UNISON

14 October: organise on the ground

Author: 

Gemma Short

Between 2008 and 2013 real wages fell by 8.2%, on average. The median worker lost £2000 a year, for many that will have been much worse.

The wage squeeze is worse for younger workers, a 14% drop for those aged 18-25, 12% for 25-29 year olds. Each decade since the 1980s real wages growth has been lower than the previous decade.

In the public sector wages have fallen by 15%, many face a pay freeze.

14 October will be a display of the potential power of the labour movement, and will raise hopes for all workers feeling the squeeze on wages. The labour movement should bolster that hope with a strategy to win.

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Four hour strike in NHS not enough

Author: 

A South London health worker

Last week’s Solidarity carried an article that argued “a four hour walk out [on 14 October] is a good tactic in the NHS [as a starting point]” and “It is vital that discussions on strike tactics are held at workplace level where union members know what action can be most effective”. I disagree.

Unison’s leadership are worried about low turnout and unnecessary deaths on a strike day. They have attempted to solve these problem by proposing a four-hour stoppage. They hope healthworkers will be more likely to strike for half a day and it will be less risky for patients.

Many nurses still believe that it is illegal for nurses to strike and the Unison leadership has done nothing to dispel this myth. It has failed to set out a clear strategy for safe but effective strike action in the NHS.

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14 October can be big!

Author: 

Gemma Short

On October 14, local government workers in Unison, Unite and GMB unions will strike over pay. They may be joined by health workers in Unison, Unite and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) who all have ballots under way. If civil servants in PCS union join the strike this will be a very large and important action against the huge cuts in pay public sector workers have endured since 2009.

On October 14, local government workers in Unison, Unite and GMB unions will strike over pay.

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Good turnouts needed in health union ballots

Strike ballots in the health unions runs up to the end of September, with Unison's closing date on the 18 September and Unite on the 26th. 

A pay offer of 1% for 2 years, with no rise at all for those who receive an incremental rise, has angered workers, but a good turn out in the ballot would be very significant. 

The government has stopped the Health Pay Review Body from even going through the motions of reporting on annual pay this year. Instead it has been asked to propose cuts in unsocial hours pay, should further galvanise the vote. 

Strike ballots in the health unions runs up to the end of September, with Unison's closing date on the 18 September and Unite on the 26th. 

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Industrial news in brief

The Hands Off London Transport coalition plans a day of action for 16 September, involving leafleting, petitioning, and demonstrations at Tube stations.

The action will coincide with the introduction of contactless payment technology on the Tube which unions say will lead to problems for both passengers and staff.

The HOLT coalition want to raise the profile of cuts as a political issue, mobilise community direct action against them, and pressure GLAs and London MPs to take a stand on the issue.

Hands Off London Transport day of action; BBC workers to strike; Heathrow Airport strike; Doncaster care workers' dispute; NUT secretary suspended.

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Industrial news in brief

Unison members in Doncaster are now on their 57th day of strike action as part of action against Care UK who cut wages by up to 35%.

They will be on strike until 14 September, and have pickets every day at 7am outside Care UK’s Doncaster office, as well as trips to picket offices in other cities and to speak at meetings.

The strikers are also currently having weekly members’ meetings to discuss the dispute.

Ritzy workers reject offer

Doncaster care workers strike; Ritzy workers reject offer; Tube jobs fight; Tube cleaners ballot; Living Wage dayschool.

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Unison to discuss pay fight

Author: 

Dave Pannett

After just a single day’s strike over pay by workers local government, education, and the civil service, the press and the Tories are on the offensive against unions, highlighting the low turnouts in ballots, and pushing for new anti-union legislation.

The pay fight in local government and the NHS.

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Glasgow Council workers face down anti-union bosses

Author: 

Anne Field

Unison members employed by Glasgow Life, an “arms-length company” set up by Glasgow City Council, staged a series of protests last week to highlight their employer’s treatment of them as a second-class workforce.

Workers at Glasgow City Council are taking on anti-union employers during the Commonwealth Games.

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