NSSN 364: PCS members vote YES in pay ballot!


PCS members vote overwhelmingly to back campaign of action on pay (7 Nov) – A decisive yes vote by tens of thousands of PCS members in our consultative ballot on pay sends a powerful message to the government to act to scrap the 1% public sector pay cap and fund above inflation pay rises.

NSSN Solidarity Forum on Oct 28 sends support with PCS Wales chair Katrine Williams
NSSN Solidarity Forum on Oct 28 sends support with PCS Wales chair Katrine Williams

The ballot, run by the independent Electoral Reform Services, consisted of 2 questions:

Do you agree that the pay cap should be scrapped; and that funds should be made available to provide you with an above inflation pay rise?

If the government refuse to scrap the pay cap, are you prepared to take part in industrial action?

On the first question 98.9% voted yes, while on the second question 79.2% voted yes. Overall there was a turnout of 48.8%.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “In a historic vote we’ve sent the most resounding message to Theresa May and her government to scrap the pay cap and that all PCS members deserve a pay rise.”

PCS pay day protest outside Treasury with President Janice Godrich, Vice-President Zita Holbourne and Assistant General secretary Chris Baugh
PCS pay day protest outside Treasury with President Janice Godrich, Vice-President Zita Holbourne and Assistant General secretary Chris Baugh

We will receive a breakdown of the vote in a couple of weeks in time for our December national executive committee to consider the result and plan what we do next.

We will be looking to work with other unions to develop a united campaign across the public sector for fair pay for all. We will propose a united pay strategy at a meeting of the TUC’s public sector liaison group on 4 December.

In the meantime, you can strengthen the pressure on chancellor Philip Hammond to scrap the cap and fully fund pay rises in the budget on 22 November by using our pay calculator to see how much you’ve lost because of the cap. You can then email your result to the chancellor.

The government must act now on pay – and we must keep up the pressure.

Find out more about PCS’s pay campaign

National Protest Day to support Sheffield Eastern Avenue jobcentre (6 Nov) – Get involved on Friday 10 November to show your support for the striking members and the campaign to save the jobcentre. On Friday 10 November members at Eastern Avenue jobcentre in Sheffield will be taking their 41st day of strike action in the long running campaign to try to keep the jobcentre open. The jobcentre closed to the public on Friday 3 November and is due to close completely on Friday 17 November. Members took their first strike action back in June when the closure was announced.  The jobcentre is in one of the most deprived areas of Sheffield and its closure will mean hardship for the benefit claimants and jobseekers who need it. On the national protest day we are asking all PCS branches to hold a photo opportunity with members using “Don’t close Eastern Avenue job centre” cards, in a similar way to the national pay day protests. Cards have been sent to branches and can also be downloaded as a pdf. The aim is to raise publicity for the campaign and to maximise the pressure on DWP not to close the jobcentre. Send your photos to [email protected] read more   Closure of jobcentre to public marked by “amazing turnout” on picket line (3 Nov)

DWP Plymouth members’ successful strike to fight office closure (6 Nov) – The closure of the office puts 50 jobs at risk and 350 staff will be forced to relocate to other offices. On a freezing cold morning the 238 PCS members at DWP Plymouth Benefit Centre gave full support to the strike today to fight to proposed closure of their office. Over 30 attended a lively picket. Representatives from Plymouth Trades Council and local Labour Party councillors joined the pickets to show their support. New members joined PCS on the picket and agreed not to go into work. PCS will continue to press the DWP to keep the office open and to avoid any compulsory transfers or compulsory redundancies. Further action will be considered if the DWP does not reverse the decision to close the office read more

Support the DWP strikes:

  • Send messages of support to [email protected]
  • Send donations to the strike fund to PCS DWP Group, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY




Support the Royal Mail workers: ‘Dispute postponed – not cancelled’ read more on CWU website   Latest CWU bulletin

We’re the 89.1 Per Cent – And Proud (Nov 8) – CWU National Royal Mail Gate Meetings Nov 7: “In my 25 years in this post, I’ve never known such strong support for the union as there is right now,” said Midlands divisional rep Paul Kennedy at the end of the CWU’s National 89.1 per cent And Proud Day read more

CWU RM logo

Event dates for Close The Gap action campaign – All our reps are being urged to give their full support to a major national campaign being launched this autumn by the union’s Telecoms and Financial Services (T&FS) department aimed at winning justice for agency workers. The initiative has emerged from the grassroots of the union, where anger and frustration has increased at the low levels of pay among staff employed by the Manpower agency on BT work event dates   Close the Gap campaign tour kicks off in style in Doncaster


United Voices of the World union

Cleaners dispute at Ferrari’s HR Owen showroom: Victory is here! (Nov 3) – the dispute came to an end – this is the agreed statement:

“Following productive and positive consultations between UVW and Templewood today, 2nd November 2017, we have reached an agreement which will settle this current industrial dispute to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. It has been agreed that the Living Wage will be paid effective immediately to our members, and annual increases will also be made in the month following the Living Wage announcement in the first week of November of each year. Due to the terms of this agreement no further comments will be made in public about this matter.” Read more   Protest cancelled: Meet us for a victory party instead! updates will follow soon! Stay tuned!  UVW Facebook page



NSSN news

There was an excellent NSSN Solidarity Forum on October 28th in Birmingham.

Over 80 union reps and members discussed how to build support for the increasing number of disputes, including the CWU in Royal Mail, Unite at Birmingham bins, PCS in DWP, BFAWU in McDonalds and the fight to scrap the public sector pay cap. We also heard from campaigners fighting to keep the Derby Women’s Centre open. If you want to organise a similar event in your area, email us via [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 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]

You can receive this bulletin via email. Click here to subscribe 

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook



Union News


Unite hails victory in Bromley council rep victimisation case (6 Nov) – A union rep at Bromley council has won her employment tribunal (ET) case which found she was victimised for trade union activities, Unite has announced. Unite Legal Services lodged claims against the Conservative-controlled council’s treatment of Kathy Smith, a council employee and Unite branch secretary, who firmly opposed the council’s mass privatisation agenda. Council bosses removed her full-time trade union facility time in June 2015, which the tribunal found was ‘not only about cost or finances’ but that there was a wider issue at play ‘namely the way in which the [Council] viewed the unions’. Unite assistant general secretary for legal services Howard Beckett today (Monday 6 November) hailed the result as ‘a great victory for the rights of trade union reps which sends out a strong signal to other local authorities’ read more

Manchester housing workers announce extensive strike action (6 Nov) – embers of Unite employed by Mears in Manchester in housing maintenance roles will begin a programme of 49 days of strikes next week. The strike action begins with a 48 hour stoppage on 16 November with the final wave of strikes ending on 9 February 2018. The new strike dates follow last month’s announcement that the membership had overwhelmingly voted for fresh strike action. The workforce has already taken 40 days of strike action this year in a dispute over pay differentials which results in the workers at Mears and Manchester Working (a joint venture company operated by Mears) being paid up to £3,500 less for the same work read more

MoD Gosport workers to protest over wage robbery (6 Nov) – Low paid workers employed by a contractor at the MoD’s Fort Blockhouse in Gosport will stage a wage robbery protest as a result of their employer cutting their working year from 52 to 50 weeks. The cut is set to cost the workers around £500 each read more

Protest 8.30am on November 8th outside Fujitsu London HQ as workers fight gagging of reps – join the protest outside Fujitsu’s UK headquarters in London. At 10am on 8 November over 12,000 people will hear Fujitsu bosses Tatsuya Tanaka and Duncan Tait address the Fujitsu Forum trade fair in Munich. Fujitsu claims to be a responsible business which supports the UN Global Compact which requires businesses to uphold freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, as well as eliminating discrimination. At the same time, Ian Allinson, the chair of the Unite union in Fujitsu UK, will be attending a final hearing over his redundancy at Fujitsu’s London head office – 22 Baker Street, W1U 3BW. Ian is one of several reps being unfairly targeted by the company. Employees are calling for Fujitsu to recognise their union for collective bargaining. This call has grown louder since the company unilaterally terminated their UK works council, Fujitsu Voice, before making huge job cuts Facebook event. Please join and advertise the social media Thunderclap: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/63944-fujitsu-fightback. For more information on the campaign, see https://ouruniontest.wordpress.com/fujitsu-national-dispute/  read more

Support Birmingham binworkers – send messages of support via [email protected] and donations to Unite the Union, 9-17 Victoria St, West Bromwich B70 8HX

Support Argos warehouse workers – please send messages of support to [email protected]. Strike fund donations should be made payable to Unite the Union and sent to Paula Hutchinson, 37 Camden Road, Airedale, Castleford, WF10 3LY

Gig for the UNITE Barts strikers – All the performers are playing for free – so it would be good to have a decent sized crowd in! It’s taking place on Tuesday 14 November from 8.30pm onwards at the Rose & Crown, 53 Hoe Street Walthamstow London E17 4SA. Full details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/712830625576043/?active_tab=discussion



RMT members strike in 5 rail companies against Driver Only Operation (DOO) (8 Nov) – RMT members standing rock solid across the country on latest day of strike action over rail safety. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “RMT members stand solid, united and determined again this morning in the latest phase of strike action in a raft of separate disputes which are about putting safety, security and access to transport services before the profiteering of these rip-off private rail companies read more

Nov 8 picket at Farnham with RMT President Sean Hoyle
Nov 8 picket at Farnham with RMT President Sean Hoyle

National dispute fund (DOO disputes) – If you would like to donate to the RMT National Dispute Fund which makes payments to support their striking members taking part in National DOO disputes then you can donate via PayPal using the donate button below or make a cheque payable to RMT National Dispute Fund and send it to the address below. Alternatively, you can ring their Freephone helpline on 0800 376 3706 who will be happy to process a credit card payment for you, or, if you would like to pay via internet banking, please email [email protected] for further details. Vicky Thompson, Finance Manager RMT, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD. Tel: 020-7529-8843



Christmas rail strikes on the cards at Virgin West Coast (3 Nov) – TSSA is to ballot its members in Virgin Trains on strike action after pay talks have failed to come up with a decent deal for our members. A majority yes vote will mean strikes will hit West Coast mainline services over the Christmas and New Year period should the dispute not be settled by then. Our Virgin members working on stations and trains are unhappy that Virgin is giving drivers an increase of 9pc but offering just 3.2pc to staff employed on stations and trains read more



Croydon Tramlink Update (2 Nov) – The ASLEF Executive Committee has given Tram Operations Ltd. notice that our members will strike for 24 hours on Monday Nov 13th and Wednesday December 6th. This is because the company has put into tram cabs a device that shines infra-red light beams into drivers faces, and has insisted on operating this system despite the numerous health and safety concerns of our members. Drivers have reported symptoms from headaches and dry eyes to blurred vision and potentially serious eye damage as a result of exposure to this device


Ireland: Iarnród Éireann/Irish Rail strike

Union members at Iarnród Éireann series of rolling 24 hour stoppages, starting November 1st. JOINT PRESS RELEASE from NBRU, SIPTU, UNITE, TSSA and TEEU read more



Education unions – the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the National Education Union (NEU), UCAC, and Voice – are calling for an immediate, fully funded, 5% pay rise for all teachers. In a letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, the unions set out their concerns about the adverse impact that teachers’ pay is having on teacher supply because pay levels have fallen behind that of other graduate professions. After seven years of real terms pay cuts due to the Government’s public sector pay policy, unions want the Government to make a significant pay increase for all teachers and school leaders read more



Further strike days at Charlton Park Academy (6 Nov) – GMB and NEU (previously NUT) members at Charlton Park Academy School in Greenwich will follow up strike action in July and October with two further days this week, Tuesday 7th and Thursday 9th November.  This action is over new imposed sick pay arrangements which leave members on much worse terms and conditions than any other Greenwich school. The contracts apply to those who have joined the school after it became an Academy. In October local MP Matt Pennycook visited the picket line and he has already shown his support by writing to the headteacher expressing his concern at the impact on staff well-being and welfare read more



Firefighters welcome delay to crew size vote (7 Nov) – Tyne and Wear Fire Authority has delayed a vote on cutting the number of firefighters who serve in fire crews, a week after the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) warned the move could put lives at risk. The authority had been due to vote yesterday (6 Nov) on reducing crew sizes from five to four at fire stations with only one fire engine. Instead, the fire authority has pushed back the vote until the next meeting in December read more



To coincide with Living Wage Week, all five London cinemas went on strike this Monday November 6th with picket lines from 4pm-8pm at Ritzy in Brixton, Hackney, Crouch End, Central and Dulwich East

Donate to the strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike

Keep supporting the Picturehouse workers: read the latest on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Dulwich East and Duke of York Brighton



Support the McDonalds workers who went on strike in Cambridge and Crayford on September 4th the NSSN was proud to support the historic strike by the BFAWU bakers union, the first in McDonalds in the UK on a global day of action by fast food workers. NSSN chair Rob Williams spoke on the Crayford picket and then again at the solidarity protest outside Parliament to give our solidarity and support to these exploited workers. Keep sending solidarity to the BFAWU, donate to the strike fund and also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website



Support the Royal Devon and Exeter porters by donating to their hardship fund. Send a cheque to the branch at: UNISON Office, Baker House
, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW. Or make a direct donation to the branch account

Account Name: UNISON Royal Devon and Exeter Health 10296 Branch

Account Number: 20323929 Sort Code: 60-83-01



University of London In-House Now – Foundation Day Protest Tuesday November 21st – 6pm University of London, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1E 7HU Facebook event



Other news

Grunwick Play ‘We Are the Lions Mr Manager’ – theatre company, Townsend Productions, has started touring again with a show about the Grunwick strike. It’s called ‘We Are the Lions Mr Manager’ tour dates



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)

Watch videos of speeches from the October 14th Public Meeting: ‘Who’s Watching Whom? The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights for all’ in Coventry. The guest speakers included Ricky Tomlinson (Shrewsbury 24), Dave Smith (Author, Blacklisting), Helen Steel (McLibel & Undercover Police Inquiry), Chris Baugh (PCS Asst. General Secretary). It was sponsored by Unite Tom Mann branch and Coventry TUC


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/




Georgia: Stop union busting at Rustavi Avot read more

Indonesian food workers fighting for their rights following instant closure of their factory by GreatGiant Pineapple read more







9 Digital automation: ‘post-capitalism’ or a new Lucas Plan? 7.15pm – London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street London E1. Free/donation www.breakingtheframe.org.uk

16 1917-2017 Russian Revolution: 100th anniversary celebratory meeting – 7pm Collegian Club, Gage St, Lancaster



30 National Shop Stewards Network 2018 Annual Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London



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