Over the next two weeks, there are a number of protests by NHS workers and health campaigners as unions ballot their members on NHS pay at the same time as the Tory Government moves on with their Health and Care Bill.
- March with Midwives: 2pm Sunday 21st November – details of local protests here. “Our Mission is to stand in solidarity as parents, maternity users, lay birth workers and healthcare professionals in a call for government action to address the urgent crisis in maternity services”
- Protest to oppose the Health and Care Bill outside Parliament: 5pm Monday 22nd November – called by Unite the union and supported by Health Campaigns Together, Keep Our NHS Public, We Own It and Your NHS Needs You read more in Unite: Two weeks to save the NHS: Unite leads campaign to oppose the Health and Care bill
- NHS SOS protest: Friday 26th November 12.30pm Westminster Bridge; 2.30pm Parliament Old Palace Yard – organised by NHS Workers Say NO. NHS workers are taking to the River Thames to show this government that we outright reject the 3% pay offer Facebook event
Unite: Strike ballot at Barts Health NHS Trust over Serco’s two-tier workforce and 1% pay offer – solidarity protest 12.30pm Tuesday 16th November outside Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel
Stop victimisation of union reps
Donate to the reinstatement campaign of Declan Clune RMT bus driver in Southampton (on behalf of Declan Clune and all RMT Southampton District Bus and Coach Branch members). Email message of support: [email protected]
Donate to solidarity campaign of Moe Muhsin Manir Unite bus rep Email messages of support to Moe: [email protected]
Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – solidarity protest Saturday 20th November in the Quarry Shrewsbury. For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]
Sign petition to support Redbridge NEU Rep Keiran Mahon
Support 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. Feel free to use this affiliation letter
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]
East Midlands Railways staff to strike again (15 Nov) – Train Managers and Senior Conductors to strike again on East Midlands Railway in separate disputes over safety, pay and conditions. RAIL UNION RMT said that Train Managers and Senior Conductors on East Midlands Railway will be striking again in separate disputes. The action is taking place after the union suspended ongoing strike action and participated in weeks of negotiations which have resulted in the failure of the company to provide offers in writing that would resolve either dispute. In the case of Train Managers, East Midlands Railway has imposed new working arrangements on the multi-unit 12 carriage Class 360 Trains that the union believes are unsafe. The Senior Conductors dispute with the company is over pay, conditions and contract issues. All East Midlands Railway Train Manager members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:
- 0001 hours on Friday 3rd December 2021 and 2359 hours on Saturday 4th December 2021
All East Midlands Railway Senior Conductor members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:
- 0001 hours on Friday 3rd December 2021 and 2359 hours on Saturday 4th December 2021 read more
Caledonian Sleeper staff strike again (12 Nov) – Pickets out in force as Caledonian Sleeper staff strike again in battle for pay justice. RAIL UNION RMT said that pickets have been out in force at all key locations along the Caledonian Sleeper routes overnight as the workforce strikes again in their fight for pay and workplace justice read more
RMT calls for Caledonian Sleeper intervention (10 Nov) – On eve of strike action on Caledonian Sleeper RMT calls for Scotland’s political leadership to intervene. RAIL UNION RMT has called on Scotland’s political leadership to take responsibility and intervene as strike action on Caledonian Sleeper during the closing days of COP26 goes ahead tomorrow in an on-going fight for pay and workplace justice for Scotland’s rail workers – staff at the sharp end of providing green transport alternatives read more
RMT calls action over Night Tube reintroduction (11 Nov) – RMT calls action over imposition of impossible and unreasonable demands on staff in advance of Night Tube reopening. TUBE UNION RMT has called action by members over what it describes as the imposition of unacceptable and intolerable demands on staff in advance of the Night Tube reopening which the union says will wreck work life balance by bulldozing through additional night and weekend working. The union’s executive has agreed the following position today: This union has made every effort to reach an agreement with LUL that allows for the staffing of night-tube services without imposing unacceptable additional night and weekend working onto our members. LUL management has failed to engage positively with us and we are left with no alternative than to resume industrial action in furtherance of our demands. Accordingly, we instruct all train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria) not to book on for any duty commencing between 04:30 on 26/11/21 and 04:29 27/11/21. Further all train operator and instructor operators working on the Central and Victoria lines are instructed not to book on for any duty commencing:
- between 20:30 on 27/11/21 and 04:29 on 28/11/21
- between 20:30 on 3/12/21 and 04:29 on 4/12/21
- between 20:30 on 4/12/21 and 04:29 on 5/12/21
- between 20:30 on 10/12/21 and 04:29 on 11/12/21
- between 20:30 on 11/12/21 and 04:29 on 12/12/21
- between 20:30 on 17/12/21 and 04:29 on 18/12/21
All train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria) are also instructed not to book on for any duty commencing from 04:30 on 18/12/21 to 04:29 19/12/21 read more
TSSA demands Ministerial answers on ‘idiotic’ HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail plans (15 Nov) – TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has today called on Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, to ‘deny or confirm, explain and justify’ media reports that the Government is planning to scrap key rail projects. Reports over the weekend claimed that the Integrated Rail Plan, to be published by Ministers on Thursday, will see the Eastern Leg of HS2 – Birmingham to Leeds section – scrapped, and also the new Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) line. In a letter to Shapps, Cortes says that if true it would be a ‘betrayal of northern towns, cities and multiple communities’, and would ‘leave a gaping hole in the claims of your government regarding ‘levelling-up’’ read more
Rail Unions call for action on climate change (10 Nov) – 4 rail union leaders, Jeremy Corbyn and Roz Foyer at a table on a stage at COP26. A Peace and Justice Project banner to one side and a screen showing the report “A Vision for Scotland’s Railway” is above them. TSSA, ASLEF, RMT, and Unite unions today united with Jeremy Corbyn and the STUC at COP26 to call on the Scottish Government to invest in Scotland’s Railways in order to fight climate change. The unions held an event in Websters Theatre to promote their report “A Vision for Scotland’s Railways” which calls for better investment in railway infrastructure and staffing in order to encourage passengers back onto the railway. The report argues that staffed stations are safer at night and more accessible for passengers with disabilities read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Industrial action likely as Ponticelli/Semco workers vote for strike action (16 Nov) – Unite the union today (16 November) confirmed that around 300 members working for Ponticelli UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd have voted in favour of industrial action following a dispute over cuts to terms and conditions. Unite’s Ponticelli UK Ltd members voted to take strike action by 93.6% on a return of 64.8%, and Semco Maritime Ltd members voted to take strike action by 90.3% on a 61.4% return. Unite members are now set to take strike action, including an overtime ban, from early December until late February 2022. These members work on the Total Energies contract on the following assets; Alisa FSO, Culzean, Dunbar, Elgin Franklin, Gryphon FPSO, North Alwyn & Shetland Gas Plant read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Woolwich Ferry workers vote to strike over Transport for London’s ‘year of misrule’ (16 Nov) – Commuters using the Woolwich Ferry face a festive season of travel disruption as workers vote to strike after nearly ‘a year of misrule’ by Transport for London (TfL) bosses. Unite the union said the troubled ferry operation has been plagued by poor employment relations for years, first with the previous operator Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd and now with TfL which has led to more than 30 days of strike action during 2021. Unite represents the 58 ferry workers who have again voted for strike action with a 90 per cent majority – strike dates are expected to be announced very soon which will cause travel chaos over the Christmas and New Year periods. Besides the victimisation of two Unite reps, there has also been a failure to agree a new pay and reward scheme; the excessive use of agency staff; and the failure to provide adequate health and safety training to new employees – these are issues which have arisen since TfL took back control from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd in January this year read more
RNAD Coulport nuclear naval base workers to start overtime ban this week (15 Nov) – Unite Scotland has confirmed that around 70 of its members who provide specialist services for the UK’s nuclear deterrent submarines will start an overtime from Tuesday (16 November) at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot (RNAD) Coulport. Unite has severely criticised the ‘delay tactics’ employed by the ABL Alliance following 90.5% of its members at RNAD Coulport voting ‘yes’ in support of strike action, and 95.3% supporting action short of a strike. To date, the ABL Alliance employers have refused to meet the RPI inflation pay claim (3.8% – July) made by Unite. The workers involved in the dispute provide care and maintenance services for the weapons systems on the Royal Navy nuclear armed submarine fleet. It is understood that due to the specialist nature of the services provided that even an overtime ban could potentially ‘cripple’ the effective running of operations at the naval bases. The ABL Alliance was awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide services for the weapon system at Coulport, as well as the Strategic Weapon Support Building (SWSB) Faslane. The Unite membership involved in the dispute are employed by three separate employers: AWE plc, Babcock Marine (Clyde) Ltd, and Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems Ltd. AWE workers are involved mainly in the maintenance side of the weapon system operation, whereas the Lockheed Martin workers are responsible for specialist engineering and quality control. Babcock workers provide the Jetty Services at RNAD Coulport read more
Future of Rolls-Royce plant at Barnoldswick finally secured after long campaign (12 Nov) – The long-running campaign to secure the future of the historic Rolls-Royce factory of Barnoldswick in Lancashire has finally ended. Following a ballot the workers at the factory, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have accepted an enhanced agreement, extending protections previously secured in 2020, including a commitment that there will be no compulsory redundancies for five years and manufacturing will be undertaken on the site for at least 10 years. This is a substantial achievement given that the future of the plant, which is the cradle of the jet engine, was left hanging in the balance in early 2020 when Rolls-Royce announced that they intended to remove much of the work from the factory and transfer it to Singapore. Following that announcement there was a period of protracted strike action at the factory that led to an agreement and guarantees that the workforce subsequently believed was not being honoured. Further selective strike action this summer led to today’s enhanced protections and further commitments for the long-term future of the site read more
Faiveley Transport workers on Merseyside secure pay increase as strikes avoided (11 Nov) – Strike action at rail engineering company Faiveley Transport Birkenhead Ltd has been avoided after workers agreed a greatly improved pay offer. The workforce, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, overwhelmingly voted for strike action last month. However, once the company, which produces braking systems for major train companies, was made aware of the ballot result fresh negotiations were held and an improved pay offer was hammered out read more
Unite blasts Weetabix claims ‘fire and rehire’ tactics irrelevant to current dispute (11 Nov) – Unite general secretary says the union has “irrefutable evidence” that Weetabix is using ‘fire and rehire’ tactics to attack the wages and conditions of Unite engineers, including the threat of sackings. Unite engineers at Weetabix factories in Kettering and Corby in Northamptonshire are currently taking strike action four days a week against company moves to attack their wages and terms and conditions. The union estimates this could cost some engineers a loss of wages amounting to £5,000 a year. This despite the fact that last year Weetabix turnover grew by 5 per cent to £325 million and profits leapt by almost 20 per cent to £82 million read more
Unite Scotland reveals ‘devastating’ Scottish Ambulance Service survey findings (11 Nov) – Unite Scotland has today (11 November), in a Daily Record exclusive, revealed the details of a ‘devastating’ survey conducted of nearly 300 Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) workers. The survey conducted over the last month by the trade union among its SAS members reveals a ‘horrifying’ picture of the nation’s ambulance service due to years of ‘chronic underfunding’. The survey reveals that by huge majorities SAS workers feel under-valued, fatigued, and that staff morale has collapsed, alongside the vast majority of workers stating the nation’s ambulance service is under-resourced and under-staffed read more
Drivers ready for “long fight” after Arriva Cymru fails to tackle “poverty pay” (10 Nov) – Following the failure of Arriva Cymru to make any significant improvement in their pay offer to workers, five weeks of strike action by drivers will now proceed on Sunday 14 November. Welsh workers were offered a 0.29p an hour increase whilst Arriva workers over the border in the North West of England have been offered 0.39p. In addition to this the current pay differential between Welsh and North West Arriva drivers is £1.81 an hour. Despite talks taking place over recent days Arriva’s intransigence has left workers with no choice but to commence their planned strike action this Sunday. Bus services across North Wales will now face severe disruption. Four hundred Unite members working at depots including Amlwch, Bangor, Hawarden (Chester), Llandudno, Rhyl and Wrexham, will strike continuously from 06:00 on Sunday 14 November 2021 until 01:00 on Sunday 19 December. The strike follows a ballot of Arriva drivers where 95 per cent of them voted in favour of the industrial action read more
Cambridge university maintenance staff being lined up for ‘misguided’ outsourcing deal, warns Unite (10 Nov) – The University of Cambridge, one of the wealthiest and most illustrious institutions in the country, has been accused of ‘salami slicing’ over its plans to outsource up to 50 maintenance and estates’ workers to private companies. Unite the union said that if the proposal was completed by 1 April next year it would be a serious attack on its members’ pensions, HR standards and their status as university employees. It is understood that the first small group to be outsourced will be the lift maintenance team, which could be by the end of this year. The union called on the university’s top bureaucrat vice chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope to step in and stop these plans. To reinforce the campaign, Unite members will be staging a demonstration by admin, estates’, helpdesk and stores’ employees outside the Senate House in Cambridge’s King’s Parade at 12.00 on Friday (12 November) – and the university’s students were urged to attend to show solidarity read more
Glen Dimplex in Portadown must end cycle of poverty pay by offering workers a decent pay rise (10 Nov) – Unite has made a counter-offer to management to end debilitating strike and awaits management response. First day of strike action at home heater manufacturer resulted in a collapse in production. Two more strike days to follow. Nine out of ten Glen Dimplex workers voted yesterday evening to reject a last minute pay offer by management. A vote which matched the strength of the previous ballot for strike action [96 percent for strike action]. Workers’ anger at the way they have been treated is growing day by day. Workers’ pickets went up at 6am at the gates of Glen Dimplex and production at the site has collapsed as production workers joined the action. That produced a collapse in production which can only get worse as the strike action continues read more
DIYers braced for nationwide B&Q store shortages after Wincanton causes warehouse strikes (10 Nov) – DIYers across the country are braced for B&Q store shortages during warehouse strikes caused by union-busting and a below inflation pay offer at logistics firm Wincanton. More than 400 Wincanton staff, who work at B&Q’s Worksop distribution centre, which distributes stock nationally, will begin strike action later this month over the victimisation of union reps and pay. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Wincanton’s union-busting and below inflation pay offer means that you won’t be able to do it if you B&Q it because the Worksop distribution centre will be at a standstill. “Unite is entirely dedicated to improving the pay, terms and conditions of our members. Crucial to this is the union’s amazing network of dedicated reps. Attempts to victimise them will not be tolerated ever.” Unite accused Wincanton of taking out unjustified disciplinaries against the union’s reps at the Worksop distribution centre, as well as reducing facility time to prevent the reps carrying out their trade union duties. Wincanton made profits of £47.2 million during 2020 and has performed well throughout 2021. Unite said its Worksop depot members expect a pay rise that reflects the rising cost of living after working throughout the pandemic to keep the business healthy. Two weekly cycles consisting of seven days of all out strike action followed by a seven-day overtime ban will begin on 28 November and continue until 20 February read more
Kent and Sussex bus strikes off as Stagecoach tables new pay offers (10 Nov) – Bus strikes in Kent and Sussex have been called off or postponed after Stagecoach tabled new pay offers to more than 250 drivers, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 10 November). Strikes at Stagecoach’s Herne Bay and Folkstone depots have been cancelled after drivers there voted to accept 5.7 per cent and 6.5 per cent pay deals respectively. Strikes at Stagecoach Hasting’s depot have been postponed to allow drivers to vote on an offer of 5.8 per cent read more
Two weeks to save the NHS: Unite leads campaign to oppose the Health and Care bill – Celebrities and health workers will band together on 22 November to demand that members of parliament oppose the Health and Care Bill, which the government is trying to push through despite numerous warnings that it will be disastrous for the NHS and social care services. Unite, the UK and Ireland’s leading union, which represents over 100,000 health workers across all occupations and professional groups, is committed to leading the campaign to oppose the bill. It warns there are now just two weeks to save the NHS from the dreadful effects of this bill. The union is working alongside campaign organisations Health Campaigns Together, the newly formed Your NHS Needs You and stars including Stephen Fry, Jo Brand, Russell Brand, Francesca Martinez and Michael Rosen. Unite has called a protest at 5pm outside parliament on the eve of the vote, two weeks today. It warns the bill, which will be debated in the House of Commons on 22 and 23 November ahead of its third reading, will slash funding and result in more privatisation, more cuts and more cronyism. There will be even more contracts awarded to private companies without scrutiny, at the expense of service levels and our health read more
Open online forum hosted by Solidarity Shouts: Fighting Freeports – 7pm Thursday 18th November Facebook event
St Mungo’s “independent review” fails to address culture of fear at the charity says Unite (8 Nov) – Unite, Britain’s leading union, says St Mungo’s staff still complain of a culture of fear and bullying which the homeless charity must honestly address and resolve. Following a long running strike at St Mungo’s in its property services department earlier this year, due to allegations of management bullying, the Charity agreed to an independent review to attempt to resolve the root causes of the industrial action. However, staff continue to complain of a culture of fear and one member of staff, who is a union representative remains suspended and faces dismissal after he raised a grievance against a manager. At the time of the suspension 44 per cent of Unite representatives within St Mungo’s were involved in formal processes about their own employment. Unite believes the review has failed to sufficiently address these outstanding issues. In response to the independent review, Unite regional officer, Steve O’Donnell said: “The review does not address the fundamental issue that there is a culture within St Mungo’s where managers silence employees with threats of sanctions against them, this is unacceptable. “Unite has always been willing to work constructively with St Mungo’s to ensure the valuable service they provide to homeless people is carried out safely. However, it is vital that staff feel able to call out poor practices and to question senior managers without fear of retribution. Until the root causes are addressed the Charity will not be able to draw a line underneath this troubled period.”
Unite continues to call on St Mungo’s to:
- agree to a full investigation into the levels of bullying within the organisation.
- put an end to threats of disciplinary action against staff for raising legitimate concerns,
- and to review the charity’s governance procedures so that the recognised unions can engage effectively with management and the trustees.
The 12-week solidarity strike ended on the promos of an independent report to look at the rights and wrongs of what has happened in property services. That report fails to address Unite concerns and management are moving to continue the disciplinary process against Unite rep Vicko Plevnik. Unite is stepping up leverage and we want people to write to councillors & MPs saying Mungo’s must end suspension and stop process. We want Labour movement resolutions passed calling on commissioning authorities (local councils and GLA) should demand that the disciplinary is stopped and calling for a review of governance.
Resolution calling for St Mungo’s to end disciplinary against Unite rep and for commissioning local authorities to insist on a review of governance:-
A Unite rep faces gross misconduct charges in direct response to a grievance he raised about bullying and we have evidence of widespread bullying as well as union busting. We call on commissioning local authorities to insist that St Mungo’s drops this disciplinary and that a review of governance is set up.
This **** notes that St Mungo’s is one of the most important agencies working with homeless people in London and southern England. Unite members working for St Mungo’s are proud of the services they deliver. However, they are deeply concerned that the executive team and board are undermining their work and are creating a culture of silence while pursuing a policy of undermining Unite. Grievances regarding bullying have not been inadequately investigated and staff raising bullying concerns have been faced with retaliatory measures:
- Unite rep Vicko Plevnik was suspended in April (and remains suspended at the end of October) in contravention of ACAS guidelines and our recognition agreement. Charges include alleged psychological distress to senior managers caused by grievances from staff about bullying by senior managers. Further farcical charges include allegedly eating a biscuit during an online staff meeting.
- Vicko’s colleagues have taken twelve weeks of strike action returning to work after management conceded their initial demand for an independent investigation.
- A Unite survey of staff found that 68% of respondents had suffered bullying by senior managers.
- Unite has received concerns from members that they feel unable to call out bad practice.
- In October 2019 an Employment Tribunal found St Mungo’s guilty of victimising a female worker who had raised questions about pay equality in the organisation. This followed the boards failure to respond to the board chair.
- We know that St Mungo’s has been in discussion with paid consultant about how to undermine the union from an accidentally forwarded email.
- Earlier this year nearly half of Unite reps faced an HR formal procedure, this figure has now fallen as reps have been selected for redundancy.
- St Mungo’s have failed to adequately investigate how they came to share confidential client information with the Home Office when engaged in a programme of forced deportation which was subsequently found to be unlawful. The internal report finds that St Mungo’s senior management were not culpable because they were unaware of the practice but does not ask how this could be the case. Unite members feared to raise the issue as individual members but Unite did raise their concerns and publicly campaigned on the issue – the report makes no mention of this.
A clear pattern of attempts to undermine Unite and to discourage staff from speaking up has been established by senior managers in recent years. Such an approach is strongly associated with abuse of clients in services for vulnerable client groups. Repeated attempts over an extended period by Unite to raise these concerns with the board of St Mungo’s have been met with a consistent refusal to engage; this represents a serious failure of governance. Real safeguarding risks arise from the culture of silence, action is urgent.
This **** resolves to
- Urge St Mungo’s to end the suspension of Unite rep Vicko Plevnik
- Call on local authorities commissioning services from St Mungo’s to insist that the Unite rep Vicko Plevnik is reinstated and to call for a review of governance arrangements at St Mungo’s to involve Unite as representative of the workforce.
Please keep the Unite Housing Workers LE/1111 branch informed of any actions following this resolution.
Email: [email protected]
Updates available here: http://www.housingworkers.org.uk/
The detailed account written by Unite Regional Officer Steve O Donnell is here
Teesside bus strikes at ‘penny pinching’ Stagecoach to go ahead as talks break down – Bus passengers on Teesside are braced for disruption next week as workers employed by Stagecoach begin strike action over pay, following the collapse of peace talks. Strikes scheduled for Newcastle, South Shields and Sunderland have been paused to allow members to vote for an improved pay offer. The dispute involves over 200 bus workers including drivers, engineers, cleaners, supervisors, managers and administrative staff, who have overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action. The first day of 12 days of strike action is on Monday 8 November with further strikes called on 10, 12, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 30 November and also for 2 and 4 December. The dispute involves workers based at bus depots in Hartlepool and Stockton. Passengers in Middlesbrough and Redcar, as well as those living further afield, will be affected by the dispute. Picket lines will be in place at the affected depots read more
Fire and rescue workers dispute on the Clyde Naval bases escalates over fire response provision fears – Unite members working for Capita Business Services Ltd at Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde have raised ‘safety critical’ concerns over the effectiveness of fire response cover as workers take part in strike action. Unite members on the Clyde employed by Capita, who provide onsite fire cover for both Faslane and Coulport naval bases, have been involved in an overtime ban since 16 September, and 6-hour strike action on various days since 19 October. During these periods of industrial action, HMNB Clyde firefighters have raised concerns over the resilience crews brought in to cover that they may not have the competencies to deal with unique safety critical assets, and risks related to maritime fire-fighting and nuclear radiation. Unite has been involved in an ongoing dispute over job cuts and health and safety with Capita due to a 15% cut in specialist fire safety crew at Coulport and Faslane. Capita won the contract in 2020 for fire response services from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) read more
Prysmian Cables workers to start strike action over pay – Unite members working for Prysmian Cables in Wrexham will tomorrow start a series of 24 hour strikes throughout November and December. The first of eight days of scheduled strike action at the plant will see over 200 workers taking industrial action. The escalation of the dispute which follows an overtime ban is a result of the company’s failure to offer an acceptable pay increase for its workers read more
South Wales Stagecoach dispute to escalate following failure of ACAS talks – Following the failure of talks between Unite and Stagecoach the industrial action undertaken by drivers across depots in South Wales will now escalate further. Unite is calling for £10.50 per hour wage for its members, something that has already been approved by Stagecoach at their operations in other parts of the UK. The 10 days of strike action that have taken place at depots in Blackwood, Brynmawr and Cwmbran will now be followed by continuous strike action from November 17th 2021 until January 10th 2022 read more
DHL Supply Chain operating at Spirit AeroSystems served with notice of strike action commencing next week after unanimous vote by workforce – Unite the union warns strike will impact all aspects of Spirit AeroSystems production in Northern Ireland as DHL workforce handles every part from the rivets to the wings. After an industrial ballot returned a 100 percent vote for strike action at DHL Supply Chain at Spirit AeroSystems, Unite has today (1 Nov) served notice on the company that it will commence strike action starting with a first, five-day stoppage next week read more
Evonik workers at historic Manchester chemicals site strike over pay – Evonik workers at a 130-year-old Manchester chemicals site are to strike over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday 13 October). Around 25 production and warehouse operatives at Evonik’s Clayton site, which has been a chemical plant since 1892, are taking industrial action after rejecting a 1.5 per cent pay offer read more
Unite members at Goodfish to strike over 2 year pay freeze – Unite members working for Goodfish at their St Asaph site in North Wales will tomorrow take industrial action over a 2 year pay freeze imposed on them by their employer. Goodfish employs over 50 people at the plant which produces PVC mouldings. The company took over the site from Honeywell in 2019 read more
Support striking Scunthorpe scaffolders – the scaffolders are employed by Actavo on the British Steel site in Scunthorpe and have been fighting to be paid the recognised rate for the job since 2019 read more
Donate to strike fund:-
Either via bank transfer – sort code: 60-83-01 account number: 20173962, account name: Unite North East Region 1% Fund, reference: Actavo Limited and your branch number
Or by cheque made payable to ‘Unite the Union’ and forwarded to the Leeds Regional Office, Unite the Union, 55 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BW marked for the attention of the Regional Secretary (Actavo Limited Dispute). Letters of support can be sent to the Regional Office
Unite members back strike action at University of Dundee over ‘pension poverty’ proposals – Unite Scotland can confirm today that its members at the University of Dundee have voted to support strike action in a dispute over workers being plunged into ‘pension poverty’. Unite’s members at the university supported taking strike action by 78 per cent in a ballot turnout of 67 per cent. Unite can also confirm that its members will now be on strike from 25 October 2021. The University of Dundee propose to replace the existing Defined Benefit Pension Scheme with a Defined Contribution Pension Scheme for those on the lowest grades (i.e., grades 1-6). Workers in grades 7 and above will have their pensions protected through the existing UK wide Superannuation Scheme, which has a Defined Benefits element. The pension proposals will mean that a clerical worker on a lower grade could lose up to 50% of their pension across the expected term of retirement. This could result in an amount of up to £150,000. The trade union also estimates that around 70 per cent of its members in the existing Superannuation Scheme are female read more
5,000 sign petition in support of Lancashire biomedical scientists in back pay dispute – Five thousand people have signed a petition in support of the 21 Lancashire biomedical scientists currently on strike in a back pay dispute, which sees some of them owed up to £8,000. Unite the union said there had been ‘a fantastic wave of support’ from the community, as pressure builds on the Interim Chief Executive at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Martin Hodgson, to meet with Unite and settle this unnecessary dispute as soon as possible. The biomedical scientists, who have been on strike since May, are owed staggering amounts of back pay. That starts at several hundred pounds up to as much as £8,000, after managers failed to honour a 2019 agreement to upgrade their pay. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, who was on the Blackburn picket line this week, said: “The fact is that the trust has reneged on a promised pay deal for these workers who have served their community, without regard to their own health, throughout the terrible pandemic. Fact. And what do they get from the trust for that loyalty? Broken promises that’s all. Unite is not having that. We are going to back these scientists of ours to the hilt. And now it’s clear the local community agrees with that” read more
Workers at Wolverhampton lock makers Henry Squire to strike over pay – Workers at the historic lock makers Henry Squire and Sons, based in Featherstone, Wolverhampton, will begin strike action next month in a dispute over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Tuesday 21 September). The workers, who are members of Unite, were due to receive a pay increase in January but management refused to make an offer. Instead they have offered a 2.5 per cent increase for the period from July to December, which in real terms is worth just 1.25 per cent for the entire year. The derisory offer is a significant real terms pay cut with the RPI inflation rate currently standing at 4.8 per cent. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Workers at Henry Squire are long due a decent pay rise. The current July to December offer for 2021, is a pay cut in real terms. Understandably that has not been accepted by union members. It’s simple Henry Squire can avoid industrial action by Unite members. How? By making a decent wages offer.” The first week long strike action will begin on Monday 4 October and there are similar week long periods of industrial actions scheduled to begin on Monday 25 October, 15 November and 6 December read more
Talks in Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute break down due to TfL’s ‘bad faith’, says Unite – Crunch talks to resolve the long-running Woolwich Ferry rep victimisation dispute yesterday (Tuesday 10 August) between Transport for London (TfL) bosses and Unite the union broke down with the union accusing TfL of ‘bad faith’. Unite, which represents 57 ferry workers, had suspended industrial action as a goodwill gesture in the run-up to the talks – but its members were back on strike today (Wednesday 11 August) and will be striking on Friday (13 August). Prior to today, there has already been 24 days of strike action. Besides the victimisation of the two Unite reps, there has also been a failure to agree a new pay and reward scheme; the excessive use of agency staff; and the failure to provide adequate health and safety training to new employees – these are issues which have arisen since TfL took back control from the discredited Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd in January this year. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We were making good progress with the union agreeing to a proposal from TfL to meet through workshops to discuss a new collective agreement. However, the employers made their pay offer which was worse than the last offer – and they then refused to budge. “Our members had suspended strike action as a goodwill gesture, but feel that they have been badly let down by another abject example of TfL’s bad faith and, as a result, they are back on strike today. The management is game playing, which we feared would happen…” read more
DfI Roads workers at Woodburn depot to strike over inaction on management bullying – After 90.9 percent strike vote, workforce pickets to be deployed at Woodburn DfI Roads in Derry/Londonderry during twenty-four strike, which starts midnight on Thursday, July 22rd. Road Service workers’ union Unite warns first twenty-four hour stoppage at Woodburn likely to escalate in absence of Ministerial intervention read more
Support striking Reading hospital security guards – Text solidarity messages via Jessica 07718668497 and donate to strike fund: Acc. No.: 20173991 Sort Code: 60-83-01. Sign petition to Mark Wallace , Kingdom Service Group Managing Director: Pay Royal Berkshire Hospital security staff a wage they can live on
PCS launches consultative ballot after HMCTS threatens 3,000 job losses with new digital platform (13 Nov) – Court staff will be asked whether they are opposed to new cases being placed on the Common Platform and that they support the union in its demands for proper health and safety checks. Work related stress and anxiety levels from using the new system are “through the roof” according to union reps and HMCTS has failed in their legal duty to carry out an organisational risk assessment. The ballot will open Monday 15 November and run until December 2 read more
PCS national prison branch to campaign for better pay (12 Nov) – The government recommendations for pay in HMPPS are an insult to members. The PSPRB (Pay Review Body) recommendation that staff paid below £24,000 should receive a derisory uplift of £250 has been accepted and imposed by the government. The government has ‘mirrored’ the so-called recommendations to all eligible staff. The recommendations made for pay in HMPPS are insulting to the work that our members do and the challenges they face on a daily basis. The fact this affects around 50% of our members highlights just how poor pay has become when working in prisons. PCS recently met with the Pay Review Body and they outlined their own frustrations at the process and even made it clear they are questioning their own independence after the government would not accept their proposed recommendations on pay increases read more
Natural England to ballot members for industrial action over pay (11 Nov) – The ballot opened today and we are recommending that members vote yes. Pay in Natural England has the lowest starting salaries in the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The minimum of the EO grade in Natural England is £3,000 less than that in other parts of the department. Pay progression has been virtually non-existent for the same period and there are pay discrepancies where we believe that some PCS members are not getting paid the rate for the job that they do. The ballot, which opened today and closes on 24 November, is consultative, and a further statutory ballot would need to be held before strike action could take place. However the ballot result could strengthen our position in negotiations with management read more
DVLA staff vote to strike but anti-trade union laws curtail action (10 Nov) – PCS members have voted for strike action at DVLA but will be denied the right to take to picket lines due to Tory anti-trade union laws. 79% voted for action but the mandatory 50% turnout threshold was not reached. Therefore, the union will now seek urgent negotiations with DVLA senior management to discuss members remaining health and safety concerns around returning to offices in Swansea. The DVLA dispute began earlier this year and staff have taken numerous days of strike action due to government ministers scuppering a deal to end the dispute in June read more
Motion tabled supporting PCS calls for ‘in-housing’ services in DWP (10 Nov) – MPs back PCS calls to bring key DWP functions back into the public sector. Members of the PCS parliamentary group have today (10) tabled an Early Day Motion supporting the union’s calls for key front line services, including telephony services linked to Universal Credit and PIP, to be brought back in-house. Serco, one of the department’s main contractors for these services, has in recent months failed to deliver, instead relying on current DWP staff to assist in the delivery of phone line services due to increased demand. PCS has long argued that these vital roles should be provided by the public sector to ensure central accountability and the best service for claimants. With yet more contracts being given to private firms across the department in recent months, most notably the decision to outsource the delivery of the Restart Programme, PCS has increased our calls for an end to outsourcing within the department read more
Support the Royal Parks strikers – the workers’ latest action was for all of October. How you can help:-
- Contribute to the strike fund
- Send a message of support to [email protected]
- Email Just Ask and Royal Parks CEO’s using the PCS e-action
- Email your MP to support Early Day Motion 476
- Complain about any unclean facilities to [email protected]
- Tweet and tag Just Ask and the Royal Parks demanding they resolve the dispute
Check the PCS website and twitter account for updates and activities you can support throughout the strike read more
FBU criticises government after news that builders are “gaming system” on fire safety rules (Nov 15) – The Fire Brigades Union has criticised the government for its lack of action on the building safety crisis, after the London Fire Brigade said that builders were able to “game the system” and avoid fire rules. The union said that the “massive” building safety crisis in the UK could be resolved if the government provided “the regulations and funding necessary to solve this crisis”, including “watertight legislation that prevents dodges and loopholes like this being possible”. Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Deputy Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade Paul Jennings had said that “hundreds if not thousands” of new buildings may be “deliberately” designed to avoid fire safety rules brought in after Grenfell read more
Members’ solidarity brings employer back to pay negotiations (12 Nov) – Since the earlier publication of the indicative ballot results rejecting the Government Pay Freeze and derisory 2021-2022 Probation Pay Offer, strenuous efforts have been made to reopen talks on pay with the employer. The delay has been caused by the need to await the outcomes from the Comprehensive Spending Review which were published last week. Since the round of Union conferences last month there has also been engagement with the new Probation Minister Kit Malthouse and the Director General Amy Rees. Here it has been made clear that our respective members demand their employer resume engagement on the pay claim and the prospects for a multi-year pay settlement. The fact that talks are now underway again is because of the solidarity shown by members across the three unions in delivering a powerful message – that you have simply had enough of seeing no progress on pay at the same time as workloads being at unsustainable levels. Three meetings have taken place this week and at Wednesday’s Probation Service Joint Negotiating Committee, the unions recorded a strong statement expressing our serious disappointment at the lack of delivery against a whole series of agreements; some of which extend as far back as the 2018 pay settlement read more
ViSOR update (12 Nov) – Napo have been working on ViSOR related issues for some years now. Our main concerns are the workload implications of using an additional system for recording information and the consequences of using the Police Vetting required to access the system. At our AGM in October I reflected on the impact of the use of this level of Police Vetting on diversity in our workforce and noted that despite the fact that HMPPS now want to ensure they recruit staff with lived experience of the CJS, in Probation staff with that invaluable experience risk being sidelined and new recruits screened out at vetting stage. Our relentless campaign on this is beginning to have an impact read more
Job Evaluations (JE) (12 Nov) – There are three sets of job evaluations outstanding at the moment, and all are running into difficulties caused by lack of resources in the JES team along with the failure to do preparation and follow up work with sufficient detail. We have now aired the deep concern we have with the JE process at the Probation JNC and it remains a high priority read more
Have you got a horror story about Probation Estates? (12 Nov) – It is a little late for Halloween but we have been hearing some horror stories about Probation Estates issues. From Unpaid Work staff being expected to use old shipping containers with no electricity or water to unlit grounds and car parks where staff are told to use the torch on their mobile to find their way, we know that every area has them. We’ve heard about toilets that open into kitchens and massive delays to repairs. We’ve heard about offices with no secure staff area and new premises being refurbished with no lift. Many have inadequate health and safety risk assessments and meaningful equality analyses are rare. In order to continue to raise these issues we need your help – tell us your stories about estates, include pictures where you can do this without breaching confidentiality. Please email us via [email protected] putting ‘estates’ in the subject line read more
OMiC and the transfer of Line Management of SPOs to the Prison Governor (12 Nov) – We have significant concerns about this move, which has not happened yet. We are currently consulting on the detail of the guidance that will be issued on it, in an attempt to ensure that member’s rights are protected as far as possible. Once we have the final version of the guidance we will be issuing further advice to members around this read more
November – Islamophobia awareness month (11 Nov) – This November, the union is fully supporting Islamophobia Awareness Month as a key aspect of our anti-racist campaigning. Here, our NEC leads for black and minority ethnic members, Ali Moosa and Amarjite Singh, explain the importance of this campaign read more
Horizon Scandal – Inquiry Judge orders full disclosure (10 Nov) – Sir Wyn Williams seeks formal Waiver Of Privilege to remove ‘legal hiding place’ from corporate witnesses. Assistant secretary Andy Furey told CWU News today that a legal process launched by the judge at the head of the Horizon Scandal Inquiry represents “a very positive step towards full accountability and transparency” read more
Sandwell bin collectors vote to suspend strikes after emergency talks (15 Nov) – Sandwell refuse collectors have voted to suspend industrial action following emergency talks. More than 100 workers were on strike today – the first of twelve strike days across the Christmas period at Serco Sandwell. Refuse collectors voted to strike following public safety concerns at the Household Recycling Centre on Shidas Lane, Sandwell read more
GMB launches judicial review over Treasury appropriation of £2.4 billion pension cash (15 Nov) – GMB Union has launched a judicial review against the Treasury over £2.4 billion that they have taken from public sector pension pots. Since 2015, more than four million people working in the NHS, the civil service and local government have effectively been overcharged for their pensions. Unions – including GMB – negotiated a deal which would see the estimated £2.4 billion paid back to the workers by reducing their future pension contributions and/or improving benefits read more
GMB opens ballot for NHS staff on Welsh Government additional offer (15 Nov) – GMB Union will today [Monday 15 November] ballot members working in the NHS on a fresh pay offer. The Welsh Government made an additional pay offer, on top of the 3% overwhelmingly rejected by members earlier this year. The ballot closes on Monday 13 December. If members reject the offer it could see GMB balloting for strike action, with the union already undertaking Industrial action ballots in England read more
Conservatives fail ‘levelling up’ test over HS2 (15 Nov) – GMB Union has warned the Conservatives have failed the ‘levelling up’ test in Yorkshire after plans emerged to scrap the HS2 link for the region read more
RLW increase ‘welcome’ but below inflation rise not enough (15 Nov) – GMB Union has responded to the rise in the real living wage, announced today [Monday 15 November 2021]. Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: “While any increase to the Foundation Living Wage rate is welcome, this can’t be a moment of congratulation for business…” read more
GMB launch official dispute with Welsh Ambulance over unqualified military help (12 Nov) – GMB union has launched a formal dispute with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST), citing bullying and harassment from the management over underqualified military help. Clinical staff have raised concerns surrounding the scale of military involvement in Emergency call outs. Initially the Welsh Government pledged military support for ‘lower acuity, non-emergency’ work read more
Ambulance trusts forced to use unqualified staff as Govt ignores crisis warnings (11 Nov) – GMB Union’s warnings of an ‘utterly unprecedented crisis’ have been ignored by the Government as trusts are forced to enlist unqualified staff to help. Last month the union wrote to Secretary of State, Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee, raising ‘serious concerns regarding the untenable workplace pressures that our members are facing in the ambulance service’. GMB has received no reply read more
Sheffield bin strikes suspended after new pay offer (12 Nov) – GMB Union has suspended planned industrial action by refuse workers at Veolia in Sheffield. Strike action was scheduled to take place on 15 November – with indefinite strike action from 22 November. Industrial action will now be suspended so members can be balloted on a new pay deal put forward by the company. Members will vote on whether to accept a two-year deal which will see a 3% increase for year one, and a one-off payment of £250 (gross) for each employee and a further 3.5% for year two. More than 200,000 homes in Sheffield would have been affected by the industrial action should it have gone ahead read more
G4S cash strike called off as 1,100 workers offered better deal (11 Nov) – strike among 1,100 G4S cash workers has been called off after the company offered an improved deal. Workers had voted for industrial action after the company offered a pay increase of just 2.5% – well below inflation. The strike could have resulted in ATM’s running out of cash and airports being left without foreign currency. But workers will now vote on whether to accept G4S’s improved offer of a 7.5% pay rise, with 3.5% backdated to July read more
ACAS guidance ‘worthless to sacked workers’ (11 Nov) – GMB Union says ACAS guidance on fire and rehire is helpful, but next to worthless for sacked workers. Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: “Whilst the ACAS guidance over fire and rehire is helpful, it will be ignored by bad employers and doesn’t change the fact the Government has failed workers by failing to legislate against this insidious practice. The recent bill put forward by Barry Gardiner that would have curtailed the practice was voted down by Tory MP’s who were happy to put the needs of the worst employers ahead of those of their hard working constituents. For the 460 engineers sacked by British Gas though the process, guidance that asks for restraint is next to worthless. Ministers must legislate properly to make this archaic, Dickensian practice illegal” read more
Mandatory care vaccines ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut (11 Nov) – GMB, the union for care workers, has described the Government’s mandatory vaccine for care workers as ‘taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut’ read more
Birmingham faces ‘another equal pay crisis’ (11 Nov) – GMB has today urged its 7,000 members at Birmingham City Council not to sign any equal pay settlement offers from their employer, after significant new information emerged surrounding problems with the council’s job evaluation scheme. It comes after the council admitted, following a recent Employment Tribunal for claims made by private no-win, no-fee lawyers (NWNF) on behalf of council staff, that key roles had been evaluated wrongly and their interpretation of the National Joint Council scheme could not be relied upon. Unions had previously negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in good faith with the council for payments to go to staff to ensure parity with colleagues who had received settlement through NWNF lawyers read more
GMB Strike Ballot for NHS and Ambulance Workers Across Southern England Opens Today (11 Nov) – Until this Government makes a serious attempt to engage, the only choice is progress with the GMB Union’s industrial action ballot. GMB Union’s strike ballot for NHS and Ambulance workers across southern England opens today [10 November 2021]. The vote comes after GMB members overwhelmingly rejected the Government’s imposition of a below inflation 3% pay award – which amounts to another real terms pay cut. Members in 55 NHS trusts across the south of England will be balloted, with the vote closing on 15 December. A positive strike vote could lead to a new year walk out of GMB’s front line nursing, ambulance, and support services staff across the whole of the NHS in the South East, South London, Dorset and Wiltshire. GMB has been campaigning for a restorative increase of 15%, or £2 per hour – whichever is highest -to replace what has been lost from NHS pay packets over the last decade. The union was the only one to reject the last NHS pay deal in 2018 read more
‘Crass’ Nestle dish out vegan fruit pastilles at COP26 while planning to close factory (10 Nov) – Unions GMB and Unite have slammed ‘crass’ Nestle for giving out vegan fruit pastilles at COP26 – while planning to sack or offshore the 500 workers who make them. In a bid to boost its green credentials, the confectionary giant distributed free sweets to delegates and visitors during the first week of the climate conference in Glasgow. Meanwhile, Nestle plans to close its site in Fawdon, near Newcastle, which produces fruit pastilles. The plant will close at the end of 2023 costing 475 jobs read more
The next stop is pay justice: Nottingham tram workers announce new strike date (10 Nov) – Members of GMB trade union working on Nottingham’s tram network have today announced the date of a new day of strike action against unfair pay practises. This follows a day of strike action which took place on Saturday 6th November. Following a ballot of GMB members employed by NTL (Nottingham Trams Limited), an overwhelming result for strike action on pay has been delivered by Nottingham’s tram workers. A second 24 hour strike will take place on Tuesday 23rd November, across all lines and depots read more
Workers set strike dates at Panasonic Pontprennau – GMB union has announced strike dates for workers at Panasonic’s Pontprennau plant in Cardiff. Staff overwhelmingly voted for strike action after the company withdrew its 1% offer. The offer would have seen a pay freeze for workers for the second year running. Staff will strike next Monday (15th November 2021) and Monday 22nd November read more
COP26 activists join pickets to urge Glasgow City Council to “value and respect” cleansing staff – Striking GMB members in Glasgow’s cleansing service, climate activists and international trade unionists will unite at 7am tomorrow morning on the picket line at the city’s Western Depot as a third day of strike action gets underway. Glasgow’s cleansing workers are on strike over the local government pay offer, and their campaign has called for Scottish Government intervention to start reversing more than a decade of cuts to the service, and for the Council to respect and value them as key workers. GMB tabled proposals to the council to reset industrial relations and move forward together to tackle the city’s decline, but these were rejected ahead of the first day of the strike action on Monday read more
Doosan Babcock workers to strike over ‘worthless’ offer – Dozens of members at Doosan Babcock in Tipton voted this Monday to strike over a ‘worthless’ offer from the construction engineering firm. More than 90 per cent of staff voted for the strike, which will take place on November 2 and 3 from 8am to 12 noon read more
Cleaners, porters and caterers to strike at four Berkshire hospitals – Facilities staff at King Edward VII, Wokingham, Upton and St Marks Hospital sites to walk out over forced changes to contracts, says GMB Union. Cleaners, porters, caterers and other facilities staff are set to strike at four Berkshire hospitals over forced changes to their contracts. Facilities staff at King Edward VII, Wokingham, Upton and St Marks Hospital sites voted overwhelmingly to take strike action. The dispute is over fears that recently tupe’d facilities staff, including housekeepers face detrimental contractual changes, as their new employer forces changes to job titles and roles. NHS Property Services are implementing changes as part of their organisational review by seeking to make changes under the umbrella of required efficiencies and cost savings read more
Unions urge Goodfish to reopen talks – Striking workers at Goodfish’s North Wales plant have renewed calls for the company to come back to the table as a second 24 hour strike gets under way. The move comes after a rocky dispute that saw the plastics manufacturer cancelling staff bonuses before previous day of action on the 13th of October. Last Friday the company informed workers that they intend to implement a pay increase without agreement of the onsite unions, GMB and Unite. Both unions have criticised the move, claiming that the below inflation pay rise will fail to meet the cost of living for striking workers read more
University of the Arts London Cleaners demand equal treatment after five day strike – GMB, the union for higher education, is demanding members who work as cleaners within the University of the Arts London are offered pay parity with workers directly employed by the university. Bouygues, who directly employ the cleaners, do so on a contract which offers the workers inferior pay, terms and conditions than their colleagues – cleaners have just completed five days of industrial action in protest read more
The right to strike must be protected in the new crime bill (11 Nov) – UNISON supports an amendment that would create specific exemptions for trade union activities to avoid clampdown on picketing and strike action. UNISON is fighting to protect the right to strike as the controversial new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill reaches its crucial debate stage in the House of Lords this Monday (15 November). The bill spans a wide range of areas and would introduce legislation on several issues that UNISON has long campaigned on and would support, such as defending frontline public sector workers from attack. However, the bill also contains two clauses (55 and 56) which redefine the conditions in which police may take restrictive action against public assemblies. These conditions include those gatherings that, “cause serious disruption to the life of the community” or which “cause serious disruption to the activities of organisations” read more
Long ambulance delays causing distress for patients and staff (11 Nov) – There are real fears that staff and services will be unable to cope as demand inevitably increases. Commenting on data published today (Thursday) by NHS England showing that NHS waiting lists are at a record high and targets for 999 response times are being missed, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “The NHS has been experiencing winter-style pressures for months now. There are real fears that staff and services will be unable to cope as demand inevitably increases…” read more
The old climate certainties ‘aren’t certain any more’ (11 Nov) – Jackie Hamer has worked for the Environment Agency for 30 years. Here, she shares her perspectives on how climate change will affect the UK read more
Climate talks are leaving workers ‘out in the cold’ warn unions (10 Nov) – UNISON adds its voice to concerns that the UK’s own COP president is ignoring ‘just transition’ in the COP26 negotiations read more
Pension talks to resume at Dundee University as strike action pays off (9 Nov) – After three weeks of strike action showing ‘great industrial strength’, members accept new proposals to continue negotiations. Following prolonged strike action by members of UNISON, Unite and the UCU, the joint trade unions have today struck a deal with the University of Dundee that will allow pension talks to resume. UNISON members have been on strike for three weeks, with the final three days of strike action being withdrawn read more
11 things you need to know about council and school pay – If you work in in a council or school, your voting papers will be mailed to you in December, with a freepost envelope. Local government members working in councils and schools are balloting for strike action. But why? What has happened? And what’s next? Here is everything you need to know about council and school pay… If you work in a council or school, you’ll receive an important letter and your voting papers through the post from 1 December. Keep your eyes peeled! Every member must return their vote in the free post envelope by 14 January. Your vote is vital
Hospital staff in Nuneaton and Warwick to strike over jobs move to private firm – Hospital staff in Nuneaton and Warwick will strike over a jobs move to a private firm. Some Unison members of the IT departments at both South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust have voted for strike action read more from Coventry Live
RCN report provides evidence of risks to patient safety (15 Nov) – New analysis confirms RCN warnings that current pressures on the NHS in England are unsustainable read more
Result of RCN Scotland indicative ballot of NHS Scotland members on industrial action (11 Nov) – Eligible RCN members have voted in our indicative ballot on industrial action. Almost 30% of RCN members working in the NHS in Scotland responded to the ballot that closed on Monday (8 November). Of those, 90% said they would be willing to take industrial action short of strike. Six out of 10 members said they would be willing to withdraw their labour in strike action. The RCN will use the ballot result to consider the next steps in the ongoing trade dispute with the Scottish government and NHS employers. A statutory industrial action ballot would be required before any industrial action could take place read more
NIPSA Members employed as Education Welfare Officers announce 15 days of Strike Action (15 Nov) – NIPSA, the largest union from the non-teaching workforce in Education, announces that members employed as Education Welfare Officers will embark on 15 days of strike action commencing on 29 November. This is part of their campaign for pay parity with Health and Social Care Trust colleagues read more
OSG indicative workplace ballot (15 Nov) – At the NEC on 27th October 2021, the National Executive Committee determined to hold an Indicative Workplace Ballot of our OSG members. This ballot will include all Band 2 members, Prison Auxiliary’s and Night staff in England and Wales. These vital prison staff are amongst the lowest paid POA members and how they have been treated by Government and the employer regarding this year’s pay award, in the view of the NEC, is shameful. The NEC would like to make the wider membership aware that these members, are not restricted from taking industrial action by Section 127 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994. At this stage the NEC have decided to hold an Indicative Ballot of our members within these grades. If it is indicated in this ballot that these members wish to challenge the outrageous pay award made by Government, the POA will move to hold a Statutory Ballot of these members read more
Please also sign and share the petition to support the Oaks Park, Redbridge strikers: https://www.change.org/p/redbridge-council-end-the-culture-of-bullying-at-oaks-park-high-school
Support the following NEU strike action:-
|Oaks Park High School
(Victimisation of Rep)
|16 – 18 November||[email protected]
|17 – 18 November||[email protected]|
|St Francis College
|16 – 18 November||[email protected]
Reinstate John Boken Shropshire NEU rep – solidarity protest Saturday 20th November in the Quarry Shrewsbury. For more details and send solidarity messages, email [email protected]
SNCT teachers’ panel rejects latest pay offer (12 Nov) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is urging the Scottish Government to intervene and urgently commit more funding to help local authorities make a serious pay offer to teachers. The SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers) Teachers’ Panel today (Friday) unanimously rejected a revised pay offer for 2021/22 from employers. The offer was the same 1.22% rise as tabled previously, the only difference being that it was backdated for an additional three months read more
Gateshead teachers begin 19 days of strike action – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Furrowfield School are taking 18 days of strike action over adverse management practices which are impacting on members at the Gateshead school. Members have been subjected to poor management practices which are impacting on their health, safety and wellbeing. They have faced what they believe are intimadatory and bullying practices and attempts to undermine their employment entitlements. There have been significant issues at the school for a long period, with members taking strike action earlier this year at the school read more
Nottingham teachers take strike action – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Clayfields House Secure Unit in Nottingham are taking the first of seven planned days of strike action today (4 Nov) over adverse management practices, including the failure to deal with pupil behaviour which is affecting the health, safety and wellbeing of members read more
Derisory ‘Improved’ pay Offer to Scotland’s Teachers is Rejected (12 Nov) – The latest ‘improved’ pay offer to Scotland’s teachers has been unanimously rejected by the EIS Salaries Committee and, subsequently, by teachers’ representatives at today’s meeting of the Teachers’ Panel of the SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers). The offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) offers the same 1.22% pay award – already previously rejected by teaching unions – together with a meagre additional one-off payment. This has now been unanimously rejected by both the EIS Salaries Committee and the Teachers’ side of the SNCT. Teaching unions tabled a salary claim for 2021-2022 almost a year ago, calling for a pay award of between 3%-5% for Scotland’s teachers. The pay award was due to be settled over 7 months ago and, with inflation climbing at an alarming rate, the delay in settling the claim is further diminishing the value of the employers’ offer with each passing day read more
BREAKING NEWS!! Lecturers at Goldsmiths, University of London will be going on strike for a gruelling 3 weeks in order to defend the university from an ideological, austerity-based assault on education. Here’s what’s behind the dispute and how you can help:
*Senior Management has signed a secretive deal with Lloyds Bank and NatWest Bank and the banks are demanding mass redundancies at Goldsmiths as part of the deal. Yes. You heard that right: banks are being given the power to decide how education is delivered in the UK.
*At present, 125 professional staff in student-facing services have been told their jobs have been “deleted” and they are now having to go through the ordeal of Fire and Rehire.
*The bulk of lecturers in two departments (History and English & Creative Writing) have been selected for a redundancy pool and somewhere in the region of 20 of them will be fired at the end of the process.
*The voice of the student community has been ignored throughout, even though this “restructure” will directly impact on their studies and the experience they signed up for.
*This the first of 3 waves of redundancies with more to follow next year…. Unless we STOP THIS NOW!
Please support us by:
* Raising this motion of solidarity with your Trade Union branch or branch of political party (except for the Tories, obviously, as this is the realisation of their dream: austerity in action). https://goldsmithsucu.org/…/10/19/gucu-strike-fund-motion/
**Donating as much (or as little) as you can afford to the Goldsmiths Strike Fund. Hourly-paid lecturers and tutors on precarious contracts will obviously be prioritised for funds. https://goldsmithsucu.org/donations/strikefund/
***If you are in London, please join us on the picket lines. The strike starts on Tuesday 23rd November and will go until Monday 13th December (unless the Warden, Frances Corner, and her Senior Management Team see sense and agree to stop their reckless plans).
We have managed to gain some concessions in our fight, but our struggle continues. We demand zero redundancies and that this neoliberal assault on education is destroyed at root read more
Deal reached on new contract at United Colleges Group (15 Nov) – UCU and United Colleges Group (UCG) and UCU are pleased to announce the collective agreement of a new lecturers’ contract. This new contract, which was negotiated and agreed through close partnership working, in addition to outlining and clarifying working practices, represents an acknowledgment by UCG of the importance of dedicated timetabled time for professional development for teachers as we look to enhance the student experience read more
Pay deal agreed at South Thames Colleges Group (12 Nov) – UCU members at South Thames Colleges Group (STCG), which includes South Thames, Merton, Kingston and Carshalton Colleges, have voted to accept a revised pay offer. This adds to STCG’s original settlement of 1.25% and guarantees a total 2% consolidated pay increase to all staff earning between £23,000 and £40,000. STCG will also pay a minimum of 2.25% for all those earning below £23,000. This represents in total a welcome investment in staff pay from STCG amounting to nearly £800,000 for the year 2021/22 read more
Vice-chancellor pay exposes ‘cavernous’ gap between staff & management (12 Nov) – UCU called vice-chancellor pay packets ‘immoral’ and ‘unsustainable’. The union was responding to the Office for Students report into senior staff pay in English universities. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘Last week, university staff voted to strike over devastating cuts to pensions and sustained attacks on pay & working conditions. These figures today, which further expose the cavernous gap in pay between university staff and management, will only make them more determined to take action. ‘While university staff pay is cut by 20% and tens of thousands are employed on exploitative, insecure contracts, vice-chancellors across England are taking home as much as £584k a year and £100k for their ‘accommodation costs’. These grotesque levels of inequality are not only immoral but unsustainable too, undermining the whole sector. ‘Vice-chancellors on average are now enjoying a total remuneration of £269k per year and they should now look their staff in the eye and explain why they can’t provide proper pay rises, decent pensions and secure contracts read more
Big mandate for strike action at UK universities over pay & working conditions – Members of UCU at UK universities have backed strike action in a ballot over pay and working conditions. Overall, more than seven in 10 members who voted (70.1%) backed strike action with 85% (84.9%) voting for action short of strike, which could include a marking boycott. The overall turnout in British universities hit the 50% threshold required by Tory anti-trade union laws. Today’s results follow those held yesterday, in which 76% backed strike action over pension cuts, with an overall turnout of 53%. UCU said the turnout in both ballots reflected the anger of staff working in UK universities. In both ballots, the union delivered the vote in a window of under three weeks. Now, staff at 54 universities have a mandate to take strike action over pay and working conditions. Yesterday, UCU announced that staff at 37 universities had backed strike action over Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension cuts. Following the two separate ballots, staff at 58 universities now have a mandate to take action, 21 over pay, 33 over both pay and pensions and four over USS only. The National Union of Students has backed staff voting for strike action, calling their working conditions “untenable” read more
Royal College of Art staff enters 4th week of strike in fight against casualization – Solidarity Rally: 12noon-1pm Tuesday 16th November online & Kensington Picket. Follow UCU Royal College of Art on twitter – @RcaUcu
UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes. As always, members are asked to contribute whatever their circumstances allow. A donation in solidarity of any amount will be gratefully received by members taking action.
Natural England: campaigning for you (11 Nov) – Prospect is campaigning for fair pay for Natural England staff. Natural England is tasked with the government’s huge challenge of reversing biodiversity decline in England and realising a new future of nature recovery. But its staff of highly skilled professionals and specialists, who are able to find the solutions and work with partners to achieve this, are the lowest paid in the whole of Defra read more
Sign the petition to save Stratford Circus! https://www.change.org/p/save-stratford-circus
Real Living Wage uprating welcomed – Usdaw continues the campaign for at least £10 per hour for all workers (15 Nov) – Retail trade union leader Paddy Lillis has welcomed today’s increase in the real Living Wage rates, as set by the Living Wage Foundation, and continues to call for at least £10 per hour for workers of all ages. The Living Wage Foundation has today announced new rates for the real Living wage of £9.90 per hour and a higher rate of £11.05 in London. The Government’s so-called ‘National Living Wage’ is currently £8.91, which is set to rise to £9.50 in April, with lower National Minimum Wage rates for younger workers read more
BCM Fareva, Nottingham: Usdaw members to take further industrial action over the slashing of terms and conditions – Members of Usdaw at BCM Fareva will begin a further stoppage on Sunday 10 October, which will continue into Monday. The strike follows five previous stoppages in July and August. Nottingham based manufacturer of consumer pharma and beauty products for leading brands including Boots and The Body Shop has imposed through ‘fire and rehire’ cuts to staff terms and conditions read more
Victimised Tesco warehouse rep fighting for reinstatement read more
Support the Clarks strike –
Friends, 100 Clarks Warehouse workers at Street in Somerset are on ALL-OUT strike against a vicious ‘fire and rehire’ attack. This is the first all-out local strike in Somerset since the epic six-month strike of 186 NGA print workers against the Robert Maxwell-owned Purnell plant at Paulton-that was in 1986! Among many other reductions in pay and conditions, Lion Rock Capital is slashing basic pay from £11.16p an hour to £9.50p: despite Lion Rock boasting that £9.50p was a ‘significant compromise’ from its original plan to impose the minimum wage of £8.92p, the minimum wage is now due to rise to, guess what, £9.50p an hour! Did Lion Rock have a hot-line to government? Thanks to all who have supported this strike, be it at the picket lines, via a strike fund donation or messages of support. This e-mail is to ask trades councils, trade unions and trade union branches all across the UK to take action urgently:
Send a donation and message of support to the Community Clarks Strike Fund:
Sort code 60 83 01 Account number 34042733
Name: Community: Reference: Clarks Strike Pay
Significant recent strike fund donations have included:
£500 from the Bristol Health Branch of Unite the Union;
£500 from the Somerset General Branch of GMB
£1,000 from Bridgwater Trades Union Council (The largest donation in this council’s history)
Send support/donation messages to:
Dan Francois< [email protected]> Tel. 07760161952
PLEASE PASS THIS URGENT REQUEST FOR SOLIDARITY ONTO ALL YOUR CONTACTS
Mendip Trades Union Council (To which the Community Union branch at Clarks IS affiliated!)
Security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital announce strike dates in dispute for equal rights! (11 Nov) – Security guards at Great Ormond Street hospital are poised to take to the picket line on 6th, 7th, and 8th December as part of UVW’s fight to beat outsourcing and to fight against what we believe amounts to indirect institutional racism. Security guards have followed in the footsteps of their domestic staff colleagues by voting to take strike action. The unanimous vote to strike closed earlier this month, came hot off the heels of UVW members who work as cleaners and who won their demands for full equality with in-house NHS staff in October. Likely emboldened by the victory, 100% of workers who took part in the ballot voted ‘YES’ for strike action read more
Striking SAGE workers: “the bosses are the second virus” – “The workers at Sage have given their absolute all, under impossible conditions, to take care of elders in my community. It’s extremely important that these workers are treated with dignity.” With flags billowing, banners waving and music blaring, UVW members at the Sage Nursing Home in North London were joined by dozens of supporters on a vibrant and noisy picket line on Thursday. The staff are on strike over the poverty wages at a care home which is short-staffed and mismanaged. Addressing the picket line Bile, a senior care worker at Sage and UVW executive committee member said: “They say there’s a pandemic, they say there’s Covid-19, but there’s a different Covid, the bosses are the second virus” read more
Support the joint PCS-UVW Royal Parks strike – On Friday 30th July migrant park attendants across London’s Royal Parks who are dual carding with UVW and PCS kicked off strikes in a bid to end outsourcing and be treated as equals. They will need all the solidarity they can get and donating to their strike fund is a great way to show that solidarity. So if you can, please donate
From UVW Facebook page: Royal Parks workers are on lower wages and fewer benefits than others directly employed by Royal Parks. They are striking for the month of October – because they deserve better. Help them fight for equal:
- sick pay ✔
- maternity pay ✔
- annual leave ✔
- pension entitlement ✔
United Voices of the World the union and PCS Union fighting together for dignity, justice and equality
“There isn’t a driver shortage. There’s a pay shortage,” say Uber Drivers (11 Nov) – Many private hire drivers are only able to accept 1 in 5 rides offered by Uber, following years of plummeting pay per mile. Uber claims mass departures from the industry have resulted in a driver shortage. However, drivers from the United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) branch of the IWGB spotlighting the decline in pay per mile as the real reason for increased waiting times and the shortage of rides available read more
SIPTU members in Laois and Offaly LES and Job Clubs to ballot for strike action (15 Nov) – SIPTU members working in Local Employment Services (LES) and Job Clubs in county Laois and county Offaly are to ballot for strike action due to a government decision to terminate its contract with the existing not-for-profit community-based providers read more
National Pensioners Convention (NPC) GREATER LONDON REGION
JOIN OUR PROTEST 12.00 midday on Friday 26th Nov 2021
Assemble by George V’s statue at Old Palace Yard Westminster opposite the House of Lords. Then march to 10 Downing Street.
Immediate action is for the Government to halt any increase to fuel and other bills.
Pensioners are already dying from cold related illnesses, and the situation will only get far worse with the forthcoming increases in the cost of living and fuel bills.
It’s estimated that GAS PRICES Will INCREASE BY UP TO 30% next year that will result in far higher number of Pensioners and those most vulnerable dying. It is predicted the energy price cap will go up to about £1,660 in the summer, almost £400 an increase of 30%.
The number of additional winter deaths of older people, due to cold related illnesses will be announced on Friday 26th November 2021. On that day London Region NPC will be protesting the government’s failure to prevent fuel poverty deaths.
Sign petition: Save Fernbank & Hillside Children’s Centres from closure! – Crowdfunding to stop the closure of two Children’s Centres by Hackney Council
Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps
Blacklisting Investigation – Unite the Union has commissioned an independent investigation into alleged involvement of any past of present union officers or officials in the operation of blacklists in the construction industry. The independent investigation will be conducted by Jane McNeill QC in accordance with the attached Terms of Reference. Evidence for the investigation is now being compiled by Thompsons Solicitors LLP. Any documentary evidence which any individual wishes to provide should be submitted to Thompsons either by email to [email protected] or by post to Unite Blacklisting Inquiry, Thompsons Solicitors LLP, Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LW, reference L213003/RH. All evidence to be considered for the purpose of the independent report must be received by Thompsons by 9 November 2021 read more
#SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement
Builders Crack: The Movie
In the current situation, this long lost film from the 1990s about rank and file union organising in the construction industry is intended to lift the spirits, but also to spark a debate in our movement. Hope the youngsters in this film put a smile on your face.
Watch – Share – Discuss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ-QMA1FMg
Blacklist Support Group
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
Unison: Unions seek investor action in challenging labour rights abuses. UNISON is supporting a Sri Lankan trade union fighting to represent beleaguered rubber glove factory workers read more
The NSSN is continuing to report on how workers are organising during the coronavirus pandemic
The NSSN is opening up our weekly email bulletin, website and social media platforms of Facebook and twitter to provide a public forum for workers during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. We want to be a place where we can all share queries and experiences that workers are facing in their workplaces. These include reports of action taken by workers to defend themselves from their employers.
You can read about many of these actions in our weekly bulletin and out social media groups, especially our Facebook group: NSSN – defend workers’ rights under Coronavirus.
You can also send the NSSN your reports and queries via our website, twitter – @NSSN_AntiCuts and email – [email protected]
We welcome the information being sent to union members concerning the spread of coronavirus, including the Accord, Advance, AEP, AFA-CWA, ASLEF, BDA, BECTU Sector of Prospect, BFAWU, BOS-TU, College of Podiatry, Community, CSP, EIS, Equity, FBU, FDA, GMB, HCSA, MU, NAHT, NASUWT, National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Nautilus International, NEU, NGSU, NUJ, PFA, Prospect, RCM, SoR, TSSA, TUC, UCU, UNISON, Unite, URTU, USDAW, WGGB and the RCN
But it is absolutely vital that unions retain their ability to organise and act independently in defence of their members and workers generally. This includes the right of unions to take industrial action. We are already aware of workers being forced to take unofficial action on health and safety grounds. We also believe that unions should have oversight of any government bans on protests and picketing. This is the same Tory government that tabled more new anti-union laws in the Queens Speech in December 2019 and cannot be trusted and is now attacking the right to protest through its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
We believe that it is essential that workers are protected during this worrying period and are not impacted, whether in terms of their safety as well as their pay and employment rights. The Tory government have announced measures that include some workers receiving 80% of their wages. This furlough scheme was due to finish but has now been extended because of the 2nd lockdown. But it’s clear that the Tories are looking to end it asap.
However, we believe that no worker should pay the price for any spread of the virus. We say: work or full pay. Any worker who is required not to attend work or is unable to do so because of COVID, childcare or transport closures should receive full pay and not be forced to take annual leave. But unions have to remain vigilant that any government payments actually happen and also covers all workers, including those in precarious employment such as zero-hour contracts and in the gig economy.
We have drafted this model motion which we’ve made into a bulletin that can be downloaded and printed off to be distributed. Feel free to use in your union and trades council, in totality or partially to highlight the issues that need to be addressed.
Keep an eye out for other Facebook and social media groups and pages that are being created. The Coronavirus Support Group for Workers has been set up on Facebook and is a useful forum and you can catch up on disputes at Strike Map UK
PHONE 07952 283 558
EMAIL mailto:[email protected]
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/NSSN_AntiCuts
ADDRESS NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE