NSSN 405: POA members take action over prison safety


The National Shop Stewards Network sends solidarity to the POA union whose members took part in protests outside prisons last Friday over the massive safety concerns that the union has for their members and other staff and inmates as a result of Tory cuts. The POA have disgracefully had their democratic right to take industrial action taken from them. The NSSN is proud that they have been a longstanding affiliate of ours and we call on the whole trade union movement to stand with them.

HMP Leeds protest meeting
HMP Leeds protest meeting

The action has forced the Government to enter talks with the union. POA General Secretary Steve Gillan has sent us the following statement:-

“On the 14th September 3018 thousands of Prison Officers and related grades who are POA members had a walk out in prisons in England and Wales. The POA has a permanent injunction against it by order of the High Court since last year that could lead to contempt of court and ultimately sequestration of funds if there is deemed to be industrial action. The POA do not consider the stoppage of work as industrial action but we followed legislation pertaining to health and safety at work act to ensure safety of both POA members and prisoners in our care.

Inevitably we received the letter before action to threaten the union with court action but we remained committed to the health and safety at work act and therefore the action was not repudiated. The issue is the unprecedented decline in health and safety along with a decline in the security of our prisons placing both staff and prisoners at risk. No responsible trade union could stand by any longer and watch the damage done to our members on a daily basis. Over 9000 assaults averaging 25 a day on POA members an increase of 197 per cent since 2010. Prisoner on prisoner assaults 31025 an average of 85 per day up 108 per cent since 2010. The POA have been accused of acting unlawfully, recklessly and irresponsible for taking this action. On behalf of the union I refute those claims. The action was justified and necessary to protect the health and safety of my members and indeed those prisoners in our care. What is reckless and irresponsible is the budget cuts since 2010 by this Tory Government who have created the prison crisis and the violence that goes with it by reducing staff numbers by over 8000 since 2010.

I am pleased to report that no court action was taken by Government as yet under the permanent injunction and that after the 6 hour walkout with media and public support an agreement has been negotiated over the last 48 hours which will give a foundation with a range of measures to make our prisons safe for both POA members and prisoners. There is still much to be done but the foundation is now in place.”

For POA statements and reports, see their website

POA General Secretary calls for protest action (Sept 14)



NSSN news

Video of NSSN TUC Rally on September 9th: ‘General Election to get Tories out!’

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Union News


RMT calls for end to £50 billion privatised rail rip off as Government set to announce “independent” review (19 Sept) – Ahead of tomorrow’s much heralded Government railway announcement RMT is calling for an end to the £50 billion privatised rail rip off and says that twenty five years of privatisation doesn’t need another so-called ‘independent’ review, it needs abolishing read more

RMT members standing solid and determined this morning in continuing fight for safety on Northern and South Western Railway‎ (15 Sept) – RMT members solid and determined this morning in continuing fight for safety on Northern and South Western Railway. General Secretary Mick Cash said; ” RMT members are standing solid, determined and united again this morning on both Northern and South Western Railway in the continuing fight for safety, security and access on our trains. It is scandalous that while other train operators have been prepared to engage seriously with RMT on the crucial issue of a guaranteed second safety-critical member of staff on their services ARN and SWR have dragged their heels read more

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 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 22nd September 2018
  • 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 29th September 2018
Newcastle Northern Rail strike picket
Newcastle Northern Rail strike picket

South Western Railway RMT members have has secured a rock-solid vote to continue with action in the rail safety dispute on South Western Railway after being forced to renew the mandate under the terms of the latest wave of Tory anti-union laws. Members have voted by an overwhelming 88% to continue with the current action in defence of safety, security and access on SWR despite the legal hurdles erected by the Tories 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

Eurostar staff to take further strike action over service meltdown and shocking working conditions – Rail union RMT confirmed today that Eurostar station staff based at St Pancras and Eurostar Train Managers will take strike for 48 hours in a dispute over shocking and dangerous working conditions resulting from repeated service failures and breakdowns. RMT members will not book on for any shifts that commence between: 00.01 hours on Sunday 30th September 2018 and 23.59 hours on Monday 1st October 2018 read more

Piccadilly Line tube drivers to strike in long-running dispute over breakdown in industrial relations – TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that driver members on the Piccadilly Line will strike again later this month in a long-running dispute over the breakdown of industrial relations and a comprehensive failure by management to deliver on promised improvements following previous rounds of industrial action. As a result, members will take action by not booking on for any turns of duty as follows;

  • Between 1200 hours on Wednesday 26th September and 1200 hours on Friday 28th September
  • Between 2030 hours on Friday 28th September and 0130 hours on Saturday 29th September read more



Unite negotiates nine per cent pay increase for Luton Airport workers (17th Sept) – Staff employed by Menzies Aviation at Luton Airport have secured a pay increase of almost nine per cent after successful negotiations prevented industrial action and delivered significant improvements for the workforce. The deal means a typical baggage handlers’ annual pay will increase by around £1,670 by January 2019. Baggage handlers, check-in staff, passenger service assistants and security staff at Luton airport overwhelmingly voted to accept the pay offer worth 8.75 per cent. Workers will receive an additional £1 an hour for working unsociable hours. The union and management have also agreed to make significant improvements to working conditions at Luton which had been a long running concern for the workforce at the airport. The agreement was struck after a series of talks with Menzies Aviation following a vote by the workers in favour of strike action read more



Thousands of Glasgow council workers vote to strike over equal pay (18 Sept) – A UNISON ballot of nearly 3,000 school learning support workers, school administration workers, early years nursery workers and other education staff has returned a 90% vote to take strike action over the council’s failure to reach agreement on a long standing equal pay dispute. In a second UNISON ballot of over 2,000 home carers, school cleaners, catering workers and other staff employed by Cordia 99% voted to strike. An incredible result. This follows a ballot last week by the GMB trade union of their members in Cordia which also returned a massive strike vote. Any strike action would hit schools, nurseries, home care, cleaning and catering services in the city read more

Bolton members vote to strike over pay equality (18 Sept) – Industrial action vote follows offer of 2% – well below Agenda for Change agreement – for workers transferred to NHS subco. UNISON members at Royal Bolton Hospital have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action over pay. 94% voted to take strike action, with a turnout of 65, well above the legal threshold for industrial action. The staff , who work in roles including cleaning, catering and portering are employed by Bolton iFM – a wholly-owned subsidiary of the trust. Staff have voted for strike action because they are not being paid the nationally-agreed wage increase for NHS staff that is worth nearly £2,000 this year for the lowest-paid workers – an increase of more than 10%.  Bolton iFM has offered only 2% read more

Support Camden Traffic wardens, starting strike action on October 1sttraffic wardens in Camden working for NSL have voted by 92% to take strike action for an improved pay offer. Their strike begins with 5 days of action on 1 October. They are currently paid the London Living Wage, but their claim is to increase that to £11.15 an hour. NSL traffic wardens in Waltham Forest are already being paid £11.56 an hour. This is an overwhelmingly Black, low-paid workforce who often face racist abuse and physical attacks whilst carrying out their work. NSL paid their top director £708,000 last year, a 400% increase from 2015. That last year NSL made £2m in profit. Camden Council made £26m profit from parking services last year

Email messages of support to [email protected] and protest to [email protected] copying in [email protected]

Picket lines 7-10.30am at:

199 Belsize Road, Kilburn, NW6 4AA

Camden Car Pound, Regis Road, NW5 3EW

13-15 Guildford Street, WC1N 1DW

CCTV Holmes Road Depot, Holmes Road, NW5 3AP

For further information/queries please contact Camden UNISON on 020 7974 1633 or email [email protected]

Trade Unions in Scotland recommend reject vote on revised local government pay offer (17 Sept) – Local services throughout Scotland could be plunged into crisis after – UNISON, Unite and the GMB – wrote to COSLA to say they will recommend their members reject their revised pay offer when they consult them in the coming weeks. The revised pay offer, made by COSLA on 6th September, was a 3% increase for all local government workers earning up to £80,000, but the trade unions are angry that this is below inflation and does not improve low pay. Johanna Baxter, UNISON’s head of local government bargaining said: “UNISON’s campaigning has ended the local government pay cap. But the revised offer does little to address low pay read more

Union hails trust’s U-turn on private company plans a ‘fantastic victory’ (14 Sept) – Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys trust becomes latest to abandon plans to transfer staff to private wholly owned subsidiary company read more

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/



‘Enough Is Enough’ As Care Home Staff Strike (Sept 13) – Thousands of women employed by Cordia Services will take industrial action over the collapse of equal pay negotiations with Glasgow City Council (GCC). GMB Scotland’s ballot of members delivering home care, school cleaning and catering services across Glasgow closed this afternoon (Thursday 13 September), returning an overwhelming 98 per cent support for strike action read more


East Dunbartonshire Unison, Unite and GMB

Strike threat withdrawn in East Dunbartonshire Council and Leisure & Culture Trust (10 Sept) – UNISON and UNITE trade unions have today (Monday) withdrawn planned strike action in East Dunbartonshire following crunch talks last week with East Dunbartonshire Council. Strikes scheduled for Wednesday, September 12, have been called off and action short of strike has been suspended. UNISON and UNITE will be consulting members up to Wednesday, October 3, on a fresh package reached after weeks of intensive negotiations read more

East Dunbartonshire Unison Facebook page



Support FBU Merseyside’s campaign to stop the proposed downgrading of Liverpool City Centre fire station – follow @fbumerseyside on twitter   Merseyside fire authority forced to postpone night closures



Strike ballots over pay open in colleges and universities – UCU members in 147 colleges in England and 147 UK universities are being balloted for strike action in a row over pay. The ballots open on Thursday 30 August and close on Friday 19 October. The dispute in universities has arisen after the universities’ representatives, the Universities and Colleges’ Employers Association (UCEA, made a final offer of 2% at the final pay talks in May. UCU said the offer does nothing to address the falling value of higher education pay, which has declined in real terms by 21% since 2009 read more



NEU comment on confirmation of teachers’ pay award (14 Sept) – Commenting on confirmation by the Government of the teachers’ pay award and distribution of the teachers’ pay grant, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Pressure from the NEU and others forced Damian Hinds to announce additional funding for teachers’ pay in the summer, but for the first time in 27 years the Government has ignored the advice of the School Teachers Review Body – and neither implemented their recommendations in full, nor funded them…The NEU has launched a high-profile campaign to fight for full funding and full implementation of the STRB recommendations on pay, following Damian Hinds’ unprecedented decision by to cut the value of the pay award recommended by the STRB.  At a time of serious and deepening teacher recruitment and retention problems, the Government needs to begin to restore the cuts in the real value of teacher pay.” Read more



A national EIS demonstration in support of our pay claim will take place in Glasgow on Saturday October 27th As a union, we need a maximum display of our strength on the day. All members are urged to attend this event to send a clear message to Scottish Government and COSLA: Value Education Value Teachers! Read more



Wetherspoons responds to Brighton workers strike ballot by bringing pay award forward (17 Sept) – Last night, in a sign JD Wetherspoons is worried about the impact workers going on strike will have on their business, they told staff they are bringing forward their annual pay rise. Workers at “The Bright Helm”, and “The Post & Telegraph” are being be balloted about striking for £10 an hour and union recognition. Workers have been sharing stories of poverty pay with the media, and won support from local politician Caroline Lucas MP. Responding to the pay rise, Chris Heppell, 29, Kitchen Team Leader, at the Post & Telegraph, said: “When you’re struggling to get by every penny counts. If this is how they respond to two pubs just threatening to take action, imagine what we can achieve when we all come together in a union across the country. By taking action together, JD Wetherspoons could no longer ignore the issues of low pay and night rates. We’re more determined than ever to continue our fight so that Wetherspoons workers across the country get £10 / hour and the respect they deserve, that only comes through recognising our union.” 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


United Voices of the World

IT’S ON! – UVW members working as security officers at the Ministry of Justice have served their employer, OCS group UK, a Notice of Trade Dispute over their terms and conditions, including their pay (Sept 18) – The security staff who work around the clock to make sure all buildings are safe and secure are paid poverty wages below the rate of the London Living Wage (currently £10.20 and updated annually). Having witnessed their colleagues, the brave MoJ cleaners, organise to demand their rights, the entire security team unionised and the campaign is now spreading to other groups of workers across the MoJ. Despite ongoing intimidation from their employers, the workers are united, strong and determined to win. To the Minister of Justice David Michael Gauke, we say: the people who clean after you and keep you safe deserve respect and fair pay. Justice will prevail! Read the full letter on https://tinyurl.com/MoJdispute

Recycling plant workers: Another Victory in court! (Sept 18) – Interim relief granted to UVW’s unlawfully sacked east London recycling plant health and safety reps from Peru who led a 3 week strike over dangerous working conditions! Last Friday Interim Relief was granted at the East London Employment Tribunal to Christian and Edson, UVW’s Health and Safety reps from Orion, an East London recycling plant, from which they were sacked a few weeks ago in what the tribunal found, at an interim hearing, to be a clear act of trade union victimisation and for raising health and safety concerns. This means Orion is now obliged in law to give them a full back-payment of wages and continue to pay their salaries in full until the date of their final hearing. UVW will now continue to pursue Orion for substantial compensation and reinstatement. Earlier this year Edson and Cristian led their colleagues out on an historic 3 week walk out over dangerous working conditions following which they represented their colleageus in collective negotiations over health and safety matters, and terms and conditions. When they were sacked no procedures were followed or evidence provided for the trumped up grounds on which their dismissal. They were simply told to go home and not return, after several years of service between them read more

Top Shop 2: Victory! (Sept 13) – Philip Green’s cleaning contractor at Topshop, Britannia Services Group, has admitted today in open court to having sacked UVW members Carolina and Susana (The Topshop Two) for their roles in organising the campaign for a living wage in 2016! In a remarkable turn of events today Britannia conceded both ordinary and automatic unfair dismissal before Carolina’s hearing even commenced and confessed that the reason they sacked her was because she was a member of UVW, participated UVW’s activities, and made use of UVW’s trade union services. That astounding concession is testament to the weight of evidence against them and the dishonesty of their witnesses who were likely waiting in trepidation at the prospects of the amazing cross examination of Akua Reindorf, our barrister in the case acting pro bono for UVW. (https://www.cloisters.com/barristers/akua-reindorf) read more



Rise of the Precarious Workers: National Demo October 30th 8am Transport for London, 197 Blackfriars Road SE1 8NJ Facebook event They have killed our rights, but together, we are going to bring them back from the dead. On the eve of Halloween, The IWGB and other precarious workers will take to the streets of London to demand an end to the assault on their employment rights by bloodsucking bosses and a zombie government. On the day, the IWGB will be facing Uber at the Court of Appeal as part of the ongoing battle over workers’ rights. A victory would put us one step closer to ending the attack on our rights that so-called “gig economy” bosses are conducting with near impunity. This is not just about Uber drivers, but about all of us that are being forced into increasingly more precarious forms of work



Other news

New film: ‘Nae Pasaran’ – the true story of Scottish workers’ solidarity against Pinochet read more plus find out about upcoming screenings



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

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

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog





Italian government threatens to cut indirect state funding to newspapers read more from NUJ website

Unions condemn Saudi-led coalition bombing of Yemen radio station read more from NUJ website







29 Protest Tory Party Conference in Birmingham – assemble 12pm Victoria Square



17 National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism and Racism Central London



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