NSSN 434: #WeStandWithLyra

The NSSN stands in solidarity with the family, friends, workmates and comrades of Lyra McKee and her union the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). Lyra was killed while reporting on rioting in the Creggan area of Derry on April 18th.

Our supporters took part in vigils and remembrances in Northern Ireland, Ireland and the UK yesterday on the day of her funeral as well as protests, including by many trade unionists, in the last week.

In a statement Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary, said the murder has shocked colleagues in Northern Ireland and expressed sympathy to her partner and colleagues of NUJ member Lyra McKee, regarded as one of the most promising journalists in Northern Ireland.

She said: “The killing of a journalist in these circumstances is deeply shocking. To wake up to this news on Good Friday morning is disturbing and profoundly saddening. A young, vibrant life has been destroyed in a senseless act of violence. Our thoughts are with her partner, family and many friends and colleagues. A bright light has been quenched and that plunges all of us in to darkness.

“Alongside her journalistic work Lyra had a promising future as a novelist and in a relatively short career was recognised as a bright, intelligent reporter. Faber is due to publish her book, The Lost Boys, in 2020. Her death is a major loss to journalism.” Read more from NUJ website

NUJ: In Remembrance of Lyra

Lyra McKee NSSN


NIPSA: No going back to the dark days of violence and murder (19 April) – Alison Millar, General Secretary NIPSA said it was disgusting and abhorrent that a young journalist Lyra McKee lost her life last night in carrying out her job.  It is totally unacceptable that violence has returned to our streets.  On behalf of NIPSA I wish to extend our condolences to Lyra’s family and to the NUJ who have lost a friend and comrade. There can be no going back to the dark days of violence and murder read more



Workers’ Memorial Day April 28th and May Day May 1st take part in these two dates that are so important for workers and the trade union movement. To find out about events in your area, go to IWD and May Day or follow #IWMD19 and #MayDay19 #MayDay2019 on twitter

London May Day march and rally – Wednesday May 1st Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU nearest tube – Farringdon. Assemble 12.00 – march leaves 13.00. March to Trafalgar Square. Speakers include – John McDonnell MPhttps://www.londonmayday.org/

Waltham Forest Trades Council joint Workers’ Memorial Day commemoration and May Day celebration – from 1pm Sunday April 28th Abbot’s Park, 9 Abbotts Park Rd, London E10 6HT (near Leyton Midland Overground station) Facebook event

All Wales May Day march – Saturday 4th May Cardiff. Top of Churchill Way. Assemble for 12pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/210476729789041/?ti=cl



NSSN news

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

Dates for your diaries:

  • NSSN official fringe at CWU Conference – lunchtime Sunday April 28th Branksome Suite BIC – refreshments provided. Chair: Judy Griffiths Coventry CWU; Speakers: Tony Kearns CWU SDGS, Will Murray Greater London Combined youth officer, Gary Clark Secretary CWU Scotland NO 2, Swindon Honda Shop Steward, Rob Williams NSSN Chair
  • A May Day Call for the Car Industry – Public meeting hosted by Swansea Trades Council and National Shop Stewards Network: Wednesday, 1 May 2019 from 19:30-21:00 in Dyfatty Community Centre, Swansea SA1 1NB Facebook event
  • 2019 NSSN Conference – 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL – Saturday July 6th. Please use this letter in your union and trades council to help us finance the conference and affiliate to the NSSN  Facebook event

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


Support the PCS national pay strike ballot – PCS: All you need to know about the pay ballot and how to vote

Why we’re saying yes to take action over pay

Still time to post to vote in the PCS pay ballot (23 Apr) – If you’ve not yet voted in the PCS postal pay ballot it’s a critical week for you to use your vote as we are now in the final week of our civil service-wide ballot. While the ballot closes at noon on Monday (29), to make sure your vote is counted you need to post it by tomorrow (24) evening, if you’re using a second class pre-paid envelope, or first class by last post on Friday or first post on Saturday, at the very latest read more

G4S MOJ security guards suffering payment glitch nightmare (25 Apr) – A hugely faulty payment system is leaving many security guards working for G4S at the Ministry of Justice out of pocket, with some missing out on sums in excess of £1,600 read more

Interserve workers at FCO to strike for 2 days on 1 May (18 Apr) – PCS members at beleaguered contractor Interserve, working at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will take strike action following the company’s refusal to negotiate with the union on redundancies, contractual changes to pay dates, and attacks on holiday pay and sick pay. The strike action will take place on 1 and 2 May and members are angry at Interserve for making workers redundant, imposing detrimental changes and refusing to negotiate with PCS reps. Cleaners at the company have raised concerns about unclear contracts, shortages in holiday pay and the lack of back pay from increases they were due from August 2018 read more

HMRC’s Wolverhampton office in strike ballot (17 Apr) – PCS members in HMRC’s Crown House office in Wolverhampton are being balloted for strike action and a work to rule from today (17), in opposition to the department’s plans to close their office. Having consulted members, PCS has ascertained that if the office closes, at least half of the workforce will be unable to transfer to the proposed regional centre in Birmingham, leaving many members at serious risk of redundancy. This means that PCS members in Wolverhampton will join members in Ealing, who are already striking in the fight to get HMRC to reconsider their ill-considered ‘Building Our Future’ programme. The industrial action ballot is scheduled to begin on 17 April and runs until 1 May read more

PCS ballot for strike action in DVSA is now open (16 Apr) – PCS members working for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are being balloted for industrial action, including striking, in a long-running dispute over changes to their terms and conditions. The ballot, which runs until noon on 10 May, centres on DVSA management’s refusal to consult meaningfully having imposed working practices, and restructures that are impacting detrimentally to members’ terms and conditions and their jobs. We are balloting a targeted number of members, who will be asked to take more sustained action in areas that are more immediately important and strategic to the organisation read more



Support the Swindon Honda workers – watch video of the March 30th demonstration against the planned closure of the plant

Sandwell council staff to begin industrial action in pay dispute (25 April) – Customer service assistants, employed by Sandwell council, who are members of Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, will begin industrial action on Friday 10 May, in a pay dispute over job grading. The 14 members of Unite voted 100 per cent in favour of industrial action on an 85.7 per cent turnout. The dispute is a result of a botched job evaluation process which failed to take into account the emotional demands that the workers have to face, as they act as the frontline of council services, dealing with demanding issues such as homelessness cases. As part of the industrial action the customer assistants will not undertake work which they were not assessed on read more

Somerset workers vote to strike over ‘paltry’ pay offer, as productivity soars (25 April) – Production workers at Somerset firm Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Bridgwater, where productivity is said to have ‘gone through the roof’, have voted for strike action over a ‘paltry’ pay offer. Unite said its 65 members had voted by a majority of 83 per cent for strike action, after they had rejected a 2.8 per cent pay offer for the year starting January 2019. The company, founded in 1935, makes specialist seals for high pressure engines read more

Low paid ISS workers at Macclesfield hospital to stage second demo over unpaid wages (24 April) – Low paid staff, contracted by outsourcing firm ISS, at Macclesfield District General Hospital are staging a second protest on Friday (26 April) against ISS’ plans to withhold up to a week of their pay after the company decided to upgrade its payroll system. ISS employs hospital cleaners, porters and domestic staff at Macclesfield hospital, many of whom are paid hourly and earn the minimum wage. The protest will take place on Friday from 12.00 to 14.30 outside the rear entrance to Macclesfield District General Hospital (SK10 3BL) read more

Newham council faces third industrial dispute as gas repair staff prepare to strike (24 April) – Newham council is facing a third industrial dispute in as many weeks over the way it treats a key group of workers, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 24  April). Three gas managers working in the repairs management service will strike for 48 hours from 00.01 on Thursday 9 May, following the management’s withdrawal of a call out payment without consultation last December. The payment is worth about £550 a month and Unite calculates that its members have already lost more than £2,000 during that period. This action follows on from disputes that have seen 75 employees working in housing repairs being balloted for strike action over a myriad of issues, including a plan to introduce a new pay structure which cuts pay by 20 per cent from 1 June this year. Also, 45 refuse workers are being balloted for strike action over the council’s failure to progress them through the grading structure which should have commenced 12 years ago. Unite estimates that individuals could have lost up to £20,000 each as a result. Both these ballots close towards the end of May. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Newham council is now facing a third dispute, following the unilateral withdrawal of the call out payment worth £550 a month from our gas manager members. Our members can’t afford to lose such a large segment of their income…” read more

Unite members vote for strike action at Aberdeen airport (23 April) – Unite the union today (23 April) confirmed that its membership at Aberdeen Airport have voted for strike action over a pay claim for 2019, and following proposals to close the final salary pension scheme. Unite members supported strike action by 88.3 per cent on a 79.5 per cent turnout. The airport is part of AGS Airports Limited group, which also owns Glasgow and Southampton airports, with all three airports being subject to the pension proposal read more

Seafarers’ protest over ‘miserly’ Trinity House pay tomorrow (23 April) – Trinity House seafarers, engaged in their first pay dispute in more than 500 years, will be holding a protest in Harwich, Essex, at 13.00 tomorrow (Wednesday 24 April). The seafarers, who have a key role in maintaining safety in British waters, will be protesting at Trinity House at the Quay, Harwich. The seafarers, members of Unite have already taken a day’s strike action earlier this month in their dispute over seven years of below inflation pay rises, or no increases at all read more

Unite to hold industrial action ballot at Lothian buses (16 April) – Unite the union today (16 April) confirmed that its membership at Lothian buses will now be balloted for industrial action following overwhelming support in a consultative ballot. In a three-week long ballot, 94 per cent of Unite members indicated support to take industrial action. The move follows a breakdown in negotiations with Lothian Buses management at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). The talks took place due to an escalation in the dispute which has involved Lothian buses management unilaterally withdrawing facility time for the union’s branch chair and branch secretary in response to collective grievances being lodged over the poor workplace relations. Unite has stated that unless facility time was re-instated then industrial action, which will result in buses being taken off the streets of Edinburgh, would be inevitable read more

Heathrow and Luton airport workers set to strike in low pay battle – Hundreds of baggage handlers and check-in staff employed by GH London (formally Azzurra) at Heathrow and Luton airports are set to start strike action later in April in two separate disputes over low pay, their union Unite announced today (Friday 12 April). Over 300 workers at Heathrow’s Terminals 2 and 4 will strike from 00:01 on Friday 26 April to 23:59 on Monday 29 April after members voted overwhelmingly by 99.2 per cent to take strike action on a turnout of 68.4 per cent. Workers are angry at a six year pay freeze and seeking to secure a minimum pay rate of the London living wage. Meanwhile over 120 GH London workers at Luton airport are planning to walk out at the same time in a one week stoppage from 18:00 on Friday 26 April to 17:59 on Friday 3 May. An earlier stoppage in March at Luton had been called off because of an improved pay offer, but the company has subsequently changed the structure of the deal angering the workforce read more

Southampton Hospital security workers strike against unsafe work – Southampton General Hospital security staff, employed by outsourcer Mitie and organised by general union Unite, struck on 8 April in a dispute over safety. The workers lack sufficient ‘personal protective equipment’ (PPE). For months they have sustained serious injuries, and found no support from either the hospital trust or Mitie. Exposing the reality of privatisation, trust bosses say it is not their responsibility, and Mitie bosses say the contract bid doesn’t cover the costs of PPE. So it’s the workers who pay for NHS cuts and private profits. On top of this, Mitie workers get lower wages and worse sick cover. With 11,000 workers at Southampton General Hospital, security staff are asking: why can’t the 20 of them be employed directly by the trust, on NHS pay and conditions? Read more   Messages of support to [email protected]

Support the strike at Angus council – the strike action includes a ban on overtime and work to rule, will take place from April until late June 2019. The first days of industrial action will take place from 00:01 hours on 8 April 2019 concluding at 23:59 hours on 12th April 2019. A series of 48 hour stoppages will commence at 00:01 hours on:

  • 15, 22, 29 April 2019
  • 6, 13, 20, 27 May 2019
  • 3, 10, 17, 24 June 2019 read more



RMT to hold protest in London tomorrow to mark three years of campaigning to keep the guard on Southern Railway‎ (25 April) – Rail union RMT will be holding a national protest tomorrow, Friday 26th April, from 12:00 outside Keolis UK, Evergreen Building North, 160 Euston Road, London NW1 2DX. The event coincides with the 3rd anniversary of the start of RMT strike action on Southern Rail – Britain’s longest running industrial dispute – against Driver Only Operation and in defence of keeping the guard on the train. The protest will be targeting the Keolis, which owns 35% of Southern franchisee Govia, which is itself 70% owned by the French state railway. The action will attract RMT members from across Britain in a show of solidarity with those involved in the dispute who are continuing to fight to retain a second safety critical person on the train read more

RMT declares a further dispute across London Underground over threatened job losses (16 Apr) – TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that it has declared a further dispute across London Underground over job losses and is preparing a ballot for industrial action.  The dispute comes in addition to the rows over the current pay round and fleet preparation and maintenance with RMT making it clear that it sees the attacks on jobs, staffing levels, pay and working conditions as part of a concerted assault on the workforce by London Underground that it intends to resist with every tool at its disposal including the use of industrial action. The latest dispute has arisen as TfL/LUL is undergoing a process called ‘Transformation’ which aims to cut costs and make savings through job cuts. LUL has recently announced a further raft of job losses affecting members in Track Access Control, Power Control, Service Control, LUCC, Skills Development, Waste, Pumps, Stations Buildings & Civils and Signals Incidents read more



Strike ballot over ‘derisory’ pay for college staff (23 Apr) – Hundreds of further education (FE) staff will today (Tuesday) vote on taking strike action over pay, says UNISON. Employees at 14 colleges across England will take part in the ballot including institutions in Bradford, Norwich and Brighton. The dispute is over a national pay offer** from employers which UNISON has rejected and described as ‘derisory’. The vote on strike action follows a consultation in January involving 11,000 FE college employees. These included administration workers, learning support staff and those in finance read more

ISS Workers to Demonstrate Against ‘Reckless and Thoughtless’ Pay Day Delay (15 Apr) – UNISON members employed by ISS will join a lunchtime demonstration at Liverpool Royal Hospital today (Monday). The hospital workers are worried and angry about ISS’s plans to move them from weekly to fortnightly pay.  Staff are paid only the minimum wage and this pay delay will put tremendous strain on already-stretched household budgets. ISS’s proposals involve offering loans to staff to cover the shortfall in their wages, but these have to be repaid within four weeks.  In contrast, ISS propose that the money withheld from workers’ pay packets for hours they have already worked will not now be paid to them until they leave their job with the company read more

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/



“Shameful” Surrey fire cuts will hurt elderly and disabled (18 April) – Surrey County Council has been accused of “discrimination”, as proposed cuts to fire and rescue service will hit elderly and disabled residents hardest. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called the revelations “shameful”. Vulnerable people are at a higher risk when a fire breaks out and require greater assistance from firefighters. Surrey’s fire authority has admitted that proposals to cut 70 firefighter jobs and close a number of stations at night will disproportionately affect older and disabled residents read more



Strike Action begins in Peacehaven Schools on Thursday 25th April – Members of the National Education Union at Peacehaven Community School will begin a campaign of industrial action on Thursday 25th April with further action on 1st and 2nd May. They will be joined next week on the 1st May by two local primary schools, Telscombe Cliffs and Peacehaven Heights. Members have voted overwhelmingly to support strike action against threats to privatise the schools via the academy program. Phil Clarke Secretary of the Lewes, Eastbourne and Wealden National Education Union explained: “The decision to privatise PCS is being taken by an imposed board without local links who have been kept in place long after their remit expired. Local people are being denied a say in the future of their school as the council are working out a deal which will see the private Swale chain take the school while the local council pick up the large outstanding PFI payments. The academies program has been very good for highly paid CEOs but has not delivered any evidence in 20 years it improves standards long term. Striking is not something any school staff do lightly but if our schools are handed over to this private organisation they cannot be brought back. East Sussex County Council need to step up and show our schools support, not do behind the scenes deals with private chains”. Conversion to an academy is privatisation that hands the school over to a chain. They are able to employ unqualified teachers, drive down staff terms and conditions, get rid of elected governors, and have uncapped CEO pay, with some being paid more than £400,000 out of money that should be spent on education. There have been a large number of corruption scandals involving academies including denying children an education by off rolling them, public money being stolen and cheating in tests. On 1st May when three schools will be on strike we are encouraging staff, parents, children and supporters to come to Centenary Park at 11am for a rally and march to defend our schools.

Send messages of support to

Phil Clarke

[email protected]


NEU Regional Office

[email protected]

01444 894500



FELA members vote for action short of strike – EIS FELA will move to an escalation of the current industrial action comprising of the ‘withdrawal of goodwill’ and a ‘resulting boycott’, to commence from Monday, 15th April read more



Winchester University staff balloted for strike action (23 April) – UCU members at Winchester University are being balloted for strike action in a row over jobs. The university has said it wants to get rid of 55 posts – around 10% of the workforce. It has cited increased costs in pensions as a reason for the drastic move. The union has said the university must avoid knee-jerk reactions to changes in pension costs that will affect around 70 universities and rule out compulsory job losses. The ballot opens today (Tuesday) and closes on Thursday 9 May. UCU has warned that if the university refuses to rule out compulsory redundancies it is likely to face disruption later in May. Students have expressed their support for staff and held a demonstration last month. While the university has come under fire for its bungled handling of the process having revealed all the staff at risk of redundancy in an email read more



Support joint GMB-Unison strike at Hally Academy School in Greenwich today April 25thCome down to support staff (UNISON & GMB) taking strike action against devastating cuts to support staff that will lose valued members of the school community, leave vulnerable pupils unsupported and the school in chaos if allowed to go through. Parents and members of the community are encouraged to come down, show support, talk to staff to find out information, share your general and personal concerns and let us know any ideas to stop this destructive move by the Leigh Academy Trust Facebook event

NHS workers to strike after £1.2 billion outsourcing giant imposes ‘poverty’ pay (18 Apr) – NHS catering workers at two hospitals have voted to strike after a £1.2 billion outsourcing giant refused to up their poverty wages. The low-paid workers – mainly women working in the kitchens at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw hospital – will walk out on May 1, 2 and 3. French company Sodexo has refused to match the pay rise other members of staff across the hospitals have received. Sodexo made £65 million in profits in the year to August 2018 – and their directors trousered more than £5 million read more



UK Theatre’s proposals to meet ‘real living wage’ would see lowest paid workers ‘funding their own pay rises’ (25 Apr) – Following UK Theatre’s claim that BECTU has rejected outright a series of proposals that would have delivered the ‘real Living Wage’, BECTU responds and says this cannot be a ‘cost neutral exercise’ for everyone except its members read more

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







Other news

Public meeting: Resisting racism, defending migrants

5:30pm Wednesday 1st May

Location: Henry Thomas Room

(Tower Building entrance)

Holloway Road N7 8DB

Organised by London Metropolitan University UCU, supported by Unison and GMB




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





Union members assaulted at Perfetti Van Melle Bangladesh after calling for an end to child labour read more










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



8 NSSN TUC Rally Brighton



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