NSSN 659: TUC Special Congress launches campaign of defiance against Tory attack on our #RightToStrike

The NSSN welcomes the decision of the TUC Special Congress last Saturday to agree a strategy to oppose the new Tory anti-union legislation, the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 (MSL). This is a blatant attack on workers’ right to strike by instructing unions to police their own strikes, even organising their own strike-breaking!

The main points of the statement that was proposed by the TUC General Council and agreed by the Congress were:-

  • We will develop practical solidarity plans for unions actively engaged in strategies of non-compliance.
  • Support any worker subject to a work notice, including with support from across the trade union movement, if their employer disciplines them in any way. 
  • Ensure that where any affiliate is facing significant risk of sanctions because of this legislation, we convene an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee to consider options for providing practical, industrial, financial and/or political backing to that union.
  • Call on all employers and public bodies with oversight to oppose this counterproductive legislation. Employers and public bodies from across the public sector and the country have already signalled their opposition to the Strikes Act. All employers and public bodies must reject it
  • Refuse to tell our members to cross a picket line.
  • Call an urgent demonstration in the event a work notice is deployed and a union or worker is sanctioned in relation to a work notice. 

This is the basis for the fighting strategy that workers and unions need.

The statement also included to ‘Mobilise the whole trade union movement to march with the sacked GCHQ workers through Cheltenham on Saturday 27 January, to commemorate their struggle, and to recommit ourselves to defiant opposition to Conservative minimum service levels, trade union restrictions and any threat to the right to strike.’ The demonstration assembles at 12noon at Montpellier Gardens for a march through the town centre to Pittville Park A5 leaflet A3 poster

We welcome this but we also believe that the TUC should call a national Saturday demonstration in London in the New Year which could be a mass union mobilisation against the MSL. This is a weak and divided Tory Government that can be defeated.

The NSSN held a successful lobby of the Congress. Those speaking included NAPO General Secretary Ian Lawrence, NSSN Chair Rob Williams and Secretary Katrine Williams, alongside union reps such as Len Hockey Unite Barts NHS Trust, Vikki Walton-Cole Surrey Unison, Daniel Randall RMT & Free Our Unions and Adam Harmsworth NAPO National Co-Vice Chair (Cafcass).    

TUC: Tory anti-strike laws will “lead to longer and more frequent strikes”, mayors and council leaders warn (9 Dec)

Unions “won’t rest” until draconian anti-strike laws are repealed (6 Dec)

FBU: Union leader vows “defiance” as TUC agrees campaign against anti-union laws (9 Dec)

RMT: Minimum service legislation will lead to more disputes (8 Dec)

Government ‘dereliction of duty’ over Minimum Service Levels says TSSA (5 Dec)

PCS: Join us in Cheltenham for 40th anniversary of GCHQ union ban (11 Dec)

PCS: Minimum Service Levels are an attack on human rights (10 Dec)

PCS: Special Congress: Minimum Service Levels a “grotesque” attack on members (9 Dec)

PCS: Mark Serwotka warns of “mass defiance and opposition” to new strike laws (8 Dec)

NEU: TUC Congress on MSL (9 Dec)

NUJ support’s TUC campaign against anti-trade union law (11 Dec)

Trade unions uniting in opposition to Tory anti-strike laws is welcomed by Usdaw (9 Dec)

HCSA denounces “completely unworkable” minimum service levels at TUC Special Congress (9 Dec)

Paul Nowak TUC General Secretary TUC Special Congress speech

Sharon Graham Unite General Secretary TUC Special Congress speech

Mick Lynch RMT General Secretary TUC Special Congress speech

Stop the attack on Gaza 

Many NSSN supporters have joined marches and protests against the escalation of violence in the Middle East, particularly the daily bombardment on Gaza by the Israeli government  

There are national and local protests taking place, including a demonstration by health workers this Saturday 16th December 2pm outside St Thomas’s Hospital near Westminster

See Stop the War website for info on protests

A number of unions have issued statements on the situation in the Middle East, including: the TUC, FBU, RMT, NEU, Unite, Unison, PCS, ASLEF, TSSA, UCU, EIS, Equity, BMA, NUJ, UVW, GMB, SOR, RCM, RCN, IWGB, Prospect, INTO (Ireland), SIPTU (Ireland) and Mandate (Ireland)  


NSSN news  

Date for your diaries!! The 2024 NSSN Conference is on Saturday 22nd June – 11am Conway Hall, Holborn, London 

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it and/or making an additional donation to help our work. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month via a standing order.   

You can either pay online to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790.  

Or you can pay by cheque to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ and post to 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 Katrine on [email protected]   

The NSSN is developing a campaign pack for social care, which we hope to make available in the not-too-distant future for supporters to use in their localities. As part of this, communications officer Dave Gorton is keen to hear from supporters who:  

(1) work in social care (either local authority, private or independently provided)  

(2) represent social care workers for a trade union  

(3) are in need of social care provision themselves or act as an (unpaid/underpaid) carer for a family member  

Dave can be contacted in the first instance via [email protected]   


Union News  

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RMT National Dispute Fund  

Minimum service legislation will lead to more disputes (8 Dec) – Government admits rail minimum service legislation will lead to more disputes and jeopardise safety. RAIL UNION RMT revealed today that the government’s own impact assessment for the regulations covering the railway minimum service regulations admitted that it would worsen industrial relations and threaten safety read more

RMT raises rail safety concerns over cost-cutting (8 Dec) – RAIL UNION RMT has written to Network Rail and the Scottish and Westminster governments over deep concerns the union has with relentless cost-cutting that is threatening the safety of passengers and rail workers and the performance of the network read more

Major railway incidents more likely due to Network Rail cuts (7 Dec) – Over 90% of Network Rail workers think a major railway incident is likely to happen in the next two years because of cuts, an RMT survey shows. Network Rail plans to cut £1.2bn of its budget between 2024 and 2029, leading to an overwhelming majority of its staff fearing future accidents and serious safety-related incidents on the railway. These cuts include abandoning track renewals for at least the next 5 years and the permanent loss of highly specialised, skilled jobs and equipment as reports of broken rails on our aging infrastructure rise read more

Scotland’s railway less safe than two years ago – RMT survey (7 Dec) – Scottish railways are likely to have major safety related incidents in the next two years, according to Network Rail workers in an RMT survey. 92% of those surveyed said that a major rail safety incident occurring on the railway within the next two years was “likely” with 45% saying it was “very likely.” 66% of Network Rail members surveyed said railways were less safe than 2 years ago and 94% thought proposed cuts to renewals in the next five years would worsen rail safety read more

Bus workers suspend strike action following new offer (21 Nov) – Stagecoach East Midlands workers at Mansfield and Worksop depots will be balloted on the new pay offer in a referendum. The union suspended the 48 hour strike action planned for 27 November after Stagecoach produced an offer which if accepted would take bus drivers wages to £15 an hour. It is worth 18.7% as part of a multi-year deal for all grades in the company with significant back pay and marks an improvement on previous offers made by the company. RMT is recommending acceptance of the offer and the referendum will close on November 30 read more

Tube strike ballot over pay begins today (21 Nov) – London Underground workers will start to receive ballot papers today asking them whether they want to take strike action over pay. RMT is unhappy at the latest pay offer from London Underground when Transport for London(TfL) has created a bonus pot of £13m for senior managers and the commissioner took an 11% pay rise in 2023. The union wants to see full staff travel facilities for all tube workers restored and has criticised bosses for freezing pay bands, saying it will create a two tier workforce. Tuesday 19th December is when the ballot will close read more

Video: Carlos Barros & Jared Wood – LU Pay Ballot 2023

Caledonian Sleeper staff ballot for strike action (30 Oct) – RMT members working on the Caledonian Sleeper service will be balloted from tomorrow (October 31) for strike action over insufficient staffing levels. The ballot for train hosts and train host team leader grades will open on October 31 and close 21 November. Union representatives have accused the company of causing adverse stress and anxiety to the workforce by refusing to crew passenger services adequately. Management has also failed to adhere to a dispute resolution agreement reached in 2019, putting a further strain on industrial relations. Workers will be asked if they want to take strike action and action short of strike, which would include no rest day working and an overtime ban read more 

Royal Fleet Auxiliary opens ballot for strike action (11 Oct) – Seafarers at the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) could take strike action later this year, the RMT has warned. On Wednesday a nine-week ballot will open after RMT members rejected a below inflation pay offer from RFA management. RFA have offered a one year deal of 4.5 percent which is unacceptable to RMT members. Over 500 RFA seafarers will now be balloted for strike action with the vote opening Wednesday 11 October read more 


Industrial action begins on Friday (30 Nov) – Train drivers at 16 TOCs [train operating companies] begin a week of industrial action tomorrow [Friday 1 December] in a long-running dispute over pay. The action is likely to bring Britain’s railways to a standstill. Members will walk out at EMR and LNER on Saturday 2 December; at Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Great Northern Thameslink, and WMT on Sunday 3 December; at C2C and Greater Anglia on Tuesday 5 December; at Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, SWR main line, SWR depot drivers, and Island Line on Wednesday 6 December; at CrossCountry and GWR on Thursday 7 December; and at Northern and TPT on Friday 8 December. All members will also refuse to work any overtime from Friday 1 to Saturday 9 December read more


TSSA Remembers Clapham Disaster 35 Years On (11 Dec) – Rail union TSSA has restated its “unshakable commitment to safety” as a number one priority in remembering the Clapham Junction rail crash 35 years ago. Hundreds were injured and 35 people tragically lost their lives when faulty wiring caused three trains to collide shortly after 8am on the 12th December 1988 read more

TSSA Comment on Stand up to Racism demonstration (6 Dec) – Stand up to Racism are marking UN International Migrants’ Day with a celebration of unity over division outside the Home Office on Marsham Street, London. TSSA encourages members in the London area to join us in saying no to hate. The event starts at 530pm on Monday 18 December 2023. Attendees are invited to bring donations of coats and jackets for Care 4 Calais read more

Government ‘dereliction of duty’ over Minimum Service Levels says TSSA (5 Dec) – Rail union TSSA has warned of a ‘dereliction of duty’ by the government over the implementation of minimum service levels (MSLs) for rail. The move comes after the Commons Transport Committee urged Ministers not to overlook the risks of MSL regulations. The Committee chair, Ian Stewart MP, pointed to ‘a risk of MSLs worsening worker-employer relations’, something which TSSA has long argued would be the result of MSLs. Stewart also said the legislation could make services less reliable in the event of a strike. The regulations, which would see a requirement of 40 per cent of normal timetables being run by train companies in the event of a strike, were recently rushed through Parliament read more


Manchester housing workers celebrate pay increase (11 Dec) – Threats of strike action throughout Manchester have ended, after housing and public building staff secured an eight per cent pay rise. Further to the annual salary increase, which will be backdated from 1 April 2023, staff working on the Manchester city council’s housing contracts for outsourced contractor Equans achieved an additional £10 on their callout fee, also backdated to April, taking it from £20, to £30 per callout. The improved pay offer was made by the company after 120 members of Unite had voted for industrial action. Alongside the pay increases, EQANS has agreed to establish a working group, which will address issues and concerns concerning working environment which Unite’s members wish to raise. Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite, said: “This victory by our members highlights how standing side by side and being prepared to take strike action achieves immediate and future improvements for their jobs, pay and conditions – whether that be through positive discussions or industrial action.” Following a ballot of members, the pay offer was accepted, and the industrial dispute was concluded read more

West London Christmas bus misery as strikes intensify (11 Dec) – RATP-owned London Transit workers anger worsened by ‘insulting’ new offer. Christmas bus strikes in West London will now begin a day earlier following an insulting new offer from RATP-owned London Transit, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday). Strikes by the 350 drivers and engineers will now begin on 21 December, as well as on 22 and 23 December, as previously scheduled. Industrial action will intensify if the dispute is not resolved. The workers are striking after they rejected a 6.8 per cent pay offer. This is a significant real terms pay cut as the real rate of inflation, (RPI), stood at 11.4 per cent when the pay increase was supposed to be applied in April. The dispute is also over the company’s attempt to reduce terms and conditions, including removing a longstanding £500 meal relief payment and attacking arrangements for how workers take days off in lieu. The company’s latest offer only included extremely minor changes that did not include an increase in hourly pay. Furthering bad feeling at the company is the fact that it takes workers seven years to reach the full rate of pay, even though at most other bus companies it only takes three years of service read more

Drax canteen workers threatened as strike hits food services (11 Dec) – Baxter Storey sends intimidating messages after power station’s Christmas dinner cancelled. Striking Drax canteen workers have been sent threatening messages from their employer Baxter Storey, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday). The company sent the predominantly female workforce threatening messages saying they had to fill in a form to say they were on strike or they would lose the legal protections afforded to staff taking industrial action. The workers, who are the lowest paid at Drax, are under no obligation to carry out Baxter Storey’s demands and will not lose any legal protection by failing to comply. The strikers and Unite view the messages as an intimidation tactic. The strikes, which are taking place throughout December, led to the cancelation of Christmas dinner at the power station on Tuesday 5 December. Out-of-date sandwiches have also been left in vending machines as stock has not been replenished or changed over. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Baxter Storey’s intimidation tactics won’t work. Our members are rock solid – they know Baxter Storey can more than afford to table a reasonable offer. They have Unite’s total backing as they strike for a fair pay rise.” The strike action, which will last until 18 December, is over poverty pay and a lack of union recognition read more

Oxfam strike suspended following improved offer (10 Dec) – Strike action being taken by members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by the charity Oxfam has been suspended after talks resulted in an improved pay offer being made. More than 500 workers began strike action on Friday (8 December). Strikes scheduled for 14, 15, 16 and 17 December have been postponed as an act of good faith while Unite ballots its members on the revised offer. If the pay offer is rejected, strike action will begin again on 20 December read more

Unite claims Alexander Dennis “fuelled the flames” in pay dispute (8 Dec) – Around 400 Unite members on strike action after rejecting latest ‘tokenistic’ wage offer. Unite the union claimed today (Friday 8 December) that Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) has “fuelled the flames” in the escalating pay dispute after making a ‘tokenistic’ pay offer. Around 400 Unite members based in Camelon, Falkirk, are in the midst of a fortnight-long strike which started on (Monday 4 December) and ends on 17 December. Unite represents coach builders and spray painters at the Camelon factory. Unite can confirm that ADL offered a further 0.5 per cent on the 2023 wage offer to increase it to 4.5 per cent, and four per cent in total for 2024. This offer was emphatically rejected by the workforce by 81.4 per cent. The ongoing strike action is a result of workers at ADL rejecting previous pay offers that amounted to a real terms pay cut read more

Christmas ASDA shortages nationwide as HGV drivers strike (8 Dec) – Rochdale distribution drivers employed by Wincanton strike for pay parity. There will be nationwide shortages of chilled foods at ASDA stores during strikes by HGV drivers based at the supermarket’s Rochdale distribution centre, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday). Around 80 HGV drivers, employed by Wincanton on the ASDA contract, will strike over the Christmas period. They are angry at being paid £1.24 an hour less than their counterparts doing the exact same role for ASDA at the Lutterworth distribution centre in Leicestershire. The Rochdale drivers’ overtime, night, weekend and bank holiday rates are also less than those paid at Lutterworth. Both sets of drivers used to be employed by EV Cargo before transferring under TUPE regulations to new employers in 2021. The Lutterworth drivers are now employed directly by ASDA and the Rochdale drivers directly by Wincanton… The drivers will strike on 13, 15, 17, 20, 26, 28 and 30 December and 2 January, causing shortages at ASDA stores across the country. More strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved read more

Warrington bin strikes off after Unite secures improved deal (7 Dec) – The long running Warrington bin strike has ended after Unite secured an improved deal from the council. The deal includes a dispute resolution payment as well as improvements to terms and conditions and the creation of a number of permanent full time roles for those on temporary seasonal contracts read more

Unite announces Christmas strike dates in dispute with London NHS trust (7 Dec) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is ramping up its dispute with Barts NHS Trust as its members undertake a wave of fresh strikes in London this month. The strikes are part of Unite’s campaign to increase pay and end unsafe staffing afflicting NHS workers. Over 1,000 workers at Barts Health NHS Trust are in dispute over pay, safe staffing levels, bank rates and lump-sum payments. Workers are experiencing staff shortages, which have reached such a level that they risk the health of patients and threaten staff welfare. The latest strikes include Christmas Day and Boxing Day and will cause significant disruption to catering, portering, cleaning and facilities maintenance over the festive period… Additional staff from the East and South East London pathology partnership employed by Barts are also joining the dispute due to anger over an imposed restructure that they believe will put patient safety at risk. Having achieved victory in a dispute with Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trust over the lump sum payment, Unite is also in dispute with a number of other trusts and contractors who are refusing to pay the owed money, despite members working during the pandemic. Workers have been taking part in strike action this week and have been on picket lines earlier in the autumn, yet the trust and at Synergy are refusing to acknowledge the reasonable demands of their workers read more

Maintenance workers at Crawley Borough Council to strike over pay (7 Dec) – Unite members who maintain and repair social housing for Crawley borough council will begin strike action this month as they step up their battle for better pay and conditions, it was announced today (Thursday 8 December). Twenty plumbers, electricians, gas engineers, painters and other craftworkers who are employed by two subcontractors – Mears and Liberty Gas – are requesting a 10 per cent pay increase on their hourly rates to reflect the rate of inflation over the last year and the ongoing cost of living crisis. Instead Mears has merely offered a lump sum payment that equates to just a five per cent, one-off increase, which is even below the seven per cent National Joint Council (NJC) local council workers offer. Liberty Gas have made no pay offer at all. Liberty Gas also gives fewer holidays to its employees than the other contractors and Unite is calling for harmonisation for all contracted workers. Given the reluctance of the contractors or Crawley Borough Council to improve the offer, workers will head to the picket line on Wednesday 11 December 2023 and 8 January 2024 read more

Unite comment on IPPR report on excess profits and inflation (7 Dec) – Commenting on the IPPR’s Inflation, Profits and Market Power report, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The IPPR’s report confirms Unite’s own research that Britain is suffering from an epidemic of corporate profiteering that has fuelled inflation and made life increasingly difficult for working people…” read more

Coventry council told ‘strikes imminent’ over ‘abhorrent’ fire and rehire plan (6 Dec) – Refuse workers have industrial action mandate over attack on ‘task and finish’. Coventry council has been told to expect strikes over its decision, taken yesterday evening, to move forward with an ‘abhorrent’ plan to fire and rehire its refuse workers. Refuse loaders and drivers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have already voted for strike action following the emergence of the plan earlier this year. The plan to fire and rehire the workers is the council’s attempt to fight equal pay claims by GMB members by ending industry standard ‘task and finish’ provisions for refuse workers. Unite’s position is to demand and fight for equal pay – but not at the cost of other workers. Instead, Unite calls for a levelling up – so that all workers genuinely benefit – and not a race to the bottom by levelling down. Refuse workers do their jobs at maximum capacity because the role is heavy, dirty, smelly and unpleasant and undertaken regardless of blazing heat or freezing cold. That’s why task and finish has always been standard across the UK for workers collecting household waste… When challenged by Unite during negotiations that fire and rehire is widely condemned and used by the worst employers, such as P&O, Coventry council officials said the plan was acceptable because it wasn’t to increase profits read more

Transport unions announce fresh Translink strikes (6 Dec) – Joint Unite-GMB-SIPTU press release: Full responsibility for transport disruption lies with Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris who has engineered a pay crisis seeking to advance a political agenda. Translink workers from Unite the union, SIPTU and GMB will take three further days of strike action in the run up to Christmas. A 48-hour strike action is to commence from 00.01 on Friday 15 December ending with a further 24-hour strike commencing a week later at 00.01am on Friday 22 December. The strikes will bring to a standstill all bus and rail services operated by Translink. The strikes represent an escalation of the industrial dispute by public transport workers who took initial strike action on Friday 1 December. The dispute centres over the unions’ demand for a cost-of-living adjustment pay increase. Workers are facing a real terms pay cut of 11 per cent due to the failure of Translink to offer workers a pay increase read more

Alstom train workers in Westminster to “rail” against government neglect (6 Dec) – Shameful treatment of rail sector threatens to end 150 years of train manufacturing and thousands of jobs. Unite members from the Alstom train manufacturing works in Derby descended on Parliament today (6 December) to lobby over the threat to their jobs. The government’s ongoing mismanagement of the pipeline for new train and refurbishment projects coupled with the delay in the HS2 project (where Alstom has secured the contract to build the new trains), has resulted in the company facing a considerable black hole in its order book read more

Higher education survey reveals financial plight of sector’s workers (6 Dec) – Unite demands 2023/24 national pay award improved as unions meet with UCEA. A survey of more than 1,000 higher education workers shows that staff across the sector are in desperate need of a fair pay rise, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday). The survey comes as Unite, as part of the New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (New JNCHES), meets with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA). Unite will warn the UCEA that the imposed 2023/24 pay award of five per cent for most workers is not sufficient to enable staff to cope with the cost of living crisis. The deal is a significant real terms pay cut given that when it was imposed in March, the real rate of inflation, RPI, stood at 13.5 per cent read more

500 Unite members accept Scottish Water improved pay offer (5 Dec) – Eight per cent basic pay increase secured for key public service workers. Unite the union can confirm that its 500-strong Scottish Water membership have given their emphatic backing to a new pay deal negotiated by the joint trade unions. The pay deal will see Scottish Water workers’ pay rise by eight per cent across the board. The increase will also be applied to all overtime, call out and standby rates worked since April 2023. There will be a further reduction in the working week to 35 hours without loss of pay to be implemented in November 2024. The wage deal was backed by 98 per cent of Unite members in a consultative ballot read more

New pay offer for Chivas Brothers workers on table (5 Dec) – Unite confirms industrial action suspended. Unite the union can confirm that Chivas Brothers has brought forward a new pay offer which will be put to Unite’s 500-strong membership in a consultative ballot. Last week, Unite confirmed a rolling programme of 24-hour stoppages across various Chivas Brothers facilities between Monday 11 to Thursday 14 December. The union’s membership supported taking strike action by an emphatic 91.2 per cent. All industrial action is suspended until the ballot process on the new pay offer is complete. Unite is the main union at the company representing workers at the Kilmalid, Dalmuir, Beith, Strathclyde Grain and Strathisla distilleries, and Dumbuck warehouse facility among others read more

Iceland warehouse workers to walk out as South West face store shortages (4 Dec) – Warehouse workers in Swindon announce strike dates – threat of empty shelves at supermarket. Warehouse staff in Wiltshire working on behalf of the Iceland supermarket chain have announced dates for strike action, it was revealed today. Unite members employed by the logistics contractor, GXO, work in the cold storage warehouses that supply Iceland supermarkets across the South West of England. The majority earn the minimum wage and have rejected a below-inflation two-year pay deal offered by GXO. Despite further negotiations by Unite, GXO has refused to offer a fair pay rise to workers who endure sub-zero temperatures throughout their shifts. Close to 150 Unite members across two sites in Swindon will now walk out on the following dates: 14 December – 18 December and then 27 December – 30 December. The industrial action will cripple GXO’s ability to transport stock to Iceland supermarkets and could see a shortage on shelves and freezers in the run-up to Christmas read more

Striking Haringey council workers protest at cabinet meeting (4 Dec) – Striking housing repair workers will stage a protest on 5 December during the Haringey council cabinet meeting tomorrow, ahead of renewed industrial action over pay later this month. Haringey council’s leadership is falsely claiming it is not possible to open pay talks as rates are agreed nationally. While the national bargaining agreement for local government sets out minimum standards, local authorities can agree better terms and conditions for workers if they wish. Unite has already agreed deals with a number of local authorities including three other London councils (Newham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets) this year…The workers began striking in November, with the next phase of industrial action beginning on 18 December and ending on 24 December. More strike action will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved read more

Strikes impacting Christmas Amazon, Cadbury and Direct Wines deliveries to intensify (4 Dec) – DS Smith drivers delivering cardboard packaging striking over pay. Strikes by a fleet of DS Smith LGV drivers delivering packaging cardboard and paper to major retailers, including Amazon, have escalated to cover the entire Christmas period, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today. The strikes will compromise the ability of DS Smith clients, which also include Direct Wines, Cadbury and Haribo, to package items for mail order delivery to customers during the festive season. The drivers, based in Launceston in Cornwall, Sittingbourne in Kent, Avonmouth in Bristol and Tuxford in Nottinghamshire, have rejected a five per cent pay offer. This is a significant real terms pay cut when the real rate of inflation, RPI, stood at 11.3 per cent when the pay rise should have been implemented in May. An initial seven days of strikes took place between 20 and 27 November. The next round of strike action begins on 11 December and lasts until 23 December read more

Warrington council loses High Court case against bin worker strikes (1 Dec) – Unite blasts Labour council for wasting taxpayers’ money as new strike dates confirmed. Warrington council has lost its High Court attempt to block industrial action by its refuse drivers. The council’s case was that the workers’ strike action was unlawful as the dispute was no longer about pay. The council tried to use the extra hurdles placed in the way of legitimate strike action by the Conservative’s Trade Union Act of 2016. The High Court ruling however confirmed that there was an “industrial reality” and the union had not, in seeking to find alternative and innovative ways to settle the dispute, breached the law. This means that the council workers who have been in dispute for many months have the right to continue their struggle to secure a fair pay settlement from their employer read more

Unite members at Glasgow East Women’s Aid start strike action after major legal victory (30 Nov) – Five members dismissed awarded interim relief by employment tribunal. Unite can confirm that its Glasgow East Women’s Aid members will start strike action tomorrow (Friday 1 December) following a major legal victory secured on behalf of five dismissed workers. Unite members will begin the first stoppage tomorrow – the first of twenty one days in total – which will continue until 16 February 2024 (see notes to editor). Unite’s members at Glasgow East Women’s Aid emphatically supported strike action with a 100 per cent yes vote. In a major new development in the dispute, the union can further reveal that in partnership with Allan McDougall’s Solicitors, it has successfully secured ‘interim relief’ on behalf of five workers dismissed on 28 November read more

Healthcare workers at NHS Trust to take strike action over “moneybags Mitie’s” failure to pay lump sum owed to them (28 Nov) – Mitie workers in three Dudley hospitals head to the picket line while the firm announces huge profits. Healthcare workers in the West Midlands are taking strike action over the failure of their employer to pay them the lump-sum payment they are owed, Unite announced today (27 November 2023). Around 60 members of the Unite trade union who are contracted to work for Mitie at three NHS hospitals in Dudley are to head to the picket line after Mitie failed to honour the government’s commitment to pay a lump sum (Covid) payment worth between £1,655 and £3,789. Meanwhile, in today’s half-year financial statement, Mitie have announced they are on track for profits of £190 million this financial year, with its chief executive Phil Bentley receiving a salary of £900,000. Yet the workers taking strike action earn as little as £11.45 per hour…Staff will now begin 17 days of strike action during December, January and February to bring pressure on Mitie and the Dudley NHS Trust to make the payment they are owed. Unite has a campaign for all workers across the NHS, regardless of contractual arrangements to be paid the lump sum payment. It was initially successful at the Yorkshire Ambulance trust in ensuring the payment was made, has secured the payment for workers other trusts and is pursuing other cases read more

Glasgow based Waukesha Bearings workforce set for strike action (27 Nov) – Unite members rejected pay offer linked to removing workplace benefits. Unite the union can confirm that over 80 manufacturing workers employed by Waukesha Bearings based in Polmadie, Glasgow, are set for strike action tomorrow (28 November) following the rejection of a pay offer. Unite’s members overwhelmingly rejected a 6.25 per cent increase that was conditional on the removal of the employer income protection sick scheme. Without the removal of the scheme, a 4.75 per cent offer tabled by the employer was also rejected on the basis it represented a real terms wage cut. The workforce are involved in the development and manufacturing of thrust and journal bearings and pads. The components are made mainly for the oil and gas, and defence sectors. The strike action at Waukesha Bearings will begin tomorrow at 00.01am and end at 23.59 pm on 30 November 2023 when the action concludes at 23.59 hours. A continuous overtime ban has been in place since 10 November. Unite members previously voted in favour of industrial action by 89 per cent on a 77 per cent turnout read more

Kaefer contractors at Mossmorran and St Fergus energy plants start week-long strike action (26 Nov) – Unite hits out at operator Shell amid multi-billion pound profit bonanza. Around 150 Kaefer maintenance and repair contractors based at the Mossmorran Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) and St Fergus energy plants started strike action today (Monday 27 November). The industrial action which ends on Monday 4 December also involves a continuous overtime ban for 12 weeks. Unite’s members returned a 75 per cent yes vote for strike action. Picket lines will be held outside both plants on the days of action – see notes to editor for further information. The dispute centres on the contractor Kaefer not making a cost of living payment for 2023. Unite says its membership has been left with ‘no option’ but to take strike action in response to Kaefer’s failure to make such a payment, and it is blaming the operator Shell for the stand-off. Shell PLC reported profits of £7.6bn for the first three months of the year, £3.9bn for the three months to the end of June, and profits of £5.1 billion for the third quarter of 2023. Profits at Shell rocketed to £32.2bn in 2022, double the previous year’s total read more

Unite announces strikes by Education Authority workers on Friday 1 December (23 Nov) – Industrial action by school support workers, including bus drivers, set to coincide with wider public transport strike. Unite the union has today notified the Education Authority of a further 24-hour strike by school support staff commencing at 00.01am on Friday 1 December. The strike action follows two days of industrial action last week and is timed to coincide with a strike by public transport workers on bus and rail services. The industrial action follows a ballot of Unite members which returned a 94 per cent majority for strikes in pursuit of a pay and grading review to help address the chronic issue of low pay among education support staff. The strike is likely to cause significant disruption to many schools given the concentration of Unite membership in school bus transport, catering, admin, cleaning, classroom assistants and other roles. The timing of the strike will mean that Unite members working as school bus drivers are taking strike action alongside Unite members in Ulsterbus, Citybus and the Glider who also provide school transport services. The strike is the latest development in Unite’s ongoing industrial dispute over the failure to deliver a 2018pay and grading review for education workers which was subsequently negotiated on the back of industrial action by Unite in 2022 read more

New pay offer for 1,200 First Glasgow drivers on table (22 Nov) – Unite confirms industrial action suspended. Unite the union, today (Wednesday 22 November) confirmed that over 1,200 First Glasgow drivers have received an improved pay offer leading to the suspension of scheduled industrial action. The new pay offer was formally put to Unite this morning following a further round of talks held at the conciliation service Acas. Unite said that that the strike action scheduled to start on Friday 24  November continuing until Friday 1 December is now suspended to allow the membership to be balloted on the new offer. The bus drivers previously voted by 99 per cent in support of strike action on a turnout of 77 per cent read more

Biomedical scientists in East Lancashire to walk out over patient safety (22 Nov) – Staffing levels dangerously low in Blood Sciences Department putting patients at risk. Members of the Unite trade union working in the Blood Sciences Department at the East Lancashire Hospital Trust (ELHT) will take industrial action as a result of dangerously low staffing levels. Biomedical scientists at two hospitals (in Blackburn and Burnley) have been escalating their dispute with the ELHT since February this year. Having been promised an increase in staffing which has failed to materialise they will now take part in strike action on 12 separate occasions in November through to February 2024 read more

CHC Scotia workers across UK set for strike action in pay dispute (22 Nov) – Major offshore operators impacted by helicopter services company standstill. Unite the union can confirm that workers employed by helicopter services firm CHC Scotia are taking part in strike action today (Wednesday 22 November) as part of an escalating pay dispute. Unite represents over 60 workers at the Aberdeen airport based company which also has operations at Humberside and Norwich airports. Unite members across the three airports voted in favour of industrial action by 80.4 per cent on a 95 per cent turnout. The strike action at all three airports starts today with the rolling programme ending on 17 December at Aberdeen airport (see notes to editor). There is also a continuous overtime ban in effect from 00.01am on 29 November read more

Royal Navy subs set for delays as Mersey shipyard workers vote to strike over pay (21 Nov) – Royal Navy Dreadnought submarines and Type 26 frigates built at Cammell Laird shipyard are set for delays after workers today [Monday 20 November 2023] voted to strike. More than 400 members of Unite and the GMB unions are ready to walk out in a dispute over pay and conditions. Workers include welders, pipefitters, electricians, fitters, labourers and cleaners as well as office staff voted to strike with a majority of 96 per cent in favour on a near 75 per cent turnout. They had been offered a pay increase of just 6 per cent – a real terms pay cut when inflation has been over ten per cent earlier this year. They are currently working on Dreadnought submarines and Type 26 frigates for the Royal Navy. Any industrial action would see significant delays to the construction process. The action could also impact Seatruck, Stenna and Calmac ferries as well as support vessels for the oil and gas industry. Dates for strike action will be announced in due course read more

Luton braced for bus disruption as Centrebus drivers’ strike (17 Nov) – Drivers striking for pay parity as Luton Arriva pays £1.91 an hour more. Centrebus drivers in Luton are to take strike action over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday). The drivers are angry that they are paid £1.91 less an hour than their counterparts working for Arriva in Luton…The drivers, who are based at the Bilton Way Centrebus garage, will strike on 28 and 29 November. The industrial action will escalate if the dispute is not resolved read more

NHS Tayside estates workers escalate industrial action over ‘second class’ pay and conditions (15 Nov) – Workers to down tools for five days a week at major hospitals across Tayside as health board refuses independent review. Unite, Scotland’s leading trade union, can confirm that strike action by NHS Tayside estates workers will now escalate this week as part of a protracted dispute over jobs, pay and conditions. Strike action will begin today (Wednesday 15 November), and is in addition to the current two days scheduled on Thursday and Friday each week. The latest development increases the number of strike days to three per week – every week. Unite members are also withdrawing weekend cover. This means that the workers will not return to work until Monday 20 November at 08:00. The dispute centres on the failure of NHS Tayside to locally implement recognised national conditions for craft workers. Unite claims this is contributing to an ongoing underpayment of wages. The action involves around 60 estates workers including electricians, joiners, and plumbers read more

Warrington’s Own Buses on verge of strikes after worker dismissed for ‘union activities’ (14 Nov) – 83% of workers in favour of striking due to ‘bullying culture’ and ‘unjustified’ sacking. Warrington’s Own Buses are at risk of serious strike disruption due to the sacking of a union rep on ‘trumped up charges’ and the company’s ‘bullying culture’, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday). Unite believes the sacking was a targeted attack related to the worker’s legitimate trade union activities. In response, a consultative ballot was carried out that resulted in an 83 per cent vote in favour of strike action at the council owned company. The worker was sacked after his bus broke down because he took a picture of the vehicle’s undercarriage to show the fault more clearly to the engineer who had been called out. The company dismissed the worker for breaching health and safety rules as the engine was still running when he bent down to take the picture. This is despite the company admitting other workers had done similar things and not been sacked for them. During the worker’s appeal, the company then changed its reason for dismissing him. This time, the company claimed it was because it was believed that the worker, who had previously worked as a mechanic, would have tried to fix the fault himself if given the opportunity, although the worker did no such thing. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Warrington’s Own Buses’ trumped up charges are nonsensical and spurious. This is a barely disguised attempt to get rid of this worker for carrying out his legitimate trade union duties. Warrington’s Own Buses need to reinstate this worker immediately, otherwise this issue will be resolved through industrial and legal action. Unite never tolerates attacks on our workplace representatives and this worker has the full force of the union behind him.” Warrington’s Own Buses is wholly owned by Labour controlled Warrington borough council, which is already embroiled in a pay dispute with its refuse workers, who are currently on strike read more

SQA workers back strike action over pay (14 Nov) – Dispute at nation’s education qualifications body centres on ‘unacceptable’ pay offer. Unite the union can confirm today (14 November) that its members at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) have overwhelmingly voted to support strike action. Hundreds of members backed strike action by 72 per cent on an 80 per cent turnout. The union’s members work in all grades and job roles at the nation’s education qualifications body including administrators, managers, processors and researchers. The pay dispute centres on the SQA’s two-year pay offer for 2023 and 2024. For the majority of Unite’s members, the current SQA offer equates to no more than 5.75 per cent in 2023, and 3.15 per cent in 2024. Broader inflation (RPI) in contrast has varied between 8.9 and 13.8 per cent throughout 2023 read more

Greene King contractor not “pouring happiness” into the lives of workers (13 Nov) – Lorry drivers and warehouse staff working for GXO taking strike action over below-inflation pay offer. Members of the Unite trade union are to take part in a series of strikes after their employer tried to impose a real-terms pay cut. HGV drivers and warehouse workers at logistics giant GXO, based in Runcorn and contracted to the Greene King brewery, have been offered just a four per cent pay rise this year, despite inflation running at over nine per cent for much of the year. The workers will now be striking on three separate occasions in November and December. Workers at GXO deliver beer to Greene King pubs across the North West and up to the Lake District and Carlisle. Industrial action could see taps run dry in pubs leaving drinkers turning elsewhere for their pints in the run-up to Christmas. Strikes are to take place at the Runcorn warehouse on 23 November for 24 hours, followed by longer strikes on 30 November – 1 December and 6-8 December. More dates for industrial action will be announced if members don’t receive a fair pay offer read more

Imperial Logistics lorry strikes threaten Mini car production (9 Nov) – Imperial Logistics lorry strikes threaten Mini car production. Lorry drivers working at the Mini car plant in Oxford are to walk out over proposed changes to their pay and conditions. Members of the Unite union will begin a ban on all overtime beginning on 14 November and then take part in 14 days of strike action in November and December at the BMW Mini car plant in Oxfordshire, it was announced today (9 November). Strikes could be a threat to plant production at the famous Mini factory as LGV drivers are angry at the proposals to potentially cut pay by 20 per cent due to a reduction in working hours being introduced with new shift patterns or job cuts as an alternative. Imperial Logistics which runs the LGV operation at the plant, owned by BMW, has recently been taken over by DP World – the company responsible for sacking 800 P&O Ferry workers in 2022. They are seeking to change the shift patterns for LGV drivers and impose a 20 per cent cut in pay or cut jobs. Forty one drivers will now be heading to the picket line later this month unless Imperial, and their parent company, come back to the table and ensure no reduction in pay, no job losses, and no abuse of the banked hours scheme read more

Striking Cornwall GRS concrete mixer drivers protest at Nuneaton HQ (8 Nov) – Workers striking over low pay, union-busting and intimidation. Striking ready-mix concrete HGV drivers from Cornwall will hold a protest outside their employer GRS’ Nuneaton headquarters on Friday read more

West Midlands steel coil workers poverty pay strikes intensify (7 Nov) – ArcelorMittal workers angry at real terms pay cut while firm rakes in millions. Poverty pay strikes by West Midlands workers making steel products for the automotive and construction industries at the ArcelorMittal factory in Willenhall have intensified. The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, earn an average of £11.24 per hour, with some receiving just the national minimum wage. They have rejected a pay rise of seven per cent. This is a significant, real terms pay cut when the true rate of inflation, RPI, stood at 11.4 per cent when the rise was due to be implemented in April of this year. The low wages at the factory stand in stark contrast to the money being made by their employer. ArcelorMittal Distribution Solutions latest available financial returns show it had a turnover of £267.5 million and operating profits of £33.1 million in 2021. The workers have already taken 17 days of strike action since strikes began in September. Beginning today, they will strike for a further 11 days during November and a further four days in December. The current round of strike action will end on 8 December, however further strike action will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved by then. ArcelorMittal is sending work to sister plants and competitor companies as a result of the strikes, with the large costs of diverting the work about to significantly increase as the dispute escalates…Strikes will take place on 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, 17, 20, 23, 24, 28 and 29 November and 1, 4, 5 and 8 December read more

Thousands of engineering construction workers ready to strike after rejecting pay offer (6 Nov) – Strike ballot of over 3,000 oil refinery and power station engineers enlarged as dispute grows. Thousands of engineering construction workers are ready to strike after they rejected an ‘inadequate’ pay offer, with more set to be balloted, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday). The workers, who operate under the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI), last week voted by 86 per cent to reject a two year pay offer of 10 per cent for 2024 and five per cent for 2025. The offer, from the employers who negotiate the NAECI agreement with unions, does not go far enough to restore years of falling wages for engineering construction workers. Since the pandemic, pay for engineering construction workers has fallen by 20 per cent in real terms. During Covid, a pay freeze was imposed on the workers even though they provided essential services throughout the crisis. In January 2022, they received a two year pay deal of 2.5 per cent for 2022 and the same percentage increase for 2023 – even though inflation was soaring into double digits…Unite’s NAECI members carry out essential repair and maintenance at oil refineries, power stations and pharmaceutical and petro-chemical plants. Workers at Drax, Sellafield, Stanlow, Pembroke, Grangemouth, Teesside Sabic TIP and Runcorn Project Summer Vynova have already voted for strike action. Due to the strength of feeling amongst NAECI members, Unite is also preparing to ballot even more workers at other sites across the country to join any industrial action read more

Strathclyde university workers strike in pay dispute (6 Nov) – 400 Unite members walk out for five days. Unite the union has today (Monday 6 November) confirmed that around 400 members employed at the University of Strathclyde will take strike action over five days this week. The Strathclyde workers will strike from Monday 6 November until close of the working day on Friday 10 November as part of a UK wide pay dispute. Unite’s members involved in the pay dispute includes technicians, cleaners, security officers, and janitors. The vast majority of Unite’s members in higher education across Scotland have had a five-six per cent pay offer imposed on them by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) pay body. The pay imposition follows a derisory uplift of three per cent for the majority of members in 2022. Despite local negotiations with the University of Strathclyde to secure an improved pay deal, Unite confirmed that ‘insufficient progress’ has been made to avert the latest round of strike action. This follows previous rounds of strike action at the university on 13, 14, 15, 18 and 19 September, and 5 and 6 October read more

Vista Therm workers to commence new wave of industrial action tomorrow (5 Nov) – Strike action to recommence by the workforce at Vista Therm after Unite reballoted over management union-busting. Industrial action follows previous twelve-week strike for cost of living pay increase and union recognition. Unite the union has served notice on Vista Therm, a specialist glass manufacturer based at Silverwood Business Park, Craigavon that a new wave of industrial action by its members will commence with a 24-hour strike from 00.01am tomorrow, Monday [November 6th]. Workers will be establishing pickets outside the workplace from 7am to 8.30am in the morning and between 3pm and 4.30pm in the afternoon. The latest action occurs after the union’s membership voted with a 97 per cent majority for strike action over management union-busting activities. During the previous period of strike action, management dismissed two young workers and suspended another two, including a Unite shop steward. The Vista Therm workforce overwhelmingly comprises foreign nationals including a large majority of workers whose first language is Polish or Ukrainian. The industrial dispute represents a touchstone case for the wider exploitation of foreign national workers read more

Clyde shipyard type 26 Frigate contractors balloted over strike action (3 Nov) – CBL Cable Contractors in pay and conditions dispute. Unite, Scotland’s leading trade union, confirmed today (Friday 3 November) that over 30 members contracted to work on the new type 26 Frigate on the Clyde are being balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions. The Unite members including electricians, labourers and cable hands are employed by CBL Cable Contractors Limited based at BAE Systems on the Clyde. The contractors are demanding to be paid the BAE Systems yard rate, or an additional £1 per hour on top of the current rates of pay. The dispute also relates to travel related payments which Unite’s members are due as the BAE workplace falls under the scope of the Joint Industry Board Agreement. The agreement sets the standards for employment, grading and apprentice training in the electrical contracting industry. This includes travel time and the use of a personal vehicle to travel to work which entitles workers to a mileage allowance. The industrial action ballot opens on 7 November and closes on 20 November. If the ballot is successful then strike action could take place from early December read more

Unite calls for immediate investigation into potential illegal use of agency workers designed to break Cardiff strike (27 Oct) – Unite the union is calling for an immediate investigation by Cardiff Council into the potential use of agency workers to undermine the current strike action by Unite within the local authority. Unite has found evidence that employment agencies may be supplying labour and advertising positions, to cover work that would normally be undertaken by workers currently on strike. The use of “scab” agency labour to undermine strikes is a criminal offence and carries with it large fines and other punishments, not only for the employment agencies concerned but also Cardiff Council itself read more 

DuPont Teijin Films workers to resume strike action as Unite warns to disruption ‘last months’ (26 Oct) – Dumfries based plant to be hit by further stoppages in escalating pay dispute. Unite the union can confirm today (Thursday 26 October) that it has served notice on a further round of stoppages to hit the Dumfries based DuPont Teijin Films (DTF) plant. A new round of strike action involving around 100 members of Unite covering all shifts at the plant will start tomorrow on 27 October and conclude on 5 November (see notes to editor). The trade union has warned that unless DTF get back round the negotiating table with a ‘serious offer’ then disruption at the plant could last for months. Unite has accused DTF management of by-passing the agreed collective bargaining procedures, and the workforce’s trade union representatives, to impose a 3.3 per cent wage offer in April. The broader rate of inflation (RPI) hit 11.4 per cent at the time of the pay offer. DTF is a major supplier of polyester films for electrical, medical, photo, print and photovoltaic uses to UK supermarkets, as well as institutional catering for hospitals, schools and home-meals for the elderly…The new wave of strike action follows the stoppages taking place on 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28 September. A continuous overtime ban has also been in place since July read more 

Klarius Stoke-on-Trent strikes intensifies after inadequate sick pay offer rejected (23 Oct) – Workers angry over ‘disgraceful’ fire and rehire sick pay threats. Striking Stoke-on-Trent workers employed by Klarius Products have rejected an inadequate sick pay offer from the company and will intensify their strike action, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday). The workers began a series of strikes in September in response to the company’s threats to fire and rehire them in order to drastically reduce sick pay for some of its most long serving and loyal workforce. The problems at the company are a result of the creation of a two-tier workforce. Workers on the traditional contracts receive a very fair company sick pay scheme, while workers on the inferior, newer contracts only receive statutory sick pay (SSP). Klarius’ solution is to introduce a new sick pay scheme, but it would result in many workers experiencing sizeable cuts in their entitlement. The workers have since rejected an offer from the company that would have seen their sick pay reduced over three years to just two weeks from five. This is not acceptable to Unite’s membership as they have sacrificed terms and conditions in previous years in order to retain the original sick pay scheme…The workers have taken 16 days of strike action since 12 September. They will now strike Monday through to Friday every week from 6 November to 1 December read more 

Unite ballots Oceaneering workers in escalating pay dispute (16 Oct) – Rosyth based company pay offer overwhelmingly rejected. Unite, Scotland’s leading trade union, confirmed that around 90 workers will be balloted on strike action in an escalating pay dispute with the Port of Rosyth based company Oceaneering. Oceaneering International Services Limited has made a 6 per cent pay offer plus a one-off payment which by 84 per cent has been overwhelmingly rejected by the workers. The pay offer rejection follows the workers having received a 1 per cent increase in 2022 which represented a massive real terms pay cut with inflation rocketing to hit 14 per cent last year…The ballot opens on 18 October and closes on 8 November read more 

240 craft workers to strike in dispute with West Lothian council (16 Oct) – Unite demands overdue pay. Unite the union confirmed today (Monday 16 October) around 240 craft members employed by West Lothian council will take strike action in a dispute over money-owed to the workforce. Strike action will start tomorrow at 08.00 (17 October) until 19 October when the action stops at 16.30. The members previously supported strike action by 96.3 per cent. The dispute is due to the failure of West Lothian council to pay craft workers carrying out additional tasks under the terms of the existing craft agreement. The workforce includes joiners, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, bricklayers, skilled labourers, blacksmiths, and heating engineers read more 

UK Packaging Awards in London hit by Cepac ‘fire and rehire’ protest (12 Oct) – Unite demands Darlington-firm Cepac nominations rescinded over shocking dismissal of workers. A demonstration will be held outside of the UK Packaging Awards in London this evening (Thursday 12 October), over nominee Cepac’s attempts to fire and rehire workers striking over pay. The workers, who are based at the company’s Darlington factory,  have been on strike over pay and the slashing of terms and conditions since Monday 14 August, with industrial action set to last until 6 November. Rather than enter into negotiations, Cepac threatened headcount reductions and fire and rehire for the remaining workers. On 6 October, the company issued redundancy notices for the striking workers with the intention of making them sign new inferior contracts read more 

Strikes to go ahead at Cambridge University (11 Oct) – Facilities, library and IT staff to walk out over lack of improved pay offer. Essential workers at Cambridge University are to strike after the university cut their pay in real terms. The university, one of the world’s most prestigious institutes of learning, is only offering between a five and six per cent increase. With RPI currently sitting at nine per cent that represents a real terms pay cut of at least three per cent. Unite’s members are demanding above-inflation rises to cope with the cost of living crisis in one of the most expensive parts of the UK outside London. Over 450 members working in the university library, the department of engineering, estate management, the Fitzwilliam Museum, information services and many other departments are to take strike action, likely resulting in building closures and repairs not taking place. Strikes will take place on four days: 24, 26 October and 1, 7 November read more  

Workers launch campaign against low pay and zero hours at Greenwich Leisure Limited (10 Oct) – Workers in Bromley have voted for strike action by a margin of 86%. The controversial social enterprise Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is back in the spotlight after workers at Bromley libraries voted for a campaign of industrial action. The workers are fighting against a race to the bottom in local government by campaigning for better pay and an end to zero hours. The workers in Bromley voted for strike action by a margin of 86 per cent and Unite representatives will be meeting in the coming week to agree strike dates. GLL has a window of opportunity to avoid strike action read more 

Industrial action brewing across 21 UK ports (6 Oct) – Unite, Britain’s leading union, is warning Associated British Ports (ABP) that strike action could be brewing across its 21 ports which handle around a quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade. Unite has lodged a dispute concerning maritime pilots who safely navigate ships in and out of the UK’s waterways and ports. Ships cannot leave or enter the UK’s ports without these skilled workers. Last July without any consultation, which is required under health and safety legislation and Unite’s recognition agreement, ABP introduced increased medical standards. Unite has no objection to improving standards but there has been no negotiations and no detail about how these medical tests will be done or what happens if a member fails. This is a serious concern as ultimately members’ jobs could be at stake. The main bulk of Unite members are in South Wales (Swansea, Port Talbot, Barry, Cardiff and Newport), Southampton and the Humber (Port of Hull and Immingham) although the dispute could be wider and impact all 21 ports operated by ABP read more 

PPG automotive paint workers in Suffolk head to picket line over low pay (5 Oct) – Stowmarket manufacturer offering real-terms pay cut will see workers walk out. Workers at the Suffolk factory of international paint manufacturer PPG Industries are to strike over pay, Unite the union announced today (5 October). Over 200 members of Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, have voted for industrial action over the low pay offer made by PPG. The employer has made an offer of just five per cent, but with inflation currently at 9.1 per cent this represents a real-terms pay cut for workers. PPG Industries is a worldwide paint and coatings conglomerate and the Stowmarket factory has many high-profile customers that include the Williams Formula One team, Lamborghini and Lotus…Strike dates are yet to be confirmed but are likely to be throughout the autumn read more 

Unite announces escalation in A.G. Barr strike action (4 Oct) – Soft drinks giant pre-tax profits up 12.6 % to £27.8 million over first 6 months of 2023. Unite, the UK’s leading union, has today (4 October) announced an escalation in strike action as part of a long-running pay dispute with the soft drinks giant A.G. Barr. Unite represents truck and shunter drivers who are essential to the supply of the company’s world-renowned products including Irn-Bru – one of the nation’s most popular soft drinks.  Unite’s members have overwhelmingly rejected the company’s five per cent pay offer for 2023. Unite can confirm that talks are scheduled with A.G. Barr tomorrow (Thursday 5 October) through the auspices of the conciliation service Acas in a bid to make a breakthrough in the pay dispute. If there is no breakthrough in these discussions, Unite has stated that its members will participate in further stoppages on 13 and 16 October, and then from 20 to 30 October. The workers are already scheduled to resume strike action from midnight on Friday (6 October) read more 

NHS Confederation workers to strike over pay (3 Oct) – Unite members in London and Leeds to take industrial action after poor pay offer. Staff at the NHS Confederation, the membership body for organisations that commission and provide NHS services, are set to take industrial action over cuts to pay. Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, announced that its NHS Confederation staff members will walk out on Thursday 5 October. They work in policy, communications, managerial and administrative roles within the organisation. The strike, the first in the Confed’s history, coincides with a meeting of the organisation’s Board of Trustees. Following the introduction of a new pay structure which saw one-in-five staff hit by a take-home pay cut and opportunities for pay progression curtailed, Unite members will head to the picket line as part of a campaign to reinstate staff pay and progression opportunities. Nearly 90 per cent of members taking part in the ballot voted to take strike action. A Unite survey of all staff, before the pay cut was imposed, found 60 per cent already said they were struggling with the cost of living read more 


Seasonal Variations in Delivery – feedback and views from the frontline (7 Dec) – A policy of mutually agreed shorter duties during the summer and longer shifts in the lead-up to Christmas clearly makes sense as an idea, and is a far better alternative to annualised hours, but how has it been working out in practice? And are there improvements that can be made going forward? Seasonal Variations (SV) in Delivery was a policy adopted by the CWU at our March 2022 Policy Forum – several months before the national dispute began – as our preferred alternative to the company’s proposals to move towards annualised hours or flexi-bank hours systems. When the dispute came to an end earlier this year, the company and the union reached agreement on introducing this system, initially through selected trials and then across the operation read more


You can show your support to the strikes by PCS members by:  

  • Making donations to the PCS Fighting Fund Levy account, sort code: 60-83-01, account no. 20331490  
  • Sending solidarity messages to [email protected]  

Join us in Cheltenham for 40th anniversary of GCHQ union ban (11 Dec) – On 27 January, 2024, we are marking the 40th anniversary of the ban on trade unions at GCHQ with a joint PCS/TUC event in Cheltenham. On 25 January 1984, all Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) workers were ordered to leave their trade unions by 1 March or face dismissal. Those who signed away their rights received a payment of £1,000 less tax. Over 100 GCHQ workers refused to sign away their union rights, but it wasn’t until late 1988 that the government sacked the last 14 workers who were still holding out read more

Minimum Service Levels are an attack on human rights (10 Dec) – Trade union rights are human rights. On the International Day of Human Rights today (10), we look at the government’s latest attack on these freedoms. In the king’s speech on 7 November 2023, the government promised to rush through laws which would effectively criminalise strike action for thousands of our Home Office members, including border security staff and an unknown number of workers in the Passport Office. Even though the UK already has the most restrictive trade union laws in Western Europe, The Minimum Service Levels Act would limit the impact of a strike by forcing workers to maintain a level of service through the use of minimum service levels (MSLs) read more

Special Congress: Minimum Service Levels a “grotesque” attack on members (9 Dec) – At a special TUC congress today (9), PCS vowed to resist minimum service levels which limited unions’ right to take strike action read more

Mark Serwotka warns of “mass defiance and opposition” to new strike laws (8 Dec) – On the eve of a Special TUC congress, the PCS general secretary has called on the government to drop plans to prevent strike action in the Border Force read more

Join us in London on 18 December to call for Safe Passage (8 Dec) – End the year with a celebration of unity over division at a demonstration outside the Home Office in London. Taking place symbolically on the UN’s International Day of Migrants (18 December), PCS is joining a large number of other trade unions, charities and campaign groups at a demonstration against the government’s poisonous anti-refugee agenda. The demonstration will start outside the Home Office in London, at 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF read more

Landmark Harassment Report shows need for Workplace Action (8 Dec) – Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the horrific prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace read more

NEC meets to discuss progress and future of campaign (7 Dec) – Talks with the Cabinet Office have been positive but are unlikely to be enough to end our dispute and we are putting in place plans to get members ready for a ballot in the new year read more

PCS strikers at The Pensions Regulator remain determined (6 Dec) – Entering their thirty-first day of strike action today (6), members at The Pensions Regulator are determined to fight until the employer improves its offer. PCS members working for The Pensions Regulator (TPR) are currently on strike after being offered just a 3% pay rise. Members are also furious as the employer last week imposed an insulting and unagreed pay offer on November’s payday. The more than 300 PCS members working for TPR are on strike again this week and next on 6, 7, 8, 12, 13 and 14 December. This comes after 11 days of action in October and 9 days in November, building on the 10 days of strike action taken between 5 and 18 September in pursuit of our national campaign demands. The branch – which has increased PCS membership by 135% since these actions began in September – is determined to keep the pressure up on TPR read more

Replacement ballots available for ballot in Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (24 Nov) – DVSA members, who can request replacement ballots through PCS digital until 8pm on 29 November, tell us why they will be voting yes. More than 1900 members working for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) across England, Wales and Scotland are being balloted from 16 November until noon on 13 December for strike action in a dispute over an attempt by management to erode their terms and conditions. They are being asked if they are willing to take industrial action in response to the driver services recovery programme. This is an attempt by the DVSA, whose staff carry out driving tests and approve people to be driving instructors, to recover backlogs to a national average of 7 weeks by 31 March 2024. As part of this recovery programme, the DVSA has imposed mass changes to members’ terms and conditions read more

OCS security strike leads to pay talks (31Oct) – PCS members show once again, that building strong workplace union organisation is the best way for workers to improve their pay and conditions. PCS members employed by OCS on the Courts and Tribunal Service contract forced closures and disruptions to courts during a four-day strike over pay. Security officers in 149 courts across England and Wales took strike action on the 22, 25, 27 and 29 September after receiving a below inflation pay offer that would increase their pay by just 38p above the National Living Wage of £10.42. The strike saw hundreds of PCS members form lively picket lines in sixteen locations, including Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Yorkshire, Birmingham and Brighton. The action led to a large number of court cases being cancelled or disrupted and courts were forced to operate with inadequate staffing levels or used contingency labour. The strongly supported collective action taken by PCS members has forced further talks with OCS to attempt to settle the dispute read more

HMRC Inland Pre-Clearance: Industrial action ballot result (11 Oct) – Inland Pre-Clearance members meet the legal threshold and vote overwhelmingly for action. PCS continues to hold talks with HMRC and will keep members informed read more 



Prospect announces commencement of industrial action at AWE (30 Nov) – Prospect members at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) are taking industrial action in a dispute over pay, having voted strongly in favour of the measure. Action short of a strike commenced on 13 November and includes members working to rule, working to contract, and withdrawing from voluntary roles. The timing of any possible strike action will be decided in due course read more

Prospect ballots Pilots at NHV Helicopters UK on industrial action over pay (10 Nov) – Prospect is currently balloting its pilot members on industrial action over pay at NHV Helicopters UK Ltd. Operating out of bases in Aberdeen, Blackpool, and Norwich, NHV UK supports the transport of crews and loads to and from Oil and Gas platforms across the North and Irish Sea. The ballot opened for Pilots at all bases last week and comes after NHV failed to make an acceptable pay offer despite months of negotiations and attempts at resolution through the ACAS conciliation service read more


Strike threat hits Birmingham on eve of crunch budget meeting (11 Dec) – Thousands of workers could down tools across the city after council bosses announced further delays to ending the equal pay crisis. GMB Union, Birmingham City Council’s largest staff union, has today announced that thousands of workers across the council will begin a ballot for strike action. The news comes on the eve of crunch budget talks at the authority after council bosses announced a further delay to settling outstanding equal pay claims. GMB has called on council leaders to urgently announce a timetable for settling the authority’s £780 million equal pay liability, only for council representatives to respond that settlement talks would be pushed back. The ballot will begin on Tuesday 12 December and run until mid-January 2024 with more than 3,000 Birmingham City Council workers being asked to have their say on strike action read more

Water sector’s ‘payout culture’ must end (7 Dec) – People utterly sick of failing water companies stumping up fortunes. GMB, the water union, has criticised the water sectors ‘payout’ culture after South East Water, which left thousands of customers without running water this summer, paid out dividends of £2.25 million while overseeing increased losses of £18.1 million read more

GMB issues Christmas strike dates for Gosport waste workers (6 Dec) – We remain ready to meet at any time to negotiate a deal, we just need Urbaser to call us, says GMB. GMB, the union for refuse and recycling, has issued strike notice to Gosport Borough Council’s waste contractor Urbaser Ltd after union members voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action over pay. The action is due to start on Boxing Day and continue for an initial 12 days through the Christmas and New Year period. The members voted 92 per cent in favour of taking strike action off a turnout of almost 90 per cent, with members willing to strike to secure a pay rise to £15 per hour of HGV drivers and £12 per hour for all other operatives. The union is warning residents that their normal kerbside collections, as well as any additional Christmas and New Year waste collections, will be halted unless the company returns to the negotiating table read more

ASDA faces strike vote at Gosport superstore (5 Dec) – Up to 100 GMB members to take part in industrial action ballot. Asda workers at the Gosport superstore are set to vote on strike action over a litany of grievances. Up to 100 GMB members at the Hampshire store will take part in the vote, which begins on Friday 8 December and closes on Friday 22 December. The dispute centres around the staff’s treatment at the hands of store management including constant wage errors, pressure to work extra shifts and numerous health and safety issues. GMB members report numerous fire safety complaints, including fire exits being constantly blocked and are not satisfied with how the issues and grievances have been resolved. If workers vote to strike, industrial action could take place as early as January read more

Swindon social work managers to strike over Christmas and New Year (5 Dec) – The strike action, beginning on 19 December and continuing into the new year, will cause ‘Christmas chaos’, says GMB. GMB, the union for social workers, is calling a two-week strike of Assistant Team Managers starting on Tuesday 19 December. The strike will remove a critical layer of management through the Christmas and New Year holidays. The dispute relates to a pay and grading review, described as ‘botched’ by the union, which has left these managers earning less than some of the staff they supervise. 11 Assistant Team Managers will be striking, out of the team of 16 read more

Amazon strikes spread as new warehouse joins strike (29 Nov) – Workers at Amazon’s new flagship fulfilment centre have voted to join industrial action just weeks after opening. GMB union has today announced that workers at Amazon’s new flagship Birmingham fulfilment centre have voted to join strike action. In total, 100 per cent of GMB members voted for industrial action at the fulfilment centre in Minworth, which opened its doors in October 2023. More than 1,000 Amazon workers downed tools last week as part of GMB Union’s Black Friday industrial action at the retail giant. Strike dates will be announced in the coming weeks read more

University of the Arts London hit by further cleaner strikes (29 Nov) – Two demonstrations are planned as part of two days of strike action by outsourced cleaners at the university. Cleaners employed by OCS at University of the Arts London (UAL) will be taking two days of strike action this week on Thursday 30 November and Friday 1 December read more

Wiltshire emergency social care to face strike ballot over ‘fire and rehire’ (23 Nov) – Our members are furious not only with the proposed pay cut but that their employer is threatening to actually fire them to force this through, says GMB union

GMB, the trade union for Wiltshire Council, is balloting 21 social workers who work in Adult Social Care and Childrens Services, for strike action. These social workers provide the out of hours service for child protection and to support vulnerable adults, particularly those needing mental health support. Wiltshire Council is proposing to remove a 20 per cent contractual uplift from 25 social workers for evenings, nights, early mornings and weekends. Traffic Wardens in Wiltshire have already conducted 11 days of strike action since March 2022 over the same issue read more

Strikes loom at whisky giant (22 Nov) – GMB Trade Union – Strikes loom at whisky giant. Workers at Chivas Brothers have overwhelmingly backed industrial action. Workers at whisky giant Chivas Brothers have overwhelmingly backed strike action after pay talks collapsed. Around 800 members of GMB Scotland and sister unions will walk out before Christmas after a formal ballot backed industrial action. The strikes in December could disrupt orders to shops, hotels and bars over the festive period with workers preparing to strike in bottling halls in the weeks running up to Christmas. The action comes after the company behind global brands including Chivas Regal, Glenlivet, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute refused to revise a pay offer of 6.4% despite surging sales. GMB Scotland revealed the results of the strike ballot today with 89% support for action after an earlier consultative vote revealed overwhelming levels of support for action as Chivas and French parent company, Pernod Ricard, record unprecedented sales. The Ricard family, owners of the multinational which produces other well-known brands including Absolut vodka, Martell cognac, and Mumm champagne, is worth an estimated £5.8billion read more

Royal Navy subs set for delays after shipyard strike vote (21 Nov) – Type 26 frigates built at Cammell Laird could also be delayed. Royal Navy Dreadnought submarines and Type 26 frigates built at Cammell Laird shipyard are set for delays after workers today [Monday 20 November 2023] voted to strike. More than 400 members of GMB and Unite unions are ready to walk out in a dispute over pay and conditions. Workers include welders, pipefitters, electricians, fitters, labourers and cleaners as well as office staff voted to strike with a majority of 94 per cent [GMB] and 96 per cent [Unite]. They had been offered a pay increase of just 6 per cent – a real terms pay cut when inflation has been over ten per cent earlier this year read more

Fears of brick shortages as workers announce strike action (16 Nov) – Workers at Blockleys bricks have voted for walk outs. GMB Union has today announced that workers at Telford’s Blockleys Bricks will walk out in a dispute over pay. Blockleys, part of the construction giant Michelmerch, is a major provider of construction materials across the Midlands. The announcement comes after workers overwhelmingly backed strike action after two years of consecutive real terms pay cuts for workers. As much as 80 per cent of the company workforce is expected to walk out, with four strike days set for 28 November and 4, 11, 18 December read more

Southampton buses facing Christmas closure as union ballots Unilink drivers (15 Nov) – There’s still time to sort this out if Unilink want to, as any strike action wouldn’t be taking place for a few weeks – it is though firmly in management’s hands. GMB, the union for Southampton bus drivers, are preparing to ballot their members who work as drivers for the city’s Unilink bus company. The dispute is over pay, as the drivers have turned down the employer’s offer of a 5.28 per cent rise, which would raise their pay to an hour rate of £14.74. The ballot opens on Friday 17 November, with any potential action then set to take place in the run up to Christmas read more

2,500 education workers to strike in Northern Ireland (10 Nov) – Almost 2,500 education workers across Northern Ireland are set to strike this month over pay. Cooks, cleaners, drivers, classroom assistants and other staff across 1,800 schools will walk out on 16 November in anger at the failure to address disparity in pay among grades dating back to 2018. This action will have a huge impact on schools with many, if not all, having to close. GMB members voted to strike by a majority of 92 per cent read more

Festive Ferrero Rocher shortage looms (9 Nov) – Spectre of Christmas without beloved yuletide treat devastating. The UK faces a festive Ferrero Rocher shortage after workers voted to strike. More than a dozen staff at Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate are set to walk out in a dispute over pay. Workers rejected a real terms pay cut at the confectionery giant’s site in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate is one of the UK’s largest supplier of coco products to the confectionary industry, including to the manufacturers of Ferrero Rocher. 100 per cent of workers balloted voted to back strike action, with dates for the walk outs to be announced in the coming days read more

Refuse workers disciplined for helping elderly and disabled people (9 Nov) – South Tyneside refuse workers have voted to walk out for four days after being disciplined for helping elderly and disabled residents. The industrial action takes place during ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ on 14 – 17 November. Refuse workers were given warnings for supporting a lost, elderly, distressed woman living with dementia and for carrying a wheely bin back up steep front steps for a disabled resident. More than 80 per cent of the workforce are, or have just been on, a formal warning. In total, 100 per cent majority of GMB members working at South Tyneside Refuse voted to strike in anger after years of inaction from the council to tackle a well known toxic work atmosphere. Despite every effort being made by the GMB to resolve this issue members now feel that they have no option other than to take strike action read more

1000s of engineering construction workers ready to strike (9 Nov) – More than 3,000 workers have voted for industrial action. Thousands of construction workers at energy sites across the UK have said they are ‘ready to strike’ – but have called on bosses to make a fresh pay offer. More than 3,000 workers at Stanlow, Fawley, Valero, Grangemouth and Mossmorran Oil Refineries, Sellafield Nuclear Facility and nuclear power stations have voted for industrial action. At a crunch meeting this week, workers indicated they were ready to walk out, but called on bosses to make a fresh pay deal and avert industrial action. Last week, workers turned down a pay deal of 10 per cent for 2024 and a further 5 per cent for 2025 read more

GMB issues Christmas strike dates for Gosport waste workers (6 Dec) – We remain ready to meet at any time to negotiate a deal, we just need Urbaser to call us, says GMB. GMB, the union for refuse and recycling, has issued strike notice to Gosport Borough Council’s waste contractor Urbaser Ltd after union members voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action over pay. The action is due to start on Boxing Day and continue for an initial 12 days through the Christmas and New Year period. The members voted 92 per cent in favour of taking strike action off a turnout of almost 90 per cent, with members willing to strike to secure a pay rise to £15 per hour of HGV drivers and £12 per hour for all other operatives. The union is warning residents that their normal kerbside collections, as well as any additional Christmas and New Year waste collections, will be halted unless the company returns to the negotiating table read more

South Wales faces Flogas shortage (2 Nov) – A week long strike by Flogas workers has led to shortages of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) shortages across South West Wales, GMB has said. Flogas workers at the Llandarcy depot are in the midst five-day strike in a dispute over pay. Up to 20 workers at gas giant’s depot in South Wales have downed tools after a below inflation pay offer. After months of negotiation, workers voted to strike with a majority of more than 80 per cent. The following day, Flogas announced redundancies at the site read more

Net-A-Porter faces Christmas strike (23 Oct) – GMB, the union for retail and distribution, has this morning announced that luxury fashion brand Yoox Net-a-Porter will be rocked by twenty-two days of strike action at their Charlton depot. As previously announced, GMB members are in dispute with their employer about pay, with current proposals leaving members without a pay rise for the first six months of the financial year. Hundreds of workers are now set to take a total of 22 days of action over November and December, which will affect the distribution of online purchases in the run up to Christmas:-  

  • Tuesday 7 November 2023 from 0630am until Saturday 11 November 0800am 
  • Monday 20 November 2023 from 0630am until Saturday 25 November 0800am 
  • Monday 4 December 2023 from 0630am until Saturday 16 December at 0800am read more 

Wiltshire Traffic wardens to strike over fire and rehire (19 Oct) – GMB, the union for Wiltshire Council, has issued further strike action for traffic wardens who have previously taken action over their employer’s controversial ‘fire and rehire’ plans. Wiltshire traffic wardens took ten days of action in 2022, before suspending the dispute when the employer agreed to shelve plans to cut their pay by up to 20 per cent. The council has now resumed their plans to use the controversial practice and GMB members will be taking strike action on Saturday 4 November, with further strike dates not ruled out read more 


Donate to support striking workersAs UNISON members continue to take strike action, the union is asking for donations to its strike fund  

Supreme Court can stop bad bosses punishing staff who strike (11 Dec) – Anyone with a legitimate dispute should be able to exercise their rights without worrying they’ll be treated unfairly. The Supreme Court has an opportunity to close a loophole that allows rogue employers to mistreat staff who take part in legal strike action. In a two-day hearing that begins on Tuesday 12 December, the union seeks to overturn a Court of Appeal decision that it says leaves the UK operating outside international law and employees without proper protection at work. The union is acting on behalf of care worker and UNISON member Fiona Mercer, who originally brought a case in 2019 against the Alternative Futures Group (AFG), a charity in north west England read more

NEC hears of shocking conditions imposed on migrant care workers (7 Dec) – The meeting also agreed a statement condemning the resumption of violence in Gaza and calling for an immediate ceasefire read more

Education workers across Northern Ireland take action for pay justice (17 Nov) – ‘Education workers in Northern Ireland are not prepared to sit and wait while you sort out all the political problems. Working people need pay justice now’. UNISON members in Northern Ireland on strike. As UNISON prepares to celebrate the incredible Stars in Our Schools this Friday, more than 6,000 UNISON schools support staff members in Northern Ireland took to picket lines for a day’s strike action for fair pay. From Belfast to Omagh, Downpatrick to Ballycastle, members demanded long overdue reform to the education authority’s pay and grading structure read more

Poole education members strike over low pay (2 Nov) – Members at the Victoria Education Centre voted for action by 97% in an 81% turnout. UNISON members at The Victoria Education Centre in Poole are taking strike action today, after their employer failed to deliver a pay rise for staff. The special education school is run by disability charity Livability, but it has not made a pay offer that addresses historic low wages by comparison to other school settings across Dorset and nationally. A membership recruitment campaign began in 2021 and saw a recognition agreement signed with the employer in March 2022 read more

Scottish Water staff to strike for four days in November (31 Oct) – UNISON says the action will have serious implications for water and sewage services. UNISON sent notices to Scottish Water this week, to inform it that members will be taking strike action for four days starting on 10 November. The strikes come after UNISON members at Scottish Water voted overwhelmingly (78%) for action over a pay and grading dispute earlier this month read more

More Scottish schools to close as UNISON sets further strike dates (25 Oct) – Four more local authorities will be affected in second wave of action over pay. UNISON has today served notice of further strike action in the dispute over local government pay, to South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Edinburgh and Fife councils. Staff working in schools, and early years establishments linked to schools, within those four local authorities will walk out on Wednesday 8 November. This will be the second week of a rolling programme of action that will take place. UNISON has already notified Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde councils, that staff working in schools, and early years establishments linked to schools in those authorities will be taking strike action on Wednesday 1 November. Further strike dates involving other councils will be announced in due course read more 

Barnet UNISON issues strike action notice for the next 5 months! (24 Oct) – Today, UNISON sent the strike notification letter to Barnet Council laying out the dates of strike action to be taken by Mental Health social workers starting in November right through to March 2024. The first day of strike action will start Tuesday 7 November 2023. We are pleased to report that Brighton UNISON Adults social workers will be taking strike action on the same day (Tuesday 7 November 2023) Barnet UNISON Mental Health social workers are taking strike action. Their demand is similar to our demand, they want parity for Adults social workers with Family Services social workers who have retention payments. Barnet UNISON has proposed a solution to this dispute which is based on rates (7.5% to 25%) that are already paid out to other social workers in Family services. According to evidence seen by Barnet UNISON, the numbers of staff leaving Mental Health social work teams exceeds those leaving Family Services social work teams who are all receiving recruitment & retention payments. Barnet UNISON is clear that recruitment & retention payments are likely to help stabilise the high turnover of staff across Mental Health social work teams and help retain existing staff. The strike timetable for the next FIVE months is as follows:- 

  • 7/8/9/14/15/16 November 2023. 
  • 4/5/6/7/8/ December 2023. 
  • 15/16/17/18/19 January 2024. 
  • 5/6/7/8/9 February 2024. 
  • 4/5/6/7/8 March 2024 read more  

Picket line – 2 Bristol Ave, London NW9 4EW. Send messages of support to [email protected] 

Support Brighton & Hove & Barnet UNISON social worker strike

Support staff to strike at 17 universities this week over pay (2 Oct) – Coordinated action in England over ongoing dispute. Support staff at 17 universities in England are striking today and tomorrow in an ongoing dispute about pay, says UNISON today (Monday). Cleaners, IT technicians, administrators and library staff will be among those walking out in coordinated action aimed at disrupting the start of the new academic year, says the union. Staff rejected a below-inflation pay deal in February and voted to strike. They are yet to receive a better offer and say they have little alternative but to take industrial action. More than 5,000 staff are expected to walk out over the two days, as the pay row escalates. There are also demonstrations and rallies taking place across the country read more 

Protest as Hackney Unison chair amongst those handed compulsory redundancies in libraries shake-up – Council staff staged a protest on 17th May after several library staff, including Hackney Unison Branch Chair Brian Debus, have been handed compulsory redundancy notices. Hackney Unison have said it was “registering our disgust that three library workers including Hackney Unison Branch Chair Brian Debus are due to be made compulsorily redundant. This despite there being more than enough posts available in the restructured library service.” Read more on Hackney Citizen website  



NIPSA announces strike action for BSO Health Workers (8 Dec) – NIPSA members who work in Business Services Organisation (BSO) in Health Social Care will begin targeted action, including a week long strike, from Saturday 16th December 2023. The selective action will commence with action short of strike and be followed by strike action from Monday 18th to Friday 22nd December. Members in BSO warehouse operations within the Procurement and Logistics Service (PaLS) will walk out in response to the continuing failure of the government to settle the long running dispute over pay and safe staffing. NIPSA Deputy General Secretary Patrick Mulholland said “These workers, like all others across the health and social care sector, have endured successive years of below inflation pay increases. They provide a vital service to the hospitals across the country and are recognised by everyone bar those who hold the purse strings as essential workers read more

Education Industrial Action (14 Nov) – NIPSA members are currently engaged in a campaign of industrial action in the Education Authority. Our members democratically voted for both action short of strike action and strike action. The action is around four points:-

  • Pay and Grading Review
  • Job Evaluation
  • Pay Differentials
  • Education Cuts

We do not believe that this dispute will be easily resolved so we are ensuring we use intelligent, focused and strong industrial action that is applied at appropriate times. Action started on 6 November with action short of strike action. We will take two hours strike action on 16 November 2023, this will take effect from your normal start time. We are preparing for selective action in late November/December by members who provide critical services. Members on selective action are acting on behalf of all members so this action is fully funded by the union. NIPSA has approached our sister unions, UNITE, GMB, UNISON with selective action proposals read more


Royal College of Nursing  

£3.2bn agency spend could have paid salaries of 31,000 nurses (6 Dec) – New RCN analysis reveals cost of short-term approach to filling staffing gaps. Poor government planning and underfunding have forced trusts across the country to spend millions covering staff shortages to keep wards open read more

RCN opens donations to strike fund in response to public desire to support striking staff – We’ve launched a donation page for people to financially help nursing staff on strike read more  

Royal College of Midwives 

Maternity staff fight for fairness and safety as they take to picket lines across Northern Ireland (22 Sept) – Midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) across Northern Ireland will be taking to the picket lines this morning (22 September), as the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) takes strike action in frustration at the ongoing political stalemate read more 


Donate to support striking junior doctors  

Standing up for the profession: BMA overturns pay freeze for senior SAS doctors in Wales (8 Dec) – Ali Nazir chair of the BMA Welsh staff, associate specialist and specialty doctor committee reflects on a recent victory read more

Junior doctors plan further strike action (5 Dec) – Five weeks of talks with government end with ‘no credible offer’. The BMA junior doctors committee have announced more strike dates after the Government was ‘unable to present a credible offer on pay’ despite ‘more constructive’ talks. Fresh strike dates in England announced this afternoon are from 7am on the 20 December to 7am on the 23 December 2023 and from 7am on the 3 January to 7am on the 9 January 2024. The six-day strike in January would be the longest walkout in NHS history. Members of the JDC voted unanimously for further strikes after five weeks of walks with government did not produce a breakthrough. The last strikes, in October, were followed by ‘weeks of delay by the Department of Health and Social Care in restarting the negotiations’, according to the BMA, which stressed it had been keen to reach a settlement read more

Consultants to vote on fresh pay offer (27 Nov) – Extra investment in pay on top of existing uplift would change pay scale structure. The BMA consultants committee has put a new pay offer from Government to members which could draw a close to continuing industrial action in England. Following a month of ‘intense negotiations’ the Government has offered a 4.95 per cent investment in pay. If the offer is accepted, the changes will be applicable from January 2024, in addition to the six per cent pay uplift already awarded for this year, and paid retrospectively in April 2024 read more

Junior doctors in Wales announce dates of industrial action ballot (6 Oct) – Junior doctors in Wales are to be balloted for industrial action from next month. The six-week ballot by BMA Cymru Wales will run from 6 November to 18 December. If members vote in favour of industrial action, it will lead to a 72-hour full walkout by participating doctors. Junior doctors in Wales have experienced a pay cut of 29.6 per cent in real terms over the last 15 years. This year, they received another sub-inflationary pay offer from the Welsh Government. The 5 per cent offer is below the recommended amount made by the DDRB, and lower than that rejected by junior doctors in England read more 

Doctors in Northern Ireland to be balloted on industrial action (4 Oct) – Consultants and junior doctors to vote after devolved government denies pay uplift. Consultants and junior doctors in Northern Ireland will be balloted on industrial action, the BMA has confirmed. The Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which has essentially been left to run the health service since the collapse of devolution in February 2022, said there would be no pay awards at all this year as a result of funding shortfalls. This is despite the Doctors and Dentists Review Body recommending a 6 per cent uplift, which has been offered to colleagues in England. As a result, both groups of doctors will be balloted over whether to take industrial action. A date for the ballot has not yet been set. An indicative ballot of consultants in Northern Ireland found 77 per cent were willing to take industrial action read more 


HCSA denounces “completely unworkable” minimum service levels at TUC Special Congress (9 Dec) – At a TUC Special Congress, HCSA delegates backed calls to protect the right to strike in the face of ‘draconian’ Minimum Service Levels legislation. The historic gathering saw unions unanimously agree to escalate the campaign to repeal the legislation read more

HCSA junior doctors announce December strike dates in pay dispute (5 Dec) – HCSA – the hospital union junior doctors in England urged members to return their ballots with a Yes vote as they announced new strike dates in their continuing dispute over pay. Members will stage a full 72-hour walkout from December 20th-22nd. The union intends to call further strikes in early January pending the outcome of a current re-ballot which closes on December 20th. Should members vote Yes to strike action this will extend HCSA junior doctors’ strike mandate for a further six months from January read more

Webinar: consultant reforms package – what it means for you – Hosted by Dr Naru Narayanan President, HCSA. After weeks of intense negotiations, HCSA has agreed to put a consultant pay-reform package to members. We are holding informational webinars to help members understand the reforms read more

Pay dispute: Consultants in England to vote on reform package



IFS on education spending in England (11 Dec) – A damning indictment of the Government’s failure to invest in education. Commenting on the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ Annual Report on Education Spending in England: 2023, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “This is a damning indictment of the Government’s failure to invest in education since 2010…” read more

TUC Congress on MSL (9 Dec) – Minimum service levels will not address the crisis in schools. Commenting on the TUC Special Congress today on the Government’s proposed minimum service levels which would place restrictions on education staff who have democratically and legally voted for strike action, forcing most to go into work on strike days, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The Government’s latest attack on the rights of working people shows yet again their absolute disregard for the democratic rights of people in this country. The Prime Minister and the Westminster Government stand alone…” read more

Inquest verdict into the death of head teacher Ruth Perry (7 Dec) – School inspection in its current form is a risk to health and well-being. Commenting as the coroner delivers their verdict following the inquest into the death of head teacher Ruth Perry, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Lessons must be learnt from this inquest.  There must be significant change. School inspection in its current form is a risk to health and well-being.  School leaders’ welfare and wellbeing really do need to be valued more seriously – and we must listen to leaders when they warn that Ofsted inspections currently feel too pressured and too isolating. ‘The individual women and men all over the country who lead our schools take on immense responsibility and workloads. They are dedicated to working hard and diligently in what are really tough and often lonely jobs…” read more

Latest Government update on RAAC in school (6 Dec) – Still no coherent Government plan or even a commitment to remove RAAC from schools. Commenting on today’s update showing a further 17 more confirmed schools with RAAC,  taking the total to 231, Daniel Kebede, General Secrtetary of the National Education Union, said; “As the number of schools with RAAC continues to grow there is still no coherent plan by Government to plan or even a commitment to remove RAAC from schools. The data provided by the Government is also poor in that it lacks information about how many schools have suspected RAAC, and there is no acknowledgement anywhere of the number of schools which have discovered asbestos as part of the RAAC identification or removal process…” read more

Please find below details of forthcoming action. Please send messages of solidarity to the email addresses below:-

Benson Primary School/Birmingham (Conditions of Service) 

11-12 December  David Room [email protected]

St Ursula’s Convent Secondary Sch/ Greenwich (Victimisation of Rep)       

11, 12, 14 December Tim Woodcock [email protected]

Stockport Grammar School / Stockport (TPS)   

12 December            Dawn Taylor [email protected]

The Bulwell Academy / Notts (Conditions of Service)  

12-13 December      Sheena Wheatley [email protected]

Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council announce strike day (20 Nov) – Teachers’ Strike: 29 November 2023. Given that there has been no progress toward a resolution to the ongoing teachers’ pay dispute, the constituent members of the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council, (NITC), today informed the Managing Authority of their intention to instruct members to engage in strike action beginning 00:01 on Wednesday 29 November 2023 and ending at 12 noon on Wednesday 29 November 2023. As a further escalation to the action, NITC has announced that they are planning an additional four full day strikes to take place in the Spring term on dates to be agreed read more


Inquest findings must drive urgent reform of school inspection (7 Dec) – Responding to the coroner’s conclusion that an Ofsted inspection “likely contributed” to the death of headteacher Ruth Perry, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “Our sincerest condolences go to Ms Perry’s family and the staff, pupils and parents of Caversham Primary School on their loss of a much loved and respected member of their community…” read more

Members take strike action across Northern Ireland (29 Nov) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union will take strike action this Wednesday 29 November over the failure to offer teachers and Further Education lecturers a fair and decent pay award. The strike action follows a half day of strike action in schools in February and a full day of strike action in schools and FE colleges in April. These strikes are expected to close the vast majority of Northern Ireland’s schools. The half day strike is being carried out in furtherance of our campaign for a Better Deal for Teachers and Lecturers. The NASUWT is calling for a fully funded 12% pay award for 2023/24. The union is highlighting the massive pay disparity across the UK. Teachers have already lost thousands of pounds as a result of year-on-year pay cuts and the failure of salaries to keep pace with inflation since 2010. For example, a teacher at the start of the classroom main pay scale M1 has lost £44,669, while a teacher at the top of the classroom main pay scale M6 has lost £65,288, and an experienced teacher at the top of the Upper Pay Scale UPS3 has lost £76,064. According to NASUWT research, the last 13 years have seen cuts of 38% to teachers’ pay in real terms read more

Darland High School teachers strike over adverse management practices (28 Nov) – Teachers at Darland High School in Wrexham are taking two days of strike action on the 29th and 30th November. NASUWT members at the school are in dispute with school management over widespread adverse management practices. Striking is a last resort for teachers. Since the last two days of strike action in March, there has been insufficient progress on the adverse management practices which make Darland teachers’ working lives intolerably difficult. Members are concerned for their safety at work as a result of  teaching in poorly maintained and potentially dangerous buildings.  Teachers are also concerned about excessive workloads and victimisation read more

Members at Cambridgeshire school to strike over behaviour policies and management practices (30 Oct) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at St Ivo’s Academy in Cambridgeshire are due to begin the first of five days of strike action on Wednesday over working conditions, adverse management practices and behaviour policies adopted by the employer, Astrea Academy Trust. Contrary to assertions from the employer, the NASUWT does not endorse the approach to managing pupil behaviour adopted by St Ivo Academy. NASUWT supports its members who are in dispute with this and other policies implemented centrally by Astrea without consultation read more 

New industrial action campaign at schools and colleges in England (18 Sept) – The NASUWT is instructing members to take part in a programme of action short of strike action following ballots for industrial action last term. The action is part of the Union’s campaign to secure real terms improvements to pay and bring downward pressure on workload and working hours. The NASUWT National Action Committee is initially instructing members in schools and colleges to limit their working time by working to rule from today. These include instructing members to refuse to undertake extracurricular activities, midday supervision, working during lunch breaks, being directed to work on weekends or Bank Holidays, not doing other tasks during PPA time and refusing to take part in mock inspections read more 



Northern Ireland school leaders visit Downing Street to urge PM to intervene in pay dispute (29 Nov) – School leaders from Northern Ireland this afternoon took their fight for fair pay to Downing Street. A delegation of NAHT members from Northern Ireland delivered a letter for the prime minister to Number 10. The letter, signed by 444 school leaders from across Northern Ireland, calls on Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to intervene and provide the funding needed to deliver a pay increase for school leaders and teachers. NAHT members joined teaching unions in strike action in Northern Ireland this morning. They are angry that while school leaders and teachers elsewhere in the UK have received a pay increase for the current school year, the government says there is no funding for a similar salary uplift in Northern Ireland. This is in addition to a widened disparity in pay across the UK. The teaching profession in Northern Ireland has now not received any increase in pay for over three years, during which time teachers and school leaders in Northern Ireland have been granted successive increases. Employing authorities in Northern Ireland have blamed their inaction on pay on the political stalemate and continued absence of an executive in Stormont. While school leaders and teachers in England received a 5% pay rise for 2022/23 and 6.5% increase for 20023/24 following an industrial dispute, the UK government has failed to replicate this in Northern Ireland under the so-called Barnett formula read more



Pickets to resume at City of Glasgow College as EIS-FELA members continue programme of strike action (13 Nov) – EIS-FELA lecturers at City of Glasgow College are set to resume a programme of strike action and action short of strikes following the result of a statutory ballot last month. Picket lines will be in place at the college’s City and Riverside campuses from tomorrow (Tuesday) for the rest of the week, with additional strike days to follow over subsequent weeks. This will be the latest installment of industrial action after a previous 11 weeks of strike action at the college as well as continued action short of strike read more

Lecturers Commence Targeted Strike Action in Constituency Areas of Key Scot Govt Ministers (2 Oct) – Lecturers in three Scottish colleges will start three days of targeted strike action, in colleges based in the constituencies of key Scottish Government decision makers. The targeted action is the latest step in a national industrial action campaign in a long-running dispute over pay and job security. The action will take place at Glasgow Clyde College, Fife College and Dundee & Angus College, which sit within the constituency areas of the First Minister, the Deputy First Minister, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and the Minister for Further Education read more 



Industrial Action: Why Are We On Strike? (29 Nov) – Why is our strike action necessary? Read the INTO INDUSTRIAL ACTION PRESENTATION (pdf) here

Teachers Strike Over Pay (28 Nov) – Following the decision taken by the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council (NITC) to call a half day of strike action on Wednesday 29 November 2023, INTO Northern Secretary Mark McTaggart said: “While no teacher wishes to take such action, the employing authorities, the Department of Education [DE] and the Northern Ireland Office [NIO], continue to ignore our teachers’ reasonable demands regarding an annual cost of living increase. INTO are therefore left with no option but to use the only avenue available to escalate our action and instruct our members to strike…” read more


UCU slams government migration plan as ‘massive own goal’ (5 Dec) – UCU has slammed the government’s proposal to raise the earnings threshold for skilled worker visas in the UK. The increase, from £26,200 to £38,700, will affect many university and college staff, especially those early in their careers. Coupled with proposals to cull the Shortage Occupation List, which contains a number of roles in higher education, the move will be massively detrimental to the sector’s ability to recruit talent from across the globe read more

New round of strike action set to go ahead at five North East colleges (28 Nov) – UCU today announced three new days of strike action at up to five colleges in Cleveland, Redcar and Stockton on Tees in a long running dispute over low pay. The first strike in this round will take place on Wednesday 13 December if UCU does not receive an improved pay offer. Further strikes are also set to go ahead on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 January 2024 at Bede Sixth Form College, NETA Training Group, Stockton Riverside College, The Skills Academy and Redcar and Cleveland College. All the colleges are part of employer group the Education Training Collective (ETC). The new strikes come after management refused to make an improved offer despite staff striking for three days earlier this month. At the start of this year, UCU members at the colleges overwhelmingly rejected an offer of 3% for 22/23, and then also voted to reject a further offer of an additional 1% – which was only to be paid for three months of the financial year read more

Strike ballot threat in fight against Oxford Brookes cuts (20 Nov) – UCU said a strike ballot could be on the cards as it vowed to fight brutal cuts at Oxford Brookes University. In a packed emergency branch meeting last Friday, an overwhelming 98% of Oxford Brookes UCU members in attendance voted for a possible strike ballot if the university refuses to rule out compulsory redundancies. It also passed a vote of no confidence in vice-chancellor Alistair Fitt and the vice-chancellor’s group. The union was responding to a threat from the university to axe up to 48 academic staff in mathematics, the arts, humanities, and social sciences as soon as January 2024. The university claims the cuts will allow it to save £2m per year read more

Strike on tomorrow at University of the Highlands and Islands in dispute over cuts and job losses (16 Oct) – UCU members at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) will begin the first of six days of strikes tomorrow. The strike is over £4 million cuts the university is making, including £3 million from the staffing budget meaning that up to 44 roles are being made redundant. In the ballot approving strike action, turnout was 86% with 77% of UCU members backing going on strike to defend jobs and oppose cuts.  The union said the high turnout showed the strength of feeling against the cuts and redundancies read more 

Ten days of strikes set to hit the University of Sheffield over pay docking row (15 Sept) – Staff at the University of Sheffield will strike for ten days beginning on Monday 18 September in a dispute over 100% pay deductions following the marking boycott, the University and College Union (UCU) confirmed today read more 

Strike to hit all further education colleges in Northern Ireland (11 Sept) – Staff at all six Further Education colleges across Northern Ireland will strike for five days next week and continuously for the next three months in a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions. UCU said it has been forced to take action after a decade of their members being subject to pay freeze, followed by pay restraint, which has seen lecturer pay awards limited to between 1 % and 2% per year read more 

Four days of strikes set to hit Kirklees College in pay dispute (8 Sept) – Staff at Kirklees College will strike for four days beginning on Monday 11 September in a long running dispute over low pay, announced the University and College Union (UCU) today. The full strike days are:- 

  • Monday 11 September  
  • Tuesday 12 September  
  • Wednesday 20 September  
  • Thursday 21 September  

The strikes will hit the first teaching week of the new academic year. Staff will be on picket lines at the Huddersfield Centre in Huddersfield and the Pioneer Higher Skills Centre in Dewsbury from 8am till 12pm on all four days. Staff at the college have already taken six days of strike action across May and June but management has refused to budge from a pay award for 22/23 of just 1% plus a £500 non-consolidated lump sum. To add insult to injury college management unilaterally imposed a ‘cost of living’ pay award of just 2.5% for 23/24 during pay talks for 22/23.  The college’s financial accounts show it has over £10m cash in the bank yet is hiring teachers for as little as £25k (full time equivalent salary). UCU Branch Officers made themselves available over the summer break to meet with college management to find a way to resolve this dispute but management was not interested read more 

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



Fire union slams “chaotic, callous and negligent” pandemic response as Sunak takes the stand (11 Dec) – Matt Wrack, the leader of the Fire Brigades Union, has slammed the government’s pandemic response as “chaotic, callous and negligent”. His comments come as Rishi Sunak appears in front of the Covid Inquiry read more

Union leader vows “defiance” as TUC agrees campaign against anti-union laws (9 Dec) – The Trades Union Congress (TUC), representing 5.5 million workers across the UK, has today agreed a strategy to resist the government’s Minimum Service Levels legislation. Hundreds of delegates met at Congress House for the first TUC Special Congress since 1982 and agreed a statement setting out the trade union movement’s plan to defeat the new anti-union laws. Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said: “Today, the trade union movement fired the starting gun on a campaign of resistance against the Minimum Service Levels Act. This new law is an attempt to ban strikes in many sectors of the economy, including the fire and rescue service. The trade union movement cannot passively accept that outcome, and it won’t…” read more

Buckinghamshire firefighters demand urgent investment at fire authority rally (6 Dec) – Today, Wednesday 6th December, firefighters from across Buckinghamshire called for urgent investment in the fire service at a rally outside a meeting of the fire authority. A report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that Buckinghamshire Fire Service was “overly reliant” on neighbouring services, was “inadequate” at protecting the public through fire regulation. BFRS receives some of the lowest funding in the country, with expenditure at £35.51 per person for the fire service compared to the average of £41.88 in England. Firefighters gathered at West Ashland fire station, calling for the fire authority to invest in the service to keep the public and firefighters safe read more

Union warns of “catastrophe” as hundreds of firefighters gather to launch Firefighters’ Manifesto (31 Oct) – Today, Wednesday 1 November, hundreds of firefighters and control staff will assemble in Westminster to launch a new ‘Firefighters’ Manifesto’. As the country recovers from flooding, and braces for the realities of climate change, the union warned that politicians must “listen to the voice of the frontline” if they want to “avert catastrophe” read more

Firefighters’ union to consult members in Scotland on strike action over cuts (13 Oct) – The Fire Brigades Union has today announced its intention to begin consulting firefighters across Scotland on strike action in opposition to a devastating package of cuts imposed by the Scottish government. A projected five-year flat cash budget until 2027 has already removed 10 wholetime fire engines, whilst 150 retained fire engines are regularly unavailable due to significant recruitment and retention issues. The Scottish Fire and Rescue service has announced that its own projections mean it will need to save a minimum of a further £14 million next year, which would result in the loss of a further 339 firefighters and 18 fire engines, with more to come. Scotland has lost 1200 frontline firefighters since 2012. The move marks the first formal step towards firefighters taking strike action. This was agreed unanimously by the union’s Scottish committee this week. A formal strike ballot could follow read more 

Merseyside fire control staff vote to strike as firefighters vote for continued industrial action (Aug 21) – Today, 21st August, results from ballots for industrial action in Merseyside fire service have gone live, with FBU members voting in response to a reduction in night-time staffing numbers in fire control, and attacks on terms and conditions. FBU members in Merseyside fire control have voted overwhelmingly for strike action, with 100% voting Yes on a 92% turnout. Fire control are the team who answer calls from those who need the fire and rescue service and make sure firefighters and appliances get to the right place read more  


National Chair Update November 2023 read more 


The Traveller Movement Toolkit Launch (8 Dec) – The Traveller Movement will host a parliamentary drop-in event on 13th December to launch our new Pre-Sentencing Toolkit: Fair Sentencing for Romani (Gypsy), Roma and Irish Traveller people read more

Unions register formal NNC dispute on ‘One HMPPS’ (9 Oct) – At last week’s engagement meeting with HMPPS management, the Probation trade unions announced that they would need to carefully reflect on the disappointing outcomes and the worrying lack of clarity that has emerged from the consultative process so far, and that we would be revisiting our position of a pre-dispute. Since then, the unions have met and discussed a number of other concerns and have now decided to formally register a dispute under the NNC Dispute Resolution Procedures. This was submitted to the Head of HMPPS Employee Relations on the 4th October 2023 read more 


Support the campaign to unionise Samworth Brothers – get organised, sign the petition read more  



NUJ support’s TUC campaign against anti-trade union law (11 Dec) – The union voted for the TUC’s statement on fighting the anti-trade union law and calls on members to support the march at Cheltenham GCHQ on on 27 January read more

Ninety-four journalists killed in 2023, says IFJ (8 Dec) – Publishing ahead of International Human Rights Day, on the 10th December, the International Federation of Journalists insists that far greater action is required from the international community to safeguard journalists’ lives and hold to account their attackers. The International Federation of Journalists has recorded that 94 journalists and media workers, including 9 women, have been killed in 2023. Since 7 October, more than one journalist a day has lost their lives during the war in Gaza, a scale and pace of loss of media professionals’ lives without precedent read more

Reduced BBC licence fee rise will have consequences, says NUJ (7 Dec) – The union is disappointed that the government has reneged on a six-year funding agreement on the licence fee which is likely to put further pressure on budgets. The union is also concerned that an announced review of funding failed to make any reference to its role a public service broadcaster read more

UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition welcomes Wayne David MP’s Anti-SLAPP Bill (6 Dec) – The Private Members’ Bill marks a “crucial milestone for the UK to stamp out all SLAPPs targeting public interest reporting.” The UK Anti-SLAPP Coalition, on which the NUJ sits, has welcomed the Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation Bill presented to the Houses of Parliament. This is a crucial milestone for the UK to stamp out all SLAPPs targeting public interest reporting read more

Ballot opens on BBC Local offer (2 Nov) – NUJ members working across BBC Local are urged to vote before 13 November on a new proposal put forward in the ongoing dispute. The NUJ is balloting members across BBC Local on acceptance or rejection of a new offer brokered through Acas. If the offer is accepted, the industrial dispute and associated industrial action will end, while the NUJ will continue to campaign for truly local programming which serves the needs of local audiences across England. NUJ members across BBC Local (covering radio, TV and online) have been involved in a protracted dispute challenging cuts and changes that led to over 800 journalists put at risk of redundancy and editorial changes including the axing of local programmes, sharing of content across regions and pre-recorded news bulletins in some radio stations. Members have taken four days of strike action, along with a long-running work to rule, with two strike ballots won and significant political and campaigning activity read more


AEP members vote to accept Soulbury Pay Offer (11 Dec) – In the recent consultation, AEP members overwhelmingly voted to accept the current offer from the employers (dated 22 November 2023), with 85.5% voting to accept the pay offer. The AEP,  in collaboration with the other Soulbury unions has now relayed this acceptance to the Local Government Association (LGA). This decision ends the dispute with the employers, meaning that all industrial action ends. Members will not go out on strike as originally planned this Wednesday. Soulbury unions are now seeking implementation of the offer, and payment of appropriate back pay for members as soon as possible. The latest offer still does not nearly redress the years of below-inflation pay increases for EPs and the AEP will persist in the campaign to Save our Services and ensure better investment in EP services and training to ensure the future of quality EP services for children, young people and communities who need them  read more


Equity condemns “short-sighted” cuts in Bristol (8 Dec) – Huge funding cuts by Bristol City Council leave 15 organisations without funding. Equity has spoken out following the announcement of the “less than transparent” decision by Bristol City Council to the cut the city’s arts funding budget by 40% read more

Delegation release statement following Colombia FIA LA visit (8 Dec) – Equity is honoured to have met with our Latin American sister unions, human rights activists, trade unionists and government officials, as part of a delegation organised with Justice for Colombia and a conference of the Latin American group of the International Federation of Actors (FIA LA) this week read more


Community blasts disastrous new teaching recruitment figures (7 Dec) –

Educators’ union Community has blasted the government’s disastrous failure on recruiting new teachers in England. The criticism follows the Department for Education’s publication of data on secondary teacher training places in England for 2023/2024 today. The latest figures show that the department has recruited just half the number of secondary teacher trainees it projected were needed this year read more


Trade unions uniting in opposition to Tory anti-strike laws is welcomed by Usdaw (9 Dec) – A special TUC conference on Saturday agreed to build mass opposition to the Government’s Minimum Service Levels regulations. The TUC said it will not rest until the malicious, unnecessary and unworkable law are scrapped and welcomed Labour’s commitment to repeal the legislation in the first 100 days of coming into government. The Government announced on Friday that the regulations were now in place for the railway industry, Border Force and ambulance service, with the aim of ensuring a minimum level of service during strikes. This anti-union legislation means that when workers democratically vote to strike, they could be forced to work and sacked if they don’t read more

In the middle of a crisis, Tories again refuse to back a protection of shopworkers law – Usdaw dismayed by their ongoing opposition (6 Dec) – Retail trade union Usdaw has expressed dismay at the Government’s continued opposition to the introduction of a protection of a new shopworkers law, similar to existing Scottish legislation, which has backing from across the retail sector. Retail crime and assaults on shopworkers were debatedyesterday both in the House of Commons and Westminster Hall read more


Donate to IWGB strike fund  

SIPTU (Ireland)  

SIPTU and other trade unions threaten strike action over Translink funding fears (3 Oct) – SIPTU and other trade unions at Translink have written to Denis McMahon, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Infrastructure, to express the union’s concern over the financial sustainability of Northern Ireland public transport company. The move comes after Translink management indicated that, due to the company’s poor financial position, they would be unable to table a pay offer for 2023/24. This, the union warned the Permanent Secretary, “may force us to initiate an industrial ballot” unless meaningful discussions were forthcoming. SIPTU, along GMB and Unite with its sister unions in Translink, also expressed fears that the company may have difficulty sustaining the operation of public transport in Northern Ireland without departmental funding read more 

Other news  

Affiliate with STAMMA – STAMMA’s Employment Support Service helps people who stammer as well as those who don’t around issues related to stammering in the workplace. Union branches and regions can affiliate with STAMMA to access a range of services and support at a reduced rate. 

  • £75 for branches and regions 
  • £125 for national unions with under 400,000 members 
  • £200 for national unions with 400,000+ members 

STAMMA website  



Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps  

UCU condemns ‘baffling’ dismissal of University of Sussex lecturer (25 Aug) – UCU has today condemned plans by the University of Sussex to make a member of teaching staff redundant after having advertised a new permanent post that includes all his current duties. Philosopher Lecturer James Furner has been employed at the university on consecutive fixed term part-time contracts since 2021, but on 22 August the university wrote to him to say that his employment will come to an end this month. Yet on July 7 it advertised a new full-time post of Lecturer in Philosophy stating that the post-holder ‘will be expected’ to teach the same four undergraduate modules that James taught in 2022-3. A petition has been launched in protest against the plans read more  

Sign petition: Reinstate Anne Howie RMT Activist – Anne Howie RMT activist at Manchester Piccadilly is facing dismissal with no due process  

UVW to sue LSE for disability discrimination and trade union victimisation after sacking strike leader (24 Aug) – “My condition has got something to do with it, but I think there’s more to it. I’ve always been at the forefront of the fight… because I consider myself a union leader” – Geovanny Moreno Buitrago, LSE cleaner and UVW member. UVW strike leader Geovanny Moreno Buitrago, a migrant cleaner from Colombia at the London School of Economics (LSE), was sacked after being off sick with a herniated disc as he tried to return to work. UVW is appealing and suing for his dismissal on grounds of disability discrimination and trade union victimisation. In spite of two expert medical opinions, Geovanny’s willingness to come back to work, his own recommendations on what he is capable of doing, and LSE’s own health policies, LSE sacked him read more  

Support Lee Fowler – Another blacklisted construction worker sacked after making complaints about safety on site read more about Lee’s case  

Felixstowe 4’ protest demands justice at CK Hutchison AGM (18 May) read more  

UK facing taps and pipes shortage as Warrington based GXO drivers strike over sacking of Unite rep (12 May) read more  

Protest as Hackney Unison chair amongst those handed compulsory redundancies in libraries shake-up: 6pm Wednesday 17th May Hackney Town Hall Read more on Hackney Citizen website  

#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement   

Construction blacklisting: Evidence sought in union officials’ collusion inquiry (11 Apr) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, is stepping up its search for information into the possible collusion by trade union officials into the blacklisting of construction workers. In April 2022 Unite established an independent inquiry into allegations that some union officials may have colluded with the blacklisting of construction workers. Unite has instructed a legal team of Nick Randall KC (Matrix Chambers), John Carl Townsend (33 Chancery Lane Chambers) and Paul Heron from (Public Interest Law Centre), to examine and investigate whether any union officials from Unite or its predecessor unions (T&G, UCATT, Amicus, AEEU or MSF), were involved in the blacklisting of construction workers. The inquiry is now entering its next stage and an online portal has been launched to allow anyone who has any information relating to the inquiry to submit information read more  

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/blacklist-SG/   

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   


Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. You can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK. Also, check out Organise Now! – Support for new worker organising.   



Québec: Support unions’ call for dialogue and negotiations read more




27 TUC demonstration in Cheltenham against the MSL anti-union legislation on 40th anniversary of banning trade rights at GCHQ – assemble 12noon Montpellier Gardens  


22 NSSN Conference 2024 – 11am Conway Hall, Holborn, London 



PHONE 07952 283 558  

EMAIL mailto:[email protected]   


TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts   


ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE