116 – Selling off everything we own?

Over the course of the last few years the public sector has faced a sustained attack.  Making public sector workers work longer and pay more for less pension.  Imposing a real terms pay cut by freezing pay for two years followed by a 1% pay cap.  Cutting hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs.  Increasing the rate of outsourcing and privatisation as we’ve seen with the handing of sections of the NHS to the private sector such as the hospitals now run by the Virgin Group.  But just when we thought that almost everything that could be cut already had been cut; the government announced the twin attacks on Terms & Conditions and on Union Facility Time.

Now almost everything left is up for grabs.  From leave, sick pay and working hours; through to use of flexitime, grievance procedures and performance.  Even homeworking, parental leave, volunteering and child care is up for review.

At the same time union reps in the Civil Service are facing an unprecedented attack on trade union facility time.  It’s clear from the consultation document that pretty much all of the day to day democratic work undertaken by reps will be deemed as unpaid leading to the potential that PCS conference and even branch committee meetings could be under threat.  Certainly under such a regime we are going to have to look closely at how we organise in a hostile environment.  At the moment this attach appears aimed squarely at PCS but who can doubt that having picked of PCS and the other Civil Service unions; attacks on union rights will follow across the union movement.

In other news; Another 48 hour general strike against the imposed austerity measures in Greece is ending. The ETUC European Day of Action and Solidarity is set to go ahead on 14th November with action in support taking place across Europe.  The NSSN is supporting this action but also calls on the TUC to take forward the POA motion and name the day for a 24 hour general strike.

EH- NSSN Assistant Communications Officer and PCS lay activist (personal capacity)

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Next NSSN Meetings:

8 NOV Gloucester NSSN Defend the NHS – Fight Consortium pay. 7.30pm Barton & Tredworth Community Centre, 199 Barton Street, Gloucester GL1 4HR.

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.

24 Nov Next NW shop stewards network meeting 1-3pm, Manchester



British Museum cleaners & maintenance (PCS & UNITE) strike to stop selloff.  Cleaners and maintenance staff at one of the country’s most prestigious museums were on strike on Monday against plans to privatise their work. More

PCS acting for the living wage.  PCS members are currently facing an unprecedented attack on their wages and living standards, but making significant progress in achieving the living wage for members.  More

PCS Tens of thousands of members are being urged to take Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude at his word by staging 15-minute protests against plans to rip up working conditions in the civil service and related organizations. More


RMT cleaners took strike action last Friday and Saturday in four major rail cleaning contracts in four separate disputes over pay and conditions. RMT also took action with Security and safety staff employed by STM Security Group &  London Overground over bullying and attempt to impose changes. More

RMT MEMBERS at DHL’s Neasden depot, supply chain partners of Marks and Spencer’s, will strike again for 24 hours this Friday and Monday in an on-going dispute over pay and conditions. More

RMT ballot for strike action next week in a battle over pay justice on Orkney Ferries. More

Scottish Signalers strike over rosters on 9th Nov. More

Latest Scottish derailment underlines key role of threatened rail staff.  More


Virgin Media move to de-recognise trade unions . All members of Virgin Media staff who are part of the Access Division workforce – mostly engineers -will be balloted in a self-proclaimed ‘referendum’ which opens today (Wednesday November 7) and closes on November 16. More

Postal workers in Bristol call for strike action.  Postal workers in Bristol have asked to hold a ballot for strike action. It comes as thousands of items of mail have been left undelivered at a Royal Mail sorting office since last Friday. More

Telefónica O2 plans to franchise 82 of its retail stores, putting more than 500 jobs in jeopardy. Deputy general secretary Andy Kerr: “Telefónica is playing poker with our members’ livelihoods in this franchising move which will destabilise the whole retail network.”

CWU TV News round up, featuring all of the other major headline stories from around the union this month. These include news of a major recruitment drive at Monteray, pension changes at O2, the Closing The Loopholes campaign gains momentum and the excellent CWU turnout at the October March for a Future that Works on the CWUTV website.


Over 500 firefighters lobbied MPs on 7 November over deepening cuts to the fire and rescue service will cost lives. This will impact on our working lives and community.  More A debate that took place in the house of commons on the proposed fire service cut’s to the London Fire Brigade, by Mayor Boris Johnson, after robbing the Brigades reserves before his election of £55 million and then demanding a further cut over 2 years of £65 million pounds. Video


Strike this week in Connaught School in Waltham Forest to stop it becoming an academy.

NUT members at Sinfin School Derby overwhelmingly support strike action in indicative ballot over transfer to academy status.


Visteon pensioners bring solidarity to Fords workers . two weeks after 1400 Ford workers were told that they face the dole, 80 ex-Ford Visteon pensioners leafleted the Ford plants in Bridgend and Dagenham as their union Unite prepares for legal action to win back the full value of their pensions from Ford. NSSN supporters gave out the leaflet at Southampton. More  & Video. Genk Ford workers blockade plant and call for mass protest 11th Nov. More

Strike threat pays off at EDF – As well as customers paying more for energy while companies make huge profits, in London, Unite has noticed an increasingly hard line taken by EDF energy when dealing with disciplinary matters against its workers. But the union has scored two important victories over recent weeks. More & Petition

Stop the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board in England and Wales (AWB). Don’t let the Tories force 154,000 rural workers into even deeper poverty, more info here but if there are any comrades in London who can get there, please try to be there to show your solidarity. More

Arriva North – 2500 busworkers in nine garages in North London have decided to strike on November 14th -the European strike day.

Where’s the money! Top bosses continue to cash in by ‘stealth’, says Unite. Top bosses are building up their earnings ‘by stealth’, while the pay of millions of working people is being frozen or slashed.  More

Unite Bromley council: Bromley Councillors debated the proposal to remove staff from the national and regional collective bargaining arrangements. Drop your plans or face another strike! Next Full council 12th Nov More


Medical secretaries from Mid Yorkshire hospital trust vote unanimously to escalate their action after a fantastic strike.

Unison in Scotland have claimed that a “toxic cocktail” of cutbacks and violence against public-service workers has resulted in a huge increase in the number of violent incidents reported to employers. More

Scottish doctors in strike ballot. More


Save Lewisham Hospital’s A&E.  This Monday, a Tory appointed technocrat has suggested that Lewisham A&E, maternity and surgical units be closed to try and pay massive debts at neighbouring hospitals. More

Proposed amendment to Health & Safety at Work Act on liability of employers.  As part of his review into health and safety regulation, Professor Löfstedt considered the role of health and safety law in the civil justice system. His report claimed that the belief of employers in a ‘compensation culture’ has an impact in driving over-compliance with health and safety regulations. More

Top executives’ earnings up 27%.  Senior executives in the UK’s biggest companies have seen their average earnings go up by more than a quarter in the past year. More

London Councils plan to ‘export’ poor families.  More

‎”The size, ownership and residents of elderly care homes have changed during the past 30 years. Around 430,000 elderly and disabled people live in long-term residential care in the UK, but only one in 10 are now in council or NHS-run institutions.” More

Child benefit freeze will cost two-child families over £400.  The government’s decision to freeze child benefit between 2011 and 2014 will cost families with two children more than £400, TUC analysis revealed. More

London building deaths raise safety concerns.  In response to the figures, the HSE’s chief inspector of construction, Philip White, said: “Year after year, construction continues to be one of the most dangerous sectors in British industry. Many of these incidents are entirely preventable.” More

Stress – Unite Guide Updated 2012. More


Crossrail dispute: Paid by our taxes! Desperate BFK resort to violence! Join picket lines and weekly action! Last Friday Frank and supporters took part in protest at the Office of Rail Regulation to challenge the companies H&S record. After a lively protest outdoors and inside reception, ORR met with Frank Morris. More

Blacklist support Group; “There is a paper trail and a reference code on Carillion’s own internal computer database whenever workers were refused work because of the Consulting Association blacklist which was set up by me says Alan Wainwright – ex-Director turned whistleblower – giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation into blacklisting. “

Carillion are bidding for a £2 Billion publicly funded contract to provide all the Educational Support Services for Staffordshire County Council. 5000 staff will be transferred to this company. Public meeting 13th Nov 6:00pm until 8:00pm
 Speakers Carole Vallelly – Swindon Hospital GMB, Dave Smith – Blacklist Support Group Carillion is currently being investigated for their role in blacklisting by a parliamentary Select Committee.  Carillion is embroiled in allegations of racism, bullying and bribery corruption charges at Swindon Hospital.



GREECE Greek workers take three days of strikes timed to coincide with a crucial parliamentary debate on big new spending cuts. More

EPSU: Austerity strikes the EU Institutions – EU staff on strike on 8 and 16 November 2012.  On 22 and 23 November the European Council is due to decide on the EU budget, the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework. More

IRELAND Unions announce plans for anti-austerity march.  The Dublin Council of Trade Unions have announced plans for an Anti-Austerity March on November 24. Video

MEXICO Violent eviction at La Platosa mine. More

SOUTH AFRICA – Solidarity and Finance needed. More

NAMIBIA The Combined Committee of TCL workers and the Workers Advice Centre in Namibia (the “Combined Committee”) is leading a relentless struggle to recover N$800 million (80 million euros) of their pension fund stolen by the employer, Tsumeb Corporation Ltd (TCL) and others.

KAZAKSTAN Leading trade union activist Yessenbek Ukteshbayev is returning to Kazakhstan to continue the important work of Zhanartu. This is in the face of huge repression and regular attacks on activists. Yessenbek has faced direct threats in the past. Please sign and share this statement and petition far and wide, warning the Kazakhstan authorities what will happen if any attempts are made on Yessenbeks life or safety. More

AUSTRAILIA The Bob Carnegie Defence Campaign,  to defend Australian trade unionist Bob Carnegie from victimisation by construction contractor Abigroup. Bob helped lead a successful 2-month strike on a construction site in Brisbane, and now faces charges from the bosses for defying a court injunction intended to keep him away from the site.  online.

US – There has been a seizure of an Argentine naval ship by US vulture fund Elliot Management Corp., which was recenbtyl condemnded by the ITF. Emboldened by earlier successes it has now decided to pursue Argentina over its 2001 defaulted bonds – and has persuaded a Ghanaian court to hold the ARA Libertad, an Argentine naval vessel used to train naval cadets, on payment of a $20M on debt held by Elliot. Fuller article here.


8 Nov

Gloucester NSSN Defend the NHS – Fight Consortium pay. 7.30pm Barton & Tredworth Community Centre, 199 Barton Street, Gloucester GL1 4HR.

6 pm -8pm. Public meeting: Save Lewisham Hospital’s A&E, maternity and surgical units threatened with closure: Lessoff Auditorium, Lewisham Hospital, Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LH. Speakers: Heidi Alexander MP, Dr Louise Irvine (Lewisham GP, BMA, and Keep our NHS Public), Eileen Smith (Save Our Local Hospitals, Greenwich), Mike Davey (Lewisham Unison), Steve Bullock (Mayor, unconfirmed). More

9 Nov

How Clay Cross council fought the government-housing act in 1972. Clay Cross Social Club. More

10 Nov

Who owns our NHS? West Midlands Pensioners Convention Public Meeting.  1-15 pm 0nwards.

Carrs Lane Church Centre, Carrs Lane, Birmingham, B4 7SX. More

SAVE OUR A&Es – WIGAN PUBLIC MEETING 11:00am at Wigan Town Hall

National Childcare conference at Mechanics Institute, Manchester and North-West anti-cuts conference in Liverpool

12 Nov

Say no to rural poverty – save the AWB, your pay and terms and conditions Rally and Lobby
11.30- 12:30 at Old Palace Yard, Westminster, London, SW1 . If you plan to see your MP on Monday, get in touch with them asap to let them know that you’re coming. 020 7219 3000

Fire Service cuts campaign 4.30 Unison Offices, Birmingham [email protected].

13 Nov

Public meeting over Carillion – Broad Eye Building, Stafford College, Earl Street, Stafford ST16 2QR – 6:00pm until 8:00pm
 Speakers Carole Vallelly – Swindon Hospital GMB, Dave Smith – Blacklist Support Group.

14 Nov

14th November will see the first coordinated European general strike in history, with general strikes in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta and Cyprus – and significant strikes in France and Italy.

General Strike in Southern Europe: Irish Solidarity Rally 1pm Central Bank Plaza

Arriva North – 2500 busworkers in nine garages in North London have decided to strike on November 14th

Midday protest, Manchester city centre, in solidarity with 14th November general strikes, called by GMATUC

In Glasgow George Square for an evening rally. There are actions being planned for throughout the day. More

MASS PICKET OF CROSSRAIL .  Oxford Street Crossrail Site (opp. 100 Club).  Video

Oxford trades council is staging a lunchtime protest in the Cornmarket 12 noon to 1pm [email protected]

Coalition of Resistance demonstration and rally “Europe against austerity” 5pm Smith Square London and towns and cities across the UK. More

 15 Nov

‘Save Our Fire Stations’ public meeting7.30pm. Peckham & Southwark both earmarked for closure. Speakers from London FBU and Dave Lewis, Secretary of local tenants association where a fire in 2009 killed 6 people. Supported by Southwark Save Our Services campaign. Called by Southwark Socialists. 07812 063 409. [email protected]

16 Nov

On the tenth anniversary of the national Fire Brigades Union (FBU) dispute, a benefit event will be held on Friday 16 November at the Tabernacle, Notting Hill, London W11 with the Men They Couldn’t Hang, Tymon Dogg, Take the 5th (Clash tribute group), FBU general secretary Matt Wrack and other special guests. More

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

Brighton Reclaim the Night. More

Scottish Rank & File blacklisting Meeting. STUC, 333 Woodlands, Glasgow. 10.30

18 Nov

RMT commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Kings Cross fire and to highlight the continued need for a full staffed and safe tube network. 11am outside Kings Cross station

19 Nov

Defend Our Community Services PUBLIC MEETING, on 19th November , 7.30 pm at Coopers Hill, Reading.

21 Nov

NUS Demo Educate, Employ, Empower Central London

24 Nov

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

STUC Anti-Racism March – Assemble 10.30am at Glasgow Green.  March goes through Merchant City, past George Square and up to Rally at Glasgow Film Theatre.  Join Alan/Karen with branch banner and leaflets (including flyers for MacLean Commemoration).

Construction Safety Campaign AGM 11am to 3.00pm Frenchgate centre, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN1 1LL .

25 Nov

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

28 Nov

PCS forum to expand on the alternatives to the austerity agenda 7pm London with Mark Serwotka PCS, Dexter Whitfield author, Nick Wrack TUSC contact [email protected]

29 Nov

Clydebank Trade Union Council Public Meeting. Free Tuition, Free Bus Passes, Free Prescriptions – Can We Afford Them? The Hub Community Centre, Kilbowie Road, Clydebank


Twitter NSSN_Anticuts

Facebook main group ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ & ‘Stop the cuts’

New website: www.shopstewards.net

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07952 283 558

Post: NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9D


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