NHS workers are on the march for a 15% pay rise that starts to close the income gap caused by a decade of pay freezes. Please join the protests that are taking place, with many on Saturday August 8th.
Details of some of these can be found here in the Nurses and Midwives say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality Facebook group and on the Keep Our NHS Public website. Also visit the website of Health Campaigns Together.
Please join these events. We support the call of many health workers for industrial action ballots, co-ordinated across all the health unions and linking up with all other workers in public services. We are confident that this would be supported by workers in the private sector and all those who benefit from health and social care, particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic where so many staff are putting their lives on the line.
Watch ReelNews video of London July 29th protest
Sign petition: To Welsh Government – For an immediate 10% pay rise for health, care and key workers. Sponsored by Cardiff County Trades Union Council, Swansea Trades Council, Caerphilly Trades Council
Sign Waltham Forest Trades Union Council petition to Barts NHS Trust: for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all NHS staff particularly at Whipps Cross hospital.
Defend Tony Smith
Trade Unionists will be outraged at the dismissal of Tony Smith by an FCC disciplinary hearing. Tony a UNISON activist has been sacked for gross misconduct but in reality he has been victimised for Trade Union activities. All of Tony’s fellow drivers at the FCC waste disposal plant at Willmington agreed that Tony made a correct Health and safety call but this was ignored in a blatant stitch up by management.
Tony led the successful strike two years ago which won sick pay rights for 2,500 FCC workers up and down the country.
Hull Trades Council will be protesting outside the site and we will be trying to organise more extensive action to coincide with Tony’s appeal.
Please send messages of support to Tony Smith C/O Hull City UNISON, Town Hall Chambers 39, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull HU1 2AG.
Mike Whale Chair Hull Trades Council
The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic
The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.
You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.
You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]
We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN
But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in December’s Queens Speech last December and cannot be trusted.
We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights. The Tory government have announced measures that if implemented would include some workers receive 80% of their wages. However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.
We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.
Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum.
Date for your diary:-
NSSN TUC Rally – 1pm Sunday September 13th Facebook event
The rally will be on Zoom and will go out live on social media
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 822 0003 8334 Passcode: 739809
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+44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
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Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/k17EfmHln
Join by Skype for Business https://us02web.zoom.us/skype/82200038334
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. Feel free to use this affiliation letter
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
Watch NSSN TUC Rally video
RMT responds to confirmation that Government has nationalised Train Company debt (31 July) – RAIL UNION RMT today called for full transparency from Government and the rail industry as the UK’s railways took another step towards renationalisation following confirmation from the Office for National Statistics that from 1st April 2020, when the current Emergency Measures Agreements came into force to keep our trains moving during the COVID19 crisis, Train Operating Companies have been reclassified onto the public sector balance sheet which would include any current debt and liabilities read more
RMT demands that Rail Gourmet and its parent company call off redundancy threat as it reveals company is awash with money after soaking up taxpayer furlough cash (30 July) – RAIL UNION RMT today demanded that Rail Gourmet and its parent company SSP call off the redundancy threat to unspecified numbers of catering contract staff under the guise of the COVID-19 pandemic as the union reveals that the company is awash with money after soaking up taxpayer furlough cash. RMT says the scandal yet again exposes the brutal, profit-driven nature of outsourcing on the railway and reinforces the call for work to be brought in-house. RMT research shows that in 2018 & 2019, SSP Group made a total profit of £416m, profit from UK operations was £191m, and it paid out a total of £346m in dividends to shareholders read more
Bus union RMT responds to study on workers’ deaths (27 July) – Bus union RMT has responded today to the initial assessment report on bus driver mortality that has been produced by the UCL Institute of Health Equity which was commissioned by Transport for London. The report shows that among bus drivers, those aged 65 and over, those from BAME backgrounds and those with pre-existing hypertension are at higher risk of Covid-19 mortality and this should be taken into account in efforts by TfL and bus companies to reduce risks. It concludes that had lockdown come earlier it is likely that far fewer bus drivers would have died. Among 13 deaths certificates provided by relatives of drivers who died, in seven cases, hypertension was identified by the certifying doctor as a contributory factor to the death. This is clearly indicative of both the sedentary nature of bus driving and work–related stress, which the report alludes to read more
Sign petition: to The Mayor of London and the London Assembly – End the privatisation of cleaning at Transport for London
Please Support RMT Members With No Wages! – RMT London Transport Region Zero Hours & Self-Employed members need our Solidarity Now! Many of our regions self-employed members and those on zero hours have not any had wages for 2 months since March. They have been abandoned by London Underground, TfL, the London Mayor and their agency employers. They MUST NOT be abandoned by us too; their RMT sisters and brothers! The RMT London Transport Regional Council and LU Engineering RMT branch are calling out to all branches, members and friends to dig deep and give meaningful solidarity to our hard pressed members facing poverty and possibly eviction from their homes. To help support by donating to the fund or to ask after support for yourself, please email: [email protected] read more
RAIL UNION RMT has suspended strike action on South Western Railway in good faith to allow further talks to take place read more
Donate to the RMT strike fund on South Western Railway – The NSSN is appealing for financial support and solidarity for the RMT and their members on SWR, who have just voted to renew their mandate to take mote strike action. Send messages of support and requests for speakers for your union branch and/or trades council to RMT NEC member and SWR guard Geoff Kite – [email protected]
To make a donation to the hardship funds set up for RMT members striking against Driver Only Operation:-
National Dispute Fund:
Transfers can be made directly into the account using the details below:
Account name: RMT Head Office National Dispute Fund
Account no: 20113524
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Alternatively, you can send cheques to the Finance Department at Head Office – Unity House 39 Chalton Street London NW11JD
“ONS acknowledges railways are publicly owned now government must take direct control – Cortes (31 July) – TSSA has today (Friday) challenged the Transport Secretary to come clean about public ownership of the UK rail network after the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reclassified train companies in England, Wales and Scotland as public bodies read more
TSSA Comment on Closure of Tui High Street Shops (30 July) – TSSA have condemned the government’s failure to act to save the travel trade industry after Tui announced plans to close 166 high street shops in the UK and Ireland today read more
Government Handling of Spain Quarantine Policy “beyond shambolic” – Cortes (28 July) – TSSA today (Tuesday) condemned the government’s “beyond shambolic” handling of the quarantine policy for Spain. This comes after newspaper reports last night suggested that the quarantine period could be cut from 14 to 10 days read more
From BBC website: ‘Walk for jobs’ march in Caerphilly over General Electric cuts (1 Aug) – About 300 people joined a “walk for jobs” to protest against redundancy plans at an aircraft engine maintenance plant on Saturday. General Electric (GE) announced in July that it plans to cut 369 jobs at its site in Nantgarw, near Caerphilly. A further 180 posts have already been lost since the coronavirus crisis began through voluntary redundancies read more Send messages of support to [email protected]
Sectoral Employment Orders: Unite welcomes stay on High Court orders (July 31) – Today’s decision maintains important protections for workers. Protective ballot underway. Unite, which represents construction workers throughout Ireland, today (Friday) welcomed the decision by Mr Justice Simons to put a stay on the orders proposed in the recent High Court decision striking down the Electrical Sectoral Employment Order. The Government has stated its intention to appeal the High Court decision read more
Heathrow airline catering companies poised to axe 3,000 jobs, warns Unite (31 July) – About 3,000 workers face losing their jobs as Heathrow catering companies use Covid-19 not only as an excuse to axe jobs, but as ‘a smokescreen’ to undermine employment conditions for those that remain. Unite is highlighting the plight of what it describes as ‘the invisible army of aviation caterers’, who provide meals for some of the world’s biggest airlines, including British Airways, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic. Unite called on the four catering companies involved in the job cutting to pause the process and look to the long-term when the aviation and tourism sectors stage a post-pandemic recovery read more
BA’s short-termism causing havoc in UK aviation as Unite urges airline to drop opportunistic ‘fire and rehire’ scheme (31 July) – Responding to British Airways’ quarterly results issued today (Friday 31 July), Unite general secretary Len McCluskey urged the company to step back from its opportunistic ‘fire and rehire’ plans, which could send thousands of dedicated employees to the dole queue read more
British Airways faces strike threat over job cut plan (28 July) – The head of the trade union Unite has warned British Airways that it plans to move towards industrial action against the airline “with immediate effect”. Unite and BA have been at loggerheads for several weeks. In April, BA owner IAG warned it could cut up to 12,000 jobs due to the impact of coronavirus. Staff were warned that if agreement was not reached, they would be handed their notice and re-hired on new contracts read more from BBC News website
Stop the BA Betrayal! – This groundswell has been mobilised by reps and the campaign #BAbetrayal – a ‘crisis leverage campaign, which is part of Unite’s Leverage strategy. ‘Crisis leverage’ applies many of the same principles and takes a similarly robust, muscular approach but in a much more streamlined, nimble way. In a crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic, with a company behaving like British Airways, we have to move fast and to scale. Find out more and support the #BAbetrayal campaign by Joining the #BAbetrayal Facebook campaign and follow the @BAbetrayal campaign on Twitter. Sign the petition today
‘Historic’ car production lows underscore urgent need for auto-industry intervention (29 July) – Commenting on figures released today (Thursday 30 July) by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing that UK automotive production during the first half of 2020 is down to the lowest level since 1954, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “Buffeted by the twin forces of the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing challenges Brexit poses to the sector, the future of the UK’s world leading automotive sector and the thousands of well-paid and skilled jobs that come with it, is in doubt…” read more
Strike action by Bexley refuse workers called off as revised pay deal accepted (29 July) – More than 150 Bexley refuse workers have called off five days of strike action, due to have started tomorrow (Thursday 30 July), after voting to accept a revised pay deal from outsourcing giant Serco, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 29 July). Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “Our members have voted to accept a revised pay offer from their employer Serco and, as a result, they have called off their five days of strike action that was due to have started tomorrow and run into next week. “I would like to thank our members for the solidarity they have shown during this dispute that predates the lockdown in March. We have made significant progress on the pay issue and other matters, such as health & safety improvements, but the campaign is not over as Bexley council is currently considering whether to award the contract to Serco for a further five years up to 2025. We believe that the contract should come back in-house as the best solution for the residents of Bexley and our members, and Unite will be campaigning to that end as councillors gear up to make that decision this autumn.” Read more
Unite renews call for pandemic public inquiry, following MPs’ report into untested patients discharged to care homes (29 July) – The damning report by MPs into hospital patients in England being discharged into care homes without a Covid-19 test reinforces the need for a public inquiry, sooner rather than later, into the government’s handling of the pandemic, Unite said today (Wednesday 29 July). The influential cross-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) accused ministers of being slow to support social care during the crisis. The initial decision to allow untested patients into care homes was an ‘appalling error’ read more
Serious concerns over ‘extremely vulnerable’ going back to workplace, as shielding ‘paused’ on 1 August (29 July) – Serious concerns have been raised about the government’s plans ‘to pause’ its shielding policy on 1 August and the challenges that will then face thousands of ‘extremely vulnerable’ people returning to the workplace. Unite said that the world of work had dramatically changed since the lockdown was introduced in March and questioned if ministers had thought through all the implications of ‘pausing’, as Covid-19 was still prevalent across the UK read more
Shipyard workers’ successful occupation remains a shining example to workers facing assault on livelihoods, pay and terms and conditions (July 29) – One year ago today, Harland & Wolff workers moved to occupy their workplace to defend jobs and skills, and secure a future for the shipyard. Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer, speaking today said that the example of Harland & Wolff workers who this time last year occupied their shipyard to defend their industry can be an inspiration to other workers at a time of Covid onslaught to jobs, pay, T&Cs read more
Sign this petition: Reinstatement of Blue Handling employees laid off due to COVID-19 and placed on Furlough
Sign this petition: Please sign and share: Extend the bereaved family payment to UK bus workers now – every bus worker who loses their life because of coronavirus deserves to get the £60,000 life assurance cover alongside NHS and social care staff. Dozens have tragically lost their lives. They are going above and beyond the call of duty. It is only right that their families are given the same financial protections. Help support bus workers and their families. Extend and increase the bereaved family payment now read more
MTVHA – Stop the Sackings! Sign petition: To: Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association – Please cease all compulsory redundancies during the recruitment freeze caused by Coronavirus restrictions which would make it impossible for anyone to find alternative employment read more from Unite Housing Workers branch
Support Westex Carpets staff strike – The strike began on November 20th after workers rejected a minimal pay rise which was then withdrawn by the company, which has since refused further dialogue read more Westex Carpets ‘won’t win battle of wills’ as strikes head into ninth week after talks collapse (22 Jan)
To make a donation to the hardship fund:-
Account name – TGWU
Account number – 20175407
Sort code – 60/83/01
Reference – WESTEX STRIKE FUND
PCS to launch consultative ballot for industrial action over jobcentre hours extension (31 July) – PCS will ask DWP members whether they are prepared to take industrial action over the government’s insistence that jobcentres extend their hours until 8pm on weekdays and fully open to the public, despite the very real danger of a second Covid-19 spike. We represent tens of thousands of civil servants working for DWP who have been working flat out over lockdown, supporting claimants to access Universal Credit, benefits and employment support. However, with ministers insisting jobcentres should open to the public including past normal office hours without consulting the union or doing a proper risk assessment, PCS has decided enough is enough. A consultative or indicative ballot is where the union asks it members whether they are prepared to take industrial action. A further statutory ballot will have to be held and reach the 50% turnout threshold for any strike action to go ahead read more
Have your say on government consultation on pension changes (31 July) – PCS is encouraging members and branches to submit comments about the government’s public consultation on changes to public sector pension schemes. The government has accepted that it needs to put right the unlawful changes to pensions in 2015. PCS supported the action taken by the FBU to show that the changes to pensions made in 2015 were illegal. The FBU won the court case and the government has now accepted that it needs to put right what it did unlawfully in 2015 read more
PCS fighting hard for government comms jobs (30 July) – PCS remains committed to fighting hard for the job security of members working in government communications posts as the civil service pushes on with plans to centralise departmental communications read more
PCS members who clean HMRC’s Merseyside offices for ISS are taking four weeks of strike action in August – The strike will commence on Monday 3 August and finish on Friday 28 August. The dispute with the company is over their failure to meet the union’s demand for a £10 per hour living wage, provide full occupational sick pay from day one, increase the number of days holiday members get to match civil servants, and provide guarantees about job security in the event of office closures read more
You can help us win the fight for better pay and conditions! Here are three simple steps:
- Use our e-action to write to HMRC chief executive Jim Harra, urging him to fund our reasonable demands: https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/hmrc-meet-with-pcs-members-for-fair-wages-and-conditions
- Donate if you can to our members’ strike fund: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/pcscleanerstrike
- Ask your union branch, trades council or other organisation to make a donation to the strike fund:
Account name: PCS Liverpool/Bootle Campaign Account
Sort code: 60-83-01
Account number: 20415772
With your solidarity, we can win. Please write, donate and share widely read more in Justice for HMRC Cleaners Facebook page
PCS submits single pay claim for Interserve facilities management members (29 July) – The pay claim covers members working on government contracts in catering, cleaning, maintenance and security for a number of departments. PCS members working for Interserve provide facilities management services for DEFRA, Department for Education, Department for Transport, DWP, Cabinet Office, Canary Wharf Civil Service Hub, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the MoD read more
PCS stresses worker safety paramount as employers draw up return to work plans (28 July) – We have called on all government departments to properly consult PCS over safe working before submitting plans to get more people back into their workplaces. PCS had talks with the Cabinet Office yesterday evening to discuss civil service chief executive Alex Chisholm’s letter instructing departments that it is time to change the default position that civil servants should work from home and that they should look to accelerate the return to the workplace from 1 August. We are opposed to this change of position as the scientific advice has not changed; it still remains that members should work at home where they can read more
Please sign this PCS petition to Save Ealing Tax Office – During this time of national crisis the reliance on hard working, front line, civil servants has increased immeasurably. Government departments have had to act quickly, protect staff and ensure that services can still be provided whilst encouraging staff to work from home where possible. In HMRC over 51,000 members of staff are now working from home with IT equipment enabling them to provide effective advice and services to those affected by Covid-19 as well as continuing to perform the day to day duties of the department. Unfortunately our members based at Ealing Tax Office, although providing vital support and expertise during these difficult times, are facing an increasingly uncertain future with redundancy notices likely to be announced in June as part of HMRC’s controversial ‘Building our Future’ programme. These hard working and dedicated members are fighting to retain their jobs and secure the future of their office, entering into an official dispute with the department, taking part in numerous periods of strike action in recent months. The department have refused to acknowledge the vital role played by this office, the likely impact of losing this community employer as well as the long term impact the loss of over 4000 years of collective experience will have on the functionality of HMRC. During these unprecedented times when the reliance on the civil service has grown substantially, it seems unnecessary that HMRC should continue with its office closure programme and planned redundancies. Now, more than ever, an effective and efficient civil service is needed and our members are showing that, across Government, they can work flexibly at home, outside of the office environment, and continue to provide a high standard of service to the British public. We ask that you sign this eaction to the Chancellor calling on him to intervene urgently, to halt the office closures and redundancies, and consult fully with the union and work to retain the experience and vital knowledge contained within Ealing Tax Office. Support our call to SAVE JOBS, SAVE SERVICES and STOP THE CLOSURES
Support Interserve strikers – Interserve workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, were on strike for the whole of February. You can support the workers in the following ways:
- Sign and publicise the E-action
- Donate to the PCS fighting fund
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
- Visit the picket line at Whitehall/King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH. Read more
Members Protest Against the Reintroduction of Car Parking Charges (30 July) – Please see below from Branch 730 to advertise their protest. You can use for your own Branch area, please advise if you are having a protest so that I can advertise that also read more
NIPSA Responds to Public Sector Pay Announcement By Westminster (21 July) – NIPSA the largest public sector trade union (in Northern Ireland) representing 42,000 public sector workers responds to the UK Government announcement on the pay of public sector workers. Alison Millar, NIPSA General Secretary stated: “While the announcement by the Westminster Government indicates that the 1% pay cap has gone the pay awards announced do not address the issue of the significant pay deficit which have been experienced by public sector workers over the past decade. During the pandemic many public sector workers continued to deliver vital public services and pay increases of between 2% and 3.1% do not address the issues for those members who were promised they would be rewarded for the vital work they performed during the last number of months and continue to do so” read more
Cash industry crisis: shopkeeper sacked for helping elderly buy bread (31 July) – The tragic story of a shopkeeper sacked for helping an elderly people pay for his groceries shows why the cash industry cannot be left to die, says GMB Union read more
Government must answer for actions over care home deaths (29 July) – Ministers ignored science, evidence and GMB Union as 20,000 died in care homes. GMB, the union for care workers, says the Government must be made to answer for their actions over 20,000 care home deaths. The cross-party Public Accounts Committee said in a report that advising hospitals to discharge thousands of patients into care homes without knowing if they had coronavirus was a “reckless” and “appalling” policy error read more
GMB wins another pay rise for members at Kingston Hospital (29 July) – The GMB has successfully secured a sizeable pay rise for their members who work as cleaners at Kingston Hospital. Following a campaign led by GMP reps the outsourced NHS workers, employed by private contractor ISS, will receive an extra 15p per hour meaning they are now being paid the real London Living Wage. This pay rise is the latest in a series won by the GMB members at Kingston Hospital, through collective trade union activity. During 2018-2019 a wave of union protests outside the hospital resulted in wages being raised by 6% over the course of six months read more on Union News website
Unions celebrate ‘fantastic victory’ in fight for better pay for Homerton Hospital workers – Trade unions are celebrating victory in the campaign over “poverty pay” given to workers at the Homerton Hospital, with a new deal with facilities giant ISS granting outsourced staff the same sick pay as their NHS colleagues. The campaign for equal terms for outsourced and NHS workers has been in the headlines for months following reports that the levels of statutory sick pay relied upon by ISS-employed staff were forcing staff to come to work while ill. Now the Homerton has announced, following outrage from unions at the length of a five-year extension of the contract with ISS, that it has received guarantees from the company that all directly employed staff will gain the same terms on sickness pay as NHS staff read more from Hackney Citizen
Limit on mega council pay-offs could cost middle-income workers thousands (31 July) – Long-serving staff caught up in flawed government law. Social workers and librarians are among employees who could be thousands of pounds worse off due to new measures to cap public sector exit payments, says UNISON today (Friday). Middle-income workers are likely to be caught out by a law designed to put a £95,000 ceiling on pay-offs for high-earning staff, the union says read more
Wigan and Leigh rehab workers preparing to resume strike action in long-running pay dispute (29 July) – Workers in the Wigan Council-commissioned drug and alcohol rehabilitation service are taking part in a strike ballot in a dispute over pay. The workers are employed by the London-based charity ‘We Are With You’, which was previously known as ‘Addaction’. Twenty-nine UNISON members are being balloted over We Are With You’s failure to ensure that staff transferred from the NHS receive the full NHS rates of pay. UNISON members have taken sixteen days of action previously over this issue which is yet to be resolved read more
Public want NHS staff to get early and significant pay rise (29 July) – Pay award should be in place before the end of the year. A majority of the public (69%) think all NHS staff should get an early pay rise before the end of this year, according to a UNISON/Savanta ComRes poll published today (Wednesday). The findings also highlight how two thirds (66%) of the public believe a wage increase for employees – including healthcare assistants, nurses, hospital porters, midwives, paramedics and cleaners – should be significant in light of the Covid-19 pandemic read more
Support Tower Hamlets Unison strike – The NSSN sends our solidarity to Unison members who are striking against attacks on their terms and conditions. Hundreds of union reps and members at our annual conference on Zoom last Saturday supported this call. It is an outrage that a Labour council is using the worst methods of private sector bosses to impose detrimental changes. We also salute the binworkers, mainly in Unite, who refused to cross picket lines. They have recently been on strike themselves against their former employer Veolia before being brought back in-house
Support teachers and schools staff fighting Tory unsafe re-opening
The NSSN sends our support and solidarity to education workers, their unions and an increasing number of parents as they look to resist the Tory government’s plans to move to a much wider opening of schools in England We believe that this reckless plan is clearly connected to Boris Johnson’s intention to lift the lockdown and get people back to work, before the government get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. They are putting bosses’ profits before the safety of workers, children and their families.
At our very successful 2nd NSSN Zoom public meeting on May 17th, teachers and parents set out a united fighting strategy. The NSSN supports this fight for safety along with the many other struggles that are taking place to ensure that the workplace is safe. We argue that we need trade union, workers’ control of workplace safety as we can’t trust the Tory government and their big business backers.
We are happy for teachers, schools staff and parents to use the banner of the NSSN to organise meetings and action against this unsafe re-opening. Email us on [email protected] for more information.
NEU: 5 Tests for Government before schools can re-open – NEU has launched 5 tests for Government before schools can re-open. We believe that these test must be capable of being passed in order to create the necessary confidence amongst parents and staff read more
NEU: Public Sector Pay (21 July) – The NEU asked for a 7% pay rise for all teachers. This increase does not achieve this entirely reasonable ambition read more
Coronavirus outbreak wipes out 30% of county’s fire cover (1 Aug) – Cuts have put service in ‘extremely vulnerable’ position, union says. An outbreak of coronavirus has left Surrey firefighters struggling to maintain fire cover after their brigade failed to properly implement vital health and safety measures. As many as seven fire engines have been unavailable at any one time from the outbreak, 30% of the brigade’s full-time fire engines. A Surrey firefighter tested positive for COVID-19 on 25 July, after undergoing two days of training exercises without proper infection prevention and control measures, causing 20 more Surrey Fire and Rescue Service personnel to be removed from duty for self-isolation read more
Firefighters and control staff offered 2% pay increase (29 July) – FBU members to be consulted on offer with union recommending money be paid immediately to staff. FBU to launch campaign for better pay with option of industrial action on table. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has condemned a 2% pay offer from employers labelling it ‘insulting’ to frontline firefighters and control staff. Employers have offered firefighters and control staff a 2% pay uplift, below teachers, doctors, dentists, police, and prison officers. The offer is on par with judges, senior civil servants, and the armed forces. The FBU has slammed fire service employers and chief fire officers for failing to value the work of their staff and criticised government ministers for failing to step in and ensure firefighters are properly rewarded in this year’s pay round – especially in light of the extra work taken on in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. After a meeting of the FBU’s Executive Council today (Wednesday 29 July) it has been recommended that the money be immediately paid to staff as it “will be better in the pockets of firefighters and control staff than sitting in employer reserves”. The FBU’s pay offer will now go out to consultation for 28 days, during which firefighters and control staff will discuss the offer at union meetings in workplaces across the UK. The FBU will talk to members about their options to campaign for better pay over the next year, including industrial action. Firefighters have taken on an additional 14 areas of work to respond to the coronavirus pandemic read more
It has come to the attention of our Union that there has been a small number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the Moy Park site in Ballymena. As a Union, we are extremely concerned about this development and are doing all we can to keep updated with this issue. We have been in contact with the employer to ensure they are doing all they can to help and support employees, both the positive tested cases and those employees that may have been in contact with them. The company has assured us that the track and trace procedure in place has located anyone that may potentially have come into contact with the confirmed cases and these employees have been sent off site to self-isolate. If any employee believes this is not the case and has not happened please get in touch asap. We have also reiterated the need for everyone at the site to ensure social distancing at 2 meters remains in place and that the hand washing and PPE measures are still ongoing and being adhered too at all times. We have called on the company to ensure no employee suffers a financial loss should they be impacted by this outbreak. Our on-site representatives are in daily contact with the employer so if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to bring them to our attention. If you feel you need to report anything to us in confidence please contact us with the Regional Office whose details located on our website or on the union notice board. We are sending our best wishes to all affected employees at this time.
Laura Graham, Regional Officer, Region 7 – Northern Ireland read more
NUJ reacts to Irish Daily Star takeover bid (28 July) – The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland, representing journalists employed by Reach, has warned that the union will use the provisions contained within Irish media-mergers law to challenge the company’s complete takeover of the Irish Daily Star newspaper. Reach already hold a 50 per cent stake and the bid for the Irish Daily Star comes at the same time as redundancies across the existing titles have been announced read more
Ambassador Theatre Group to lay off 1,200 casual staff as furlough safety net ends (31 July) – Close to 1,200 casual members of staff working for the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) will be cut off from the furlough scheme from 1 September read more
National Trust announce 1,200 redundancies – Prospect will support members (29 July) – Prospect will work to minimise redundancies at the National Trust and ensure staff are treated fairly, the union has said as the Trust have announced that they are looking at 1,200 redundancies as a result of the pandemic read more
Selfridges planning to cut 450 jobs as annual sales expected to fall due to the pandemic (28 July) – Following a review of its business the retailer is set to reduce its total headcount by 14 per cent to cope with the impact of the virus, the subsequent lockdown and the changes that have been happening on the high street even before COVID-19 read more
Support Debenhams Workers: National Protest – 2pm Saturday 8th August Garden of Remembrance Dublin Facebook event. This is a very important week for the Debenhams workers. Last week, our plight was raised in the Dáil. Disappointingly, the government parties watered down the Motion by Solidarity-People Before Profit. However, our battle was really noticed by all parties and a number of workers met the Taoiseach with representatives of Mandate. We want to increase the pressure for the value of the stock in the Debenhams stores to be directly used to pay workers our redundancy and owed wages. Please join our national demonstration next Saturday August 1st. We appeal to all workers and trade unionists to march with us. This could happen to any worker if they succeed in doing it to us
Email messages of support to Mandate via [email protected]
Ministry of Justice’s cleaners, security guards and porters win vote for trade union recognition (30 July) – Cleaners, security guards and porters at the Ministry of Justice celebrated victory today after they voted 70% in favour of trade union recognition which give them a guaranteed right to negotiate. The victory comes after the workers’ trade union, United Voices of the World, alleged MoJ contractor OCS had engaged in “a sustained campaign of union busting” in order to frustrate the ballot process, which led to several complaints investigated by the CAC. The workers’ union has alleged OCS offered workplace leaders inclined to vote in favour of recognition pay rises on condition they transfer to other sites, as well as blocking other key union members from attending meetings for the purposes of discussing recognition. The union claims the contractor also refused to provide employees with facemasks which prevented meetings between the workers and the union from taking place – something which saw UVW lodge a formal complaint with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). UVW has vowed to continue fighting until the Ministry of Justice ends outsourcing and hires the workers directly on equal terms and conditions with civil servants. To that end the union claims it will also bring a case to Employment Tribunal arguing that outsourcing the entirely BAME and migrant workforce on inferior terms and condition to civil servants is a breach of the Equality Act 2010. The victory has come just 3 weeks after the workers won full pay sick pay for Covid-19 related absences and some two months after the death of their colleague, cleaner and UVW member, Emanuel Gomes. Mr Gomes’ death was mired in controversy with reports the MoJ ignored repeated warnings of potential Covid-19 infections and had put workers’ lives at risk through its refusal to provide full pay sick pay or face masks. Something which saw Shadow Secretary of State for Justice David Lammy MP call for an official investigation read more
‘The Spirit of ’45’ documentary website – the website for this fantastic anti-austerity film has been updated. For cast/crew information about the movie, where to watch it online and the trailer, please go to https://streamingmoviesright.com/uk/movie/the-spirit-of-45/
Townsend Theatre Productions – See online shows such as The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and We are the Lions about the 1970s Grunwick dispute website here
COVID-19: Demanding a public inquiry – On behalf of the Law Centres Network, with the support from Amnesty International, JCWI, the Monitoring Group and over 70 grassroots organisations, civil society charities and trade unions the Public Interest Law Centre wrote to the Government to demanding an urgent public inquiry into the handling of #COVID19. The letter can be found on this link, but more importantly can you send an email from the page demanding that a public inquiry is arranged in the next three months to learn the lessons in order to learn the lessons of before a suspected second wave. https://pilc.org.uk/campaigns/covid-19-demand-a-public-inquiry/
Join the protests against the killing of George Floyd in the USA
The NSSN sends our deepest sympathy to the family of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25th. We also send our solidarity to those who have protested in the USA and around the world. NSSN supporters have been at many of the protests that have taken place all around the country. We think trade unions are vital to build workers’ unity at this time.
There are other protests being organised. To find out about others, follow #MarchforFloyd #KneekforFloyd #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter on social media
Fight victimisation of union reps
PCS: Trade unionists asked to send solidarity to PCS rep dismissed after blowing the whistle (25 July) – Trade unionists are being urged to send solidarity messages to a PCS rep dismissed after whistleblowing at the Department of Work and Pensions. Enrico La Rocca, who had worked for the DWP for more than 27 years, lost his job in May after highlighting serious concerns with management over a number of years. His complaints resulted in questions being asked about the department’s handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments by the National Audit Office (NAO) and raised by in a Work and Pensions Select Committee report read more from Union News
RMT: SUSPENSION OF RMT REPRESENTATIVES, FRATTON – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY – Following my previous Circular (IR/171/20) dated 14th May 2020, as you are aware, two of our representatives, Mark Gamble and Brian Perren, were suspended from duty using unscrupulous charges. South Western Railway’s actions throughout this dispute have been appalling. The company have clearly targeted our members as they are hardworking and effective representatives. The callous action of South Western Railway has been abhorrent from the very start of this dispute. Our members recently had their disciplinary hearings and after successful representation Brother Brian Perren has been reinstated to his substantive role. However, Mark has been left in limbo by the company and still faces these ridiculous charges. This means that the ballot that was due to close today (4th June) has been cancelled. As one of our members has been reinstated, this changes the basis of the original ballot. Unfortunately, because of the anti-trade union laws we would not have been able to use any mandate we received from this ballot. Therefore, we have to run a fresh ballot and this will be to continue to defend our suspended Brother Mark Gamble. The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has congratulated our members and all those who assisted Brian in proving his innocence and ensuring he is reinstated to his substantive role. The NEC has also instructed me to run a fresh ballot in defense of our Brother Mark Gamble who still remains suspended. It is incredibly disappointing that the company has failed to see sense and instead have chosen to drag on an unnecessary dispute. It is disgraceful that Mark remains suspended and we have no choice but to stand shoulder to shoulder and defy SWR’s callous and distasteful decision. I have written to the company today to advise them of this union’s position and they have been left in no doubt that we will not allow them to pursue outrageous charges against our from democratically elected representatives (from RMT general secretary Mick Cash)
Clara Paillard PCS victory – We are delighted to announce that the threat of dismissal has been lifted and Clara, PCS president in the Culture sector, is ‘back at work’ (although from home during the current pandemic).
Reinstate Percy Yunganina UVW union – Percy is a cleaner at King’s college with 5 years on the job, and a UVW executive committee member, who’s just been sacked after a disciplinary hearing he refused to attend due to observing the government’s social distancing guidelines but which King’s College proceeded with anyway in his absence without even letting him know or inviting him to attend via phone. The hearing would have had 8 people cramped together in a small room in complete disregard of the government’s instructions about social distancing. Percy has explained the reaons for not attending and asked for the decision to be overturned and the hearing to be reconvened via phone or in person after Lockdown. However, King’s have scandalously refused this request and have insisted on upholding his dismissal which now leaves Percy out of work and out of pocket in the middle of a pandemic! He will formally appeal but it could take months to hear and deliver an outcome. We will also take King’s to tribunal but that could take over a year. This is utterly shameless conduct by King’s HR team, led by Nigel Smith, the Head of People Services. They need to be held to account. Everyone deserves the right to a fair hearing and should not have that right denied them for respecting the government’s public health guidelines about social distancing. Please repost this and write to Nigel Smith at the following address telling him to reinstate Percy – [email protected]
Sign the petition: Reinstate Ezra Christian RMT – We, the undersigned, are appalled at the treatment and summary dismissal of our Bakerloo Line colleague Ezra Christian. Ezra has been treated very harshly and does not deserve to be sacked. We call on London Underground to do the right thing in this case and Reinstate Ezra back into London Underground Employment immediately
Reinstate Clive Walder Unite: the campaign continues – Unfortunately, we have to inform you that the appeal by Unite against Clive’s dismissal by National Express in Birmingham was unsuccessful. In the hearing on 5 March, the company downgraded his offence from gross misconduct to misconduct and altered the penalty from summary dismissal to dismissal with four weeks’ notice. We believe dismissal is totally disproportionate and Clive should be reinstated. Clive and his union Unite the union will shortly decide the next steps in his campaign against his sacking. Clive would like to thank all those who have expressed solidarity with him, including supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network who took part in the protest leafleting of his workplace before the appeal hearing. It was successful enough for National Express to report it to the Unite full time official. Please continue to send protest emails to [email protected]. The NSSN has produced a flyer which can be downloaded and printed off to give to National Express employees and customers in support of Clive. We are appealing to our supporters to take photos of any solidarity protests and post on social media
Support Danyal Aziz Unite – Daniel was a Unite rep at London City Airport, who was recently sacked. Labour MP Sam Tarry has tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in support of Danyal. Email your local MP to get them to sign the EDM
Defend Paul Williams PCS – Stop the victimisation of senior PCS rep Paul Williams – Paul Williams has a long and proud history of defending his colleagues at the Department for Transport, and predecessor departments, for nearly 40 years but as a result of his union activities is facing compulsory redundancy even though there are vacancies at his grade read more
Support Tony Smith Unison – Tony Smith one of the leaders of the successful FCC dispute which won sick pay for nearly 2,500 workers is being victimised. charged with gross misconduct over health and safety charges, his hearing is on Thursday. Please send messages of support to Hull Trades Council c/o [email protected]
Sign the petition: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists at Alternative Futures Group (AFG)
Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael Hunnum – 12,000 workers faced being sacked before Christmas by scrooge bosses ASDA, who are now owned by US superstore giant Walmart. This threat hanging over them was unless they agree to the new ‘Contract 6’ which will see them lose all their paid breaks and forced to work bank holidays. The same employer is sacking North East GMB member Michael Hunnam. Michael’s fight is part of the same struggle to resist the offensive of the ASDA bosses. Michael’s supporters believe that his determined opposition to Contract 6 is what has put him in the ASDA firing line. Support the ASDA workers and reinstate Michael!
Defend Moe Unite – support Moe Muhsin Manir, a hardworking Unite rep on London buses, working for Abellio. We are delighted to report that Moe is back at work. We will keep everyone up to date on any developments. Moe would like to thank everyone who sent support and solidarity.
Guardian: Ricky Tomlinson’s criminal convictions to be re-examined
Appeal court to look again at case of Royle Family actor after claims he may have been unjustly jailed (26 May)
The criminal convictions of actor Ricky Tomlinson, who starred in the TV comedy the Royle Family, are to be re-examined by appeal court judges after an official body suggested he may have been unjustly jailed. Tomlinson and other trade unionists have been campaigning for years to clear their names after they were jailed during a strike in the 1970s. On Tuesday, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the public body that scrutinises alleged miscarriages of justice, announced it had asked the court of appeal to review the cases of Tomlinson and others. Tomlinson, 80, said it was “good news” and an opportunity to prove that he and 23 other men were prosecuted in what amounted to a politically motivated attack on the trade union movement by the government, police and managers read more in Guardian
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
Turkey: Women workers dismissed from SF Trade for union organizing read more
September 13 – NSSN TUC Rally 1pm Facebook event
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