NSSN 556: Support the October strikes

October 12, 2021 in Bulletins

October has seen a real step change in industrial action as workers fight back against the bosses’ offensive to make us pay for the Covid crisis. As prices rise, strike ballots and action on pay, pensions and jobs are on the increase, with a number winning demands or at least forcing concessions out of the employers.

And in the public sector, unions are reporting that their members have voted down the Tory pay deals – effectively pay cuts and are moving to ballots. We call on the unions in the public sector to co-ordinate ballots and action.

The NSSN stands in solidarity with all these workers, in the private and public sectors. Find details on how to support them in our weekly bulletin.

TUC Congress last month passed a motion for a demonstration next spring and meetings and rallies in towns and cities this autumn and winter to build for it. The NSSN calls for this plan to be put into action, to help bring together the fights against the bosses and their Tory government, and to bring the fights together.  Support the strikes!

Scaffolders on strike at Scunthorpe British Steel Oct 11th

Scaffolders on strike at Scunthorpe British Steel Oct 11th

Unison: Council and School pay offer rejected

Unison: Improve local government pay offer or face strike action, says UNISON (4 Oct)

Unite council staff ‘support industrial action’, after voting overwhelmingly to reject ‘insulting’ 1.75 per cent pay offer (6 Oct)

GMB: School staff, refuse collectors and council workers reject ‘offensive’ pay offer (6 Oct)

GMB Scotland response to £10 social care pay uplift (5 Oct)

Unite’s NHS England members reject government’s pay award by 90 per cent as campaign of action builds (4 Oct)

NHS pay in Scotland: indicative ballot on industrial action now open (12 Oct)

NHS pay in England: RCN members to consider industrial action (6 Oct)

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

 

NSSN COP 26 Online Forum: ‘Climate change – for a workers transition’ 7pm November 9th (Zoom details to follow)

 

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

Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – solidarity protest Saturday 20th November in the Quarry Shrewsbury. For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]

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!

Victimised Tesco warehouse USDAW rep fighting for reinstatement

 

Blacklist Support Group have joined forces with the Construction Rank & File to organise a celebratory fringe event at upcoming UNITE conference in Liverpool.

RANK & FILE UNION ORGANISING IN CONSTRUCTION: PAST – PRESENT – FUTURE

RICKY TOMLINSON – SHARON GRAHAM – JOHN McDONNELL MP plus blacklisted construction activists.

Wednesday 20th October 6pm – 8pm

The Green Room, Duke Street, Liverpool

This is the first time Ricky Tomlinson will have spoken in public at since the historic Shrewsbury Pickets judgement in the Court of Appeal. It is also the first time most people will have the opportunity to hear a speech from Sharon Graham, the new UNITE General Secretary. The meeting will be part celebration, part serious political intervention. Without doubt, it will be the ‘MUST SEE’ event of the entire UNITE policy conference week. All construction workers, conference delegates and union members welcome. Please share widely to your networks

 

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 on Bus Driver shortages (11 Oct) – Bus union RMT on growing crisis of staff shortages which threaten lifeline services. Bus union RMT has responded to reports today that the bus industry is the latest sector facing a chronic workforce shortage as low pay and poor working conditions force drivers and other staff to seek work elsewhere with dire consequences for lifeline local services read more

Urgent questions for Govt over Southeastern (11 Oct) – With a week to go to nationalisation of Southeastern Railway RMT calls for urgent answers to questions about circumstances that led to Govia being stripped of rail contract. Britain’s biggest specialist transport union has written to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps calling for urgent answers to questions raised by the DfT’s contracts with Southeastern railways and other train companies after the Department was forced to step in and take over the franchise accusing the company of ‘breaching good faith in financial matters’. With seven days to go until control passes to the government’s own Operator of Last Resort, the letter from RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch says the government needs to be completely transparent about what’s being done with public money and asks Mr Shapps read more

RMT Scotrail members continue their battle (10 Oct) – RMT Scotrail members continue their battle today as union confirms further action in fight for pay justice and equality. RAIL UNION RMT said that Scotrail members are continuing their fight for pay justice and equality today and announced further action in a long-running battle which has now been going on for well over seven months read more. RMT’s‎ National Executive Committee has now considered the matter and has taken the decision to call on all Abellio Scotrail Ticket Examiner members to take further industrial action and not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 17th October 2021
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 24th October 2021
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 31st October 2021

Additionally Abellio Scotrail Ticket Examiner members have been instructed not to work any Rest Days or undertake any Higher Grade Duties remains in place until further notice

RMT calls on the First Minister to intervene in ScotRail dispute (4 Oct) – On eve of crucial talks to avert COP26 ScotRail strike action RMT calls on the First Minister to intervene, shelve rail ticket office closure plan, and pay rail key workers a decent wage. On the eve of crucial ScotRail pay talks tomorrow, designed to prevent a long-standing pay dispute disrupting COP26 in Glasgow, rail union RMT has called on the First Minister to intervene to shelve ticket office closure plans and pay rail key workers a decent wage. Last week ScotRail bosses sought to link a pay offer with a reduction in ticket office opening hours, a move rejected by the trade unions read more

RMT TFC Statement on London Underground’s funding crisis ‘engagement’ sessions (7 Oct) – RMT Trains’ Functional Council response to London Underground’s funding crisis ‘engagement’ sessions. We have listened carefully to your presentations over the past month. You have said that, prior to COVID-19, LUL was on schedule to provide an economically viable service to not only run Tube services but to subsidise other passenger services. This all changed as a direct result of the first lockdown in March 2020. The RMT does not accept the premise that train drivers – or any other groups of staff – should pay the price for a pandemic that was beyond their control. The RMT believes that the only dialogue that needs to take place is between the Managing Director of LUL and the Government, where we expect Andy Lord to forcefully demand proper funding for London Underground read more

RMT bulletin: we can and must win this battle – The government, TfL and London Underground consider EVERYTHING that makes our job bearable and worthwhile as up for grabs. Pensions, job security, pay rises and your framework agreements are all threatened… If we don’t stop them! Read more

Railway rolling stock fat cats paid out £1 billion (7 Oct) – Railway rolling stock fat cats paid out £1 billion dividends during pandemic year. Rolling stock fatcats paid out nearly £1 billion in dividends at taxpayers’ expense last year, the RMT revealed today in a new report, the equivalent of half the £2 billion in fares paid by passengers and or 23% of the £8.3 billion in taxpayer support to the industry in the same year. While the government has imposed pay freezes on heroic keyworkers, and passengers face massive fare rises in the New Year, the companies who own Britain’s trains have been siphoning taxpayer’s money overseas into the murky world of low tax jurisdictions and tax havens read more

RMT demands an immediate halt to rail service cuts (7 Oct) – RMT demands an immediate halt to industry plans to slash rail services and jobs as new statistics show a massive increase in rail passengers. RAIL UNION RMT today called upon the UK and Scottish Governments to immediately intervene to put a halt on planned cuts to rail services and jobs in the rail industry as new statistics show a massive increase in rail passengers over the last 12 months. Statistics released by rail regulator Office for Rail and Road today show passengers returning to the railways with a 420% increase in passengers between April and June this year compared with the same time last year read more

RMT on Night Tube re-opening (7 Oct) – RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Any reopening of the Night Tube must put public and staff safety first. We know from previous experience that the Night Tube has been a magnet for anti-social and violent behaviour ‎and those risks require a fresh assessment with the unions centrally involved before any reopening. Staffing levels are crucial to that safe operation and corners must not be cut and crucial decisions rushed for the sake of political expediency” read more

RMT on UK rail hub location (4 Oct) – RMT says strategic location for UK rail hub shouldn’t be subjected to a Government lottery. RAIL UNION RMT said today that ‎the location of strategic rail hubs shouldn’t be subjected to some sort of lottery after Grant Shapps tweeted that the base for Great British Railways will be decided in a competition. The union has also demanded that staff in current strategic rail locations should be reassured that their jobs are not under threat read more

RMT confirms strikes on Stagecoach buses (1 Oct) – RMT confirms strikes on Stagecoach buses for 18th October as part of national campaign for pay justice. BUS UNION RMT confirmed today that it is serving notice for strike action on Stagecoach buses in the South West, East Midlands and Derbyshire/Yorkshire as part of the national fight for pay justice for bus workers. The union has reacted with fury to a sustained campaign of abuse and misinformation over the pay campaign pedalled by Stagecoach managers which has already led to ‎members of the public confronting bus staff at the sharp end read more

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 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

East Midlands Railways staff united again today (26 Sept) – East Midlands Railways staff united again today in fight for workplace justice and safety. RAIL UNION RMT said that East Midlands Railways staff are standing united and determined again today in their on-going fights for workplace justice and safety 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

Scotrail campaign at opening of Glasgow Queen Street (4 Oct) – This morning, around 150 activists from ASLEF and our sister Scottish rail unions campaigned at the official opening of Glasgow Queen Street Station. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attended the opening but instead of coming to speak to campaigners and hear our calls for investment in Scotland’s railway, she snuck through an alternative entrance to avoid us. The Scottish Government has failed repeatedly to intervene in the ongoing disputes on the railway and it is clear that investing in and growing ScotRail in public hands is the best way to secure its future and have a railway in Scotland that works for people, not profit. Plans to close ticket offices and cut staff will make taking the train less attractive, at a time when we need more people to use our railways as we recover from Covid-19. That’s why ASLEF will continue to campaign for a fully funded, publicly owned and operated railway in Scotland read more

 

TSSA

TSSA becomes first union to sign Railway Mental Health Charter (7 Oct) – The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) is set to become the first trade union to formally sign the Railway Mental Health Charter. A special online event will mark the occasion on Thursday (7 October). The Charter has been jointly developed by the rail industry and is overseen by the RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) Mental Wellbeing Group read more

TSSA ‘disappointed’ over Shapps Southeastern investigation response (5 Oct) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said he is disappointed that Grant Shapps has refused his call for other rail franchises to be investigated in the wake of the Southeastern scandal. Union leader Cortes wrote to Shapps (29 September) calling on the Department for Transport to look at the accounts of all other franchises, particularly GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway), which, like Southeastern, is owned by Govia. This follows the announcement (Tuesday 28 September) that the Government is taking over London and Southeastern Railway (LSER) from 17 October, following an investigation which identified over £25million of taxpayer money was not declared by LSER read more

 

Unite

FCA staff ‘want right to be represented by an independent trade union’ as fight for union recognition steps up (12 Oct) – Unite, the union for finance sector staff, has called on the City regulator to hear the concerns of its workforce as the union sees a significant growth in membership at the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The union has today (Tuesday 12 October) launched a staff petition to secure the right to be formally recognised to represent workers across the organisation – the first time this has happened in the organisation’s history following the massive growth in staff joining the union. This is the latest step by the union after months of growing disenchantment with the FCA’s new leadership team, which has launched a consultation on changes to pay and grading as part of new CEO Nikhil Rathi’s transformation plans. Staff say the proposals will result in three out of four of them facing having their pay reduced by 10%. However, the changes are unlikely to affect the FCA’s leadership team. Most are new in post, appointed by Rathi, who joined as CEO from the London Stock Exchange less than a year ago read more

Surrey bus turmoil as ‘disgraceful’ Arriva walks away from passengers and workforce, says Unite (11 Oct) – The flawed nature of bus privatisation has been vividly exposed by the announcement that Arriva is closing its depot in Guildford, leaving the travel arrangements of thousands of Surrey residents in turmoil, Unite the union said today (Monday 11 October). Unite said it was ‘disgraceful’ that Arriva could just walk away, leaving commuters, pensioners and students in the lurch – the union said it would not have happened before bus privatisation in the 1980s. It is understood that the company operates 16 routes, using about 50 buses, covering Guildford, Woking and Camberley – and that the services will cease operating in mid-December read more

Unite calls on PM to `get a grip’ because workers must not pay the price for energy crisis with their jobs (10 Oct) – The leader of the UK’s main manufacturing and energy union, Unite, has today (Sunday) called upon the prime minister to ‘get a grip and bang heads together’ to avert job or wage losses as a result of the energy costs crisis. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham is urging industry chiefs and government ministers to work with the unions now to ensure no jobs are lost or attacked a wave of instability sweeps through UK manufacturing and energy read more

Stagecoach East workers in Fife, Perth and Strathtay ‘emphatically’ reject latest pay offer (8 Oct) – Unite Scotland confirmed today (8 October) that around 600 Stagecoach East workers across Fife, Perth and Strathtay have rejected the latest pay offer from the company. In Fife, around 440 Stagecoach East workers rejected the latest pay offer from the company of 2.4% backdated to May 2021 by 90%. Across Perth and Strathtay, around 160 workers rejected the same offer by 91%. Unite has acknowledged that while the latest offer represented a ‘step forward’ it maintains that there is ‘some distance to go’ to meeting the pay demands of its members. Unite has demanded Stagecoach meet its ‘fair’ pay claim of the Retail Price Index inflation figure (3.8% – July) plus 1%. The workers involved in the dispute are drivers, engineering staff, administrative workers, and cleaners. This week the Stagecoach East workers also overwhelmingly backed taking strike action in the pay dispute, while voting on the latest offer from the company. Fife workers backed strike action by 93.4% in a 74.4% ballot turnout. In Perth, workers backed strike action by 91% in a ballot turnout of 78%. In Strathtay, Stagecoach East workers also backed strike action by 93.2% in a 67% ballot turnout. Stagecoach’s latest accounts reveal that the Group made a profit of £58.4m, and it has over £875m of available liquidity read more

Stagecoach East workers in Fife, Perth and Strathtay back strike action as Unite says company got ‘some distance to go’ (6 Oct)

Striking Scunthorpe scaffolders to hold march as fair pay battle continues (8 Oct) – Striking scaffolders working on the British Steel site in Scunthorpe will hold a march on Monday (11 October) as part of their campaign for fair pay. The scaffolders are employed by Actavo and have been fighting to be paid the recognised rate for the job since 2019 read more

Manchester Metrolink strike suspended as fresh pay offer proposed (8 Oct) – A strike scheduled for this Sunday (10 October) on Manchester’s Metrolink tram system has been suspended at the eleventh hour following a fresh pay offer. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “By standing united and firm to demand a fair and well-deserved pay rise, Unite members at Metrolink have forced the hand of management and ensured that a fresh pay offer has been tabled. Unite is utterly determined to secure proper and lasting improvements to the pay and conditions of our members” read more

Lancashire bus strikes suspended as new pay offer on the table (8 Oct) – Planned strike action scheduled for next week by bus drivers employed by Ribble Motor Services Ltd (part of the multimillion pound Stagecoach group) based at the Preston and Chorley bus depots has been suspended following an improved pay offer read more

Chronic staff shortages at Guy’s and St Thomas’ confirm NHS funding crisis is harming patient care, says Unite (8 Oct) – Chronic staff shortages, concerns about patient safety and plunging morale at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust are the key findings of a staff survey carried out by Unite the union. Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, warned that the ‘shocking’ findings at the London trust which treated Boris Johnson for coronavirus could well be mirrored across other NHS trusts in England read more

Unite’s Sharon Graham says ‘Stop picking bus workers’ pockets or there will be inevitable disruption’ (7 Oct) – The UK’s bus industry has been placed on notice by the union representing the country’s bus workers that it must address the terrible working conditions or face the obvious consequences. Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite the union, has announced today (Thursday 7 October) that she will be bringing together union bus reps from across the Britain and Ireland to develop a comprehensive battle plan to fight back against the constant attacks on jobs in the industry, ranging from breadline pay rates to the threat of remote sign-on in London which will bring chaos to the capital’s roads read more

Faiveley transport workers in Merseyside to ballot for strike action over strings-attached pay offer (7 Oct) – Workers at rail engineering Faiveley Transport Birkenhead Limited are preparing to ballot for strike action in a dispute over pay. The dispute involves 47 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, who have rejected a two per cent increase which comes with strings attached linked to unachievable targets. According to Unite, with the RPI inflation rate currently at 4.8 per cent the offer to Faiveley workers amounts to a pay cut read more

Unite boss slams bad faith British Airways as airline moves to bring in more lower paid cabin crew (6 Oct) – Responding to the news that British Airways is to embark on yet another attempt to drive down pay and conditions for workers at the airline, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The creation of these new posts confirms what Unite said last year, there was never any need to sack thousands of dedicated BA staff. Last summer, British Airways became the first major employer to embark on the abhorrent practice of ‘fire and rehire’, sacking thousands of dedicated staff. Now, fewer than 12 months later BA is championing its intention to recruit thousands of new staff, insultingly even asking those crew it sacked needlessly last year to re-apply on substantially reduced terms and conditions…” read more

Unite council staff ‘support industrial action’, after voting overwhelmingly to reject ‘insulting’ 1.75 per cent pay offer (6 Oct) – Unite’s local government staff have voted overwhelmingly in a consultative ballot to reject the ‘insulting’ pay offer of 1.75 per cent and are supportive of taking industrial action for pay justice. Unite’s 70,000 local government members voted by 81 per cent to reject  the 1.75 per cent offer earmarked for council staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland made by the Local Government Association (with 2.75 per cent for those on the bottom pay point) for 2021/22. Of the 81 per cent voting to reject the offer, 85 per cent were ‘supportive’ of taking industrial action read more

Unite members back strike action at University of Dundee over ‘pension poverty’ proposals (5 Oct) – Unite Scotland can confirm today (5 October) that its members at the University of Dundee have voted to support strike action in a dispute over workers being plunged into ‘pension poverty’. Unite’s members at the university supported taking strike action by 78 per cent in a ballot turnout of 67 per cent. Unite can also confirm that its members will now be on strike from 25 October 2021. The University of Dundee propose to replace the existing Defined Benefit Pension Scheme with a Defined Contribution Pension Scheme for those on the lowest grades (i.e., grades 1-6). Workers in grades 7 and above will have their pensions protected through the existing UK wide Superannuation Scheme, which has a Defined Benefits element. The pension proposals will mean that a clerical worker on a lower grade could lose up to 50% of their pension across the expected term of retirement. This could result in an amount of up to £150,000. The trade union also estimates that around 70 per cent of its members in the existing Superannuation Scheme are female read more

Unite Members at Stagecoach Wales set for industrial action (5 Oct) – Following the result of the recent Industrial Action ballot of Unite Wales members in Stagecoach South Wales, strike action has been called across the Cwmbran, Brynmawr and Blackwood depots read more

Britvic and Coca Cola facing bottle shortages during Wigan plastic manufacturer pay strikes (5 Oct) – Pay strikes at Wigan plastic manufacturer Alpla UK could lead to bottle shortages for Coca Cola and Britvic, Unite, the UK’s leading union, warned today (Tuesday 5 October). Nearly 150 factory workers, who are members of Unite, will strike during October and November at Alpla UK’s Golborne factory in response to an ‘insulting’ two per cent pay offer read more

Lewisham leisure workers vote for strike action at Greenwich Leisure Limited over back pay owed (5 Oct) – Social enterprise Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) has been given ‘a reasonable timeframe’ to sort out the pay issues of its Lewisham leisure staff, such as failure to pay wages owed and redundancy enhancements –  or face strike action. Unite the union members at the five leisure centres voted by 94 per cent for strike action.  Following talks GLL now needs to come good on its commitments to resolve the outstanding issues. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “For far too long Greenwich Leisure Limited has had a poor reputation as a bad and exploitative employer. Unite will throw all its resources into this campaign to ensure GLL treats all its employees with dignity and respect.  All this employer has to do is pay the workers the money they are owed.” Unite says that it is only asking for its members to receive what they are rightly owed. There are members with outstanding pay queries and some whose redundancy pay has been wrongly calculated. The union is also pressing to ensure that when workers return from furlough, they are offered the same hours that they were working before furlough. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said:  “We had a constructive meeting with the employers following the ballot. A way forward has been agreed, including strengthening the recognition agreement so that future problems can be resolved earlier. But let us be clear – a constructive meeting only took place once our members made clear that they are prepared to strike. We are giving GLL a reasonable timeframe to rectify all the issues – otherwise strike action remains very much on the cards” read more

Government’s ‘shocking’ failure to assess safety impact of longer hours as Unite mobilises lorry drivers for change (5 Oct) – The government has failed to conduct an impact assessment on the road safety implications of extending HGV driving hours, despite pushing through yet another extension to the daily limit for drivers. According to Unite, which represents tens of thousands of UK lorry drivers, the Department for Transport (DfT) has admitted in correspondence to the union that “there is not an impact assessment” of the ongoing extension to the maximum number of hours a lorry driver can drive read more

Unite announce Abellio Scotrail strike action days in response to ‘reckless’ management (4 Oct) – Unite the union can confirm today (4 October) that a series of 24 hour stoppages will take place in the coming weeks due to the ‘reckless’ actions of Abellio Scotrail management. In response to the failure by Abellio Scotrail to make a meaningful pay offer, despite industrial action short of a strike taking place since 24 September, Unite’s engineering members will now take part in a series of 24 hour stoppages on days which also coincide with the COP26 climate change conference being held in Glasgow (31 October-12 November). The days scheduled for 24 hour strike action are as follows: 18-19 October, 1-2 November, 10-11 November, and 12-13 November. A number of rail depots, workplaces and stations will be impacted by the strike action. This includes Bathgate Depot, Corkerhill (Glasgow) Depot, Dalmuir, Glasgow Central, Glasgow Queen Street, Edinburgh Haymarket Depot, Edinburgh Waverley, Inverness Depot, Motherwell, Perth, Shields (Glasgow) Depot, and Yoker Depot. The strike action will commence at different times on the aforementioned dates at the various locations read more

Unite’s NHS England members reject government’s pay award by 90 per cent as campaign of action builds (4 Oct) – Health service members of Unite the union in England have voted by 90 per cent to reject the government’s ‘grossly inadequate’ three per cent pay award for this year. Unite, which represents 100,000 members in the health service, will now plan for a comprehensive programme of targeted industrial action in the coming months as the RPI rate of inflation increased to 4.8 per cent. The consultative ballot also highlighted that of the 90 per cent rejecting the offer, a total of 84 per cent were willing to take some form of industrial action. Unite said it would now be liaising with other health trade unions to coordinate pay campaign actions read more

Arriva Drivers Ballot for Strike Action over Pay (4 Oct) – Nearly 400 Arriva bus drivers across North Wales are being balloted for strike action in a dispute with their employer over pay. Unite members based at depots including Amlwch, Bangor, Hawarden (Chester), Llandudno, Rhyl and Wrexham will take part in the ballot. If Unite members vote for strike action, bus services across the region will be seriously disrupted read more

5,000 sign petition in support of Lancashire biomedical scientists in back pay dispute – Five thousand people have signed a petition in support of the 21 Lancashire biomedical scientists currently on strike in a back pay dispute, which sees some of them owed up to £8,000. Unite the union said there had been ‘a fantastic wave of support’ from the community, as pressure builds on the Interim Chief Executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Martin Hodgson, to meet with Unite and settle this unnecessary dispute as soon as possible. The biomedical scientists, who have been on strike since May, are owed staggering amounts of back pay. That starts at several hundred pounds up to as much as £8,000, after managers failed to honour a 2019 agreement to upgrade their pay. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, who was on the Blackburn picket line this week, said: “The fact is that the trust has reneged on a promised pay deal for these workers who have served their community, without regard to their own health, throughout the terrible pandemic. Fact. And what do they get from the trust for that loyalty? Broken promises that’s all. Unite is not having that. We are going to back these scientists of ours to the hilt. And now it’s clear the local community agrees with that” read more

Unite leader Sharon Graham joins striking Blackburn biomedical scientists on picket line (28 Sept)

Unite leader Sharon Graham joins striking Kettering Weetabix workers on picket line – Today, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham will join Weetabix factory engineers who are striking over Weetabix’s brutal ‘fire and rehire’ ultimatum that will slash their wages and conditions. The workers, based at the company’s factories in Kettering and Corby, face changes to their shift and working patterns that would result in some engineers losing as much as £5,000 from their yearly earnings read more

GKN Birmingham strikes suspended – Planned strike action at the GKN Automotive factory in Birmingham has been suspended. The workers at the factory in Chester Road were due to begin strike action next week (Monday 27 September), in opposition to the plans of the parent company Melrose GKN to cease production and close the factory, which produces drivelines for the UK automotive sector, next year. Following a meeting this week between representatives of Unite and Melrose GKN it was agreed that there would be an immediate moratorium on work and machinery being taken out of the factory. During this time Melrose GKN has agreed to attend a meeting of the key stakeholders involved in seeking a way forward to keep the factory open and ensure it plays a key role in the UK’s car industries transition to electric vehicles. As a consequence Unite has agreed to not begin industrial action before Monday 18 October read more

Workers at Wolverhampton lock makers Henry Squire to strike over pay – Workers at the historic lock makers Henry Squire and Sons, based in Featherstone, Wolverhampton, will begin strike action next month in a dispute over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 21 September). The workers, who are members of Unite, were due to receive a pay increase in January but management refused to make an offer. Instead they have offered a 2.5 per cent increase for the period from July to December, which in real terms is worth just 1.25 per cent for the entire year. The derisory offer is a significant real terms pay cut with the RPI inflation rate currently standing at 4.8 per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Workers at Henry Squire are long due a decent pay rise. The current July to December offer for 2021, is a pay cut in real terms. Understandably that has not been accepted by union members. It’s simple Henry Squire can avoid industrial action by Unite members. How? By making a decent wages offer.” The first week long strike action will begin on Monday 4 October and there are similar week long periods of industrial actions scheduled to begin on Monday 25 October, 15 November and 6 December read more

Fire and rescue workers on the Clyde Naval bases set to start overtime ban – Unite members working for Capita at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde will start a continuous overtime from today (Thursday 16 September) in a dispute over cuts to fire and rescue crew levels, and a lack of consultation. Capita management reduced the specialist fire safety crew by eight positions at Coulport and Faslane, which represents a cut of 15% at the nation’s nuclear naval bases on the Clyde. Capita won the contract in 2020 for fire response services from the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Unite members at Capita have supported taking action short of a strike by 100%, while 78% supported taking strike action in a ballot turnout of 91.1% 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

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

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

Just Ask strikers protest at Royal Parks half marathon (11 Oct) – The striking members raised awareness and gained popular support for their dispute. Members employed by Just Ask Services are on strike over terms and conditions and pay, which are inferior to those of colleagues who are employed directly by the Royal Parks. They have taken 16 days of strike action since 31 July and are now on strike for the whole of October. The striking PCS members and supporters met at Hyde Park Corner on the morning of the Royal Parks half marathon on Sunday 10 October with flags and placards.  The half marathon event attracts thousands of entrants and spectators and creates a large amount of income for the Royal Parks. After a short march from Hyde Park Corner to the finish line the protestors gathered round the culture sector banner for speeches and a poem from Poetry on the Picket Line, surrounded by thousands of attendees of the half marathon. Members handed out nearly 2000 leaflets, despite objections from the Royal Parks senior management. Many people, regular users of the parks and visitors, expressed their support for the campaign. The month-long strike continues this week and the next face to face picket line will be on Friday 15 October at Marlborough Gate (St James’s Park) at 10:30. Another protest is planned for 20 October at Royal Parks headquarters for their trustees’ meeting. How you can help:-

  • Contribute to the strike fund
  • Send a message of support to [email protected]
  • Email Just Ask and Royal Parks CEO’s using the PCS e-action
  • Email your MP to support Early Day Motion 476
  • Complain about any unclean facilities to [email protected]
  • Tweet and tag Just Ask and the Royal Parks demanding they resolve the dispute

Check the PCS website and twitter account for updates and activities you can support throughout the strike read more

Watch Reel News video: Royal Parks key workers demand equality and respect On August bank holiday Monday, cleaners and attendants working in the Royal Parks of London completed a two week strike with a rally and march through Hyde Park and Kensington Park

PCS DVLA member? Sign up for a members’ meeting 12 October – To coincide with the start of our DVLA industrial action ballot we are holding a meeting on Zoom for all members in the agency from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday (12). The meeting will hear an update on the ballot, which runs from 12 October to 10 November. We are asking members whether they will be prepared to take part in strike action and action short of a strike to win the dispute that has been ongoing since February. PCS President Fran Heathcote and the speakers are PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka and DVLA branch chair Sarah Evans. Members should have received an email with the meeting registration link read more

HMCTS Digital Support Officer role update (8 Oct) – As part of the MoJ pay deal a number of existing allowances and ways of remuneration for certain specialist grade jobs changed and interim arrangements have been put in place pending a series of reviews across all of these roles. These reviews will be subject to full negotiation with the trade unions and will include consultation with our members on any proposals read more

Care Quality Commission pay questionnaire (6 Oct) – In November 2020, the Chancellor announced as part of the Spending Review that there would be a temporary pause on pay rises for most public sector workforces in 2021/22, including the civil service. Whilst CQC are not contractual civil servants, it is an arm’s length body bound by the civil service pay guidelines and rules. So this makes this year exceptionally challenging read more

PCS warns minister of catastrophic impact of Universal Credit cut (6 Oct) – “A catastrophic effect on the most vulnerable families in our society,” is how PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka has described the Universal Credit cut, which takes effect today, in a letter to secretary of state Therese Coffey read more

PCS calls for urgent meeting with EHCR over handling of race issues (6 Oct) – PCS takes concerns of racism and race discrimination incredibly seriously. Following the leaking of a PCS member’s identity in the right-wing press as a result of a Guardian article about the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s handling of race issues internally and externally, a meeting with PCS EHRC branch members and PCS full-time officials was held to discuss concerns. Our EHRC members are dismayed by the Commission’s response to the Guardian which suggested that the issue was simply a case of a disgruntled ex-employee read more

OMEC the new contract in MOD Guard Service (6 Oct) – The trade unions have opposed OMEC from the outset, we continue to do so. We see it as an immoral, shameful attempt by MOD to exploit the Covid situation read more

PCS recommends OCS members on HMCTS contract complete staff ‘ways of working’ survey (6 Oct) – The OCS staff ‘Ways of working’ survey launched on Monday (4) and runs until 31 October. A link to the survey has been sent to OCS email addresses. PCS is recommending that you partake in the survey which provides you with the opportunity to tell OCS what you think read more

‘Return to Office’ discussions at HMRC (5 Oct) – PCS advice for members following the HMRC chief executive’s announcement that the department expects its staff to return to the office for an average of one day per week read more

 

CWU

Reinstate Gary Evans – support the Llanelli strike – Postal workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) at Llanelli Delivery Office have voted 98.6% for strike action! This is in defence of a colleague Gary Evans who has been wrongfully dismissed. Notice for industrial action has been served on Royal Mail, beginning on the 13th October. The CWU has responded with how every trade unionist should respond to wrongful dismissal: with solidarity, unity and action. We stand in solidarity with Llanelli DO workers and demand Royal Mail immediately reinstate Gary Evans                                                                                 (Download statement: https://bit.ly/CWUsolidarity)

Clarity demanded for ISS members following BT Centre bombshell (Oct 11) – Urgent assurances are being sought on behalf of ISS members working in BT Centre following the shock announcement that the outsourced housekeeping, security and ‘front of house’ functions provider has not been successful in all of the tenders it had lodged to replicate such services at BT’s soon-to-be opened new headquarters building read more

CWU warnings over the state of BT’s estate deliver grounds maintenance breakthrough (Oct 11) – Sustained pressure from the CWU has delivered the promise of decisive action to improve the condition of outdoor areas on the BT estate read more

CWU women welcome agreement on issue of new Royal Mail personal attack alarms (7 Oct) – “Good news, now let’s get them out there,” is the reaction of CWU NEC women’s lead Angela Whitter to the agreement by Royal Mail to provide personal attack alarms to postal delivery workers read more

 

GMB

GMB Union to additionally ballot Cityclean Refuse and Recycling Loaders and Street cleansing teams operatives after dispute talks break down with Brighton & Hove Council (11 Oct) – ‘It so disappointing as Friday’s meeting had left us with the impression that we had made good progress in moving towards a resolution and halting strike action, but today has seen a clear about turn and retraction of certain positional assurances by the council team’ says GMB Southern. GMB have today sought to meet with Brighton & Hove Council with the aim of reaching an agreed way forward around the on-going dispute for city clean HGV drivers. The ongoing dispute and strike which is currently entering its second week appeared to be on course to be suspended whilst final details were worked on around a solution. It was only when the meeting had commenced that the GMB were surprised to hear that in areas where we had believed an understanding in principle was in place, that in fact it was the case that the proposal from the Council had changed, and look very different one than expected and previously discussed read more

Brighton bin strike goes ahead (5 Oct) – Brighton’s city clean refuse, recycling, commercial waste, and com-bin HGV drivers will walk out after voting overwhelmingly to strike. The ballot result on a return of 79.6% was that members were 100% in favour of industrial action. Workers voted to strike vote comes over a dispute with the city’s Green council over their refusal to intervene and settle an ongoing dispute around unilateral imposed daily changes and removal of drivers from long standing rounds without process, by management whim. The walk out begins on October 5 for 14 days – with the strike beginning at 5am each day read more

GMB will fight job losses if Swindon schools forced into Multi Academy Trusts (11 Oct) – Proposals will see council income drop of £122,000 per year – key job roles will almost certainly be lost, says GMB Union. GMB, the leading education union for school support staff, has announced it will fight any job losses arising from Swindon Borough council’s academy merger scheme. The local authority plans to transfer 25 council schools and 18 schools currently operating as standalone Academies into Multi Academy Trusts. The proposal is being voted on by the Conservative council’s cabinet on the evening of Wednesday 13 October, and follows a government recommendation read more

PM missing in action during gas crisis (11 Oct) – GMB has criticised the Prime Minister for going on holiday while the country is in the grip of an. energy crisis. The union has warned of tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs are at risk if the Government fails to act on rocketing energy prices read more

Gas levy ‘massive step in wrong direction’ (11 Oct) – GMB, the energy union, described a proposed gas levy to fund low carbon heating as a ‘massive step in the wrong direction read more

Liberty steel cash must protect jobs long term (11 Oct) – GMB, the steel workers union, has responded to a promised £50 million cash injection by the owners of Liberty Steel read more

Energy price surge could cost tens of thousands of jobs (8 Oct) – GMB has warned of tens of thousands of job losses if the Government fails to act on a predicted energy price surge. Regulator Ofgem has warned households will again see “significant rises” in energy prices next spring. GMB has growing concerns that unless the Government takes swift and decisive action manufacturing production and jobs will be at risk, due to uneconomically high energy costs and the availability of gas across the winter months read more

Goodfish cancel Christmas bonus for striking members in St Asaph (8 Oct) – Goodfish have doubled down in a bad tempered dispute with workers at the company’s St Aspah site by cancelling the staff’s bonus for the quarter up to September 2021. The company have also warned workers that there will be no bonus leading up to Christmas. The dispute takes place as hardworking staff ask for a pay rise after accepting last year’s pay freeze due to the economic uncertainty thrown up by the covid pandemic read more.  The first date of strike action is scheduled for Wednesday 13 October

Goodfish staff to strike over pay snub at St Asaph (6 Oct)

Big win for GMB Amber Valley refuse workers (7 Oct) – GMB trade union has today welcomed the decision by Norse Group management to agree to a fair deal for refuse workers in the Amber Valley area of Derbyshire. This is following weeks of campaigning by GMB trade union members at the company, who recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in a ballot of GMB members. The deal will see a package of improvements to conditions at the company, as well as a pay deal in line with inflation read more

50 staff left unpaid in care home scandal – GMB threatens legal action (6 Oct) – Dozens of staff working at a scandal hit care home have been left unpaid sparking threats of legal action by GMB Union. The Court Care Home in Ballymoney, Country Antrim, has been ordered to close after rooms were found to have been offered as buy-to-let investments. The closure means 27 residents will have to move and 50 care workers will be out of a job on October 15. Distraught workers – many of whom are paid the minimum wage – did not receive their wages this week, despite the operator receiving money from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust read more

School staff, refuse collectors and council workers reject ‘offensive’ pay offer (6 Oct) – GMB refuse collectors, school staff and council workers have overwhelmingly rejected a ‘pathetic’ pay offer. In total, three quarters [75%] of those balloted turned down the below inflation offer of 1.75% pay offer set out by the NJC employers. With inflation running at 4.8% RPI, the offer represents another real terms pay cut after a decade of austerity. GMB and unions Unison and Unite have called for a minimum 10% pay rise. Senior GMB reps have met and agreed to trigger a consultative industrial action ballot read more

GMB Scotland response to £10 social care pay uplift (5 Oct) – Responding to the Scottish Government’s announcement this afternoon to uplift care workers pay to just over £10 an hour, GMB Scotland Secretary Louise Gilmour said: “If we want to tackle the understaffing crisis in social care then we need to substantially increase the basic rate of pay, and for GMB that mean’s a £15 an hour minimum…” read more

More than 100 workers to strike at Serco Sandwell tomorrow over bullying row (5 Oct) – More than 100 workers at Serco Sandwell will walk out tomorrow [October 6] after the firm failed to address a management culture of bullying and a slew of safety complaints. The firm also failed to show up for its own question-and-answer session with workers on October 5 – instead sending misleading written materials to union members. Workers will form a picket at the Shidas Lane site in Oldbury, B69 2BP. 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]   read more

GMB ballots more than 1,100 G4S Cash workers for strike action (5 Oct) – GMB is to ballot more than 1,100 G4S Cash members for strike action over a real terms pay cut. Workers are angry after the company offered a pay increase of just 2.5% – well below current inflation rate of 4.8& RPI. G4S Cash refused to meet GMB’s demand for a 7.5% pay increase, reinstatement of an overtime rate when they work more than 39 hours a week and night payment rates to be paid between 10pm and 6am. The ballot will begin on October 11 and end on November 1. GMB Members working for G4S Cash deliver money across the country – a dangerous job which leaves them open to attack and which they continued to do throughout the pandemic read more

Yodel offers significant pay increase as strike looms (4 Oct) – GMB, the union for Yodel workers, has praised the company for ‘doing the right thing’ and offering a pay increase for staff that will see LGV drivers given a long overdue pay rise to £16 per hour. The move comes after stormy negotiations saw 95% of GMB LGV drivers in yodel voting to take industrial action, which could have seen supply chains affected to some of the country’s biggest retailers, including M&S and Aldi. The union is still in discussions over some outstanding issues which includes the settlement of an Employment tribunal affecting 137 members, which Yodel has agreed in principle to resolve. GMB Union members will vote on the improved offer in the coming days read more

University of the Arts London Cleaners demand equal treatment after five day strike (1 Oct) – GMB, the union for higher education, is demanding members who work as cleaners within the University of the Arts London are offered pay parity with workers directly employed by the university. Bouygues, who directly employ the cleaners, do so on a contract which offers the workers inferior pay, terms and conditions than their colleagues – cleaners have just completed five days of industrial action in protest 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

NEC backs mobilisation for climate day of action (11 Oct) – Government must deliver ‘a fair and just’ response to the climate emergency read more

Blog: Help us stand with HOPE not hate against the far right (11 Oct) – After attacks on HOPE not hate’s new website, UNISON is encouraging branches to help raise the funds to protect the organisation from such acts read more

Education unions call for additional safety measures in schools (9 Oct) – Five education unions have written to the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, asking him to urgently reconsider the reintroduction of additional safety measures in schools, given the rising rates of Covid infection and absence among school students read more

UNISON wins over £1.7m for members in a single month (8 Oct) – Almost 200 victories in a month shows the value of the union’s personal injury legal assistance scheme, which is free to use, win or lose read more

New toolkit highlights positive impact of teaching assistants (7 Oct) – Independent research shows that, on average, teaching assistants add an additional four months of pupil progress over the course of a year read more

Improve local government pay offer or face strike action, says UNISON (4 Oct) – Ballot on action expected to begin next month. UNISON is to ballot for industrial action among the 400,000 council and school staff it represents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over ​what the union says is an “inadequate” pay offer from employers. An overwhelming majority (79%) of UNISON ​members who took part in ​a month-long consultation ​exercise voted to reject the 1.75% offer​. The union says this falls well short of the 10% claim ​put forward for this year ​with GMB and Unite. ​UNISON believes it is not too late for local government employers to think again and improve the increase offered to staff who have worked through the worst of times. Members will now be asked to vote ‘yes’ to taking action in support of the union’s campaign for better pay read more

Dundee University members appeal for strike hardship donations – UNISON members at Dundee University appeal for solidarity donations ahead of strike action. UNISON members at Dundee University who are part of, or are eligible to be part of, the university’s superannuation scheme are taking strike action later this month over the employer’s plans to close and replace the defined benefit CARE scheme with a defined contribution scheme next year. Affecting around 900 staff on grades one to six, the proposals are set to leave many members in pension poverty and will see some losing up to 40% of their pension. Those on grades higher than six fall under a different, nationally negotiated, scheme. The university needs to make payments toward the deficit and wants to move all future financial pension risks to members, leaving their financial future uncertain. Action is initially planned, with 300 members striking, for five days across the start of the new academic year, with pickets each morning as well a rally in Dundee’s City Square at noon on the first day, 29 September 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

 

RCN

NHS pay in Scotland: indicative ballot on industrial action now open (12 Oct) – RCN members in Scotland have until 8 November to let us know about their willingness to take industrial action read more

NHS pay in England: members to consider industrial action (6 Oct) – We’re launching an indicative ballot to gauge members’ appetite for taking this next step in our fight for fair pay read more

 

NIPSA

NIPSA releases Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Bullying and Harassment Survey Results (4 Oct) – NIPSA, representing almost 300 members in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, reports on its survey into Bullying and Harassment in Council. NIPSA Official, Alan Law stated: “NIPSA has concluded its survey into Bullying and Harassment in Mid and East Antrim BC. The results should rock the Council to its core, they demonstrate that the organisation needs urgent reform to bring about a culture change where staff feel able to raise concerns and where they will have confidence that these will be listened to and dealt with accordingly. It is horrendous that 61% of respondents have been bullied with 79% of NIPSA members feeling that reporting concerns would impact career prospects. This is a toxic workplace. NIPSA calls on Council to set aside all confidentiality agreements staff who have left the Council have been required to sign. It is only through transparency can this organisation do better. The political leadership must act immediately and ensure change occurs and is sustained…” read more

 

FBU

FBU scores significant pensions win (8 Oct) – The FBU has secured a significant win for firefighters who are currently retired and who are not receiving their correct pension (immediate detriment cases) and those who were set to retire into an incorrect pension, after the introduction of the 2015 pension scheme. In December 2018 the Court of Appeal ruled that firefighters were entitled to be returned to their previous pension schemes from the 2015 scheme, which in most cases is worse, if they so wished. The government has since accepted that firefighters should be paid the correct, higher, pension and lump sum with effect from the date of retirement, and if a member has already retired (or should have been allowed to do so) they will therefore have to pay arrears with interest. However legislation remedying the issue is not due to be introduced until October 2023 read more

New job cut figures – firefighters “might not be able to fight all fires” (5 Oct) – Firefighter numbers have reached a new low since the beginning of austerity in 2010. One in five firefighter roles which existed in 2010 no longer exist, according to figures released today, with a fall in numbers of 11,680 since then read more

 

POA

The experience of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in ex-prison officers – Read the recent report on The Experience of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Ex-Prison Officers, by Joanna Binley read more

 

NEU

Please support the following NEU action:

Action Date Contact
Oaks Park High School Redbridge (victimisation of rep)

 

 

Clayfields House Secure Unit Nottinghamshire (over terms & conditions)

Tuesday 12  Wednesday 13 Thursday 14 October

 

 

Wednesday 13 October

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

[email protected]

Sign petition: END THE CULTURE OF BULLYING AT OAKS PARK HIGH SCHOOL

Support the Oaks Park strike – protest at 2pm this Saturday 16th October outside Redbridge Town Hall, Ilford

Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – solidarity protest Saturday 20th November in the Quarry Shrewsbury. For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]

Coronavirus: safety measures in schools (9 Oct) – Education Unions call for additional safety measures in schools. Five education unions have written to the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, asking him to urgently reconsider the reintroduction of additional safety measures in schools, given the rising rates of Covid infection and absence among school students. The five unions – GMB, NASUWT, NEU, UNISON and UNITE – will also be writing to all local authorities and directors of public health asking them to consider measures in their local areas read more

 

NASUWT

PM must outlaw fire and rehire (4 Oct) – The Prime Minister must act to ban fire and rehire and outlaw an employment practice he has himself described as ‘unacceptable’, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union will tell the Conservative Party Conference today. Fire and rehire is now being widely used as a tactic by employers to downgrade workers’ pay and working conditions. The NASUWT has been dealing with numerous cases in independent schools where employers have sought to dismiss staff and reengage them on inferior contracts read more

Salford teachers take strike action (28 Sept) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Co-op Academy Swinton will be taking the first of five planned days of strike action tomorrow (Wednesday). They will be taking strike action due to adverse management practices affecting workload, working practices, pupil behaviour, and failure to consult read more

 

EIS

EIS Members at SRUC Continue Strike Action (12 Oct) – Lecturing staff at Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC) will take their third day of strike action as part of a continuing programme of industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay and grading. Members have already taken two days of strike action, with further strike days planned together with an ongoing programme of action short of strike. Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “Lecturers at SRUC are not taking strike action lightly, but have been left little choice given the intransigence of management and its refusal to negotiate a fair pay offer to members…” read more

Members at SRUC Continue Strike Action (6 Oct) – Lecturing staff at Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC) will today take their second day of strike action in a continuing programme of industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay and grading. Members took their first day of strike action last Thursday, with further strike days planned together with an ongoing programme of action short of strike. Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “Following a well-supported day of strike action last week, our members are SRUC are continuing with industrial action today. Pay for lecturers at SRUC has fallen significantly behind the norms across both the Further and Higher education sectors. “It is time for management at SRUC to stop dragging their feet and commit to paying their lecturers fairly for the vital work that they do” read more

Education Recovery Plan is a “Missed Opportunity” (5 Oct) – The Scottish Government’s Education Recovery Plan, announced today, is a missed opportunity read more

 

UCU

Royal College of Art staff enter second week of strike in fight against casualization (11 Oct) – UCU members at the Royal College of Art (RCA) will begin their second week of strikes today in a fight against casualised contracts, to protect the terms and conditions of established academic staff and to push back against the use of unfair contracts for new staff. In total, staff are on strike for fourteen days across four weeks. Management at the RCA are shockingly reliant on precarious employment practices. In the last two academic years there have been more than 1,000 visiting lecturers working on zero hours contracts with no guaranteed work and limited employment rights. The action began with two days of strikes last week, and continues with three days of action this week (Tuesday 12 October, Wednesday 13 October and Thursday 14 October), and will also include continuous action short of a strike for six months from 4 October, entailing:-

  • boycotting all graduate and postgraduate assessments and marking
  • refusing to reschedule work cancelled due to industrial action
  • and/or to share materials in relation to such action
  • not undertaking any voluntary activities read more

Support the FE college strikes – Staff at six English colleges will be walking out again this week in their ongoing fight for fair pay. The strike is the second week of walk outs in a wave of industrial action over pay. Pickets will take place at all affected institutions from 8am. The dispute has arisen following a pay offer of just 1% from the further education employer body, the Association of Colleges, in December 2020. Staff working in the sector have suffered real terms pay cuts of over 30% in the past decade. Strikes were suspended at City of Bristol College, Weymouth College and New College Swindon after late deals and action at South Thames College, Merton College, Carshalton College and Kingston College has been suspended whilst further negotiations take place. UCU said that if employers want to avoid further disruption they need to follow the lead of these colleges and get around the negotiating table. The union is demanding a pay increase of greater than 5% in an effort to close the school-college pay gap that currently stands at £9,000, and after more than a decade of below inflation pay increases. Staff at all affected institutions are taking action over pay, but at City & Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of North East London the dispute also includes other issues such as working conditions read more

Solidarity Rally THIS WEDNESDAY 13th October 12- 1pm: Royal College of Art UCU with striking FE Colleges.  Join us in person 10am – 2pm at the Kensington Campus of Royal College of Art, Jay Mews, London SW7 2EP for physical pickets and happenings throughout the day

Employer Strike dates
Capital City College Group:
City & Islington College
College of North East London
Westminster Kingsway College
28/29 September
5/6/7/11/12/13/14/15 October
   
Croydon College 28/29 September
5/6/7/11/12/13/14/15 October
Lambeth College 28/29 September
5/6/7/11/12/13/14/15 October
 

From Liverpool Echo: University of Liverpool strikes called off as union declares victory over jobs saved (1 Oct) read more

Higher education disputes: strike at Royal College of Art; ‘Four Fights’ and USS ballot timetable; members’ voices video project – UCU members at the Royal College of Art were on strike on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 October over unfair and precarious employment practices, as well as unsafe workloads. The branch received a powerful mandate, with 82.8% in favour of striking on a 63% turnout. According to research conducted by UCU, the RCA had 90% casualised staff. You can read the RCA UCU branch’s public statement and follow the latest developments on their Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Intense preparations for the higher education industrial action ballots (‘Four Fights’ and USS pension) are under way. Here are some key dates for all HE members:

  • Monday 18 October: ballot packs will be dispatched by Civica Election Services to UCU HE members via 1st class post, with 1st class prepaid envelope enclosed
  • Friday 22 October-Thursday 28 October (5pm): online replacement ballot request form opens
  • Thursday 4 November (12 noon): ballot closes

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.

 

BFAWU

Read BFAWU Food Worker Summer 2021 here

 

NUJ

NUJ and IFJ call for urgent action by UK government to help secure safe passage for under-threat former BBC journalists in Afghanistan (6 Oct) – More than seven weeks since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, and the subsequent evacuation of western troops from the city, many journalists with close links to the UK remain stuck in hiding, fearful for their lives. These include a number of journalists who previously worked for the BBC and are at particularly high risk because of their profile and clear connections with the British public service broadcaster read more

 

Prospect

‘Come join our commemorative event for Robert Tressell’ (4 Oct) – Sean Jarman, Prospect rep at the Office for Nuclear Regulation pays tribute to the socialist author Robert Tressell and invites members to join him in a celebration of the writer’s life at an event in Liverpool on Sunday 31 October read more

 

Equity

SAVE STRATFORD CIRCUS ARTS CENTRE: Protest – Saturday 16 October, 1pm

Join us outside Stratford Circus in Theatre Square in Stratford to demand Newham Council fund the arts fully! (map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/ZGJrq2bU2yS26WRQ7)

Called by the North and East London General Branch of Equity, the performing arts union. All welcome. Please bring trade union banners.

Equity’s first demonstration in August, supported by the NSSN and others, forced renewed talks and attracted embarrassing press coverage. The campaign to save professional and community performing arts in Newham has pushed the council to set clearer requirements for the former arts centre. But the funding the council has promised is still nowhere near enough – and could even face cuts in future years.

And don’t forget to sign the petition! https://www.change.org/p/save-stratford-circus

End of Universal Credit uplift today undermines levelling up of the arts (6 Oct) – “Today’s withdrawal of the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit directly undermines the Culture Secretary’s recent commitment to level up opportunities in the arts. The pandemic has already compounded our industries’ historical problem of elitism by disproportionately impacting under-represented groups and especially those from working class backgrounds. By removing this vital safety net for many creative practitioners, the government is now making it even harder for those without a privileged background to break into and remain in entertainment. Our recent impact survey found that 65% of Equity members currently rely on Universal Credit and other welfare to stay in the industry and 53% of claimants would experience financial hardship with the removal of the £20 uplift. We urge the government to do the right thing and reverse this damaging decision” read more

 

USDAW

BCM Fareva, Nottingham: Usdaw members to take further industrial action over the slashing of terms and conditions (8 Oct) – Members of Usdaw at BCM Fareva will begin a further stoppage on Sunday 10 October, which will continue into Monday. The strike follows five previous stoppages in July and August. Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots and The Body Shop has imposed through ‘fire and rehire’ cuts to staff terms and conditions read more

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep fighting for reinstatement read more

 

Community

Industrial action begins at Clarks (Oct 4) – Employees at iconic shoe firm Clarks have today began industrial action in a dispute over fire-and-rehire. 88% of staff voted in favour of industrial action. The reduction of terms & conditions at Clarks UK is primarily targeted at legacy members of staff, who were employees before Lion Rock became majority shareholder in March 2021. Clarks UK had been in discussions with unions on terms but failed to reach an agreement. The company pushed for their employees to accept far-reaching reduced conditions, with everything from a reduction in hourly wage, sick pay and annual holidays, to a removal of 10-minute coffee breaks and complimentary hot drinks read more

 

UVW

“All key workers deserve decent work and a living wage” – carers in North London declare strike action (7 Oct) – UVW members at a North London care home served notice of industrial action on their bosses this week sending a clarion call to all low paid, migrant, and precarious key workers to get organised and fight for a living wage. Carers, domestic, and maintenance workers at Sage Nursing Home in North London will commence strike action on 20 October. This move following months of empty promises to work together, delaying tactics and a failure to take action over what UVW members believe to be unfair dismissal and disciplinary action of long-serving workers and UVW members, Adam and Shamila read more

Cleaners ballot to strike in ongoing dispute for equal work rights at Great Ormond Street Hospital – More than a hundreds cleaners who won an in-housing agreement at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) after launching a hard fought campaign against outsourcing to private contractors have vowed to return to the picket line after accusing GOSH of failing to keep their promises. The recently in-housed cleaning staff accuse the NHS Trust bosses of failing on their pledge to give full parity with the other NHS workers. While terms and conditions have improved for the workers, GOSH has denied them annual leave, maternity/paternity, and redundancy read more

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. They are striking for the month of October – 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 takes Uber to court over racist facial recognition as Black Lives Matter UK backs the drivers’ strike and boycott on Wednesday 6 October – On 6 October the IWGB is calling for a 24-hour boycott of Uber in support of drivers who will take strike action on that day and protest outside Uber HQ in Aldgate from 11am. Demands include increased earnings for drivers after a recent increase in the commission taken by Uber and a fair, transparent process for account terminations. Facial recognition failure is just one of the reasons hundreds of Uber’s majority-BAME drivers and couriers are terminated and lose their livelihoods without any due process or evidence of alleged wrongdoing read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU warns politicians of mass exodus of childcare staff if Budget 2022 fails on pay crisis (5 Oct) – SIPTU representatives will tell the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, today (Tuesday, 5th October) that the pay crisis for childcare professionals, if not adequately addressed in Budget 2022, will lead to many leaving 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

 

Stand up to Racism international conference 2021

Mobilising the anti-racist majority: How do we defeat Johnson’s racist offensive? Online Conference | Sat 16 & Sun 17 October more info

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

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

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group

Builders Crack: The Movie

In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.

Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg

Blacklist Support Group

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

 

International news

Vietnam: Eight-year sentence for journalist upheld read more

 

 

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

NSSN COP 26 Online Forum – ‘How do we get a workers’ Just Transition’ – 7pm November 9th

 

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