NSSN 236: Unison special conference votes for new pay claim

Since the local government pay strike was called off last October, the NSSN e-bulletin has commented on developments.

We salute the delegates at the Unison local government special conference on 24th March who voted to submit a new pay claim for 2015-2016.

The special conference was called following an initiative from the North West region in the wake of widespread anger among the membership over the debacle of last year’s pay dispute.

Important steps were also taken to increase rank and file control of future pay disputes. An amendment to a motion on the decision to cancel strike action for 14th October last year ensured “at least one” lay member would be present at future talks with the employers. A later separate amendment increased this to two.

A new pay claim must be submitted by the National Joint Council before the general election in May.

It is vital that rank and file members in the other major local government unions, Unite and GMB, follow the lead of the decisions made at this special conference. Pressure must be brought to bear in those unions to ensure that Unison ‘isolation’ (despite being by far the biggest local government union) is not used as an excuse for inaction by Unison leaders.




‘Stop the union-busters!’ Advanced notice: this year’s NSSN conference, our 9th, will be on Saturday July 4th in Conway Hall in London. Confirmed speakers include Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary download leaflet

The famous pink NSSN £10 minimum wage t-shirts are still available. Email us to order – £8 each. We have the following sizes: women – small, medium, large, XL and men – small, medium, large, XL, XXL

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. Affiliation letter here

Download the new ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet here

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


BREAKING NEWS! Sacked Unison branch chair Charlotte Monroe wins reinstatement to Barts NHS! Read Charlotte’s statement   Read Barts NHS Trust statement

Glasgow homelessness workers walk out (March 31) – Some 70 homeless workers in Glasgow walked out on indefinite strike today to win proper recognition of their work and have it reflected in their pay grade. The workers assess the needs of homeless people and families across Glasgow, organise crucial support and help people to access and maintain emergency, temporary and permanent accommodation. The strikers – three quarters of whom are women – are paid between £21,000 and £24,500 a year, after the application of the council’s job evaluation scheme. But others doing similar jobs are on the next pay grade up, earning between £25,500 and £30,000 a year. They have been taking industrial action short of a strike since late January read more    read more on STV website    follow dispute on Glasgow Unison Facebook



Download NSSN leaflet supporting PCS from the government’s attacks: ‘Stop the union busters!’ here

Royal family faces first ever industrial action by low-paid staff (30 March) – the royal family faces industrial action by low-paid staff at Windsor Castle as PCS opens a ballot over allowances. It would be the first such action specific to the Royal Households and comes after years of pay restraint have left loyal workers paid below the widely-recognised living wage, with new recruits starting on as little as £14,400 a year read more

ICO members continue dispute against imposed pay offer (30 March) – members at the Information Commissioner’s Office will continue their industrial action into May. PCS members PCS members at the Information Commissioner’s Office, with its headquarters in Wilmslow, Cheshire, have taken five days strike action during the last two months and have imposed a work to rule and overtime ban. This will now be extended until 29 May read more

Film director Ken Loach visits National Gallery picket line (26 March) – PCS members on strike against privatisation at the National Gallery were given a boost this morning when film director Ken Loach visited their picket line. The world-renowned social-realist filmmaker, famous for the likes of Kes, The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Land and Freedom, visited picketers this morning in a show of solidarity for workers who, by the end of this week, will have taken a total of 17 days of action. The dispute is over gallery plans to outsource 400 out of 600 jobs and its refusal to pay workers the London Living Wage read more

For latest on National Gallery dispute against privatisation and the suspension of PCS rep Candy Udwin go to PCS Culture Group website and  follow @PCSCultureGroup @NGNotForSale #NationalGallery #ReinstateCandy on Twitter Donate to the strike fund, using sort code 08/60/01 and account no: 20169002, or cheques to PCS Culture Media and Sport Association, c/o PCS North West Region, Jack Jones House,1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG •Write to the chair of trustees Mark Getty



Sodexo hits probation services with massive redundancies – On Friday 27 March 2015 Napo was informed that Sodexo, one of the private companies running 6 of the Community Rehabilitation Companies, will be making massive cuts to staff over the next 12 months. This is extremely worrying given the current staffing crisis in probation and the reasons behind them pose a significant risk to public safety read more



Union Day of Action on Rail on Tuesday (31 March) – Union Day of Action on Rail on Tuesday as RMT warns politicians that TPE and Northern franchises will ‎expand the great rail rip off read more

Strike Suspended – East Coast Trains (30 March) read more

Dispute Materials: Reinstate Clara (28 March) – Clara Osagiede, RMT cleaners’ secretary on London Underground, has been dismissed from her job for the crime of fighting for workplace justice for London’s transport cleaners. Bosses at Interserve – a private contractor that LU use for cleaning – concocted a series of spurious charges in order to get rid of an activist who is a thorn in their side read more



Drivers facing a 50 per cent pay cut at Hackney council to strike on Thursday (31 March) – Cost-cutting by Hackney council, which is  planning a 50 per cent pay cut for drivers that transport disabled children to school and play clubs, has prompted a 24-hour strike on Thursday (2 April). The drivers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will strike from 00.01 on Thursday in protest against the cuts which could see salaries slashed from £24,000 a year to £12,000. The vote in favour of strike action was 100 per cent. A further stoppage is scheduled for 16 April. Another separate strike involving Unite passenger transport members in Croydon, who also transfer disabled children, has been called on 16 April at Impact, the private company which runs passenger transport services for the council read more

Unite consultation shows ‘massive support’ for North Sea strike action (27 March) – Unite’s consultative ballot of members covered by the Offshore Contractors Agreement (OCA) has shown ‘massive support’ for industrial action in response to attacks on jobs, pay and working time – increasing the likelihood of North Sea strike action for the first time in a generation. The month long consultation exercise closed at noon today (Friday 27 March) and showed a 93.5 per cent vote in favour of proceeding to an industrial action ballot among Unite’s OCA membership, which could affect operations on nearly every installation across North Sea read more

Strike action looms over two sacked shop stewards at Northampton packaging firm (24 March) – Industrial action at corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa in Northampton started today (Tuesday 24 March), following the sacking of two senior stewards, members of Unite. Unite’s 108 members started working to rule and instituting a month-long overtime ban today in support of their two dismissed colleagues who stood up to the company over ‘race to the bottom’ contracts and alleged incorrect bonus payments. This will be reinforced by a 48-hour strike on Wednesday 1 April and Thursday 2 April, unless the stewards are immediately reinstated read more



April edition of Firefighter now online here

Essex FBU Hardship fund details: ‘Essex fire brigades union hardship fund’ Account no. 086001 20292568



Deductions from salary – day of action 10th MAY 2012 (March 27) – I am pleased to report that on the 25th March 2015 in the County Court that the Judgement found in favour of the POA’s claim, in that only 4.5 hours pay (the length of the unworked shift) should have been deducted rather than 7.8, which was deducted due to the length of shift in question. This is a great success for the POA and I would like to put on record my thanks to the Union’s Solicitors for their efforts to date. NOMS were refused permission to appeal, but they have 21 days from the date of the order to further seek permission to appeal to a higher Judge. The POA are disappointed that tax payers’ money has once again been wasted by NOMS in pursuing unnecessary legal action in respect of the provisions of Notice To Staff 47/2010 read more



Milk Delivery Strike off (March 30) – Strike from 1st April called off at North of England milk supplier. Both parties can confirm that an amicable conclusion has been reached so that no strike action will take place says GMB. Strike action by 100 milk delivery drivers, who recently transferred from Leeds based Arla Foods to haulage company Moran Logistics, has been averted read more

Yes to North Sea Strike Ballot (March 27) – GMB members overwhelming support for official strike ballot over unilateral changes to terms for offshore workers in UK waters. Proper risk assessments and consultation have not taken place and the new rotas will have an adverse impact on member’s safety, health and quality time read more



Confusion and anger after University of Bolton sacks husband and wife in media row (26 March) – Two members of staff have been sacked by the University of Bolton for allegedly leaking information to the press about the vice-chancellor, George Holmes. In addition, a pro-vice-chancellor has left the university at short notice in unknown circumstances read more & sign petition

  • Email the vice-chancellor George Holmes and ask for the immediate reinstatement of Damien and Jennifer Markey who were dismissed with no reasonable notice or investigation and in breach of all local procedures and the ACAS code of practice. Please also request that the vice chancellor (VC) issues a statement accepting that the allegations were without foundation and that the way Damien and Jennifer were treated was unacceptable. [email protected] please copy these messages to [email protected]
  • Send messages of support for Damien and Jennifer to the regional office [email protected]

No more job cuts: stop the spiral of decline at London Metropolitan University – In the face of yet another massive round of job cuts that could lead to the effective destruction of the institution, London Metropolitan University UCU branch are calling on supporters to sign their petition against the huge loss of 165 jobs in the faculty of business and law (FBL)

Victory at City College Coventry – Following an overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action at City College Coventry, UCU has managed to prevent a serious attack on members’ terms and conditions and achieved a significant victory by bringing management back to negotiations who then dropped the proposals which concerned pay, redundancy payments and occupational sickness policy

Government cuts could spell the end of adult education warns new research (25 March) – Adult education and training in England will not exist by 2020 if the government continues with its planned cuts to the adult skills budget warns new research findings released today. The findings, from the Association of Colleges (AoC), come after the government announced plans to slash funding for adult education by 24% in the 2015/16 academic year read more



Talks due ahead of Scottish regional airports strike (March 30) – The operator of Scotland’s regional airports is due to hold talks with union leaders in an effort to stop a 48-hour strike by security staff. Staff at AMSL, a firm that is part of Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial), voted last week to strike from midday on 7 April read more from BBC Scotland     read more on Prospect website



BBC Global News studio managers strike on 1 April (March 31) – BECTU issued the followed press release today announcing a 12-hour strike on 1 April by studio managers at BBC Global News. The stoppage will affect World Service output read more

BECTU receives TUC award for Ritzy Campaign (March 27) – BECTU reps have received the 2015 TUC Youth Campaign Award for their work on the Living Wage at the Ritzy Cinema Brixton read more

BBC’s announcement on Clarkson is the ‘right decision’ says BECTU (25 March) – Commenting on the BBC’s decision not to renew the contract of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, Luke Crawley, BECTU assistant general secretary, said: “We don’t rejoice in today’s announcement but there is absolutely no doubt that the BBC’s decision to end its contractual arrangement with Jeremy Clarkson is the right one. Physical assault in the workplace is not acceptable, no matter how big the talent or how valuable the show.” Read more



Steel union leadership authorises industrial action ballot as pensions dispute with Tata escalates (26 March) – NEC unanimously authorises industrial action ballot of Tata Steel members. The National Executive Council of the Community trade union, which represents the majority of the Tata Steel workforce, has unanimously authorised a ballot of the union’s members working for the embattled steel producer over its decision to close its final salary pension scheme read more



“More reasonable than reasonable” (27 March) – Network Rail are working hard to orchestrate an industrial dispute and force TSSA members into taking strike action over this year’s pay negotiations. See our latest newsletter online at here. After extensive talks with members, your reps unanimously agreed that we have to reject the company’s offer and seek further talks read more



Will Labour Support Coal? (March 28) – Yorkshire and Humber TUC’s Regional Conference voted unanimously to support an emergency motion moved by the NUM Yorkshire Area and seconded by Nacods to demand an investigation into the reason for the delay with regard to the Government decision on the situation at UK Coal. Chris Kitchen said that had the application been made when the union asked the cost to keep Kellingley and Thorseby open would have been £70m which is considerably less than the Government calculation of £335m last week read more



Join the April 15 Fast Food Rights global day of action – for more details of protests: follow the following twitter hashtags: #fastfoodglobal #April15 #10Now #joinaunion #strikefastfood  download campaign materials here  read more from BFAWU website

A short animation including some researched facts can be found here 

Go to the new BFAWU website here

Reports of Fast Food Rights protests on Youth Fight for Jobs  and Fast Food Rights websites

Please send details of any local actions to [email protected] / [email protected]



Other news

FREE TU Rep Training in Kent – places available

Good day colleagues,

Both H&S and Union Reps courses for the coming sunny summer months have places available – the course programme and online applications is via the following link: http://kentbusinesstraining.co.uk/courses/tuc-courses.html

Applications are also welcome via email, or the good old-fashioned methods of Royal Mail Post and phone (details below).

The centre continues to grow (2000 Reps in 30 months so far) and now has 11 tutors with strong experience from varying Unions running the courses, and with a 99% + achievement rate we are confident you will be fully satisfied with the new knowledge and confidence that TUC training will give you.

Please feel free to get in touch with us at the TUC Education department for any help or advice in respect to Trade Union training.


Ade Phillips

[email protected]

TUC Education

West Kent College (T3 C03)



01732 372693



Blacklisting & Victimisation

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work in 2015 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)


Blacklist Support Group Update 27th March 2015

  1. Select Committee publishes final damning report into blacklisting

The Scottish Affairs Select Committee have published a final report that is absolutely damning of the construction firms involved in blacklisting and their compensation scheme. BSG wish to put on record once again our genuine appreciation for the tremendous work Ian Davidson and all the other MPs on the committee have carried out on behalf of blacklisted workers over the past 3 years.







  1. Public Inquiry – Blacklisting / Undercover police









During the debate in House of Commons about police spying on MPs & activists, Home Office Minister Mike Penning confirmed the whistleblowers would be exempted from Official Secrets Act if they give evidence at #spycops public inquiry. This is a massive step forward and hopefully will spur on Peter Francis and other police whistleblowers to come forward.


  1. Crossrail sackings & arrests




Crossrail arrest: Statement from Blacklist Support Group secretary

Protests on Crossrail have been temporarily suspended to allow a window for negotiations between UNITE and the Skanska- Costain joint venture.

Dave Smith was in Court today. The full trial is set for July 23rd at City of London Magistrates Court.


  1. Blacklisted book





  1. Blacklist Support Group will be promoting the Blacklisted book at various events throughout the summer including CWU, PCS, FBU, GMB conference.

Video:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlCa8yQmZ70

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/


International (also see Labourstart)

Sri Lanka: Affiliate to Tamil Solidarity read here

Swaziland: Attacks on trade unionists intensify read here

USA: ‘Time to raise a racket’ – article by Gregg Shotwell retired rank & file car worker written in advance of the United Auto Workers bargaining convention, which was held in Detroit on March 24-25 read more



Diary (see & use false economy)


15 Global Fast Food workers day of action

18 1pm Wakefield Socialist History Group meeting on DEMOCRACY AND THE MEDIA: STRUGGLES FOR MEDIA PLURALISM PAST AND PRESENT – speakers: Don Mort, NUJ “Chapel Rep” for the Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group and Granville Williams, member of the National Council of the Campaign for Broadcasting Freedom. We will also be showing Lindsay Anderson’s great 1952 documentary “Wakefield Express.” Admission is free and there is a free light buffet.

28 International Workers Memorial Day



1 May day



20 People’s Assembly anti-austerity demonstration in London details here



4 ‘Stop the union-busters!’ 9th annual NSSN conference – Conway Hall in London

11 Durham Miners’ Gala details here

17-19 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival details here




PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE