PCS

Public sector pay: make the unions move!

Submitted by Matthew on 31 January, 2018 - 10:58 Author: Charlotte Zalens

Local government workers have been offered pay rises of 2% in each of the next two years.

Further flat rate rises are promised for workers on the lowest pay, but the effect of existing top-ups which bring some of those workers up to the government’s National Living Wage is that some of them will get no pay rise at all.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 13 December, 2017 - 12:24 Author: Will Sefton, Gemma Short and Patrick Murphy

The local government employers have proposed a two year pay offer for council and school support staff workers of 2% in 2018 and a further 2% in 2019.

Unison, GMB and Unite, as the largest unions representing local government workers, will now put the offer to their respective committees for consideration.

Initial statements from the three unions suggest they at least partially welcome a wage rise that is above the 1% pay cap, but it is well below the level needed to restore anywhere like the 20% cut that workers have faced since 2010.

How “slow burn” worked for the CWU

Submitted by Matthew on 15 November, 2017 - 12:32 Author: Gregor Gall
CWU logo

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) in the Royal Mail ballot has set the gold standard for all other major unions in the UK. It was the first nationwide strike ballot since the Trade Union Act 2016, which came fully into force in March 2017, and dictates that lawful strike action now requires a 50% turnout to vote.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 12:56 Author: Charlotte Zalens, Gemma Short, Dale Street and Peggy Carter

Picturehouse workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, and East Dulwich, Crouch End, Hackney and Central Picturehouses struck on Sunday 5 and Monday 6 November for the start of Living wage week.

On 6 November the new Living Wage was announced, and in London it rose from £9.75 an hour to £10.20 an hour.

Striking on the day of this announcement meant the strike gained national press coverage, including on ITV news, as the press covered the raise in the Living Wage.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 25 October, 2017 - 3:55 Author: Gemma Short, Peggy Carter, Charlotte Zalens and Neil Laker

PCS members at Eastern Avenue Jobcentre in Sheffield started a continuous month long strike on 23 October in opposition to the closure of the site. On the same day it was announced that members at Plymouth Processing Centre, another site marked for closure had voted 76% in favour of strikes to defend that site and would begin their strikes on the 6 November.

Universal Credit: force Tories to back down! AWL Sat, 10/21/2017 - 12:34
Stop benefit sanctions protest

In the end, just one Tory MP, Sarah Wollaston, the Chair of the Health Select Committee who has rebelled on a number of issues in the past, including Europe and Syria, defied the whips and voted with Labour when it came to the motion put down for an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons calling upon the Government to pause the roll-out across the countryof its controversial new benefit Universal Credit, rather than abstaining as she and her colleagues had been instructed to do by them, but despite ministers pointing out the non-binding nature of the 299-0 result, political problems

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 18 October, 2017 - 1:13 Author: Patrick Murphy and Ollie Moore

On Wednesday the 11, October Jeremy Hunt told the House of Commons that the 1% pay cap will be lifted for NHS staff. After the government buckled under pressure and lifted the public sector pay cap for police and prison officers, the government had shown it was weak and it was only a matter of time before it was forced into lifting the cap for other workers.

Roll back Universal Credit roll-out Matthew Mon, 10/16/2017 - 08:55
Food bank

The Government is coming under pressure to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit, the new benefit which is replacing six existing ones: Jobseekers' Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Income Support.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 11 October, 2017 - 11:55 Author: Martin Thomas, Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens, Ralph Peters and Peggy Carter

Workers’ Liberty school workers met on 7 October 2017 to discuss our plans in our workplaces and in the new National Education Union, formed on 1 September by the merger of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. The new union is making a recruitment drive, offering membership free to trainees and students, for £1 to newly qualified teachers, and for £10 for the first year to all teachers and all school support staff.