UVW

Victory at Sage care home

Strikes by care workers at the Sage care home in north London have won significant pay increases. From 1 December, care workers, domestic, and maintenance staff will receive a pay increase to £10.85 an hour. This represents a minimum pay increase of 11%. All other staff will receive a pay rise of 5%. The dispute at the care home began in March 2020, and has seen workers, who are members of the United Voices of the World union (UVW) strike several times, most recently in October 2021. Trustees of the care home include property magnate Benzion Freshwater, who has a net worth of over £2 billion...

Near victory in Royal Parks dispute

Last week I wrote that one of our members in the Royal Parks dispute was facing victimisation. Until that threat was lifted we couldn’t settle the dispute. The good news is that the threat of dismissal has now been withdrawn, and the member’s probation period has been extended, which is the outcome he was looking for. That means we can move forward with discussion around the employer’s offer. That offer includes the recognition of PCS, significant enhancement of sick pay arrangements, and improvements in many contractual terms. We’ll discuss the offer with members at a meeting on Thursday 18...

Sage workers boosted by GOSH win

Workers at the Sage care home in north London struck from 20-22 October, as part of their ongoing fight for higher wages and improved conditions. The workers are demanding a pay increase to £12 per hour, as well as parity with NHS staff terms on sick pay and annual leave. They also want paid breaks on night shifts, and unsocial hours pay for weekend and night working. The strike saw a lively picket at the workplace, as well as a demonstration outside the head offices of Freshwater, the property conglomerate whose owner, Benzion Freshwater, is on Sage’s board of trustees. Care worker Bile, who...

Green reps for PCS?

One of my briefs as Assistant General Secretary is to oversee the union’s work on climate change. With the COP26 conference coming up, we’re mobilising members to attend demonstrations and take part in actions around the country. We also want to use COP as impetus to build up a network of “green reps” throughout the union, with at least one in every branch. Longer term, we want to push for employers to recognise these reps. Climate change can’t be treated as an issue “out there”, it’s something we have to organise around as an industrial issue in our own workplaces. I want to see green reps...

Sage care workers to strike 20-21 October

Workers at the Sage nursing home in North London, members of United Voices of the World (UVW), struck in January and February over pay, sick pay, leave, union recognition and other issues. They will strike again on 20-21 October, with the main part of the strike on 21 October. Sage worker Julia Veros Gonzalez told us: “We’re striking again because we are tired of being ignored by the Sage management and trustees. Rather than doing anything for us, they have actually increased the pressure. The last months have seen a shortage of staff, making us do double the work, risking our health and the...

Care workers strike 20-22 October

Interview with a Sage striker here Care workers at the Sage care home in north London will strike again from 20-22 October, as their fight for living wages and equality with NHS staff continues. The workers are also demanding full contractual sick pay. Bile, one of the striking workers, who also sits on the Executive Committee of the United Voices of the World union (UVW), said: “We built a high profile campaign, supported by care workers around the UK, that led to strike action at the start of the year in the harshest of conditions during a global pandemic lockdown. Yet Sage Nursing trustees...

Why care workers are striking

Julia Veros Gonzalez (below) is a worker at the Sage nursing home in Barnet, North London, where members of United Voices of the World (UVW) have been striking and campaigning over pay, sick pay and holiday parity with NHS workers, and union recognition (see their campaign website here). She spoke to Sacha Ismail. Key workers – care workers, people sweeping the streets, drivers – getting up early in the morning or working at night, doing long shifts – sometimes as care workers we do twelve hours – we don’t mind doing it, we want to help people, we’re doing it the best we can, but we should be...

PCS and UVW: a model for union joint working (John Moloney's column)

In Royal Parks, outsourced cleaners and attendants demonstrated on 30 August, part of a two-week strike against job cuts and for improved conditions [workers at the rally above]. The contractor, Just Ask, has already back off from its original plan to cut 33% of all jobs. On 9 September, they’re due to write to us with a new proposal. Some of our next steps will depend on that. There’s also a positive aspect to the dispute, including the demand for full sick pay. Royal Parks has admitted that the previous contractor had agreed to implement 18 weeks’ full sick pay entitlement to all staff...

DVLA out again 5 July (John Moloney's column)

Our campaign at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) complex in Swansea increasingly looks like becoming a long and bitter dispute. The union is in it for the long haul and it’s certainly necessary here. The next selective action strikes will be on Monday 5 July, Wednesday 7 July and Friday 9 July We still don’t know who pulled the plug on the deal that was on the table a few weeks ago and which could have settled the dispute. All the signs suggest it was Grant Shapps, the transport minister. MPs have asked questions in Parliament about who withdrew the deal, and he’s simply refused...

Making some ground (John Moloney's column)

PCS annual delegate conference took place digitally on 13-14 June. Workers’ Liberty activists, as part of the Independent Left network, supported various motions to the conference. A motion on full-time officials’ pay, which talked about exploring ways to bring officers’ pay more closely in line with the average pay of members, was defeated, but by a margin which suggests some ground has been made in this debate since last discussed. Similarly, a proposal for the election of all officials was also defeated, but the motion on union structure that was passed included language about exploring...

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