NTUC Newsletter April 2015

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.


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.



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




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.


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.


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


TRADES COUNCIL TODAY Thursday 14th Nov 7.15, Old Black Lion. Very important discussion on Trades Council, attendance, future developments/priorities etc. Please could all affiliates

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send someone along – non-affiliates would be very welcome as well. If you can’t attend you can still send in your thoughts to Ron.

FBU action: the FBU has taken part in their 4th strike action. The Executive Council has decided to ballot over other forms of action short of a strike as well. For up to date info on the general position see http://www.fbu.org.uk/archives/7399

NAPO: held a very successful 24 hours of strike action and are now doing action short of a strike. Chron coverage: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/local/probation-workers-in-northampton-begin-24-hour-strike-1-5651122

The CWU suspended their action for more talks. Here is the current update – there has been an extension in discussions until the 27th

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Nov: http://www.cwu.org/news/archive/royal-mail-dispute-update.html

Daventry March on the NHS. Newspaper coverage and video: https://twitter.com/BrixworthLabour/status/398865632168783872/photo/1http://www.daventryexpress.co.uk/news/local/cardiac-unit-closure-march-wins-support-1-5662786


Also see previous newsletter

TONIGHT 14th Nov see Question Time 10.35 when there will be someone from the Save Portsmouth Shipyard Campaign. I believe the GMB has organised a protest outside too. Portsmouth TUC is very involved in the Campaign and I am sure messages of support would be welcome: https://www.facebook.com/saveportsmouthshipyard

18th November Monday to 24th Nov Sunday Local Human Rights Week organised by the Northampton Rights and Equality Council: press release NREC Human Rights week

20th November Wed TUC

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day on Blacklisting: Please see union links on TUC page for any events: http://www.tuc.org.uk//workplace-issues/employment-rights/health-and-safety/own-pay-clean-tuc-day-action-blacklisting

3rd December: Next joint strike action by UCU, Unison and Unite. Please support the picket lines that day – details to come: http://www.ucu.org.uk/6833, http://www.unison.org.uk/news/university-staff-announce-3-december-for-second-date-of-strike-action and http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/own-up-pay-up-clean-up-tuc-day-of-action-on-blacklisting/university-staff-announce-3-december-for-second-date-of-strike-action/

Other useful links and requests for help

Unison victory over derecognition battle in Bradford – important to see these battles can be fought and won: http://www.unison.org.uk/news/union-wins-bradford-derecognition-battle

Union Learn conference video: http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=ebd004a8047907dc47d269fd1&id=98468d960a&e=b4e78b83fe

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation website is full of useful reports and statistics. Here’s one of their latest : http://data.jrf.org.uk/data/low-pay-age-industry/

Defend Council Housing latest newsletter: http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/

Female Genital Mutilation petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52740

Murder of Colombian Trade Unionist – please send letter – only takes a few seconds: http://www.iuf.org/cgi-bin/campaigns/show_campaign.cgi?c=800

August Newsletter


Saturday 10th August: Protest against zero hours contracts 11am outside Sports Direct, Abington Street, Northampton. For further info see http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/505303316217365/ . For more information contact Steve on 07813 800469. Youth Fight For Jobs is supported

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by the following Trade Unions: CWU, UCU, TSSA, PCS, RMT and Unite. Please support this protest. On this topic – Teddy sent us this useful link to a Unison fact sheet https://www.unison.org.uk/upload/sharepoint/Briefings%20and%20Circulars/Zero%20Hours%20Factsheet.pdf

Sat/Sunday 17th and 18th August: Umbrella Fair on the Racecourse. http://www.umbrellafair.org.uk/events/umbrella-fair-festival NTUC will be coordinating a stall as usual. Any organisations/unions

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wishing to join us please let Pat and Ron know asap. We also need volunteers to help with manning the stall.

Sunday 29th September TUC demonstration at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester for the NHS, jobs and services and against austerity. More details at http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/tuc-22405-f0.cfm along with pdfs of posters etc. The Regional TUC will provide a subsidy for NTUC to hire a coach. Please could any union who would like to join with us and help with costs rather than booking their own coach get in touch with Ron asap.

Other useful bits and pieces

Migration Myth Busting fact sheet: Mythbusting sheet on migration

Touchstone Blog on supposed economic improvements: http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/08/the-service-sector-pmi-5-quick-thoughts

Unionlearn – Making the Case for Learning and Skills in the Health Sector http://www.unionlearn.org.uk/our-work-and-projects/skills-investment/making-case-learning-and-skills-health-sector

Risks 616 – 3 August 2013
Health and safety newsletter 3 August 2013 http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-22435-f0.cfm

TUC and Links July 2013

Useful TUC news and other links.

http://www.unionlearn.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=1398 New Union Learning Reps Stage 2 Online Course starting Sept.

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1940 ACAS East Midlands news/conferences –

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of interest to Trade Unionists.

https://www.tuclearning.net/ – find out about TUC e-notes, which bring you up to date info on a range of issues eg facility time, paternity rights etc.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/index.cfm?mins=156&minors=124&majorsubjectid=2 See all back copies of Risks newsletter

http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-22325-f0.cfm Self employed and the Health and Safety at Work Act. This briefing outlines the proposals in the Deregulation Bill and to exempt certain self-employed persons

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from the Health and Safety at Work Act and outlines the TUC’s objections.


http://www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/611/How%20to%20Boost%20the%20Wage%20Share.pdf New Pamphlet ‘How To Boost the

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Wage Share’


http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/07/when-cuts-cost-lives-womens-economic-independence-and-domestic-violence When cuts cost lives: women’s economic independence and domestic violence

http://northamptondefendcouncilhousing.wordpress.com/2013/07/ – NBC rent

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