550: Unite GS Sharon Graham to speak at NSSN TUC Rally

August 31, 2021 in Bulletins

The NSSN is pleased to announce that newly-elected Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham has agreed to address our annual rally before the start of TUC Congress. It is from 12pm on Sunday September 12th.

Sharon spoke at the 2019 NSSN Conference in her then capacity as Unite’s Executive Officer for Organising and Leverage, explaining the union’s strategy for winning industrial disputes.

Sharon is the latest confirmed speaker so far, alongside Sarah Woolley BFAWU General Secretary, Carmel Gates NIPSA General Secretary (Designate), Joe Simpson POA Deputy General Secretary and Joe Kirby RMT NEC & offshore worker.  We will also be having an open mic to allow rank & file union members and reps to have their say.

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 SG announce

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.

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.

 

Care Workers Clap Back – National day of action Saturday 4th September Facebook event

Manchester – 11.30am Piccadilly Gardens Facebook event

London – 11.30am Department of Health and Social Care – 39 Victoria Street SW1H 0EU Facebook event

Newcastle – 1pm Grey’s Monument Facebook event

 

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

 

From Nurses United:-

Next week our fortnightly pay meeting will be on at 8PM on Thursday 2nd September. We’ll be talking about how people are finding things on the ground and our #ThreeStrikesWereOut action on the 11th September

We’ve also put together some leaflets for people to use during the pay ballots to help convince your colleagues to vote. They cover all 4 major unions that represent nurses and there’s separate leaflets (in colour and black & white) for both Wales and England. Click here to download them all:-

All 4 major unions for nursing are now running consultative ballots on whether or not their members want to accept or reject the 3% pay deal. It’s really important for you to vote but also to talk to your team to make sure that they’re voting as well and that they understand that they need to take action if the consultative ballots are successful

50% of all NHS members in a union need to vote and 40% of all NHS members need to vote yes for an industrial action ballot to pass. That’s why these consultative ballots are often called “test ballots” as the unions look to see if they can pass a ballot for industrial action. We need to show that there’s the will within the membership to pass a ballot 

Here’s the details of the upcoming ballots:

Unison are currently running a consultative ballot (accept or reject 3%) until 10th September. Vote here

GMB are currently running a consultative ballot (accept or reject 3%) until 17th September. Details of how to vote are here

RCN are consultative ballot is currently running (accept or reject 3%) until 13th September. Login to MyRCN to update your details, an email from Civica Election Services (CES) will include a link to vote so watch out for it.

Unite are running a consultative ballot (accept or reject 3%) from the tomorrow to 24th September. Login to MyUnite to make sure your details are up to date.

If you’re a member and don’t get a ballot paper please call / email your union and make sure your workplace details are up to date

 

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

St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite repsign petition: End the culture of fear at St Mungo’s

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!

 

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

BREAKING NEWS!! RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff to take further strike action in fight for workplace justice (31 Aug) – RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley will be going ahead with a new phase of strike action from 17th September in an on-going fight for respect and justice in the workplace as the company escalate their abuse and bullying of their staff. As a result of the continued failure of the company to agree to meet with the union and negotiate a fair and just settlement members have been instructed not to book on for shifts as follows;

  • 06.00 hours on Friday 17th September 2021 and 23.59 hours on Saturday 18th September 2021

This latest phase of action follows on from previous rock solid strikes and instead of recognising the strength of the genuine grievances the company have chosen instead to continue their attacks ‎on their staff for having the audacity to stand up and be counted read more

East Midlands Railways members united and determined (29 Aug) – RMT members united and determined in East Midlands Railways disputes again today in fights for justice and safety. RAIL UNION‎ RMT said that it’s senior conductor and train manager members remain united and determined in separate East Midlands Railways disputes this morning. Senior conductors have been engaged in a four month fight for pay and contract justice while the EMR train managers are campaigning for safe operation and staffing on trains in a separate dispute with the same company 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

  • 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

Scotrail workers standing firm again (29 Aug) – Scotrail workers standing firm again today as conductors vote overwhelmingly to continue fight for pay equality and justice. RAIL UNION RMT said that Scotrail members who have been engaged in a six month fight for pay justice and equality are standing firm again today in a week when conductors voted by a massive 80% to continue their action in a reballot. Under the Tory anti union laws workers have to be balloted every six months ‎if they wish to continue an on-going dispute. RMT has begun the process of reballoting ticket examiners who have remained absolutely rock solid throughout the campaign for basic fairness. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “I want to congratulate our members who have stood firm for over six months in this fight for pay justice and equality in the face of outrageous provocation from the employer. They remain absolutely rock solid and determined again today…” read more

RMT campaign to stop wholesale post-COVID rail cuts (27 Aug) – As Scotrail and South Western Railways lead the charge RMT steps up campaign to stop wholesale post-COVID rail cuts. RAIL UNION RMT said today that is stepping up the campaign against a cynical and opportunist wave of post-COVID cuts to jobs and services on Britain’s railways – warning that savage proposals being drawn up by both Scotrail and South Western Railway are set to be mirrored across the network. The cuts plans already being lined up, which would decimate services and staffing levels, fly in the face of statements from Government ministers just weeks ago that they expect rail passenger usage to return to pre-COVID levels read more

New ScotRail conductor strike dates (27 Aug) – RMT announces further strike after ScotRail conductors vote by over 80% to continue action in reballot in fight for pay equality and justice. RAIL UNION RMT said that Scotrail Conductors who have been engaged in a six month fight for pay justice and equality will be taking further industrial action after they voted by a massive 80% to continue their campaign in a reballot. Additional strikes have been called as follows;

  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 12th September 2021
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 19th September 2021
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 26th September 2021
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 3rd October 2021
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 10th October 2021
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 17th October 2021

Strike action this weekend and next weekend also remains on and the instruction to RMT Abellio Scotrail Conductor members not to work any Rest Days or undertake any Higher-Grade Duties remains in place until further notice read more  

ScotRail Conductors vote by over 80% to continue action (26 Aug) – ScotRail Conductors vote by over 80% to continue action in reballot in fight for pay equality and justice. RAIL UNION RMT said that Scotrail Conductors who have been engaged in a six month fight for pay justice and equality have voted by a massive 80% to continue their action in a reballot. Under the recent additions to the anti union laws workers have to be balloted every six months ‎if they wish to continue an on-going dispute read more

RMT on SWR plans to slash services (25 Aug) – RMT calls on Government to slam the brakes on South Western Railway’s plans to slash services. MAIN RAIL UNION RMT today wrote to Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris demanding he intervene to stop plans by train operator South Western Railway to make swingeing cuts to trains and services which could see the wholesale axing of jobs and associated station closures 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

Network Rail – Dispute Update (27 Aug) – Over the past 2 days Network Rail issued communications about the special voluntary severance scheme (VSS), some of which TSSA disagrees with. Network Rail have acknowledged this and we have issued a joint statement (see below) that clarifies the position read more

 

Unite

Dublin Airport Authority (Daa): Company U-turns designed to advance its outsourcing agenda (29 Aug) – Union demands that company engage and agree to implement Labour Court recommendation. Unite industrial action ballot to proceed. Unite, which represents craft workers at Dublin Airport Authority, today (Sunday) accused Daa of engaging in a series of U-turns designed to further a new outsourcing agenda which has not been the subject of either the ‘New Ways of Working’ engagement, or Labour Court Recommendation 22381 which has been accepted by Unite, and was also accepted by Daa but later repudiated by the company.  Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley was commenting on what he termed ‘very concerning and misleading’ correspondence from the Daa following the decision by Unite members to ballot for industrial action – a move driven by the Daa’s decision to abandon the current process and instead to unilaterally pursue a new outsourcing agenda read more

Supermarkets must take responsibility for HGV and food labour shortages (27 Aug) – Supermarkets must take responsibility for the HGV and food industry labour shortages engulfing their supply chains, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 27 August 2021). The union called on the supermarkets and the employers in their supply chains not to seek quick fixes, such as ‘raiding other countries of their workers’. Instead, they must work with Unite to properly address the longstanding issues of insecure work, low pay and unpleasant working conditions that are the root causes of the labour shortages read more

Unite members win Rosyth Dockyard pay claim which could hit £1.5m compensation (26 Aug) – Twenty-seven Unite members have won their tribunal claim over the calculation of the redundancy payment at Rosyth Royal Dockyard in an Employment Tribunal decision. The members were part of a successful joint legal claim involving forty-eight workers. The workers are set to receive between £1,300 and £4,500 compensation. The members worked at Rosyth Royal Dockyard and were made redundant in 2019. The company’s redundancy policy provided for an additional enhancement to the redundancy pay at the rate of one day’s pay for every six months of service. A dispute arose over the correct calculation of the amount of ‘day’s pay’. Unite, the GMB and Prospect trade unions were successful in arguing through Thompsons Solicitors Scotland who acted on their behalf that the calculation should be based on the current daily hours, which would be 9.25 hours per day for a four-day week. The Employment Tribunal found that Rosyth Royal Dockyard had failed to apply a “reasonable, notorious and uniform” method for calculation and were in breach of contract. The tribunal ordered compensation to members of the three unions totalling around £128,000 read more

Booker’s attempt to ‘hoodwink’ lorry drivers on pay, increases strike threat (26 Aug) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has warned that a cynical attempt by Booker Retail Partners to hoodwink its lorry drivers on pay has dramatically increased the likelihood of widespread industrial action at the company. The company, which is part of the Tesco empire, has attempted to bypass negotiations with the drivers’ union, Unite, by putting a pay proposal directly to staff read more

Families on Universal Credit implore chancellor to cancel £20 cut with giant Bridlington beach art (26 Aug) – Families gathered at the East Yorkshire seaside town of Bridlington yesterday (Wednesday 25 August) to send a message with a giant work of beach art imploring chancellor Rishi Sunak to cancel the £20 cut to Universal Credit (UC) in four weeks’ time. Drone footage, photographs and quotes from the families who attended the protest are available read more

Sainsbury’s empty shelves threat as Dartford DHL lorry drivers willing to strike over pay (25 Aug) – Sainsbury’s stores in London and the South East could face empty shelves after DHL lorry drivers at the supermarket’s Dartford distribution centre signalled their willingness to strike over pay, Unite said today (Wednesday 25 August). Unite, the UK’s leading union, held a consultative strike action ballot of HGV drivers employed by DHL at the Dartford distribution centre over a one per cent pay offer put forward by the logistics company. The ballot of around 200 Unite HGV driver members resulted in a 98 per cent vote in favour of taking industrial action, including strikes. DHL is contracted to run Sainsbury’s Dartford regional distribution centre, including driving and warehouse operations. Unite regional officer Phil Silkstone said: “National HGV driver shortages are all over the news, so how DHL thought it was going to get away with an insulting offer of a one per cent pay rise is beyond me. Our members have signalled that they are willing to take strike action and we will now be moving to opening a formal industrial action ballot…” read more

Unions write to home secretary demanding police staff pay freeze is overturned (25 Aug) – Unions representing police staff, including control room operatives, 999 calls handlers and forensic specialists, have written to the home secretary Priti Patel asking her to urgently reconsider the decision to impose a pay freeze on the majority of police staff this year. In July, the Police Staff Council decided that police staff earning over £24,000 a year would have their pay frozen for 2021/22, with those earning below that figure receiving an increase of just £250 a year. In their letter, the unions highlight that police staff are the only group of emergency responders to have had a pay freeze imposed on them. NHS emergency responders have been offered a three per cent pay increase, while firefighters will receive a 1.5 per cent pay rise read more

Bexley bin collections to resume while deal is ratified (24 Aug) – Bin collections in the London borough of Bexley are to resume from tomorrow (Wednesday 25 August) while a deal between refuse collectors and their employer Serco is ratified. Unite, the UK’s leading union, said its members have voted in favour of the deal in principle but are waiting for Serco to carry out its promises before calling a complete end to the strike action. The deal includes a one off £750 payment for 19 staff, contract changes that will reduce pay disparities and steps to prevent the weaponization of the drug and alcohol policy. Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “We are pleased that a provisional deal has been reached following an improved offer from Serco. “While the deal is being ratified, which we expect to happen by the end of the week, our members will go back to work and bin collections in Bexley will resume. Until this deal is enacted in full, however, strikes are being suspended not cancelled, and our members retain the option to return to the picket line if they need to do so” 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

GKN Birmingham strike ballot begins as Unite raises concerns over government research support – Workers at the GKN Automotive factory in Birmingham will begin receiving ballot papers from today (Monday 16 August) in the dispute over the decision by parent company GKN Melrose to close the site next year. The ballot for workers at the Chester Road factory, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will close on Tuesday 31 August and if there is a yes vote strike action could begin in mid-September read more

Lancashire biomedical scientists set to strike until November in pay upgrade dispute – Biomedical scientists at a Lancashire NHS trust will strike until the middle of November in an upgrading pay row, as the bosses drag their feet over holding constructive talks, Unite the union said today (Friday 13 August). The 21 biomedical scientists at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust were on strike between 31 May and 28 July – and are set to resume strike action on Friday 20 August which will then run through until Thursday 11 November. At five-and-half months this would be one of the longest-running industrial disputes currently in the UK. Unite said that it had asked for a meeting with the trust by 30 July, but these talks  will now take place on Thursday 9 September which the union said was clear evidence of the management’s lack of interest in resolving this dispute. Unite said that the trust management was more intent on spending tens of thousands of pounds on breaking the dispute than honouring the 2019 pay upgrade deal that they originally agreed to. Unite said the trust’s actions were at the expense of patients needing speedy and efficient analysis of blood examples during the continuing pandemic at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and the Burnley General Teaching Hospital. Unite regional officer Keith Hutson said: “Our members have voted to strike until November as they have been met by a dogmatic management intent on wastefully racking up thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to break this strike, rather than do the honourable thing and stick to the 2019 agreement to pay the upgrade that was promised. This is the worst example of macho-management and unworthy of the ethos underpinning the NHS…” read more

Talks in Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute break down due to TfL’s ‘bad faith’, says Unite – Crunch talks to resolve the long-running Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute yesterday (Tuesday 10 August) between Transport for London (TfL) bosses and Unite the union broke down with the union accusing TfL of ‘bad faith’. Unite, which represents 57 ferry workers, had suspended industrial action as a goodwill gesture in the run-up to the talks – but its members were back on strike today (Wednesday 11 August) and will be striking on Friday (13 August). Prior to today, there has already been 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: “We were making good progress with the union agreeing to a proposal from TfL to meet through workshops to discuss a new collective agreement. However, the employers made their pay offer which was worse than the last offer – and they then refused to budge. “Our members had suspended strike action as a goodwill gesture, but feel that they have been badly let down by another abject example of TfL’s bad faith and, as a result, they are back on strike today. The management is game playing, which we feared would happen…” read more

Rolls Royce Barnoldswick protest to be held as strikes over site’s future resume – 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

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

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!! Hybrid Working in DWP (31 Aug) – Following the period of civil servants working from home during the pandemic, the Cabinet Office has created four “personas” to describe different ways of working going forward. Throughout the pandemic many workers have been allowed to work from home. We have conclusive proof that workers can work from home and still deliver vital services, without affecting workloads and performance read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Brook Street workers and Fixed Term Appointment (FTA) staff (31 Aug) – Following the DWP ‘s offer to the staff previously employed by Brook Street we can confirm that of the 1808 staff on Brook Street contracts, 97% have converted to DWP contracts. The huge majority of Brook Street staff converting to DWP contracts demonstrates that workers much prefer direct employment to being second class citizens with inferior terms and conditions, working on agency contracts. The DWP should acknowledge this and not use agency workers again read more

BREAKING NEWS!! PCS to ballot DVSA members for strike action over new 8-test schedule (31 Aug) – DVSA management have confirmed they will be proceeding with plans to add another driving test per day to examiners’ schedules. PCS has served notice on the DVSA of the intention to ballot driving examiner and driving test centre manager members for industrial action on the issue of the 8-test schedule. The agency wants to introduce the extra test as part of a range of measures to deal with the backlog of tests that has arisen as a result of Covid. PCS is concerned about the impact that the extra test would have on examiners’ performance, health, safety, well-being and welfare, as well as the impact on examiners on part-time contracts. The ballot will launch on 6 September and run for three weeks, closing at noon on 24 September.  The ballot is statutory and therefore will be postal, with voting packs sent to members’ home addresses. Please check your details are up to date via PCS Digital. We will be holding a series of members’ meetings to discuss the ballot and its implications. Look out for details soon read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Protest in the Park – Royal Parks cleaners’ strike (31 Aug) – Striking workers and supporters marched through Hyde Park on Bank Holiday Monday, amplifying the cleaners’ struggle for equality. Royal Parks cleaners working for Just Ask Services marked the end of their second week of strike action with a Protest in the Park yesterday. They are fighting for an end to the two-tier workforce which sees workers employed on the Just Ask contract getting worse terms than their colleagues working directly for Royal Parks. PCS members are demanding improved workplace health and safety, a commitment to no redundancies, sick pay parity with in-house staff, amongst other things. The cleaners have kept parks open and safe during the pandemic, providing a much-needed public space for everyone during a difficult and isolating period. The same rights as in-house colleagues is the bare minimum these workers should be able to expect from their employer. The Protest in the Park marched through Hyde Park, with singing and drums along the way. Speeches were given outside the Diana Memorial Playground where members of the public listened in and offered words of support, donating what they could to the strike fund bucket. Hollywood actor Jude Law even ran past and took a PCS leaflet; members are keeping their fingers crossed and a close eye on the strike fund. The next stages of the campaign are being discussed. In the meantime, please give what you can via the Crowdfunder read more

Royal Parks: First week of strike action ends on a high – After a week of industrial action, workers at Just Ask remain determined to win. Planning more campaign activities next week, ending in a large public protest on bank holiday Monday. The strike is over 6 issues, the key ones being possible staffing cuts later this year and winning the same sick pay as staff who are directly employed by the Royal Parks. On Monday, 16 August, the first day of two weeks of continuous strike action, supporters and more than 20 strikers joined at Royal Parks HQ for a demo and meeting to kick off the week. With messages of support given by Hector Wesley on behalf of the PCS NEC, and Robert Eagleton on behalf of the City of Westminster Labour party, as well as members of Unite Community and the NSSN, and met their new officer from UVW, PCS’ partner in the dispute. On Wednesday, (18), the strikers were met by PCS president Fran Heathcote at their strike meeting to plan next steps. On Friday (20), more than 20 strikers joined another public protest in St James’s Park and planned next week’s action, agreeing to ramp up the dispute organising leafletting the public and a mass protest on Bank Holiday Monday, (30). People can support the Just Ask strikers by supporting any of the below events, or contributing to their strike fund.

Please give what you can through the Crowdfunder website. Send messages of support to [email protected]

Watch Reel News video: Join the “Protest in The Park” to demand equality for Royal Parks key workers

Mark Serwotka’s open letter to DVLA chief executive (28 Aug) – PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has written to Julie Lennard, chief executive officer of the DVLA, urging her to work with PCS to resolve the dispute read more

Latest DVLA action going strong into fourth week – Most staff in the drivers medical section of the DVLA are still striking as we enter the fourth consecutive week of a month of action in our ongoing dispute. There are growing backlogs at DVLA, and in drivers medical the department which decides whether drivers who have medical conditions are fit to drive safely, because of the industrial action. However, the dispute could have been settled in the first week of June – when a deal was put on the table that we were prepared to accept. This plan was scuppered by unscrupulous ministers and transport minister Baroness Vere admitted as much at the parliamentary transport select committee last month. It is false for DVLA senior management to accuse us of targeting the most vulnerable when it was them who refused to implement our suggestion of prioritising key worker licences and correspondence right at the start of our dispute. The same should be done for vulnerable people who need to be made a priority. The DVLA and transport secretary Grant Shapps can settle this dispute today by putting a deal back on the table. Our campaign at DVLA has moved on to a further stage with members urged to vote in a consultative ballot on further action. Members have until 3 September to vote, to demonstrate their continued support for the campaign read more. How you can help:-

  • Donate to the strike fund. This fund supports members financially when they are striking and therefore not being paid by their employer. The details are: account name: Fighting Fund Levy. account number: 20331490 sort code: 60-83-01, reference: DVLA
  • Sign the e-action. PCS has an e-action which asks transport secretary Grant Shapps to intervene to keep members safe.
  • Messages of solidarity. Write a message of support for striking DVLA workers by emailing [email protected]

Harassment at Work at the VOA (26 Aug) – There have been a number of instances of harassment of VOA colleagues by individuals not employed by the agency. Whilst we are aware of unacceptable and poor behaviour, these incidents are rarely reported so we don’t have the data to know how prevalent the problem is. PCS VOAC and PCS office reps have agreed to survey our membership to identify how widespread these incidents are and identify any barrier which may be preventing members from reporting cases read more

Returning to Offices (26 Aug) – Jonathan Russell has been clear that whilst a request was made for staff to attend their base office for a day in August/early September, there is still no requirement for colleagues to return full-time. We have recently been contacted by members who are concerned that pressure is being applied in some areas for staff to return to their offices on a weekly basis now, rather than in early autumn. This is clearly unacceptable and not in line with VOA guidance. If members have any concerns this is happening in their location or within your business stream please contact your PCS rep read more

More members’ meetings arranged to discuss MoJ pay offer (26 Aug) – Members are encouraged to attend one of the online meetings. The deadline to vote is 9 September. The electronic ballot on the three year pay deal opened on 20 August and closes on Thursday 9 September. PCS is recommending that members vote yes to accept the pay offer read more

PCS responds to Labour’s Universal Credit announcement (24 Aug) – PCS broadly welcomes the Labour party’s commitment to scrapping “fatally flawed” Universal Credit in favour of a fairer benefit system read more

Nats members vote overwhelmingly for industrial action – 84% of members voting in the consultative ballot voted for strike action. Members in Nats (Air Traffic Systems) voted in favour of both industrial action (83.44%) and action short of strike (94.48%) in a consultative ballot with 73% turnout. The ballot was held in light of worsening industrial relations with management, and the proposal to ‘tear-up’ a long standing redundancy agreement. PCS negotiators will now meet with management on 17 August armed with this result, to demand the removal of any threats against the redundancy agreement, and also to seek improvements in industrial relations including assurances on pay increases read more

 

CWU

BREAKING NEWS!! CWU secures top end pay deal for IBM members (Aug 31) – Members in IBM have unanimously accepted a CWU-brokered pay deal which delivers an across-the-board fully consolidated rise of 2.5%. Set against a relevant RPI inflation rate of 1.5% in March, the settlement is backdated to April and covers a single CWU-represented bargaining unit covering a small group of members working on an outsourced BT contract covering its mainframe service read more

Postmasters – have your say on Horizon and the way forward (Aug 26) – CWU launches nationwide survey to ensure frontline members’ voices are heard loud and clear in Sir Wyn Williams’s Judicial Inquiry into the Horizon scandal. “We want as many postmasters as possible to take part in this process,” says CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey after sending out a key communication to people running this essential service in every part of the UK…” read more

Royal Mail Group and Union Agreement – Launch of the ‘Group’ Work-Related Stress Risk Assessment Process (Aug 24) – Royal Mail Group has concluded an agreement, announcing the launch of a new extended and updated Work-Related Stress Management Toolkit which now adds the ‘whole office/group/unit’ stress risk assessment process to the existing individual stress risk assessment – guided conversation process read more

 

GMB

Series of strikes begin at Serco Sandwell as talks stall (30 Aug) – On Tuesday 31st August at 5.30am Serco Sandwell refuse workers will take the first in a series of strike actions against the firm’s “total failure” to resolve a management culture of bullying and harassment, affecting waste collections for over 60,000 households in the Sandwell Council area. Ahead of the first strike on Tuesday, the workers’ union GMB has also hit out the leadership of Sandwell Council for its refusal to confront attacks on basic workers’ rights by its statutory service providers. Strikes will also take place at the same time on Tuesday 7th, 14th and 21st September. Workers have complained of breaches in health and safety and a culture of bullying from management read more

Messages of support can be sent to the members via the Regional Secretary – Joe Morgan, GMB Regional Secretary Birmingham & West Midlands, Will Thorne House, 2 Birmingham Road, Halesowen, Birmingham B63 3HP or email to [email protected]

GMB to ballot transferring facilities staff across four Berkshire Hospitals for possible strike action (26 Aug) – ‘If members support then Transfer day could also be the day members walk out to protect jobs and pay’ say GMB Southern. GMB the Union for NHS and Healthcare workers is to ballot transferring facilities staff working for Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust at the King Edward VII, Wokingham, St Marks, and Upton Hospitals to take action to protect them from potential job down gradings and pay cuts as transfer of services and staff to NHS Property Services Ltd happens on October 1st, 2021 read more

GMB and Uber pledge to end exploitation of more than 200,000 drivers (26 Aug) – GMB Union and Uber today committed to end the exploitation of more than 200,000 drivers who use ride hailing apps. Today marked the first meeting between Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, and Uber’s Jamie Heywood, following the ground-breaking trade union recognition deal. Under the deal – struck in May – Uber will formally recognise GMB, which will now be able to represent up to 70,000 Uber drivers across the UK. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court determined Uber drivers are not self-employed, but are workers entitled to workers’ rights including holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks read more

Unions write to home secretary demanding police staff pay freeze is overturned (25 Aug) – Unions representing police staff, including control room operatives, 999 calls handlers and forensic specialists, have written to the home secretary Priti Patel asking her to urgently reconsider the decision to impose a pay freeze on the majority of police staff this year read more

Yodel strike ballot begins (25 Aug) – A strike ballot of Yodel lorry drivers begins today with the delivery giant facing a complete network standstill. More than 250 Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers will vote on whether to take industrial action over pay and conditions. The strike ballot closes on September 15 – meaning industrial action could take place during Yodel’s busiest ‘peak’ period in the lead up to Christmas. The drivers are angry over their work life balance, the fact agency workers are paid more than directly employed drivers, annual leave payments that remain outstanding, a failure to offer substantial pay enhancements to stem the tide of drivers leaving the business for better paid jobs elsewhere and a failure to honour contractual agreements around pay for holiday and sick leave. GMB has engaged in weeks of negotiations with the company who have so far failed to act quickly enough to settle the drivers demands or engage with the union on discussions around pay read more

Brighton’s City Clean refuse, recycling, commercial waste and com-bin drivers to be balloted for strike action – The overwhelming GMB consultative ballot result from HGV drivers within the city’s waste management Hollingbury depot could see industrial action in September, says GMB Southern Region. GMB union HGV members at Brighton and Hove, have voted to undertake an industrial action ballot over unfair and discriminatory treatment of drivers by council management. The independent Civica run ballot which would be the last stage legally required before angry drivers could take action has come about through unilateral daily changes and removal of drivers from long standing rounds without process, at the whim of uninformed management read more

Manic Monday looms for Merthyr as bus drivers set to strike – GMB Drivers and engineers are set for strike action as the new school term gets underway, unless stagecoach address the pay disparity which sees Merthyr staff paid less than their colleagues in neighbouring Porth. Drivers and engineers based at Stagecoach’s Merthyr Tydfil have announced their first strike date (Monday 6th September), the same date as the new school term begins. The move could see the county borough grind to a halt, as drivers refuse to work on what is traditionally one of the busiest weeks of the year. The strike has been called after GMB Members voted overwhelmingly for strike action at the company’s Merthyr Tydfil depot. Staff are simply asking to be paid the same rate as their stagecoach colleagues based at the Porth depot, only 16 miles away, for doing the same job. Currently they are being paid around a pound an hour less by the company for working in Merthyr Tydfil read more

Traffic wardens strike over pay in Tory heartland – After a decade of having their allowances frozen, GMB parking wardens for NSL parking in Westminster are set to strike over pay and conditions. GMB parking wardens are set to strike in Westminster after unanimously voting to reject NSL Ltd’s pay offer. 100% of members voted to reject in a high turnout ballot, with nearly 80% of members voting. Currently GMB members working for NSL are effectively just above the breadline, earning the basic London Living Wage of £10.75 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

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

 

Unison

Many nurses and midwives feel unprepared and unsupported in first roles (25 Aug) – More help needed from government and employers for new health staff. More than two thirds (70%) of students or newly qualified nurses and midwives believe they have missed out on important learning experiences during Covid, says a UNISON report today (Wednesday). The findings also show more than half (56%) of final year students worry they’re not as prepared for qualification as they should be, according to a snapshot survey of those in the UK who completed their studies in the pandemic read more

Councils across England, Wales and Scotland face a £3bn funding black hole next year (25 Aug) – Ministers must find emergency funding to avert catastrophic cuts. Councils in England, Wales and Scotland are grappling with huge budget deficits of almost £3bn for the next financial year*, according to research published by UNISON today (Wednesday). The record shortfall – totalling £2.996bn – in 2022/23 will lead to huge service and staff cuts at local authorities across Britain unless the government urgently finds the money to protect communities, the union says read more

Sandwell leisure staff strike again over ‘fire and rehire’ tactics (23 Aug) – Leisure trust that is set to run the aquatic centre for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is targeting staff while having millions in the bank. Swimming instructors, lifeguards, receptionists and other staff at the Sandwell Leisure Trust in the West Midlands took to the picket line at the Portway Lifestyle Centre this morning as they took further industrial action over changes to their contracts. The one-day strike is the third this year by employees of the trust, in response to new agreements affecting the pay of around 280 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    VOTE NOW! We made it on national news

 

RCN

Scottish Greens should use Government influence to push for fair pay for nursing (20 Aug) – Commenting on the announcement that the Scottish National Party and Scottish Greens have finalised a co-operation agreement, Julie Lamberth, Chair of RCN Scotland Board said: “We are seeing elective procedures cancelled across Scotland due, in part, to a lack of staff. Our members are clear that with around 3,300 nursing vacancies in our NHS alone, fair pay is needed to ensure we recruit and retain the nursing staff needed to provide the best patient care and recover from this pandemic. The Scottish Government’s pay award falls far short of what is needed. “The Scottish Greens were elected on a manifesto which pledged a 12.5% pay rise for nursing staff. I hope that they will be using this agreement and their influence over the Scottish Government to push for a fair deal for nursing in all settings.” Read more

NHS pay consultation opens: have your say now – RCN members working for the NHS in England and Wales have a chance to say whether a 3% pay award is acceptable or unacceptable. The RCN consultation on NHS pay has opened today (12 August) and will close at noon on 13 September. Members working for the NHS in England and Wales can have their say on whether the 3% pay award for 2021-22 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

DfC Minister Responds to NIPSA Questions on Housing Executive Revitalisation (25 Aug) – Housing Executive NIHE Housing. NIPSA, the largest Public Service Union representing staff in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, welcomes the recent correspondence from Deirdre Hargey, Department for Communities Minister in response to a number of questions arising from the Northern Ireland Assembly announcement to revitalise the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. The primary concerns of NIPSA around the proposal to turn the NIHE Landlord Function into a Cooperative/Mutual model would mean it being privatised to enable it to borrow under current Office for National Statistics classifications. Whilst the Minister in her correspondence dated the 19th of August 2021 has stated that specific models have not yet been agreed and there will be ongoing consultation and engagement going forward she has gone on to provide assurances that; 1. “I will not consider any Privatisation options.” 2. “I will ensure the guarantees and protections around the jobs terms and conditions and pensions of Housing Executive staff are included in the proposals that I bring back to the Executive.” 3. The Minister also emphasised the importance of the Comprehensive Rental review required to inform the revitalisation programme and prioritised to ensure affordable and sustainable levels to support the future of Social Homes going forward read more

 

BFAWU

BFAWU to recall Conference (Aug 24) – Today the Labour Party has made a clear statement of intent in its aspiration to repair its relationship with the bosses but seems to be determined to widen the divide between the representatives of labour and those our movement represent. The recent decision to proscribe organisations is seen as a divisive and a purely factional attack which will do nothing to unite the party or provide any real opportunity for the party to be able to unite to fight and defeat our real enemy The Tory Party. We have decided to make this statement following recent media speculation in relation to the expulsion of our National President. Our executive have met to discuss the potential of this event occurring, and reaffirmed its position that our National President has only ever conducted himself in line with the policies and the decisions taken by this trade union. The executive expressed dismay and anger at the idea the Labour Party should consider expelling the office of our nominated political lead in our organisation, and agreed that a firm response was required should the party take such actions. The BFAWU executive unanimously agreed a timeline that would coincide with the leaders address to national Labour conference in September should such a situation arise and that from Wednesday 25th August communication to Branches would be initiated and would be formally issuing notification of our intention in preparedness to recall conference to debate the disaffiliation from the Labour party read more

 

NEU

SAGE on Schools Reopening (27 Aug) – Tagged inCOVID-19Health and safetyInfectious diseases. This statement from SAGE is a rebuke to Gavin Williamson. Nothing has been done to prepare for the possibility of large numbers of cases which will lead to lots of disruption for staff and pupils read more

Back to School (26 Aug) – We all want the return to school to be successful. This charm offensive from Government relies on the notion that the removal of safety requirements will magically transform school and college life read more

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

BREAKING NEWS!! Isle of Man electorate urged to vote for education (31 Aug) – Ahead of the General Election on 23 September, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is urging the Isle of Man electorate to vote for education. The Union has launched a campaign calling for candidates to publically commit to investment in an education system which will support all children and young people in the Isle of Man to achieve their best read more

 

EIS

School COVID figures give significant cause for concern & highlight need for continuing caution (27 Aug) – The significant rise in COVID cases linked to Scottish schools, confirmed in new figures released by Public Health Scotland, is a significant cause for concern. The spike in cases highlights the need for continuing caution and effective mitigations to limit COVID spread through school communities. The latest figures, published today, indicate that 2 out of every 100 pupils nationally are currently absent from school for a Covid-related reason. Test positivity amongst the 2-17 age group has increased to 19.9% this week, compared to 18.5% the previous week. A total of 14,914 pupils were absent on 24 August on account of COVID read more

 

UCU

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

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

 

NUJ

BREAKING NEWS!! Cut to funding is “hammer blow” for BBC, says NUJ (31 Aug) – Union reacts to news of proposed cut to BBC funding via the licence fee. Paul Siegert NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said: “If these stories are true then a below inflation increase would be a hammer blow for the BBC. The corporation has proved itself to be an essential component of British society especially during the global health pandemic and audiences have been glued to their services when the country has been put under lockdown…” read more

#CEPOW: get prepared for a day of action on climate and workplaces (24 Aug) – On Wednesday 22 September trade unionists are asked to take part in a day of action to Climate and Employment Proof Our Work. In the run up to this autumn’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) the International Trade Union Confederation is spearheading #CEPOW, Climate and Employment Proof Our Work, on Wednesday 22 September read more

 

Prospect

Rosyth members win Employment Tribunal over “what is a day’s pay?” (26 Aug) – Prospect members at Rosyth Royal Dockyard have won a tribunal claim over the calculation of redundancy payments and will each receive additional compensation, on average, of £3,400. The members were made redundant in 2018 and 2019. The company’s redundancy policy provided for an additional enhancement to the redundancy pay at the rate of one day’s pay for every six months of service. A dispute arose over the correct calculation of the amount of a ‘day’s pay’. The case was brought jointly with GMB & Unite read more

 

USDAW

BCM Fareva, Nottingham: Usdaw members to take further industrial action as company continues to refuse to talk (27 Aug) – Members of Usdaw at BCM Fareva will begin a further stoppage on Monday 30 August, which will continue into Tuesday. The strike follows four previous stoppages in July and August. The Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots and The Body Shop continues to press ahead with threats of ‘fire and rehire’ if employees do not accept significant cuts to their terms and conditions read more

Weetabix 24-hour strike will start at 7pm today as dispute continues about shift pay – Usdaw members at the Weetabix AP4 plant in Kettering, which produces cereal bars, have rejected a company offer intended to resolve the dispute and will start a 24-hour stoppage from 7pm on Monday 16 August 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

From UVW Facebook page: Royal Parks workers are on lower wages and fewer benefits than others directly employed by Royal Parks. TODAY they start 14 days of strike action – because they deserve better. Help them fight for equal:

  • sick pay ✔
  • maternity pay ✔
  • annual leave ✔
  • pension entitlement ✔

United Voices of the World the union and PCS Union  fighting together  for dignity, justice and equality

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU welcomes international footballers agreement on pay and calls for similar action elsewhere in sport (31 Aug) – SIPTU representatives have welcomed an agreement that footballers representing Ireland at international level will be paid equally while calling for more action by sports authorities to end the continuing gender pay gap and encourage greater participation by women read more

SIPTU members in local employment services vote for industrial action (26 Aug) – SIPTU members, working in local employment services (LES) and Job Clubs, have voted in favour of industrial action which will commence with protests at locations across the country on Monday, 6th September 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

Hosted by Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC): ‘Service charges and how to challenge them’ – 6.30pm Thursday 9th September. Help for tenants and residents to understand and challenge service charges. Let’s also mobilise to end landlord abuse of the service charging system with its fraudulent demands. Register now at https://bit.ly/SHAC-SCs

‘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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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