NSSN 623: New impulse to the strike wave #StrikeTogether

Over the last few days, there have been major impulses to the strike wave. Today, 21st February sees workers in Northern Ireland strike in health and education, while Friday, yesterday, today and tomorrow sees up to 10,000 ambulance workers take action. The RCN has announced its biggest strike yet, 48-hours of action from Wednesday 1 March to the morning of Friday 3 March. The RMT has called further national strike action, starting on 16th March. In addition, the BMA Junior Doctors have smashed the undemocratic Tory thresholds by voting overwhelmingly for industrial action as have the CWU in its re-ballot in Royal Mail. Next week, Amazon workers will walk out again and will be on strike for a week mid-March and Scottish schools action continues. All this is alongside localised disputes that continues.

The NSSN sends our full solidarity to all workers currently in dispute and taking strike action and calls on all unions with live strike mandates to urgently meet together to co-ordinate action still further, including considering also taking action on Budget Day 15th March, when the NEU, PCS and HCSA Junior Doctors have all called national strike action, as part of both unions’ rolling action, with the NEU organising a national strike demonstration in London that day.

The Tories are in crisis, support the strikes – strike together.

BREAKING NEWS!! RCN: UK government agrees to process of intensive talks with the RCN (21 Feb) – The RCN will pause strike action in England during these talks read more

Sign the TUC petition to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: Protect the right to strike! Our right to strike is under attack. Rishi Sunak has just detailed his anti-union legislation and plans to introduce new laws in the coming weeks. It means that when workers democratically vote to strike, they could be forced to work and sacked if they don’t. That’s wrong, unworkable, and almost certainly illegal. These new laws are a direct attack on working people’s fundamental right to strike to defend their pay, terms and conditions

Enough is Enough launches campaign and petition to Defend the #RightToStrike – The right to strike is under threat. New legislation proposed by the Tory government intends to override a workers’ right to withdraw their labour, forcing them to work against their will. The right to strike is a fundamental democratic right. It underpins our ability to win dignity in the workplace and earn a decent standard of living. It is no accident that this right is under attack at the very moment the public is fighting back against the cost-of-living squeeze. This government is determined to force workers to pay the price for a crisis caused by the greed of the elite yet again. We won’t accept it. We, the undersigned, pledge to defend the right to strike and oppose this latest legislation #RightToStrike

Sign your workplace up to save the right to strike (supported by Strike Map, ASLEF – The UK Train Drivers’ Union, Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union – BFAWU, Campaign for Trade Union Freedom, Fire Brigades Union, The Morning Star, NHS Workers Say NO, People’s Assembly and the NSSN) – The government has launched an attack on our rights. Their actions will destroy our fundamental right to strike. We want to encourage workers, union reps and branch officers to sign their workplace up to reject these changes and pledge to fight to protect our right to strike. Add your workplace name to our collective letter action and share it with every one of your co-workers. When we fight as a collective together we win!

SOS NHS National Demonstration – OUR NHS: END THE CRISIS SUPPORT THE STRIKES 11 MARCH 2023 Central London – assemble midday opposite Warren St tube station, Tottenham Court Road NW1 3AA leaflet

Earthquake in Turkey & Syria – union donations

The NSSN sends our solidarity to all those affected by this disaster. Many will have relatives in this country. The NSSN is affiliated to ‘Support the People of Turkey’ who has launched an appeal, including for union branches and trades councils Turkey-Syria Earthquake Solidarity Appeal

Turkey Earthquake: A preliminary report from the ground

Unison: Turkey earthquake solidarity appeal

NSSN news

This year’s NSSN Conference will be on Saturday 24th June in Conway Hall, London 11am-4.30pm

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 Katrine on [email protected]

The NSSN is developing a campaign pack for social care, which we hope to make available in the not-too-distant future for supporters to use in their localities. As part of this, communications officer Dave Gorton is keen to hear from supporters who:

(1) work in social care (either local authority, private or independently provided)

(2) represent social care workers for a trade union

(3) are in need of social care provision themselves or act as an (unpaid/underpaid) carer for a family member

Dave can be contacted in the first instance via [email protected]

Union News

You can receive this bulletin via email or you can choose to unsubscribe and stop receiving them. Like everyone else, the NSSN has to adhere to new data protection regulations. Therefore you must click here to subscribe/unsubscribe. Reports from unions do not necessarily reflect NSSN’s views.


RMT National Dispute Fund

Engineering workers at Balfour Beatty to strike (18 Feb) – Engineering workers at Balfour Beatty will take three 48 hour strikes next month in a pay dispute. Over 100 workers will take the action after rejecting the company’s offer of 5.5pc increase in pay from April 2022. RMT members overwhelmingly rejected this and will now take strike action in March with a series of 48-hour stoppages on the following days:

  • 22.00hrs on Friday 3rd March and 09.59hrs on Sunday 5th March 2023
  • 22.00hrs on Friday 10th March and 09.59hrs on Sunday 12th March 2023
  • 22.00hrs on Friday 17th March and 09.59hrs on Sunday 19th March 2023

Balfour Beatty made over 8bn pounds in revenue in 2022 and was the third most profitable UK construction company read more

RMT announces further strikes and overtime ban in national rail dispute (15 Feb) – Rail union RMT, will take nationwide strike action across the railways on 16 March after employers refused to put any new offers on the table. The union which represents 40,000 workers across Network Rail and 14 train operators rejected offers from employers last week, as they did not meet the needs of members on pay, job security or working conditions. Rail workers will now launch a programme of strike action and Network Rail members will commence an overtime ban effecting maintenance and operations work. RMT is seeking an unconditional offer from rail operators and Network Rail. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Rail employers are not being given a fresh mandate by the government to offer our members a new deal on pay, conditions and job security. “Therefore, our members will now take sustained and targeted industrial action over the next few months. The government can settle this dispute easily by unshackling the rail companies…” read more

The strike action details are as follows:-

RMT members working for the 14 train operating companies will take strike action on the following days:

– 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Thursday 16th March 2023

· 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Saturday 18th March 2023

· 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Thursday 30th March 2023

· 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Saturday 1st April 2023

Network Rail members will take strike action at:

  • 02:00 hours on March 16th 2023 and 01:59 hours on March 17th 2023.

An overtime ban by Network Rail members will be in effect at the following times:


· Seven days of overtime, rest day working ban and non-rostered Sunday working from 00:01 hours on Friday 17th March 2023 until 23:59 hours on Thursday 23rd March 2023

· Seven days of overtime, rest day working ban and non-rostered Sunday working from 00:01 hours on Friday 31st 2023 until 23:59 hours on Thursday 6th April 2023

· Seven days of overtime, rest day working ban and non-rostered Sunday working from 00:01 hours on Friday 14th April 2023 until 23:59 hours on Thursday 20th April 2023

National Secretary video message (16 Feb) – RMT National Secretary Darren Procter with a message for Stena Line members employed at the ports watch video

RMT marks Tebay tragedy anniversary (15 Feb) – Rail workers today remember the Tebay tragedy which took the lives of four RMT members on 15 February 2004. During a night shift, an out of control 16-tonne steel wagon rolled down the West Coast Main Line reaching speeds of 40 mph before colliding with several track workers. Four RMT members tragically died and another 5 were injured in the collision. Following the incident, Mark Connolly, the boss of the rail maintenance company, MAC Machinery Services, and crane operator Roy Kennett, were tried at Newcastle Crown Court on charges of manslaughter caused by gross negligence. Connolly was also prosecuted for breaches of health and safety law. Both men were found guilty by majority verdicts; Connolly was sentenced to nine years imprisonment and Kennett to two years. RMT has always blamed fragmentation and privatisation for the tragic events and has resolved to fight for protecting and improving safety standards on the network read more

RMT rejects rail industry offers (10 Feb) – Rail union, RMT has rejected the latest offers from both Network Rail and the train operating companies. Following a wide ranging and in-depth consultation with every level of the union involved in the national rail dispute, the NEC decided to reject both offers on the basis that they do not meet members expectations on pay, job security or working conditions. The union has also made it clear that it is seeking an unconditional pay offer, a job security agreement and no detrimental changes being imposed on members terms, conditions and working practices. The union views Network Rail’s plans for maintenance, as unsafe, unhealthy for our members and unworkable. RMT will now seek further meetings with Network Rail and RDG in order to work towards a negotiated settlement read more

Elizabeth Line maintenance workers to take 24 hours strike action (3 Feb) – Maintenance workers on the Elizabeth Line will take 24 hours strike action tonight in a dispute over pay. Workers taking part in the action are currently being paid significantly less than similar positions across the network. Rail for London Infrastructure which employs the workers, has offered four per cent but workers at MTR – the outsourced part of the Elizabeth Line – received an 8.2 per cent increase this year and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) staff received nearly 10 per cent. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch congratulated members on taking action for the third time and said the union would not rest until they were justly rewarded for their efforts read more

Removal of detrainment staff ballot – London Underground (26 Jan) – Your Union is concerned by reports that London Underground intends to remove detrainment staff from the Bakerloo, District, Central, Hammersmith & City and Jubilee Lines, and impose the ‘flash and dash’ procedure for detrainments. This is a serious attack on station staffing levels which threatens passenger safety, as well as that of you and your colleagues. Following a meeting of your trains grades representatives, this matter has been considered by the National Executive Committee and it has instructed me to declare a dispute with London Underground and to make the necessary preparations to ballot members for industrial action. I will advise of the balloting timetable in due course…Yours sincerely, Michael Lynch General Secretary read more

Reinstate Branch Secretary Jason Moriarty – A new newsletter has been produced as a part of our organising to get Jason Moriarty reinstated. Please download it to learn more. The RMT offers full support and solidarity with our comrade Jason Moriarty following his disclosure to his employer, London Underground, of a disability read more


Feedback needed by members for pay negotiations 2023 (18 Feb) – Your TSSA Rep team have been negotiating with RSSB over your pay for 2023. So far the discussions have been positive, with RSSB sharing their first offer with your team of 6%. Your team now need to know what is an acceptable pay offer for you read more

Avanti West Coast Strike Mandate (17 Feb) – Members in Avanti West Coast stations grades have voted YES to strike action and YES to action short of strike…TSSA representatives will be discussing an industrial action strategy in the light of this unequivocally positive result read more

TSSA members to vote on rail dispute offers (10 Feb) – Thousands of TSSA members are to be given a vote on offers from the train companies in the long-running national dispute over pay, job security and conditions. The union, which has been at the heart of industrial action on the railways since last summer, has received two formal offers in relation to all members employed by the train companies in the dispute. For the first time these offers cover management and control staff, as well as stations and other grades within the rail industry. TSSA Reps across the country were consulted in an online ballot and voted overwhelmingly in favour of putting the offers out to members. Of those who voted there was also agreement that there should be no formal recommendation from the union on whether to accept or reject the offers. The timetable for the ballot will be decided in due course read more


BREAKING NEWS!! Imperial College strikes stretch into fourth month over ‘10.1% pay cut’ (21 Feb) – University sitting on £1.7bn in reserves and paid record-breaking vice chancellor salary. Pay strikes at London’s Imperial College will stretch into their fourth month, as more than 200 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, prepare to walkout on Thursday (23 February). The workers are striking over the imposition of a 3.3 per cent pay offer for 2022/23 by Imperial College, which Unite says is a clear 10.1 per cent pay cut when the real rate of inflation, RPI, is running at 13.4 per cent. Imperial College’s latest financial figures shows it brought in an income of over £1.2 billion for 2021/22 and had cash reserves of £1.7 billion. Further, Imperial College is one for the best paying universities for senior leadership staff. Until July 2022, the university employed the UK’s highest paid vice chancellor with an annual pay package worth £714,000, a massive increase of 35.5 per cent on the previous year read more

BREAKING NEWS!! Strike action by Bidvest Noonan workers could force First Bus off the road (21 Feb) – Dispute to hit Glasgow and Aberdeen bus depots as workers demand more than minimum wage. Unite the union has confirmed today (Tuesday 21 February) that Bidvest Noonan workers contracted to clean and refuel buses for First Bus in Glasgow and Aberdeen are set to strike in a dispute over pay. Over 100 cleaners, fuellers and shunters contracted to work in First Glasgow and First Aberdeen bus depots are striking after previously rejecting a two per cent pay offer backdated to 2022 at a time when the broader cost of living (RPI) has hit 13.4 per cent. Wages at the company start at £9.62 per hour, far below the £10.42 per hour that will be the national minimum wage from April. Bidvest Noonan made a profit of £9.5m for the year ending June 2022, up from £5.96m in year ending June 2021. According to Unite, with cleaning, refuelling and re-charging of the electric buses not carried out on the days of industrial action, buses across both Glasgow and Aberdeen may have to be taken off the roads for safety and re-charging reasons. Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Bidvest Noonan’s pay offer is totally unacceptable. This company is making millions and can well afford to pay fairly. It has no excuse for not doing so. Quite simply, these buses couldn’t operate without our members who have Unite’s full support as they stand up for better jobs, pay and conditions.” The strike action will take place at the Glasgow and Aberdeen depots from 15:00 hours on Wednesday 1 March, concluding at 06:00 hours on Saturday 4 March 2023.  It will recommence at the Aberdeen depot at 15:00 hours on Wednesday 8 March, concluding at 06:00 hours on Saturday 11 March read more

BREAKING NEWS!! East Lancashire biomedical scientists latest to join NHS pay strikes (21 Feb) – Unite says government is failing the country as NHS strikes spread. Around 70 biomedical scientists at the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust will strike at Royal Blackburn hospital from 0700 hrs to 1900 hrs on Wednesday (22 February). The workers’ union, Unite, says that more strikes will be scheduled if the government fails to address poor pay and unsafe staffing across the NHS. With more ambulance worker strikes also set for the coming weeks, Unite has again hit out at the prime minister for failing to get into the room to address chronic low pay and unsustainable workloads. These issues are driving a recruitment and retention crisis and devastating the NHS read more

Thousands of Unite health members to join Northern Ireland-wide strike in demand for fair wages and safe staffing (20 Feb) – Union warns of `existential crisis’ for health service as NI wages fall further behind. 4000 members of Unite the union will join strike action tomorrow (Tuesday) at health and social care workplaces, across Northern Ireland. Workers, including ambulance service workers, are fighting for a fair pay rise and urgent action to avert an `existential crisis’ in the service. Unite’s health and social care members will picket at hospitals across NI from 07:00 hours. The strike follows ballot across all five health trusts and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service which returned an average 87 per cent vote in favour of strike action read more

New development in Hestia LIFE dispute. Poverty pay – some movement. Unite demo at the council offices Hounslow House – 6.30pm Tuesday 21st February – The Leader of Hounslow’s council has responded to pressure brought by Unite and he has finally agreed to speak with us regarding the dispute involving Serco employed Parking Attendants and Hestia LIFE employed support workers. Both groups of workers face poverty pay and anti-union bosses. This follows three separate periods of strike action at Hestia and a campaign aimed at encouraging Hounslow councillors to actively engage with striking workers at Hestia and Serco…Naturally we are pleased that the council leader has now responded to that pressure, but this is just a first step. We, as a trade movement, need to keep up the pressure to ensure that the council follows through on this initiative to ensure a successful end to both disputes which is why Unite have called a protest for next Tuesday outside the council cabinet meeting. We want that protest to be noisy, enthusiastic and pro-union. Please come along, bring your banners and family members to send a clear message to Hounslow Labour council – Workers need fair pay and decent conditions! read more

Month long strike will hit parking restrictions in Hounslow (3 Feb) – Month long strike will hit parking restrictions in Hounslow. The toxic combination of stubborn employers, poor pay and the cost of living crisis forces workers to strike from Monday 6 February until 5 March. Parking Enforcement Officers across Hounslow will step up strike action in their battle for fair pay. Hounslow Borough Council stands isolated after Ealing and Brent councils boosted their workers’ pay following strike action. The workers are directly employed by Serco which manages the contract for the London borough. The giant outsourcing company’s latest profits were £303.9 million. Together Hounslow council and Serco need to reach an agreement with Unite read more

Outsourced Harlow housing repair and grounds workers to strike over pay (17 Feb) – Over 300 staff responsible for Harlow council housing stock and cleaning and maintenance of council grounds and buildings will strike over pay in late February. The workers, members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, are employed by HTS, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harlow district council. HTS’s workforce voted by 87 per cent for strike action over pay being less than workers doing the same jobs at other local authorities. The workers are demanding a cost-of-living payment and for their pay bands to be re-graded, so they are brought up to industry standards. The council’s latest financial report showed it had assets of £63 million on 31 March 2022, an increase of £19 million from the year before. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Harlow council is fooling nobody. It is using HTS to keep these workers on inferior pay, terms and conditions. Harlow council can well afford to give these workers a cost-of-living payment and Unite is determined to ensure that is what happens. Our members’ jobs, pay and conditions are this union’s top priority and the HTS workforce will receive Unite’s full support during these strikes.” The workers will strike on 21, 23 and 28 February during which housing repair and maintenance, street cleaning, grounds maintenance, cleaning and caretaking of council buildings and parks and gardening services will be severely disrupted. More strikes will be scheduled if the dispute is not resolved read more

2 Sisters Failure to engage with UK and Welsh Governments over closure plans branded “disgraceful” by Unite (17 Feb) – Unite has today reacted with at anger at 2 Sisters confirmation that they have not formally requested financial support from either the Welsh or UK Governments to save the plant, and the jobs of its 750-strong workforce. The company have further confirmed that they do not intend to look at selling the plant as a going concern. Unite has been calling upon the company to explore every opportunity available to prevent the sites closure and the devastating economic impact it will bring to North West Wales read more

EDF’s UK profits is proof of our broken economy (17 Feb) – EDF raked in more than a £1 billion in the UK. Commenting on EDF’s UK profits rocketing to £1.12 billion, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:  “It’s clear that the energy crisis is causing absolute misery for consumers in the UK while creating bumper profits for companies like EDF read more

Banks’ bonanza profits show cost-of-living crisis fuelled by ‘epidemic of profiteering’ (17 Feb) – Real Windfall tax needed on big banks’ excess profits generated by interest rate rises. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It’s offensive that government ministers are insisting NHS workers take another savage pay cut while their big City banker friends are given carte blanche to make billions…” read more

Unite urges large turnout at ‘Ireland For All’ solidarity march tomorrow (17 Feb) – Unite, which represents workers throughout the economy, is supporting the “Ireland For All’ solidarity march being organised tomorrow (Saturday 18 February).  Speaking ahead of the event, the union’s Regional Secretary, Jackie Pollock, said that many members were concerned at attempts by a small but vocal number of individuals to sow division in communities over recent months: “It has been especially worrying to see protests being organised outside buildings accommodating people seeking international protection, adding to the trauma experienced by those who may have fled war or oppression in their countries of origin…” read more

AB AGRI mill workers ballot for strike action over pay (16 Feb) – Nearly 150 workers offered real terms pay cut while firm brings in nearly £1bn. Mill workers employed by animal feed and nutritional product manufacturer AB AGRI are being balloted for strike action over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday). The workers, based at mills in Suffolk, Norfork, Oxfordshire, Fife, Devon, Lincolnshire and East and North Yorkshire (see notes to editors for location details), have rejected an imposed pay offer of 4.5 per cent. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, running at 13.4 per cent, this is a significant real terms pay cut. AB AGRI’s latest financial report shows it had a turnover of £955 million for the year ending 31 August 2021. AB AGRI’s owner, ABF, reported group revenues of £6.7 billion over the four months to 7 January 2023 read more

Unite ballots over 200 workers at sausage skin maker Devro (16 Feb) – Pay dispute hits Moddiesburn based company. Unite the union has confirmed today (16 February) that it is balloting over 200 members based at food manufacturer Devro (Scotland) Ltd in a dispute over pay. Devro Ltd manufactures sausage skins and casings supplying a number of clients including the popular Richmond brand. Unite’s production and maintenance members have rejected a pay offer from the company, based in Moodiesburn, North Lanarkshire, which amounts to just three per cent for 2023 when the broader cost of living (RPI) has now hit 13.4 per cent. The ballot opens on 16 February and closes on 9 March read more

Airports set to close across the Highlands and Islands as strike action begins at Dundee Airport (16 Feb) – Unite confirms overtime ban across 11 airports in the HIAL Group. Dundee Airport will be closed tomorrow (17 February) due to strike action as part of a pay dispute involving over 120 Unite members across the Highlands and Islands Airport Limited (HIAL) Group. Strike action will begin tomorrow at Dundee Airport, and then resumes on Monday (20 February). There will be a strike demonstration starting from 11 a.m. at Dundee Airport on both days of action in close proximity to the airport entrance. Several days of 24-hour strike action is scheduled across all HIAL’s 11 airports following the action in Dundee. Strike action will take place on 21, 22, and 23 February at the HIAL Group’s other airports: Barra Airport, Benbecula Airport, Campbeltown Airport, Inverness Airport, Islay Airport, Kirkwall Airport, Stornoway Airport, Sumburgh Airport, Tiree Airport, Wick Airport. Due to the scale of Unite’s industrial action the HIAL Group has now informed the public that a number of airports will be fully closed including Barra, Benbecula, Dundee, Stornoway, Sumburgh and Tiree. Kirkwall Airport will operate on a limited basis. The trade union predicts its industrial action will impact the remaining airports differently from mail not getting through to offshore workers not being able to mobilise to installations, and to return home. Unite has further confirmed that its members will take part in a discontinuous overtime ban across all 11 airports starting on 24 February and continuing each day up to and inclusive of 2 March read more

West Midlands ambulance workers continue strike action this Friday (16 Feb) – Life and limb and cancer cover agreed by 1000-strong workforce. Sunak continues to be ‘missing in action’ as Unite says he’s out of his depth. Around 1,000 Unite members working for the West Midlands Ambulance Service will stage strike action this Friday (17 February) from 0600 hrs to 1800 hrs. The walkout is the latest in a series of strikes over pay and unsafe staffing by NHS workers across the country. Ahead of the strikes, Unite has again hit out at the prime minister for failing to get into the room to address the chronic low pay and unsustainable workloads that are driving a recruitment and retention crisis and devastating the NHS. Last week, Unite announced that three more NHS ambulance trusts voted to join the dispute with strike action due to stretch into March read more

Unite ambulance members overwhelmingly reject Welsh govt pay offer (15 Feb) – Strikes now set for three days from 20 February. Unite members in the Welsh Ambulance Service have overwhelmingly rejected the most recent pay offer made by the Welsh government, the union said today (Wednesday). In a ballot of Unite members on the current offer, 92 per cent of the workforce rejected it on a massive 70 per cent turnout. Unite members in the Welsh Ambulance Service are now set to strike on 20, 21 and 22 February. Unite has called for further talks to resolve the dispute. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The Welsh government has a clear opportunity to stop the upcoming strikes. Instead of the political posturing it has engaged in, now is the time to get round the table and improve the offer…” read more

Southern England and Yorkshire ambulance workers to join NHS strikes (10 Feb) – More than 1,000 workers employed by the South Central, South East Coast, and Yorkshire ambulance services have voted to join NHS pay strikes, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today. The front-line workers will join around 2,800 of their colleagues in West Midlands, East Midlands, North West, North East, and Wales already striking over pay read more

Obscene Centrica profits confirm the need for tougher energy windfall tax (16 Feb) – Commenting on the massive profits reported by British Gas owner Centrica today (Thursday), Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “British Gas owner Centrica has been coining it in from our massive energy bills while sending bailiffs to prey on vulnerable consumers the length and breadth of the country. These energy companies are showing us everything that is wrong with the UK’s broken economy…” read more

Inflation is still pummelling workers’ pay packets (15 Feb) – Unite will continue to fight for and win better wages in the face of the crisis. Commenting on the latest ONS inflation figures released today (Wednesday 15 February), Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “These latest figures show the cost of living crisis is still pummelling workers’ pay packets. Workers are sick of seeing their living standards fall because of profiteering and bad choices from politicians. Unite will continue to fight for and win better wages in the face of this crisis.” Read more

Unite demands “open the books” as Ford plans massive redundancies (14 Feb) – Unite national officer for automotive Des Quinn said: “Unite will be demanding that the company opens the books to determine how to save as many jobs at Ford as possible. “Meanwhile, it is clear the government has absolutely no industrial plan for the successful electrification of the UK’s automotive industry and the crucial jobs it supports…” read more

Unite leader Sharon Graham says strike wave “isn’t going away” (14 Feb) – Sunak looks like ‘the captain of the Titanic’. Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “The latest record strike figures announced today are a warning to the government and employers. The wave of industrial action across the UK isn’t going away. In the face of the cost of living crisis workers now have no option but to fight for better wages. “Meanwhile the prime minster, Rishi Sunak looks more like the captain of the Titanic day by day – rearranging the deck chairs in his latest Cabinet reshuffle while he is posted missing on resolving strikes in the NHS.” Read more

Petrofac Ithaca and Wood Group latest offshore workers balloted as wave of industrial unrest grows (14 Feb) – Over 1300 workers being balloted across dozens of offshore installations. Unite the union announced today (Tuesday 14 February) that offshore workers employed by Petrofac on the FPF1 platform, and the Wood Group UK Limited on TAQA platforms are being balloted for strike action. The latest offshore disputes are part of a growing wave of industrial unrest hitting the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). Over 1300 Unite members are now involved a series of disputes. This includes Petrofac Facilities Management Ltd on BP’s platforms, Odfjell Technology Ltd, Stork and Bilfinger. The latest Petrofac Facilities Management Limited dispute involves around 50 workers on the FPF1 platform and it is centred on working rotas. The company made a profit of £12.5 million in 2020 in its last lodged full accounts. Offshore workers can be asked to work at any time for no additional payment. The operator Ithaca Energy have a ‘clawback’ policy of 14 days which is significantly above the industry norm of 7 days. 14 days financially is approximately equivalent to £6,000 lost income per person. The ballot includes electrical, production and mechanical technicians in addition to deck crew, scaffolders and crane operators. In a separate dispute, Unite is balloting around 80 members working for the Wood Group UK Ltd on TAQA platforms – Cormorant Alpha, North Cormorant and Tern Alpha. Unite is demanding the reinstatement of a 10 per cent cut to salaries made in 2015 worth around £7,000 a year, and an enhanced redundancy and retention scheme. The ballot includes electrical, production and mechanical technicians along with pipefitters, platers, riggers and deck crew. Both ballots run for four weeks opening on 17 February and closes on 17 March. Any industrial action could take place in early April following a successful ballot read more

Long running Abellio London bus dispute ends as workers receive major pay boost (13 Feb) – Over 1,800 workers secure 18 per cent pay increase. The long running industrial dispute involving over 1,800 bus drivers employed by Abellio in London has ended after workers accepted a greatly improved pay offer. Following a workplace ballot, the workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have accepted a pay increase that will see drivers with over two years’ service being paid £18 an hour. This equates to a pay increase of 18 per cent on the basic rate. The agreement also includes increases to all rates including overtime and rest day working. Negotiations over the last few weeks also saw an increase to the rate for new starters, increased rates for Saturday/Sunday working. The union also won the £18 per hour for drivers who transferred to Abellio under TUPE legislation and had not previously been made the offer. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an important pay victory. Workers have stood firm and with the support of their union, Unite, they have secured a richly deserved pay increase. Unite’s constant focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of our members is continuing to deliver increased pay awards for workers.” Crucially, a commitment to immediately negotiate a new scheduling agreement was also secured, including early agreement regarding scheduling rest breaks and start times in order to bring the dispute to an end. In addition to the pay increase, the union’s campaign has resulted in one of Unite’s reps being reinstated after they had initially been dismissed on trumped up charges. The union had made clear that there would be no resolution to the dispute without the reinstatement of the rep. The victory was hard won, with the workforce taking over 20 days of strike action beginning late last year to secure the pay increase read more

Odfjell drillers action to hit flagship BP platforms Clair and Clair Ridge (9 Feb) – Latest group of offshore workers set to strike in dispute over rotas and pay. Unite the union confirmed today (9 February) that nearly 100 Odfjell offshore drillers working on two flagship BP platforms have emphatically backed strike action to secure paid leave away from the current three on/three off working rota. 96 per cent supported strike action in a ballot turnout of 73 per cent. The strike action will involve a series of 24-hour stoppages to be announced but Unite has warned that industrial action could escalate to an all-out strike. Two of BP’s flagship North Sea Platforms the Clair and Clair Ridge are now expected to have their drilling schedules heavily impacted by the action. The mandate for industrial action follows Odfjell’s refusal to provide paid annual leave for periods when the drillers would otherwise be offshore leaving the drillers at a disadvantage as other offshore workers are entitled to paid leave as part of their working rotas. Unite members also voted by 97 per cent to support action short of a strike. This will include a total overtime ban limiting the working day to 12 hours, no extra cover provided during scheduled field breaks, and the withdrawal of good will pre and post tour briefings preventing handovers between shifts. Odfjell Technology Ltd recorded profits of £2.64m in 2021 up from £2.15m in 2020 read more

NG Bailey electricians to vote for strike action at Atomic Weapons Establishment in cost of living bonus dispute (9 Feb) – Electricians employed by NG Bailey working at the Atomic Weapons Authority (AWE) in Berkshire are to be balloted for strike action in a dispute over bonus payments. The dispute is a result of the decision by NG Bailey not to pay a bonus of £6.50 an hour to its workers, despite the bonus being authorised by the client AWE. The bonus is being paid by other electrical contractors on the project, with AWE picking up the bill. It’s designed to offset the cost of living crisis. Approximately 100 Unite electricians who work at NG Bailey on Awe’s Mensa project, will begin balloting for strike action on Monday 13 February with the ballot closing on Friday 10 March. If the workers vote for industrial action, then strikes could begin later next month read more

Royal Holloway University strikes intensify over 10% pay cut presented as rise (9 Feb) – Pay strikes will hit Royal Holloway University in February as a dispute over pay intensifies, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday). Non-teaching staff, members of Unite, have rejected an imposed pay deal set by the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) that amounts to three per cent for most workers. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 13.4 per cent, this is a real terms pay cut of 10.4 per cent. Meanwhile, the university’s latest financial report states it is in a strong financial position. It had total reserves of £293 million for the year ending 31 July 2022 read more

UK could face electricity power cuts as Drax power station workers announce strikes (8 Feb) – The UK could face power cuts later this month, as workers employed at Drax power station in Yorkshire take strike action in a dispute over pay. The 180-plus workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have rejected an eight per cent pay increase. The offer is a substantial real terms pay cut with the current inflation rate (RPI) standing at 13.4 per cent. When Drax is fully operational it generates seven per cent of the UK’s electricity. The strike action will close Drax down…Unite has announced an initial nine days of strike action with strikes taking place on 20 and 27 February, then 6, 13, 20, 27 March and 4, 10 and 17 April read more

Petrofac workers resume 48-hour strike action (8 Feb) – New strike wave hits BP offshore installations. A fresh 48-hour strike is underway on BP Petrofac installations the UK’s largest offshore trade union, Unite, confirmed today (8 February). The 48-hour strike action which starts today at 06:01 involves around 80 workers, and it will conclude at 05:59 on 10 February. It is the latest round of strike action following no breakthrough in negotiations with Petrofac. The offshore contractor has failed to bring forward an acceptable offer to the workers with future rounds of strike action now scheduled to take place until 3 March read more

Fresh strike dates announced for Welsh Ambulance workers (6 Feb) – Without a decent pay rise staffing exodus will continue crisis. Unite has today (6th February) announced further strike dates for Welsh ambulance workers in an escalation of the unions industrial action. Unite members employed by the Welsh Ambulance Service will strike on the 20th, 21st and 22nd February read more

Strike action resumes at GSK pharmaceutical plant in Irvine (6 Feb) – Kaefer contractors begin week-long strike in dispute over bonus payments. Members of Unite employed in engineering construction roles at the GSK plant in Irvine will resume strike action today (6 February) in a dispute over bonus payments. Around 40 workers employed by contractor Kaefer Limited will take strike action from 07:30 a.m. on 6 February up to 07:29 a.m. on 13 February. A previous round of strike action took place from 9 to 23 January. The current round of strike action is in addition to an existing discontinuous overtime ban which ends on 2 April. The industrial action will directly impact on the maintenance of the plant. The dispute is based on Unite members seeking a bonus payment of £2.37 an hour, the maximum allowed under the relevant industrial agreement (National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry [NAECI]) read more

Weekend strike action to hit Diageo’s Leven plant (3 Feb) – Workers set to hold Johnnie Walker Experience protest to highlight 6 per cent pay cut. Engineering workers based at whisky giant Diageo’s plant in Leven are set to strike from tonight (3 February) and over the weekend in an escalating dispute over pay. The strike action will begin at 19:00. tonight (Friday 3 February) and conclude on Monday morning at 05.59 (6 February). The latest round of strike action follows previous stoppages with more strike action scheduled to take place until 3 April. The strike action will directly impact on the engineering support for the bottling plant. Unite believes it would not be safe to run the plant without the support its members provide… Unite can also confirm that a protest will be held by the workers in dispute next Saturday (11 February from 12pm) outside The Johnnie Walker Experience, 145 Princes St, Edinburgh and next Sunday (12 February from 12pm) outside the Diageo Leven bottling plant, Banbeath Industrial Estate, Leven, KY8 5HD. The protests are designed to highlight that some of Unite’s engineering members are set to lose around 6 per cent of their pay when moved to a proposed lower rate of pay read more

Wirral housing workers to strike over deadly asbestos fears (3 Feb) – Workers at social housing landlord Magenta Living are to take extensive strike action over fears that new working practices will expose them to asbestos. The 100 plus workers, who are members Unite, the UK’s leading union, are employed in repairs and maintenance roles for Magenta Living, which manages 13,000 properties mainly covering the Wirral. Magenta Living has imposed a change of policy when dealing with asbestos. Previously, the workforce was trained that when they identified asbestos to stop work. If it required removal, specialist contractors were employed. Under the new policy the workers are expected to work with asbestos read more

University of Leeds strikes intensify over 10% pay cut presented as rise (1 Feb) – More than 200 non-teaching staff striking over nationally imposed UCEA pay deal. Pay strikes will hit the University of Leeds in February as a dispute over pay intensifies, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Wednesday). The 200 non-teaching staff, members of Unite, have rejected an imposed pay deal set by the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) that amounts to three per cent for most workers. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 13.4 per cent, this is a real terms pay cut of 10.4 per cent read more

Reinstate Radek (Radoslaw Worbel) sacked Unite London bus rep at RATP London United Fulwell bus garage – send a message of complaint to [email protected] and a message of support to to Radek via the Unite Bus Combine: [email protected] 

Further Imperial College strikes as pay dispute intensifies (20 Jan) – Over 200 Unite members to walkout over 3.3% offer, which is a pay cut. More than 200 workers at London’s Imperial College will strike on 23 January over a 3.3 per cent pay offer, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday). The workers, who are non-teaching staff, last took strike action in November. Further strikes will be scheduled in the coming weeks if the dispute is not resolved. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 13.4 per cent, this is a pay cut in real terms. Imperial Colleges’ latest financial figures shows it brought in an income of over £1.2 billion for 2021/22 and had cash reserves of £1.7 billion read more

Unite announces 10 fresh strike dates as ambulance dispute escalates (20 Jan) – Unite, the UK’s leading union, has announced fresh dates in an escalation of the ambulance workers dispute. Members of Unite will stage ten further strikes over the coming weeks. Additional dates could be announced in the comings days. The announcement of fresh strike comes ahead of the latest day of industrial action with Unite’s ambulance workers set to walk out next Monday (23 January) read more

West Midland’s National Express engineers to strike over pay (19 Jan) – 3,000 drivers also poised to join striking engineers who maintain vehicles for 93% of region’s bus network. Around 200 West Midland’s National Express engineers have voted by 93 per cent in a ballot with a turnout of 80 per cent to strike over pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Thursday). The engineers – responsible for maintaining 1,200 vehicles that cover 93 per cent of the region’s bus network – could be joined on strike by 3,000 bus drivers, who are also about to be balloted for industrial action. The engineers have rejected a pay offer of 10.1 per cent from National Express, which made £15.8 million in profits during the first half of 2022. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 13.4 per cent, this is a pay cut read more

Striking housing workers vote 99.5 percent on 93.5 percent turnout to reject inadequate NI Housing Executive pay offer (10 Jan) – As industrial action by housing workers enters its twenty-third week without resolution, Unite demands Department for Communities intervention. Thousands of social housing tenants are left without needed repair and maintenance work as a result of management intransigence. Unite the union has written to the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive Grainia Long after its members overwhelmingly rejected a pay offer made by management at the Labour Relations Agency in December. The pay offer was for a one-off non-consolidated payment of one thousand pounds and a pay point increase for grades 1 to 3 which would have benefited only a small fraction of striking workers. The offer was rejected overwhelmingly in a ballot conducted on picket lines on turnout of 93.5 percent and rejection majority of 99.5 percent. The workers who are employed in North and West Belfast, Portadown, Coleraine and Derry/Londonderry will therefore continue their strike action in pursuit of a fair pay increase for the 2021-2022 year. Their strike is now into its twenty-third week and has led to ballooning impact on maintenance services for social housing units read more

Department for Infrastructure must show leadership on Rathlin Island ferry dispute (10 Jan) – Union says workers and Rathlin Island community treated as expendable in wrangle over outsourced service. Unite the union has demanded urgent action by the Department for Infrastructure to resolve an ongoing pay dispute and safeguard the ferry service to Rathlin island. The private sector operator of the ferry service to Northern Ireland’s largest offshore island, Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd, has indicated to the Department that the company could enter liquidation by the end of January. Unite members at the ferry operator are today striking for a third day after four days when there was no service to the island as a result of inclement conditions and strike action. Strike action is scheduled to proceed for four days a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays) for the remainder of January. The strike follows a ballot of ferry workers who voted with a 85 per cent majority for industrial action in pursuit of a cost of living increase. Their vote came after workers’ endured three years of a pay freeze read more

Refuse workers and street cleaners to strike in Liverpool in pay dispute (10 Jan) – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Liverpool Streetscene Services Limited (LSSL), are set to undertake industrial action in a dispute over pay. The 80 plus workers are principally employed in refuse collection, street cleaning and parks and cemeteries. They will begin industrial action on Monday 23 January and it will end on Saturday 28 January read more

Northern Ireland Health and Social Care workers strike for improved pay (9 Jan) – Massive 87 per cent average vote for strike action across Northern Ireland trusts. 4000 Unite members to strike on 26 January, February 16 ,17 and 23, 24. Unite the union has confirmed that its members working across the health and social care sector in Northern Ireland will be participating in an industrial campaign involving all health trade unions after they voted overwhelmingly for strike action in pursuit of a cost of living pay increase. The announcement comes as talks as discussion with the UK health secretary failed to make any progress on the 2022/23 pay claim. In December, Unite members voted with an average 87 percent majority across all five health trusts and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for strike action read more

Coffin factory strike enters fourth month Co-op Funeralcare wastes £1 million instead of resolving dispute (5 Jan) – Coffin factory strike enters fourth month as Co-op Funeralcare wastes £1 million instead of resolving dispute. Unite members have resumed strike action at the Co-op Funeralcare coffin manufacturing factory based in Glasgow in a bitter dispute over pay which has now entered its fourth month. Strike action by Unite members began on Wednesday 4 January and will run continuously through to Monday 16 January, which will be the fourth consecutive week of strike action. Unite recently uncovered that the Cooperative Funeralcare spent over £1,000,000 last year on purchasing coffins from third party suppliers at a time when the dispute with their own workforce could have been successfully resolved for a fraction of this cost. Additionally, Co-op Funeralcare made an underlying profit of £12 million in 2021 read more

Construction giant Murphy protests in UK and Ireland over union busting – Demonstrations call for four sacked trade union members to be reinstated. Demonstrations will be held outside the offices of Murphy construction companies in Newbridge, County Kildare, Warrington, Stafford and London tomorrow (21 December) over union busting at the group. The protests form part of a campaign to secure the reinstatement of four Unite members, including a Unite shop steward, who were dismissed by the group’s Irish subsidiary, Murphy International. Unite believes the reasons for the sacking are spurious and linked to the workers’ trade union membership read more

Strikes stepped up at Fawley refinery as heavy-handed policing deepens tensions in dispute – Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed in engineering construction roles at Fawley oil refinery in Hampshire will step up strike action in a dispute over bonus payments. The 130-strong workforce, who are employed by three contractors Altrad, Bilfinger and Enerveo, are seeking a bonus payment of £2.37 an hour, the maximum allowed under the relevant industrial agreement (National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry [NAECI]). The Fawley refinery is operated by ExxonMobil, which last month recorded a quarterly profit of £17.3 billion. Tensions in the dispute have dramatically increased due to intimidatory behaviour by Hampshire police and false allegations made the employer read more. Send messages of support to [email protected]

Workers at Causeway Coast and Glens council to commence all-out strike action tomorrow after councils vote down pay increase – Offer of two pay points plus a cash lump sum to end dispute was rejected at last night’s council meeting by a single vote in the chamber. Unite the union has confirmed that its members at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council will commence continuous strike action at the local authority tomorrow (8 Sept). The decision by workers followed last night’s vote at full council at which a proposal to settle the strike by offering two pay point increments and a lump sum to workers – similar to that provided in Derry City & Strabane and in Mid-Ulster District Councils – was voted down by a majority of one councillor. General Secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham, pledged her union’s full support to the striking council workers read more


Support the CWU strikes in Royal Mail & Post Office – The CWU has launched a strike fund – please support: Unity Bank, CWU General Fund, 60-83-01 33019822

We support the call of the CWU for Royal Mail and BT to be re-nationalised. Follow the latest news via CWU’s Facebook page, website and Twitter @CWUnews

Massive Royal Mail re-ballot vote!! – CWU members in Royal Mail Group have delivered the biggest ever return in a major national strike ballot. YES 95.9% TURNOUT 77.3%

CWU to Royal Mail bosses: ‘You picked a fight with the wrong union!’ (17 Feb) – After achieving a higher percentage turnout than any general election since 1992, CWU activists meet in determined mood to discuss the next steps. Following yesterday’s ballot result, it was back to business today, with hundreds of senior field officials and branch officials gathering in Manchester for a national briefing to update on the dispute with Royal Mail and debate ongoing strategy. General secretary Dave Ward opened the event by once again thanking branches and members for their efforts in delivering such a “remarkable result” in the ballot. A hugely impressive 95.9 per cent YES vote and 77.3 per cent turnout – a higher percentage of voters than the last general election and higher than any general election in the past three decades. This was “a victory for the power of ‘we’ over the power of ‘I’. It was a test of our members’ resolve and, after 18 days of strike action and in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, our members delivered a result that was incredible,” Dave continued, adding that it “would’ve given the whole of TU movement a lift – as well as our members. It’s staggering that, after all that’s happened, our members haven’t shifted an inch in their support for this union…” read more

Post Office hopes rise as national pay negotiations resume (20 Feb) – ‘Cautious optimism’ from reps as acting deputy general secretary postal heads into new talks with senior bosses. CWU reps and members expressed their support for Andy Furey and his negotiating team this morning as formal pay discussions restarted aimed at resolving the long-running dispute over pay. From May to December 2022, eight strikes took place among Post Office Crown and Admin members, while Supply Chain workers struck nine times and, from December, all Post Office members began action short of a strike (ASOS). In his message to members before today’s talks started, our acting deputy general secretary postal (A/DGSP) expressed once again his admiration for the strong and solid support members have shown over the course of the dispute and his thanks for their determination and their patience. He also explained that the ASOS was being paused in light of the new commitments received from the Post Office leadership to the negotiations read more

BT Estate cleaning review puts 127 housekeepers ‘at risk’ of redundancy (17 Feb) – Assurances and clarity are being urgently demanded for housekeepers across the BT Estate following ISS’s shock announcement this week of a major shake-up  of cleaning activities that has been triggered, in part, by BT’s ongoing ‘Better Workplace’ site rationalisation programme. Tuesday’s bombshell – which threatens the jobs of 127 ‘static’ housekeepers who operate in fixed individual locations – represents the first major review of cleaning requirements following the disputed outsourcing of BT Facilities Service  in April 2019 read more

Security review at BT HQ triggers nerve-wracking redundancy selection process for 17 (16 Feb) – Close tabs are being kept on a redundancy consultation involving 17 security officers based at BT’s One Braham headquarters following the decision to downsize their number by nearly half. The unexpected  move, which was announced to impacted employees by outsourced guarding services provider ISS yesterday (Wednesday) , follows a review of the central London premises’ guarding requirements that had been driven  by BT’s desire to cut costs and ‘rightsize’ security arrangements  in the light of what the company believes are diminished risk factors. Operational reasons given for the change include the increase of CCTV coverage of One Braham’s perimeter, a new Security Forum and crime prevention initiatives in the Aldgate area and the perception that the area is becoming safer on account of increased footfall and increased engagement with local police. As such, ISS is proposing to reduce the overall hours for security cover from 1,488 hours a week to 866 – to be covered by nine security officers, eight fewer than at present read more


You can show your support to the strikes by PCS members by:

  • Making donations to the PCS Fighting Fund Levy account, sort code: 60-83-01, account no. 20331490
  • Sending solidarity messages to [email protected]
  • Signing our petition to tell prime minister Rishi Sunak to intervene and hold meaningful talks to end the strikes.
  • Support us on social media with the hashtags: #PCSonStrike #BlameTheGovt
  • New E-action in support of PCS national pay and pensions campaign – The E-action calls on MPs to support our demands over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security read more

Talks continue with Cabinet Office but more action needed (20 Feb) – A meeting between PCS and Cabinet Office officials took place on 15 February to discuss our national dispute on pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms. We made it clear that we were in dispute over the four issues and that all of them would need to be addressed with PCS read more

Last chance to vote in PCS re-ballot (20 Feb) – You have 1 week left to vote if you are one of more than 33,000 PCS members in the civil service being re-balloted to join national strike action over pay, pensions, changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme and jobs read more

Strike dates announced in Ofsted and DVSA (20 Feb) – The action will impact on driving tests, school inspections and complaints. The strikes form part of our targeted strike action in our national campaign over pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms. Ofsted members working in the Applications, Regulatory and Contact (ARC) team and Inspection Support Centre will take strike action in March. They will walk out from Monday to Wednesday on every week in March, starting from 6 March… In DVSA, there will be a rolling programme of strike action across the regions throughout March, resulting in a large-scale cancellation of driving tests read more

Strong start to latest Border Force action (17 Feb) – There has been solid support for the start of a 4-day strike by Border Force officers in Dover, Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk. Our members are taking targeted action in our campaign for fair pay, pensions justice and job security. PCS members at the British Museum, DVLA, DWP and Animal and Plant Health Agency, are also on strike this week read more

HMRC and VOA reballot closes on 27 February – vote yes now (20 Feb) – The HMRC and VOA strike reballot closes at noon on 27 February – you should post your ballot paper today to make sure it arrives on time, so you can take action over pay alongside over 100,000 other PCS members. The reballot of PCS members in HMRC and VOA over pay, pensions and terms and conditions ends on 27 February read more

British Museum strikers ‘stronger by the day’ (16 Feb) – The British Museum is being heavily disrupted by the week-long PCS strike as part of our campaign for fair pay, pensions justice and job security. The museum is only open to ticket holders and museum members this week as around 100 staff, belonging to the museum’s visitor services and security teams, have walked out and 15 of its ‘eye-opener’ tours have been cancelled. The museum also announced that galleries may close early or at short notice as a result of the action. Hundreds of visitors had to wait in a queue that stretched around the block. More than 30 PCS members joined the picket line today, receiving lots of public support and visits from MP John McDonnell, as well as UCU, RMT and NEU activists. They even brought homemade biscuits for the picketers read more

French customs officer union sends support to PCS (16 Feb) – French trade union la CGT Douanes has pledged support to PCS strikers ahead of our latest strategic action by Border Force members which starts tomorrow (17). The union has written to PCS with a message of solidarity to Border Force officers in Dover, Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk who start a 4-day strike on Friday (17) and to condemn UK government attacks on the right to strike. The Border Force action is part of a wave of strategic strikes in our campaign for fair pay, pensions justice and job security. Our members at the British Museum, DVLA, DWP and Animal and Plant Health Agency, are also on strike this week read more

Huge support for DWP strikes (15 Feb) – DWP members in Stockport, Bolton and Liverpool are walking out this week and holding daily picket lines as part of our targeted strike action. PCS members working at Stockport Contact Centre, Bolton Benefit Centre, Toxteth Jobcentre, Liverpool Duke Street Jobcentre, Liverpool City Jobcentre and Liverpool Innovation Park Jobcentre started targeted strike action on 9 February read more

PCS launches ballot for strike action in NATS Gibraltar (14 Feb) – The members, who provide air traffic control services at Gibraltar airport, are in dispute with NATS Ltd over pay. NATS Ltd provides air traffic control services for the UK and internationally. Members based in Gibraltar are on less preferential terms to those in the UK and PCS has been attempting to resolve this situation through talks with management. The current pay offer under discussion is for the period from 2020 to 2022. Despite PCS meeting with NATS three times, no agreement has been reached. Meanwhile our members need an urgent pay increase to keep up with the cost of living. NATS attached caveats to their original pay offer which would have weakened our members’ terms and conditions. The only movement they have made is to remove those unfair caveats read more

Mass support for targeted industrial action at DVLA (14 Feb) – PCS members working for DVLA on Output Services Group (OSG) started 5 days of strike action yesterday (13). The DVLA members based at two sites in Swansea, are taking strike action for five days this week as part of our second wave of targeted action. Members at Ty Felin and Morriston are responsible for printing for DVLA, including letters and driving licences. Members have demonstrated mass support for the action which will bring the DVLA print services to a halt and maximise disruption to key DVLA services. We know the action is impacting on issuing customer correspondence across input services group and drivers medical. Yesterday, the lights in the print unit area at the Swansea main site remained off, as did the printers. Dozens of members joined a vibrant picket line in their dispute over pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy terms read more

PCS rejects insulting Northern Lighthouse board pay offer (14 Feb) – PCS has written to senior representatives of the Northern Lighthouse Board following receipt of the full and final pay offer for both shore based and marine staff. The offers tabled fall significantly short of the PCS national pay claim for a minimum of 10% increase to account for the cost-of -living crisis and the rising rate of inflation read more

Transport for London Pay Offer fails to address cost of living crisis (14 Feb) – PCS has written to senior representatives of Transport for London to reject the full and final pay offer, which was presented following resolution talks. The offer made falls significantly short of the PCS national pay claim. The offer, which proposes a two base pay settlement, fails to meet the demand for a minimum 10% increase to account for the cost-of -living crisis  and the rising rate of inflation read more

Land Registry members set to strike (13 Feb) – We are now asking PCS members working for the Land Registry to join our targeted strike action, part of our national campaign over pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms. The following groups of members working for the Land Registry are set to take action on 27 and 28 February and 1, 2 and 3 March 2023:

  • All Land Registry employees working in the Customer Service Centres in Durham and Swansea. 
  • All Land Registry employees working on the Customer Resolution Team in: Birkenhead, Coventry, Croydon, Durham, Fylde, Gloucester, Hull, Leicester, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Swansea, Telford and Weymouth read more

Further DVLA strike dates announced as action further escalates (13 Feb) – We’re asking all DVLA members working in stores to take part in strike action on 27, 28 February and 1, 2, 3 March as part of our national campaign over pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms read more

Further DVLA strike dates announced as action escalates (6 Feb) – We’re asking all DVLA members working on Drivers Medical in Swansea and Birmingham to take part in strike action on 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 February as part of our national  campaign over pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms. This latest action follows 5 days of planned strike action for members working for Output Services Group at Ty Felin and Morriston in Swansea read more

PCS National Campaign: Our chance to join the action! (8 Feb) – 100,000 PCS members will strike on Budget Day. A successful ballot will mean HMRC members can join the action. Following the highly successful day of action on 1 February, PCS has announced a further day of national action, involving groups comprising 100,000 members. The strike will take place on the day of the Budget, Wednesday 15 March. If more than half of HMRC members take part in our re-ballot, and we vote to act, we’ll be able to join them read more

Border Force strikes announced for half term (2 Feb) – Around 1,000 Border Force officers in Dover, Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk are to go on strike for 4 days during the February half-term school holidays, PCS has announced. Notification of the strike to take place on 17, 18, 19 and 20 February comes as thousands of civil servants in 123 government departments walked out yesterday in the biggest civil service strike in a decade which had a big impact on public services, including the closure of the British Museum read more

APHA strike dates announced (30 Jan) – We are asking APHA members in the Centre for International Trade in Bristol and Carlisle to take part in strike action from 13-17 and 20-24 February 2023. Our targeted strike action, part of our national campaign on pay, pensions and redundancy terms, began in November last year and members working in the Rural Payments Agency have already taken up to 4 weeks of very well supported action before and after Christmas read more


Wales ambulance workers reject pay offer (17 Feb) – Around 1,500 Wales ambulance workers will now join mass strike on February 20. GMB working for Wales Ambulance Service have rejected a new pay offer from the Welsh Government. Almost 1,500 turned down the deal – amounting to an average 5.5 per cent pay rise and a 1.5 per cent one off bonus. They will now join almost 10,000 ambulance workers across England on strike on Monday, 20 February. Welsh Ambulance Service; North West Ambulance Service;

North East Ambulance Service; Yorkshire Ambulance Service; East Midlands Ambulance Service; South West Ambulance Service;

South Central Ambulance Service; South East Coast Ambulance Service. Full list of pickets here read more

Zero hours contracts hit record high (14 Feb) – GMB union has accused Rishi Sunak of presiding over a ‘tidal wave’ of insecure work after zero hours employment hit its highest rate in history. New official figures show that 1,133,441 people were employed on a zero hours contract in October to December 2022. This was the highest estimate on record and an increase of 8.5 per cent on the previous three months. Young workers, women workers and people born outside the UK are all more like to be in zero hours employment. One in nine workers aged between 16 and 24 (11.7 per cent) are now on a zero hours contract, according to the ONS. Separate figures show that a third of all direct care workers in England are on a zero hours contract, rising to half in London read more

Sellafield workers vote to strike (14 Feb) – Hundreds of Sellafield cleaners have voted to strike in anger at a broken pay promise. More than three hundred workers employed by Mitie at the nuclear power plant have said they are ready to take industrial action. Bosses had promised to up workers’ pay from November last year to help with the cost of living crisis. Now they have gone back on their word and say a pay rise will only be paid from April – six months later. Workers and GMB representatives will meet in the coming days to discuss strike dates read more

South London hospitals next in line for GMB NHS strike action (14 Feb) – GMB, the NHS union, will be balloting its members employed by outsourcing conglomerate ISS across South London and Maudsley NHS Trust from today.

The members work as domestics and hostesses across the trust’s hospital sites, which include Maudsley Hospital, Bethlem Royal Hospital, the Ladywell Unit at Lewisham Hospital and Lambeth Hospital. The staff have previously submitted a pay claim which has been ignored by management. The dispute therefore centres around pay, but also reflects that the workers are on a number of different contracts and want parity of pay terms and conditions with each other and with NHS colleagues read more

Amazon workers announce week-long strike (13 Feb) – Amazon workers have announced a week-long strike at the company’s Coventry warehouse. More than 350 staff at the West Midland fulfilment centre will walk out on 28 February, 2 March and from 13 to 17 March. Amazon Coventry workers made history on 25 January – becoming the first Amazon workers in the UK to strike – in their fight for £15 per hour read more

Ambulance workers announce four more national strike dates (18 Jan) – More than 10,000 GMB Ambulance workers will stage four more national strike days, the union announced today. Paramedics, Emergency Care Assistants, call handlers and other staff are now set to walk out on 6 February, 20 February, 6 March and 20 March. The following trusts will be affected: South West Ambulance Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service, North West Ambulance Service, South Central Ambulance Service, North East Ambulance Service, East Midlands Ambulance Service, Welsh Ambulance Service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service. In addition, workers at West Midlands ambulance service will strike on January 23, with GMB members at North West Ambulance Service will strike on January 24 read more

Welsh Ambulance Service Strikes Suspended After Senedd Makes Pay Offer (3 Feb) – The deal amounts to both a consolidated and non-consolidated one off payment for 22/23 – on top of the already imposed 4.5 per cent. The Welsh Government has confirmed negotiations for 23/24 will begin almost immediately. Almost 1,500 workers across the country had been due to walk in on Monday [6 February] read more

Almost 300 Mersey Care workers to strike this week (17 Jan) – Almost 300 health care workers at Mersey Care will take strike action this week over pay. GMB members including nurses, health care assistants, support staff, cleaners and admin staff will walk out for 24 hours from 00:01 to 23.59 on 18 January 2023. Mersey Care workers voted to strike over the Government’s imposed 4 per cent pay award – another massive real terms pay cut read more

GMB union: ExxonMobil ‘throwing money’ at agencies rather than our members – GMB, the energy union, are preparing to name and shame companies who are providing strike-breakers in the midst of a trades dispute at Fawley oil refinery near Southampton. The union have been informed that agency workers have been retained on full pay until strike action recommenced, following a temporary suspension of action actioned by GMB and sister union Unite. Strike action at the refinery was suspended for Monday to Wednesday of this week to allow negotiations to take place, only for GMB to be told that talks would not be happening as there was “nothing to discuss.” Read more

Solidarity with GMB after yet another arrest on a bin picket line – For the second time in months, GMB Southern Region officers have been arrested on a picket line of their striking refuse members. Previously, arrests were made on the Wealden picket. They appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court on 29th June. The case was adjourned to Brighton Crown Court and was due to take place on November 16th but has been delayed again and will now take place on 24th March. This is an outrageous attack on the right of trade unions to strike, picket and protest. The NSSN sends our continued solidarity and support read more about Surrey strike


Donate to support striking workers – As UNISON members continue to take strike action, the union is asking for donations to its strike fund

BREAKING NEWS!! Third day of NHS strikes in Northern Ireland (21 Feb) – Thousands of UNISON members in the six arm’s length bodies of the health trust have walked out today, including staff at the NI ambulance service read more

NHS dispute widens to cover most parts of England (17 Feb) – Staff at further ambulance services and health trusts vote to strike. The growing NHS dispute over pay and staffing will now cover ambulance services and other NHS organisations across most parts of England, says UNISON today (Friday). Announcing its re-ballot results of thousands more health workers, UNISON says staff at another four English ambulance services and five NHS organisations, including NHS Blood and Transplant, will now be able to strike. This is a significant escalation of the dispute. Following the re-ballot of staff at ten NHS employers in England, the union said ambulance staff at four services in England – South Central, East of England, West Midlands and East Midlands – had voted to take industrial action. They’ve been joined today by health workers at NHS Blood and Transplant, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Women’s Hospital and the Bridgewater Community Trust. The 12,000 staff involved in the re-ballots can now take part in the ongoing dispute alongside their NHS colleagues at ambulance services in London, Yorkshire, the North East, North West and South West. Since the dispute over pay and staffing began in December, staff at these service have taken strike action on four occasions, says UNISON. NHS workers at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and two trusts in Liverpool (the University Hospitals Trust and the city’s Heart and Chest Hospital) have also had live strike mandates since last year. Between them, these NHS employees have taken three days of action read more

HE strikes called off as talks move forward (17 Feb) – HE joint-unions and the employer, UCEA, have released a statement as they move into time-limited talks read more

University strikes called off as pay talks are set to continue (17 Feb) – Improved pay offer for many lower earners. Strikes due to take place over the next two weeks involving university support staff belonging to UNISON have been called off today (Friday) following talks at conciliation service ACAS. Five unions – UNISON, UCU, GMB, Unite and EIS – issued a joint statement with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which will see the strikes over pay suspended read more

Working together makes us stronger (16 Feb) – UNISON members in the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service have welcomed the decision by Unite union to move their strike day to February 21st read more

UNISON Health members in Northern Ireland prepare for further Strike Action February 21st (14 Feb) – UNISON members across the health service in Northern Ireland are continuing to play their part in the whole union campaign of industrial action to secure funding for pay rise that protects against inflation read more

Stop Hackney Council cutting library services read more about the campaign here – Hackney library staff have been taking strike action against cuts


Health Strike Locations: Tuesday 21 February here

Strike and Rally: Tuesday 21 February Update – this is an update to members regarding strike action on 21 February. We wish remind everyone this is a full day strike. In order to facilitate a rally at the City Hall which is due to take place at 10.30am. This rally will be with a number of health trade unions as well as teaching unions who will also be on strike that day read more

Reminder: Industrial Action Ballot, Civil Service Pay (16 Feb) – NICS Pay: A reminder to Branches that a ballot for industrial action across all NI Civil Service Departments and Arms’ Length Bodies commenced on 9 February 2023 and will close on 2 March 2023. Branches are asked to do their best to encourage every member to exercise their right to vote in this important industrial action ballot read more

Pay Dispute: Update and Petition (9 Feb) – As you are aware, NIPSA is currently undertaking a consultation exercise to seek your views on the Pay Offer made in December by the CEO as a result of the local JTUS Pay Claim which was lodged last June. The consultation also seeks your views on what action should be taken should the majority of our members reject the offer, and to receive your mandate for NIPSA to seek to secure a better deal using various means at our disposal, up to and including Industrial Action. You will also be aware that our sister Union Unite, with whom NIPSA has worked closely in lodging the local pay claim and pursuing the NIHE to table a fair and inflation busting pay rise for members in the NIHE, has had members out on continuous strike action for over 6 months, which is still continuing. At the heart of this action is the single objective of achieving a decent pay rise for members. Unite has overwhelmingly rejected the pay offer tabled by Management, which is the subject of the ongoing NIPSA consultation exercise read more

Health Strike Update (13 Jan) – Health Strike Action HSC: While I would like to begin with wishing you all a Happy New Year in 2023, the reality is that I must provide an update in relation to the ongoing Industrial Action Dispute regarding Pay, Safe Staffing and Travel Reimbursement. The current Crisis in Health will not be resolved quickly and likewise the current Industrial Action will also need to be a continuous and determined campaign to bring Government and Employers to negotiate meaningful resolutions. In regards to the current calendar of Industrial Action being undertaken by NIPSA that requires your ongoing support including Continuous Action Short of Strike (ASOS)…and Joint Trade Union action with Unison in regards to their Non Continuous Action Short of Strike (ASOS) 16 January to 29 January 2023 (inclusive). This will include mirroring work to rule action and Withdrawal from all union/management/department of health engagement except regional meetings on dispute resolution. All NIPSA Members are required to participate in Specific Continuous Industrial (ASOS) to highlight the issue of Travel Reimbursement on the 20 January 20 February and 20 March 2023 as follows; The action will consist of a 24 hour withdrawal of personal vehicles for work related use commencing at 12.01am on Friday 20 January 2023 until 23.59pm. This Industrial Action will be repeated on a monthly basis including the 20 February and 20 March 2023. All NIPSA members are also required to participate in joint Strike Action on the 26th January 2023 with attendance at Picket lines essential. NIPSA also wishes to give notice to members that it intends to take further Industrial Action specifically to highlight Safe Staffing issues in February 2023 with details to follow read more

Royal College of Nursing

BREAKING NEWS!! UK government agrees to process of intensive talks with the RCN (21 Feb) – The RCN will pause strike action in England during these talks read more

A new NHS pay offer from Scottish Government (17 Feb) – RCN Scotland Board members are considering a new NHS pay offer from Scottish government. The pay offer was made today (17 February) following negotiations between the RCN and other health trade unions and the Scottish government and NHS employers. RCN Scotland Board will consider the details of the offer and decide the next steps. The talks began after the Scottish government put forward proposals in January as the basis for dispute resolution and negotiations. The RCN paused the announcement of strike dates in Scotland while negotiations took place read more

RCN to consult members in Scotland on new pay offer (17 Feb) – The RCN is to consult its members on the new NHS pay offer in Scotland. The consultation will open on Tuesday 28 February and close at 9am on Monday 20 March read more

RCN announces biggest strike to date: no services will be exempt (16 Feb) – Following months of inaction from the UK government, RCN members in England will strike around the clock for 48 hours in March, with no wide-ranging derogations in place and increased strike benefit payments available to striking members. RCN strikes will take place at 128 NHS employers in England next month, as the Prime Minister continues to ignore calls for talks on pay, leaving nursing staff in England behind. The next strikes will run without pause for 48 hours from the morning of Wednesday 1 March to the morning of Friday 3 March with every single member in England, where there is a mandate to strike, being called to withdraw their labour. For 24-hour services, strike action will commence at the beginning of the local day shift and continue until the same time on 3 March. For services that are not 24-hour services, strike action will start at 6am on 1 March and end at the same time on 3 March. To support members to take part in our biggest strike yet, we’re increasing the strike benefit payments that members can claim. Members will now be able to claim £80 a day for strike action taken from March. This will rise to £120 a day for members who have taken strike action for four or more days read more

RCN ballots members on Care Quality Commission pay award (8 Feb) – Members who work for the Care Quality Commission will vote on whether to take industrial action in response to latest pay award read more

RCN cancels strikes in Wales following new NHS pay offer (3 Feb) – Pressure mounts on Prime Minister to start urgent talks in England to avert next week’s strikes read more

RCN opens donations to strike fund in response to public desire to support striking staff – We’ve launched a donation page for people to financially help nursing staff on strike read more

Royal College of Midwives

RCM to consult its members on the latest Scottish Government pay offer (17 Feb) – The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) will be moving to consult its members on the latest Scottish Government pay offer announced today read more

RCM to consult its members on Welsh Government pay offer (13 Feb) – The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is consulting its members in Wales on the Welsh Government’s pay offer. The online consultation opens today and closes on 27 February. It follows a pause on planned strike action by RCM midwife and maternity support worker (MSW) members that was set for 7 February. The RCM will be making no recommendations about whether its members should accept or reject the offer. The RCM says while the offer is not everything it has been asking for, it is a positive step forward and a deal its members should have their say on. It is the best offer that can be obtained through negotiation and without sustained industrial action says the RCM read more

RCM recommends its members vote yes as industrial action ballot opens in Northern Ireland (31 Jan) – The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in Northern Ireland is recommending its midwife and maternity support worker (MSW) members vote for industrial action as it opens its formal ballot on pay today running until 7 March. The move to ballot staff working in Health and Social Care (HSC) is not a decision taken lightly says the RCM. It follows a consultation in November where over nine out of 10 RCM members who responded said they would be prepared to take industrial action if no pay award was agreed. The NHS Pay Review Body recommendation of a 4% pay award was imposed on HSC staff in December read more


NHS physio staff strike again after government’s refusal to meet (9 Feb) – Physiotherapy staff in England have had no choice but to strike again today, following the government’s refusal to hold meaningful talks over NHS pay read more

Strikes in Wales paused after breakthrough (3 Feb) – Strikes by members in Wales are on hold after further progress was made in talks with the Welsh Government, the CSP has announced read more


Junior doctors vote yes to industrial action (20 Feb) – Junior doctors in England will take industrial action next month and preparations for a 72-hour full walkout are now under way. The results of a ballot of the BMA’s junior doctor members, announced today, revealed that 98 per cent of votes endorsed calls for industrial action, based on a turnout of 77.49 per cent. The result represents a huge mandate for strike action and is the highest ever number of junior doctors voting for strike action, and a record turnout. The BMA has been campaigning for full pay restoration with junior doctors having experienced a 26 per cent real-terms pay cut since 2008 amid a cost-of-living crisis and spiralling working conditions in the NHS read more

Strike Fund


HCSA junior doctors vote overwhelmingly for strike action in England – Junior Doctors in HCSA – the hospital doctors’ union have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in an all-England ballot. A decisive 97% Yes result was achieved on a turnout of 74.76%, easily passing legal thresholds. The result means that HCSA will now agree the timing and shape of strike action in coordination with other health unions. HCSA President Dr Naru Narayanan said the ballot result should act as a wake-up call to the government ahead of a separate vote of Junior Doctors by the British Medical Association which is set to close on 20th February read more

HCSA members in England will strike on March 15th


Teacher pay talks – No new offer on teacher pay this year (15 Feb) – Commenting after the talks with Gillian Keegan, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said; “While there was a more positive tone at today’s talks and more meetings will be set up as a result the outcome was still disappointing. While there has at least been an offer on pay in Wales and talk of a new offer in Scotland, Gillian Keegan has not been able to make any new offer on teacher pay this year or even to talk about the numbers on teacher pay next year. Nothing in this meeting gave us anything we could work with to justify suspending the next day of regional strikes on the 28 February…” read more

Parents support a fair pay rise for teachers (15 Feb) – Almost two thirds of parents thought teachers should receive a pay settlement in line with inflation read more

Northern Ireland: 21st February strike action (13 Feb) – NEU teacher members in Northern Ireland have voted in favour of strike action. Two thirds (66%) of NEU teacher members have voted in favour of strike action, and to join INTO, NASUWT and UTU on strike action starting on Tuesday 21 February. Watch our short film to find out why NEU Northern Ireland members are taking strike action. There will also be a number of rallies on the strike day and we encourage NEU members to attend their local rally read more

NEU Strike Action in England and Wales (1 Feb) – Teachers strike in pursuit of a fully-funded, above inflation pay rise. Commenting on today’s strike by National Education Union members in England and Wales, Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Today, teachers in schools and sixth form college in England and Wales and support staff in Wales schools, took strike action in pursuit of a fully-funded, above inflation pay rise. The government has short-changed them for over a decade, with significant real-terms cuts to pay and persistently unfunded rises which schools cannot afford…” read more

The full list of projected strike days are as follows:-

Wednesday 1 February 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales.

Tuesday 14 February 2023: all eligible members in Wales.

Tuesday 28 February 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: Northern, North West, Yorkshire & The Humber.

Wednesday 1 March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: East Midlands, West Midlands, Eastern.

Thursday 2 March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: London, South East, South West.

Wednesday 15 March 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales – includes national ‘Save Our Schools’ festival and demonstration. Assemble 12noon Hyde Park Speakers Corner for march to Trafalgar Square

Thursday 16 March 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales read more

NEU postpones action in Wales (9 Feb) – Next Tuesday’s strike action will be postponed until 2 March. Meanwhile, we will continue to press for a fully consolidated award and to seek an offer in respect of support staff members read more

School buildings at risk (16 Feb) – Seven education unions write to Education Secretary over risk of building collapse. Seven education unions – Community, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, UNISON and Unite – have today written an urgent open letter (see attached) to the Secretary of State for Education highlighting the shocking state of school buildings and calling upon the Government to take urgent action to make them safe and fit for the future read more


Northern Ireland teachers take strike action (20 Feb) – Members of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union in Northern Ireland are taking a half day of strike action tomorrow morning (Tuesday) in the ongoing industrial dispute over the pay of teachers. The strike action follows a concerted campaign of action short of strike action across all grant-aided schools. The NASUWT is calling for a fully funded 12% pay award for 2022/23. Teachers have already lost thousands of pounds as a result of year-on-year pay cuts and the failure of salaries to keep pace with inflation since 2010. For example, a teacher at the start of the classroom main pay scale M1 has lost £44,669, while a teacher at the top of the classroom main pay scale M6 has lost £65,288, and an experienced teacher at the top of the Upper Pay Scale UPS3 has lost £76,064. According to NASUWT research the last 13 years have seen cuts of 38% to teachers’ pay in real terms read more

NASUWT to consider revised Scotland pay offer (15 Feb) – Commenting on the revised pay offer tabled to teaching unions by the Scottish Government, Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said: “Whilst we will be carefully considering this revised pay offer, it is substantially adrift from a real terms pay award and does not offer the package of pay restoration that our members would expect. We currently have two further days of strike action scheduled for 28th February and 1st March and these remain in place…” read more

New offer needed to resolve pay dispute (15 Feb) – Speaking following a meeting today with Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education, on teachers’ pay, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “While there was a positive and constructive tone to the discussions and engagement from the Minister today, we are still some way from hearing what specific proposals the Government is willing to put on the table for us to consider and consult on with our members…” read more

Teachers at Coventry School Foundation strike over pay (13 Feb) – Members of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at the Coventry School Foundation (BKHS Bablake Senior, BKHS Bablake Prep, BKHS King Henry VIII Senior and BKHS King Henry VIII Prep) are taking two days of strike action tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday over pay. Following the imposition of a pay award for 2022/23 that was significantly below inflation, employers have now withdrawn a promised and improved pay award for 2023/24 read more

Guernsey teachers to be balloted for industrial action (2 Feb) – The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has issued notice of its intention to ballot members working in schools across the Bailiwick for industrial action over pay and workload. The current pay offer represents a further real-terms pay cut for teachers in Guernsey, following years of pay erosion stretching back to 2008. Teachers’ pay has fallen behind median earnings growth and pay awards given to other States employees and is increasingly uncompetitive compared with the UK, once the higher cost of living is taken into consideration. Teachers’ pay is also considerably higher in Jersey. These factors are fuelling increasing difficulties in recruiting and retaining teachers in Guernsey schools read more

Northern Ireland teachers to strike over pay (25 Jan) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union will take strike action In Northern Ireland on Tuesday 21 February over the failure to offer teachers a fair and decent pay award. The NASUWT is calling for a fully funded 12% pay award for 2022/23. The strike action will consist of a half day strike on the morning of 21 February. The strike action follows a concerted campaign of action short of strike action across all grant-aided schools read more

IOM teachers take further strike action (10 Jan) – Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union in the Isle of Man will take two further days of strike action tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday in the ongoing dispute over pay, workload and working practices. The strike action, which follows two previous days of strikes on 30th November and 1st December, follows the imposition of a pay award which represents a real terms pay cut of 3% for most teachers and which follows a 30% real terms loss in pay since 2010. NASUWT members rejected the current pay award. The NASUWT is calling for a multi-year fully funded pay offer that begins to address the real-terms historic erosion of pay as part of a medium to long-term strategy for the sustainable delivery of high-quality education into the future read more


Industrial Action: Pay Campaign – After receiving a strong mandate for industrial action in furtherance of the current pay dispute, INTO members have been instructed to take strike action on the morning of Tuesday 21st February 2023. Members will make themselves available for work from 12pm onwards read more


Ballot of Welsh school leaders put on hold as industrial action continues (17 Feb) – Today NAHT Cymru has confirmed that it will not go ahead with a planned ballot of members on a new offer from the Welsh Government due to a lack of detail and transparency. Last week the Welsh Government announced an improved pay offer, an agreement to reopen pay negotiations for 2023/24 and a commitment on workload in an effort to resolve the ongoing industrial dispute with education unions. While those discussions on workload have been positive, a lack of details on proposals, timescales and implementation, coupled with continued concerns over funding have stalled progress. At a meeting of the union’s membership, it was announced that the union’s executive officers would not be moving forward with a planned ballot at this time and industrial action would continue read more

Government urged to make pay offer to end talks stalemate (15 Feb) – Speaking following today’s talks between education unions and the secretary of state for education, Gillian Keegan, on the industrial dispute, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The tone of the talks was positive and the secretary of state agreed that action is needed to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis blighting the profession, and with it, children’s learning, which felt like a small step forward read more


New Teacher pay Offer Unanimously Rejected by EIS Salaries Committee (15 Feb) – A special meeting of the EIS Salaries Committee, held online, has unanimously rejected the latest revised pay offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA. The new offer, announced in the media yesterday before it was given to teaching unions, offers only a marginal improvement on previously rejected offers. As a result, the EIS will reject the offer and continue with its current programme of strike action until a more credible offer is put onto negotiating table read more

EIS to Escalate Strikes to Include Targeted Action (7 Feb) – Today, 7 February, marks one whole year since Scottish teaching unions submitted their pay claim for 2022-23 via the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT). A year on, that pay claim remains unsettled and teachers across the country are engaged in a programme of industrial action in pursuit of a fair pay settlement. As a result, the EIS has announced an escalation of its action to include targeted strike action in schools within the constituencies of key decision makers within the Scottish Government and COSLA read more

EIS Announces Additional 22 Days of Strike Action as Teacher Pay Dispute Escalates (13 Jan) – The EIS has announced 22 additional days of strike action in an escalation of the dispute over teachers’ pay. This is in addition to the previously announced 16-day programme of rolling strike action, set to begin in schools across the country next week. EIS members have previously taken three days of national strike action – one in November and two in January – in the continuing campaign for a fair pay settlement for the year 2022. The EIS Executive Committee met today and agreed a programme of additional strike action that will include two days of national strike action in all schools and sectors on 28 February and 1 March, followed by a rolling programme of strikes for 20 days between 13 March and 21 April. Over the rolling strike period, each local authority area will be impacted by three consecutive days of strike action, with one day of strike action in all schools bookended on either side by one-day strikes in primary and secondary schools read more


SSTA Consultative Survey on 14 February Pay Offer – The SSTA Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee decided at its meeting on Wednesday 15 February to consult with members on the latest employers’ pay offer in order to gauge members’ views. The Committee believes it is important to consult members on any significant development in the pay dispute. All members employed by a local authority are invited to participate in the electronic consultative survey read more

SSTA to Take Two Further Days of Strike Action (23 Jan) – The SSTA National Executive has, following another failed SNCT negotiating meeting, authorised two days of strike action on Tuesday 28 February and Wednesday 1 March. The SSTA will be joining members of sister unions in national strike action in a coordinated campaign of industrial action read more


BREAKING NEWS!! Staff strike at Havant and South Downs College over low pay (21 Feb) – Staff at Havant and South Downs College will strike for two consecutive days tomorrow and Thursday in a dispute over low pay amid the cost-of-living crisis. The strike comes after 76% of UCU members who voted said yes to strike action. The turnout was 53%, surpassing the 50% threshold imposed by Tory anti-trade union laws, despite the ballot only being open for two weeks. The National Education Union (NEU) also balloted members at the college with a similar result. 79% of NEU members voted for strike action with a 58% turnout and will be joining both days of strikes read more

Strike ballot opens at Bradford College over ‘huge real-terms pay cut’ (20 Feb) – Staff at Bradford College are being balloted to strike after college management recommended a pay award worth only 2.2% to 2.5% for most lecturers. The ballot will open on Thursday (23 February) and will run until Monday 27 March. The dispute centres on a pay award for 2021/22 of only £800, which is worth between just 2.2-2.5% for most UCU members. Inflation is currently 13.4% and UCU is demanding a pay award that meaningfully addresses the cost-of-living crisis its members are facing read more

UCU wins pay deal for West Thames College staff (20 Feb) – UCU has welcomed a deal at West Thames College that will see a 5% consolidated pay rise across the board for 2022/23. The college agreed in December 2022 to a 3% pay award for 2022/23, which was backdated to the start of term and paid in the December salary, but following further negotiations from UCU an extra 2% consolidated increase will now be paid and back dated to the start of term read more

UCU (17 Feb): We have agreed a two week period of calm after breakthroughs in talks covering:

– pensions

– ending zero hour contracts

– ending casualisation

– tackling workload

– pay see more on UCU Facebook page

University strikes ON this week, union confirms (14 Feb) – The University and College Union (UCU) confirmed three consecutive days of strike action will go ahead from Tuesday 14 February at 150 universities whilst talks with the employers over pay and working conditions continue. Over 70,000 staff are striking at 150 universities on Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 February. The disputes are over pay and conditions, and also pensions. UCU entered Acas negotiations with the employer representative on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 February. The union is calling for employers to make a well-rounded offer, including commitments on casualisation and workload, as well as pay, which it can put to members read more

  • UCU launches reballot as it confirms strikes to go ahead this week (13 Feb) – vice-chancellors urged to ‘come out of hiding’ and use the sector’s ‘vast wealth’ to resolve disputes

UCU currently in talks with employers via Acas. UCU has confirmed it will reballot 70,000 members to allow industrial action to continue in universities for the rest of the academic year if employers refuse to meet staff demands over pay, conditions and pensions read more

The full dates of strike action are: 

  • Week 1 – Wednesday 1 February  
  • Week 2 – Thursday 9 and Friday 10 February 
  • Week 3 – Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 February 
  • Week 4 – Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 February 
  • Week 5 – Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 February and Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 March 
  • [No action week commencing Monday 6 March] 
  • Week 6 – Thursday 16 and Friday 17 March 
  • Week 7 – Monday 20, Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 March

Four days of strikes set to hit Sheffield College after ‘insulting’ 2.5% pay offer (18 Jan) – Over 200 staff at Sheffield College will be on strike Friday after receiving an ‘insulting’ pay offer of just 2.5% amid the cost-of-living scandal. Staff will then down tools for a further three days in January and February unless their demands are met, they will be on picket lines outside the college on each strike day. The full dates of strike action are: Friday 20 January, Monday 30 January, Tuesday 7 February, Thursday 9 February. Staff will also work to rule from Monday 23 January, which includes working strictly to their contracted hours, refusing to make up work lost as a result of strike action and refusing to cover for absent colleagues. The announcement comes after an overwhelming 87% of members who voted said yes to strike action in a turnout of 59% read more

Three days of strikes begin Monday at Sparsholt College over low pay (6 Jan) – Three consecutive days of strike action at Sparsholt College in Hampshire will begin Monday after management refused to make a realistic pay offer. Staff will be picketing the college every day of the action. They have already taken three days of strike action this academic year in the long running pay dispute and are demanding a pay rise that helps them meet the cost-of-living crisis. RPI inflation is currently at 14% and the college is based in one of the least affordable areas to live in the UK. Despite this, the college has only offered an £850 consolidated pay rise alongside one off payments totalling just £450 read more

UCU fighting fund: the link is here and donations to the fund are spent on supporting members involved in important disputes.


FBU pays tribute to Barry Martin at funeral (17 Feb) – Today, Firefighter Barry Martin was laid to rest following a service at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. Hundreds of firefighters and members of the public lined the streets. FBU reps and officials attended the service to pay their respects. Barry Martin died on Friday 27th January following injuries sustained at a large fire in Edinburgh on Monday 23rd January. In a statement shortly after the service, FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said: “Today, we mourned the loss of Barry Martin. Above all, this is a moment for those who loved Barry and knew him well. For his wife and his children, for the rest of his family, for his friends, and for all those who worked with him – at McDonald Road Station and beyond. I am deeply proud that Barry was a member of the Fire Brigades Union, and I say that on behalf of every one of our members across the UK…” read more

FBU leadership recommends acceptance of revised pay offer (10 Feb) – Fire Brigades Union leadership unanimously recommends that members accept revised pay offer. Dates for ballot on offer set, with result expected in early March. Union leadership says it “will not sugar-coat” offer, which is below inflation in first year. The Executive Council of the Fire Brigades Union has today unanimously recommended that members accept a revised pay offer. On Wednesday evening, fire service employers agreed to a 7% pay rise backdated to July 2022 and a further 5% pay rise from July 2023. This is a significant shift. In June last year, firefighters were offered just 2%. In November, they overwhelmingly rejected 5% in a consultative ballot. It was only when firefighters voted in huge numbers for industrial action that employers finally moved. 88% of FBU members voted Yes to strike action on a 73% turnout, with 94% voting Yes in Northern Ireland. The FBU had already agreed not to name strike dates while members are consulted on the offer and has set out a timetable to consult members. A hybrid online and postal ballot will open on Monday 20 February and close on Monday 6 March at 2pm read more

Firefighters’ strike postponed after new pay offer put forward (8 Feb) – Fire Brigades Union moves to ballot members on new pay offer after employers shift. Resounding mandate for strike action crucial in achieving new offer. Union says it will be “honest and sober” in discussion of offer, which is still below inflation. The announcement of a firefighters’ strike has been postponed following an increased pay offer from Fire and Rescue Service employers read more

Merseyside firefighters, control staff and Green Book staff vote for Action Short of Strike – Merseyside firefighters, control staff and green book staff (non-uniformed staff) have “overwhelmingly” voted to take action short of strike in relation to a host of issues in Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. The percentage of those voting who voted “Yes” to Action Short of Strike is 88.06%. The action short of strike will consist of a refusal to undertake pre-arranged overtime, beginning no earlier than Thursday 1st December 2022 and potentially lasting for 6 months. The ballot comes after a serious break down in industrial relations between Merseyside Fire Brigades Union and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority and the failure to reach agreement on several issues read more


McDonalds Sexual Harassment Agreement with the EHRC (8 Feb) – Sarah Woolley BFAWU General Secretary: We have been aware of McDonald’s poor record on Sexual Harassment and their use of NDA’s to hide a problem which we believe is rife in the company. In July 2019 we worked with the Independent to produce this news piece: More than 1,000 reports of sexual abuse and harassment at UK McDonald’s, campaigners say | The Independent | The Independent. It is our understanding that the Equality and Human rights commission and McDonald’s are about to release a statement regarding an agreement. Although we do not fully understand the content of this agreement at this stage. We welcome the EHRCs intervention. However, we would encourage caution in celebrating such an agreement read more

Trade Union Coordinating Group “Fair Pay Now” pamphlet read more

Support the campaign to unionise Samworth Brothers – get organised, sign the petition read more


NUJ calls for swift action to protect UK-based journalists under threat (20 Feb) – The National Union of Journalists has called on the government and police to act swiftly and robustly to secure the safety of journalists working across the UK and to defend media freedom read more

NUJ Statement on RTÉ (16 Feb) – Union comments on coverage of pay at RTÉ. The NUJ notes media coverage of, and social media commentary on, levels of remuneration in RTÉ read more

BBC journalists ballot for industrial action over local radio cuts (31 Jan) – NUJ members working for BBC Local are being balloted to take industrial action over the corporation’s latest proposals to share local radio programming across the network. Members in Northern Ireland voted overwhelmingly for action over cuts at Radio Foyle read more

BBC journalists to vote on latest plans for local radio (19 Jan) Following negotiations with the NUJ, the BBC has made concessions on the drastic cuts it had proposed. Members are now considering if they will be enough. BBC journalists are holding a consultative ballot following negotiations with the BBC over cuts to local radio read more

NUJ members vote for industrial action at STV (22 Dec) – There has been an overwhelming strike vote at the Scottish broadcaster. The results of the ballot were 85 per cent for strike action and 93 per cent for action short of a strike. STV’s original offer was £2,000 to each employee read more


Prospect members at HIAL vote for industrial action (15 Feb) – Prospect members working in Fire and Security at Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd have voted to take industrial action over pay read more

Prospect and Unison join forces for Environment Agency on 8 February (31 Jan) – Thousands of Environment Agency employees belonging to Prospect and UNISON are to take strike action on 8 February in the growing dispute about pay. Staff working in areas such as river inspection, flood forecasting, coastal risk management and pollution control will stage a 12-hour strike on Wednesday 8 February starting at 7am. In addition, for 12 hours either side of the walkout, Environment Agency employees will escalate their ongoing work to rule by withdrawing from incident response rotas, say the unions. This action short of a strike starts at 7pm on Tuesday 7, and kicks in again immediately at the end of the strike for another 12 hours, concluding at 7am on Thursday 9 February read more

Prospect launches biggest industrial action ballot of public sector members in over a decade (27 Jan) – Prospect has opened a formal ballot for thousands of civil service and other public sector workers for industrial action over pay – including the Cabinet Office ‘cap’ of 3% on pay offers – threats of job losses, and a proposed cut to redundancy terms read more


FDA calls for MPs to be excluded from Parliamentary estate if arrested for violent or sexual offences (14 Feb) – The FDA has welcomed the House of Commons Committee on Standards response to the House of Commons Commission’s consultation on precautionary exclusion, which proposed that MPs who pose a risk to staff or visitors could be excluded from the parliamentary estate after arrest read more

FDA Fast Stream members vote to strike (17 Jan) – FDA members in the central Fast Stream have overwhelmingly voted to take strike action over pay. On a turnout of 60%, comfortably surpassing the legal threshold of 50%, 88% backed industrial action in the statutory postal ballot. FDA National Officer for the Fast Stream, Lauren Crowley, stated “our Fast Stream members have been absolutely clear – they will no longer put up with unfair pay. This result highlights the anger that our members are feeling, they are tired of empty promises when it comes to pay reform.” Read more


Pay increases for Serco custodial staff (17 Feb) – Following extensive negotiations between Community Reps and Serco, members have accepted by a large majority the 2023 pay offer – of between 4% and 8% plus other allowances, particularly for lower paid and long-serving staff read more

Pay increase at Metflex/Freudenberg (14 Feb) – After extensive negotiations, we are extremely pleased to have secured a 4.5% pay rise for all Metflex/Freudenberg workers. This took effect from 1 January 2023. A huge thank you goes to our Community Reps who were involved in these talks. Due to their hard work and commitment, we reached a positive resolution that recognises and rewards the Metflex/Freudenberg workforce read more


West End shows facing strike threat as Equity puts in 17% pay claim – some of the West End’s biggest shows could be hit by strike action after performers union Equity put in a 17% pay claim for thousands of its members in theatreland read more on Evening Standard website

Sign and share this petition to reinstate the English National Opera (ENO) funding and lobby your MP to back our industries and their workforce


Tesco pay deal: Usdaw secures a 7% increase in hourly pay taking the basic rate to over £11 an hour (20 Feb) – Retail trade union Usdaw has negotiated a pay deal with Tesco that will significantly increase the hourly pay rate for staff in stores and fulfilment centres by 72p to £11.02 per hour. Around 220,000 colleagues across the UK will benefit from this increase, which represents another record investment in hourly pay read more

Asda pay deal: Usdaw negotiates a 10% increase to £11.11 per hour from July in Northern Ireland (17 Feb) – Retail trade union Usdaw represents Asda staff in Northern Ireland. The union has negotiated a two-stage pay deal that will take the base rate in Asda to £11.11, the highest among major supermarkets. The deal has been overwhelmingly accepted by Usdaw members in a ballot with a 78% turnout and 88% voting in favour. The new deal is £11 from April and £11.11 per hour from July this year and applies to staff regardless of age. It exceeds the national living wage, which is £10.42 an hour from April for those aged 23 and over. It also takes staff above the Living Wage Foundation rate of £10.90 read more


Vigil marks two years since driver Gabriel Bringye was stabbed to death while bosses at Bolt still refuse the family’s call for change (16 Feb) – Tomorrow marks two years since Bolt driver and member of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), Gabriel Bringye, was killed whilst working for the platform app Bolt. Family, colleagues and union members will gather from 18.00 at the site of his murder on Jarrow Road in Tottenham to remember him and demand justice and proper safety measures for private hire drivers read more

Outsourced UCL security staff to strike alongside UCU as part of 1 February national day of action (25 Jan) – Outsourced security guards at University College London (UCL), employed by subcontractor Bidvest Noonan, are returning to the picket line on 1 February. Members of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) will take action alongside lecturers represented by UCU, as part of a nationally coordinated day of public sector strike action. Pickets will be held at Malet Place from 6am, with workers and their families taking to the UCL quad at 10am for a photo opportunity and protest action, breaking open a treasure chest piñata representing UCL’s £90 million surplus read more

Donate to IWGB strike fund

Mandate (Ireland)

Mandate trade union research shows nearly two-thirds of retail workers earning below €451 per week (14 Feb) – Legislative change needed to enable workers work more than their ‘banded-hours’ contracts where extra working hours are available. Research to be published today in a Mandate Trade Union report, ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ (15952_smoke&mirrors_report_interior), shows that nearly two-thirds of retail workers are earning less than €451 per week. The biggest challenge in terms of decent incomes shown in the report is the number of hours worked in the sector and the union is calling for legislative change to enable workers to work more than their ‘banded-hours’ contracts where extra working hours are available read more

Mandate endorses Congress’s call on workers and trade unionists to take part in Saturday’s ‘Ireland for all’ rally in Dublin (16 Feb) – Mandate Trade Union endorses Congress’s call on workers and union members to support Saturday’s ‘Ireland for All’ rally which commences at 1.30pm on Dublin’s Parnell Square read more

SIPTU (Ireland)

Private bus operator Go-Ahead to attend Labour Court in pay dispute (13 Feb) – SIPTU representatives have suspended two 24-hour work stoppages by members employed by the private bus operator Go-Ahead Ireland that were scheduled to take place on 1st and 8th March, after the company announced it will attend a Labour Court hearing in a dispute over pay read more

Other news

Hi All – Thanks for your continuing support for Trade Union Education at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (Conel). Please find attached some courses were have advertised for next term and beyond. All courses are advertised in the https://www.tuc.org.uk/TUCcoursesAs.

Couple of updates:-

  • Employment law diploma is now full for Jan 2023.
  • Cert in employment law have moved it to classroom.

Seasons Greetings

Best Regards

Jonathan Jeffries

PS If you need any ICT courses contact [email protected]. We also do bespoke courses for trade unions

Fight blacklisting and victimisation of union reps

SPYCops Inquiry exposes state surveillance of workers movement

The public inquiry into undercover policing is holding virtual hearings for the completion of Tranche 1 (of seven) this week. There will be ‘closing statements’ from the police and various arms of the state, and from those that were spied upon (non-state non-police core participants). There will be plenty of media coverage. You can watch today’s hearings live via:

Some media regarding this week’s hearings:



Spycops unit should have been closed down says Counsel to public inquiry – blacklisted workers respond

“They should have decided to disband the SDS”. The final eight words of David Barr KC, counsel to the inquiry, when giving his closing statement for the Tranche 1 phase of the inquiry (1968-1979). Later Barr stated that: “We cannot rule out that some [SDS intelligence], once filed, was leaked to the private sector and misused to blacklist activists”. The counsel of the inquiry is not on the side of the activists spied upon, but is there to provide the general thinking of the inquiry so far. He has stated that an Interim Report will be produced soon. Full statement is available here: https://www.ucpi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/20230216-CTIs_T1_Closing_Statement.pdf

Blacklist Support Group (BSG) are core-participants in the public inquiry. Blacklisted workers recognise the importance of the statement made by the counsel to the inquiry. In many ways Barr’s closing statement provides vindication for our fight. We have only got to this point because by the work of activists, investigative journalists, lawyers, unions and a small number of politicians, in waging campaign to uncover the truth about the nature of political policing in the UK. It is no thanks to the Metropolitan Police, the Home Office or the multiple arms of the state apparatus who have sought at every opportunity to cover up their wrong doing and delay the process. BSG applaud our fellow non-state non-police core participants, our legal teams and sister campaigns: Police Spies Out of Lives, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, The Monitoring Group, Undercover Research Group, who have stood shoulder to shoulder for over a decade in this fight for justice.

Counsel to the Inquiry’s closing statement admits that the SDS political policing was unjustified and that undercover police officers joined trade unions to spy on internal union meetings: “trade unions and trade unionists are both mentioned in SDS reporting. Specific justice campaigns often feature in SDS reporting… for example the reporting on the Shrewsbury Two Action Committee”.

Yet counsel to the inquiry also claims that trade unions were not “specific SDS targets or that individual trade unionists were reported upon solely because of their trade union activities”. This is a legalistic tautology. Information about what trade unionists said at union meetings was gathered by undercover police officers claiming to be union members. This intelligence was sent back to Special Branch. This is spying on trade union activities: plain and simple.

Counsel to the inquiry also accepts that intelligence was shared with employers to blacklist British citizens because of their perfectly lawful political and trade union activities. This is state sponsored blacklisting: plain and simple. 

Conclusion to counsel to the inquiry’s statement:

111. The SDS was created in 1968 to deal with a specific, large scale public order threat, for which there was a concrete basis for concern. It used relatively short and shallow deployments to gather valuable intelligence about the October 1968 Demonstration. The unit then became a permanent feature, deploying undercover officers continuously into far-left groups, often with vague remits. Individual deployments which lasted for several years became the norm. Officers became involved in the lives of those they were spying on. Although, they were not ordered or encouraged to do so, in some instances, this went as far as sex. Reporting was extensive, unfiltered, deeply personal and often recorded in unprofessional terms. We cannot rule out that some of it, once filed, was leaked to the private sector and misused to blacklist activists.

112.    The whole operation was secret and a very high priority was accorded to keeping it that way. Courts were sometimes misled. Miscarriages of justice occurred as a result. An officer whose cover was compromised was told to pretend that he was acting independently. Discipline was not enforced. Aspects of deceased’s children’s identities were used even though they added only a limited further protection.

113.    These operations have caused a lot of harm. Democratic freedoms have been infringed, outrage and pain has been caused. The damage is not limited to members of the public. Former undercover officers have suffered psychiatric injury.

114.    The primary reason for conducting these operations was to gain intelligence to assist police to maintain order on the streets. However, the level of threat posed to public order was often not commensurate with a need to deploy undercover police officers for this purpose. Not in the way that they operated. The benefits which the unit’s intelligence brought to public order policing do not, in our submission, justify the means.

115.    The ancillary reason for the SDS’ work was to assist the Security Service to counter subversion. However, the evidence of the SDS’ own officers and other contemporary documents show that the groups targeted by the SDS did not meet the official definition of subversion. Many of those targeted were revolutionaries. But they did not threaten the safety or wellbeing of the State. In the words of Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, Sir Robert Mark, they were “a bad joke”.

116.    There was a remarkable lack of oversight, formal training and instruction. However, the SDS was not a rogue unit. It was part of a larger intelligence gathering apparatus and counter subversion effort which also operated in secrecy. The SDS was known to the chain of command within the Metropolitan Police Service. Senior officers visited the unit on occasion and met its undercover officers. They received annual reports about the unit’s work. The existence of the SDS was known to some within the Security Service, the Home Office and, to a lesser extent, the Cabinet Office.

117.    We remain of the view expressed in last month’s submissions. There was no effective review of the SDS’ operation. No one appears to have considered whether the level of intrusion occasioned by SDS long-term undercover police deployments was justified. No one appears to have addressed their mind specifically to the legality of the SDS’ operations. No one appears to have considered whether (after its introduction) both limbs of the Harris definition were met. There is a strong case for concluding that, had they done so, they should have decided to disband the SDS.

Keep up with developments and read and watch campaigners’ statements on the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Undercover Policing Inquiry websites and spycops info Facebook group

QC appointed to lead the independent Unite inquiry into blacklisting – Unite is delighted to announce that Nick Randall QC and John Carl Townsend have been appointed to investigate the possible collusion by union officers in blacklisting. Over the past months, evidence gathering by Thompsons solicitors has continued, with many blacklisted construction workers and other witnesses having already been interviewed. The work of the independent investigators is expected to start officially on 11 April read more

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

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

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklist-SG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

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

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. Also, check out Organise Now! – Support for new worker organising.


From NUJ website – Russia: journalist sentenced to six years in prison over Telegram post (17 Feb) – NUJ calls for release of Maria Ponomarenko, charged with spreading “fake news” in post about a Russian attack on a theatre in Ukraine read more

From NUJ website – Hong Kong: Chief Executive Council endorses new programming requirements (17 Feb) – Mandatory patriotic programming standards for broadcasters will further restrict press freedom read more



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