Category Archives: Trades Dispute

McStrike Protest at McDonald’s HQ

JOIN US SAT 2 SEP, 2PM, EAST FINCHLEY MCDONALD’S HQ: BFAWU Fast Food Rights and #McStrike workers NEED YOUR SOLIDARITY!

McDonald’s UK announced in a big fanfare in the press back in April that thefastfoody would offer every one of its UK workers a guaranteed hours contract.

And yet it took 40 brave McDonald’s workers to vote for a strike before McDonald’s bothered to communicate anything to its workers about this promise.

When the 95.7 percent YES vote to strike was announced, with the first ever UK McDonald’s strike now set to take place on Monday 4 September, suddenly McDonald’s UK stated they would deliver on their promise by the end of 2017.

We say now sit down with our BFAWU bakers’ union president and m their living standards.

BFAWU Fast Food Rights and our supporters will be outside McDonald’s HQ at East Finchley on Saturday 2 September – two days before the strike – with a table, chairs and a determination to get the promise in writing – we demand that McDonald’s meet us and guarantee that this time their promise is more than a publicity stunt.

And we call on supporters from the wider trade union and social movement to join us there, with banners, with visible support for the workers taking this bold historic action in a display of solidarity before they walk out on Monday 4 September.

Facebook page here.

Support Mixed Fleet Unite Workers in Dispute

15401105_1839038679647687_8781491977068279822_nMembers of Unite working for British Airways’ mixed fleet today are engaged in 14 days of continuous strike action.

The strike running from 00:01 hours on Wednesday 19 July 2017 to 23:59 hours on Tuesday 1 August 2017 is in addition to a 16-day strike currently underway which started at 00:01 on Saturday 1 July and finishes at 23:59 on Sunday 16 July.

As part of the dispute, Unite has launched legal action against the government’s decision to give the go-ahead to the ‘wet lease’ of nine Airbus aircraft by British Airways to cover striking cabin crew strike. The union argues that the lease of aircraft and cabin crew from Qatar Airways breaches European regulations.

Since 2010 all British Airways new cabin crew employees join what is called ‘mixed fleet’, where despite promises that pay would be 10 per cent above the market rate, basic pay starts at just £12,192 with £3 an hour flying pay. Unite estimates that on average ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew earn £16,000, including allowances, a year.

Unite the Union is calling for donations to the hardship fund:

Account name – Mixed-Fleet Unite Hardship Fund

Account # – 2037 6387

Sort Code – 60-83-01

Reference: MFU

 

 

Barnet UNISON sends solidarity & donations to grassroots members in struggle

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Last week at our branch executive meeting our reps had a report on a number of grassroots struggles taking place across the UK.

I am proud to say that there was no hesitation in wanting to send solidarity messages and donations to these grassroots campaigns. Our branch has been in ongoing struggles for over a decade. We have had tremendous acts of support and solidarity from UNISON reps and members not just in the London region but right across our union. We have learnt the importance of solidarity.

I can say from experience just how valuable it is to be able to read out messages of solidarity from other grassroots members to members on picket lines. It imbues a feeling of confidence that is badly needed when you are under attack.

Here are the campaigns we sent solidarity and or sent donations.

  • Kinsley 3 campaign
  • Derby TAs
  • Durham TA’s
  • Glasgow UNISON members: IT workers and Janitors
  • Kirklees Social Workers
  • Aslef, RMT, TSSA workers
  • PCS members working at the Employment and Human Rights Office

 

John Burgess

Branch Secretary

Barnet UNISON

“Unsafe & Unsustainable”- Barnet UNISON speech to Barnet Councillors

barnet-unison-logo-e1462368170626The following speech was delivered to General Functions Committee,
on Tuesday 6th December at 7pm in Hendon Town Hall

“Dear members of the committee

I addressing you as both the branch secretary of Barnet UNISON, but also speaking as a service user of mental health services, indeed without the support I was given and the ongoing support I still receive today there is a strong likelihood I may not of been speaking to you this eveningjohn-t-shirt

It is also worth noting much quoted statistic that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

I therefore speak not only as a worker but from personal experience of using mental health services.

I also want to make this point that I believe is often missed by elected members. I speaking to you all as employers not politicians. It is as an employer I am wanting to address our members, your staff concerns about the proposal before the committee this evening.

Firstly, I can confirm we are not opposed to the staff being brought back into the Council and we are fully supportive of the proposed social care model of intervention.

However when travelling across the borough it is impossible not to see the number of housing developments; and with it the increase in population; and with that the increased need for schools, NHS provision, social services to name but a few public services.

It is therefore highly dangerous to be proposing to cut Mental Health services at a time when the population is growing.

It is our view that the proposed cut of mental health social workers coupled with the increase in responsibilities will NOT lead to a safer service for service users, families and carers.

Barnet UNISON is extremely concerned about the reduction of social workers and the introduction of Assessment Enablement Officers (AEO).

In mental health staff are working with extremely complex and high risk individuals in situations where you need qualified experienced and knowledgeable staff.

Currently mental health social workers have significantly high caseloads (which includes the work connected to their statutory responsibilities in their Approved Mental Health Practitioner roles.

The cut in social workers will lead to greater pressure upon an already pressured staff group increasing the risk of more Serious Untoward Incidents (SUI) happening.

You will no doubt have been briefed that the Council is not making any social workers redundant, which is true; and you will have been told that the new proposal to replace qualified social workers with AEO’s will provide a better service.

With respect this premise is nonsense.

The proposal to cut mental health social workers is directly driven by NEED.

However, not by the NEEDS of service users and carers, but by the NEED to make Austerity cuts.

Lessons learnt

I would like to remind the committee that it was only two years ago when I addressed this same committee about the now infamous Family Services restructure. At that meeting I tried to convince members of the committee to extend the period of consultation as I was concerned the changes had been driven through in haste and that I feared there would be consequences for the service and the staff.  Unfortunately the committee chose accept the advice of senior officers who are now no longer working for the council. However I can report that the restructure had to be revisited as I predicted, there was a high turnover of experienced social work staff which then resulted in the recruitment crisis you now have in children’s social work.

 

Sometimes it is worth listening to UNISON.

 

We’ve been here before 18th February this year, Adults brought a similar proposal to cut social work posts, and use non-professionally qualified workers.

My members, your staff, describe feeling they are “flying by the seat of their pants”

The rationale put before this committee for cutting social work posts was that new Capita IT database “Mozaic” would deliver efficiencies. Well 10 months later this is not happening because “Mozaic”, once again has been pulled. There have been so many false starts with Mozaic if they had been a sprinter they’d have been disqualified from the Olympics by now.

 

Consultancy spend

I want members to take a look at agency/consultants spend.

Last year the council spent £18.2 million on agency/consultants. This figure is larger than the year before which was £17.9 million, which was significantly larger than the previous year which was £15.5million, which was previously larger than the previous year £13.7million which was previously larger than the previous year £12.5million.

In the last two quarters of this year the Council has already spent £13.7 million on agency/consultants which if the current pattern continues could see the Council break £20million.

It is our view that the Council needs to address this agency/consultancy uncontrollable spend in order to protect vital front line services and in this case drop the proposal to cut social work posts.

 

John Burgess

Branch Secretary

Barnet UNISON

Update on Save Barnet Libraries campaign: Protest with Unison workers on 6th of December

Barnet UNISON Librarylast-ditch-libraries-2 workers 46% of whom are facing the sack are quite rightly outraged by the latest financial information on Council spend which was published last week.

Barnet Council Policy & Resources Committee meets at Hendon Town Hall at 7 pm on Thursday 2 December 2016.

 

It is Agenda Item 10 – Annual Procurement Forward Plan which has caused anger and dismay and disbelief.

http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s36302/Appendix%201%20-%20Annual%20Procurement%20Forward%20Plan%202017-18.pdf

Scroll down to point 17 in the procurement plan it reveals proposed spend on Libraries construction of £12 million with additional items 18-25 showing an additional £2.125 million for additional associated costs:

Making a total of £14.125 million.

A quick recap on other Barnet Council spend.

Below are the Agency/Consultancy figures for the last four years.

  • £12,526,943
  • £13,775,546
  • £15,538,090
  • £17,907,052

Making a total of £59, 747,631 million

In the first two quarters of this financial year Barnet Council has spent £9.3 million which, if it continues at this rate, will bring the total spend for this year to over £20 million on Consultants/Agency.

Barnet Council claims it is being forced into the Library changes by a need to cut £2,162 million from the Library Service budget by 2019/20.

Members and Barnet UNISON have been asking a very simple question:

“Is it true that in order to save £2,162 million Barnet Council are spending over £6 million (which does not include redundancy costs) on a project to close four public libraries (by handing them to volunteers), on a project that will restrict access for disabled people and children under 15 and are now planning to spend an additional £14,125 million on construction and associated costs (making a grand total of £20.125 million)?”

This latest revelation seriously calls into question as to why staff are being made redundant and why a service with a 97% Customer satisfaction is being brutally dismantled.

As far as Barnet UNISON is aware the £14.125 million construction and additional costs have never been disclosed in any of the reports going to previous Children’s Education, Libraries and Safeguarding Committees.

What can we do?

There is still time to stop the destruction of the Barnet Libraries Service. Barnet UNISON will be speaking at General Functions Committee on Tuesday 6 December at 7 pm at Hendon Town Hall. The Leader of Barnet Council Richard Cornelius is on this committee. The committee could refuse to implement the redundancies which would save the Library Service.

 

Join Barnet UNISON on #6December

NUT strike on the 5th of July – Rally information

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Location March Assembly Point March Rally Speakers include
London 11.00 BBC,
Portland Place,
London,
W1A 1AA
(map)
12.00
to Westminster through Central London
13.30
Parliament Square,
London,
SW1P 3AD
(map)
Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary, NUT, Madeleine Holt, Rescue Our Schools, Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, BMA, John McLoughlin, UNISON LG executive member, Mark Campbell , UCU London Region.

UCU Joint strike action with NUT Tuesday 5th July

ucu-1140-400

 

We will be taking our next day of strike action on Tuesday 5th July as part of the ongoing campaign in pursuit of our pay claim to address the 14.5% fall in our wages in real terms since 2009.

The 5th July date has been chosen for maximum impact across London with many HE institutions also on strike that day.

Those of you with school-age children may be aware that the National Union of Teachers will also be taking strike action on the 5th in their separate dispute with their employers.

A more detailed email will follow but the plan for the 5th is that Middlesex University UCU will conduct a “Teach Out” on the Burroughs on the morning of the 5th (the day of the Annual Teaching and Learning Conference at Middlesex). Our “Teach Out” will address the government plans in the White Paper for HE and we will discuss the alternative vision for HE as seen by UCU, the Council to Defend British Universities and other organisations.

We hope to have a speaker from Middlesex Student Union to give us the view of the student body and to tell us about the growing national concerns about the retrospective rise in the interest rate on student loans etc.

There will be other opportunities for creative learning during the morning with interesting options for those of you who might need to bring your children to the “Teach Out”. In the afternoon there is likely to be a pan-London event involving a range of education unions. More detail on this in a later email. You are the UCU.

Do be part of the 5th July – this will be the liveliest picket ever.

Sent on behalf of Middlesex UCU Branch Exec Follow us via social media:

Twitter –  @UCU_MDX

Facebook – UCU Middlesex University

 

Picket Lines 8-12pm on 5th July at the front of the university.

County Durham Trades Union Council & County Durham Teaching Assistants

County Durham Trades Union Council  TUCS                    

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                           06 June 2016

County Durham Teaching Assistants (#ValueUs) and County Durham Trades Union (CDTUC) to stage joint solidarity rally in opposition to council decision to sack 2,700 staff and slash pay by 25%                     

This event will take place on Thursday 9th June 2016, at 19.00 (registration will open at 18.00) at the Durham Miners’ Hall, Flass St, Durham, County Durham DH1 4BE

Durham Trades Union Council will host and chair a public meeting in support of County Durham Teaching Assistants, who are currently fighting against Durham County Council’s controversial decision to fire and rehire thousands of staff on vastly reduced terms, which will see many facing up to a 25% pay cut.

The purpose of this event is to support the existing Teaching Assistants grassroots campaign #ValueUs, which has been running since the council announced its plans last October.

This event will bring together local community groups, teachers, unions, parents, pupils and local MPs, who have made the decision to unite in opposition to this attack on a low paid and predominantly female workforce.

Keynote speakers include Davy Hopper, General Secretary of Durham Miners’ Association, John Gilmore (NUT), Gillian Iveson, Lisa Turnbull, Claire Reed and Anne Richardson (Teaching Assistants and #ValueUs campaign organisers).

CDTUC Secretary, Ben Sellers, said:

As many other people in the wider labour movement have stated, the way County Durham’s teaching assistants have been treated is nothing short of disgraceful.

County councillors will say there is nothing to be done, but many of us feel that when low paid workers are facing pay cuts of up to 25%, there has to be a better solution and we are determined to ensure that negotiations between the council and unions continue until they find it.  

But, devastating though these cuts are, it’s not all a tale of woe; what we have witnessed in the determination and organisational ability of these Teaching Assistants is in the tradition of the best of our movement. They’re an inspiration.

Teaching Assisatant and #ValueUs campaign organiser, Gillian Iveson, said:

This event is incredibly important to our campaign because we need to get the truth out to the public. This is not simply a dispute about holiday pay as some would like to think. We are full time employees being forced into part-time contracts with part-time wages. We work above and beyond our contract on a daily basis and this cut is kick in the teeth to those of us who have dedicated years of service out of a love for the job we do and the children we care for.

Teaching Assistant and #ValueUs campaign organiser, Anne Richardson, said:

Having been truly inspired by the vigour and impact that Durham Teaching Assistants have achieved thus far through their own determination and efforts to highlight the catastrophic life changing measures being forced upon them, I feel this event is a vital stage in the growth and development of the TA’s campaign, as it is increasing public awareness of the real tragedies in this story. The Teaching Assistants’ voices are going to be heard and more importantly listened to, as they gain the support of other unions at both county and national level.

General Secretary, Durham Miners’ Association, Davy Hopper said:

Education is one of the most important public services we have and frankly it is unbelievable that a Labour Authority is behaving in this way. They should immediately start renegotiating with the Teaching Assistants and sort out this mess. My solidarity is with the Teaching Assistants.

Grahame Morris, MP for Easington, said:

“I whole-heartedly oppose the decision by Durham County Council to substantially cut the income of low paid teaching assistants and I’m frankly appalled they would use such an abhorrent practice of dismissing and re-engaging, in order to impose a new contract.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. For further information about this event please contact:

Kathryne Wray (Press and Communications, CDTUC) 07946719668 kathrynewray@hotmail.com

  1. County Durham Trades Union Council (CDTUC)

CDTUC is a registered branch of the Trades Union Congress and works to bring together unions to work and campaign around issues affecting working people in their local workplaces and communities. Our aim is to raise public awareness of rights at work and the union role in enforcing those rights; promote organising and recruitment drives to build union membership; and support union and community campaigns for dignity and respect in the workplace and beyond.

For further information about CDTUC please contact:

Ben Sellers, Secretary, secretary.cdtuc@gmail.com

  1. #ValueUs – County Durham Teaching Assistants – campaign group

For more information about this grassroots campaign please contact:

Gillian Iveson, gill1968@aol.com, 07580562837

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