NSSN 392: West Midlands firefighters vote for strike action


From FBU website (29 May)

Firefighters in the West Midlands have voted by a margin of 9 to 1 for strike action in a dispute over the imposition of contracts on new entrants into the service.

FBU 2013

The results of the ballot were released today (29 May) and show a 90% vote for strike action on an 82% turnout. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says West Midlands Fire Authority should urgently listen to its firefighters and withdraw the contracts immediately.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This is an overwhelming result. It shows the huge strength of feeling among firefighters and emergency control staff in the West Midlands. It is time to wipe the slate clean and bin these disgraceful contracts right now. Now is the time for the chief fire officer and politicians on the fire authority to listen to their firefighters.”

Andrew Scattergood, chair of the FBU in the West Midlands, said: “Our members have made it clear that these contracts are completely unacceptable and should be withdrawn. Firefighters do not vote for strike action easily. There is an overwhelming strength of feeling that these contracts are bad for the fire service, firefighters and the public they serve. We have a mandate to take strike action and we will do if these contracts are not removed.”

The FBU says the new contracts are exploitative of the newest employees in the fire and rescue service. It would mean firefighters entering the service would have to take on any work the service dictates outside the agreed role of a firefighter and the employer would make these changes without negotiation with the union. The contracts would allow the employer to unilaterally change the work of firefighters at any time breaching nationally negotiated agreements with the union.

One year on: Justice for Grenfell Solidarity March (31 May) – Join the Fire Brigades Union as we march to Downing Street with Justice4Grenfell on 16 June to demand justice for the victims of the disaster. One year ago 72 people died and 70 were injured in the worst fire in the UK for decades. Since then there has been a trail of broken promises from the government read more When: Saturday, June 16 at 12 pm – 4 pm. Where: Downing Street, London Facebook event



NSSN news

The 2018 National Shop Stewards Network Annual Conference is from 11am-4.30pm on Saturday July 7th in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL.

Confirmed speakers so far: Howard Beckett Unite Assistant General Secretary, Amy Murphy USDAW President, Chris Baugh PCS Assistant General Secretary, Sean Hoyle RMT President, Ian Hodson BFAWU President, Joe Simpson POA Deputy General Secretary, Linda Taaffe NSSN National Secretary, Rob Williams NSSN National Chair

The attendance fee is £6 and it is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners. Affiliation letter and conference appeal letter is here   Facebook event


The NSSN steering committee decided to put our annual conference back a week from its original date of June 30th to avoid a clash of dates with a national day of action to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS. We will do all we can to build these protests against continuing Tory health cuts.

We also want to give advanced notice that once again we will be organising a rally at TUC Congress. This year it will be in Manchester on Sunday September 9th.

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

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]

Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook



Union News


The National Shop Stewards Network gives full support and solidarity to the PCS who voted at their recent annual conference to move to a national strike ballot on pay that will open on June 18

PCS ballot to run 18 June to 23 July (30 May) – PCS members in the civil service and related areas will be balloted for strike action over pay from 18 June to 23 July, which could see 150,000 workers walk out this summer. The decision to ballot was taken by delegates following a vote at the union’s annual conference in Brighton last week, to support our 2018 pay claim, which calls for a fully-funded 5% pay rise. The government has refused to fund more than a 1% pay increase this year, with anything higher paid for by even more cuts. Civil servants in the Scottish Government, and staff in the NHS and local councils have all been offered pay rises of above 1%. Now our members and representatives need to be ready to win the statutory ballot on pay. A strong yes vote will give us a mandate and strengthen position in talks, so the more members that vote for action the more the government has to treat us with respect and fairly read more

Strike action at Acas wins more jobs (4 Jun) – PCS members working for Acas have won more jobs, and commitments on workloads and grading, following talks as a result of industrial action. Overworked and undervalued staff at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) have won more jobs, and commitments on workloads and grading, following talks as a result of industrial action. PCS officials met Acas on Friday 25 May and hammered out a joint statement. The current strike action has been suspended while PCS members consider the offer read more

Protest to Support Ex-Carillion staff at British Museum (30 May) – There will be a protest outside the British Museum on 7 June to demand job security, union recognition and an end to privatisation. Public sector outsourcing company Carillion, which employed 20,000 staff in the UK and ran several government contracts, including facilities management at the British Museum, went into liquidation in January. Since then the 100 facilities management and cleaning services staff on the British Museum contract have been paid by the receivers and face an uncertain future. PCS is calling for our members’ jobs, pensions and terms and conditions to be protected and for their jobs to be brought back in-house read more

Campaign for ex-Carillion staff to be brought in-house at the British Museum Sign our online petition




RMT confirms two 24 hours strikes on Jubilee Line over imposed new timetable and ripping up of roster agreements go ahead as planned (4 June) – TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that drivers on the Jubilee Line will be taking two days of strike action as planned from this week over the imposition of new timetables that ride roughshod over current rostering agreements read more

RMT confirms further strike action on Greater Anglia in dispute over guards and safety (1 June) – RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed further strike action in the dispute over rail safety and the axing of guards on Greater Anglia. RMT members will strike for 24 hours on Saturday 16th June and Saturday 23rd June read more

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

Victory on the Bakerloo Line (2 June) – Bakerloo News is the newsletter for drivers on the Jubilee Line.  In this edition from May 2018; RMT celebrates the victory that saw an unfairly sacked driver reinstated read more

RMT confirms further strike action on DLR in dispute over breakdown in industrial relations (30 May) – RMT cleaners, security staff and travel safe officers on Docklands Light Railway will be taking part in a further phase of strike action over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations, the union confirmed today, as the intransigent attitude of the management continues to refuse to meet and negotiate a settlement. The workers involved in the dispute are employed by contractor ISS on the KAD contract and will take further strike action as follows: Not to book on for any turns of duty that commence between:- 05:30 hours on Wednesday 13th June 2018 and 05:29 hours on Thursday 14th June 2018 read more



New evidence in Deeside ‘race to the bottom’ dispute (4 June) – Unite has new evidence of a co-ordinated campaign to slash pay rates on the troubled £800 million energy from waste project at Park Adfer in Deeside North Wales. Last week (Wednesday 30 May) hundreds of construction workers staged a protest at the Park Adfer site in protest at the ongoing exploitative practices which are driving down wages and conditions on the taxpayer funded site read more

Support striking Hackney traffic wardens – Nearly 40 wardens, also known as civil enforcement officers (CEOs), have recently been on strike for after voting by 100 per cent for industrial action read more

Messages of support for the strikers can be sent to [email protected]

We also need financial donations. Cheques made payable to Hackney Unite and sent to Onay Kasab at 33 – 37 Moreland St, London EC1V 8BB.

Messages of protest to the Mayor of Hackney ( APCOA run the contract for Hackney Council) and also to the Head of Parking and Markets, 136 – 142 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, E5 OQJ

Support the Unite strike at TGI Fridays’ – workers are on strike again this Friday at TGI Fridays’ restaurants in Milton Keynes, the Trafford Centre Greater Manchester, London’s Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden read more. Tweet support to @RwUnite

Support Ian Allinson: Protesters accuse Fujitsu of victimising whistleblowers read more. Keep up to date with Unite: Our union in Fujitsu website

United We Organise! Unite Housing Campaign – 6pm June 14 Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8SP Facebook event



Fair pay for London teachers: all London reps briefing – Saturday 30 June 10.30am-1pm at NEU, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD



Support the McDonalds strikers who took their 2nd day of action on May 1stKeep sending solidarity to the BFAWU, post cheques to BFAWU, Stanborough House, Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 7TA and donate to the strike fund. Also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website



Seven more days of strikes at Hull College Group (31 May) – Staff at the Hull College Group will walk out for seven days in June as part of an ongoing row over plans to slash hundreds of jobs. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) announced today (Thursday) will walk out for five days on Monday 18 June. They will return to work on Monday 25 June, but then walk out for two days on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 June. The row centres on plans to cut 231 posts across the college group’s three campuses in Hull, Harrogate and Goole – a move which UCU says would lead to around a third of the workforce being cut read more

UCU members start new wave of FE strikes over pay and jobs – read here for information about strikes at Hull, Tower Hamlets College, Hackney Community College, Epping Forest College, Lambeth College, Lewisham Southwark College, City and Islington College (CCG), College of Haringey Enfield and North East London (CCG), Westminster Kingsway College (CCG) and Havering College



Support Tower  Hamlets Community  Housing Workers: All Out Strike for 14 days for Equal Pay not Market Pay – Housing workers at Tower Hamlets Community Housing are set to take two weeks of strike action from Monday 4 June 2018. They are opposing the imposition of a “market based” pay system. Instead of NJC Local Government Pay, based on Job Evaluations that seek to secure equal pay for work of equal value, the new system relies on “market intelligence” on the pay rate for each role provided by a private consultancy company, Inbucon. Staff are not allowed to know what roles in what organisations their pay has been compared to, the range of salaries, or even pay rates for other roles as all this is “commercially confidential”. Although the new scheme offered short term increases for some staff they still voted to reject. As one member explained “Our pay will be market tested every two years with no guarantee that it won’t go down. “ Another explained “How can you guarantee equality in pay if you don’t know how it is determined and you can’t challenge it”. Others were mindful that whilst some protection now applied it would be worth less and less as time went on. Strikers intend to take their campaign to local residents. THCH was set up through partial transfer of Tower Hamlets Council’s Housing stock. Staff and residents were given promises about protecting their rights as tenants, residents and workers. Staff believe that introducing market pay breaks promises made to them. They will be alerting tenants to the impact on services and warning them that if promises to staff can be broken what does that mean for promises to residents. The introduction of market pay is yet another example of social housing organisations adopting  private business methods. These market methods don’t deliver genuinely affordable housing nor fair conditions for workers – John McLoughlin Branch Secretary Tower Hamlets UNISON

Unison reach agreement on Glasgow Equal Pay dispute – “A big well done to all those members who took part in the consultative strike ballots. The pressure which the ballots created on the council definitely had an impact. The above concessions and commitments from the council are down to you.” Unison Glasgow City Branch Facebook group

Unison warns of ‘summer of discontent’ after strike vote (30 May) – A UNION warned East Dunbartonshire is facing “a summer of discontent” after over 1000 members voted overwhelmingly for a walk out in a dispute over terms and conditions cuts including slashing staff holidays. Around 97 per cent voted for strike action to the largely female workforce – employed by East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) and its offshoot East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust (EDLC) read more from The Herald

Southampton university staff celebrate pensions win (29 May) – Current staff to keep final salary pensions after strong campaign against proposals to change them – though scheme will be closed to new non-academic staff from 2019 read more

Support Hull recycling workers striking for sick pay – Branch appeals for donations to hardship fund. Recycling workers working for FCC Environment in Hull have been striking for decent pay sick pay, and are asking for donations to their hardship fund. Please send messages of solidarity and financial support to the Wilmington Strikers c/o Adrian Kennett Hull City UNISON 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG. Please make cheques payable to UNISON Hull City Branch read more



BT 2 year probationary periods slammed (June 2) – BT’s decision to impose 24-month probationary periods on all new joiners – including former agency staff who’ve already given many months and sometimes years of service – was met with a tirade of anger at CWU Annual Conference, with delegates lambasting the move on multiple levels read more



Prison officers take legal action over pensions – The POA has started the process of initiating Employment Tribunal proceedings which will challenge the introduction of a new pension scheme for Prison Officers in 2015. It is anticipated that more than 3,500 POA members will join in the proceedings read more



Fresh strikes at Picturehouse (31 May) – Workers at Picturehouse campaigning to secure the Living Wage are embarking today on a renewed programme of strike action. BECTU members at Picturehouse venues in East Dulwich, Central (Shaftesbury Avenue), Hackney and Crouch End are striking today, Thursday 31 May, for 24 hours. The action got underway at 05.00am and will continue until 5.00am on Friday 1 June. A further 24 hour strike will also run at these venues from 05.00am on Saturday 2 June to 05.00am on Sunday 3 June. Members at these four sites, joined by fellow campaigners at the flagship Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, renewed their official strike mandates earlier this month read more. Read the latest on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Dulwich East and Duke of York Brighton

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



University outsourced workers announce further industrial action after historic strike on 6 June – University of London workers organised by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) are to go on strike on 6 June, following the biggest-ever strike of outsourced workers in UK higher education history. Over 100 cleaners, porters, security officers, receptionists, gardeners, postroom staff and audiovisual staff are expected to walk out. This follows two days of strike action last month. The protests in support of the strikes were attended by hundreds of people, including Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, Shadow Minister for Labour Laura Pidcock MP and musician Billy Bragg. Solidarity rally: 5.30pm Senate House, University of London, WC1E 7HU London Facebook event


United Voices of the World

Cleaners to strike at London’s luxury private hospitals owned by HCA, the world’s largest private hospital group! (1 June) – United Voices of the World members who clean at HCA Healthcare UK – part of the world’s largest private hospital group HCA with revenues of £31 billion – have today returned a 100% yes vote in a consultative ballot to strike for the London Living Wage, and Occupational Sick Pay in line with other HCA staff. They are also demanding basic vaccinations including Hepatitis B and Tetanus which they are currently denied despite regularly coming in direct contact with bodily fluids including blood www.facebook.com/uvwunion



Other news

Tamil Solidarity: ‘Solidarity Day’ Bringing together various activist organisations, Trade unions and Tamil solidarity. Saturday 16th June.  12.00 – 17.30pm. At Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, W1T 2 London. FREE entry: Includes snacks. Please register in advance to book your place



Blacklisting & Victimisation

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)

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog





USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union read more

Spain: Former Students Union leader faces 3-year jail threat for aiding immigrant under police attack read more    Sign petition here







30 NHS 70th anniversary rally



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



9 NSSN TUC Rally in Manchester



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