NSSN 563: Support the UCU HE strikes

November 30, 2021 in Bulletins

This week’s NSSN bulletin headlines with the 3-day strike by UCU members in higher education. Staff at 58 universities will be walking out this week, from Wednesday to Friday, December 1-3. UCU members at Goldsmiths University are on strike for three weeks in addition to this week’s action and members are also currently taking action at the Royal College of Art. This action along with the growing strikes shows that the mood of workers is building. Today is the 10th anniversary of the N30 public sector strike that saw 2 million workers strike together against Cameron and Osborne’s attacks on their pensions. With HE staff on strike at the same time as workers are being balloted in local government and the NHS on pay, the potential is being shown for co-ordinated action against the Tory pay freeze when real inflation is 6%. Support the UCU HE strikes!

From UCU website: Universities to be hit with three days of strikes in December

From UCU website: Staff at 42 universities to be balloted for strikes (25 Nov) – UCU has warned that up to 100 universities could face disruption in the new year if disputes over pensions and pay & conditions are not resolved. UCU members at 42 universities will be asked to back strike action in ballots that open on Monday 6 December and close on Friday 14 January. The reballots come after a number of branches narrowly missed the Conservative’s anti-trade union turnout threshold, in some cases by only one or two votes. Strikes will also begin at 58 universities from Wednesday 1 December to Friday 3 December. The union has warned that if the disputes cannot be resolved then more strikes are likely in the new year, with the reballoting process allowing more members to take part, affecting even more universities. To resolve the pension dispute UCU is demanding employers revoke their 35% cuts to the guaranteed pensions of staff. To resolve the pay & working conditions dispute UCU is demanding a £2.5k pay increase, as well as action to tackle the unmanageable workloads, pay inequality and insecure contracts that blight the sector. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘Staff at dozens of campuses will be going on strike over attacks on their pensions, pay and working conditions. In the new year, staff at 42 more universities could join them for a period of sustained and escalating industrial action…” read more

Goldsmiths UCU strike

Goldsmiths UCU strike

From UCU striker and NSSN supporter Kat: “Why am I striking? I love teaching, it’s often the best part of my week. But it’s easy to look through rose-tinted glasses and ignore the systemic issues, largely a part of the marketisation of universities, that are at the heart of higher education, and impacting those who work there. Casualisation of workers is rife at universities. Most academic staff are employed on short-term contracts or even hourly like me, with no job security, and yet are expected to deliver ‘world-class’ education to undergraduate students. Other issues of pay discrimination, and pay cuts due to inflation, remain key issues for UCU members and higher education workers. Growing the number of students, without employing more staff to compensate, has led to dangerous workload increases (53% of university staff are showing signs of depression due to excessive workloads). Yet still university management has done nothing to address this – beyond the mandatory wellbeing email. These are serious concerns for strike action before even addressing the issue of pensions. As a PhD researcher, I am also concerned with universities’ growing exploitation of postgraduates.”

Support Goldsmiths strike 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. Follow @GoldsmithsUCU on twitter

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

UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes.

 

Stop victimisation of union reps

Sign petition: Support Tracey Scholes the 1st female Bus Driver at Queens Road – dismissed by Go North West

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

Save London’s Transport demonstration on Wednesday (29 Nov) – RMT to join ‘Save London’s Transport’ demonstration outside Parliament on Wednesday. Transport Union RMT will be protesting outside Parliament on Wednesday alongside other trade unions in a ‘Save London’s Transport’ demonstration opposing attack on pensions, the imposition of pay freezes and threats to services and jobs, imposed as part of the government’s conditions for a 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

RMT advises members to protect their personal safety (30 Nov) – Face masks become compulsory once again on transport services in England. TRANSPORT UNION RMT said that it’s advising all members to ensure that they protect their own personal safety and the safety of their colleagues as a priority as masks become compulsory on transport services in England. The union has warned that the Government have made no arrangements to resource the enforcement of their policy switch leaving staff in the front line seriously exposed read more

RMT on face masks on public transport (28 Nov) – RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “We support the wearing of masks but there are major issues about enforcement and its our members left in the front line with angry passengers who refuse to comply read more

Tenth anniversary of the MV Swanland tragedy (27 Nov) – On the tenth anniversary of the MV Swanland tragedy RMT calls for stronger seafarer safety standards. SEAFARERS’ UNION RMT today paid tribute to the memories of the six crew members who lost their lives when the 34-year old cargo ship MV Swanland sank off the North Wales coast on 27 November 2011 read more

Rail Gourmet staff announce new strike action (26 Nov) – RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet staff announce new strike action in fight for workplace justice. RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley will be going ahead with a new phase of strike action next month, starting on New Year’s Eve, in an on-going fight for respect and justice in the workplace as the company continues to fail to address the abuse and bullying of their staff. Members have been instructed not to book on for shifts as follows;

  • 06.00 hours on Friday 31st December 2021 until 05.59 hours on Monday 3rd January 2022

This latest phase of action follows on from previous rock-solid strikes and has been called because instead of recognising the strength of the genuine grievances the company have chosen to do nothing to address the now long-term dispute read more

Tube strike action rock solid (26 Nov) – Strike action rock solid this morning in fight to stop Night Tube staffing plans ripping up work life balance. TUBE UNION RMT said that strike action, which began in the early hours of this morning in a fight to stop the ripping up of Night Tube agreements and working arrangements that would wreck the work life balance of drivers, is rock solid with pickets out in force on all lines involved read more

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 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.

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 writes to Mayor about Night Tube statements (26 Nov) – RMT writes to Mayor about ‘incorrect and incendiary statements’ on Night Tube dispute. TUBE UNION RMT has written to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, today to express the union’s deep disappointment at ‘incorrect statements’ he made on Twitter this morning that are a total misrepresentation of the facts around the Night Tube dispute. ‎The union has warned that deliberately distorting the truth has an incendiary effect when the Mayor should be putting pressure on tube bosses to get back round the table with RMT officials for serious talks read more

Cleaners continue fight for pay justice (25 Nov) – Low paid rail cleaners who work for Churchill Group will protest outside the offices of their employers and the train operating companies that contract them will protest tomorrow, Friday 26th November, as part of their fight for pay justice. The cleaners who work on Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern, Southeastern, HS1 and Eurostar trains and stations will be calling for a new deal that recognises the essential nature of their work. Many of the cleaners employed on the South-East’s rail network are employed on the minimum wage while none of them have company sick pay or travel facilities equal to other rail staff read more

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 Nov) – On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women RMT survey reveals growing epidemic of sexual harassment against passengers and workers on public transport. On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a new survey of women public transport workers by their union RMT reveals a growing epidemic of sexual harassment against passengers and workers on public transport read more

Justice for North Sea contract workers – 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

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

 

ASLEF

Standing with Clarks workers – end fire and rehire (25 Nov) – Executive committee vice president Andy Hudd joined workers on the picket line in Somerset read more (For more info about the Clarks strike, see Community union section below)

Join the campaign to Save London’s Public Transport (24 Nov) – Public transport workers will be protesting outside Parliament on Wednesday 1st December over the Government’s failure to adequately fund London’s transport system. ASLEF members will join our fellow rail unions, along with speeches from Sam Tarry MP (Shadow Minister for Buses and Local Transport) and Elly Baker AM (Labour lead for Transport at the Greater London Authority). All ASLEF members are welcome to join. Please bring any flags and banners. Assemble by 11am on Wednesday 1st December, at Old Palace Yard read more

Disability History Month – One Two-Minute Phone Call (23 Nov) – Jerry Brown is looking at the camera with a neutral expression. To mark Disability History Month, ASLEF members are sharing their stories. Jerry Brown explains how two minutes changed his life read more

 

TSSA

Johnson needs to follow lead of Sturgeon & Drakeford to beat Omicron variant – Cortes (29 Nov) – Covid-19 new measures needed for Omicron variant. TSSA today backed the calls by Scotland and Wales’ First Ministers for travellers to the UK to isolate for eight days to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant. The transport and travel union also called for employers to support homeworking wherever possible as the most effective method to stop transmission read more

TSSA calls for compulsory face coverings over new Covid variant (27 Nov) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called for the immediate compulsory introduction of face coverings across the entire public transport system as a precaution against the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 read more

Make railways safer for women by stopping staff cuts – Cortes (25 Nov) – Staffed stations are safer for women. TSSA today (Thursday called on the Government to make railways safer for female passengers by stopping the planned cuts to station staff. The union’s call came on the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Government research published earlier this year showed that 28% of sexual harassment incidents took place on our railways read more

Make Scotland’s railways safer for women by stopping staff cuts – Cortes (25 Nov)

Save London’s public transport – ‘hugely important’ demonstration (24 Nov) – Transport union TSSA, along with sister unions and politicians, are holding a “hugely important” demonstration outside Parliament a week today (1 Dec) about the future funding of Transport for London (TfL). TSSA is the biggest union in TfL, and General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has warned Boris Johnson that public transport across London will grind to a halt without a long-term financial plan in place. The current short-term deal from the Government is due to run out on 11 December. TSSA and other rail and transport unions will be making their voices heard by taking their campaign for fair funding for TfL to the heart of Westminster read more

 

Unite

Sign petition: Support Tracey Scholes the 1st female Bus Driver at Queens Road – dismissed by Go North West

Morrisons workers agree pay deal as strike threat averted (29 Nov) – Pre-Christmas strikes at Morrisons have been called off after over 1,100 warehouse workers accepted an improved pay offer. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, and are based at Morrisons’ distribution centres at Northwich in Cheshire and Wakefield in Yorkshire, originally faced a pay freeze and were then offered a meagre pay rise worth between two and three per cent. However, once Unite began balloting the workforce for industrial action, fresh negotiations were held and an improved offer of five per cent for all workers was made, which the workforce accepted. The pay increase is backdated to 2 August 2021 read more

Liverpool dockers secure improved pay deal (29 Nov) – Dock workers employed at the port of Liverpool have accepted a significantly improved pay offer. Over 500 workers employed by the Peel Ports Group will receive a 4.5 per cent increase backdated to 1 June 2021. This is a major improvement on the two per cent offer that was originally made read more

Unite calls for mandatory mask wearing in pubs, cafes and restaurants (29 Nov) – Union demands Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, acts to ensure mandatory mask wearing for customers visiting hospitality venues across the UK, in the same way that those travelling on public transport are now legally obliged to do so. The call has come from Unite union members in the hospitality industry. They are angry that they are being left to enforce the wearing of face masks which causes disputes with customers. These frequently result in threats of physical abuse, which have included death threats, by customers to staff. In the passenger transport sector compulsory facemasks have been imposed by DfT, in consultation with the unions. This has ensured that transport workers free from the responsibility of having to enforce the wearing of facemasks. But there has been no such engagement from the Digital Culture Media and Sport Department read more

Public transport face mask rules must be fully enforced (28 Nov) – Commenting on the government’s announcement that face masks will once again be compulsory on public transport Unite national officer for passenger transport, Bobby Morton said: “The government has got to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. It is not sufficient to announce that face masks will once again become compulsory, this policy has got to be fully enforced in order to protect public health. The government’s previous inconsistent messaging on face mask wearing is almost certainly going to result in a high degree of non-compliance. Unite’s advice to bus drivers is clear. It is not their role to enforce mask wearing, their responsibility is to safely drive and operate the bus…” read more

New survey reveals shocking shortage of bus drivers (28 Nov) – A survey of Unite activists working in the bus sector has revealed driver shortages at a far higher level than previously indicated by the industry. The survey reveals that the principal reasons why drivers are leaving is due to low pay, poor conditions and long hours. Over 500 activists working throughout the UK took part in the survey, which found that there were bus driver shortages at 99 per cent of bus garages read more

Simultaneous strikes to hit Foyle port complex tomorrow (28 Nov) – Workers at Burke Shipping Services and Foyle Port demanding pay increase. Essential workers kept goods moving during pandemic. Unite members at Burke Shipping Services and Foyle Port will be taking strike action tomorrow (Monday) in pursuit of pay increases.  It will be the second day of strike action at Burke Shipping Services and the first at Foyle Port.  Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Gareth Scott said he expected the actions to significantly impact operations at the port complex following determined pickets by Burke Shipping Service workers on Friday: “Our members working for both Burke Shipping Services and Foyle Port have kept goods moving throughout the pandemic.  Yet stevedores and warehouse workers at Burke Shipping Services are paid less than comparable workers in the sector, while dockers and warehouse workers at Foyle Port faced a pay freeze last year and are being asked to accept a derisory pay increase this year…” read more

Burke Shipping Services workers striking today (26 Nov) – Low-paid essential workers seek pay parity with rest of sector. Unite members working for Burke Shipping Services are taking strike action today (Friday) in pursuit of a pay increase to bring them into line with comparable workers in the sector read more

Union members at Foyle Port to strike Monday 29th in protest against employers extending pay freeze (24 Nov) – Unite union survey shows almost every worker at the Port and their families are struggling to make ends meet and now face a second year of poverty pay. November 24th: The dispute follows management’s decision to reject workers’ modest demand for a 2.1% pay increase this year, following a pay freeze last year.  The rejection of the union claim in effect extends last year’s pay freeze for another year and forces a pay cut on Foyle workers. Trade union Unite, which represents workers at Foyle Port, has today (Wednesday) written to the Port and Harbour Commissioners outlining the background to strike action due to hit the port from Monday 29 November read more

Strike threat at Burke Shipping Services on Friday (23 Nov) – Low-paid essential workers kept services afloat during pandemic. November 23rd: Unite, which represents members working for Burke Shipping Services, today (Tuesday) announced that workers are set to take strike action on Friday 26 November, with a further day of action scheduled for Monday 29 November. The company, which is a division of the Fane Valley Cooperative, provides a range of services at the port of Londonderry.  Workers ensured the movement of essential goods throughout the pandemic read more

Unite protest at Scottish Housing Awards over Link Group pay cut (26 Nov) – Unite members working for the Link Group held a protest yesterday (25 November) outside the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow in advance of the Scottish Housing Awards in a dispute over pay. The protest was part of Unite’s #FairPay4Link campaign which highlights the real terms pay cut – 1% pay award – given to Link Group workers this year, despite the housing group increasing its rent fee by 2.5%. Some Link Group workers also rent their accommodation from their employer. The trade union is highlighting the irony of the Link Group being nominated for ‘Housing Provider of the Year’, yet it refuses to provide its own workforce with a fair pay rise read more

Mercedes Benz Retail Group workers to be balloted for strike action after ‘no pay rise’ offer (25 Nov) – Bosses at the Mercedes Benz Retail Group (MBRG) have put the brakes on its technician workforce receiving a pay rise for the second year running, which means that workers are now accelerating towards a strike ballot. Unite the union will be balloting about 175 of its members at nine different sites, the majority of whom are vehicle technicians, for strike action over the refusal of the top people’s marque to offer any pay rise for this year, following no pay rise in 2020. The ballot runs from Thursday 2 December to Monday 20 December. MBRG sites include Brentford, Brooklands, Colindale, Croydon, Heathrow, Loughton, Temple Fortune, Stratford and Watford read more

Coventry refuse collection drivers in pay and Christmas working dispute (24 Nov) – Refuse collection drivers employed by Coventry council are to be balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay and Christmas working arrangements. If the 70 plus workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, vote for industrial action then stoppages could begin before Christmas read more

British Airways’ owners again ‘shame the business’ as they move to deny UK workers representation and rights (24 Nov) – The Spanish International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is one of the first companies to deny UK workers full engagement on their rights and representation as it moves to kick its UK employees out of its European Works Council (EWC). The move has been denounced as treating UK workers as second class and is another shameful episode for BA, coming a year after the airline destroyed thousands of UK workers’ jobs through ‘fire and rehire’. Brexit allows the IAG to make the move to exclude UK workers from it EU-wide employment consultation structures read more

Stagecoach poverty pay offer forces South Yorkshire bus drivers to strike (24 Nov) – Bus services in South Yorkshire face severe disruption this autumn and winter as drivers employed by Stagecoach take strike action over low pay. More than 560 workers, based at Stagecoach depots in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham, voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in response to the company failing to make a realistic pay offer. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Low pay is the scourge of the bus industry right across this country. Stagecoach made profits touching £60m last year and has £875m in the bank. Yet it cannot make a decent offer to its staff. “Unite is pledged to fight for the jobs pay and conditions of our members so we will be relentless in the campaign to ensure that our members at Stagecoach, in South Yorkshire, get a fair deal.” The strikes were called after members rejected the latest offer by management following extensive negotiations with Unite. Stagecoach offered its South Yorkshire workers just 2 per cent, compared to pay deals secured by Unite in other areas of the country of 6.5 per cent, 7.5 per cent and even 10.5 per cent. Notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, Stagecoach’s latest accounts reveal that the group made a profit of £58.4 million in 2020 and that it has £875 million of available liquidity. Strike action will take place in Barnsley and Rotherham everyday between Saturday 27 November and Saturday 4 December. In Sheffield, strike action will take everyday between Sunday 28 November and Sunday 5 December read more

Cambridge university maintenance staff to stage second demo on Friday over ‘misguided’ outsourcing plans (24 Nov) – Maintenance and estates’ workers at The University of Cambridge, one of the UK’s wealthiest institutions, will hold a second protest on Friday (26 November) over plans to outsource up to 50 of their jobs to private companies. The staff, members of Unite the union, have voted overwhelmingly in a consultative ballot to hold a full scale industrial action ballot over proposals that, if implemented by 1 April next year, would be a serious attack on their pensions, HR standards and their status as university employees. The rally will be held at the Senate House in Cambridge’s King’s Parade at 12.00 on Friday (26 November) and follows the first protest on 12 November which was attended by Cambridge’s MP Daniel Zeichner. Since then the university authorities have opened talks with Unite and agreed to shelve any outsourcing plans this side of Christmas read more

2022 transport strike looms for capital with workers angered by threats to jobs, pay and pensions (24 Nov) – Demo: London’s transport workers to descend on parliament.

WHEN: 11:00 Wednesday 1 December 2021

WHERE: Old Palace Yard (opposite parliament) SW1P 3JY

London’s transport workers will descend on parliament on Wednesday 1 December at a joint transport union rally to warn that attacks on staff pensions and conditions will light the blue touch paper for coordinated capital-wide strikes early in 2022. The strike threat comes as Transport for London (TfL) and Boris Johnson’s department for transport (DfT) battle it out over a fourth TfL funding deal amid fears that bus and underground services could be slashed without urgent government investment to plug a £1.9bn funding gap, caused by the decimation of passenger numbers during the pandemic and TfL’s over-reliance for funding from fares. The current TfL emergency funding deal expires on 11 December read more

Cambus is latest battle in UK campaign to increase wages across the bus industry, says Unite (24 Nov) – The continuing poor pay in the UK’s bus industry has sparked another ballot for strike action – this time by 400 workers at Cambus who have not had a pay rise since April 2019. Unite the union said that its members –  drivers, engineers, cleaners and shunters – based at Cambridge, Fenstanton and Peterborough will hold a ballot for strike action from tomorrow (Thursday 25 November), closing on Thursday 16 December. The workers employed by Cambus Ltd, part of the highly profitable Stagecoach bus ‘empire’, have rejected a 1.5 per cent pay offer from April 2021 with a further 1.5 per cent next month for the pay year 2021/22 – at a time when the RPI rate of inflation has soared to six per cent read more

South West Sainsbury’s shortage fears ended as DHL drivers agree inflation beating pay increase (24 Nov) – Fears that supplies to Sainsbury’s stores across South West England could be severely disrupted prior to Christmas have ended after lorry drivers, employed by DHL, accepted an inflation beating 14 per cent pay increase. The 140 drivers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, began balloting for industrial action earlier this month after receiving a totally unacceptable pay offer. However, once DHL was notified of the planned industrial action the company returned to the negotiating table and made a vastly improved offer, which was then approved by the workforce read more

Teesside Stagecoach bus strikes cancelled as workers agree improved pay deal (23 Nov) – Strikes affecting bus services in Teesside, operated by Stagecoach, have been called off after workers accepted an improved pay offer. Over 200 bus workers, based at Stagecoach’s depots in Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees, had taken four days of strike action this month. Following fresh negotiations an improved pay offer was made to the workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s largest union. This was accepted and further strike action has been cancelled read more

Billingham Mitsubishi Chemicals scaffolder strikes off after pay victory (23 Nov) – Scaffold workers employed by Altrad at the Mitsubishi Chemicals plant in Billingham, Teesside, have called off strike action after accepting a pay deal, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday 22 November). Around 35 scaffolders, insulators and painters, who all work at height at the battery electrolyte and acrylic base chemical plant, will benefit from a pay deal worth at least 10 per cent over two and a half years read more

GB Terminals’ cuts on jobs and overtime terms prompts Sheerness docks strike ballot (23 Nov) – Volkswagen imports will be in jeopardy if strike goes ahead. Imports of Volkswagen (VW) Group vehicles, which include Audi, Porsche and Skoda, have been put at risk after Sheerness docks’ employers, GB Terminals, threatened jobs and overtime terms. Unite said today (Tuesday 23 November) that the ballot for strike action will take place between 25 November and 9 December. More than 50 workers will be impacted by the job cuts and changes to minimum overtime hours. The Unite workers process and drive VW Group vehicles off ferries arriving in Sheerness dockyard so they are ready to be picked up by car transporters for onward delivery read more

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

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

Derisory pay offer for Chep workers set to create North West pallet famine – 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 – 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

Manchester facing new year bus strikes as First Group drivers ballot over pay and conditions – 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

DHL workers set for strike action at Bellshill – 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

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

Industrial action likely as Ponticelli/Semco workers vote for strike action – 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’ – 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

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

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

British Council staff support call for strike action (29 Nov) – Hundreds of British Council employees across the globe said in a consultative ballot they would support strike action over forced redundancies and to oppose outsourcing. Nearly 80% of those voted said they would support strike action on the following demands.

  • No forced redundancies
  • Fair, open and transparent approach and process for transformation
  • No privatisation/outsourcing of jobs

Turnout was close to 80%, a historic high for British Council members. These results should send shockwaves through British Council senior leadership, with the clear desire from PCS members for a statutory strike action ballot if our demands are not met read more

Struggling to make ends meet (29 Nov) – With no sign of the promised end to the pay freeze, and the cost of living escalating, you have been sharing your experiences with us. PCS members have been telling us how the current cost of living crisis is impacting on their daily lives read more

PCS joins legal action against government plans to pushback boats (27 Nov) – PCS, the union representing Border Force staff, has joined Care4Calais in their legal fight to prevent Home Secretary Priti Patel from pushing back migrant Channel boats. Following the tragic deaths of 27 people in the Channel this week, pressure has mounted on the government to reverse its intention to make Border Force staff prevent boats from reaching the UK read more

PCS responds to tragic deaths of migrants trying to cross the Channel (25 Nov)

Action is needed now on climate change (26 Nov) – PCS issues statement following the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow. Addressing climate change and environmental damage should be used as an opportunity to improve the lives of all workers and communities read more

Pay campaign to be highlighted in Parliament (26 Nov) – Civil service pay will be the subject of an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on Monday. Chris Stephens MP, the chair of the cross-party PCS parliamentary group, will lead the debate. This comes after regular briefings have been given to MPs on the group about the impact real-terms pay cuts have been having on our members read more

HMCTS ballot: Have you voted? (26 Nov) – What to do if you haven’t received instructions on how to vote in the consultative ballot over Common Platform. Our electronic consultative ballot opened on 15 November and closes at 12 noon on Thursday 2 December. The ballot is to ask members if they agree to support our demands about Common Platform, the digital case management system introduced in September last year, which has been beset by technical problems and delays read more

HMCTS members highlight stress of using flawed Common Platform (25 Nov) – As PCS ballots court staff over the deeply flawed and failing Common Platform system many have shared with us myriad concerns including feeling at risk, incredibly stressed, overwhelmed, and ill read more

PCS launches consultative ballot after HMCTS threatens 3,000 job losses with new digital platform – 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

PCS achieves great result for DWP members working in Wales (25 Nov) – After weeks of pressure from PCS, DWP has finally agreed to back track on its decision to force members in Wales doing non-customer-facing roles back into offices. While this is great news for our members in Wales we will continue to press the department to halt plans in Scotland and England to force thousands of staff back into workplaces read more

Oppose DWP plans to force staff back to workplaces in Scotland (24 Nov) – The Department for Work and Pensions is trying to force thousands of staff back into workplaces and we need you to contact your MP or MSP to help us oppose it read more

NHS Digital and NHSX to be merged along with HEE into NHSE/I (25 Nov) – The health and social care secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced his intention to merge the body responsible for the education and training of the health workforce, Health Education England (HEE), with NHSE/I read more

Challenging the banter culture in the workplace (25 Nov) – Banter is supposedly “teasing or joking talk that is amusing and friendly”. But it can often be used to mask hate speech and bullying read more

On payday get involved in the PCS national campaign (24 Nov) – Our members are feeling the pinch more than ever as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, on payday we want them to get involved in our campaign to raise pay, pensions and living standards… We are holding a series of national campaign meetings around the UK. We want all members to go along, take part in the debate and help plan our campaigns at a national and local level. Look out for announcements on our events page, or email [email protected] for more details read more

Why we’ve voted yes in PCS British Council ballot (23 Nov) – “Management won’t listen unless we are prepared to act,” said one of our British Council members, explaining why they have voted yes in our consultative ballot over job losses and cuts at the organisation. The organisation is planning to close some overseas offices and reduce staffing numbers by 2,000 globally. Our electronic consultative ballot opened on 10 November and closes at noon on Friday (26) 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

 

CWU

Service Delivery ‘career pathways’ breakthrough set to benefit thousands (26 Nov) – Agreement has just been reached with Openreach Service Delivery (SD)  on improved  promotion opportunities for TMNE2 engineers that should see more than 3,000 receive significant pay uplifts over the next two years. While the talks in SD have taken slightly longer to reach their positive conclusion than parallel discussions in Fibre Network Delivery  – the welcome outcome of which was reported earlier this month the ‘career pathways’ deal in SD is even more significant in terms of the numbers that will benefit read more

Welcome reassurances for ISS members as BT Centre closure looms (25 Nov) – Robust intervention by the CWU on behalf of ISS security guards, who’d initially been told they’d have to reapply for their jobs to secure guaranteed employment at BT’s new London HQ when BT Centre closed on December 6, secured a swift  management clarification in October. But it has taken longer to secure similar guarantees of continuity of employment and Ts&Cs for scores of housekeepers and ‘front of house’ staff who faced the upheaval of separate TUPE transfers following the  shock announcement that ISS had not been successful in its tenders to replicate those functions at the company’s new ‘One Braham’ headquarters in Aldgate. Yesterday (Tuesday), however – with BT’s phased exit from its historic Newgate Street head office just two weeks away from its conclusion – intervention by the CWU secured the categorical assurances that impacted members have been craving for read more

 

GMB

Panasonic workers strike for third day in pay dispute (29 Nov) – GMB members at Panasonic Cardiff have walked out for a third time in a dispute over pay. Workers are also set to down tools on 6 December, with more dates expected to be announced soon. Today [Monday 29 November 2021] workers picketed the electronics giant’s Cardiff plant after the company revealed plans to impose a pay freeze on them for the second year running. GMB Union and Panasonic are scheduled to have talks with mediation service ACAS tomorrow [30 November 2021] read more

‘No wonder energy bills top concern for working parents’ (29 Nov) – GMB, the energy union, has responded to research by Action for Children showing energy bills are one of the top concerns of working parents read more

Amazon ambulance call outs surge 50% ahead of Black Friday (25 Nov) – Ambulance callouts for injuries and other health concerns at Amazon warehouses surged almost 50 per cent in the run up to Black Friday, a Freedom of Information investigation by GMB reveals today. The union obtained monthly data from four ambulance trusts that cover major Amazon sites. Analysis shows that, over a five-year period, November was the worst month for ambulance callouts read more

Black Friday protest across UK and unions and charities join forces to ‘Make Amazon Pay’ (25 Nov) – Black Friday protests will take place at Amazon sites across the UK today in anger at the company’s worldwide abuse of workers and the planet read more

Make water companies legally responsible for dumped raw sewage (25 Nov) – Water companies must be made legally responsible for the untreated sewage they dump, GMB Union says. The union has repeated its call as new figures show water companies spilled raw sewage into coastal bathing waters used by holidaymakers and families 5,517 times in the last year, an increase of more than 87% read more

Oil and gas decommissioning must lead to UK jobs (25 Nov) – GMB, the energy union, says oil and gas decommissioning must lead to jobs for UK yards. A report by the OGUK this week forecasted firms will spend some £16.6 billion on decommissioning work over the next decade 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

‘Bargain basement’ ambulances put staff and patients at risk (23 Nov) – South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) is putting staff and patients’ safety at risk with bargain basement vehicles, GMB Union has warned. Fiat vehicles – which Seccamb operates alongside its traditional fleet – have a significant safety flaw; the seat position has been moved so staff and patients cannot position the seat belt correctly across their collar bone and shoulder. GMB Union has written to its thousands of Secamb members warning them not to use the trust’s bargain basement purchases without seeking a personal risk assessment read more

Nottingham tram strike: temporary suspension of action (22 Nov) – GMB members working on Nottingham’s tram network have today announced that their planned strike action for Tuesday 23rd November will be temporarily suspended. This is due to a new pay offer presented by the company. Members of GMB union will now be balloted on the offer, before planning continues on further industrial action 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

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

GMB announces 5 days of strike action across 4 Berkshire Hospitals – GMB facilities management members are due to walk out on strike in a row over changes of NHS job descriptions and bandings. GMB, the union for all NHS workers, have issued notices to NHS Property Services for 5 days of strike action week commencing 29th November across 4 Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust Hospital sites where F/M services after privatisation are now provided by NHSPS to the Trust. The support services, including amongst others Housekeeping, Cleaning, Catering and Car parking are taking action because NHSPS are looking to change job titles, job specifications and bandings in a planned reorganisation of the entire workforce and service delivery model as the first step to moving away from their current NHS ones, therefore weakening and potentially breaking the current direct link to facilities staff’s existing NHS pay rates 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

There for You relaunches its COVID-19 response fund to include universal credit cuts (29 Nov) – With rising bills and other financial pressures, you might be eligible for a grant of up to £350. As Christmas approaches, with temperatures dropping and bills rising, financial pressures are mounting for many of the most vulnerable. But help is at hand. UNISON’s welfare charity, There for You, has re-launched the COVID-19 response fund, to support UNISON members whose household incomes have been affected during the pandemic read more

Help to improve flexible working proposals (29 Nov) – Sign the petition and respond to the consultation before it closes on Wednesday 1 December read more

The Health and Care Bill: All you need to know (26 Nov) – The government made last minute amendments to the Health and Care Bill this week – changes that will hit the poorest the hardest. Here’s all you need to know and where things are at the moment read more

Schools risk support staff exodus over pay, warns UNISON (26 Nov) – Many have reached a point where they simply can’t afford to stay in the job they love. More than two in five (42%) teaching assistants, caretakers, cleaners and other school support staff in England and Wales are actively looking for better paid jobs because of the rising cost of living and persistent low pay in education, according to a UNISON survey released today read more

Fairer funding for maintained nursery schools (25 Nov) – Remi Tayo, a UNISON member, joined MPs and colleagues from NEU and NAHT to hand in a petition to the Chancellor demanding fair funding read more

Staff ensuring health and care safety deserve fair pay (24 Nov) – Strike ballot to be launched for CQC workers. Staff at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are to be balloted ​over possible strike action after being given no pay rise this year ​despite the significant rise in the cost of living, says UNISON today read more

Staffing levels in care ‘dangerously low’ with dying residents denied dignified end, says UNISON survey (24 Nov) – Nearly a third (31%) of care staff say staffing levels are dangerously low, getting worse and negatively affecting the care provided, says a UNISON survey published today (Wednesday). The findings are based on responses from more than 1,600 care employees and reveal some dying residents are being denied a dignified end to their lives. This is because there are not enough staff to sit with them in their final hours, says the union 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

New Marie Curie pay ballot opens for RCN members (25 Nov) – RCN members employed by the charity are urged to take part in vote on improved offer. Our consultative ballot of RCN members working for Marie Curie is now open until 9am on 14 December, giving them the final say over an updated pay offer read more

RCN Wales Publishes Nursing in Numbers 2021 Report Revealing Current Workforce Statistics (23 Nov) – Nursing under pressure – Figures reveal that every week nurses give the Welsh NHS an additional 34,284 hours in overtime read more

‘Widespread disappointment and disbelief’ (23 Nov) – Government misses opportunity to protect patient care as it disregards RCN-backed amendments to the Health and Care Bill, despite broad support read more

 

NIPSA

NIPSA Members employed as Education Welfare Officers announce 15 days of Strike Action – 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 – 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 Financial Sustainability of Schools in England (25 Nov) – The report makes clear the perilous position of school finance at the local authority level. The deficit rose from £11 million in 2014-15 to £675 million in 2019-20 read more

Please 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 – 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 – 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

St Anne’s School & Sixth Form College / East Riding (Health & Safety) – 30 Nov-2 Dec [email protected]  [email protected]

Newham Sixth Form / Newham (Transfer of Employer) – 1 December [email protected]

 

NASUWT

Calls for students to be deployed as substitute teachers are misguided (29 Nov) – The NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union has commented on suggestions in the media that student teachers be deployed as substitute teachers in Northern Ireland Schools. The COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin Up to week 46 (21 November 2021) reports that 1072 school staff have contracted Covid in the past 4 weeks. Schools are under severe pressure to find cover staff read more

Manx government must invest in teachers’ pay (25 Nov) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has today submitted a pay claim for 2021/22 to the Isle of Man Government, arguing that teachers must be given a substantial, above inflation pay award. The claim highlights that the pay of Manx teachers has fallen by almost 30% in real terms since 2010 and warns of the consequences for recruitment and retention of teachers in the Isle of Man if pay levels are not addressed read more

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

Derisory ‘Improved’ pay Offer to Scotland’s Teachers is Rejected – The latest ‘improved’ pay offer to Scotland’s teachers has been unanimously rejected by the EIS Salaries Committee and, subsequently, by teachers’ representatives at today’s meeting of the Teachers’ Panel of the SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers). The offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) offers the same 1.22% pay award – already previously rejected by teaching unions – together with a meagre additional one-off payment. This has now been unanimously rejected by both the EIS Salaries Committee and the Teachers’ side of the SNCT read more

 

UCU

Vice chancellors misled over pension cuts by own employer body, new data shows (29 Nov) – UCU has accused employer body Universities UK (UUK) of ‘seriously misleading’ vice chancellors over pension cuts which UUK had claimed would amount to between 10% and 18%. It comes as staff at 37 universities in the UK are about to begin three consecutive days of strike action on Wednesday 1 December over employer cuts to retirement benefits read more

Victory for staff at three London colleges as deals are agreed on pay, leave, workload and lesson observations (26 Nov) – Agreement at Capital City College Group will see a new teaching and learning policy, measures to reduce workloads as well as a levelling of pay across the group and a one-off pay award. UCU members at Capital City College Group (CCCG) have this week agreed a deal after ten days of strike action. At CCCG, which includes City and Islington College, College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) and Westminster Kingsway College, an imposed open classroom model that would have allowed lecturers to be observed at any time by any manager has been abandoned in favour of three 15 to 20 minute visits a year, with notification. The imposed policy also  linked observation performance to capability, allowing staff to be fast tracked out of the college. This has also now been taken out. The deal will also see pay and holidays levelled across the group. Lecturers at CONEL will now – in line with other colleges in the group – be put on London weighting (worth £1,700) and also be moved onto the CCCG contract, which adds an additional £1,500 to their pay packets and provides three days extra holiday. UCU agreed a one-off payment of £700 pay award to be put in December packets for all staff (including business support staff not in UCU). UCU accepted this on the basis that fresh negotiations on a consolidated pay rise would begin after the Easter holiday for the 2022/3 pay award 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

Stop SLAPPS (25 Nov) – The NUJ has signed a letter in support of Catherine Belton, the publisher of Putin’s People, and others intimidated by aggressive lawsuits read more

NUJ “concerned and disappointed” that new mothers who lost out on Covid-aid payments will not be paid (24 Nov) – The Court of Appeal has ruled that self-employed women on maternity leave were indirectly discriminated against. About 75,000 self-employed women who took maternity leave lost out under the way the government Covid-19 aid package was calculated, and were indirectly discriminated against the Court of Appeal has ruled read more

 

Prospect

Natural England staff vote for industrial action over poverty pay (24 Nov) – Natural England staff in Prospect Union have voted to take industrial action over pay thanks to years of decreasing budgets, increased workloads and stagnating wages. 76% voted in favour of a strike with 84.7% voting in favour of action short of strike. The regulatory threshold was cleared. Industrial action is planned to commence on 4 January 2022 with action short of strike. If no progress is made then strike action will be taken read more

 

Equity

PACT Equity TV agreement covers child performers and SVOD originals for first time (24 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 read more

Have your say on improved flexible working for creative workers (23 Nov) – We have a huge opportunity over the next few weeks. The government is currently consulting trade unions, businesses and workers for their views on whether the law should be reformed to strengthen the right to work flexibly, and support the needs of working families. Currently, only employees have the right to request to work flexibly (for example requesting a job share) once they have 26 weeks’ continuous service, and this request can be rejected. Equity’s stance is clear: flexibility at work is good for our members, and for the industry. It supports the needs of parents and carers and reflects the massive change to working practices that have arisen as a result of the lockdown read more

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

 

USDAW

The Government was wrong to water down safety in stores says Usdaw, face coverings should have remained mandatory (27 Nov) – Retail trade union Usdaw wants the Government to be absolutely clear that it is a legal requirement in England for shoppers to wear face coverings again, after the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is detected in the UK. The union asserts that the Government was wrong to lift safety measures in stores on 19 July read more

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

 

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

United Sex Worker (USW) member wins anonymity in discrimination claim against major payment services provider (26 Nov) – A member of United Sex Workers (USW) has been awarded anonymity in a case against a major card payment machines provider, paving the way for a court battle against the company for discriminatory business practices against sex workers. USW hailed the decision as a significant win in a novel case challenging financial discrimination read more

UVW calls on charity to avert strike and live up to their mission statement (26 Nov) – United Voices of the World (UVW) has called on the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity CEO Louise Parkes to help avert a strike at the hospital by living up to their mission statement. Outsourced security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) are set to take strike action in early December, as they are currently on worse terms & conditions than other NHS workers. Giving the security guards, who are predominantly Black and brown migrant workers, inferior contracts, is an example of structural racism. UVW has called on the GOSH Charity, who are the biggest donor to the hospital, to intervene in the strike and call on the hospital to bring the security guards in-house on the same contracts as other NHS workers 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

Sheffield JustEat Couriers Set to Strike Protest against “Shocking” Pay Cut (23 Nov) – On Sunday 28 November at 12 noon, Sheffield food delivery couriers from the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) are protesting outside of Sheffield Town Hall to demand that Stuart delivery cancels a planned pay cut of nearly 25%. Having previously been promised a postponement to the cuts in October 2021, couriers are set to strike from 6 December after the corporation that delivers for JustEat decided to push ahead with the cuts next month read more

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

SIPTU calls on Government to support Bill providing greater rights to migrant workers (26 Nov) – SIPTU representatives have called on the Government to reconsider its opposition to the Employment Permits (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021 which if enacted would provide migrant workers with increased rights, including language training and improved sick leave provision read more

SIPTU members in Local Employment Services in county Offaly announce industrial action (25 Nov) – SIPTU members providing Local Employment Services (LES) in county Offaly have served notice of industrial action, which will commence on Monday, 6th December, in a dispute resulting from the government terminating its contract with the local community sector companies who employ them read more

SIPTU calls for reduced capacity on public transport to protect workers and passengers (24 Nov) – SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 24th November) written to the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, calling for a reduction in passenger capacity on public transport in order to protect workers and the public from an increased risk of Covid-19 infection read more

 

 

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

 

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

FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP   or STOP The CUTS  Likes page

ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE