The NSSN marks our 400th weekly bulletin by celebrating a victory by NHS workers against privatisation. This article is written by Adrian O’Malley – Branch Secretary Unison Mid Yorkshire Health (Personal Capacity):-
UNISON members working within Estates and Facilities at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust were due to start 3 days strike action against the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary company (WOS) on Monday 20th August.
900 staff were at risk of being transferred into the proposed company. The UNISON strike vote was 97.4% to strike on a 56.7% turnout. A further 100 staff have since joined the union to take part in the strike.
Just last week the Trust had announced it could not proceed with the formation of the company this financial year due to not getting permission from NHS improvement but were still looking at forming a company at a later date. Staff briefings were held on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, at which senior managers were left with no doubt about the strength of feeling against the WOS by workers angry about the possibility of being moved “outside the NHS”. This, alongside the messages that were coming back saying the strike of the 500 plus UNISON members would have been rock solid, resulted in a change of mind by the Trust Board and letter going out to Trust employees confirming that all work on forming a WOS had ceased.
After agreeing a joint statement that all work on the WOS, now and in the future, had stopped the strike was lifted.
This has been seen as massive victory by our members. The only complaints we have had are from members who were looking forward to 3 days on the picket lines!
Following the successful strike in Wigan, Wrightington and Leigh against their WOS it’s another battle won in the war against privatisation of the NHS. It sends out a message that if you stand together, are prepared to fight together and if necessary strike together you can win. We need to continue this battle across the country to stop any future WOS’s being formed and return the workers in existing companies back into the NHS.
Support the striking Birmingham home care workers – Please send messages of support and donations to Unison Birmingham branch, 46 The Priory Queensway Birmingham B4 7LR. Email [email protected] Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/birminghamunison/
NSSN TUC Congress Rally Sunday September 9th in Manchester
In the year of the 150th anniversary of the TUC, the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) will again be organising a rally before the start of TUC Congress.
It will be from 1pm on Sunday September 9th in the Manchester Mechanics Institute/Conference Centre, Princess Street, M1 6DD. More details will follow.
Leaders from fighting unions will be speaking alongside rank & file union reps and activists, including those who have been taking action.
The NSSN has a proud record of supporting workers and building solidarity. We also have a history of fighting for the biggest co-ordination of action across the unions to take on Tory austerity and the bosses’ offensive.
There is a union letter here and please share the Facebook event
The NSSN thanks the CWU for including in this month’s ‘Frontline’ magazine for its union reps a report of last month’s NSSN Conference, which was addressed by CWU Deputy General Secretary Postal Terry Pullinger
We have also produced a leaflet for our supporters in Unite after the union agreed to affiliate to the NSSN
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
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]
Follow us on twitter via @NSSN_AntiCuts and Facebook
National Rank & File Construction meeting – this Saturday August 18th 12noon at Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Rd, London WC1X 8TN
Woolwich ferry workers set dates for strike action – Unite has issued notice to Briggs Marine, the contractor who operate the Woolwich Ferry, for strike action to take place on 28th August, 3rd, 7th , 10th, 14th, 17th and 24th September. The strike action is to protest against the imposition of weekend working into the normal working week, job cuts and lone working. The bigger issue is about automation and its impact on workplaces. New hybrid boats will be introduced and as a result jobs will be cut due to the boats needing less maintenance. The union had already negotiated an agreement, following a previous ballot for strike action, which guaranteed no compulsory redundancies and significant pay protection. But now the employers have stated that they want weekend working to become part of the normal shift – leading to a cut in pay as overtime will no longer be paid as well as the loss of the weekend and the impact on personal and family life. The proposal did not form any part of prior negotiations. Unite Regional Officer Onay Kasab stated “This is the sharp end of the debate on automation. We welcome the development of technology, but not at the price of this being paid out of the pockets of the workers we represent”
Suffolk firm’s demand for extra Saturday working prompts industrial action ballot (14 Aug) – Plans to increase Saturday working for 18 transport drivers at AB Agriculture in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk has prompted a ballot for industrial action. Unite said that its members at the animal feed firm were angry at proposals to increase weekend working from one Saturday every four weeks to two Saturdays in four – with no pay rise. Unite said that the plans were ‘an undiluted attack on the work/life balance’ and its drivers had voted unanimously to proceed to an industrial action ballot, which will include the option of strike action, at the Eastern Way site read more
Construction facing autumn of anarchy as crane drivers prepare for strike action (13 Aug) – Unite members at Ainscough, the UK’s premier mobile crane company, are preparing to begin balloting for industrial action in a dispute over pay. The 400 plus Unite member are furious that after nearly eight months of negotiations Ainscough management has tabled a pay offer which will result in most workers experiencing a pay cut. The current pay offer, which was made following eight separate meetings of pay negotiations, would see basic rates increase by 4.5 per cent however it would also see enhanced rates for overtime significantly reduced. Workers undertaking more than 50 hours a week (which is standard practice) will in fact suffer a pay cut. Further talks have been scheduled for this week (August 16-17) but if no breakthrough is made then Unite will immediately move to an industrial action ballot including the option of strike action which will cause widespread disruption on construction sites throughout the UK. If the members voted for strike action it would begin at some point this autumn read more
Workers at TGI Fridays to strike for historic fifth time (10 Aug) – Bank holiday walk-out to highlight tips `robbery’. Workers at two TGI Fridays restaurants in Milton Keynes and Covent Garden in London will walkout for a historic fifth time, with workers at Stratford City in London, joining the action for the first time in an ongoing dispute over the company’s refusal to address concerns over tips and minimum wage abuses. The workers, members of Unite, Britain’s biggest union, voted by a 100 per cent on turnouts of between 52.4 – 76.5 per cent in a second industrial action ballot. Three days of strikes will start on Friday 24 August, the beginning of the bank holiday weekend read more
Sunderland crane workers to take strike action tonight over ‘inadequate’ pay offer (9 Aug) – Workers at a leading crane manufacturer in Sunderland will be starting a series of strikes tonight (Thursday 9 August) in a dispute over an ‘inadequate’ pay offer. The workforce at the Liebherr Sunderland Works will strike from 19:59 tonight until 23:59 tomorrow (Friday 10 August). Unite members will stage an official picket line at the site tomorrow…The future strikes dates are: 16/17, 20/21, 23/24, and 28/30 August. This will be followed by strikes on 3/4, 6/7, 10/11 and 13/14 September read more
RMT responds to Chris Grayling attack on rail workers pay and news tonight that he is attempting to impose a cap on pay settlements across the industry to protect rail company profits (14 Aug) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “If Chris Grayling seriously thinks that front line rail workers are going to pay the price for his gross incompetence and the greed of the private train companies he’s got another thing coming. “This is a basket case Government and a lame duck Transport Secretary continuing it’s all out war on staff and passengers alike. “RMT will fight any attempt to impose a pay cap on our members in a drive to protect private train company profits.” Read more
RMT confirms further strike dates on Northern Rail in fight over guards and rail safety as company makes a mockery of talks process (9 Aug) – RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that further strike action will take place on Arriva Rail North over attacks on the role of the safety-critical guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of increased profits. RMT has confirmed the fresh wave of action after the company made a mockery of the talks process the union had committed to in good faith. The union accused company bosses of stringing its negotiators along rather than looking seriously for a settlement. All Arriva Rail North Conductor, Conductor Instructor and Train Driver members are instructed to take action as follows: Not to book on for on for duty between:
- 00:01 and 23:59 on Saturday 25th August 2018,
- 00:01 and 23:59 on Saturday 1st September 2018
- 00:01 and 23:59 on Saturday 8th September 2018 read more
RMT South Western Railway strike – last Saturday’s strike was suspended “to allow for further talks around the issue of the guard guarantee”. “The rest of the scheduled industrial action remains on”:- this Saturday Aug 18 and Aug 31-Sept 1
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
MOJ MEP ballot opens today – vote no (15 Aug) – If you work for the Ministry of Justice your employer wants to rip up your terms and conditions but if you’re a PCS member you have the chance to vote no in our ballot, which opens today, and oppose changes that could seriously affect you read more
Tell us how MOJ MEP plans affect you (10 Aug) – We want to hear from PCS members in the Ministry of Justice about how the department’s modernising employment proposition affects you. Under the plans staff are being asked to agree to having their hours increased to a 38-hour working week and having their overtime cut and sick pay reduced. The majority of the members affected by the plans are women who are often less likely to be able to extend their hours. If the proposals are implemented they would have to declare themselves part time and would only receive pro-rated pay and see their pay cut as a result. Already some members have worked out that they will receive as little as 3p an hour. While some staff could receive an average 11% pay rise over 5 years in exchange for having their terms and conditions slashed, 50% of members would receive a pay increase of less than that and in the case of staff who will be forced to go part time, because they are unable to increase their weekly hours, they will suffer a pay cut. As we urge members to vote no to oppose the MEP in a ballot which opens next week we want to hear from you about how the proposals affect you read more
Civil service unions jointly issue legal proceedings over pay (9 Aug) – PCS, Prospect and FDA have launched legal proceedings seeking judicial review of the government’s consultation over the 2018 civil service pay guidance. This legal action follows a number of failed attempts to resolve the dispute with ministers. Instead, the government has made clear in defending its position that there was never any attempt to meaningfully consult the unions on the new civil service pay cap, and did not trust the unions to keep any proposed figure confidential during negotiations read more
More fires and more fire deaths – yet Westminster continues to cut firefighter jobs (9 Aug) – Firefighters dealt with more incidents, more fires and saw more fire deaths last year than for most of the last decade in England, yet the Westminster government continues to starve fire authorities of the central funding necessary to keep the public safe. Fire deaths in England increased sharply last year, in part because of the terrible Grenfell Tower fire. Some 334 people are counted as fire deaths in England (including 71 rather than the actual 72 at Grenfell). This is the worst year for fire deaths since 2010-11. Firefighters attended over 564,000 incidents overall in England, the most since 2011-12. Firefighters attended over 167,000 fires, also the most since 2011-12. This suggests that the long period of improvements in public safety has plateaued – with cuts the most likely explanation. Since 2010, one-in-five firefighter jobs have been cut. In England, that is around 10,000 frontline firefighter jobs. That means fewer firefighters at the early stages of incidents, slower response times and greater risk to the public read more
Changes to this year’s GCSEs and A-levels have damaged students’ mental health, according to a snap-shot poll by the National Education Union (NEU) (9 Aug) – The poll, to which over 650 secondary school teachers responded, found nearly nine-in-ten (89%) believe that changes in the way new GCSEs are assessed have made more students extremely anxious and stressed, while two-thirds (66%) said the same about the new A-levels read more
CWU victory on BT PBA agency contracts (Aug 9) – A major victory has been won in the CWU’s ‘Close the Gap’ campaign with BT finally agreeing to longstanding union demands for an end of what the union has always claimed are exploitative ‘Pay Between Assignment’ (PBA) contracts. Following detailed talks the company has agreed to the phasing out of PBA contracts by the end of March 2019 read more
We’ve got beef with McDonald’s – if you’ve been #McBurned, speak up – Last year, we successfully organised a series of UK-wide #McStrikes in response to McDonald’s record of offering low wages and zero hour contracts. This gained national attention and our ongoing Fast Food Rights campaign continues to turn up the heat on fast food giants who are letting poor terms and conditions and inadequate workplace safety measures become the status quo. As part of our organising work with members, we identified a genuine risk to McDonald’s workers of suffering avoidable burns injuries, and wanted to help them to take action. We want workers to know that burns are not, and should never be, ‘part and parcel’ of the job. That’s why we’ve launched the new McBurned campaign with Thompsons Solicitors. If you have been burned while working at McDonald’s, we’re encouraging you to speak up – confidentially – and to consider making a personal injury claim. You can read more about the campaign in this factsheet. Keep sending solidarity to the McStrikers in the BFAWU, post cheques to BFAWU, Stanborough House, Great North Road, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 7TA and donate to the strike fund. Also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website
GMB members on Equinor mariner oil rig vote to accept improved pay offer (Aug 13) – GMB members showed how prepared they were to flex their industrial muscles when required says GMB Union read more
Government continue to pay for FAILURE – Another failed privatisation concept is to cost the Tax Payer £170 million pounds on top of £25 billion already spent on the privatisation of the Probation Service. The failure of Carillion costs the Tax Payer more than £100 million and still the Government, Ministry of Justice and HMPPS Board are set to hand out further private contracts to run 10,000 new prison places. As they press ahead with the mixed economy of private as opposed to public ownership these decisions come on the back of another set of damning statistics, identifying Prisons in chaos. More and more violence, more drugs more mobile phones and more failure. A failure that the Government continue to reward.Leaders of the POA now call for a full Independent Public Inquiry into the state of our Prisons and the waste of Tax Payer’s money on the Governments ideology of Privatisation read more
TSSA claims victory as Abellio agrees to recognise them for Fort William Contact Centre (13 Aug) – Manuel Cortes today welcomed the news that Abellio had finally agreed to recognise TSSA for their Contact Centre in Fort William and thanked the Lochaber Times for their support read more
Read the latest about the Picturehouse dispute on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Dulwich East and Duke of York Brighton
Donate to the Picturehouse Cinema strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike
ILEX – Substantial Six Figure Sum Paid to Staff Unfairly Dismissed (10 Aug) – NIPSA, the largest public sector trade union in Northern Ireland can announce that, following almost three years of protracted negotiations and legal action against The Executive Office (formerly OFMDFM) and the Strategic Investment Board, a substantial six figure settlement has been made with 4 NIPSA members who lodged cases for unfair dismissal by the Derry-Londonderry based regeneration body, ILEX read more
Council Unions’ No Confidence Vote Leads to Industrial Action Ballot (9 Aug) – A groundbreaking emergency trade union meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) employees has passed a vote of no confidence in its CEO with a ballot for potential industrial action called. All 4 recognised trade unions NIPSA, SIPTU, UNITE and GMB rallied in large numbers on Wednesday night at Ballybot House in the city as relations between staff and management reached “an all time low”. A vote of no confidence on the Council’s HR (Human Resources) had already been passed on to the Staff Commission concerning restructuring and job matching in the new super-council structure
IWGB to face government in landmark case to extend rights of outsourced workers (12 Aug) – High Court gives union permission to judicially review CAC’s refusal to hear application for trade union recognition. Case could open the door for 3.3 million outsourced workers throughout the UK to negotiate directly with their de-facto employer. IWGB is launching crowdfunding appeal, backed by the Good Law Project, to cover potential legal liabilities that could reach the hundreds of thousands of pounds read more
United Voices of the World
Support the 3 migrant worker strikes! – Cleaners organised in the United Voices of the World (UVW) trade union last week started strike action over pay and unfair working conditions at the Ministry of Justice and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The union’s members in Health Care America are also in dispute and are looking to join the action. The cleaners are mostly Portuguese and Spanish speaking Latin Americans and Africans from Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome & Principe
Press coverage on the strikes Press release: Ministry of Justice occupied
Please make a donation to their strike fund if you can https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/current-campaigns/
Stand with NG 27 – The “NG27” are a group of 27 artists and art lecturers who have worked regularly for the National Gallery for decades. They deliver the daily programme of talks, courses and workshops that the Gallery offers its visitors. In October, they were dismissed by the Gallery, with no recognition of their history of employment. They have been forced to take legal action and we are bringing a case of unfair dismissal. But they need our help. They have set up a fund to cover their legal costs – which are estimated at £65,000. They have raised £32,820 to date.
You can help by:
- making a donation to their appeal fund via this link
- sharing this appeal to your FB page and to your friends
- liking the campaign FB page Stand With NG 27
Blacklisting & Victimisation
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
Spain: Support Carlos Naranjo reinstatement! Enough of repression union in Ford-Valencia! Read and share leaflet and letter demanding reinstatement and email to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and copies to [email protected]
No rights for workers at Marriott’s Bali paradise read more
2 Annual Burston Strike School Commemoration 9am-6pm Church Green, Norfolk, Burston, near Diss, Norfolk details
9 NSSN TUC Rally in Manchester from 1pm Facebook event
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
FACEBOOK NSSN GROUP or STOP The CUTS Likes page
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE