NSSN Bulletin 163 – ‘Nothings got worse since austerity took hold’ – Really?
A BBC survey purported to show that over 40% of those interviewed had not noticed a change to local government services since austerity took hold. Some even thought services had improved! Yet we all know of closures to libraries, swimming pools, reduced council facilities and the rest. Even the BBC website has stories from leading councillors believing councils will run out of money (‘Budget cuts could make councils ‘go bust’ says senior councillor’ here ‘Councils in England and Wales have “run out of money and the system is bust”, said the head of the Local Government Association’ here Liverpool mayor claims ‘city could be bankrupt in two years’ here).We are also aware that austerity and privatisation has worsened the NHS and there have been vicious cuts to the living standards of the poorest sections of the community: those on benefits, the unemployed, the disabled, children, the elderly and others.
If the BBC and their masters in government believe that the worst is over, they should think again. The worst of the cuts is still to come. Furthermore, Chancellor George Osborne thinks we can manage another five years of austerity if the Tories win a majority at the next general election, due in 2015. Labour hasn’t said whether they would do the same but has previously agreed to continue ConDem spending plans if elected in 2015.
But workers in public services are fighting back. Health workers and their supporters are organising protests at hospitals up and down the country, and will be angry at further moves to freeze their pay. UCU and Unison members in Higher Education have voted for strike action (see below). Next week, the FBU and three regions ofNUT members take strike action. The CWU will announce the result of its ballot against the privatization of Royal Mail. Expect a big majority for action; the battle is not over just because the City fat cats want to make huge profits from the share issue (Royal Mail shares will pay an annual dividend of 6% – compare that return to the rate of interest currently paid on money put in a savings account at the bank). CWU members are protesting today (Friday) at the Stock Exchange in the City against the flotation.
The TUC conference in September reiterated keeping the option of a general strike on the agenda. General Secretary Frances O’Grady offered the services of the TUC to co-ordinate action. The union leaders must get together to discuss and plan joint action that could really rock this government, the City fat cats and their big business friends. The NSSN’s supporters throughout the trade union movement will continue to press for this action to get off the ground.(Kevin Parslow NSSN Assistant Sec)
Want to get more involved in the NSSN? Come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one in your area, get in touch to either assist in organizing or have a speaker at one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on firstname.lastname@example.org
November 23 Yorkshire NSSN conference in Leeds
November 30 Midlands NSSN conference – Unite offices in Broad Street, Birmingham Flyer can be downloaded here.
NSSN Chairperson Rob Williams was interviewed for an online left website in Quebec. The interview is in French and we don’t have a translation yet, but google has a rough and ready one…
MORE Union News
This success, based on teachers’ seething anger at Gove’s attacks, will build further support for the last of the regional strikes in London, the South and the North-East on October 17 – and then for the national strike planned for November. Read details here & here . We have received the following message:
“A big thank you to all the trade unionists and friends who turned out to support the Ipswich teachers on October 1st. Most teachers attending the rally have said how successful the day was and how great it was to have other trade unionists speaking at and attending our rally. We returned to work today feeling confident that any future strike action will be even more successful! Ipswich NUT is calling upon the NUT National Executive to work with the TUC and other trade union leaders to ensure that the next time we take action it will be alongside other workers.’ Margaret Bulaitis On behalf of Ipswich NUT
Blood testing staff to start overtime ban at Lancashire hospitals here
Union anger at the reckless decision of Ineos to reject call to attend Acas talks here
Unite to oppose plans by Hull council to sack its entire 6,700 workforce here
Blood testing staff in Leeds and Bradford in new strike ballot over patient safety here
Glass workers in Yorkshire and Scotland accept improved pay offer here
‘Bullying’ Hunt told that ‘living wage’ should be implemented in NHS here
Unite urges administrator to save jobs at Liverpool snack manufacturer here
Visteon Pensioners protest at four UK locations here
Yorkshire Ambulance Service – “I am sending you this email as a request for those of you who live in Yorkshire to apply for membership of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Members of the trust are allowed to attend trust board meetings and elect trust board members. By applying for this membership you could assist Unite by raising our issues at board meetings and make the current board feel vulnerable from attacks on the inside of the organisation. Trust membership is free and you can apply via this link:
Please could you encourage as many activists and branch members to apply for trust membership as possible in order to show strength of support for this dispute. Steve Miller (Unite EC)
RMT to ballot for strike action across First Great Western here
First Great Western Cleaners Strike in Fight for Pay Justice here
RMT demands end to EU rail privatisation package here
Metro cleaners secure victory in living wage fight here
Victoria Line Dispute Won here
RMT City Link more protests over huge cuts and changes here
Royal Mail members look out for your ballot paper from today and vote YES. Please don’t forget to change your Facebook and/or Twitter profile picture to show you’re voting YES and tag your comments on Twitter with #voteYES. The deadline for ballot papers is Wednesday 16 October. Final messages from CWU leaders here
Crunch time for Openreach members here
Demonstrate on pensions and cuts here
Petition on firefighters’ pensions now online. Sign it, share it
Firefighters committed to pension discussions that include every area of concern, says FBU here
National demo preparations in Norfolk: “large turnout for our small brigade just shows the solidarity amongst our members” here
No settlement with Scottish Government on pensions, says Fire Brigades Union here
Proposed closure of Blaina Fire Station angers residents and firefighters here
West Yorkshire Chief Fire Officer ‘applying unwelcome pressure’ on those defending fire service pension here
Warwickshire fire service cuts will put lives at risk, say firefighters here
Maude steps up attack on our reps here
Lowest paid bear brunt of job cuts here
Help promote Call Centre Action Month 2013 here
Oakwood Prison failings highlight need for prison privatisation re-think here
Don’t fill in a civil service people survey questionnaire here
UCU members vote for strike action in national row over pay here
Protests over plans to shut University of Bath’s ‘outstanding’ teacher training programme here
Survey finds widespread dissatisfaction amongst university staff with research assessment here
Monitor report says NHS pay freeze risks care here
UNISON in Higher Education have voted to take strike action on pay here
Rise in 15 minute care slots is a disgrace here
Young Members Facebook page launched The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union has launched a new Facebook page run by and for its young members; click here and find out more. A Young Members Forum has been arranged on 29 October in Manchester. If you are interested in participating in, or would just like to know more, please contact the Union Executive Council Young Members’ Representative, Rachel Mullen at email@example.com or Head Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Napo takes Parliament by storm! here
General Secretary urges maximum involvement in the TR Ballot here
GMB Ballot for Industrial Action at SITA Commercial Waste Collection in Crawley Depot over Pay Cuts for Drivers here
GMB New Industrial Action Ballot at Carillion Swindon Hospital in Dispute on Job Losses, Pay Cuts and Staff Rosters here
No Pay Rise For NHS Staff Will Be The Final Straw That Lead To Calls For Industrial Action Says GMB here
RESOURCE – As part of mental health awareness week, we would encourage the use of the TUC Mental Health at work – See ‘Representing & supporting members with mental health problems at work’. Note also Minds top tip for surviving work ‘Reclaim your lunch break’, definitely a trade union matter!
“Free” school flagship springing leaks (From Anti-Academies Alliance)
The Secretary of State for Education has hitched his fortunes to the success of “free” schools. So after the debacle at Pimlico primary ( yesterday, Gove and his sidekick Lord Nash must be feeling a little seasick.
One of the additional hazards of being an unpopular education minister is that the people who work for you can sometimes want to torpedo you.
Last week the Anti-Academies Alliance received, anonymously, a pile of documents through the post. We are not sure where the data comes from or its veracity. But having, analysed it we believe Mr Gove has some questions to answer.
1. Mr Gove claims “free” schools are popular with parents. Yet the data show that many “free” schools are seriously undersubscribed.
Furthermore, many “free” schools are under reporting the number of surplus places they have – and the situation is getting worse. Looking at the 2011 openers:
According to the self-reported figures from “free” schools, just 17% were undersubscribed BUT according to the Autumn Census, 42% were unsubscribed.
Of the 2012 openers:A massive 74% of “free” school reported surplus places, whilst the Autumn Census reported an even larger 86% of “free” schools having empty places.
Over the 2 years, only 78% of the places at “free” schools have been filled, at a pre-opening cost of nearly £18,000 per pupil.
2. Mr Gove claims that “free” schools are about giving parents more involvement in running schools. Yet the data show that the profile of groups setting up “free” schools has a declining proportion of parent, community, or teacher led groups and an increasing role for existing sponsors.
· In 2012, 38% of groups applying were parent led or community led groups. In 2013 this dropped to 21%, with only 17% of the groups interviewed coming from parent/community led groups.
· In 2011, only 11% of applications came from academy sponsors. In 2013 this has risen to 22%, with over 38% of those interviewed being existing sponsors.
· Applications from teacher led groups went from a high of 26% of applications in 2011 to 10% in 2013.
We can’t be certain of the provenance of the data we received. Nor can we judge its accuracy. But then again we are not sure who else could have collected such data. Only the Secretary of State has the power to demand it.
So Mr Gove, is the data correct? And if so will he explain to Parliament why there is such a surplus of “free” school places, especially at a time when some areas have such a shortage of school places? (AAA)
Not getting adequate care: case studies. Read More
Birmingham council lobbied on the unfair, unworkable #bedroomtax Read More
Road blocks for Justice Read more
BLACKLIST & VICTIMISATION
Blacklist Support Group would like to thank everyone who participated in the Crossrail blacklisting dispute. Without the massive support from up and down the country and around the world, we would not have won such a historic victory. It shows what our movement can achieve when the official union’s resources and rank & file’s enthusiasm work together. Celebration drink up, music, Sat 12th October . Blacklisted 2013 – the workers strike back REEL NEWS VIDEO, 2013 version of our campaign film made by the exceptionally talented Reel News.
Construction firms announce blacklisting compensation scheme – Victims vow to continue campaign and court cases here
AMEC Should Apologise on Blacklisting here
Cameron asked to right ‘wrong’ on 40th anniversary of Shrewsbury 24 trial here
Defend the Four: After a momentous campaign lasting over six years, four Unison members – two now members of Unite – have won a tremendous victory against the Unison bureaucratic machine. Come and celebrate with them: Suzanne Muna, Onay Kasab, Glen Kelly and Brian Debus & a book signing! Saturday 19 October Doors open 5pm in the bar then at 6-15 pm to 7-15 pm there will be a number of short speeches from the Four and our supporters with a screening from a Reel News DVD of the campaign. From 7-15 let your hair down, if you have any! Cheap Food * Music-Hugo (& for those who need to watch the footy before the screen at the front will have West Ham, then Strictly…!) Roxy Bar & Screen, 128-132 Borough High Street London SE1 1LB email@example.com
INTERNATIONAL (Also see LabourStart)
Gibraltarian and Spanish unions draw up manifesto to end harassment of workers here
Free Wu Guijun! Free Guangzhou 12! Workers’ representatives held in police cells for weeks – protest against the criminalisation of workers’ struggle here
Kazakhstan: Housing campaigners still held. Read here MESSAGES OF PROTEST (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the attention of the Ambassador, Mr Kairat Abusseitov.
Qatar: End this modern-day slave labour here
Brazil: Teachers’ strike brutally repressed by the police here
Korea: Defending trade union rights in South Korea here
Bangladesh: Deadly factory fire again underlines importance of Bangladesh Accord here
Myanmar (Burma): Worker organisations still struggle for rights here
Canada: Workers draw a line in the sand. Crown Holdings is a company you have probably never heard of. But it’s huge, producing metal containers in 149 countries. And it’s highly profitable, doubling its profits in 2012. Crown workers, members of the United Steelworkers, have had enough, and are walking the picket line, forced to strike by an employer that refuses to negotiate seriously. here
US: At a Nissan plant in Mississippi, a battle to shape the UAW’s future here
Diary (see & use False Economy )
12 National anti-fascist demonstration in Liverpool: Assemble 12 noon. Note change of assembly point: William Brown Street, right opposite Jack Jones House (Unite offices). March sets off a 1pm and ends with a rally at the Pier Head, Liverpool
Latest CITY LINK demos:
1) ARGOS—CITY ARCADE COVENTRY CV1 3HX 1100 am
2) ARGOS—LAKESIDE RETAIL PARK SCUNTHORPE DN16 3UA 1100 am
3) JOHN LEWIS—PALMESTON ROAD SOUTHSEA PO5 3QE 1100 am
4) JOHN LEWIS—OXFORD STREET LONDON W1A 1EX 1100 am
Visteon pension campaigners local demonstration details:
Rayleigh, Essex: Ford dealership, Essex Ford (opposite Sainsbury’s), this has always attracted strong public support. We have been there longer than some of the Essex Ford employees! We have been demonstrating every Saturday for the last four years come rain, snow and flood! Contact: Paul Bailey 07866636984
Enfield, Middlesex: Regular demonstrations on the A10 outside the Ford dealership of Dagenham Motors; this has received energetic and noisy public support, all to the dismay of the Ford dealer! Contact: Kevin Owen 07531141531
Swansea, South Wales: Regular demonstrations at Days Ford dealer, meetings in Swansea and at the Welsh Assembly, strong political support and determination to win this fight. Location: Ford dealership, Days at Neath Abbey. Contact: John Elvins 07840417873
Belfast, Northern Ireland: Ex Ford/Visteon factory, Blacks Road, Belfast. Contact: John Maguire 07816590380
14 Vigil to save the Independent Living Fund here 9am Royal Courts of Justice
15 Bonfire of Austerity South Yorkshire
PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY PLANNING MEETING AND DIRECT ACTION WORKSHOP: 6PM, SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY, OWEN BUILDING, HOWARD STREET.
16 National FBU demonstration in Westminster, London
17 NUT/NASUWT Regional Strike action and Rallies
19 Bridgwater Trades Union Council 1913-2013 CENTENARY CELEBRATION Join us for a march, with your branch banner, to a rally at Bridgwater Baptist Church, to commemorate the founding of the town’s organised trade union movement by local rail-workers in 1913. Assemble: 12.30pm, Cranleigh Gardens, Bridgwater, TA6 5JS; 1pm, Banner parade and march; 1.45-2.45: Rally, Baptist Church, St Mary Street, TA6 3EQ.
Defend the Four Roxy Bar & Screen, SE1 London 5pm, speaches/film 6.15-7.15pm email@example.com
Dublin Lock Out 100th anniversary Members of West Yorkshire Socialist Historians are organising a commemoration. 2pm at Red Shed (Wakefield Labour Club), Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1. The main speaker is Marxist historian, D R O’Connor Lysaght. Entrance is free & sandwiches/snacks provided.
22 Re-launch of Exeter TUC Barnfield Theatre, Exeter EX1 1SN at 6pm (doors open 5.30pm). Guest speakers include Bob Crow (RMT) here
24 Brighton Benefits Campaign meeting against zero hours contracts here 7.30pm Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, BN1 1AF
16 Moving Forward: Identifying and resisting the enemies of democracy in 2014. Conference organised by Searchlight Book places here
20 TUC Day of Action against Blacklisting: As part of the Day of Action there will be a Lobby of Parliament to put pressure on MPs to hold an inquiry. Assemble on Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament at 13:00. here
23 Yorkshire NSSN conference in Leeds
30 Midlands NSSN conference: Unite offices in Broad Street, Birmingham
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Post: NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE
For all press and media enquiries contact:
Secretary: Linda Taaffe Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regular reports and further information on our website http://shopstewards.net/