NSSN 333: Teaching Assistants still fighting in Derby and Durham!


This week we give an update on the two longstanding struggles of teaching assistants in Derby and Durham against pay cuts of up to 25%, shamefully in both cases by Labour councils.


After an incredible dispute that has lasted 10 months and had recently seen strike action go indefinite, Derby City Council has put a new offer on the table, which will now be voted on by the 1,200 Unison members.

In Durham, a similarly heroic and resilient campaign of over 12 months, forced the council before Christmas to suspend notices to sack and re-engage 2,700 staff in Unison and ATL on new inferior contracts in the New Year but they have NOT yet been withdrawn, despite continued negotiations.

On Saturday 25th March County Durham Teaching Assistants are staging a national day of solidarity to thank supporters and to ensure that the wider public are aware that they are still #FightingOn against these crippling pay cuts.

This is a call out to all trade unionists, campaign supporters and workers in struggle to join Durham TAs on a solidarity march through Durham city centre from 12noon, followed by a mass rally at the iconic Miners’ Hall at Redhills.

Donate to Derby hardship fund here

Derby Unison branch Facebook page here

Donate to the Durham TAs’ fund here

Durham TAs Facebook page here


More from Unison

Support ongoing Glasgow Unison janitors’ dispute – Facebook group  and website

Support the Kinsley School cleaners in Wakefield on indefinite strike since September 6th Facebook Group. Donate to strike fund – send to Wakefield Unison, 18 Gills Yard, Wakefield WF1 3BZ

Leeds Foundation workers strike back against attacks on terms and conditions (Mar 2017) – With a sea of fluttering flags, around 50 striking workers at 3rd sector company Foundation, providing support to vulnerable adults made themselves unmissable as TV cameras broadcast coverage of their dispute. These workers, members of Unison, were already working 40 hour weeks and having to provide their own transport with the lowest paid earning barely more than the ‘living wage’. This is before the latest attacks on terms and conditions including attacks on sick pay, holiday and redundancy pay will drive to even higher staff turnover. Some posts are being downgraded which will result in a whopping 20% drop in pay! read more

Work in local government in Scotland? Vote to reject this pay deal



Support the Irish anti-water charge protestors who are facing trial for a protest in Jobstown. Join the international day of solidarity this Thursday 23 March by joining the protest at 2pm outside the Irish Embassy in London – 7 Grosvenor Pl, Belgravia SW1X 7HR

Please send messages of protest:  https://sites.google.com/view/jobstownnotguilty/    https://www.facebook.com/Jobstown-Not-Guilty-1056889327677242/


Demonstration at Spycops Inquiry Hearing – 9am-10am April 5th Royal Courts of Justice, Strand London, WC2A 2LL

It is over six years since the undercover policing scandal broke, creating shock that the police could commit such abuses against social, animal, and environmental justice campaigners in our country. Public outrage at the scandals around undercover policing led to the Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing. Two years in, it is still in its preliminary stages, beset by police delaying tactics, and applications for secrecy. The police have so far avoided giving any information about their abusive activities. People who have had their lives turned upside down by infiltration are no nearer to knowing the truth. We are no nearer to knowing the extent of the ongoing abuse of our democracy. The police have asked for yet more delays and the Inquiry are having a hearing to take opinions and make a ruling. It is a crunch time for the Inquiry – will it acquiesce to the police’s dodging of accountability or will it at last prise open the lid and reveal the truth? Everything we know about Spycops has come from the activists, journalists and whistleblowers, the state has given us nothing read more



NSSN news

BFAWU, Unite Community and NSSN North East force Subway to back down from Gateshead poverty pay apprenticeships – The North East trade union community was rocked by an outrageous insult to young workers. US firm Subway’s UK and Ireland subsidiary was advertising on a government website for ‘apprentices’, to be paid £3.40 per hour. The ad offered 35 hours per week, in exchange for the opportunity to become a poverty pay recipient and sandwich ‘artist’.

NSSN, and partners Unite Community and BFAWU’s Hungry For Justice campaign, were quick to apply pressure to Subway on social media. We promised to bring our activism to the offending Gateshead store which advertised the roles. On Sunday 19 March, under 48 hours after our announcement, tweets from @SubwayUKIreland stated: ”Hi, the store owner was unaware of the advert which was posted by a recruitment agency… …We are working to have this advert removed immediately.”

Oversight or not, employers must understand that NSSN maintains a watchful eye on all industrial developments. We and our partners will challenge any and all attempts to exploit workers, and young workers in particular. We demand dignity, full rights, real contracts, and a real living wage of £10 per hour for all workers – Williams Jarrett NSSN North East (on twitter – @NSSN_NE)


Trade Union Act came into force on March 1st – TUC call a special conference

The Tories have confirmed that their anti-union laws, incorporated in the Trade Union Act, including new undemocratic industrial action ballot thresholds will come into force on March 1st. The NSSN calls on the TUC to implement the policy passed at last September’s TUC Congress which was moved by the RMT which includes:

“Congress believes the General Council needs to convene an urgent conference of affiliates to provide a practical forum, including workshops, as to how to best coordinate our legal and industrial response to the Act in line with policy already set by Congress.”

and an amendment from the FBU:

“Congress should discuss all options for challenging the new legislation. This should include stepping up the campaign to scrap the Act and other anti-union legislation as well as the practical steps to be taken to support any unions and groups of workers threatened by this anti-worker legislation.”


Early notice – the 11th annual NSSN Conference will be on Saturday July 1st 2017 from 11am in Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. It is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners Facebook event

This is a video of the NSSN TUC Congress Rally on 11 September – Tories Out! Keep Corbyn!

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 is below

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 moves strike date on Southern Rail to April 8th to allow for talks

RMT announces further strike action on Arriva Rail North over continuing threat to guards

RMT confirms new strike date on Merseyrail in fight to retain safety-critical guards.

RMT warns of co-ordinated Government plans to axe rail staff, compromise safety and run trains on the cheap (21 March) – Rail union RMT warned today of a co-ordinated Government plan to axe thousands of rail jobs including all drivers from Britain’s trains. The Rail Capability Plan, just issued with Government and RSSB support, sets out proposals to further compromise and dilute the current safety regime and run ‘Autonomous’ trains on the cheap read more

RMT confirms new strike date on Southern Rail and says it will reconsider if a date is given for genuine talks (17 March) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that guards and drivers on Southern Rail will strike again in the on-going disputes over the safety impact of the extension of Driver Only Operation and the removal of guards from services. Members will strike for 24 hours between 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Tues 4th April 2017 read more

RMT announces action after Night Tube drivers vote by over 96% for strike action over block on career progression (16 March) – TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that Night Tube drivers will strike on the 8/9th and 29/30th of April  after they voted overwhelmingly for action over a block on career progression which has been imposed by London Underground. Members voted this week by over 96% for strike action and by over 98% for action short of a strike. RMT’s Executive has now confirmed the following: All Night Tube train operators on Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines not to book on for duties between 20.29 on April 8th 2017 and 08.30 on April 9th 2017 and not to book on for duties from 20.29 on April 29th 2017 to 08.30 on April 30th 2017 read more    ASLEF drivers on Night Tube to strike



BMW urged to break pension impasse ahead of further talks (21 March) – Unite urged BMW Group bosses to break the impasse and negotiate meaningfully when talks aimed at finding a resolution to the ongoing pension dispute reconvene tomorrow (Wednesday 22 March). Accusing the carmaker of ‘going through the motions’ and trying to ‘buy car workers off’ with a derisory £7,000 payment to give up their final salary pension, the union warned BMW it needed to start listening to workers’ concerns over the closure of the pension scheme read more

Campaign to save Bromley’s libraries from privatisation ramps up with week-long strike by library staff (17 March) – The Bromley public has been asked ‘to rise up and make their voice heard’, otherwise the borough’s 14 libraries will be privatised, with expected severe cutbacks in services. The call to rollback the tide of local government privatisation has come from Unite which is battling to keep Bromley’s libraries, serving a 300,000-strong population, being run by the council. So far, Unite’s campaign has seen construction firm Carillion and a scheme run by volunteers withdraw from the bidding process, leaving only one private bidder with its hat in the ring. Unite understands that is Greenwich Leisure Limited. To give the campaign added impetus, Unite’s library members, who number about 60, will be striking for a week from 00.01 on Saturday 1 April until 23.59 on Saturday 8 April. The union is also organising a petition to collect the more than 500 signatures needed to force the council to debate the issue read more

Striking Fujitsu workers announce more action in jobs battle (17 March) – Striking workers at the IT giant Fujitsu are to step up their industrial action with a further two days of strike action on Friday 24 March and Monday 27 March as they battle to defend their jobs, pay and pensions, and gain union recognition. The announcement of two further days of action by their union, Unite comes as hundreds of Fujitsu workers strike and mount picket lines at locations across the UK today (Friday 17 March) as part of the ongoing dispute. Today’s strike action is the second day of action in the dispute, which involves Fujitsu workers at sites in Basingstoke, Belfast, Birmingham, Bracknell, Crewe, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Stevenage, Wakefield and Warrington read more Send a message of support to [email protected] or Unite the Union, Fujitsu MAN34, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP read more

Donations payable to “Manchester IT Workers Group” can be sent c/o John Wood, 50 Brooklyn Street, Crewe, CW2 7JF. Or transfer online to Account: 00980539, Sort Code: 30-91-48 and email [email protected] with details. Follow and promote the campaign on social media using #FujitsuFightback. www.facebook.com/uniteatfujitsu  www.twitter.com/unitefujitsu   picket line details

Mixed Fleet cabin crew re-ballot: keep supporting the workers! – Send messages of support and donations (make cheques out to Unite the Union and write ‘Mixed Fleet Hardship Fund’ on the back) to: Unite the Union, Ron Todd House, 33-37 Moreland Street, London EC1V 8BB. Tweet support to @MFUnite

Watch latest video from radical video collective Reel News:-



POA win unfair dismissal cases and trade union discrimination case at Ashworth Hospital (March 16) – The POA have won at Employment Tribunal on behalf of three members, two for unfair dismissal Mr Hilton and Mr Gregson following a restraint of a violent patient and for Trade Union discrimination against Mr Lyon. The POA took strike action on the 13th November 2015, when Mr Hilton and Mr Gregson lost their appeals against dismissal. The Tribunal remedy hearing awarded them both in excess of £40,000 each. A further case of discrimination linked to the unfair dismissals led to a Tribunal victory and a remedy payment in excess of £6,000 for Mr Lyon read more



DWP members campaigning hard against closure plans ahead of PCS 28 March lobby of Parliament (21 Mar) – Our DWP members and their supporters are campaigning hard against proposals to close more than 100 offices across the country, joining protest marches and lobbying their MPs ahead of our national public meeting and lobby in parliament on 28 March. The government’s proposals, announced in January, put thousands of jobs at risk and would mean unemployed people having to travel further to get help getting back to work read more

EHRC strike suspended as talks take place (17 Mar) – The strike planned at the Equality and Human Rights Commission for Monday (20 March) has been suspended due to both sides agreeing to further talks at ACAS. PCS and Unite members were set to take part in their seventh day of strike action in their long-running dispute over redundancies and budget cuts. A number of staff have already been sacked, some by email with 24 hours’ notice, and their reinstatement is now also part of the campaign. We are seeking protections to ensure that all our members under notice of redundancy who want a job get one, either at the Commission or the wider civil service read more

Civil service pay: PCS members stories ahead of 31 March protests (17 Mar) – in the run-up to PCS payday protests on 31 March, members have been sharing their experiences of how the pay cap/freeze has affected them. PCS members have been suffering increasing hardship as a result of the pay freeze and cap read more



Topshop Workers Down Tools Again (March 21) – Staff in Leeds deliver shamed peer Philip Green with an unwelcome late birthday present. GMB workers in a Topshop distribution warehouse are walking out for a second time over ‘deplorable’ working conditions. Staff at Spectrum for Arcadia, a division of the DHL Logistics Supply Chain in Leeds, will be downing tools again following a dispute over pay read more

GMB Members Vote To Reject OCA Offer (March 20) – GMB, the union for offshore workers, has confirmed its members have rejected the latest offer in a long-running dispute with the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA). The union has been locked in a long-running dispute with the OCA – the umbrella body for offshore contractors – over pay and conditions. In a consultative ballot, 61 per cent of GMB members voted to reject the latest deal put forward by their employers, represented by the OCA. This is the second pay offer rejected by members read more

Wandsworth roadsweepers to strike again March 22-23 read more



The NSSN wishes to send our condolences to the family of Bernard Roome, former members of CWU’s NEC and long-time supporter of our Network who sadly recently passed away. Memorial meeting – 3pm Saturday 25th March Grand Hotel opposite Swansea train station. An obituary can be read here



The Fast Food Rights campaign are calling for ‘Fight for £10 – May Day Pay Day’ marches this May Day – contact Gareth Lane [email protected] for info

Reinstate Kumaran Bose – sacked by Samworths! The NSSN is supporting the BFAWU’s campaign in support of Kumaran Bose who was dismissed for speaking out and for organising a union in his workplace read more    Facebook group   BFAWU Statement On Samworth Brothers’ Sacking Of Kumaran Bose



Staff at University of Brighton to strike over demotions and redundancies (20 March) – Staff at the University of Brighton will walk out from 1pm next Friday (31 March) in a dispute over plans to limit promotions, downgrade teaching staff and make others redundant read more

Union threatens industrial action over changes to terms and conditions (20 March) – Staff at the University of Leeds are threatening to ballot for industrial action over changes to terms and conditions as part of proposed new university statutes read more

Staff force emergency meeting at University of Warwick in jobs row (20 March) – Staff at the University of Warwick have forced an emergency meeting of academics over concerns that the university is seeking to rip up the rule book surrounding academic freedom and employment rights. The University and College Union (UCU) will today trigger an extraordinary meeting of the university assembly by presenting vice-chancellor Stuart Croft with a formal motion for the assembly to vote on and the requisite number of supporting signatures. It is rare for staff at the University of Warwick to take this exceptional step. They have requisitioned an assembly in this way just a handful of times in more than a decade read more

Support the reinstatement of London Met union reps: Mark Campbell and David Hardman https://uculondonmet.wordpress.com/



FHS strike: Staff and parents demand Lewisham Council acts to stop cuts (21 March) – There was a tremendous turnout of staff, parents and students outside Forest Hill School (FHS) this morning to support NUT members taking their first day of strike action against damaging cuts at FHS (see pictures below). Dozens more staff were gathering support from commuters at Sydenham and Forest Hill stations. The key message from today’s protest was for everyone to meet again – with even more friends, neighbours and colleagues outside Lewisham Town Hall to:

LOBBY LEWISHAM MAYOR  & CABINET – from 5pm, Wednesday 22 March outside Lewisham Town Hall in Catford, London SE6 4RU

Sadly, the Council seem to be trying to wash their hands of this dispute even though they are the employer of the many staff that are being made redundant; even though they will remain the employer of all the staff who will be left to support the same number of students with fewer colleagues and so an even greater workload; even though they need to take responsibility for the education of local children that will be damaged as a result of these cuts read more and watch strike protest video and photos    video interview with parent



Brighton Picturehouse joins Living Wage dispute on joint 18 March strike – BECTU members at the Duke of York’s in Brighton staged their first strike for the Living Wage on Saturday 18 March. The Duke of York’s is part of the 23 venue Picturehouse circuit. Members at the Picturehouse Central, Crouch End Picturehouse, Hackney Picturehouse and The Ritzy in Brixton joined the Brighton picket

Brixton Facebook Page   Hackney Facebook Page   Crouch End Facebook Page   Central Facebook Page    Support the Picturehouse Strike Fund – donate now



NUJ reaction to Osborne’s editorship of Evening Standard (17 March) – Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: “It feels like we’re entered an alternative reality where #fakenews is suddenly true. There will be shock and disbelief among staff at this announcement. Genuinely qualified journalists who would have done this hugely important job seriously are seeing it snatched away in a blatant, cynical political move. While George Osborne won’t stand down as an MP and will spend his afternoons in parliament, staff on the paper staff are being asked to take pay cuts and reduce their hours because the second edition has been scrapped. We’ll be asking the London Assembly to scrutinise this move as part of their investigation into the state of London media next week. Now that he is a journalist we, of course, look forward to his application to join the union.” read more


United Voices of the World union (UVW)

Support the LSE cleaners who went on strike on March 15-16 for equality and dignity – UVW members who are cleaners at the London School of Economics (LSE) went on strike last week after a 100% yes vote for strike action read more. Support LSE academic Lisa McKenzie – On 15th March 2017 as Justice for LSE Cleaners supporters were leaving the foyer to the offices of Noonan and LSE directors at 1 Kingsway after a successful protest in support of striking LSE cleaners, the police assaulted and arrested LSE academic Lisa McKenzie, on alleged grounds of assault and bundled her into a waiting police van. No protesters saw any evidence of assault by McKenzie watch video of protest and Lisa’s arrest here

Please consider making a donation to LSE cleaners’ strike fund – http://www.uvwunion.org.uk/justiceforlsecleaners/

Website: www.uvwunion.org.uk   Facebook: www.facebook.com/uvwunion   Twitter: @UVWunion



Come and #RideWithUs in Brighton on April 1st! It’s a spontaneous celebration of Deliveroo’s low wages and poor conditions, riding around Brighton to the most popular restaurants.

Brighton Deliveroo riders demand:

1) A freeze in recruitment

2) £5 per drop

3) No victimisation

4) A guarantee of the living wage per hour

Critical Mass Brighton April 1st – Deliveroo RideWithUs Facebook Event



Other News

Watch this Reel News video report of the March 13th ‘Make Some Noise for Orgreave Justice’ protest outside the Home Office


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.

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work 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)

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/




Lactalis/Parmalat lift lockout as Australian workers win an important victory read more

Turkey: 14 union leaders face prison read more








1 11th annual NSSN Conference 11am in Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL



PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE