London Underground station staff will be taking strike action from 6pm this Sunday to 6pm the following Monday, after talks between the RMT and TSSA unions over the unacceptable conditions that have been left behind after eight years of cuts, closures and neglect by the previous Tory mayor, Boris Johnson.
As the RMT have put it in an excellent leaflet to the public:
The crisis on the tube’s stations is a result of the fantastically misnamed ‘Fit for the Future’ project.
Reason, safety considerations, providing a service for passengers and staff welfare have all been ignored by senior management, who have driven through massive staffing cuts across the network. Many stations are now staffed by one person around the clock. This means that as soon as that member of staff is dealing with an issue there is no-one available to help you. At busier stations staffing has also been cut. Ticket offices were closed but on the vast majority of stations no additional staff are available in ticket halls to help you on self-service machines.
The Only unsubsidised Metro System in the World
If the government, London Mayor and Transport for London get their way London Underground will be the only system of its kind to operate without a government subsidy. Both New York Subway and Paris Metro receive significant government support. London Underground needs to be financed as a public service.
If you can make it to a London Underground picket line on Monday morning, please go and show your support!
“Hands off our Barnet”
Today I received sad news that Julian Silverman had passed away on Boxing Day. Julian may not so well known outside Barnet, but he was amongst the activist community here in Barnet. Julian one of the key people who organised and set up Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS).
I was present when Julian came up with the statement above which summed up what we were all about.
It seemed ambitious but back then we had a real energy in our community and no obstacle was too big.
It would be fair to say, Julian was very political and craved political debate over the issues we were fighting. He never missed an opportunity to try to engage with the Tory politicians who were hell bent on outsourcing all of the Council services. He knew he was unlikely to succeed but he did it anyway. I sat in many public council meeting where he took up his right to address council committees. Julian lived a breathed & activism and was always ready to take up a campaign in his community. He was heavily involved in some of the housing campaigns particularly in West Hendon.
I hadn’t known he was unwell until recently and I had been told he was on the mend.
I am glad and proud to have been able to work with Julian.
We need more comrades like Julian, who do more than just talk about activism, they just get on with it.
Rest In Peace comrade
John, member of Barnet Alliance for Public Services.
As you may be aware, the government has attacked the funding that is available for trade union education, reducing it by 50% this year and then to nothing from August 2017. However, currently we are still able to offer free courses, so there is still an opportunity to take advantage of this. Unfortunately, this may be your last chance.
The leaflet is here: tu-ed-course-flyer-2017
If you are interested (or know any colleagues who may be interested) in attending any of the courses on offer, then please apply online at https://www.tuceducation.org.uk/ or contact the trade union education department at CoNEL on 020 8442 3075 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 4 March 2017, Central London
Full details soon
Our NHS is in a major crisis and this government is doing nothing to stop it. Some say the NHS only has one winter left in it.
On the backdrop of continued cuts and closures, private companies seek to gain even more of a foothold within the NHS.
Continued pay restraint has seen the value of NHS staff salaries reduce by 14% since 2010 and there are now 25,000 nursing and 3,500 midwifery vacancies in NHS England alone.
The Government’s latest plans for Sustainability and Transformation Plans are, in reality, just a smokescreen for £22bn in cuts and it’s latest instrument of privatisation.
The NHS is the single greatest achievement of working class people in Britain. We cannot allow it to be undermined and ultimately destroyed by a Tory government who’s priority is to put profit in the pockets on the corporations & big business.
Please help us make the demonstration as big as possible. Leaflets, posters and publicity will be available soon from the People’s Assembly office. In the meantime, please share and invite your friends on Facebook, discuss with your union branch, local campaign groups and community organisations about supporting the demonstration & book transport to London.
The People’s Assembly Against Austerity
Saturday 11th February 2017
Over 140 million people have been forced to move in recent years because of climate change disasters – droughts, harvest failures and devastating storms. Our warming planet is driving massive long-term environmental damage and sudden catastrophes. The UN says environmental refugees could reach 300million people by mid-century. This conference from the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group aims to dispel refugee myths, work on a new Protocol for the international protection of those affected by climate change, raise demands for stronger action, and agree a climate refugees campaign statement.
Expert Contributions from:
Four Workshops on:
More information: http://www.campaigncc.org/nationalconference
Supporters so far: Campaign Against Climate Change, FBU, TSSA, CWU, PCS, NUT, Stand Up to Racism and other unions and environmental campaigns.
From Middle-East and North Africa Solidarity Network
Moroccan students and trade unionists are calling on activists in the trade unions and student unions in Britain and around the world to support their battle to defend the National Union of Moroccan Students from attack by the government. The Moroccan state is trying to take over the union’s headquarters at the same time as cracking down on student struggles across the country.
Student activists have called a protest march on 26 December, marking the 60th anniversary of the union’s foundation.
What you can do:
National Consultative Meeting in order to stop the confiscation of the Central seat of the National Union of Moroccan Students: Follow-up Committee
Subject: Request for action and solidarity from student unions with the Moroccan student movement’s struggle
The Moroccan student movement in universities and academic institutions (the number of Moroccan students is approximately 800,000, 48% of whom are women) is strongly struggling against the neo-liberal policies, austerity, suppression and tuition fees, which prevent thousands of children of the working class from enrolling in universities.
This happens while the Moroccan state carries on its policy of cracking down on students’ struggle and detaining them (dozens of comrades were jailed). Therefore, students feel unable to hold their trade union, cultural, and creative rallies supervised by the National Moroccan Students Union (a guild of students founded on 26 December 1956). The latter has been suppressed and banned since July 1981.
Furthermore, and as part of its plan to ban and restrict the right to unionize and democracy within Moroccan universities, the Moroccan government is about to confiscate the above-mentioned Union’s central headquarter, and alienate it to the Ministry of Youth and Sport. This triggered an overwhelming sense of outrage among students in many Moroccan universities, who denounced this unfair decision designed to restrict their trade union freedom.
In retaliation against this anti-student policy, and upon celebrating the 60th anniversary of the above-mentioned Union, a large number of political activists, including the Moroccan student movement and old militants affiliated to the Union, intend to march nationally en masse (on 25 December 2016 in Rabat) to protest against the state’s decision to confiscate the headquarter, defend the right to free, democratic, secularist and appropriate public education, condemn crackdown on trade union freedom at university and demand the release of jailed students.
Hence, we request you to mediate and seek support from brotherly student movements and unions to:
What do we know about “Reach 2”?
Summerside is too small to “stand alone” as an academy. Parents, Governors and teachers need to know about the quality of the MAT (Multi Academy Trust). Summerside Governors voted for Reach 2 on May 26th. (see Summerside website, “community”).
Ofsted give 4 ratings. The best is Outstanding, and the lowest is Inadequate.
It is public information that:
So only 50% are “Good” and only 10% Outstanding since Reach 2 have only 2 Outstanding schools.
The remaining 40% of those inspected as Reach 2 schools are “Requiring Improvement” or “Inadequate” (sources: Schools Week education publication. Janet Downs, Local Schools Network).
What do we know about Summerside, as it is NOW, within Barnet local authority?
Reach 2 take a payment of 5.5% of the school budget each year from each of their schools. This is not fixed. A MAT sets the charge to each school Options and alternatives to an academy need discussion with parents, all school staff and experts from Barnet. Barnet local authority has 33 “Outstanding” primary schools out of a total of 90 primary schools. None of Barnet local authority schools are rated “Inadequate”. (Source DFE Ofsted ratings for all schools – Barnet Schools Sept 2016)
REACH 2 may not be best for the future of Summerside. On Sept 20th, the Chair of Governors of Summerside sent a letter to parents, representing Reach 2 claims that……”70% of Reach 2 schools inspected, are “Good or better”, but this is not correct. The most is: “60% of Reach 2 schools inspected are “Good” or “Outstanding”, 40% are inadequate or require improvement. This is why a consultation meeting for parents, staff and teachers should be offered voluntarily by the Governors. This is what the Summerside petition asks for. You can sign as a resident or as a current parent.
Phone or email to read the petition or to sign it.
Email: BarnetPDE@gmail.com Tel : 07534 407703
The Council may not plan to close any libraries in the short or mid-term but what is being proposed will reduce their quality, accessibility and safety and to closures in the long term,
The Council are proposing to cut the staffing budget by 46%.
This means that around 30 library workers are now learning they will lose their jobs. These are men and women who have given years and sometimes decades of service to the people of Barnet.
This is poor reward to a workforce who have consistently achieved percentage scores in the high 90’s for good public satisfaction.
Such a cull of the library workers means that libraries will only be staffed for 30% of the opening times at the most. The Council claiming that self-service machines and to a less extent volunteer are adequate replacements.
The Council are relying on technology to control access to libraries.
People will swipe their library cards through an automatic gate to gain access during these times.
But under 15 years olds unaccompanied by an adult won’t be able to do this. So young people access to our libraries are being severely curtailed.
Leaving libraries unstaffed will put those using them at risk.
Monitored CCTV with a response time of thirty minutes is not a sufficient replacement for having staff on site who can prevent incidents escalating and who can respond immediately to emergencies.
But not only are human assets of the libraries being lost, the physical space is too.
Barnet libraries are to lose between 15 to 90% of their space. This means fewer items to borrow. Less space for computers and less space to host events such as story times or author events.
The people of Mill Hill, East Barnet, South Friern and Childs Hill will not even have the limited access library service available in the rest of the borough. Their libraries are to be handed over to voluntary groups, who will only be obliged to open for 15 hours a week.
The Council justify the wrecking of Barnet Library Service by a claimed need to save money. The intention being to reduce the library budget by 1.6 million pounds by 2019/20.
Yet the Council originally allocated over 6 and a half million pounds to restructure the library service. Recently we have learned that over 14 million pounds are to be spent on library procurements in the next financial year. This is a lot of money to be spent on reducing the assets, efficiency, accessibility and safety of a service.
These changes will lead to a decline in use.
Why would you use a library that won’t have the books you want, where no help will be available, not enough computers available, where there will be no room to sit and study and where you will feel unsafe?
Barnet UNISON hope that this decline will not be used as an excuse by the present administration to close libraries a few years from now.
Instead we ask that the Council withdraw the plans for restructure and to engage in real consultation with library staff at all levels, and the people of Barnet on how to provide a Library service fit for the 21st Century.”