NSSN 416: Striking Grimethorpe dinner ladies save their jobs

We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin by sending congratulations to school meals supervisors in Yorkshire 

From Unison website:

Members return to work as redundancy plans dropped after 36 days of strike action. Dinner ladies at Ladywood school in Grimethorpe return to work today, having seen off a bid to make them all redundant.

The school meals supervisors in the historic mining village just outside Barnsley, South Yorkshire, had taken 36 days of strike, beginning in September.

Grimethorpe picket

UNISON reached an agreement with the school management to address the deficit in the school’s budget without any redundancies, due to expected natural staff turnover.

The school had planned to have teaching assistants cover the work done by the school meals workers, leading to them joining the strike.

“It was completely unacceptable to attempt to make the dinner ladies redundant when job losses were unnecessary,” said union area organiser Jordan Stapleton after the settlement was agreed.

“Where schools do need to make savings they need to know that low-paid women are not easy targets and the contributions they make to our communities cannot be underestimated.”




NSSN news

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Union News


Support RMT Northern and South Western Railway‎ strikes – RMT members on Northern Rail and South Western Railway‎ have been taking strike action over the threat Driver Only Operation. Sign the Parliamentary petition to make it a legal requirement to have a second safety critical person on trains

All RMT Arriva Rail North Conductor, Conductor Instructor and Train Driver members are instructed to not to book on are for any shifts that commence between:-

  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 8th December 2018
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 15th December 2018 read more
RMT SWR Waterloo picket Aug 18
RMT SWR Waterloo picket Aug 18

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 read more

Rail Gourmet members strike again in Edinburgh in fight for workplace justice (3 Dec) – Rail union RMT has confirmed that Rail Gourmet members based at the Edinburgh Depot will be taking further strike action tomorrow – Tuesday 4th December – in a fight for workplace justice following a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations. The staff work on the inter-city LNER contract. Following a comprehensive YES vote in the ballot in favour of taking strike action and action short of a strike, and after previous action in October, RMT says that further strikes will go ahead as planned. The dispute centres around a number of concerns, namely:

  • Bullying and Harassment of Staff
  • Abuse of the Disciplinary Procedures
  • Non Payment of Additional Duties

Therefore, the union’s National Executive Committee has considered the matter and has instructed members to take strike action and not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

  • 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Tuesday 4th December 2018
  • 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Monday 24th December 2018 read more

Met line drivers to be balloted over canteen closure (29 Nov) – That we note the report from the Lead Officer; that the company have chosen to ignore the letter sent to them highlighting the issues of the lack of welfare provision for Train Crew members and the serious risks presented by aggressive anti-social behaviour in the surrounding neighbourhood. By not even replying to our letter they have demonstrated disdain for the union, our members and their own staff which is unacceptable. More concerning is the unsafe position our members have been put in and left in by the company read more

Further Central Line industrial action called – That we note the resolution from our from Central Line East Branch that to bring the company back into normal industrial relations they are resolved to continue to take strike action. Accordingly, we instruct all Central Line Train Operators and Operator Instructors to take Strike Action by not booking on for shifts between: 20:00 hours on Friday 21st December and 02:00 hours on Saturday 22nd December 2018 and 04:00 hours and 20:00 hours on Saturday 22nd December 2018 read more    Central line strike action announced in Paul Bailey unfair sacking dispute



End #ScotFail sign the People’s Petition to save ScotRail (3 Dec) – Transport Union TSSA are stepping up the campaign for a publicly owned ScotRail this week by launching a People’s ScotRail Petition. The petition will be launched online on Monday following news that fares are set to rise again in the new year by 3.1% despite the worst year of service to Scotland’s rail passengers in ScotRail’s privatised history


More Unison

Support the Glasgow Equal Pay strikers – More than 8,000 union members – overwhelmingly low paid women – took strike action this November, with 10,000 marching to a rally outside the city hall on the first day of the strike read more

Strike fund donations to:


Sort code 60 83 01 A/c Number 20275789

Drew Rigden Treasurer UNISON Glasgow City Branch

84 Bell Street, Glasgow, G1 1LQTel: 0141-552-7069

read more from Glasgow City Unison Facebook page

Support the striking Birmingham homecare workers – Please send messages of support and donations to Unison Birmingham branch, 46 The Priory Queensway Birmingham  B4 7LR. Email [email protected]    Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/birminghamunison/

Support Camden NSL workers – Camden UNISON members working for private company NSL as traffic wardens recently took 5 days of strike action as part of their fight for decent pay. They are asking for £11.15 an hour, an amount that Camden UNISON believes is very reasonable particularly when the top director at NSL gets over £320 an hour. For updates about the dispute and to send messages of support, contact [email protected]   read more on Camden Unison website



Low paid workers at Luton Airport begin action against Scrooge bosses (4 Dec) – A week-long strike by low paid workers at Luton Airport employed by Sasse will get underway from 18.30 today (Tuesday 4 December) as part of the workers’ ongoing campaign for pay justice. The workers who are responsible for maintaining a safe and clean environment for staff and passengers at Luton Airport are currently struggling to make ends meet on the minimum wage of £7.83. Sasse, which was awarded the contract by Luton Airport in April this year, has offered a three year pay deal to increase workers’ pay, but by 2021 workers will still be earning below the real Living Wage of £9.00. Unite members employed by Clece Care Services have suspended their planned strike action while the workers vote on a revised offer from the company read more

650 Durham bus drivers prepare for a week-long strike in pay row (3 Dec) – About 650 bus drivers in the north east are due to take a week’s strike action from Sunday 16 December in a dispute over pay, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, announced today (Monday 3 December). Unite said that the crux of the dispute was the belief that bus drivers working for Arriva Durham County Ltd were the second lowest paid drivers of all the Arriva bus companies across the UK. Drivers at Darlington, Durham, Redcar, Stockton and Whitby will walk out at 00.01 on 16 December until 23.59 on Saturday 22 December, after voting by 95 per cent for strike action in pursuit of a £1 an hour pay rise for the year starting March 2018. Lengthy talks were held on Friday (30 November) between Unite and the management – and a company response to those talks is expected later this week read more

Keighley bus drivers take strike action over pay (3 Dec) – Members of Unite the Union are walking out after a claim for a 50p-an-hour rise was rejected. Phil Bown, regional officer with Unite the Union, said members had seen no growth in income for years and that strike action was “a last resort. They just feel enough is enough,” he added.

“The cost of living has continued to rise but pay hasn’t kept pace. Both the company’s offers were below the rate of inflation. We have tried to resolve this issue but have been forced into a situation where this is the only course of action left. Members cannot sustain any further erosion of their standard of living. There are over 180 drivers at Keighley, with about 98 per cent union membership, and there is strong support for the action.” Read more on Keighley News website

Nottinghamshire print workers in pay talks (30 Nov) – Pay talks are taking place at a Nottinghamshire print company, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Friday 30 November). Unite said its members, which had voted by 78 per cent for industrial action at Paragon Customer Communications (Nottingham) Ltd over pay, had now put plans for strike action ‘on hold’ while talks are continuing. The management had originally offered no pay rise for the pay year starting November 2018, which they later upped to one per cent read more

London bus strikes this Friday at Quality Line Epsom and Sovereign Harrow and Edgware

Cammell Laird strike action extended after bosses refuse ‘peace’ plan (30 Nov) – Britain’s and Ireland’s largest union, Unite accused Cammell Laird bosses of deliberately seeking confrontation today (Friday 30 November) after they refused the union’s offer to suspend industrial action in return for a pause to plans to make 291 people redundant. Bosses refused a proposal allowing time for an action plan to be put together to fill the gap in work the shipbuilder is using as the reason for slashing 40 per cent of the workforce. Instead the shipbuilder is pressing ahead with the job cuts that could see workers put out a job the week before Christmas leaving workers with little option but to press ahead with further industrial action, Unite said. Unite has notified Cammell Laird today that rolling strike action will be extended from Friday 14 December until Friday 18 January 2019 while an overtime ban is in place until 07:00 on Friday 1 February 2019 read more   Sign the petition to save jobs at Cammell Lairds

Cammell Laird workers walk out
Cammell Laird workers walk out

Shelter workers to strike next month following ‘derisory’ pay offer (29 Nov) – Over 400 members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, employed by the housing and homeless charity Shelter, will take three days of strike action beginning on Tuesday 11 December in a dispute over pay. The 72 hour strike follows a ‘derisory’ pay offer of a one per cent pay increase plus a non-consolidated (one off) one per cent payment. Unite members are seeking an increase of 3.5 per cent the retail price index (RPI) as of April 2018 (the annual pay date) or a flat rate of a £1,100 increase for all workers. According to Unite Shelter’s workforce has suffered a real terms pay cut of 11 per cent since 2010 because of a series of below inflation pay increases. Shelter recorded a surplus of £1 million last year and has £15.7 million in reserves. The strikes could seriously affect the organisation’s ability to offer advice and support to the homeless and people in precarious housing in the pre-Christmas period. If the dispute is not resolved, Unite will hold further strike action in the new year read more

Pay strike ballot at Doncaster plumbing equipment manufacturer (29 Nov) – The unfair distribution of bonuses at a plumbing equipment manufacturer in South Yorkshire hovers over a ballot for strike action over pay. Unite, the largest union in the UK and Ireland, said that its more than 200 members at Pegler Yorkshire Group Ltd were furious that the production workforce were denied the bonuses, while managerial staff scooped up the bonuses, believed to be worth hundreds of pounds a year. The dispute covers Pegler Limited (Doncaster), Pegler Yorkshire Group Limited (Doncaster) and Yorkshire Fittings Distribution Ltd (Rotherham). The ballot for strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike opens today (Thursday 29 November). It closes on Thursday 13 December read more


GMB & Unite

Support the fight to save Appledore shipyard: GMB Demands Answers Over Appledore Closure – Why did the Government’s offer to Babcock come in so late – was it just to cover Ministers’ own backs, asks GMB Union? GMB, the shipbuilding union, is demanding answers over the decision to close Appledore shipyard. The union ensured the matter was raised in the House of Commons within hours of the announcement – and has now written to Babcock seeking clarification read more

Unite: Appledore shipyard closure ‘a hammer blow’ for the workers and Devon economy



Unions team up to submit unprecedented joint British Airways pay claim (30 Nov) – BA has allowed a employees to become disconnected from airline’s success, say unions. Unite, BALPA and GMB – have teamed up to submit an unprecedented joint pay claim in to British Airways. The three unions are working together to seek improvements to pay from January 2019, as well as enhanced profit-sharing arrangements and the introduction of an employee share ownership scheme. Negotiations with BA are due to commence in December read more



Post Office campaign: ‘Fantastic launch – now for the next step’ (Dec 3) – “A huge thank you to everyone who came out and joined the fight to Save Our Post Office on Saturday,” says our general secretary Dave Ward, after one of the CWU’s biggest nationwide actions for many years. From Belfast to Bristol, from Cardiff to Crawley, and from Exeter to Aberdeen, people were out and about in towns and cities in every region of the UK – North, South, East and West. Despite the rainy and windy weather, members of the CWU, supported by community organisations, concerned residents and local traders, were out with petitions, wearing campaign T-shirts, waving flags and banners – and getting tens of thousands of signatures opposing Crown Post Office closures read more

#ENDGAME tour against BTFS outsourcing goes into overdrive (Nov 30) – Another heavy duty week of campaigning against BT ‘s plans to outsource its Facilities Services division has just drawn to a close – leaving the company in no doubt about the CWU’s determination expose the folly of a move that has sent shivers through the wider workforce read more

‘Please support brave Isle of Man members’ Terry Pullinger (Nov 29) – Around 200 Isle of Man Post workers are currently voting on potential industrial action in response to what the CWU has described as a “set of proposals that threaten jobs, pensions and the future of the service.” Read more



PCS ballot on action to defend pensions at Historic Royal Palaces (30 Nov) – PCS members working for Historic Royal Palaces are being balloted this week over possible action to defend their pensions against massive proposed cuts. HRP, the independent charity that manages six of the UK’s unoccupied royal palaces, is planning to close its defined benefits pension scheme to future accruals and move the 120 staff who are members of the scheme into a defined contribution scheme. This will result in our members receiving, in some cases massively less pension than they had been promised. Our members are heads of departments, Yeoman Warders, and involved in admissions, security, retail, IT and conservation at the Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace read more



East Sussex FBU members pass vote of no confidence in senior leadership team (3 Dec) – At an emergency meeting, members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) East Sussex Committee, unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the senior leadership team of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS). East Sussex FBU members working on the frontline, have continually raised concerns over ESFRS’s senior leadership’s plans to implement changes that seek to reduce both public and firefighter safety. In the latest in a series of judgement errors, the senior leadership team recently agreed to introduce small appliances, which carry less life-saving equipment. This latest decision has led to the vote of no confidence read more



Teaching unions start indicative ballot on pay and funding: ‘Hands up because enough is enough!’ – Following the Government’s failure to address the school and college funding crisis in the recent Budget, the National Education Union (NEU), along with NAHT and ASCL, are taking the unprecedented step of simultaneously consulting with their respective members on what steps to take next read more



Vote YES in FELA statutory pay ballot – Voting YES for industrial action is the only avenue left for us to pursue an acceptable cost of living pay rise. Not voting or voting “no” would mean we would have to accept the Employer’s offer which will further erode the real terms value of our pay. Members should begin to receive their ballot papers on Wednesday, 28th November read more



UCU Wales Pay & Workload Dispute strikes begin on December 4th On pay the result was 90.5% in support of strike action with a 52.3% turnout.  On workload there was a 53.8% turnout with 90.1% in favour of action. Both ballot results comfortably meet the thresholds set by the 2016 Trade Union Act indicating the strength of feeling amongst lecturing staff over these issues. The Joint Trade Unions (JTUs) met Colegau Cymru (CC), the college Principal’s representative body, on Friday 16th November.  This meeting did not result in a revised offer.  The meeting was very brief and CC claimed they haven’t received additional funding from Welsh Government yet and are awaiting the outcome in January.  It is clear that Colegau Cymru are testing our resolve. The Further Education sector in Wales is in crisis and the increasing intensity of workloads, coupled with job cuts and a decade of real-terms pay cuts are leading to low staff morale and having a negative impact on the quality of learners’ education.  A decade of Tory imposed austerity and woefully inadequate funding has devastated the FE sector in Wales. In effect we have witnessed ten years of barbaric educational vandalism. Pay is a crucial issue for education workers.  Members have endured approximately a 20% pay cut in real terms over the last decade. Our members are seeking support from charities as they face financial difficulties.  Education workers cannot afford any more pay cuts; they cannot afford not to fight on pay. Learners deserve lecturers who are well-paid and members deserve to be valued for the vital work they do. In addition to pay cuts, FE lecturers are being forced to the brink due to unsustainable and oppressive workloads.  A UCU Wales Survey on workload showed that members are working on average 50 hour weeks, but getting paid for 37. Lecturers are literally working two days for free as they attempt to cover up the cracks in the system. No lecturer wants to take industrial action and UCU Coleg y Cymoedd hopes that Colegau Cymru will recognise the damaging effect working conditions are having on both staff and students.  Welsh Government and Colegau Cymru must understand that the working conditions of lecturers are the learning conditions of students.  Unless there is proper investment in the FE sector, Wales and its population will face an uncertain future as opportunities to upskill, reskill and flourish are limited and chances of secure and rewarding employment damaged. Messages of solidarity would be welcome and please support local college pickets on the 4th, 13th and 14th of December.  Attendance would also be welcome at a lobby of the Senedd on the 4th December (time to be confirmed).  Supporters could also donate to the UCU Wales Hardship Fund to help some of our lowest paid members to take strike action; details below:

UCU Wales Hardship Fund

Unity Bank, sort code: 608301, account number: 20085704.

Cheques made payable to UCU Wales Hardship Fund and send to UCU Wales FE Treasurer: David Morgan, 12 Buccaneer way, Newport NP10 8ER.

In solidarity,

Clare Gibbs (UCU Coleg y Cymoedd, Communication Representative)



Read the latest about the Picturehouse dispute 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


Mandate (Ireland)

Tesco workers in two stores vote for strike ahead of Christmas (2 Dec) – Strikes could spread in coming months as company routinely breaches agreements. Tesco workers in two stores – Sligo and Carrick-on Shannon – have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action as the company continues to breach agreements and deny workers their right to collective representation. Mandate Trade Union has served notice that Sligo workers will strike this Thursday, 6th December and again on Friday, 14th December. The Carrick-on-Shannon workers will strike on Saturday, 22nd December read more


United Voices of the World

MoJ campaign: Security guards & receptionists vote 100% to strike with their fellow cleaners! (Dec 2) – UVW’s strike ballot results for the security guards and receptionists at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) are in! There was a 100% turnout with a 100% YES vote to go on strike. This is a historic result. The cleaners at the MoJ, also represented by UVW, already have a live ballot with a 100% YES vote. They took 3 days of strike action in August, and will now be able to walk out again as a united outsourced workforce, including the security guards and receptionists read more




Other news

Oppose Tommy Robinson in London on Sunday December 9th – unite against racism & fascism assemble 11am BBC Portland Place, near Oxford Circus Facebook event

Protest: General election Now! Tories Out! Tuesday 11th December 6pm Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7GA, Next to St Thomas’ Hospital Facebook event

Leeds TUC protest: ‘No to May’s Deal – General Election Now. Tuesday 11th December, 5pm Dortmund Square, Leeds Facebook event

Save our services in Surrey #austeritykills: march against  the cuts and  rally for  public safety – Saturday 15th December, Assemble 11am outside Woking borough council offices. Marching to town square

Join Save Our Services in Surrey Email: [email protected]   Web: www.sosis.org.uk

Facebook: https://www.Facebook.Com/sosinsurrey/    Twitter: @sos_surrey




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)

Court gives green light for pickets to challenge CCRC (Dec 3) – On Friday 9th November 2018 the Shrewsbury pickets won an important victory in their long struggle to overturn their convictions. In the Administrative Court in Birmingham, Mr Justice Jay gave permission for the pickets’ application for judicial review to proceed to a full hearing read more on Shrewsbury 24 Campaign website

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





Iran: Activists Say Sugarcane Mill Representative Esmail Bakhshi Tortured read more







6 NSSN Conference Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL



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ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE