Today (February 24), thousands of staff at Further Education colleges in England took strike action on pay.
A joint statement by UCU / Unison said, “Lecturers, librarians, technicians, cleaners and caretakers who belong to UNISON and the University and College Union (UCU) are among those taking part in the one-day strike over pay. The protest is against a recommended pay freeze by the Association of Colleges, following several years where staff have had very low pay rises, resulting in a real-terms pay cut for some of up to 17 per cent.”
The NSSN visited picket lines all over England. This is a video taken outside Havering College in Essex.
BMA Junior Doctors dispute – three more 48-hour strikes called
Junior doctor and consultant contract negotiations latest update
The BMA is now set to launch a judicial review following the embarrassing revelation that the government appears to have failed to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) prior to its decision to impose a new contract on junior doctors in England. In trying to push through these changes, the government failed to give proper consideration to the impact this contract could have on junior doctors.
The judicial review will seek to overturn the decision to impose the new contract and provide a declaration that the secretary of state had acted unlawfully. Imposing this contract will seriously undermine the ability of the NHS to recruit and retain junior doctors in areas of medicine with the most unsocial hours, where there are already staffing shortages. As a result, there will be three further dates of industrial action:
9 – 11 March 2016
Emergency care only between 8am on Wednesday 9 March and 8am on Friday 11 March (48 hours)
6 – 8 April 2016
Emergency care only between 8am on Wednesday 6 April and 8am on Friday 8 April (48 hours)
26 – 28 April 2016
Emergency care only between 8am on Tuesday 26 April and 8am on Thursday 28 April (48 hours)
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.
The academy threat to Small Heath School has been withdrawn – now lift Simon O’Hara’s suspension! — 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 as the school has refused 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 nearly 3000 signatures – please add your signature sign here
Assessment: Primary Headteachers say “enough is enough” – This government’s chaotic changes to assessment policy have already caused growing discontent amongst teachers, especially primary headteachers. In the last few weeks, that anger has grown sharply as primary schools take in the latest changes to assessment regulations that have been announced by government 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.
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
Royal Mail strike threat across Scotland over sacked postman (Feb 23) – The threat of Royal Mail strike action across Scotland is growing after management refused to reinstate a sacked postal worker despite being ordered to do so by an employment tribunal judge. Workers are to be balloted for action which could start next month affecting Edinburgh, the Lothians, central Scotland, Fife and the Borders read more
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
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, 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
Unite / GMB #PayTheRate protests against Interserve & BMV – 6.30am March 1st
Port Talbot – Margam site, off Margam Road, Heol Cae’r Bont SA132NR
Dunbar – Dunbar landfill, Oxwellmains EH42 1SW
Rotherham – Templeborough site, Sheffield Road S60 1AD
Co-op’s transfer of 87 drivers to controversial haulier Eddie Stobart triggers strike ballot (24 Feb) – More than 700 Co-op drivers are being balloted for industrial action over its proposal to transfer about 87 drivers in the Midlands to controversial haulier Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL). Because of the implications for future outsourcing by the Co-op group, Unite, the country’s largest union, will be holding a ballot for strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike from Tuesday 1 March. The ballot closes on Monday 14 March read more
EDF Energy – strike action wins! (Feb 18) – Unite members at EDF Energy working in metering services in London, South West, South East and Eastern regions have won major concessions in a long running dispute over pay and conditions. The priority item for staff covered by long standing agreements was the issue of increased evening and weekend working. The employers have now agreed that this will apply to volunteers only and those not covered by the agreements. In addition, the employer has dropped proposals to fit tracker devices in vehicles and the introduction of random drug and alcohol testing. This shift by the employers followed five days of strike action, with solid pickets as well as protest action which effectively blocked the entrance to the main HQ building at Bexleyheath read more on NSSN website
BA Rally Feb 29th – GMB Rally At Heathrow On February 29th Against British Airways Outsourcing It Jobs And Abusing The Tier 2 Visa System. Members will make short walk from BA HQ at Waterside to meeting in protest at outsourcing and offshoring work to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in India says GMB. Protest details: 12.30-13.15pm, Monday 29th February – Longford Suite, Thistle Hotel, Heathrow, UB7 0EQ read more
North West Water pensions strike (Feb 19) – GMB members gathered to picket and protest outside the of United Utilities’ Warrington HQ at Lingley Mere, Great Sankey, in a protest over pensions. The pickets were being watched by a handful of company ‘marshals’ from just inside the perimeter. GMB steward, Steve explained that the company have served notice that they wish to close the ‘defined benefit’ pension scheme, and replace it with an inferior ‘defined contribution’ system read more on NSSN website
West Dunbartonshire Secondary Teachers Hold Second Day Of Strike Action (Feb 18) – Secondary teachers in West Dunbartonshire were out on strike today (Thursday) for the second time this year in protest at the authority’s plans to restructure the management of Secondary schools read more
UNISON secures holiday pay ruling for workers (Feb 22) – Thousands of workers will now be able to claim holiday pay previously denied them thanks to a successful ruling today (Monday) on a case brought by UNISON member Joe Lock. The decision means that from now on the amount that employees get paid for their holiday must be based on both their basic pay and any commission they earn read more
UNISON Glasgow school janitors dispute Glasgow Unison Facebook page
TfL ordered to keep ticket offices open after RMT campaign (24 Feb) – RAIL UNION RMT can reveal today that after a careful review, London TravelWatch has ordered Transport for London to keep a number of former Silverlink ticket offices open – thereby throwing into question the credibility of TfL’s entire ticket office closure programme read more
Strike ballot on Piccadilly Line over comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations opens today (Feb 22) – An RMT strike ballot of 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 opens today. The ballot will close on Tuesday 8th March. The Piccadilly is the fourth busiest line on the London Underground network transporting an average of 600,000 passengers a day and services London’s Heathrow airport – the busiest airport in Europe. The ballot has been called after a prolonged period of industrial problems on the line – some of which have been directly related to serious underlying issues with the aging Piccadilly Line fleet read more
DLR cleaners to be balloted on range of issues (Feb 20) read more
Privatisation threat to MoD staff (19 Feb) – Essential UK defence support services face being sold off as part of the government’s plans to cut the number of civilians in the Ministry of Defence by a further 30% read more
PCS calls for common campaigning on redundancy pay attacks (18 Feb) – Our national disputes committee (NDC) met yesterday (17 February) to consider a number of major developments affecting PCS members 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
BFAWU Samworth meeting Friday Feb 26 – 6.30pm Belgrave Road, Leicester
‘£10 & a union’ BFAWU rally Scarborough film, live music, debate – 6pm-10pm, February 27 at The Mount Hotel, Cliff Bridge Terrace, YO11 2HA Scarborough, North Yorkshire https://www.facebook.com/events/1570148179968208/
Public at risk if Cambridgeshire fire service turn to private sector (Feb 19) – The Fire Brigades Union has warned that the crisis facing the county’s fire and rescue service will worsen following agreement by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Authority (CFRA) to a plan to use private contractor Serco to provide cover for chronic firefighter shortages in the county read more
Didcot underlines the dangers of the construction industry (24 Feb) – The unplanned collapse of Didcot Power station in Oxfordshire on Tuesday Feb 23rd at 4pm, resulting in one fatality, three workers still missing and five others in hospital, highlights the dangers inherent in the construction industry read more
Pimlico Plumbers decision highlights construction false self-employment (22 Feb) – Construction union UCATT have welcomed a decision by the Employment Appeals Tribunal regarding high profile company Pimlico Plumbers. Pimlico Plumbers currently employs its operatives on a “self-employed basis” which means the workers do not receive holiday or sick pay and can be dismissed without notice. The company also does not pay employers’ national insurance contributions of 13.8% per cent 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
Is the Rio Dalston on course for an industrial dispute? (Feb 22) – National official Sofie Mason brings us up to speed on industrial relations at the Rio Dalston. The last few months saw prospects of positive engagement but sadly management’s poor leadership now means that only talks at ACAS next month can prevent a ballot for industrial action read more
United Voices of the World the union
Protest at Topshop, Oxford Street. LIVING WAGE NOW! – 12 March 3pm Topshop, 214 Oxford St, London W1W 8LG – Come and join UVW for a mass protest at Topshop flagship store in Oxford Street demanding a Living Wage for all workers, both the outsourced cleaners and the in-house sales assistants… Despite huge profits workers on the shop floor are paid poverty wages which stand some 30% below what is accepted to be the current London Living Wage of £9.40 per hour https://www.facebook.com/events/984893508252657/
CitySprint announce pay rise! – After mounting pressure on CitySprint to initiate a pay rise in the same-day dispatch industry – it’s finally happened! Following another surprise flashmob at ITV/ITN News on Grays Inn Road on 23rd September, the release of a new video by Reel News about our campaign (watch it here) on November 12th, and a huge Critical Mass on Friday 28th November, CitySprint announced that they would raise the rates in 2016 read more
Greater London association of trade union councils conference (GLATUC) ‘London against austerity 2: looking at London pay’ – Incl. London living wage, young workers pay, London weighting, equality, zero hours & part time contracts
Saturday 27 February 10.30-15.00, Unite London & Eastern office, Ron Todd House, 33-37 Moreland street, London ECIV 8BB
Nearest tube/rail – Old Street or Angel (Buses 4, 56, 43, 205, 214)
Following the highly successful first of the GLATUC Conferences on fighting austerity held on July 4 at Islington Town Hall, the second conference will be looking at aspects of London pay. Again this will be a serious look at how to fight low pay and the Tory policies to drive them down. To look at what can be done at the practical level – looking at the role of councils, other public bodies, campaigns on TIPS, fast food pay and for a proper living wage. It will have those involved in union and community fights with current experience of conducting battles and councillors and others looking for ways to develop local improvements. Organised by GLATUC – [email protected]
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
New exhibition at TUC Congress House, London commemorating the miners’ strike of 1984-85: ‘Solidarity and the 1984/85 Miners Strike’ – March 14-15 details
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)
Blacklist Support Group Photo Opportunity
9:30am Friday 26th February 2016
Royal Courts of Justice
2 weeks ago it emerged in the Daily Mirror and subsequent press stories that a small number of blacklisted workers had received between £15-20 million in compensation between them but the full blacklisting super-trial is still scheduled to start on 7th May. The construction giants; Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska and Vinci have already admitted their guilt and responsibility for targeting union activists during their 1993-2009 operation of the Consulting Association blacklist and for decades beforehand under the guise of the Economic League. It is believed that over 100 new claimants with blacklist files have joined the litigation within the last week alone.
This Friday is the first hearing since the stories in the press and also the first since witness statements were exchanged by the legal teams. 16 leading industry figures have given written statements, including Directors of multinational companies and former Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Consulting Association. The glaring omission from the list of blacklisters is the name of Cullum McAlpine, the man who bankrolled and was founding chairman of the Consulting Association. In previous hearings, the High Court has been shocked to hear that not a single email or letter to or from McAlpine was disclosed, in fact many such documents were destroyed, despite a court order requiring full disclosure.
Dave Smith, BSG secretary commented:
“As we get closer to May, we can nearly taste the victory. The prospect of directors of multinational corporations who violated our human rights being forced to give evidence under oath in the High Court is whetting our appetite.
The British legal system needs to demonstrate that big business is not above the law. The guilty must be punished; in court and by their removal from publicly funded contracts. If there was any real justice, the wretches would already be in jail”.
Blacklisted book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/
Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/
National demonstration in solidarity with the Kurds
- 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/
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/
16 March for Homes, Health, Jobs, Education | End Austerity Now
Assemble: 1pm, Gower Street / Euston Road, London NW1 http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/hhje
2 10th annual NSSN Conference in Conway Hall, London
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP or STOP The CUTS Likes page
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE