Last Tuesday, council workers and school support staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland received a 2-year pay offer from the local government employers with the main headline of a 2% rise for each year.
The local government unions will now consider this offer, which falls far short of their 5% pay claim. As Unite national officer Jim Kennedy said: “Continuing government cuts to local government have seen real term pay cuts of up to 21 per cent for some of the lowest paid public servants in the country.” There is also huge concern that this offer appears to be unfunded, which means that any pay rise could be paid for through further cuts to jobs and services.
We encourage all public sector unions to join with the PCS who won a consultative ballot on pay and after the “deeply disappointing budget” are now determined to move their campaign forward:
“Without a doubt it (the ballot result) showed that, after a 7-year pay squeeze, our members are prepared to fight for a real increase. After a year of action in 2017, which has seen thousands of members taking part in payday protests, rallies, lobbying and campaigning around the ballot, we’re not going to stop pushing on pay now. That we have built momentum on pay is clear. We all deserve a pay rise and we now need to take the steps in each workplace to show that PCS members are willing to take action if the government continues to refuse to listen in 2018.”
This government is weak. The National Shop Stewards Network believes the time is ripe for public sector workers to take them on and win a real breakthrough on pay. 2% breaks the pay cap – which is welcome – but still means workers lose out in real terms as inflation surges ahead, never mind the years of pay freezes behind them.
The wave of strikes in the private sector, during and since the summer, show bold action will be supported by workers. There is the potential to rebuild the unity that saw the huge strike action over pensions in November 2011.
Advanced notice: the 2018 National Shop Stewards Network Annual Conference will be from 11am-4.30pm on Saturday June 30th in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London. It is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners
Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter is below
Download the ‘Join the NSSN’ leaflet here
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 Linda on [email protected]
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Christmas saved for Newton Aycliffe 3M workers but strike threat remains (8 Dec) – Unite has welcomed the decision of the management at the 3M factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, to reverse their previous pronouncement and allow workers to enjoy a Christmas holiday. 3M, which makes respirators and dust masks, was labelled a ‘Scrooge employer’ by Unite after telling workers that for the first time in living memory they would be expected to work on the three days between Christmas and new year. However this week in an about face, possibly following a visit from the ghost of Christmas future, management has relented and said there is now “no operational requirement” for the majority of the workforce to be in work over the festive period (with just a handful of volunteers present). Management had threatened to cancel Christmas after Unite members at the plant rejected a 1.5 per cent pay increase for 2017. The proposed pay increase is half the inflation rate and follows a series of below inflation pay increases in previous years. The union is currently balloting its members for strike action in the pay dispute. The ballot closes on Wednesday (13 December) read more
Support North West bus strikes at First Manchester and Arriva North West – Send messages of support and donations via Neil Clarke, [email protected] c/o Unite, Jack Jones House, 2 Churchill Way, Liverpool L3 8EF
Support Manchester Mears housing workers – on 49 days of strike action: Send messages of support to Unite rep Colin Pitt: [email protected] and Unite regional officer [email protected] and post donations to: Unite House, Merchants Quay, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3SG
Lobby Manchester City Council: back the Mears strikers! 10am on Weds 13th December – meet at 9am to protest and leaflet councillors going into the meeting Facebook event
Support the CWU on today’s National Postal Workers Day. Use this poster on social media!
A MESSAGE FROM Dave Ward CWU General Secretary: update on Royal Mail dispute and BT pensions consultation (Dec 7) – “It has been another busy week across the CWU. Following mediation we are now in a position to communicate effectively with you once again. Please take a look at the link below where DGSP Terry Pullinger gives members a full update on the dispute. We will get more information out to you in the coming days and weeks. Members in both of the BT pension schemes should by now be aware of the companies consultation period and your unions opposition to it. Packed out meetings are taking place across the UK and the response from CWU members to the #TellBTNo campaign has been fantastic. On Wednesday 13th December at 6pm I will join DGS(T&FS) Andy Kerr for a live Facebook Q&A with our BT members. This session will give you the opportunity to ask the unions senior officials any questions relating to pensions in BT. The session will be hosted on the National CWU Facebook page www.facebook.com/thecommunicationsunion – you do not need a Facebook account to view the Q&A” read more
Public meeting hosted by Caerphilly Trades Council: Support the Posties – Renationalise Royal Mail – Defend the Right to Strike. Wednesday, 13 Dec., Caerphilly Pensioners Hall, Park Lane, Caerphilly CF83 1AA – back meeting room. 7:00pm Facebook event
Challenging the MoJ to improve pay (11 Dec) – Do you work for the Ministry of Justice? Are you sick of pay inequality? We’re looking for women members and young members willing to lodge grievances against the department on the grounds of equal pay for work of equal value. Our national executive is deciding how to maximise the pressure on the government to scrap the pay cap following the decisive vote by tens of thousands of PCS members last month. And our MoJ group executive is considering how to maximise pressure on the department to improve pay read more
Support DWP strikes:
- Send messages of support to [email protected]
- Send donations to the strike fund to PCS DWP Group, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY
48 hours strike action went ahead on Arriva Cross Country last weekend as management wreck talks again (8 Dec) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that 48 hours of strike action by train managers and senior conductors on Arriva Cross Country in a dispute over abuse of rostering and Sunday working goes ahead as planned on this weekend after management again wrecked talks this week aimed at reaching a solution. The action will impact on services from Penzance to Aberdeen and points in between on Britain’s most wide-ranging rail operation. The schedule of strike action remains as follows due to the management actions. In addition the union executive, due to the shocking attitude of the company management, have added the following dates for action;
- 00.01 hours to 23.59 hours on Saturday 23rd December
- 00.01 hours to 23.59 hours on Wednesday 27th December read more RMT 48 hour strike action on Arriva Cross Country rock solid
RMT confirms 24 hours of strike action on Merseyrail on December 22nd in fight for guards and rail safety (Dec 7) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that members on Merseyrail will take a further 24 hours of strike action on December 22nd, in the dispute over guards and rail safety, that the union says could be easily resolved if senior Merseyside Labour politicians followed national Labour Party policy and supported their safety-critical rail staff, instead of acting as human shields for profiteering private rail companies. RMT has attacked political stunts from the Mayors in the regional media designed to deflect from the massive criticism they are getting from both inside and outside the Labour Party. Those political actions by the Mayors have let the rail company off the hook and have been a major factor in the reason that there has been no invitation to attend any meaningful talks with ACAS, the company or anyone else as normal industrial relations have been effectively suspended read more
National dispute fund (DOO disputes) – If you would like to donate to the RMT National Dispute Fund which makes payments to support their striking members taking part in National DOO disputes then you can donate via PayPal using the donate button below or make a cheque payable to RMT National Dispute Fund and send it to the address below. Alternatively, you can ring their Freephone helpline on 0800 376 3706 who will be happy to process a credit card payment for you, or, if you would like to pay via internet banking, please email [email protected] for further details. Vicky Thompson, Finance Manager RMT, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD. Tel: 020-7529-8843
Support the Newham strikes against academisation: A number of schools in Newham are threatened with academisation at the moment. This Thursday, Avenue Primary will be taking their second day of strike action against their school joining a multi academy trust. Parents are also organising against the move and supporting the action of the teachers. Royal Docks school defeated academisation a couple of years ago but are faced with the same battle again. They are taking their first day of strike action on the 13th December. You can send messages of support to [email protected]
Stop taking the *ISS – day of action Tuesday 19 December
Hosted by ISS workers fighting back and GMB Union
PLEASE SHARE OUR CAMPAIGN VIDEO https://www.facebook.com/GMBunion/videos/372088179881649/
ISS is a £9 billion, global services firm, employing cleaning, portering and security staff in many of our hospitals. But the way ISS is treating its workers – with insecure, precarious contracts and pay sometimes as low as £7.88 an hour – takes the *ISS.
Join us for a day of action across 5 south London hospitals on Tuesday 19 December.
Locations (if your workplace is not listed and you would like it to be and/or need help getting organised please get in touch):
Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Stadium Road, Woolwich 15.00pm
Kingston Hospital, Galsworthy Road, Kingston 12:30
Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, Camberwell 10:00am
Lambeth Hospital, Landor Rd, Brixton 14.00pm
Bethlem Hospital, Monks Orchard Rd, Beckenham 15.00pm Facebook event
GMB wins over 5% pay rise for maintenance members of CBRE at the Royal Berkshire hospital (11 Dec) – We are pleased to have finally won this longstanding battle, says GMB Southern. Maintenance workers at CBRE who keep the Royal Berkshire Hospital warm, safe and secure for all the patients and staff have won a big victory over pay. A number of employees have been denied a pay rise for the last five years. The maintenance work was privatised and contracted out from the Trust in 2012 and staff have been consistently denied the 1% pay rise they would have received had they still been working for the NHS. The win will give the members a decent amount of back pay in their Christmas pay packet, plus a pay rise of over 5% in future pay read more
UCU Strike at Brighton University wins victory – from statement by UCU branch: “You will have received notification by now that the compulsory redundancies threatened by the University have been withdrawn and as a result the dispute between the UCU and the University is over. Consequently, our campaign of industrial action has been called off. This represents a successful outcome of the dispute for the UCU. Management’s insistence on seeking to force out more staff, over and above the 90 who took Voluntary Severance, was only explicable by a desire to overturn the University’s de facto no redundancy policy and to neuter union opposition to future sackings” read more via UCU Brighton University website
Send messages of congratulations to [email protected]
Pension update – appealing against age discrimination (11 Dec) – The FBU’s long fought case against age discrimination of over 6,000 firefighters with regards to the 2015 pension changes is being heard this week in Court 1 at Fleetbank House in London. Back in 2015 the government brought in a new pensions scheme that the FBU regards as ‘unworkable’ and ‘does not reflect the job that firefighters actually do’ [pg 31 EC report 2017]. FBU members took strike action to highlight the damage the government’s changes would mean, which was met with overwhelming public support. Whilst there was some movement due to the action taken, ultimately the pension changes were detrimental to firefighters. There remain huge issues to be addressed read more
Firefighters’ fury at Grenfell Inquiry panel appointment (11 Dec) – As the Grenfell Tower Inquiry (GTI) sits for two days (11-12 December) to determine its terms of reference on how it will take evidence from witnesses and participants, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has expressed concerns about a member of the GTI expert witness panel, former Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Steve McGuirk. The former CFO for both Greater Manchester and Cheshire is too closely associated with the running of the fire service, say the FBU, as well as being a known ‘moderniser’ read more
The workers of 5 London Picturehouse cinemas are going on strike 4pm-7pm this Thursday 14th December, the opening of Star Wars. All the workers will be demonstrating outside Hackney Picturehouse, come support us please! Bring your banners, placards, music and most importantly…support! Workers in Picturehouse cinemas have been on strike for over a year for a living wage, Sick pay, Maternity pay and Union recognition!
Donate to the Picturehouse Cinema strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike
Protest in support for Indonesian Coca-Cola workers – hosted by BFAWU for PCL/Arla – 12.30pm Friday December 15th Xscape MK, 602 Marlborough Gate, MK9 3XS Milton Keynes read more
McDonald’s set for more strikes as action spreads across Britain – Concerns over low wages, zero-hours contracts and mishandling of sexual assault claims are at root of unrest. Strike action at McDonald’s is to spread to outlets across the country in the coming months, following the lead of workers at two restaurants in the south of England. Dossiers on claims made by staff, ranging from the company’s alleged failure to provide protective equipment for workers using grills to allegations about management mishandling sexual assault claims, are being compiled by trade unionists. The September strikes were the first at McDonald’s since it opened in the UK in the 1970s read more from the Observer. Keep sending solidarity to the BFAWU, donate to the strike fund and also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website
Support the Royal Devon and Exeter porters by donating to their hardship fund. Send a cheque to the branch at: UNISON Office, Baker House , Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW. Or make a direct donation to the branch account
Account Name: UNISON Royal Devon and Exeter Health 10296 Branch
Account Number: 20323929 Sort Code: 60-83-01
United Voices of the World union
Solidarity demo for cleaners Living Wage strike in City of London: 5pm Thursday 14 December Lee Hecht Harrison Penna, next to Monument station to demand a Living Wage and Justice for Cleaners this Christmas. Please also donate to their strike fund if you can. www.uvwunion.org.uk/lee-hecht-harrison Facebook event
Blacklisting & Victimisation
Blacklisting December 6th Day of Action coverage & videos
Blacklist Support Group (including 4 UNITE EC members) occupying London offices of Skanska was just one of the highlights of the Day of Action against Blacklisting which included protests against blacklisting firms across the UK and ended in lobbies of Parliaments in Westminster and Holyrood.
Every parliamentarian who attended the events at Westminster & Holyrood, including John McDonnell, Richard Leonard, Jack Dromey, Chris Stephens, Neil Findlay, Laura Piddock, Rebecca Long Bailey, Angela Rayner, Louise Haig, Jon Ashworth, Chuka Umunna and many others publicly called for 3 key demands:
– Full public inquiry into blacklisting
– Blacklisting to be made a criminal offence
– No publicly funded contracts for firms involved in blacklisting
Great contributions from Tony Sweeney, Paul Filby and Shrewsbury campaigners to keep the MPs and unions on their toes. As acknowledged by Gail Cartmail, UNITE AGS, nothing will ever be achieved unless the rank and file keep pushing for it.
Blacklisting in the gig economy on ITV: https://www.itv.com/news/2017-12-06/gig-economy-worker-blacklisted-after-employment-rights-court-case/
Spycops inquiry latest: torture, human rights, secrecy, imbalance of power and a complaint to the United Nations
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
“Stop Repression in Hong Kong and China” solidarity request: against the imprisonment of 16 pro-democracy activists and the ousting of 6 elected legislators in Hong Kong this year. In 2014, tens of thousands of young people took to the streets of Hong Kong to participate in the pro-democracy ‘Umbrella Movement’, to protest against the rigging of political elections, and to demand free elections of the government. Since then, Hong Kong’s ruling elite has launched a savage campaign of repression against the participants of 2014’s Umbrella Movement. Increasingly making use of its law courts to jail prominent leaders of the 2014 movement, the Hong Kong regime is encouraged by its neighbouring Chinese government who fear the possibility of a mass democracy struggle in Hong Kong spilling over into the mainland. With more trials and potentially even harsher jail sentences expected for other pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, these outrageous attacks on the right to organise are predicted to become more severe and far reaching. Here is a link to an online letter which has been gathering momentum of late. Already it has been signed by Ruth Coppinger TD and Paul Murphy TD (MPs in Irish Parliament), Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Councilmember and member of Socialist Alternative, and Paul Heron, Executive Committee member of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers in Britain https://form.jotform.me/72674408985471 website
Iran: Four months without wages! Haft Tapeh sugar workers launch strikes and demonstrations read more
30 National Shop Stewards Network 2018 Annual Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE