Education unions

Industrial news in brief

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Charlotte Zalens, Ollie Moore, Gareth Devonport and Gemma Short

Cleaners working for contractor Interserve at Waterloo station struck on 17-18 November after a manager claimed “we shouldn’t be employing black people.”

The strikes follow earlier action on 10-11 November, and a further 24 hour strike has been called starting at 3pm on 21 November.

The RMT union says bosses have refused to address the allegation through agreed procedures. The union also says Interserve has underpaid wages, as well as victimising, bullying and harassing staff.

Waterloo cleaners walk out over racism; victimisation on Tube; Northern Rail pay dispute; Haringey teachers strike as NUT rep remains suspended.

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Student solidarity with Qatari workers

Author: 

Omar Raii

Working conditions in Qatar, in particular for migrant workers, are at an appalling level.

Conditions have been recently compared by the International Trade Union Confederation to “modern day slavery”.

University College London is one of the many educational institutions to have a campus in Doha’s “Education City”. The University and Colleges Union has been heavily critical of UCL’s refusal to do anything to ensure that the rights of the workers there, many of whom are migrants from South Asian countries such as Nepal, are protected.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Cleaners working for Interserve at Waterloo station struck on 10-11 November after a manager claimed “we shouldn’t be employing black people.”

The strikes will take place between 3pm on Monday and 3pm on Tuesday, and for a further 24 hours starting at 3pm on 21 November.

The RMT union says bosses have refused to address the allegation through agreed procedures. The union also says Interserve has underpaid wages, as well as victimising, bullying and harassing staff.

Waterloo cleaners strike against racism; German train drivers walk out over wages; housing charity workers win on pay; Care UK offer deal; defend Julie Davis.

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Industrial news in brief

Train drivers' union ASLEF has gone into dispute with the Northern Rail franchise and is to ballot its members, after rejecting a two-year pay offer of 2.7% this year (RPI inflation in April 2014) and 2.5% or RPI next year, whichever is greater.

The company argues that this is a "good offer" "in the current climate". ASLEF points out that it leaves drivers at the company behind those at other train operating companies.

Northern Rail drivers balloted over pay; teachers strike over victimisation and pay; cinema workers win living wage; housing charity workers walk out.

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Lecturers begin marking boycott

Author: 

Lucy Clement

University lecturers are preparing to begin an assessment boycott in protest at attacks on pension provision.

The action, due to start on 6 November, will mean no setting or marking of exams and coursework so long as employers refuse to make concessions. It affects sixty-nine universities, mainly the older “pre-92s”.

University lecturers are preparing to begin an assessment boycott in protest at attacks on pension provision.

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University pension ballot: vote Yes/Yes!

Author: 

Lucy Clement

Staff in most pre-92 universities are being balloted for action over massive cuts to their pensions in the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme (USS).

The cuts will see some workers lose over 25% of their income in retirement.

The proposals will end the final salary scheme which was closed to new members and shift everyone onto the poor career average scheme (on terms inferior to TPS, the scheme that covers post-92 universities and school teachers).

Staff in most pre-92 universities are being balloted for action over massive cuts to their pensions in the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme.

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Rank and file must control pay fight!

Author: 

Editorial

The pay of FTSE 100 directors has risen by 21% in the past year. Meanwhile average wage increases have been just 2%, 1.6% in the public sector, below price inflation of 2% (CPI) or 2.7% (RPI).

Over half of the wage rises in the last year were below RPI. In a sample survey of wage settlements for six million workers between August 2013 and August 2014, 13% faced a wage freeze and only 8.3% had a wage rise above 3%.

We are in the longest period of wage depression since records began, as a TUC report found on 12 October.

The top union officials have shown themselves inept and inadequate. Now the rank and file must organise to take control of the pay fight.

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Strike to end low pay

Author: 

Editorial

Public sector workers from health, local government and civil service will strike over pay in the week beginning 13 October.

Unison, GMB and Unite local government workers (and some school workers) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will strike on 14 October. PCS (the civil service union) will strike across Britain on 15 October. Members of the lecturers' union UCU in Further Education colleges in England have rejected their 1% pay offer by 85%. They will strike on 14 October, on the authority of a previous ballot.

Public sector workers from health, local government and civil service will strike over pay in the week beginning 13 October.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Gerry Bates and Jonny West

Two hundred GMB members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London have voted for strikes to end two-tier conditions in NHS.

The dispute is for the same pay rates, weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the Trust.

The GMB members are employed as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters.

On 23 September GMB organised a protest outside the bondholders meeting of the PFI operator for the hospital.

Woolwich hospital dispute; NUT survey; construction workers’ wild-cat action wins better toilets; housing charity ballot; UCU pension ballot; Tube disputes.

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Control at the top, ferment below

Author: 

Martin Thomas

It was advertised in the Labour Party conference fringe guide as an NUT (National Union of Teachers) meeting with Tristram Hunt, the Labour shadow minister for education, but turned out to be something different and more interesting.

It started earlier than advertised in the guide. When I got there, the room was already full, with maybe 100 people. NUT deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney was there, but it was not an NUT meeting. It was an hoc event organised by an individual activist, Emma Hardy-Mattinson. And Hunt was not scheduled there.

There is more left-wing feeling in the Labour Party ranks than you’d guess from the very-controlled proceedings inside the Manchester Central conference centre.

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