551: NSSN lobbies TUC Sunday to fight Tory & bosses offensive

September 7, 2021 in Bulletins

NSSN TUC Rally 12pm Sunday September 12th online via Zoom Facebook event

Zoom details:-

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

Meeting ID: 861 1677 4093     Passcode: NSSN2021

NSSN TUC rally 2021 SG announce

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.

Confirmed speakers so far: Sharon Graham Unite General Secretary, 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.

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.

 

 

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.

GMB: Strike threat facing schools and cleansing as GMB Scotland members reject latest COSLA pay offer (3 Sept)

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

From Nurses United:-

At our fortnightly pay meeting on 2nd September, we talked 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 currently running a consultative ballot (accept or reject 3%) until 10th September. Vote here

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

RCN’s 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 responds to damning RAIB report (7 Sept) – RMT responds to damning RAIB report into fatal incident at Waterloo last year. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This a damning report that once again illustrates the importance of maintaining staffing levels on the basis of proper safety and risk assessments that must involve front line staff through their trade union. RMT safety reps will be raising this report with LU in our safety forums and demanding a clear programme of action to deal with the issues it addresses” read more

Action solidly supported again today on East Midlands Railways (5 Sept) – Action solidly supported again today on East Midlands Railways as company flout normal safety rules. RAIL UNION RMT said that action by Senior Conductors and Train Managers on East Midlands Railways in two separate disputes remains solidly supported today as the union begins compiling a dossier of potentially lethal safety breaches as the company drafts in an ill-trained army of strike breakers in a dangerous and desperate bid to try and undermine their front-line staff. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “Our members are standing firm again today on East Midlands Railways in the two on-going disputes as the company gambles on passenger safety instead of getting round the table for serious talks…” 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 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 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

ScotRail staff rock solid again today (5 Sept) – ScotRail staff rock solid again today in fight for equality and justice as company turn the screw on pay. RAIL UNION RMT said that Scotrail members who have been engaged for over six months fight for pay justice and equality are standing rock solid again today in a week when the company chose to up their attacks on staff by refusing to budge on their imposed pay freeze 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  

RMT hits back at bare-faced cheek of SNP (5 Sept) – RMT hits back at bare-faced cheek of SNP over rail disputes which are their responsibility. RAIL UNION RMT today hit back at the bare-faced cheek of the political elite in Scotland after the SNP issued a statement demanding that the union call off disputes that the SNP themselves have not lifted a finger to resolve despite having control of both the purse strings and the transport network read more

Delegation of cleaners delivers pay justice petitions to Govia Thameslink Railways (3 Sept) – At 12pm today (Friday), heroic cleaners who put their lives on the line throughout the Covid-19 pandemic will deliver a petition to Govia Thameslink Railways’ headquarters in London protesting about pay and conditions and calling on the company to step in and tackle low pay among its sub-contracted cleaning staff. ‎GTR outsources its cleaning to Atalian Servest on the Southeastern franchise and to Churchill on the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise. As RMT research showed recently, outsourced cleaning is associated with low pay, poor conditions and job cuts, as companies extract profits by cutting labour costs. The union has also warned that this endangers public health read more

RMT statement on Merchant Navy Day 2021 (3 Sept) – SEAFARERS’ UNION RMT issued a statement on Merchant Navy Day 3rd September 2021 paying tribute to the record of service to the country’s economy and security and pledging to protect merchant navy seafarers’ jobs and skills for the long term read more

Merseyside politicians unite to slam Merseyrail’s treatment of heroic cleaners (2 Sept) – A cross-Party coalition of Merseyside’s politicians has written an open letter to Merseyrail boss Andy Heath calling on him to step in and sort out disputes on two of its cleaning contracts and pledging to campaign for heroic cleaners and other keyworkers to be brought in-house across the region read more

RMT announces industrial action on Stagecoach East Midlands in national pay fight (2 Sept) – BUS UNION RMT today announced industrial action ‎on Stagecoach East Midlands as part of a national campaign to secure professional pay rates for professional drivers which includes RMT members in Yorkshire, the South West and Wessex. Members at the Mansfield and Worksop depots will be taking the following action after a massive yes vote which reflects the anger of this particular group of key transport workers;

‎N‎ot to undertake overtime and not to undertake rest day working between the following hours:

  • 00:01 hours on Friday 17thSeptember 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 1st October 2021
  • 00:01 hours on Friday 8th October 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 22nd October 2021‎‎

RMT members on Stagecoach Yorkshire, South West and Wessex services are also engaged in the dispute and are at various stages of the balloting process read more

Offshore union RMT reaction to report from employers’ body on the future of the UK oil and gas industry (1 Sept) – OFFSHORE ENERGY Union RMT today reacted to the ‘Economic Report’ published today by the offshore oil and gas employers’ body OGUK. RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch said: “70,000 jobs have been lost in the offshore oil and gas sector since 2019 and investment is at a 48-year low. But the OGUK also estimate that domestic oil and gas production is capable of meeting 95% of existing domestic energy demand…” read more

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

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

TfL Pension Fund Review – Survey of TSSA members (3 Sept) – TSSA is inviting all members in Transport for London and London Underground to participate in a TSSA Survey in connection with the highly contentious Review of the TfL Pension Fund read more

 

Unite

Bexley bin dispute ends with refuse workers moving from ‘worst pay rates in London to some of the best’ (2 Sept) – Bin strikes in Bexley, South London, have officially ended following the ratification of a pay deal between refuse collectors and their employer Serco, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 2 September). 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 also announced an agreement with Countrystyle Recycling, who will take over the Bexley street cleaning and refuse collection contract from Serco in October, that will see pay rates dramatically improve. The agreement with Countrystyle Recycling will see the lowest paid workers receive a pay rise of 11 per cent with rates increasing to £11.50 an hour, above the real London Living Wage of £10.85, as well as pay rises for staff on other grades. Some drivers, previously on £22,000 a year because of Serco’s failure to pay workers according to stipulated pay scales, will see their wages increase to more than £30,000 when they transfer to Countrystyle. The deal with Countrystyle also sees staff receive an extra five days annual of leave as well as 12 weeks of industrial injury sick pay that was denied them by Serco. Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “Our members refused to be cowed by the immense pressure put on them by Serco and Bexley council. Nobody wanted to take strike action but both Serco’s and Bexley council’s actions left them no other choice…” read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Unite Scotland hold ‘historic’ industrial action ballot at Coulport nuclear naval base (7 Sept) – Unite Scotland today (Tuesday 7 September) confirmed that around 70 of its members who provide specialist services for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines are to be balloted for industrial action in a ‘historic’ development at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) Coulport. The ballot over a pay dispute will open on Friday 10 September and close on Monday 20 September. If the ballot for industrial action is successful, then strike action, and action short of a strike, will take place from the beginning of October. The workers involved in the ballot provide care and maintenance services for the weapons systems on the Royal Navy nuclear armed submarine fleet. Due to national security reasons some of the roles cannot be disclosed. It’s understood that due to the specialist nature of the services then action short of a strike including an over time ban could potentially ‘cripple’ the operations at Coulport. The Unite membership involved in the dispute are employed by three separate employers. The companies are AWE plc, Babcock Marine (Clyde) Ltd, and Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems Ltd. The companies are part of the ABL Alliance which is a joint venture awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) read more

Shropshire wheel factory workers hail victory in pay dispute (7 Sept) – Further strike action at an historic Shropshire wheel factory has been called off after workers voted to accept an improved pay offer from the company, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 7 September). Unite members employed at GKN Wheels and Auto Structures in Telford voted for strike action in June over the company’s refusal to implement a pay rise. Following negotiations with the company, the workers voted to accept improved two year pay deal, which will benefit around 200 staff. 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. The factory has no connection with GKN Automotive where Unite is currently fighting a factory closure in Birmingham read more

‘Wealth’ tax should be mobilised to pay for social care reform, says Unite (7 Sept) – The money to ‘fix’ the decades-old problem of social care requires a wider tax base to finance it rather than concentrating on National Insurance that hits the incomes of working people, Unite the union said today (Tuesday 7 September). Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that measures such as a ‘wealth’ tax on property and unearned income were a fairer way to properly finance the shortcomings in the social care system which had been cruelly exposed during the continuing 18-month Covid crisis. Unite said that that any solution to social care needed to go ‘hand-in-hand’ with a massive cash injection for the NHS, which has more than five million patients waiting for treatments such as cancer and hip replacements. Prime minister Boris Johnson is set today to unveil his long-promised plans for social care and also for the NHS read more

BREAKING NEWS!! FROM UNITE – IMPORTANT UPDATE: THIS DEMO HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Labour’s Opposition Debate motion was pulled so that the House can vote on the government’s insurance tax hike. Universal Credit claimants to descend on parliament to urge Tory MPs to ‘keep our families fed’ ahead of Commons vote (6 Sept) – A group of Universal Credit claimants, members of Unite Community, will stage a protest outside parliament on Wednesday 8 September from 10:30 to urge Tory MPs to back Labour’s push to cancel the £20 a week cut to Universal Credit, due at the end of September.

WHEN: 10:30, Wednesday 8 September 2021

WHERE: Old Palace Yard, Westminster, SW1P 3JY (opposite St Stephen’s gate).

Labour’s opposition debate on the controversial cut, is earmarked for after Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday 8 September. Holding banners up that read ‘Keep our families fed’ and ‘Food is not a luxury’, the activists are standing up for the six million people in Britain who rely on Universal Credit to get by – 40 per cent of whom of are in work. Charities estimate that one million households will lose 10 per cent of their income overnight when the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, snatches back the £20 a week with one in four children made poorer as a result read more

Pay dispute at Wigan plastic bottle manufacturer Alpla UK could hit Coca Cola and Britvic (6 Sept) – A pay dispute at Wigan plastic bottle manufacturer Alpla UK could impact major brands such as Coca Cola and Britvic, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday 6 September). Nearly 150 factory workers, who are members of Unite, are being balloted for strike action at Alpla UK’s Golborne factory in response to an ‘insulting’ two per cent pay offer. The union said its members are ‘extremely angry’ that other staff at the firm have been awarded a three per cent rise. The workers also want the company to fulfil a pledge made in 2020 to increase employer pension contributions. Alpla UK manufactures plastic bottles and containers for customers including PZ Cussons, Johnson & Johnson, Lever, Britvic, Coca Cola, Arla Foods, Core Ingredients, Princes Foods and others. Strike action could impact supplies of bottles and containers for products such as detergents, hand sanitiser, shower gels and drinks. The ballot opens on Wednesday (8 September) and closes on 22 September read more

Construction facing cement shortages as Castle Cement drivers ballot for strike action (6 Sept) – The construction industry will face severe cement shortages this autumn, if lorry drivers employed by Hanson, on the Castle Cement contract, vote for strike action in a dispute over pay. The 200-plus lorry drivers and engineers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have rejected a pay offer of 2.5 per cent for this year. With the RPI inflation rate currently at 3.9 per cent, this amounts to a hefty pay cut in real terms. In addition to pay, the workforce is deeply unhappy about the high handed management style and a marked lack of dignity at work. The drivers deliver dry cement. They supply large construction projects, including Hinkley Point, HS2, Sellafield and Thames Tideway. They also supply building product companies including Jewson and Marshalls. If strikes do occur then both large and small construction projects will swiftly run short of cement as many only have limited storage facilities. The ballot will open on Friday 10 September and close on Friday 23 September. If members vote for strike action industrial action could begin this October read more

Workers at Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council demand answers on threatened outsourcing of festive lighting (Sept 6) – Council workers told decision to outsource was taken at council Development committee meeting of September 2nd without any consultation with representative trade unions. Unite the union challenges economic case for outsourcing of Christmas lighting across entire borough to private contractor, after last year’s debacle on costs of lighting Lisburn read more

Lancashire and Liverpool face Stagecoach bus strikes this autumn (6 Sept) – Parts of Lancashire and Liverpool could face severe disruption this autumn if bus workers employed by Ribble Motor Services Ltd, part of the Stagecoach group, vote for strike action over pay. The company is refusing to make a pay offer which in anyway meets members aspirations for the current financial year and is blaming the Covid pandemic for its actions. The company’s stance has infuriated the workforce who have continued to work throughout successive lockdowns, in order to ensure that key workers could get to work, at times risking their health and that of their families. The ballot covers hundreds of workers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, based at the company’s depots in Preston, Chorley and Gilmoss. At Preston and Chorley Unite is just balloting bus drivers, while at Gilmoss cleaners and engineers are also part of the industrial action ballot. The ballot opens today (Monday 6 September) and closes on Monday 20 September. If members vote for industrial action then strikes could begin in mid-October read more

Delivery disruption to 1,500 convenience stores in London and south east on cards as Thamesmead drivers vote to strike (6 Sept) – The threat of severe disruption to deliveries to more than 1,500 convenience stores in London and the south east has moved a step closer after 40 drivers, employed by Booker Retail Partners at its Thamesmead site, voted unanimously for strike action. Unite the union is poised to issue notice to the employer for strike action, but wants to allow time for crunch talks with the bosses on 21-23 September – and the union warned that any industrial action will deepen the supply shortage crisis hitting many parts of the UK economy because of the lack of HGV drivers. The Thamesmead drivers deliver to independent retailers under the Budgens and Londis brands. The crux of the dispute is that the company, part of the Tesco ‘empire’, put in place a temporary £5 an hour pay uplift for about 40 drivers at its Hemel Hempstead depot because of the HGV driver shortage, but then refused to implement a similar uplift for the 40 drivers at the Thamesmead site read more

MPs to debate best way to protect jobs at Springfields nuclear fuel manufacturing facility (6 Sept) – MPs will debate the future of Westinghouse Springfield tomorrow (Tuesday 7 September), the UK’s only facility suitable for making fuel for nuclear power generation. Trade unions Unite and Prospect have warned that a series of redundancies at the facility near Preston, Lancashire, risks leaving the facility with a critical shortage of skills. The debate will take place in Parliament’s Westminster Hall. Springfields Fuels manufactures nuclear fuel mainly for the UK’s Advanced Gas cooled Reactors (AGR). The facility also manufactures other fuel types and has the capability to adapt to future fuelling requirements. The site is the only UK civil nuclear fuel fabrication site which guarantees security of supply for a new nuclear build programme and is of strategic national importance. To mark the debate representatives of Unite and Unite will be holding a small rally on College Green outside Parliament. Reps will be meeting MPs to tell them first-hand about the importance of the facility to jobs in the Preston area, as well as to maintaining skills and to reaching the country’s net zero ambitions.

What:                   Photo Call and interviews

When:                  1115 for 1130, Tuesday 7 September 2021

Where:                 College Green, Westminster – opposite Parliament read more

Rising ill health a major factor in lorry and bus driver shortages (6 Sept) – A freedom of information (FOI) request by Unite, the UK’s leading union, has revealed that ill health and illness is a major factor in the increasing shortage of lorry drivers. The FOI to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Association (DVLA) has revealed that within a decade the number of lorry and bus drivers who are having their licence refused or revoked for medical issues has more than doubled. In 2005 a total of 4,583 drivers had their licence refused or revoked. By 2018 this number had increased to 12,242. The figure for 2020 was 7,209. However, the requirement for drivers to undergo a medical assessment in order to continue driving was suspended from March 2020 to January 2021 due to the pandemic. In order to secure a 12 month extension, drivers had to instead self-certify they were in good health read more

GXO draymen hail pay victory after voting to accept improved offer (2 Sept) – The pay dispute by 1,000 GXO draymen, which had threatened a late summer ‘beer drought, has been settled after they voted overwhelmingly to accept an improved pay offer. Unite the union said its members had voted by an 80 per cent majority on a 94 per cent turnout to accept the improved offer of four per cent by GXO Logistics Drinks Ltd (previously XPO Logistics Drinks Ltd) for this year. The draymen deliver about 40 per cent of the country’s beer to pubs and other hospitality outlets across the UK from 26 sites. They had voted for two days of strike action, which were suspended, while they voted on the deal. Unite members are working normally read more

Latest Carillion revelations highlight need for root and branch reform of UK financial system (1 Sept) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is calling for root and branch reform of the UK’s financial regulator system after it emerged that KPMG, who audited Carillion’s accounts, faces a disciplinary hearing over its conduct, four years after the company collapsed. Carillion collapsed in January 2018, with debts of £7 billion and the loss of thousands of jobs, including many workers in the company’s supply chain. The Financial Reporting Council, which is responsible for the regulation of auditors today (Wednesday 1 September) announced that KPMG faces a disciplinary tribunal in January next year read more

Labour Party staff are willing to strike over compulsory redundancies (1 Sept) – Labour Party staff who are members of Unite and the GMB have indicated they are willing to strike over potential compulsory redundancies. Indicative ballots amongst both unions’ members recorded turnouts of around 80 per cent, with 75 per cent voting in favour of industrial action if faced with compulsory redundancies. The ballots were called following the announcement of a reorganisation, including job cuts, by Labour general secretary David Evans last month. Applications for Labour Party staff seeking voluntary redundancy closed yesterday read more

GKN Driveline workers in Birmingham deliver huge yes vote for strike action (1 Sept) – Workers at GKN Driveline in Chester Road, Birmingham, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action as the battle to prevent the closure of the factory and transfer of its work overseas. The closure of the factory, which makes drivelines for the UK’s automotive industry, would see the loss of 519 skilled jobs and apprenticeships as well as opportunities for coming generations. Delivering a 95 per cent vote in favour of strike on a 95 per cent turnout, the workers demonstrated their determination to secure a long-term future for their plant. The vote also showed confidence in both their union, the alternative proposals developed to save the site and their opposition to the plans by the parent company GKN Melrose to close the plant. Following the decisive yes vote, Unite has called together all interested parties to reach agreement on future production and support, given the plants key role in the transition of the automotive sector to electrification. These include the government, local politicians, GKN’s customers – such as JLR, Toyota and Nissan – the Advanced Propulsion Centre and GKN Automotive CEO Liam Butterworth. A failure to reach agreement could see strike action hit the plant and customers over the coming weeks 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

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

DVSA ballot – how to vote (6 Sept) – The ballot for industrial action over the new 8-test schedule opened today. Here’s what you need to know about how to vote. PCS is balloting driving examiner members for industrial action on the issue of the 8-test schedule. The ballot opens on 6 September and closes at noon on 24 September read more

Join the PCS pension fightback at TUC Congress (2 Sept) – PCS reps and advocates are invited to attend our ‘Pensions fightback’ fringe meeting during the virtual TUC Congress from 12.30pm on 14 September. The event will be chaired by PCS President Fran Heathcote and speakers include our general secretary Mark Serwotka, Rachel Hopkins MP, with others to be confirmed. A PCS striker from DVLA Swansea will also speak. After years of being ripped off, it’s time to fight back for fairer pensions. Our members have been paying excessive employee pension contributions, adding to the hardship caused by the pay cuts of the past decade read more

Hundreds of agency workers become DWP staff following PCS campaign (2 Sept) – A PCS campaign has resulted in 97% of staff employed as agency workers by Brook Street in the Department for Work and Pensions becoming directly employed by the DWP. In June, following PCS campaigning, we had persuaded the DWP to offer all staff employed as agency workers on Brook Street contracts direct employment with DWP. Following the DWP’s offer to the staff previously employed by Brook Street we are very pleased to confirm the excellent news that of the 1808 staff on Brook Street contracts, 97% are now employed by DWP read more

Last day of targeted strike action at DVLA (31 Aug) – Today is the final day of targeted strike action for PCS members in the Drivers Medical Department at the DVLA. The strike by Drivers Medical staff ran for the whole of August and support was strong throughout. The staff were chosen because of their strategic importance and their key role in reducing backlogs, in the hope of persuading DVLA management to get back around the negotiating table to settle the dispute. Last week PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka wrote to the DVLA’s chief executive about the impact of the decision to scupper a deal and sit on their hands for three months has had on the DVLA’s ability to serve the public. As this leg of our industrial action draws to a close, the DVLA is seeing a significant rise in positive Covid cases on site. Last week saw the agency reach a grim milestone: 700 positive cases since last September. PCS is very concerned that, despite pressure from our union reps, management have not set out any plans for action should Covid cases continue to rise on site. Strike action by PCS members has reduced staff numbers on site and without our action, the high number of staff on summer leave and the proportion of term-time staff at the DVLA, the recent upsurge in positive Covid cases would have been significantly worse. PCS is currently consulting members on the next steps in our dispute with the DVLA. If you are a PCS member at the DVLA, please vote in the consultative, online ballot before Friday 3 September. If you have not received voting details, please contact [email protected] 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]

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

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

 

CWU

Don’t miss out on ‘Job Swap’ opportunities, vulnerable Technology members urged (Sept 3) – Members in BT Technology impacted by the business’s current transformation plans or immediate Better Workplace Programme (BWP) agenda are being urged to put themselves forward for ‘Job Swap’ opportunities under a mechanism negotiated by the union in a bid to mitigate against any job losses read more

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

 

GMB

BREAKING NEWS!! ‘Pitiful’ social care cash boost must fund £15 per hour (7 Sept) – GMB, the union for care workers, has responded to today’s ‘paltry’ social care funding announcement by the Government. Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “Care workers have been waiting more than two years for this so-called plan. The workforce looks set to plummet to 170,000 vacancies – 10% of all roles – by the end of the year. The highest ever staffing black hole, with up to 70,000 more set to leave thanks to the Government’s mandatory vaccination rules. Now it seems like social care will have to wait three years for a what is paltry sum in terms of reforming the service. It’s beyond a joke. Any credible plan for the future of social care must give a proper pay rise to the people doing the work – that’s how you start tackling the massive understaffing crisis. GMB is campaigning for a £15 an hour minimum as the centre-piece of any National Care Service…” read more

Sandwell Council leader Rajbir Singh ‘sabotaging’ strike talks at Serco (6 Sept) – Rajbir Singh, the leader of Sandwell Council, was accused today of ‘sabotaging’ an ongoing strike at Serco Sandwell over refuse workers’ safety. Constructive talks continue between Serco Sandwell and GMB Union. The strike, which was suspended on Tuesday after emergency talks between Serco Sandwell and GMB Union, was misrepresented as ‘withdrawn’ in a press statement released by Sandwell Council this morning. Sandwell Council leadership has been scorned by GMB Union for failing to act in support of the strikers, more than 70 of whom attended an energetic strike on Tuesday morning read more. Strikes have been due to take place at the same time on Tuesday 7th, 14th and 21st September. 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]

National Insurance hike not the way to fund social care (6 Sept) – GMB, the union for carers, has responded to reports of a National Insurance hike to raise money to fund social care read more

Relaxing immigration rules won’t stop HGV driver crisis (6 Sept) – GMB, the drivers’ union, said relaxing immigration rules for HGV drivers is a ‘quick fix’ that won’t solve the supply chain crisis read more

Long term staff shortages down to cost cutting and austerity (6 Sept) – GMB Union has responded to a warning by the CBI that that labour supply problems could last up to two years read more

Bumpy ride’ for jobs market after furlough scheme ends (4 Sept) – GMB Union has responded to research suggesting the UK is set for an increase in unemployment as the furlough scheme comes to an end. The Resolution Foundation predicted that the jobs market will have a ‘bumpy ride’ when the Government scheme winds up at the end of the month read more

Strike threat facing schools and cleansing as GMB Scotland members reject latest COSLA pay offer (3 Sept) – School support staff and refuse workers moved “a step closer” to industrial action today after GMB Scotland members rejected COSLA’s latest pay offer. 95 per cent of members who participated in the union’s consultative ballot over the 2021 offer voted to reject an £850 increase for local government staff earning up to £25,000 a year. The union will now move to a full industrial action ballot of nearly 10,000 members employed in schools and local refuse and cleansing services across Scotland, increasing the possibility of autumn strikes read more

New care funding must go to improving pay of carers (3 Sept) – GMB, the union for carers, has responded to reports Ministers are considering a tax hike to fund social care. Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “Successive governments have refused to grasp the nettle on social care. The result is a crumbling, underfunded system with an underpaid and undervalued workforce…” read more

Care providers refuse requests due to understaffing (2 Sept) – GMB, the union for care workers, has responded to care providers refusing care requests due to understaffing read more

Yodel faces employment tribunal in midst of strike ballot (3 Sept) – Delivery giant Yodel now faces and employment tribunal while in the midst of a strike ballot that could bring the entire network to a standstill. A total of 19 claimants have launched proceedings against Yodel over underpaid night shift work – with another 137 workers thought to be affected. The hearing take place at the Employment Tribunal in London during October. Meanwhile more than 250 Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers will vote on whether to take industrial action over pay and conditions read more

Shortage of workers result of cost-cutting and austerity (2 Sept) – GMB Union has responded to reports thousands of new job adverts are posted as the shortage of workers grows. Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said:

“The growing labour market crisis is a result of years of cost-cutting and austerity by employers and government, there is no getting away from this…” read more

Bosses must increase wages to end ‘crippling’ supply chain crisis (31 Aug) – GMB has today demanded bosses must increase wages and improve terms and conditions to deal with the supply issues crippling the UK economy read more

Ministers must bring back safety measures in schools, says unions (2 Sept) – The government should re-introduce safety measures in schools, including bubbles, social distancing and face coverings, in light of warnings of the “exponential growth” of coronavirus amongst children when the new academic year begins, say education unions GMB, UNISON and Unite read more

Analysis shows school spending per pupil below 2009 level (2 Sept) – GMB, the union for school staff, has responded to analysis showing school spending per pupil in England will remain lower in real terms than in 2009–10 read more

Labour Party staff vote in favour of strike if compulsory redundancies go ahead (1 Sept) – GMB members working for the Labour Party have voted in favour of strike action if compulsory redundancies go ahead. The indicative ballot closed on August 31, as did applications for the voluntary redundancy scheme the Labour Party has offered the staff. Both unions had turnouts of approximately 80 per cent and votes for taking industrial action if compulsory redundancies are announced were more than 75% in favour. This result has been communicated to the party and both sides have agreed to meet at lunchtime on Friday September 3, where the unions are hopeful an agreement can be reached on a way forward that avoids compulsory redundancies and industrial action read more

GMB takes aim at 12 hour shifts in meat industry (31 Aug) – GMB Union identifies unsustainable working practices and low wages as the real cause of supply chain crisis in the meat industry that is strangling the economy read more

GMB responds to calls for ‘urgent’ NHS rescue plan (31 Aug) – GMB, the union for health workers, has responded to Labour’s call for an urgent NHS rescue plan. Analysis by the party shows patients are routinely waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment 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

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

 

Unison

BREAKING NEWS!! New social care levy shows government priorities are all wrong, says UNISON (7 Sept) – Christina McAnea says government wrong to focus on funding before reform. Commenting today (Tuesday) on government plans for a new health and social care levy in England, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “General taxation should be the solution for social care, not national insurance hikes. The focus on funding instead of reform is a cart-before-the-horse approach…” read more

Ministers must end jab compulsion to prevent care home catastrophe (4 Sept) – Action needed immediately to stop staffing crisis. The government must immediately repeal ‘no jab, no job’ laws for care home staff in England to avert a staffing crisis that threatens to overwhelm the sector, says UNISON today (Saturday). The controversial mandatory vaccination rule is pushing thousands to the brink of quitting care work and ministers are “sleepwalking into a disaster” by failing to act, says UNISON, the largest union in social care read more

UNISON wins outsourcing battle at London medical university (2 Sept) – UNISON members at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine are celebrating after it was announced that they will be brought back in house. Sign above the main entrance of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. UNISON has won a decision to bring outsourced workers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) back in house at the end of the current contract in August 2022. The move follows months of negotiations, after the union submitted a claim for the insourcing of staff employed by Samsic UK in 2019 on behalf of the dedicated cleaners and security staff at the school. In a huge win for the outsourced workers, parity of terms and conditions will now be offered to the staff, many of whom have worked tirelessly on the front line throughout COVID-19 to keep the researchers safe and the school open to help combat the effects of the global pandemic. A contract with the school itself means that the work of these frontline staff is being recognised, with an increase in benefits such as additional annual leave and access to a hugely improved pension scheme read more

Ministers must bring back safety measures in schools, say unions (2 Sept) – Return of face coverings among precautions needed. The government should re-introduce safety measures in schools, including bubbles, social distancing and face coverings, in light of warnings of the “exponential growth” of coronavirus amongst children when the new academic year begins, say education unions UNISON, GMB and Unite read more

Sandwell leisure staff strike again over ‘fire and rehire’ tactics – 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 on 23 Aug 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

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

Health Central Panel Decisions and Priorities (3 Sept) – I am writing to update you that the Health Central Panel, held on the 27 August, agreed that whilst there are many important issues for NIPSA members, the issues of priority currently are:

  • Pay
  • Safe Staffing
  • Removal of Car Parking Charges
  • Mental Capacity Act/Duty of Candour policies as we do not accept the criminal sanctions that both carry.

These are issues that impact on our members pay, terms and conditions and we will continue to work to protect your interests read more

TUS Responds – Phase 5 of the Pathway out of restrictions – continuation of remote working across Colleges (1 Sept) – Following notification from the Department for the Economy that the NI Executive has approved the movement to Phase 5 across the Further Education Sector, which involves the full return to face to face teaching for all students in the new academic year.  Trade Union Side has written to the Chairperson of the FE NTSNC Management Side read more

 

FBU

BREAKING NEWS!! New training launched to combat fire cancer threat (7 Sept) – New FBU-produced training aiming to fight the cancer threat to firefighters from fires has been released. The training (DECON) intends to help reduce the effect of toxic substances released in fires, with actions such as showers soon after fires advised.  It’s thought that firefighters’ exposure to these toxic substances could be playing a part in firefighters’ increased risk of getting cancer and other diseases. Firefighters surveyed as part of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) research were four times more likely to have been diagnosed with cancer than the general population read more

 

NAPO

Green EDMs , National Standards and Community Client Face to Face Meetings (3 Sept) – In July the service informed staff that in line with the planned time scale for the changes to the Government’s road map on the 19 July, there would be a move through the EDM RAG ratings from Amber to Green saying that: “EDMs have allowed for a flexible approach to be taken by regions to respond swiftly to changing local circumstances, both in progressing recovery and stepping back when required.” Napo has always maintained that a movement or change in delivery must be based on informed suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk read more

 

NEU

Please support the following NEU action:

Action Date Contact
Oaks Park High School / Redbridge

(Victimisation of NEU Rep and NEU members)

Tuesday 7 September

Wednesday 8 September

Thursday 9 September

[email protected]

[email protected]

Solidarity protest with strikers: ‘End the bullying culture and union victimisation at Oaks Park High School – 2pm Saturday 11th September in front of Redbridge Town Hall

BMJ Research into Covid Risk for Teachers (1 Sept) – It is very good news and very reassuring that teachers have been found not to be at greater risk of hospitalisation because of Covid 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 academisation suspended. Please respond to the three questions here so we can add your name to the petition

 

NASUWT

Government must not be complacent as Covid case numbers rise (2 Sept) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is calling for the Government to step up Covid control measures in schools amidst a backdrop of soaring cases in Scotland and Northern Ireland only a few weeks after pupils returned. The Union is calling for proactive measures to deliver on promises to improve ventilation and an extension to the programme of onsite testing to break the chain of virus transmission within schools read more

Welsh Government must not be complacent as Covid case numbers rise (3 Sept)

Scottish Government needs to act to tackle soaring Covid cases in schools (3 Sept)

Northern Ireland Executive needs to act to tackle soaring Covid cases in schools (2 Sept)

 

EIS

OECD Stobart report on qualifications & assessment – EIS response (1 Sept) – The EIS has welcomed the publication by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) of the Stobart Report. The report sets out a number of significant proposals and is intended to inform the Scottish Government’s review of qualifications and assessment in Scotland’s schools read more

 

UCU

‘Hands off’ online lecture recordings, union tells universities and colleges (3 Sept) – The University and College Union (UCU) has today warned universities and colleges across the UK they may face industrial disputes if they misuse recorded lectures and withhold performance rights from staff. The call comes as three out of five universities say most lectures will remain online as they plan for a blend of online and in-person teaching this academic year. During the pandemic, university and college workers delivered and adapted lectures, seminars and teaching sessions for online use, allowing education to continue whilst campus provision was rolled back. However, the union has now warned education providers that workers must retain control over their recorded performances, preventing their work from being used without their permission to justify job cuts or break industrial action read more

Employers force through plans to cut university retirement benefits (31 Aug) – UCU says industrial action in universities is now ‘inevitable’ after employer body Universities UK (UUK) voted to push ahead with its proposals to cut thousands of pounds from the retirement benefits of university staff. At a meeting of the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s (USS) Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) employers voted for its package of cuts ahead of considering alternative UCU proposals and calls from the union for a month-long extension to negotiations to allow both employers and pension members to be consulted. UCU’s proposals would have delivered higher benefits in return for lower contributions than those put forward by employers. For the first time, they would have provided a secure pension for staff on low pay and insecure contracts who are currently priced out of the scheme. The proposals were intended to be a fair and short-term resolution to the flawed USS scheme valuation, which was carried out at the start of the pandemic when markets were crashing. However, employers repeatedly refused to agree to a small increase in their own contributions. They also refused to provide the same level of employer ‘covenant support’ for UCU’s alternative proposals as they were willing to provide for their own. Now, with UUK’s proposals voted through, those members who can afford to stay in USS will face significant cuts to their retirement income. A typical member of the USS scheme on a £42k lecturer’s salary, aged 37, will suffer a 35% loss to the guaranteed retirement benefits which they will build up over the rest of their career. UCU says the employers’ changes will threaten the viability of the scheme, with more and more staff likely to decide to leave the scheme in the face of cuts to benefits and increases in contributions. In June, delegates to UCU’s annual Congress voted to ballot for industrial action if employers did not rethink their proposals. The union has today emailed over 50,000 members in USS institutions calling them to a mass member meeting, where the union will outline what next steps will be, and how they should start to prepare for balloting and strike action. The union says the only realistic way to avoid strike action at this late stage is for employers to carry out a rapid consultation on covenant support and the UCU proposals read more

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.

 

Prospect

BREAKING NEWS!! Earnings link crucial so relative standard of living of pensioners doesn’t fall (7 Sept) – General Secretary of Prospect Mike Clancy, responding to the end of the pensions triple lock, said: “The earnings link is crucial to make sure that pensioners’ standard of living doesn’t fall relative to the population as a whole. The UK state pension is still relatively low compared to earnings during our working life, and international comparisons. The policy objective of the triple local has not yet been met, so it is important the UK government continues to apply these increases to state pension. The statistical anomaly caused by the pandemic is not an excuse to sever the earnings link to the state pension…” read more

Solidarity with MHRA heroes after anti-vax assault (3 Sept) – Prospect union has condemned anti-vax protestors who attempted to storm the MHRA offices in London on Friday and stands in solidarity with MHRA staff who have been heroes of the pandemic read more

Parliamentary unions condemn cavalier attitude of MPs who refuse to wear masks (3 Sept) – Two unions representing staff in Parliament have told the House of Commons Commission that any staff who opt to remove themselves from situations where MPs are refusing to wear a mask and they feel unsafe should be backed by the authorities and will be supported by their union read more

Alarming that FSS bids are being considered that would see high value work going overseas (1 Sept) – The government has announced the four consortia moving to the next stage of the bid process to build its new Fleet Solid Support ships (FSS) but three of the four could take work overseas read more

Protecting workers’ health and safety in renewables (31 Aug) – The urgent issue of health and safety in the renewables sector is the subject of a new leaflet published by Prospect this month read more

 

Equity

Activists rally to save Stratford Circus for the community (3 Sept) – (3 Sept) – Equity activists and allies came together last Saturday 28 August to protest changes to Stratford Circus, a thriving community arts centre in East London. These include the removal of both management and arts groups and plans to offer a youth arts service only. There would be no remit or funding for its previously broad spectrum of professional and community arts provision, which ran alongside an existing youth programme. The decisions by Newham Council could lead to a reduction in community access to the arts, especially for working class, disabled, and black, Asian and minority ethnic people who make up the local community. The protest was organised by Equity North & East London branch. Speakers included representatives from Blue Sky Actors (pictured above), a theatre company for actors with learning disabilities and difficulties who were previously resident at Stratford Circus. Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming and James Ivens, Secretary of Equity’s North & East London Branch also spoke, as well as allies from the National Education Union and local activists. Sign the petition to save Stratford Circus: www.change.org/p/save-stratford-circus read more

 

USDAW

BCM Fareva, Nottingham: Usdaw members to take further industrial action as company continues to refuse to talk – 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)

Unions voice serious concerns about return to 100% capacity on public transport (1 Sept) – SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) have voiced serious concerns for their members health and safety with the return to 100% passenger capacity on public transport which was implemented today (Wednesday, 1st September) read more

Workers in Local Employment Services and Job Clubs announce a national day of protest (1 Sept) – SIPTU and Fórsa members, working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs, have today (Wednesday, 1st September) announced the details of a national day of protest, including an action outside the Department of the Taoiseach, for Monday 6th September read more

SIPTU to meet with News UK & Ireland Ltd to discuss threatened closure of Kells Plant (31 Aug) – SIPTU representatives will meet with management from News UK & Ireland tomorrow (Wednesday, 1st September) following an announcement by the company that it intends to close its printing plant in Kells, county Meath read more

 

Other News

Ella Baker School in conversation with Jane Holgate, discussing her book: ‘Arise. Power, Strategy and Union Resurgence – 7pm on Zoom October 12th read more. Ella Baker School of Organising is delighted to announce that we will be in conversation with Jane Holgate,  top-class scholar, union educator and activist discussing her book: ‘Arise. Power, Strategy and Union Resurgence

28th September, Westminster – Join the DPAC #AudioRiot protest for #20MoreForAll, on the streets and online (plus local actions on 25th September). DPAC hasn’t gone away you know! We’re back doing what we do best – And this time we’re going to be louder than ever. The government isn’t listening to what people are saying when we say Stop The Cuts to Universal Credit and give #20MoreForAll. So we need to start an #AudioRiot to make them hear us. On Tuesday 28th September 11:30am Westminster Central Hall, Storeys Gate SW1H 9NH

Join our #AudioRiot and make some noise about the devastating changes to benefits which will have a huge impact on millions of people’s lives, including disabled people. Bring everything you can that makes noise read more

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 September, 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

 

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