Monthly Archives: September 2018

#LoveOurColleges – lobby/demo/rally

We are seeking help in promoting the #LoveOurColleges campaign against cuts in FE in England.  This will centre around a week of action, beginning on 15th October.  In addition to a media splash on the Monday and local activity on the Tuesday (more info to follow in due course) the week of action will include a demo, parliamentary lobby and rally in Westminster on:

Wednesday 17th October 2018

 #LoveOurColleges is being organised by a campaign coalition, which in addition to UNISON includes UCU, GMB, NUS, NEU, ASCL and the employers body Association of Colleges.

Three key actions we are looking for help with are as follows:

  1. Ensure FE members across all unions know about the event, encourage them to commit to attending and discuss joint travel arrangements with other unions at their colleges.  UCU in particular are laying on coaches.
  2. Intelligence on how many members are attending and from where etc.  This is a joint campaign with the AoC, college principals are being encouraged to allow staff to take time off from work to take part in the event.
  3. Activists should share info about the lobby etc. on social media.  Here are the twitter and facebook event links https://twitter.com/hashtag/loveourcolleges   https://www.facebook.com/events/2220544781546432

The timetable for the day is as follows:

11.30am – 12.30pm: Coaches arrive in London. Drop-off likely to be Waterloo Place (where march will form up). Provision to be made for those who may wish to go directly to Westminster rather than join the march, (venue TBC, likely Methodist Central Hall) with staff on hand to sign in, provide briefings and any other support.

12.30pm – 1.30pm: Union-led march from Waterloo Place to Parliament Square – all welcome. Others to have lunch, or begin holding meetings with MPs.

1.30pm – 2.30pm: Rally in Parliament Square. All encouraged to join.  (UNISON has a speaker slot at this, though as its the day of the NEC the speaker is still tbc)

2.30pm – 5.30pm: Lobby of parliament.

7th October | Weekend of action – Troops Out Now!

7th October will mark the 17th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by the US, the UK and several of its allies. According to a conservative estimate, 217,000 Afgans have died as a direct result of the fighting.

Over a thousand more UK soldiers have recently been deployed to the country, although UK military intervention has been leading to more bitterness and more violence.

We are calling for action on the weekend of 7th October to demand the immediate withdrawal of UK troops from Afghanistan. We are asking supporters and local Stop the War groups to organise street petitions, stunts and protests. In London we will be handing in a letter of protest on Friday 5th October at Downing Street. You can download the petition here.

End Capita in Barnet: Lobby the Council on Tuesday 11 December

Barnet council has just released the Grant Thornton review in response to an alleged fraud of £2million. One of its major findings is that: Our view of both contracts has identified a number of significant weaknesses which may have resulted in contractual breaches. We have identified and reported what we believe are fundamental weaknesses in budgetary control and financial accounting”.

John Burgess, Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary declares … 
“I am shocked but not surprised at the content of the GT review of both Capita contracts. Barnet UNISON predicted that service quality would suffer once the services were privatised …. The Council is currently preparing a review of both Capita contracts. It is my view that in light of the GT review, it is untenable that the Council could even consider allowing Capita to run any of their services again.”

John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor says … “The Grant Thornton (GT) review of the two Capita contracts in Barnet provides yet more evidence of the folly of privatisation of public services …  I fully support your campaign to #KickOutCapita from Barnet and bring services back in-house.”

Mr Reasonable writes … “Is this the end of Capita in Barnet? Grant Thornton’s report is a devastating critique of Capita’s dismal performance.”

Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: “This is incompetence of scandalous proportions, and looks like a breach of contract. Barnet Council must act to terminate these two contracts and take back control of Capita-run services.”

For more detailed information … 
Read Barnet Unison’s statement here and Mr Reasonable’s detailed examination of the Grant Thornton review here.

Workers from TGI Fridays, McDonald’s and Wetherspoons will be going on strike together on Thursday 4 October 2018

Workers from TGI Fridays, McDonald’s and Wetherspoons will be going on strike together on 4th October. It is planned to be a real show of force and inter-union collaboration across the hospitality industry. There are a number of actions taking place across the region and we will publicise once we have details. Members from all three businesses will be in Leicester Square, Central London,  from 11am-12 making some noise and taking their  message to other hospitality workers in the area. They will also be joined by colleagues from the IUF Global Union Federation and fast food workers from a number of other countries coming to show global solidarity.

An open meeting of #KickOutCapita campaign and BAPS

With John Dix aka Mr Reasonable to explain and discuss the implications of the Grant Thornton report will be held on:

Tuesday 2 October 6.30 pm at the Greek Cypriot Centre, 2 Britannia Rd N12 9RU

Read the Grant Thornton auditors’ report and judge for yourself whether – after near bankrupting the council’s finances through their ideological choice of extreme outsourcing, with the results that are pointed out in this report – we shouldn’t expect some resignations or some heads to roll. We should think that at least Cllr Richard Cornelius and his deputy Cllr Daniel Thomas if not all the Conservative councillors who oversaw this shambles should resign if they have an ounce of integrity between them! Do Tory councillors have any integrity at all?

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