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.

 

 

Dec 082013
 
  • WP_20131203_007Apologies for the delay between newsletters. I haven’t had much sent to me, but there are various things going on. For example UCU has taken another day of action – see picture of the latest round (left) and report below.

Local Events

9th December Trades Council Old Black Lion.

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6 to 7pm short TC business meeting, 7 to 8pm Vision Discussion. Please make a big effort to attend the next Trades Council. John Buckell has sent out the agenda and minutes. It will start early so we can spend time dedicated to the new initiative to produce a Vision For Northampton.

The last meeting endorsed this enthusiastically and we hope that unions and other organisations will get on board. This part of the meeting will be open to non-affiliates and organisations who are interested in having an input so please come along.

Dec 12th GFTU Conference Quorn Leicester. The GFTU’s Educational Trust are holding a trade union tutors event at its Hotel in Leicestershire where the eminent socialist progressive educator, Professor Julion Gambina, will be addressing those attending, providing a unique insight into Popular Education in Latin America. GFTU trade union tutors event 2013_Flyer.

March 8th Saturday: Wellingborough Diggers Festival. Early notice for your diaries. Tickets available in the New Year. Alan Moore and Attila the Stockbroker will be there! There is a new website up, but still in development so take a look. http://www.diggersfestival.org.uk/index.aspx?code=00010001

Reports

Reclaim Our NHS has met and has decided on various steps forward including the production of a leaflet, countering the Nene CCG survey of the public by developing their own, setting up a twitter account (@ReclaimrNHSNptn – please follow), and following up reports on rationing of elective surgery. See for up to date info: https://www.facebook.com/NorthamptonReclaimOurNHS

Joint Union Action at the University

University lecturers and support staff represented by UCU and UNISON, respectively, at the University of Northampton participated in two strikes in pursuit of a fair and affordable pay increase on Thursday 31 October and Tuesday 3 December. The immediate objective of the strikes was to put pressure on the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) to return to the bargaining table and to negotiate in good faith on the joint union claim, which seeks to address the 13% pay cut in real terms which Higher Education staff have experienced since 2009. Both strikes received support from students and from the general public as evidenced by numerous motorists honking their horns and good media coverage. University lecturers have been working to contract since 1 November, which means that they are not taking on additional duties, not covering for sick colleagues and, where possible, avoiding working evenings and over the weekend. Plans are in the pipeline for an escalation of the campaign in the spring term with the possibility of a marking boycott.

Resources

Touchstone Blogs. If you have never read the TUC’s Touchstone blogs you should now! The up to date comments on political and economic matters with useful statistics give Trade Unionists a better understanding of the issues we face and arm us with the facts we need. Some of the latest useful articles include the Autumn statement, Housing, Universal credit, pensions and the Robin Hood Tax as well as various others on related matters:

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/12/the-great-universal-credit-disaster-and-what-it-tells-us-about-ids
http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/12/universal-credit-smaller-than-you-may-have-thought
http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/12/autumn-statement-a-first-step-against-bogus-self-employment
http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/12/autumn-statement-wont-cure-the-housing-crisis
http//touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/12/young-people-short-changed-from-the-autumn-statement
http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/12/european-lawyers-rain-on-osbornes-parade-over-the-robin-hood-tax

TUC Online Courses

There are still spaces for the following TUC online courses starting in Jan. These courses are well worth doing so please take a look: Trade Unions and the Environment, Going Global, Cancer in the Workplace, Introduction to Pensions, Equality Reps, Disability Champions at Work. For more details go to complete list http://www.unionlearn.org.uk/our-courses

Sep 202013
 

There’s lots of action coming up and it would be good if we could support each other as each event comes along. Please send me details of any picket lines/events – the newsletter

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potentially reaches several hundred people who could support you. Also, it would be good to get pictures and reports of any action – there’s often little press coverage, so let’s get these events known about!

Events

21st Sept 11.00am: Reclaim Our NHS will have a stall at the Cobblers Last, Abington St. Volunteers very welcome!

25th Sept Firemen’s Strike. Details tbc.

26th Sept: Unison demo at NCC – see previous newsletter for more details. Please come along if you can.

29th Sept Manchester demo – see previous newsletter. There are some places left on the coach, but not many, so please book asap if you want to go.

1st October: Teachers will be on strike. Possible rally tbc.

9th October: Healthwatch Event Franklin’s Gardens. Chance to have a say on NHS. http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/public-asked-to-influence-nhs-in-northamptonshire-1-5508322

CWU Royal Mail Privatisation: the strike ballot outcome should be known around 3rd Oct with any action taking place a week after that. http://www.cwu.org/save-our-royal-mail.html

NAPO – probation privatisation. This is an ongoing campaign. Please see http://www.napo.org.uk/about/probationunderthreat.cfm for campaign details, as well as a petition and model letter. Also NAPO

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PR.

Wider Campaigns

Petition 8 companies who aren’t signing up

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to a new deal for workers following the Bangladesh fire: http://action.goingtowork.org.uk/page/speakout/tell-high-street-brands-to-fix-dangerous-factories-in-bangladesh

Women’s Assembly. There has been a suggestion to hold an assembly in January with an anti-austerity focus and as an addition to the People’s Assembly. If anyone is interested in getting more involved contact me initially and I’ll put you on to the right people. See Womens Assembly proposal

Mar 182013
 

Hi, I am slowly getting the hang of writing blogs, but please bear with any errors of format and style!

Events

Wed 20th March: Please support the PCS action by calling in on a picket line. They will be in the usual places, including Northgate House in Sheep St, the MOJ Bulk Centre in St Katherines St, the Job Centre in the Lower Mounts and the courts from 7.30. There will be a gathering for a photo call at some stage – we’ll try and get more details out later.

Sat 23rd March am: Help is needed for the NHS action on staff shortages, bed shortages etc at NGH, planned by Northampton Reclaim Our NHS group and supported by NADS and NTUC. There will be some street theatre with people dressed as doctors, nurses and patients, but if you don’t fancy that, people will be needed for the stall and giving out leaflets. Please contact Ron Mendel or Ben King. Details of event tbc.

Also on the 23rd :

The Labour Party has a conference on Education Policy 10 -12.30 at University of Northampton, Park Campus Sulgrave Building. Target participants are Labour Party members, Labour Party supporters, local educators. The purpose of the seminar is to consider current trends in education 5 – 19, and consider a Northampton contribution to national policy.There will be speakers and workshops on academies, the

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your place by contacting John Palethorpe or Danielle Stone at northamptonlabour@gmail.com

June 29th: National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) 7th national annual conference 11am-5pm, Saturday June 29th, Camden Centre, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE – initial speakers confirmed: union general secretaries – Mark Serwotka PCS, Billy Hayes CWU and

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Steve Gillan POA. The entrance fee is £6. Cheques can be made payable to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’ – either email info@shopstewards.net or reply to PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE

Other union news

Unite members: there will be a General Secretary Election Meeting at the Cotton Club, Main Rd Far Cotton, NN4 8EN on Wed 20th March at 7.30. All members welcome.

The FBU is campaigning against the Public Public Sector Pensions Bill which will raise the age of retirement for firefighters to 60. Yet its own report published earlier this year shows most firefighters cannot work safely until that age. More info from the FBU website.

TUC

Vacancies

Campaign Manager – Community, issued 07 Mar 2013. Salary/Hours: £27,919.87 P/A & Benefits. Full time. Location: Earls Barton, Northampton. Closing date: 22 Mar 2013 23:59 For details click here: Campaign Manager

Midlands Regional Organiser – The Musicians Union, issued 15 Mar 2013. Salary/Hours: £45,000 incl car (a full driving licence is an essential requirement). 37.5 hours per week. Location: Birmingham. Closing date: 08 Apr 2013 23:59. For details click Regional Organiser

Health and Safety

Risks 597 – 16 March 2013 Health and safety newsletter 16 March 2013

Hazards at Work – get your copy now! The new edition of the TUC’s best-selling guide to health and safety at work it out now. It is used by reps, officers, employers, professionals in the field and even enforcement officers. Find out more, including how to get hold of your copy click here: Hazards at Work

Burnout bigger heart attack risk than smoking, says new research. For details click Burnout