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