Last Wednesday 18 August, the NSSN joined a protest by Unite activists in support of key workers, employed by construction company Kier, who keep the South East’s motorway network operational held a protest at the company’s offices, due to the refusal to pay them sick pay.
Video from Reel News: Kier, End the discrimination on sick pay – UNITE activists protested outside both Kier and Highways England offices, occupying one office until the police were called. Action will continue until Kier stop this discriminatory practice and pay everyone the same sick pay
Unite regional officer Malcom Bonnett said: “Kier’s workers who operate in all weathers to keep the South East’s motorway network fully operational deserve full sick pay, when they are ill. The pandemic has exposed the fact that workers simply can’t survive on SSP which is less than £100 a week. The lack of sick pay results in workers continuing to come to work when they are ill. In normal times, due to the safety critical work they undertake. this could have tragic consequences. During the Covid pandemic it leads to unnecessary risk of exposure to infection. It is simply unjustifiable that office based workers receive full sick pay while those working on the motorway network only receive SSP. With Kier recently being re-awarded the contract on Area 3, now is the perfect time for the company to act and level the playing field on sick pay. If Kier does not end the discrimination to motorway operatives Unite will step up the campaign which will involve further protests and the possibility of additional actions in order to secure a fair deal for our members.”
Kier has recently secured the contract to continue to provide highways maintenance on the Area 3 contract for a further eight years. The contract will run until October 2029.
NSSN TUC Rally 2021 – 12pm Sunday September 12th
At 12pm on Sunday 12th September the NSSN is organising our annual rally before the start of TUC Congress. Due to Covid, both the TUC and our rally will again be virtual this year. This will be the 12th successive year that we have lobbied the TUC for the fighting programme that is needed by workers.
The pandemic has seen workers fight for their lives and increasingly our livelihoods as bosses unleash an offensive to make us pay for the crisis, including through fire and rehire and union-busting while their Tory Government proposes a public sector pay freeze and further austerity.
But workers are fighting back, with a strike wave that has seen important victories. Come and hear about the action that is taking place from union leaders and shopfloor workers on the front line.
This is an open forum to have your say, from the fight for workplace safety to defending our jobs and hard-won pay and conditions to stopping yet more privatisation of the NHS.
Confirmed speakers so far: Sarah Woolley BFAWU General Secretary, Joe Simpson POA Deputy General Secretary, Joe Kirby RMT NEC
Meeting ID: 861 1677 4093
United action against the Tories on public sector pay
Public sector workers, headed by those in the NHS and education, are rightly furious after the Tories finally made their pay announcements.
The 3% to be awarded to NHS staff, who have been on the front line risking their lives during Covid, is nowhere near what has been lost over the last decade. That’s why many health workers have been demanding 15%. But to rub salt in to the wounds, this rise must come out of the existing NHS budget. This means brutal cuts on top of all the Tory austerity we’ve already had.
It’s even worse for teachers, with a pay freeze. Local government and higher education workers have already been offered 1.75%, further education staff 1% while many civil servants just a paltry £250 for lowest paid members and nothing for the rest.
The NSSN stands in solidarity with these and all public sector workers who are effectively receiving a pay cut as RPI inflation moves over 3%. After years of cuts to their income, the most effective way to get the pay rise they deserve is to fight together.
We support all demonstrations and industrial action that workers take. Workers are stronger when they take action together. The NSSN calls on unions and their members to reject these insulting offers and co-ordinate industrial action ballots so that if the Tories don’t back down, millions of public sector workers can take action together to get the pay rise they deserve.
Unite to hold a consultative ballot for industrial action over ‘grossly inadequate’ NHS pay offer (6 Aug) – “…There will also be a day of action on 25 August, where Unite members and workplace representatives will be involved in numerous activities to highlight the inadequacies of the pay award…”
Unite NHS Pay national day of action Wednesday 25th August. Events include:-
Barts NHS Trust, London:
- Royal London 2pm & 3pm (2 Demos) – On Whitechapel Road by Main Entrance
- Whipps Cross Hospital 3:30pm – Main Gate Whipps Cross Road
- St Bart’s Hospital 3:30pm – Main Entrance on Little Britain
- 8:00 – Alexandra Hospital, Woodrow Drive, Redditch, B98 7UB.
- 11.30 – Sandwell Hospital, Hallam St, West Bromwich, B71 4HJ.
- 14:30 – West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) 65 Waterfront Way, Brierley Hill, DY5 1LX.
- 17:00 – University Hospital Coventry (UHCW), Clifford Bridge Road, Coventry CV2 2DX
- 12:00-14:00 Ascot – Heatherwood Trust SL5 8AA on the main Rd. Contact Richard 07936364115
- 12:00-14:00 Camberley – Frimley NHS Trust GU16 7UJ near to the entrance of the hospital. Contact Richard 07936364115
- 07:45-10:30 Oxford – Church Hill Trust OX3 7LE – Junction old Rd and Churchill Drive 7.45am – 10.30am. Contact: Jesika 07718668497
- 12:30-13:30 Milton Keynes – Milton Keynes University Hospital MK6 5LD outside the main entrance. Contact: Jesika 07718668497
- Brighton –Wearing a sticker and campaigning within the departments.
- 12:00-14:00 Reading – Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. RG1 5AN London Rd entrance.
- 12:00-14:00 Windsor – King Edward VII Hospital, St Leonards Rd SL4 3DP.
- 11:30 Portsmouth – outside St Marys Hospital, Milton Road PO3 6AD.
- 12:00-14:00 Sussex – outside Royal Sussex County Hospital,Edward Street Brighton BN2.
- 12:00-14:00 Working – outside Worthing Hospital, Lyndhurst Road BN11 2DH
Unite to hold consultative ballot over ‘contemptible’ pay offer for council staff (19 Aug)
Care Workers Clap Back – National day of action Saturday 4th September Facebook event
Manchester – 11.30am Piccadilly Gardens Facebook event
London – 11.30am Department of Health and Social Care – 39 Victoria Street SW1H 0EU Facebook event
Newcastle – 1pm Grey’s Monument Facebook event
Follow NHS Workers Say NO to Public Sector pay inequality on Facebook
Stop victimisation of union reps
Donate to the reinstatement campaign of Declan Clune RMT bus driver in Southampton (on behalf of Declan Clune and all RMT Southampton District Bus and Coach Branch members). Email message of support: [email protected]
Support GARY CARNEY, TRAIN OPERATOR – LONDON UNDERGROUND
Defend Adrian Mitchell RMT driver on London Underground
Donate to solidarity campaign of Moe Muhsin Manir Unite bus rep Email messages of support to Moe: [email protected]
Trade union rep victimisation at Woolwich Ferry reaches ‘obscene levels’, says Unite
Unite: Ealing’s Labour council ‘actively helping’ Serco ‘hound’ union rep from civil enforcement job
St Mungos management escalate dispute by suspending Unite rep – sign petition: End the culture of fear at St Mungo’s
Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council
Sacked UCU member wins right to return to work (29 July)
Watch Reel News video: Victimised union reps: Act like it’s you and fight back
Sign petition: Overturn Final written warning for John Boken (NEU Representative at Shrewsbury Colleges Group)
Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon
Watch Reel News video: Huddersfield teachers strike to defend Louise Lewis
Defend NEU Exec member Tracy McGuire. Stop the victimization of Tracy!
Support the NSSN
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]
Watch the NSSN pre-TUC Rally from last September and follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook
RMT declares dispute over Legionella outbreak on Thameslink trains (23 Aug) – RAIL UNION RMT said today that it has declared a dispute over a potentially lethal Legionella outbreak on Thameslink trains and is prepared to ballot for strike action if GTR and Siemens don’t take urgent action to resolve the crisis. To date 7 toilets, on 4 trains have had identified actionable traces of legionella. The fourth unit was discovered on August 9th and the company advise they are removing it from traffic where ‘reasonably practicable’ and if it remains in service all that will happen is that the toilets will be isolated. RMT has described this half hearted and inadequate approach as gambling with the health of passengers and staff alike read more
East Midlands Railway dispute remains strong (22 Aug) – RMT members rock solid in East Midlands Railways disputes as company admit strike breakers have only one days training and aren’t “safety competent”. RMT members rock solid in East Midlands Railways disputes as company admit strike breakers have only one days training and aren’t “safety competent”. RAIL UNION RMT said that it’s senior conductor and train manager members remain rock solid in separate East Midlands Railways disputes this morning as the company admit in internal communications that the strike breakers they have bussed in have only one days training and don’t meet the most basic safety competency standards required of the regular staff members they are replacing. A memo seen by RMT asking managers to volunteer to support the strike breaking operation says that; “Training for this role will be 1 day only and not the extensive training required for full safety critical competence.” In addition, the strike breakers are being offered a bounty of £270 per shift while the company snub talks that could resolve the disputes. The taxpayer which finances the EMR operation is effectively picking up the tab for this cynical operation. General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “Whilst our members are standing firm in these two separate disputes over contract and safety issues it is frankly appalling that East Midlands Railways are blatantly flouting the most basic of safety standards in a desperate bid to break the strike action…” read more
East Midlands Railway Train Managers are instructed to not book on for any shifts that commence between:
- 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 8th August 2021
- 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 15th August 2021
- 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 22nd August 2021
- 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 29th August 2021
- 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 5th September 2021
- 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 12th September 2021
- 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 19th September 2021
- 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Sunday 26th September 2021
Furthermore, you and your colleagues are instructed to take part in the following strike action in the form of:
- Not to work 12 car trains alone from 0001 Hours on Saturday 7th August 2021 until further notice.
Please Note: The above industrial strike action, is suspended during the Sunday strike action dates above, but will commence again immediately at 0001 hours on the Monday, following the Sunday strike action, and will be suspended again at 2359 on each Saturday, on the eve of the Sunday action read more
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 22nd August 2021
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 29th August 2021
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 5th September 2021
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 12th September 2021
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 19th September 2021
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 26th September 2021
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 3rd October 2021
- 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Sunday 10th October 2021
In addition, strike action called for Sunday 8th August 2021 and Sunday 15th August 2021 remains in place read more
Rail Gourmet strike solid again (22 Aug) – RMT Edinburgh Rail Gourmet members solidly supporting strike action this weekend in fight for justice. RAIL UNION RMT said that Rail Gourmet staff at Edinburgh Waverley are soildly supporting a new phase of strike action this weekend in an on-going fight for respect and justice in the workplace as the company escalate their abuse and bullying of their staff. Rail Gourmet members at Edinburgh Waverley have been instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:
- 0600 Hours on Saturday 21st August 2021 and 0559 on Tuesday 24th August 2021
This latest phase of action follows on from previous rock solid strikes and instead of recognising the strength of the genuine grievances the company have chosen instead to ramp up their attacks including the despicable measure of forcing staff to eat their meals in the open on the station platform after removing a socially distanced, covered area at the staff canteen read more
RMT Scotrail strikes holding firm again today as savage cuts to services are lined up (22 Aug) – RAIL UNION RMT said that Scotrail workers striking for pay justice and equality are holding firm again today as the company and their political masters line up a devastating wave of service cuts in the latest phase of their all-out war on passengers and staff alike read more
RMT suspends next week’s Tube strike (20 Aug) – TUBE UNION RMT said today that it has suspended strike action by drivers scheduled for next week in the Night Tube dispute after further progress in ACAS talks today. General Secretary Mick Lynch said; “Following further progress in ACAS talks today our Executive has decided that there are sufficient grounds to suspend next week’s tube strike action. We remain in dispute and will be engaging in further discussions with a view to reaching a settlement. I want to thank our reps and our members on London’s Underground whose hard work, resolve and unity has been decisive in terms of the progress we have been able to achieve so far.” Read more
RMT calls new Serco Caledonian Sleeper strike dates – RMT calls new phase of industrial action in Serco Caledonian Sleeper pay fight. RAIL UNION RMT has called a new phase of industrial action in its ongoing dispute over pay justice for Serco Caledonian Sleeper workers. The action has been called after negotiations with Serco, under the auspices of ACAS, failed with the company refusing to offer a revised pay award without a series of “efficiency savings”. RMT members employed on the Serco Caledonian Sleeper have already taken a number of rock-solid days of strike action in their ongoing fight for pay justice, after being subjected to a pay freeze, despite being key workers who have worked throughout the pandemic. The union’s National Executive Committee has taken the decision to call further action as follows:-
With effect from 00:01 hours on Friday 30th July 2021, until further notice, members are be instructed:-
- Not to work any Higher-Grade Duty
Additionally, the instruction to Serco Caledonian Sleeper members not to work any overtime and not to work on rest days remains in place until further notice read more
TSSA condemns “hypocritical” Network Rail video (18 Aug) – TSSA today condemned as “hypocritical” a video released by Network Rail which praises “Scotland’s railway” for keeping going through the pandemic whilst management make plans to lay off thousands of workers. TSSA is currently involved in an industrial dispute with Network Rail over their proposed implementation of job cuts which have so far seen management grade staff – which the union represents – within the company targeted for severance read more
TSSA brands Network Rail “chaotic and incompetent” in dispute over 10,000 job cuts (17 Aug) – TSSA today lambasted Network Rail’s “chaotic and incompetent” management of their voluntary severance programme. The Times is reporting than “more than 10,000 jobs” will be lost in our rail industry. TSSA is involved in an industrial dispute with Network Rail over their proposed implementation of job cuts which have so far seen management grade staff within the company targeted for severance read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Bexley bin collections to resume while deal is ratified (24 Aug) – Bin collections in the London borough of Bexley are to resume from tomorrow (Wednesday 25 August) while a deal between refuse collectors and their employer Serco is ratified. Unite, the UK’s leading union, said its members have voted in favour of the deal in principle but are waiting for Serco to carry out its promises before calling a complete end to the strike action. The deal includes a one off £750 payment for 19 staff, contract changes that will reduce pay disparities and steps to prevent the weaponization of the drug and alcohol policy. Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “We are pleased that a provisional deal has been reached following an improved offer from Serco. “While the deal is being ratified, which we expect to happen by the end of the week, our members will go back to work and bin collections in Bexley will resume. Until this deal is enacted in full, however, strikes are being suspended not cancelled, and our members retain the option to return to the picket line if they need to do so” read more
‘No end in sight’ to Bexley bin strikes as council leader Teresa O’Neill ‘abdicates responsibility’ (17 Aug) – There is ‘no end in sight’ to the Bexley bin strikes in South London, Unite, the UK’s leading union said today (Tuesday 17 August), as it accused council leader Teresa O’Neill of ‘abdicating her responsibility to residents’. The strikes, involving 140 refuse workers employed by Serco, began on July 12 and the workers are now in their sixth week of strike action in a dispute over pay and the victimisation of workers. Talks between Serco and the workers’ union, Unite, collapsed last week after the outsourcing giant refused to address the tens of thousands of pounds of back pay owed to a number of employees. This money is owed because Serco has failed to pay workers according to stipulated pay scales. This has resulted in existing drivers being paid just £22,000 a year, while new recruits are paid £28,000 for the same roles. The union said Bexley council has watched the dispute, which could see rubbish pilling up on the borough’s streets until October, develop for months without trying to find a solution. Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “It is a well-known fact that local authorities are responsible for bin collections. That is except if it’s Bexley council, whose leadership appears to believe they are above having to deal with issues like clearing the borough’s rubbish read more
Support the Bexley bin strike – Send messages of support to [email protected]. To donate to the hardship fund, you can pay online to Unite LE/649 – sort code 60-83-01 and account number 20441911 read more
GXO drayman strikes suspended as improved pay offer considered (20 Aug) – Nationwide strikes by 1,000 GXO drayman who deliver top beer brands have been suspended following an improved pay offer from the company, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday 20 August). The improved offer of 4 per cent by GXO Logistics Drinks Ltd (previously XPO Logistics Drinks Ltd) will now be voted on by the drayman, who are based at 26 sites around the country. Unite is recommending that the draymen, responsible for about 40 per cent of the beer deliveries to pubs and other hospitality outlets across the UK, accept the offer. Strikes scheduled for Tuesday 24 August and Thursday 2 September have been called off while the ballot, which opens on 23 August and closes 31 August, is carried out read more
Manchester tram drivers to be balloted for strike action over derisory pay offer (20 Aug) – Manchester could grind to a halt next month if members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Metrolink vote for strike action in a dispute over pay. The tram drivers, who have continued to operate throughout the pandemic to ensure that Greater Manchester kept functioning, have been offered a pay increase of 0.3 per cent for January – March 2020, followed by 0.7 per cent from April 2021 to April 2022. The one per cent increase for a 15 month period has been labelled ‘derisory’ and would amount to a hefty real terms pay cut for workers. Unite has been in pay talks with Metrolink since February and, with negotiations now exhausted, the union has no option but to begin balloting for strike action. The strike ballot opens on Thursday 26 August and closes on Friday 10 September. If workers vote for strike action then strikes could begin before the end of next month. The union represents over 300 drivers and supervisors at Metrolink and industrial action would cripple the tram service, which has stations throughout Greater Manchester. It is possible that strike action could affect the Manchester half marathon as well as several high profile football matches due to take place this autumn read more
Dublin Airport Authority: Unite to ballot for industrial action following management U-turn on Labour Court Recommendation (Aug 20) – Company focus on outsourcing agenda unacceptable. Unite, which represents craft workers at Dublin Airport Authority, today (Friday) wrote to the daa informing them of the decision, taken at a General Meeting of members yesterday, to ballot for industrial action up to and including a full withdrawal of labour read more
Shrewsbury Radius Aerospace job losses on day furlough ends ‘hammer blow’ for staff (19 Aug) – More than 60 Radius Aerospace job losses in Shrewsbury, the first of which could occur on the day furlough ends, are a ‘hammer blow’ for staff, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday 19 August). Radius Aerospace, which manufactures aircraft parts, has announced plans to shut its ‘precision’ operations at its Whitchurch Road site and move production to the company’s Bramah site in Sheffield. The plans would see more than a third of jobs go at Whitchurch Road, where Unite has more than 150 members read more
Job cuts at UK vaccine licensing agency branded as ‘lunacy’ (19 Aug) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has branded as ‘lunacy’ the announcement that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the only body able to licence Covid-19 vaccines in the UK, is set to cut 20 per cent of its staff. The redundancy programme for the 1,200 strong workforce is understood to be related to Brexit and severe reductions in funding from the European regulatory system. The job cuts raises serious concerns about whether the cuts will compromise or slow down the MRHA’s ability will to test and approve new Covid-19 vaccines, or modifications of ones that have already been approved to combat different variants of the virus read more
Terrible pay and working conditions ‘coming home to roost’ in nationwide chicken shortages (18 Aug) – Commenting on the nationwide chicken shortages hitting UK restaurants and supermarkets, Unite national officer for food, drink and agriculture, Bev Clarkson, said: “The terrible pay and working conditions that make the meat processing industry one of the worst places to work in the UK are coming home to roost with the nationwide chicken shortages…” read more
Unite to ballot Labour Party staff over compulsory redundancies (18 Aug) – An indicative ballot of Labour Party staff will be held over potential compulsory redundancies, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 18 August). The union said workers who give their all to the Labour Party should not be made to pay the price for the reorganisation announced by Labour general secretary David Evans yesterday. The indicative ballot, which begins on Monday 23 August and ends on Tuesday 31 August, will ask members if they are willing to take strike action if compulsory redundancies are announced read more
Managers ‘missing in action’ for pay talks over HGV drivers who deliver to 1,500 convenience stores in London and south east, says Unite (18 Aug) – Top managers at Booker Retail Partners have ‘disappeared’ so talks aimed at averting possible strike action that could hit deliveries to more than 1,500 convenience stores in London and the south east can’t currently take place, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 18 August). Unite said, despite the company indicating it wanted to start pay talks early to address a pay differential dispute involving about 40 drivers at its Thamesmead site, the bosses are now ‘missing in action’. The crux of the dispute is that Booker Retail Partners, part of the Tesco ‘empire’, put in place a temporary £5 an hour pay uplift for drivers at its Hemel Hempstead depot because of the HGV driver shortage, but then refused to implement a similar uplift for the 40 drivers at the Thamesmead site. The Thamesmead drivers, who deliver to independent retailers under the Budgens and Londis brands, are now being balloted for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. The ballot closes on Friday 3 September. Unite is seeking a similar uplift to that the Hemel Hempstead drivers are receiving read more
Portaferry to Strangford ferry workers call for action, including the conduct of an independent risk assessment, to address their health and safety concerns (Aug 18) – Department for Infrastructure inaction on workforce fears over exhaust fumes on the Strangford II leaves crew constantly worried about their health and that of Ferry users, including school children. Minister’s promise to install Diesel Particulate Filters branded ‘too little, far too late’ as workers express willingness to strike over safety concerns read more
GKN Birmingham strike ballot begins as Unite raises concerns over government research support – Workers at the GKN Automotive factory in Birmingham will begin receiving ballot papers from today (Monday 16 August) in the dispute over the decision by parent company GKN Melrose to close the site next year. The ballot for workers at the Chester Road factory, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will close on Tuesday 31 August and if there is a yes vote strike action could begin in mid-September read more
Lancashire biomedical scientists set to strike until November in pay upgrade dispute – Biomedical scientists at a Lancashire NHS trust will strike until the middle of November in an upgrading pay row, as the bosses drag their feet over holding constructive talks, Unite the union said today (Friday 13 August). The 21 biomedical scientists at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust were on strike between 31 May and 28 July – and are set to resume strike action on Friday 20 August which will then run through until Thursday 11 November. At five-and-half months this would be one of the longest-running industrial disputes currently in the UK. Unite said that it had asked for a meeting with the trust by 30 July, but these talks will now take place on Thursday 9 September which the union said was clear evidence of the management’s lack of interest in resolving this dispute. Unite said that the trust management was more intent on spending tens of thousands of pounds on breaking the dispute than honouring the 2019 pay upgrade deal that they originally agreed to. Unite said the trust’s actions were at the expense of patients needing speedy and efficient analysis of blood examples during the continuing pandemic at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and the Burnley General Teaching Hospital. Unite regional officer Keith Hutson said: “Our members have voted to strike until November as they have been met by a dogmatic management intent on wastefully racking up thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to break this strike, rather than do the honourable thing and stick to the 2019 agreement to pay the upgrade that was promised. This is the worst example of macho-management and unworthy of the ethos underpinning the NHS…” read more
Talks in Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute break down due to TfL’s ‘bad faith’, says Unite – Crunch talks to resolve the long-running Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute yesterday (Tuesday 10 August) between Transport for London (TfL) bosses and Unite the union broke down with the union accusing TfL of ‘bad faith’. Unite, which represents 57 ferry workers, had suspended industrial action as a goodwill gesture in the run-up to the talks – but its members were back on strike today (Wednesday 11 August) and will be striking on Friday (13 August). Prior to today, there has already been 24 days of strike action. Besides the victimisation of the two Unite reps, there has also been a failure to agree a new pay and reward scheme; the excessive use of agency staff; and the failure to provide adequate health and safety training to new employees – these are issues which have arisen since TfL took back control from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd in January this year. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We were making good progress with the union agreeing to a proposal from TfL to meet through workshops to discuss a new collective agreement. However, the employers made their pay offer which was worse than the last offer – and they then refused to budge. “Our members had suspended strike action as a goodwill gesture, but feel that they have been badly let down by another abject example of TfL’s bad faith and, as a result, they are back on strike today. The management is game playing, which we feared would happen…” read more
Rolls Royce Barnoldswick protest to be held as strikes over site’s future resume – A protest at the historic Rolls Royce Barnoldswick plant will be held on Monday (9 August) as strikes resume over the company’s lack of concrete commitments to the site’s future. A group of 17 engineers began strike action in July after Rolls Royce bosses refused to provide tangible commitments to new work or to suspend work being sent elsewhere, which is taking place at an accelerated rate. A ballot for the site’s entire workforce to join the dispute closes next Friday (13 August). In January, Rolls Royce reached an agreement with Unite that guaranteed the future of the factory, including retaining a minimum of 350 workers and creating a training centre. The agreement was reached after workers and the local community mounted a huge campaign to save the factory, after the aerospace giant revealed plans to scale back production that would have spelled the plant’s closure. Following a meeting in May this year, however, Unite was forced to issue a failure to agree notice with Rolls Royce after local managers indicated that staff headcount could drop below 350 and orders would continue to be completed abroad. Unite has been attempting to resolve the matter and seek reassurances about Barnoldswick’s long-term future, which have so far failed to materialise. Unite regional officer Ross Quinn said: “This dispute could be put to bed very quickly if Rolls Royce’s leadership demonstrate to the workers that the agreement signed in January is still valid read more
Email messages of support via [email protected] and send donations online to: account name, Barnoldswick workers mutual society, sort code, 05 02 22 account number 36192613
DfI Roads workers at Woodburn depot to strike over inaction on management bullying – After 90.9 percent strike vote, workforce pickets to be deployed at Woodburn DfI Roads in Derry/Londonderry during twenty-four strike, which starts midnight on Thursday, July 22rd. Road Service workers’ union Unite warns first twenty-four hour stoppage at Woodburn likely to escalate in absence of Ministerial intervention read more
Production at historic Shropshire wheel factory will ‘roll to a halt’ during pay strikes – Production at an historic Shropshire wheel factory will ‘roll to a halt’ during strikes over pay and redundancy packages, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 23 June). Unite members employed at GKN Wheels and Auto Structures in Telford will strike in July over the company’s refusal to implement a pay rise without workers first accepting detrimental changes to a collective redundancy agreement. The strikes, conducted in conjunction with GMB members at the site, will impact wheel production at the factory, which produces off road wheels for clients such as JCB. Unite members will hold three 24 hour strikes at GKN Wheels and Auto Structures in Telford on 5, 12 and 19 July. The historic factory, which is more than 100 years old and produced Spitfire planes during the Second World War, was bought by private equity firm Aurelius in 2020. Unite regional officer Jason Richards said: “Our members are incensed at being offered a pay rise only on the condition that the collective redundancy agreement is weakened…” read more
Sullom Voe Terminal talks break down as industrial action set to begin – Unite Scotland can confirm that talks to prevent industrial action at Sullom Voe Terminal have ended with no movement on the part of Shetland Islands Council (SIC) to resolve the dispute. Around 40 towage workers employed by SIC are set to begin an overtime ban on 5 July which will continue over a seven-week period (see notes to editors). Unite has confirmed that if no progress takes place in the coming weeks, then strike action remains a possibility which would represent a major escalation in the dispute. The overtime ban will ‘hugely disrupt’ the multi-million pound contract to bring oil tankers on to the shore for oil processing and also on production for the Brent and Ninian fields. In April, Unite announced that towage workers on a return of 86.5 per cent voted by 87.1 per cent to take industrial action. The dispute revolves around workers being denied a ‘service award’ after their transfer to SIC in 2006. The towage workers have been told by SIC that they will not receive the long service award if they fulfil 25 years’ service, which is the equivalent of one month’s salary like other council workers. Instead, the workers will continue to receive a flat rate of £250 read more
Engineers at Leicestershire’s Brush Electrical strike over fire and rehire cuts of up to £15,000 – Engineers employed by Brush Electrical Machines, owned by venture capitalists Melrose and based in Ashby de-la Zouch, will stage summer strikes in response to ‘fire and rehire’ pay cuts of up to £15,000, Unite said today (Tuesday 11 May 2021). Unite, the UK’s leading union, said the 30 engineers, who service generators around the world, voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking and will stage industrial action every day from 25 May to 16 August. The proposed contracts include reductions to overtime rates, allowances, holidays and other terms and conditions that would result in a pay cut of between £10,000 and £15,000 a year. The engineers’ jobs have been threatened if they do not sign the new contracts, which will leave them on pay rates ‘well below the industry standard’. The union said the strikes will ‘cause havoc to the firm’s worldwide servicing schedule and serious inconvenience to its international clients’. Parent company Melrose has a reputation for targeting workers and viable operations to boost short-term profits read more
Reading hospital security guards renew strikes in July, as Unite calls on NHS bosses to take them back ‘in-house’ – NHS bosses should take the security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading back ‘in house’, after the guards announced new strike dates for July against their outsourced employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd. Unite the union said the new strike dates would run from 07.00 Monday 12 July until 24.00 Saturday 31 July, after the 20 security guards voted by 84 per cent for strike action. The guards, who provide security for the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, have been locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay and conditions battle with their employer, resulting in a wave of strikes since December last year. Because of the way that Kingdom Services has treated its staff, Unite is urging the trust to take the security guards back ‘in house’ under NHS management when the current three-year contract ends on 31 December this year. As the NHS celebrates its 73rd birthday on Monday (5 July), campaigners wishing to keep it out of the hands of profit-hungry companies, such as Kingdom, will be staging a march and rally in Reading on Saturday (3 July), starting at 12.00 from Royal Berkshire Hospital to Forbury Gardens in the town centre where there will be speeches read more
Support striking Reading hospital security guards – Text solidarity messages via Jessica 07718668497 and donate to strike fund: Acc. No.: 20173991 Sort Code: 60-83-01. Sign petition to Mark Wallace , Kingdom Service Group Managing Director: Pay Royal Berkshire Hospital security staff a wage they can live on
Latest DVLA action going strong into fourth week (23 Aug) – Most staff in the drivers medical section of the DVLA are still striking as we enter the fourth consecutive week of a month of action in our ongoing dispute. There are growing backlogs at DVLA, and in drivers medical the department which decides whether drivers who have medical conditions are fit to drive safely, because of the industrial action. However, the dispute could have been settled in the first week of June – when a deal was put on the table that we were prepared to accept. This plan was scuppered by unscrupulous ministers and transport minister Baroness Vere admitted as much at the parliamentary transport select committee last month. It is false for DVLA senior management to accuse us of targeting the most vulnerable when it was them who refused to implement our suggestion of prioritising key worker licences and correspondence right at the start of our dispute. The same should be done for vulnerable people who need to be made a priority. The DVLA and transport secretary Grant Shapps can settle this dispute today by putting a deal back on the table. Our campaign at DVLA has moved on to a further stage with members urged to vote in a consultative ballot on further action. Members have until 3 September to vote, to demonstrate their continued support for the campaign read more. How you can help:-
- Donate to the strike fund. This fund supports members financially when they are striking and therefore not being paid by their employer. The details are: account name: Fighting Fund Levy. account number: 20331490 sort code: 60-83-01, reference: DVLA
- Sign the e-action. PCS has an e-action which asks transport secretary Grant Shapps to intervene to keep members safe.
- Messages of solidarity. Write a message of support for striking DVLA workers by emailing [email protected]
Royal Parks: First week of strike action ends on a high (20 Aug) – After a week of industrial action, workers at Just Ask remain determined to win. Planning more campaign activities next week, ending in a large public protest on bank holiday Monday. The strike is over 6 issues, the key ones being possible staffing cuts later this year and winning the same sick pay as staff who are directly employed by the Royal Parks. On Monday, 16 August, the first day of two weeks of continuous strike action, supporters and more than 20 strikers joined at Royal Parks HQ for a demo and meeting to kick off the week. With messages of support given by Hector Wesley on behalf of the PCS NEC, and Robert Eagleton on behalf of the City of Westminster Labour party, as well as members of Unite Community and the NSSN, and met their new officer from UVW, PCS’ partner in the dispute. On Wednesday, (18), the strikers were met by PCS president Fran Heathcote at their strike meeting to plan next steps. On Friday (20), more than 20 strikers joined another public protest in St James’s Park and planned next week’s action, agreeing to ramp up the dispute organising leafletting the public and a mass protest on Bank Holiday Monday, (30). People can support the Just Ask strikers by supporting any of the below events, or contributing to their strike fund.
- Monday, 23 August: Public leafletting 10am Speaker’s Corner Hyde Park.
- Wednesday, 25 August: Public Leafletting 10am location to be decided.
- Friday, 27 August: Public protest 10am, location to be decided.
- Monday, 30 August: Mass protest: 11am, Speaker’s Corner Hyde Park read more
Please give what you can through the Crowdfunder website. Send messages of support to [email protected]
Watch Reel News video: Join the “Protest in The Park” to demand equality for Royal Parks key workers
2021 Home Office pay update (19 Aug) – The Home Office has issued a pay offer after just one meeting, which amounts to an insulting pay freeze for the majority of staff. PCS submitted a pay claim in March setting out that we wanted to explore a sectoral pay deal this year to harmonise pay across the Home Office including Arm’s Length Bodies (ALB’), ensuring pay uplifts for everyone. Despite these NDPBs needing to go to the Home Office each year for authorisation of their pay plans, they operate separate bargaining and have separate scales. In fact, in every grade there is divergence at the bottom of the salary band and the top. Even though PCS has been pressing for information and talks since we submitted our claim in March, the first and only formal meeting to date with the Home Office took place on 10 August. The Home Office have now issued a pay offer, sticking rigidly to the government’s insulting pay freeze, whereby only staff whose full time equivalent salary is £24,000 or less will be given a £250 uplift read more
Using private contractors to help with small boat arrivals on the south coast (19 Aug) – Our position on the use of private contractors to supplement staffing numbers dealing with small boat arrivals. The pressures on staff who are assisting on the south coast (both on a compelled and a voluntary basis) have steadily increased, as small boat arrivals have also increased going into the summer. PCS is concerned at the long hours and poor working conditions for staff, as well as the poor conditions small boat migrant arrivals have been placed in read more
PCS reiterates opposition to extra daily driving test (18 Aug) – We have reiterated to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency our opposition to the introduction of an extra daily driving test to the current schedule for driving examiners. Last week we wrote to DVSA senior management to inform them that as there had been no agreement forthcoming to suspend plans for an 8-test schedule by Friday, 13 August we are now in dispute with them. We believe the 8-test schedule proposed is unacceptable and creates a potential risk to the health, safety, and well-being of our members, candidates, and other road users. We cannot rule out balloting members over possible strike action on the issue read more
OCS members vote to accept pay offer (17 Aug) – PCS members working for OCS on the HMCTS security contract have voted to accept the company’s pay offer. In the PCS OCS consultative ballot over pay, which closed at noon today (17), members have voted overwhelmingly to accept the pay offer read more
DVLA industrial action continues to have huge impact (12 Aug) – The backlog of unactioned work and unopened post continues to mount up as the DVLA strike goes on. We understand that there are over two thirds of a million driving licenses awaiting any kind of action at DVLA. For the Drivers’ Medical section we believe the backlog of unactioned work to be over 300,000 with thousands of pieces of post not even scanned in. The internal chaos appears to be reaching new heights with reports that DVLA management have left identity documents and cash from envelopes unsecured, because of moving staff around to open the masses of post, in order to avoid more criticism from ministers. Added to this, volunteers are now being sought from non-operational staff to move to open the enormous backlog of post. This would result in the volunteers’ own work mounting up. PCS is advising that members do not volunteer read more
PCS launches consultative ballot in DVLA – Workers at DVLA will be asked whether they would support further strike action in a consultative ballot. The ballot will open today and close on 3 September. Members will be asked about their priorities for a deal to end the dispute and whether they would be in support of further strike action and action short of a strike, going forward. It is not a statutory ballot which is the legal requirement for strike action. PCS is continuing its plan of targeted and sustained strike action at DVLA, with staff in drivers medical on the second week of a month-long walkout. Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the union, said: “DVLA senior management and the DfT have underestimated the resolve of our members. They thought support for our strike would fade when in fact it is growing with new staff joining PCS. This dispute can be resolved if the original deal to end the strike is put back on the table…” read more
Nats members vote overwhelmingly for industrial action – 84% of members voting in the consultative ballot voted for strike action. Members in Nats (Air Traffic Systems) voted in favour of both industrial action (83.44%) and action short of strike (94.48%) in a consultative ballot with 73% turnout. The ballot was held in light of worsening industrial relations with management, and the proposal to ‘tear-up’ a long standing redundancy agreement. PCS negotiators will now meet with management on 17 August armed with this result, to demand the removal of any threats against the redundancy agreement, and also to seek improvements in industrial relations including assurances on pay increases read more
Extended service hours create new jobs in Royal Mail Customer Experience (Aug 20) – CWU seals deal converting temporary roles to permanent and extending dozens of fixed-term contracts as RMCE trials 21 extra customer service hours across the week read more
Sign petition: Reinstate Gary Bolister sacked GMB rep at Islington Council GMB pulls funding for Labour Party in London after grieving caretaker sacked (27 July)
GMB set Serco Sandwell strike dates – Workers at Serco Sandwell are set to strike over Health & Safety concerns and bullying in the workplace. Talks have been ongoing between GMB and SERCO but after Industrial Action ballot results were announced on 23rd July 2021 they have not led to a satisfactory resolution. Justine Jones, GMB Regional Organiser, said strike action would be a last resort. “Should all the talks fail over the next few weeks we will be taking industrial action. “There is some positivity but not as much as we would like. We will look to continue more frequent dialogue with the employer and are hoping talks will be successful. “This is a last resort. What members have requested over the last couple of months has been an ongoing issue for the last few years. That’s why we are taking the action we are.”
The dates set for Industrial action start from 31st August 2021 and GMB members could initially take strike action for four successive Tuesdays read more
UK must learn from own failures to set standard at COP26 (22 Aug) – GMB, the energy union, has said the UK must learn from its own energy and industrial policy failures if it is to set the standard at the COP26 summit in Glasgow read more
GMB and Praxis Care sign exclusive recognition agreement (19 Aug) – GMB Union is proud to be the voice of our members in Praxis. GMB, the union for care workers, has renewed an exclusive union recognition agreement with the Praxis Care in the UK and the Isle of Man. The agreement means GMB will be the exclusive union Praxis Care will negotiate with in relation to employment matters, including pay and benefits, health and safety, organisational development and change read more
Brighton’s City Clean refuse, recycling, commercial waste and com-bin drivers to be balloted for strike action (19 Aug) – The overwhelming GMB consultative ballot result from HGV drivers within the city’s waste management Hollingbury depot could see industrial action in September, says GMB Southern Region. GMB union HGV members at Brighton and Hove, have voted to undertake an industrial action ballot over unfair and discriminatory treatment of drivers by council management. The independent Civica run ballot which would be the last stage legally required before angry drivers could take action has come about through unilateral daily changes and removal of drivers from long standing rounds without process, at the whim of uninformed management read more
Yodel faces network standstill as GMB ballots lorry drivers for strike action (18 Aug) – In a truly staggering act of corporate self-sabotage Yodel picks fight with drivers at a time of mass shortages. Yodel faces a complete network standstill has GMB ballots lorry drivers over strike action. At a time of mass shortages, the delivery giant faces its LGV1 drivers walking out over pay and conditions read more
Manic Monday looms for Merthyr as bus drivers set to strike (18 Aug) – GMB Drivers and engineers are set for strike action as the new school term gets underway, unless stagecoach address the pay disparity which sees Merthyr staff paid less than their colleagues in neighbouring Porth.
Drivers and engineers based at Stagecoach’s Merthyr Tydfil have announced their first strike date (Monday 6th September), the same date as the new school term begins. The move could see the county borough grind to a halt, as drivers refuse to work on what is traditionally one of the busiest weeks of the year. The strike has been called after GMB Members voted overwhelmingly for strike action at the company’s Merthyr Tydfil depot. Staff are simply asking to be paid the same rate as their stagecoach colleagues based at the Porth depot, only 16 miles away, for doing the same job. Currently they are being paid around a pound an hour less by the company for working in Merthyr Tydfil read more
GMB to ballot Labour Party staff over compulsory redundancies (18 Aug) – Workers who give their all to the Labour Party should not be made to pay the price for any reorganisation. GMB is to ballot members over compulsory redundancies among Labour staff. The indicative ballot – which begins on Monday, August 23 and ends on August 31 – will ask members if they are willing to take strike action over compulsory redundancies during the ‘Organise to Win’ re-organisation announced to staff by General Secretary David Evans yesterday read more
GMB London call on ASDA to implement its own policies on discrimination after complaint of anti semitism against Dagenham manager upheld (19 Aug) – ASDA need to adhere to the Equality Act 2010 and challenge the behaviour of their managers and educate them to follow their own policies after this case says GMB London. ASDA need to adhere to the Equality Act 2010 and challenge the behaviour of their managers and educate them to follow their own policies after this case says GMB London read more
More than 1,250 Asda workers demand supermarket acts to stop violence (18 Aug) – GMB to hand in 1,250 letters from terrified supermarket workers asking Asda for protection in wake of ‘Spiderman’ gang attack. GMB, the union for Asda workers, will gather outside of Asda Clapham Junction on Wednesday 18 August to present more than 1,250 letters calling on the supermarket to act to stop abuse and violence against staff read more
Traffic wardens strike over pay in Tory heartland – After a decade of having their allowances frozen, GMB parking wardens for NSL parking in Westminster are set to strike over pay and conditions. GMB parking wardens are set to strike in Westminster after unanimously voting to reject NSL Ltd’s pay offer. 100% of members voted to reject in a high turnout ballot, with nearly 80% of members voting. Currently GMB members working for NSL are effectively just above the breadline, earning the basic London Living Wage of £10.75 read more
Hundreds of England fans strike at Spitfire company over pay dispute – GKN needs to show the sense of English fair play embodied by the Three Lions and respect the hard-won rights of their workers says GMB Union. Hundreds of England fans will go on strike today at a famous spitfire company in a dispute over pay. More than 200 long-service workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike at GKN Sankey in Telford after months of attacks on their onslaught on redundancy packages and pay read more. The strike will begin on Monday July 5, with more dates to be announced
Sandwell leisure staff strike again over ‘fire and rehire’ tactics (23 Aug) – Leisure trust that is set to run the aquatic centre for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is targeting staff while having millions in the bank. Swimming instructors, lifeguards, receptionists and other staff at the Sandwell Leisure Trust in the West Midlands took to the picket line at the Portway Lifestyle Centre this morning as they took further industrial action over changes to their contracts. The one-day strike is the third this year by employees of the trust, in response to new agreements affecting the pay of around 280 read more
Blog: Call 999 – the terrifying crisis in the ambulance service (24 Aug) – We need them when things are at their worst, but demand on paramedics has been increasing, recently hidden by the pandemic. How can our first responders be helped? Alan Lofthouse is a senior national officer and former paramedic. This blog was first published by The Yorkshire Post read more
Tower Hamlets Unison: #BuildTheBallot for Further Action • Opens Thursday 24 June – By a thumping majority, our members rejected management’s most recent proposal to end the Trade Dispute on Tower Rewards. Shamefully, those terms were imposed on us last summer at the height of the pandemic, by our Labour council using “Sack and Re-engage” measures that have been widely condemned and that Kier Starmer says he will outlaw read more VOTE NOW! We made it on national news
Scottish Greens should use Government influence to push for fair pay for nursing (20 Aug) – Commenting on the announcement that the Scottish National Party and Scottish Greens have finalised a co-operation agreement, Julie Lamberth, Chair of RCN Scotland Board said: “We are seeing elective procedures cancelled across Scotland due, in part, to a lack of staff. Our members are clear that with around 3,300 nursing vacancies in our NHS alone, fair pay is needed to ensure we recruit and retain the nursing staff needed to provide the best patient care and recover from this pandemic. The Scottish Government’s pay award falls far short of what is needed. “The Scottish Greens were elected on a manifesto which pledged a 12.5% pay rise for nursing staff. I hope that they will be using this agreement and their influence over the Scottish Government to push for a fair deal for nursing in all settings.” Read more
Safety critical role of nursing must be valued (19 Aug) – The Royal College of Nursing is calling on the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care to act now to recognise the contribution of Scotland’s nursing staff read more
NHS pay consultation opens: have your say now – RCN members working for the NHS in England and Wales have a chance to say whether a 3% pay award is acceptable or unacceptable. The RCN consultation on NHS pay has opened today (12 August) and will close at noon on 13 September. Members working for the NHS in England and Wales can have their say on whether the 3% pay award for 2021-22 is acceptable read more
RCN launches ‘summer of action’ in protest against below-inflation NHS pay award – Events will be held across the UK as we prepare to consult members on next steps. Our fight for fair pay is picking up pace as a series of member events takes place this summer ahead of our biggest ever member consultation on NHS pay. The UK government finally announced the NHS pay award for England last week after months of delays. But with inflation, the 3% award is a real-terms pay cut and leaves experienced nursing staff £200 a year worse off. The government has since admitted that the money would be found from existing budgets, further upsetting the nursing profession as this funding will already be committed for patient care. Today we’ve launched an interactive map of events for nursing staff to protest against the 3% NHS pay award announced for England and Wales and discuss what action they want to take in response read more
NIPSA Responds to General Teaching Council NI (GTCNI) (20 Aug) – NIPSA the largest public sector trade union in Northern Ireland today responded to the press articles about GTCNI which stated that Hundreds of newly qualified teachers may not be registered to teach in Northern Ireland before the start of the new school term. As the recognised trade union for the GTCNI, we are fully aware of the importance of the fact that if a teacher wants to be employed in a school they have to be registered with the General Teaching Council (GTCNI). NIPSA has been in constant contact with the GTCNI Management, the GTCNI Council and the Department of Education as well as the Education Committee and the Education Minister in relation to issues regarding staffing within the organisation read more
Job Evaluations for the Unified Model (20 Aug) – Following significant work by trade unions to raise the issues HMPPS conducted a review of the implementation of the Job Evaluation Scheme (JES). The recommendations were helpful, vindicating all of the representations that we had made. Some of the recommendations are long term but there are also immediate actions to take read more
Indicative ballot to reject the pay freeze and the insulting pay offer from the Probation Service (20 Aug) – Earlier this year the Probation trade unions submitted a multi-year pay claim to try and achieve some certainty on pay going forward. After some promising early exchanges, the negotiations hit a barrier when the government announced a public sector pay freeze. Despite every effort by negotiators to point out how staff have maintained vital services at great risk in the face of the pandemic while helping to deliver Probation reunification, we eventually received a derisory pay offer for 2021 that has recently been considered by Napo’s Probation Negotiating Committee (PNC) read more
Suspend Academisation of Moulsecoomb Primary – On Tuesday 6th July, members of NEU, GMB and UNISON will be taking strike action and calling on The Pioneer Academy to withdraw as the sponsor. On the same day, parents, staff and members of the community have hired a bus to visit the DFE to deliver a petition. We want to show Gavin Williamson that staff across Brighton and Hove schools and services want the academization suspended. Please respond to the three questions here so we can add your name to the petition
Call to improve ventilation in Northern Ireland schools (22 Aug) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has called on the Minister of Education, Michelle McIlveen, to take firm action to improve ventilation in schools to reduce further Covid disruption. The union says proper measures to increase airflow make a difference to health and would help to limit the damage to learning for pupils read more
Education unions make joint call for urgent action on ventilation in schools (18 Aug) – Education unions, together with Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP, have today written to Gavin Williamson urging the government to take firm action to improve ventilation in schools to reduce further Covid disruption. The unions – NEU, Unison, NASUWT, ASCL, NAHT, GMB and Unite – say proper measures to increase airflow in time for the start of the next academic year will make a difference to health and limit the damage to learning for pupils read more
Schools must continue to be cautious in maintaining effective COVID mitigations (19 Aug) – With pupils and teachers across Scotland now having returned to the classroom, the EIS is calling for caution in the continuing operation of COVID safety mitigations in schools read more
Updates on latest UCU disputes
Petition calling for fair funding and online learning
IFS report shows huge increase in college funding needed (18 Aug) – UCU said college staff have seen their pay slump over the past decade, and urgent action needs to be taken to attract and retain staff so colleges can meet demand from students. The union was responding to a report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies into college and sixth form spending, which shows that an additional £570m is needed to meet rising numbers of students read more
University and college staff tell PM to open up Afghanistan refugee route (17 Aug) – UCU has demanded prime minister Boris Johnson take urgent steps to protect those most at risk in Afghanistan by opening up a specific, legal refugee route to the UK and to give those who have relatives working or studying in the UK the right to reunite read more
Ten day strike begins at University of Liverpool University rejecting ‘golden opportunity’ to resolve dispute. Staff at the University of Liverpool are to go on strike tomorrow, after university management squandered a golden opportunity to resolve the long running dispute over cuts to the faculty of health and life sciences. The full strike days are: week 1 – Wednesday 4 to Saturday 7 August; week 2: Monday 9 to Saturday 14 August…In a ballot earlier this year, 84% of UCU members who voted backed strike action to fight the university’s plans to slash 47 teaching and research jobs in the faculty of health and life sciences. This has now fallen to two compulsory redundancies after sustained industrial action from UCU and late-stage talks with management. Liverpool UCU met today, and an overwhelming 97% of attendees voted to continue with the planned strike action to support the two colleagues still facing the threat of compulsory redundancy. Previous industrial action taken during the dispute has included a three-week strike beginning in May, which was immediately followed by an ongoing marking and assessment boycott. UCU has also hit the university with the ultimate sanction of a global academic boycott after the university withheld 100% of pay and locked out staff taking part in the lawful assessment boycott read more
UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes. As always, members are asked to contribute whatever their circumstances allow. A donation in solidarity of any amount will be gratefully received by members taking action.
NUJ reaction to targeting of ITV News and Channel 4 News (23 Aug) – London protestors occupied media headquarters and targeted journalists, condemned by union. The NUJ has condemned the actions of anti-vaccine protestors who occupied the London headquarters of ITV News and Channel 4 News this afternoon, targeted journalists including the Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow read more
“We have received hundreds of requests for help” says IFJ (20 Aug) – As the Taliban now control the country, the IFJ are monitoring of the situation on the ground and the many requests for emergency support reveal panic and fear amongst Afghanistan’s media community read more
UK government must reveal plans to support journalists fleeing from Afghanistan (19 Aug) – The NUJ is calling on the UK government to confirm its plans to support journalists and other media workers fleeing Afghanistan as part of its Afghan Resettlement Scheme, which has committed to resettle 5,000 Afghans in the first year of a five year plan totalling 20,000 read more
Irish government must support journalists fleeing Afghanistan (18 Aug) – The NUJ is calling on the Irish government to support journalists and other media workers fleeing Afghanistan and is urging members to donate to the International Union of Journalists safety fund appeal for Afghan journalists read more
Parliamentary Unions write to Speaker demanding action on masks (19 Aug) – The joint trade unions (Prospect, FDA, PCS, GMB) representing workers in parliament have written to the Speaker demanding he take action on the wearing of masks in Parliament read more
Prospect calls for action after MPs flout mask rules (18 Aug) – Prospect has condemned MPs who failed to wear masks during the special recall debate on Wednesday and called for action from the parliamentary authorities to protect staff. The union represents hundreds of staff working in parliament has has been calling for MPs to be bound by the same rules on mask wearing that apply to other staff read more
Equity is holding a protest on 28 August against cuts to jobs and arts facilities in Stratford, east London. All local trade union and campaign groups are asked to consider attending with banners. Messages of support and protest, and publicity for the demonstration and the union’s petition, are welcomed from across the country. The council in Newham is transforming Stratford Circus, a professional and community arts centre which also ran youth arts, into a youth-only centre. Its annual budget will be up to £700,000 a year smaller – while saving the council nothing. This represents a big loss in provision for the local working class and job opportunities for arts workers. Newham Council is also proposing to cut its entire £256,000-a-year grant to the next-door venue, Theatre Royal Stratford East, from 2023/24. This is a substantial portion of its income. Originally the home of the great socialist theatre-maker Joan Littlewood, Stratford East is today a major hub for black artists and alternative voices.
Equity is demanding:
- The tender ‘spec’ for Stratford Circus must be changed to commit to a full-spectrum, professional arts centre alongside youth arts, and to identifying funding for this.
- Professional learning-disabled theatre company Blue Sky Actors must be reinstalled in in Stratford Circus. All other displaced groups must be found permanent homes.
- The council must re-enter the talks it committed to with Equity, and in good faith.
- Convene a democratic conference of the unions and local community to discuss programming and management in Theatre Square.
- The council must commit to being guarantor for up to £1 million a year for Stratford Circus. Revoke the cut to council funding at Stratford East. Use some of the borough’s £616 million in usable reserves if needed.
- Newham Council, led by the official opposition party, should fight for the needed additional funding from central government to replace any reserve spending or borrowing.
Demonstration: Saturday 28 August at 1pm, Theatre Square, Stratford E15 1BN (five minutes’ walk from Stratford station)
Contact and further info
- Please sign and share the petition: https://www.change.org/p/save-stratford-theatres
- Messages of support etc to James Ivens, Equity North and East London branch secretary: [email protected]
- Messages of protest to Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz [email protected] and ‘Brighter Future’ cabinet member Carleene Lee-Phakoe [email protected]
- More info in the latest campaign bulletin leaflet: https://www.equity.org.uk/media/5563/save-stratford-theatres-campaign-bulletin-4.pdf
Over 90% of retail staff have been assaulted, threatened or abused – Usdaw urges shopworkers to ‘report it to sort it’ (24 Aug) – Retail trade union Usdaw has launched a Freedom from Fear summer campaign with shocking statistics from their annual survey. Preliminary results from nearly 2,000 retail staff show that in the last twelve months:
- 92% have experienced verbal abuse,
- 70% were threatened by a customer,
- 14% were assaulted.
- One in five victims have never reported an incident to their employer, including 5% who had been assaulted.
The scale of the problem has prompted Usdaw to organise an additional campaign week from 22-29 August. During the week, Usdaw members, reps and activists will be raising awareness of the year-round Freedom from Fear Campaign, talking to the public at street stalls to promote a message of ‘respect for shopworkers’ and running campaigns in workplaces read more
Event to be held in Glasgow to celebrate the Protection of Workers (Scotland) Act coming into effect on 24 August 2021 (23 Aug) – On the eve of the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act coming into effect on Tuesday 24 August, Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw, Daniel Johnson MSP, sponsor of the Act, and representatives of the Co-op Group, a key supporter of the Act, will meet today with shopworkers in Glasgow to highlight the significant new protections for retail workers introduced by the Act read more
Usdaw supporting members through the proposed TUPE transfer of Tesco Bank staff to Arrow (19 Aug) – Tesco Bank announced plans to transfer its collections and recoveries operations (Financial Assist) within its Customer Service division to Arrow Global, a specialist provider of services to customers in financial difficulty. The partnership is expected to result in 236 roles transferring to Arrow on 1 November 2021 read more
Usdaw submits its response to the Scottish Government consultation on New Year’s Day trading for large retailers (19 Aug) – The Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Trading (Scotland) Act 2007 gives the Scottish Government the power to make an order by statutory instrument to close large shops on New Year’s Day. Usdaw has called on the Scottish Government to apply the relevant section of the Act for the last 14 years and welcomed the decision of the Government to consult on this matter read more
Weetabix 24-hour strike will start at 7pm today as dispute continues about shift pay – Usdaw members at the Weetabix AP4 plant in Kettering, which produces cereal bars, have rejected a company offer intended to resolve the dispute and will start a 24-hour stoppage from 7pm on Monday 16 August read more
BCM Fareva, Nottingham: Usdaw members to take further industrial action on Sunday and Monday in ‘fire and rehire’ dispute – Members of Usdaw at BCM Fareva will begin a further stoppage on Sunday 15 August, which will continue into Monday. The strike follows three previous stoppages at the end of July. The Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots and The Body Shop continues to press ahead with threats of ‘fire and rehire’ if employees do not accept significant cuts to their terms and conditions read more
Support striking Usdaw members at DHL/M&S Long Eaton – Members of the retail logistics trade union Usdaw will begin a third 24-hour stoppage at the Long Eaton DHL / Marks and Spencer distribution centre at 5.15am on Thursday 1 July. Alex Norris MP (Labour/Co-op, Nottingham North) and Paddy Lillis (Usdaw General Secretary) will join protesters supporting the picket line at 12 noon. Lilian Greenwood MP (Labour, Nottingham South) has also pledged her support. The continuing industrial action affects a Marks & Spencer third-party logistics contract, operated by DHL at Long Eaton in Derbyshire. Usdaw members voted by over 90% in favour of strike action in a dispute about the amount of redundancy pay that long serving staff will receive when the site closes at the end of July read more
Victory against outsourcing at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine!! On 4 August the IWGB at University of London gave the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine until August 30th to end outsourcing or face an IWGB campaign. Today LSHTM announced that outsourced cleaning and security staff will be brought IN-HOUSE! Outsourced workers organised, stood up, fought and WON! See more at IWGB Universities of London on Twitter @IWGBUoL
Support the joint PCS-UVW Royal Parks strike – On Friday 30th July migrant park attendants across London’s Royal Parks who are dual carding with UVW and PCS will be kicking off a summer of strikes in a bid to end outsourcing and be treated as equals. They will need all the solidarity they can get and donating to their strike fund is a great way to show that solidarity. So if you can, please donate
From UVW Facebook page: Royal Parks workers are on lower wages and fewer benefits than others directly employed by Royal Parks. TODAY they start 14 days of strike action – because they deserve better. Help them fight for equal:
- sick pay ✔
- maternity pay ✔
- annual leave ✔
- pension entitlement ✔
United Voices of the World the union and PCS Union fighting together for dignity, justice and equality
Irish Equity surprised at exclusion of Arts Minister from Cabinet committee on Covid-19 (19 Aug) – The Executive of Irish Equity have expressed surprise and disappointment at the exclusion of the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, from the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 read more
SIPTU representatives announce series of strike actions in Local Employment Services – SIPTU members, working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs, have today (Friday, 30th July) announced a series of strike actions across the country read more
Hosted by Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC): ‘Service charges and how to challenge them’ – 6.30pm Thursday 9th September. Help for tenants and residents to understand and challenge service charges. Let’s also mobilise to end landlord abuse of the service charging system with its fraudulent demands. Register now at https://bit.ly/SHAC-SCs
‘Boris Out!’ – an evening of socialist comedy and entertainment. 3pm Sunday 14th November, Tyneside Irish Centre – 43 Gallowgate, Newcastle NE1 4SG
Racism, privatisation of the NHS, the gig economy, our youth being charged exorbitant rents, Governmental corruption and total incompetence.
We are delighted to announce a 3pm show for Boris Out! – a feast of socialist comedy and entertainment.
The 7pm show has SOLD OUT. Tickets for the 3pm show are strictly limited to 130. Tickets (only £10) from: www.borisout.eventbrite.com. Contact Ed (0191) 4550608
Please note: If you are a Tory, racist or a supporter of the royal family this is definitely not for you.
Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps
Blacklisting Investigation (9 Aug) – Unite the Union has commissioned an independent investigation into alleged involvement of any past of present union officers or officials in the operation of blacklists in the construction industry. The independent investigation will be conducted by Jane McNeill QC in accordance with the attached Terms of Reference. Evidence for the investigation is now being compiled by Thompsons Solicitors LLP. Any documentary evidence which any individual wishes to provide should be submitted to Thompsons either by email to [email protected] or by post to Unite Blacklisting Inquiry, Thompsons Solicitors LLP, Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LW, reference L213003/RH. All evidence to be considered for the purpose of the independent report must be received by Thompsons by 9 November 2021 read more
#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement
Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group
Builders Crack: The Movie
In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.
Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg
Blacklist Support Group
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
TSSA: Korea Rail and Metro Unions strike read more
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 the Queens Speech in December 2019 and cannot be trusted and is now attacking the right to protest through its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
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 include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. This furlough scheme was due to finish but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown. But it’s clear that the Tories are looking to end it asap.
However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. We say: work or full pay. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of COVID, 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 and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK
Sunday September 12th – 1pm NSSN TUC Rally
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP or STOP The CUTS Likes page
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE