We send happy new year greetings to all our supporters and affiliates and our solidarity to all workers in dispute.
2024 opens up just as 2023 finished, with workers taking action against the Tory cost of living squeeze. Amongst these will be junior doctors in England in the BMA and HCSA unions, who after being on strike in December will be on strike for a further 6 days from 7am today Wednesday 3rd January to 7am Tuesday 9th January. Junior doctors in Wales will be walking out for 72 hours from Monday 15th January.
Action such as the junior doctors’ stoppages and others such as the rolling strikes by the RMT on London Underground starting this Friday 5th January are in sectors targeted by the new Tory anti-union Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 (MSL).
The main points of the statement against the MSL that was agreed by the Special TUC Congress in December 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.’ This needs to a mass demonstration to really launch a mass campaign to take on the Tory attack on our right to strike.
The TUC demonstration on Saturday 27 January assembles in Cheltenham at 12noon at Montpellier Gardens for a march through the town centre to Pittville Park A5 leaflet A3 poster
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
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)
Solidarity with the People of Turkey 2024 Conference – ‘Is Erdogan’s one-man rule the end of democracy in Turkey’
10am-1pm Saturday 13th January in NEU HQ Hamilton House, London WC1H 9BD
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.
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]
You can receive this bulletin via email or you can choose to unsubscribe and stop receiving them. Like everyone else, the NSSN has to adhere to new data protection regulations. Therefore you must click here to subscribe/unsubscribe. Reports from unions do not necessarily reflect NSSN’s views.
Tube workers to take strike action over pay (22 Dec) – Tube union RMT announced today that London Underground workers will be taking rolling strike action in the new year after voting by over 90 per cent against a below inflation pay offer. RMT has made it clear that the latest pay offer of 5% from London Underground is unacceptable when Transport for London (TfL) has created a bonus pot of £13 million for senior managers and the commissioner took an 11 per cent pay rise in 2023 taking his salary up to £395,000.
• Engineering train drivers will start action on 5/6 January.
• RMT members in LUL’s network control functions take action 7/8 January.
• Members in the tubes signalling and service control functions take action 9 and 11 January.
• All other RMT members, including engineering, Fleet maintenance, stations and train operators will strike on 8th and 10th Jan.
The union wants to see full staff travel facilities for all tube workers restored and has criticised bosses for freezing pay bands, warning that it will create a two-tier workforce read more
RMT slams rail fares hike (22 Dec) – Rail union RMT responded to the 2024 rail fares hike of 4.9% in England and Wales and nearly double that in Scotland as a slap in the face for passengers. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that the government was presiding over the managed decline of the railways with huge cuts to safety critical infrastructure spending on one hand whilst allowing privatised train operators to pay out huge shareholder dividends with the other read more
RMT condemns Network Rail for ruining Christmas with staff underpayments (21 Dec) – Rail union RMT has received numerous disturbing reports of major underpayments of wages for maintenance staff throughout the country, with many adding up to hundreds of pounds and some in the thousands read more
RMT calls for an end to cuts if rail freight growth targets to be met (20 Dec) – Rail union RMT responded to the Department for Transport’s long-awaited rail freight growth target released today which pledged to increase rail freight by ‘at least 75% by 2050’ by calling for an end to the cuts agenda read more
Working on the railway works for me (20 Dec) – Growing up, I don’t think I ever felt different as such, I was just often frustrated and overwhelmed. I struggled to do and understand some things that everyone else seemed to naturally just do. Socially, sensory, my struggles with executive function, the way I see and process things, my clumsiness, my need for routine and fear of change, I could go on as there’s so many more read more
Support the ASLEF industrial action (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
Rail fares rise is ‘cold Christmas’ from government (22 Dec) – Rail union TSSA has accused the government of offering millions of rail passengers a “cold Christmas” after revealing a near 5 per cent hike in regulated rail fares in the new year. From March 2024 fares will jump by 4.9 per cent across England and Wales, the Department for Transport has revealed read more
London Transport sticking plaster won’t solve problems (19 Dec) – TSSA is warning that the government is leaving Transport for London (TfL) short of money needed for infrastructure after announcing their latest funding package. City Hall has revealed a package of £250 million in capital investment offered by the Department for Transport to invest in new projects next year – half of what was asked for. In response, TSSA, the biggest union across TfL, said the offer was no more than a sticking plaster read more
Strike looms in ScotRail as long-running TSSA dispute deepen (12 Dec) – Rail union TSSA is warning of strike action after managers across ScotRail voted in favour of industrial action in a long-running dispute over on-call working. Managers working in Operations Team Manager and ScotRail Operations Manager grades have voted by 70% in favour of taking strike action, in a dispute on on-call working which dates back to 2021 read more
Sanctuary housing workers balloting to strike – Repairs workers in strike ballot. An important group of London based repairs workers at Sanctuary Housing are balloting for strike action. Sanctuary do not recognise trade unions and have refused to negotiate with Unite members on pay over an extended period. In a recent consultative ballot members voted 100% for strike action but management have not taken the opportunity to enter negotiations. The workers want a pay rise of RPI inflation plus 1%, a £15.00 / hour minimum rate of pay and a four-day week. Sanctuary Housing’s surplus is 73% higher than last year with a pretax figure of £101.3 million with a healthy operating margin of 21.1%. There can be no doubts about Sanctuary’s ability to pay up read more
Unite statement on record Three dividends and Vodafone merger (31 Dec) – Unite executive head of operations Sarah Carpenter said: “The siphoning of record dividends from Three while crying ‘failing firm’ to push through the harmful Vodafone merger is nothing short of cynical exploitation read more
Slough parking strikes suspended following new offer (22 Dec) – Planned strikes involving parking attendants in Slough have been suspended following an improved offer by the employer. Over 30 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Saba Parking Services on the outsourced Slough council parking contract were set to walk out from 27 to 30 December in a dispute over low pay. However, following an improved offer by the employer and with further talks scheduled for the new year, the strikes were called off. If the talks fail to resolve the dispute then further industrial action could be announced next year read more
Oxfam workers celebrate pay deal following Unite campaign (21 Dec) – Charity workers at Oxfam have won an improved pay award after taking part in the first strike action in the organisation’s history, it was announced today. Following industrial action by Unite members, the majority of Oxfam workers secured a six per cent pay increase and lump-sum payments of £2,300 read more
Public transport workers in Unite, GMB and SIPTU to strike over pay on Friday (21 Dec) – Strike will bring all bus and rail services in Northern Ireland to a standstill. Members of Unite, GMB and SIPTU employed by Translink will hold a further 24-hour strike action commencing on a staggered basis from 00.01am Friday [December 21]. The strike follows a two-day stoppage last week and will bring all bus and rail services to a standstill. The strike follows ballots by union members which returned percentages in the high nineties for strike action in pursuit of a cost-of-living pay increase. Unions were informed that Translink could only offer a pay freeze because of the harsh budget imposed on the department for infrastructure by the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris. Accounting for inflation (RPI) this amounts to a real terms pay cut of 11.4 per cent. While the secretary of state has offered a funding package, which he claims is adequate to address workers’ public sector pay demands, he has made it contingent on progress in wider political talks to re-establish the Stormont executive. As a result, the pay freeze remains in place read more
Clyde shipyard type 26 Frigate contractors set for New Year strike action (21 Dec) – CBL Cable Contractors in pay and conditions dispute. Unite, Scotland’s leading trade union, confirmed today (Thursday 21 December) that over 30 members contracted to work on the new type 26 Frigate on the Clyde are set for strike action in the new year. The Unite members involved in the pay dispute are employed by CBL Cable Contractors Limited based at the BAE Systems Govan and Scotstoun shipyards on the Clyde. The workers include electricians, labourers and cable hands. The strike action will occur over multiple days starting on 10 January and ending 27 March 2024 (see notes to editor). In November, the CBL Cable workers indicated their anger over the pay dispute by emphatically backing strike action by 100 per cent on an 88 per cent turnout. 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 involves travel related payments which Unite’s members are due as the Clyde shipyards falls under the scope of the Joint Industry Board Agreement read more
Brakes are off for industrial action at Hartlepool car part supplier (19 Dec) – Unite members at TMD Friction, a car parts supplier in Hartlepool, are staging strike action early in the new year over the low levels of pay being offered by their employer. Nearly 150 members of Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, will walk out at the TMD manufacturing plant. They will take part in an initial wave of five days of strike action (see notes to editors), beginning on Tuesday 2 January but more could be announced. The majority of the workers are highly skilled metal press operators but also include other factory and production staff. TMD Friction produces after-market brake products for high street retailers and garages read more
Unite members at Norfolk’s health trust land pay deal (19 Dec) – Maintenance workers accept RPI plus pay increase; Workers also secured an extra day of annual leave; Industrial action called off as result of deal. Workers who conduct critical maintenance throughout Norfolk’s Community and Health Care Trust have called off planned industrial action, after accepting a pay deal of up to 10 per cent.
The members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, secured the increase from January 1, 2023 – three months earlier than the usual 1 April pay anniversary date – which will see staff receive a minimum of a six per cent increase, rising to 10 per cent, depending on their trade and grade. The last few months have seen more than 10 days of strike action, highlighting the vital value of the workers to Norse Commercial Services. After the company originally offered a pay rise of four per cent – under half that of the current rate of inflation – it swiftly revised the proposal after members geared up for more strikes over Christmas read more
Unite survey: 83 per cent of menopausal women have zero access to support at work (19 Dec) – Unite survey: 83 per cent of menopausal women have zero access to support at work
- Unite survey of 11,000 female union members found that 9,000 women had no access to support.
- Worker being forced to take early retirement due to lack of help with menopausal symptoms.
- Female union reps calling for menopause awareness to be compulsory for employers.
A colossal 83 per cent of women experiencing the menopause do not have access to support within Britain’s workplaces, according to a Unite survey of over 11,000 female members – with the UK’s leading union harnessing the findings to ensure employers follow health and safety regulations.
Of the women who do not have menopause support, many expressed serious unease when talking about the topic at work – due to male dominated environments – with many male managers seemingly oblivious to the health implications of the menopause read more
Construction workers vote for strike action after rejecting national pay deal (18 Dec) – Engineering construction workers based at Exxon Mobil’s Mossmorran plant, Altrad engineering’s Torness power plant, GSK’s Montrose site and Wilton International’s Redcar plant have voted for strike action over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today. The workers, who operate under the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI), have rejected 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 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…Strike action will be conducted in conjunction with other NAECI workers operating at oil refineries, power stations and pharmaceutical and petro-chemical plants across the nation. Workers at Drax, Sellafield, Stanlow, Pembroke, Grangemouth, Teesside Sabic TIP and Runcorn Project Summer Vynova have also voted for strike action. Due to the strength of feeling amongst NAECI members, Unite is balloting even more workers at other sites across the country to join any industrial action read more
Health workers from across England rally at Department of Health in protest of pay and staffing (18 Dec) – A Grinch delivered a signed Christmas card to Victoria Atkins MP, Secretary of State for Health, today (Monday 18 December) to highlight the issues NHS staff are facing. Unite members from the Barts Health NHS Trust in East London, members working for Together Support Solutions (2SS) a wholly owned subsidiary of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and members employed by contractor Mitie based at Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust in the West Midlands protested outside the Department of Health. Unite members at all three trusts are currently taking industrial action in frustration, concern and anger over pay and safe staffing levels. The workers principal dispute and the reason for their strike action is due to the failure of their employers to pay them the lump sum payment of £1,650 that their colleagues working alongside them on NHS Agenda for Change terms and conditions received in June read more
Cardiff bin strikes to go ahead to stop bullying culture within council (15 Dec) – Unite members working for Cardiff council’s refuse and recycling department have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action for four weeks from Thursday 28 December 2023 – until Thursday 25 January 2024. The fresh strike action relates to a number of local issues which the council has failed to address, the most prominent being a widespread bullying culture within the department. Unite members have previously taken 12 weeks of strike action over poverty pay rates this autumn. The new strike action will come at the busiest period of the year for refuse collections and will cause huge disruption to post-Christmas collections across the city. Unite is calling for the leadership of Cardiff council to urgently enter discussions with the union to seek a resolution to the issues raised by workers. Throughout the current dispute the council’s leadership has abjectly failed to acknowledge Unite’s concerns and secure a resolution read more
300 craft workers resume strike action in dispute with ‘Scrooge’ West Lothian Council (15 Dec) – Unite demands overdue payments and COSLA pay rise. Unite the union confirmed today (Friday 15 December) around 300 craft members employed by West Lothian Council will take several rounds of strike action in an increasingly bitter dispute over money owed to the workforce. Strike action will take place on 19, 20 and 21 December followed by a further two days of action on 3 and 4 January 2024. The membership supported strike action by 96.3 per cent, and previously took strike action from 17 until 19 October. The dispute centres on the 2007 agreement covering craft workers employed by local authorities and outsourced workplaces who maintain council buildings and housing. The agreement covers a range of trades including joiners, plasterers, bricklayers, labourers, painters, and electricians. West Lothian Council, to date, has refused to apply arrangements that ensure pay progression for craft workers who have undertaken, and continue to undertake, additional tasks which they entitled to under the terms of the agreement. Industrial action will directly impact housing services and council buildings. Council house repairs will be significantly delayed, and empty houses will remain unfit to be let out read more
Poor pay offer to send GWR and LNER trains off the rails (14 Dec) – Trains across England and Wales could be forced to remain in the sidings as Unite members employed by Hitachi Rail are balloted over industrial action. Over 300 members who work as technicians, maintenance crews and engineers at Hitachi Rail Ltd are being balloted after they were offered just a 5.5 per cent pay increase – a real term pay cut when inflation is taken into account. Workers are unhappy at such a low pay offer in the middle of a cost of living crisis when they perform highly skilled roles that are safety critical for the railway industry. Unite’s members ensure that the trains are fit for service and without their work, trains cannot run safely. The ballot will close on 4 January 2024. Should the ballot be successful, strike action across a number of dates would follow in the new year read more
Greenwich Library workers to throw the book at employer over pay (14 Dec) – Library workers in South East London have reacted with anger over the low pay offer from their employer and are to strike in the new year. Around 70 Unite members are to head to the picket line after their employer, Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), failed to offer a 2023 pay increase that is acceptable and which addresses the cost-of-living crisis for members living in one of the most expensive parts of the country. GLL has completely refused to negotiate with Unite. The workers have had a five per cent pay increase imposed on them which is a significant real terms pay cut as at the time the pay increase was due the real rate of inflation (RPI) stood at over 11 per cent. The workers are experiencing very low rates of pay with staff on as little as £12.10 an hour which is substantially below the real London living wage rate of £13.15 an hour. GLL has also refused to implement an occupational sick pay scheme that is acceptable to Unite members, failed to offer parity with other local government terms and conditions and refused to offer permanent contracts to temporary staff who want them. GLL, a “social enterprise” claims to be worker-owned and worker-led, but has refused point blank to negotiate on pay. This has left Unite members little choice but to head to the picket line. Unite is in a similar dispute with GLL library workers in the London Borough of Bromley. Strikes will lead to widespread closures of libraries across the borough and prevent their use by students, pensioners, children and groups that use their facilities for meetings…Dates for industrial action will be announced in due course read more
Bedford warehouse workers at Movianto to strike over union recognition (12 Dec) – Workers dealing with specialised medical devices and medication want Unite representation. Workers at Movianto, a specialised medical warehousing company, are to take strike action after their employer refused to recognise Unite for collective bargaining purposes. Over 50 workers, who are Unite members, have been campaigning for their union to be officially recognised but Movianto have strongly resisted such moves. Workers voted in favour of industrial action by nearly 80 per cent. Movianto, based in Bedford, is a storage warehouse and distribution centre for medical equipment and medication. Unite’s members carry out warehouse functions such as pickers and fork-lift truck drivers. Strike action is likely to cause significant disruption to the medical centres Movianto supply…Dates for strike action are to be announced in due course and will take place in the new year read more
ONS Wages: No festive cheer in latest earnings data, warns Unite (12 Dec) – Responding to the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) data on pay and earnings Unite the union’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Although collective bargaining is delivering higher wagers for our workers – with Unite securing hundreds of millions through negotiations – these improvements are being undermined by high inflation rates. Moreover, it’s abhorrent that millions of workers are forced to stretch their payslips to simply live, while big corporations continue to fill their coffers…” 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Clamour for collective bargaining rights amongst Capita VMO2 contract homeworkers (20 Dec) – Homeworkers recruited into Capita’s VMO2 contract since Covid have delivered the clearest indication yet of their anger at the denial of union recognition rights that have long been enjoyed by their longer-serving colleagues. Scores of the effectively disenfranchised group attended a special online meeting organised by the CWU last week to gauge member sentiment on the issue in advance of a potentially pivotal meeting with management at which the union will present the compelling case for a rethink 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]
Strike ballot opens this week in National Museums Liverpool (2 Jan) – A strike ballot opens tomorrow (3 January) in the National Museums Liverpool as the employer continues to withhold the £1,500 cost-of-living crisis payment. PCS members at the National Museums Liverpool (NML) will be balloted for strike action this month from 3-31 January as the employer has not yet paid staff a £1,500 one-off cost-of-living payment read more
New year strike dates announced at the Pensions Regulator (22 Dec) – PCS members will take 12 more days of strike action in January and February as they continue to fight for fair pay following the imposition of an unacceptable pay deal. PCS members at The Pensions Regulator (TPR) have taken 36 days of strike action since 5 September, finishing their most recent two weeks of action on 14 December. Due to the continued intransigence of The Pensions Regulator, their imposition of a 3% pay settlement and their refusal to engage further with PCS to resolve the dispute we have notified management that members will take an additional 12 days of action. Members are angry because TPR is only offering a pay rise of 3% while other civil service employers are paying a minimum of 4.5%, with an additional 0.5% of the overall pay pot to be targeted at the worst-paid staff. One member’s pay has only risen by 7% since 2014, when “council tax has gone up by 32%, my gas and electricity by 174% and my train fare by 40%”. The new dates will be 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26, 30 and 31 January and 1 February. The walkouts have so far seriously disrupted the operation of TPR. The branch has increased in membership from 150 to over 350 since the beginning of the strike action and it continues to grow, showing the strength of feeling among TPR staff and their support for the campaign read more
DVSA members vote for strike action (13 Dec) – 90.5% of members who voted said yes to taking action over changes to their terms and conditions. PCS members in DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Services Agency) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action over changes to their terms and conditions. DVSA members have voted for action by 90.5% on a turnout of 59.21%. Strike dates will be announced in due course read more
OCS security strike leads to pay talks (31 Oct) – 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
New revelations show reality of MoD sexual assault (2 Jan) – A woman (X) working at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed the details of the sexual assaults she suffered while working at the MoD and the failure of the Department to deal adequately with the allegations she raised 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
Asda Gosport workers vote for ‘historic’ strike (22 Dec) – Colleagues to walk out at Gosport Superstore from Friday 12 January. Asda faces a ‘historic’ strike at its Gosport superstore after GMB members voted for industrial action today. The walkout will be the first at any Asda supermarket in the UK. The dispute centres around the members’ treatment at the hands of management, which includes wage errors and health and safety concerns, contributing to a work culture GMB is describing as ‘toxic’. The strike action will commence on Friday 12 January 2024 and is at present set to run until Sunday 26 January, with further days possible read more
GMB: Swindon Borough Council leaders ‘asleep on the job’ over social work strike (21 Dec) – First group of social workers begin strike which will last through festive period unless talks take place. GMB, the union for social workers, calls for immediate talks with Swindon Borough Council to resolve pay disputes, as two separate groups of social workers strike over Christmas. The union has been proposing talks with the employer to resolve pay disputes since November, however council chiefs are not making themselves available for negotiations until January. Eleven social worker Assistant Team Managers started a two week strike on Tuesday and will be joined by the Emergency Duty Service which provides out of hours cover from Christmas Eve. A third group is also being balloted to join the strike, the team of Independent Reviewing Officers. The strikes are over a pay and grading review, described by the union as “botched”, which has led to managers in some cases earning less than those whom they supervise read more
GMB responds to PRB remit (20 Dec) – Farcical to pretend the PRB is properly independent. GMB union has responded to todays PRB remit, send by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) read more
Heathrow workers hammered by 200 per cent parking fee hike (20 Dec) – Hard-up Heathrow workers are set to be hammered by a 200 per cent hike in car parking-charges. GMB members working for third-party contractors at the airport have been told their monthly parking tariffs will rocket from £27.19 to £81.05 per month on Jan 1 – an increase of 198 per cent. At least 1,000 low-paid will be affected by the move read more
Northampton’s ‘jingle-smells’ festive bin strike suspended (20 Dec) – Last minute breakthrough saves Northampton from a stinky Christmas, says GMB. GMB Union has today announced that planned strike action by refuse workers in Northampton has been suspended. Around 80 refuse and street cleaning workers were expected to down tools between Christmas and new year, with an over time ban throughout the Christmas period. The news comes after a refuse workers voted to accept an offer to re-start stalled pay talks with refuse provider Veolia along with a Christmas bonus scheme for workers read more
Coventry care home faces strike disruption as union slams culture of ‘poverty pay’ (20 Dec) – Workers at Coventry’s Victoria Park care home begin strike vote this week, says GMB. GMB union has today announced that workers at Victoria Park care home in Coventry will begin balloting for strike action. The news comes after the union accused HC One of failing to listen to workers’ concerns. Workers are furious after a popular local care home manager was sacked from the home after raising safety concerns about the referral of hospital outpatients to Victoria Park. A recent UK wide survey of workers in HC One Care homes found that staff were feeling the pinch of poor working conditions, with 40% of staff considering leaving because they don’t earn enough to live. Around 20 workers at the home are expected to join the ballot which begins on Thursday 21 December with a result expected after 4 January read more
South Wales faces festive Flogas shortage (20 Dec) – GMB Union members at Flogas at Llandarcy have downed tools for two more weeks of strike action
The move by workers has led to shortages of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Liquid Nitrogen Gas (LNG) shortages during the festive period across South West Wales, GMB has said. This is the second batch of action as nearly 20 workers at gas giant’s depot in South Wales downed tools back in November. 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
Father Christmas joins Sheffield women for equal pay protest (19 Dec) – Father Christmas will join council workers in Sheffield on 20th December in a festive protest calling on the council to tackle an equal pay claim which means some women could be missing out on £11,000 a year read more
Gosport avoids bin nightmare at New Year (19 Dec) – GMB union call off strike ballot after employer Urbaser meet their minimum pay demands. GMB members working for Gosport Borough Council’s waste contractor Urbaser Ltd have cancelled plans to go on strike in the new year. Members of GMB, the union for refuse and recycling, were demanding a wage of £15 per hour for HGV drivers and £12 per hour for other operatives and were being balloted for strike action as the company were initially refusing to pay that. Urbaser have since agreed to honour that amount, backdated to 1 April and payable in January. GMB has therefore called off the industrial action ballot and residents’ kerbside collections will be unaffected in January 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
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
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
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 workers – As UNISON members continue to take strike action, the union is asking for donations to its strike fund
Care worker climb down over families shows government in chaos, says UNISON. Ministers could have spared overseas staff weeks of worry (22 Dec) – Following a government clarification that care workers already in the UK will not be forced to send dependants home when they renew their visas or change sponsors, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said today (Friday): “This partial climb down on visa rules will bring some relief to migrant care workers already here with families. But ministers should have been clear from the start. Overseas care staff could have been spared weeks of worry…” read more
Government must ditch ‘catastrophic’ plans for migrant care workers (22 Dec) – UNISON and the National Care Forum warn health secretary of the devastating impact the ban on overseas care staff bringing dependents to the UK will have. The government must scrap ‘catastrophic’ new visa rules aimed at migrant care workers, say UNISON and the National Care Forum (NCF) read more
Government must hold NHS pay talks early in the new year, says UNISON (20 Dec) – UNISON responds to the government issuing pay review body remit letters. Commenting on the government issuing of remits to the pay review bodies today (Wednesday), which effectively start the NHS pay setting process for next year, UNISON acting head of health Helga Pile said:
“The government is in danger of ignoring the lessons from last winter’s NHS dispute…” 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
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
BSO strike ends with protest at the Secretary of States office (22 Dec) – Following 5 days of well-supported strike action, the BSO warehouse workers, who have been on strike since Monday, finished their action today. The strikers had earlier marched into the city centre after stopping to show solidarity with striking Translink workers. They then marched to Erskine House for a protest outside the Secretary of States Office. NIPSA strikers were joined in that protest by GMB, SIPTU and UNITE members from Translink who are also on strike today over pay. The strikers gave a clear message that the economic sanctions against public sector workers must end and that a fair pay award must be implemented now. Speaking at the protest, NIPSA Deputy General Secretary Patrick Mulholland said “This action has been hugely successful, and I commend the members for taking this stance on behalf of all health service workers…” read more
End of year message from the General Secretary (21 Dec) – Dear Colleague, The circumstances in which you are taking your Christmas break this year are far from ideal. Public sector pay and the funding for services has still not been secured but I think you will agree it is positive that, as a result of your action, public sector pay is at the top of the list of the funds coming from the Treasury. Of course, we do not yet have the detail and we do not know what is included in the money allocated for pay, but it is essential that civil and public servants receive the pay rise they deserve as soon as possible, and that above inflation pay rises will be paid in future years. It is within the gift of the Secretary of State to pass the money to the Department of Finance immediately and we are calling on him to do that without further delay. We do not need an Assembly to make pay awards. NIPSA stands ready in all areas – Civil Service, Education and Health – to sit down with the employers and negotiate on the appropriate pay. If that money is not made available, then NIPSA also stands ready to take strike action along with all other public sector unions on 18 January in generalised action. It is right that civil and public sector workers stand up for themselves and stand together on picket lines to fight for what is needed read more
NIPSA in health, education and the civil service to join general strike on 18th January (19 Dec) – NIPSA members across public services in Health, Education and the Civil Service will join with other public sector unions in taking co-ordinated strike action on the 18th of January 2024. This unprecedented escalation is in response to the continuing failure to address the funding crisis in public services and the long running issue of public sector pay. This action is the next step in a series of strikes across public services which have been ongoing for the last few years as a result of zero or below inflation pay-increases. The action is being coordinated with other public sector unions through NIC-ICTU with BDA, CSP, GMB, INTO, NAHT, NASUWT, RCM, UNISON, UNITE, RCM and SCoR all confirmed as taking part in the action read more
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
COVID JN.1 variant: RCN seeks assurance on new PPE advice (21 Dec) – We’ve contacted chief nursing officers in all 4 UK countries and the UKHSA to find out what action will be taken in response to WHO’s statement on a new COVID-19 variant of interest read more
RCN slams late NHS pay rise for 2024 as government belatedly starts pay review process (20 Dec) – We’ve responded to the health secretary’s letter of instruction to the NHS Pay Review Body for the 2024 to 2025 pay round 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
Midwives in Northern Ireland announce New Year strike action (19 Dec) – Midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) across Northern Ireland are set to take to the picket lines again in the New Year. The announcement from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) comes as there has been no progress towards a fair and meaningful pay offer. The lack of a functioning Executive in Northern Ireland means hardworking RCM members end 2023 with no resolution to the on-going dispute to improve their pay. The RCM Board met this week and took the decision to call strike action, saying that it is unacceptable that midwives and MSWs working in the HSC have been left in limbo for so long about their pay as it continues to fall further behind the rest of the UK. Earlier this year nine out of ten midwives said they would take strike action if no pay deal was agreed, this already happened in September and further industrial action is now scheduled once again for January read more
‘Outrageous’ PRB delay in England slammed by CSP (21 Dec) – The government’s late start to the pay-setting process in England will almost certainly delay any increase in salaries for next year, the CSP believes read more
Northern Ireland pay – CSP members prepare to strike again (19 Dec) – More than 1,100 members, working for Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI), are preparing for a further day of strike action on 18 January 2024 read more
Society of Radiographers holds ‘positive talks’ with new health minister for England (21 Dec) – On 19 December, senior SoR officials Dean Rogers and Leandre Archer met with Andrew Stephenson MP to discuss ongoing pay dispute read more
Radiographers to strike in Northern Ireland in January (15 Dec) – The Society of Radiographers has announced strike action will take place unless a solution can be found to current political deadlock. Radiographers in Northern Ireland will be taking strike action again in January, the Society of Radiographers has announced, unless a solution to the current political deadlock can be found. The SoR has confirmed the NI members will walk out on Thursday 18 January 2024, over the dispute with government around the working conditions radiographers are currently facing read more
Junior doctors embark on renewed period of industrial action (20 Dec) – Doctors called strikes as government made no credible offer by agreed deadline. Junior doctors on the picket line outside Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital display a continued sense of persistence in the BMA’s long-standing dispute with the Government. This week’s industrial action will take the total number of strike days this year to 28, after a three-day walkout which began on Wednesday morning after a pause in action of more than two months as negotiations took place behind closed doors. A further six days of strikes are planned in January if the Government does not produce an offer the BMA junior doctors committee feels is credible enough to take to its members. While the committee co-chairs described a ‘much-improved tone’ from the Government in recent talks, they say they had to call strikes with no credible offer made by the mutually agreed deadline – now two weeks ago. In Sheffield, doctors echoed the national message – they don’t want to be on strike and they don’t have to be read more
Wales junior doctors ballot result and strike dates announced – Junior doctors in Wales have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action over our pay levels. We now call on junior doctors to take part in a 72 hour full walkout commencing at 7am Monday 15 January 2024 and concluding 7am on Thursday 18 January 2024. This means you should not attend any shifts starting after 6.59am on the first day of strike action. You can then attend any shifts starting from 7am on the final day 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
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 junior doctors vote yes to renew strike mandate (20 Dec) – HCSA Junior Doctors in England voted by over 96 percent today in favour of continued strike action over pay until at least June. Today’s Yes vote extends the current strike mandate and means HCSA junior doctor members in England will now join walkouts from 06.59am on January 3rd to 06.59am to January 9th. The result, which comes on the first day of winter strike action by doctors in training, is the third time this year HCSA members have backed walkouts over pay. The Yes vote in each case has exceeded 95 percent. Current law requires unions to renew a mandate for industrial action every six months read more
Consultant reform package: ballot of consultants in England – It’s time for HCSA members to have their say on the consultant reform package. The electronic ballot is now open to all HCSA consultant members. It will ask whether you ACCEPT or REJECT the offer. Next steps will be guided by the vote of the membership. If members vote to accept the offer, this effectively closes the pay dispute for HCSA. If members vote to reject, HCSA executive will consider this carefully in light of the live strike mandate read more
|Please find below details of forthcoming action and please send messages of solidarity to the email addresses below:
|Benson Primary School /Birmingham (Conditions of Service) 11-12 January David Room [email protected]
South Chingford Foundation School / Waltham Forest (Conditions of Service) 9 – 10 January Pablo Phillips [email protected] Sandra Faria [email protected]
Canary Wharf College / Tower Hamlets (Conditions of Service) 9-11 January Lucy Preston [email protected]
Bulwell Academy / Notts (Conditions of Service) 10-11 January Sheena Wheatley [email protected]
St Ursula’s Convent Secondary School / Greenwich (Victimisation of Rep)
Sir Martyn Oliver on Ofsted Inspections (2 Jan) – Commenting on remarks made by the incoming Chief Inspector that the return of routine inspections will be delayed, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Sir Martyn Oliver’s announcement of a pause in school inspections signals that the Chief Inspector recognises that it is now time for Ofsted to listen to the voice of educators and their unions. The pause should be the start of a root and branch reform of school inspection…” read more
Ruth Perry – coroner’s report (20 Dec) – Until the changes identified are made, Ofsted must pause its inspections of schools. Following the publication by Heidi Connor, the Berkshire Coroner, of her Regulation 28 Prevention of Future Deaths report, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “In her report, the Coroner makes it clear that to avoid the risk of further deaths, Ofsted must change its practice…” read more
STRB remit letter (21 Dec) – The Government has once again shown its contempt for the profession. Not only is the remit letter late, but it is also completely inadequate. Commenting on the publication last night of Gillian Keegan’s remit letter to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) in England, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Gillian Keegan’s remit letter to the STRB has finally been issued, over a month later than last year’s remit letter and at the very end of the school term. This is despite her commitment, made when settling our pay dispute in the summer, to align the timing of the STRB process with the school budget cycle. The Government has once again shown its contempt for the profession. Not only is the remit letter late, but it is also completely inadequate…” read more
NEU and UCU share concerns over Welsh Government budget plans (19 Dec) – We believe that Wales can and must do better read more
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
NASUWT Jersey members vote to accept pay offer (20 Dec) – Members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union have voted to accept the 2024-2026 SEB pay offer as part of the process for securing resolution of their ongoing dispute with the States Government. 53% of NASUWT members voted in favour of implementing the offer, with a turnout of 62%. NASUWT will now consult members on next steps in the Union’s ongoing dispute on pay and workload read more
NASUWT comments on issuing of STRB remit letter on teachers’ pay (20 Dec) – Commenting on the remit letter issued by Gillian Keegan to the STRB on the 2024/25 teachers’ pay award, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The timing of issuing the remit letter to the pay review body is yet another illustration of a lack of leadership at the heart of this Government…” read more
NASUWT response to the Wales 2024-2025 budget (19 Dec) – Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, says: “Whilst the Welsh Government is trying their best to protect key public services, including schools, their efforts are being significantly hampered by the Westminster Government’s continued real term cuts to funding for Wales, which are a direct consequence of political choices made in London…” read more
NASUWT comments on Scottish budget (19 Dec) – Commenting on the on the Scottish Government’s Budget, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said: “The commitment to maintaining funding for teacher numbers is welcome, as is additional spending to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap and the cancellation of school meal debt. But this isn’t enough to address the rising tide of issues facing schools and which teachers and headteachers are struggling to deal with…” read more
Northern Ireland teachers and FE lecturers to strike in January for fair pay (18 Dec) – Members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union will take strike action In Northern Ireland on Thursday 18 January 2024 over the failure to offer teachers and further education lecturers a fair and decent pay award. The strike action follows a half day strike in schools on the 21 February, a full day on the 26 April, and a half day on the 29 November. NASUWT members in Northern Ireland’s further education colleges will join their school teacher colleagues in taking strike action. NASUWT members in schools and FE colleges are already taking action short of strike action. The Union has now announced a full day of strike in furtherance of our campaigns for a Better Deal for Teachers and Lecturers 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
School leaders in Northern Ireland announce further strike action (18 Dec) – In an industrial dispute that has been escalating for over a year, members of school leaders’ union, NAHT, have announced their intention to engage in a further full day of strike action in pursuit of a resolution. NAHT has taken unprecedented strike action already in the same dispute and will on Thursday 18 January 2024, be joining workers from across education and the wider public sector, in a significant act of protest read more
College Lecturers Urged to Vote in Ballot to Protect Jobs and Fair Pay (21 Dec) – The EIS is urging lecturer members of its Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) to ensure that they use their vote in the national industrial action ballot which is currently underway. The EIS-FELA ballot, which closes on 16th January, is asking lecturers to support a programme of industrial action – up to and including strike action – in pursuit of a fair pay settlement from employers and the protection of lecturing jobs in Scotland’s colleges. This statutory ballot is taking place against a backdrop of a £58.7 Million cut in college budgets, as detailed in the Scottish Government’s own budget documentation read more
Scottish Budget Announcement (19 Dec) – Commenting following today’s Scottish budget announcement by Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary Shona Robison in the Scottish Parliament, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said: “It is important that the Scottish Government has reflected the necessity of funding public services, and has reaffirmed the commitment to help tackle the poverty-related attainment gap. Allocating funding for the cancellation of school meals debt is a very positive step, although it is disappointing that there is no mention of further extending free meal entitlement to older pupils at a time when food costs remain high and hundreds of thousands of children in Scotland are not able to eat often enough or healthily enough.” 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
Full day of strike action planned for January (18 Dec) – On the back of the decision taken by the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council (NITC) to call a full day of strike action on Thursday, 18 January 2024, INTO Northern Secretary Mark McTaggart stated that: All those who hold the purse strings have agreed with the teaching unions that the issue of the vast differential in teachers’ pay in the north compared to teachers across these islands is unsustainable and must be addressed…” 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
Draft guidance on trans and non-binary students ‘punches down on the most vulnerable’ (19 Dec) – Responding to the government’s draft guidance on gender questioning children, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘The draft guidance published today is the latest instalment in a cruel culture war that punches down on the most vulnerable in our society. It offers little of use to institutions that are seeking to navigate complex realities, and it seeks to deny children and young people basic respect. It does nothing to create safe and inclusive learning environments for all. Just like this callous and divisive government, it is not fit for purpose.’ 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
Labour urged to back plan for justice for seriously ill firefighters (28 Dec) – Keir Starmer is facing a call from the Fire Brigades Union to back financial support – alongside funding for health monitoring and prevention measures – for firefighters who have developed cancer and other diseases through their job. In a letter to the Labour leader, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack warned that firefighters had been “betrayed” by the UK government. He said that Starmer must ensure that compensation is paid to those suffering cancer, heart, lung and other conditions caused by exposure to fire contaminants read more
Merseyside fire control strike called off after last-minute negotiations (22 Dec) – An eight-day strike in Merseyside’s fire control room has been called off following last-minute negotiations between the FBU and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service leaders. Fire Brigades Union members in the control room had voted 100% to strike on a turnout of 92% earlier this year and were set to strike for eight consecutive days from 27 December. But in negotiations, fire service management came forward with a revised offer which will improve the work-life balance of control room staff, as well as introducing an agreed duty shift system with a pay uplift of £6880 per year. Staff will also be compensated if they agree to change shifts at short notice. At a meeting on 21 December, FBU members in fire control voted to accept the offer. Formal letters were sent today (22 December) confirming the end of the dispute in the control room read more
Scrapping furniture safety regulations will cost dozens of lives a year, warns fire union (22 Dec) – The Fire Brigades Union has warned that a government plan to deregulate furniture regulations could cost dozens of lives every year. As shoppers gather for Boxing Day sales on sofas and other furniture, the union is warning that unless the ministers change course, decades of safety regulations could be lost 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
National Chair Update December 2023 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
Greggs workers Convincingly Agree Deal For More Bread on The Table (22 Dec) – The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) have announced that their members in Greggs have convincingly accepted the pay offer put to them by the company. The deal was reached after lengthy negotiations between the union and company. The deal gives Greggs workers their biggest pay increase in 12 years and is well above the current RPI levels. In the last 2 years the Bakers Union has negotiated wage increases of over 15% with Greggs, ensuring that every Greggs worker, across the country, has seen their basic pay rise in those 2 years read more
Support the campaign to unionise Samworth Brothers – get organised, sign the petition read more
IoMSPCo: industrial action to begin from 27 December (19 Dec) – Nautilus International has today announced that ferry officers at Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSPCo) will take continuous action short of strike. The action will take effect from 18:00 hrs on 27 December 2023. Members indicated resounding support for industrial action with 89% of those participating in the ballot voting yes to action short of strike, 81% voting for strike action, and a 77% turnout read more
NUJ rebuts BBC chair’s “off-beam” comments on local radio (2 Jan) – Michelle Stanistreet reacts to correspondence between BBC acting chair Dame Elan Closs Stephens and industry expert David Lloyd read more
120 journalists killed in 2023 (31 Dec) – The International Federation of Journalists’ annual list of journalists killed records the highest number of deaths in recent years read more
NUJ pays tribute to John Pilger, who has died aged 84 (31 Dec) – The Australian investigative journalist and film maker was a “giant of journalism” read more
Reach scores own goal by cutting women’s football coverage (21 Dec) – NUJ repeats its concern over cuts to sports coverage by the publisher. Under proposals led by Jim Mullen, Reach chief executive, coverage of women’s football at the company will be significantly reduced at a time where interest in the sport and its popularity among audiences is at an all time high. This week, Mary Earps, England and Manchester United football player made history as the first goalkeeper to win the coveted Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) award voted for by the public. Despite Earps’ win meaning for successive years women have received the prize, Reach is reducing a team of seven reporters to only two for coverage of all women’s football. The union understands that one of two remaining reporters will contribute to men’s football, reducing dedicated time available to report on the women’s sport 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
HMP Lowdham Grange – Update (22 Dec) – Following the announcement that HMPPS have taken the decision to step in at HMP Lowdham Grange in Nottinghamshire, Community officials have met with Sodexo and HMPPS to discuss their immediate plans and how this will affect our members. Further meetings are planned for the new year. During a meeting with the prison governor this week, Community officials Adrian Axtell, (National Officer for the Justice Sector) and Michael Davies (Regional Organiser) received a commitment that HMPPS will work with Community and meet with union representatives to discuss the direction of HMP Lowdham Grange read more
Prices still rising at double the target rate – Usdaw calls for a new deal for workers to tackle the cost of living crisis (20 Dec) – Retail trade union Usdaw is calling for the Government to address the longstanding cost of living crisis, after today’s inflation figures show that prices are rising at almost double the Government’s 2% target rate The Retail Prices Index (RPI) rate dipped to 5.3%, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate eased to 3.9% read more
“They don’t treat us cleaners like human beings, they treat us like rats”: cleaners at the Department of Education poised to strike for a living wage (20 Dec) – Exhausted cleaners, struggling to pay for the basics, working at the Department for Education (DfE)’s Sanctuary Buildings are asking to be paid a living wage, equal sick pay and annual leave with civil service workers, appropriate staffing levels and union recognition. Cleaners at the department took three days of strike action over the summer as part of a mass strike by UVW members demanding dignity, equality and respect. The DfE cleaners, who are members of United Voices of the World (UVW), have given their bosses at ISS UK Limited (ISS), until 8 January 2024 to reply. If there’s no reply, members have instructed UVW to declare a dispute and issue a notice of intention to ballot for industrial action read more
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
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
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.
Solidarity with the striking textile workers at Ozak in Turkey – read more on Twitter of Solidarity with the People of Turkey @spotturkey
UK government responds to NUJ concerns over journalists in Palestine (2 Jan) read more
NUJ statement on assassination plot of Iran International journalists (21 Dec) 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