Unite

NHS strikes to escalate

As Solidarity went to press, health unions were still meeting the government in talks over pay.

The stepping up of the strike to 12 hours of action on Thursday 29 January, and a further 24 hours set for 25 February, increases the profile of the dispute, keeps the crisis in the NHS in the news and builds on public support seen so far. It's good that the trade unions are uniting to protest about the attacks on the NHS.

It's good that the trade unions are uniting to protest about the attacks on the NHS. But there needs to be much more than a publicity campaign of protest strikes.

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Bus drivers fight for fair pay

As of 2015, new drivers with Arriva — the lowest payer for starter drivers — get £9.69 an hour. The previous starting rate with Arriva, before 2015, was £9.30 an hour. After eight years, a driver is on £12.89 an hour.

For Stagecoach drivers — the highest payer for starter drivers — the rate is £11.46. After two years, they reach the top rate of £15.63 an hour.

A Unite rep at the Wood Green bus garage talks about the London bus dispute.

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Industrial news in brief

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Gemma Short, Darren Bedford, Gerry Bates, Charlotte Zalens and Micheál McEoin

As Solidarity went to press on 13 January, bus drivers across London were staging a 24 hour strike in a bid to level up pay across the capital.

London’s bus network is outsourced to 18 different companies. Each one of these companies has their own pay scales and the union Unite must separately negotiate pay with all 18 companies. As a result pay differs by up to £3 an hour across the capital for drivers doing the same work. Unite is calling for a London wide pay scale.

London bus drivers. Essex firefighters, clothing workers and college staff strike; Haringey council cuts; sacked rep reinstated.

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Industrial news in brief

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Charlotte Zalens, Rhodri Evans and Gemma Short

Health workers in Unison, Unite and GMB will strike for 12 hours on Thursday 29 January, with a planned follow up of 24 hours on Wednesday 25 February.

This follows a series of 4 hour strikes in October and November over NHS pay. Unions are also calling on members to “work to rule” for the days between the two strikes.

Health unions are calling for an immediate 1% consolidated pay rise for all NHS staff, with a further consolidated award for 2015-16 and future increases that they hope will restore the value of NHS pay.

Health workers to walk out; London bus drivers vote for strikes over pay; Waterloo rail cleaners suspend strike; Brighton mental health workers strike; Hands Off London Transport.

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Industrial news in brief

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Ollie Moore, Dale Street, Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

London Underground has announced its schedule for closing every ticket office on the Tube, starting from early 2015.

It has done this despite the publication of a passenger survey conducted by independent watchdog London TravelWatch which shows the strength of public opposition to the closures.

Tube ticket office closures; Shelter staff to strike; Waterloo cleaners walk out; London bus drivers balloted over pay.

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Local government workers accept deal

Author: 

Dave Pannett

Local Government workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have voted to accept a pay offer which equates to no more than the 1% offer the same group of workers rejected in this year.

The deal simultaneously ties workers into a 1% pay deal for 2015-16.

64% of Unison members voted to accept the deal, 36% to reject

Local Government workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have voted to accept a pay offer which equates to no more than the 1% offer the same group of workers rejected in this year.

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Industrial news in brief

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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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Labour's NHS Bill: not good enough

Author: 

Jill Mountford, Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, personal capacity.

After months of speculation and vague promises Labour's Clive Efford MP has published his NHS (Amended Duties and Powers) Private Members Bill.

Was it worth waiting for? With the political limits of the Labour Party and the practical limits of what a Private Members Bill can achieve it was never going to repeal the 2012 Health and Social Care Act , nor reverse the cuts and privatisation of the NHS. But the Bill does tackle some of the worst bits of the Health and Social Care Act.

After months of speculation and vague promises Labour's Clive Efford MP has published his NHS (Amended Duties and Powers) Private Members Bill.

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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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NHS staff to strike again

Author: 

Todd Hamer

Health unions have announced a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

Since 2010 the NHS has been starved of £20 billion. By 2020 the gap between funding and necessary expenditure will be around £50 billion. Last month the new Chief Executive of the NHS Simon Stevens made a spurious claim that with an extra £8 billion investment he could redesign the service and make £22 billion savings by 2020.

Health unions have announced a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

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