Solidarity 340, 15 October 2014

Help the Kurds against ISIS! Matthew Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:04

Kurds and their supporters demand that the Kurdish Peshmerga, YPG (People’s Protection Units) and other militia be armed with heavy weapons, armour-piercing bullets and tanks in order to resist the ISIS ultra-Islamists who threaten them with massacre in Kobane (near Syria's border with Turkey) and elsewhere.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:41

Outsourced workers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich employed by ISS struck for the first time in their campaign to win parity of pay, terms and conditions with directly employed NHS staff on October 8.

There were several lively GMB picket lines outside the hospital in Woolwich, South London.

About 50 workers were on the pickets at 9am, and picketing continued late into the evening.

GMB members were also out in force for the national NHS pay strike on 13 October.

University pension ballot: vote Yes/Yes! Matthew Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:28

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).

Police kill another black youth in St Louis Matthew Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:23

An off-duty police officer shot dead Vonderrit Myers Jr, an 18 year old black man, in St. Louis, Missouri on Wednesday 8 October.

The unnamed police officer was wearing his police uniform while working for GCI, a private security firm. The practice of police officers taking second jobs as security guards is widespread. GCI alone employed 168 officers in 2012. The wearing of police uniform is permitted by the state police department. It appears that these security firms are often employed to patrol residential streets.

Philadelphia fights back Matthew Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:14

Philadelphia teachers and students launched a fight back in the week 6-12 October against unprecedented austerity measures affecting teachers’ pay.

The School Reform Commission (SRC), who were put in place to oversee schools in the area which have suffered from low exam scores due to factors including underfunding in the system, has chosen to implement cuts of $54 million to teachers’ contracts to offset the underfunding, leaving them stripped of rights to free health insurance and a subsequent cut to their monthly salary of up to $150.

Democracy in Donetsk? Matthew Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:11

The Central Election Commission (CEC) of the "Donetsk People’s Republic" (DPR) has published a list of the organisations which will not be allowed to participate in the DPR elections on 2 November.

Pavel Gubarev’s "Novorossiya" is among those excluded, although Gubarev is the former "People’s Governor of Donetsk Region" and a regular of Moscow’s television studios.

According to Roman Lyagin, head of the CEC:

Yes means yes Matthew Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:08

California has become the first state in the US to have “yes means yes” consent legislation.

The legislation, which was passed at the end of September, applies to all post-secondary schools and is a result of a drive across America to tackle sexual assault on campuses. California State University and the University of California both already have similar legislation, as have most Ivy League universities in the US.

"It is the Kurdish people fighting, but this is a much bigger issue": interview with Roza Salih

Submitted by AWL on 15 October, 2014 - 11:06

Roza Salih, who is Vice President Diversity & Advocacy at University of Strathclyde Students' Association in Glasgow and NUS Scotland's International Students' Officer, has been organising protests in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle. She spoke to Solidarity.

Bosses get 21% rise Matthew Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:58

Despite much sound and fury over government regulations on the reporting and control of executive pay announced in 2012, bosses’ pay continues to run ahead of workers’.

The median pay of directors of big companies (FTSE 100) is now £2,433,000; of chief executives, £3,344,000. Last year, so a report from Income Data Services shows, they got a 21% rise: median salary increased by 2.5%, bonuses by 12%, and incentive payments in the form of shares by 44%.