Bulletin 111

Ever since the con-dem government announced its austerity measures the PCS message has been that there is an alternative and that the cuts agenda is ideologically driven.  The public sector is now facing the largest attacks in a generation with raids on our pensions, a pay freeze, job losses and the continued threats of privatisation.  In response PCS has published materials including leaflets and booklets on a range of subjects including tax justice, austerity, pay and pensions which can be read on the campaign resources page of the PCS website as well as taking part in three days of national industrial action in conjunction with other unions on pensions.  In PCS there has also been group specific action across the union including in HM Revenue & Customs, Home Office, Department for Transport and Department for Work and Pensions.

 On the ground PCS branches are being encouraged to build support for the TUC marches in London, Glasgow and Belfast on October 20 with their members.  We want to send a message to this government that its austerity agenda is making the economic situation worse.  However, increasingly the question that’s being asked is what next?  A march on October 20, no matter how large or small can only take us so far, we now need to take the next step.  That’s why many PCS activists are supporting the NSSN call for a national 24 hour public/private sector strike or; to give it its proper name, a general strike.  The TUC made a good start by passing the POA motion calling for the consideration of a general strike to be supported by the TUC.  We now need the TUC to make practical steps to make this happen.  The increase in industrial unrest in the private sector including the sparks dispute, the London bus workers and Remploy show that strike action isn’t confined to the public sector.

Union branches can help by discussing the NSSN model motion urging all unions participating in the demo to follow up with a further coordinated 24-hour national strike of both public and private sector workers, making direct calls to youth and students, the unemployed, and community campaigns to join in.

The call on October 20 must be TUC – name the day.

By Elenor Haven NSSN Assistant Communications Officer and PCS lay activist (in a personal capacity)

NSSN UPDATES*************************************************

We have a number of conferences and meetings following up the 20th Oct March to build for a general strike. Check the diary below or the website. There are also new flyers that can be used and motions on the resources page.

AFIILATIONS: Another affilation this week from UNITE Branch SW 001401 representing 1610 members of UNITE in the Finance and Legal Sector vote unanimously to affiliate to The NSSN, great news. If you would like to affilate, donate or support us see the website for details or just give us a shout!



PCS has taken our ‘there is an alternative’ message to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester and called unions the ‘real’ opposition.  In a Radio 5 Live debate broadcast from Manchester on Monday morning PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “People need to be inspired and the unions are providing the real opposition in this country. More

The union’s event at the conference in Manchester brought together PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and economist Ann Pettifor.

Exploding some of the myths about economics and our public finances, Ann said the first myth was that there is not enough money around. More

HMRC Nursery Campaign: Around 30 parents and children who use the nursery at the HMRC site in Nottingham protested against its proposed closure.  Wearing colourful t-shirts, blowing whistles and waving flags and banners made it a very lively and noisy protest.  More  Update: HMRC have agreed to grant a 3 year extension on its nursery leases in East Kilbride and Cardiff. This is clearly a result of the solid and highly visible campaigning in those areas. This represents a significant step forward and PCS remains committed to taking this campaign forward in the remaining sites. We ask branches for their continued support. More


UCU have overwhelmingly voted for a half-day strike on Monday 8 October at K College.  On a strong turnout, with nearly three-quarters (71%) voting, a massive 93% backed the call for the strike. UCU members will join members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) at K College who are also walking out that afternoon. More

UCU at Barnfield College staged a one-day walkout after a decisive strike action ballot result. More

UEL lecturers and staff members of the UCU (University and College
Union) are set to take 2 days of strike action on Wednesday 10th and
Thursday 11th October 2012 across both UEL campuses. Over cuts in Terms & Conditions.

UCU at Bournemouth University (BU) have voted to hold a ballot on industrial action in a campaign to prevent the effective de-recognition of the union branch by senior management.

Dr Edmund Schluessel is on Cardiff University’s PGCE course, studying to be a college physics lecturer — one of the most-demanded teaching specialisations in Wales. Edmund is a double citizen of the USA and France. A student at Cardiff University, where he completed his PhD in theoretical astrophysics, since 2005, the University have allowed Edmund to enrol for years without showing a visa, like other EU nationals. Because he was able to travel on a US passport, he never obtained a French passport. A government-backed witch hunt against a supposed tide of “bogus students” is driving away real students with skills the UK needs. Please sign the petition.


RMT’s Bob Crow slams Labour over pay “kick in the teeth” and calls for political alternative to Tweedledum and Tweedledee.  Responding to the adoption of ConDem policies on public sector pay by the Labour front bench at the conference in Manchester, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “Millions of workers have had their pay frozen for years now and have seen their real standards of living decrease by 16% while boardroom pay has gone through the roof. You would have thought that the Labour Party might do something to side with those taking a battering and against those dealing it out but you would be wrong. More

With Labour Party delegates arriving in Manchester on West Coast Main Line trains over the weekend for their conference, RMT said today that the continuing fiasco over the award of the route’s franchise has ratcheted up the pressure on the Labour Party to adopt a clear policy of renationalising the railways or risk alienating millions of key voters who will be decisive at the next election. More

RMT suspended strike action and action short of a strike today by members working on the Mitie contract on First Great Western over the blatant victimisation of union representative Sharon Petrie. Union hopeful of winning full reprieve. More

Reacting to government abandonment of west coast tendering RMT general secretary Bob Crow said;  “The whole sorry and expensive shambles of rail privatisation has been dragged into the spotlight this morning and instead of re-running this expensive circus, the West Coast route should be renationalised on a permanent basis. Those ministers who have presided over this fiasco should also be called to account. More

RMT has confirmed it is to ballot for strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over plans to ‘rip up the safety rule book’ and begin the testing of driverless trains on London Underground. More

Cleaners on Transpennine Express services working for contractor’s Carlisle will be taking a third wave of industrial action on Monday in a long standing battle for pay and workplace justice. More

RMT secured a massive victory in the fight to defend Scottish Ferry services as it was confirmed that the planned tendering of the CalMac Western routes has been pushed back for three years with CalMac securing a three year contract extension – just as RMT said two weeks ago. More

RMT also secured a key milestone victory in the fight for justice for sacked Jarvis rail workers with the Employment Tribunal finding that there was a transfer of part of the Jarvis renewals work on the London North East work to Babcock Rail under a contract with Network Rail. More

RMT warned that the continuing franchise chaos on the West Coast main line could force the Government to run trains over the busy Christmas and New Year period blown over in grey primer with no livery as they continue to drag their heels over the renationalisation of the service under East Coast operator, Directly Operated Railways. More

The racist EDL is threatening to march through the streets of Walthamstow on Saturday the 27th October. They were stopped in September and we vow to stop them again in October and whenever they rear their ugly heads. RMT london Statement: More

RMT security and safety staff employed by STM Security Group on London Overground services will be balloted for both strike action and action short of a strike this week in a dispute over bullying and an attempt to impose new terms and conditions. More


Blood transfusion test results will be hit by strike action over the threatened closure of the blood-testing centre at Colindale in north London. The strike is set for Wednesday 10 October until Friday 12 October. More

Doncaster bin-workers, employed by Sita UK, voted 70-50 to accept a revised pay offer and return to work. More.

First Cymru Wales Bus drivers went on strike on pay on Monday 1st October in Swansea and South West Wales . More

The proposal floated by NHS Employers that pay for health service employees should be frozen for a third year running was branded as ‘a disgraceful attack on hard working staff’ by Unite, the largest union in the country. More

Workers at Barry Callebaut’s chocolate factory in Oxfordshire, members of Britain’s biggest union Unite, lifted the threat of strike action after winning a better pay deal from bosses. More

Amnesty strike again 10th Oct – We want to notify you that because of management’s continued failure to enter into meaningful negotiations over an ill-conceived cost cutting programme, including redundancies, Unite members at Amnesty International (UK) feel they have no other choice but to go on strike for a second time next Wednesday, 10 October 2012.


GMB to ballot Kensington and Chelsea Sita street cleaners for strike action in pay dispute.  These workers are expected to vote for strike action and we will meet after the ballot closes to fix dates for action unless SITA put an offer on the table says GMB.  More

Justice for Cleaners continue campaign over living wage and decent hours.Societe Generale and their contractor agreed to cut the cleaners working hours by 50% This is making them even poorer than before, making a mockery of the Living Wage! Please sign this petition – & join protest on Friday 5pm 41 Tower Hill, EC3N 4SG.


UNITE at CROSS RAIL – protests continue over sacked 28 workers at Westbourne Park in West London. Accidents at the site last Thursday, two weeks after 2 Unite stewards were sacked as part of the 28, one of which was a health & safety rep! Being union means the best safety protection as well as defending terms & conditions.

Daily protests at Westbourne Park – 6.30am-9am. Another Flashmob protest last night outside Moorgate site stopped traffic in the City of London.

Tomorrow Friday October 5thYorkshire solidarity protest from 6.30am Leeds Arena site, this is a BAM site, part of BFK

Shrewsbury Pickets: Full disclosure of all Government documents relating to the 1972 building workers strike and the conspiracy trials at Shrewsbury.

Carillion blacklisted workers who raised concerns about health and safety standards and this corporate bullying endemic in Carillion has not been rooted out as shown by Swindon dispute says GMB. Another protest took place outside Carillion in Manchester this week. More


Spanish protestors surround parliament against austerity and face brutal police attacks.  Video

As Greek workers launch a general strike today backed by three major trade union confederations, including PAME (the Greek All-Workers Militant Front), Britain’s RMT has pledged full solidarity with the Greek people’s struggle against a future as a corporate EU colony. More

On 1 October, Algerian IUF representative and human rights activist Yacine Zaïd was picked up off the street in Hassi Messaoud in the Ouargla province by unidentified men in a white Nissan 4×4 vehicle and has not been seen since. More

On 4 October, 69 leaders from Turkey’s public sector union KESK, will stand trial on terrorism charges for merely engaging in trade union work. This is part of a clear strategy from the authorities to bring the union to its knees. More

South African Miners, Lonmin settlement a victory – struggle pays! “We are inspired to continue the fight in the mines which continue to resist our united action.” From Statement of the Rustenburg Joint Strike Coordinating Committee, 19 September. More


 There are almost daily activities to build for the 20th Oct Marches in London, Belfast & Glasgow. We would encourage you to get involved where you can. Check with your local union branch, trades council or anti cuts group. Here are a few below. Do use False economy site to add your events too.

Ipswich trades council campaigning for 20 October every Saturday opposite Boots 11am-1pm contact [email protected] or 07956 847 479

Lambeth trades council days of action for 20 October leafleting in Brixton and Streatham Saturdays 6 and 13 October 11am to 1pm contact Anton Johnson [email protected]

Kensington & Chelsea trades council is organising street stalls 12-2pm on Saturdays 6 and 13 October promoting 20 October and opposition to local health cuts contact [email protected]

Newham Joint Trade Union Committee leafleting for 20 October Saturdays 6 and 13 October 11am contact [email protected] or [email protected]

4 Oct

Come join the protest against Luis de Guindos, Spanish Minister of the Economy and Competitiveness at LSE! He is one of the main forces behind the conservative party’s (Partido Popular, PP) scorching austerity measures.  4:00pm until 6:00pm at LSE New Academic Building.

Liverpool TUC public meeting End Camerons cuts – Build the fightback. Roger Banister, (NW Unison)  Jackie Davies (KONP) , Debs Glyn (NUT) Eleni Michalopoulou (Greece). 7pm Adelphi Hotel. Train tickets for the 20th from  – [email protected]

5 Oct

Salford against the cuts fundraiser. Islington Mill

TUC with NAVCA, Unite, Unison, NCIA conference “Outsourcing and Austerity: civil society and the coalition government”.   9.30am to 5pm Congress House with Frances O’Grady TUC, Gail Cartmail Unite, Karen Jennings Unison, Polly Toynbee and more contact [email protected]

7 Oct

March on Tory party Conference!

March for a Future: Defend EMA, Fight for Jobs & Education. 1.30pm Commerating the Outdoor Poor Relief strike and rally at Custom House Square, March the Shankill & Falls. Youth Fight for Jobs Northern Ireland.

8 Oct

Battersea & Wandsworth TUC public meeting “A Future that Works”.  7.30pm at PCS HQ SW11 with Chris Baugh PCS, Gary Hassell RMT, Heather Wakefield Unison, Laurie Heselden SERTUC, Sajaad Khan LP, Leonie Cooper LP [email protected] 07946 172 461

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields – What’s behind the massacre? Queen Mary University, Mile End Rd.  Room FB. 1.02.06 6 (please call 07908050217 if you cannot locate the room). Tamil Solidarity Campaign & Student Socieies.

10  Oct

Southwark trades council public meeting “UK, Greece, same problem, same solution… cancel the debt”.   7pm Salvation Army Hall, 1 Princess Street,  Elephant and Castle SE1 with John McDonnell MP, Stella Christou Syriza, April Ashley Unison contact [email protected]

Harlow trades council public meeting “Austerity isn’t working”.  7.30 with Kelvin Hopkins MP, Martin Gould SERTUC President, Tony Sullivan. contact David Forman [email protected]

Lincoln TUC public meeting  to discuss the ideas about the alternative and what we mean by “A Future That Works”. It will take place from 7.30-9pm at the Lincoln Labour Club.

11 Oct

How do we prepare for a general Strike? Coventry & Warwickshire NSSN.  7.30pm Coventry SQ club, 1 Whitefriars St, CV1. Our main speaker will be John McInally, PCS National Vice-President, who spoke at the TUC in favour of the Prison Officers Association resolution calling for a general strike against austerity. We urge all trade union activists and members to attend this meeting, and all those who want to see an end to austerity. [email protected] or Phone – 07751 364989

TUC’s Women’s Forum Domestic Abuse: Raising Awareness Seminar, being held in Doncaster on 11th October 2012.  This event will form a starting point for the TUC’s regional toolkit on domestic abuse, so we would like to maximise attendance and involvement.

Slough trades council open meeting “Campaigning against austerity and fighting for a Living Wage”.  7pm Slough Labour Memorial Hall with Megan Dobney SERTUC, Sarah Santhosham Oxford Living Wage Campaign, Alberto Durango IWGB contact Christine Hulme [email protected] 

17 – 20 Scotland March for jobs Please ask you Branch to donate to this cause if you have not already done so. It is officially supported by PCS Scotland and the STUC. More

20 Oct

TUC Mass demonstration, ‘A Future That Works’ TUC demos in Belfast, London & Glasgow. Transport details can be seen at, and should be uploaded to FalseEconomy.  The newsletter and twitter will include further details as they are available. New TUC demo websiteA Future That Works. NSSN stalls will be scattered across the march and material.

22 Oct

NUJ Black History Month Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture.  7pm London by Professor Paul Gilroy on “The Value of Multiculture”. Register at [email protected]

23 TUC Green is Good for Growth conference.   9.45am Congress House with Frances O’Grady TUC, Vince Cable MP see www.greenisgoodforgrowth.eventbrite.com or Philip Pearson [email protected]

23 Oct

South West NSSN in Bristol public meeting to build for a general strike! Cheltenham Rd Library, BS6 5OX

24 Oct

London NSSN public meeting – 7pm ULU, Malet Street WC1E 7HY

27 Oct

Scotland NSSN conference – Glasgow Unison Offices, 84 Bell Street 11am -4pm

London SERTUC Regional Council at Congress House speaker Frances O’Grady TUC general secretary elect 10am. All trade unionists welcome but registration essential: Darren Lewis [email protected]

South West NSSN public meeting – 2noon to 4pm, at the Great Western Hotel, Station Road, just opposite entrance to the railway station. 

London demo against return of EDL to Walthamstow, meet Town Centre. The racist EDL is threatening to march through the streets of Walthamstow on Saturday the 27th October. More

 31 Oct

Hands of our buspasses! National Pensioners Convention rally and lobby of Parliament “Hands off the bus pass” Wednesday 31 October 11.30am protest Old Palace Yard, 1pm rally/lobby

17 Nov

MIDLANDS NSSN Conference Unite offices, 211 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1AY. 12.00-16.00. Speakers include Joe Simpson, Assistant General Secretary POA

24 Nov

YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE NSSN Conference 10am-4pm. Leeds, Cosmopolitan Hotel, 2 Lower Briggate, LS1 4AE. Contact Kevin Pattison 07962867034.

Construction Safety Campaign National Meeting & AGM.  Affiliates and supporters of the CSC are invited to attend.  11.00am to 3.00pm. Venue: Doncaster Trades, 19 South Mall Second Floor, Frenchgate Centre, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN1 1LL

25 Nov

Scotland Commemoration in Glasgow of legendary Red Clydesider John Maclean.  Assemble 1pm at Eastwood Cemetery for graveside oration, march MacLean’s Cairn at Shawbridge.


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