NSSN 570: UCU HE strike ramps up

We headline this week’s NSSN bulletin with the UCU higher education strike, which re-starts next week. Last December, staff at 58 universities took 3 days of action against exploitative working conditions, casualisation, attacks on pensions and a decade of pay cuts. After re-balloting, 10 more HE colleges have joined the dispute. In addition, Unison members at 10 universities have also passed the 50% ballot threshold and will be striking alongside the UCU. We also highlight the reconvened UCU dispute at Goldsmiths University in South London.

UCU HE strike

UCU: Over a million students at 68 universities to be impacted by up to 10 days of campus walkouts starting in February (27 Jan) – University staff are set to walk out for up to 10 days of strike action in two disputes over pensions and pay & working conditions. The union has labelled the strikes a ‘fight for the future of higher education’ with staff at ‘breaking point’ after a decade of cuts to pensions, falling pay and worsening working conditions. Over 50,000 university staff are expected to walkout with over one million students set to be impacted. In pensions, proposals from employers mean staff face a 35% cut to their guaranteed retirement income. The pay and working conditions dispute is over a 20% real term pay cut over the past 12 years, unmanageable workloads, pay inequality and the use of exploitative and insecure contracts, which are rife across the sector.

In total 68 UK universities will be hit with strike action in February. The full strike dates, with numbers of institutions involved, are:-

  • week 1 (USS pension dispute only, 44 institutions): 5 days; Monday 14 to Friday 18 February
  • week 2 (both the pension and the pay & working conditions dispute, 68 institutions): 2 days; Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 February
  • week 3 (pay & working conditions dispute only, 63 institutions): 3 days; Monday 28 February, Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 March

Further industrial action is also on the cards, including:-

  • rolling regional and UK wide action in pay & working conditions: dates to be confirmed
  • preparations made for UK wide marking and assessment boycott.

The final day of strike action in week 3 has been called to coincide with the student strike on Wednesday 2 March, organised by the NUS. The NUS is calling for higher and further education to be free at the point of use for students and for staff to get better working conditions, pay and pensions read more

UCU: Employers’ latest pension proposals “deeply disappointing” (2 Feb) – UCU has rubbished Universities UK’s latest pension proposals. Responding to UUK’s launch of a consultation into modified USS pension proposals, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘It is deeply disappointing that at this crucial point, the best employers can offer is a temporary suspension of a cap on inflationary increases which, when lifted, would devastate the retirement benefits of thousands of scheme members. If this was an attempt to persuade UCU members not to take industrial action to protect their pensions, it will fail…” read more

UCU submits new pension proposals to avert UK wide strike action (26 Jan)

UCU: Official statistics show why university staff are taking strike action (1 Feb) – Responding to HESA figures released today, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘The small number of Black staff in senior positions is indicative of a university sector that fails to value the talent and dedication of all of its workforce. But sadly, what we see at the top of institutions is just the tip of the iceberg with equality failings rife across the entire sector. Women, Black staff and disabled staff continue to face shocking pay gaps with women more likely to be on zero hours contracts than men, and Black women even more likely still…’ read more

Unison: University members to take action on pay and pensions (7 Feb) – Dates announced as ballots at 10 institutions pass the legal threshold for turnout. UNISON members at nine higher education institutions are to take industrial action on the current year’s pay offer in the coming weeks, after those institutions passed the legal turnout threshold in a ballot that closed last Friday. UNISON branches will be taking strike action alongside University and College Union branches on the imposed pay offer of 1.5% for the majority of staff. In addition, three universities where the legal turnout threshold was reached will see members take action on detrimental changes to their pension, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) read more


Strikes begin today at Goldsmiths in jobs row (7 Feb) – Industrial action by University and College Union (UCU) members will begin today (Monday) at Goldmiths University as part of an ongoing dispute over plans to sack 46 members of staff. Goldsmiths wants to make the cuts as part of a ‘recovery plan’ after years of financial mismanagement have left the university with a £12.7m deficit. The union says the ‘recovery plan’ is a deal struck with Lloyds and Natwest banks to use redundancies to improve the university’s finances. Following a failure by the university last week to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies staff have been left with no option but to take industrial action in defence of jobs. Staff will walk out today (Monday 7 February) and tomorrow, and follow this up with strike action alongside that taking place as part of UCU’s national pay and pension disputes later this month. The full dates that Goldsmiths staff will be on strike over this dispute are – Week 1 Mon 7 & 8 Feb; Week 2 Wed 16 – Fri 18 Feb; Week 3 Mon 28 Feb – Fri 4 March

The university has already been hit with a global boycott which means UCU is asking its members, other trade unions, labour movement organisations and the international academic community to support its members at Goldsmiths in any way possible read more  Follow @GoldsmithsUCU on twitter

UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes.


NSSN news

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Feel free to use this affiliation letter.

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Union News


Rail cleaners call strike action (8 Feb) – Take their fight to Parliament. Hundreds of heroic rail cleaners employed by Churchill on four contracts in the South East will take strike action on Wednesday 23rd February as part of their fight for pay justice. As the cost of living crisis escalates, the cleaners, who have put their lives on the line during the Covid-19 crisis to keep trains across London and the South East running, will walk out for a 24 hour strike that will affect trains and stations on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, Southeastern, Eurostar and HS1 services. The cleaners will be holding a rally outside Parliament at 11am where they will be joined by MPs and other supporters read more

London Transport union RMT announces strike action (4 Feb) – London Transport union RMT announces strike action as LU refuses to give assurances on jobs, pensions and working conditions. LONDON TRANSPORT UNION RMT confirmed that members will be taking strike action next month over LU’s continuing refusal to give assurances on jobs, pensions and working conditions in the midst of an on-going financial crisis driven by central Government. The announcement comes in the wake of a recent ballot of over ten thousand members across all grades of LU staff with 94% of members voted to strike. The action will be taking place as follows:

  • All LUL members are instructed to refuse to book on for any duty that commences between 00:01 on Tuesday 1st March 2022 and 23:59 on Tuesday 1st March 2022.
  • All LUL members are instructed to refuse to book on for any duty that commences between 00:01 on Thursday 3rd March 2022 and 23:59 on Thursday 3rd March 2022 read more

Hundreds of rail cleaner heroes in historic vote for action (3 Feb) – Hundreds of rail cleaners who have kept trains running throughout the pandemic have voted for industrial action across four separate contracts in the South East in a historic ballot. Hundreds of rail cleaners who have kept trains running throughout the pandemic have voted for industrial action across four separate contracts in the South East in a historic ballot. The cleaners are employed by private contractor Churchill and work to keep Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern, Southeastern, High Speed 1 and Eurostar trains and stations clean. They voted in overwhelming numbers for strike action, smashing through the Tory anti-trade union law thresholds on all contracts. In two of the ballots the majorities in favour of action were 100%. RMT’s national executive committee meets today to discuss the next steps read more

Union’s call on Nicola Sturgeon to scrap ScotRail cuts (2 Feb) – Coalition of unions and organisations call on the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to scrap the proposed cuts to ScotRail ticket offices. On the day that the public consultation over proposals to reduce ticket office opening hours across the ScotRail network closes, a coalition of organisations representing ScotRail workers and passengers, disabled people, environmentalists, women, and pensioners in Scotland have written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to call on her Government to scrap the proposed cuts read more



TfL funding bung “insulting and unhelpful” (4 Feb) – Responding to today’s eleventh-hour funding extension for Transport for London (TfL), TSSA said the “short term uncertainty is insulting and deeply unhelpful”. The latest funding settlement was due to expire today (4 February) and instead of the desired long-term funding settlement, an agreement has been struck with the Department for Transport a further short-term extension of the current funding package to 18 February read more

TSSA threatens dispute over Network Rail job cuts (4 Feb) – TSSA has today hit out at Network Rail as the company announced a further 900 job losses and refuses to rule out compulsory redundancies. TSSA warns that any attempt to use compulsory redundancies “will result in a dispute” and says that passengers are “paying more for less” as fares rise and services are cut. Network Rail (NR) are now looking to cut more than 900 jobs within their management grade population after over 1,000 were allowed to leave under voluntary severance. Several hundred applications for voluntary severance among these grades were rejected by the company read more

TSSA sends ‘deepest condolences’ to family of dead train driver (4 Feb) – Transport and travel union, TSSA, has offered its ‘deepest condolences’ to the family of a Southern Railway train driver who was killed in the course of his work. The man, who has not been named, was found on the tracks near West Worthing station in Sussex on Tuesday night (1 Feb) read more

ScotRail Ticket Office Consultation – Joint letter to First Minister Sturgeon (2 Feb) – TSSA, other unions and community groups write to the First Minister opposing ticket office closures. TSSA, together with our sister rail unions, ASLEF, RMT and Unite and community organisations wrote today to the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, calling in her to withdraw proposals to close three ticket offices and reduce ticket office opening hours at 117 others read more



XPO strikes suspended but low pay dispute far from over (4 Feb) – Strikes scheduled to begin next Monday (7 February) at XPO Transport Solutions Ltd, have been temporarily suspended, in the dispute over low pay. Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents 400 workers comprising lorry drivers and warehouse operatives, agreed to suspend strike action following talks at the conciliation service Acas, today (Friday 4 February), after XPO made a pay offer. However Unite believes that the offer is below members’ aspirations and does not rise pay rates in line with XPO’s competitors. Unite has therefore recommended that members reject the pay offer. The week long strike which would have begun on Monday 7 February has been suspended to allow Unite’s members to be balloted on the offer. If the offer is rejected, the scheduled week long strike beginning on Monday 21 February will go ahead. Strike action will cause severe delays to XPO’s clients which include car and lorry makers: Mazda, Scania, Mercedes and VW Group. XPO’s other major clients include: plastic pipe maker Wavin, window manufacturer Velux, air conditioning and refrigeration company Daiken as well as Tata Steel read more

Bradford bus drivers vote for strike action after ‘out of touch with reality’ pay offer (4 Feb) – More than 300 bus drivers employed by First West Yorkshire in Bradford are ready to announce strike dates, unless the bosses up their ‘truly pathetic’ two-year pay deal, Unite the union warned today (Friday 4 February). Unite said that strike dates could be announced soon after the workers voted for strike action by 77 per cent, following their rejection of a pay offer of 1.9 per cent from October 2021 and a further 1.8 per cent for the year from October 2022. A new round of talks with the company are due to take place on Wednesday 16 February. The union said the pay offer was ‘out of touch with reality’, given the cost-of-living crisis which was further underlined by the £693 hike in average household energy bills from April read more

Unite leader blasts Bailey call for wage restraint (4 Feb) – Unite general secretary Sharon Graham says workers didn’t cause inflation or the energy crisis so why should they pay for it? Sharon Graham said: “Yet again workers are being asked to pay the price, this time for inflation and the energy crisis. Inflation has not been caused by workers. Why should they be expected to pay for the failures of the energy market and the total shambles of Government policy? “Workers don’t need lectures from the Governor of the Bank of England on exercising pay restraint. Why is it that every time there is a crisis, rich men ask ordinary people to pay for it? “Enough is enough, we will be demanding that employers who can pay, do pay. Let’s be clear, pay restraint is nothing more than a call for a national pay cut.” Read more

easyJet passengers at Gatwick face spring misery as DHL ground handlers consider pay strike action (4 Feb) – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by DHL on easyJet’s ground handling contract at Gatwick Airport, are moving towards industrial action this spring in a dispute over low pay. The 500 plus strong workforce are seeking a sizeable pay increase to return pay rates to at least pre-pandemic levels, following successive pay freezes in 2020 and 2021. While German logistics giant DHL banked profits of 4.8 billion euros in 2020, its employees on the easyJet contract have seen their wages fall by hundreds of pounds a year at least while living costs rocket read more

Support the Scunthorpe Scaffolders: Why is Lia Nici the MP for Great Grimsby missing in action? (4 Feb) – Activists will stage a protest on Friday outside the constituency office of Lia Nici MP. She stands accused of ignoring the plight of constituents who called on her to help resolve a long running strike. The workers including some of her constituents are being paid up to 15 per cent below the agreed rate for the job by their employer Actavo. The scaffolders have been carrying out work at the British Steel site in Scunthorpe read more

National Day of Action: Support The Actavo Scaffolders’ Strike – 6am Tuesday 22nd February outside British Steel, Entrance D, Brigg Road, Scunthorpe, DN16 1DL  Facebook event

Follow @UniteNEYH & @UnitedScaffs on twitter

Donate to strike fund:-

Either via bank transfer – sort code: 60-83-01 account number: 20173962, account name: Unite North East Region 1% Fund, reference: Actavo Limited and your branch number

Or by cheque made payable to ‘Unite the Union’ and forwarded to the Leeds Regional Office, Unite the Union, 55 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BW marked for the attention of the Regional Secretary (Actavo Limited Dispute). Letters of support can be sent to the Regional Office

First Manchester bus strikes suspended following new pay offer (3 Feb) – Strikes by bus drivers employed by First Manchester have been suspended following the company making an improved offer in the dispute over pay. The strikes scheduled for tomorrow Friday (4 February) and the stoppages for next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (February 7-9) will now not go ahead. Unite, the UK’s leading union, will ballot its 300 plus members on the new offer. If it is accepted the dispute will have ended. If members reject the offer then strikes already scheduled for 15, 17, 18, 21 and 25 February will go ahead as planned read more. Strike fund details – Unity Bank, AC: 33204828, Sort Code: 60-83-01, A/C Name: UNITE 6/235 BRANCH FUND

Workers at Cumbrian construction firm to receive financial recompense after being dismissed without consultation (3 Feb) – A total of 73 former employees of Focus (MDC) in Whitehaven, Cumbria have received a protective award from an employment tribunal (ET), after they were dismissed without any consultation in July 2019. Unite the union today (Thursday 3 February) welcomed the 90 day protective award for the failure by the company to consult on the redundancies as it went into liquidation. The firm had provided construction workers, such as scaffolders and joiners, for the Sellafield site. As the award will be paid by the government and capped at eight weeks pay, the former employees can expect several thousand pounds (which will be taxed), depending on personal circumstances read more

Halewood dashboard manufacturer strikes could bring JLR production to a halt (3 Feb) – Below inflation pay offer and attempted union-busting have provoked industrial action. Potential strikes over pay and union-busting at a Halewood factory, on Merseyside, that manufactures dashboards exclusively for JLR could bring production at the carmaker to a halt. More than 160 members of Unite, employed at International Automotive Components, are being balloted for strike action over a ‘feeble’ pay offer read more

Avonmouth GXO lorry drivers on Co-op contract secure double digit pay increase (2 Feb) – Over 100 HGV drivers employed by logistics company GXO on the Co-op supermarket contract based at Avonmouth in South West England have secured a 15 per cent pay increase. The pay increase follows a long period of industrial unrest at the workers’ depot. The workforce had voted for strike action over a catalogue of work/life balance issues, including rotas and booking holidays, all of which were having a detrimental effect on the drivers’ morale. Although the pay issue and the threat of industrial action were not directly linked, through two sets of separate negotiations between Unite and GXO, the pay deal was agreed, and all the issues about workers’ work/life balance were satisfactorily resolved read more

Construction workers pursue pay rise to meet galloping cost of living (2 Feb) – Unions, led by Unite, the UK’s leading construction union, have submitted a pay claim to the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) seeking a 10 per cent pay increase in a bid to redress pay cuts and the galloping rise in the cost of living faced by its members. Unite argues that with a construction output of £110 billion per annum, employers can easily afford to reward workers with wages that keep pace with living costs. The union warns that unless the industry begins offering decent wages it will result in the continuing failure to attract new starters read more

Swindon bus depot joins Stagecoach West low pay dispute (1 Feb) – Swindon bus drivers are to be balloted for strike action after joining a dispute over low pay, which is already affecting the rest of Stagecoach West’s operations. The 70 drivers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will be balloted for strike action. The drivers in Swindon are paid barely £12 an hour for what is a highly demanding and responsible role read more

Online Workers’ Strike Rally: Pay Justice for Coventry’s bin workers – 6.30pm Wednesday 9th February Facebook event

Coventry bin strikes begin as Labour council reneges on promised offer (31 Jan) – An all-out continuous bin strike began today (Monday 31 January) in Coventry after council leaders reneged on a commitment to make a fresh offer in the dispute over pay. Representatives from Unite, the UK’s leading union, met with Coventry council’s political leadership last Monday (24 January) and were promised that a new offer would be made by the council that week, increasing hopes that a settlement could be reached in the dispute involving refuse collection HGV drivers. Unite held several formal negotiation sessions with the council but no fresh offer was tabled over the central issue of low pay. At the negotiations on Friday (28 January) the talks concluded with the council promising to send a formal offer by 16:00 that day. However, no offer was made. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is shameful that Coventry council reneged on a promise to table a fresh offer which could have ended this dispute. Coventry residents should be demanding answers about what on earth the council is playing at. They are constantly saying one thing then doing another. Unite does what it says on the trade union tin and it always puts the jobs, pay and conditions of its members first. The union will be unwavering in its support for our members in Coventry getting a fair deal on a regrading” read more

Agency worker recruitment by Coventry council exposed in bin dispute (27 Jan) – Union has established that the Labour council is prepared to pay agency bin-lorry drivers more than the hourly rate which they are refusing to pay Unite drivers in their regrading dispute. Unite asks council leader and the chief executive – “Why not pay the rate for the job and end the strike rather than paying out even more taxpayers’ money which won’t resolve the current stalemate?” Unite, the UK’s leading union, has learnt that a company wholly owned by Labour-controlled Coventry council is seeking to recruit temporary refuse drivers in an attempt to undermine the on-going Coventry bin strike. The union has challenged this and demanded answers of the council and councillors read more. Workers are taking ‘all-out’ strike action from Monday to Friday each week. The strikes are scheduled to continue until Wednesday 23 March. An overtime ban is already in place

Follow @UniteWestMids on twitter

Coventry bin worker’s strike fund – Unity Trust Bank; Name of Account: Unite WM/7116 Branch Coventry Local Government; Account number: 20302665 Sort code: 60-83-01; send messages of solidarity to [email protected]

British Airways and Heathrow airlines facing half term chaos as refuellers and ground handlers announce strike action – Passengers booked on half-term breaks and skiing trips from Heathrow are set for severe delays, as a result of ground handling and refuelling company Menzies Aviation, refusing to even enter into pay negotiations, after previously firing and rehiring 810 of its workforce. Four hundred workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will take three days of strike action beginning on Friday 11 February beginning at 00:01hrs and finishing at 23:59 on Sunday 13th February 2020 read more

Serco outsourced workers at Barts begin a two week strike on Monday – A rally will be held for the outsourced NHS workers outside Royal London Hospital. The workers are fighting against low pay and exploitation. This Monday (January 31), hundreds of key NHS workers, employed by the giant outsourcing company Serco, will begin a two week strike across Barts Health NHS Trust (see notes to editors). Speakers at the rally include Apsana Begum MP (Poplar & Limehouse) and John McDonnell MP (Hayes & Harlington). Unite members who are cleaners, porters, security, catering and reception staff across St Barts, Royal London Hospital, and Whipps Cross will take strike action between Monday 31 January and Sunday 13 February read more


The picket lines will be each day at the Royal London (Whitechapel Road), Whipps Cross (Whipps Cross Road), and St Barts (Little Britain) Hospitals from 5:30am to 11am, Monday to Saturday. Meet at the main entrances of the hospitals 30 minutes before your shifts is due to begin. Nights and Twilights shifts attend from 7am.

DONATIONS TO STRIKE FUND: Barts Heath NHS LE/7384L  – Unity trust 20344885 sort code 60-83-01. Pay online or post cheques to Len Hockey, 242 Willingale Road, Loughton IG10 2BX


Striking B&Q warehouse workers to protest at Brendan Clarke-Smith jobs fair, after Worksop MP ‘mocks their plight’ (26 Jan) – On Friday, B&Q warehouse workers striking over poverty pay will protest outside a Worksop jobs fair being held by local MP Brendan Clarke-Smith over his refusal to support them. Some of the Unite the union members, who work at the B&Q national distribution centre at Worksop’s Old Manton Wood Colliery site, cannot afford to heat their homes and have had to use foodbanks to get daily necessities…Around 450 Wincanton staff, who make-up the vast majority of the warehouse’s workforce, have been on rolling strikes since November over pay rates as low as £9.96 an hour read more

Economic forecasters to strike in a row over inflation – Economists and researchers at the world famous NIESR (National Institute of Economic and Social Research) will stage a two week strike in a row over two years of below inflation pay offers. The strike begins on Friday 21st January and ends on Friday 4 February. The action means that there is a very real possibility that the forthcoming forecasts for the UK and global economies, which have been published quarterly since the 1980s, will not go ahead. NIESR staff will be unable to deliver on project work for external partners and funders, and will be unable to participate in events and other dissemination activities. The RPI reached 7.1 per cent at the end of 2021 but NIESR bosses are sticking to their decision to give staff 0% for 2020-21 and just 2% for 2021-22. The pay offer fails to keep up with the rising cost of living and represents a significant pay cut in real terms read more

Strike action set to hit Dalkeith based FLB print firm – Unite the union has today (10 January) confirmed that around 110 workers at print and publishing firm FLB Group in Dalkeith, which owns the Filofax and Letts brands, will take strike action this week in a dispute over pay. The strike action will take place on Wednesday (12 January) at 6am and conclude at 05:59am on Thursday. It is the first of a series of 24 hour stoppages commencing every Wednesday into Thursday until 31 March. Some 95.7 per cent of the eligible workforce previously voted in support of strike action in late November on an 84.4 per cent turnout. The pay dispute originates from early 2021 when Unite’s members were informed by FLB that there would be no pay rise. Due to pressure from Unite, the company made several unsatisfactory offers that ended with a below inflation two-year offer of 2.75 per cent. Unite is demanding a six per cent pay increase at a time when the cost of living is at a ten-year high. The Retail Prices Index stood at 7.1 per cent in November 2021 read more

Strike action by Turners of Soham logistic drivers set to impact major aviation companies – Logistic drivers working for Turners of Soham based out of Grangemouth are set to begin strike action tomorrow (6 January) in a dispute over pay. The logistic drivers work on the Q8 Aviation Deliveries contract which provides fuel services for a number of major aviation companies. The strike action follows 100% of Unite members voting to take strike action, on a turnout of 100% at the end of December 2021, following a lack of progress after months of negotiations with the company. The current wave of strike action ends on 14 January at 24:00 hours with further dates to be planned in the coming weeks. Unite’s members based at Grangemouth have been offered an 8.7% increase, despite the same company awarding its drivers in the North West of England 17.5% in October of last year read more

Transport for London bosses ‘declare war’ as seven workers suspended at crisis-hit Woolwich Ferry – Transport for London (TfL) bosses were today (Tuesday 21 December) accused of ‘declaring war’ on the Woolwich Ferry’s workforce by Unite the union, as seven workers were suspended with no reason given. Unite also said that there needs to be an urgent investigation into so-called ‘technical issues’ that mean the troubled ferry operation will be out of action until the New Year. The union has, therefore, called off planned strike action in the first fortnight of January, due to start on Monday 3 January. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We are also demanding an investigation into the on-going technical difficulties with the ferry which means there will be no ferry service until sometime in the New Year. As a result, we will be suspending at least the first two weeks of our industrial action in January. The strikes, once they commence, are due to run until the end of March…” read more

Chep workers in Manchester to extend strikes as pallet shortage deepens – Workers employed by pallet makers Chep UK Limited, are set to embark on all out continuous strike action from this Friday (17 December) in a dispute over pay. The workers, who belong to Unite, the UK’s leading union, have already taken four days of strike action since the strike began earlier this month. They are stepping up their action as there has been no engagement or negotiations with the company since the dispute began read more

East Lancashire NHS Trust intransigence forces new period of strike action by biomedical scientists – East Lancashire NHS Trust intransigence forces new period of strike action by biomedical scientists. Bosses at East Lancashire NHS Trust must shoulder the blame for a new 12 week strike which starts today (15 December). Blackburn and Burnley biomedical scientists will re-start strike action today (Wednesday 15 December) in a dispute over unpaid wages. Union negotiators met with the Trust on Tuesday (7 December) last week in an attempt to identify a solution to the dispute. It was an opportunity to avoid further strike action and to re-establish union / Trust relations. On the eve of the strike, the Trust had still failed to take up the opportunity to end the dispute read more

Strike action by Ponticelli/Semco workers in North Sea ‘rock solid’  – Unite the union today (6 December) confirmed that strike action by around 300 members working for Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd has been ‘rock solid’ in the North Sea. The strike action is over a pay dispute with an improved pay offer being recently rejected by Unite members by 85% on an 80% return. It is scheduled to take place over a series of days until late February 2022, including a permanent overtime ban, unless there is ‘significant movement’ by Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd (Full List of dates below). Unite’s members involved in the strike action work on the Total Energies contract on the following assets; Alisa FSO, Culzean, Dunbar, Elgin Franklin, Gryphon FPSO, North Alwyn & Shetland Gas Plant. Unite’s Ponticelli UK Ltd members previously voted overwhelmingly to take strike action by 93.6% on a return of 64.8%, and Semco Maritime Ltd members voted to take strike action by 90.3% on a 61.4% return read more

Evonik workers at historic Manchester chemicals site strike over pay – Evonik workers at a 130-year-old Manchester chemicals site are to strike over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 13 October). Around 25 production and warehouse operatives at Evonik’s Clayton site, which has been a chemical plant since 1892, are taking industrial action after rejecting a 1.5 per cent pay offer read more



PCS 2022 pay claims in departments and national ballot – see here for HM Land Registry, DCMS, Cabinet Office, Scottish Sector, BEIS, Home Office, Department of Health and Social Care, DWP, MOJ, Attorney General’s Office, Department for Education, DfT, Welsh Government and Senedd Commission, Defra, Ministry of Defence, Met Police, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, HMRC

Facebook live ballot launch 14 February – Find out all about the PCS national ballot on the day it launches at our Facebook live event at 6pm on 14 February. Many of our public sector members are facing severe hardship because of the cost-of-living crisis, compounded by a pay freeze and cap that means the average PCS member is £2,300 a year worse off since 2011 read more

ATOS members vote for strike action over pay (7 Feb) – Members are furious that Atos has offered them a 1.5% pay rise while inflation is currently 7.5%. PCS members who work for Atos IT Services on the National Savings & Investment, PiP, BBC and Tax Free Child Care contracts have voted by 89.8% to take strike action and by 98.2% to take action short of a strike on a turnout of 62.3%. The turnout and the vote for industrial action have all increased since the previous ballot in 2019. Members are furious that Atos have offered them only a 1.5% pay rise while inflation is currently 7.5% read more



Solihull bin strike looms as ballot begins today (7 Feb) – A bin strike in Solihull could affect more than 86,000 homes as GMB began balloting members today over a pay dispute. More than 100 refuse collectors working for Amey Services Limited will take part in the ballot, which begins today [7 February 2022] and ends on March 4. Amey are refusing to negotiate collectively with GMB Union on workers’ pay. If the strike goes ahead, refuse and recycling services for Solihull Metropolitan Council – including Bickenhill waste tip and recycling centre, local cemeteries, street cleansing, parks and more than 86,000 households will be affected read more

Bank of England calls for pay restraint ‘sick joke’ (4 Feb) – GMB Union has branded calls by the Governor of the Bank of England for pay restraint as a ‘sick joke’ read more

Worker branded ‘Half-Dead Dave’ by ‘cruel’ bosses wins £25,000 (4 Feb) – A worker branded ‘Half-Dead Dave’ by ‘cruel’ bosses has won £25,000 in an age discrimination claim. GMB Member David Robson, 69, worked for Clarke’s Mechanicals Limited on the Isle of Wight as a plumber and gas fitter. In 2020, aged 69, Mr Robson was sacked with no warning and no consultation and with no issues with his work. For many years, Mr Robson had been referred to by his manager and others as ‘Half-Dead Dave’ because of his age, the tribunal heard. GMB Union helped Mr Robson to bring Employment Tribunal proceedings against the company read more

GMB bin strike ballot for Hastings and Rother as Biffa end negotiations (1 Feb) – Action looks all but inevitable as Biffa have said talks are concluded and are then misleading Councillors in Hastings and Rother by saying the situation is being managed, says Union GMB, the union for the waste and recycling sector, are set to ballot their members for strike action in Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council after Biffa, who run the refuse contracts for the two adjoining areas, ended negotiations with the union… GMB’s ballot will open on Friday 11th February and remain open for two weeks, meaning that any industrial action arising would be taking place around mid-March read more

Barrow faces bin strike as GMB ballots refuse collectors – Barrow faces a bin strike after GMB Union began balloting members for industrial action today [25 January 2022]. More than 20 refuse collectors working for FCC Environment will vote on whether to walk out. The ballot closes on 7 February. If the strike goes ahead, more than 33,000 households in Barrow could be affected read more

Adur & Worthing next in line for bin strike as members vote for action – GMB is set to formally ballot refuse collector members for strike action in Adur and Worthing. A consultative ballot, which closed today [19 January 2022] saw 92.5% of members unanimously vote in favour of industrial action. GMB refuse collectors in nearby Brighton and Eastbourne have separately won above inflation pay rise after long-running strike action in recent weeks read more

Striking workers at Somers Forge turn up the heat – GMB members at Somers forge are set for strike action tomorrow (17th December). The union has also announced further strike dates on 21st December 2021, and the 5th,12th, 21st and 24th January 2022. The move comes after members rejected the latest pay deal of 4% over two years, but with the company refusing to backdate the award to the pay anniversary of April read more



Welsh leisure centre workers claim insourcing victory (7 Feb) – After a UNISON-led campaign, a Welsh council has announced that its leisure services will be brought back in house. Welsh workers are celebrating a decision to bring leisure services back into public hands in a move that union leaders want to see replicated across the country. Neath Port Talbot Council decided at a cabinet meeting on 1 February that indoor leisure services will once again be operated by the local authority, after more than 20 years of being run by Celtic Leisure. Last year, UNISON – the largest trade union representing staff at the council – launched a campaign calling for these services to be run by the local authority read more

Staff shortages bite in colleges across the UK (3 Feb) – A new UNISON survey shows the depth and impact of staff shortages in the further education sector. A new UNISON survey of almost 800 staff across further education roles in the UK found that nearly four in five (79.7%) were aware of shortages of support staff in their workplaces, and over half (53%) were aware of lecturer shortages read more

Sandwell Strike Receives Support – The strike on 28 January at Sandwell Leisure Trust over fire and rehire received widespread support. UNISON members at Portway Lifestyle Centre and Tipton Leisure Centre were on the picket line read more



NIPSA Statement to Members (4 Feb) – Civil Servants are workers like all other workers. They are there to do a job to the best of their ability. They serve the public with impartiality and integrity. They deserve respect for the job they do and should not be maligned or put under pressure from any direction. NIPSA is opposed to sectarian division and attacks and stands for the unity of its members and of all workers. We must stand together in solidarity to fight for better pay, terms & conditions and public services’

Carmel Gates NIPSA General Secretary

Meeting with Finance Minister (3 Feb) – NICS Pay: NIPSA met yesterday with the Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, and Officials from his department for an early discussion in relation to the Public Sector Pay Remit. The remit has, for the first time, been set within the Finance Budget which is out for consultation. NIPSA will be commenting separating on the Budget 2022 -2025, but the purpose of yesterday’s meeting was to set out our thoughts on NICS pay. We impressed upon the Minister the impact on members of below inflation pay rises over many years and the current impact of high inflation on the cost of living which has forced some members to claim tax credits or take second jobs to try to make ends meet. We expressed our hope that a 3-year budget would give the Minister some scope to address this read more



Assurances demanded of VMO2 as 49 are placed at risk of redundancy (4 Feb) – Intensive discussions are underway  with Virgin Media O2 (VMO2)  following the company’s announcement yesterday (Thursday) of 10 stores closures and a root and branch restructuring  of its Business to Business (B2B)  Revenue Operations team, in line with its programme to integrate the Virgin Media and O2 businesses read more

Staff involvement and local input are key to delivery solutions (4 Feb) – From the north of Scotland last week, down to York this week, outdoor secretary Mark Baulch continues with his visits of UK delivery units, supporting local and area reps to resolve revision and other issues read more

Message from Wales members – great PTT victory, now let’s win on pay, gradings and bonus consolidation (4 Feb) – Welsh branches report positive feedback from Openreach members in SD, FND, civils and other functions as they kick off the union’s latest nationwide campaign read more

‘Our Hours’ victory complete as Openreach switches off PTT (3 Feb) – Today (Thursday) is the first day that thousands of Openreach engineers won’t be contractually obliged to give up to 60 minutes of their time at each end of the working day for free – thanks to the successful conclusion of a long and hard fight for fairness by the CWU read more

Openreach PTT win – reps and members celebrate victory & look ahead to pay progress (2 Feb) – Around half of the 700 Openreach engineering members in North Wales & Chester Combined Branch will benefit from the ending of the unfair personal travel time PTT regulations, according to branch chair Will LeCras read more

Post Office ‘no pay rise’ message to staff provokes anger! (1 Feb) – Angela Williams, group chief people officer, sparks outrage with communication to hard-working employees refusing to increase wages read more



Fire service faces having to borrow equivalent of 70% of its budget (8 Feb) – A fire and rescue service is facing having to borrow at least £25m, equal to around 70% of its annual budget, to fund new equipment and other spending, after the government abolished its capital grant for it. At a meeting of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel Michael Porter, director of finance at the commissioner’s office, said that the fire precept can only be increased by 1.99%, and there will be no capital grant from government, leaving North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service requiring £31.1m to fund its projects over the next five years read more

Cumbria Police Fire and Crime Commissioner plan could lead to three fire station closures (3 Feb) – A plan for Cumbria fire and rescue governance to be taken over by the Police and Crime Commissioner could eventually lead to three fire station closures read more



Fair and sustainable OPT in closed grade staff (2 Feb) – It has been brought to the attention of the NEC that emails have been sent to closed grade staff who are in receipt of a Market Supplement offering to opt into F&S. It is paramount that you understand the consequences of this offer which would be detrimental to you if the Market Supplement is removed in the future, as you are aware the Market Supplement has only been extended by one year and no longer at this stage read more

POA response to Prisons White Paper (2 Feb) – Further to POA Circular 116/2021 which outlined the NEC initial view to the Prison White Paper as set out by Government on 7th December 2021, the National Chairman and I have now sent in a response to the formal consultation, which ends on the 4th February 2022. These further responses to specific areas are consistent with our Circular 116/2021. The POA NEC will continue to have an input into the White paper and its aspirations so that we can play a leading role as the recognised Trade Union for unified grades in shaping the Prison service in England/Wales to make sure that not only is the Prison Service fit for the future, but we continue to provide evidence factually to Government to ensure our members receive improved pay and terms and conditions including a retirement age consistent with POA policy which will assist in recruitment and retention read more

Scotland: re: POA Scotland – general update (1 Feb) – The TUS met with the employer for the first outline meeting of 2022 pay talks earlier this month. At the forefront of the initial discussions was the Scottish government pay policy which has been published in December 2021. The policy is publicly available for anyone who has not already seen it. At this meeting all trade unions voiced their disappointment at the policy and made clear that we anticipate widespread frustration at the very obvious gap between the policy limits and the real cost of living increases being faced by people this year. We further indicated that the gains made from the last 3-year deal in terms of partial restoration, are likely to be seriously undermined by the limited scope of this year’s pay policy. The next step for us is to meet with the wider TUS and submit our joint pay claim for 2022 and then enter pay discussions with the employer to see what can be achieved. All members of the TUS made the employer aware that they will be balloting their membership on any final offer that is tabled. We will continue to keep you updated on any process read more



Health and Safety News (4 Feb) – All Napo members working in Probation, including those in UPW and interventions, should follow the PPE and Safe Working Practice Guidance version 14 In order to keep everyone as safe as possible through recovery. Group work (eg programmes) should still maintain 2m social distance wherever possible and group maximum numbers should not be significantly increasing. RPDs now have autonomy within the Prioritisation framework and there is a dashboard which they are required to update every Friday read more

Another difficult week for Members in Napo Cymru (4 Feb) – This week saw the publication of another HMIP inspection report in Wales, this one of Gwent PDU. HMIP assessed the PDU as ‘requiring improvement’. The Inspectorate picked up on issues relating to casework and the assessment and management of the risk of harm as well as service delivery issues mainly linked to the pandemic and unification (which in Wales happened in two stages with case management unified in December 2019 and other work alongside the rest of the CRCs in June 2021). Members in Napo Cymru branch are devastated and frustrated at the outcome of this inspection read more

Probation Pay Update (1 Feb) – There have been lots of queries around pay recently so it is worth recapping where we are so far read more



Please support the following disputes:-

Action  Date  Contact 
Abbot’s Hill School / Herts 


9 February  [email protected] 

[email protected] 


Girls Day School Trust Schools  


10 February  Kester Brewin c/o Emily Scurrah 

[email protected] 


Gordano School/ North Somerset  

(Unacceptable Workload) 

9-10 February  [email protected] 


Prior’s Field /Surrey 


 8 February 

10 February 

[email protected] 


Strike details for Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST)’s independent schools in England and Wales from 10 February – Countdown to strike action at GDST’s 23 independent schools. In one week from now, teacher members of the National Education Union in Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST)’s independent schools in England and Wales will go on strike to defend their pensions. Six days of strike action have been announced – 10 February 2022, 23 February, 24 February, 1 March, 2 March, 3 March. 1,500 NEU teacher members are expected to take part. Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, will speak at a rally in London at noon on 10 February. Further details of that and other rallies to follow read more

Wales: Strike action at Howells School over pensions – In one week from now, on 10 February, teacher members of the NEU at Howells School will go on strike to defend their pensions. Four days of nationally co-ordinated strike action have been announced across the Girls’ Day School Trust’s independent school in the Wales – 10 February 2022, 1 March, 2 March, 3 March. A single formal ballot, which closed last week, resulted in 95% of teacher members at the 23 schools voting in favour of discontinuous strike action on a turnout of 84%. (1) This is an unprecedented and overwhelming ‘yes’ vote for action, and the strike action will be the first in the Trust’s entire 149-year history. Howells School will not take part in the strike days planned for 23 February and 24 February due to it being half term read more



Improved pay offer needed to avoid escalation of action (4 Feb) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has formally rejected the latest pay offer for 2021/22 for teachers. The NASUWT, along with other education unions, formally rejected the pay offer at a meeting of the Teachers’ Panel of the SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers) this afternoon. The formal rejection of the offer follows consultation with members where they made clear their opposition to the offer. The pay award has been rejected as it fails to address the rising cost of living, represents yet a further continuation of the real-terms erosion of teachers’ salaries and fails to adequately recognise the significant contribution teachers have made and are continuing to make every day during the ongoing pandemic read more

Action needed to tackle spiralling IOM teacher workloads (2 Feb) – Over three-quarters of teachers in the Isle of Man said their job has had an adverse impact on their mental health in the past year. 88% of teachers who responded to a wellbeing survey conducted by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union said their workload has increased over the last 12 months, with cover and non-teaching activities such as administrative tasks, meetings and record keeping cited as the biggest drivers of increased workload read more



EIS Welcomes SQA Support for Learners in Forthcoming Exam Diet – The EIS welcomes the SQA announcement of a package of support for learners sitting N5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams in the forthcoming diet, given the significant levels of Covid disruption during this academic session so far read more

Scotland’s Teachers in Overwhelming (98%) Rejection of Pay Offer (31 Jan) – Scotland’s teachers have overwhelming rejected the latest pay offer from Scotland’s local authorities and the Scottish Government, in a ballot organised by the EIS. The ballot, which closed this morning, resulted in rejection of the offer by 98% of the teachers who voted. The result of the ballot sends a strong message to COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) and the Scottish Government that they must return to the bargaining table with an improved offer. Commenting on the ballot result, EIS Salaries Convener Des Morris said, “Scotland’s teachers have sent a very strong and very clear message with this ballot result. This overwhelming rejection of the current offer by EIS members is a warning to COSLA and the Scottish Government that they cannot take the goodwill of teachers for granted. The EIS Salaries Committee will consider the ballot result and the next steps to be taken at its meeting later this week. We will fully expect to receive an enhanced offer from COSLA and the Scottish Government at our next negotiating meeting, currently scheduled for next week.” EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan added, “Scotland’s teachers deserve a fair pay rise from their employers and the Scottish Government. With this ballot result, our members have shown, very clearly, that they consider the current offer neither fair nor acceptable…” read more



New government white paper will not level up post-16 education (1 Feb) – New ‘elite’ sixth form colleges will divide 16 year olds into winners and losers said UCU. The union was responding to the Westminster government’s levelling up white paper, which includes plans to create ‘elite’ sixth form colleges and ‘skills bootcamps’ that prison learners will be able to access read more



What journalists need to know about the Human Rights Act – and why it needs protecting (1 Feb) – NUJ Ethic’s Council and British Institute of Human Rights webinar. Having a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pepsi while avoiding capture from the police is not a human right under the law read more



Sign the petition to save Stratford Circus! https://www.change.org/p/save-stratford-circus



Usdaw wins High Court case against Tesco’s unfair fire and rehire tactics (3 Feb) – Retail trade union Usdaw represented by social justice law firm Thompsons Solicitors have succeeded in a claim against Tesco in a High Court battle, which will protect its workers from unfair fire and rehire tactics. Usdaw brought the case on behalf of 42 workers employed by the supermarket giant in its Daventry and Lichfield distribution centres. The group faced having their wages cut as part of a change to their terms and conditions of employment by Tesco. Today’s High Court ruling will prevent the supermarket’s ‘fire and rehire’ practice in this case where it had sought to lay people off and re-employ them on new contracts, with less favourable terms and conditions, in England read more

Tesco restructure could put around 1,600 jobs at risk and is devastating news for those affected says Usdaw (1 Feb) – Retail trade union Usdaw will now enter into consultation talks with Tesco after the company announced a restructure of their night shift operations. This follows the closure of just over half their in-store counter services and the Jack’s store format announced yesterday, which combined could put around 1,600 jobs at risk across the business read more

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep Max McGee fighting for reinstatement read more. There is now a GoFundMe to support the campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist) and Max can be invited to speak at Usdaw branches and trades councils ([email protected])



Pay rise secured at Outokumpu! (31 Jan) – More positive news from Community as we have managed to secure pay rises for staff at Outokumpu in Sheffield. Outokumpu has been producing stainless steel for more than a century. On Stevenson Road in Sheffield, Outokumpu’s Rod and Bar mill produces a broad range of stainless steel grades, sizes, and shapes read more



Security guards launch a six-week Great Ormond Street Hospital strike with a huge rally and peaceful occupation (4 Feb) – The first week of the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) security guards’ strike for equality and against race discrimination was eventful, action-packed, and well attended. On Thursday 3rd February, the strikers held a lively rally that gained national TV coverage with support from activists, trade union leaders, politicians, NHS workers, and even a choir. Friday 4th February saw a peaceful occupation of a nearby GOSH office, and an incident involving three strangers who were trying to intimidate the strikers and their supporters. On Thursday, the strikers marched all together holding banners from the nearby square to the main entrance of the hospital, where they told their stories to the crowd and demanded that hospital management speak to them. Their request was met, yet again, with silence  Strike fund

There will be a weekly UVW GOSH rally during the 6 week strike – every Friday 12pm Great Ormond Street Hospital, Great Ormond Street, London, WC1N 3JH Facebook event



Longest Gig-Economy Strike Escalates as Sheffield Couriers Blockade McDonald’s (31 Jan) – Yesterday, striking food delivery couriers, employed by the JustEat subcontractor Stuart Delivery, demonstrated outside of the Sheffield Archer Road McDonald’s. 60 drivers and supporters, joined by Paul Blomfield MP, blockaded the entrance to the McDonald’s, shutting down all orders for 45 minutes. Speeches were given by drivers and local business owners who came out to support the action. Couriers began strike action on 6 December 2021, after Stuart Delivery cut the minimum delivery pay by 24%, from £4.50 to £3.40, following a gradual decline in pay and conditions. Couriers have been declining orders from McDonald’s between 5-8PM every evening for 40 days, and have recently started targeting Greggs and other restaurants. Strike action has also taken place in Sunderland, Chesterfield, Blackpool, and Huddersfield read more

Write to Stuart Delivery, JustEat: END THE STRIKE, PAY RISE NOW!


SIPTU (Ireland)

Irish Equity condemns racist abuse of Lion King performers and crew (2 Feb) – The executive and members of Irish Equity have expressed their sadness and disappointment that cast and crew of the ‘Lion King’ were subjected to racist abuse in Dublin read more



Other news

People’s Assembly national day of protest: COST OF LIVING CRISIS, WE CAN’T PAY – Saturday 12th February details for local protests here

Public Meeting: Help Draw up a People’s Budget for Caerphilly. Make your voice heard! Friday, 11 February at 7:30pm online.


You can also dial in using your phone.

United Kingdom: +44 20 3713 5028

Access Code: 465-941-645

Townsend Theatre Productions – Upper Clyde Shipbuilders a new play: Yes! Yes! U.C.S.! Townsend Theatre Productions in association with Manchester University present the story of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) using their trademark integration of live rock and folk inspired music, sound and visual effects  to enhance the powerful theatrical story-telling, to intensify the emotional engagement and audience enthusiasm for meaningful and important messages of hope, social justice and improvements in quality of life. Yes! Yes! U.C.S! is a celebration of the community solidarity, collective resistance and the vital support that made the ‘Work In’ such a massive success read more

Doctors in Unite have produced this model resolution for local union branches to discuss airborne spread and how important it is to put protections in place.  They’ve also produced a leaflet with info about this and a checklist for reps in the workplace; Unite’s health section has had some input too. They’d be happy to meet with interested local branches or regions to discuss the issues and the practicalities of the measures. Here’s a link for the materials on their website:  https://doctorsinunite.com/health-safety/

Save St Mary’s Leisure Centre: – petition to Southampton City Council

St Mary’s Leisure Centre in Southampton is used every week by hundreds of individuals, sports and leisure groups. It is facing council funding cuts and closure at a time when we need these vital facilities. There are no other local facilities available for community use. The centre is in need of maintenance but is safe and viable for current use. We call for Southampton Council to maintain the funding of the centre, to continue as a council run community facility in line with council’s statement of priorities. No council cuts, no to privatisation. Save St Mary’s Leisure Centre – follow campaign on Facebook



Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

Reinstated: Tracey Scholes is back in the driving seat

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]


Defend Adrian Mitchell RMT driver on London Underground

Support Tim Breed RMT

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 repsign petition: End the culture of fear at St Mungo’smodel motion

St Mungo’s: Unite will not tolerate victimisation and bullying

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

Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]

Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon

Watch Reel News video: Huddersfield teachers strike to defend Louise Lewis

Victimised Tesco warehouse rep Max McGee fighting for reinstatement read more. There is now a GoFundMe to support the campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/f/reinstate-max-usdaw-rep-socialist) and Max can be invited to speak at Usdaw and other union branches plus trades councils ([email protected])

Blacklisting Investigation – 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

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

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

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

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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


International news

Iran: NSSN letter sending solidarity with Iranian Teachers’ Struggle

From NUJ website – Myanmar: press freedom in strife one year on from military coup (1 Feb) – One year on from the beginning of the military coup last February, 46 journalists and media workers have been detained, one killed and there are crushing restrictions on the nation’s media 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






PHONE 07952 283 558

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE