552: NSSN TUC Rally: ‘Council of Action’ against Tories & bosses

September 14, 2021 in Bulletins

Over 300 attended the online 12th annual NSSN TUC Rally on Sunday 12th September. There was a fantastic exchange of ideas from all levels of the union movement, sending the clear message to TUC Congress, which is meeting virtually this week – that the fight needs to be stepped up against the offensive of the employers and their Tory government.

We heard fighting speeches from Sharon Graham Unite General Secretary, Dave Ward CWU General Secretary, Sarah Woolley BFAWU General Secretary, Carmel Gates NIPSA General Secretary, Joe Simpson POA Deputy General Secretary and Joe Kirby RMT NEC & offshore worker. We also had an open mic with over 20 contributions from union executive members and longstanding shop stewards to newer, younger reps and community activists having their say.

NSSN Chair Rob Williams reminded the meeting that exactly 10 years ago, TUC Congress became a ‘council of war’ as unions co-ordinated the industrial action ballots that led to the 2 million strong N30 public sector pensions strike. Rob said that in the face of the brutal fire and rehire and the Tory public sector pay insult, the same united front is needed now. The NSSN will continue to play its part in the fight to make sure that workers don’t pay the price for the Covid crisis.

NSSN TUC Rally photo

 

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.

 

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

GMB is 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

RMT calls for jobs and training links in offshore wind contracts (13 Sept) – OFFSHORE ENERGY UNION RMT today responded to the launch of the fourth round of publicly funded Contracts for Difference between the UK Government and offshore wind farm developers. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This will seal the deal for another generation of offshore wind farms across the North Sea. The developers who get these contracts must produce Supply Chain Plans that benefit UK workers and businesses in every part of the supply chain – labour costs must not be hacked back to pay private dividends off the back of workers’ terms and conditions…” read more

RMT protest at Waterloo against cuts on South Western Railway (12 Sept) – RMT protest at Waterloo tomorrow as campaign against cuts on South Western Railway steps up a gear. RAIL Union RMT is stepping up the campaign on Monday against “swingeing cuts” on South Western Railway which will unleash an attack on rail services, jobs and pay unseen since the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. South Western Railway and Network Rail have launched a stakeholder consultation that proposes to cut 15 per cent of peak and off-peak services across the SWR Network from December 2022 read more   Sign this petition against the cuts

RMT launches campaign against SWR cuts (10 Sept) – RMT launches campaign against cuts on South Western Railway. RAIL Union RMT will launch a campaign on Monday against “swingeing cuts” on South Western Railway which will unleash an attack on rail services, jobs and pay unseen since the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. South Western Railway and Network Rail have launched a stakeholder consultation that proposes to cut 15 per cent of peak and off-peak services across the SWR Network from December 2022. Other train operators including ScotRail and LNER are also in process of consulting to make similar service cuts which is embarrassing for the UK and Scottish Governments as they come just weeks before critical International climate talks where the importance of slashing global transport emissions, one of the largest sources of global emissions, will be at the top of the agenda read more

RMT demands meeting with MSPs (10 Sept) – RMT demands meeting with MSPs who signed ‘ill informed, inflammatory and insulting’ statement and warn “time is running out” to avoid rail COP26 dispute. RMT has today written to the 5 SNP Glasgow MSPs who waded into the Scotrail dispute, slamming their letter as ‘inaccurate’, ‘inflammatory’ and ‘insulting’, and calls on them to meet the union and help resolve the dispute. The union has also warned that “time is running out” to avoid a rail dispute around COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow in November. RMT Scotrail members will be taking further action this weekend in long-running disputes over basic pay justice and equality – disputes that the SNP has not lifted a finger to help resolve despite having political control over transport matters. In his letter, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch calls out the SNP MSPs for parroting ‘Murdoch press’ rhetoric around union ‘bosses’ and of failing to understand the democratic structures of unions read more

Additional strikes have been called as follows;

  • 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  

COVID conspiracy posters on rail and Tube (9 Sept) – RMT calls for strongest possible action against anti-vax and COVID conspiracy theorists found lacing their posters with razor blades on rail and Tube. RAIL,TUBE AND BUS UNION RMT today called for the strongest possible action against anti-vaxers and COVID conspiracy theorists found lacing their posters with razor blades ‎in order to injure anyone trying to remove them read more

Support East Midlands Railways strike – 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 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 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 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

RMT announces industrial action on Stagecoach East Midlands in national pay fight – 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 17th September 2021 and 23:59 hours on Friday 1st October 2021
  • 00:01 hours on Friday 8th ctober 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

RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff to take further strike action in fight for workplace justice – 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

 

ASLEF

Putting up fares won’t raise footfall on the railway (1 Sept) – For those of you who, for a year and a half, have gone about your job each day putting the travelling public – key workers, especially – and our communities, and nation, first – moving food and medicines at the most difficult of times – there are now two major concerns (although I’m sure there are many others, as well). First, where is the recognition and even a thimbleful of thanks? We should not be surprised, though. Look at how those heroes of the NHS, and other frontline workers, have been treated. Where is an acknowledgement of all those in shops, transport, care, and other occupations too numerous to mention? Second, let’s contract the industry, putting up fares to make it less attractive to use, whilst talking about regaining confidence and footfall, with faux initiatives around flexi season tickets that are, in reality, more expensive. Reliance on a changing balance between commuter and business travel, and leisure travel, cannot be relied upon. Because when people can travel abroad again easily they will revert from the ‘staycation model’ unless we can give them a real offer as an industry that is affordable, flexible, and long-term to create long-term demand for rail travel here in the UK read more

 

TSSA

TSSA calls for decisive action on rail travel after industry warning (10 Sept) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called for the Government to take “decisive action” after a warning from the rail industry about the future of train travel. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has said that unless workers start taking the train again, there could be long-term adverse effects on city centres and high streets across the country. Train commuting is at just 33 per cent of its pre-Covid rate, while car journeys have reached pre-pandemic levels, according to the RDG read more

LNER ticket office plans slammed as ‘shameful’ by TSSA (8 Sept) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has hit out at plans by east-coast mainline operator LNER to reduce the opening hours of station travel centres selling rail tickets as “shameful” and a “terrible blow to many smaller communities”. Manuel Cortes called on LNER to think again over their plans. The company is currently undertaking a public consultation on changes which would reduce travel centre opening hours across the network and result in a significant reduction to the service offered to the community by smaller stations like Berwick, Retford, and Newark read more

National Insurance rise ‘bonkers’ from ‘nasty party’ – Cortes (8 Sept) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has slammed manifesto-breaking plans by Boris Johnson to raise National Insurance contributions. Johnson claimed the move would raise £12bn a year for tackling the health backlog caused by the Covid pandemic and boost social care. The tax hike on workers has sparked widespread criticism read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Unite demands ‘serious offer’ at Abellio Scotrail pay talks as industrial action set to bring the rail network to a ‘standstill’ (14 Sept) – Unite the union has warned Abellio Scotrail bosses to make a ‘serious offer’ at pay talks set for Wednesday (15 September), or the nation’s rail network will be brought to a ‘standstill’. Unite confirmed that talks are set for Wednesday with Abellio Scotrail bosses following Scottish Parliamentary pressure and interventions by MSPs, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and the Transport Minister, Graeme Day. Unite representatives also virtually met with the Transport Minister, and Bill Reeves, Transport Scotland Director on 9 September. Minister Dey stated that he felt, “Unite members deserved a pay rise” and would encourage Abellio Scotrail to re-engage in talks at the meeting. However, Unite has warned that continuous industrial action short of a strike involving its engineering members is set to begin at 00:01am on Friday, 24 September, if there is no progress in the pay talks read more

Universal Credit claimants to descend on parliament to urge Tory MPs to ‘keep our families fed’ ahead of Commons vote (13 Sept) – A group of Universal Credit claimants, members of Unite Community, will stage a protest outside parliament on Wednesday 15 September from 12:15 to urge Tory MPs to back Labour’s push to cancel the £20 a week cut to Universal Credit, due on the 5 October.

WHEN: 12:15, Wednesday 15 September 2021

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

Labour’s opposition debate on the controversial cut, which is earmarked for after Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday 15 September, comes just days after work and pensions secretary, Therese Coffey made the astonishing statement that people would have to work longer to make up the £20 a week loss in Universal Credit. 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 are in work read more

GKN Birmingham workers announce all out strike action in battle to prevent factory closure (13 Sept) – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed at the GKN Drivelines factory in Erdington Birmingham, have announced that they will begin all out continuous strike action later this month, as part of their ongoing battle to keep the factory open. All out continuous strikes will begin on Monday 27 September. In January the parent company Melrose GKN announced that the factory, which makes drivelines for much of the UK’s automotive sector, would close in 2022 with the loss of over 500 jobs, with the work being offshored to Poland and France. Earlier this month Unite announced that its members had recorded a 95 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “GKN’s cynical attempt to close its Erdrington plant is a disgrace. We will not stand by and let this employer offshore British jobs without a fight.  We will leave no stone unturned in the ongoing battle to ensure the future of the Birmingham factory and our members.” Read more

‘New deal’ for ‘Shared Lives’ foster carers looking after 14,000 vulnerable adults called for by Unite (13 Sept) – Employers have been urged by Unite the union to give a ‘new deal’ to the UK’s 10,000 ‘Shared Lives’ foster carers who look after about 14,000 vulnerable adults, many with learning difficulties, in their homes. Unite said that many of the foster carers – employed by 150 different councils, as well as NHS trusts and charities – cannot take paid holidays or respite care, and that many of them have not had a pay rise in over a decade. The plight of the carers was highlighted by today’s (Monday 13 September) edition of BBC Radio Four’s You & Yours programme, following Boris Johnson’s announcement on the future funding of social care last week read more

Manchester faces severe disruption as tram drivers vote for strikes over pitiful pay offer (13 Sept) – Greater Manchester is facing severe traffic disruption beginning later this month after Metrolink tram drivers voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a dispute over pay. The 300-plus drivers and supervisors, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded a 97 per cent yes vote in favour of industrial action after being told of a ‘pitiful’ one per cent pay award, a real terms cut given that inflation is running at nearly  four times that figure. The first strike days will be Saturday 25 September and Sunday 26 September. These coincide with the match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on the Saturday, and the Great Manchester Run the following day when all competitors and spectators have been advised to use public transport due to extensive road closures in the centre of Manchester. The tram drivers will also take strike action on Sunday 10 October, the day of the Manchester marathon when the advice again is to use public transport. A further strikes have been called for Sunday 24 October when Manchester United and Liverpool are due to play read more

‘Hypocrisy’ claims as Tories vote against Coventry council supporting the Right to Food campaign (10 Sept) – As the adverse impact of the ending of the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit (UC) looms, Coventry City Council has been praised for becoming a Right to Food city, despite Tory councillors voting against the motion. Unite the union said the council’s support for the Right to Food campaign was very welcome as over the last 24 months the Coventry foodbank had distributed food to 18,000 people living in the city and as the Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street is reported to be ‘very concerned’ about the scrapping of the £20 uplift and is looking at ways to mitigate the impact of the £1,040 annual loss to people’s incomes read more

‘Intolerable obstacles’ at Leeds station face disabled and elderly travellers as taxi rank is set to move, Unite warns (10 Sept) – Those with disabilities and the elderly using Leeds station will face ‘intolerable obstacles’ if they wish to hail a cab, as the current taxi rank is set to be moved further from the platforms, Unite the union warned today (Friday 10 September). So concerned are campaigners by the proposal that they will be staging a protest at Leeds Civic Hall at 11.30  on Tuesday (14 September) to lobby councillors to keep the rank where it is. This will be followed by a march from the Civic Hall to Millennium Square where there will be speeches from 14.00 read more

Unite backs new law to close employment loopholes by providing universal workers’ rights (9 Sept) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is supporting a new parliamentary bill to be debated in the House of Lords tomorrow (Friday 10 September) that would give “all rights to all workers from day one”. Lord John Hendy QC’s Status of Workers Bill addresses a critical issue for trade union members – the different legal categories of “worker” and the different rights that come with them read more

North West Argos lorry drivers secure bumper pay increase (9 Sept) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has secured a huge pay increase for HGV drivers employed by Wincanton on the North West England Argos contract. Over 90 drivers based at the company’s Heywood depot in Greater Manchester will see their basic rate of pay increase from £11.41 an hour to £15.00 an hour. As a result, the drivers’ annual earnings are set to increase from £26,699 to £35,100. The total pay deal amounts to a 31 per cent increase for the workers. In addition Unite has secured agreement that the workers will receive a lump sum payment of £2,500. Unite is in ongoing pay talks with other employers managing similar contracts in the North West, and it is anticipated that this pay deal will act as a catalyst to ensure that employers make realistic pay offers in these negotiations read more

Unite calls on Scottish Ambulance Service to declare ‘major incidents’ for patients in the community as 999 call waiting times grow to over 6 hours (9 Sept) – Unite Scotland today (9 September) called on the Scottish Ambulance Service to declare a ‘major incident’ status at all hospitals with Accident and Emergency Units where turnaround times exceed 30 minutes. The demand has been made by the trade union to protect the public who have made 999 calls in the community, amid patient safety concerns due to six hours on average waiting times read more

Tory government’s National Insurance hike aims to make workers pay for costs of rationed and privatised Social Care provision (9 Sept) – Unite Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock challenged the Tory government on its decision to raise national insurance contributions by 1.25 percent under cover of funding social care in a Covid crisis read more

Unite Scotland slams ‘myth’ of green jobs revolution as CS Wind enters administration (8 Sept) – Unite Scotland today (8 September) slammed the South Korean owners of the CS Wind factory based in Machrihanish as the company entered into administration. The factory which employed approximately 130 people was the only UK facility manufacturing onshore and offshore wind towers. It was purchased by the South Korean company in April 2016. Unite has repeatedly highlighted the depressing situation at the wind turbine factory which has been effectively mothballed by its owners since November 2019. Highlands and Islands Enterprise had also taken out an injunction against the company which blocked the removal of equipment over fears of asset stripping. CS Wind had benefitted from enterprise grants totalling £3 million. Unite has been at the forefront of campaigning for Scottish facilities and factories to benefit from the ‘green manufacturing revolution’. The union has heavily criticised the Scottish and UK governments over the minimal manufacturing work which has been directly created by the billions of pounds being invested into the renewables sector in Scotland read more

Weetabix workers in Northamptonshire announce autumn walkouts over £5,000 fire and rehire wage cuts (8 Sept) – Production of some of the nation’s favourite breakfast cereals will be hit when engineers employed by Weetabix at its Northamptonshire factories begin walk outs this month in opposition to the company’s plans to fire and rehire them on vastly inferior contracts. The workers, members of the UK’s leading union, Unite, based at the company’s factories in Kettering and Corby, face changes to their shift and working patterns which would result in some workers being up to £5,000 a year worse off. Unite will begin a series of 48 hour strikes on Tuesday 21 September followed by strikes on the same day every week throughout the autumn with the final strike scheduled to begin on Tuesday 30 November. The strikes will cause widespread delays to production and lead to shortages of Weetabix and other popular products made at the factories including Alpen, Weetos and Oatibix. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The idea of ‘fire and rehire’ is abhorrent to me. If Weetabix decide to go down this route and they overstep the line then I will absolutely defend our members” read more

Workers, their union and local MPs demand an end to low pay at the University of Sheffield (8 Sept) – Hundreds of cleaners employed by the University of Sheffield are joining Unite and calling on the university’s management to deliver an hourly wage of £10 an hour. The campaign is being backed by local Labour MPs Paul Blomfield MP (Sheffield Central), Olivia Blake MP (Sheffield Hallam) and Louise Haigh MP (Sheffield Heeley). Unite representatives will hand over a pledge to senior management today (8 September, 09:30). The pledge from the cleaners is a clear commitment that they are prepared to ‘take action for better pay and conditions’. Most cleaners work a 20 hour week, which means it would take them almost 30 years to earn vice chancellor Koen Lambert’s annual £285,000 salary. The workers’ currently earn just £9.52 an hour and most take home just £9,900 a year. The University employs around 300 cleaners who are overwhelmingly women. Unite regional officer, Harriet Eisner said: “Hundreds of cleaners are calling on Sheffield University to recognise their hard work with a decent and fair wage of £10 an hour…” read more

Unite pledges ‘fight’ to save 95 CalaChem jobs as company also announces end to manufacturing (7 Sept) – Unite Scotland today (7 September) pledged to fight ‘every step of the way’ to the news that CalaChem Ltd proposes to make 95 workers redundant along with the end of manufacturing on site. CalaChem which is based at the former ICI site in Grangemouth employs 156 workers. The company proposes to close the manufacturing services unit on site, which provides agrochemical actives used in the protection of crops, and specialty chemicals used in various industries. In 2010, the Munich based investment company Aurelius AG acquired KemFine UK Ltd, and established CalaChem Ltd read more

Delivery disruption to 1,500 convenience stores in London and south east on cards as Thamesmead drivers vote to strike – 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

GKN Driveline workers in Birmingham deliver huge yes vote for strike action – 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

Big pay and conditions improvements for Aramark members (13 Sept) – PCS members working as catering staff for facilities management company Aramark have won significant improvements to pay and conditions. The gains include:-

  • A 1.6% pay rise for all staff, backdated to 1 March. This will mean a new minimum pay rate of £10.92, which is above the Living Wage Foundation rate.
  • 1 day a year annual leave increase
  • An increase of 5 additional full sick pay days (taking everyone to 25 days in any 12-month period)
  • 6 months full pay for maternity leave – the same as civil servants
  • 2 weeks full pay paternity leave – the same as civil servants; and
  • Paid leave for training for things like improving skills to enable promotion and improve learning on topics wider than their direct roles read more

TUC Congress praises DVLA strikers (13 Sept) – PCS members who have been engaged in sustained strike action at the DVLA to make their workplace safe were congratulated by TUC Congress. PCS President Fran Heathcote called on Congress to support the campaign for a full independent investigation into events at the DVLA, where the employer allowed a mass Covid-19 outbreak to develop, involving more than 700 cases and one death read more

First anniversary of first positive Covid-19 case at DVLA (7 Sept) – Today marks one year since the first positive Covid case was reported amongst staff at the DVLA.  There have since been 768 confirmed positive cases. The number of confirmed Covid cases has gone up by 100 in the last month, following DVLAs decision to return over 450 staff to the site and the recruitment of a further 120 fixed term appointment staff. Our strike action reduced the numbers of staff on site since 1 June. Positive Covid cases would almost certainly have been higher if PCS members hadn’t taken action. July and August usually see lower numbers of staff on site due to annual leave and term time staff, with staff returning to site in September. The DVLA is already seeing an increase in positive cases among staff now, and the return of more staff is likely to make this worse going into the autumn…The branch executive committee will meet this week to consider the result of the consultative ballot and decide next steps for the dispute. A members’ meeting will be conducted next week to update members 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]

Jobcentre Managers’ Update (13 Sept) – Feedback shows that Jobcentre members of all grades are united in their plea for DWP to pull back from the decision to bring as many claimants into offices as is physically possible within the Jobcentre Customer Facing Risk Assessment (JCFRA) read more

Pensions awareness week: lowdown on McCloud judgment (13 Sept) – For pensions awareness week, which starts today, we’re highlighting the McCloud judgment which ruled that the government’s 2015 public sector pension scheme reforms unlawfully treated pension scheme members differently based upon their age. The judgement followed two employment tribunals on the pensions of judges’ (McCloud) and firefighters’ (Sargeant). Reps and members can find out more about this judgment and its ongoing implications by logging into PCS Knowledge on PCS Digital read more

PCS oppose National Insurance rise to fund social care (11 Sept) – Civil servants have had their pay frozen, kept the country running during the pandemic, and this is how they are rewarded. Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the surprising U-turn earlier this week, in announcing the tax hike on millions of working people, before Parliament ratified the bill. MPs backed the 1.25% increase by 319 to 248  to reform social care in England and to boost funds for dealing with the NHS treatment backlog. The rise in National Insurance contributions will come into effect from next April read more

PCS blocks fire and rehire and pay cuts in Homes England (10 Sept) – PCS members in Homes England (HE) have won a victory stopping plans to use fire and rehire and cut pay. Management at HE proposed a much needed review of pay and grading problems, which were caused by them, allowing too many staff to join on individual contracts. PCS agreed to a review, but fiercely opposed potential pay cuts for around 100 staff and the threat of fire and rehire in managements initial proposals. Members’ meetings fully backed the reps and PCS put in parliamentary questions and wrote to Ministers demanding fire and rehire plans must be dropped completely. After lengthy and detailed talks at ACAS all reference to fire and rehire has been dropped and no members will face a pay cut. This is a victory for PCS members read more

PCS members vote overwhelmingly to accept MOJ pay offer (9 Sept) – Members have voted overwhelmingly to accept the pay offer in the PCS MOJ consultative ballot over pay, which closed at noon today read more

OCS Pay Update (9 Sept) – PCS members working for OCS on the HMCTS security contract should have received the one off payment today in respect of the dispute over the rate of CPI read more

Concerns over fast-track HGV driver testing (9 Sept) – Proposals to fast-track drivers into the haulage industry are political rather than practical and lack substantial public scrutiny and union consultation, says PCS responding to today’s announcement by the transport secretary read more

Unions write to health secretary over job losses (8 Sept) – At least 20% of staff at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which licenses Covid-19 vaccines in the UK, are threatened with job cuts. PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka has written a joint letter with the general secretaries of Prospect, FDA, UCU and the assistant general secretary of Unite, to Sajid Javid, secretary of state for health and social care. This is in response to the announcement of staff cuts of at least 20% at MHRA. The staff cuts are a result of the loss of income from EU workstreams and the government’s failure to replace that funding or introduce a sustainable financial model read more

CPS – Excess flexi credits (8 Sept) – Over the next few days the employer will be looking into the issue of flexi credits which are over the 40% threshold for credit carry overs. While the Department’s recognised trade unions, PCS and FDA are in consultation with the CPS on what the approach should be, line managers are to advise those who have excess credits that no more excess time should be accrued read more

PCS opposes Universal Credit cut (8 Sept) – PCS opposes the removal of the £20 a week uplift of Universal Credit, particularly at a time when unemployment is likely to increase as a result of the end of the furlough scheme. In real terms, the government intends to cut Universal Credit payments by between 15% and 25% to all claimants at the end of this month read more

DVSA ballot – how to vote – The ballot for industrial action over the new 8-test schedule opened today (6 Sept). 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

Protest in the Park – Royal Parks cleaners’ strike – 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

Capita TVL field members win hour off the working week (Sept 8) – Hundreds of visiting officers, detection drivers, sale and enforcement support officers will see their hours reduced from the start of next month in a deal which also includes a consolidated £500 flat rate pay boost. Over 300 members benefit from the one-hour reduction – negotiated by the CWU – which has the effect of a 2.7 per cent equivalent increase in the hourly rate. Those among the Capita TVL field who were previously Post Office employees – i.e. a group of around 30 workers who were in post when Capita TVL was awarded the licensing contract back in 2002 – already work shorter contracted hours each week so will receive a £600 flat-rate increase. The flat-rate increases are all backdated to 1st January 2021, while the company’s visiting officers who were recruited after the 2020 pay agreement will also receive a 1.85 per cent consolidated pay lift read more

Royal Mail workers win ‘Resilience Award’ (Sept 8) – “Our whole country, the NHS and the Government depended on Royal Mail workers during the pandemic – and Royal Mail workers delivered,” said Dave Joyce, after the award of a ‘Resilient Workforce’ accolade at a business presentation in central London earlier this week. “It’s good to see some well-deserved public recognition of their heroic efforts,” our national health, safety & environment national officer added” read more

 

GMB

Government plan to rip out gas boilers from 24 million homes “utterly absurd” (12 Sept) – The Government’s plan to ban the installation of new gas boilers will leave 24 million homes with huge bills and potentially weeks of disruption, says GMB Union read more

1.6 million furlough cliff edge risks killing recovery before it even starts (9 Sept) – GMB has called for urgent talks with the Government and employers to avoid mass lay-offs when the Job Retention Scheme ends after 30 September read more

NHS and care levy cash must be ring-fenced for workers (9 Sept) – GMB, the union for NHS and social care workers, says any new funding must include ring-fenced cash for the workers who keep things running every day read more

G4S strike ballot risks ATM’s running out of cash (9 Sept) – GMB members working for G4S cash services will take part in a strike ballot after the company made an ‘insulting’ 0% pay offer. If the 1,400 workers walk out, the UK faces its cash cycle being severely hampered, including ATM’s running out of money and holiday makers unable to access foreign currency with a significant proportion of cash in transit services coming to a standstill. G4S, now owned by Allied Universal, would face strike action come at a time of severe labour shortages across the industry read more

Availability of workers falling at unprecedented rate (8 Sept) – GMB Union has responded to a report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG suggesting the availability of workers has fallen at an unprecedented rate read more

Amazon tax bill: ‘Pandemic profiteers must pay more’ (8 Sept) – GMB, the union for Amazon workers, says the internet giant’s tax bill is ‘frankly insulting’ and companies that have profited from the pandemic should pay more. Amazon’s key UK business paid just £3.8m more corporation tax last year than in 2019, even as sales increased by £1.89bn 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]

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

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

 

Unison

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

‘The bill as it stands will not address nursing workforce shortages’ (9 Sept) – RCN chief gives evidence to Health and Care Bill committee, insisting the health secretary be made accountable for safe nurse staffing in new legislation passing through parliament read more

‘We have concerns around mandating vaccines’ (9 Sept) – RCN responds to launch of government consultation on making COVID-19 and flu vaccination a condition of deployment for frontline health and care workers in England read more

Pay campaign latest: members host silent protests over paltry NHS pay deal (8 Sept) – Nursing staff today hold silent protests across England and Wales as ministers fail to listen to growing anger over pay read more

NHS nursing vacancies at record high (7 Sept) – New NHS Scotland workforce statistics published today (7 September 2021) show nursing and midwifery vacancies have been at a record high since March, with over 4,800 posts unfilled 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

Safe Staffing Guidance for Members in Health & Social Care (8 Sept) – Members have reported to NIPSA that they are coming under severe pressure to carry out their job roles due to the chronic staffing shortages. In some cases we are aware that members are covering multiple jobs and feel vulnerable at work to the point that they are considering leaving the service. On that basis please see some advice below on how you should be carrying out your role:

  • Only work your contracted hours;
  • Don’t do unpaid work;
  • Question what work you should stop doing if you are asked to cover vacant posts, sick leave or maternity leave.
  • Take all your normal breaks.

If you have any issues you should raise these immediately through your line management, including completing a DATIX form, take a copy of that for yourself and your local trade union rep read more

 

FBU

Firefighters and emergency fire control staff to mark 9/11 twentieth anniversary with minute’s silence (Sept 10) – UK firefighters and emergency fire control staff are set to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy on Saturday, with a minute’s silence across the country, at fire stations, fire controls and other fire service workplaces. They are falling silent at 13.46 – the time in the UK when the first plane impacted the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The disaster holds particular poignancy for firefighters and emergency fire control staff. 343 out of the 412 emergency workers killed on the day were firefighters. Many more firefighters have since suffered and even died from diseases likely linked to toxic substances present at ground zero, and other health issues connected to the disasters have also affected many firefighters read more

 

POA

HMP Five Wells: G4S award voluntary recognition to POA (7 Sept) – As you will be aware the HMP Five Wells contract was awarded to G4S after a bid process involving private sector companies. When that contract was announced I wrote to the Managing Director of G4S seeking voluntary recognition as I believe the POA have all the necessary experience to assist G4S going forward 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 14 September

Wednesday 15 September

Thursday 16 September

[email protected]

[email protected]

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

Fair pay and pensions for public sector workers (13 Sept) – The Teachers’ Union condemns the UK government’s continued public sector pay restraint policy and its refusal to address public sector pension deficiencies. Public sector workers in the UK have suffered a decade of real-term pay cuts whilst forced to pay more and work longer before they can retire. Today the Union will be supporting campaigning by the TUC to secure pay restoration for teachers and other public sector workers. The NASUWT will demand public sector pension schemes are rectified to finally allow more workers access to their pensions without punitive reductions read more

Regulatory bodies need substantial funding boost (13 Sept) – The NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union will today call for substantial increases in the budgets of key regulatory bodies which failed to protect frontline workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The Union will tell TUC Congress that the pandemic highlighted the key role that regulators such as the HSE and EHRC should play in ensuring that all workers are safe at work and treated fairly read more

Scotland: Challenge to Cabinet Secretary to address teacher pay and workload (10 Sept) – Ahead of the address to the SNP’s Conference tomorrow (Saturday) by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is warning of the growing anger of teachers in Scotland over pay, workload and working conditions read more

Guernsey: States must address teachers’ concerns on school transformation plans (10 Sept) – Commenting on the vote by the States to move ahead with plans for the school transformation process, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “Although there is now some clarity over the shape of the plans for secondary education, significant concerns over the proposals remain among our members…” read more

NTP undermining supply teachers’ role in education recovery (9 Sept) – The Government is falling short of its promised investment in education recovery by offering pupils catch up on the cheap and squeezing out and undermining skilled and qualified supply teachers. The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is warning that the lack of clarity over the rates of pay for tutors working as part of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) threatens to undermine the ability of supply teachers to obtain work at a level of pay that reflects their status as qualified teachers. This is further exacerbated by the fact that some providers are recruiting volunteers to act as tutor read more

 

UCU

Climate Learning Month teaching materials launched in run up to COP 26 – Education unions and campaign groups have today launched a set of downloadable climate and sustainability teaching resources for schools, colleges and universities in support of their joint Climate Learning Month initiative. The materials were launched by UCU, National Education Union (NEU), Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), National Union of Students (NUS), Teach the Future and SOS-UK in the run-up to COP 26 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

Joint HIAL and Prospect statement on talks about delivery of the Air Traffic Management Strategy (13 Sept) – Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) and Prospect are discussing a possible alternate method of delivery for the Air Traffic Management Strategy (ATMS) project read more

Cross Party letter demands action from government on HIAL remote towers plan (8 Sept) – A cross party group of MSPs, MPs, council leaders, community members and trade unionists has written to the Scottish Government demanding they engage with them on the Highland and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) plan for remote air traffic control towers based in Inverness read more

Government must recognise that the pandemic is far from over for some sectors (9 Sept) – Government figures today have shown that, with furlough ending at the end of the month, some industries still have very high rates of people on furlough read more

Sunak wants to balance the books on the backs of hardworking public servants (8 Sept) – Chancellor Rishi Sunak has written to government departments in advance of the spending review next month warning them that public sector pay must be kept under control read more

Scottish Govt response to Just Transition Commission lacks a clear strategy for job creation (7 Sept) – The Scottish Government has today published its response to the Just Transition Commission’s final report read more

 

Equity

Activists rally to save Stratford Circus for the community – Equity activists and allies came together on 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

PM urged by Usdaw to back a protection of shopworkers law (13 Sept) – Retail trade union leader Paddy Lillis has today written to the Prime Minister urging him to step in and support a protection of shopworkers amendment to their flagship crime bill, which has its second reading in the House of Lords on September 14th read more

Government must commit to a protection of shopworkers law, Usdaw disappointed by response to cross-party calls (9 Sept) – Retail trade union Usdaw is disappointed by today’s Government response to a report from a cross-party committee of MPs that recommended a new criminal offence to protect shopworkers, following a shocking upsurge in violence and abuse. The Government has a further opportunity to indicate a change of heart at the second reading of their flagship crime bill next Tuesday in the House of Lords read more

Weetabix dispute settled after Usdaw members vote overwhelmingly for the company’s revised offer (8 Sept) – Usdaw has settled their dispute with Weetabix over shift pay, after 82% of members at the cereal bar production plant voted to accept a new offer from the company read more

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

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

 

IWGB

IWGB launches #ShameOnOcado campaign as BAME key worker jobs threatened after whistleblowing on outsourcing and poverty pay (8 Sept) – Ocado workers represented by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) at the corporation’s West London depot have voted to launch a campaign against Ocado, promising to escalate protests and strike action as long as Ocado refuses to engage. This follows the recent public outcry over frontpage revelations in the Guardian that these key workers are still being outsourced and earning under £5 per hour having served as key workers throughout the pandemic. Since the story broke over £1000 has been donated to the strike fund and Barry Gardiner MP, who is campaigning against fire and rehire, is due to visit the West London depot today. Local MP for Ealing Central and Acton Rupa Huq has also backed the IWGB campaign. Following this public outcry, on Friday Ocado announced its intention to end the use of third party courier companies in a blog post it subsequently deleted. However, in a process reminiscent of ‘fire and rehire’, Ocado is now advertising jobs on site for its agency partner, Job and Talent. Made with no commitment to bring existing workers in-house, this shift to zero-hours contract outsourcing threatens jobs, particularly motorbike couriers which Job and Talent does not recruit read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU says it has legal means to end workplace discrimination against disabled people (13 Sept) – SIPTU representatives have marked International Disability Awareness Day (Sunday, 12th September) to remind workers of the strong legal protections that have been secured to prevent discrimination in the workplace, due to a worker’s permanent or temporary disability read more

SIPTU members in local employment services to protest outside Fine Gael think-in on Monday (10 Sept) – SIPTU members working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs, will stage a protest outside the opening of the ‘think-in’ of the Fine Gael parliamentary party in Trim Castle, county Meath, on Monday, 13th September at 9.00 a.m., to highlight their opposition to the privatisation of the sector 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

 

‘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

Saturday October 3rd – 12pm People’s Assembly ‘Protest the Tory Party Conference’ national demo in Manchester. Assemble Oxford Road near Whitworth Park, M14 4PW read more

 

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