NSSN 274: Support the Junior Doctors strike & NHS bursaries march!

NSSN 274: Support the Junior Doctors strike & NHS bursaries march!

Next Tuesday January 12th, Junior Doctors will be striking on the first of four planned days of action. This Saturday January 9th, students in the NHS will be marching in defence of their bursaries – assemble 12noon outside St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7EH https://www.facebook.com/events/440660962797762/. Following the announcement of plans cut to NHS bursaries for student nurses UCU is supporting this petition which has already had over 146,000 signatures https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/113491

For latest news and protests follow #JuniorContract #NotFairNotSafe and #bursariesorbust on twitter

NHS bursary protest Dec 2
NHS bursary protest Dec 2

Below are excerpts from an appeal ‘A call from the BMA – to our fellow workers, trade unionists and activists: we need you!’ by Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis, a member of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee National Executive. The full statement can be read here

“Junior Doctors across England will be commencing industrial action on Tuesday 12th January. We are opposing this government’s attempt to impose an unsafe new contract on the medical profession. It is our view that the proposed contract represents an existential danger to the NHS as an institution.

You may be aware that the BMA had initially suspended its planned industrial action at the start of December and returned to talks with the Department of Health. That decision was made in good faith. However, over the last few weeks, in the course of negotiations with Government we have encountered only intransigence. It is clear that the government perceives our contract issue as pivotal for its attempt to “reform” the NHS towards a neoliberal, commercialised system.

It is therefore evident to us that we have no choice but to transform our 98% ballot mandate into action.  The developments of the next few months will have consequences stretching far into the future. This government is wilfully putting at risk our patients’ safety, the tolerability of our working lives as NHS workers and the very viability of the NHS as a publicly-funded, publicly-provided service.

On behalf of the entire BMA we thank you all for your incredible support so far. Many of you will have seen the details with regards to the planned action and I will reiterate them below. We invite you to come out and display your visible support for us on the days of action.

The action will begin with an emergency care-only model, which would see junior doctors provide the same level of service that happens in their given specialty, hospital or GP practice on Christmas Day. It will then escalate to full walk-outs. The action as proposed is:

Emergency care only — 24 hrs from 8am Tuesday 12 January to 8am Wednesday 13 January

Emergency care only — 48 hrs from 8am Tuesday 26th January to 8am Thursday 28 January

Full withdrawal of labour — from 8am to 5pm Wednesday 10th February

The aim is to picket all major hospitals in England on all three days of proposed action. Pickets will be in the vicinity of the main entrances and will start at 8am, continuing until at least 12.30pm. However, many picket sites will continue into the evening, especially at the larger hospitals.

Along with the pickets there will be parallel “Meet the Doctors” events at nearby transport stops or public spaces. We will direct you to these events from the picket.

Please turn up on the days of action, and give us your support. We will then inform you if other local events are planned on the day. If you are an allied health worker, trade unionist or campaigner please do consider bringing along the banner representing your organisation, your working uniform or similar. We would appreciate it however if banners in explicit endorsement of specific political parties are not displayed and that any selling of campaign literature such as newspapers is relatively discreet.

On the days of action, please do debate us, educate us and invite us to address your colleagues in your workplace or trade union branch.”


BFAWU / Fast Food Rights

£10 and a union at McDonalds protest and meeting – Wednesday 13th January. Meet at 5pm at McDonalds Trafalgar Square/Whitehall then a public forum in Parliament at 6.30pm. Speakers include Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP https://www.facebook.com/events/1502689510038857/


FFR Jan 13



Support the #CWU2 – reinstate Clive Walder & John Vasey!

Clive Walder, a longstanding leading rep in the CWU had an appeal against unfair dismissal rejected by British Telecom on 9 November, confirming his sacking after 38 years of service. Clive is chair of the CWU Birmingham, Black Country & Worcester branch.

FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack and Bakers Union President Ian Hodson supporting victimised CWU members Clive Walder and John Vasey at TUCG rally
FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack and Bakers Union President Ian Hodson supporting victimised CWU members Clive Walder and John Vasey at TUCG rally

Clive worked in a BT call centre and was dismissed after an aggressive customer reported him to management just 33 seconds into a phone call. The decision was made without taking stress into account despite the local CWU branch reporting that 7% of staff at the call centre leave their jobs each month, some walking out mid shift. Management took the decision without consulting any medical advice or taking into account any mitigation.

Clive is a NSSN steering committee member and we will be supporting the campaign protesting the sacking and campaigning for his reinstatement.

Contact Clive to send messages of support and invite him to your union branch, shop stewards committee, trades council etc – [email protected] 07771931185


John Vasey, a CWU postal rep in Wakefield, West Yorkshire has also been sacked on what his work colleagues recognise as stitched up charges. John is waiting for the outcome of his appeal that took place earlier this week. The NSSN calls on all our supporters and affiliates to support John’s campaign for reinstatement and his union the CWU:-

Messages of protest to Jon Millidge, Royal Mail Group HR Director, c/o Tallents House, South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

(Copies to Paul Clays, CWU Regional Secretary, 6 Concept Court, Kettlestring Lane, Clifton Moor, YORK, YO30 4XF – e-mail: [email protected])

John Vasey, sacked Royal Mail rep
John Vasey, sacked Royal Mail rep

Please sign the petition and like Reinstate John Vasey  on Facebook

Defend the People’s Post sign the petition here



NSSN / Kill the Bill news

As expected, the Tory Trade Union Bill passed its 3rd reading on November 10th. It now goes to the Lords. But we must keep up the pressure and prepare for resisting it if it becomes law.

Please come to the protest that the TUCG have organised outside Parliament on the 2nd House of Lords reading of the TU Bill on Monday January 11th. It will be at 6pm at Cromwell Green this time as this is right across from the Lords Chamber.

TUCG Jan 11

The TUC have announced a week of action February 8-14 against the Trade Union Bill http://heartunions.org/. Watch out for any protests or meetings that week – or organise your own through your Trades Council, union branch, NSSN etc

See videos of John McDonnell, PCS Vice-President John McInally John McInally and  NSSN chair Rob Williams speaking at TUCG protest outside Parliament on November 10th

TUCG statement on the Trade Union Bill here



Rob Williams NSSN chair was interviewed live on BBC’s Daily Politics at TUC Congress watch here at about 30 minutes

Early notice – the 10th annual NSSN conference will on Saturday July 2nd 2016 in Conway Hall, London. Please put in your new diaries!!

Yorkshire NSSN Conference: Stop the Union Busters / Organise the Unorganised – Saturday, 27 February 2016 at 10am Cosmopolitan Hotel 2 Lower Briggate, LS1 4AE Leeds https://www.facebook.com/events/514766158692960/

The last two pink NSSN ‘£10 Now’ t-shirts are available for £8. Both are women’s large sizes. First come first served! Order by emailing [email protected]

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

We are delighted to announce that the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers has affiliated to the NSSN

Download the ‘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


RMT to Ballot Tube Lines Staff for Strike Action over pay and Night Tube (6 Jan) – Tube union RMT confirmed today that it making the final preparations for a ballot of Tube Lines staff for both strike action and action short of a strike after a meeting of reps overwhelmingly rejected the latest pay and Night Tube offer which mirrors the rejected proposals from London Underground to its workforce read more

RMT salutes rock solid strike action on Arriva Trains Wales (4 Jan) – General Secretary Mick Cash said; “RMT salutes our driver members on Arriva Trains Wales who are standing rock solid, shoulder to shoulder with ASLEF colleagues in the action this morning which has closed down all services. “This strike is about basic workplace justice and decent working conditions and it is down to the company to recognise the anger amongst the workforce shown this morning and to meet with the unions for genuine and meaningful talks on the issues in dispute.” Read more

Northern Rail – Leeds Customer Relations Department strike (4 Jan) – Solid support from RMT members as they continue to strike against Northern Rail’s intention to reclassify and downgrade their established positions read more

Massive pay win for RMT cleaners on DLR (Dec 29) – Transport union RMT has secured a massive pre-Christmas pay victory for key groups of staff working for outsourcing company Interserve on London’s Docklands Light Railway. After RMT put on a package of strike action and action short of a strike further negotiations have been held with Interserve on the pay issue. As a result of the industrial pressure the company have now agreed to a 75p per hour increase for all cleaning supervisors, travel safe and security staff, backdated to April 2015. RMT’s executive has now welcomed this massive breakthrough and has agreed to call off the next phase of planned industrial action read more    Initial DLR strikes suspended following some movement from company

Tube cleaners fight back (Dec 29) – Over 50 Interserve cleaners, Tube workers from other grades, and supporters held a noisy protest outside Interserve’s head office on Tuesday 15 December, exposing the Scrooge-like practises of the cleaning contractor, which routinely short-pays its workers read more

Caledonian Sleeper strike rock solid (23 Dec) – As rock solid Caledonian Sleeper strike enters second day RMT reveals that over £5 million was blown on consultants and tendering costs read more




‘Pig headed’ EDF Energy bosses spark week-long meter workers’ strike (5 Jan) – A week-long strike by EDF Energy workers carrying out Smart meter installations will take place next week, after ACAS talks failed to make a break through due to ‘pig headed’ bosses. Unite, the country’s largest union, suspended a week’s strike in November for talks with the management to take place under the auspices of Acas, the conciliation service. However, the union said that the talks had broken down and now about 70 staff at EDF headquarters at Bexleyhealth, Kent and Canning Town, east London are due to strike from 00.01 on Monday 11 January until 23.59 on Friday 15 January. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Unite went into the Acas talks before Christmas in good faith, but they have been sabotaged by a pig headed management…” read more

Scottish Construction Rank & File meeting this Saturday January 9th 10am The Iron Horse Bar 115 West Nile Street, G1 2SB Glasgow https://www.facebook.com/events/889535754495980/

Medway bus dispute resolved – for the time being (23 Dec) – The dispute over new timetables which has affected more than 200 Arriva bus drivers in the Medway towns has been resolved … for the time being. The drivers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, voted today (Wednesday 23 December) to accept a new set of timetables by a large margin – but with the proviso that they will revisit the issue at the end of March to see if they are working satisfactorily. The six-month dispute has centred on the introduction of unachievable timetables, making it impossible, the union said, to deliver a safe reliable service read more



Civil service redundancy payment changes imminent (16 Dec) – The government is expected imminently to make further cuts to the civil service compensation scheme which would reduce voluntary redundancy pay-outs. PCS has learnt that chancellor George Osborne is keen to force through the changes in the New Year. We have not received any details about the proposals but are expecting them imminently, while unsurprising, it is deeply disappointing that the media appear to have been given information before staff, unions or parliament. PCS is committed to campaigning against and challenging these changes. According to the Civil Service World website voluntary payouts could be slashed read more



Gloucestershire politicians urged to halt fire cuts as public consultation concludes (4 Jan) – People trapped in property fires, floods and road traffic collisions will have to wait far longer for firefighters to rescue them if cuts are given the go ahead, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said. The union has called for politicians at Gloucestershire County Council to reject plans that would close Painswick fire station and cut all the full time firefighters based at Cirencester fire station read more

Better national co-ordination of fire and rescue and investment, instead of cuts, essential for flooding response, says firefighters union (27 Dec) – The firefighters’ union, who have praised the efforts of firefighters as devastating floods have hit the north of England, Wales and other areas, have called for the government to recognise the need for central co-ordination and proper investment in flood response resources read more



6th Jan Sheffield Housing Strike (Jan 5) – GMB Members In Sheffield Housing Service Strike Action On 6th Jan In Dispute Over Imposed Cuts To Terms And Conditions Of Employment. Not only has the council annihilated the terms and conditions they are forcing through something which doesn’t work says GMB. The members will hold a lunch time protest outside the Town Hall. The details are as follows: From 12.30 pm on Wed 6th January, Outside Sheffield Town Hall, Pinstone Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 2HH

Sheffield Recycling Long Running Dispute (Dec 23) – GMB to ballot members for further action in long running dispute in Sheffield on Veolia and Council recycling sites. This dispute has been on-going since November 2014 and centres on pay, bullying and health and safety says GMB read more



UCATT condemns Aberdeenshire Council for wilfully abandoning workers (6 Jan) – Aberdeenshire Council has left 18 workers washed up without jobs or information about their future after their council-contracted employer Kier Construction backed out of its council contract with three months remaining read more



Probation: NPS and CRC pay update – Napo is calling on all Probation employers to pay the incremental progression for the 2015/2016 pay year that is due to all members and is seeking urgent and meaningful pay negotiations early into 2016. The probation pay system is broken and any efforts to reshape or reorganise how and what staff do to support service clients in the NPS under the E3 project will be fundamentally undermined unless the pay crisis is recognised and addressed now read more


Defend the Cass

‘Occupy The Cass’ is a collective group of students at London Met exercising our right to freedom of assembly and peaceful protest https://www.facebook.com/occupycasslmu/?fref=ts  Sign the petition


Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)

West Dunbartonshire teachers strike on January 12thSend the Teachers Trade Union a message of support at [email protected]

Strike rally – 10.30am 12th January in the Clydebank Town Hall. Speakers include Larry Flanagan EIS general secretary




Other News

“Voices for Justice, Save Legal Aid” Rally on Wednesday 6th January 2016 at 6.30pm at Conway Hall (nearest tube Holborn) – Speakers: Shami Chakrabarti (Director of Liberty); Helena Kennedy QC; Marcia Rigg; Deborah Coles (Co-director of Inquest); Emma Scott (Director off Rights of Women); Helen Steel; Jeremy Corbyn MP; Peter Kavanagh (Unite the Union) Awate Suleiman; Laura Janes (Howard League for Penal Reform) book tickets here    https://www.facebook.com/JusticeAllianceUK/?fref=ts


Public meeting marks 30th anniversary of Wapping dispute (5 Jan) – A special public meeting on 14 January will mark the 30th anniversary of the most traumatic upheaval in the history of the UK media – the Wapping dispute. On 24 January, 1986 Rupert Murdoch’s News International group, publisher of 4 national papers, sacked nearly 6,000 staff as it switched production overnight to a new non-union factory in Wapping, East London. The workers fought a bitter year-long battle but failed to win back their jobs.

Speakers at the public meeting at 6.30pm on 14 January include John Hendy, leading employment law barrister and chair of the Institute of Employment Rights; John Lang, former sacked News International striker; Pete Kavanagh and Louisa Bull, Unite London and Eastern region officers. It takes place at the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, Bancroft Road, London E1 4DQ, which is hosting an exhibition about the dispute more from PCS website



Blacklisting & Victimisation

Buy the book ‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists’ Author: Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain. Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. See the official trailer from ReelNews  

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)

Blacklisted book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

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

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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



International (also see Labourstart)

Solidarity urged for insurance workers’ strike read more

China: Free jailed labour activists, stop suppressing labour organizations! Read more


Diary (see & use false economy)





27 Yorkshire NSSN Conference: Stop the Union Busters / Organise the Unorganised – 10am Cosmopolitan Hotel 2 Lower Briggate, LS1 4AE Leeds https://www.facebook.com/events/514766158692960/



2 10th annual NSSN Conference in Conway Hall, London




PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE