NSSN 567: Support the Winter Strike Wave!

January 18, 2022 in Bulletins

Just a couple of weeks into 2022, we are seeing a growing wave of disputes as workers fight the cost of living squeeze and union victimisation. We will continue to report on these struggles and build support for them. You’ll find details in this, our weekly bulletin.

More and more, the bosses are being pushed back and we continue to report on significant victories being won. And it won’t be lost on workers that the employers’ Tory government are wracked by crisis.

Support the strike wave!

 

 

NSSN news

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]

UVW strike at Great Ormond St Hospital

UVW strike at Great Ormond St Hospital

 

Union News

RMT

BREAKING NEWS!! Heroic West Coast train cleaners strike for pay justice (19 Jan) – Atalian Servest cleaners strike action tomorrow in pursuit of fair pay. Heroic train cleaners working to keep Avanti West Coast trains clean and safe for passengers will begin strike action tomorrow in pursuit of fair pay. The cleaners, who have worked throughout the pandemic to keep essential transport services running, are employed by Atalian Servest Limited, a multi-national outsourcing company based in France. Like many outsourced cleaners, they are paid £9.68 per hour, less than the Real Living Wage and have no company sick pay, meaning that they frequently come into work when sick because they cannot make ends meet read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Rail cleaner Covid heroes ballot begins (18 Jan) – Hundreds of Rail cleaner Covid heroes begin voting for strike action across the South East. RAIL UNION RMT will begin balloting cleaners today employed by outsourcing company Churchill on four separate contracts in the South East for strike action in pursuit of fair pay. The historic strike ballot is the latest phase of a long-running campaign for pay justice by cleaners who have been described as heroes for working throughout the pandemic to ensure that trains running on Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern, Southeastern, High Speed 1 and Eurostar trains are safe for the public to use read more

RMT on COVID-linked rail reductions (17 Jan) – Train companies continue to restrict services. General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “No one should underestimate the impact that COVID is having on transport staff and there is a logic to adjusting services accordingly. However, any attempt to use this crisis to cynically bulldoze through permanent cuts to services and staffing levels would meet the stiffest resistance from this trade union. The current situation exposes existing shortages of staff and shows just how the transport companies have been winging it ‎on the cheap for years. That has to stop…” read more

Next phase of Night ‎Tube strike action goes ahead (14 Jan) – Next phase of Night ‎Tube strike action goes ahead as LU block progress at ACAS this week. LONDON TRANSPORT UNION RMT said today that the next phase of Night Tube strike action goes ahead from the evening through to the early hours of Sunday after LU bosses blocked an attempt by RMT negotiators to make progress in ACAS talks this week. RMT reps had made it clear that they would be in a position to recommend suspension of the action – which runs every weekend through to June – if London Underground agreed‎ a new set of reasonable and realistic union proposals. That approach was rejected out of hand read more

Cleaners serve notice of strike ballot (13 Jan) – Historic four-contract dispute with Churchill. RAIL UNION RMT has served notice to an outsourcing company that on the 18th January it will be balloting cleaners on four of its contracts in the South-East for industrial action as part of a dispute over pay and justice for essential workers. The historic strike ballot is the latest phase of a long-running campaign for pay justice by cleaners who have worked throughout the pandemic to ensure that trains running on Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern, Southeastern, High Speed 1 and Eurostar trains are safe for the public to use read more

RMT pledges to fight ScotRail ticket office plans (12 Jan) – RMT pledges to fight plans to cut ticket office hours at 120 ScotRail stations and warns that cuts will create a “muggers paradise” across the network. RMT pledges to fight plans to cut ticket office hours at 120 ScotRail stations and warns that cuts will create a “muggers paradise” across the network. RAIL UNION RMT today condemned an announcement by Abellio ScotRail that it is proposing to cut opening hours at nearly all of its ticket offices across Scotland. The Company has published proposals to reduce ticket office hours at 120 stations, including the complete closure of three ticket offices. RMT is wholly opposed to cuts to ticket offices and believes that these will deter passengers from the rail network and make it less accessible for disabled and elderly passengers read more

RMT slams Department for Transport (12 Jan) – Reckless and dangerous extension to HGV drivers’ hours. TRANSPORT UNION RMT today described the Department for Transport’s plans to further extend HGV drivers’ hours as “reckless” and “dangerous” as the Government attempts to respond to the impacts of the Omicron wave on the road haulage sector. This extension to HGV driver’s hours follows a similar extension last year and RMT claim that the Government could move to make these changes permanent rather than an emergency measure to deal with the supply chain crisis that began last Summer. RMT is also furious that the Department for Transport gave transport unions just 24 hours to respond to their consultation on these changes read more

RMT Members vote yes for Tube strike (10 Jan) – London Transport Union RMT confirms members vote yes for action as London Underground refuse to give assurances on jobs, pensions and working conditions. LONDON TRANSPORT UNION RMT confirmed that members voted yes for strike action and action short of a strike in a ballot of over ten thousand members across all grades of LU staff that closed today. 94% of members voted to strike. The ballot took place after LUL members were refused assurances on jobs, pensions and working conditions in the midst of an on-going financial crisis driven by central Government. The union’s LUL reps and executive committee are considering the result but says that it will take whatever action is necessary to prevent staff paying the price for a financial crisis that is not of their making read more

New wave of Tube strike action (10 Jan) – RMT confirms new wave of strike action by tube drivers over imposition of rosters. TUBE UNION RMT today confirmed a new wave of strike action by tube drivers over the outrageous imposition of rosters‎ by London Underground bosses. Following an overwhelming vote for action by drivers on the Metropolitan Line based at the Neasden Depot the union has announced the following programme of strikes; All members are instructed NOT TO BOOK ON for any shifts which commence between:

  • 11:30 hours on Thursday 20th January to 11:29 hours on Friday 21st January 2022
  • 11:30 hours on Thursday 10th February to 11:29 hours on Friday 11th February 2022 read more

 

TSSA

TSSA demands government “comes clean” on future for rail (14 Jan) – TSSA has written to the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps seeking answers on government plans to slash £2 billion from the operating costs of England’s railways. In the letter, sent by TSSA leader Manuel Cortes, the union asks whether the £2bn cuts are still sought and what level of service will be provided for passengers. The union also asks the secretary of state to confirm that measures brought in by government will not lead to compulsory job losses read more

TSSA comment on ScotRail ticket office closures (11 Jan) – 123 ScotRail booking offices are faced with closures or cuts to hours. TSSA today condemned ScotRail plans to close three booking offices and reduce the opening hours of a hundred and twenty more as “completely the wrong step” read more

 

Unite

BREAKING NEWS!! Unite serves notice of strike ballot of workers at Northern Ireland local authorities, education authority and housing executive (18 Jan) – Northern Ireland Unite members to vote on industrial action alongside council workers in England and Wales. Union urges members to vote yes for 10 per cent after strong rejection of employers’ insulting 1.75 per cent pay offer. Unite today has served notice of a ballot of its members in Northern Ireland’s councils, the Education Authority and Housing Executive on strike action in pursuit of a 10 percent pay increase. The ballot will open on Monday 24 January and remain open for four weeks. The disaggregated strike ballot was called after the union rejected an insulting below-inflation 1.75 per cent pay offer for 2020-2021. Workers are seeking a 10 per cent increase to address historic wage erosion as pay deals have fallen ever further behind inflation. With the cost of living surging above seven percent in recent days, workers are desperate to defend themselves. Any industrial action coming is likely to heavily impact waste collection services, school bus schedules and housing executive maintenance. The union’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, encouraged Unite members to use their ballots, make a stand for a 10 per cent pay rise, and vote ‘yes’ read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Unite demands Scottish Government support over mandatory vaccinations introduced by offshore operator CNR (18 Jan) – Unite Scotland has today (18 January) demanded intervention by the Scottish government in response to offshore contractor Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) International introducing mandatory vaccinations. The policy,  which came into full effect on 14 January, is believed to be the first of any offshore contractor or operator to demand that its workforce receive Covid-19 related vaccinations or not to return to work read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Tracey Scholes is back in the driving seat (18 Jan) – Tracey Scholes, the first woman bus driver at the Manchester depot, will continue to drive her bus after her employer the Go Ahead Group finally agreed to Unite’s demand for her hours and her pay to be protected. Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Tracey Scholes is back in the driving seat where she belongs. Tracey’s supporters have good reason to celebrate. Go Ahead have finally come to their senses and agreed to Unite’s demand for Tracey’s hours and pay to be protected. It is a great victory and a testimony to Tracey’s spirit, and the solidarity of all her union colleagues, to secure this change of mind by her Go Ahead employers. The bus company could have avoided all the damage to its reputation here and all over the globe. Instead, the company allowed its local management to procrastinate and blunder.  As the first woman bus driver at the Manchester depot, with 34 years unblemished service, Tracey deserved to be treated with dignity. It’s terrific news that she can continue to drive her bus.” Tracey will drive the 52 bus route and will be paid for a guaranteed 25 hours a week. The offer, accepted by Tracey, was put on the table by Go North West for the first time read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Luton airport workers secure pay increase to end pay dispute (18 Jan) – Workers employed by contractor Wilson James, who undertake passenger mobility services at Luton Airport, have secured a significant pay increase following strike action. The workers took four days of strike action at the end of 2021 after the company tried to implement a pay freeze. Following negotiations the front of house workers at the company were offered a 4.3 per cent increase while the drivers, who have to possess a HGV 2 licence, will receive a 20 per cent increase. Prior to the pay deal, the front of house staff were on the minimum wage rate of £8.91 an hour while the drivers were paid only £10 an hour read more

Threat to flights as HGV drivers at top Heathrow airline catering company are balloted for strike action on pay and employment conditions (17 Jan) – About 100 HGV drivers at premium aviation catering firm DO & CO at Heathrow are being balloted for strike action over pay and employment conditions, following scrutiny of its stewardship of workers’ pensions. Unite the union said that any industrial action would cause major disruption to mainly BA flights, particularly long haul, during the school holidays as food has to be on board for pilots and cabin crew as part of their employment contracts. As a result, Unite warned that flights could be cancelled. Unite has already reported the Vienna-based company, whose clients include top airlines such as BA and Cathay Pacific, to The Pensions Regulator over allegations that workers’ pensions are not being invested properly. The union, which represents a majority of the workforce, is also angry that the bosses refuse to discuss a pay claim or update the recognition agreement that covers the employment conditions of staff. The ballot of the HGV drivers closes on Friday 11 February – it is the first time that Unite has called such a ballot at this operation. The current bout of industrial discontent stems from the transfer (TUPE) of 1,800 workers from Gate Gourmet and DHL Supply Service Chain to DO & CO Event & Airline Catering Ltd in the summer of 2020 at the height of the pandemic read more

Coventry bin strikes stepped up to ‘all-out strike’ as council fails to make an offer to meet union demands for a decent pay rise (17 Jan) – The failure of Coventry council to tackle low pay rates for its refuse collection drivers has resulted in an escalation in strike action. It has been announced today (Monday 17 January) that strikes will intensify from Monday 31 January, with workers taking ‘all-out’ strike action from  Monday to Friday each week. The strikes are scheduled to continue until Wednesday 23 March. An overtime ban is already in place read more

Demonstration at Coventry council as councillors urged to act to end bin strikes dispute (17 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, will hold a demonstration prior to Coventry council’s full council meeting, to put pressure on councillors to take action to end the ongoing bin strike, which is a result of the council failing to pay its workers a fair rate for the job.

WHEN: Tuesday 18 January between 11:30 and 13:30; WHERE: Coventry Council House, CV1 5RR

The full council meeting precedes the seventh day of strike action (Wednesday 19 January), in the dispute over pay and working conditions. Strikes are scheduled to continue into March read more

Coventry bin worker’s strike fund – Unity Trust Bank; Name of Account: Unite WM/7116 Branch Coventry Local Government; Account number: 20302665 Sort code: 60-83-01; send messages of solidarity to [email protected]

Economic forecasters to strike in a row over inflation (17 Jan) – Economists and researchers at the world famous NIESR (National Institute of Economic and Social Research) will stage a two week strike in a row over two years of below inflation pay offers. The strike begins on Friday 21st January and ends on Friday 4 February. The action means that there is a very real possibility that the forthcoming forecasts for the UK and global economies, which have been published quarterly since the 1980s, will not go ahead. NIESR staff will be unable to deliver on project work for external partners and funders, and will be unable to participate in events and other dissemination activities. The RPI reached 7.1 per cent at the end of 2021 but NIESR bosses are sticking to their decision to give staff 0% for 2020-21 and just 2% for 2021-22. The pay offer fails to keep up with the rising cost of living and represents a significant pay cut in real terms read more

After special meeting of Belfast City Council votes in support of Regina Coeli House workforce, Unite calls on Legion of Mary to meet with its workforce and community reps (17 Jan) – Cross-party vote unanimously seeks a meeting with the Bishop of Down & Connor Noel Treanor and Communities’ Minister Deirdre Hargey on the threatened closure. Special council meeting on day that thousands sign online workforce petition in support of Regina Coeli House read more

Unite launches petition to save Northern Ireland women’s homeless hostel, as management suspends workers and tells residents to leave (15 Jan) – Workers and residents maintain ‘work-in’ to save Northern Ireland’s only women-only hostel for homeless and vulnerable. Unite members working at Regina Coeli House have received letters from management suspending them on grounds of alleged ‘serious breaches of the safety and security’ of residents at the women’s hostel. Meanwhile residents have been told that they must leave on taxis provided to alternative and uncertain mixed accommodation which may not be appropriate to their needs. Despite these developments, workers and residents will continue their work-in to save the future of Northern Ireland’s only women’s-only hostel providing shelter and support to homeless and vulnerable women. Supporters from across all parts of Belfast have gathered outside to show their solidarity. Unite’s General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “The stand of the workers and residents at Regina Coeli House has struck a chord with people across Northern Ireland, and indeed across these islands. The suspension of workers and threats to evict vulnerable women residents at Regina Coeli House are a disgraceful development – the workers and residents have the full support of this union. The Legion of Mary, the NI Housing Executive and Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey must think again. They must find a solution to the crisis which avoids the threatened closure of the only all-woman hostel in Northern Ireland…” read more

Workers commence 24-7 work-in occupation of Regina Coeli House in West Belfast (12 Jan) – Staff and residents at hostel for homeless women demand urgent intervention by Communities’ Minister Deirdre Hargey. Unite industrial and community members establish a solidarity camp outside the Regina Coeli. Workers at Regina Coeli House have commenced a 24-7 ‘work-in’ occupation of the hostel to demand Ministerial intervention to save the facility. The house faces closure at the end of February with staff members having already received advanced notice of redundancy from February 27th read more

Unite seeks urgent meeting with Communities’ Minister over impending closure of Regina Coeli Women’s Hostel in West Belfast (11 Jan) – Minimum pay workers receive notice of pending redundancy for February 27th at only women-only facility offering accommodation and addiction support for homeless in Northern Ireland. Regina Coeli house, at Lakeglen avenue in West Belfast, has provided a refuge to homeless and vulnerable women since 1935 read more

Murder of Ashling Murphy must be catalyst for change (14 Jan) – Unite Regional Women’s Committee backs call for single Government department to address violence against women. Trade union Unite, which represents workers throughout Ireland, today (Friday) said that Wednesday’s murder of teacher Ashling Murphy must act as a catalyst for change, and endorsed the call made last month by the National Women’s Council for violence against women to be housed under one Government department read more

Improved Covid grant for Welsh taxi drivers welcomed by Unite (15 Jan) – Unite Wales has today welcomed the decision by Welsh government to double the grant funding available to taxi drivers to cover their loss of income over the festive period. The earnings of Welsh taxi drivers took a huge hit as a result of the introduction of tighter covid restrictions in Wales. Taxi drivers will now be able to claim up to £1,000 if their takings were reduced by 50 per cent, making the grant more accessible for the many who need it. The grant available has been raised from an initial figure of £500 read more

South Yorkshire bus strikes off as Stagecoach drivers secure ‘huge’ pay win (14 Jan) – Bus strikes across South Yorkshire have been called off after more than 560 Stagecoach drivers voted to accept a ‘huge’ 10.7 per cent pay increase. The pay deal, negotiated by Unite, the UK’s leading union, will see drivers pay increase by more than £1 an hour. From May, drivers in Sheffield will see their hourly rate rise from £10.50 to £11.60, while drivers’ pay in Barnsley and Rotherham will go from £10.80 to £11.91 read more

Nottingham bus drivers celebrate ‘excellent’ pay win (14 Jan) – More than 400 Nottingham bus drivers are celebrating an ‘excellent’ pay win negotiated by Unite, the UK’s leading union. NCT wages will now increase by £1 an hour, meaning drivers will see their pay rise between 8.3 per cent and 9.3 per cent. Starting rates will increase to £11.32 an hour, while the top rate of pay will rise to £13.10 an hour. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an excellent pay win for our NCT members. I commend Unite’s NCT reps, whose hard work and dedication was vital during negotiations…” read more

Unite to fight Allevard Springs proposed closure (13 Jan) – Unite has indicated it will to try and reverse the announcement today by Allevard Springs that it intends to close its factory at Clydach Vale, resulting in the loss of 60 jobs read more

Unite calls on peers to put NHS patients and staff before private sector in bid to halt assault on NHS in England (13 Jan) – Unite the union is calling on members of the House of Lords to back amendments to the Health and Care Bill that would remove some of the worst aspects of legislation that will destabilise and fracture the NHS in England. With the staffing crisis in the NHS and care services, record high waiting lists and the lowest bed provision in Europe, Unite believes this is the worst Bill, at the worst possible time, and does nothing to address the crisis in health services read more

Actavo and British steel face an escalation of industrial action in 2022 (13 Jan) – Unite is calling on both British Steel and Actavo to enter into tripartite negotiations with Unite. After 12 weeks of strike action in 2021 and now an 83 per cent vote in favour of more action in 2022, the union is calling on Actavo and British Steel to take responsibility for the ‘mess’ they have created by refusing to apply the national agreement and pay workers the rate for the job. The workers are in a long running dispute with their employer Actavo (UK). But Unite says that the client, British Steel, must also take responsibility for this long running dispute. Problems began in 2019, as a result of the scaffolders not being paid in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). The rates for the workforce are currently between 10-15 per cent (depending on specific roles) below these rates. The workers maintain 500 scaffolding structures at the British Steel site read more

Mercedes Benz Retail Group workers to strike for four days in pay dispute (13 Jan) – The technician workforce at Mercedes Benz Retail Group (MBRG) will strike for four days later this month in a pay dispute amid accusations that the bosses are adopting ‘divide and rule’ tactics over pay. Unite the union said that its 185 members across nine sites had voted before Christmas by majorities of 80 to 100 per cent to hold strike action, after they faced a second year without a pay rise. The workers at the MBRG sites – Brentford, Brooklands, Colindale, Croydon, Heathrow, Loughton, Temple Fortune, Stratford and Watford – will strike between Tuesday 25 January and Friday 28 January. Talks have been held since Christmas and the management offered a 1.5 per pay rise that was rejected by Unite’s members. Since then, the union said that the bosses had attempted ‘divide and rule’ tactics by offering a pay rise to non-Unite employee read more

Unite blasts energy bosses at OVO after they call for 2000 job cuts (13 Jan) – With one in four jobs at stake, union demands company bosses must ‘open the books’ before any negotiations can take place. Union chiefs say OVO bosses have precipitated the crisis by “blundering and plundering” the company in recent years. Today (13 January) the energy company OVO, created in 2007, when the energy market in the UK was diversified, announced its plan to make between 1700 to 2000 staff redundant. The emergency plan to deal with OVO’s current crisis was announced to OVO staff this morning. Early in 2020, OVO took over the retail base of energy giant SSE. That transformed OVO’s annual turnover by £3 billion, from £1.45 billion to £4.46 billion. Unite warned, at the time, that the move was a huge risk which could jeopardise OVO’s future read more

Unite’s NHS workers call for Johnson’s resignation over ‘disastrous’ handling of Covid pandemic (12 Jan) – Unite’s national health committee, representing 100,000 health workers, this afternoon (Wednesday 12 January) called for Boris Johnson to resign as prime minister due to his ‘disastrous’ handling of the pandemic read more

Strike fears at Thwaites in Warwickshire end as workers secure substantial pay increase (12 Jan) – The threat of strike action at Leamington Spa based dumper truck makers Thwaites has ended after workers overwhelmingly accepted a vastly improved pay offer. Over 60 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, had voted for strike action. However, following the ballot result, last ditch negotiations were held and the company made a vastly improved pay offer which members accepted. The workers, who are highly skilled and undertake various roles on the company’s production line, will receive an increase of 5.25 per cent backdated to September last year, the anniversary date for the annual pay increase and above the retail price index (RPI) rate for the time. The company had initially offered a pay increase of just three per cent read more

Unite calls for government to reverse fit note relaxation (12 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is calling on the government to cancel the relaxation to the fit note system, which the union believes is leading to attacks on employees conditions and could damage workers’ health. Meanwhile, doctors have described the changes to the fit note regime as a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared to the challenges faced by GPs read more

Two long Covid Bedford council care workers rely on food banks, as ‘heartless’ bosses stop pay (12 Jan) – Two committed Bedford Borough Council care workers are relying on food banks to survive, after the council stopped paying them due to absences caused by long Covid used up all their sick pay allowance. Unite the union said this case raised issues for other UK workplaces where employees also suffer from long Covid and called for council bosses to pay its two members full sick pay while they recover, a discretion that is allowed under the ‘Green Book’ national agreement read more

Sheffield Stagecoach bus strikes suspended from Thursday after pay offer (11 Jan) – Bus strikes in Sheffield by Stagecoach drivers will be suspended from Thursday (13 January) after a new pay offer was put forward in talks today (11 January), Unite, the UK’s leading union, said. The offer means that all Stagecoach bus strikes affecting South Yorkshire will have been suspended by Thursday, after a separate offer was put to drivers in Barnsley and Rotherham yesterday (10 January). The Barnsley and Rotherham will be suspended from tomorrow. Drivers in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham will now vote on the deals put forward by Stagecoach, with the result of the ballots expected early next week read more

Barnsley and Rotherham Stagecoach strikes suspended from Wednesday (10 Jan) – Bus strikes in Barnsley and Rotherham by Stagecoach drivers will be suspended from Wednesday (12 January) after a new pay offer was put forward in talks today (10 January). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said the offer, made during talks mediated by the conciliation service Acas, only applies to staff in depots in Barnsley and Rotherham. All out strike action will continue amongst Stagecoach’s Sheffield staff until an acceptable offer is put forward by the company. Acas talks between Unite and Stagecoach will continue tomorrow (11 January) with the sole focus of resolving the Sheffield dispute read more

Unite warns of ‘jobs catastrophe’ in energy sector if government does not intervene in energy crisis. “Tens of thousands” of jobs at stake if government does not act (11 Jan) – Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, says the debate on soaring energy prices has, until now, ignored ‘the coming jobs crisis’. During 2021 more than 30 energy firms went bust and with that 100s of jobs were lost. However, research by Unite, the UK’s leading union, suggests that, as the energy crisis escalates this year, jobs losses in the sector will rise exponentially. There has been considerable debate about the continuing rising costs of energy. In 2021 wholesale gas prices rose by 133 per cent and wholesale electricity prices by 111 per cent (source Ofgem) read more

Heathrow airlines facing refuelling and ground handling misery as Menzies workers ballot for strike action (11 Jan) – Over 400 workers employed by ground handling and refuelling company Menzies will be balloted for strike action from this Thursday (13 January) in a dispute over pay. The company, unlike its competitors dnata and Swissport, has refused to enter into meaningful negotiations over outstanding pay increases for its workers for either 2020 or 2021. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The UK is facing a cost of living crisis and our members at Menzies realise that a two year pay freeze will make it impossible to make ends meet read more

Go Ahead can avoid a reputational catastrophe by reinstating Tracey Scholes (10 Jan) – So far over 25,000 have signed the petition calling for Tracey’s reinstatement. Supporters of bus driver Tracey Scholes, the first woman bus driver at the Manchester depot, will be out in full force this Tuesday to demand her reinstatement ahead of her final appeal against the blind intransigence of Go Ahead management (see notes to editors). So far over 25,000 have signed the petition calling for Tracey’s reinstatement and over a thousand people have written to the CEO Christian Schreyer calling on him to intervene. https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/support-the-1st-female-bus-driver-at-queens-road-she-deserves-better read more

Bumper profits B&Q’s supply chain hit by all out pay strikes and spreading industrial unrest (10 Jan) – More than 450 Wincanton workers at B&Q’s national distribution warehouse in Worksop have escalated previous industrial action over poverty pay to an all-out strike, severely impacting store deliveries across the country. Unite, the UK’s leading union, warned further disruption is looming at a second national B&Q distribution centre in Cambuslang, Scotland, after GXO lorry drivers voted to take strike action in response to a below inflation pay offer. HGV drivers employed on behalf of B&Q by GXO in England are also considering pay strikes, which would impact the DIY giant’s nationwide distribution centre in Doncaster as well as further disrupt the Worksop site read more

Strike action set to hit Dalkeith based FLB print firm (10 Jan) – Unite the union has today (10 January) confirmed that around 110 workers at print and publishing firm FLB Group in Dalkeith, which owns the Filofax and Letts brands, will take strike action this week in a dispute over pay. The strike action will take place on Wednesday (12 January) at 6am and conclude at 05:59am on Thursday. It is the first of a series of 24 hour stoppages commencing every Wednesday into Thursday until 31 March. Some 95.7 per cent of the eligible workforce previously voted in support of strike action in late November on an 84.4 per cent turnout. The pay dispute originates from early 2021 when Unite’s members were informed by FLB that there would be no pay rise. Due to pressure from Unite, the company made several unsatisfactory offers that ended with a below inflation two-year offer of 2.75 per cent. Unite is demanding a six per cent pay increase at a time when the cost of living is at a ten-year high. The Retail Prices Index stood at 7.1 per cent in November 2021 read more

First Manchester bus drivers to begin strike action next week – Commuters in Greater Manchester have been warned to expect severe disruption to bus services from Monday (10 January) as bus drivers employed by First Manchester begin strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions. The strike on Monday and Tuesday 11 January will go ahead after last minute peace talks held today (Friday 7 January) failed to make progress. The 300 plus drivers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, recorded a 99 per cent vote in favour of strike action. Several rounds of negotiations have been held but broke down as First Manchester failed to make an offer which met workers’ expectations read more

Strike action by Turners of Soham logistic drivers set to impact major aviation companies – Logistic drivers working for Turners of Soham based out of Grangemouth are set to begin strike action tomorrow (6 January) in a dispute over pay. The logistic drivers work on the Q8 Aviation Deliveries contract which provides fuel services for a number of major aviation companies. The strike action follows 100% of Unite members voting to take strike action, on a turnout of 100% at the end of December 2021, following a lack of progress after months of negotiations with the company. The current wave of strike action ends on 14 January at 24:00 hours with further dates to be planned in the coming weeks. Unite’s members based at Grangemouth have been offered an 8.7% increase, despite the same company awarding its drivers in the North West of England 17.5% in October of last year read more

Transport for London bosses ‘declare war’ as seven workers suspended at crisis-hit Woolwich Ferry – Transport for London (TfL) bosses were today (Tuesday 21 December) accused of ‘declaring war’ on the Woolwich Ferry’s workforce by Unite the union, as seven workers were suspended with no reason given. Unite also said that there needs to be an urgent investigation into so-called ‘technical issues’ that mean the troubled ferry operation will be out of action until the New Year. The union has, therefore, called off planned strike action in the first fortnight of January, due to start on Monday 3 January. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We are also demanding an investigation into the on-going technical difficulties with the ferry which means there will be no ferry service until sometime in the New Year. As a result, we will be suspending at least the first two weeks of our industrial action in January. The strikes, once they commence, are due to run until the end of March…” read more

10 days of January strikes at Cambus over pay set to cause travel chaos in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Unite warns – About 400 workers at Cambus, who have not had a pay rise since April 2019, have voted to hold 10 days of strike action next month, starting on Tuesday 4 January, Unite the union said today (Tuesday 21 December). Unite said its members –  drivers, engineers, cleaners and shunters –  based at Cambridge, Fenstanton and Peterborough had voted by 96 per cent to hold the strike days which will run from 4 January through to Thursday 20 January. 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 this month for the pay year 2021/22 – at a time when the RPI rate of inflation has soared to 7.1 per cent read more

Luton airport poverty pay strikes extended into New Year – Poverty pay strikes by Luton airport passenger assistance workers have been extended into the New Year, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 21 December). A new round of strike action by workers employed by contractor Wilson James will begin on 31 December and end on 4 January. Front of house workers are paid only the minimum wage of £8.91 an hour, while the drivers who transport passengers to and from planes and are required to possess a class 2 HGV licence receive just £10 an hour. Luton airport passengers are already facing disruption to their Christmas travel plans, after the workers began their first-round of industrial action on 19 December, with the strikes ending on 23 December read more

Support striking Scunthorpe scaffolders – The workers are losing between 10-15% in pay because of Actavo’s refusal to pay scaffolders in line with the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). Unite has also called on the client, British Steel, to take responsibility for this long running dispute 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

Chep workers in Manchester to extend strikes as pallet shortage deepens – Workers employed by pallet makers Chep UK Limited, are set to embark on all out continuous strike action from this Friday (17 December) in a dispute over pay. The workers, who belong to Unite, the UK’s leading union, have already taken four days of strike action since the strike began earlier this month. They are stepping up their action as there has been no engagement or negotiations with the company since the dispute began read more

New Year Sheerness dock strikes will impact supply of 2022 plate Volkswagen Group cars – Strikes by Sheerness dock workers employed by GB Terminals will impact the supply of new plate Volkswagen Group vehicles next year, including Audi, Porsche and Skoda models, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 15 December). Unite members, who process vehicles for dispatch that arrive in Sheerness by car transporter ferries, voted for strike action over plans by GB Terminals that will see more than 50 workers impacted by job cuts and changes to minimum overtime hours. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “GB Terminals is trying to maximise profits by targeting its hardworking staff. GB Terminals should understand that we will defend our striking Sheerness members’ jobs, pay and conditions to the hilt.” The workers will hold four 24 hour strikes in January, 21 days of strike action in February and 20 days of strike action in March read more

East Lancashire NHS Trust intransigence forces new period of strike action by biomedical scientists – East Lancashire NHS Trust intransigence forces new period of strike action by biomedical scientists. Bosses at East Lancashire NHS Trust must shoulder the blame for a new 12 week strike which starts today (15 December). Blackburn and Burnley biomedical scientists will re-start strike action today (Wednesday 15 December) in a dispute over unpaid wages. Union negotiators met with the Trust on Tuesday (7 December) last week in an attempt to identify a solution to the dispute. It was an opportunity to avoid further strike action and to re-establish union / Trust relations. On the eve of the strike, the Trust had still failed to take up the opportunity to end the dispute read more

Huge mandate for strike action against low pay and exploitation at Serco and Barts NHS Trust – Hundreds of key NHS workers, employed by the giant outsourcing company, Serco, have voted for industrial action across Barts Health NHS Trust in a battle against low pay and exploitation. With a 97% vote in favour of industrial action the workers are now armed with a clear mandate. Unless there is an agreement on pay and conditions, strikes will be set for January 2022. Serco Group PLC had a turnover of £3.9 billion last year but the multinational is offering staff just a 1 per cent pay hike. The mainly Black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAEM) staff, which include cleaners and porters, are paid up to 15 per cent less than directly employed NHS staff. Unite has branded the offer an “insult” to the workers who risked their lives at the height of the pandemic, and continue to put themselves at risk. Serco and Barts now have an opportunity to reach an agreement with Unite and prevent a strike in the New Year read more

RNAD Coulport nuclear naval base workers set to strike – Unite’s pay dispute with the ABL Alliance at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) Coulport is to escalate, with around 70 workers set to take strike action. Unite Scotland members, who provide specialist services for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines, will start 24-hour strike action on 16 and 20 December, in addition to an overtime which has been ongoing since 16 November. Further days of strike action are scheduled on 11 January, 25 January, 8 February, and 22 February 2022, if there is no progress in pay negotiations. To date, the ABL Alliance employers have refused to meet the RPI inflation pay claim (3.8% – July) made by Unite read more

Strike action by Ponticelli/Semco workers in North Sea ‘rock solid’  – Unite the union today (6 December) confirmed that strike action by around 300 members working for Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd has been ‘rock solid’ in the North Sea. The strike action is over a pay dispute with an improved pay offer being recently rejected by Unite members by 85% on an 80% return. It is scheduled to take place over a series of days until late February 2022, including a permanent overtime ban, unless there is ‘significant movement’ by Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd (Full List of dates below). Unite’s members involved in the strike action work on the Total Energies contract on the following assets; Alisa FSO, Culzean, Dunbar, Elgin Franklin, Gryphon FPSO, North Alwyn & Shetland Gas Plant. Unite’s Ponticelli UK Ltd members previously voted overwhelmingly 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 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

 

PCS

BREAKING NEWS!! Government plans to make members pay for pensions shambles (18 Jan) – It has now been confirmed that the government has quietly changed the outcome of the 2016 pension scheme valuations which means it is making scheme members pay for the shambles it has made of their pensions. In correspondence from the Treasury, PCS was told that the cost of remedying the McCloud judgement – which found that the government had discriminated against members based on age – should fall on members’ shoulders. This contribution the government is asking member to make to their pension will wipe out the 2% overpayments they are still owed from the government and have been owed since 2019. So far from rectifying the situation, ministers have made it much worse. This latest development has caused anger across the public sector unions and an application for a judicial review has been made jointly with GMB, FBU, POA and Royal College of Nursing. Members can still write to their MP and ask them to support this application and the pensions campaign more broadly read more

HMRC announces RCDTS to close (17 Jan) – HMRC has announced that its anti-union “subsidiary”, RCDTS, is to close. Some HMRC IT staff are also facing the threat of privatisation. After months of prevaricating, HMRC has announced that the anti-union, “wholly-owned subsidiary of HMRC”, Revenue and Customs Digital Technology Services (RCDTS), will be broken-up. Part of RCDTS will be re-incorporated into HMRC and part of it will be fully privatised read more

PCS serves notice of strike ballot at the British Council (14 Jan) – The statutory ballot opens on 21 January and closes on 25 February and will include all UK-based staff and UK-appointed staff overseas. The statutory ballot follows the successful consultative ballot in November last year where 80% supported strike action on nearly an 80% turnout. The results of the consultative ballot were presented to senior management, however they would not agree to halt the ‘transformation’ process. Without intervention, there will be job cuts of 20%, with some roles privatised and allowances cut for staff overseas. Unfortunately, the British Council believe that the changes are inevitable, including compulsory redundancies read more

PCS lodges national pay claim ahead of national ballot 14 February to 21 March (14 Jan) – Throughout the Covid crisis, the government has rightly heaped praise on workers in the civil service and its related areas as heroes in recognition of their delivery of essential public services in extremely difficult circumstances. The government has also signalled its intention to build back better and create a high wage civil service. Even within the public sector our members have been the poor relations of pay policy.  If the government is sincere in what it says, then action needs to replace rhetoric. We have therefore lodged our pay claim for 2022 and called for negotiations to begin immediately. If the government is not prepared to act to tackle the cost-of-living crisis for its own workers, then we must look at what action members are prepared to take. We are therefore running a national ballot for all our public sector members from 14 February to 21 March. This is not a strike ballot. It will ask members what action they would be prepared to take. A statutory industrial action ballot might follow later read more

Ahead of PCS national ballot update your details on PCS Digital (11 Jan) – Ahead of the PCS national ballot from 14 February to 21 March to support our campaign to raise pay, pensions and living standards, we want all our members to review and update the personal details we hold for them. Our national executive committee decided last month that we would ballot all public sector members in a consultative ballot from 14 February to 14 March on our national campaign to raise pay, pensions and living standards. The senior reps decided that it was time to say that the pay freeze, rising inflation, April’s National Insurance rise and pensions robbery could no longer be accepted. It cannot be right that our members struggling so bitterly, given everything that they have done to keep the nation running during the pandemic. This is not a strike ballot. It will ask members what action they would be prepared to take. A statutory industrial action ballot might follow later read more

PCS warn Home Secretary of application for court injunction to stop pushbacks (13 Jan) – We have put the Home Secretary on notice that we will apply for a court injunction if the Home Office does not suspend their controversial pushback policy. Alongside Care4Calais, PCS made the move following an article in the Times at the weekend, which reported that the government had sought to implement pushback tactics twice last month read more

 

GMB

BREAKING NEWS!! Eastbourne bin strike ends in ‘massive win for GMB members’ (18 Jan) – GMB members have flexed their industrial muscle and got a whopping 19 per cent pay rise. A long running Eastbourne bin strike has ended today in a ‘massive win for GMB members’. Refuse collectors in the town had already taken six days of strike action including today and were set for eight more walk outs in the coming weeks. But GMB members this morning formally accepted an improved, above inflation pay offer of almost 19 per cent from the council. The offer includes a minimum rise this year of 11 per cent and a guarantee their hourly rate will reach a minimum of £13.50 per hour in April 2023 – a 19 per cent rise in total. In October, GMB refuse collectors in nearby Brighton won an above inflation pay rise after long-running strike action. Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser, said: “GMB members have flexed their industrial muscle and got the above inflation pay rise they deserve read more

Merseyside factory ‘shipped to Costa Rica’ (14 Jan) – A Merseyside manufacturing plant producing vital NHS equipment is to be shipped to Costa Rica, GMB Union says. Terumo Europa NV, in Knowsley, employs 110 people make specialist cardiovascular and oncology equipment for the NHS, but is set to close after 25 years. GMB will now enter consultation talks with management to secure the best possible deal for members read more

11 more Eastbourne strike days after council refuses to meet (12 Jan) – Eastbourne refuse collectors will go ahead with a further 11 days of industrial action after the council refused to meet with GMB Union. The union says a face-to-face negotiation is vital to talks as the lead representative, Mark Turner, is visually impaired and struggles to use Zoom and similar online platforms. Eastbourne council has so far ignored requests for a meeting on 12 January and a request for a meeting on 13 January has also thus far been left unanswered read more

Eastbourne bin strike set to spread across Sussex (9 Jan) – The Eastbourne bin strike is set to spread across Sussex as GMB Union launched a consultative ballot for drivers in Adur and Worthing. Refuse collectors in Eastbourne are to take their third day of industrial action tomorrow [10 January] in a dispute over pay and conditions. Further strike dates have now been announced from January 14 – 28, which will see up to 50,000 household affected. Meanwhile a consultative ballot for refuse collectors in nearby Adur and Worthing will close on 19 January. GMB refuse collectors in Brighton successfully won improved pay, terms and conditions after a long-running strike at the end of last year read more

Eastbourne refuse collectors strike after ‘misleading’ statement from council (6 Jan) – Eastbourne’s bin strike is set to go ahead tomorrow after the council issued a ‘misleading’ public statement. GMB members working as waste collection HGV drivers will walk out on New Year’s Eve, 7 January 2022 and 10 January 2022   – with further dates to be announced. Almost 50,000 households could be affected. GMB met with council bosses yesterday, where they offered drivers approximately £12.30 per hour – a far cry from the drivers claim for £13.50 per hour – still considerably lower than the industry standard. Instead of waiting for drivers to vote on the new offer, the council made a public statement outlining the deal read more

Croydon hospital workers stage protest to demand covid sick pay (13 Jan) – Workers at Croydon Hospital are staging a protest to demanding covid sick pay. Porters and cleaners at the south London hospital are angry after their employer – private NHS contractor G4S – stopped paying covid positive hospital worker’s occupational sick pay. This means staff are forced to come into the hospital with symptoms of covid because they cannot afford to take time off to self-isolate

The protest will take place as follows: Monday 31 January 2022 at 12noon,

Croydon University Hospital, 530 London Rd CR7 7YE read more

Carmarthenshire council set for crunch talks with gritters (11 Jan) – Crunch talks are set to take place on Monday (17th January 2022) between Carmarthenshire road gritters and the local authority on Monday. The talks take place after Gritting staff downed tools on the 5th and 6th January. Further dates are expected next week between 18th and 21st and again between 24th and 28th January read more

Gritter strike: Council playing ‘Russian Roulette’ with residents’ safety (5 Jan) – GMB union has accused Carmarthenshire Council is playing ‘Russian roulette’ with residents’ safety over a gritter strike. The Union has criticised the authority’s reckless behaviour, after residents were told yesterday arrangements were in place to ‘ensure the safety of travelling residents’. Gritters in Carmarthenshire are on strike today [5 January 2022] after the council failed to adhere to a collective agreement signed with gritting staff back in 2020 read more

Major pay boost for Plymouth council drivers (5 Jan) – GMB members working in refuse at Plymouth City council are celebrating after the council agreed a whopping 12.6 percent pay rise for HGV drivers working for the council. This will see some hard pressed council staff earn almost an extra £3000. The move comes as demand for HGV drivers skyrocketed in recent months, with GMB telling the council to act quick or lose experienced drivers to other professions read more

Swissport workers accept inflation busting pay rise (4 Jan) – GMB, the union for aviation staff, today announced that members working at Swissport, who provide baggage handling and check in services at a large number of airports across the UK, have voted to accept an inflation busting pay rise. The pay rise, worth 8.54%, will be paid in January along with back pay and a retention bonus of £1,000 for staff who remain in post until October 2022. This represents a real increase to GMB members after a difficult two years, during which many have been furloughed as the industry has struggled through the pandemic. Large numbers of members will also see extra increases due to the resolution of a long-standing differential issue at some of the airports read more

More than 1,000 serious injuries reported at Amazon sites (4 Jan) – ‘Shameful’ figures reveal more than a thousand serious injuries at Amazon sites have been reported to health and safety bodies since 2016, a GMB investigation has found. Disturbingly, the number of injuries reported to health and safety bodies is rapidly increasing. 294 were reported in the financial year 2020/21 – up from 231 the year before, or an increase of 27%. This compared to 139 reports in 2016/17. The true figure could be much higher, with not all local authorities having responded to the FOI survey read more

Striking workers at Somers Forge turn up the heat – GMB members at Somers forge are set for strike action tomorrow (17th December). The union has also announced further strike dates on 21st December 2021, and the 5th,12th, 21st and 24th January 2022. The move comes after members rejected the latest pay deal of 4% over two years, but with the company refusing to backdate the award to the pay anniversary of April read more

 

Unison

NHS staff-shortage crisis needs more than a quick Omicron fix, says UNISON (14 Jan) – Employers are using desperate measures to cope with desperate times. But stretching dwindling numbers every thinner cannot solve this staffing crisis. Surging Omicron cases are leaving hospitals struggling to cope and health workers guilt-stricken at the potential harm to patients, according to reports received by UNISON from staff at 40 NHS trusts across England. Over the past week, UNISON’s acute, ambulance and community health branches across England have been providing the union with reports on the state of local staffing levels. These detail the impact of the longstanding workforce crisis – exacerbated by Omicron – on the NHS read more

Ovo job cuts devastating for staff and worrying for consumers, says UNISON (13 Jan) – Hard-working staff across the company will be devastated as they anxiously await their fate. The government can no longer stand idly by and watch as the UK’s energy sector implodes, says UNISON, as it reacts to the news that 1,700 jobs are to go at energy giant Ovo read more

Low sick pay is leaving school meals staff unable to self-isolate (11 Jan) – UNISON has written to the 20 biggest catering companies to urge that they review their sick pay policies in order to help keep staff and pupils safe read more

Winter Gritting Industrial action begins (4 Jan) – All three Carmarthenshire County Council recognised trade unions GMB, Unison and Unite will be taking industrial action picketing council depots (Nantglas, Crosshands, Cillefwr, Carmarthen, and Llandovery ) from midnight tonight and tomorrow night as part of an overtime ban on winter gritting due to what the unions believe has been a regular breaking of the Winter Gritting agreement signed by the Plaid led council. Unison and the other unions believe the council has flouted the agreement that they signed two years ago following industrial action then. We feel we have been compelled to act due to the intransigence of this Plaid led council who have refused to even acknowledge they have not adhered to the agreement read more

Sandwell leisure employees strike again in contracts row – The fourth day of action in the last 12 months comes on the back of proposals for more cuts to terms and conditions read more

 

RCN

Northern Ireland HSC pay consultation opens (13 Jan) – RCN members working for the HSC in Northern Ireland are being asked whether a 3% pay award is acceptable or unacceptable read more

FFP3 masks needed as standard demands RCN as sickness absence rates soar (7 Jan) – All health care workers must be provided with FFP3 masks when treating people with known or suspected COVID-19 read more

Post COVID recovery in England jeopardised by staff shortages, report finds (6 Jan) – RCN responds to outcome of cross-party inquiry into tackling the backlog of care needs caused by the pandemic, calling for the government to get a grip on workforce planning 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

 

CWU

Service Delivery delivers on pledge to fast-track career progression for thousands (13 Jan) – Openreach has today (Thursday) reinforced its commitment to  helping ALL engineers in Service Delivery upskill to ‘advanced engineering’ level within two years – bringing the tantalising prospect of significant pay hikes for more than 3,000 into sharp and achievable focus read more

New direct labour wins in Openreach as ‘Civils’ and ‘poling’ recruitment intensifies (11 Jan) – Persistent CWU campaigning for long-outsourced ‘Civils’ and pole erection work to be brought back in-house by Openreach has reaped major new rewards, with the announcement of the creation of at least 1,200 new permanent in-house roles over the next two years read more

 

FBU

Bronx apartment fire: Fire Brigades Union offers solidarity to US counterparts (Jan 13) – The Fire Brigades Union has written to US counterparts to extend solidarity in light of the Bronx apartment fire. The deadly fire, which took place on the 9th of January, claimed the lives of nineteen people, including children. It took place in a 19-storey apartment block. In letters sent to Andrew Ansbro, President of the Uniformed Firefighters Association (Greater NY Local 94 of the International Association of Fire Fighters), and Edward A. Kelly, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union Matt Wrack wrote “I write on behalf of the Fire Brigades Union to express our solidarity following the tragic fire at the Bronx apartment block on Sunday” read more

“They cannot shirk their responsibility”: Fire Brigades Union responds to Gove building safety announcement (10 Jan) – The Fire Brigades Union has said that Michael Gove’s announcements on the building safety crisis still leave residents “desperately short of where they need to be”, more than four years after Grenfell read more

 

POA

HMPPS menopause Facebook support group (14 Jan) – As members are aware the POA Health and Safety Whitley Committee have been campaigning for a menopause policy for members to be produced by HMPPS. HMPPS have now realised they need a policy and work has started on producing it read more

OSG consultative ballot – The OSG Consultative ballot concluded on the 13th December 2021 and the Scrutineer and Teller attended Cronin House on 14th December 2021 to conduct the count and verify the ballot. On the 15th December 2021 the NEC had its normal monthly meeting and were informed of the outcome of the ballot. It was an overwhelming endorsement of industrial action up to and including strike action with those voting indicating by 90 per cent that view. The NEC will do an analysis branch by branch of the turnout, but early indications are that a significant amount of branches would or could if it went to a formal statutory ballot reach the threshold for action. The NEC fully debated the outcome and wish to place on record our gratitude to branch officials who conducted the ballot locally and to the OSG members that voted read more

 

NEU

Strike ballot in Girls’ Day School Trust’s schools – Strike ballot to go ahead in Girls’ Day School Trust’s 23 independent schools. An indicative ballot of National Education Union teacher members working in the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST)’s independent schools has shown overwhelming opposition to the employer’s plan to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). 93% of members voted in favour of moving to a strike ballot, on a turnout of 93%. The union will now move to a formal strike ballot to be conducted in January 2022. Potential dates for discontinuous strike action are still to be decided. These would constitute the first days of strike action in the Trust’s entire 149-year history read more

Watch Reel News video: Vote YES to strike action to stop GDST pulling out of the TPS

Support the following action:-

Action Date Contact
St Matthew’s C of E Primary School / Preston

(Transfer of employer)

18-19 January [email protected]

 

Starbank School (Hob Moor Road Site) / Birmingham

(Direct time/Workload)

18-20 January [email protected]

 

Abbot’s Hill School / Hertfordshire (TPS) 19-20 January [email protected]

[email protected]

Newham Sixth Form College/Newham

(Transfer of employer)

18-20 January [email protected]

 

NASUWT

Lack of pay offer shows contempt for teachers (17 Jan) – The failure by the Northern Ireland Executive to offer a pay rise for this year to the teaching profession is tantamount to holding teachers in contempt, NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union has said. At a time when teachers are also dealing with spiralling cost of living pressures due to rising prices for food, fuel and energy, it is of critical concern no pay offer has been made by the Northern Ireland Executive. Unless a pay offer is made immediately, the Union will have no choice but to consult formally with its members on the next steps they wish to take, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said. There has been no pay offer made to teachers for 2021/22, which should have been in place in September 2021 read more

NASUWT rejects latest pay offer for Scottish teachers (13 Jan) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has rejected the latest pay offer for 2021/22 for teachers. The offer, which has been rejected after consultation with members, fails to address the rising cost of living, continues the real-terms erosion of teachers’ salaries and fails to adequately recognise the significant contribution teachers have made and are continuing to make every day during the ongoing pandemic. In the Union’s indicative survey, 83% of members said they would be willing to vote in favour of taking strike action in pursuit of a fair pay settlement read more

 

EIS

EIS opens ballot & urges teachers to send a clear message by rejecting pay offer (13 Jan) – The EIS will today (Thursday) open a consultative ballot of its members on the latest pay offer to teachers. The EIS is urging all of its members to use their vote in the ballot and to reject the offer on the table from local authorities and the Scottish Government. The pay settlement for teachers is now more than 9 months overdue, as a result of continuing procrastination by both COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) and the Scottish Government read more

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

 

UCU

BREAKING NEWS!! More universities could face strike action following UCU reballot results (18 Jan) – 68 universities across the UK could face strike action this academic term after reballots saw staff at a further 12 universities vote in favour of joining industrial action over attacks on pay, pensions & working conditions. Of the 12 institutions that voted to join action, six now have a mandate over pay and conditions, five over pay, with one voting to join action over USS pensions only. Some branches already had a mandate for action in one of the two disputes. The two separate reballots mean 44 out of 68 USS pension branches now have a mandate for action whilst 64 have a mandate for action over pay. In total, 68 universities are expected to face strike action this academic term over pensions and pay & working conditions. The reballots came after a number of branches narrowly missed the Conservative’s anti-trade union turnout threshold, in some cases by only one or two votes read more

Upgrade face masks, guarantee sick pay & protect vulnerable staff on university & college campuses in Omicron fight (12 Jan) – UCU has called on university and college employers across the UK to ‘raise their game’ in the fight against Omicron by allowing vulnerable staff to work remotely and ensure higher quality face masks are freely available for all staff working in-person on campus. The call is part of updated guidance that aims to keep staff and students safe, and minimise disruption to learning as Omicron cases continue to rise. The union has also said that all indoor spaces on campus must be monitored to ensure effective ventilation, and that where necessary air filtration units should be used to maintain clean air read more

Goldsmiths hit with international boycott (13 Jan) – UCU has censured Goldsmiths with the ultimate sanction of a global academic boycott over the university’s sacking of up to 46 staff. Goldsmiths wants to make the cuts as part of a ‘recovery plan’ after years of financial mismanagement have left the university with a £12.7m deficit. Goldsmiths UCU says the ‘recovery plan’ is a deal struck with Lloyds and Natwest banks to use redundancies to improve the university’s finances. The latest escalation comes after university management doubled down on the job cuts and confirmed it would be using ‘rank and yank’ tactics to decide who keeps their job and who goes. The tactic, which was widely condemned by academics during the dispute at the University of Liverpool last year, will see academics ranked against each other according to their skills, experience and achievements. The staff it ranks bottom will be sacked. Staff have so far taken three weeks of strike action over the planned job cuts, which only ended last month read more

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.

 

NUJ

Pronouncement on future of BBC is a “vindictive and desperate act of distraction” (17 Jan) – Michelle Stanistreet comments on the weekend newspaper briefing from an “ally” of Nadine Dorries, Culture Secretary, on the end of the TV licence and funding freeze read more

BBC Turkey goes on strike for decent pay (14 Jan) – NUJ members urged to support the journalists whose wages have been hit hard by inflation and tweet #SolidarityBBCTurkey. Journalists at BBC Turkey in Istanbul are striking after talks failed to reach an agreement on pay – as wages have been hit by rampant inflation in Turkey read more

Irish government urged to act on online abuse of journalists (14 Jan) – The National Union of Journalists has joined Mediahuis Ireland and RTÉ in calling for action to end online attacks on journalists in Ireland read more

 

Prospect

Announcement on Smart Motorways is welcome but more must be done on staffing (12 Jan) – The government has today (12 January 2022) responded to the Commons Transport Select Committee report on Smart motorways with a number of measures read more

Fair pay for UK Hydrographic Office workers (11 Jan) – In common with workers across our public services, the UK Hydrographic Office has been subject to pay austerity for a decade. Pay has stagnated while the cost of living has risen. Not only has this resulted in financial hardship for Prospect members, but they also feel that any continuation of austerity will put at risk the UKHO’s ability to carry out its vital work read more

Members at Natural England to start industrial action in the new year over poverty pay – Prospect members at Natural England have voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action over poverty levels of pay. In the ballot, 76% voted in favour of a strike, with 84.7% voting in favour of action short of strike. Action short of a strike will commence on 4 January 2022 and if no further progress is made, then strike action will be taken. Our members at Natural England will maintain their right to take industrial action until the legal mandate ends on 21 May 2022 read more

 

Equity

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

 

USDAW

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep Max McGee fighting for reinstatement read more. There is now a GoFundMe to support the campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist) and Max can be invited to speak at Usdaw branches and trades councils ([email protected])

 

UVW

BREAKING NEWS!!: GOSH strike postponed! Security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) have postponed their strike action, due to begin tonight.

Picket lines on Wednesday and Thursday this week, as well as the rally on Friday, have been cancelled.

The guards have made the good faith decision following last minute news that the GOSH board of Trustees are preparing a package of improvements to their terms and conditions.

The guards are clear that if these improvements are not presented within the next two weeks their six-week strike will go ahead from Thursday 3 February 2022.

SPREAD THE WORD AND GET READY TO TAKE ACTION.

Watch this space for updates

Security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital to strike for six weeks in January – “It is hard to believe, but I do not get sick pay. What this means is if I go to work I put myself and others in danger. If I stay at home – I don’t make rent. I do believe in the NHS, I really do. But what kind of institution treats their workers like that?” Erica Rasheed, security guard and UVW member, Security guards at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), and members of UVW, will walk out for six weeks in their ongoing fight for equality with other National Health Service (NHS) workers on 18 January 2022 red more

JOIN THE PICKET LINE to support the Great Ormond Street Hospital security guards six-week strike for equal rights and against racial discrimination! ✊🏾

📅 10am, Wednesday 19 & Thursday 20 January 2022

📌 Great Ormond Street Hospital, London WC1N 3JH

Strike fund – https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/support-gosh-security-guards-strike?fbclid=IwAR1mncde99xAENSeaYq2gJ6bRqs1meEV0UuxM6lCJVHFt6zg4hvnytkdXuY

 

IWGB

UK’s longest gig economy pay strike resumes in Sheffield this week after Stuart’s secret pay talks exposed (10 Jan) – the UK’s longest ever gig-economy pay strike resumes today as Sheffield couriers from the the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) relaunch industrial action and will picket McDonalds branches every day this week. Last week Stuart invited selected riders to closed-door meetings on pay which excluded all unionised workers. When IWGB members staged a peaceful demonstration outside the Sheffield location, they were informed by venue security that the meeting had been cancelled and Stuart staff had left the building via a ground floor fire escape. Strike action began on 6 December when Stuart slashed its base rate of pay per delivery by 24 percent from £4.50 to £3.40, with protests spreading to Chesterfield and Sunderland. The majority Black and Minoritised workforce demands at least £6 per delivery plus mileage and paid waiting times after 10 minutes and their strike fund has raised almost £14,000. The IWGB is also bringing a claim against Stuart on behalf of over 150 couriers nationwide for unlawful denial of worker status and basic rights like holiday pay and a guaranteed minimum wage read more

Write to Stuart Delivery, JustEat: END THE STRIKE, PAY RISE NOW!

 

Mandate (Ireland)

Mandate Trade Union calls for free antigen tests and high quality masks for all retail and bar staff (14 Jan) – Mandate Trade Union has written to all major retail employers and to the Minister for Health calling for the provision of free antigen tests and high quality masks for workers in the retail, hospitality and the licensed trade industries as a matter of urgency. In recent weeks the government guidelines for close contacts and isolation periods have changed and have put more workers at risk of contracting the virus read more

 

 

Other news

SOS NHS Webinar: ‘EMERGENCY FUNDING NOW!’ – Wednesday 19 January 7:00pm. Register here

From Health Campaigns Together – Our latest Bulletin is available now
As mentioned in our previous mailing, our latest HCT bulletin is now available to view. It can be accessed HERE

The bulletin is another 12-page special and contains crucial campaigning information on the newly launched SOSNHS campaign – a campaign launched in response to an NHS on the brink. The bulletin addresses issues such as  the staffing crisis, deteriorating A&E performance, empty promises on funding, a mental health crisis; reopening closed beds; Sunak’s new austerity; and why the NHS needs an extra £20bn.

The bulletin also includes pieces on:

NHS England’s latest guidance
The Health & Care Bill in the Lords
A 3-page special on New year, new Covid the sell-off of VMIC, and the new deal to profit private hospitals

The mobile friendly version is HERE
and the pdf (for printing and live hyperlinks) is HERE

Doctors in Unite have produced this model resolution for local union branches to discuss airborne spread and how important it is to put protections in place.  They’ve also produced a leaflet with info about this and a checklist for reps in the workplace; Unite’s health section has had some input too. They’d be happy to meet with interested local branches or regions to discuss the issues and the practicalities of the measures. Here’s a link for the materials on their website:  https://doctorsinunite.com/health-safety/

Save St Mary’s Leisure Centre: – petition to Southampton City Council

St Mary’s Leisure Centre in Southampton is used every week by hundreds of individuals, sports and leisure groups. It is facing council funding cuts and closure at a time when we need these vital facilities. There are no other local facilities available for community use. The centre is in need of maintenance but is safe and viable for current use. We call for Southampton Council to maintain the funding of the centre, to continue as a council run community facility in line with council’s statement of priorities. No council cuts, no to privatisation. Save St Mary’s Leisure Centre – follow campaign on Facebook

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

BREAKING NEWS!! Tracey Scholes is back in the driving seat

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

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep Max McGee fighting for reinstatement read more. There is now a GoFundMe to support the campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist) and Max can be invited to speak at Usdaw and other union branches plus trades councils ([email protected])

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

NUJ calls for release of Alaraby journalists arrested by the Sudan government (13 Jan) 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