162 It’s make your mind up time

Our economy, our society, welfare, schools all reformed, all rebuilt with one aim, one mission in mind – to make this country at long last, and for the first time ever, a land of opportunity for all.” Cameron’s speech to Conservative Party conference confirms that he and the Tory Party faithful minority of 137,000 members, live in a parallel universe to the vast majority in society. Britain may be a ‘land of opportunity’ for the super-rich but it has been on the basis of making an increasing number of people endure a living hell. The Tory ‘rebuilding’ is actually code for the welfare state and public sector reverting to the post-war insecurities through privatisation. So mass sackings and pay cuts for the many and a parasitic profit bonanza for the very few.

The conference slogan in Manchester was ‘For hardworking people’. This is a blatant, cynical attempt to divide those who can’t find work from the working poor. This from a hall full of career politicians, lobbyists and big businessman to the millions on zero-hour contracts!

Yet a few days earlier, a small indication of the seething anger was the 60,000 who marched on the TUC demonstration – a massive turnout for Manchester. It was wilfully ignored by the mainstream media but it should be the platform for the type of mass strike action that can rock this government. The day culminated with a rally in Whitworth Park, with speakers including PCS vice president Kevin McHugh, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady and a number of other campaigners and union representatives.

Kevin told the crowd, to huge applause: “What we should be doing is striking together, against this government and its policies. Austerity hasn’t saved the economy, it’s damaged the economy.”

NSSN supporters join striking ISS workers on the picket line outside Kings Cross.
NSSN supporters join striking ISS workers on the picket line outside Kings Cross.

The NSSN has tirelessly campaigned for the TUC and the unions to call a 24 hour general strike as the most potent form of civil disobedience – to mobilise millions of workers which we believe will enjoy huge support from all those suffering from the brutal ConDem cuts.

But if those unions already in dispute and planning action were to strike together on one day this autumn, it would be a huge step towards this while building confidence and shaking Cameron and co. There was huge support for the fire-fighters when they started their action and the new phase of rolling regional NUT/NASUWT strikes was a huge success yesterday. The NAPO probation workers are starting their ballot against privatisation this Friday; Royal mail workers are in the middle of theirs and higher education workers in UCU, Unison and Unite are voting to strike now at the same time that PCS has been consulting branches on the next steps of their action.

The NSSN appeals to the union leaders of these unions, we think there is a huge appetite amongst your members to strike together in order to maximise our strength. The teachers unions have already announced that they intend to follow yesterday’s strike and the next regional action on October 17th with a one day national strike this autumn. Get around a table together, open the diaries and fix the date. We marched together on Sunday, it’s now time to strike together.  (By Rob williams NSSN Chair & Listings from Arti)


Want to get more involved in the NSSN? Come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organizing or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. contact Rob or Linda on [email protected]

Oct 5 South West NSSN conference in Exeter: PCS Regional Office, Quintana Gate, Bartholomew St, EX4 3BH. Speakers include John Mcinally PCS Vice President and Rob Williams NSSN chair. 11-4pm  (add yourself to the FB event)

Nov 23 Yorkshire NSSN conference in Leeds

Nov 30 Midlands NSSN conference – Unite offices in Broad Street, Birmingham Flyer can be downloaded here.


MORE Union News


Inline images 4

(Pic from Dave Nellist NSSN Stop the cuts Steering Committee-with Barrs Hill staff on the picket line)

Reports are coming in from across the Midlands, Eastern England, Yorkshire and Humberside of a strong and determined response Tuesdays regional NUT/NASUWT strike action.  This success, based on teachers’ seething anger at Gove’s attacks, will build further support for the last of the regional strikes in London, the South and the North-East on October 17 – and then for the national strike planned for November. Martin Powell Davies NSSN  & More reports on Union news & NUT


Unite calls for flat rate NHS pay rise to help lower paid Unite said that the Pay Review Body (PRB) should recommend a bottom loaded flat rate increase for the million NHS workers, cov ered by the Agenda for Change national agreement, for 2014-15.Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “We believe that a bottom loaded flat rate increase would be the best way to help lower paid NHS workers combat the 15 per cent pay cut in real terms they have endured since 2010.”

Cameron ‘lied’ to voters over NHS sell off plans. Len McCluskey at the TUC protest at Tory party confernce said: “ David Cameron has lied about the NHS and continues to hoodwink us about the scale and pace of NHS privatisation. “In 2010, he told the people of Britain that the NHS was safe in the Tories’ hands. But since then, he has forced through a £3bn upheaval – without a peep about this is his manifesto, nor a shred of evidence that it would deliver better care. In the first two years of his government alone, we lost more than 5,000 nurses. In addition to the £20bn of savings demanded from the NHS during the course of this parliament, there was  £2.5bn worth of private contracts dished out in the four months from April this year”.

Grangemouth ballot result is a ‘wake-up call’ to Ineos bosses. Unite is calling on Ineos’  management to step back from the brink as workers at the Grangemouth site in Scotland delivered an overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action today (27 September) in a dispute over the treatment of a trade union representative. Unite Scottish regional secretary Pat Rafferty said:“This overwhelming result reflects the genuine ill-feeling held by the Grangemouth workforce, because of the grossly unfair treatment of Stephen Deans  who has 24 years of loyal service at the site. The dispute has arisen as a result of Ineos placing Stephen Deans under unwarranted investigation reputedly because of issues resulting from Falkirk constituency Labour party, of which Mr Deans is the chair. He could be sacked if the company rules against him. However, it is a matter of fact that Stephen Deans did nothing wrong within Falkirk CLP as it worked to select a Labour party candidate to replace the disgraced MP Eric Joyce. This was made clear by the Labour party on Friday 6 September and more importantly by Police Scotland in August.

Victory for workers against anti union boss at king & Fowler Liverpool. Read More

University staff in strike ballot over ‘pay drought’Unite, the country’s largest union, said that its members’ real pay had been eroded by about 13 per cent since 2008. Unite will be balloting its members for strike action over the one per cent pay offer made by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) for 2013/14. The ballot opens on 30 September and closes on 14 October.

Kent public health specialist ‘freedom of speech’ curb condemned by Unite. A public health specialist working for Tory-controlled Kent County Council, who mentioned that pension funds invest in tobacco companies, has been threatened with disciplinary action by the council. Unite regional officer Ian Methven said : ““We call on the council to withdraw this threat of disciplinary action immediately and to acknowledge its error in using the new ‘protected conversation’ legislation as a tool to discipline employees. 

Unite starts to prepare for strike action at DHL Heathrow. Unite is preparing to ballot its members employed by Menzies World Cargo, who work at the DHL facility at Heathrow, for strike action in a dispute over pay

Low paying posh London hotels face World Tourism Day demos. Protests against two top London hotels, which refuse to pay some of their staff the London ‘living wage’ of £8.55 an hour, were staged on 27th Sep at Radisson Edwardian May Fair, & Holiday Inn Mayfair.  In the summer, Unite presented its submission Hopelessly Addicted to Low Pay to the Greater London Authority (GLA), demanding that the hospitality and hotel industries pay the London ‘living wage’ of £8.55 an hour.

Chorley shoppers urged to support protests against NHS sell off. Unite members raced down the specially modified hospital bed from Chorley hospital,  on Saturday to the town’s market square to highlight the ‘Save Our NHS’ rally in Manchester on Sunday and, more locally, the ‘dangerously low’ staffing levels in the pathology departments at the Royal Preston and Chorley hospitals. Members of Unite in the pathology departments, already staged a 24 hour strike last month to protest at low staffing levels, high levels of stress and excessive hours, which, the union says, could jeopardise patient care.

Catering jobs under threat at Bridlington hospital. After a quarter of century, patients at Bridlington hospital in Yorkshire will no longer have their meals cooked on site from next February, putting 13 catering jobs at risk. The dining room – for the staff, public and the 110 patients using the hospital at any one time – will only open for two hours per day during the week and will be closed all weekend under these plans.

Unite stands by farm workers as Agricultural Wages Board is axed. More than 60 years of pay protection for 140,000 agricultural workers ended on Tuesday 1 October,  as the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) for England and Wales is ‘vindictively’ axed. The government’s abolition of the AWB takes effect today in England. The position in Wales is still under discussion, while Scotland and Northern Ireland retain their own boards. It is estimated that there are about 60,000 agricultural workers and managers in accommodation provided by their employer – and from today, they will also lose their security of tenure.


East Midlands train staff strike action rock solid in fight for pay  justice (27th Sep) Cleaners working on the Rentokil Initial contract on East Midlands Trains kicked off a rock-solid 48 hours of strike action which will ran through Friday and Saturday in a fight for pay justice. Pickets have been out in force at locations across the EMT routes.  Bob Crow said “Initial Rentokil is a wealthy company and the idea that they cannot afford to pay their cleaners on East Midlands trains a decent, living wage is pure nonsense.

RMT demands action not words as top Tory calls for nationalisation of key UK ferry service.Two weeks ago, Isle of Wight Tory MP, Andrew Turner, called for the “public service” option to prevent the wholesale destruction of the Island’s ferry service through a combination of greed, incompetence. Asset-stripping and political and corporate in-fighting. Bob Crow stated,  “RMT is mobilising a campaign for the public ownership of the Wight ferry services to draw a line under decades of exploitation and under-investment which has left the link as nothing more than a cash-cow for foreign banks and greedy shareholders. RMT is calling for support for that campaign from right across the spectrum.”

TRAINCREW – VICTORIA LINE – LONDON UNDERGROUND. Industrial action is due to take place from 00:01 hours on Tuesday 8th October 2013 until 00:01 hours on Tuesday 5th November 2013 is strike action not industrial action short of strike action.

RMT City Link protests over huge cuts and changes. Join them this Saturday from Newcastle to Eastbourne. Read More

As Boris Johnson prepares for Tory conference speech RMT exposes full extent of London fares rip of. As the London Mayor prepares for his annual Tory conference show-boating speech, tube union RMT said today that he stands accused of hammering the travelling public on both fare increases and attacks on quality of services through cuts to staffing and capacity. The total rise in wages in this five year period was 7.7%, the total rise in inflation was 16.3% and house prices have increase by 16.8%.

RMT sets out offshore safety demands in advance of Holyrood debate. “While RMT welcomes the CAA investigation into helicopter safety it should be seen as an addition and not a substitute for the full Public Inquiry that RMT is demanding into the Super Puma tragedy in the North Sea on August 23rd.

“RMT is also demanding an investigation in to North Sea safety which extends beyond just the use of helicopters but which covers every aspect of the offshore working environment.  25 years after Piper Alpha the industry owes its workforce nothing less than that.”
 Bob crow, General Sec RMT


Royal Mail members look out for your ballot paper from today and vote YES. Please don’t forget to change your Facebook and/or Twitter profile picture to show you’re voting YES and tag your comments on Twitter with #voteYES. Read more

Labour Party Conference agrees to re-nationalise Royal Mail. Read More 

Strike no 12 in Post Office disputeCWU members working in the country’s 372 Crown post offices took its 12th round of strike action on Monday & Tuesday. The dispute is over closures, franchising, job losses and pay and has been ongoing since Easter. Staff are also taking action short of strike comprising a pro-active sales ban on financial products and services. Read More Public meetings to save the crown post offices up and down the country. Read More


Firefighters in Scotland consulted over pension proposals – Firefighters in Scotland will vote over pension proposals from the Scottish Government and Fire Service employers, the Fire Brigades Union has announced. The consultative ballot will run until Tuesday 8 October, when the union’s executive council will consider the outcome. Read more

Petition on firefighters’ pensions now online. Sign it, share it 

Firefighters ‘united’ with post office workers over cuts. Read More

Hitchin firefighter on pensions: I am scared for my future. Read More


PCS rally sends powerful anti-cuts message More than 50,000 marchers came from across the UK to join the TUC demonstration against the cuts on the first day of Tory party conference, taking place in the city, on 29 September. Read More

PCS slams Osborne’s “evidence-free, cruel and divisive” workfare plans –Read More

There are currently 6.8 million who are unemployed or looking for more hours or a permanent job, and only 500,000 job vacanciesRead More


HE pay ballot: Ballot papers arriving today – Vote YES to both forms of action. UCU new leaflet and poster to help make the case for a yes vote. Download the new leaflet 

Members in further education are reminded that branches are meeting now to consult over the response to the employers’ offer of 0.7%. Make sure you get to your meeting and have your say. Read more


UNISON members at Liverpool University have voted overwhelmingly to reject attacks on their pay, and may move to strike action. Read More

Some 190 workers in South Gloucestershire council took the first of two strikes.  They face an average 10 percent pay cut. The action will involve library assistants, care assistants, traffic wardens and children secure unit staff. Messages of support to [email protected]

Rochdale Future Directions workers dig in. Read More


After the fantastic victory for Hovis workers against zero hour contracts, there is bound to be more interest in getting involved. Unions can make a difference. A Young Members Forum on the 29th of October in Manchester. If you are interested in participating in, or would just like to know more, please contact the Union Executive Council Young Members’ Representative, Rachel Mullen at [email protected] or Head Office at [email protected]

RESOURCE – TUC Mental Health at work – See Representing & supporting members with mental health problems at work & Other resources.   


UK Uncut response to Justice Secretary’s speech at Conservative Party conference – Roadblock protests will happen this weekend. Read More

Glasgow judge finds bedroom tax breaches human rights. Read More

The government’s own Major Projects Authority has predicted that up to £200 million will be wasted on failed IT for Iain Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit ‘reform’ (ie cut) in benefits.

No-one should get something for nothing, claims man who got everything for nothing.   A man who inherited a multi-million pound fortune due to a twist of genetic fate has insisted that nobody should be getting money for nothing. George Osborne said that the era of people getting money for not doing anything was over, and that people must work for what they are given, unless it’s vast quantities of cash from a wealthy relative. Read More

The Happy Lands (FILM) “Saw the film on Sunday it is a truly remarkable film and a must see for any Trade Unionist and even people who just like to see a good film !  It depicts the struggle of the Fife mining community during the 1926 General Strike when facing cuts in pay during a period of austerity. It has relevance to today’s struggle against the coalition of millionaires who govern us today. The film had moments of humour and sadness and while being enjoyable is certainly thought provoking”. (Dan Hoggan, Greenwich Unite Branch Sec.) Read more 


Blacklist Support Group would like to thank everyone who participated in the Crossrail blacklisting dispute. Without the massive support from up and down the country and around the world, we would not have won such a historic victory. It shows what our movement can achieve when the official union’s resources and rank & file’s enthusiasm work together. Drink up etc Sat 12th Oct.  Blacklisted 2013 – the workers strike back REEL NEWS VIDEO 2013 version of our campaign film made by the exceptionally talented Reel News. More info on the campaign

Defend the Four – After a momentous campaign lasting over 6 years 4 Unison members 2 now members of Unite have won a tremendous victory against the Unison Bureaucratic machine. Come and celebrate with them Suzanne Muna, Onay Kasab, Glen Kelly and Brian Debus  & a Book Signing.! Sat 19th Oct – Door open 5pm in the bar then at 6-15 pm to 7-15 pm  there will be a number of short speeches from the four and our supporters with a screening from a Reel News DVD of the campaign.  From 7-15 let your hair down, if you have any!  Cheap Food * Music-Hugo (& for those who need to watch the footy before the screen at the front will have west ham.. then strictly…!) Roxy Bar & Screen,  128-132 Borough High Street London SE1 1LB [email protected]

INTERNATIONAL (Also see Labourstart)

Kazakhstan Yesterday in Astana, hundreds of housing campaigners approached the Parliament and Government buildings in the third national protest they have organised in the capital. After  remonstrating with officials they proceeded to try and hand in their appeals to President Nazarbayev. They were soon  arrested and bundled into buses to be taken to court. By the end of the night, the leader of the ONJ (Leave the People’s Homes Alone campaign), Esenbek Ukteshbayev, had been sentenced to 15 days imprisonment and Kizdig Azhakulov, leader of the Shimkent campaign group, to three days. Ten other demonstrators were fined substantial sums of money. Everyone else received warnings against participating in protests.MESSAGES OF PROTEST ([email protected]) for the attention of the Ambassador, Mr Kairat Abusseitov. Read More

Brazil 7 days’ strike of Brazilian bank workers – Brazilian bank workers, on a nationwide strike for seven days, continue to expand and to intensify the stoppage in the whole country. The National Leadership, which represents 95 % of Brazilian bank workers will meet on this Thursday 26, in São Paulo, to assess the first week of strike and discuss ways to expand and strengthen the movement. Read More

Dominica Republic 3-day strike begins at Dominican public hospitals over wages for a 60% wage increase. Read More

Ireland – Junior doctors to go ahead with strike.  Ballot result 97% of 1,000 doctors voted for action due to shifts over 24 hours and no more than 48 hours per week in 2014.

Cambodia  – Strikes demand higher wages in garment sector. 

Canada –  workers draw a line in the sand – Crown Holdings is a company you probably never heard of.

But it’s huge — producing metal containers in 149 countries.

And it’s highly profitable — doubling its profits in 2012. Crown workers, members of the United Steelworkers, have had enough, and are walking the picket line, forced to strike by an employer that refuses to negotiate seriously. Read More

Sudan – Mass protests over doubling the prices of fuel and gas. Read More

US shuts down…!! Seriously.. Read More 

Diary (& see & use False Economy)

5 South West NSSN conference in Exeter PCS Regional Office, Quintana Gate, Bartholomew St, EX4 3BH. Speakers include John Mcinally PCS Vice President and Rob Williams NSSN chair. 11-4pm

RMT City Link protests , Hull, Coventry, Preston, Norwich, Eastbourne, Newcastle, Reading, Southampton, Southsea & Stratford – Times and venues 

UKUNCUT resist legal aid cuts

8  Protest to save East London health services. The Royal London Hospital Whitechapel Road, E1 1BB 5pm 

12 National anti-fascist demonstration in Liverpool – Assemble 12 noon, Myrtle Street (top of Hardman Street) Liverpool 7. March sets off a 1pm and ends with a rally: The Pier Head Liverpool

14 Vigil to save Independent Living Fund – 9am Royal Courts of Justice

16 National FBU demonstration in Westminster, London

17 NUT/NASUWT Regional Strike action and Rallies

19 Bridgwater Trades Union Council 1913-2013 CENTENARY CELEBRATION Join us for a march, with your branch banner, to a rally at Bridgwater Baptist Church, to commemorate the founding of the town’s organised trade union movement by local rail-workers in 1913 – 12.30pm: Assemble: Cranleigh Gardens,Bridgwater, TA6 5JS. 1pm: Banner parade and march  1.45-2.45: Rally, Baptist Church, St Mary Street, TA6 3EQ

Defend the Four  Roxy Bar & Screen, SE1 London 5pm, speeches & ReelNews film 6.15-7.15pm [email protected]

20 TUC day of Action against Blacklisting -As part of the day of Action there will be a Lobby of Parliament on 20 November 2013, to put pressure on MPs to hold an inquiry. Assemble on Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament at 13:00. Read More

23 Yorkshire NSSN conference in Leeds

24 Brighton Benefits Campaign & Trades Council mtg: Zero hours and workfare – our employment rights under attack. Friends Meeting house, Ship Street, BN1 1AF

30 Midlands NSSN conference – Unite offices in Broad Street, Birmingham



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 Email: [email protected]

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For all press and media enquiries contact:

Secretary: Linda TaaffeEmail: lindataaffe66@btinternet.com

Phone: 07952 283 558

Regular reports and further information on our website – http://shopstewards.net/