We are extremely concerned to hear that Tower
Hamlets Council is taking legal action against the NEU in respect of
their strike ballot to defend their members’ terms and conditions.
are particularly disappointed, as the NEU has played a leading role in
the School Cuts campaign, working with MPs and councillors all over the
country to highlight the effects of government cuts on our schools.
right to strike is fundamental in a democratic society and we are truly
shocked that a Labour Council is using anti-trade union laws brought in
by David Cameron’s government to try and stop this.
that part of your submission to the High Court is the suggestion that
strike action by school staff will cause financial hardship to parents
and lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour.
nothing to do with the legality of the NEU ballot but is a clear signal
to any judge who is sympathetic to Boris Johnson’s idea that public
sector workers should be banned from taking strike action.
We fully support the right of NEU members to take strike action.
We urge you to withdraw the threat of legal action and to talk to the NEU and other unions so that the dispute can be resolved.
2.Regional screenings of THE PLAN March 1 (visit cinema websites for tickets)
“Described as ‘a film letter in parts’, THE PLAN that came from the bottom up
is a thought-provoking and extensive film essay which chronicles the
extraordinary story of the Lucas Aerospace engineers, who forty years
ago responded to the threat of redundancy with their own plan of action.The film documents how this group of
workers developed alternatives to the military products their company
made, including wind turbines and hybrid cars. By having the documentary
structured as a film essay, the result is a poetic exploration of this
incredibly timely story in history.”
Birmingham Midlands Art Centre
Cambridge Arts Picturehouse
Liverpool Picturehouse at FACT
London Bertha Dochouse
Norwich Cinema City PicturehouseSheffield Showroom The screenings will be followed by a brief panel with members of the Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine and/or local speakers.
Foreword by John Palmer Introduction by Karamjit S Gill
“we have become far too smart scientifically to survive much longer without wisdom” Mike Cooley, The Myth of the Moral Neutrality of Technology
Contradication of Science & Technology in the Productive Process
Science and Social Action
Human Centred Systems
4. New Lucas Plan London event
New Lucas Plan group is planning an event in East London during the
Climate Strike period at the end of April and May Day, looking at the
relevance of the ideas of the Lucas Plan to current challenges,
including ecological crisis, automation and militarism. Watch this
Tues 29th Jan 2019 5.00pm: (sharp) Demonstration opposite Parliament (Old Palace Yard, SW1P 3JY) 6.30pm: Rally in the Houses of Parliament London Underground’s 3000 cleaners have been outsourced to global contractor ABM. Despite working unsocial hours, in dirty and hazardous conditions, our cleaners are being treated less favourably compared to other workers directly employed by London Underground.
That means inferior sick pay, holidays, pensions and travel facilities
On top of this the cleaning workforce is set to be cut by a third from 3000 to 2000, piling the pressure on these hard-pressed workers. RMT is holding a demo and rally at Parliament to demand: • No Cleaning Job Cuts • Equal Conditions with London Underground workers • Bring all cleaning work in-house. Please show solidarity with our cleaning members on 29th January
As part of the Justice for Cleaners campaign, RMT is fighting to end the outsourcing of cleaning work on London’s Underground and Overground rail networks.
As part of work to develop his
Manifesto for re-election as London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has launched a policy
consultation which is open to all for responses.
RMT is asking members in London to
respond to this consultation by sending a model form of words calling on Sadiq
Khan to end the outsourcing of cleaning work and bringing these cleaners into
Transport for London.
The consultation closes on 31
January. Please help us build our campaign by responding to the consultation
today here, using our suggested text:http://bit.ly/35TmatQ
Council fails to produce agreed feasibility report on cost of LLW
Tory Council Leader describes care workers and trade unionists as “a Labour mob”
Barnet’s Conservative councillors have rejected a Labour Group motion for former Fremantle care workers to be paid at least the London’s Living Wage of £10.75 an hour – the level of pay identified as the minimum needed to cover the cost of essentials when living in London.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings, put forward the motion at last night’s Policy & Resources Committee (6 Jan) after the Conservative Council failed to produce a feasibility study setting out the cost of paying the care workers London’s Living Wage. There was cross-party agreement at the last committee (3 Oct) to bring the feasibility study to last night’s meeting.
Care workers attending the Policy & Resources meeting yesterday reacted with dismay to Council claims that they couldn’t produce the report because it was too complicated to calculate the cost in the last 3 months. Conservative Leader of the Council, Dan Thomas responded by branding them “a Labour mob”.
The care workers were transferred to The Barnet Group (TBG) – a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnet Council – under TUPE rules after the Fremantle Trust handed over the running of its three Barnet care homes to TBG in April last year.
Since then, the care workers, their trade union – Barnet Unison – and Labour councillors have been campaigning for them to be paid at least London’s Living Wage, which is the policy of The Barnet Group. All other Barnet Group staff are paid at least London’s Living Wage, including other care workers already employed by them.
Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: “It is the moral duty of the Council to ensure that all its staff – including those working in The Barnet Group and in contracted-out services – are paid at least the minimum to be able to cover the basic essentials of living in London.
“It is the Council’s policy to pay directly employed staff at least London’s Living Wage and it is also The Barnet Group’s policy, so they really need to find the funding to do this straight away.
“We cannot condone the Council and The Barnet Group paying poverty wages; and there cannot be a two-tiered workforce where those doing work of equivalent value are on unequal pay.
“It was shameful that the Conservatives refused to support paying London’s Living Wage to those who do some of the most sensitive work to support our most vulnerable residents.
“The Council have said they will come up with the feasibility figures at some point in the future, but will probably do nothing until July. My concern is that they will wait until the protected TUPE period is over and then seek to outsource the care workers again.
“The Labour Group will oppose any further outsourcing of care workers, and continue to press the case for all directly employed and contracted out staff to be paid at least London’s Living Wage.”
Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is warning that London
could face gridlock if exhausted bus drivers take industrial action
later this year.
Unite will begin a consultative ballot of over 20,000 members
employed as London bus drivers later this month and, provided a yes vote
is secured, a full industrial action ballot will then follow.
Unite is demanding that London bus operators and Transport for London
(TfL) take decisive action to tackle chronic levels of fatigue being
experienced by bus drivers.
Unite is sharply critical of individual bus operators who have
suggested that the solution is simply about ensuring drivers get more
Unite is instead demanding a revolution in how bus driving is
scheduled to ensure that drivers can finish on time, are able to utilise
all of their breaks, work to proper schedules, have enough running time
to complete their journey, are treated with respect and receive proper
Since the publication of the Loughborough report, TfL has attempted
to deflect responsibility for the fatigue being suffered by bus drivers
and has said that it is the responsibility of individual bus operators
to resolve the situation. Unite believes this position is entirely
Unite regional officer John Murphy said: “London bus
drivers have had enough; they are permanently fatigued and at risk of
being a danger to other road users, bus passengers and themselves.
“Unite will shortly be conducting a consultative ballot
and provided our members endorse industrial action, strikes will follow
later this year unless action is taken to ensure that the problems
causing chronic fatigue for our members are resolved.
“TfL cannot simply sweep this problem under the carpet.
It must act decisively and stop trying to pass the problem onto bus
operators who have consistently failed to resolve the issue and have
instead allowed it to worsen.
“For the last 25 years bus operators have been failing to deal with this problem. Unite members are saying enough is enough.”
Over the past decade one thing Barnet
UNISON is in agreement with Barnet Council is that the London Living
Wage is the lowest rate of pay for its staff and those working on
Within the Barnet Group the
minimum rate of pay for staff in Barnet Homes, TBG Flex (The Barnet
Group Flex) and Your Choice Barnet is the London Living Wage – including
posts which become vacant within the ex-Fremantle homes.
After a settling in period for the TUPE
Fremantle staff Barnet UNISON raised in discussions with the employer
the issue of paying these staff the London Living Wage as the lowest
level of pay. We believe these staff should be treated no differently to
other staff working for Barnet Council or on its outsourced contracts.
Barnet UNISON notes the decision
regarding a discussion about implementing the London Living Wage for
Fremantle TUPE transferred staff to Your Choice Barnet at the Policy and
Resources Committee 3rd October 2019 is recorded in the draft minutes as:
“Following discussion on the London
Living Wage for Fremantle staff who had been TUPE transferred to Your
Choice Barnet the Chairman agreed to an item on the feasibility being
brought back to the next Committee. This would be included in the
Business Planning report”
In response to this request from
Councillors the Business Planning Report dedicates a mere 2 paragraphs
which is listed under “Risks to the MTFS”
Fremantle Care workers (London Living Wage):
Former Fremantle staff were TUPE transferred to YCB in July 2018 under
the agreement that terms and conditions would be protected for 1 year.
Some former Fremantle care workers that have been transferred to the
Barnet Group may be being paid less than the London Living Wage (£10.75
per hour (as at Nov 2019)). The Barnet Group policy is to pay all its
workers at least the London Living Wage, subject to affordability, and a
HR process is now required to review any changes to terms and
conditions which will need to be considered.
Any decision about changes to terms
and conditions will need to be considered in the context of the overall
pay and reward strategy for the Barnet Group, employment policies and
legislation, the wider social care market and the council’s procurement
rules. It is not yet possible to quantify the level of risk associated
as it is too early to form a conclusion about the application of the
LLW to TUPE staff. However, officers in the Barnet Group supported by
council colleagues where necessary will be working on this over the
coming months and can provide further update to the committee in the
These two paragraphs responding to the
Committee’s request in no way reflects the response Barnet UNISON or the
care workers were expecting. We had expected a detailed report
detailing the cost implications for implementing the London Living Wage.
Instead this response kicks the question into the long grass.
This is absurd as all new
vacancies in the ex-Fremantle homes are advertised as paying the London
Living Wage as a minimum. These posts are open to existing Fremantle
staff to apply for those posts. This means that incrementally at least
some of these staff working in these homes will be all be employed on
the London Living Wage. This fact is not even listed in the 2 paragraphs
written by the officers. This means this risk is already a reality and
yet it is not mentioned or evaluated. No turnover rates are mentioned.
Is it ironic that a credible option for the ex-Fremantle staff to en
masse resign from their posts and then to reapply for posts in the new
homes which would have to be offered at the London Living Wage?
The report in no way reflects the request
made of the Committee to the officers. A “feasibility” was requested
not the “risks”. Furthermore the Councillors are asked to believe that
the officers are incapable of quantifying the “level of risk” associated
with “the application of the LLW to TUPE staff.”
Barnet UNISON can be of assistance to the
officers and councillors in understanding some of the implications by
revealing the inaccuracy of the sentence: “Some former Fremantle care workers […] may be being paid less than the London Living Wage”. (Our italics)
TUPE information from Fremantle in May/ June 2019 revealed that just under 300 staff were TUPE transferred. Of these, according to the figures given for the job titles and the rates of pay quoted for those job titles, some two thirds were listed as being paid below the London Living Wage. In total these were 222 staff. The largest group are the care workers which total some 143 workers and are nearly half of the ex-Fremantle workforce.
Care work is a physically demanding role
as well as an emotionally demanding role. Yet according to the TUPE
transfer information 161 members of staff are aged 55 years and over and of these 40 are aged 66 years and over. By contrast the numbers of staff aged under 40 years are 76.
There is a risk in not paying the London Living Wage as this report demonstrates:
In the Care industry there is a
national turnover rate of 38% for those working less than one year in
the field (p.13). It shows that those who are paid more are less likely
to leave their roles.
“Turnover at regulated services
that were rated overall as either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’, turnover was
found to be lower (29.5%) than those rated as ‘requires improvement’ or
‘inadequate’ (32.2%). This trend remained consistent across
each Key Line of Enquiry (KLOE) with an average difference of 2.7%. The
largest difference in turnover was shown for the ‘Safe’ KLOE which had
3.4% lower turnover at providers rated positively.” (p.118)
Continuity is an important factor in
delivering quality care and support to our most vulnerable residents.
There are associated costs in constantly recruiting and inducting new
members of staff. These can result in reputational and safeguarding
Barnet UNISON strives to work with both
the Council and quasi outsourced employers, such as the Barnet Group, in
continuing to promote harmonious industrial relations and to provide a
high level of service for our customers. This may, potentially, be put
in jeopardy if the decision is not to value monetarily the important
role that care workers perform.
These factors should be of importance to
this Committee and to Councillors in general and should be taken more
seriously than the response to the request from Council officer’s shows.
RMT to protest at Parliament tomorrow over threat to ban transport workers from taking strike action
TRANSPORT UNION RMT has confirmed that it will be staging a protest tomorrow outside Parliament in response to the threat by the in-coming Tory government to ban workers across the sector from taking any kind of effective industrial action.
The provisions for this legislation are expected to be included in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech and as a result the demonstration has been organised to assemble outside parliament on:
“It hasn’t taken long for the true colours of this new Tory Government to emerge and tomorrow we will be kicking off the fight back against their new raft of anti-union laws.
“Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of the threat now being lined up against the trade union movement. Banning strikes and denying workers the basic human right to withdraw their labour has been the hallmark of hard right, authoritarian regimes throughout history.
“It is no coincidence that this threat comes while our members on South Western Railway are continuing a month of rock-solid action in defence of the basic principle of a rail service that is safe and accessible for all.
“Instead of attacking rail workers fighting to defend safety and disabled access any responsible Government would be tackling the scandal of private profiteering on Britain’s railways which has reduced services to chaos.”
Other unions back the protest, taking industrial action is a basic human right and denying workers the ability to withdraw their labour has previously been the hallmark of hard right, authoritarian regimes.
The provisions for this legislation will be included in Thursday’s
Queen’s Speech and a demonstration has been organised outside parliament
to coincide with it by the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group, of which PCS is a member.
Over 6,000 firefighters are entitled to return to their pre-2015
pension schemes, an employment tribunal declared today, in a landmark
victory for the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) with implications across the
public sector. This comes after the Court of Appeal ruled last December
that the government’s attacks on firefighter pensions constituted
unlawful age discrimination.
The claimants, members of the 1992 and 2006 firefighters’ pension
schemes, are now entitled to be treated as if they have remained members
of their original pension scheme, with benefits including a retirement
age of between 50 and 55.
In July, the government admitted it had spent £495,000 on legal costs
fighting to maintain discriminatory pensions, while the total annual
cost of applying the ruling across the public sector could be up to £4
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:
“Last Christmas, we gave firefighters the gift of a victory in the
courts. This year, firefighters can celebrate knowing that their union
has secured their rightful retirement – a gift borne of solidarity that
proves what unions can achieve.
“The law has now changed and our FBU claimants will be entitled to
return to their previous pension schemes. Legislation will need to be
amended, but there can be no delay in implementing this remedy.
Firefighters were robbed, and they must now be repaid.
“To the new Tory government, let me be clear. We fought tooth and
nail against your attacks on our pensions and won. If you dare to try to
pay for these changes by raiding the pensions of current or future
firefighters, we will come for you again – and we will win.”
In 2015, the Tory-Lib Dem government imposed a series of detrimental
changes to firefighter pensions, which included a built-in “transitional
protection” which kept older firefighters on better pension schemes
while younger members were moved onto a new, worse pension scheme, which
included a requirement to work until aged 60.
In December 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that this transitional
protection arrangement constituted age discrimination and was therefore
unlawful. The government then attempted an appeal to the Supreme Court
which was denied in June 2019, ending their legal challenge. They have
since confirmed that the ruling will be applied across all public sector
Today’s decision is an interim declaration which will cover immediate
cases, such as those who have taken ill-health retirement, with a final
declaration in July. It will apply to firefighters who joined the fire
and rescue service before 1 April 2012.
The declaration follows similar judgements for judges, police, and
Ministry of Defence police. The FBU is the only organisation that has
fought on behalf of firefighters and launched over 6,000 employment
tribunal cases, organised dozens of periods of industrial action, and
sent hundreds of firefighters to lobby parliament against the changes.
The FBU will now pursue compensation for injury to feelings and
compensation for financial losses for claimants who lost money due to
Any FBU member who was a member of the fire and rescue service
before 1 April 2012 who is not currently a claimant will be able to
register as a claimant shortly, with details and frequently asked
questions to be addressed in an all members circular.
Tis the season to hurt Amazon, falalaa laa la la la. They are mean there’s no comparison, falalaa laa la la la.
This 2nd of
December at 10.45 am GMB would appreciate your assistance and attendance
at Amazon office’s from 10.45 am for approximately 3 hours. Your
welcome to attend during this period when you
can, but the greater the number the louder the message. We hope to have
frontbench speakers from the Labour Party as well as our famous rat.
Please get the message out far and wide so we can make the difference.
Details of the location is below.
Amazon HQ, 1 Principle Place, Worship Street, London, EC2A 2FA (Shoreditch/City of London) Farringdon and Barbican stations
are around five minutes walk.
Please feel free to contact me should you have further questions in relation to this important event
The hashtags (#) we will be using for the day are:
#AmazonWeAreNotRobots #AmazonPayYourTaxes #AmazonActOnClimate