Education unions

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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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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Teachers should strike on 14 October

Author: 

Patrick Murphy (NUT Exec member, in personal capacity)

It is essential that the National Union of Teachers call our next action to coincide with the cross-union pay strike on 14 October.

We cannot afford miss the opportunity to co-ordinate with the country’s biggest unions, or the potential to make a greater impact by acting alongside school support staff.

It is essential that the National Union of Teachers calls action to coincide with the cross-union pay strike on 14 October.

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Stop the witch-hunt against Liam Conway!

Author: 

By Gerry Bates

The Nottinghamshire Division of the National Union of Teachers has repeatedly written to the General Secretary and the National Secretary seeking to negotiate a settlement on issues relating to financial irregularity in the Division and to close down the matter on just terms. But the appeals of Nottinghamshire members appear to be falling on deaf ears.

Yet the union has continued to process disciplinary cases against those who blew the whistle on the irregularities.

Disciplinary cases against NUT whistle blower is attempt to overturn democratic decisions

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Lessons from Birmingham

Author: 

Liam Conway, NUT Exec member (pc)

There have been two reports into Birmingham schools; one commissioned by Birmingham Council, written by Ian Kershaw, a former Head Teacher from Coventry, the other by Peter Clarke, former counter-terrorism chief at the Met.

It is not enough to put a cross wherever the Government puts a tick. We have to actually dirty our hands and find out honestly what is going on in Birmingham schools.

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Lambeth College: preparing for round two!

Union negotiators for lecturers at Lambeth College have failed to reach an agreement.

Management have failed to show any movement on proposed new contracts which would see increases in hours, cuts in pay, reduced holidays and cuts in sickness entitlement.

However workers ended their strike on Wednesday 9 July, committed to working during enrolment, and have agreed to re-ballot for further industrial action in the autumn.

Lambeth College Strike

Union negotiators for lecturers at Lambeth College have failed to reach an agreement.

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