Two-thirds of zero-hours workers want jobs with guaranteed hours, TUC polling reveals

Two-thirds of zero-hours workers want jobs with guaranteed hours, TUC polling reveals

  • Only 25% say they prefer being on zero-hours contracts
  • More than half are thinking about quitting their jobs
  • Government should ban zero-hours contracts, says TUC

Most people on zero-hours contracts are not on them by choice, new TUC polling has revealed today (Monday).

The poll shows that two-thirds (66%) of zero-hours workers would rather have a contract with guaranteed hours. And just one in four zero-hours workers (25%) say they prefer being on zero-hours contracts.

The survey shows that the main reason people are on zero-hours contracts is because it is the only type of work available to them. More than half of zero-hours workers (53%) are thinking about quitting their job over the coming year.

Rights at work:

The polling found that many zero-hours workers are missing out on basic rights at work:

  • Only 1 in 8 (12%) say they get sick pay.
  • Only 1 in 14 (7%) would get redundancy pay.
  • Two-fifths (43%) say they don’t get holiday pay.
  • Half (47%) say they do not get written terms and conditions.
  • Just 1 in 20 (5%) say they have the right to a permanent contract after working the same hours consistently.

‘Last minute working’:

The poll also reveals the ‘last minute’ nature of zero-hours working. More than half (51%) of zero-hours workers have had shifts cancelled at less than 24 hours’ notice. And nearly three-quarters (73%) have been offered work at less than 24 hours’ notice.

Making ends meet:

Most zero-hours contract workers (59%) want more hours. The majority (54%) say they find it difficult to pay bills because they can’t get enough work. But any requests for additional shifts are as likely to be rejected as accepted.

Nearly two-fifths (38%) of zero-hours workers say they wouldn’t be able to cope with an unexpected bill of £500.

The TUC says the government should clamp down on zero-hours working in its forthcoming response to the Taylor Review.

The TUC estimates that zero-hours working costs the exchequer £1.9bn a year. This is because zero-hours contract workers earn significantly less than regular employees and therefore:

  • pay less tax,
  • pay less national insurance,
  • are more reliant on tax credits.

Median pay for a zero-hours worker is a third (£3.50) less an hour than for an average employee.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Most people on zero-hours contracts are not on them by choice. They’d much rather have the security of guaranteed hours and the same rights as employees.

“The so-called ‘flexibility’ these contracts offer is one-sided. Many zero-hours workers have shifts cancelled at the last minute. And lots are struggling to make ends meet.

“Now’s the time for the government to ban zero-hours contracts, as they have done in other countries like New Zealand. Every job should be a great job – but far too many workers in the UK are being treated like disposable labour.”

Stop and FIX Universal Credit day of action Saturday 02 December 2017 at 08:00-20:00

Nearest meeting to here: Central London at 14.00 in Costa Coffee: Oxford Street and turn left on to Great Portland Street.

This Christmas will be cancelled for thousands of families claiming the new benefit Universal Credit. Despite knowing Universal Credit causes serious problems for claimants, Theresa May’s Tory government is pressing ahead and rolling it out to thousands of people who will have to wait weeks to receive any money.

Claimants are descending into debt, relying on food banks, getting into rent arrears and in many cases getting evicted from their homes because of in- built problems with Universal Credit.

Take action NOW against Universal Credit

On Saturday 2 December 2017 Unite Community will be staging a national day of action against Universal Credit to send a message to the Tory government that they must STOP & FIX Universal Credit before rolling it out and further or thousands of families face a cold a hungry Christmas and the threat of losing their homes.

 

Who gets Universal Credit

Universal Credit replaces five benefits – child tax credit, housing benefit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance and working tax credit.

Seven million households will be affected, including over one million low paid part-time workers. For the first time ever people in work could face being sanctioned (having their benefits stopped) if they don’t prove to the job centre that they’re searching for better paid work or more hours.

What needs fixing

Unite is calling on the government to:

  • Abandon the long waits for claimants to receive money
  • Allow people to apply for Universal Credit in a jobcentre, not just online
  • Provide people with better help when the system fails them
  • Pay landlords directly to stop people getting into rent arrears and losing their homes
  • End benefit sanctions for in-work and out-of-work claimants
  • Stop payments going to one named member of a household
  • Make work pay – Universal Credit takes 63p in every £1 people earn

Tell us your story

Get in touch and tell us about your Universal Credit stories. Send your stories to Liane.groves@unitetheunion.org

Barnet UNISON issues warning to members about the Pension Service provided by Capita

“The final straw for me was when I was sent copies of letters issued on London Borough of Hounslow letterheads with London Borough of Hounslow email contact details to our members by Capita Pension Service in response to their own Barnet Pensions queries. Barnet UNISON has been monitoring an ongoing catalogue of serious errors made by the Capita Pensions Service operating out of Darlington. Not only am I unhappy with Capita, but also with the Council, which agreed this outsourcing model. This fragmented model, where you have two pay roll departments running out of Belfast and Carlisle and Pensions running out of Darlington was agreed by senior Barnet Council Officers in 2012. They have long gone and left us with a service in which we have no confidence. Our Pension, is our members’ single biggest financial saving for their future. It is also their deferred earnings. The Pension service our members’ are having to endure is unacceptable. My concern is that there is an “Emperor’s New Clothes” culture in our Council. No criticism is tolerated, well Barnet UNISON will not stay silent the service needs to be brought back in-house.”  John Burgess Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary

Full report on Barnet Unison site.

PCS Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency Strike: 4 and 5 December 2017

UPDATE: PCS report that the action is so solid at Barnet they will NOT need to picket tomorrow morning.

Strike action disrupts new driving tests – picket line from 7:30 am at the Barnet Driving Test Centre, Raydean House, 15 – 17 Western Parade, Barnet. EN5 1AD, solidarity visits greatly welcomed!

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) in the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will take 48 hour strike action on Monday 4th December ending at Midnight on the 5th December. This adds to the action short of a strike which began last week (23rd) in a dispute over the new driving test and also working patterns.

This action has already led to hundreds of tests being cancelled in the first week of the action.

In a perverse move DVSA has withdrawn overtime from striking workers and also imposed leave schedules meaning that an even greater backlog of thousands of tests is inevitable due to the imposed reductions in service. 

A ballot in October saw an 84% vote for strike action on a 70% turnout.

The strike action across the DVSA which begins on the 4th December will see up to 14,000 driving tests cancelled on the day the new driving test is launched.  

Other effects of the action include reduced roadside checks on vehicles, reduced enforcement checks on lorries and other vehicles coming into the U.K and a significant reduction of tachograph testing. 

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka commented

“PCS members in the DVSA have tried to negotiate around their concerns but the door has been slammed shut in their face. They now feel they have no alternative but to take industrial action to bring home to the public how damaging the DVSA proposals are. No one takes strike action lightly and we acknowledge the disruption to the driving tests for learner drivers keen to pass their test but the Government could avoid this strike even now at the 11th hour by agreeing to serious talks and withdrawing their most damaging proposals. I have today written to the Transport Minister Chris Grayling urging him to intervene.”

For information contact PCS National Press Officer Steve Battlemuch on 07515 605755 or via email steveb@pcs.org.uk

Other picket lines in the SERTUC region can be found here https://www.pcs.org.uk/campaigns/pcs-fighting-attacks-on-staff-in-dvsa/support-pcs-dvsa-picket-lines

Mark Serwotka is available for interviews on Monday 4th Dec from 1pm at Millbank studio.

The PCS letter to Chris Grayling is available here https://www.pcs.org.uk/sites/default/files/site_assets/campaigns/2017/Letter%20to%20Chris%20Grayling%20MP%2030%20november.pdf

PCS is one of the UK’s largest unions and represents civil and public servants in central government and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. Mark Serwotka is the general secretary and the president is Janice Godrich – on Twitter @janicegodrich

Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union

Emergency Protest Tomorrow Protest Trump’s racist Britain First tweets – No state visit!

5.30pm, Friday 1 December
US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, W1A 2LQ

Stand Up To Racism has called a protests against Donald Trump’s re-tweets of the fascist Britain First’s Islamophobic tweets that have shocked the world and his subsequent defence of them which attempted to justify anti-Muslim hate.

Trump’s presidency has been marked by a series of disgusting racist outbursts from his “Muslim ban” to his equating fascists and anti-fascists at Charlottesville, despite the death of Heather Heyer.

Only this week Trump was making offensive comments while speaking to Native American veterans. Now he has offered support for the views of a group made infamous by the use of their name by murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox.

Britain First are a fascist organisation with a history of Islamophobia and hate crime. Thomas Mair, who murdered Jo Cox, shouted ‘Britain First’ before he commited the terrible act. By retweeting Britain First, trump is legitimising this racism and Islamophobia. We can not let this go unopposed

Join us outside the US Embassy to say no to Trump, no to racism, no to a state visit!

Shadow Chancellor sends message of hope and solidarity to Barnet UNISON and grassroots Labour Party members

BREAKING NEWS: Shadow Chancellor sends message of hope and solidarity to Barnet UNISON and grassroots Labour Party members.

“I fully support the Barnet UNISON policy statement For A Better, Fairer, Democratically Accountable Barnet. The branch has mounted an inspirational decade long battle with a right wing ideological driven Tory Council determined to outsource all of its services. I send solidarity message to the branch and to Barnet Labour members who together will deliver a Labour Council to implement this policy statement. ” John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor

“I’m absolutely delighted that in his busy schedule John McDonnell has the time to send a message of Hope & Solidarity to Barnet UNISON members and grassroots Labour Party members who against the odds have delivered three marginal seats in Barnet. Our policy statement is a signal of intent to begin to address the damage done to our public services and the staff made redundant. Outsourcing has delivered in Barnet, but not in the way it was spun by consultants who grew rich on the millions paid by Barnet residents in the name of austerity. Hope for the many is within our grasp, austerity lite policies are not welcome here.”
John Burgess, Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary

For A Better, Fairer, Democratically Accountable Barnet.

For A Better, Fairer, Democratically Accountable Barnet

Barnet UNISON has been involved with many campaigns involving the Community over the years. We do not see a contradiction between the provision of good services and good terms and conditions for the workers we represent. Our members often use the services our colleagues provide. Our key campaign has been the opposition of outsourcing which we warned would deliver inferior services to the Council, with a higher cost to residents and with less accountability for the money spent.

Unfortunately we appear to have been proven right. The following quote is from the Council’s own recent External Audit report:

“As at 31 March 2017, the Council has a prepayment balance of £44.7 million in respect of its Customer and Support Group (CSG) contract. This contract covers a number of front line and back office services including finance, ICT, HR, customer services, revenues and benefits, procurement, estates, and corporate programmes. As this is a significant prepayment, we challenged management with regard to its basis“.

Barnet UNISON has agreed policies we would like to see implemented by the next Council administration. We may alter or add to these policies and positions following discussions in the coming months.

Barnet UNISON (Local Government Branch) calls on those parties and candidates contesting the local Council election in May 2018 to support (and implement if elected) the following:

AGENCY STAFF/CONSULTANTS
End the Council’s over reliance on agency staff and consultants, replacing these with Council employees.
Review Unified Reward and consider returning to GLPC.

CARE
Adopt UNISON ethical care charter. 

COLINDALE MOVE
Address and alleviate the problems caused by the forthcoming relocation of Barnet Council and Partner organisation staff to the new Colindale Office building.

HEALTH & SAFETY
Bring all the Council’s Health & Safety responsibilities back in to in-house control and monitoring.
Review Health & Safety arrangements in the Borough.

HOUSING
TBG Flex employees to be employed on Local Government T&C’s, Pay with access to Local Government Pension Scheme.
The Barnet Group to be brought back in-house.
End short term 2 & 5 year tenancies and reintroduce secure life time tenancies for all tenants.
End or limit Right to Buy and the subletting of Right to Buy properties
Increase Council home building.
Widen the availability of social housing within the Borough.
Resource the monitoring of housing where necessary to ensure it is fit for habitation.

LIBRARIES
Restore the pre-April 2017 level of staffed opening hours, with sufficient Library workers (in numbers, qualifications and experience) and resources.
Review the use of lost Library space with a view to returning to Library use.
Bring the Partnership Libraries back in-house.
Work with all stakeholders in the Library Service to produce a strategy that will maintain and improve the quality and accessibility of Barnet Libraries.

OUTSOURCING
No more Council services to be outsourced.
Work towards bringing services already outsourced back in-house including NSL.
Review Capita and other contracts with the aim of bring services back in-house.
Ensure that while outsourcing contracts are running they are properly overseen and these services are provided to the contracted level without incurring further cost to the Council.

PAY
Support the Trade Union (UNISON, GMB, Unite) NJC PAY CLAIM 2018 – 2019
Ensure that Council, partner organisation and contractor employees are paid at least the London Living Wage.
End Performance Related Pay.

SCHOOLS
52 week contracts for TAs and other support workers.
Oppose the establishment of academies.

STREET SCENE
Instigate a search within the Borough for a site (or sites?) for a depot (depots?) suitable for all Street Scene’s long-term needs?
Commit to the retention of Street Scene services in-house.

From We Own It: Support Public Ownership

Public ownership – whether national or local – means we can reduce costs and risks and increase quality, flexibility and accountability.

Public ownership – whether national or local – can be done by

 

  • bringing contracts in house as they expire
  • buying back assets so that profits are returned to all of us
  • setting up new public companies that will work for everyone (like our recent award winners Robin Hood Energy and Bristol Energy)

Local councils are squeezed for funding more than ever – but many are realising they can save money by insourcing.

So let’s not wait for the Tories to collapse! We can start building the country we want to live in today.

Tell your local councillors you want them to bring services in house, and show them all the evidence they need to get started.

Email your councillors

There’s no time to wait – privatisation is as damaging for local services as it is for national ones. Let’s make sure your community gets the high quality, publicly owned services it needs.

Get the ball rolling by emailing your councillors now. They need to know that if they embrace public ownership, you’ll be right behind them.

150th Anniversary of the Clerkenwell Prison Explosions

On Sunday 10th December, we will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Clerkenwell Prison explosions that occurred on 13th December, 1867. In an attempt to explode a prison wall, it, accidentally inflicted more casualties than the Birmingham Pub bomb of 1974 and was to start a repressive period of anti – Irish racism in Britain during the Victorian times. Michael Barrett was the last person to be, publicly, hanged for his part in this Fenian conspiracy and gave his name to the English language, “Taking the Mick.”

We will meet at 3pm on Sunday at Farringdon tube station. Peter Middleton will be conducting the tour and we will visit the place where Michael Barrett was hanged. It will be concluded with a candle lit vigil in Clerkenwell Close.

For further details, please contact Austin Harney: au5tin67@yahoo.co.uk

PENTONVILLE 5 – CELEBRATE A GREAT WORKING CLASS VICTORY APPLY ITS LESSONS TODAY TO FIGHT THE ATTACK

Friday December 1ST 2017 18.00
East Ham Working Men’s Club, 2 Boleyn Road, London E6 1QE
Nearest tube – Upton Park, Buses 5, 58, 115, 147

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Len McCluskey Unite General Secretary, Ann Field, Ken Loach, Brian Holmes, plus special guests

In the blazing hot July of 1972, 5 London dockers were jailed in Pentonville prison. They had picketed in defiance of Tory anti-union laws. This led to a wave of unofficial industrial action and protest involving hundreds of thousands of workers sweeping the country forcing the release of the 5 within a week.

It was a massive working class victory – part of a wave of actions during the early 1970s including factory occupations, work-ins like Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, Briant printers and Fakenham women. A long battle against anti-union laws was underway. There were epic miners strikes in 72 & 74.  In Ireland 1972 saw Bloody Sunday in Derry.

This event celebrates the great Pentonville victory but also looks at the lessons for our battle today against anti-union laws and rampant capitalism. Pentonville stands in the list of historic victories from Tolpuddle onwards.

Join us for this historic celebration and find out about our history and our future.

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