The NSSN sends our full support and solidarity to the unions and their members on strike this Thursday 18th January
NIPSA General Secretary Carmel Gates: “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.”
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham: “This will be an unprecedented demonstration of the power of workers in Northern Ireland. For almost two years, the absence of a functioning Stormont Executive has led to growing paralysis and crisis across public sector services. This situation has been made worse by a secretary of state for Northern Ireland who has sought to leverage the crisis in the current negotiations through imposing a punishing budgetary settlement. Unite will not allow the livelihoods of workers and the funding of public services to be used as a bargaining chip by this government.”
Defend the Right to Strike
TUC demonstration against Tory Minimum Service Levels anti-union legislation – Saturday 27 January in Cheltenham assembles at 12noon at Montpellier Gardens for a march through the town centre to Pittville Park A5 leaflet A3 poster
NSSN Online Public Meeting against the new Tory anti-union Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 (MSL) – 6.30pm Tuesday 30th January
Zoom Meeting details:-
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85010588852 Meeting ID: 850 1058 8852
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.
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
See Stop the War website for info on protests.
A number of unions have issued statements on the situation in the Middle East, including: the TUC, FBU, RMT, NEU, Unite, Unison, PCS, ASLEF, TSSA, UCU, EIS, Equity, BMA, NUJ, UVW, GMB, SOR, RCM, RCN, IWGB, Prospect, CSP, INTO (Ireland), SIPTU (Ireland) and Mandate (Ireland)
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.
Three quarters of bus drivers say their work causes MSK problems (11 Jan) – Bus workers union, RMT has carried out a survey of its members, on musculoskeletal (MSK) complaints such as back, neck and shoulder pain. 400 bus workers were surveyed with 78% saying their occupation caused MSK problems. 94% said their working conditions could be improved by the introduction of adjustable seating, steering columns and driver dashboards. And 95% said the bus driver’s cabin could be designed in a more ergonomic way with 94% did not feeling they were given equal treatment to office workers who ask for workplace adjustments. As a result, nearly one quarter (23 per cent) of respondents said they had taken time off in the previous year due to back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain read more
From national RMT website: Tube strike averted after progress made in dispute (7 Jan) – RMT have suspended their planned tube strike this week following talks with TfL. Planned action from Monday to Thursday will no longer go ahead after RMT made progress in discussions with TfL today. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Following further positive discussions today, the negotiations on a pay deal for our London Underground members can now take place on an improved basis and mandate with significant further funding for a settlement being made available. This significantly improved funding position means the scheduled strike action will be suspended with immediate effect and we look forward to getting into urgent negotiations with TfL in order to develop a suitable agreement and resolution to the dispute.”
Dear RMT Member: RATES OF PAY & CONDITIONS OF SERVICE 2023 – LONDON UNDERGROUND
Following positive discussions this morning, I can confirm that a fresh development has been confirmed in writing to your Union which will enable a more constructive negotiation to be developed. This includes a significant improvement in the funding available for a pay settlement. In order to enter into fresh negotiations on this improved position, your union’s National Executive Committee has decided to suspend the scheduled forthcoming strike action and all members are instructed to report for work as normal from their next shift until further notice with immediate effect. The NEC will give consideration on the matter of those members who have already taken strike action. I will of course advise you of all further developments in the negotiations and remind you that we remain in dispute until we have negotiated a settlement.
Thank you again for your support.
Yours sincerely, Michael Lynch General Secretary
TSSA to ballot for industrial action over London Underground pay (5 Jan) – TSSA – the biggest union across Transport for London – is planning to ballot London Underground members for industrial action after rejecting a pay offer. Union reps met the company this week for talks, but again London Underground signalled their intention to impose a pay offer for 2023-24 (April ‘23 to March ‘24). The deal on offer – after months of talks – is a pay rise of just five per cent and a plan to freeze pay bands and salary ranges 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
Long running Cardiff bin strike to extend into February (12 Jan) – Strike action by Unite members working within Cardiff council’s refuse and recycling department is being extended by a further four weeks. The current strike action which started on 28 December, was due to end on Thursday 25 January will now continue until Thursday 22 February. The fresh strike dates are in response to Cardiff council’s failure to make any progress in relation to Unite’s concerns on a number of local issues. The most prominent of these being the widespread bullying culture within the refuse and recycling department alongside the ingrained use of agency labour. Unite is concerned that Cardiff council are showing no desire to resolve the dispute, indeed the council leadership have disgracefully announced they intend to attack the annual leave accrual of striking workers read more
Willenhall ArcelorMittal strike ends after Unite secures 26% pay win (12 Jan) – Strikes by West Midlands steel workers employed by ArcelorMittal in Willenhall have ended after an improved pay settlement was secured. The workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, voted to accept a two year pay deal, consisting of a 12 per cent increase and part consolidation of the current bonus scheme. The result will see the workers’ basic guaranteed earnings increase by around 26 per cent. The deal will also contain an element of backdated pay to April 2023 and the full adjustment applying from the start of January – three months earlier than usual. In addition, the workers, who took 34 days of strike action beginning in September last year, will receive an uplift to the annual health and safety bonus of £350 read more
Unite to hold meetings in Aberdeen and Dundee to offer legal support to Stewart Milne group workers (12 Jan) – Construction company placed in administration after workers given ‘no notice’. Unite the union has today (12 January 2024) confirmed that it is to hold meetings in Aberdeen and Dundee this coming Monday (15 January) following the announcement that the Stewart Milne Group has been placed into administration. Unite stated this week that it is actively exploring legal action against the Stewart Milne Group due to its failure to consult the workforce or Unite in a redundancy situation as ‘no notice’ was given. The two meetings to be held on Monday 15 January will take place at:-
· 10.30am to 12.30pm – Dundee – Apex Hotel, 1 West Victoria Dock Road, Dundee, DD1 3JP.
· 2.30pm to 5pm – Aberdeen – the Beach Ballroom, Beach Promenade, AB24 5NR read more
Drax canteen workers serve up more pay strikes (12 Jan) – Power station’s Baxter Storey food and drink facilities now at risk of ‘health hazard’. Strike action by Drax canteen workers employed by Baxter Storey has intensified, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday). The predominantly women workers began strike action in early December over poverty pay and a lack of union recognition. Since then, Baxter Storey has agreed to negotiate a voluntary recognition agreement and enter pay talks. The extremely profitable company’s offer of a one-off payment of £380, however, has been rejected as completely inadequate…The workers began their current round of industrial action on 8 January and will strike until 14 January. A further 14 days of strikes will begin on 22 January, with industrial action intensifying further if the dispute is not resolved read more
GDP figures: UK economy needs “intensive care” (12 Jan) – Latest GDP figures shows country teetering on the brink after decade of economic mismanagement. Commenting on today’s GDP figures, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Today’s figures only confirm what workers see and hear every single day. Our economy needs intensive care as the result of low investment, crumbling infrastructure and a cost-of-living crisis which makes daily life unaffordable…” read more
Unite education authority workers in Northern Ireland announce eight days of strike action (11 Jan) – Workers seek implementation of negotiated pay and grading review to deliver equality and pay improvement. In absence of move by secretary of state, education support staff will escalate their action over next three weeks. Unite the union has served notice to the education authority of further strike dates over the next three weeks. The workers will take eight days of strike action beginning on Wednesday 17 January. Unite members in the education authority who are paid under the NJC scale (the overwhelming majority) will be on strike on the following dates on Wednesday 17, Thursday 18 and Friday 19thJanuary; Wednesday 24th, Thursday 25th and Friday 26th January; and Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd February. The industrial action which will involve approximately 800 Unite members represents an escalation of ongoing industrial dispute seeking implementation of a pay and grading review which will help address the chronic issue of low pay among education support staff read more
Unite secures legal victory for Stoneywood paper mill workers (11 Jan) – £1.2m to be paid out in compensation to 300 workers. Unite the union has welcomed the announcement today (11 January 2024) that the employment tribunal has handed down favourable judgements covering the protective award claims made on behalf of all former Stoneywood paper mill workers based in Aberdeen. Through Thompsons Solicitors Scotland, the union supported around 300 claims against Arjowiggins Scotland Ltd – the company which owned the paper mill – for its failure to enact a 45-day consultation period for workers in a redundancy situation. The judgement covers all manual workers dismissed on 22 September 2022 and in the 90-day period thereafter. Unite understands that the average compensation award per worker is likely to be in the region of £4,000 which means the total award will amount to around £1.2 million read more
Public transport unions confirm Translink strike on Thursday 18 January (10 Jan) – Joint transport union press release: Secretary of state for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris must release funds to provide a pay increase for all public sector workers. Strike action will include all bus and rail drivers, engineers, signal workers and conciliation staff and will bring to a halt public transport across Northern Ireland read more
8,000 members of Unite to participate in one day public sector strike on 18 January (9 Jan) – Workers in health and social care, education, public transport, roads, forestry, rivers, ferries and PSNI to strike for improved pay. Union demands secretary of state for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris stops using underfunding of public services as negotiating leverage. Unite the union has confirmed that public sector workers have voted to join a wider, coordinated strike action by public sector workers on 18 January. Over the next 24 hours the union will provide full details of the industrial action to a range of public sector employers. 8,000 public sector workers in Unite will join the action. The union’s membership includes more than 4,000 health and social care workers, 2,300 bus and rail workers, 800 education authority workers as well as members in the roads service, forestry service, rivers agency, Ferry services and PSNI. The coordinated strike action by public sector workers on 18 January is set to be the biggest in the history of Northern Ireland and is focused on achieving pay improvements as well as ensuring pay parity where relevant with public sector workers in Great Britain read more
Bedford warehouse workers at Movianto head to picket line over trade union recognition (9 Jan) – Workers at Movianto, a specialised medical warehousing company in Bedford, are striking from Monday 8 January after their employer refused to recognise Unite for collective bargaining purposes. Over 85 Unite members have been campaigning for their union to be officially recognised but Movianto has strongly resisted such moves. Workers voted in favour of industrial action by nearly 80 per cent 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
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
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
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
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
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
Justice sought for victims of Holman TUPE travesty (8 Jan) – Preliminary steps have been taken to initiate legal action by the union on behalf of around 600 former Rivus Fleet Solutions employees who lost their jobs without being paid their full contractual redundancy payments following a chaotic and grotesque wrangle between three corporate entities over who was responsible for what 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]
CPS Hybrid Working Update (11 Jan) – The government announced late last year that it intends to increase the number of days civil servants must attend the office. This has also been discussed at recent Director of Public Prosecution office visits, where questions around changes to the Hybrid Working Policy have been at the fore. Hybrid working has been viewed as a positive policy by all since its introduction and PCS views the proposed changes as a negative step driven solely by government and that will affect members greatly without benefits to the business read more
Members at The Pensions Regulator back on strike this week (9 Jan) – PCS members working at The Pensions Regulator begin their 37th day of strike action tomorrow (10). The members at The Pensions Regulator will take action on January 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26, 30 and 31, plus February 1, after being offered a 3% pay rise while other civil service employers are paying 4.5%. PCS membership at TPR has risen by 163% since the dispute started in September. And PCS members are reporting that the ongoing strike action is creating a backlog of work and systemic disruption to TPR’s ability to deliver on their statutory duties read more
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
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
Prospect moves to strike action over pay at AWE (10 Jan) – Prospect members at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) are moving to strike action after two months of action short of a strike have failed to produce any meaningful movement from the company read more
Asda Gosport strike pushed back ‘as show of good faith’ after talks (12 Jan) – Strike now starting next Friday to allow Asda time to respond to GMB’s position
GMB, the union for Asda colleagues, can confirm that the strike action set to hit the Gosport superstore has been pushed back by a further four days to Friday 19 January. The strike was originally scheduled to begin today [12 January] but was pushed back initially to Monday 15 January to allow talks to take place between GMB and Asda bosses, chaired by ACAS. At these talks, GMB put out its position and Asda have asked to meet again next Thursday [18 January] to respond to these resolutions. The union has therefore suspended the strike action scheduled for Monday 15, Tuesday 16, Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 January read more
Response to nurse pay spine consultation (11 Jan) – GMB Union has responded to today’s consultation on a separate NHS pay spine for nursing read more
More than 5,000 to strike in Northern Ireland (10 Jan) – More than 5,000 workers in Northern Ireland’s civil service, education authority, health trusts and transport sectors are set to strike. The mass walk out will take place on 18 January. Workers voted to strike after the Secretary of State failed to provide the funding to address public sector pay a – as well as wider funding issues within health read more
More than 4,500 Stonegate pubs at risk (11 Jan) – More than 4,500 Stonegate pubs could be at risk as parent company TDR capital seeks to refinance £2.5 billion of debt. Gary Lindsay, boss of TDR Capital which also owns supermarket giant Asda, told the Business and Trade Select Committee on Tuesday [9 January] he was ‘confident’ £2.6 billion of debts in the Stonegate Pub Company could be refinanced this year. However, with current high interest rates, GMB Union is concerned refinancing could lead to crippling payments to service the debt. Stonegate is one of the largest pub companies in the UK, with more than 4,500 pubs and more than 19,000 workers, including brands like Slug and Lettuce, Yates and Walkabout. Huge interest payments on TDR Capital’s debts have already resulted in cost pressures at Asda, resulting in cuts in hours for staff, cutting corners on health and safety and a rise in a toxic culture of bullying and harassment. This has already led to a vote for strike action at the Gosport Store, currently postponed pending talks at ACAS today [11 January] read more
UK’s longest chocolate strike ends (9 Jan) – Seven weeks of industrial action will come to an end. GMB Union has today announced that members at chocolate giant Cargill have voted to accept a pay offer from the company. The news will bring to an end seven weeks of industrial action and over-time bans at the company; widely thoughts to be Britain’s longest chocolate strike. Dozens of workers at the company, who provide chocolate for some of Britain’s favourite choc-treats, have taken fourteen days of strike action since late November 2023. The offer will see workers receive an inflation busting 10.4% pay rise, along with a one-off cost of living payment read more
South Tyneside faces third round of bin strikes (9 Jan) – Council needs to deal with bullying and release independent report. South Tyneside refuse workers will begin a third round of industrial action next week. Full strike action will be taken 9-12 January. Workers will put their concerns direct to councillors at the next full council meeting on 24 January read more
Wiltshire Social Workers Vote For Strike Actions To Oppose ‘Fire and Rehire’ Pay Cut (9 Jan) – Social Workers join long-running dispute over unsocial hours pay cut. Wiltshire Council social workers at have voted to take strike action in a long-running dispute over proposed pay cuts for various front-line roles. The dispute centres around council plans to ‘fire and rehire’ certain roles, including care staff, social workers, traffic wardens, leisure centre workers, and highways, to remove a contractual unsocial hours pay uplift. The social workers who are members of GMB union are now joining the dispute, which has already seen traffic wardens across the county take 11 days of strike action. There are 25 social workers who face losing a 20 per cent uplift to their pay through this plan, of which 22 have now voted to strike read more
Amazon industrial chaos escalates as new site announces strike date (9 Jan) – 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 fulfilment centre have voted to join ongoing strike action at the company. Workers at the Birmingham warehouse will down tools on Thursday 25 January, the anniversary of the first ever official strike action at a UK Amazon warehouse. Amazon’s new £500 million Birmingham fulfilment centre opened it’s doors at the end of 2023 and will be the third Amazon workplace to face strike action. Amazon faced nearly 30 days of strike action in the last twelve months, with more than 1,000 workers downing tools to mark the retail giant’s Black Friday event in November 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
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
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
Donate to support striking workers – As UNISON members continue to take strike action, the union is asking for donations to its strike fund
NHS staff need better pay, not divisive distractions, says UNISON (11 Jan) – Pitting different groups of staff against each other is wrong approach. Commenting on the government’s launch of a consultation on the introduction of a separate pay spine for nurses in England, UNISON acting head of health Helga Pile said: “The NHS needs greater funding to be able to offer decent pay for all staff. That’s the way to recruit and retain the workforce that’s needed…” read more
Care changes are a start but won’t solve staffing crisis (10 Jan) – What’s needed is the proper reform that can only come from a national care service. Commenting on new measures announced by the government to encourage recruitment and retention in adult social care, including qualifications and training, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said today (Wednesday): “A national career structure for care workers and recognised qualifications are long overdue. But any attempt to fix the social care staffing crisis will be fatally undermined unless the government delivers the investment and reform that’s desperately needed. Otherwise, it’s like putting a shiny new wing mirror on a car with a broken engine…” 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
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
Generalised public sector strike action 18 January – Further to the General Secretary’s Bulletin dated 21 December 2023. You will be aware that the industrial action taken by NIPSA and other unions has put public sector pay at the top of the agenda in the recent political discussions. However, as of now, the Secretary of State has not passed any funds to the Department of Finance to settle the 2022/23 dispute, or to make an offer for 2023/24. Therefore, as previously reported, we will join the generalised strike action with other public sector unions on 18 January. I now ask that Branches begin to prepare for the strike. Please check the materials you currently have and ensure you have all you need for picket lines. If you need more material including placards, vests and flags, please contact Seán McMullan at NIPSA HQ at [email protected] to arrange collection. Separately can you also please provide the details of your Branch picket line location(s) to Seán by Friday 12 January in order that we can collate locations. If you have any queries, please contact your Branch Secretary or HQ Official – Maria Morgan Deputy General Secretary read more
Information for members in further education sector (11 Jan) – You will already be aware of our sister union the UCU’s call to their Members across the Further Education Sector to undertake a campaign of non-continuous Strike Action, which is continuing from 2023. This action is due to the paltry and unacceptable imposition of a 1% pay rise by College Employers for the past two years. As well as strike days, I understand that UCU members are also committed to undertaking industrial action short of strike on an ongoing basis. It has also just been confirmed by the UCU that it will be calling upon its members in all Colleges across NI to undertake further strike action next week on 18 January 2024. Your colleagues will be joining over a dozen other trade unions, including NIPSA members across Health and the NICS who will be on strike on that same day. You may have already seen recent media coverage with regard to the sectors which will be heavily impacted by this significant day of action read more
Royal College of Nursing
RCN calls for fresh start for NHS nursing pay as consultation opens on separate pay spine (11 Jan) – We’ll be collecting members’ views to provide a robust response read more
Nursing staff in Northern Ireland to strike on 18 January (5 Jan) – RCN members working in Northern Ireland will take to picket lines alongside other trade unions to fight for pay parity with nursing staff in England read more
RCN sounds warning over Welsh government introduction of nursing associates in Wales (4 Jan) – Our warning comes after the biggest review of nursing without any mandate, public consultation, or scrutiny by the Senedd 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
Dismantling pay structure is not the answer to the NHS workforce crisis says RCM (12 Jan) – Changing the pay structure for nurses and making it separate from the rest of the health care professionals would further deepen NHS workforce crisis the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has cautioned read more
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
CSP opposes a separate pay spine around a single profession (12 Jan) – The Department of Health and Social Care has opened a call for evidence on a potential separate pay scale for nursing, a move that the CSP is opposed to 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
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
Doctors begin longest single strike in NHS history (3 Jan) – Health secretary urged to make credible offer so juniors can return to work in England. ‘There is no good time to strike,’ says Rob Laurenson, BMA junior doctors committee co-chair, standing with dozens of BMA members at the picket line at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. However, as junior doctors in England begin the longest single strike action in NHS history on 3 January, he insists: ‘Strike action is the only thing that works.’ The Government has taken a stance that strikes must be called off for it to resume negotiations – while the BMA has consistently said it will resume talks at any time. When the Government failed to make a credible offer by the mutually agreed deadline in early December, this round of action – as well as three strike days before Christmas – were called. More than four weeks have passed since that deadline, with the Government refusing to make its ‘final offer’, which health secretary Victoria Atkins has said is still up her sleeve 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
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: Action Date Contact Action Date Contact Duke’s Aldridge Academy / Haringey (Class Size) 16 January Edward Harlow [email protected] Blue Coat CofE School / Coventry (Terms & Conditions) 17 – 18 January Christopher Denson [email protected] St Ursula’s Convent Secondary School / Greenwich (Victimisation of Rep) 17-19 Jan
Teachers at Pencoedtre School to strike over dangerous pupil behaviour (9 Jan) – Members of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union will take strike action at Pencoedtre School in Barry tomorrow (Wednesday). A further five days of potential strike action are planned on the 18th, 24th, 25th and 30th January and the 1st February. Teachers at Pencoedtre School have urgent health and safety concerns. They have suffered increasing verbal and physical abuse from a small number of pupils. Since September 2023 there have been more than 50 serious incidents of abuse at the school. Teachers fear for their own safety and mental health, and for the wellbeing of pupils and support staff. NASUWT members at Pencoedtre School are now in dispute with Vale of Glamorgan Council over their refusal to intervene and implement solutions read more
Teachers at Nottingham school take strike action over working practices (9 Jan) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at The Bulwell Academy in Nottingham will be taking strike action tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday over adverse management practices which are having a negative impact on teachers’ workload and working conditions read more
NASUWT members to strike over pay in Northern Ireland (8 Jan) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has formally notified school and college employers that it will take strike action on Thursday 18 January over the failure to offer teachers and Further Education lecturers a fair and decent pay award. The NASUWT, along with other unions across the public sector, has been planning a mass day of action since December. The union had previously taken part in strike action in February, April and November 2023. The union had hoped that Northern Ireland politicians and the UK government would have reached a political settlement by now which would have free up enough money to resolve all outstanding pay claims 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
Strike Day Thursday 18 January 2024 (11 Jan) – Members are advised that on the day of strike they should picket at their schools in the morning and then make their way to the nearest rally. It is important that members be as visual and as vocal as possible to let the politicians see and hear that teachers, along with the other Public Service workers, have had enough and demand to be paid what they rightly deserve read more
Strikes on tomorrow and Wednesday at five colleges across the North East (8 Jan) – UCU has confirmed staff at five colleges in Cleveland, Redcar and Stockton-on-Tees will strike tomorrow and Wednesday in a long-running dispute over low pay. The strikes are going ahead at Bede Sixth Form College, NETA Training Group, Stockton Riverside College, The Skills Academy, and Redcar and Cleveland College after employer body the Education Training Collective (ETC) refused to make an improved offer on pay. Staff will be on picket lines on both days of strike action from 7.30am to 9.30am. Tomorrow’s picket line will be at Redcar and Cleveland College and Wednesday’s picket line will be at Stockton Riverside College. UCU members at the colleges have overwhelmingly rejected an offer of 3% for 22/23, and have also voted to reject a further offer of an additional 1% – which was only to be paid for three months of that financial year. Staff have already taken four days of strike action since November (2023), but ETC has responded by offering two “wellbeing days” and nothing on pay read more
Strike ballot opens at Aberdeen university in row over job cuts in modern languages (4 Jan) – A ballot for strike action has opened at Aberdeen university in a dispute over job cuts in the university’s threatened modern languages department. The ballot will run until Wednesday 7 February and could pave the way for strike action at the university. Members of the UCU branch at Aberdeen are being asked if they are willing to take part in strike action and action short of strike. The ballot is being held because senior managers at the university are consulting on a proposal to end single honours degrees in modern languages meaning job losses. In December the university’s senate, the body responsible for academic standards in the university, called for the consultation to be halted and for senate to be given the opportunity to consider the plans. Despite this, senior managers drove their plan through the important university court meeting on 12 December 2023 meaning around 30 people remain at risk of redundancy and face a worrying start to the New Year 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
Union Leader Slams Low Pay in Food Sector at Westminster Food Inquiry (10 Jan) – The union leader cited their recent report, Foodworkers on the Breadline, which showed clear evidence of how so many workers in the food industry could not afford to purchase the goods that they themselves produce read more
Support the campaign to unionise Samworth Brothers – get organised, sign the petition read more
Nautilus wins unpaid wages for Alfa Nero crew (12 Jan) – Alfa Nero was seized by authorities in Antigua due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Nautilus members working onboard the abandoned superyacht Alfa Nero will receive more than a year in unpaid wages following an Antiguan High Court judgement 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
Boohoo needs to clean up its act and they can start by recognising Usdaw as the union for their staff (11 Jan) – Retail trade union Usdaw is again calling for discussions with online fashion retailer Boohoo about representation of their employees to ensure they are fairly treated. Usdaw represents workers at Boohoo’s warehouse and call centre in Burnley along with the head office in Manchester, but the company continues to refuse to recognise the union, leaving staff without a real voice at work 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
Strike Map: London launch of JT Murphy re-print of The Workers’ Committee with Manifesto Press – Friday 16th February 7.00pm at the Marx Memorial Library, London, EC1R 0DU, FREE/£5/£10 tickets
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
Hazards urgently need our support
Many workers were blacklisted because they raised complaints about health and safety or took on the role of a union safety rep. So when our blacklisting campaign was first starting back in 2009, Hazards magazine set up the Blacklist Blog on their website. Alongside our FaceBook page it is the go to online resource for what our campaign has achieved over the past 13 years. www.hazards.org/blacklistblog
Hazards is now in financial difficulty and needs the support of the union movement. Its major funding stream has vanished almost overnight. The magazine and the Hazards centres around the country need union branches or official unions to take out a regular subscription to keep the union movement’s flagship safety magazine in operation. If you or your union committee can afford it, please support Hazards:
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.
(From NUJ website) Israel: journalists blocked from entering Gaza (12 Jan) read more
(From NUJ website) Yemen: journalists remain under attack from government and Houthi group read more
(From NUJ website) Iran: journalists threatened by prison authorities
(11 Jan) read more
Solidarity with the striking textile workers at Ozak in Turkey – read more on Twitter of Solidarity with the People of Turkey @spotturkey
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