the instruction to Serco Caledonian Sleeper members not to work any overtime and not to work on rest days remains in place until further notice read more

Edinburgh Rail Gourmet strike rock solid – Edinburgh Rail Gourmet strike rock solid again today (17 July) in fight to end bullying. RAIL UNION RMT said today that Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley are solidly supporting the latest round of strike action this weekend in a fight to end a culture of workplace bullying and harassment. RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “‎I am proud to report that our Edinburgh Rail Gourmet members are standing rock soild again this morning and are attacting widespread support for their action read more

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

Remembering the Newton rail crash (21 July) – A memorial plaque with flower wreaths laid in front of it. One of the wreaths has the ASLEF logo on its card. Today we marked the 30th anniversary of the Newton rail tragedy when two drivers – ASLEF members Reginald McEwan, 61, and David Scott, 27 – and two passengers – Kenneth Meechan, 20, and Tracy Donnachie, 18 – lost their lives read more

Too hot to handle – driving cabs in the heat (21 July) – A train moving underneath electrification wires, with a queue of cars to the left and an empty track to the right. As temperatures across the UK soar, many people are concerned about the difficulties of working in such hot conditions. Currently, there is no law about a maximum safe working temperature, and even the laws that do cover workplace temperature don’t apply to train drivers’ cabs read more

 

TSSA

TfL revised budget shows the need for government backing (26 July) – Transport for London (TfL) has “pulled out all the stops” to keep services running and get finances under control and now is the time for government to provide essential support, says TSSA. Ahead of Wednesday’s TfL board meeting, a new budget has been published which shows an improved position on funding requirements – down from £2.7bn in the March 2021/22 budget, to £1.9bn in the latest budget. This has been achieved through a combination of higher operational savings, some deferrals of elements of the capital programme into later financial years and use of its own cash read more

Great Western Railway: TSD Recognition Framework (22 July) – TSSA is close to winning collective bargaining for Managers in the Train Service Delivery (TSD) department read more

 

Unite                      

BREAKING NEWS!! Bexley’s bin strike extended as contractor Serco fails to negotiate (27 July) – The long hot smelly summer of bin strikes in the south London borough of Bexley is set to continue as Unite the union, which represents the workforce, announced further industrial action. Unite issued the additional strike dates as the contractor, controversial outsourcing giant Serco has failed to enter into negotiations. The strikes involving 140 refuse workers began on July 12 and the workers are now in their third week of strike action in a dispute over pay and the victimisation of workers. The fresh strike dates will see the workers walk out from Monday 9 August until Sunday 22 August. If these strikes go ahead as planned then the workers will have been on strike for a total of six weeks. Strikes are continuing despite Bexley council stripping Serco of the refuse collection contract which will be transferred to Countrystyle Recycling in October 2021 read more

‘Long hot stinking summer in Bexley’ as Serco bin strikes stretch into August (23 July) – There will be a ‘long hot stinking summer in Bexley’ as new Serco bin strikes mean rubbish will remain uncollected into August, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today. Around 140 workers, who are members of Unite, began striking over pay and other issues on 12 July, with the current round of strike action ending this Sunday (25 July). Unite has announced that the strike will resume on Monday morning (26 July) and continue until Sunday 1 August, with more strikes dates set to be announced. The workers will hold daily pickets outside the Thames Road refuse depot in Crayford (see notes to editors for details). Unite has previously called for an end to ‘heavy handed’ policing at the picket line. The strikes will continue even though Bexley council has announced that Serco’s contract will not be renewed when it expires in October, with Countrystyle Recycling taking over instead read more

Support the Bexley bin strikeSend 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 read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Four-day strike action set to begin by Aberdeen housing services workers (27 July) – Unite Scotland has announced that around 40 of its members in Aberdeen city council’s housing services department are set to take four days of strike action from today (Tuesday 27 July). The four-day strike action which represents a ‘major escalation’ in the dispute will commence at 08.30 on Tuesday 27 July and will continue until 08.29 on Saturday 31 July. There will be pickets at Marischal College (Aberdeen city council headquarters) on these dates. Unite’s members have already taken several days action in relation to a dispute over cuts and reorganisation in the council’s housing services department. Housing officers and support officers have repeatedly warned that they have reached ‘breaking point’ due to the damaging effects on work morale resulting from cuts to the housing support service, and plans to merge the housing officers and support officers roles together read more

Unite protest against union-busting on HS2 – 12pm Friday 6th August, corner of Hampstead Road/Roberts Street (near Euston Station), London  NW1 3EL

Doctors in Unite holds protest in London tomorrow over lack of enhanced PPE for health and social care staff (26 July) – Doctors in Unite (DiU) has organised a demonstration in London tomorrow (Tuesday 27 July) over the failure to offer proper PPE protection against airborne transmission to health and social care staff during the continuing coronavirus crisis. Doctors in Unite  is protesting at what it claims is the continued refusal of Public Health England (PHE) to review their guidance to properly protect NHS and social care staff against airborne transmission of Covid-19. The socially distanced protest will be outside the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), 39 Victoria St, London SW1H 0EU at 18.00 tomorrow (Tuesday 27 July) read more

Hospitality: New Unite survey reveals high levels of low pay, bullying and discrimination (July 26) – As indoor hospitality re-opens, over half of respondents report non-adherence to Covid guidelines. July 26th: Unite, which represents hospitality workers, today (Monday) released the findings of a survey of hospitality workers in the sector.  As indoor hospitality re-opens, the research presents a worrying picture of an industry characterised by low pay, bullying and discrimination against women and migrant workers read more

Unite demands independent bus audit as London drivers warn of heat distress (23 July) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents over 20,000 London bus workers, is calling on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) to institute an independent audit of air conditioning systems for all London buses. The call comes after many drivers in the capital raised concerns about the air conditioning in their cabs not working, or being inadequate during the recent hot weather, resulting in sweltering temperatures and fears that drivers could become so fatigued by the heat it could impinge on road safety. The problem of malfunctioning air conditioning is not new and has become a yearly occurrence. As well as boiling temperatures in the summer it can also lead to freezing conditions during the winter months read more

‘Vaccination is not immunisation’ as Scottish government announcement criticised by Unite (23 July) – Unite Scotland has criticised today’s (23 July) announcement by the Scottish government on workers suspected of contracting Covid not being required to self-isolate, stating that it could lead to a new spike in the pandemic read more

Liverpool insurance workers being transferred to Direct Line sparks concerns over future job security, says Unite (23 July) – Concern has been expressed as to the future job security and employment conditions of about 500 employees at the Liverpool-based RSA Motability (RSAM) who are being transferred to the Direct Line Group (DLG) which does not recognise trade unions, however the union has given a guarded welcome that Direct Line has agreed to recognise Unite for transferees of Motability read more

Universal Credit cut “heartless and economically irresponsible” (23 July) – Responding to government confirmation that Universal Credit will be cut by £20-a-week on 1 October, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said:  “The determination to rob the poorest workers and families of £20 a week from October is heartless and economically irresponsible…” read more

Barry Gardiner MP to join Somerset demonstration against Clarks fire and rehire attacks (23 July) – Labour MP Barry Gardiner will join a demonstration against fire and rehire practices at Clarks outside the shoemakers’ headquarters in Street, Somerset, this Monday (26 July) read more

Beer drought on cards as XPO delivery drivers hold strike ballot over ‘paltry’ pay offer (23 July) – A beer drought is on the cards as about 1,000 drivers, their ‘mates’ and warehouse staff who deliver top brands, such as Heineken, are being balloted for industrial action over a ‘paltry’ pay offer, Unite the union said today (Friday 23 July). The workers, employed by XPO Logistics Drinks Ltd, are based at 26 sites and are responsible for about 40 per cent of the beer deliveries across the UK. Unite will start balloting its members from Wednesday (28 July) for strike action and industrial action short of a strike over the company’s offer of 1.4 per cent for 2021, which is well below the current RPI inflation rate of 3.9 per cent. The ballot closes on Monday 9 August read more

DAA: Unite warns company against outsourcing attempts (July 23) – Union accuses DAA of singling out members for discriminatory treatment. Unite, which represents craft workers at Dublin Airport, this evening (Friday) warned the DAA against any attempt to outsource work in Asset Care.  The warning follows a statement by the DAA this evening in which the company indicates its intention to commence engagement regarding the provision of frontline maintenance services through third party providers, notwithstanding the fact that the Labour Court recommendation to which the company’s statement refers has not been rejected by Unite read more

DfI Roads workers at Woodburn depot to strike over inaction on management bullying (July 21) – After 90.9 percent strike vote, workforce pickets to be deployed at Woodburn DfI Roads in Derry/Londonderry during twenty-four strike, which starts midnight on Thursday, July 22rd. Road Service workers’ union Unite warns first twenty-four hour stoppage at Woodburn likely to escalate in absence of Ministerial intervention read more

Questions asked over Teesside petrochemical job losses as Freeport boom looms (21 July) – Serious questions are being asked why Sabic, the biggest petrochemical company on Teesside, is adopting a policy of job losses and outsourcing of maintenance staff, while being an enthusiastic supporter of the proposed Freeport which, it is claimed, will create 18,000 jobs. Unite the union has instigated a grievance procedure against Sabic, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Aramco petrochemicals giant, over the compulsory jobs losses of four production workers and one lab staff; and the TUPE transfer of about 40 more to two outsourced companies, R&A Kay and Bilfinger read more

Unite signs historic ‘freeports’ recognition deal with XPO on Nestle contract at East Midlands Gateway (21 July) – Unite has secured a recognition agreement for workers employed by logistics giant XPO on the Nestle contract, based at the East Midlands Gateway. The recognition agreement is a landmark for Unite, the UK’s leading union, as it the first of its type to be secured since the government announced the creation of freeports in the UK. It is significant as there are valid concerns that as well as providing tax breaks to companies, freeports could be used to reduce workers’ rights and weaken health and safety laws read more

Unite offshore members balloted over COTA offer (20 July) – Unite the union today (20 July) confirmed its offshore catering members have been balloted over a pay offer from the Catering Offshore Trade Association (COTA). The consultative ballot covers around 2,750 workers in seven offshore catering companies including Conntrak, ESS, Entier, Trinity, Aramark, Sodexo and Foss. The ballot opened on 19 July and it will close on the 2 August. The result of the consultative ballot will be announced on the following day (3 August). Unite’s membership covered by COTA deliver catering and ancillary services across installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). The trade union’s negotiating committee is recommending Unite’s members reject the 1 per cent offer on basic pay, which is also not being backdated to last year as previously agreed by COTA read more

Gloucester braced for parcel delays as UPS workers announce strike action (20 July) – The city of Gloucester is braced for a summer of delays and disruption to parcel deliveries after workers at the local depot of UPS  announced strike action in a long running dispute over bullying, health and safety and dignity at work. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have been trying to resolve the issues in the workplace at Gloucester Business Park, Hurricane Road, for 18 months without success and have been left with no option but to ballot for strike action. Over 50 members of staff were balloted and members recorded a 100 per cent vote in favour of strike action. The first strike, which will last for 24 hours, will begin on Friday 30 July. This will be followed by a week-long strike from Monday 2 August until Friday 6 August. There will then be further 24-hour strike actions on 9, 27, 31 August. Strike dates have also been announced for September with a three-day strike beginning on 1 September and a 24-hour strike on 6 September read more

Government decision to end free Covid test for employers labelled ‘barmy’, by Unite (20 July) – The government’s decision to no longer supply free lateral flow tests to employers has been labelled ‘barmy’ by Unite, the UK’s leading union, which has warned that the decision will lead to an increase in exposure to Covid-19 in the workplace read more

Unite statement on the Labour party’s proposals to proscribe groups and create `Star Chamber’ for future exclusions (19 July) – Unite, the UK’s leading union and the Labour party’s most significant affiliate, has issued the following comment ahead of tomorrow’s (Tuesday) meeting of the NEC: “This is another disheartening move by a Labour leadership whose priorities could not be more different from those of working people and our members…” read more

Barnoldswick workers to begin strike action as battle to save historic Rolls Royce plant is renewed – A group of specialist engineers employed at the Rolls Royce plant in Barnoldswick, Lancashire will begin strike action tomorrow (Monday 19 July) after fears for the long term future of the site resurfaced. Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, held a long running strike before Christmas in opposition to plans to scale back production at the factory, the cradle of the jet engine, and which workers believed spelt the long-term demise of the factory. Following the industrial action an agreement was reached between Rolls-Royce and Unite which guaranteed the future of the factory. Crucially, as part of the deal it was agreed that Barnoldswick would continue with a minimum headcount of 350 workers and a centre of excellence would be built to train the workers of tomorrow. However following a meeting in mid-May Unite was forced to issue a failure to agree notice with Rolls-Royce as local managers made it clear that they were not planning to reach the 350 headcount figure and the offload of work had been accelerated. Unite has been attempting to resolve the matter and seek reassurances about Barnoldswick’s long-term future, without success. This has left Unite and the workforce no option but to take strike action to end the fears that the site is once again under threat. The initial ballot of 17 engineers will lead to targeted strike action beginning on Monday 19 July with the final day of strike action on Friday 23 July which will affect the planned annual shutdown at the factory. Further strike action involving the engineers is scheduled to begin on Monday 9 August and ending on Friday 20 August, which will continue to cause major disruption at the factory. Unite will now ballot for strike action all of the remaining workers in the factory and manufacturing engineering staff who validate work at Barnoldswick and throughout the world. If they vote in favour of industrial action, strikes could begin late this summer. Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: “Our members have been forced to take strike action as the long-term viability of Barnoldswick is once again under threat read more

Email messages of support via [email protected] and send donations online to: account name, Barnoldswick workers mutual society, sort code, 05 02 22 account number 36192613

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

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. 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

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

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

Support striking workers at JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) in Banbury – Email messages of support and donate to the hardship fund via [email protected]

Banbury coffee workers to vote on deal that removes ‘fire and rehire’ plan, Unite announces (19 July)

 

PCS

Support the joint PCS-UVW Royal Parks strike

PCS: Talks start but Royal Parks strike is still on (26 July) – PCS has had a first, and constructive discussion, with Just Ask Services, the company that employs cleaners and toilet attendants for the Royal Parks. We put six demands on the company, and we think progress can be made on 3 of them. That still leaves proposed job cuts, forced mobility and parity between Jusk Ask employees and those working directly for Royal Parks. It is clear that a lot of work will have to be done on those issues until a possible agreement could be reached. Therefore the strike on Friday (30 July) is still on. PCS, which is working closely with the United Voices of the World union, is calling on all in the trade union and labour movement to join our rally at 9.30am on Friday at the Old Police House read more

UVW: Support the joint PCS-UVW Royal Parks strike – On Friday 30th July migrant park attendants across London’s Royal Parks who are dual carding with UVW and PCS will be kicking off a summer of strikes in a bid to end outsourcing and be treated as equals. They will need all the solidarity they can get and donating to their strike fund is a great way to show that solidarity. So if you can, please donate

Update on MoJ pay negotiations (26 July) – Negotiations on a three-year pay offer have been ongoing since last year. These were put on hold while the business case for the offer was cleared by the Cabinet Office and Treasury. Once negotiations have been concluded, the offer will need to go back to the Cabinet Office and Treasury for final approval and sign off and then, once this is received, the details will be shared with Ministry of Justice staff read more

Valuation Office – period dignity campaign (23 July) – Free sanitary products will be made available in all offices across the network. Several years ago PCS raised the question of free sanitary provision being available in all VOA offices, sadly due to other VOAC’s pressing demands at the time the conversation went no further. However we are pleased to announce that after a successful campaign by PCS reps in HMRC and through further discussion earlier this month the VOA has confirmed free sanitary products will be made available in all offices across the network starting with those we share with HMRC read more

Valuation Office – CCA Academy (23 July) – Ongoing concern for amount of time PCS members spend on training/buddying academy colleagues while also being expected to maintain a high level of personal output read more

PCS campaign leads to win over pay changes (22 July) – Mitie has agreed to withdraw its proposals for changes to the frequency of security guards’ pay. Mitie has formally confirmed that it is withdrawing proposals to change salaried security guards’ pay frequency to a 4-weekly/13 per year pay frequency following a campaign by PCS member read more

PCS stresses need for caution as Covid restrictions relaxed (21 July) – Workers should not be forced back into offices and should work from home where possible, PCS has told the Cabinet Office as Covid restrictions ease across the UK read more

Ministers exposed as having scuppered deal to end DVLA strike at select committee (21 July) – Transport minister Baroness Vere admitted to the parliamentary transport select committee that she interfered to stop a comprehensive deal to end DVLA dispute from being put in place. In a day of testimony which included PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka, PCS DVLA Branch Chair Sarah Evans, Baroness Vere and DVLA CEO Julie Lennard, it was clear that the deal to end the dispute was scuppered by ministerial interference read more

DVLA strike action: the road ahead (20 July) – Following a series of weeks of successful targeted strikes PCS has served notice of a further 4 weeks of targeted industrial action at the DVLA with members in the drivers medical group set to walk out from 2 to 31 August. We are asking all PCS members in drivers medical, the department which decides whether drivers who have medical conditions are fit to drive safely, to take strike action over Covid safety read more

Three day strike by ISS members ends strongly (21 July) – Cleaners, security guards and other support staff employed by ISS have taken three days of strike action in their dispute over pay, bonuses and annual leave. This week’s strike action has seen diverse and vibrant picket lines where the mood was upbeat, with singing, dancing and chanting throughout. The sound of vuvuzelas rang out around Westminster on each morning. On Tuesday an impromptu march took place around the BEIS estate where the members work, and the PCS message was made loud and clear. Today strikers on the picket line heard from their branch negotiators about the talks that had taken place, with a message of support from PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka. PCS president, Fran Heathcote, supported the picket line on Tuesday and Wednesday and assistant general secretary, John Moloney, and Chris Stephens MP chair of the PCS Parliamentary group, also visited and expressed solidarity read more

 

GMB

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

BREAKING NEWS!! GMB pulls funding for Labour Party in London after grieving caretaker sacked (27 July) – Gary Bolister’s sacking over honest error looks like political victimisation, says GMB London. GMB has withdrawn funding for the Labour party in London after a grieving caretaker was sacked after 24 years’ service. The union – one of the labour party’s biggest donors – turned off the taps following the ‘callous’ dismissal Gary Bolister. “Gary is utterly devastated by his sacking – working for Islington council, where he was born and raised, was his passion and his vocation. His callous sacking over an honest error is beginning to look like political victimisation” – Warren Kenny, GMB Regional Secretary read more

Self-isolation exemptions gamble with keyworkers’ lives (23 July) – GMB union has responded to further government announcements today (Friday 23 July) which reveal new details on the workers in England that may be exempt from self-isolation rules, including those working in energy, food, transport and chemicals sectors read more

GMB condemns horrifying attacks on Asda workers in Clapham (23 July) – Attacks on retail workers are on the increase Parliament must act now to toughen the law. GMB, the Asda union, have condemned a ‘horrifying’ attack on Asda workers in Clapham read more

Workers vote to strike at Serco Sandwell over ‘culture of anxiety’ (23 July) – Massive support for industrial action over lack of PPE, bullying and harassment. Workers at Serco Sandwell have voted to strike over working conditions. “GMB members are using their power to fight for a fair, respectful and safe workplace. They’re prepared to act where necessary to protect their livelihoods and wellbeing” – Justine Jones, GMB Regional Organiser. More than 87 per cent of those eligible voted for industrial action – with workers reporting anxiety and dread over coming to work due to a toxic culture of threatening behaviour from management – with some workers being forced into difficult situations compromising their health and safety. GMB Union will now meet with workers to discuss strike dates read more

GMB calls for public enquiry into Croydon tram crash (23 July) – Given that one of the victims who tragically lost their lives in 2016 was one of our members, it is our duty to ensure that those who use public transport to get to work are able to do so safely. GMB Southern Region is once again calling for a public enquiry into the Croydon Tram incident at Sandilands in November 2016. In the wake of the inquest, which concluded on Thursday 22nd July and declared the deaths as accidental, the union is again calling on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to take immediate action read more

GMB Yorkshire hospital strike off after massive pay win for workers (23 July) – Porters, cleaners and caterers at Airedale Hospital will now get the same pay as their colleagues. A strike involving more than 150 NHS workers has been officially called off after a massive win for outsourced NHS workers. Porters, cleaners and caterers at Airedale Hospital, in Steeton, were due to walk out in a dispute over pay. Cleaning, catering and portering services at the hospital were outsourced to a wholly owned subsidiary – AGH Solutions – in 2018. “Knowing you get paid less for the same work than some of your mates in the same job, especially when you have two kids to care for, is gut-wrenching. This deal means a lot to me” – Blake Cooper, Porter at the Hospital. Staff transferred at the time have kept their NHS pay, terms and conditions – but any new starters are now paid on lower AGH solutions rates for doing the same job. Industrial action was called off after the NHS trust intervened and pledged to increase the funding available to ensure an end to the two-tier workforce. The GMB victory means the workers will see their pay significantly increase from the date of the agreement – with the hourly pay for the majority of workers will going up from £9.00 per hour to £9.77 per hour this year, aligning fully with the NHS Band 2 hourly rates of pay by next year read more

GMB nurses stage Sheffield banner protest over real-terms pay cut (23 July) – GMB NHS staff gathered on footbridge over park square roundabout with banners to protest the 3% pay award for all NHS workers. The demonstration took place the day after the government snuck out the pay award to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny, whilst MPs are packing up for summer and fails to match the 15% pay increase – or £2 per hour – GMB has been calling for to make up for a decade of real terms pay cuts for NHS key workers deserve. The 3 per cent offer is lower than inflation, which was 3.9 per cent in June (according to the RPI index) read more

GMB Southern announces series of lunchtime hospital protests over insulting 3% pay offer (23 July) – Exhausted and demoralised NHS staff are leaving the service and this insulting pay offer will escalate that, says GMB Union. GMB, the union for all NHS staff, has announced a day of lunchtime protests on Tuesday, August 17 to take place outside hospital buildings across the South East read more

Pay care workers £15 per hour or face unsafe staffing (22 July) – GMB union is calling on the Government to pay workers for the job they do, or risk thousands walking away from the sector or refusing vaccine jabs. GMB, the union for care workers, has hit out at the Government’s imposition of mandatory vaccinations for care home workers in England. The government estimates as many as 70,000 staff could lose their job in November at the end of the 16 week grace period for not taking vaccine. GMB has previously told the Department for Health and Social Care up to a third of workers in social care would consider quitting as a result of the legislation being brought in read more

Barry gravediggers vote unanimously for strike action (20 July) – Gravediggers in Barry have voted unanimously for strike action after the council demanded they work until 7pm during the summer. The overwhelming result means the workers are now consulting on strike dates during August. The vote follows Barry town council’s decision to walk away from negotiations with GMB union and served notice to six cemetery workers to impose a unilateral change to Terms and Conditions of employment, forcing them to work until 7pm in summer months, without their consent read more

British Gas fire & rehire dispute ‘over’ after GMB members back improved pay deal (20 July) – GMB Union will never forget British Gas actions but agreement provides way forward. GMB, the energy union, declared an end to the long and bitter British Gas fire and rehire dispute after workers backed a new, improved pay deal with a ration of 3 to 1. Around 7,000 British Gas engineers staged 44 days of strike action after the company threatened to sack them if they didn’t sign up to detrimental changes to their terms and conditions. In the end, almost 500 workers were dismissed. After gruelling negotiations, a new deal offers improvements to overtime rates and unsocial hours payments, places limits on the amount of unsocial working undertaken, reverses the decision to close the defined benefit pension scheme to new starters and opens the door for those who left the business to return. GMB members accepted the deal by 75.5% to 24.5% 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

Prime Minister must intervene to fund a fair pay rise for council workers (26 July) – Local services will only be resilient with “a valued and fairly rewarded workforce”. UNISON has today (Monday) urged the Prime Minister to make funding available for council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who keep communities safe and clean, educate children and care for the sick and elderly to have the pay rise they deserve read more

Delayed pay rise will leave staff disappointed, say health unions (21 July) – Government announcement falls short of expectations. Health unions representing 1.2 million NHS staff in England have responded to the 3% NHS pay rise announced by the government today (Wednesday), which accepts the recommendation made by the independent pay review body read more

Government’s treatment of NHS staff is disgraceful (21 July) – Just as NHS staff thought ministers were at last to announce the pay rise they’ve more than earned, hopes have been cruelly dashed. The government has led NHS workers a merry dance and ministers should hang their heads in shame at such disgraceful treatment (Wednesday), says UNISON. Despite a widespread expectation that the long-awaited pay announcement would happen today, ministers have cruelly dashed the hopes of thousands of exhausted and dedicated health workers, the union added 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

NHS pay deal ‘a bitter blow’ to nursing staff in England and Wales (21 July) – We’ll consult members on what action they want to take in response to 3% pay award. Members protest outside Westminster over pay. The UK government has announced that NHS staff in England will be given a 3% pay rise for 2021-22. The Welsh government has said staff working for the NHS in Wales will get the same. That’s lower than the rate of inflation, which is expected to hit 3.7% this year, meaning staff will effectively get a pay cut. Ministers in Westminster had been expected to make announcements on Tuesday (20 July) and earlier on Wednesday (21 July) read more

 

NIPSA

Update for Members re NHS (Agenda for Change) Pay (23 July) – Health and Social Care Trade Unions are issuing this joint-members’ update today having met and discussed yesterday’s announcement by the UK Government of a derisory 3% pay offer in Health, and the understandable and immediate reaction by workers on the ground who feel insulted at an announcement lacking any detail as Parliament enters summer recess. HSC staff across the system in Northern Ireland have waited too long for a pay increase that reflects their work and sacrifices, and for the last 18 months most notably through the Covid-19 Pandemic. After years of lagging pay, ongoing vacancy problems and ever-decreasing morale, this is an affront to workers, especially as it is scant movement from the 1% mentioned just months before read more

Health Service Workers’ Pay Offer ‘Derisory’ (22 July) – Northern Ireland Trade Unions in Health have met today, Thursday 22 July, to consider the pay offer emanating from the Westminster government of 3% to Agenda for Change staff in the National Health Service in England. All the Trade Unions expressed their disgust as this derisory offer falls well below the expectations of members who have delivered health services to all during the last very difficult eighteen months. Trade Unions expressed concern that the statement lacked detail as to whether any pay offer will be fully funded and in particular, whether Northern Ireland will get the full Barnet consequential to fund a pay award in Northern Ireland read more

NHS Pay Announcement (21 July) – You may be aware that the Government has this evening offered a 3% pay rise to NHS staff in England. The offer of 3% does not address the NIPSA claim of 15% or £3,000, nor does it meet the claims of the other Health Trade Unions. It does not meet the expectation of NIPSA members who have worked in extremely difficult circumstances over the past year with chronic staff shortages and in a pandemic. We demand Fair Pay read more

 

CWU

Pathway to Change progress across Royal Mail’s smaller business units (July 19) – Shorter working week ‘trigger’ agreements reached for members working in Admin, Stamps & Collectibles, Downstream Access and National Returns Centre, reports CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey read more

 

FBU

Firefighters identify deadly private sector inspection threat in Building Safety Bill (22 July) – Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack has responded to the Building Safety Bill passing its second reading in Parliament yesterday by saying that it is ‘vitally flawed’ in its present form. The bill is set to see private sector firms turned to if fire and rescue services are not in a position to assist the new Building Safety Regulator with fire matters. The Building Safety Regulator, which the bill is set to introduce, will be a new statutory body responsible for building safety in higher-risk buildings. The FBU fears safety will be weakened as profit is prioritised if the Building Safety Regulator is allowed to turn to private firms, and that this policy might lead to further private sector involvement in fire safety of new developments. The bill is the most substantial legislative response to the Grenfell Tower disaster to date, and aims to reform building safety with measures including a requirement to have an ‘accountable person’ for higher-risk buildings, as well as the new Building Safety Regulator read more

 

NEU

Education unions react to publication of STRB report on pay (23 July) – Teachers and school leaders are united in their opposition to the Government’s pay freeze read more

Teacher pay freeze (21 July) – all education staff deserve a significant pay increase, not another real-terms pay cut. Commenting on the Government’s announcement on teacher pay in England following the publication of the School Teachers’ Review Body report, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The Government’s confirmation of its plans to implement a pay freeze for teachers and other public sector employees is completely unacceptable. Teachers and other education staff are key workers – all of whom have contributed hugely to the country’s pandemic response…” read more

Suspend Academization 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 academization suspended. Please respond to the three questions here so we can add your name to the petition

Coronavirus: school outbreaks remain high (15 July) – NEU comment as latest PHE data shows school outbreaks remain high read more

 

NASUWT

“Pay freeze will further anger already demoralised teachers”, says the NASUWT (21 July) – Commenting on the statement made by the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson in response to the latest School Teachers’ Review Body’s Report, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said: “Teachers in England will be right to be angry and demoralised that the Government’s pay freeze will result in their pay falling further behind the salaries of teachers in other parts of the UK and continue the real terms erosion to teachers’ pay in the last decade. Teachers have stepped up to educate and support children and young people and they will be utterly dismayed that their efforts are valued so cheaply by the Government…” read more

 

UCU

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

UCU responds to reports of compulsory vaccines for students (26 July) – UCU has today responded to reports that the UK government has considered compulsory vaccines for students. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said ‘Lurching from complacency to compulsion is typical of a government that has flip flopped its way through this pandemic.  Students should be prioritised for vaccinations, to ensure as many as possible have the opportunity to be vaccinated by September, but making vaccinations compulsory as a condition to access their education is wrong and would be hugely discriminatory against those who are unable to be vaccinated, and international students read more

‘Fully vaccinate students or face even worse disruption to education’, UCU tells governments (23 July) – UCU has today issued a stark warning to governments across the UK that the chaos experienced by students in university and colleges last year is set to be repeated, unless vaccines are made available to students and strict health and safety measures put in place on campus read more

UCU responds to UUK announcement on USS support (22 July) – UCU has responded to the Universities UK announcement that they will agree to more support for the Universities Superannuation Scheme in return for keeping contribution rates close to current levels read more

UCU condemns ‘biggest attack on arts in living memory’ announced by Office for Students (20 July) – Responding to funding reforms announced today by the Office for Students, UCU condemned the cuts as the biggest attack on the arts in living memory. Huge government cuts to subsidies for arts and humanities courses at universities in England will risk subjects becoming ‘unviable’, UCU says, after the Office for Students confirmed changes to the distribution of higher education funding for 2021/22 read more

UCU response to HEPI report on public attitudes to higher education (20 July) – UCU has today responded to the HEPI report into attitudes to higher education 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.

 

POA

Following horrific attack on an HMP Swansea officer the POA urge HMPPS to remove razors from prisons (15 July) – POA National Chairman Mark Fairhurst believes that the directors of HMPPS must act now to remove razor blades from prisons in England and Wales. Razor blades have been a key part of manufactured weapons in our prisons. Prison Officers and prisoners have suffered horrific injury’s when attacked with these improvised weapons. Razor blades are also used by prisoners in desperate acts of self-harm that range from self-cutting to acts of self-mutilation, this has an impact on the prisoner, other prisoners, the prisoner’s family, and the prison staff who must deal with often horrific injuries. The removal of razor blades and the associated accepted culture is long overdue read more

 

NAPO

Changes to COVID laws does not change employer’s obligations on Health and Safety (23 July) – In England much has been made of the changes this week to the government roadmap with the removal of a great deal of legal restrictions in relation to controlling the risk of people developing COVID-19 read more

 

NUJ

Publishing industry survey shines a light on working from home (26 July) – NUJ Oxford branch joined forces with the Oxford Publishing Society and the Oxford branch of the Society of Young Publishers to conduct a national survey read more

NUJ calls for public interest defence for unauthorised disclosures (23 July) – Union warns the Home Office plans are a severe threat to journalism. The NUJ has called on the UK government to introduce a public interest defence in law for journalists investigating and reporting on state wrongdoing read more

New Irish code of practice under fire (22 July) – Tired old solution won’t solve bogus contracts, says NUJ. The Irish executive council (IEC) of the National Union of Journalists has dismissed the proposed new code of practice on employment status announced today as “a tired old solution which will not solve the problem of bogus employment contracts” read more

 

Prospect

Constraining pay in this way is economically illiterate (22 July) – The government has published its response to the Senior Salaries Review Body report on pay in the senior civil service stating that there will the a pay pause read more

Air traffic controllers to strike over remote towers – Prospect members working in air traffic control for Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) are to stage a one day strike on 29 July over plans to centralise air traffic control in Inverness read more

 

USDAW

Striking Usdaw members at Nottingham based BCM Fareva welcome MPs’ support in the ‘fire and rehire’ dispute (22 July) – Usdaw members at BCM Fareva, the Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots, are starting a 24-hour stoppage at 5.30am on Thursday 22 July 2021. They have today received messages of support from local MPs Lilian Greenwood and Alex Norris. The action was backed by almost 90% of Usdaw members at the site after BCM Fareva proposed slashing members’ terms and conditions, including sick pay and redundancy payment provisions, while threatening to ‘fire and rehire’ staff if agreement cannot be reached on the proposed changes read more

Usdaw members at Nottingham based BCM Fareva start a 24-hour strike tomorrow over the threat to ‘fire and rehire’ (21 July) – Usdaw members at BCM Fareva, the Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots, are starting a 24-hour stoppage at 5.30am on Thursday 22 July 2021 read more

Weetabix 24-hour strike called for start of August – Usdaw urges the company to resolve the dispute over shift pay (22 July) – Usdaw members at the Weetabix AP4 plant in Kettering, which produces cereal bars, voted unanimously for industrial action in a dispute over shift pay. The first stoppage will start at 7pm on Monday 2 August and will last for 24 hours read more

Support striking Usdaw members at DHL/M&S Long Eaton – 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

Government’s exemption from self-isolation scheme is in chaos – Usdaw seeks clarification (26 July) – Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis has today written to the Prime Minister seeking urgent clarification on the Government’s scheme which will allow isolation exemptions for ‘critical workers’ who are deemed to be close contacts of individuals who test positive for Covid-19 read more

 

UVW

Support the joint PCS-UVW Royal Parks strike – On Friday 30th July migrant park attendants across London’s Royal Parks who are dual carding with UVW and PCS will be kicking off a summer of strikes in a bid to end outsourcing and be treated as equals. They will need all the solidarity they can get and donating to their strike fund is a great way to show that solidarity. So if you can, please donate

Open letter to Solace Women’s Aid (20 July) – To the CEO, the Directors, the Head of Human Resources, and the Board of Trustees at Solace Women’s Aid. To the survivors of gender based violence and service users of Solace read more

 

IWGB

IWGB protest at Uber HQ after 200 drivers & couriers unfairly sacked (26 July) – following the unfair dismissal of over 200 drivers and couriers by app-based operators this year, the United Private Hire Drivers Branch and the Couriers and Logistics Branch of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) will protest at 3pm on Monday 26 July outside Uber HQ at Aldgate Tower in London read more

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Mandate & ICTU sought greater protections for workers on Government initiated Hospitality Group (25 July) – As we mark the reopening of the hospitality sector it is important to point out that Mandate Trade Union and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) alternated as the worker representatives on the Government established Hospitality Group since it was established a number of weeks ago. The role of the trade unions, unlike that of the business representatives who made up the overwhelming majority of the group, was not to rubber stamp the government’s plan as it evolved, rather it was to ensure that when the sector reopened it did so in the safest way possible from a workers’ perspective read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU members in St Brigid’s to ballot for strike action next week (23 July) – SIPTU members working as assistants and care workers in St Brigid’s Mental Health Intellectual Disability services in Ballinasloe, county Galway, are to ballot for strike action next week read more

SIPTU and Fórsa stage lunchtime protest outside Minister Heather Humphreys constituency office (21 July) – SIPTU and Fórsa members, working in local employment services, will stage a socially distanced protest outside Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, constituency office, Mall Road, Monaghan Town, county Monaghan on Thursday, 22nd July at 1.00 p.m. to highlight their opposition to plans to privatise these essential community services read more

 

Other News

Hazards Conference 2021 – Hazards Conference will be online again this year

Saturday 31 July 2021: 10am-3.30pm – register

Sunday 1 August 2021: 10am-1.00pm – register

You will need to sign up to Saturday and Sunday separately read more

 

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

Unite condemns United States interference in the internal affairs of Cuba (21 July) read more

 

Diary

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