Apr 302015
 

Hi everyone, I am hoping to get back to more regular newsletters. What I will try to do is shorter but more frequent ones, though this happens to be a bit long! I have done it in a rush, so apologies for any mistakes – let me know if you spot one.

Events

Sat 2nd May: Hoping to have an NTUC stall in town to give out the leaflet A Vision For Northampton (‘Vision Final‘) This will be at 11am just by Burger King on the market square. If you can help let me or Ron know. Leaflet folds into 6 little pages. Please print it out for distribution or display or send round the pdf. We have had some very favourable responses and will be doing a longer pamphlet for the autumn covering more areas.

Friday 8th May, Cuba Solidarity Campaign event at the NN Cafe opposite the museum in the town centre. With exciting recent developments in Cuba, CSC Northampton is pleased to invite you to a special fun evening celebrating Cuban culture with music, dancing, cocktails and snacks. Tickets are limited so please advise your requirements as soon as possible. For tickets and more information please contact cubasolidarity.northampton@gmail.com. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to funding activities to raise awareness and there will be a separate raffle raising money for the Music for Cuba fund.

Also there’s a cycle challenge to Cuba: http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/tours/docs/CSCCycleFactSheetTermsFormsNov2015.pdf

16th May: Northants Red Rope trip to Levellers’ Day, 16th May 2015, Burford. Levellers Day, marking the execution of 3 Leveller leaders in Burford during the Civil War, is on 16th May from 10.30.  It includes a speakers’ event and a short parade through the village – guaranteed to annoy the Tories in this, Cameron’s constituency. We finish the day with a circular Red Rope walk along the Windrush river, past the remains of an abandoned medieval village and on through attractive Cotswolds countryside (moderate 4-5 miles). The 2015 theme for the day is Education. The speakers are: Melissa Benn – Journalist and writer, Kevin Courtney – Asst Gen Sec, National Union of Teachers, Danny Dorling – Radical social geographer and Professor of Geography at Oxford University, author of a recent book on the UK housing crisis.

13th June: Defend Council Housing, 11-4.30pm at Bloomsbury Baptist Church Hall in central London.Tenants and housing campaigners are meeting to spell out how we will win our demands after the election. Sessions on What Next for March for Homes, the Tenants Manifesto, Anti Benefit Cuts campaigns, trade unions and housing, private renters and rent control, and the Fight for Council Housing – against demolition, sell off and privatisation. Get your tenant group, trade union or community organisation to come along. For more details and leaflets contact info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk.

20th June: People’s Assembly National Demonstration and Festival against Austerity in London. More details to come. Assembling at the Bank of England. They are asking for affiliations to the PA and donations to run the march and festival. They have a motion which can be used at branch meetings. Flyers can be printed out too. For more details: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/affiliate

July 6th Unionlearn annual conference 10:00am – 3.00pm Congress House, London. To sign up: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unionlearn-annual-conference-july-2015-tickets-16577988209?aff=mcivte

Other Items of Interest

From the National Shop Stewards Network two items of interest/inspiration given the similar threat we face: NSSN http://shopstewards.net/category/bulletins/

More details on their site as well as other stories.

Unite: Second wave of strikes over Bromley council’s mass privatisation – Bromley council’s plans to carry out a mass privatisation of services are being challenged by members of Unite with a second wave of strikes. The selected strikes from 27 April to 19 May dovetail with the stand of the council’s Labour group which has accused the Conservative-dominated authority of being ‘openly committed to being a ‘commissioning council’ and to reducing the number of council employees from 4,000 to 300’. Unite’s selected strike action will hit libraries (27 April-30 April); the parks (5 May); strikes by all the branch members, except school staff, on 1, 7 and 19 May; and at the Astley care centre and the passenger services (13-19 May).

Unison: UNISON members who still work for Barnet Council (excluding schools staff) will be taking strike action on Thursday 30 April & Friday 1 May – The dispute will involves coach escorts, drivers, social workers, occupational therapists, lschools catering staff, education welfare officers, library workers, children centre workers, street cleaning & refuse workers, all of whom have made it clear they want to remain employees of the Commissioning Council.

Articles

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2015/04/the-slowest-ever-recovery-slows-down-again/

Manufacturing in the balance: https://www.tuc.org.uk/node/122717

http://www.theguardian.com/business/ng-interactive/2015/apr/29/the-austerity-delusion

Jun 032014
 

News

Northampton Blacklisting Protest. On the 23rd May there was an occupation by the Blacklist Supporters Group and members of Unite and Unison of the premises of the Danish Employment Agency Atlanco Rimec in Northampton, who were recently exposed on Danish TV as having kept a secret blacklist. This was part of a day of national action.

Public Support for Reclaims Our NHS

Public Support for Reclaim Our NHS

For press coverage and quotes by Brian Higgins, UCATT Branch Sec from Northampton, who was blacklisted and then endured decades of unemployment see http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-efdb-Campaigners-occupy-blacklister-Atlanco-Rimecs-office#.U43CqiiGfLI. Brian’s 49 page blacklist file is the largest file kept on the covert database and records when he stood up for his fellow workers as a UCATT shop steward and elected convener on building sites in London area during the 1980 and 90s.

Events

Also look at previous newsletters.

5th June: Unison Worth It campaign – Fair Pay for NHS Workers Day of Action. There will be a gathering outside the main Cliftonville entrance of the hospital, probably between 12 and 1. Please come and support. Details will go up on https://www.facebook.com/unisonhospitals.branch and the Worth It campaign national site is https://www.unison.org.uk/our-campaigns/unison-campaigns/worth-it/home/

6th/7th (Friday/Sat) June Women Chainmakers Festival, Cradley Heath, Sandwell. Saturday will be a great day out for the family. Speakers, theatre, music and plenty for the kids to do. For details: 7304_1 Chainmakers_2014_leaflet_final2.

9th June: Trades Council 7.00pm Old Black Lion

14th/15th June: Unionlearn conference 10 to 4 Congress House http://www.unionlearn.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=3236

21st June People’s Assembly National Demonstration and free festival. Assemble 1pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place (Tube: Oxford Circus) March to Parliament. Coaches are being organised from across the country – get in touch with your local People’s Assembly group for transport details: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/local-groups

12th July Sat TUC Young Workers Forum Birmingham. Email rjohnston@tuc.org.uk for details. Topics will include zero hours contracts, job insecurity etc. Would be well worthwhile sending a delegate! We need more young people to be involved with our TUs.

Sept 11th Conference on the Legacy of the Miners’ Strike in Birmingham.
Contact t.potter@staff.newman.ac.uk
Download a flyer for the event.

28th November Midlands TUC Reps Awards Dinner at Aston Villa Football Club! Closing Date for nominations Friday 31st Oct.

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Info/Details from Michelle Kesterton mkesterton@tuc.org.uk.

Links

Reclaim Our NHS has produced a leaflet for distribution. If you can get some copies into your local GP/pharmacy etc it would be great! NHS Leaflet 1

NHS articles etc: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs?utm_source=OurNHS&utm_campaign=ebe1309117-OURNHS_RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_25189be8a1-ebe1309117-407833733

Send an email to the Guatemalan Attorney General re the murder of banana picker trade unionists: http://act.goingtowork.org.uk/page/speakout/bring-murderers-of-banana-trade-unionists-to-justice

Global Worker website (IndustriALL): http://www.industriall-union.org/home

TUC: Campaign in Defence of the Welfare System ‘Save Our Safety Net’. The campaign is looking for a couple who can talk about how hard it would be to wait 6 weeks for benefits if they became unemployed and also someone who found work after being unemployed who can talk about the importance of being given welfare help. Contact Alex Rossiter w 0207 467 1285, mob 07887 572 130 email arossiter@tuc.org.uk

TUC Briefing ‘A Future that Works’ Campaign for the Disabled. Long and detailed briefing, well worth reading. http://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/DisabledPeopleFightingAusterity.pdf

May 082014
 

Events

10th May (Sat). Please join the Independent Socialists in Wellingborough on the International Waendel Walk. Meet 10.00am outside The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough. If you have one, please bring along a small red flag that can fit in your ruck sack! Also wear your Wellingborough Diggers T-shirt (if you have one). There are two walks that we will be

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taking: one 10km and the other 15km. There are great views along and across the Nene valley and regular refreshments breaks (at least one in Great Doddington Working Mens Club, who do great beers and sandwiches/food!!).

12th May 7pm Trades Council Meeting, Old Black Lion.

15th May (Thurs) 7.30: Meeting on future of Palestine at Quaker Meeting House, Northampton. Speaker Baroness Jenny Tonge. Organised by Northampton Al-Bireh (Palestine) Friendship Association. For details: Palestine Meeting

16th May (Friday) International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, The Courtyard, The Guildhall, Northampton. There will be a minute of noise, and we would like to encourage you to bring along instruments to join in with this. The ceremony will be followed by refreshments in the Court Room.Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony – we would like to invite Councillors, community members and community organisations to help Northampton Borough Council recognise the day.

17th May Red Rope Levellers Day Walk details tbc – see http://northampton-redrope-walking-group.org.uk/walks/

27th May 7.15 Reclaim Our NHS Meeting Old Black Lion.

31st May Reclaim Our NHS Stalls: 11am Cobblers’ Last statue Abington St, 2pm second floor of the Grosvenor Centre with Community Courtyard.

6th/7th (Friday/Sat)June Women Chainmakers Festival, Cradley Heath, Sandwell. Saturday will be a great day out for the family. Speakers, theatre, music and planty for the kids to do. For details: 7304_1 Chainmakers_2014_leaflet_final2.

21st June People’s Assembly National Demonstration and free festival. Assemble 1pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place (Tube: Oxford Circus) March to Parliament. Coaches are being organised from across the country – get in touch with your local People’s Assembly group for transport details: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/local-groups

Please Support:

Northamptonshire Police have decided to disband their hate crime unit to save money. See coverage at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-27188924
http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/anti-hate-unit-to-be-disbanded-by-northamptonshire-police-1-6022531

There is a petition online to sign. Contact Anjona Roy for more info.
http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/adrian-lee-protect-the-existing-resources-for-the-northamptonshire-police-hate-crime-unit-to-save-services-that-hate-crime-victims-need?recruiter=16039609&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Reclaim Our NHS Petition: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/nene-clinical-commissioning-group-nene-clinical-commissioning-group-should-ensure-access-to-timely-quality-public-provided-health-care-take-note-of-the-steps-that-we-suggest-2#share

TUC Surveys:

1. Pregnancy. The TUC is undertaking some work on the experiences of women who are discriminated against during pregnancy or while on maternity leave. We are keen to hear from women who have experienced pregnancy discrimination themselves but we are also keen to hear from union officers, reps, and helpline staff who handle these cases and who may be able to give some insight into the types of cases they deal with, whether the cases are resolved or whether they go to tribunal, whether there has been an increase in these types of cases etc. We would also be interested to hear about any sectors or industries where pregnancy discrimination appears to be a particular problem.

The TUC has put together a very short (5 questions) survey to help us to gather information on pregnancy discrimination. The deadline is Friday 16th May. The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PregnancyDiscrimination

2. EU Candidates Survey on workers’ rights and H&S.

The present European Commission have put a moratorium on any new regulations on a range of workers rights and are actively considering reducing rights in some areas. It is clear that a considerable number of MEPs support the Commissions deregulatory agenda. Given that we are shortly to have elections to the European Parliament, you may want to consider gauging the views of candidates in your area to seek to try to commit

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them to voting to keep or expand existing rights on health and safety, working time and agency workers. The TUC has drafted a European elections survey that you might want to consider issuing to all candidates. It can be adapted to meet any local concerns. Given that most European constituencies cover the area of a number of Trades Councils, you are encouraged to liaise with other local Trades Council and the regional TUC.

3. Job Insecurity.

The TUC is launching a survey on job insecurity. Please find attached a leaflet promoting the survey. We would be very grateful if you could promote the survey and encourage responses amongst your networks. The TUC is particularly interested in responses from zero hours contract workers, agency workers, and those in temporary work. But we are also keen to hear from other workers who face problems of short hours working, job insecurity and / or low pay. We will use the findings from the survey as part of our campaign for a better deal for people at work. The survey will go live at http://www.tuc.org.uk/jobinsecurity on 2 May 2014 and will close on 20 June 2014.

Media Coverage of Interest

Firefighters’ Strike: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/video-northampton-firefighters-go-on-strike-for-five-hours-in-row-over-pensions-1-6036921

Cuts in healthcare jobs: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/unions-say-almost-250-northamptonshire-healthcare-nhs-staff-at-risk-of-redundancy-1-6022846

Also in today’s Chronicle but not yet online.

 

 

Mar 082014
 

I am not repeating the details of all the events on previous lists so please remind yourselves of those by looking back.

Events

8th March Diggers Festival. Details in previous newsletters, but an urgent change of evening venue has come through:

Due to circumstances outside of our control the Diggers Festival evening event will no longer be taking place at Gleneagles Social Club. The event is now continuing direct after the ‘fringe’ from 7:30pm in the Horseshoe Inn, 36 Sheep Street, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1BS. If you are driving there is plenty of free car parking in the town

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centre nearby (please note – during the afternoon the Morrisons carpark is only free for 3 hours – otherwise I think you could be charged). If you have any concerns or enquiries please do not hesitate to contact me on 07958 639 692.

There will be plenty of real ale and its a great live music venue in Wellingborough and I would like to say a big thank you to Debbie and Nick at the Horseshoe for their support.

8th March International Women’s Day – see below for two useful links.

10th March 7.00 pm NTUC Meeting Old Black Lion. Agenda and Mins have been sent out by John. Please see below for summary of interesting report from Unite about NGH and cuts to the out of hours pathology service payments.

15th March People’s Assembly reminder: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/recall_conference.

16th March Red Rope Walk: The next Northampton Red Rope walk takes place on Sunday 16th March. Meet at 10 a.m. outside the Church of St Michael & All Angels, Creaton. (G.R. 706 718—Post Code for shop/Post Office near the church is NN6 8NA) A varied walk with sweeping panoramic views at times, via Hollowell and Cottesbrooke. Please e-mail Roger Rees if you are going to join us on this walk. Details of this walk and Red Rope Poster March. The Northampton Red Rope group can be contacted via the website at: http://northampton-redrope-walking-group.org.uk/

7 and 8 April Searchlight Conference. The University of Northampton’s School of Social Sciences will be playing host to a conference to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the anti-fascist Searchlight group. Searchlight, formed as an occasional newspaper and later anti-fascist press agency and from 1975 a regular magazine, has been at the forefront of the anti-fascist movement for half a century. For details and registration please contact daniel.jones@northampton.ac.uk

Reports/Campaigns/Links

Out of Hours Cut to Pathology provision at NGHUrgent. Unite has sent us a report of this dangerous cut and threat to staff pay.Please take a look. Letters to the hospital and paper would be welcome. I produce a summary here as can’t get it to link atm.

NGH management have terminated the NGH Pathology Composite Agreement 2002 which linked the development of the Pathology 24/7 availability of diagnostic laboratory tests

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and a reward package for laboratory staff. There is no basis for the current moves by NGH management to cut Out of Hours payments for Pathology staff by

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80% – meaning a reduction of up to a third of members pay, apart from the panic reduction of the NGH pay bill due to government cuts to the so called “ring fenced” NHS budget.

Their declaration of “wanting to take the cost out” of Pathology OOH is both unrealistic and irresponsible by NGH management and, if implemented, will lead to the collapse of a service providing 24/7 blood tests for NGH patients. It is likely that the current situation will end with industrial action by the Pathology blood test staff.

Collapse of NHS 24/7 blood test provision has occurred in other parts of the country when cost saving initiatives have been imposed by NHS management. This resulted in high

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cost locum staff having to be employed at agency rates which are far in excess of NHS rates.

It is strange then that NGH are prepared to employ locum medical staff in NGH A/E for £1500 – a night – yet seem to begrudge highly qualified, in house, diagnostic support staff £7500- per year – to provide this increasingly vital service on a 24/7 basis including every night, weekend, bank holiday. NorthantsUNITE Health Sector Branch fully support the NGH Pathology membership and condemn NGH management for their incompetent management of this situation.

Hospital Closure Clause: On Tuesday, the government could get free rein to close hospitals across the country. But, MPs will now have a chance to vote on an amendment which would scrap the hospital closure clause. Can you contact your MP to ask them to vote for this crucial solution? Please go to list of petitions and pick one on closures to email your MP. http://www.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns

Community Action & Advice Weekly drop-in advice surgery: St James Community Centre on St James Square, every Friday 10:30am – 1:00pm. Support and donations from the following groups have made this possible: Northampton Defend Council Housing, Northants Disabled People Against Cuts & Northampton Save Our Services. http://northamptondefendcouncilhousing.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/weekly-drop-in-surgery-up-and-running/

International Women’s Day today – useful websites: https://www.facebook.com/Internationalwomensday http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Support Women of Cambodia: http://strongerunions.org/2014/03/07/world-is-watching-as-women-workers-protest-in-cambodia/

Abolition of the Independent Living Fund Touchstone Article: http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2014/03/abolishing-the-independent-living-fund

Feb 182014
 

Events

19 February ATOS Northampton Demo at 12:00 at Northampton Assessment Centre, Gladstone Business Way, Heathfield Way, off Gladstone Road, Dallington, Northampton NN5 7QA https://www.facebook.com/events/651698731519599/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&source=1

20th Feb This Thursday: Demo at against NCC budget cuts. Assemble 9.15 for 9.30 start outside County Hall George Row. Placards will be provided. Please come along, even if for a short while.

25th Feb: The 2014 conference on pay bargaining organised by the TUC and Incomes Data Services will take place on Tuesday 25 February in Congress House. The theme will be “A Decent Pay System” and the event will combine a discussion about the design of a better pay system with realistic guidance and information for union officers. Sessions will cover pay benchmarking, pay progression, performance management, skills and lessons from union successes. The keynote speaker will be Ed Sweeney, recently retired as Chair of ACAS. Unions are able to book places for substantially less than the fee normally charged for equivalent

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events organised by Incomes Data Services alone. http://www.tuc.org.uk/node/119241

8th March Diggers’ Festival Wellingborough – for details, venues etc: http://www.diggersfestival.org.uk/index.aspx?code=00010001

8th March: Better Way Demo at Lib Dem Spring Conference in York: http://www.tuc.org.uk/node/119241

10th March Trades Council: details tbc

15th March People’s Assembly Conference. Go here for details and registration: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/recall_conference

22nd March Stand Up Against Racism and Fascism 11am Parliament Sq: http://www.tuc.org.uk/node/119579

22nd/23rd March TUC Young Worker’s Conference: The TUC Young Workers Conference is held annually at the home of the TUC, Congress House in London. The Conference allows young trade union members to take part in shaping the work programmme of the TUC Young Workers Forum and inform TUC policy. The conference will discuss and debate motions submitted by TUC affiliates and there will also be a number of workshops on issues relevant to the issues faced by young workers. Before the formal start of the Conference there will be a networking event for women delegates and visitors. This begins at 11am on Saturday March 22nd in Congress House. http://www.tuc.org.uk/node/119510

26th April: Derby 180th of Silk Mill Lock Out – advance notice of date

26th April: Corby Workers’ Memorial Day. GMB Northants Community branch will be holding an event to mark the day. We will be holding it at 1100.am at the Steelworker Statue in James Ashurst VC Square, Corby town centre.

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If the weather is poor we will hold it in the council chamber. Speakers will include Andy Sawford and Hannah from Labour Behind the Label who work to help those, particularly in the clothing industry in Asia, who have few if any rights and make the clothes most of wear everyday. We will be entertained before the event by Youth Brass 2000 who played last year and were very well received.

7th June: Women’s Chainmakers’ Festival – advance notice of date.

Useful links and requests for help

Left Unity have produced an International Woman’s Day Broadsheet with a lot of articles on topical issues, three of which have been written by Northampton women: IWD

Barnet Unison and GMB asks you to watch You Tube about the removal of facility time and then sign their petition and consider sending them a message of support from your union: http://youtu.be/ciyhwesraBs

 

Dec 192013
 

Last newsletter before Xmas! I will try to get a calendar out over the holiday – there are several dates in here so please have a good look through. I hope you all get at least some break over the Xmas period.

Trades Council Report

Different unions and organisations are now being asked to discuss and come up with some ideas for the Vision For Northampton, so you or your union/organisation may be contacted in the near future with suggestions on how to go about this. Please could you put the item on your branch or meeting agenda.

REGIONAL TUC MOTION 2014 in support of the right of students to protest has been sent to the Regional TUC.

Next AGM Monday 10th February 2014: John has circulated details and nomination forms. There will be a motion for moving the AGM to Jan in 2015. Please make sure your branch gets a rep along.

NCC Budget Cuts

An 8 week public consultation will launched by Northamptonshire County Council this week and closes 4th February 2014. It is likely there will be no real choices nor proper consultation.

Cabinet Paperwork
https://cmis.northamptonshire.gov.uk/cmis5live/MeetingsCalendar/tabid/73/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/410/Meeting/2211/Committee/399/Default.aspx

List of Cuts/Savings (with Equality Impact Assessments)
http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/en/councilservices/council/equalities/pages/budgetequalityimpactassessments.aspx

The main issues of concern are:-

* Connexions staff reduction – quality of service implication

* Care provider funding – reducing funding to providers (includes Olympus Care), and/or going with cheaper providers – Implications of quality of service, and care worker pay/conditions. eg increasing use of zero hours contracts or reducing pay and terms and conditons of staff. Care home funding is already at below acceptable levels after funding reductions over last 3 years

* Public Health department restructure – reduce staff and impact on delivery

* Merging of police and Fire & Rescue – staff implications (could reduce number of staff, and/or pay and terms and conditions) and subsequent implications for quality of service

* Voluntary Sector Funding reduction – charities and voluntary groups could close or reduce their activities

* Social Services staffing reduction (MAP Team) – reduce back office staff, and impact on placements. This could be time taken to allocate care worker or move someone into a care home. Also more placements could be made inappropriately. eg. more “15 minutes of personal care”

*

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LGSS Proposals – reduce back office staff for HR, Finance and IT departments which are already stretched. Impact on other departments (eg social services) reliant on these back office functions

* Charging for Social Care – increasing charges for placements and transport, especially for non-statutory and low level needs – will this be affordable for users?!

Could everyone looks at the detail of the draft budget to identify what are the concerns which are worth protesting about, over the Xmas and New Year period with a view to having a meeting early Jan? Alternatively, if any campaign groups wish to lead

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a campaign perhaps contact NTUC who will can circulate an invite on your behalf to our contact list?

Also if you require further detail about any of the proposals then it will be worth going along to the various Scrutiny meetings on different topics – further information and dates of meetings here: Scrutiny – draft budget

Useful links and other resources and events:

Left Unity: Meeting tonight at Old Black Lion at 7 for members and open for non-members 8pm. Next meetings January 8th and 22nd. These will also be for party members in the first hour, second hour open to non-members.

One billion and rising global day of action against violence against women. The Northampton Borough Women’s Forum has set up a working group to organise an event on February 14th. They are looking at having an event at lunch time in the Market Square. Please note the date in your diary. More info to come.


People’s Assembly
: Action Plan of events including support for students, Women’s Assembly, Budget events and then May Day etc.

Red Rope: Please see Jan + Feb Walks Publicity 2 for the walks early next year – first will be 19th Jan.

Austerity Uncovered: A longer video of the bus tour is now available.

Left Economics Advisory Panel (LEAP) for interesting blogs and other info: here

National Shop Stewards Network: Current Bulletin

DCH – Useful stats on housing situation: http://northamptondefendcouncilhousing.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/the-housing-situation-in-northampton/

TUC

Current Touchstone blogs

TUC Action Plan

 

 

Oct 272013
 

Events

31st Oct Thurs: UCU and Unison strike action. Picket line on both campuses from 8 to 12 depending on numbers. Please support!

2nd Nov Sat Daventry Protest March. ‘Like everywhere else in the country, Daventry has been hit hard by the Tory attacks on the public sector. In the last few months the local cardiac unit and ambulance station have closed. Now we have been told a local nursing home will be closing down, with a loss of thirty beds. On 2nd November there will be a public march and rally through Daventry to protest against the attacks on our NHS. Having had the pleasure of campaigning with you all in the past, it would be great if you and some of

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your members could join us. The march will start at 10:00 am and finish at 11:00 am. Labour Councillor Wendy Randall is in charge of arranging the march and can be contacted on 07840747348 or wendyrandall121@hotmail.co.uk’

4th Nov Monday CWU strike. We will let you know picket line details as and when. http://www.cwu.org/postal-workers-vote-4-to-1-for-strike-action.html

5th November Tuesday: Bonfire of Austerity. The People’s Assembly is calling for protest in every town. http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/5nov/ Have we any plans for Northampton? Please let me know.

5th/6th Nov Wed: NAPO strike (probation and family court staff union) 12 noon on 5th Nov to 12 noon on the 6th in response to the government’s plans to sell off 70% of the probation service. More details to follow.

9th November Sat Labour Assembly Against Austerity 9am – 5pm, Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX The Labour Assembly Against Austerity will provide a forum for Labour Party members to discuss alternatives to austerity and the policies Labour needs to stimulate growth, jobs and rising living standards. http://labourassemblyagainstausterity.org.uk/

14th November Trades Council 7.15 Old Black Lion. Please could as many delegates attend as possible for an important discussion on the way forward. Non-affiliated unions welcome to come and join in.

16th Nov Sat: The Campaign For State Education’s Reclaiming Education Conference. Reclaiming Education flyer No 2

30th Nov Sat National Shop Stewards Birmingham

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Conference: http://shopstewards.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Midlands-Conference-2013-Flyer-A5.pdf

Feb 2014 Women’s Assembly Against Austerity: Following the success of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, which saw over 3,000 people fill Central Hall Westminster, the National Assembly of Women is working with other women from Stop the War, CND, People’s Charter and Charter for Women to organise a Women’s Assembly Against Austerity.

This event will take place in London in February 2014 and a call has gone out for support to women’s organisation, women-led organisations, leading women from trade unions, anti racist and anti discrimination struggles, plus other influential women in public life. The only criteria

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is that they must be anti austerity and support the founding statement of the People’s Assembly. The purpose of the Women’s Assembly is to:

· Give voice to the impact that policies of austerity and privatisation are having on women in Britain

· Develop thinking about the alternatives to austerity from women’s perspective

· Encourage women in resisting through linking up and learning from each other, including between women’s organisations and women in the labour and trade union movement

· Ensure that women are at the front and centre of a UK movement against austerity and in developing the alternative

The aim is not to set up a new women’s organisation, but rather bring together existing organisations and women to work together against austerity.

Contact details: http://www.sisters.org.uk/2contactus.html

Other issues

Blacklisting. We have been sent a transcript of Hansard of the blacklisting debate in October. Blacklisting debate 16th OCtober

Solidarity Shopping. A new initiative begun in Australia I believe. They are looking for crowd sourcing and asking unions and Trades Councils to subscribe: http://www.notamazon.co.uk/bulletins/TUCs.html

Stories in the local press:

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/new-firefighter-strike-dates-announced-in-november-1-5626969

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/health/health-news/275-million-shortfall-in-nhs-northamptonshire-and-county-council-funding-1-5592510

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/social-workers-at-risk-of-burning-out-due-to-high-number-of-vacancies-in-northamptonshire-1-5620183

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/more-than-68-million-handed-out-in-housing-benefits-by-northampton-borough-council-1-5619774

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/ngh-to-be-inspected-as-a-priority-by-care-quality-commission-1-5618396
Also, parish councils and residents groups are being asked to take on maintenance work for some rural roads! Could include verges, hedges and clearing ditches!! Please take a look at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Northamptonshire_Asset_Management

Jun 062013
 

TUC

Don’t forget you can sign up for as many TUC alerts as you want on a whole range of topics: http://www.tuc.org.uk/mediacentre/register.cfm

Union numbers

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hold up, thanks to women: http://strongerunions.org/2013/05/30/union-numbers-hold-up-thanks-to-women/

The Economics of the CSR & 2015: http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/05/the-economics-of-the-csr-2015

Robin Hood Fortnight in the Financial Times: http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/05/robin-hood-month-in-the-financial-times

Risks 607 – 1 June 2013: Health and Safety newsletter 1 June 2013 http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-22244-f0.cfm

Unions in Turkey are striking in protest at crackdowns on protestors. Please show your solidarity by

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writing to the Turkish government with Labourstart’s latest online action: http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1840

Other info

People’s assembly 22nd June. You can still register for this at http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/register/

The National Shop Stewards network emails out

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a very useful list of both current union ballots and action, and also a calendar of useful local and national events: http://shopstewards.net/

Apr 182013
 

This newsletter will contain both NTUC and NADS news. Ben will no longer be doing the NADS newsletter due to his many other commitments so until we get a new NADS newsletter editor (volunteers welcome!) we will put up NADS news on this blog and divert the NADS

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website traffic here.

I want to take the opportunity to thank Ben for all his hard work. People don’t always appreciate all the behind the scenes activity, but Ben has organised or helped to organise many NADS and NTUC activities. Apart from the newsletter he has booked rooms, made phone calls, printed leaflets, been a stalwart attender and organiser of meetings and demos and ferried equipment around in order to set up stalls. Given the distance he lives from Northampton, his level of commitment has been amazing.

I will be putting up a separate entry soon with TUC news.

Events

April 21st Sunday Stand Up For Labour Picturedrome 7.30. The comedian Sara Pascoe will perform and there will be guest speakers. Tickets and details at http://www.wegottickets.com/event/214901 or reserve by calling 07436 698158

23rd April 19.30 Trades Unionists and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Public Meeting Vernon St Community Centre, Stockley St, Northampton, NN1 5HE

23rd April Tuesday The Spirit of ’45 directed by the radical film director Ken Loach. Amongst other things the film is a ‘call to arms’ against the current age of austerity. Viewings at 10.30am and again at 8.00pm and on Thursday 25th at 10.30am. It’s planned to hand out a NADS/anti-cuts leaflet from 7.30pm before the 8pm showing. If you can help with that please let Ron know (Ron.Mendel@northampton.ac.uk) or John Clarke (jcclarke52@yahoo.co.uk).

27th April Sat Stop the Bedroom Tax demo Northampton town centre from 1 to 4 pm. Details here: http://www.facebook.com/events/347667422002220/

27th and 28th April Sunday Workers’ Memorial Day – Corby and Northampton

NTUC will be holding a short commemoration in Abingdon St from midday on the 28th, with a petition, leaflet, posters etc. Please come along and support.

There will also be a commemoration organised by the GMB in Corby at 11am Sat 27th outside the Cube at the Steelworkers’ statue. Speakers include MP Andy Sawford. This will be followed by a light buffet. The Youth 2000 Brass Band will play before the event.

22nd June Sat Westminster Hall People’s Assembly. There is a new website for this event http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/ If you want to go you need to hurry as places are booking out and they already may have to have overspill facilities.

 

Feb 262013
 

Demo Against NCC Budget CutsWell I’m back again! Nick isn’t able to take on the Assistant Sec job at the moment as he’ll be moving to a different branch of Unite and will have to get re-elected as a delegate to NTUC. Let’s hope that happens soon, as we need his energy and

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enthusiasm!

As you have discovered, we now have an NTUC blog. It won’t be for discussions as we haven’t time to moderate it and there are plenty of other forums for that. But we will try to keep you up to date with events and newsletters.

I

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have divided this newsletter into two blog entries as it will be too long otherwise. I will put all the TUC info on courses, H&S and interesting blogs on a separate page. So please take a look at it as well.

We will also be putting some help pages up. We currently get queries from mainly non-unionised people who want to know what union they should join, how to go about it and also how to deal with problems such as disciplinaries, redundancy, bullying and health and safety. I am currently drafting some pages with links – once they are up you can let me know if I need to alter it or add info. It will be work in progress – I’d like to get at least something up pretty soon.

Dates for your diary:

1st March : Work Your Proper Hours Day 2013. If staff who regularly work unpaid overtime totted up all the extra hours they put in, and run them from the start of the year they’d be working for free… http://www.worksmart.org.uk/news/2013/02/march-1-is-work-your-proper-hours-day-2013

8th March: Unions21 Conference at the TUC. Details and

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registration: http://www.unions21.org.uk/events/annual-conference-2013-strong-unions-turning-the-t

14th March: NTUC at the Doddridge

23rd March: Campaign for Trade Union Freedom Launch & Rally 1:30 – 4:30pm at Friend’s Meeting House, Euston Road, London

22nd June: People’s Assembly – see http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/ for details and how to register. Also a model resolution proposing delegates.

Sat 29th June: Camden Centre, London NSSN 7th Annual Conference.

Prevention and Demand Management Strategy Consultation

Northamptonshire

County Council is holding consultation events around the county to ‘seek your views on what you think about the strategy and the outcomes for children, families and adults’. Send a form to Helen Scott: hhscott@northamptonshire.gov.uk or call 01604 363005 byMarch 1st 2013. http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/prevention

DCH Go to http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/ for petition and campaign news.

Connolly Association/cards. A bit early for Mayday yet but a reminder that the Connolly Association sells lots of different cards with socialist themes via Peter Mulligan. Contact Northampton Connolly Association 5 Woodland Avenue, Abington, Northampton NN3 2BY. Tel. 01604-715793 e-mail. pmcelt@o2.co.uk . I have discovered a blog linked to the Association: http://maryrussellwriter.wordpress.com/tag/northampton-connolly-association/.

Petitions

Trade Unionists in Turkey arrested: http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1742