NSSN 582: Manchester Chep win & Post Office strike

May 3, 2022 in Bulletins

We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin with the victory by Unite members at Chep in Manchester after a long-running strike as well as the national action taken by CWU members in the Post Office starting today.

Unite: Inflation-beating 14% pay victory ends long-running strike at Chep (27 April)

Unite members at Chep based in Trafford Park in Manchester are celebrating today (27 April) after voting to accept an inflation-beating pay deal and to end their long running strike. The workers will receive a 9 per cent pay increase which on average is worth £2,500. Other elements of the deal, including a £1000 lump sum and three extra days of annual leave this year, mean that the total package is worth as much as 14 per cent while real inflation (RPI) runs at 9 per cent. The company has also agreed to address the union’s concerns about excessive disciplinary sanctions and to further talks to address pay parity with other Chep sites. The Unite members, employed by the pallet supplier, have been on strike since December 2021 and were in the process of being balloted to continue their industrial action into the summer.

The workers have been calling on the company to increase pay to help address the cost of living crisis facing the workers and to recognise their contribution through the pandemic. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “I’m very proud of Unite’s reps and members at Chep. This was a tough dispute but the workers stood their ground and won an excellent deal. The workers knew that the company could afford a fair wage so they kept up the fight and they won…” read more

 

CWU: Post Office strike – all out on 3rd May – Union calls nationwide walkout against pay freeze, bringing out every Crown office in the UK and halting all cash collections and deliveries along with call centres and various admin workers in the fight for a fair deal. “You provoked this strike, now it’s going to happen,” was CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey’s message to Post Office bosses today, after the union’s industrial executive formally authorised strike action to begin at the commencement of all shifts on Tuesday 3rd May. “This is the first national Post Office strike for a number of years and the responsibility for this situation lies 100 per cent with the senior management and their stubborn, arrogant and downright disrespectful attitude towards their workforce,” he told CWU News this afternoon. Every one of the UK’s 114 Crown Post Offices will close for a 24-hour period, and there will be no cash deliveries or collections from the 11,500 sub-post offices around the nation either – action that will severely impact everywhere. The action is fully legal and follows the astonishing 97.3 per cent YES vote returned by the union’s Post Office members in the statutory strike ballot that was held during March – a reflection of the enormous anger felt by workers at the stubborn refusal of the Post Office to pay a wage rise for 2021/22 read more

CWU: We stand as one, united with our Post Office members (29 Apr) – Delegates this morning pledged their unanimous support for their Post Office colleagues when they begin their pay strike on Tuesday 3rd May. An emergency motion, which was moved by CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey, commits the union to ‘fully support’ the strikers and ‘ensure a good presence on picket lines’. The resolution also pledges our branches to ‘instigate local campaigning activities to support the aims of the dispute’ read more

 

TUC National Demonstration Saturday 18th June Central London 

The TUC has called a national demonstration this summer. The NSSN welcomes this so that the biggest possible national demonstration can be built as a platform for the mass co-ordinated industrial action that is needed as workers fight the squeeze on their living standards.

12noon Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3BD read more

 

Support sacked P&O workers

NSSN supporters have taken part in demonstrations to support the 800 sacked P&O workers and their unions the RMT and Nautilus International and other seafarer unions. We will advertise solidarity protests in this bulletin and we will update it during the week, and on social media when they are announced. We support the calls for P&O to be nationalised to save jobs and defend communities.

RMT protest Larne port over unsafe P&O ferries (29 Apr) – Trade unionists and the wider community will hold a protest at Larne port this afternoon, over safety fears of P&O vessels. This week the European Causeway drifted for hours in waters off Larne having lost power and had to be escorted back by tugboats read more

RMT: P&O protest at Cairnryan port on Friday (28 Apr) – RMT members and other trades unionists will step up their campaign for justice against mass sackings at the ferry operator with a protest at Cairnryan port on Friday. Demonstrators will be encouraging passengers not to use the ferries as part of the union’s “Boycott P&O” campaign read more

RMT responds to European Causeway being adrift off the coast of Larne (26 Apr) – RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The reports of the European Causeway drifting in water off Larne having lost all power are deeply concerning, not least for the agency crew and passengers onboard read more

Nautilus International: P&O Ferries: Nautilus issues statement on European Causeway incident (27 Apr) – Nautilus International is highlighting the fact that the decision by P&O Ferries to sack experienced seafarers has directly led to an expensive multi-agency response, after the European Causeway lost power while sailing between Cairnryan and Larne yesterday read more

French unions back Nautilus in P&O Ferries battle (27 Apr) – French trade unions have shown their support for Nautilus International and its partners in their work to undo the damage from the P&O Ferries crisis, as meetings kick off with the UK government and shipowners on Thursday read more

RMT: P&O U-turn on further cutting of agency worker pay (25 Apr) – Maritime union, RMT vowed to keep the pressure on P&O ferries after the embattled company was forced into an embarrassing U-turn after trying to reduce agency workers rates of pay. The union had  received reports of agency workers being forced to sign new contracts that reduced their pay to drastically low levels read more

 

Stop union victimisation: support the Coventry bin strike

The Labour council has disgracefully targeted Pete Randle, one of the senior Unite shop stewards. We call on all our supporters to support Pete and his striking members

Unite: NEW POLL: Coventry residents send message to council – settle the strike and pay the rate! (2 May) – A new poll reveals that over two thirds of Coventry’s residents back the striking HGV drivers’ “reasonable” pay demands. The poll comes as striking bin workers from Coventry and their supporters will stage a march and rally in Coventry this Tuesday (3 May) beginning at 11.00am. Starting at 1 Friargate and finishing at Coventry Council House CV1 5RR read more

Join these protests to support the Coventry binworkers:-

Coventry March & Rally – 11am 3rd May, assemble 1, Friargate for march to Coventry Council House

Lobby of Local Government Association in London – 12noon 4th May, Smith Square, Westminster SW1P 3HZ

Sign petition to Councillor George Duggins – Coventry Council: Reinstate Pete Randle, stop union busting, stop strike breaking and pay the rate

Follow @UniteWestMids on twitter. 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]

 

2022 NSSN Conference – Saturday 2nd July 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Facebook event

Confirmed speakers include: Sharon Graham Unite General Secretary

Attendance fee £6. Register on the day or email [email protected]

You can download the conference leaflet plus a letter for union branches, trades councils

This will be the 15th national NSSN conference and the first in-person one for three years. As usual will be a vital forum for union reps and members along with anti-cuts campaigners to come together to talk about their struggles and discuss out the strategy, tactics and programme needed for the fight of our lives.

The NSSN will be again holding our rally at TUC Congress in Brighton on Sunday 11th September 1pm-3pm

 

Conference: UNDERCOVER POLICING, TRADE UNIONS AND SOCIAL ACTIVISM by Blacklist Support Group, TMG, PSOOL, COPS

Sat, 7 May 2022 10:30 – 17:30 at UNITE House, 128 Theobald’s Rd, Holborn,

London WC1X 8TN read more & register. Our conference will increase awareness of the impact of political policing on trade unions and movements for social change since 1968

 

 

Stop the war in Ukraine

The NSSN calls for the unity of working-class people across Ukraine, Russia and the whole region against war, militarisation and repression. We support the actions of independent trade unions in Ukraine and Russia in defending workers.

FBU Executive Council Statement – Invasion and War in Ukraine

RMT statement on Ukraine

Unite executive council – statement on Ukraine crisis

NIPSA statement: Russian Invasion of Ukraine

 

 

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]

 

 

Union News

RMT

Grant Shapps is allowing rail dispute to continue (30 Apr) – Grant Shapps is allowing rail dispute to continue for “political and ideological purposes,” says Scottish government. Scottish Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth accuses Mr Shapps and the Westminster government of “not doing more” to resolve the current dispute with the transport union. RMT is balloting over 40,000 members on Network Rail and the train operating companies over pay, no compulsory redundancies, and a guarantee there will be no detrimental changes to working practices. Network Rail has proposed cutting 2,500 safety critical maintenance jobs which the union says would make rail accidents more likely and lead to “trains flying off the tracks” read more

Hundreds of cleaners take to picket lines in row over pay (27 Apr) – Churchill cleaners started 11 days of strike action today in their fight for a £15 per hour pay rate. Staff in cleaning roles on GTR, SE trains, and HS1 can earn as little £8.91 an hour. The union is demanding Churchill pay company sick pay and free travel for cleaning staff across the network, just like every other railway worker is entitled to read more

Network Rail’s “futile attempt” to undermine ballot exposed (26 Apr) – RMT had strong words for Network Rail’s head of communications who was caught out on a staff forum, accusing workers of “being out of touch with the reality” regarding the economic crisis and justifying extortionate rates of pay of senior NR management read more

Support RMT strike on TransPennine Express – TPE conductors on major railway lines are striking over pay and Sunday. The company has point blank refused TPE conductors’ request to increase pay for staff coming in on their days off and Sundays. Members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-

  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 13th March 2022
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 20th March 2022
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 27th March 2022
  • hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 3rdApril 2022
  • hours on Saturday 16th April 2022 until 23.59 hours on Sunday 17th April 2022
  • hours on Saturday 30th April 2022 until 23.59 hours on Sunday 1st May 2022
  • hours on Saturday 4th June 2022 until 23.59 hours on Sunday 5th June 2022  read more

Congratulations on rock solid London Underground action – All RMT London Underground members are congratulated for the rock-solid strike action across the entire network this week. There has been a brilliant show of solidarity and support from you all and you are commended for your commitment to fight against vicious attacks on your jobs and pensions in order to pay for the TfL funding crisis read more

Support the London Night Tube strike: every Friday and Saturday nights on Central and Victoria lines read more

 

TSSA

“Tory Ministers seem hellbent on rail dispute” warns TSSA (30 Apr) – Rail union TSSA says the Scottish Government is right to put pressure on Westminster to resolve rail dispute issues of pay and job security in Network Rail and train operators, following “welcome” comments from the Scottish Transport Minister read more

Network Rail leaders “offensive and out of touch” on pay (26 Apr) – TSSA today condemned “out of touch” senior management in Network Rail (NR) after a “foolish” post by the company’s Communications Director went public, and the CEO defended eye watering salaries – including his own – while attacking moves to secure a pay increase for NR workers. The post, made by the company’s Communications Director in a staff forum, appears to suggest that senior managers’ high pay is “a lesson to those of us who should’ve probably worked harder in school.” This follows a demand by TSSA – which represents thousands of workers across Network Rail – for an inflation-matching pay rise for staff, many of whom have had no pay rise for over three years read more

 

Unite

NEW POLL: Coventry residents send message to council – settle the strike and pay the rate! (2 May) – A new poll reveals that over two thirds of Coventry’s residents back the striking HGV drivers’ “reasonable” pay demands. The poll comes as striking bin workers from Coventry and their supporters will stage a march and rally in Coventry this Tuesday (3 May) beginning at 11.00am. Starting at 1 Friargate and finishing at Coventry Council House CV1 5RR read more

Unite wins pay deal for Heathrow baggage system engineers to end strike threat (29 Apr) – A strike by Heathrow baggage system engineers employed by Vanderlande Industries has been averted. Unite, the UK’s leading union, said 160 of its members at Vanderlande had voted overwhelmingly for Easter holiday strike action, over Vanderlande’s offer of a one year pay freeze for 2021 and an insubstantial increment for 2022. The strikes were postponed after Vanderlande tabled an improved pay offer. The workers have now voted with 74 per cent in favour of the deal, which raises pay and includes improvements to holiday entitlements and other terms and conditions, to end the dispute read more

Threat of Manchester bin strikes over as Biffa workers accept improved pay offer (29 Apr) – Planned refuse collection strikes by members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Biffa on the outsourced Manchester council contract have been called off following an improved pay offer. The strikes were due to begin next Tuesday (3 May), however following the announcement of industrial action, fresh negotiations were held and a vastly improved offer was made which Unite’s members accepted overwhelmingly. The two year deal will see notable increases for all the workforce with the lowest paid seeing their pay increase by over 11 per cent.  The drivers who hold a HGV licence will see their pay increase by 22 per cent read more

Historic strike action begins by staff at Financial Conduct Authority in London and Edinburgh – WHEN: Wednesday 4 May 2022; WHERE: FCA Head Office, 12 Endeavour Square, London E20 1JN; TIME: 8:45am to 9:00am. Members of Unite the union will start their historic strike action on Wednesday 4th May 2022 at the Financial Conduct Authority. This industrial action is the first action since the inception of the regulator. To mark the start of the strike FCA staff will be outside the FCA head office at 8.45am on Wednesday to express their anger at the failure of their employer to address their concerns around pay, terms and conditions and lack of trade union recognition. There will be a media photo call where FCA strikers will be will be holding placards, flags and leafletting visitors to the FCA office and members of the public. The message from the workforce will be: “FCA, listen to your staff.” A similar event will be held on Wednesday 4th May at the FCA’s smaller site in Edinburgh. The strike will take place on the 4th and 5th May. Then there will be further action on the 9th – 10th June and then the 5th – 6th July. Staff at the FCA will be working to rule from the 6th May and continue for all days that are not strike days. The management of the FCA continues to refuse to negotiate with trade union representatives or try to resolve the dispute through the conciliation service ACAS. Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards

Unite to NI Local Authorities: stop misleading the public and use your powers to provide real pay improvement (29 Apr) – As Unite members in councils, education and housing across Northern Ireland continue strike action, the union has hit out at the misinformation from the employers. The workers are on strike in pursuit of a pay increase to recover earnings lost through over a decade of attacks on wages and to help combat the harm to earnings caused by surging inflation. The union is challenging the National Joint-Council (NJC) employers to stop the disinformation and own up to the powers that they do have to end the dispute by improving workers’ pay read more

Northern Ireland Education Authority challenged by Unite to end ‘poverty pay’ as strike action recommences (26 Apr) – As education workers return to picket-lines this morning, Unite the union called on the Education Authority to engage in talks to end poverty pay in Northern Ireland’s school services. The union emphasized that, despite Education Authority’s claims its hands are tied, it does have the power to make education workers an increase that betters the proposed 1.75 percent, which Unite says is a pay cut as real inflation (the RPI) runs at nine percent and is set to rise further. Unite made the call after a revised offer from Translink saw bus drivers deferring their strike action. However, the absence of any potential solution from EA management has left education workers including school bus drivers with no alternative but to proceed with planned strike action today read more

Sainsbury’s Covid absence policy change ‘puts workers and shoppers at risk’ (29 Apr) – A change to Sainsbury’s Covid absence policy that will come into force on 1 May puts both workers and shoppers at risk, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 29 April). Currently Sainsbury’s staff who have Covid are entitled to sick leave that does not count towards the total amount of time they can be absent before a disciplinary procedure can be triggered. Regardless of the reason, if a Sainsbury’s worker does not attend work for more than three per cent of their annual contracted hours (approximately a week and a half) they may be subject to sanction or dismissal. Under the new policy, the three per cent limit now includes time off due to Covid. The policy also allows staff to attend work if they are infected with Covid read more

UK councils braced for summer shutdowns as pay strikes spread (29 Apr) – Councils across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are braced for summer shutdowns as local authority worker strikes spread, Unite, the UK’s leading union, has warned. Workers in Hackney, Rugby and across Northern Ireland are already taking strike actions over a 1.75 per cent pay offer set by the Local Government Association (LGA). Coventry council bin workers have also been striking over pay since January and Renfrewshire council workers are set to strike in May. Thousands of local government workers in Scotland have indicated this week that they are willing to strike over the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ (COSLA) two per cent offer. Unite is now preparing to formally ballot targeted groups of Scottish local government workers in the coming weeks for strikes. Exacerbating the nationwide swell for strikes is the real cost of living, RPI, which is at nine per cent and rising read more

Unite industrial action set to hit Renfrewshire Council elections (29 Apr) – Unite has today (29 April) confirmed days of industrial action which is set to hit the Renfrewshire Council elections on 5 May. Around 200 craft workers employed by the local authority will take part in strike action commencing at 08:00 hours on 3 May and up to 6 May when the action will conclude at 13:00 hours. An overtime ban will also be in place during this time. Unite’s members are responsible for setting up and dismantling the polling stations and were also due to deliver the ballot boxes to the count in the forthcoming council elections. Tradespersons and apprentices working within Building Services covered by the local authority craft agreement at Renfrewshire Council have previously voted unanimously to back strike action read more

HSBC AGM faces demonstration as workers demand pensions justice (29 Apr) – Members of Unite the union will be protesting outside the HSBC annual general meeting (AGM) on Friday 29th April about the bank’s refusal to give them pension justice read more

Sainsbury’s strikes off as Unite secures great pay win for DHL workers (28 Apr) – Strike action which would have hit Sainsbury’s stores across South West England and into west Wales has been averted after the workers’ employer DHL made a much improved pay offer. Over 250 warehouse workers, who are employed by DHL on an outsourced Sainsbury’s contract and based at the company’s Emerald Park distribution centre in Bristol, had overwhelmingly voted for strike action. In the wake of that result, further negotiations were held with DHL and a revised pay offer was made. Unite’s members accepted the offer, which secures a pay increase of between 10.68 per cent and 15.64 per cent depending on the worker’s contract, above the real rate of inflation which currently stands at nine per cent read more

Carlisle drinks can manufacturer hit by strikes after ‘unacceptable’ pay offer (28 Apr) – Workers at the Crown Bevcan soft and alcoholic drinks can factory in Carlisle will strike over an ‘unacceptable’ pay offer from the company. Around 200 workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will stage two 24 hour strikes on 11 May and 14 May after rejecting a three per cent pay offer plus a one-off payment. More strikes will be scheduled if an acceptable offer is not put forward by the company. The production workers are seeking a pay deal that reflects the rising cost of living read more

Fresh London bus strikes announced in Arriva pay dispute (28 Apr) – London bus drivers employed by Arriva are to take part in further strikes next month in a dispute over pay. The strikes involve 1,000 drivers who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, and based at garages in Brixton, Croydon, Norwood and Thornton Heath. The drivers operate routes across south and central London. There will be an initial one day strike on Wednesday 11 May and this will then be followed by a 48 hour strike beginning on Monday 16 May. Service reductions in the capital have reduced the workers’ earnings. They are also suffering the same cost of living crisis as other workers, rendering the company’s three per cent offer substandard read more

International Workers’ Memorial Day 2022: Councils and employers urged to back Get Me Home Safely campaign (28 Apr) – Unite is calling on councils and employers to mark today’s (Thursday 28 April) International Workers’ Memorial Day by backing the union’s Get Me Home Safely campaign. Unite wants the hundreds of councils and authorities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow East Dunbartonshire council’s lead in finding innovative ways to support the late night workforce.  East Dunbartonshire has made it a requirement of licensing that all hospitality businesses in the area provide safe transport home for their workers read more

International Workers’ Memorial Day: Construction employers must insure workers – or be removed from sites (28 Apr) – Construction union Unite is demanding that leading construction clients and principal contractors ensure that all workers on their projects are fully protected by death and injury insurance – or be removed from sites. While the industry has made improvements in reducing fatalities, there have been 178 deaths in the sector in the last five years according to the Health and Safety Executive. Thousands of serious and life changing injuries also occurred during that time read more

Healthcare staff must receive enhanced Covid protective equipment (27 Apr) – call for all health and social care workers (HSCWs) to be issued with special equipment – respiratory protective equipment (RPE) – as the Covid crisis continues will be highlighted tomorrow (Thursday 28 April) at an event organised by Doctors in Unite (DiU) at the National Covid Memorial Wall in London. Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid is being urged to ensure that RPE is provided for all the healthcare workforce, which is not currently the case, despite more than 2,000 health and social care workers having died as a result of the pandemic, according to ONS data read more

Unite blasts ‘outrageous’ suspension of Fawley rep on false charges as colleagues vote not to cross picket line (28 Apr) – Unite the union has hit out at employers at the Fawley Exxon refinery over the ‘outrageous’ suspension of one of their union reps. The rep, who is employed by Altrad Services, was suspended after 50 of his colleagues – who are not part of the dispute – refused to cross the picket line during a strike on 8 April. The decision not to cross the picket line had been taken earlier in a vote by the workers. Around 100 workers, who make up a third of the contractors at the Southampton oil refinery, have been striking over pay. The union has hit out at Altrad Services’ false accusation that Unite’s rep initiated secondary industrial action and potentially put the refinery and staff at risk. The workers’ vote not to cross the picket line was carried with the proviso that safety critical staff would be on site, which was what occurred. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an outrageous victimisation of an innocent man. Altrad Services is clearly rattled by the strength of the support across the workforce for this action for fair pay and against corporate greed…” read more

Veolia refuse workers in Croydon balloted for strike action over poverty pay (26 Apr) – Refuse workers employed by Veolia on the outsourced Croydon council contract are to begin balloting for strike action in a dispute over low pay. Unite, the UK’s leading union, is balloting around 100 refuse workers employed by Veolia as drivers, loaders and sweepers. The workers’ wages are already around £7,000 per year below comparative pay rates for other refuse workers in London. Many of the HGV drivers are on just £12.51 per hour while the lowest paid loaders and sweepers are on £10.75 per hour. Despite nine months of negotiations, Veolia has only been prepared to offer an increase of 2.5 per cent for drivers and two per cent for sweepers and loaders for 2021. The company has already informed Unite that it will not offer more than 2.5 per cent for 2022. With the real inflation rate currently running at nine per cent (RPI) this amounts to a large real terms pay cut for the workforce read more

Rugby GE Steam strikes could worsen as company uses outside consultants to ‘undermine’ union (26 Apr) – The first strikes in 45 years at Rugby’s 120-year-old GE Steam turbine factory could worsen as the company uses outside consultancy firm Shape Associates to ‘undermine’ union organisation. Unite, the UK’s leading union, is preparing to re-ballot more than 75 of its members at the factory to extend strike action over attacks on pay. The initial round of strike action began on 17 April and is due to end on 2 May, with the next strike on 29 April. The union said GE Steam has given over the responsibility of running the factory to Shape Associates so the consultancy firm can force through cutbacks prior to the site’s sale to EDF read more

Scottish local government workers vent anger as Unite prepares to ballot over pay (26 Apr) – Unite has today (Tuesday 26 April) released the result of a consultative ballot which reveals that thousands of local government workers are prepared to take industrial action over pay. By a massive 91 per cent, thousands of Unite local government workers said that in response to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ (COSLA) failure to put forward a fair and decent offer by the pay review date of 1 April that they would be prepared to take industrial action. In March, Unite along with other local government trade unions rejected outright a 2 per cent pay offer from COSLA which would have seen a percentage increase that fell far short of both the trade union claim and the current rates of inflation. The broader measure of inflation which reflects the true cost of living including spiralling food and energy costs stands at a 30-year high of nine per cent read more

Pay ‘victory’ in long-running Reading hospital security guards’ dispute, says Unite (25 Apr) – The long-running dispute involving the security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading has been settled, Unite the union said today (Monday 25 April). The 20 guards first started taking industrial action in December 2020 against their outsourced employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd over inadequate pay rates. The one-year pay deal from December 2021 represents a pay lift of 7.5 per cent, says the union. There will also be back pay to December 2021 worth about £400. The three-year security guard contract is currently out for tender by the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust – although Unite has repeatedly urged the management to bring the security guards back in-house read more

Repair of UK’s washing machines ‘in a spin’ as Whirlpool faces strike ballot over ‘insulting’ pay (25 Apr) – The repair, installation and maintenance of the UK’s household appliances, such as washing machines, could be thrown ‘into a spin’ as staff employed by Whirlpool get ready to hold a strike ballot over an ‘insulting’ pay offer. Unite the union is to ballot its members employed by the hugely profitable Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited, for strike action over a 2.5 per cent pay offer for the pay year starting 1 January 2022 – a substantial real terms wage cut at a time when the RPI rate of inflation is at nine per cent. The ballot is due to commence in the next three weeks. Unite members deliver, install and repair domestic appliances across the UK, dealing with three core brands –  Hotpoint, Indesit and Whirlpool. The appliances include cookers, refrigeration, tumble dryers and dishwashers. All of this work is managed through the contact centre based in Peterborough read more

Refuse collectors and street cleaners in Rugby take strike action to put food on the table (25 Apr) – Some workers, lone wage earners, turn to local food banks to put food on the family table. Bin collections and street cleaning in Rugby will grind to a halt from Tuesday (26 April). Members of Unite are taking strike action to demand a significant pay increase as spiralling price rises mean workers are struggling to afford the basics. The strike centres on the refuse, recycling and street cleansing services at Rugby Borough Council. It begins at 00:01 hours on 26th April 2022 and ends on 10th May 23:59 hours. However, the union has not ruled out further action if a deal has not been reached. Street cleansers, HGV lorry drivers and loaders will begin all out strike action because their employer, the Tory controlled Rugby Borough Council, has dragged its feet for more than a year instead of hammering out a pay deal. The workers are some of the lowest paid compared to neighbouring councils and to local transport and warehouse workers in the private sector read more

Huge vote for strike at First Glasgow as workers reject insulting pay offer – Unite the union has today (21 April) confirmed that dozens of workers employed by First Glasgow have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over pay. The 60 First Glasgow workers, including bus cleaners and shunters, voted by 96 per cent in support of strike action in a ballot turnout of 87 per cent. Two periods of 48-hour strike action will now take place on 4 and 5 May, and 18 and 19 May. The dispute centres on a two year pay deal which would take some workers to £9.48 per hour backdated to August 2021 to April 2022 – two pence below the adult minimum wage from April 2022 of £9.50 per hour read more

County Durham car factory strikes intensify in fight for fair pay rise – Pay strikes at car bearing manufacturers NSK Bearings and AKS Precision Ball in Peterlee, County Durham, have intensified as workers step up their fight for a fair pay rise. Around 200 workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have taken eight days of strike action since 23 March after rejecting an ‘offensive’ 1.6 per cent pay offer. The real cost of living, RPI, currently stands at nine per cent and is set to rise further. They will now stage a further 11 days of strikes, which begin today (20 April) and end on 15 May read more

Manchester facing prolonged bin strikes as Biffa workers back strike action in pay dispute – Manchester is braced for city-wide bin strikes next month as refuse collection workers employed by Biffa have overwhelmingly voted for strike action over a ‘lousy’ pay offer. Biffa is offering the workers, including members of Unite the union, just 1.75 per cent on pay, a real terms pay cut given that the real cost of living (RPI rate) currently stands at nine per cent and is expected to rise further. Over 200 workers – drivers, loaders and environmental operatives – employed by Biffa on the outsourced Manchester council refuse collection contract will begin strike action on Tuesday 3 May with the strike ending on Friday 13 May. There will then be a further two week strike from Monday 23 May until Friday 3 June read more

Bullying culture at Cardiff City Council Waste Services provokes near 100% vote in favour of protest strike action – Following an industrial action ballot in which Unite members voted by a majority of 98 per cent to strike in a dispute over widespread bullying within the Cardiff City Council Waste Services, waste service workers employed by Cardiff City Council will start six weeks of continuous strike from 22 April. The strike will cause widespread disruption to the city’s refuse and recycling collections. A survey of Unite members working within Waste Services found that over 60 per cent of workers have either witnessed workplace bullying or had been bullied themselves. Unite has raised a number of other issues with the council which stem from the bullying culture. These include health and safety failings, misuse of agency labour and unfair targeting of Unite union reps read more

Unite warns Caterpillar that attempts to break strike threaten health and safety of workers – Strike by Caterpillar workers at Larne and Belfast results in huge impact to production on site. Unite, the union representing Caterpillar workers who commenced strike action yesterday [Monday 11 April], has hit out at management whose failed attempts to undermine the strike have resulted in mounting concerns for workers’ health and safety. Over the weekend reports circulated that untrained employees at sites in Britain were being offered money to take up production roles at the company’s two Northern Ireland sites during the dispute. In a letter to Unite responding to its challenges over the health and safety implications of such a deployment, Caterpillar management claimed that “the health and safety of all our workers is of paramount importance and…safety is our number 1 priority.” However, on the first day of strike action (yesterday) a striking worker was hit by a HGV as it was attempting to speed past the pickets. The worker escaped with minor injuries as he was able to jump out of the way but left Unite questioning how encouraging drivers to cross picket lines tallied with a purported commitment to worker safety read more

Hackney council workers strike over “insulting” 1.75% pay offer – More than 200 Hackney council workers will strike over an “insulting” 1.75 per cent pay offer, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 6 April). Staff working in refuse, building services and passenger services for those with disabilities and special educational needs, will strike between 25 and 27 April and 3 May and 5 May. While the rate of real inflation (the RPI) is running at 8.2 per cent and rising, the 1.75 per cent offer, rising to 2.75 per cent for those on the bottom pay point, has been set nationally by the Local Government Association (LGA) for 2021/22. Unite is urging Hackney council to reject the LGA recommendation, table a proper pay rise and prevent the possibility of long-running strike action read more

Unite confirms further dates for strike action for pay increase by council, education and housing workers in Northern Ireland – Strike action set to continue over a two week period spanning end of April and early May. Following on from strike action taken by Unite members at Councils, the Education Authority, NI Housing Executive, further education colleges, schools and youth service, the union has now confirmed a timetable of further strike action. This will take the form of a discontinuous strike in the last week of April and early May. The strike follows the failure of employers to provide an improved pay offer to workers. The increase offered under the National Joint Council amounts to 1.75 per cent. The current rate of inflation impacting workers’ living standard is nine per cent read more

Unite urges Woolwich Ferry – seize opportunity to resolve dispute as strike ballot suspended to kick-start talks – Woolwich Ferry’s workers have suspended their industrial action and also plans to hold another strike ballot in a goodwill gesture to resolve the long-running dispute, Unite the union said today (Tuesday 5 April). Unite has put forward proposals, which remain confidential, to Transport for London (TfL) bosses to kick-start meaningful talks over the poor employment relations that have been the hallmark of successive operators of the troubled ferry. Six workers, including two Unite reps, still remain unfairly suspended when the last bout of industrial action ended on 28 March read more

Strike action continues as GE Aviation accused of ‘dirty tricks’ in Gloucester pay dispute – Workers at Gloucester’s Hurricane Road GE Aviation factory will be striking every Friday until their call for a fair wage is honoured, Unite the union has said today (Tuesday 29 March). Multinational GE Aviation has been accused of `dirty tricks’ in an attempt to undermine the workers. The 90-plus workers are employed by GE’s subsidiary Dowty Propellers. The workers have rejected a two year pay offer worth just 4.5 per cent which, with the actual level of inflation (retail price index) standing at 8.2 per cent, amounts to a real terms pay cut read more

Veolia workers across Edinburgh and Lothians set to strike over `insulting’ pay offer – Unite can confirm today (24 March) that more than 50 members working for Veolia Water across Edinburgh and the Lothians are set to take strike action in a dispute over pay. The strike action, involving plant operatives, electrical maintenance, mechanical, and administrative staff, was supported overwhelmingly by 94 per cent of Unite’s members in a ballot turnout of 83 per cent. The Veolia workers are demanding a significantly improved pay offer from the company.  With the more realistic cost of living (RPI) currently running at 8.2 per cent per cent, Veolia’s offer of 2.6 per cent for this year is a pay cut. Strike action will take place from 7-13 April, and then continuous strike action from 21 April read more

Industrial action set to have a ‘severe impact’ on Lerwick Port – Unite the union today (15 March) confirmed that its members working at the Lerwick Port Authority have voted in support of industrial action over pay, terms and conditions. For a number of years, despite the prosperity and expansion of the port, skilled and semi-skilled employees have been paid considerably less than nationally agreed rates. Around a dozen key workers voted unanimously in support of strike action and an overtime ban. The industrial action will include engineers, electricians, joiners and general operatives. Unite members will now commence a continuous overtime ban from 28 March at the main port in the Shetland Islands. Due to the significant hours of overtime required to ensure the effective running of operations at the port, Unite has stated that any overtime ban in itself will have a ‘severe impact’ on the cruise liners and oil and gas vessels, as well as the general shipping, which use the harbour read more

Envases Liverpool Ltd printers to strike over dismissal of Unite rep – Members of Unite employed as printers by Envases Liverpool Ltd will take 12 days of strike action next month following the dismissal of the union’s rep. Unite believes that its rep John Williams was dismissed on the false charges as a direct consequence of him standing up for the Unite members at the factory. Envases had sought to use misleading information and a false statement to try to drive a wedge between Unite and another union at the factory. After Mr Williams exposed the company’s actions he was dismissed read more

Strike action set to hit Dalkeith based FLB print firm – 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

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

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

Arm’s-length bodies play vital role, PCS stresses to government (29 Apr) – Amid pronouncements from some in government that some agencies should be privatised or shut down, PCS has stressed to the Cabinet Office the vital role that staff in arm’s-length bodies have played in keeping the country running during the pandemic read more

PCS challenging HMRC’s ‘Return to Office’ call for Wales (29 Apr) – PCS is challenging HMRC’s call for staff in Wales to return to the office, despite the Welsh Government maintaining ‘Alert Level Zero’ status. On 28 April HMRC has issued four weeks’ notice of return to office to all staff in Wales. PCS is extremely disappointed and concerned that HMRC have decided to issue this notice, which PCS firmly believe is in direct contradiction to current Welsh Government guidance. Throughout the pandemic HMRC have given the commitment that they would adhere to guidance from devolved administrations, however this is clearly now not the case read more

PCS members in DVLA angered by closure proposal (28 Apr) – PCS members working for the DVLA are worried and angered by reports that the government is considering closing the agency in a second ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’. The report, published in the Sunday Telegraph and picked up by other news outlets at the weekend, quotes Tory government efficiency minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and suggests that government departments have been asked to find savings of between 10% and 20%, including a demand that departments’ ‘’review your public bodies for any that you consider could be provided by organisations other than the state and therefore closed.’’ It is a repeat of former chancellor George Osborne’s so-called “bonfire of the quangos” in 2010. The DVLA employs more than 6000 staff, based largely in Swansea, and handles literally millions of customer transactions, many in a paper format, every year. It provides a vitally important service to the UK as a whole, ensuring that road users are properly qualified to use the road network that the country relies on read more

Update on Hybrid Working at DfE (28 Apr) – We will be holding an all members meeting on 3 May to discuss the requirement of 80% office attendance. PCS, along with our fellow recognised unions the FDA and Prospect, wrote to the Secretary of State and Permanent Secretary following the announcement on the changes to hybrid working read more

PCS brings legal challenge against plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda (27 Apr) – The challenge has been brought against Home Secretary Priti Patel’s plan to send UK asylum seekers to Rwanda. PCS has brought the legal case along with charities Detention Action, which supports people in immigration detention in the UK and Care4Calais, which supports refugees in Northern France who wish to seek asylum in the UK. We are challenging the Home Secretary’s failure to disclose the criteria dictating who will be transferred by force to East Africa, arguing that this is an unlawful breach of her duty of transparency and the wider constitutional right of access to justice read more

PCS calls for passport services to be properly resourced (26 Apr) – PCS has dismissed as absurd prime minister Boris Johnson’s calls to privatise HM Passport Office when it is clear that the current problems in passport processing are mainly down to the casualisation of the workforce read more

PCS secures RCDTS TUPE consultation (26 Apr) – PCS will be involved in all in-sourcing TUPE consultations in both HMRC and RCDTS; but HMRC prevents use of departmental system to inform RCDTS and CDIO members that PCS will be involved read more

PCS formally enters pay dispute with government (25 Apr) – As the government refuses to give our members the pay rise they deserve or pay back the pensions overpayments they are owed and plans to cut their redundancy terms, PCS is writing to tell them that we are formally in dispute. Next month at our annual conference, we are asking delegates to endorse our strategy and move towards an industrial action ballot in early autumn, following a summer of consultation with members and reps over which areas should be balloted read more

Home Office backs down on refugee pushbacks policy in the face of legal case (25 Apr) – The government has withdrawn its controversial refugee pushbacks policy just over a week before a judicial review on the matter, brought by 4 organisations including PCS, was due to be heard in the High Court read more

 

GMB

Manchester bin strike over – workers win up to 22% payrise (29 Apr) – A bin strike that would have affected up to 220,000 households has been called off after refuse workers accepted a revised pay offer from Biffa. Despite rampant inflation Biffa – the outsourced waste company which has a contract with Manchester council for bin collections and street scene services – offered most of its staff a 1.75 per cent pay rise at first read more

High Court: Govt’s care home policy would always have tragic consequences (27 Apr) – GMB, the union for care workers, has responded to today’s High Court ruling’s on legal action brought against the government and health bosses over key policies and decisions made about care homes during the pandemic. Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer for care, said:

“Today’s judgement is a terrible reminder of callous disregard this Government has shown for care home residents and workers…” read more

Budweiser workers take industrial action (27 Apr) – Budweiser faces industrial action after more than 200 workers voted to down tools over a real terms pay cut. A total of 225 GMB members working at BBG’s Samlesbury site, near Preston, will start an overtime time ban, not engage in training or complete face to face handovers from Wednesday 11 May 2022. The site brews Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons and Export Pale Ale. After months of discussion with the world’s biggest brewer they tabled a full and final offer of 3 per cent increase for 2022 and 3 per cent for 2023 with increases in overtime rates. With the cost-of-living crises and inflation at 9 %, the offer amounts to a massive pay cut in real terms. Members also support full strike action – which would be the first time. Strike dates are to be confirmed read more

Big pay rise for Asda staff after GMB campaign (25 Apr) – Asda retail workers will now get £10.10 base rate of pay, up from £9.66, following GMB Union pressure

North Somerset bin strike: final talks are ‘do or die time’ – GMB union is calling on North Somerset environment company (NSEC) to make an offer that recognises the unprecedented cost of living crisis hitting members right now. The calls come as North Somerset refuse workers reject a revised offer which failed to give members a real pay rise this year, despite rampant inflation hitting 9 per cent. Bosses imposed a 1.75 per cent pay deal against the wishes of union members last year, which has seen members struggle to make ends meet. If talks fail on Monday, more than 100 workers will walk out of recycling centres and refuse collection services run by North Somerset Environment Company. The failure of talks will affect the refuse and waste collection of around 88,000 homes across Somerset read more

Thousands of Securitas workers now protected by domestic abuse charter (21 Apr) – Securitas has signed up to GMB’s Work to Stop Domestic Abuse employer charter, following a campaign by GMB London members in the workplace. The security giant this week signed the deal, giving 9,000 workers the right to 10 days paid leave when facing domestic violence or abusive behaviours, to support them in seeking the appropriate help read more

Wealden bin strike paused after Biffa makes 11th hour pay offer (22 Apr) – The Wealden bin strike has been paused after Biffa made an eleventh hour pay offer to GMB members. Refuse collectors across Wealden District Council were due to walk out for a week of industrial action from Monday [25 April]. The last minute offer from Biffa falls shot of workers’ expectations – but GMB members have paused the strike and consider the offer on Monday read more

Fox’s Glacier Mint workers strike over fire and rehire threat – Fox’s Glacier Mint workers will take a full day of strike action tomorrow [April 14] in anger at the company’s fire and rehire threat. Staff at Valeo York, who also make Poppets and humbugs, mint assortments butter mints, rhubarb and custards and lemon sherberts for well-known supermarkets including M&S, will be joined by the Yorkshire Polar Bear and local councillors read more

Northampton bin workers vote to strike – Northampton town’s bin workers have voted for strike action. Industrial action – which could affect 94,000 homes – could take place as early as 27 April. GMB now meet with members to discuss possible strike dates. Northampton’s refuse collectors – employed by Veolia – are angry after turning down a real terms pay cut, with inflation running at a 9 per cent. The council, ultimately responsible for bin collections, has increased Veolia’s funding by 5.5 per cent, but the company are refusing to pass that on to workers read more

Barrow bin strike: Six more days of industrial action Refuse collectors in Barrow have announced six more days of industrial action in their fight for a living wage. GMB members working FCC Environment will walk out on from 30 March to 1 April and then 6 to 8 April read more

 

 

Unison

One week, all-out strike under way at University of Dundee (19 Apr) – The strike started as employers are urged to “show some commitment to their loyal, low paid staff”. Members at the University of Dundee took to the picket line on Monday 18th April, and started one week of all-out strike action over the employer’s plans to impose changes to the university pension scheme. This is the third round of action taken at the university over the same issue and the initial five-day strike will be followed by selective action in high-impact areas over the coming three weeks. The previous rounds of strike action provoked a u-turn by the employer of the decision to close the defined benefit scheme, but the dispute now centres on the terms with which the scheme remains open – with proposals to increase the retirement age, diminish the accrual rate and close the scheme to new joiners. When consulted, members strongly rejected this package which was imposed rather than negotiated read more

 

NIPSA

NJC Pay Update (28 Apr) – As reported at our last Panel meeting, NIPSA held two consultation meetings during March this year with Branch Officers and Representatives working in NJC related areas on potential elements for active consideration as part of the TUS development of the 2022 NJC Pay Claim. Thank you to those who participated in this important exercise. The elements discussed are currently under consideration by the NJC TUS. Confirmation of what this year’s pay claim is will be shared once finalised. In parallel, NIPSA remains fully committed to working with our sister unions in order to campaign for improvements to your living standards and to lodge separate local improvements to your terms and conditions of employment claims that can be the subject of local negotiation with your Employer, under Part 3 of the Green Book as previously discussed. It is important to underline that in your Employment area, NIPSA holds the JTUS Secretary seat on behalf of all the recognised trade unions and will continue to take the lead in the negotiation of any improvements to your terms and conditions of employment at JCNF/LCNF/JCNC level read more

NICS Pay Claim 2022/23 – Branch Consultation (27 Apr) – Following the implementation of the 2-year award from August 2020 to July 2022, the next NICS pay award is due from 1 August 2022. The Civil Service Executive Committee has considered the detail of the Pay Claim for 2022-23 and has determined that the claim should be:

  • Inflation, plus an additional cost of living increase of 5% on all points and allowances.

CPI inflation here is currently 7%. That figure is projected to rise and it is anticipated that it may reach 10% by October. Prices are going up faster than at any time in the last 30 years and it is predicted that food prices could rise by up to 15% this year. The situation facing our members is dire and many are struggling to make ends meet with the rising costs of household bills including oil, gas, electricity, petrol, rent, mortgages, rates as well as increased national insurance contributions read more

 

CWU

Conference votes to ballot for action at BT, Openreach & EE (29 Apr) – Conference voted today to serve legal notice to BT Group of the union’s intention to ballot all appropriate members for industrial action as soon as possible, after rejecting BT Group’s ‘final offer’ of a £1,500 flat rate pay rise. Delegates deemed this an insult to members struggling with a spiralling cost-of-living crisis from a company that had made £5.7 billion in profit in 2021, and the motion expressed how “appalled” members were by the failure to “adequately reward the contribution made by CWU members keeping the country connected during the pandemic” read more

Postal & T&FS highlights from this year’s conference (28 Apr) – CWU to Royal Mail: ‘Get real on pay or we start national dispute procedure’. Day One of CWU Postal Conference kicks off with delegates voting unanimously to begin the process of triggering a national strike unless the company offers an acceptable pay deal ‘with no strings’. Anger erupted at Annual Conference this morning when deputy general secretary postal Terry Pullinger outlined the details of an ‘insulting’ pay proposal that Royal Mail chiefs set out to the union at their last meeting. Before revealing the offer, Terry explained that both the union and the company had jointly agreed to keep the discussions confidential while talks proceeded, but that Royal Mail had reneged on this agreement and had gone public on their position several days ago. “It was not us who broke the ‘closed meeting’ protocols,” he said, “so I’m going to tell you the full offer,” adding that the offer was not the straightforward pay rise that the union had sought read more

 

NEU

Support these strikes:-

NEU

 

NASUWT

Pocklington teachers strike to protect pensions (29 Apr) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Pocklington School in East Yorkshire will be taking a further nine days of strike action over threats to sack them unless they sign new contracts which would leave them with worse pensions in retirement. The school’s Board of Governors want to remove them from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and force them to be worse off in their retirement, threatening their financial security read more

Teachers in Northern Ireland send united message as they vote for industrial action (26 Apr) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union in Northern Ireland have voted overwhelmingly in support of industrial action in a dispute over pay, workload and adverse working conditions. 81% of ballot papers returned voted in support of strike action, with 98% in support of action short of strike action. The result follows a recent survey of members which found the vast majority of NASUWT members expressed concerns about the failure of the Department of Education and the employers to deliver on the 2020 Agreement, with 74% saying that their workload had increased significantly in the last two years read more

IOM members to begin action over pay and working conditions (25 Apr) – Isle of Man members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union will begin a programme of action short of strike action from Wednesday (27th April) in a dispute over pay, workload and working practices. From this date members will no longer undertake a range of activities which do not directly relate to teaching and learning. These include attending meetings or responding to emails outside pupil session times, undertaking routine administrative tasks, providing cover for absent colleagues or submitting lesson plans. Teachers will still continue to prepare for their timetabled lessons, teach and mark and assess pupils’ work. Members were balloted for action earlier this month, with 94% in support of action short of strike action, based on a two-thirds turnout read more

 

EIS

EIS demands Western Isles Council to Desist from Misrepresenting Union Position (27 Apr) – The EIS has written to Western Isles Council to demand that the authority desist from misrepresenting the union’s position on remote learning in an apparent attempt to justify the Council’s proposals to reduce teacher involvement in online learning provision read more

Scotland’s College lecturers begin strike action on pay – College lecturers across Scotland will today (Wednesday 20th April) take strike action seeking a fair pay award that recognises their efforts during the COVID 19 Pandemic. Members of the EIS-Further Education Lecturers Association (EIS-FELA) are taking action following protracted negotiations, regarding pay, that began with the submission of their pay claim in June 2021. In a move that evidences a strong sense of feeling amongst college lectures, EIS-FELA members will also commence a resulting boycott on the same day that strike action begins read more

Dundee’s Teachers set to open Statutory Ballot for Industrial Action – The EIS has served Dundee City Council with a notice of a Statutory Ballot for Industrial Action. The ballot will open on 19 April 2022. An earlier consultative ballot organised by the Dundee Local Association of the EIS saw Dundee’s teachers vote strongly in favour of industrial action over Dundee Council’s proposals to move to a faculty structure in its secondary schools read more

 

UCU

Staffordshire University faces fourth day of strike action today (27 Apr) – Staff at Staffordshire University down tools today over management’s decision to employ new staff via a wholly owned subsidiary company. The strike comes as the university welcomes student applicants. The university was already forced to cancel a previous applicant visit day, planned for 30 March read more

IFS research proves student loan requirements “attack on the working class” (27 Apr) – UCU said that minimum eligibility requirements for student loans “would make a mockery of the government’s proclaimed commitment to levelling up”. The union was responding to research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies which shows that requiring university applicants to have at least a 4/C grade in English and maths GCSEs, or two A levels (or equivalents) at grade E or above would retrict access to student loans for around 40% of school pupils read more

Universities to be hit by marking boycott, union confirms (26 Apr) – UCU confirmed that 41 universities across the UK will be hit by a marking and assessment boycott in the coming months, a move which could prevent students from receiving their grades. The decision was made by university staff at a meeting of UCU’s special higher education sector conference where hundreds of delegates met from over a hundred branches and committees to decide the next steps in the pay and working conditions dispute. As well as a marking and assessment boycott, delegates also voted to hit 39 universities with a further ten days of strike action. The union’s higher education committee will now meet on Thursday 12 May to decide the exact dates that the marking and assessment boycott and strike action will take place read more

Staff at 24 UK universities back further strike action in ballot over USS pension cuts –

  • Almost eight in ten (79.5%) back strikes
  • Dispute over cuts of 35% to guaranteed retirement incomes of staff
  • UCU calls for new valuation of USS scheme as value of assets soars
  • Union’s members holding meeting later this month to decide next steps in pension dispute

Staff at 24 UK universities have secured a mandate to take further strike action in a dispute over cuts to pensions which could see disruption continue throughout the rest of the academic year. Overall, eight in ten (79.5%) backed strike action with almost nine in ten (88.1%) voting for action short of strike (ASOS). The vote in favour of strike action is higher than it was during the ballots that concluded in November last year, where 76% backed strike action. Today’s results mean that staff at 27 universities have a mandate to take strike action over pensions which will last until October 2022. Staff at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University did not take part in the ballots but will join any possible action as their mandate remains live. Queen Mary University of London has a live mandate until July read more

Staff at 36 UK universities back further strike action in ballot over pay and working conditions –

  • More than seven in ten (74%) back strikes
  • Employers more intransigent than ever, UCU says
  • Union’s members holding meeting later this month to decide next steps

Staff at thirty-six UK universities have voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay and working conditions which could see higher education hit by further disruption this academic year. Overall, over seven in ten of those who voted (74%) backed strike action with over eight in ten (85.9%) voting for action short of strike. The vote in favour of strike action is higher than it was during the ballots that concluded in November last year, where 70.1% backed strike action read more

Colleges across the North West of England facing industrial action following successful strike ballots – Six colleges across the North West England could see industrial action in the coming weeks and months following following successful statutory industrial action ballots from UCU members. Staff at Burnley College, Bury College, Hopwood Hall College, City of Liverpool College, Nelson & Colne College and Oldham College have voted to say that they are prepared to take industrial action and members at all six colleges will now prepare for strikes unless employers agree to negotiate a settlement. UCU says college leaders must act now if they want to avoid the disruption of strike action, which will otherwise impact up to 40k students read more

Support the UCU Goldsmiths strikes – University and College Union (UCU) members at Goldmiths University are continuing to take strike action as part of an ongoing dispute over plans to sack 46 members of 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. The union says the ‘recovery plan’ is a deal struck with Lloyds and Natwest banks to use redundancies to improve the university’s finances. Following a failure by the university last week to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies staff have been left with no option but to take industrial action in defence of jobs. The university has already been hit with a global boycott which means UCU is asking its members, other trade unions, labour movement organisations and the international academic community to support its members at Goldsmiths in any way possible.  Follow @GoldsmithsUCU on twitter and on Facebook

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

 

NUJ

Council of Europe report shows alarming increase in attacks on press freedom (28 Apr) – Red lights are “flashing” as reports of incidents increase. The spotlight was turned on increasing attacks on media freedom across Europe as the Council of Europe (CoE) Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and the Safety of Journalists, together with the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) and other partner organisations, launched the report Defending Press Freedom in Times of Tension and Conflict read more

NUJ response to broadcasting White paper (28 Apr) – Union welcomes measures to provide a more level playing field between traditional broadcasters and streaming companies, but condemns privatisation of Channel 4 read more

Elon Musk’s Twitter deal is bad news for media freedom (26 Apr) – Putting the media company in the hands of the billionaire “free speech absolutist” will create a playground for disinformation say journalists’ organisations. Billionaire Elon Musk reached agreement with the board of Twitter board on 25 April to buy the social network for a deal valued at $44 billion and is set to become the sole owner of the platform read more

BBC North West journalists vote for work to rule – NUJ members are making a stand about the damaging impact of job cuts on news outpt in the region. As well as working with a significantly reduced workforce, staff at BBC North West are now expected to take on more and more technical duties previously carried out by skilled technical staff. If allowed to continue, the quality of the regional news programmes will suffer and deteriorate, they say. More than 97 per cent of NUJ members in the chapel voted in favour of industrial action. It follows the BBC’s decision to cut £25m from BBC England’s budget, leading to 450 job cuts cross England. The vast majority of journalists who work for BBC North West are NUJ members read more

 

Prospect

Prospect responds to BT pay award after failure to reach agreement (28 Apr) – BT is attempting to impose a pay award for managers in BT that is significantly below inflation, on the back of a two-year pay freeze in 2020 and 2021 read more

 

Equity

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

 

USDAW

Asda pay deal: Usdaw reopens negotiations and secures a 7.9% increase to £10.10 per hour from July in Northern Ireland (25 Apr) – Retail trade union Usdaw represents Asda staff in Northern Ireland. Having reopened a previously agreed two-year pay deal, the union has now secured a significantly improved settlement to reflect the financial pressures workers face because of the worsening cost of living crisis read more

#ReinstateMax: defend sacked Tesco USDAW rep Max McGee – 3 months on from exhausting all appeals, Max McGee is preparing to take Tesco to an Employment Tribunal over his trade union victimisation and sacking. A GoFundMe page has been set up to donate to Max’s reinstatement campaign and trade union comrades are encouraged to raise the campaign at their Trade Union branches and Trades Councils over the coming weeks. Link to the page below:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist

Messages of solidarity and photos can be sent to [email protected]

 

UVW

Security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) are on strike every Friday in April as part of their fight against racist outsourcing. The trustees need to do the right thing and give these workers the rights they deserve! Support the six-week GOSH security guards strike read more on UVW Facebook page

 

IWGB

In-house without fair pay is discrimination: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine pay your workers a dignified salary! – We are cleaners, porters, post-room and security staff at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). We are a majority Black, Asian, Latin American and migrant workforce. Many of us have worked for years at LSHTM and we work hard to keep this university running. We are fighting for an end to discrimination and for fair and dignified pay read more & support campaign

Migrant Workers Paid Below LSHTM’s Minimum Pay Grade Protest to End Discriminatory Pay (25 Apr) Migrant cleaners, porters, post-room and security staff at LSHTM are protesting today at 5PM outside the University to demand an end to a discriminatory pay structure. The prestigious University, recently reported to exhibit structural racism for academic staff and students, still pays its migrant cleaners below the lowest pay grade of the University pay structure read more

Write to London Bridge Hospital: End poverty pay & poor treatment of cleaners! Use this quick tool to back the workers by writing to the London Bridge Hospital bosses at HCA Healthcare and Compass Group read more

Longest Gig-Economy Strike Hits Day 100 as Stuart Delivery Boss Admits to Pay Cuts in Meeting (1 Apr) – The longest gig-economy strike in history hits day 100 as JustEat subcontractor Stuart Delivery’s UK general manager Brendan Hamill declares pay was previously too high in recent meetings with a union representative. This represents the first admission from the company that the new pay structure equates to a pay cut, despite Stuart previously claiming that the 24% cut to the base rate rolled out in early December 2021 was “fairer” read more

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

 

SIPTU (Ireland)

Community sector and Section 39 health workers to march for better pay and respect (29 Apr) – Trade union members working in the community sector and for Section 39 healthcare organisations from across the country are holding a major protest to highlight the need for better pay and respect of their roles in Dublin on Tuesday, 3rd May read more

 

Other News

Ceilidh for Palestine – hosted by South East Kent Palestine Solidarity Campaign. 7pm Saturday 14th May, 2022 at the Westgate Hall, Canterbury. Commemorating al-Nakba and celebrating resilience.

Join us for an Irish and Palestinian cultural celebration with a performance by Hawiyya Dabke Dance Troupe and Ceilidh Tree’s ace fiddles and amazing caller, guaranteed to get you dancing. With speakers, fundraising raffle, food, stalls and more! All funds raised will support South East Kent PSC. Please buy tickets and encourage family and friends to join us. Details about tickets here

 

 

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

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

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])

QC appointed to lead the independent Unite inquiry into blacklisting (25 Mar) – Unite is delighted to announce that Nick Randall QC and John Carl Townsend have been appointed to investigate the possible collusion by union officers in blacklisting. Over the past months, evidence gathering by Thompsons solicitors has continued, with many blacklisted construction workers and other witnesses having already been interviewed. The work of the independent investigators is expected to start officially on 11 April 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

Support the Gezi Resistance – A Turkish court in Istanbul has sentenced Osman Kavala to aggravated life imprisonment on the account of allegedly “attempting to overthrow the government” in 2013. The court also sentenced seven activists to 18 years imprisonment with an order for their immediate detention for “aiding the attempt.” The trial, widely referred to as the Gezi trial, accused Kavala and a wider group of activists, journalists and individuals of organising the Gezi protests with the aim of overthrowing the government. The Gezi Park protests started in 2013, with opposition to the bulldozing of Gezi Park in Istanbul – which sparked protests across the country against the government read more on website of Support the People of Turkey (SPOT)

Hong Kong: NUJ and IFJ call for charges against journalist Allan Au to be dropped (14 Apr) 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

June

18 TUC National Demonstration – 12noon Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3BD read more

 

July

2 NSSN Conference 2022 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Facebook event

9 Durham Miners’ Gala 2022 Facebook event

15-17 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival 2022 read more

 

September

11 NSSN TUC Rally 1pm Brighton

 

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