Thousands of people from across the country will march on Parliament to oppose the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill and demand: secure homes for all, rent controls, and homes for people not for profit. The Bill, which is currently in the House of Lords, threatens to make the UK’s housing crisis much worse, send rent and house prices soaring and spells the end of council and social housing. Jeremy Corbyn will join the marchers.
Assemble 12noon – Sunday 13 March at Lincoln’s Inn, Newman’s Row, London WC2A 3T London
Last year alone the number of rough sleepers in the UK increased by 30%. The Tory minister, Baroness Williams has suggested that rough sleeping is a choice. But sleeping rough hasn’t suddenly become fashionable! The rise is one clear indicator of the growing housing crisis in the UK. The marchers will call for real rent control as an emergency step.
The proposed legislation:
Forces local authorities to sell ‘high value’ properties on the private market when they become empty – the biggest council housing sell-off in generations.
Abolishes new secure lifetime tenancies in council housing, replacing them with 2 – 5 year tenancies.
Hits social tenants with a combined income of £30,000 (£40,000 in London) or more with a ‘pay to stay’ tax, to bring their rent up to market levels – an up to 400% increase. The Observer reported a possible partial retreat on this by the government – so far unconfirmed – that would increase rents gradually as income increases. If confirmed this shows that the government can be forced to retreat under pressure but it would still leave the unacceptable principle of means tested rent: workers would face massive rent increases.
Deregualtes housing associations allowing them to sell off stock or let social rented homes at market rent without seeking consent. Some associations already plan to pull out of social housing.
Does nothing to address the housing crisis, and instead replaces obligations to build social housing with Cameron’s unaffordable ‘starter homes’ – requiring an annual income of £70,000 in London.
Unions are mounting campaigns on housing – the NUT for example is highlighting that young teachers’ pay more than half their income on housing. A survey of 1,200 NUT members in London aged under 35 found 60% were planning to leave the city within five years because of housing costs. The National Housing Federation calculate that the average Londoner needs a 266% pay increase to buy a home – should that be your next pay claim?
Paul Kershaw Unite LE/1111 housing workers branch
Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/1683132118612461/
For more information see: www.killthehousingbill.wordpress.com
BMA Junior Doctors dispute – today March 9th Junior Doctors started the first of three more 48-hour strikes after the Tories announced their plan to impose the new contract. BMA website – Junior doctors: 48 hour industrial action begins in England For info on picket lines, strike rallies etc follow #JuniorDoctorsStrike #NotSafeNotFair #JuniorDoctors on twitter
The planned dates of industrial action are:
9 – 11 March: Emergency care only between 8am on Wednesday 9 March and 8am on Friday 11 March (48 hours)
6 – 8 April: Emergency care only between 8am on Wednesday 6 April and 8am on Friday 8 April (48 hours)
26 – 28 April: Emergency care only between 8am on Tuesday 26 April and 8am on Thursday 28 April (48 hours)
The NSSN will continue our support for the BMA and their members and 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.
To assist in this, we have produced a model motion that can be used in unions at all levels and trades council here
The academy threat to Small Heath School has been withdrawn – now lift the suspensions! — Teachers at Small Heath School in Birmingham have voted to continue their strike action. They have now taken 20 days of strike action. But despite eleven hours of meetings with management and the council in February, two NUT reps remain suspended. You are encouraged to send messages of support to David Room at [email protected]. A petition to defend the two reps, including Simon O’Hara and to say ‘no to academisation’ of Small Heath School has attracted nearly 3000 signatures – please add your signature sign here
NUT sixth form colleges strike on March 15 – NUT sixth form college members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action. The ballot, which closed today, showed 86% of members in favour of action on a 44% turnout. The day of action will be Tuesday, 15 March read more
John Fisher teachers strike over Purley secondary school’s ‘broken promises’ of pay rises read more see picket line photo
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
Executive approves Scots strike vote (March 2) – Postal strikes across large parts of Scotland moved a step closer this morning, following yesterday’s approval by the CWU postal executive committee of a strike ballot request from Scottish members in support of a postman who was unlawfully sacked by Royal Mail read more Parliamentary Motion demands justice for sacked postman
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.
TUCG #KillTheBill lobby of Parliament March 16 – The NSSN is supporting the protest called by the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group of unions (TUCG) when the Trade Union Bill gets to its Report Stage on Wednesday 16th March at 6pm. It will be at Old Palace Yard opposite Parliament http://www.tucg.org.uk/
The 10th annual NSSN conference will on Saturday July 2nd 2016 in Conway Hall, London. Please put in your new diaries!!
Report from Yorkshire NSSN Conference on March 5th here
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
Great Yarmouth Pasta Foods dispute – Unite the Union is in dispute with Great Yarmouth food manufacturer Pasta Foods over the unfair dismissal of two reps. Their dismissal is a blatant act by the company to get rid of stewards and weaken the representation. This comes after members and reps working for the company agreed a series of changes to terms and conditions and shift patterns that saved the company from becoming insolvent. Workers and supporters from the local Unite branch and Great Yarmouth Trades Council will be demonstrating in support of those who have been unfairly dismissed, sending a clear message to management that this type of draconian behaviour is not acceptable
Action for Children unions suspend pay strike for talks (8 March) – The strike over pay due to take place tomorrow (Wednesday) at the charity Action for Children, by members of Unite and Unison, has been suspended. This is to allow talks to continue with the conciliation service Acas. Both unions met the charity’s management again at Acas this afternoon read more
Campaigners in nationwide protests over ‘grotesquely cruel’ benefit sanctions (7 March) – Campaigners will be protesting outside Jobcentres in over 70 towns and cities across the UK on Wednesday (9 March 2016) as part of a national day of action against the government’s cruel benefit sanctions regime. The day of action organised by members of Unite the union’s Community section will also see a petition containing tens of thousands of signatures handed in to the Department for Work and Pensions, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NA at 14:30 read more
Vote For South London Aramark Strike (March 4) – GMB Members Across 4 South London Hospitals Vote For Strike Action To Win £10per Hour, Sick Pay And Unsocial Hours Payments. With a profit of $1.4bn, multinational outsourcing provider Aramark can well afford to pay their staff a proper wage says GMB read more
Glasgow school janitors to strike for three days next week (7 March) – UNISON members employed by Cordia as school janitors in primary schools, ASL schools and nurseries will strike for three days next week in a dispute over pay. There are over 130 school janitors in UNISON membership. Cordia, an ALEO of Glasgow City Council, is refusing to pay a Working Context and Demands Payment to school janitors and is using spurious arguments to justify not making this payment read more
Glasgow CCTV workers strike action (7 March) – Eighteen members of UNISON employed as CCTV operators and supervisors by Community Safety Glasgow (CSG), an ALEO of Glasgow City Council, are taking strike action. Over 90% of the workforce is in UNISON read more Glasgow Unison Facebook page
Overwhelming strike vote on Piccadilly Line over comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations (March 8) – An RMT 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 has recorded massive votes in favour. 85% voted for strike action with an even larger number voting for action short of a strike read more RMT confirms strike dates after overwhelming vote on Piccadilly Line over comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations
Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) union RMT prepares for action over pay and conditions (7 March) – RFA UNION RMT confirmed today that its preparing for industrial action involving hundreds of staff across the Royal Fleet Auxiliary over an attack on pay and working conditions read more
ISS (Virgin Trains Kings Cross) strike March 10-12 – Following the strong ballot result in favour of taking industrial action, your union’s National Executive Committee has recently considered this matter. Despite strong negotiation from your representatives the company has failed to address our concerns and therefore the National Executive Committee has called all ISS members at Kings Cross to take strike action from 0700 hours Thursday 10th March 2016 until 0659 hours Saturday 12th March 2016 read more RMT accuses global facilities giant ISS of bullying
ENO Chorus vote to strike (26 Feb) – The Chorus of the English National Opera (ENO) has voted to strike because of planned redundancies and wage cuts at the ENO. Equity is calling on ENO management to keep a full-time, world-class Chorus and to reverse the decision to reduce their salary to 75% and cut jobs read more
Mayor’s cuts to blame for Camden fire death (4 March) – A coroner has recorded an accidental death verdict for Choi Yip, the 85 year old man who jumped from his third floor Camden flat as it was engulfed in flames in October last year. At the time of the incident, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said frontline cuts to fire services in the capital contributed to the 13 minute response – almost double the emergency response time target – that fire crews took to arrive at Mr Yip’s apartment. Paul Embery, FBU regional secretary in London, said the verdict put the legacy of London mayor Boris Johnson in the dock read more
FE Lecturers To Strike For Fair Pay After Overwhelming Ballot Result (4 March) – Further Education college lecturers across Scotland are to embark on a programme of sustained strike action, following an overwhelming result in a statutory industrial action ballot organised by the EIS. Lecturers in colleges across Scotland will commence strike action on Thursday 17 March in support of the EIS Further Education Lecturers’ Association (FELA) campaign for fair pay in all colleges as set out in the 2015-16 pay claim read more
Save the CASS – Supporters of the “Save the CASS” campaign have organised a “Mobile Arts Easter Parade”. This will be taking place on Monday 14 March from 1.00pm onwards. The march will line up at the entrance to the London Hospital, (Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BZ), and proceed to Central House, (59-63 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7PF) via the Cass building in Commercial Road, (41/71 Commercial Road, London E1 1LA) https://www.facebook.com/Save.the.CASS/?fref=ts
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/
‘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
National Demo: Refugees Welcome Here: Stand up to racism Islamophobia anti-Semitism & fascism! UN Anti-racism day demonstration Sat 19 Mar 2016 London #M19 read more
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 STATEMENT
The Blacklist Support Group issued the following statement regrading the current High Court litigation (Thursday 10th March 2016):
Blacklisting is human rights abuse on an industrial scale. The secret conspiracy that ruined the lives of thousands of hard working men and women was orchestrated by the directors of multinational construction firms. Seven years ago they denied everything and refused to pay a penny. The recent press reports that companies have now paid out around £20 million to settle a small number of High Court claims demonstrates the success of the campaign to expose the blacklist.
But justice for blacklisted workers will not be served if the employers are able to buy themselves out of a High Court trial altogether. Those that actively participated in the systematic victimisation of union members over decades need to be held to account. The full force of the law must be brought to bear upon these captains of industry and the companies that profited from their illegal actions.
Blacklisted workers richly deserve compensation but many of us are concerned that the British legal system may allow big business to escape any kind of legal sanction. We have been fighting this scandal for many years: a few thousand pounds cobbled together by lawyers behind closed doors is not good enough. No blacklisted worker should be forced to accept compensation if they want to proceed to the full trial. Justice demands that the guilty parties are exposed to the spotlight of legal scrutiny at the High Court trial in May. Justice demands that the voices of those that suffered be heard. Blacklisted workers will not be silenced.
Even if every blacklisted worker receives compensation, if the companies escape any legal judgement, the blacklisting scandal will remain unfinished business. And we will never give up our struggle.
Blacklisted book http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/
Donate to ReelNews – http://reelnews.co.uk/donationssubscriptions/
Diary (see & use false economy)
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