NSSN 285: Tories split as IDS resigns – joint action to stop the cuts!

Millions of workers would have enjoyed their Friday night as the news filtered through that work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith had resigned from the government because of the planned cuts to Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

All those who have suffered from the brutal benefit cuts and sanctions as well as civil service workers who have fought job cuts, office closures and pay freezes will find his ‘redemption’ a bit far-fetched. But this episode has finally confirmed that what is potentially a weak Tory government – only elected by 24% of the electorate – is under huge pressure and is split down the middle. How do we finish them off?

Junior doctors are looking to escalate their dispute and teachers are on the march over the plans to academies all remaining school in local authority control. All this while yet another wave of austerity is unloaded by Osborne.

But if the Tories can be forced into a U-Turn on PIP, what could a mass movement of joint demonstrations and strikes led by the unions achieve? The NSSN calls on the unions to get together to agree co-ordinated action. We repeat our call that the People’s Assembly march on April 16th in London be turned into a TUC-led demonstration, which would pose the question about the action that is needed.

But whatever the title of the April 16th march, we need to fill the streets of London for a massive ‘Tories Out’ mobilisation. We call on the TUC and the unions to finance as much transport as possible and get the word out to ensure that it is as big as possible and then start planning joint strike action across the NHS, education, the councils and the rest of the public sector which we believe would be supported by workers in the private sector, young people, pensioners and everyone who has been hit by the Tory cuts.

Fight together to get the Tories out!

PCS: Government U-turns on PIP but has already inflicted misery on many

People’s Assembly April 16 March for Homes, Health, Jobs, Education | End Austerity Now – Assemble: 1pm, Gower Street / Euston Road, London NW1 http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/hhje


Teachers fighting academy plans

NUT/ATL London rally against forced academies – Wednesday 23 March assemble 5pm Westminster Cathedral Piazza SW1P 1QW – NUT and ATL members across London are organising a rally this Wednesday to voice their concerns about the Government’s plans to convert all schools to academies. Two petitions to Government calling for an end of the forced academies policy have reached their target of 100,000 signatures in less than a week. (1) This is a clear indication that the general public does not believe these reforms are wanted or needed read more

London academies

Here is the list of demonstrations we are aware of so far:

Derby 5pm at Derby Council House

Nottingham 5pm Brian Clough statue

Bournemouth 530pm outside BIC centre

Newcastle 5pm Grey’s Monument

Luton Town Hall 5.30

Birmingham outside Waterstones 24-26 High St B4 7SL

Coventry outside Department for Education offices Butts Road CV1 3BH



BMA Junior Doctors dispute – Junior Doctors started the first of three more 48-hour strikes on March 9th 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

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

The next planned dates of industrial action are:

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 has produced a model motion that can be used in unions at all levels and trades council here




Save BIS Sheffield: support Sheffield March for Jobs (22 March) – Thousands of people are expected to join a PCS march through Sheffield on 9 April to protest against the loss of hundreds of jobs in the city. At the end of January the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced plans to close its Sheffield site by January 2018, losing 250 jobs.  Taken together with other closures including, HM Revenue and Customs Sheffield site, the overall loss of jobs to the city is 500 read more from PCS website

BIS April9


BFAWU / Fast Food Rights

Fast Food Rights joins fast food workers across the world for #FastFoodGlobal Day Of Action 14 April – We won’t be fooled by Osborne’s gimmick wage!

There will be a big focus in Wakefield, where on the day there will be a demonstration and social.

There will also be protests led by BFAWU fast food workers in Glasgow, Scarborough and Cambridge as well as the events in Wakefield

London launch protest 1 April: 12pm Downing St

read more on Fast Food Rights / Hungry for Justice website

FFRs 1 April FoolsGold Protest (1)



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



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



NSSN / Kill the Bill news

This year’s annual NSSN conference – our 10th – will be on Saturday July 2nd in Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL – 11am-4.30pm. Please put in your diaries!!

kill the bill 5 feb 2016_Page_1

Report from Yorkshire NSSN Conference on March 5th here


Triple defeat for the government on trade union bill (17 March) – Peers in the House of Lords rebelled against the government on three key issues: electronic balloting, political funds and facility time. The trade union bill had its first day at report stage in the House of Lords on Wednesday 16 March, with a major backlash against the government’s unrelenting persecution of trade unions read more on PCS website


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


Drivers in Co-op dispute to vote on settlement deal (22 March) – More than 700 Co-op drivers will be voting on a package of proposals to settle the dispute over the outsourcing of jobs. Unite will be recommending that its members accept the offer hammered out after two days of hard bargaining at the conciliation service, Acas. The ballot results will be known after the Easter holiday. The dispute has centred on the transfer of 87 Coventry-based drivers to the haulier Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) and the implications for Co-op drivers across the UK in the future read more

RBS launches ‘shameless’ £18 million attack on employee pension scheme (21 March) – A new attack on staff pensions is the latest way for RBS to hand down the cost of historic mismanagement to the workforce said Unite, the trade union for UK bank workers. RBS plans to pass £18 million of employer’s national insurance costs down to 27,000 employees who are members of the defined benefit (final salary) pension scheme read more



South London hospital strike – Hospital workers in GMB went on strike at Maudsley, Lambeth, Lewisham and Bethlem Hospitals on Monday 21st March for a living wage, sick pay and unsocial hours payments from American multinational outsourcing provider Aramark Hospital Workers Strike 21 March

GMB Protest at St George’s 24 March (March 21) – GMB To Demonstrate On Thursday 24 March Against Risk To Patients At St George’s Hospital, Tooting, Following Sweeping Cuts To Services. Cuts to cleaning and patient catering services will lead to a greater threat of infection and health problems for patients at St George’s says GMB read more



Janitors “digging in” for a long fight with Glasgow City Council following vote for more strikes (March 18) – a leading Unison official has warned Glasgow City Council (GCC) that janitors in a dispute over pay are prepared for a long campaign of strikes and demonstrations. The comments came after Glasgow primary school and nursery janitors organised by the union voted unanimously to escalate their industrial action against employers Cordia and GCC in a dispute over pay for special duties read more  Glasgow Unison Facebook page

VIDEO: CCTV operators form picket line at Glasgow City Chambers over pay watch here

Lambeth library workers 48-hour strike to save libraries and defend jobs read more  STOP PRESS!! Lambeth Unison members have voted for a council-wide strike over library closures by 85%!

Lambeth library Mar22



RMT secures victory in fight to stop “ticket office carnage” (22 March) – RMT secures major victory in on-going fight to stop “ticket office carnage” that threatens 83 stations across Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern’. Following on from a massive RMT-led campaign the Board of London Travel watch have today opposed all of the Govia Thameslink Railways proposals to shut or change opening hours at ticket offices in London read more

Strike dates go ahead on Piccadilly Line (17 March) – As management wrecks talks strike dates go ahead on Piccadilly Line over comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations. As management wrecks talks strike dates go ahead on Piccadilly Line over comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations. Tube union RMT  today confirmed that talks have broken down and strike action goes ahead next week by nearly 400 train operators across the Piccadilly Line over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations combining a range of issues. RMT has instructed all Train Operators and Instructor Operators to take strike action as follows:-

  1. Not to book on for shifts after 21:00 hours Wednesday 23rd March 2016 until 20:59 hours Thursday 24th March 2016.
  2. Not to book on for shifts after 12:00 hours on Tuesday 19th April 2016 until 11:59 hours Wednesday 20th April 2016 and again after 12:00 hours on Thursday 21st April 2016 until 11:59 hours on Friday 22nd April 2016 read more Piccadilly strike remains on due to ‘out of control’ management

Docklands Light Railway cleaners to be balloted for strike read more



Rail Engineers to strike over Easter bank holiday (17 March) – Rail maintenance and safety engineers will take all-out strike action over the Easter bank holiday in a dispute with Network Rail over back payments owed to them. The strike will begin at one minute past midnight on the morning of Maundy Thursday and will run until almost midnight on Easter Monday, and is likely to disrupt services to both Virgin East Coast and West Coast mainline traffic and all Northern, Transpennine and Cross Country services read more

TSSA Action short of strike: do not participate in your end of year P&D review



Union supports vote of no confidence in University of Reading vice-chancellor (22 March) – The University and College Union has given its support to a staff-led vote of no confidence in the University of Reading’s vice-chancellor Sir David Bell. The vote has been organised by ‘Staff against PAS’ in an ongoing row after the university’s management began its Professional and Administrative Staff (PAS) review read more



ENO Chorus dispute resolved (March 18) – The dispute between English National Opera management and the ENO Chorus has been resolved without the need for industrial action read more



Job losses inevitable say Northumberland FBU after council confirms severe fire cuts (21 March) – Firefighters have slammed Northumberland County Council who today (21 March) approved drastic cuts to fire and rescue services in the county, including the closure of Haydon Bridge fire station and the removal of the on-call fire engine from West Hartford fire station, which will result in the loss of frontline firefighters read more



West Dunbartonshire Secondary Teachers To Restart Strike Action (21 March) – Secondary teachers in West Dunbartonshire’s Secondary schools are set to recommence a programme of strike action as they continue their fight against cuts to Principal teacher posts read more



NUJ members at Johnston Press Northern Ireland vote for action (22 March) – Journalists in the News Letter, the Derry Journal and the Morton Newspapers group of regional titles have voted overwhelmingly in support of industrial action in a dispute over pay, redundancy terms, staffing levels and changes to working practices read more



Other News

People’s Assembly April 16 March for Homes, Health, Jobs, Education | End Austerity Now – Assemble: 1pm, Gower Street / Euston Road, London NW1 http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/hhje


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/

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




France: Up to half a million on streets to stop new labour law http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/7513


Diary (see & use false economy)








16 People’s Assembly 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]


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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE