NSSN 562: Support the RMT Night Tube strike

November 23, 2021 in Bulletins

We headline this week’s bulletin with the strike called by the RMT on London Underground from this Friday 26th November. Please support the action

To make donations to the hardship fund – account details: account name – Terence O’Neill; sort code: 60-83-71 account number: 89481380 or send cheques to RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton St, London NW1 1JD

RMT Piccadilly Line strike September 2018

RMT Piccadilly Line strike September 2018

RMT Night Tube action goes ahead – RMT says action goes ahead over imposition of impossible and unreasonable demands on staff in advance of Night Tube reopening. TUBE UNION RMT has confirmed today (22 Nov) that action goes ahead by members over what it describes as the imposition of unacceptable and intolerable demands on staff in advance of the Night Tube reopening which the union says will wreck work life balance by bulldozing through additional night and weekend working. This union says that LU refused point blank to consider the serious grievances at the heart of the dispute and that it has become clear the drive from tube bosses is all about cutting costs regardless of the impact on staff and the services they operate. As a result all train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria) have been instructed not to book on for any duty commencing between 04:30 on 26/11/21 and 04:29 27/11/21. Further all train operator and instructor operators working on the Central and Victoria lines are instructed not to book on for any duty commencing:

  • between 20:30 on 27/11/21 and 04:29 on 28/11/21
  • between 20:30 on 3/12/21 and 04:29 on 4/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 4/12/21 and 04:29 on 5/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 10/12/21 and 04:29 on 11/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 11/12/21 and 04:29 on 12/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 17/12/21 and 04:29 on 18/12/21

All train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria) are also instructed not to book on for any duty commencing from 04:30 on 18/12/21 to 04:29 19/12/21.

General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “We have made every effort in ACAS and direct talks to resolve this dispute but it is clear that LU bosses are driven solely by the bottom line and have no interest whatsoever in the well being of their staff or the service to passengers. We will take no lectures from LU on safety as no one has worked harder to ensure a safe environment for women on London Underground than the RMT. While Tube bosses have axed staff and left stations routinely unstaffed, with all of the obvious risks, we have campaigned relentlessly for the front line, physical ‎presence of visible staff on stations and platforms. LU have ignored us as cuts come first. We are now being repaid by the imposition of working arrangements that would wreck the work-life balance of our members. No one should underestimate the anger this issue has generated amongst drivers…” read more

Save London’s Transport demonstration (19 Nov) – RMT to join ‘Save London’s Transport’ demonstration outside Parliament on Wednesday 1st December. Transport Union RMT will be protesting outside Parliament alongside other trade unions in a ‘Save London’s Transport’ demonstration opposing attacks on pensions, the imposition of pay freezes and threats to services and jobs, imposed as part of the government’s conditions for the bailout out of Transport for London. The demonstration will be taking place outside Parliament on Wednesday 1st December, assembling at 11am at Old Palace Yard read more

 

Join the NHS SOS protest: Friday 26th November 12.30pm Westminster Bridge; 2.30pm Parliament Old Palace Yard – organised by NHS Workers Say NO. NHS workers are taking to the River Thames to show this government that we outright reject the 3% pay offer Facebook event

Unite: Last chance to save the NHS: Unite leads campaign rally to oppose the Health and Care Bill

Unite: Strike ballot at Barts Health NHS Trust over Serco’s two-tier workforce and 1% pay offer – solidarity protest 1.30pm Tuesday 23rd November outside St Barts Hospital, Little Britain

 

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’smodel motion

St Mungo’s: Unite will not tolerate victimisation and bullying

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 – 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

 

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

Justice for North Sea contract workers (22 Nov) – RMT serves notice for strike action in fight for justice for North Sea contract workers. OFFSHORE UNION RMT along with our Trade Union colleagues Unite and GMB have today issued notice of strike action with offshore members employed with North Sea contractors Ponticelli and Semco. RMT members at Semco Maritime and Ponticelli UK Ltd are instructed not to book on for work on the following dates between:

  • 0600 hours on Monday 6th December and 0559 Tuesday 7th December
  • 0600 hours Wednesday 8th December and 0559 Thursday 9th December
  • 0600 hours Friday 10th December and 0559 Saturday 11th December
  • 0600 hours Monday 13th December and 0559 Tuesday 14th December
  • 0600 hours Wednesday 15th December and 0559 Thursday 16th December
  • 0600 hours Friday 17th December and 0559 Saturday 18th December
  • 0600 hours Monday 20th December and 0559 Tuesday 21st December

Additionally, action short of strike in the form of an overtime ban and no higher grade duties will be in place read more

Government confirms the great Northern rail betrayal (18 Nov) – Government’s Integrated Rail Plan confirms the ‘great Northern rail betrayal’. RAIL UNION RMT today described the Government’s long-delayed ‘Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands’ as a “historic betrayal of the people of the North”. The 162-page document confirms that the Eastern leg of the HS2 Project will be scrapped entirely and that Northern Powerhouse Rail will be all but cancelled read more

RMT on TfL cuts carnage (18 Nov) – RMT slams Government for provoking industrial warfare across London transport as scale of TFL cuts carnage emerges. LONON TRANSPORT UNION RMT today called on the Mayor Sadiq Khan to stand up and fight for the Capital’s transport services as the full scale of the cuts being demanded by the Government begins to emerge. The union has also accused the Government of deliberately engineering and provoking a fight with unions over jobs, services and pensions and of cynically using the COVID pandemic as a cover to unleash the most savage cuts package in modern times. Unions expect to be briefed on the scale of the cuts assault on London this morning ‎but they are reported to total £1.3 billion with tube budgets slashed by 9% and a period of “managed decline” if the Government don’t provide a support lifeline. Capital expenditure on upgrades and maintenance would also be decimated raising fears over passenger safety read more

RMT calls to scrap TfL cash for cuts scheme (17 Nov) – RMT calls on Mayor to scrap TfL’s ‘cash for cuts’ executive bonus scheme for attacking keyworkers jobs, pay and pensions. TUBE UNION RMT has written to London Mayor Sadiq Khan calling on him to scrap Transport for London’s £12 million executive bonus scheme which will see senior staff rewarded for their success in delivering the government’s attack on heroic keyworkers’ pay, jobs and pensions. Denouncing the scheme as ‘disgusting’ and ‘nothing more than cash for cuts’, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members, like TfL’s executives, have been required to ‘perform at the highest possible level to overcome the challenges to deliver their goals’. But they are expected to do this for no reward, contemplating a future where their livelihoods are being threatened and their retirements thrown into precariousness…” read more

Great Northern Rail Betrayal (17 Nov) – RMT calls Government’s U-turn on key rail projects a “great northern rail betrayal”. RAIL UNION RMT today described the Government’s anticipated U-turn on their promises to build the vital Eastern leg of the HS2 project and the cancelling of Northern Powerhouse Rail as an “great northern rail betrayal ” and one that tears up their levelling up agenda and climate change commitments following the conclusion of the COP26 climate talks read more

RMT exposes former Shipping Minister’s lucrative second job (17 Nov) – As MPs debate cash for influence scandal – Seafarers Union exposes former Shipping Minister’s lucrative second job. RATINGS UNION RMT today entered the furore over MPs second jobs by highlighting the case of former Shipping Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP who was paid £60,000 per year for 84 hours work (£714 per hour) for ship design company Artemis Technologies Ltd. Artemis has received significant DfT funding read more

RMT submission for Annual Cleaning Excellence Awards (17 Nov) – RMT tells Annual Cleaning Excellence Awards ‘real recognition must mean a pay rise’ and calls on judges to recommend justice for shortlisted Churchill’s railway cleaners. RMT, the UK’s specialist transport union, has called on the judges of this year’s Cleaning Excellence Awards to acknowledge that the high performance and heroism of cleaners throughout the Covid crisis must be rewarded with pay rises. The union has also challenged the judges to recommend that Churchill, which has been shortlisted for four awards, must lead the way and settle the grievances of the cleaners who have put them in line for the prizes. RMT, which represents more than 1000 railway cleaners on four contracts held by Churchill in London and the South East. issued the challenge in a submission to the judges made ahead of the awards event, which is being held online on Wednesday 17th November read more

East Midlands Railways staff to strike again – Train Managers and Senior Conductors to strike again on East Midlands Railway in separate disputes over safety, pay and conditions. RAIL UNION RMT said that Train Managers and Senior Conductors on East Midlands Railway will be striking again in separate disputes. The action is taking place after the union suspended ongoing strike action and participated in weeks of negotiations which have resulted in the failure of the company to provide offers in writing that would resolve either dispute. In the case of Train Managers, East Midlands Railway has imposed new working arrangements on the multi-unit 12 carriage Class 360 Trains that the union believes are unsafe. The Senior Conductors dispute with the company is over pay, conditions and contract issues. All East Midlands Railway Train Manager members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • 0001 hours on Friday 3rd December 2021 and 2359 hours on Saturday 4th December 2021

All East Midlands Railway Senior Conductor members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • 0001 hours on Friday 3rd December 2021 and 2359 hours on Saturday 4th December 2021 read more

Support Caledonian Sleeper strike – Pickets out in force as Caledonian Sleeper staff strike again in battle for pay justice. RAIL UNION RMT ‎ said that pickets have been out in force at all key locations along the Caledonian Sleeper routes overnight as the workforce strikes again in their fight for pay and workplace justice read more

RMT calls action over Night Tube reintroduction – RMT calls action over imposition of impossible and unreasonable demands on staff in advance of Night Tube reopening. TUBE UNION RMT has called action by members over what it describes as the imposition of unacceptable and intolerable demands on staff in advance of the Night Tube reopening which the union says will wreck work life balance by bulldozing through additional night and weekend working. The union’s executive has agreed the following position today: This union has made every effort to reach an agreement with LUL that allows for the staffing of night-tube services without imposing unacceptable additional night and weekend working onto our members. LUL management has failed to engage positively with us and we are left with no alternative than to resume industrial action in furtherance of our demands. Accordingly, we instruct all train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria) not to book on for any duty commencing between 04:30 on 26/11/21 and 04:29 27/11/21. Further all train operator and instructor operators working on the Central and Victoria lines are instructed not to book on for any duty commencing:

  • between 20:30 on 27/11/21 and 04:29 on 28/11/21
  • between 20:30 on 3/12/21 and 04:29 on 4/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 4/12/21 and 04:29 on 5/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 10/12/21 and 04:29 on 11/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 11/12/21 and 04:29 on 12/12/21
  • between 20:30 on 17/12/21 and 04:29 on 18/12/21

All train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria) are also instructed not to book on for any duty commencing from 04:30 on 18/12/21 to 04:29 19/12/21 read more

 

ASLEF

World Toilet Day – Train drivers need better facilities (19 Nov) – World Toilet Day is on Friday 19 November and is an official United Nations international observance day designed to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Worldwide 3.6 billion people live without access to a safely managed sanitation service. For train drivers here in the UK, there are also problems accessing suitable toilet and hygiene facilities across the rail network. The problem affects drivers on lots of difference services, but it’s a particular problem for rail freight drivers – who can sometimes find themselves away from depots, sat in sidings, or on worksites for many hours at a time with no access to facilities. A lack of access to toilets and hand washing facilities also has a particular impact on disabled people, women and those with long-term health conditions read more

 

TSSA

Peppa Pig better Prime Minister than Rambling Johnson – TSSA (22 Nov) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has hit out at Boris Johnson for his bizarre speech to business leaders today during which he rambled about Peppa Pig. At the CBI Conference on Tyneside Johnson again attempted to cover up the broken promises about High Speed 2 and Northen Powerhouse Rail announced last week in the Government’s so-called Integrated Rail Plan read more

Avanti Industrial Action Ballot – Vote Yes! (18 Nov) – TSSA is in dispute with Avanti West Coast as a result of a severe breakdown in relations and we are now balloting for strike action and action short of a strike. Members working in station grades at Avanti West Coast should have seen ballot papers arrive at your home address in recent days. It’s vital that members vote immediately because the ballot closes next Tuesday (23 November) at noon. Only use the ballot papers with the BLUE CORNERS, discard any papers which have GREY CORNERS.  If any members have not yet received ballot paper then please do let us know as soon as possible. This can be done by clicking here. Please check your contact information here. While TSSA remains committed to a negotiated settlement, we recommend members vote YES to strike action and action short of a strike read more

Rail plan is “levelling down, not levelling up” (18 Nov) – Today’s Integrated Rail Plan exposes government lies and is “levelling down, not levelling up” says transport and travel union TSSA. The government today published it’s much anticipated – and widely leaked – Integrated Rail Plan. It confirms the widespread rumours that the Eastern leg of HS2 will not now be completed in full, with the section Leeds being scrapped. Also getting the chop is the new rail line linking Manchester and Leeds, with Bradford being the biggest loser here. Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said: “This is not levelling up, it’s levelling down read more

Transport for London services ‘grinding to halt’ warning to Government (18 Nov) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has today warned the Prime Minister that services will grind to a halt across Transport for London (TfL) unless Ministers quickly come to the table with a long-term funding plan. The current short-term funding deal for TfL is due to run out on December 11th read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Row over unpaid wages at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust could escalate over Christmas (23 Nov) – Biomedical scientists at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust will begin voting on whether to stage their third strike in a dispute over unpaid wages. Unite has pledged ‘unstinting support’ for its members in one of the longest running disputes currently in the UK. The NHS workers have already been on strike in two periods this year between 31 May and 28 July and between 20 August and 11 November. But the Trust could avoid the prospect of a third strike over the Christmas period if it honours the agreement it reached with the workers back in 2019. The ballot opens today (23 November) and closes Tuesday 30 November. The dispute centres on unpaid wages owed to the scientists by the Trust for the period between 2010 and 2019. The workers have been paid at a band 6 on the NHS Agenda for Change pay scale since 2019. However, at varying stages the workers became eligible to be paid at band 6 since 2010. The skilled NHS staff are owed on average between £8000 and £12,000. Unite negotiated a deal for the workers to be paid what they were owed in 2019 but the Trust reneged on the deal. The 21 biomedical scientists delayed taking industrial action during the height of the pandemic read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Wincanton lorry drivers on Morrisons contract secure huge pay increase (23 Nov) – Over 450 lorry drivers employed by Wincanton on the Morrisons distribution contract across northern England and the Midlands have secured a huge pay increase, with workers receiving rises between 18-24.4 per cent. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, operate from distribution centres at Gadbrook in Cheshire, Stockton-on-Tees and Wakefield and had recorded a 98 per cent yes vote for strike action. As a result the overwhelming mandate for industrial action fresh negotiations were held with management at the company and a new pay offer was proposed. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “By standing together in unity our members employed by Wincanton on the Morrisons contract have secured an exceptional pay increase…This deal further demonstrated how Unite as a union protects and enhances its members’ jobs, pay and conditions” read more

Join the protest and help Kier workers get the Sick Pay they deserve – Wednesday 24th November 4pm at Chieveley Motorway services, M4 Junction 13 Unite South East tweet

Unite ensures Ford workers’ wages rise to meet living costs (22 Nov) – A two year pay deal won by Unite, the UK’s leading union, will ensure Ford workers see their wages keep pace with rising living costs. Following extensive negotiations between Unite and the vehicle manufacturer, hourly paid workers at the company will receive an increase of 5.1 per cent (secured when RPI was at 4.9%) from this Wednesday (24 November). For the second year of the deal, workers will receive a pay increase in line with the retail price index (RPI) inflation rate, which is currently standing at 6 per cent read more

Derisory pay offer for Chep workers set to create North West pallet famine (22 Nov) – The North West is facing severe pallet shortages in the crucial pre-Christmas period, as workers at Chep UK Limited have announced extensive strike action over pay. Chep UK, which is based in Trafford Park, Manchester, repairs and supplies pallets for supporting and transporting goods to a host of prominent companies including InBev, Heinz, Heineken, A&B Containers, Encric  and TDS. A shortage of pallets will result in deliveries having to be delayed or cancelled. The dispute is a result of the company refusing to improve on a below inflation pay offer of two per cent, despite work booming at the company. This is in reality a severe pay cut as the retail price index (RPI) currently stands at six per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is shocking that Chep, which is enjoying a boom time, thinks it is somehow justifiable to offer its workers a below inflation pay offer which is in reality a severe pay cut. “Chep is clearly more interested in boosting profits than the wellbeing of its workers. Unite is the union which puts the jobs, pay and conditions of its members first. The union will be giving its full support to its members at Chep until a fair rate of pay is secured.” Workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded over a 75 per cent vote in favour of industrial action. As a consequence the union has called strike action for 3, 6, 10 and 13 December, with an overtime ban also beginning on 3 December. If the dispute is not resolved by Friday 17 December a continuous all out strike will begin read more

Warwickshire dumper truck maker Thwaites Ltd facing industrial action over pay (22 Nov) – Members of Unite, the UK’s union leading union, employed at Leamington Spa based dumper truck maker Thwaites Ltd, are to be balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay. Unite represents the workers employed at the company who have been offered a pay increase of just three per cent. This is in reality a pay cut as the retail price index (RPI) currently stands at six per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “With inflation rates rising families are facing a cost of living crisis and employers must understand that workers will not accept below inflation pay increases which are in reality a real terms pay cut. “Unite is committed to ensuring the jobs, pay and conditions of all its members and it will fully support the workforce at Thwaites, to ensure that they receive a fair pay rise.” The ballot for strike action opens tomorrow (Tuesday 23 November) and closes on (Tuesday 7 December). If members vote for strike action then stoppages are expected to begin in early 2022. Unite has been attempting to resolve the dispute through negotiations without success and has therefore moved to a full industrial ballot read more

Urgent talks with Unilever called for as PG Tips tea business sold to private equity group at heart of Debenhams’ demise (19 Nov) – Unite the union has called for urgent talks with consumer goods giant Unilever following the sale of its tea division to private equity group CVC Capital Partners, part of the group at the heart of the collapse of high street giant Debenhams. Today (Friday 19 November), Unite warned that the private equity sale of the UK’s second most popular tea brand could end up as ‘another case of corporate betrayal’. The call for talks follows Unite negotiating three years of protected terms and conditions at Unilever’s tea factory, the home of the iconic PG Tips, at Trafford Park, Manchester, where the union has 300 production and engineering members. The business being sold is now called Ekaterra read more

Manchester facing new year bus strikes as First Group drivers ballot over pay and conditions (19 Nov) – Residents throughout Greater Manchester have been warned to brace themselves for new year bus strikes as workers employed by First Manchester prepare to ballot over pay and conditions. Despite numerous meetings, management have refused to make a pay offer which meets the workers’ aspirations. The drivers are also balloting about ongoing issues regarding working patterns and shift rotas. Emergency procedures were introduced at the beginning of the pandemic, which members accepted, but they have become increasingly concerned that previous arrangements have not been reintroduced as passenger numbers have increased read more

Takeover of London GP practices by private US healthcare company set for judicial review in New Year (19 Nov) – The takeover of GP practices in London by US health insurance giant Centene Corporation will be subject of a judicial review in early 2022 after more than £70,000 has been raised by the public to fund the case, Unite the union said today (Friday 19 November). Campaigners say that the review is vital because of the lack of consultation with patients, following the takeover earlier this year by Centene’s UK subsidiary Operose Health of the privately-owned AT Medics set up in 2004 by six NHS GPs and which runs 37 GP practices across London. Campaign organisations, including Unite, Keep Our NHS Public, 999 Call for the NHS and We Own It, have spearheaded the fund raising campaign which saw the public donate £43,424 so that the judicial review got the go-ahead last month. Now a further £30,000 is required to cover ‘capped costs’, if the case were lost – so far, more than £28,000 has been raised in the last week in the latest round of fundraising. The link to the ‘crowd fund’ can be accessed via https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-centene-takeover-stage2/. It is expected that the High Court will hear the case in January or February 2022 when it will focus on whether the North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) acted unlawfully. The issues under the microscope include whether due diligence into the workings of Operose Health took place, and the lack of consultation with patients and other stakeholders read more

Unite members at Ulster Carpets in Portadown to vote on strike action after managers ‘move the goalposts’ on wage negotiations (18 Nov) – Ulster carpets’ Managing Director Nick Coburn CBE challenged on his refusal to back date pay deal costing each worker £700. Despite the sharp Covid downturn, Ulster Carpets Holdings Ltd continued to enjoy success and rack up the profits. In 2021 the Holdings company turns a pre-tax profit of more than £1.3 million and the top line of the highest paid director was more than £326k. But in recent pay negotiations management refused to backdate the proposed pay increase to the annual pay date [May]. As a result Unite is now moving a strike ballot of its members in Ulster Carpets read more

Government’s HS2 decision an act of industrial vandalism (18 Nov) – Unite, the UK’s construction union, has described the government’s decision to cancel the HS2 spur to Leeds as an ‘act of industrial vandalism’. Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “This decision has put back national infrastructure planning by a generation. It is nothing short of industrial vandalism. “By cancelling the HS2 spur to Leeds the government is demonstrating that it is simply not serious about its levelling up agenda and that its manifesto commitment to improving regional connectivity was nothing but hot air…” read more

Arriva Buses Wales strike suspended – Following talks with Arriva Buses Wales today, the company have now presented a new and improved pay offer. We will therefore be suspending strike action across North Wales and will be balloting our members on the new offer

Department of Education must intervene to ensure adoption of progressive policies by all schools in Northern Ireland (18 Nov) – Union highlights concerns over the low numbers of schools installing Education Authority carbon dioxide monitors and providing free period dignity products. As a result of contacts from education workers, Unite has identified that there has been a very low uptake of both free period dignity products and carbon dioxide sensors supplied free of charge by the Education Authority. The situation arises as a direct result of the ‘light-touch’ approach to schools’ policy by the Department of Education which means that the rollout of progressive policies is dependent on already overburdened management at individual schools read more

DHL workers set for strike action at Bellshill (17 Nov) – Unite Scotland has announced that following an unsuccessful meeting with ACAS around 90 DHL drivers and warehouse workers based at the multi-user site in Bellshill will take strike action in a dispute over a pay and working conditions. An initial offer of 9% over two years was rejected because it does not address the ‘poverty pay’ experienced by the majority of the workers who earn £12.50 an hour on average. Following talks with ACAS on Friday (12 November) an improved offer was made to the DHL drivers and warehouse workers but this was also rejected.  88% voting to reject the offer in a ballot turnout of 95%. Unite has been engaged in negotiations with DHL through the auspices of Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), and will meet again tomorrow (Thursday 18 November) in a bid to reach an agreement. Unite members are also in dispute with DHL over the failure to look at improving the working hours of drivers, and their wider terms and conditions. The trade union has repeatedly highlighted its concerns over the increase in the working hours of logistics and HGV drivers across the UK, driver shortages, and the need for better wages and conditions across the industry read more

Unite leader says wage rises must at least match inflation as RPI hits 6% or workers will pay for the pandemic (17 Nov) – Unite’s Sharon Graham says the union will continue to base claims on the RPI figure rather than CPI because it better reflects the actual price rises experienced by Unite members. In the future Unite will also develop its own ‘Bargaining Index’. Speaking on today’s inflation figures, Sharon Graham said: “Today’s rise in inflation reflects a growing crisis in the cost of living for ordinary families. Energy prices – the cost of gas and electricity – and shortages are major factors in today’s figures. So, workers’ wages will have to at least match the inflation rate because otherwise they will be facing a calamitous drop in their standard of living. Unite is now focussed on defending workers’ jobs pay and conditions, which includes making sure workers do not pay the price of the pandemic.” In recent months, Unite has won more than 25 pay claims above the current inflation rate when workers took industrial action or voted for it. Time after time, employers increased their initial pay offer when faced with workers’ claims, proving they had the money to pay more in the first place read more

London bus strikes looming as Abellio drivers ballot over shifts dispute (17 Nov) – Bus passengers in South and West London face disruption and delays this winter as drivers at Abellio ballot for industrial action in a dispute over shifts. The dispute relates to the company’s scheduling agreement, which establishes a driver’s shift patterns for a year. Under the existing agreement with Unite, the UK’s leading union, the union elects scheduling reps who are fully consulted on changes to drivers’ schedules. However, Abellio has now centralised its scheduling system and has failed to consult Unite on many of the changes taking place. This has resulted in drivers facing life changing alterations to schedules, such as one, who has worked mornings for a decade, now being placed on permanent late duties and nights. Over 950 drivers at Abellio will be balloted for strike action. The ballot opens on Wednesday 24 November and closes on Tuesday 21 December. Strikes could begin immediately after Christmas. The dispute effects both the company’s subsidiaries Abellio London Ltd and Abellio West London Ltd and it involves the drivers at six depots: Battersea, Beddington, Hayes, Southall, Twickenham and Walworth. Unite believes that the scheduling agreement is no longer fit for purpose and that it is greatly increasing levels of stress, fatigue, anxiety and sickness among drivers. Unite believes that it is also contributing to driver retention problems at Abellio read more

Staff at Mayhew animal charity to hold ballot for strike action over staffing levels and union recognition (17 Nov) – Staff at the long-established Mayhew animal charity in North West London, patron the Duchess of Sussex, are holding a ballot for industrial action over staffing levels and trade union recognition, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 17 November). The ballot for strike action and industrial action short of a strike by staff from across the organisation, including kennels, cattery and clinic, runs from 19 November until 10 December. Unite said that the dispute is over staffing levels, the strategy of the organisation and trade union recognition; following the charity’s so-called ‘rationalisation’ plan for UK operations which could lead to a 40 per cent reduction in vet nurses, a 50 per cent cut in cleaning hours and a 75 per cent cut in reception staff, as well as a reduction in animal welfare officers. This is on top of a pay and recruitment freeze over the last year for the 60-strong UK workforce which has meant that staff levels have dropped drastically at the charity which traces its origins back to 1886 read more

Bad whiff at Suffolk fragrance factory as workers ballot for strike action over pay for first time in a quarter of a century (17 Nov) – Industrial relations are not smelling of roses at International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF) in Haverhill, Suffolk as workers are balloted for strike action over pay for the first time in a quarter of a century. Unite the union said that about 100 of its multi-skilled operatives at the Duddery Hill site are being balloted over an ‘insulting’ 1.8 per cent pay offer for 2021. The ballot runs from 22 November until 11 December. In February this year, IFF merged with the highly profitable US-based DuPont’s Nutrition & Biosciences read more

Teesside Stagecoach strikes suspended as members ballot on new pay offer (16 Nov) – Strikes by bus workers employed by Stagecoach on Teesside have been suspended following an improved pay offer. The strikes scheduled for Thursday 18 November, Saturday 20 November and Monday 22 November have all been called off to allow members to ballot on the improved pay offer. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a potential breakthrough in the dispute. However, Unite is committed to ensuring that the jobs, pay and conditions of our members are fully protected and so the union will continue to support our members until this dispute with Stagecoach is resolved” read more

Unite achieves major victory for Stagecoach drivers with £10.50 per hour pay deal (16 Nov) – Unite members at Stagecoach in South Wales have won a major victory in their fight to improve their terms and conditions. Following 17 days of Industrial Action and with the threat of continuous Strike Action looming from November 17th, Stagecoach have relented and offered a new deal to their workers. The revised pay offer achieves many of the goals set out by our members throughout the dispute, crucially this includes a new rate of pay of £10.50 per hour, back-dated to April 2021. Unite members have this afternoon voted to accept the companies new offer and further strike action has now been called off. Sharon Graham Unite General Secretary said: “This is a tremendous victory for our members at Stagecoach South Wales. They have been completely united throughout the strike…” read more

Online public meeting: Stage Coach Workers Win! Taking action works! – Friday 3rd December 7.30pm. #NHSPay15, Caerphilly County Unison and YouthFight4Jobs will also be speaking. Come along, offer support and tell the meeting what’s happening in your workplace. This will be a great opportunity for a very useful and lively discussion.

Zoom ID: 872 7228 2459 Passcode: 117340     Facebook event

Morrisons warehouse workers ballot for industrial action with pre-Christmas strikes looming (16 Nov) – Over a 1,100 workers employed at two Morrisons supermarket distribution centres have begun balloting for strike action in a dispute over pay. The affected distribution centres are Northwich, in Cheshire, and Wakefield. The centres are responsible for distributing food and goods to Morrisons supermarkets throughout the North West, Yorkshire and beyond. The dispute is a result of the workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, receiving an entirely unacceptable pay offer. Most workers have been offered a three per cent pay increase, although the lowest paid have been offered just two per cent. Both offers are far below the current rate of inflation, with the Retail Price Index standing at 4.9 per cent read more

Industrial action likely as Ponticelli/Semco workers vote for strike action (16 Nov) – Unite the union today (16 November) confirmed that around 300 members working for Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd have voted in favour of industrial action following a dispute over cuts to terms and conditions. Unite’s Ponticelli UK Ltd members voted to take strike action by 93.6% on a return of 64.8%, and Semco Maritime Ltd members voted to take strike action by 90.3% on a 61.4% return. Unite members are now set to take strike action, including an overtime ban, from early December until late February 2022. These members work on the Total Energies contract on the following assets; Alisa FSO, Culzean, Dunbar, Elgin Franklin, Gryphon FPSO, North Alwyn & Shetland Gas Plant read more

Woolwich Ferry workers vote to strike over Transport for London’s ‘year of misrule’ (16 Nov) – Commuters using the Woolwich Ferry face a festive season of travel disruption as workers vote to strike after nearly ‘a year of misrule’ by Transport for London (TfL) bosses. Unite the union said the troubled ferry operation has been plagued by poor employment relations for years, first with the previous operator Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd and now with TfL which has led to more than 30 days of strike action during 2021. Unite represents the 58 ferry workers who have again voted for strike action with a 90 per cent  majority – strike dates are expected to be announced very soon which will cause travel chaos over the Christmas and New Year periods. Besides the victimisation of 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 read more

RNAD Coulport nuclear naval base workers to start overtime ban this week – Unite Scotland has today (15 Nov) confirmed that around 70 of its members who provide specialist services for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines will start an overtime from Tuesday (16 November) at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) Coulport. Unite has severely criticised the ‘delay tactics’ employed by the ABL Alliance following 90.5% of its members at RNAD Coulport voting ‘yes’ in support of strike action, and 95.3% supporting action short of a strike. To date, the ABL Alliance employers have refused to meet the RPI inflation pay claim (3.8% – July) made by Unite. The workers involved in the dispute provide care and maintenance services for the weapons systems on the Royal Navy nuclear armed submarine fleet. It is understood that due to the specialist nature of the services provided that even an overtime ban could potentially ‘cripple’ the effective running of operations at the naval bases. The ABL Alliance was awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide services for the weapon system at Coulport, as well as the Strategic Weapon Support Building (SWSB) Faslane. The Unite membership involved in the dispute are employed by three separate employers: AWE plc, Babcock Marine (Clyde) Ltd, and Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems Ltd. AWE workers are involved mainly in the maintenance side of the weapon system operation, whereas the Lockheed Martin workers are responsible for specialist engineering and quality control. Babcock workers provide the Jetty Services at RNAD Coulport read more

Unite blasts Weetabix claims ‘fire and rehire’ tactics irrelevant to current dispute – Unite general secretary says the union has “irrefutable evidence” that Weetabix is using ‘fire and rehire’ tactics to attack the wages and conditions of Unite engineers, including the threat of sackings. Unite engineers at Weetabix factories in Kettering and Corby in Northamptonshire are currently taking strike action four days a week against company moves to attack their wages and terms and conditions. The union estimates this could cost some engineers a loss of wages amounting to £5,000 a year. This despite the fact that last year Weetabix turnover grew by 5 per cent to £325 million and profits leapt by almost 20 per cent to £82 million read more

Glen Dimplex in Portadown must end cycle of poverty pay by offering workers a decent pay rise – Unite has made a counter-offer to management to end debilitating strike and awaits management response. First day of strike action at home heater manufacturer resulted in a collapse in production. Two more strike days to follow. Nine out of ten Glen Dimplex workers voted yesterday evening to reject a last minute pay offer by management. A vote which matched the strength of the previous ballot for strike action [96 percent for strike action]. Workers’ anger at the way they have been treated is growing day by day. Workers’ pickets went up at 6am at the gates of Glen Dimplex and production at the site has collapsed as production workers joined the action. That produced a collapse in production which can only get worse as the strike action continues read more

DIYers braced for nationwide B&Q store shortages after Wincanton causes warehouse strikes – DIYers across the country are braced for B&Q store shortages during warehouse strikes caused by union-busting and a below inflation pay offer at logistics firm Wincanton. More than 400 Wincanton staff, who work at B&Q’s Worksop distribution centre, which distributes stock nationally, will begin strike action later this month over the victimisation of union reps and pay. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Wincanton’s union-busting and below inflation pay offer means that you won’t be able to do it if you B&Q it because the Worksop distribution centre will be at a standstill. “Unite is entirely dedicated to improving the pay, terms and conditions of our members. Crucial to this is the union’s amazing network of dedicated reps. Attempts to victimise them will not be tolerated ever.” Unite accused Wincanton of taking out unjustified disciplinaries against the union’s reps at the Worksop distribution centre, as well as reducing facility time to prevent the reps carrying out their trade union duties. Wincanton made profits of £47.2 million during 2020 and has performed well throughout 2021. Unite said its Worksop depot members expect a pay rise that reflects the rising cost of living after working throughout the pandemic to keep the business healthy. Two weekly cycles consisting of seven days of all out strike action followed by a seven-day overtime ban will begin on 28 November and continue until 20 February read more

Kent and Sussex bus strikes off as Stagecoach tables new pay offers (10 Nov) – Bus strikes in Kent and Sussex have been called off or postponed after Stagecoach tabled new pay offers to more than 250 drivers, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 10 November). Strikes at Stagecoach’s Herne Bay and Folkstone depots have been cancelled after drivers there voted to accept 5.7 per cent and 6.5 per cent pay deals respectively. Strikes at Stagecoach Hasting’s depot have been postponed to allow drivers to vote on an offer of 5.8 per cent read more

Two weeks to save the NHS: Unite leads campaign to oppose the Health and Care bill – Celebrities and health workers will band together on 22 November to demand that members of parliament oppose the Health and Care Bill, which the government is trying to push through despite numerous warnings that it will be disastrous for the NHS and social care services. Unite, the UK and Ireland’s leading union, which represents over 100,000 health workers across all occupations and professional groups, is committed to leading the campaign to oppose the bill. It warns there are now just two weeks to save the NHS from the dreadful effects of this bill. The union is working alongside campaign organisations Health Campaigns Together, the newly formed Your NHS Needs You and stars including Stephen Fry, Jo Brand, Russell Brand, Francesca Martinez and Michael Rosen. Unite has called a protest at 5pm outside parliament on the eve of the vote, two weeks today. It warns the bill, which will be debated in the House of Commons on 22 and 23 November ahead of its third reading, will slash funding and result in more privatisation, more cuts and more cronyism. There will be even more contracts awarded to private companies without scrutiny, at the expense of service levels and our health read more

St Mungos: still threatening worker who called out bullying – Damaging publicity – St Mungos executives have shown no willingness to address staff concerns about bullying and are pressing ahead with gross misconduct charges against a rep who raised concerns about bullying by senior managers; the key charge remains that senior managers are distressed at this suggestion. Email the Unite Housing Workers LE/1111 branch for info: [email protected]

Updates available here: http://www.housingworkers.org.uk/

The detailed account written by Unite Regional Officer Steve O Donnell is here

Prysmian Cables workers to start strike action over pay – Unite members working for Prysmian Cables in Wrexham will tomorrow start a series of 24 hour strikes throughout November and December. The first of eight days of scheduled strike action at the plant will see over 200 workers taking industrial action. The escalation of the dispute which follows an overtime ban is a result of the company’s failure to offer an acceptable pay increase for its workers read more

DHL Supply Chain operating at Spirit AeroSystems served with notice of strike action commencing next week after unanimous vote by workforce – Unite the union warns strike will impact all aspects of Spirit AeroSystems production in Northern Ireland as DHL workforce handles every part from the rivets to the wings. After an industrial ballot returned a 100 percent vote for strike action at DHL Supply Chain at Spirit AeroSystems, Unite has today (1 Nov) served notice on the company that it will commence strike action starting with a first, five-day stoppage next week read more

Evonik workers at historic Manchester chemicals site strike over pay – Evonik workers at a 130-year-old Manchester chemicals site are to strike over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 13 October). Around 25 production and warehouse operatives at Evonik’s Clayton site, which has been a chemical plant since 1892, are taking industrial action after rejecting a 1.5 per cent pay offer read more

Unite members at Goodfish to strike over 2 year pay freeze – Unite members working for Goodfish at their St Asaph site in North Wales will tomorrow take industrial action over a 2 year pay freeze imposed on them by their employer. Goodfish employs over 50 people at the plant which produces PVC mouldings. The company took over the site from Honeywell in 2019 read more

Support striking Scunthorpe scaffolders – the scaffolders are employed by Actavo on the British Steel site in Scunthorpe and have been fighting to be paid the recognised rate for the job since 2019 read more

Donate to strike fund:-

Either via bank transfer – sort code: 60-83-01 account number: 20173962, account name: Unite North East Region 1% Fund, reference: Actavo Limited and your branch number

Or by cheque made payable to ‘Unite the Union’ and forwarded to the Leeds Regional Office, Unite the Union, 55 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BW marked for the attention of the Regional Secretary (Actavo Limited Dispute). Letters of support can be sent to the Regional Office

Unite members back strike action at University of Dundee over ‘pension poverty’ proposals – Unite Scotland can confirm today 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

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

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

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

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

PCS responds to DVLA ballot result comments (22 Nov) – PCS is calling on the DVLA to conclude a health and safety agreement if the department’s priority is the health and safety of staff. Last week, DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard declared to all staff following the result of our latest industrial action ballot that: “It’s important to say that the ballot was never about winning or losing, as our only priority throughout has been staff safety.” If health and safety really is the priority here, why is the DVLA refusing to come back around the negotiating table and finalise a health and safety agreement that will keep staff safe? The agreement already exists, it was crafted collaboratively between the DfT, DVLA and PCS earlier this year, before transport minister Grant Shapps took the deal off the table. The health and safety agreement would provide a protocol for addressing rising Covid cases on site, like the sharp rise in the 500+ cases we’ve seen since mid-August. Shapps and transport minister Baroness Vere have taken every opportunity to say that the reason the deal was scrapped on 1 June was because PCS was asking for pay and holidays. The in-year reward has already been agreed and so the only thing needed to bring our dispute to an end is the health and safety agreement read more

Read the LRD guide for reps on Covid and mental health (22 Nov) – Our latest articles for reps on PCS Knowledge are from the Labour Research Department’s guide on Covid-19 and mental health and help reps support members during this particularly challenging time. During Disability History Month our national disabled members’ forum is focussing on hidden disabilities. One of the biggest hidden disabilities is mental health. Since the start of Covid-19 mental health issues have been on the increase read more

Employee Deal in CMG (19 Nov) – The DWP GEC has been made aware of concerns from members in CMG regarding the handling of the planning for the next employee deal rotation read more

PCS opposes mass return to DWP workplaces (19 Nov) – PCS believes it is irresponsible for the DWP to choose this moment to try to force a mass return to workplaces for staff currently working from home, as scientists make it clear that Covid-19 still poses a very serious risk to public health. PCS has continuously opposed DWP’s decision to force most jobcentre staff into delivering services face-to-face since the department began to fully open jobcentres in April. The department has so far focused on getting staff back into jobcentres but increasing pressure is being put on our members to get back into workplaces in non-customer facing roles. Despite the mass vaccination programme infections are once again rising and the virus is still as prevalent in society today as at any time during the past 12 months. With the winter months throwing up additional health risks, now is not the time to be ramping up the return to workplaces. Our members have shown during the pandemic that it is entirely possible to deliver vital services from home to the most vulnerable in society. It is irresponsible for the DWP to choose this moment to try and force a mass return to workplaces for members currently working from home read more

Challenge bullying – attend PCS training beginning 30 November (19 Nov) – There are still places on the PCS bullying training course, held on Tuesday 30 November and 7 December (1pm to 4pm both days). Reports of systemic bullying and harassment in the UK civil service continue to be made to PCS reps. We demand that our members have the right to be treated with dignity and respect in a working environment free from bullying or discrimination read more

Surging inflation shows need for action on pay (17 Nov) – The fact that UK prices are soaring at the fastest rate for almost 10 years underlines the urgent need for the government to act on civil service pay as many PCS members face a bleak winter. As fuel and energy prices surge and the cost-of-living crisis deepens our members are feeling the pinch more than ever. The more of us who get involved in PCS’s national campaign, the more impact we can have to right these wrongs. The Office for National Statistics announced today that CPI inflation is now running at 4.2%, and the costs of transport, gas and electricity bills and second-hand cars have all climbed read more

Crisis facing PCS members (17 Nov) – Our members are facing multiple attacks this winter, including on pay and pensions, cut in Universal Credit and a hike in National Insurance. Pay: this destruction of living standards cannot go on. Our members have made a huge contribution during the pandemic and the government acknowledges that they are key workers. We are seeking a cost-of-living rise of 10% for our members in the civil service and related areas read more

Get involved to fight the cost-of-living crisis (16 Nov) – Our members are feeling the pinch more than ever before as the cost-of-living crisis deepens. The more of us who get involved in PCS’s national campaign, the more impact we can have to right these wrongs. It’s painfully clear that a great many of our members are facing an especially difficult few months this winter. Far too many are already struggling to make ends meet. That’s why getting involved in your local PCS activities could not be more important that it is now read more

We must act on the cost-of-living crisis (16 Nov)

British Council ballot: have you voted? (17 Nov) – What to do if you haven’t received instructions on how to vote. Our electronic consultative ballot opened on 10 November and closes at 12 noon on Friday 26 November. The ballot is to ask if you are prepared to take strike action over job losses and cuts at the British Council. The organisation is planning to close some overseas offices and reduce staffing numbers by 2,000 globally. Balloting packs were sent out to personal email addresses from [email protected]. Check your junk/spam folder if you don’t think you have received anything read more

Life-changing legal win: ‘PCS was with me every step of the way’ (16 Nov) – PCS Ministry of Justice member awarded more than £135,000 in compensation after being badly injured in a fall at work and turning to the union for help. Tina’s life completely changed one day in summer 2014, as she arrived at the magistrates’ court building where she worked as an usher read more

PCS launches consultative ballot after HMCTS threatens 3,000 job losses with new digital platform (13 Nov) – Court staff will be asked whether they are opposed to new cases being placed on the Common Platform and that they support the union in its demands for proper health and safety checks. Work related stress and anxiety levels from using the new system are “through the roof” according to union reps and HMCTS has failed in their legal duty to carry out an organisational risk assessment. The ballot will open Monday 15 November and run until December 2 read more

Natural England to ballot members for industrial action over pay  – The ballot opened today (11 Nov) and we are recommending that members vote yes. Pay in Natural England has the lowest starting salaries in the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The minimum of the EO grade in Natural England is £3,000 less than that in other parts of the department. Pay progression has been virtually non-existent for the same period and there are pay discrepancies where we believe that some PCS members are not getting paid the rate for the job that they do. The ballot, which opened today and closes on 24 November, is consultative, and a further statutory ballot would need to be held before strike action could take place. However the ballot result could strengthen our position in negotiations with management read more

Support the Royal Parks strikers – the workers’ latest action was for all of October. 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

 

FBU

Fallen firefighter remembered with plaque after 50 years (19 Nov) – A Red Plaque has been unveiled in memory of a fallen firefighter, after a fellow firefighter uncovered details of his life and passing nearly fifty years after he passed away. The Fire Brigade Union’s Red Plaque scheme seeks to memorialise firefighters who died in the line of duty with a plaque near to where the relevant incident happened. Wilfred McLaughlan was attending a fire in a factory when the roof collapsed, on 25 April 1972. He died later from his injuries. On the day the fire broke out he was three days away from his retirement read more

King’s Cross fire: plaque unveiled for fallen firefighter on anniversary (18 Nov) – A new plaque has been unveiled to remember the firefighter who died in the King’s Cross fire in 1987. The fire is one of the worst fires in recent British history, with 31 people losing their lives and more than 100 people badly injured. Colin Townsley, the firefighter killed, was part of the first group of firefighters on the scene. He was found on the station concourse, alongside the body of a woman he was trying to save. Witnesses reported a firefighter, believed to be Colin, telling passengers to get out just before a fireball erupted. In the aftermath of the fire his bravery was recognised, with the official inquiry terming his actions “heroic”, and the George Medal being awarded posthumously. The Fire Brigades Union’s red plaque scheme recognises firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty, and are often placed near the scene of the incident. The plaque for Colin Townsley was unveiled on the 34th anniversary of the tragedy, on 18 November, and is situated at King’s Cross Station read more

 

CWU

CViT tachograph agreement ensures suitable protections remain in place for our members (16 Nov) – A new system for ensuring the health and safety of our cash and valuables in transit (CViT) drivers has been introduced following negotiations between the CWU and Post Office. Speaking to CWU News today, CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said that the newly agreed procedures were “essentially an update of the 2008 Tachograph Infringement Monitoring System (TIMS) – a revision made necessary by technological change. “Although 2008 doesn’t seem so long ago, at that time, the system was based on paper tachographs and a one-week delay in reporting of infringements,” Andy explains. “Tachographs are now all digital and infringement reporting is pretty much immediate now – so an updated operational agreement was absolutely necessary and we’ve jointly agreed with the business the appropriate technological changes. “But we’ve also ensured suitable protections remain in place for our members and we’ve taken the opportunity to alter the overall focus of the system towards corrective rather than punitive measures” read more

 

GMB

Broken social care system needs reform not tax on hard up pensioners (23 Nov) – GMB, the union for care workers, has responded to the new social care cap, passed by the House of Commons. Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: “Our broken social care system needs complete overhaul – it’s not going to be fixed by taxing hard up pensioners. Care faces a staffing catastrophe as minimum wage workers struggle to make ends meet as private equity sharks extract all the profit…” read more

New Strike dates at Panasonic Cardiff announced (20 Nov) – GMB Union has announced more strike dates in the pay dispute at Panasonic Cardiff. Staff are now set to strike on the 22nd and 29th of November and 6th Of December, with more dates expected to be announced soon. On Monday workers gathered at the Electronics giant’s Cardiff plant to demonstrate, after the company withdrew its pay offer and from pay talks altogether and refused talks through ACAS read more

Sheffield bin strike cancelled as workers accept better deal (19 Nov) – An all-out, permanent strike amongst refuse collectors employed by Veolia in Sheffield has been called off after the company offered an improved pay deal.

Workers voted to accept the two-year deal which will see a 3 per cent increase for year one – back dated to May – a one-off payment of £250 for each employee, with a further 3.5 per cent increase for year two. The strike for indefinite action was scheduled to take place from the 22 November and would have had an impact on more than 200,000 homes across Sheffield over Christmas and the New Year read more

(From NSSN supporters): Support Slough GMB members fighting closure of adult services – A protest organised by the GMB of around 50 people took place on the 16 November against the closure of adult services in Slough. The Labour council plans to make 58 workers redundant, leaving many vulnerable adults without services or homes, in turn causing great distress. The council intends to hand over some of these services to the charity sector which will not have the resources to run these services in the way they have been.  Just last month, government commissionaires were sent in to help run the council after the council went bankrupt. This is the result of the Labour council not having had a fighting strategy to protect jobs, homes and services. What was needed by Slough council, and others was to launch a fight for the money stolen by the Tory government since 2010. Email messages of support via Nikki Dancey [email protected]

Water companies must be made legally responsible for dumped sewage (19 Nov) – GMB Union says water companies must be made legally responsible for the untreated sewage they dump. The call comes as the Environment Agency and Ofwat begin an investigation into sewage treatment works, after water companies admitted they may have illegally released untreated sewage into rivers and waterways read more

HS2 cuts ‘economic vandalism’ (18 Nov) – GMB Union has described scrapping the Leeds HS2 leg as ‘economic vandalism’. Neil Derrick, GMB Regional Secretary for Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, said: “Cutting investment for a city like Bradford makes no sense, with one of the youngest workforces in Yorkshire. The city would benefit for generations by having stronger links to Manchester and Leeds. All of the Government’s own sums show that if you put a pound of money into the economy by building things like railways,  you get at least one pound out in the form of increased wages or economic growth. This is economic vandalism pure and simple” read more

Social care cap picking pockets of poorest pensioners (18 Nov) – GMB Union has described the Government’s new social care cap as ‘picking the pockets of the poorest pensioners’ read more

Rising inflation and lack of energy strategy means ‘crushing’ cost of living crisis (17 Nov) – GMB Union says a lack of energy and industrial strategy has contributed to rocketing inflation and a ‘crushing’ cost of living crisis. Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: “Rocketing fuel prices and stagnant wages have left people with a crushing cost of living crisis. Today’s rampant inflation figures have only been made worse by the lack of a proper energy and industrial strategy from this Government…” read more

Sandwell bin collectors vote to suspend strikes after emergency talks (15 Nov) – Sandwell refuse collectors have voted to suspend industrial action following emergency talks. More than 100 workers were on strike today – the first of twelve strike days across the Christmas period at Serco Sandwell. Refuse collectors voted to strike following public safety concerns at the Household Recycling Centre on Shidas Lane, Sandwell read more

GMB Strike Ballot for NHS and Ambulance Workers Across Southern England Opens Today – Until this Government makes a serious attempt to engage, the only choice is progress with the GMB Union’s industrial action ballot. GMB Union’s strike ballot for NHS and Ambulance workers across southern England opens today [10 November 2021]. The vote comes after GMB members overwhelmingly rejected the Government’s imposition of a below inflation 3% pay award – which amounts to another real terms pay cut. Members in 55 NHS trusts across the south of England will be balloted, with the vote closing on 15 December. A positive strike vote could lead to a new year walk out of GMB’s front line nursing, ambulance, and support services staff across the whole of the NHS in the South East, South London, Dorset and Wiltshire. GMB has been campaigning for a restorative increase of 15%, or £2 per hour – whichever is highest -to replace what has been lost from NHS pay packets over the last decade. The union was the only one to reject the last NHS pay deal in 2018 read more

The next stop is pay justice: Nottingham tram workers announce new strike date – Members of GMB trade union working on Nottingham’s tram network have today announced the date of a new day of strike action against unfair pay practises. This follows a day of strike action which took place on Saturday 6th November. Following a ballot of GMB members employed by NTL (Nottingham Trams Limited), an overwhelming result for strike action on pay has been delivered by Nottingham’s tram workers. A second 24 hour strike will take place on Tuesday 23rd November, across all lines and depots read more

Workers set strike dates at Panasonic Pontprennau – GMB union has announced strike dates for workers at Panasonic’s Pontprennau plant in Cardiff. Staff overwhelmingly voted for strike action after the company withdrew its 1% offer. The offer would have seen a pay freeze for workers for the second year running. Staff will strike next Monday (15th November 2021) and Monday 22nd November read more

Doosan Babcock workers to strike over ‘worthless’ offer – Dozens of members at Doosan Babcock in Tipton voted this Monday to strike over a ‘worthless’ offer from the construction engineering firm. More than 90 per cent of staff voted for the strike, which will take place on November 2 and 3 from 8am to 12 noon read more

Cleaners, porters and caterers to strike at four Berkshire hospitals – Facilities staff at King Edward VII, Wokingham, Upton and St Marks Hospital sites to walk out over forced changes to contracts, says GMB Union. Cleaners, porters, caterers and other facilities staff are set to strike at four Berkshire hospitals over forced changes to their contracts. Facilities staff at King Edward VII, Wokingham, Upton and St Marks Hospital sites voted overwhelmingly to take strike action. The dispute is over fears that recently tupe’d facilities staff, including housekeepers face detrimental contractual changes, as their new employer forces changes to job titles and roles. NHS Property Services are implementing changes as part of their organisational review by seeking to make changes under the umbrella of required efficiencies and cost savings read more

University of the Arts London Cleaners demand equal treatment after five day strike – 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 Follow @GMBSLU on Twitter

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

 

Unison

School support staff finally included in wellbeing charter (19 Nov) – UNISON has signed up to the charter after forcing the Department for Education to acknowledge role of all school staff. UNISON has made sure that the Department for Education (DfE) included all education staff in its relaunched wellbeing charter this week read more

Above-inflation pay rise is key to nurse numbers (16 Nov) – Proper recruitment drive also needed. Commenting on the mid-year registration data released today (Tuesday) by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, UNISON national nursing officer Stuart Tuckwood said: “The substantial rise in the number of nurses and midwives leaving since last year is worrying…” read more

Pension talks to resume at Dundee University as strike action pays off (9 Nov) – After three weeks of strike action showing ‘great industrial strength’, members accept new proposals to continue negotiations. Following prolonged strike action by members of UNISON, Unite and the UCU, the joint trade unions have today struck a deal with the University of Dundee that will allow pension talks to resume. UNISON members have been on strike for three weeks, with the final three days of strike action being withdrawn read more

11 things you need to know about council and school pay – If you work in in a council or school, your voting papers will be mailed to you in December, with a freepost envelope. Local government members working in councils and schools are balloting for strike action. But why? What has happened? And what’s next? Here is everything you need to know about council and school pay… If you work in a council or school, you’ll receive an important letter and your voting papers through the post from 1 December. Keep your eyes peeled! Every member must return their vote in the free post envelope by 14 January. Your vote is vital

Hospital staff in Nuneaton and Warwick to strike over jobs move to private firm – Hospital staff in Nuneaton and Warwick will strike over a jobs move to a private firm. Some Unison members of the IT departments at both South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust have voted for strike action read more from Coventry Live

 

RCN

RCN members encouraged to lobby MPs ahead of Commons debate on Health and Care Bill (18 Nov) – Email your MP about nursing workforce crisis in England to help influence changes to the bill. We’re asking members and the public to email their MP encouraging them to back changes to new legislation to introduce accountability for the health and care workforce in England. As the Health and Care Bill enters a new stage in its passage through parliament, we have an opportunity to influence the legislation read more

RCN Wales launches For the Full Team public campaign (16 Nov) – Messages about safe staffing levels beamed onto prolific buildings around Cardiff including the Senedd, Principality Stadium and University Hospital of Wales read more

 

NIPSA

NIHE Members: NIPSA Covid-19 Update (18 Nov) – By now, you will be aware of the “Update for all staff” which was placed by NIHE Management on the Gateway website yesterday. I write to update you on the ongoing work of your trade union NIPSA which has got us to this point and which will continue throughout the Pandemic to ensure the maximum priority is given to your Health, Safety and Wellbeing at all times. As expressed in previous Bulletin PO-25-21 on 28 September 2021, we are deeply proud of and applaud the continued commitment shown and role played by all NIPSA members throughout what are unprecedented circumstances for generations and are also acutely conscious that many members have had to attend their place of work for some time whilst others have been able to perform their duties admirably from home due to the nature of their role. We have kept this reality firmly in focus throughout discussions with your Employer read more

NIPSA Members employed as Education Welfare Officers announce 15 days of Strike Action (15 Nov) – NIPSA, the largest union from the non-teaching workforce in Education, announces that members employed as Education Welfare Officers will embark on 15 days of strike action commencing on 29 November. This is part of their campaign for pay parity with Health and Social Care Trust colleagues read more

 

POA

OSG indicative workplace ballot (15 Nov) – At the NEC on 27th October 2021, the National Executive Committee determined to hold an Indicative Workplace Ballot of our OSG members. This ballot will include all Band 2 members, Prison Auxiliary’s and Night staff in England and Wales. These vital prison staff are amongst the lowest paid POA members and how they have been treated by Government and the employer regarding this year’s pay award, in the view of the NEC, is shameful. The NEC would like to make the wider membership aware that these members, are not restricted from taking industrial action by Section 127 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994. At this stage the NEC have decided to hold an Indicative Ballot of our members within these grades. If it is indicated in this ballot that these members wish to challenge the outrageous pay award made by Government, the POA will move to hold a Statutory Ballot of these members read more

 

NEU

NAO on Government Preparedness for Covid-19 Pandemic (19 Nov) – Successive Governments’ failures to plan properly for an expected pandemic have obviously contributed to the Covid crisis read more

Please also sign and share the petition to support the Oaks Park, Redbridge strikers: https://www.change.org/p/redbridge-council-end-the-culture-of-bullying-at-oaks-park-high-school

Support the following NEU strike action:-

GDST Ballot for Strike Action (22 Nov) – NEU members ballot for strike action at independent sector Girls’ Day School Trust. An indicative ballot starts today of National Education Union members at the independent sector school group, the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) over their plans to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). It is the first ever national ballot on strike action in GDST 149-year history, which shows the depth of feeling and anger this proposal has created amongst staff. The NEU is the recognised trade union for all staff across the 23 independent schools run by the GDST, with 65% of the teaching staff in membership read more

NEU members ballot for strike action at independent sector Girls’ Day School Trust (19 Nov) – An indicative ballot starts today of National Education Union members at the independent sector school group, the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) over their plans to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). It is the first ever national ballot on strike action in GDST 149-year history, which shows the depth of feeling and anger this proposal has created amongst staff. The NEU is the recognised trade union for all staff across the 23 independent schools run by the GDST, with 65% of the teaching staff in membership. The TPS is a fundamental part of a teacher’s contractual remuneration. For many teachers in the Trust, not being in the TPS is a deal-breaker. The proposal would leave remuneration in Trust schools significantly worse than local state schools. It is likely that there will be a talent drain from Trust schools as teachers and leaders are forced to leave to protect their retirement. Teachers are also shocked by the Trust’s threat to “fire and rehire” them in order to enforce the contractual change. NEU members have regarded the Trust as a good employer. However, the service of legal notice of the Trust’s intention to use the morally objectionable practice of “fire and rehire” has left that reputation in jeopardy. The NEU is committed to consultation and hope that we can persuade the Trust that withdrawing from the TPS is a strategic mistake. We believe not only is it a significant pay cut for teachers but would also damage the ability of the schools to recruit and retain quality teachers in future. GDST initiated a consultation on withdrawal from the TPS this September but has not provided any documentary evidence to substantiate their claim that the TPS is unaffordable. NEU members in over 60 other independent schools have successfully defended their hard-earned pension through collective action, up to and including strike action. The indicative ballot runs from 22 November – 6 December

  • Oaks Park High School / Redbridge (Victimisation of Rep) 4 – 25 November

Contact: [email protected]  [email protected]

Please also sign and share the petition to support the Oaks Park, Redbridge strikers: https://www.change.org/p/redbridge-council-end-the-culture-of-bullying-at-oaks-park-high-school

  • Sarum Hall / Camden (TPS) 23 – 25 November

Contact: [email protected]

  • Capital City College / Islington (Terms & Conditions) 23 – 25 November

Contact: [email protected]

  • St Francis College /Hertfordshire (TPS) 24 – 25 November

Contact: [email protected]  [email protected]

 

NASUWT

Gateshead teachers begin 19 days of strike action – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Furrowfield School are taking 18 days of strike action over adverse management practices which are impacting on members at the Gateshead school. Members have been subjected to poor management practices which are impacting on their health, safety and wellbeing. They have faced what they believe are intimadatory and bullying practices and attempts to undermine their employment entitlements. There have been significant issues at the school for a long period, with members taking strike action earlier this year at the school read more

 

EIS

EIS Opens Industrial Action Ballot for Members in Higher Education – The EIS has opened a statutory industrial action ballot for its members in the Higher Education Sector. Members of the EIS University Lecturers’ Association (EIS-ULA) are being asked to support a programme of industrial action, up to and including strike action, in a long-running dispute over pay. The dispute follows protracted negotiations at New JNCHES, the UK-wide negotiating body for pay in the Higher Education sector. Following the breakdown of negotiations, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) broke the principle of negotiating pay and imposed an offer that, for most EIS members (academic staff), amounts to a 1.5%. pay uplift. The imposition of a sub-inflation pay offer, a real-terms pay cut, is not a new action on the part of UCEA, as they previously followed a similar course of action in 2019 read more

 

UCU

Universities to be hit with three days of strikes in December (16 Nov) – 58 universities will be hit with three days of strike action from Wednesday 1 December to Friday 3 December. Earlier this  month UCU members backed strike action in two separate ballots, one over pension cuts and one over pay & working conditions. In the pension ballot, 76% of UCU members who voted backed strike action and 88% voted in favour of action short of strike. In the pay & working conditions ballot more than seven in 10 members who voted (70.1%) backed strike action with 85% (84.9%) voting for action short of strike. The National Union of Students (NUS) is backing staff who are taking industrial action. The overall turnout on the pension ballot was 53% and on pay & conditions it was 51%. Ballots were disaggregated and 58 branches secured a mandate for strike action. UCU called on university bosses to urgently start negotiating to avoid disruption across UK campuses before Christmas. The disputes are over cuts of 35% to guaranteed pensions, pay cuts, casualisation, equality pay gaps and unsafe workloads. Last week UCU wrote to employer representatives, Universities UK and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, setting out how university bosses could avoid strike action before Christmas. The union is asking for pension cuts to be revoked; and for employers to improve their pay offer and commit to meaningful agreements and action on casualisation, workload, and equality pay gaps. But employers are currently refusing to revoke pension cuts or to even acknowledge issues like casualisation. Staff pay has fallen by 20% after twelve years of below inflation pay offers; one third of academic staff are on insecure contracts; the gender pay gap sits at 15% and the most recent Higher Education Statistics Agency figures reveal that, of 22,810 professors in the UK, under a third (27%) were women and only 155 (1%) were Black; staff are also experiencing a crisis of work-related stress with over half showing probable signs of depression. As well as the three day walkout, staff at 64 universities have a mandate to take action short of strike. This will also begin on Wednesday 1 December and will include strictly working to contract and refusing any additional duties. This is set to go on indefinitely for the five months staff have a mandate to take industrial action for. UCU also intends to reballot a number of branches that missed the 50% turnout threshold imposed by Tory anti-trade union laws. The union said the three day strike will just be the start of sustained disruption for the sector if employers fail to negotiate. The union intends to escalate its disputes next term. If employers do not make improved offers, further industrial action is likely to continue into the spring, at which point branches that gain a mandate in their reballots will be able to join the action read more

Lecturers at Goldsmiths, University of London will be going on strike for a gruelling 3 weeks in order to defend the university from an ideological, austerity-based assault on education. Here’s what’s behind the dispute and how you can help:

*Senior Management has signed a secretive deal with Lloyds Bank and NatWest Bank and the banks are demanding mass redundancies at Goldsmiths as part of the deal. Yes. You heard that right: banks are being given the power to decide how education is delivered in the UK.

*At present, 125 professional staff in student-facing services have been told their jobs have been “deleted” and they are now having to go through the ordeal of Fire and Rehire.

*The bulk of lecturers in two departments (History and English & Creative Writing) have been selected for a redundancy pool and somewhere in the region of 20 of them will be fired at the end of the process.

*The voice of the student community has been ignored throughout, even though this “restructure” will directly impact on their studies and the experience they signed up for.

*This the first of 3 waves of redundancies with more to follow next year…. Unless we STOP THIS NOW!

Please support us by:

* Raising this motion of solidarity with your Trade Union branch or branch of political party (except for the Tories, obviously, as this is the realisation of their dream: austerity in action). https://goldsmithsucu.org/…/10/19/gucu-strike-fund-motion/

**Donating as much (or as little) as you can afford to the Goldsmiths Strike Fund. Hourly-paid lecturers and tutors on precarious contracts will obviously be prioritised for funds. https://goldsmithsucu.org/donations/strikefund/

***If you are in London, please join us on the picket lines. The strike starts on Tuesday 23rd November and will go until Monday 13th December (unless the Warden, Frances Corner, and her Senior Management Team see sense and agree to stop their reckless plans).

We have managed to gain some concessions in our fight, but our struggle continues. We demand zero redundancies and that this neoliberal assault on education is destroyed at root read more

Support the UCU Royal College of Art strike in fight against casualization – follow the strike on UCU Royal College of Art website and on twitter – @RcaUcu. Donate to the strike fund details here

Updates on latest UCU disputes

Petition calling for fair funding and online learning

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

 

NUJ

Sued and spied on (22 Nov) – Tim Dawson reports on a webinar which examined the threats to investigative journalists and writers telling their stories and exposing wrongdoing read more

Flexible Working: make your voice heard (22 Nov) – The TUC is asking your view so it can respond to a government consultation on making flexible working easier. The government is consulting on making flexible working easier. The idea is to give all employees the right to request flexible working on the first day of their job. At the moment employees have to wait until they have worked somewhere for 26 weeks before they can ask. But there’s a big flaw in only allowing employees to request flexible working once they are in a job. People won’t know if they can get the flexibility they need until they start. There’s an easy solution to this. Employers must be required to put flexible working options in all job adverts read more

Disability History Month (22 Nov) – Meet the NUJ’s Disabled Members’ Council and take part in a host of TUC webinars to discuss the key workplace issues affecting disabled workers read more

NUJ welcomes UK ratification of treaty on prevention of violence at work (16 Nov) – Michelle Stanistreet said: “No-one should have to put up with violence and intimidation for just doing their job.” Commenting on the announcement by Thérèse Coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary, that the UK government has ratified the International Labour Organization’s Violence and Harassment Convention, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “This is a welcome development. Following the government’s own survey which found that four in five journalists have experienced threats and violence at work and that more than one in three female respondents said they did not feel safe operating as a journalist in the UK, it is timely…” read more

 

Prospect

#UnseenOnScreen: final testimonials (21 Nov) – As part of Anti-Bullying week, we are sharing anonymous testimonials from workers in the TV and film industry. Collected by our Unscripted branch as part of their #UnseenOnScreen campaign, the testimonials allow us an insight into the harsh realities of working in the film and TV industry, and just how common bullying and harassment in the workplace really is read more

Prospect ‘minded to accept’ final Soulbury pay offer (17 Nov) – Prospect’s Education and Children’s Services Group Executive Council has indicated that it is minded to accept a ‘final pay offer’ for its members employed by local authorities and whose roles are covered by the Soulbury agreement read more

 

Equity

North Wresting signs up to Equity agreement (22 Nov) – We’re pleased to have agreed a code of conduct with North East based professional wrestling organisation NORTH Wrestling. The code sets out terms and conditions for performers, staff and management in writing, provides a dignity at work policy, and allows time and access for performers to engage with the union. This will be supported by an agreed formal disciplinary and grievance policy. NORTH Wrestling joins a growing number of wrestling promoters across the country who have signed up with Equity’s pledges in the sector, improving conditions for all participants read more

PACT EQUITY TV agreement covers child performers and SVOD originals for the first time (17 Nov) – Ground-breaking agreement with Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) now live. We’re delighted to have finalised a series of major new additions to the Pact Equity TV agreement.  The agreement sets out the minimum terms and conditions for artists working with independent production companies. For the first time, the agreement includes provisions for child performers and terms governing Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) original commissions. It also includes a ground-breaking clause that producers must provide professional standard hair and make-up to all members of the cast, regardless of ethnicity. The new agreement is the result of Equity’s staff and Screen & New Media Committee working closely with the Personal Managers’ Association and Co-operative Personal Management Association during the process of negotiations read more

Sign the petition to save Stratford Circus! https://www.change.org/p/save-stratford-circus

 

USDAW

Usdaw launches industrial action ballots at nine Tesco distribution centres in disputes over pay (22 Nov) – Usdaw has today started two formal industrial action ballots covering nine Tesco Distribution sites after members overwhelmingly rejected the company’s latest offers. The two disputes involve nine Tesco distribution centres at: Daventry, Goole, Hinckley, Lichfield, Livingston, Magor (both trunk and main site), Peterborough and Southampton. The ballots will run between 22 November and 6 December. If members vote in favour it is intended that, unless the company makes an improved offer, strike action will take place in the week of 20 December read more

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep fighting for reinstatement read more

#WorldToiletDay – drivers must have safe and easy access to toilets and handwashing facilities (19 Nov) – On World Toilet Day (Friday 19 November) distribution and retail trade union Usdaw is calling for all drivers to be provided with safe and easy access to toilets and other welfare facilities. Drivers have faced a lack of appropriate facilities for many years, both at the roadside and when making deliveries. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic this issue has been significantly exacerbated, causing a further erosion of drivers’ working conditions. Usdaw is clear that sites should meet their legal obligations and ensure that all drivers are provided with safe and easy access to welfare facilities such as toilets and handwashing facilities. Alongside this, the Government must provide clear instructions to all locations accepting deliveries from drivers about their requirement to provide welfare facilities and must develop clear best practice guidance read more

Peers from all parties speak in favour of a new protection of shopworkers law – Usdaw disappointed that the Government is still yet to commit support (18 Nov) – Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed cross-party support from Peers for two protection of shopworkers amendments to the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which were debated last night in the House of Lords read more

Respect for Shopworkers Week: Usdaw survey reveals that nearly half of shopworkers are not confident that reporting abuse will make a difference (17 Nov) – Retail trade union Usdaw has today launched shocking statistics from their annual survey during the annual Respect for Shopworkers Week, 15-21 November. Interim results from nearly 3,500 retail staff show that in the last twelve months:

  • 89% have experienced verbal abuse.
  • 64% were threatened by a customer.
  • 11% were assaulted.
  • 46% said they were not confident that reporting abuse, threats and violence will make a difference.
  • 7% of those who had been assaulted did not report the incident read more

 

Community

Clarks agrees to Acas mediation (17 Nov) – It has been reported today that Clarks have agreed to mediated with ourselves facilitated by Acas on the ongoing industrial dispute related to their distribution centre in Street, Somerset read more

Send a donation and message of support to the Community Clarks Strike Fund:

Sort code 60 83 01 Account number 34042733

Name: Community: Reference: Clarks Strike Pay

 

UVW

Victory for pandemic heroes as billionaire trustees capitulate at Sage Nursing home (18 Nov) – United Voices of the World (UVW) members, care, domestic and maintenance workers at Sage Nursing home in North London have declared a huge victory after a protracted dispute over poverty pay and decent working conditions. Care workers, domestic and maintenance staff will receive the London Living Wage, resulting in a minimum pay rise of 11% and all other staff a rise of 5%, as of 1st December 2021. Upon hearing the news, Bile, senior care worker at Sage and UVW executive committee member, said: “We went above and beyond to stand for what we deserve. We know that none of us acting alone can achieve success and we understand that there is still a way to go. We need to correct the legacy of past injustice and insist upon the will to change. Let there be work, bread, water, and water for all!” The board’s announcement came in response to October strike action that made national news. The protest included a noisy and colourful picket line and a ‘Solidarity Bus’ to central London where workers surprised security staff at Freshwater House – the offices of billionaire trustee Benzion Shalom Elizer Freshwater in Central London – when they made a noisy entrance to deliver a letter detailing demands they said had hitherto fallen upon deaf ears read more

Security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital announce strike dates in dispute for equal rights! – Security guards at Great Ormond Street hospital are poised to take to the picket line on 6th, 7th, and 8th December as part of UVW’s fight to beat outsourcing and to fight against what we believe amounts to indirect institutional racism. Security guards have followed in the footsteps of their domestic staff colleagues by voting to take strike action. The unanimous vote to strike closed earlier this month, came hot off the heels of UVW members who work as cleaners and who won their demands for full equality with in-house NHS staff in October. Likely emboldened by the victory, 100% of workers who took part in the ballot voted ‘YES’ for strike action read more

Harrods restaurant workers pre-strike PROTEST – Saturday 18th December Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL. Harrods pays its restaurant workers poverty wages, often over 20% below even the London Living Wage of £11.05 per hour which itself is not a huge wage. The waiters and chefs at Harrods have had enough and are now demanding £12 an hour. Working in the most luxurious department store in the world owned by the richest family in the world – the Qatari Royal Family – £12 an hour is fair and affordable for Harrods. The workers are currently balloting to strike and intend to walk out in the days before Christmas. We want to send Harrods a strong message that when they do they will be met with lots of solidarity. So come and show that solidarity on Saturday 18th December at 1pm and make our voices heard that POVERTY PAY IS NOT OK! Facebook event

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 kicked off 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

 

IWGB

IWGB Solidarity Squad Welcomes Allies to the Fight for Precarious and Frontline Workers (17 Nov) – Today the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) launches its Solidarity Squad: a network of allies and supporters of its mission to end exploitation and advocate for precarious and migrant workers as trade union leaders. Solidarity Squad members will become part of this movement by actively supporting worker-led campaigns and making a regular monthly donation of as little as £3. All funds raised will go towards advocacy and support for the workers who need it most, providing grassroots leaders with the tools and support to win equality and justice at work read more

 

CAIWU

Support the Facebook cleaners protest Friday 26th November 4pm – 10, Brock Street, London NW13FG. Follow @caiwuunion on Twitter

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU calls on LISK to implement Labour Court recommendation on union recognition (17 Nov) – SIPTU members have called on LISK Ireland Ltd in Gort, county Galway, to implement a Labour Court recommendation endorsing their request for the company to recognise their union as their chosen representatives for all industrial relations purposes read more

SIPTU condemns Stackstown Golf Club for hiring contract workers to replace staff (16 Nov) – SIPTU representatives have condemned a decision by the management of Stackstown Golf Club, county Dublin, to hire an outside contractor to assist with course maintenance rather than schedule more work for five directly employed staff who are SIPTU member read more

 

 

Other News

UK Housing Awards Protest (called by SHACSocial Housing Action Campaign) – 5pm North Greenwich tube station Thursday 25th November

On the 25th November, the social housing sector will hold the UK Housing Awards ceremony to congratulate itself on the great job it has done over the last year. The event is sponsored by Inside Housing Magazine and the Chartered Institute for Housing. Housing associations have not eliminated homelessness. The number of homes at affordable and social rents has reduced. Overcrowding is getting worse. More people live in unsafe homes. Unsafe cladding continues to blight lives and put people in danger. Those in housing crisis are being evicted not supported, and housing associations are the group most likely to evict through the courts. For all these reasons and more, the awards ceremony is the wrong thing to do. The sector is sending out the wrong message at the wrong time. It is the wrong class promoting the wrong incentives. They celebrate the wrong people for the wrong reasons, and pander to the wrong audience. The awards rely on the wrong values, aims and objectives, and the ceremony will involve housing executives talking about tenants and residents in the same old wrong condescending and patronising way Facebook event

 

National Pensioners Convention (NPC) GREATER LONDON REGION

JOIN OUR PROTEST 12.00 midday on Friday 26th Nov 2021

Assemble by George V’s statue at Old Palace Yard Westminster opposite the House of Lords. Then march to 10 Downing Street.

Immediate action is for the Government to halt any increase to fuel and other bills.

Pensioners are already dying from cold related illnesses, and the situation will only get far worse with the forthcoming increases in the cost of living and fuel bills.

It’s estimated that GAS PRICES Will INCREASE BY UP TO 30% next year that will result in far higher number of Pensioners and those most vulnerable dying. It is predicted the energy price cap will go up to about £1,660 in the summer, almost £400 an increase of 30%.

The number of additional winter deaths of older people, due to cold related illnesses will be announced on Friday 26th November 2021. On that day London Region NPC will be protesting the government’s failure to prevent fuel poverty deaths.

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

Blacklisting Investigation – 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

India: Bank workers intensify their struggle read more

Amazon Will Face Black Friday Strikes and Protests in 20 Countries – The actions on November 26 will highlight the scale of Amazon’s role in the global economy read more on Vice.com

 

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

 

 

CONTACT US

PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]

 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts

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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE