This week, the NSSN headline our bulletin with the impending civil service strike by the biggest union in Northern Ireland NIPSA (Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance). You can follow news about the action on the union’s website
This statement is from Carmel Gates – NIPSA Deputy General Secretary:-
“Up to 20,000 civil servants across Northern Ireland are set to strike on Friday 26th July.
NIPSA achieved a magnificent 68.5% YES vote in favour of strike action which was particularly significant because we were forced to ballot within a 3 week window before the summer leave season.
The strike has been provoked by the imposition of another below-inflation pay award for 2018/19.
This will be the largest industrial action in Northern Ireland since March 2015, when the entire public sector was shut down in a strike against the austerity measures implemented by the Tories and the local Assembly.
The pay increase was due to NI Civil Servants from 1 August 2018. The measly 1.5% imposed will be in pay packets in July. NIPSA’s claim was for 7% on pay and allowances and for scale shortening.
The Treasury Guidance that limits pay awards to Civil Servants in England and Wales also applies to the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS). We have, therefore, suffered that same years of ‘pay restraint’ as you and now the majority of NI Civil Servants are earning below the NI Average wage.
The lowest grades, AA and analogous grades, were given a 3% award just to bring them above minimum wage. This is a damning indictment of the Tory government.
Just as in Britain, very many public servants now rely on second jobs and tax credits to make ends meet.
But this strike isn’t just about pay. To add insult to injury, changes to personnel procedures mean that line managers will be forced to take on more responsibilities in relation to sick absence management, grievance and discipline.
Added to that, and without any consultation with NIPSA, the NICS has moved to external recruitment for Staff Officers and Deputy Principals – grades that would normally have been filled by internal promotion.
This has really angered long-suffering civil servants who have effectively been running the services of government in the absence of Ministers and the Assembly for the last 2.5 years.
The action will begin with a full day strike on 26 July but will be followed by further action in the following months. Our 2019 pay award is due from 1 August and the Treasury guidance published last month would suggest there is more of the same for Civil Servants next year.
They tell us there is no money but they spent £210 million a few years ago to lay off 3,500 civil servants and now they are recruiting more staff. We have been left with no option but to fight. Enough is enough.
NIPSA members have made clear that they are up for strong action and are determined to do what needs to be done. We would welcome all the support NSSN affiliates can provide to help us win this important dispute.”
Up the workers.
Deputy General Secretary
From NIPSA website: NIPSA Announces a Full Day Strike on 26 July ballot over Northern Ireland Civil Service (NCIS) pay – NIPSA’s Civil Service Executive Committee considered the ballot earlier today and are now calling on all members to support the industrial action with a full day strike on Friday 26 July 2019. NIPSA will also be giving notice that Action Short of Strike Action will commence on Monday 29 July 2019. Details of the Action Short of Strike Action will follow. Further information regarding 26 July will be issued over the coming days. The Civil Service Executive Committee have made it clear that the 26 July will be the first of a series of various initiatives which will include further strike day(s) and other actions. The Executive Committee want to also reassure members that there is a detailed plan which will involve rolling action, potential selective action, half and one day strikes and action short of strike action. In order to consider further the detail of the next part of the campaign to defend pay, terms and conditions the Civil Service Executive Committee have agreed to meet again on Friday 2 August 2019 to detail and finalise the next steps. The Civil Service Executive Committee is resolute that members have given a strong mandate to ensure that they are no longer trampled on read more
NSSN Conference shows the mood for struggle – come to the NSSN TUC Rally in Brighton, 1pm on Sunday September 8th
Hundreds of union reps and members attended the 2019 National Shop Stewards Network on July 6th in London to discuss defending jobs, fighting for a pay rise and stopping the cuts.
Throughout the day, in the main sessions and workshops, the increasing number of strikes and disputes were reported, in many cases by strikers themselves. Many talked about how we must fight for a General Election to kick out the Tories, whoever wins the leadership contest.
Conference reserved a special welcome for Lyn Marie O’Hara, one of Glasgow Unison’s historic and victorious equal pay strikers.
She spoke alongside Mick Cash RMT General Secretary, Dave Ward CWU General Secretary, Sharon Graham Unite Executive Officer, Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary and Amy Murphy USDAW President.
This is a video of the speech by NSSN national chair Rob Williams
Another big issue of the day was how the union movement must relate to the call for a Climate Change general strike on September 20th.
All these will be major themes at our NSSN Rally at TUC Congress in Brighton on Sunday September 8th. It will be from 1pm in the Holiday Inn Kings Rd, BN1 2JF. All welcome.
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
Strong start to indefinite PCS strike action at BEIS (15 July) – Our members who are cleaners and caterers working for Aramark and ISS have begun their indefinite walk out with huge support from the wider trade union movement. Contracted out workers at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) received a rousing reception from fellow trade unionists as they walked at noon today. The cleaners and caterers have been campaigning for over 9 months for the London Living Wage and previously taken part in a series of stoppages against contractors Aramark and ISS. Now in a major escalation of their campaign for pay justice, they have down tools for an indefinite period, until they reach a negotiated settlement with the contractors. They will be joined on strike from the 22 July for 5 days by contracted out security, porters and postroom staff. Workers in a separate dispute for a living wage and better working conditions have also go on strike for the first time. Cleaners working for ISS in HMRC Bootle in Merseyside are on strike for two days from today read more
You can support the workers on social media using the hashtags: #LivingWage #PCSstrike
Resounding support from local MPs for striking ISS members in Bootle and Liverpool (15 July) – PCS members working for ISS in HMRC offices in Bootle and Liverpool began two days of strike action today in their dispute over pay, terms and conditions and job security. There was solid support for action at both locations in the dispute and picket lines were vibrant and well supported by local PCS members and activists, Labour councillors and Labour MPs Peter Dowd, Bill Esterson and Dan Carden read more
How you can support the campaign –
Come to one of the picket lines on 16 July:
The Triad, Stanley Rd, Bootle (picket 7-11am)
Imperial Court, Exchange St East, Liverpool (picket 10am-12pm)
Regian House, Derby Square/Strand St (there are two entrances with picket lines), Liverpool (picket 10am-12pm)
Send a message of support to [email protected]
Attend our parliamentary rally on outsourcing or ask your local MP to attend: Wednesday 17 July 6-8pm, Boothroyd Room, House of Commons
Join the PCS rally against outsourcing 17 July – Ahead of a rally in London highlighting the damage caused by privatisation we look at how outsourcing is bad for workers, impacts on public services and presents poor value for money for taxpayers. PCS has always been vigorously opposed to the privatisation and outsourcing of our members’ jobs. The government recently had to admit the damage caused by outsourcing when HM Prison Birmingham was permanently returned to the public sector, and it was announced that probation services in England and Wales would be renationalised after a disastrous part-privatisation programme. PCS HMPPS branch has demanded a moratorium on all further prison and justice privatisation until a full, independent inquiry has been conducted into the cost, viability and morality of such practices…The joint rally with the Trade Union Coordinating Group runs from 6-8pm on 17 July in the Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, 1 Parliament Street read more
PCS ballot for change in DVSA closes in one week (11 July) – If you are a PCS member working for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) there is still time to vote in our ballot for industrial action, including striking, in a long-running dispute over changes to terms and conditions. The ballot, which runs until noon on 19 July, centres on DVSA management’s refusal to consult meaningfully having imposed working practices, and restructures that are impacting detrimentally to members’ terms and conditions and their jobs… We want members to vote yes in the ballot, which runs until noon on 19 July, against:
Longer working days
Lack of redundancy consultation, staffing shortages and increasing workloads
Travel time inequality.
#VoteForChangeInDVSA read more
Strikers still resolute on FCO picket line – Today marks the first day of the fourth period of strike action for facilities management workers employed by Interserve at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). As on previous strike days, 100% of the members, who make up the majority of the facilities management (FM) staff in London, supported the strike and were present on picket lines. Members are angry that although Interserve took up the invitation from PCS to enter into talks with ACAS on 4 July, they have failed to make any proposal to settle the dispute. Some progress has been made, but members still want a buy-out of the contractual change to their pay dates which meant they had to wait six weeks for a month’s payment. They also want trade union recognition to ensure that future issues can be negotiated by their union reps, and not forced upon them by the employer read more
RMT confirms protest at Parliament this Wednesday in support of Royal Navy Lifeline Workers fight for “Fair Pay for RFA” (11 July) – Maritime union RMT confirmed today that it will be holding a parliamentary demonstration next week in support of a programme of industrial action involving nearly 700 workers at the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – the Royal Navy supply lifeline – in a fight for pay justice. The demonstration will be held with RFA members outside Parliament on Wednesday 17th July, 12.30pm opposite Old Palace Yard SW1A 2BE read more
RMT accuses Tube bosses of playing fast and loose in pay talks as union steps up preparations for a ballot (11 July) – Tube union RMT today accused London Underground bosses of stringing staff along and playing fast and loose after an eighth day of pay talks yesterday failed to lever any king of meaningful offer out of the management side. The union says it is both angry and frustrated at what it sees as blatant delaying tactics and is now stepping up preparations for a strike ballot across the tube network read more
RMT MEMBERS working as Senior Conductors on East Midlands Trains will be taking strike action at the end of July and the beginning of August (5 July) – The dispute is over EMT’s management’s failure to bring a meaningful resolution to our members’ concerns over Pay Discrimination and Contract issues. RMT believes the only way to get management to seriously address these concerns is to take industrial action. Therefore all RMT EMT Senior Conductors are instructed to take strike action as outlined below:
Members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:
- 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 20th July 2019
- 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 27th July 2019
- 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 3rd August 2019 read more
Hereford and Worcester firefighters enter trade dispute with fire service employer (12 July) – Hereford and Worcester firefighters are taking on their employers, after repeated attempts by the Chief Fire Officer to undercut the union. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has lodged a trade dispute, criticising “confrontational” management for imposing new duty systems and contracts without meaningful consultation. The FBU will consider industrial action if the dispute is not resolved by 9th August. The management of Hereford and Worcester fire and rescue service (HWFRS) have forced firefighters to perform managerial and supervisory duties outside of their contract, while new recruits have been placed on new contracts without discussion with the union. Sides have clashed a number of times over the imposition of a 10-hour day shift system. After ignoring recommendations from a Technical Advisory Panel, the service gave the FBU a single day’s notice before imposing the controversial shift system read more
Unite to ballot Diageo members for strike action following derisory pay offer (16 July) – Unite has today (Tuesday 16 July) confirmed that it will move to ballot its members at Diageo for strike action following the overwhelming rejection of a derisory pay offer of 2.5 per cent made to the workforce. The workforce voted by 95 per cent to reject the company’s pay offer following weeks of negotiation. Diageo, whose brands include Smirnoff, Bailey’s, Johnnie Walker and Guinness reported an operating profit of almost £4 billion in 2018. The company has also submitted plans for a flagship whisky experience on Edinburgh’s Princes Street, at a cost of £150 million read more
Lincolnshire health visitors striking today over ‘no pay rises’ and erosion of professional standards (15 July) – Health visitors employed by Lincolnshire county council are striking for 48 hours from today (Monday 15 July) over not getting paid the rate for the job and the erosion of their professional responsibilities which could adversely impact vulnerable families. Unite said that the 58 health visitors are going ahead go-ahead with their strike after talks with the council, under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, failed to resolve the dispute read more
Valspar industrial action details announced (15 July) – Unite has today served notice of its plans for industrial action at paint company Valspar, based at the Deeside Industrial Estate in Flintshire. The industrial action will commence with a ban on all overtime and on call working from 06:30 on Monday 29 July. In addition to this a 48 hour strike will take place from 06:30 on Sunday 11 August. The dispute is over underpaid wages for hours worked, which was formally raised with the company in 2018 but to date no agreement has been reached to resolve the issue. The parties have agreed to meet with Acas on 17 July for further talks aimed at resolving the dispute read more
Summer travel chaos looms after Heathrow workers announce strike dates in pay dispute (12 July) – Summer travel chaos at Heathrow Airport is looming large, Unite warned today (Friday 12 July) after workers across the airport’s five terminals announced a series of strikes in a dispute over pay. Over 4,000 workers, including security guards, engineers, passenger service operatives and passenger service drivers, are set to walk out on Friday 26 July and Saturday 27 July, Monday 5 August and Tuesday 6 August, and Friday 23 August and Saturday 24 August, in a move that could potentially shut down the airport. It comes after the workers backed strike action in eight separate strike ballots. The planned strikes follow the rejection of an 18 month pay offer amounting to 2.7 per cent, which according to Unite amounts to just £3.75 extra a day for the lowest paid workers involved in the dispute read more
Stansted easyJet ‘check-in chaos’ on cards as 17 days of strikes announced in ‘dismal’ pay dispute (11 July) – Thousands of easyJet passengers could face severe delays at Stansted Airport as check-in staff will strike for 17 days in a long-running pay dispute, Unite said today (Thursday 11 July). Unite represents 43 passenger service agents employed by Stobart Aviation Services Limited, which has the easyJet contract at the Essex airport. The strikes will start from Thursday 25 July on the eve of the peak holiday season. Unite apologises in advance to affected passengers, but says that the best way to help avoid the dispute is if the public contacts easyJet and asks the airline to insist that Stobart does everything it can to genuinely resolve the situation. The low paid workers voted unanimously to strike over the company’s refusal to pay wages in line with similar companies at Stansted; the refusal to recognise Unite as a trade union for collective bargaining purposes; and a breakdown in industrial relations. The strikes come as controversy continues to swirl over Stobart’s chief executive Warwick Brady possibly pocketing a £30 million bonus which is linked to any future sale of Southend Airport. The strike dates are 25 to 29 July; 2 to 5 August; 9 to 12 August; 16 to 19 August; and 23 to 27 August read more
Gatwick faces summer of disruption as workers vote for strike action over poverty pay (11 July) – Two separate groups of workers at Gatwick airport are to begin balloting for industrial action over poverty pay rates. If the workers vote for strike action then passengers at Gatwick are set to face delays and disruption later this summer. Unite is conducting a ballot of over 100 members working for ICTS, who are employed to scan passengers’ luggage for explosive materials and other dangerous and prohibited materials. The workers are paid just £8.50 an hour and are seeking an increase of 50 pence an hour so that they are paid the real living wage of £9 an hour. Unite is also balloting members employed by outsourcing giants ISS. The workers are involved in maintaining the facilities at Gatwick airport for example ensuring that toilets have the appropriate materials, as well as assisting with moving luggage and rearranging furniture read more
Hackney transport strike – blockade foils employers! By a NSSN supporter: Unite The Union members employed as drivers and passenger assistants by Hackney Council have been taking action, including strike action, in support of a campaign to compensate workers who undertake split shifts. The actions on strike days have gradually escalated so that there were demonstrations every day by supporters of the strike which blocked busses being driven by the small number of strike breakers. On the last day of the current round of strikes, the employers thought that they would be clever – the busses were taken out of the depot the previous evening and parked in a private car park, which the employers thought was out of sight, apart from the top deck of a double decker bus, which is indeed how this cunning plan was rumbled. On the morning, campaigners parked cars across the entrance to the car park while the strikers occupied the pavement – meaning that in fact no buses could move. The action was extremely effective – leading to the Director of Education visiting and attempting to co-ordinate the very unsuccessful attempt to break the strike.
This is a solid campaign – where new members have joined the union and where agency staff too have joined the strike. While individual Labour Party members and the Constituency Labour party have shown tremendous support, the response from Councillors in a majority Labour Council has been appalling. One Councillor who visited the depot – not to stand on the picket line but to assist with the strike breaking exercise said that the strikers should be happy with their wages ( some take home less than £800 a month ) but also that there was no “magic money tree” – wonder where he got that quote from? This strike shows once again how important it is for Corbyn and McDonnell to give clear direction to Labour Councillors – no more austerity, implement fair pay for public service workers – but also, crucially that those Councillors not prepared to fight austerity should be deselected. Strikers have made it clear – unless the dispute is resolved, then following the school holidays, there will be more, escalated strike action and campaigning.
Victory for Stagecoach bus strikers! By Dave Beale, Chair, Unite Lancs Community branch (personal capacity) – Union militancy pays! That’s the immediate conclusion to be drawn from the magnificent and successful recent struggle of Unite Stagecoach bus workers in Central Lancashire. Selected days of strike action in pursuit of a 50p per hour pay rise have been organised over several weeks by the Unite Stagecoach branch covering Preston and Chorley read more
Newham council faces five days of strikes over treatment of housing repair workers – About 50 housing repair workers at Newham council are to strike for five days disgusted over the way they are being treated, Unite said today (Wednesday 10 July). Unite said its members had voted unanimously for strike action over a myriad of issues, including a plan to introduce a new pay structure which would have cut pay by 20 per cent, pay deductions without speaking to the individuals concerned and a failure to tackle a bullying culture. The carpenters, electricians and plumbers, based at the Bridge Road depot, Abbey Road, Stratford, London E15 3LX, will hold 24 hour stoppages on 2, 5, 23 and 27 August, as well as on 11 September. All the strikes will start at 00:01. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “It is starkly apparent that Newham council is beleaguered by a very poor employment relations’ culture…” read more
Lincolnshire health visitors to strike for six days over ‘no pay rises’ and erosion of professional standards – Health visitors employed by Lincolnshire county council will strike initially for six days over not getting paid the rate for the job and the erosion of their professional responsibilities which could adversely impact vulnerable families. Unite said today (Friday 28 June) that the 58 health visitors voted by an 84 per cent majority to strike. A 48 hour stoppage will start on 15 July, with 24 hour strikes on 19 and 22 July. This will be followed by a 48 hour strike on 25 July. All the strikes will start at 00:01. It is believed to be the first time that the county’s health visitors will have taken strike action in defence of their pay and professional standards. The strike comes as controversy continues to swirl over the £292,000 pay off to the council chief executive Keith Ireland for less than six months’ work. Unite calculates that its Lincolnshire health visitor members have lost more than £2,000 a year since they were transferred from the NHS to the county council in October 2017 read more
Sign the petition to defend Bromley Library Service Call and support the indefinite strike – We are calling on the public to help defend Bromley Library Service. As Unite the Union, we oppose cuts to numbers of posts and demand that staff are properly paid. Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) have claimed that they could provide the same service for less money. We do not believe that this is possible. We call on GLL to abide by its agreement with Unite. We call on the Council to take the service back in-house.
Support the 50 Bromley library staff who have been on strike since 6 June over pay and other issues specifically relating to GLL’s stewardship of Bromley’s 14 libraries read more. Please send messages of support and any financial assistance via Unite regional officer Onay Kasab [email protected]
Support the Swindon Honda workers – watch video of the March 30th demonstration against the planned closure of the plant
Support the Bridgend Fordworkers – Sign the petition: Nationalise Ford Bridgend if the company closes the plant – an appeal to Mark Drakeford
Bring British Steel into public ownership to avoid an industrial catastrophe, demands Unite – The government must bring British Steel into public ownership to avoid an economic and industrial catastrophe the UK and Ireland’s largest union, Unite said today (Wednesday 22 May) after it emerged the steelmaker is going into official receivership read more
Keep supporting Unite members on at Colloids Limited on Merseyside who are on indefinite strike to defend their union rep – The action comes after the dismissal of Unite union representative George Gore who was unfairly dismissed on Friday 8 February for an alleged breach of health and safety. For more information and to send messages of support and donations, please contact Patrick Coyne on 07568 106 243 and/or Unite communications officer Karen Viquerat on 0151 559 2004 or 07768 931 316. Unite press office is on 020 3371 2065. Email: [email protected] read more
Workers at Luton Airport step up action with 49 day strike – Security guards employed by London Luton Airport will take strike action through most of June and July in a dispute over ‘heavy-handed’ changes to working time. The workers will begin their fourth period of strike action today (Wednesday 5 June) from 04:30 through to Tuesday 23 July at 20:59. Unite is meeting the airport with Acas next Wednesday (12 June) to try to resolve the dispute. London Luton Airport is imposing a new shift pattern affecting around 120 security guards which means the workforce will have to work an extra 15 days a year. Workers say the new shift pattern is taking a heavy toll on their well-being read more
Mental health staff in Leigh and Wigan to vote on strike action over pay freeze (12 July) – Drug, alcohol and mental health support workers in Leigh and Wigan are to vote on taking strike action over broken pay promises from contractor Addaction, says their union UNISON today (Friday). The 30 workers, who see more than 100 people with addiction and mental health problems a day, are angry that contractor Addaction is going back on a 2018 agreement. This would have seen some staff who’ve had their pay frozen for two years, receive up to £2,000, says UNISON. Had Addaction not reneged on its promises, its workers would now be earning the same as NHS staff doing similar jobs, says UNISON. The union is now to ballot its members from next Thursday (18 July) to Friday 2 August. Staff were transferred to Addaction when it took full control of Wigan Council’s substance misuse service in 2018 read more
Support the pay strike at Birmingham University – next strikes on Graduation Days June 16 & 17 read more
Workers at Sainsbury’s Waltham Point to take second round of strike action on 25 July says USDAW (15 July) – Usdaw trade union has now given notice that members at the Sainsbury’s Waltham Point distribution centre will take part in a second round of 24 hour strike action on Thursday, 25 July 2019. The dispute relates to changes to the attendance policy which are being unilaterally implemented by the company read more
Further two-day strike at John Roan School in Greenwich against academisation on July 16-17 Facebook page
Support strikes at Peacehaven Community School in east Sussex against academisation – Send messages of support to: Phil Clarke 07709696561 [email protected] and Jack Tyler 01444 894500 [email protected] Hands Off Peacehaven Community School Facebook group
School’s response to strike causes unnecessary disruption (12 July) – On 11th July 2019, members of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union at Shenley Academy and Sixth Form in Birmingham took strike action in response to the continuing intransigence of the employer and school management to address their concerns regarding adverse management practices. It has been drawn to the attention of the NASUWT that the School’s response to the strike was to bring in teachers from other schools to cover the lessons of teachers taking strike action read more
Plymouth academy strike – standing up to ‘bullying’ management forces climbdown – Teachers and support staff at the Martin’s Gate ACE Multi Academy Trust went on strike in Plymouth on 2 July. The action called by teachers’ union NASUWT was in response to an increasingly hostile work environment. NASUWT members were calling for an end to bullying by management, calling out the ineffective management of workload, calling for full union recognition with facility time and the setting up of a Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) to formulate an anti-bullying policy read more
Hull Trades Council Supports ASDA workers (15 July) – Solidarity leafletting outside ASDA at Mount Pleasant Hull got fantastic responses from shoppers and passers-by alike. We also upset two managers who challenged our right to leaflet but we refused to budge and carried on until we had run out of leaflets. ASDA is part of the Walmart Corporation. It made huge profits last year but despite that is trying to drive down workers’ pay and conditions by changing the contracts of some of its lowest paid staff, threatening unsocial hours bank holiday and other payments. The GMB union is currently balloting its members to reject the deal. Many shoppers said that they would send a message condemning the attacks to the CEO of ASDA. Hull Trades Council mobilised nearly 30 activists on the first day of what will be a rolling programme of solidarity at other ASDA branches in the Hull area from fellow trade unionists. Best wishes Mick Whale Chair of Hull Trades Council
UK-wide Amazon Prime Day protests (15 July) – Amazon workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and taken away in ambulances, and pregnant women workers are treated appallingly. This is the reality of the dehumanising work conditions for many associates at Amazon Fulfilment Centres. GMB, the union for Amazon workers, is staging Prime Day protests across the UK in anger at the appalling working conditions in the retail giant’s warehouses. From today, the union will hold demonstrations outside Amazon fulfilment centres, including Rugeley, Swansea, Peterborough, Warrington, Coventry, Doncaster and Milton Keynes read more
GMB issue industrial action notice to Brighton and Hove Council (15 July) – GMB issue industrial action notice to Brighton and Hove Council as talks over anti-trade union behaviour reach deadlock. It has always been made very clear that GMB members red lines on the most serious issues were not on a pick and mix basis, they either agreed to all or none, says GMB Southern. GMB have issued what will be the first of a series of Industrial Action notices to Brighton & Hove City Council over the coming weeks as talks over council anti trade union behaviour reach deadlock. GMB have issued the required two weeks notices on behalf of the City’s street cleansing, refuse and recycling services. Tripartite discussions chaired by ACAS and attended by BHCC Council, Labour Leader Nancy Platts and Green Party Convenor Phelim MacCafferty have been unable to reach a solution that all sides could agree to. This is after senior council officers including Chief Exec Geoff Raw and Director of Finance & Resources David Kuenssberg added new additional concerns and issues when a solution looked likely. The notices issued to the council, at the sudden conclusion of what has been a difficult process at times, are the first in a series of dates under consideration for the coming weeks and months, lay out the first day of full strike action as Monday 29th July and simultaneous notice of the commencement of an extended overtime ban running through until the 5th August, additional days consisting of full day walk outs are planned for 2nd, 3rd 4th and 5th August, with further strike action by the departments Vehicle workshop and maintenance staff on 30th July and 1st August. Further dates will be added over the coming days and weeks leading to possible further disruption of services to the city provided by Cityclean until GMB can be assured that Council officers continued attacks against both the GMB and its representatives have ceased and that proposals, even if only tentatively agreed, are then not varied or removed from scope read more
School staff strike over job losses at Brooklands Primary School in Blackheath (12 July) – GMB members at Brooklands Primary take strike action on Monday 15th July in protest at redundancies. Our message is it’s not too late for the Trust to reconsider and we urge them to do so, says GMB Southern. Staff at Brooklands Primary School in Blackheath are set to strike on Monday 15 July over cuts in staffing made at the school by the Maritime Academy Trust. They will be joined outside the school gates by parents who have already held several protests against the Trust’s Actions read more
GMB hold consultative ballot at Yodel over 0% finance back pay and redundancy payments across sort and transport centres (12 July) – The company would quite rightly seek to hold us to account if we broke an Agreement, so now it is time to hold them to account, says GMB London. GMB are holding a consultative ballot of all members across Yodel to ask for support for a full industrial action ballot. This comes after Yodel recently undertook a redundancy exercise across Sort and Transport centres. Yodel have announced that basic back pay and redundancy payments will be paid over the 3 months of July, August and September. GMB has long standing agreements with Yodel on the redundancy process, which states that volunteers will be sought in the first instance and providing enough come forward will be released on enhanced redundancy pay. The company have now breached this agreement, are refusing to accept volunteers and forcing GMB members out of a job. The consultative ballot closes on Friday 19th July read more
UCU members at Nottingham College announce mammoth 15 days of strike action (15 July) – Nottingham College faces weeks of walkouts in September and October after UCU members announced plans for a mammoth 15 days of strike action. The union said its members were furious at the college’s “deplorable tactic” of threatening to dismiss staff who refuse to sign up to new contracts that would leave them worse off. It said staff had made their frustrations clear at a meeting last week where they unanimously backed the extensive walkouts. The strikes will start with a one day walkout on Wednesday 11 September, escalating to strikes of two, three, four and five days in subsequent weeks. Staff at the college walked out for a one-day strike on Monday 1 July and warned then that if the college did not come back to the table prepared to seriously negotiate then further action would follow read more
Support sacked Sandwell College lecturer Dave Muritu read more
Protest against Minimum Income Floor in Universal Credit on Wednesday July 17 (hosted by Equity North & East London General Branch) – 9am Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, Holborn, London WC2A 2LL. Equity Protest against unfairness of Minimum Income Floor in Universal Credit for Members. Following our ARC motion that was unanimously passed in May, we are holding with full agreement by Equity Guild House a gathering outside the High Court to protest against the impact of Minimum Income Floor on our members, prior to the start of 2 day case involving Equity Member Charmaine Parkin read more on Facebook event
SIPTU members in National Ambulance Service to ballot for strike action (15 July) – SIPTU Ambulance Sector representatives have today (Monday, 15th July) confirmed that SIPTU members working in the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare will be balloted for industrial action, up to and including strike action, over the failure of NAS management to rectify problems with a new payroll system read more
Demonstrations against a ‘Wholly Owned Subsidiary’ been set up by Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust – Friday 19th July outside main entrances at Frimley and Wexham Park hospitals https://mobile.twitter.com/unite_southeast/status/1150389486532120583
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 workers welcome UNITE investigation into possible collusion in blacklisting
UNITE have sent out correspondence announcing the launch of the investigation into possible collusion by union officers in blacklisting. A letter written by Andrew Murray (Unite Chief of Staff) explains how the process will start in September and investigate documents disclosed during litigation, Consulting Association blacklist files, take oral and written witness statements but also include more recent Subject Access Requests. UNITE have stated that any official found to have colluded with blacklisters will be subject to disciplinary action.
Roy Bentham (BSG joint secretary and UNITE EC member for construction) commented on the letter from Andrew Murray:
“BSG have been calling for an investigation into possible union collusion in blacklisting for 10 years, we are therefore very pleased that this is now taking place. We do not for one moment think that every union official was conspiring with construction employers against their own members, but it is simply a fact that a number of blacklist files name union officials as the source of information. We are not looking for a witch-hunt but this must be fully investigated. There is a big battle to be had in the construction industry against companies who put profit before safety and who deny basic employment rights by engaging their workers on bogus self-employed precarious contracts. But this dark cloud of possible officer collusion, which has caused so much friction within the construction unions, needs to be removed once and for all”.
A delegation from the Blacklist Support Group have met with senior officials from Unite to clarify a number of issues. Speaking after the meeting, Dave Smith (BSG joint secretary) commented:
“We have had assurances from UNITE that the entire process, from collating the evidence to writing the final report, will be carried out by senior counsel and solicitors independently from the union. This is essential and we applaud the union for committing to such a transparent investigation: we intend to hold the union to that promise. We will be pointing the lawyers towards evidence we think is relevant, even if that upsets some people. We encourage any blacklisted worker who has concerns or evidence of possible union collusion to engage with this investigation, or contact BSG directly. BSG would not be involved in this process unless we thought it was capable of getting to the truth”.
Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions conference: Saturday 16th November 2019 – jointly organized by the Blacklist Support Group
A major trade union conference ‘Undercover Policing and the Trade Unions: The Political and The Personal’ is taking place at the University of Greenwich on Saturday 16th November 2019. The event is jointly organised by the Blacklist Support Group and our sister campaigns Police Spies Out of Lives and the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS). The conference is officially supported by UNITE the Union.
Amongst other issues, the conference will cover undercover police infiltration of trade unions, police collusion in blacklisting, the human rights violations against female activists by the British state and ongoing corporate surveillance of union activists. The speakers will include spied on activists, blacklisted union members, lawyers, politicians, investigative journalists and artists. See the attached documents for more information.
Attendance is free but registration is essential. Please raise the issue at your union committee and encourage people to apply for a space online via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/undercover-policing-and-trade-unions-the-political-and-the-personal-tickets-64167284074
Affiliate to the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPs) and to send representatives from your trade union branch/organisation to our Trade Union Conference on Saturday November 16th at University of Greenwich, Stephen Lawrence Building, Old Naval College, 30 Park Row, London, SE10 9LS.
Return Address: Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), c/o 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX
Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt
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