NSSN 668: After Welsh #SaveOurSteel demos, steel unions ballot for action

Last Saturday, the NSSN marched alongside steel unions Unite, Community and GMB and hundreds of steelworkers and their families and supporters in Port Talbot and Newport.

The demonstrations were called against Tata Steel intention to make 75% of the 4,000-strong Port Talbot workforce redundant. This would also result in thousands more losing their jobs at other Tata steel plants, contracting companies, and threaten related jobs such as on the rails and the wider local economy.

From the rally platforms, union general secretaries Sharon Graham Unite and Roy Rickhuss Community announced industrial action ballots in opposition to the jobs massacre.

The NSSN stands in solidarity with steelworkers and their unions and will support any action that they take. And as we did in 2016, when the steelworks were under the same threat, we continue to demand the works be nationalised to save jobs and working-class communities. We will support and publicise all demonstrations, protests and industrial action called to save steel jobs and defend communities, in Port Talbot and in other steelmaking areas.

Unite leader Sharon Graham’s speech at Port Talbot steel rally (17 Feb)

Unite announces strike ballot dates for 1,500 steel workers at Tata (16 Feb) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents over a thousand members at the Port Talbot steel works has announced that it will begin the balloting process for industrial action on St Davids Day (Friday 1 March). Unite will formally notify Tata of its intention to ballot for industrial action, on Friday 1 March, with the ballot opening on Friday 8 March and closing on Tuesday 9 April. Industrial action could therefore begin before the end of April. The industrial action ballot is a direct result of the announcement last month by Tata that it intends to close its blast furnaces at Port Talbot with the loss of 2,800 jobs, primarily at Port Talbot but also at its Llanwern operation. Unite has secured investment from Labour for the site, so Tata’s actions are incomprehensible, with this investment around the corner. Unite will be balloting approximately 1,500 of its members read more

Community: Rallies for steel in Newport and Port Talbot (17 Feb) – Today steelworkers marched in Port Talbot and Llanwern in a show of support for our industry – and to oppose the bad deal for steel proposed by Tata and the UK Government read more

Community confirms intent to ballot for industrial action over Tata job cuts (16 Feb) – Senior Community officials have today passed a resolution to ballot for industrial action in response to the threat of job losses at Port Talbot and downstream Tata sites. The resolution, which was agreed at a meeting of 40 Community representatives from across the country today, gives the union the formal mandate to ballot its members on strike action. Community represents more steelworkers than any other union, including the vast majority of workers impacted by Tata’s decarbonisation plans read more

Community: South Wales steelworkers to take to the streets this weekend (15 Feb)

Don’t sack UK Steel – Port Talbot: demonstration against job cuts at Tata Steel (called by Unite) – 1pm-2pm Wednesday 28th February Jobcentre Plus, 64-66 Station Road, Port Talbot SA13 1LX  Facebook event

Sign the petition: https://surveys.unitetheunion.org/233412289055859

Fight the Tory attack on our #RightToStrike

About 5,000 trade unionists marched in Cheltenham on 27th January in opposition to the new Tory anti-union Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 (MSL), and to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Thatcher’s banning of union rights at GCHQ in the town.

It was just days after the U-turn by the state-owned LNER train operating company that was reported to have signalled its intention to have used the MSL against ASLEF. The union had reacted to this threat by putting in 5 additional strike days. This apparent retreat was a defeat not only for LNER bosses but for Sunak’s Tory Government.

It showed that workers’ action can smash this vicious Tory attack on our right to strike.

It is now vital that the statement that was passed at the Special TUC Congress in December – setting out a campaign of defiance and non-compliance – is implemented and built upon:-

  • 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 and now needs to be enacted.

Stop the attack on Gaza 

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

See Stop the War website for info on protests.

  • Rally to Stop the Genocide: Demand MPs vote for a #CeasefireNow as they vote in Parliament – Weds 21 Feb 5pm, Old Palace Yard, Parliament, London
  • Workplace day of action in support of Palestinian women – Friday 8th March
  • The next national demo in Central London is Saturday 9th March

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, CWU, Equity, BMA, NUJ, UVW, GMB, SOR, RCM, RCN, IWGB, Prospect, CSP, INTO (Ireland), SIPTU (Ireland) and Mandate (Ireland)  


NSSN news  

Date for your diaries!! 2024 NSSN Conference  – Saturday 22nd June, 11am-4.30pm, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

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

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

Or you can pay by cheque to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ and post to NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE.   

Feel free to use this affiliation letter.    

And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Katrine on [email protected]   

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

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

(2) represent social care workers for a trade union  

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

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


Union News  

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RMT National Dispute Fund  

Gateline workers at Northern to take strike action (19 Feb) – Contracted out gateline workers at Northern will take strike action this week in a dispute over pay. Strike action will take place from Wednesday just after midnight for 48 hours. RMT is also wants to see the ending of zero hours contracts and the removal of the Timegate app which has failed to accurately calculate pay and leave allowance. Carlisle Support Services who runs the contract for gateline workers at Northern do not provide sick pay, holiday pay and provide significantly lower wages to their staff compared with the rest of Northern read more

Hitachi Rail strike spreads from East Coast to Great Western Mainline (17 Feb) – RMT members at Hitachi Rail will take 48 hours strike action at the end of the month over a pay dispute. Workers who maintain rolling stock and the signalling system will take the stoppages between Thursday 29 February and March 2. The depots that will be taking action are the London North Pole, Doncaster Train Maintenance and Bounds Green and Craigentinny Train Maintenance. Hundreds of workers will join the action which follows a referendum where Hitachi workers rejected a pay offer from the private company. Strike action will now be taking place on depots on the East Coast and West Coast mainlines read more

London Overground strikes suspended after progress (15 Feb) – Workers have suspended their strike next week on London Overground, after the union received an improved pay offer. RMT members working for Arriva Rail London on London Overground were due to take strike action on Monday and Tuesday. An e-referendum on the new improved offer will begin next week read more

RMT win pay rise on London Underground (15 Feb) – Tube union, RMT secured a pay rise on LU following threats of mass strike action. Representing around 10,000 members on the network, the lowest paid will see their wages rise by between 8-10%. Other workers will see a 5% rise with consolidated payments of £1000. Those members on less than £40,000 will get an additional consolidated payment. RMT also secured progress towards enhanced travel facilities on national rail services. The union will be seeking to address the pay bands issue and review of additional travel benefits for staff will be setup as part of 2024 pay discussions read more

RMT marks 20 years since Tebay disaster (14 Feb) – Railway union, RMT will remember and pay tribute to workers who lost their lives in the Tebay disaster 20 years ago, at ceremony on Thursday. During a night shift, an out of control 16-tonne steel wagon rolled down the West Coast Main Line reaching speeds of 40 mph before colliding with several track workers. Four RMT members tragically died and another 5 were injured in the collision read more

RMT shows support for Wiveliscombe and Dulverton Bus Rally (13 Feb) – Transport workers union, RMT will join Somerset bus campaigners this weekend, in a bid to halt swingeing cuts to vital routes. Following the successful demonstration in Yeovil last weekend, Somerset Bus Partnership have organised a rally for Saturday 17th February to oppose the significant service reductions on the 25 bus route read more

ASLEF announces strikes on LNER and Northern trains (14 Feb) –
ASLEF, the train drivers’ trade union, has announced strikes and an overtime ban at two train companies – LNER and Northern – for their persistent failure to comply with existing agreements. ASLEF, the train drivers’ trade union, has announced strikes and an overtime ban at two train companies – LNER and Northern – for their persistent failure to comply with existing agreements. Members at LNER will take strike action on Friday 1 March for a failure by the company to adhere to the machinery of negotiation (‘regarding London North Eastern Railway’s abrogation of the diagramming and rostering agreements, and continued failure to adhere to the agreed bargaining machinery’). Members at Northern will also take strike action on Friday 1 March for a failure by the company to adhere to existing agreements. And members will take action short of a strike (a ban on non-contractual overtime) on LNER and Northern from Thursday 29 February to Saturday 2 March read more


TSSA to ballot London Underground members (19 Feb) – TSSA rail union is set to ballot members working as Customer Service Managers (CSM) at London Underground. TSSA rail union is set to ballot members working as Customer Service Managers (CSM) at London Underground in a dispute about changes to working practices. TSSA members are extremely concerned about London Underground’s ‘Station Changes’ proposals which will dramatically reduce the number of CSM roles, changing their terms and conditions, pay and potentially work locations. TSSA has been to ACAS to try and resolve the dispute and to seek assurances regarding the proposed changes. When the dispute was not resolved through these channels TSSA was left with no option but to ballot for industrial action. Ballot papers will be sent to TSSA members on 22 February and must be returned by 7 March. TSSA are encouraging members to Vote Yes to “strike action” and “action short of strike action” read more


Sullom Voe oil terminal workers celebrate wage win (20 Feb) – Unite secures 9% wage increase backdated to April last year as part of three year deal. Unite the union can confirm today (20 February) that its Equans FM members working at Sullom Voe oil terminal in the Shetland Islands have accepted an improved wage offer. Around 30 key workers overwhelmingly voted to accept a wage offer negotiated by Unite over three years. The terminal workers are now set to receive a nine per cent wage uplift backdated to April 2023. The union has further secured an inflation plus deal for 2024. This consists of the RPI rate plus an additional 2.5 per cent, and for 2025 a similar deal will ensure the Equans FM workers receive an additional two per cent on top of the inflation rate at the pay anniversary date in April. The terminal workers covered by the pay deal includes control room, electrical, mechanical and field operators read more

Strike action at Newtownards factory to severely impact Lakeland dairies profits (19 Feb) – Workers determined to defend £1 pay an hour differential between skilled grades and bare legal minimum. Strike will bring production to a standstill. Unite the union members working at LE Pritchitt & Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lakeland Dairies, which operates the company’s Global Logistics Centre in Newtownards will take a first week of strike action (beginning on Wednesday 21 February) in a mounting pay dispute. Negotiations ended last week without agreement after management refused to provide an increase which maintained a £1 an hour pay differential with the minimum wage for fully trained production operators read more

LE Pritchitt & Co Limited workers in Newtownards to strike in pay dispute (13 Feb)

Govt’s fire and rehire code of conduct a ‘bad joke’ (19 Feb) – Commenting on the government’s new code of conduct on fire and rehire, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Fire and rehire is an abhorrent practice used by the worst of the worst to attack their own workers. It should obviously be against the law, with serious penalties attached. The idea that a ‘code of conduct’ is going to stop employers like P&O from doing this is just a bad joke. But let me make it clear, any employers considering using ‘fire and rehire’ against my members should know that they will be taking on the whole of Unite with all of our resources and industrial power.” Read more

M25 disruption looms as road maintenance workers ballot for strike (19 Feb) – Balfour Beatty workers angry over profitable firm’s below inflation pay offer. Around 150 M25 maintenance workers employed by Balfour Beatty are being balloted for strike action over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday). The workers, who are responsible for the maintenance of the entire M25, are angry at Balfour Beatty’s pay offer of 3.4 per cent. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 4.9 per cent this is a real terms pay cut. Increasing tensions, is the fact that the workers also received a below inflation pay rise last year. Balfour Beatty’s latest financial report said the company brought in revenues of £4.5 billion during the first half of 2023, with underlying profits increasing by 12 per cent to £95 million…The workers will begin balloting this week and the vote will close on 12 March, with industrial action expected soon after read more

Growing fears that Stormont financial package provides nothing to resolve pay dispute of low paid school support workers (18 Feb) – Unite warns that if there is nothing on the table for a pay and grading review, further strike action is a certainty. Unite the union has written to finance minister Caoimhe Archibald to clarify whether her £688 million public sector pay package makes any provision for a six-year overdue pay and grading review sought by striking education workers. The union warned that if there was nothing on the table for low-paid school support staff responsible for the care and safety of special educational needs (SEN) children then a return to strike action was a certainty. The union represents education workers across a variety of low-paid positions including classroom assistants, bus drivers, bus escorts, catering, admin and other school support staff. Pay rates in 2023-24 for workers who provide personal care to SEN children, including on occasion having to conduct medical and life-saving procedures, can be as low as £11.92 an hour. A recent Unite survey highlighted the huge financial pressures resulting from poor pay. In 2018 the UK-wide NJC pay body instructed a pay and grading review to be delivered to address the mismatch between responsibilities and pay as well as equality concerns for the overwhelmingly female workforce. In the intervening six years consecutive Stormont executives have failed to deliver this review. Education workers in Unite, have been forced to take strike action repeatedly with the aim of securing funding needed for the pay and grading review, to help address low pay, retention issues and the associated staffing crisis read more

Further strike action unavoidable unless budget addresses low-pay crisis in Northern Ireland school support staffing (15 Feb) – 95% of school support workers say that there are regular or occasional staffing shortages in their place of work. Unite survey reveals impact of crisis on both workforce health and the care of children. Unite the union issued a warning that the Stormont Executive must dedicate funding to tackle the low pay driven staffing crisis undermining school support services. In recent months, Unite membership has taken repeated strike action over low pay. A Unite survey completed by over 500 classroom assistants, transport, catering, cleaning, admin bus drivers and escorts and other school support staff confirmed the scale of the staffing crisis read more

Unite leader Sharon Graham’s speech at Port Talbot steel rally (17 Feb)

Unite announces strike ballot dates for 1,500 steel workers at Tata (16 Feb) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents over a thousand members at the Port Talbot steel works has announced that it will begin the balloting process for industrial action on St Davids Day (Friday 1 March). Unite will formally notify Tata of its intention to ballot for industrial action, on Friday 1 March, with the ballot opening on Friday 8 March and closing on Tuesday 9 April. Industrial action could therefore begin before the end of April. The industrial action ballot is a direct result of the announcement last month by Tata that it intends to close its blast furnaces at Port Talbot with the loss of 2,800 jobs, primarily at Port Talbot but also at its Llanwern operation. Unite has secured investment from Labour for the site, so Tata’s actions are incomprehensible, with this investment around the corner. Unite will be balloting approximately 1,500 of its members read more

UK’s recession shows government has broken the economy says Unite (15 Feb) – Responding to the news that the UK has entered  a technical recession and that the chancellor Jeremy Hunt is considering further public sector spending cuts in next month’s budget, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Today’s GDP figures demonstrate that this government’s economic mismanagement has broken the economy for normal people. The public remain gripped in a cost of living crisis, inflation hasn’t been brought under control and workers are suffering under the yoke of high interest rates. The government’s response has been to stoke up casino capitalism, allowing rampant profiteering and unlimited bonuses for city bankers, while at the same time forcing through anti-union legislation to prevent workers securing fair pay increases…” read more

Unite: Centrica profits highlight need for public ownership (15 Feb) – Responding to the publication of Centrica’s full year results, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “British Gas owner Centrica is still raking in astonishingly high profits off the back of exorbitant energy bills that are nearly double what they were three years ago. There is no point beating around the bush: The only way to stop households and businesses being ripped off by the profiteers in our energy supply chain is public ownership…” read more

Unite hails recognition agreement for Mondelez Sheffield managers (14 Feb) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has negotiated a recognition agreement for more than 50 Mondelez Sheffield managers. The agreement ensures the workers, who are in the extended leadership team, have collective trade union bargaining rights when it comes to pay and employment conditions. Unite already has recognition for the engineers at Mondelez Sheffield, where Liquorice Allsorts, Jelly Beans, and Trebor Mints are produced. Members of the extended leadership team were inspired to seek recognition after seeing how effective collective bargaining has been for the engineers read more

Southampton Airport strikes off as Unite secures 10% pay increase (14 Feb) – Planned industrial action by crew commanders, firefighters and multi-skilled technicians at Southampton Airport has been called off after an improved pay offer of ten per cent was secured by Unite. Following successful negotiations, the UK’s leading union, resolved the dispute without the need for strikes. It secured the double digit increase of 10 per cent for 2023/24, with the increased backdated to 1 January 2023. The pay deal also included an additional £1,500 one off payment…Industrial action was due to begin this Friday (16 February) but following the acceptance of the improved offer by members all industrial action has now been called off read more

Unite secures recognition agreement at Sustrans (14 Feb) – Following months of constructive talks, Unite, the UK’s leading union, has reached an agreement to establish trade union recognition and representation at walking and cycling charity, Sustrans. The charity’s 800 staff voted for Unite to recognise them in a ballot last year. The recognition agreement means that Unite is now fully recognised to negotiate with Sustrans on employment matters including pay, hours of work and annual leave read more

Strikes by hundreds of Ford white collar workers on cards (14 Feb) – Attend Acas talks or face industrial action proceedings Ford told. Ford is facing the prospect of strikes across its UK sites by salaried and managerial staff, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday). The company has been told it must attend negotiations with the conciliation service Acas or Unite will begin preparing to ballot its members for industrial action. Offers put forward by Ford for over 3,000 salaried staff and managers have been rejected by over 90 per cent by both sets of workers. The offer for many of the salaried staff is an unconsolidated one-off payment of five per cent of their salary for 2024, meaning their actual wages will not increase this year. Management grades, who have recently organised and achieved union recognition, have been offered a performance related bonus payment, which provides no guarantee of a cost-of-living increase. In addition, the company has proposed changes to the current absence processes, despite acknowledging there is no issue with staff attendance read more

Tara Mines: ‘megaphone bullying’ no substitute for collective engagement (14 Feb) – Trade union Unite, which represents craft and staff grades at Tara Mines, has warned Boliden that ‘megaphone bullying’ is no substitute for collective engagement read more

Unite leader: Earnings stats show workers bearing the brunt of years of government failure (13 Feb) – Commenting on today’s ONS statistics on earnings, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The latest ONS earnings figures shows the government is failing to move the dial. The truth is since the government lost control of inflation in 2021 price rises have vastly outpaced wage increases…” read more

Unite expresses “severe concern” over Capita and civil service pensions (12 Feb) – Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, has today (12 February) expressed serious concerns over the handling of its members’ pensions by the outsourcing company Capita. In 2019, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sold its Fire and Rescue service, including pension provision, to Capita in a deal worth around £600M. It then became known as the Defence Fire Rescue Project (DFRP). Since then, Unite has had to support members, both working and retired, through dozens of pension irregularities read more

Unite seeking meeting with minister for economy Conor Murphy over proposed closure of Castlereagh campus (12 Feb) – Loss of further education campus in East Belfast will reinforce challenges facing communities experiencing educational disadvantage. Unite the union has written to economy minister Conor Murphy to express the concerns of workers at the Castlereagh campus in East Belfast at proposals by the management of the Belfast Metropolitan College to close the facility as a cost-saving measure. Belfast Met currently operates four campuses; two in the city centre, at Millfield and in the Titanic quarter; the e3 campus at Springvale in West Belfast and the one at Castlereagh. The college is proposing to close the East Belfast facility to cut costs read more

Sanctuary housing maintenance workers vote to strike, 100% in favour (9 Feb) – The result of Sanctuary Housing’s London maintenance workers ballot for action was overwhelmingly supported by members who voted 100% in favour of action on a 60% turnout. Sanctuary lead rep commented, “Since we started the union 2 years ago we have come a long way. Over the last year in particular we showed that we have got a voice. The result of this ballot shows how angry members are. 100% of members voting for strike action should be a wake up call for management…” read more

  • Pickets from 7.30am 9A Kingsmead Way, London E9 5QG 29th February, 1st March and 4th March

Staff at Barts NHS Trust escalate industrial action to seek lump-sum payment (8 Feb) – Unite members working as porters, cleaners and facilities staff at the largest NHS trust in the UK, are taking further strike action this month as they fight for a lump-sum payment owed to them. Workers at Barts NHS Trust and outsourcing company Synergy are to strike from 19-21 February in protest at the failure to pay them the lump-sum payment NHS workers were offered for working during the pandemic. Unite’s members at the time worked for another outsourcing company Serco before transferring back into the NHS just after the imposed deadline for staff to receive the payment. So far NHS bosses have rejected their demands and refused to ask the Treasury for additional funding to cover the payment read more

Barts NHS strike protest – 10.30am Wednesday 21st February at the Department of Health and Social Care, 39 Victoria Street, London SW1H OEU

Gloucestershire Lucozade workers to strike over pay (2 Feb) – Over 180 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Suntory Beverage & Food in Coleford, Gloucestershire, will begin a week of strike action on Monday 5 February after management failed to address the cost-of-living crisis. Workers received a two year pay deal effective from April 1 2022, with a commitment from the employer to review the second year’s increase, should inflation exceed five per cent between January to June 2023. The inflation rate far exceeded this but the one-billion-pound Suntory Beverage & Food, which produces household name drinks including Lucozade Energy, Lucozade Sport and Ribena, has not met expectations in relation to this commitment read more

Unite announces SQA industrial action lasting months (1 Feb) – Unite the union can confirm today (Thursday 1 February) that around 400 members at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) will start a period of prolonged industrial action from this month in a dispute over pay. Unite members will initially hold two 24-hour stoppages on 23 and 29 February. The industrial action will also include an overtime ban, a ban on weekend working and a ban on accruing time-off in lieu beginning on 16 February and lasting until 10 May. The pay dispute centres on the SQA’s two-year pay offer for 2023 and 2024. For the majority of Unite’s members, the SQA offer equates to no more than 5.75 per cent in 2023, and 3.15 per cent in 2024. This amounts to a substantial real terms pay cut as the broader inflation (RPI) applicable to the pay award period hit 13.8 per cent in February last year, and regularly reached double digits throughout 2023 read more

DHL workers at East Midlands Airport to strike over poor pay offer (31 Jan) – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by DHL Aviation at East Midlands Airport have announced strike action over a low pay offer. The 180 workers who undertake ramp duties, provide aircraft handling and oversee the tower at the airport, are paid as little as £10.96 an hour. Industrial action was called after the workers rejected a pay increase of 9.8 per cent, in effect a real terms pay cut – as the real rate of inflation (RPI) stood at 11.3 per cent in April 2023, when the increase was due. Strike action will begin on Friday 9 February and continue until Monday 19 February. The workers are particularly incensed as the pay offer is less than their counterparts at Bristol and Gatwick airports received- despite DHL Aviation reporting gross profits of £66 million last year read more

Security guards to strike at London’s Guys and St Thomas’ hospital (30 Jan) – Unite the union today (Tuesday) announced that 30 security workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital will take part in discontinuous industrial action from 07:00 Thursday 1 February after the NHS Foundation Trust refused to negotiate on several areas. The UK’s leading union said that its members will strike for a week until Thursday 8 February at 06:59 read more

Escalation in industrial action at Cambridge University (29 Jan) – Vital workers at Cambridge University are taking to the picket line in an escalation of strike action over the low pay they are receiving and the refusal to offer a fair increase. Despite being one of the world’s most prestigious institutes of learning, the university is trying to force through a real terms pay cut. Workers have only been offered an increase of between a five and six per cent increase. The pay award was due to come into effect in August last year when the real inflation rate (RPI) stood at nine per cent. Unite’s members, some of whom earn under £23,000 are demanding above inflation rises to cope with the cost of living in one of the most expensive parts of the UK outside London. 450 members working in the university library, the department of engineering, estate management, the Fitzwilliam Museum and information services will be taking strike action from Wednesday 31 January until Friday 2 February 2024 read more

Gillingham workers to picket at PHINIA over removal of paid lunch break (26 Jan) – Unite the union today has announced that 60 Gillingham-based PHINIA employees will take part in discontinuous industrial action from 07:30 on Monday 29 January, as the company plans to remove staff member’s paid lunch break. Unite, the UK’s leading union, will be fully supporting workers throughout industrial action with the first strike beginning on Monday 29 January and running throughout February, with a total of seven days of strikes already announced. PHINIA features on the New York Stock Exchange as PHIN and recently reported a net revenue of approximately $800 million. Now the fuel systems company is seeking to revoke a contractually binding paid lunch break that was secured as part of negotiations 20 years ago…In a deplorable development, PHINIA has threatened to fire and rehire the entire workforce to try to force through its planned change read more

Mid Ulster District Council Leisure workers to continue all-out strike for improved coaching payments (26 Jan) – Strike by leisure workers continues at both Cookstown and Greenvale Leisure Centres. Approximately 30 members of Unite the union employed at both Cookstown Leisure Centre and Greenvale Leisure Centre are taking strike action in demand of improved payments for coaching duties. The all-out (indefinite) strike commenced on Monday [22 January] and in the absence of movement by council management is set to continue into a second week. The industrial action follows a ballot of the workers which returned an 80 per cent mandate for strike action. The workers are seeking improved payments for coaching duties which are outside their standard contract of employment read more

Offshore working rota disputes widen to cover chemists, heating and ventilation engineers (23 Jan) – Unite the union confirmed today (Tuesday 23 January) that it is balloting over 50 members in the offshore sector including chemists, heating and ventilation engineers. The union is holding industrial action ballots at IES Callenberg and SGS UK Limited for the failure by both companies to improve the jobs, terms and conditions of the workforce. The IES Callenberg dispute involves over 40 offshore workers who provide heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services on offshore platforms operated by BP, TAQA, CNR, Repsol, Serica and CNOOC. Chemists who provide services to the offshore oil and gas industry employed by SGS UK Limited are also being balloted on industrial action. The dispute exclusively centres on chemists servicing BP’s platforms the Clair, Clair Ridge, ETAP and Glen Lyon. The ballots which are now open both close on 22 February read more

Kaefer contractors resume strike action at Mossmorran gas plant (22 Jan) – Around 90 Kaefer maintenance and repair contractors based at the Mossmorran Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) plant will resume strike action this week as part of an ongoing payment dispute. A 24 hour stoppage starts tomorrow (Tuesday 23 January) with a further round scheduled to start on Thursday (25 January) morning. There will then be further strikes next week and into February. Strike action took place between 27 November to 4 December last year in relation to the dispute. Picket lines will be held outside the Mossmorran plant from 07:00 on both mornings. 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 choice’ but to resume strike action. The union has taken aim at the operator Shell for the impasse stating it is refusing to support any negotiated deal with Kaefer at the Mossmorran plant read more

Bus controllers strike to bring chaos across London (16 Jan) – Bus company staff in London are to strike this week after rejecting a poor pay offer, Unite confirmed today (16 January 2024). Around 40 staff who work in the control rooms for Abellio buses and who control the bus routes, instruct drivers on traffic jams or accidents and ensure overall safety on the routes are to take six days of action beginning on Friday 19 January. Control room staff, who use high-tech satellite GPS systems to monitor bus routes across London, have been offered just a five per cent pay increase for 2023 by Abellio, a substantial real terms pay cut. They already earn approximately £10,000 per year less than similar staff at other bus companies and have been offered a smaller pay increase than that offered to members doing the same job at competitor companies… Controllers, managers and supervisors based at both Battersea bus garage and Twickenham bus garage are staging walkouts on the following dates: 19 and 26 January and 2, 9, 16 and 23 February… The routes that affected by industrial action are primarily in South and South West London and include: 24, 27, 111, 156, 159, 267, 285, 322, 344, 345, 415 , 490, 969, H20, H25, H26, R68, R70 read more

400 Unite members at bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis start two weeks of strikes (14 Jan) – Around 400 Unite members employed by Alexander Dennis will start a two week strike today (15 January) as part of a bitter pay dispute at the Falkirk based bus manufacturer. The strike action will continue until  29 January when the action will conclude. Unite represents coach builders and spray painters at the Camelon factory. The union’s members previously took two weeks of strike action between 4 to 17 December 2023… In December 2023 Alexander Dennis offered a penny-pinching additional 0.5 per cent on its original four per cent wage offer (4.5 per cent), and four per cent for 2024. The pay offer was emphatically rejected by the workforce 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

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

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

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

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

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

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


‘Save Our Post Office’ demand Londoners (12 Feb) – Clapham residents, faith leaders, MPs, councillors and CWU representatives protest Crown closure plan. “Clapham will not take this lying down. The fight goes on,” vowed local MP Florence Eshalomi, in a fighting speech to a Clapham Common protest rally on Saturday, while fellow MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy condemned the actions of the Post Office leadership as “absolutely disgraceful” and was cheered by protesters when she said: “Don’t mess with the people of Clapham.” Hundreds of people had marched to the Common in the latest action of an ongoing campaign to save their Crown Post Office from closure, having met up at High Street Station with banners and placards 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]  

Solid start to strike at National Museums Liverpool (19 Feb) – Saturday was the beginning of eight weeks of strike action, with a massive turnout on the picket line and high levels of public support. PCS members working for the seven museums and galleries that make up National Museums Liverpool started strike action on Saturday 17 February in their dispute with the employer of its refusal to pay staff a £1500 cost-of-living payment. The strike is planned to continue until 14 April. On the first day of the strike on Saturday, around 70 striking members were on the picket line outside the World Museum Liverpool, which was closed to the public because of the strike. Many were dressed in historic costumes to represent museum exhibits, including Greek gods, suffragettes and even a dinosaur. There was music, dancing, and a vibrant and positive feeling among the pickets, many of whom have never been on strike before. The pickets started outside the World Museum and then marched through Liverpool to the Museum of Liverpool at the Pier Head, led by a member dressed as Zeus, king of the Greek gods read more

Solidarity for Liverpool Museums strikers (16 Feb) – Ahead of the strike by PCS members at National Museums Liverpool, hundreds of messages of support have been shared. Over 200 PCS members working at the seven museums and galleries that make up National Museums Liverpool (NML) will be starting six weeks’ strike action tomorrow (17) as their employer is refusing to pay the £1500 cost-of-living payment read more. Visit the picket line on 17 February from 8:30-11am at World Museum, William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EN

PCS submits pay claim to Cabinet Office (19 Feb) – PCS General Secretary Fran Heathcote has submitted the PCS national pay claim for 2024/25 to the minister for the Cabinet Office. In the letter to John Glen MP sent on Friday (16), Fran highlighted that due to the rising cost of living, recent high inflation and years of wage restraint, it is a fact that many of our members now live in poverty. She stressed that “this should be a matter of shame for a government employer.” Read more

PCS goes back to court over pensions (16 Feb) – We will be in the Appeal Court on 20 February to challenge the government’s intervention on pension cost-sharing, which could have cut employee contributions by 2%. In 2019 the government intervened to block the operation of pension cost-sharing, which would have cut the employee pension contribution by 2%, after the scheme valuation revealed future scheme costs to be significantly lower than expected. Last year PCS, along with unions GMB, Unite, FBU, POA and RCN, took proceedings in the High Court to challenge this intervention. When the case did not succeed, the unions sought leave to appeal, which was granted. Our case at the Court of Appeal will be heard over three days starting on Tuesday 20 February read more

Defra four-day week campaign continues (16 Feb) – PCS members working for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are continuing to campaign for a four-day week in workplaces across England read more

Meeting for members working on the DWP G4S contract (14 Feb) – G4S members working on the DWP contract have been made a poor pay offer. PCS is looking to consult with members to decide next steps. PCS is calling a meeting by Zoom for all members working on the DWP G4S contract. This is in response to the pay offer that was made in December by G4S. The meeting will be held on Thursday 22 February at 6pm read more

New strike dates announced at the Pensions Regulator (8 Feb) – PCS members will take 12 more days of strike action this month and next in pursuit of our national campaign and 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 more than seven weeks of strike action since 5 September, finishing their most recent round on 1 February. 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. The new dates will be 28 and 29 February and 1, 4, 5, 6, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, and 20 March read more

DVSA strike action suspended (6 Feb) – Following intensive talks with senior management at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency we have suspended our planned strike action which was due to take place from Thursday to Sunday (8-11 February). Following the negotiations which concluded yesterday, we are pleased to report that we have reached an improved proposal, presented as a full package, which meets the 8 demands PCS members were balloted on. These include members’ safety, terms and conditions and the standards of safety that driving tests require. Our members believe in the quality of the public service that they provide, that helps keep those using our roads as safe as possible. It is important to us that the integrity of that driving test, the safety of that driving test and of the service that we provide to the public is maintained. To allow us to fully consult members on these proposals, we have suspended the planned strike action. Members must now attend work on those dates. We will contact members shortly to outline the details of a consultative ballot on management’s proposals read more

House of Commons security guards to vote on negotiated offer (29 Jan) – After voting for strike action, talks with management have achieved a successful outcome. Last year over 250 PCS members working as security guards in Westminster voted for strike action over changes to their shift patterns. PCS suspended the strike action to allow for negotiations to take place. A working party of reps and management was established at the end of last year and has worked through the shift rosters in detail. The PCS team has worked hard to achieve changes that would be acceptable to our members, and we have reached a satisfactory conclusion judged against our objectives. Members will now be balloted on the offer and reps are recommending acceptance. The ballot will be online and run from 29 January until 11 February. The branch will be holding drop-in sessions between now and the closing date of the ballot to answer any questions members might have read more


Prospect ballots members at Defence Equipment & Support on strike action (16 Feb) – Prospect union is balloting its members at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), a Ministry of Defence (MoD) agency, on industrial action. The ballot comes after the employer failed to meet the union’s pay claim and imposed an unagreed pay offer for 2023/2024. Under the imposed pay offer, the majority of DE&S employees will receive a consolidated pay increase of 3.25% or less. Prospect is recommending that members vote yes to both strike action and action short of strike (ASOS) read more

More to be done to make Parliament more ‘open, transparent and accountable’ for staff working there (15 Feb) – Prospect General Secretary Mike Clancy has called for further reform to make Parliament’s standards processes and worker protections more ‘open, transparent and accountable’. Mike was invited to given evidence to the House of Commons Standards Committee last week as part of its investigation into the House of Commons standards landscape. Prospect represents workers on the parliamentary estate, including those working on parliamentary committees 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


GMB union responds as Birmingham budget proposals announced (19 Feb) – Birmingham crisis demands urgent Government intervention, says GMB. GMB Union has today responded to budget plans announced by Birmingham City Council. The reaction comes as Council bosses begin a budget process due to conclude in mid-March. GMB union members at the authority are currently balloting for strike action over the Council’s inaction on resolving the city’s equal pay crisis read more

Asda faces three more strike votes (15 Feb) – Asda workers will begin a strike vote at three more stores. Nearly 400 GMB members at the Wisbech, Brighton Hollingbury, and Brighton Marina stores will vote on whether to take industrial action. The votes follow the first ever strike of ASDA workers at the retailer’s Gosport store, where almost 100 GMB members walked out in protest at the ‘toxic’ working environment. The new ballots will run from 16 February until 5 March read more

Hospital workers stage mass protest (15 Feb) – Cleaners, porters, and domestic staff will stage a mass protest on at the Princess Royal University Hospital on 16th February. The workers, employed by outsourcing giant ISS, are furious after a pay rise they were promised last year has failed to materialise read more

School dinner workers protest over privatisation (15 Feb) – Angry school workers will protest outside council HQ tonight [Thursday 15 Feb] over the privatisation of school dinners. North Tyneside Council has said it will no longer provide school dinners– instead outsourcing the service to the private sector. The local authority will withdraw from school catering from 31 March 2024. The move will hit hundreds of already low-paid workers, from cutting their hours, to affecting pay rises and pensions read more

Addison Lee drivers seek justice in workers’ right case (15 Feb) – Addison Lee drivers are seeking justice in a landmark worker rights case. On 18 March Addison Lee Drivers will head to the Employment Tribunal to seek a decision about how much compensation they are owed. The hearing, in a case brought by GMB Union with Leigh Day on behalf of Mr. Lange and two other drivers, marks the latest chapter in over a seven-year fight for fair treatment and compensation. There are hundreds of other drivers with similar claims against Addison Lee, whose cases will be heard later in the year. The case stems from a 2017 ruling that classified Addison Lee drivers as ‘workers’. rather than self-employed independent contractors. This decision, upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, entitled drivers to essential employment rights, including minimum wage, holiday pay, and protection from unfair deductions. Despite these rulings, Addison Lee continues to defend the claims and to date has refused to compensate drivers for lost wages and benefits read more

Wiltshire Traffic Wardens Balloted For Further Strike Action To Mark Second Anniversary of GMB’s Longest Running Dispute (13 Feb) – GMB, the union for Wiltshire Council, has called a further strike ballot of traffic wardens opposing the removal of a 10% unsocial hours allowance, that would see each of them lose about £180 per month in take home pay. Social workers who provide the out of hours service are already planning a three-day strike, starting Friday 16th February, over a loss of a 20% allowance that will see them each lose from £500 to £750 per month read more

Brighton Refuse Workers Call For Meaningful Talks To Avoid Escalation Over ‘Service Delivery Issues’ (12 Feb) – Hard-working GMB members at City Clean are frustrated by management not dealing with issues. Brighton refuse workers have called for scheduled talks with the council over a series of service delivery issues affecting residents’ bin collections to be meaningful. A consultative ballot of GMB’s 119 members at the City Clean depot saw 95 per cent in favour of being balloted for industrial action over the changes read more

Dates announced as Amazon workers begin fresh wave of Industrial Action (8 Feb) – Fresh industrial chaos will hit the retail giant next week.

GMB union has today announced that workers at the company’s Coventry will down tools next week. Strike action will take place on Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 February with over 1000 workers expected to take part. This marks the first three days in a a fresh wave of industrial action after workers voted overwhelmingly to back an extension of strikes earlier this year. UK Amazon workers have now taken over 30 days of industrial action in their fight for £15 and union rights at the retail giant read more

Northern Ireland transport strikes suspended (5 Feb) – Transport workers in Northern Ireland have suspended strike action. Translink staff are keen to give political leaders at Stormont space to make an improved pay offer. Despite the re-establishment of power-sharing institutions, as yet the public transport unions (GMB, Unite and SIPTU) have received no offer of negotiations from Translink or indeed any offer of a pay increase. Given the potential for incoming Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd to move quickly and offer workers a pay increase, it was unanimously agreed by all three unions to reschedule the date of the next, planned strike action which was provisionally set for February 15 – until the end of the month. In the absence of a realistic offer the next scheduled strike action by bus and rail workers will be for a 72-hour period commencing on a staggered basis after midnight on 27 February and ending after midnight 29 February. Strike action would result in all bus and rail services in Northern Ireland being brought to a standstill read more

Swindon social workers set dates for strike action (31 Jan) – 19 social work managers in the borough will strike for 2 days a week for 2 months. GMB, the union for Swindon Borough Council, has announced the dates for the industrial action to be taken by social work managers within the borough. A total of 19 union members, employed as Assistant Team Managers and Independent Reviewing Officers (including the LADO child allegation experts) will take two days of strike action per week for two months, starting on Tuesday 27 February. The dispute is over pay, after a pay and grading review, described as ‘botched’ by GMB, has seen their pay and status undermined. The union are predicting that the strike, if allowed to take place, will jeopardise the council’s plan to recover from its Ofsted evaluation of ‘inadequate.’ Read more

Regent’s Park gardeners strike (31 Jan) – Regent’s Park gardeners are on strike over pay today. Workers, employed by private contractor Idverde, will walk on on Thursday 1 February for 24 hours in anger at the fact they received lower pay than gardeners at the other Royal Parks. Staff at Regent’s Park were handed the prestigious BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) award for their work just last year read more

Wiltshire Social Workers announce 3 months of strike action (29 Jan) – Workers in the out of hours emergency service to strike every weekend until 19 May. Members of GMB, the union for Wiltshire Council, have today informed their employer that they will be taking strike action every weekend for three months. The dispute centres around a proposed pay cut by the council, which would see a contractual out-of-hours bonus removed, costing some staff up to 20 per cent of their annual salary. The strike is an escalation of a dispute by GMB members across the council which has been running for 2 years and has seen 11 days of strikes by traffic wardens read more

Defence manufacturing giant Rolls-Royce faces strike threat (23 Jan) – Rolls-Royce members working in the submarine sector will begin balloting for industrial action. The vote at the Derby-based company comes as workers rejected the latest offer in an ongoing dispute on pay. Rolls-Royce is a world leader in the field of submarine technology, as well as being the supplier to Britain’s domestic nuclear submarine fleet. In agreement with the company, any industrial action will not jeopardise the UK’s continuous at sea nuclear deterrent, safety of submarines or operational submarines at sea. Workers will begin balloting on Monday 29 January with a result expected after four weeks. GMB is Britain’s largest union in defence and nuclear manufacturing 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

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


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

Yoga instructors pose a strike problem for unbending council (16 Feb) – Together with colleagues teaching Pilates and aerobics, the instructors backed industrial action as Colchester City Council remains stubborn on pay. Yoga, Pilates and aerobics instructors employed by Colchester City Council are to take strike action later this month after nearly a decade without a pay rise, UNISON announced today. The fitness instructors will walk out for seven days from Wednesday 28 February until Tuesday 5 March read more

Teesside healthcare assistants to go on strike over pay (16 Feb) – Hundreds of healthcare assistants have voted to strike over pay. The workers at seven sites across two NHS trusts in Teesside will walk out over a dispute about staff not being paid enough for completing more complex duties than they are expected to. No strike dates have yet been set read more on BBC website

Support Barnet UNISON Mental Health social workers – 27 days of strike action by Mental Health social workers: workers are now re-balloting to extend action read more

Send messages of support to [email protected] 

Support Brighton & Hove & Barnet UNISON social worker strike

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



NIPSA Report Jan 18 strike edition (16 Feb) – Please see the latest special edition of the NIPSA Report for coverage of the January 18th Generalised Day of Strike Action read more

NIPSA responds to the Local Government staff commission’s trans equality guidance consultation for NI councils and the NIHE (14 Feb) – Please see attached below a copy of the NIPSA Response to the Local Government Staff Commission’s Trans Equality Guidance consultation for NI Councils and the NIHE read more

NIPSA seeks commitments from the Housing Minister to fully support and fund the NIHE (13 Feb) – NIPSA seeks commitments from the Housing Minister to fully support and fund the NIHE as the leading and largest public sector social housing provider across NI. NIPSA Assistant Secretary Kim Smyth has written to the Department for Communities Minister, Gordon Lyons, seeking assurances that the NIHE would not be privatised and that a new funding model which permits the NIHE to borrow, as in other jurisdictions and housing organisations, can be introduced to ensure the future success of the Housing Executive. You can read the full copy of the letter and the research piece by clicking the links below read more

Royal College of Nursing  

RCN demands emergency package of measures to boost nurse recruitment in March budget (15 Feb) – We’ve written to the health secretary calling for urgent action to address the large fall in applicants to nursing degree courses in England 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  


Improving pay part of the solution to stem the tide of midwives leaving the NHS says RCM midwives leaving the NHS says RCM (14 Feb) – ‘Paying staff fairly and valuing the skilled work they do is an important part of the solution to the maternity staffing crisis.’ That’s the message from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) as it submits evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) for the 2024/25 pay round. Below-inflation pay awards and decades of pay restraint are just two of the reasons the NHS is losing so many experienced midwives. Alongside this, a lack of flexible working opportunities and having to work hours unpaid are cited by midwives who are considering leaving the profession. The RCM says real terms pay increases will go towards retaining midwives and will help stem the flow of leavers. In turn, this will improve maternity services’ ability to support and train newly qualified midwives read more


Health unions call for above-inflation pay rise (9 Feb) – The CSP, along with other health unions, have jointly published The Case for NHS Pay calling for an above-inflation pay rise in 2024-25. It makes clear the economic arguments for investing in NHS pay and the need for a funding commitment to support the delivery of the NHS long-term workforce plan read more

Northern Ireland pay talks begin (8 Feb) – Trade unions today met with Northern Ireland health minister Robin Swann, Department of Health officials and health employers to start negotiations on outstanding issues of pay, terms and conditions read more


Government must commit to pay awards after 15 years of underfunding (14 Feb) – SoR tells the NHS Pay Review Body that without fully funded pay awards, UK will face growing waiting lists and a shrinking workforce. If the government does not fully fund pay awards for NHS professionals after 15 years of underfunding, it will face ever-growing waiting lists and a shrinking workforce, the SoR has told the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB). In written evidence to the PRB the SoR made explicit the “acute shortages” in the radiography workforce and explained the need for significant investment to avoid further deepening the NHS crisis and putting patients at serious risk. The NHS Pay Review Body is an independent entity responsible for making recommendations on pay for all staff on the Agenda for Change (AfC) system and employed in the NHS, with the exception of doctors, dentists, and very senior managers read more

Update from Society of Radiographers following meeting with NI health minister (9 Feb) – The SoR and other trade unions met with Robin Swann this week to begin negotiations. On Thursday 8 February, the Society of Radiographers, alongside other trade unions, met with health minister Robin Swann, Department of Health officials and health employers, to start negotiations on outstanding issues of pay, terms and conditions. Trade unions conveyed to officials their members’ expectation that pay justice will be achieved. Discussions are at an early stage and all sides are due to meet again next week read more

Scottish NHS pay deal still awaiting government sign-off (5 Feb) – Agenda for Change trade unions and professional bodies reached agreement with government early last year, but delays continue read more


Donate to support striking junior doctors  

Junior doctors in Northern Ireland vote overwhelmingly in favour of strike action (19 Feb) – Junior doctors in Northern Ireland have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking strike action in their fight to restore 16 years of pay erosion. 97.6% of those balloted voted yes to a full 24-hour walkout that will take place in hospitals across Northern Ireland from 8am on 6 March 2024 to 8am on 7 March 2024 read more

Junior doctors in England announce new strike dates after Government rejects ‘gesture of goodwill’ by the BMA (9 Feb) – The BMA’s junior doctors committee (JDC) has announced further strike dates in England, from the 24th February to 28th February, after the Government failed to meet the deadline to put an improved pay offer on the table. In a show of goodwill, the BMA provided the Health Secretary with an option to delay further strike action. She was asked to extend the current strike mandate for a short period – and thus allow talks to continue with the aim to achieve a resolution for this year’s dispute. Disappointingly, she declined to agree to extending the mandate. However, the junior doctors committee believes the forthcoming strikes can still be called off if a credible offer is made read more

Junior doctors in Wales announce new strike dates in fight to restore pay (5 Feb) – BMA Cymru Wales’ junior doctors committee has announced new strike dates as part of the dispute over pay. In the absence of a credible pay offer to form the basis of talks to end the dispute, junior doctors from across Wales will take part in two further walkouts in February and March this year. The first, a 72 hour full walkout will take place from Wednesday 21st February and the second a 96 hour full walkout from Monday 25th March. The new rounds of strike action follow a 72-hour full walkout by junior doctors in January. The committee decided to announce new dates after the Welsh Government failed to produce a credible offer to end the dispute read more

SAS doctors vote on pay offer (29 Jan) – After months of negotiation with the Government, SAS doctors in England are voting on whether to accept an offer to improve pay and conditions read more

Pay offer referendum results for consultants in England – Thank you to everyone who voted. The results are in and our members voted by a slim majority, 51%, to reject the offer. The vote demonstrates that consultants still have considerable concerns about the offer. From the feedback members have given us it was clear that they thought it did not go far enough and as a result they did not have confidence that pay would be restored over future years. They were also concerned both about the fairness of the deal and about potential changes to SPAs. The results have been discussed by consultants committee today and we have decided not to call strike action at the current time but instead enter discussions with Government to see whether we can secure improvement to address our members’ concerns. If, however, that is unsuccessful, consultants in England remain in dispute; as members demonstrated in the ballot before Christmas they remain committed to taking further strike action, should the need arise. We want this dispute resolved, but the ball is in the Government’s court to make a renewed offer that not only delivers for consultants, but crucially, for patients too, by retaining the NHS’s most experienced clinicians read more

‘I’m voting “yes” to restore our pay’ in Northern Ireland (18 Jan) – Junior doctor Marcus Hollyer blogs about why he will be voting yes for strike action in Northern Ireland read more


HCSA junior doctors announce five-day strike in February (9 Feb) – Junior doctors from HCSA – the hospital doctors’ union will strike for five days across England in February in the latest step in their pay dispute. This follows the government’s ongoing failure to address pay erosion, which has seen junior doctors’ pay fall by more than a quarter since 2008. Junior doctors will walk out from 7am on Saturday 24th February until 7am on Thursday 29th February read more

HCSA SAS members have voted to REJECT the government offer in the England pay dispute (5 Feb) – It’s time for fresh talks to agree a deal that properly values NHS SAS doctors – and benefits the full SAS workforce read more on Twitter/X @HCSANews

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



Parents poll calls for free school meals (20 Feb) – Parents tells Rishi Sunak now is the time for Free School Meals for all pupils in primaries across England – not just London: new poll finds read more


Colleges’ vindictive threat against lecturers is a clear anti-trade union assault (15 Feb) – Colleges across Scotland are engaged in a clearly co-ordinated programme of intimidation against lecturers engaged in lawful industrial action, in a move that is set to further inflame a long-running dispute over pay and jobs. Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland – Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) are currently engaged in Action Short of Strike (ASOS) in the dispute, following a successful statutory ballot, including a work to rule and the withholding of results read more

EIS Hits Out at Latest College Employers’ Anti-trade Union Bully Tactics (9 Feb) – The General Secretary of the EIS has hit out today at the threats issued by several college employers towards EIS-FELA members who will be carrying out lawful industrial action from this coming Monday in pursuit of a fair pay settlement. Despite college lecturers having achieved a legitimate mandate to commence industrial action short of strike (ASOS) in the form of a working to contract and withholding of results from Monday 12th February, several colleges have threatened staff with 100% pay deductions in a blatant attempt to stop workers from taking industrial action read more


Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council PRESS RELEASE: NITC have positive engagement with Education Minister (13 Feb) – The leaders of the five teacher unions that make up the Northern Ireland Teachers’ Council (NITC) met with Education Minister Paul Givan at Rathvarna Youth Resource Centre, Lisburn this morning. The meeting was constructive and among a range of issues discussed it has been agreed that talks in relation to a settlement of the long-awaited cost of living uplift for teachers and school leaders will begin in the next few days. In light of this positive development NITC have decided to put further strike dates agreed in the coming weeks on hold during these talks. The ongoing Action short of strike in schools will remain in place read more

Largest mobilisation of union members in decades to take place for Trade Union Week (14 Feb) – Thirty years since the introduction of the May Day Bank Holiday, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has today (14.02.24) announced Ireland’s first Trade Union Week, which will take place between 29 April and 6 May 2024. ICTU said the week of coordinated events in workplaces and local communities across the island of Ireland will be “the largest mobilisation of trade union members in decades”, with an open invitation extended to all workers to take part. Trade Union Week will mark the culmination of ICTU’s Better in a Trade Union campaign, which was launched this month to promote the values and benefits of trade union membership. Featuring public and private sector workers from across the island of Ireland, the Better in a Trade Union campaign highlights benefits such as enhanced job security, advice and support, improved terms and conditions of employment, and better pay read more


UCU condemns USS for its position on Gaza (19 Feb) – UCU has condemned the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s (USS) refusal to review its investment links with Israel in light of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling over potential acts of genocide in Israel’s military offensive on Gaza read more

University of the Highlands and Islands and UCU sign joint recognition agreement (15 Feb) – UCU has signed a new recognition agreement with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). The agreement was signed by UHI UCU president, Dr Heather Fotheringham, and the university’s principal, Vicki Nairn, after the university’s court approved recognition on 14 February read more

Aberdeen University staff overwhelmingly back industrial action in row over modern languages cuts and job losses (7 Feb) – Staff at the University of Aberdeen have today backed strikes in a dispute over plans to end single-honours degrees in modern languages and put 30 staff at risk of redundancy. In the ballot of UCU Scotland members, 80% of those who voted backed strike action on a turnout of 60%. On 30 November, the same day that the Scottish Government launched its Scottish languages bill, the university announced a consultation with proposals to end single honours degrees in French, Gaelic, German, and Spanish; to end both single and joint honours degrees; or to end all language degree programmes. At the time, amidst widespread criticism, UCU general secretary Jo Grady called the proposals ‘academic vandalism’ read more

Eight days of strike action begins today at London’s biggest college (16 Jan) – Staff at Capital City College Group (CCCG), London’s largest further education college group, begin eight days of strike action today in a long-running pay dispute. CCCG has campuses across London, including in Westminster, Camden and Enfield. Staff at CCCG have already taken three days of strike action in what began as a national dispute over low pay and poor working conditions. UCU has now settled disputes at 60 colleges with pay awards of up to 10%. The union said CCCG is an isolated employer and must look to other colleges and settle the dispute by making an acceptable offer 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

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



Victory for firefighters’ campaign as Avon fire authority halts cuts (19 Feb) – Today, Monday 19th February, Avon fire authority has proposed to halt cuts to 40 firefighter posts following a campaign led by firefighters. This follows the fire authority’s decision made this Autumn to cut 40 wholetime (full time) firefighter posts and reduce fire engine crews from 5 firefighters to 4 across the service. The Fire Brigades Union had warned that these cuts presented a danger to the public and firefighters. Firefighters were joined by supporters at a rally of over 60 people outside the fire authority meeting today. Fire authority members are expected to formalise the decision at their next meeting read more

FBU: Union leader slams “attempt to ban strike action” in fire and rescue (9 Feb)Responding to the government announcing minimum service levels for the fire and rescue service yesterday, Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The Conservative government has announced regulations that amount to a draconian attempt to ban strike action in the fire and rescue service. This is a direct attack on the democratic rights of firefighters, control room staff and other fire service workers. These rules will baffle anyone who has worked in the fire sector. Firefighters will be left bemused by the threat that 73% of fire engines must be crewed during any strike action. A decade of cuts has left many fire engines sitting empty in stations every day. The government has refused to fund the fire and rescue service adequately, leaving fire stations closed, fire engines axed, and 1 in 5 firefighter jobs slashed. Conservative politicians have consistently ignored firefighters’ warnings that under-resourcing is putting lives at risk. This cynical attempt to attack firefighters’ pay and conditions reeks of hypocrisy and will do nothing for public safety.”

Firefighters’ union responds to “authoritarian” minimum service levels for fire and rescue (8 Feb)The government has today announced Minimum Service Levels regulations for the fire and rescue sector. Employers will be able to impose ‘work notices’ to make staff come in on strike days. The announcement states that during any strike, fire and rescue services (FRSs) will be expected to crew 73% of fire engines and other vehicles. Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary said: This is an outrageous and authoritarian plan to seek to ban strikes in the Fire and Rescue Service. The government wants this in place so that it can attack the pay and conditions of firefighters and other workers. It’s one of the worst assaults in the last century on the rights of working people to defend themselves. The Fire Brigades Union will resist this dictatorial legislation in every way possible.”


A POA member Jason Swan is seeking members support regarding a petition to Parliament – When emergency service workers enter a dwelling and become subject of verbal abuse/insults, there is no legislation to record any offence, this includes where Prison Officers are involved in incidents within an individual’s cell. Currently the only legislation mentioning emergency service workers is assaults, where a clear threat to or an actual assault must occur. This was concerning to many as there would not be any method of recording the abuse or any aggravated factor such as any hate element involved. After researching this loophole for abuse to emergency workers he created a Parliamentary Petition read more

Video: Steve Gillan, POA General Secretary interviewed on Sky News regarding the rising violence against prison officers

Political News W/C 8th January read more 

Probation Update 16.02.24 –
Programmes Update: The date for the appeal panel is 1st March. The panel normally have 20 days to announce the decision, however we are aware there may be a large number of individual appeals submitted, so that may need adjusting. The panel will evaluate the joint trade union appeal first, and if it comes out at Band 3, they will then move to the individual appeals in the order the Jes team received them. If an appeal is evaluated at Band 4, the process will stop there. If anyone has also submitted an individual appeal, are you aware you can have a few minutes to speak to the panel re your appeal, and answer any questions the panel may have?

VLOS: The trade unions are in talks with the employers side as to the date their banding should be backdated to and we will keep you informed as these continue.

DASOs: The new manual has now been finally released in its first draft, (last Friday) and the trade unions have received access to it. Napo have been asked to give a response to the manual’s contents. Concerns have been raised in respect of more changes to an already overchanged interventions team.

UPW: A repeat request for people to send in any concerns they have in relation to the new minibus fleet, any health and safety and welfare issues please. If we aren’t made aware of these things, we cant do anything to address them read more



Winter 2024 Foodworker

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


Government agrees to protect confidential journalistic material after legal challenge (19 Feb) – The UK government has agreed to bring in new safeguards protecting journalists from having confidential journalistic material such as their communications with sources, easily accessed by state bodies read more

US government must end its pursuit of Julian Assange (14 Feb) – NUJ members can show their opposition to the United States’ efforts to extradite Julian Assange by attending demonstrations in London on 20 and 21 February. Julian Assange’s hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on 20 and 21 February will consider an appeal against the UK’s decision to extradite him, and a previous ruling by Judge Baraitser in January 2021 rejecting arguments presented by Assange’s legal team on why he must not be extradited. These included that Assange’s prosecution would violate his right to free speech and that a fair trial would not be possible. NUJ members can show their opposition to Assange’s extradition by joining others outside the Royal Courts of Justice at 8.30am on 20 and 21 February read more


Equity responds to Arts Council England’s updates to their Relationship Framework on Political Statements & Activism (15 Feb) – Responding to Arts Council England’s new guidance on political statements and activism, the performing arts and entertainment trade union Equity has today (Thursday 15 February) issued the following statement: “We are deeply concerned that the effect of Arts Council England’s new guidance for funded organisations will be to censor the work that organisations produce and present, and most worryingly, attempt to silence artists both on stage and in their personal lives – especially those working in the activist or political space. The confused statement issued on the 14th February by Arts Council England does little to allay those concerns, and indeed singles out Artistic Directors as being legitimate targets for censorship by organisations…” read more

Equity presents alternative funding plan for arts and culture to Suffolk Council (12 Feb) – Last week (Friday 9 February) Equity released an alternative funding plan for arts and culture in Suffolk, in an attempt to resolve the funding crisis over the local council’s arts budget. Our members have been hugely affected by the Council’s 100% budget cut to arts and culture funding. On 8 February we wrote to arts portfolio holder Cllr Faircloth-Mutton, laying out our proposals and urging him to give them serious consideration read more

Challenge to panto company on their exploitation of workers and reneging on agreement (12 Feb) – Have you had your rights denied by Polka Dot Pantomimes? Contact us. We have today (12 February) launched the next stages of action against Polka Dot Pantomimes, over their denial of statutory rights of performers and stage management working on their pantos and reneging on an agreement they made with us read more

Musicians Union

Musicians’ Union Members Reach Agreement with English National Opera (15 Feb) – The MU has reached an agreement with English National Opera for musicians in the orchestra, and an offer in principle for music staff read more

BBC Singers and Orchestras Update (15 Feb) – A joint update from the BBC and Musicians’ Union on the future of the BBC Singers and orchestras read more

The Damage Caused by a Decade of Arts Funding Cuts (12 Feb) – The MU assesses the severe economic, social and cultural damage caused by a decade of Tory arts funding cuts read more


Rallies for steel in Newport and Port Talbot (17 Feb) – Today steelworkers marched in Port Talbot and Llanwern in a show of support for our industry – and to oppose the bad deal for steel proposed by Tata and the UK Government read more

Community confirms intent to ballot for industrial action over Tata job cuts (16 Feb) – Senior Community officials have today passed a resolution to ballot for industrial action in response to the threat of job losses at Port Talbot and downstream Tata sites. The resolution, which was agreed at a meeting of 40 Community representatives from across the country today, gives the union the formal mandate to ballot its members on strike action. Community represents more steelworkers than any other union, including the vast majority of workers impacted by Tata’s decarbonisation plans read more

South Wales steelworkers to take to the streets this weekend (15 Feb)

Labour commit to investment in steel industry (8 Feb) – Responding to this evening’s announcement from the Labour Party on future investment in the UK steel industry, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary for the Steelworkers’ Union Community, said: “We welcome today’s announcement that Labour will secure the £3bn needed to greenify and rebuild our steel industry and Keir contacted me today to assure it would be delivered within the first Parliament of a Labour Government…” read more

Community renews call on Tata to drop their broken plan for steel (8 Feb) – Community has called on Tata Steel to drop its broken plan for Port Talbot steelworks and get back around the table to support the credible alternative Multi-Union Plan. This follows Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds meeting with Tata in Mumbai this week. During the meeting, Jonathan Reynolds pledged the Labour Party’s support for the Multi-Union position of retaining one blast furnace in Port Talbot until the 2030s, staving off thousands of job losses with a just transition to green steelmaking read more

Landmark Community report calls for urgent overhaul of prison system ( Feb) – Community is calling for a root and stem overhaul of the prison system as part of a landmark new report on the state of the sector which has been produced by leading policy strategy and opinion research consultancy Public First read more


Yodel sale: Usdaw seeks an urgent meeting with new owners to safeguard jobs and protect members terms and conditions (13 Feb) – Distribution trade union Usdaw has welcomed a rescue deal for courier firm Yodel and the early indication that jobs will be safeguarded. The unions are now seeking talks to ensure that members are protected through the process. The parcel delivery giant secured the deal amid reports last week it was lining up potential administrators in case a takeover could not be agreed. Today, Yodel said it was acquired by a new consortium, called YDLGP, which includes Jacob Corlett, the founder of logistics firm Shift, and investment bank Solano Partners read more


Harrods’ hospitality workers ready to strike for third time if 2024 pay promise not kept (16 Jan) – Following two UVW victorious disputes for workers’ tips in 2017 and a huge 25 percent wage increase in December 2021, Harrods’s hospitality workers are ready for a third strike if Harrods doesn’t keep its 2024 pay rise promise. The London luxury store has offered them a pay review with an increase by 1 April 2024, following moves by UVW bar and kitchen staff. A majority of workers and UVW members voted positively in December over their willingness to declare a third pay dispute 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


Find out more about the couriers’ Valentine’s Day strike on the X/twitter of the IWGB Couriers’ branch @IWGB_CLB

Royal Society of Arts Boycott sees major speakers drop out of events (12 Feb) – Today, staff at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) represented by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) are announcing a public boycott of the organisation, asking members of the public, Fellows of the RSA, politicians and universities to not attend RSA events or participate in research with the RSA until their ongoing industrial dispute is resolved read more

SIPTU (Ireland)

Transport workers to delay strike to allow space for pay offer (6 Feb) – In absence of improved pay offer, bus and rail workers will take a three-day strike action at the end of the month. Public transport workers in Northern Ireland have deferred strike action to give political leaders at Stormont space to make an improved pay offer. Despite the re-establishment of power-sharing institutions, as yet the public transport unions (SIPTU, Unite and GMB) have received no offer of negotiations from Translink or indeed any offer of a pay increase read more

Other news  

Sign this petition: To the Right Honourable Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and The Right Honourable Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister – Make toxic landfills safe – Support ‘Zane’s Law’!  Find out more about this campaign here

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

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

STAMMA website  



Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps  

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  

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

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklist-SG/   

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog   

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)  

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt   


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



(From NUJ website) India: journalists assaulted in targeted attacks (14 Feb) – NUJ joins the International Federation of Journalists in condemning violence against media workers read more

Solidarity with the striking textile workers at Ozak in Turkey – read more on Twitter of Solidarity with the People of Turkey @spotturkey




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