NSSN 547: NSSN TUC Rally 2021 – 12pm Sunday Sept 12

August 10, 2021 in Bulletins

At 12pm on Sunday 12th September, the NSSN is organising our annual rally before the start of TUC Congress. Due to Covid, both the TUC and our rally will again be virtual this year. This will be the 12th successive year that we have lobbied the TUC for the fighting programme that is needed by workers.

NSSN TUC rally 2021 meme 2 background colour#JS

The pandemic has seen workers fight for their lives and increasingly our livelihoods as bosses unleash an offensive to make us pay for the crisis, including through fire and rehire and union-busting while their Tory Government proposes a public sector pay freeze and further austerity.

But workers are fighting back, with a strike wave that has seen important victories. Come and hear about the action that is taking place from union leaders and shopfloor workers on the front line.

This is an open forum to have your say, from the fight for workplace safety to defending our jobs and hard-won pay and conditions to stopping yet more privatisation of the NHS.

Confirmed speakers so far: Sarah Woolley BFAWU General Secretary, Joe Simpson POA Deputy General Secretary

Facebook event

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

Meeting ID: 861 1677 4093
Passcode: NSSN2021

 

United action against the Tories on public sector pay

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. 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.

Unite to hold a consultative ballot for industrial action over ‘grossly inadequate’ NHS pay offer (6 Aug) – “…There will also be a day of action on 25 August, where Unite members and workplace representatives will be involved in numerous activities to highlight the inadequacies of the pay award…”

UNISON Cymru/Wales opens consultation on NHS pay (10 Aug)

Unison: ‘Now is the time – have your say on pay’ (3 Aug)

Unison: All health staff must be included in NHS pay award (2 Aug)

RCN: NHS pay consultation to open on 12 August (Aug 4)

NIPSA: HSC Pay 2021/22, Car Parking, Safe Staffing & MCA (6 Aug)

Follow NHS Workers Say NO to Public Sector pay inequality on Facebook

 

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

Support Tim Breed RMT

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 – sign petition: End the culture of fear at St Mungo’s

St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite rep

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

Sacked UCU member wins right to return to work (29 July)

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

 

 

Union News

RMT

RMT responds to stark and damning IPCC climate report (9 Aug) – Transport union RMT responds to stark and damning IPCC climate report. TRANSPORT Union RMT today responded to a stark and damning report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calling on the Government to wake up to the reality we are now living in and to take urgent and stringent action in the fight against climate change with a historic investment in public transport read more

RMT to fight rail industry job cuts (9 Aug) – Main rail union to fight jobs cull across the industry as redundancy scheme opens today. MAIN RAIL UNION RMT said today that it is to fight a wholesale jobs cull across the industry that kicks off for some Network Rail managerial grades today with others set to follow. RMT’s executive has committed to a campaign of opposition to proposals that it says would decimate the industry at a time when it needs to be building for the future as we emerge from the COVID pandemic and which would seriously compromise rail safety as key teams and functions are diluted and taken apart read more

Scotrail members in Britain’s longest running dispute (8 Aug) – RMT Scotrail members battling on for pay justice this morning in Britain’s longest running dispute. RMT Scotrail members are standing firm and battling on again today for pay justice and equality in what their union believes is now Britain’s longest running industrial disputes read more

Train Managers strike on East Midlands Railway rock solid (8 Aug) – Train Managers strike on East Midlands Railway rock solid today as senior conductors continue action in separate dispute and company risk passenger safety by bringing in ill-trained scab guards. RAIL UNION RMT said that strike action by Train Managers on East Midlands Railway is rock solid today kicking off a programme of action throughout August and September in an escalation of the ongoing dispute over safety on Class 360 trains. RMT has raised serious safety concerns for passengers as it emerged that the company have drafted in ill-trained bus coordinators as scab guards on London to Derby services to try and maintain services in flagrant breach of all normal procedures. 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. Senior conductors on EMR are also standing firm again today in their continuing action in a separate dispute with the company that’s been running for three months now over pay, conditions and contract issues read more

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

RMT announces new dates in East Midlands Railway conductors’ dispute (6 Aug) – As action continues on Sunday RMT announces new dates in East Midlands Railway senior conductors’ dispute. RAIL UNION RMT has announced new East Midlands Railway strike dates as action continues on Sunday in the senior conductors’ dispute. Senior conductors have voted by a huge 74% in favour of taking further strike action in the long-running dispute over pay and contract matters. EMR Senior Conductor members are to take the following industrial action. Not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 22nd August 2021
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 29th August 2021
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 5th September 2021
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 12th September 2021
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 19th September 2021
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 26th September 2021
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 3rd October 2021
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 10th October 2021

In addition, strike action called for Sunday 8th August 2021 and Sunday 15th August 2021 remains in place read more

RMT to ballot TfW cleaners (6 Aug) – RMT to ballot for action from next week as Transport for Wales does the dirty on its cleaners. RAIL UNION RMT has announced it will balloting Transport for Wales cleaners for action from next week over the company reneging on their commitments to bring harmonisation of workplace terms and conditions to all cleaners within the company. The ballot for Team Leader Cleaning, Train Cleaner & Train Cleaning Supervisor grades will open on Tuesday 10th August 2021 and close on Tuesday 31st August 2021. In addition to balloting for action RMT will be launching a wider campaign highlighting the appalling actions of this publicly owned company under the ownership of the Welsh Labour Government read more

RMT calls for support for ferry workers (4 Aug) – RMT calls for support for ferry workers as Covid-19 restrictions are eased in Scotland. FERRIES’ UNION RMT today responded to the First Minister’s announcement that Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland would be moving to ‘beyond Level 0’ from Monday 9th August read more

BBC: Hull Trains pension row Sunday strike called off (7 Aug) – A planned strike by staff at Hull Trains on Sunday 8 August has been called off. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said it would continue to take other forms of industrial action, including a ban on overtime. The dispute relates to disagreements over pension arrangements for staff at the company. Hull Trains said it welcomed the union’s decision and confirmed services would run as normal. The RMT said its decision was to give it time to consider recent developments between it and the company. However, planned strikes on 15, 22, and 29 August will proceed unless the dispute is resolved. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “I would advise that the overtime and rest day working bans remain in place, as well as the intended strike days already scheduled to take place until further consideration has been given later next week.” Read more

RMT demands action on Seafarer jobs (4 Aug) – RMT demands action on Seafarer jobs contagion from Irish Ferries. SEAFARERS’ UNION RMT has today written an open letter warning of the consequences for seafarer jobs, maritime safety and economic prospects in Dover and across the country from a failure to tackle anti-trade union employer Irish Ferries’ exploitative crewing model read more

RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff to strike (4 Aug) – RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff to take further strike action this month. RAIL UNION RMT has announced new strike dates for Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley after previous actions saw rock solid support in the fight for respect and justice in the workplace. Rail Gourmet members at Edinburgh Waverley have been instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • 0600 Hours on Saturday 21st August 2021 and 0559 on Tuesday 24th August 2021 read more

RMT launches campaign to defend TfL pension scheme (3 Aug) – RMT launches campaign to defend TfL pension scheme and declares no confidence in review process. Transport for London union RMT announced today that it is launching a campaign to defend the TfL pension scheme in the wake of revelations of how the company intend to process and conduct their pension fund review read more

RMT on ACAS Tube strike talks this morning (2 Aug) – TUBE UNION RMT has said that it will be joining last ditch ACAS talks this morning with a view to securing a constructive solution to the dispute over the abolition of the Night Tube driver grade with strike action across London set to start at lunchtime tomorrow read more

RMT suspends Tube strike action (2 Aug) – RMT suspends Tube strike action this week to allow for further talks. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Following extensive and wide ranging discussions through the ACAS machinery we have hammered out enough ground to allow those talks to continue. As a result this week’s strike action is suspended although the rest of the planned action rema‎ins on…” read more

Merseyrail cleaners strike and protest in fight for pay justice – 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 calls new Serco Caledonian Sleeper‎ strike dates – 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

 

TSSA

BREAKING NEWS!! Special Voluntary Severance Scheme:? Network Fail (10 Aug) – We are extremely concerned about you and your colleagues safety and that of our wider rail industry. Network Rail have no plan in place so who knows what the future holds? These are the questions we posed to the company during an avoidance of dispute meeting yesterday read more

TSSA- Coordinated industrial action possible over Network Rail “kamikaze” jobs threat (9 Aug) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has raised the prospect of coordinated industrial action by the rail unions over Network Rail’s “kamikaze jobs cuts”. As of last Friday (6 August) the transport and travel union was in dispute with Network Rail (NR) over the company’s decision to ditch an industry-wide Special Voluntary Severance Scheme (SVSS). NR – a public body looking after Britain’s rail network – instead plans to go live with a voluntary severance (VS) scheme as early as tomorrow (Tuesday 10 August) – targeting in particular, TSSA members in managerial grades. TSSA views this unilateral step by NR as a breach of both the letter and spirit of the Rail Industry Recovery Group (RIRG) Framework Agreement which stipulated an industry-wide SVSS with a common opening and closing date, and selection criteria, across all companies involved. The union is due to take part in a disputes resolution meeting with NR today but has since learned that the company emailed staff this morning confirming plans to open their own voluntary severance scheme. Reacting, TSSA leader, Manuel Cortes, said: “It’s unbelievable that Network Rail (NR) has issued a communication to their staff this morning telling them that they intend to open a voluntary severance scheme from tomorrow even though our union is due to meet them this afternoon under the avoidance of disputes procedures…” read more

Network Rail Take Kamikaze Approach to Voluntary Severance (9 Aug)

TSSA calls for better security after Lewisham station assault (9 Aug) – Rail union TSSA is calling for more to be done to protect front line staff after an assault on a member of station staff at Lewisham this weekend left him fearing for his life. Just before 1am on Sunday morning, a Lewisham station worker was pinned against the wall by a member of the public who then threatened to stab him read more

TSSA in dispute with Network Rail (6 Aug) – Rail union TSSA is in dispute with Network Rail over the implementation of a proposed voluntary severance scheme, calling the infrastructure giant’s approach “vacuous”. While talks have been progressing for months, there is now media speculation that Network Rail – a public body looking after Britain’s rail network – plans to go live with a voluntary severance (VS) scheme from Monday next week. TSSA – which among other grades represents managers who are rumoured to be the first in line for the VS scheme – warns that trains will be halted as part of action unless the dispute with Network Rail is resolved amicably read more

Rail Unions Join Forces Over Eurostar Future (6 Aug) – Leaders of three rail unions have spoken out about their concerns over the future of Eurostar – launching a petition calling for government support. Sign the petition. At an online public meeting (Wednesday 4 Aug 2021) the General Secretaries of Aslef, RMT and TSSA each reaffirmed their commitment to preserving Britain’s vital green link to continental Europe. They were backed by Eurostar staff, Friends of the Earth and think tank IPPR read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! DHL workers at JLR plants prepare for strike ballot over wage arrears and ‘insulting’ pay offer (10 Aug) – DHL workers at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) plants in the West Midlands and Merseyside are preparing to be balloted for strike action over wage arrears and an ‘insulting’ pay offer, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 10 August 2021). Hundreds of DHL drivers and warehouse operatives have been plagued by incorrect pay slips for months due to the company’s use of flexible furlough, with some staff owed up to £800 in arrears. Anger at the arrears ‘debacle’ has been further stoked by DHL’s refusal to offer a reasonable rise during recent pay negotiations with Unite. The union will now begin the process of balloting its more than 2,000 DHL members for strike action at JLR’s plants in Halewood, Castle Bromwich, Solihull, Tyrefort, Midpoint and Hams Hall read more

BREAKING NEWS!! GKN Birmingham workers balloted for strike as battle to save factory intensifies (10 Aug) – Workers at the GKN Automotive factory on Chester Road in Birmingham, owned by venture capitalists Melrose, are being balloted for strike action after the company confirmed its intention to close the factory. Despite the factory’s critical importance to the electrification of the UK’s automotive industry giving it a positive and profitable future, the company is pressing ahead with plans to close it by 2022 for ‘short term profit hikes’. In May, company bosses rejected an alternative business proposal put forward by a coalition of GKN workers, the factory’s senior management, Unite officials and local politicians, including MP Jack Dromey. GKN has also refused to meet with ministers, despite the government making clear it will provide significant assistance to ensure the Birmingham plant is a success. In response to the company’s continued insistence that the work will be moved abroad, Unite will be balloting its members at the factory, which employs 500 people and produces car drivelines, for strike action. The ballot will open next Monday (16 August) and close on 31 August. Unite national officer Des Quinn said: “When Melrose bought GKN in 2018, there were howls of protest when fears were raised that the new owners could asset strip the company. “Melrose’s current actions will make many people believe their assurances to GKN’s shareholders that the opposite was true were empty words read more

BREAKING NEWS!! TfL pension review raises privatisation fears for London Underground (10 Aug) – The Transport for London (TfL) pension review has raised fears that the government could have plans to privatise the London Underground, Unite said today (Tuesday 10 August). The comments came as Unite launched a campaign to prevent TfL staff having their pensions plundered as a result of the Department of Transport (DfT) ordered pension review. Transport secretary Grant Shapps made the recent bailout of TfL conditional on its pension fund being reviewed. Unite raised concerns that the review could be used to slash pension costs, leaving TfL workers struggling in their retirement, while also making the London Underground more attractive to private bidders. Unite represents more than 2,000 workers directly employed by TfL, as well as 22,000 more across the capital’s public transport network. Unite regional officer Simon McCartney said: “Our members will not sit back and allow their pensions to be raided because TfL is being starved of funds by ministers read more

Hundreds of British Sugar workers win ‘sweet pay deal’ (10 Aug) – A wage dispute between domestic sugar producer British Sugar and its workers at factories across east England has ended after staff accepted a ‘sweet pay deal’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 10 August). A strike ballot of 500 technicians, engineers and supply chain operatives at British Sugar’s Newark, Wissington, Cantley and Bury St Edmunds factories has now been cancelled. The workers voted to accept an improved offer of a 3.5 per cent pay rise, following the rejection of a 2 per cent offer made by the company previously read more

Blacklisting Investigation (9 Aug) – Unite the Union has commissioned an independent investigation into alleged involvement of any past of present union officers or officials in the operation of blacklists in the construction industry. The independent investigation will be conducted by Jane McNeill QC in accordance with the attached Terms of Reference. Evidence for the investigation is now being compiled by Thompsons Solicitors LLP. Any documentary evidence which any individual wishes to provide should be submitted to Thompsons either by email to [email protected] or by post to Unite Blacklisting Inquiry, Thompsons Solicitors LLP, Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LW, reference L213003/RH.  All evidence to be considered for the purpose of the independent report must be received by Thompsons by 9 November 2021 read more

Unite to hold a consultative ballot for industrial action over ‘grossly inadequate’ NHS pay offer (6 Aug) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, will recommend members not to support the UK government’s “too little, too late” three per cent pay award. The union will hold a consultative ballot of its health service members to see if they wish to take industrial action over the ‘grossly inadequate’ pay offer for NHS workers in England. Unite’s national health committee, which represents 100,000 members in the health service, decided at its meeting today (Friday 6 August) that consultation of its health service members will open on 27 August and will run until 24 September. There will also be a day of action on 25 August, where Unite members and workplace representatives will be involved in numerous activities to highlight the inadequacies of the pay award read more

Unite condemns extension of lorry driving hours being relaxed (6 Aug) – Commenting on the extension until October of lorry driving hours being relaxed announced today (Friday 6 August), Unite national officer for road transport Adrian Jones said: “Extending the relaxation of minimum lorry driving hours until October is frankly dangerous. The driver shortage, the huge demand and the considerable pressures that are simply part of the job, mean HGV drivers are already exhausted…” read more

Ministers and bosses ‘dragging feet’ on HGV driver crisis as threat of industrial action grows, says Unite (5 Aug) – Government and haulage bosses have been ‘dragging their feet’ over the escalating HGV driver shortages and should sit down with Unite the union to tackle the underlying causes of the crisis that has resulted in gaps appearing on supermarket shelves across the country – otherwise ballots for industrial action remain on the cards read more

Unite launches industrial action ballot at Abellio (6 Aug) – Unite the union has confirmed today (6 August) that it has launched an industrial action ballot involving hundreds of its engineering members at Abellio Scotrail as pay talks with the company have collapsed. The ballot, which will open on 11 August and close on 1 September, follows the failure by Abellio Scotrail to make a meaningful pay offer, as well as the company withdrawing a number of entitlements from workers including the Rest Day Working Agreement with Unite in April 2020 for engineering workers. The Dutch firm initially withdrew it for drivers but later reinstated it. Abellio has claimed they are under instructions from the Scottish government not to award any pay rise to rail workers. If the ballot for industrial action is successful then strike action is likely to take place from early September read more

Survitec workers at Dunmurry to ballot for strike action (Aug 5) – Ballot follows management refusal to move on pay claim. August 5th: Unite Regional Officer Neil Moore today (Thursday) confirmed that Survitec workers in Dunmurry are being balloted on strike action.  The ballot, which starts tomorrow (Friday) and will conclude on August 16th, follows the company’s refusal to entertain a claim for a 3% cost of living pay increase read more

Workforce welcomes decision by Ards and North Down Borough Council to end outsourcing of leisure services (Aug 5) – Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure complex; Bangor Sportsplex; Queen’s Leisure Complex, Holywood; and sports grounds and sports development services in northern part of borough will return to full council management and control as of 31st March 2023. Decision to end outsourcing leaves Belfast City Council as the only remaining local authority in Northern Ireland with outsourced leisure services – to Greenwich Leisure Limited read more

Rolls Royce Barnoldswick protest to be held as strikes over site’s future resume (5 Aug) – A protest at the historic Rolls Royce Barnoldswick plant will be held on Monday (9 August) as strikes resume over the company’s lack of concrete commitments to the site’s future. A group of 17 engineers began strike action in July after Rolls Royce bosses refused to provide tangible commitments to new work or to suspend work being sent elsewhere, which is taking place at an accelerated rate. A ballot for the site’s entire workforce to join the dispute closes next Friday (13 August). In January, Rolls Royce reached an agreement with Unite that guaranteed the future of the factory, including retaining a minimum of 350 workers and creating a training centre. The agreement was reached after workers and the local community mounted a huge campaign to save the factory, after the aerospace giant revealed plans to scale back production that would have spelled the plant’s closure. Following a meeting in May this year, however, Unite was forced to issue a failure to agree notice with Rolls Royce after local managers indicated that staff headcount could drop below 350 and orders would continue to be completed abroad. Unite has been attempting to resolve the matter and seek reassurances about Barnoldswick’s long-term future, which have so far failed to materialise. Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: “This dispute could be put to bed very quickly if Rolls Royce’s leadership demonstrate to the workers that the agreement signed in January is still valid 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

Breakthrough talks to be held next week in Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute, says Unite (4 Aug) – Crunch talks are going to be held next Tuesday (10 August) between Transport for London (TfL) bosses and Unite in a bid to resolve the long-running Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute, the union said today (Wednesday 4 August). Unite, which represents 57 ferry workers, has suspended industrial action due to be held next week as a goodwill gesture in the run-up to the talks which, the union said, TfL has already cancelled on three previous occasions. The union wants to make clear to the travelling public that use the ferry that it is ever-ready for talks to settle the dispute which has, so far, seen 24 days of strike action. Besides the victimisation of the two Unite reps, there has also been a 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. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “As a gesture of goodwill to the commuters who use the ferry, we have agreed to suspend the strike action for next week so that the first proper talks can take place with the TfL management. “The employer has already cancelled three pre-arranged dates for talks and we want to make it crystal clear to the London public that it is not Unite that is dragging its feet in seeking a negotiated resolution to this dispute read more

Four-day strike action set to begin by Aberdeen housing services workers – 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 offshore members reject COTA pay offer (4 Aug) – Unite the union today (4 August) confirmed its offshore catering members have rejected a pay offer from the Catering Offshore Trade Association (COTA). The consultative ballot indicated that 94% of Unite’s membership rejected the offer while supporting a continuation of negotiations to improve upon the 1% offer on basic pay, which is also not being backdated to last year as previously agreed by COTA. 80% of Unite members also indicated support for strike action and 87.5% were supportive of action short of a strike if there is no progress in pay talks. The consultative ballot covers around 2,750 workers in seven offshore catering companies including Conntrak, ESS, Entier, Trinity, Aramark, Sodexo and Foss. Unite’s membership covered by COTA deliver catering and ancillary services across installations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) read more

Ealing parking strikes end after Serco apologises for union busting and agrees reform (4 Aug) – Strikes impacting parking enforcement in Ealing have ended after outsourcing giant Serco issued an apology over its union busting tactics and agreed to reform. Nearly 50 civil enforcement officers, who are employed by Serco on the Ealing council parking enforcement contract, will now return to work after taking strike action since early May. The dispute centred on the company’s attempts to undermine trade union organisation and collective consultation by offering severance agreements to Unite representatives and lay members. Workers were also angry at the company’s refusal to negotiate on its absence policy, which was being used to target staff. Industrial action has now ended after the enforcement officers voted to accept an apology from Serco over the severance offers. Serco also signed an agreement with Unite implementing new anti-bullying and harassment measures, adding additional protections against dismissal within the absence policy and improving the terms governing compassionate leave. Unite regional officer Clare Keogh said: “Our members stood together on the picket line for three months to protect their trade union and collective bargaining rights…” read more

Banbury coffee workers vote overwhelmingly in favour of deal that removes ‘fire and rehire’ (4 Aug) – Workers at JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) in Banbury, Oxfordshire have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new pay and employment conditions’ package that removes the management’s proposal to ‘fire and rehire’ staff, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 4 July). Unite said that its members had voted by 81 per cent on a 93 per cent turnout to accept the deal that was hammered out after three weeks of intensive talks with management in the long-running dispute affecting employees at the Ruscote Avenue site. The other components of the package include removal of the management’s controversial ‘fire and rehire’ proposal; safeguarding pay and employment conditions; and compensation if an employee has to change shifts read more

Bexley Serco bin strikes could last until October without council intervention (2 Aug) – Bin strikes by Serco workers in the south London borough of Bexley could last until October without council intervention, Unite, the UK’s leading union, warned today (Monday 2 August). Bexley council has said it is willing to work with Unite and Serco to find a solution to end the strike. But Unite accused council leader Teresa O’Neill of ignoring requests to meet with the union’s representatives. The strikes, involving 140 refuse workers, began on July 12 and the workers are now in their fourth week of strike action in a dispute over pay and the victimisation of workers. The call for council intervention comes ahead of talks between Unite and Serco mediated by the conciliation service Acas later this week. Around 50 staff are owed substantial back pay, with some workers owed thousands of pounds because Serco has failed to pay workers according to stipulated pay scales. This has resulted in existing drivers being paid just £22,000 a year, while new recruits are paid £28,000 for the same roles. Workers are also angry as Serco has weaponised its drug and alcohol testing policy in order to victimise union members, while failing to provide any advice or support to workers who are experiencing problems with substance misuse. Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “Our members do not want to strike and are well aware of the inconvenience caused to residents. Unfortunately, they have no choice because Serco has refused to put forward any proposals that could end this dispute…” 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

DfI Roads workers at Woodburn depot to strike over inaction on management bullying – 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

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

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

 

PCS

BREAKING NEWS!! Reminder to vote in OCS pay ballot (10 Aug) – The electronic ballot closes on 17 August and we have recommended a yes vote. OCS has made a proposal of a one off pay settlement in respect of the hourly pay rate for 2021/22.  The payment ranges from £125 to £175 depending on how many hours are worked. It is important that you vote in the ballot and have your say. The pay negotiating team is recommending members vote to accept the offer, which is an improved offer won by PCS members. The ballot opened on 3 August and will close at noon on Tuesday, 17 August read more

PCS warns of action if ministers try to cut pay of civil servants over office opening (9 Aug) – Anonymous briefings over the weekend to the press have suggested civil servants’ pay could be docked if staff refuse to return to the office. One Cabinet minister told a paper that civil servants should have their pay docked if they refuse to return to the office after working from home for so long during the pandemic. This was however rejected by business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng this morning. Responding to the reports, a PCS spokesman said: “It is the height of cowardice for ministers to anonymously brief the media about docking civil servants’ pay for not returning to the office read more

PCS responds to inaccurate media reports about civil servants and returning to the office (6 Aug) – Throughout the unprecedented global Covid-19 pandemic, PCS has always prioritised the safety of its members. Therefore, at the height of the pandemic which led to more than 150,000 deaths in the UK alone, we came up with 5 safety tests and negotiated homeworking for the majority of our members read more

BREAKING NEWS!! DVLA strikers remain determined in second week of August action (10 Aug) – The strike by PCS members in the drivers medical section of the DVLA remains resolute into the second consecutive week of a month of strike action in our ongoing workplace safety dispute read more

PCS launches consultative ballot at the DVLA (9 Aug) – The electronic ballot aims to gauge members’ views on the ongoing dispute over safety. The ballot will run from 11 August to 3 September and marks an important stage in the dispute with the DVLA, assessing progress to date and gaining a mandate from members about future action. Members will be asked about priorities for a deal to end the dispute and whether they would be in support of further strike action and action short of a strike. It is important that members take the opportunity to give their opinion through this ballot. It is not a statutory ballot which is a legal requirement to take strike action. The ballot will run at the same time as current strike action but does not effect the action that is taking place at present read more

Strong support for DVLA strike as month-long action underway (3 Aug) – The latest round of action by PCS members at the DVLA has started strongly with many staff in the drivers medical section not turning up for work and instead joining the month-long strike over workplace safety. 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. DM was chosen due to its strategic importance to the agency and the fact that ministers are assigning huge importance to the backlogs in this area. Our DM members started their action yesterday (2) and it is due to end on 31 August. This dispute could have been easily resolved 9 weeks ago when a deal was withdrawn at the last minute and it’s time for transport secretary Grant Shapps and the agency to get back around the table and negotiate. Our action to date has had a huge impact on the backlogs at the DVLA and the latest walkouts have increased the pressure on the agency with the DM backlog going up by more than 3,000 on the first day, now standing at 254,794 overall read more

Brook Street agency staff to be offered contracts in DWP (6 Aug) – Members initially employed via Brook Street recruitment agency have been offered the opportunity to transfer into the DWP on Direct Temporary Recruitment (DTR) contracts read more

Facilities management dispute round up (6 Aug) – This article comes from Facilities Matters issue 4. July has proved a busy month for PCS members working in facilities management who are campaigning for better conditions.

ISS Strike

Members working for ISS in facilities management at BEIS took three days of strike from 19-21 July. Members are demanding an end to low pay as well as improved working conditions, extra bonuses for working through lockdown and annual leave entitlement owed from last year. Members are also calling on ISS to agree a Covid return-to-work protocol. One of the striking members who works as a security officer said: “we worked all through the pandemic. ISS aren’t following our contract and are short changing workers by taking away some of our annual leave.” The strike has secured talks with ISS and PCS representatives are working hard to try and get a dispute settlement. Send messages of support to: [email protected]

Just Ask Royal Parks cleaners strike

Members employed by Just Ask Estate Services Ltd as park attendants and cleaners at the Royal Parks took a day of strike action on 30 July, as part of their dispute over sick pay, pensions and maternity pay rights. The members held a good natured, noisy and energetic rally outside the Royal Parks headquarters in Hyde Park and voted to escalate the action with two weeks of strike action from Monday 16 August to Monday 30 August 2021. How you can help – Donate to the strike fund. Send messages of support to [email protected] read more

Ballot of NATS members underway (2 Aug) – PCS has launched a consultative ballot of our members in NATS, the UK’s main air navigation service provider, to ask them if they would consider action in a dispute over pay, pensions and attacks on redundancies arrangements read more

 

CWU

Big ‘yes’ vote for hard-negotiated ISS pay rise (Aug 5) – ISS members working on the BT contract have voted by more than four to one to accept a CWU-brokered pay settlement for 2021 that will see nearly three quarters of employees receive a consolidated rise of 2.15%. Crucially, ISS’s final offer – which emerged at the culmination of protracted talks – maintains the Real Living Wage as the absolute minimum hourly pay rate for housekeeping and security members who were outsourced by BT in April 2019. As such, the deal, which was placed before members in a consultative postal ballot that commenced last month, involves a baseline 20p per hour rise from £9.30 to £9.50 read more

 

GMB

Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council   GMB pulls funding for Labour Party in London after grieving caretaker sacked (27 July)

GMB London Region slams Asda for the dismissal of loyal employee who has learning difficulties (9 Aug) – ASDA used to be a well-respected company where colleagues were proud to wear the ASDA badge. This has changed and the change is not one for the better, says GMB London. ASDA used to be a well-respected company where colleagues were proud to wear the ASDA badge. This has changed and the change is not one for the better, says GMB London. GMB Union the trade union for ASDA workers have seen a rapid decline in the way in which ASDA colleagues are treated. There is no consideration for a colleague’s learning disabilities, mental health, disability, or ability to read and write. Disability discrimination appears to be rife within ASDA. This follows ASDA’s decision to dismiss a colleague of 30 years from the business for one occasion of smoking within an ASDA car park. The Ex-ASDA Colleague, Mark Misell, had worked for ASDA, in Shoeburyness, for 30 years and throughout his time have never fallen foul of any ASDA rules. Mark suffers from learning difficulties and is not able to read or write.  As such there was no way in which he was able to read any of ASDA’s policies. Mark, who worked as a porter within the car park at the store, was proud to go to work so that he could assist customers. On the day in question, Mark chose to have a cigarette within the car park so that he did not have to stop his work and walk to the designated smoking shelter. Throughout the farcical disciplinary process, ASDA’s management incorrectly claimed that the allegation was a breach of the law and that Mark’s learning difficulties and inability to read and write had no bearing upon the matter read more

Gas network buyers must give guarantees to GMB workers (4 Aug) – With two pieces of national infrastructure up for sale, GMB union is calling for reassurances from new investors that they are committed to keeping the UK’s houses safe and warm. GMB, the union for gas workers, has raised serious concerns about the sale of two of England, Scotland and Wales’ eight regulated gas distribution networks to foreign ownership. The concerns have been raised following confirmation that SSE has sold its stake of SGN for £1.26 billion to a consortium comprising of existing shareholders Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Brookfield. SGN includes Scotland Gas Networks and Southern Gas Networks read more

Recruitment crisis in care will continue without proper pay (3 Aug) – Short term bonus’s will do little to stem the flow, without a decent salary for careworkers the sector risks a ‘mass exodus’ of 70,000 careworkers. GMB, the union for social care, has renewed warning that without addressing pay in the sector the recruitment crisis in social care will continue. The warning follows reports that HC-One is offering registered night nurses a signing bonus of £10,000 read more

Merthyr drivers ballot for strike action (2 Aug) – Fed up GMB union members at Stagecoaches Merthyr Tydfil depot are balloting for strike action after the company walked away from the joint pay claim. GMB union drivers and engineers based at Stagecoach’s Merthyr Tydfil depot are balloting for strike action. The ballot takes place after the company walked away from the 2021 pay talks declaring the unions demands as ‘unaffordable’ despite paying the rates at its Porth Depot, only 20 minutes down the road. This years joint pay claim from GMB and sister union Unite the union, requested specifically for parity of rates across the 6 valleys depots. The ballot opens today (Tuesday 2 August 2021) and runs for two weeks. Unite is also consulting with members and considering balloting its members for industrial action in the next few weeks 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

BREAKING NEWS!! UNISON Cymru/Wales opens consultation on NHS pay (10 Aug) – ‘It’s vital that we use this consultation to hear from members in every part of the Welsh NHS – every role, every workplace, every pay band’. UNISON’s consultation on the 3% pay rise for NHS staff in Cymru/Wales opens tomorrow, Wednesday 11 August. Eligible members will be sent a secure link to vote – and everyone is urged to have their say. Health is the main area that is devolved in Wales, so there has been frustration that the pay rise has been imposed by Westminster with no negotiating table to turn to read more

UK government includes workplaces in abuse advice (5 Aug) – Move comes after years of campaigning and lobbying by UNISON, arguing that home and workplace cannot be easily separated in domestic abuse situations read more

Compulsory jabs guidance is confusing and risks driving staff away, says UNISON (4 Aug) – Donna Rowe-Merriman says measure will do more harm than good. Commenting on government guidance published today (Wednesday) that staff and volunteers in care homes must be fully vaccinated unless exempt, UNISON head of business and community Donna Rowe-Merriman said: “Yet again the government is creating confusion where clarity is needed. Staff still don’t know if they’re exempt, which is causing anxiety and prompting concerns they’ll lose their jobs…” read more

‘Now is the time – have your say on pay’ (3 Aug) – Securing fair pay for hard-working members is UNISON’s top priority, as general secretary urges members to make sure their voices are heard read more

All ​health staff must be included in NHS pay award (2 Aug) – NHS workers employed by private firms must not miss out. Cleaners, porters, catering assistants, security ​guards and other health staff employed by private ​companies but working in the NHS​ must not miss out on ​any pay ​rise given to their colleagues, says UNISON today (Monday). UNISON ​is urging firms such as Serco, Sodexo and Mitie – as well as subsidiary companies ​owned by individual NHS trusts – to increase hourly pay rates to at least match new NHS rates (known as Agenda for Change) so they are not left behind read more

Welfare of ambulance staff at risk as services face ‘unsustainable’ demand (3 Aug) – Ambulance trusts must provide urgent support. UNISON has written to ambulance service chiefs calling for urgent support for staff as services face unprecedented 999 call volumes and unsustainable demand from the public. The letter to Daren Mochrie, chair of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), says employers must act ​now to​limit the impact on the wellbeing and morale of staff, especially those working in control rooms read more

UNISON campaign to protect East Midlands NHS jobs pays off (2 Aug) – New University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group signs agreement to protect jobs in merged Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital trusts read more

Progress in pay dispute involving healthcare assistants at Wigan’s hospitals (2 Aug) – Healthcare assistants at Wigan’s hospitals trust have taken a significant step towards resolving a long-running pay dispute. Unison says thousands of hospital workers at three trusts in the region are working to contracts that mean they should provide personal care such as bathing, feeding and toileting patients, which should be paid at NHS Agenda for Change band two level read more on Wigan Today

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    VOTE NOW! We made it on national news

 

RCN

BREAKING NEWS!! RCN launches app to help members campaign for fair pay for nursing (10 Aug) – The campaigning app will support members looking to advocate for the change needed to secure fair pay, safe staffing and effective care during our summer of action read more

NHS pay consultation to open on 12 August (Aug 4) – Members in England and Wales who work in the NHS to consider whether a 3% award is acceptable read more

RCN launches ‘summer of action’ in protest against below-inflation NHS pay award – Events will be held across the UK as we prepare to consult members on next steps. Our fight for fair pay is picking up pace as a series of member events takes place this summer ahead of our biggest ever member consultation on NHS pay. The UK government finally announced the NHS pay award for England last week after months of delays. But with inflation, the 3% award is a real-terms pay cut and leaves experienced nursing staff £200 a year worse off. The government has since admitted that the money would be found from existing budgets, further upsetting the nursing profession as this funding will already be committed for patient care. Today we’ve launched an interactive map of events for nursing staff to protest against the 3% NHS pay award announced for England and Wales and discuss what action they want to take in response read more

 

NIPSA

HSC Pay 2021/22, Car Parking, Safe Staffing & MCA (6 Aug) – You will be aware that the Government has offered NHS workers in England 3%. No offer has yet been made to HSC workers in NI. However, NIPSA and the Health Unions are meeting the Health Minister on 16 August when we will collectively highlight our demand for Fair Pay. After discussion the NIPSA Health Panel agreed at their meeting on 3 August that if 3% is offered in NI it falls far short of our members expectations and on that basis they will recommend rejection when members are consulted read more

 

POA

Pension scheme reforms and members who have already retired (3 Aug) – Members who were in the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) on 31st March 2012 will be aware that the pension scheme reforms made by the Government in 2015 discriminated against them, unlawfully, on the grounds of age. The Government has promised to rectify that. It also intends to place all members in the Alpha Pension Scheme, regardless of their age, with effect from 1st April 2022. That is a proposal we will resist strenuously. But if the Government proceeds as it intends, anyone who was in the Scheme on 31st March 2012 will be given a choice, when they retire. They can have their service between the date they transitioned to Alpha and 31st March 2022 treated as membership of Alpha, or as membership of their former Section of the PCSPS. The position of members who have retired since they were moved to Alpha gives cause for serious concern. In most if not all cases the reason for their retirement was ill-health. In many cases these members are receiving a pension based on the rules of Alpha, but they should already be receiving a higher pension based on the rules of the PCSPS. The Government has promised to rectify these cases, and pay arrears retrospectively, but says it may not be able to do so until October 2023. This is completely unacceptable. Members who have already retired should be paid the correct pension and lump sum now. They should not have to wait another 15 months. We have therefore issued another case, this time in the High Court, for a member whose lump sum was nearly £20,000 smaller than it should have been. We will fight this as a test case for all members who are in a similar position read more

 

NEU

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

 

NASUWT

NASUWT Comments on VTQ assessments announcement (7 Aug) – Commenting on the Department for Education and Ofqual’s announcement of arrangements of VTQ assessments from September 2021, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said: “Yet again, it is disappointing to receive belated confirmation, in the middle of the summer holidays, that exams for VTQ students will proceed in as little as four weeks’ time…” read more

Caution still needed on Covid safety as Scottish schools return (3 Aug) – Commenting on the First Minister’s announcement on the Covid guidance and measures which will be in place for the return of schools in Scotland, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The NASUWT had cautioned that removing all measures would be premature and that a more cautious approach is needed to better protect the health and welfare of pupils and staff and minimise any further disruption to pupils’ learning. It is right that the Government responds to the concerns raised…” read more

 

EIS

First Minister’s Announcement – EIS Comment (3 Aug) – Following the announcement from the First Minister on the reopening of Scotland’s schools, EIS Assistant Secretary David Belsey said, “The EIS welcomes the Scottish Government plans for schools to reopen with broadly the same mitigations in place as when they closed earlier this year. We agree the continued wearing of facemasks, physical distancing measures, effective ventilation of classrooms and good hygiene regimes need to remain in full force…” read more

 

UCU

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

BREAKING NEWS!! Gavin Williamson should reflect on own failures before criticising university staff (10 Aug) – UCU said that Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson was wrong to criticise university staff who have worked so hard, whilst his disastrous mismanagement has caused chaos to the sector read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Bumper exam results must lead to pay rise (10 Aug) – UCU congratulated students and their teachers on this year’s excellent A-level and BTEC results, and said the case for a pay rise for college and university staff is now stronger than ever. UCU said staff in further education had worked incredibly hard to support students and ensure fair grades, but staff working in English colleges have been offered a risible 1% salary increase – a real terms pay cut. The pay gap between college and school teachers currently stands at £9,000 as staff working in further education have seen the value of their pay plummet by over 30% in the past decade. The union is demanding a pay increase of greater than 5% in an effort to close the school-college pay gap after more than a decade of below inflation college pay increases. It said that unless the pay demand is met, college staff across England will take strike action next term read more

Ten day strike begins at University of Liverpool (3 Aug) – University rejecting ‘golden opportunity’ to resolve dispute. Staff at the University of Liverpool are to go on strike tomorrow, after university management squandered a golden opportunity to resolve the long running dispute over cuts to the faculty of health and life sciences. The full strike days are:

  • week 1: Wednesday 4 to Saturday 7 August
  • week 2: Monday 9 to Saturday 14 August.

Work begins on processing of A-level results tomorrow – before they are released publicly on Tuesday 10 August – meaning the university’s confirmation and clearing processes will be disrupted. In a ballot earlier this year, 84% of UCU members who voted backed strike action to fight the university’s plans to slash 47 teaching and research jobs in the faculty of health and life sciences. This has now fallen to two compulsory redundancies after sustained industrial action from UCU and late-stage talks with management. Liverpool UCU met today, and an overwhelming 97% of attendees voted to continue with the planned strike action to support the two colleagues still facing the threat of compulsory redundancy. Previous industrial action taken during the dispute has included a three-week strike beginning in May, which was immediately followed by an ongoing marking and assessment boycott. UCU has also hit the university with the ultimate sanction of a global academic boycott after the university withheld 100% of pay and locked out staff taking part in the lawful assessment boycott 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 welcomes UK haven for media refugees (6 Aug) – Union welcomes comments made today and will wait to see further details of the scheme. The UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab MP, has indicated that he recognises the bravery of Afghan journalists and will consider allowing those who worked for UK media outlets to access a scheme that would enable them to come and live in the UK. The move is in response to a public letter signed by the NUJ and UK media organisations read more

NUJ calls on UK government to offer urgent assistance to Afghan media workers (4 Aug)

Secrets and lies – are Boris’ assurances that journalists won’t be treated as spies believable? (3 Aug) – NEC member Tim Dawson assesses the PM’s latest comments read more

 

Prospect

Ministers should dial down the rhetoric on working from home (9 Aug) – Media reports have suggested that some ministers proposed considering docking pay, or amending terms and conditions in an effort to push more civil servants back to offices read more

 

Equity

Equity is holding a protest on 28 August against cuts to jobs and arts facilities in Stratford, east London. All local trade union and campaign groups are asked to consider attending with banners. Messages of support and protest, and publicity for the demonstration and the union’s petition, are welcomed from across the country. The council in Newham is transforming Stratford Circus, a professional and community arts centre which also ran youth arts, into a youth-only centre. Its annual budget will be up to £700,000 a year smaller – while saving the council nothing. This represents a big loss in provision for the local working class and job opportunities for arts workers. Newham Council is also proposing to cut its entire £256,000-a-year grant to the next-door venue, Theatre Royal Stratford East, from 2023/24. This is a substantial portion of its income. Originally the home of the great socialist theatre-maker Joan Littlewood, Stratford East is today a major hub for black artists and alternative voices.

Equity is demanding:

  1. The tender ‘spec’ for Stratford Circus must be changed to commit to a full-spectrum, professional arts centre alongside youth arts, and to identifying funding for this.
  2. Professional learning-disabled theatre company Blue Sky Actors must be reinstalled in in Stratford Circus. All other displaced groups must be found permanent homes.
  3. The council must re-enter the talks it committed to with Equity, and in good faith.
  4. Convene a democratic conference of the unions and local community to discuss programming and management in Theatre Square.
  5. The council must commit to being guarantor for up to £1 million a year for Stratford Circus. Revoke the cut to council funding at Stratford East. Use some of the borough’s £616 million in usable reserves if needed.
  6. Newham Council, led by the official opposition party, should fight for the needed additional funding from central government to replace any reserve spending or borrowing.

Demonstration: Saturday 28 August at 1pm, Theatre Square, Stratford E15 1BN (five minutes’ walk from Stratford station)

Contact and further info

Equity responds to government-backed insurance scheme for live events (6 Aug) – in response to today’s government announcement of a £750 million scheme offering insurance cover for live events forced to close by Covid restrictions, Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming has released the following statement: “Equity members will recall that in March 2020 the government did not initially legally prevent theatres from opening and instead just advised audiences to stay home. Then, for almost 18 months, the stop-start of our industry was because of government failure to grasp the economic consequences of social distancing, and now workplaces are being shut down due to unnecessary self-isolation rules. So the announcement today of an insurance to protect only against event closure through government instruction is inadequate, when over the past year so many live performances have been closed by opaque obstacles, not explicit requirements…” read more

 

USDAW

Weetabix strike suspended – Usdaw to continue in talks with management over a dispute about shift pay (9 Aug) – Usdaw has suspended its planned 24-hour stoppage at the Weetabix AP4 plant in Kettering, which produces cereal bars, that was due to start today at 7pm. Ed Leach – Usdaw Area Organiser says: “Following discussions we are now awaiting confirmation of the formal offer from the company. Once we are in receipt of this, we will be balloting our members during the course of the week. There will be a further update once the result of the ballot is confirmed.” Read more

BCM Fareva, Nottingham: Usdaw members striking today and over the weekend in a ‘fire and rehire’ dispute – Members of Usdaw at BCM Fareva begin two further stoppages today (30 July), which will continue into Monday. The Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots and The Body Shop has proposed slashing staff terms and conditions, while threatening to ‘fire and rehire’ staff if agreement cannot be reached 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

 

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

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

Health service unions, including SIPTU, have strongly criticised the HSE for a lack of “tangible recognition” for healthcare workers’ role in the fight against COVID (6 Aug) – Talks were held at the Workplace Relations Commission on Thursday 5th August, but HSE representatives had no offer to make. This was despite comments by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly last week in Limerick, where he said that he “definitely want(s) to see some form of recognition for the extraordinary work that they’ve all put in.” Unions had sought some form of special recognition for healthcare staff, dating back to late 2020. Both the Taoiseach and Tánaiste have previously indicated that they would support some recognition. Health service employers in France, Northern Ireland, Denmark and elsewhere have offered staff bonuses or pay increases in recognition of their work and sacrifices over the past year. The unions have referred the matter to the Labour Court read more

SIPTU members in SDCC Housing Department stage one day strike over staff levels (4 Aug) – SIPTU members working in the Housing Department of South Dublin County Council have staged a one-day work stoppage today (Wednesday, 4th August) to highlight the failure of management to honour agreements on staffing levels. As part of the industrial action the workers placed pickets outside County Hall, Belgard Square North, Tallaght and the Jobstown Housing Maintenance Depot in Tallaght read more

SIPTU representatives announce series of strike actions in Local Employment Services – SIPTU members, working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs, have today (Friday, 30th July) announced a series of strike actions across the country read more

 

 

Other News

‘Boris Out!’ – an evening of socialist comedy and entertainment. 3pm Sunday 14th November, Tyneside Irish Centre – 43 Gallowgate, Newcastle NE1 4SG

Racism, privatisation of the NHS, the gig economy, our youth being charged exorbitant rents, Governmental corruption and total incompetence.

We are delighted to announce a 3pm show for Boris Out! – a feast of socialist comedy and entertainment.

The 7pm show has SOLD OUT. Tickets for the 3pm show are strictly limited to 130. Tickets (only £10) from: www.borisout.eventbrite.com. Contact Ed (0191) 4550608

Please note: If you are a Tory, racist or a supporter of the royal family this is definitely not for you.

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

Blacklisting Investigation (9 Aug) – Unite the Union has commissioned an independent investigation into alleged involvement of any past of present union officers or officials in the operation of blacklists in the construction industry. The independent investigation will be conducted by Jane McNeill QC in accordance with the attached Terms of Reference. Evidence for the investigation is now being compiled by Thompsons Solicitors LLP. Any documentary evidence which any individual wishes to provide should be submitted to Thompsons either by email to [email protected] or by post to Unite Blacklisting Inquiry, Thompsons Solicitors LLP, Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LW, reference L213003/RH.  All evidence to be considered for the purpose of the independent report must be received by Thompsons by 9 November 2021 read more

#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

NUJ: Egypt – health of jailed journalist Hisham Fouad deteriorates following hunger strike (10 Aug) read more

Hungary: Stop denying air traffic workers their right to strike read more in LabourStart

 

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

 

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