NSSN 280: Defend the Junior Doctors – Fight Hunt’s imposition!

The NSSN calls on all our supporters and affiliates to continue to give solidarity to the BMA and the junior doctors. Why not offer them the chance to speak at a meeting of your union branch, trades council or NSSN group? We encourage everyone to discuss with the BMA in your area the idea of organising local solidarity activities and protests – some are being organised this Saturday – and link up with unions locally, trades councils and campaigning organisations including the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group of unions (TUCG), Unite the Resistance, People’s Assembly, Campaign for Trade Union Freedom, Keep Our NHS Public, Disabled People Against Cuts, the National Pensioners’ Convention, Youth Fight for Jobs and any local health and anti-cuts campaigns. Email us your protests via [email protected] and we’ll share them.

The NSSN will continue to call for the TUC and the trade unions, particularly in health, to organise a national demonstration to defend the NHS and support the BMA and the junior doctors as well as defending NHS bursaries. This could really build confidence about co-ordinated industrial action across the health service.

Royal London picket line on February 10 strike
Royal London picket line on February 10 strike

This article is from Dr Clare Blackwell, a junior doctor at Poole Hospital.

“Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt unilaterally imposed his unsafe and unfair new contract on junior doctors in England on 11 February.

The new conditions, which include dangerous longer hours for reduced overall pay, are due to take effect in August. Last year, members of doctors’ union BMA voted overwhelmingly for industrial action against the change. We have struck twice already.

The BMA is currently considering its options for how to resist Hunt’s decision. More strike action is one possibility. There have also been discussions about ‘mass resignation’, where doctors quit collectively if a certain number signs up to do so.

The mood among junior doctors is mixed. People are quite despondent about Hunt’s imposition, and feel devalued and demoralised. But we are determined to resist what has happened.

Junior doctors came out solidly on the last strike day. In Poole we had 50 people on the picket line at times. We had support from the paramedics and members of public sector union Unison. The fire brigade drove past and honked their horns. There was a lot of public support from local people as well. It was all quite heartening.

Before Hunt’s imposition, it looked like there might have been a weak compromise proposal on the table. But after years of goodwill in the face of vicious attacks on the NHS, doctors are not willing to accept any deal worse than our current arrangement.

The strikes have politicised junior doctors. People have realised the collective power they have. This has spread to other healthcare staff as well: nurses are talking about striking again. Striking together would be a huge step forward.”

Emergency Rally: Not Without A Fight, Save Our NHS. No to imposition – 6.30pm Wednesday February 17th Conway Hall, London 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL (Tube: Holborn) http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/events

PCS 100% behind junior doctors

Unison: Ask your MP to sign EDM on the NHS bursary


NSSN holds public solidarity #SaveOurSteel meeting in Port Talbot – Rob Williams, chair of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN), addressed a NSSN solidarity meeting on February 10th in Port Talbot for steel workers who are facing mass redundancies at the Tata plant. Trade unionists from across the region spoke passionately about the impact of the job losses for the workers, their families and communities. Rob, highlighting the real danger of the run down and possible closure of the plant, said that nationalisation, with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need (which means Tata’s executives would get nothing!) was the only realistic plan to guarantee the jobs of thousands of workers in the area. See photos from meeting

Owen Herbert, RMT regional secretary, reminded the meeting of how popular the idea of re-nationalisation of the railways has become and said that nationalisation of steel would receive similar support. An ex-Visteon worker drew applause when he said that if the government can nationalise to save white collar workers (the bankers) then they should do the same for blue collar workers (the steel workers)!   Community: Steelworkers march on Brussels (Feb 15)



South London library workers’ prepare to escalate strike action (by a Unite member) – Unite members in Greenwich and Bromley are escalating the campaigns in both boroughs following recent strike action which launched a joint campaign (see last week’s NSSN e-bulletin). In Bromley the Tories are handing 6 libraries over to Community Links who will run libraries with unpaid volunteers replacing paid, professional staff. The remaining libraries will be handed over to a private company. So far, the council are refusing to say who has made a bid. Unite will now target our campaign at Community Links to persuade them to pull out – and when we get the identity of the privateers, they too will be targeted. In Greenwich, there will be 2 lobbies of the Labour council in the coming weeks. Attempts will be made to persuade Greenwich Labour members to support the campaign. The council is conducting a public consultation – judging by the over 1,000 signatures gathered on the picket lines, the response from the public will be to oppose the closure. Unite has issued a clear warning – should the council ignore the protests and strikes, there will be further escalated strike action.

Greenwich Unite library strike
Greenwich Unite library strike

Unite is making a call to all those opposing library closures to unite in a co-ordinated campaign. This can start in south London, where in addition to Bromley and Greenwich, campaigners and unions in Lewisham and Lambeth are also fighting to defend libraries. A public meeting bringing all four borough campaigns together alongside campaign group Stand Up For Libraries and the National Shop Stewards Network could launch a London trade union led campaign. Since the Tories came into government, over 400 libraries have closed. Families relying on food banks and benefits and those on low incomes cannot buy books and many will not have WiFi at home. One campaigner said: “libraries facilitate a collective social conscience – library closures lead to collective, social dementia”

Protest Outside Bromley Community Links: Community House, South St, Bromley BR1 1RH  (Near Bromley North Station)

24th Feb 2pm till 3pm, 25th Feb 6pm till 8pm, 2nd March 9am till 10.30am, 4th March 9am till 11am



The academy threat to Small Heath School has been withdrawn – now lift Simon O’Hara’s suspension! (1 Feb) — On Friday 29th January Birmingham City Council informed the unions that the threat of the academisation of Small Heath School was off the table as the sponsors had walked away. This came after staff from the NUT, NASUWT and ATL increased their strike action and campaigned with parents to say that students in Small Heath are best served by their school remaining as part of the Local Authority family of schools. Staff are committed to getting the school out of special measures but for this to happen the suspension of the NUT Rep Simon O’Hara must be lifted. NUT members in the school have voted 100% in favour of striking to defend their Rep with strikes on 9-11, 16-18 and 23-25 February if the school refuse to end the victimisation of Simon O’Hara. Please share the petition and encourage as many people as possible to sign. We say well done to the strikers for stopping the academisation of Small Heath School and that now the LA and the IEB should lift the suspension of Simon O’Hara. You are encouraged to send messages of support to David Room at [email protected]. A petition to defend Simon and to say ‘no to academisation’ of Small Heath School has attracted well over 2000 signatures – please add your signature sign here

6th Form Colleges – Pay and Funding campaign: Save our sixth form colleges – vote YES in the NUT ballot – The NUT is balloting members in sixth form colleges for strike action in support of the NUT campaign read more



Reinstate Clive Walder

The NSSN is delighted to announce that John Vasey a sacked CWU postal rep in Wakefield, West Yorkshire has finally been reinstated by Royal Mail (see CWU website). We now demand that Clive Walder gets his job back at British Telecom.

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.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka

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

20,000 Royal Mail workers face the axe read more

Bridgwater disabled postman is going back to work! (Feb 12) – POSTIES at Bridgwater’s Royal Mail delivery office have been celebrating victory after the reinstatement of deaf postman Andrew Mootoo. After a two-year David and Goliath style battle with the country’s second largest employer – culminating with a 24-hour unofficial walkout on November 11 last year, 113 Communication Workers’ Union members at Bridgwater Royal Mail Delivery Office have secured the reinstatement of Mr Mootoo who also has MS read more

Reps meet to plan Royal Mail pay strategy read more

Defend the People’s Post sign the petition here

South Londoners Defend their Crown Office


National demonstration in solidarity with the Kurds

March6 demo

  • Stop Turkey’s war on the Kurds
  • Break the Silence

Sunday 6th March 2016, assemble 12 noon – March from BBC Portland Place to Trafalgar Square https://www.facebook.com/events/1552991251691159/



NSSN / Kill the Bill news

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

The NSSN supported the protest that the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group of unions (TUCG) organised outside Parliament on the 2nd House of Lords reading of the TU Bill on Monday January 11th. We will be publicising protests on the 3rd reading. See video of PCS national Vice-President John McInally speaking on protest

TUC comments on leaked ministerial letter calling for Trade Union Bill concessions

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!!

kill the bill 5 feb 2016_Page_1kill the bill 5 feb 2016_Page_2

Yorkshire NSSN Conference: Stop the Union Busters / Organise the Unorganised – Saturday, 5th March at Ebor Court, Skinner St, Leeds, LS1 4ND 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 attached and here

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]



More Union News

UCU / Unison Futher Education pay strike February 24

Staff to strike in further education colleges on 24 February (4 Feb) – Members of UCU and UNISON in further education colleges in England will be taking strike action on Wednesday 24 February in a row over pay. Staff are angry that the employers’ representatives, the Association of Colleges, recommended a pay freeze, despite staff suffering a real-terms pay cut of 17.1% in the last five years. UCU members walked out in November as part of the dispute and will now be joined on picket lines by UNISON members later this month. Three-quarters (74%) of UCU members who voted backed strike action in the union’s ballot end of last year. Last week UNISON members also backed industrial action with two-thirds (66%) of their members who voted backing the walkout read more



Support Striking Teachers in West Dunbartonshire (Feb 16) – A statement went out to parents from West Dunbartonshire council yesterday in an attempt to distort the position of the EIS and the teachers, and mobilise opposition to the teachers action. Please send solidarity to [email protected].  Please read this letter from EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan to the Labour administration and opposition councillors which lays out the real facts read more   Teachers balloted over second one day strike at high schools in Clydebank, the Vale and Dumbarton

EIS Opens Statutory Strike Ballot For Further Education Lecturers (February 11) – The EIS has opened a statutory industrial action ballot for lecturers in further education colleges across Scotland. The strike ballot is in support of the EIS Further Education Lecturers Association (EIS-FELA) pay claim for 2015-16, where EIS-FELA negotiators are seeking a fair pay settlement for lecturers and pay equality in colleges across Scotland read more



UNISON Glasgow school janitors are entering their fourth week of an industrial action boycott of duties in a ‘dirty, smelly, heavy, outdoor’ payment dispute – Outrageously Glasgow City Council are paying out £3,000 PER DAY to hire non-union workers in an attempt to cover the work of the janitors and undermine OFFICIAL industrial action. Tell your Glasgow City Councillor to get Cordia round the table. Our jannies ain’t going away Glasgow Unison Facebook page



RMT confirms driver strike ballot on Piccadilly Line over comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations (Feb 17) – Tube union RMT confirmed today that it is to ballot nearly 400 train operators across the Piccadilly Line for both strike action and action short of a strike over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations combining a range of issues. The ballot will open on Monday 22nd February and close on Tuesday 8th March read more

First phase of track safety ‘Section 15’ strike suspended (Feb 11) – RMT suspends first phase of strike action in tube safety dispute. Tube union RMT confirmed today that a first phase in a programme of industrial action involving nearly 1500 maintenance and renewals staff on London Underground and Tube Lines, in a fight over basic safety issues relating to what are known as “Section 15 possessions”, has been suspended after the union received confirmation that changes will be put on hold for two weeks to allow for a comprehensive safety review read more



Hundreds join Unite members in mass protest at Oxfordshire’s ‘brutal’ cuts (16 Feb) – Today’s (Tuesday 16 February) strike action by Unite members working in the children’s early intervention service for Oxfordshire county council has had solid support, as hundreds of protesters joined strikers on the picket line in protest at plans to slash frontline services. The strike action comes as Oxfordshire councillors prepare to vote on proposals to cut £69 million from the council’s 2016/17 budget. Unite members voted overwhelmingly for strike action over the council’s plans to shut all of its 44 children centres and seven early intervention (EIS) hubs, including in prime minister David Cameron’s Witney constituency. The prime minister’s own mother, Mary Cameron along with his aunt Clare, have joined the fight to stop the Tory’s ‘brutal’ cuts, with Mary signing a petition to save dozens of the county’s children’s centres, and Clare describing the cuts as a ‘big mistake.’ – read more

Action for Children bosses urged into pay talks as staff vote overwhelmingly for industrial action (15 Feb) – Senior executives at Action for Children were being urged to resolve a long-running pay dispute through the conciliation service Acas today (Monday 15 February), as members of Britain’s largest union, Unite overwhelmingly backed strike action. 71 per cent of Unite members taking part in the industrial action ballot at the charity voted yes to strike action, while a massive 88 per cent gave their backing to industrial action short of strike read more   UNISON members at Action for Children overwhelmingly vote for industrial action

Unite joins with offshore trade unions to form Offshore Coordinating Group (12 Feb) – Unite, along with other offshore trade unions, has banded together to seek immediate solutions that will not only stem growing job losses but ensure that there is a future for oil. Last Monday (February 8), Unite, the largest offshore trade union, joined the RMT, the GMB, Balpa, and Nautilus in a Scottish TUC-coordinated press conference to speak as one voice representing hundreds of thousands of oil workers read more



Join March 1st PCS Westminster rally against HMRC closures (15 Feb) – The PCS campaign against HMRC office closures will be seen prominently by politicians and the public with a rally outside parliament on 1 March. Dozens of MPs have already promised to attend our parliamentary drop-in briefing at 2.30pm the same day but we are asking as many members and supporters as possible to assemble from 1.15pm in Old Palace Yard to listen to our general secretary Mark Serwotka and our parliamentary group chair, Chris Stephens MP, outline why we oppose the department’s destructive plans, which threaten thousands of jobs and aim to close more than 100 offices read more

HMRC sacks 150 and stokes dispute (16 Feb) – Senior HM Revenue and Customs officials have stoked a dispute by today issuing almost 150 compulsory redundancy notices. We believe the move is “entirely unnecessary and inflammatory” and that the department has breached its own and civil service-wide agreements on handling redundancy situations read more



Workers Unite to Fight Samworth (13 Feb) – Over 300 workers for ‘food giant’ Samworth Brothers packed a meeting in Leicester on Friday night to hear food workers’ union BFAWU’s response to recent threats to their pay. The company is one of the largest employers in the city, with some 5,000 workers across nine sites read more


‘£10 & a union’ BFAWU rally Scarborough film, live music, debate – 6pm-10pm, The Mount Hotel, Cliff Bridge Terrace, YO11 2HA Scarborough, North Yorkshire https://www.facebook.com/events/1570148179968208/



Boris Johnson to force through plans to scrap 13 more fire engines despite opposition (Feb 11) – The Mayor of London will force through plans to scrap 13 fire engines if members of his own fire authority vote against the move, it can be revealed Read more from Camden New Journal



2 March Lobby At Merton Council On Social Care (Feb16) – GMB Lobby Full Council Meeting Of Merton Council On 2nd March To Support 2% Social Care Increase To Council Tax To Fund Social Care read more



FT staff vote to accept new pensions offer (15 Feb) – After seven months of conflict at the Financial Times, including two threats of strike action, NUJ members have voted to accept re-negotiated pension terms following an improved offer from management at Acas, the conciliation service. Last week’s talks at ACAS went to the wire, with the final proposal announced just seven hours before a planned 24-hour strike, voted for by almost 92 per cent of NUJ members. The action would have been the first full day’s strike at the FT in 34 years read more



Prospect member describes equal pay win as new gender pay measures announced (12 Feb) – Prospect representative Eleanor Wade stressed unions’ vital role in tackling pay inequality on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning (Friday) read more



ENO Choristers fight for their jobs and pay (8 Feb) – At a press conference today, Equity announced it will ballot the chorus of the English National Opera (ENO) to take industrial action over pay and job cuts. Choristers at ENO have been told to expect a 25% cut in pay and to lose at least four jobs – a course of action that could push ENO into terminal decline. The Chorus, backed by Equity, has launched a campaign to save their jobs, their pay and the ENO read more




Other News

Kill the housing bill national demo 13 March – Keep your diary free for this national demo in London on the housing bill. Sunday 13 March at 12:00–14:00 – Lincoln’s Inn Newman’s Row, London WC2A 3TL, WC2A 3TL London.

Demands include rent control and a programme of council house building read more on Unite LE/1111 housing workers branch website


‘Show Culture Some Love’ London Conference – 12 March 11am–5pm at Trades Union Congress (TUC) Congress House, Great Russell St, WC1B 3LS London Facebook event

Book your place via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/show-culture-some-love-no-to-austerity-arts-budget-cuts-tickets-21203096031



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)

UCATT urges all members who think they may have been blacklisted get in touch NOW!

Blacklist Support Group update – 17th Feb 2016

  1. Pressure mounts in High Court & Scotland

Brian Higgins blacklisted by construction firms, spied on by undercover police. Double page spread in Daily Record.





Next High Court date is Friday 26th Feb


  1. Targeting activists




  1. Trade Union Bill






  1. International Workers Memorial Day: Mourn the Dead – Fight for the Living


Giulio Regeni R.I.P. Murdered for carrying out research on trade unions in Egypt. http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=2953



  1. Events

Sat 21st Feb – Spycops and Blacklisting talks at Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair

Wed 6th March – ‘Whistleblowing as Complaining; Blacklisting as Bullying’ at Birkbeck Uni, London – with ‘Blacklist’ film by Lucy Parker – hosted by Prof John Kelly


  1. Art Against Blacklisting

Trumbo Film Review http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/02/unlikely-alliance-hollywood-and-british-builders-exposing-impact-blacklisting


Any Means Necessary – play at Nottingham playhouse Theatre til 20th Feb




Blacklisted (for forty years)

How do you work out the price of our lives

When you stopped us from tipping up to our wives

Our children were left feeling sad and confused

Blacklisted children like pawns they were used

We know your all driven by money and greed

Never ever the wish, to do a good deed

Your accountants and lawyers all plan and plot

They’d like to see all of the blacklisted shot

But we’re all standing tall and and are up for the fight

As we all stood tall and fought for the right

For every working man, the freedom to stand

To give one another a warm helping hand

So onwards we go and it’s justice we seek

You laughed and defamed us, you thought we were meek

But we know, great British justice is going to be done

It’s our right to fight, stand together as one

So all you blacklisters you’ve all done your worse

Now that you’ve been forced to open your purse

For we only wanted safety on site

Not worked to death buried deep out of site

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/

Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/

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/

Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/



Egypt: Torture and murder of Giulio Regeni read more


Diary (see & use false economy)





5 Yorkshire NSSN Conference: Stop the Union Busters / Organise the Unorganised at Ebor Court, Skinner St, Leeds, LS1 4ND https://www.facebook.com/events/514766158692960/



2 10th annual NSSN Conference in Conway Hall, London




PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE