Thursday, 18 November 2010

Reply from Chairman = NO

From Darren

Here is Brian Coleman's response to the formal question I tabled at today's Fire Authority meeting, requesting an investigation into injuries to firefighters excercising their legal right to strike.

(i) Question 257 from Councillor Darren Johnson AM (Green Party):
Will the Chairman request the Commissioner undertakes a formal investigation, including an independent element, of the following > reported incidents during industrial action on 1 November:

a) firefighter hit by a car at Croydon Fire Station, and withholding
of first aid equipment;
b) FBU London representative and firefighter hit by fire engines at Southwark Fire Station

And will the Chairman ensure that the findings of such an investigation are published?

Reply from Chairman
> Darren Johnson AM
> Green Party Member
> London Assembly
> City Hall
> Queens Walk
> London SE1 2AA
> 020 7983 4388

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Mayor must call chair of Fire Authority to account & Darren Johnson's formal question for the 18th November LFEPA meeting.

News Release
Darren Johnson
London Assembly Green Party Member

Press Office: 020 7983 4424, 07967 205 330 Darren:07887 737 276
9th November 2010

Mayor must call chair of Fire Authority to account

Darren Johnson has responded to comments by Brian Coleman, the chair ofthe London Fire and Emergency Authority. Mr Coleman has suggested that Fire Brigade officers should explore, as part of the budget process, whether the Brigade needs all 27 of the fire appliances removed from
stations during the current industrial action to be returned or whether there is an over-supply of appliances.

Darren Johnson said:

"It is highly provocative and badly timed comment, which raises the prospect of unacceptable cuts to the fire service in London. Most Londoners breathed a sigh of relief when the Fire Brigades Union responded to legitimate concerns over safety and called off their strike
on bonfire night. The chair of the Authority should be helping to sort out the trade union's grievances, not stirring things up in this way.

The London Mayor needs to step in and remove Brian Coleman from his role as chair, as he has become a barrier to the dispute being resolved."


Darren Johnson is available for comment


Darren Johnson's
formal question for the 18th November LFEPA meeting.

'Industrial action on 1 November: investigation of incidents'

Darren Johnson

Will the Chairman request the Commissioner undertakes a formal investigation, including an independent element, of the following reported incidents during industrial action on 1 November:

a) firefighter hit by a car at Croydon Fire Station, and withholding of first aid equipment;
b) FBU London representative and firefighter hit by fire engines at Southwark Fire Station?

And will the Chairman ensure that the findings of such an investigation are published? '

Monday, 8 November 2010

US/ UCU demo 'Fund Our Future' is this Wednesday, 10th November

The joint NUS/ UCU demo 'Fund Our Future' is this Wednesday, 10th November. Assembly will be at 11:30am Horse Guards Avenue in London and the march will begin at 12.30 through Westminster and past the Palace of Westminster.Nearest tube: Westminster. Alternatively, if you live in London, you can meet LSE YGs on Houghton Street 1t 11:30. (Contact Zain:07950458207)

The demonstration is a protest against government plans for tuition fees to increase to on average £6,000, with the prospect of the elite and most prestigious Universities being able to increase their fees to a maximum £9,000.

This is an onslaught on Higher Education and will ensure that not only those from the wealthiest backgrounds will be able to go to University, but also only those from the academic elite as Universities with less well developed commercial services and with less prestigious academic traditions will struggle to continue to attract those students from more impoverished backgrounds (like Middlesex University and London Met) as well as cover the cost of teaching cuts.

At the moment we need more public funding in HE, not less..please join us if you can.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Coalition of Resistance Against Cuts & Privatisation National Organising Conference - 10am-5pm, Saturday November 27th

Camden Centre Bidborough St, London WC1H 9AU (opposite St Pancras station)

Register here:

Already several hundred people have registered for the conference. If you have and have not yet heard back from us please don't worry. We will be sending out tickets and a full programme of sessions in the next week. We have had to book further space for the conference and have obtained three large halls within 100 metres of the Camden Centre for workshops and forum sessions.

Apart from the opening and closing plenaries, sessions will include:
• Organising against the cuts locally
• Defending the Welfare State
• States of Inequalities
• Mobilising in the unions
• Analysis of the crisis
• Debate on our alternatives
• What should political representatives do?
• What future for education?
• Cultures of Resistance
• Youth and students
• Women and the crisis
Confirmed speakers include: Billy Bragg, Caroline Lucas MP, Tony Benn, John McDonnell, Paul Mackney, Bob Crow, Jeremy Dear, Dr Jacky Davis, Professor Colin Leys, Dot Gibson, Zita Holborne, Ozlem Onaran, Derek Wall, Lindsey German, Chris Baugh, Laurie Penny, John Hilary, Lowkey and many others.

There will be speakers from local anti-cuts groups from around the country. The National Secretary of the French railway unions will report on the recent strike wave there. And there will be a fraternal speakers from the People's Charter and other organisations.

The conference will discuss a plan of action and will elect a National steering committee.

Please register for the conference. You can either do this online using paypal or by printing off the form - - and sending it to our office with a cheque to the address below.

Conference Registration:
Unemployed / Student Rate £3.00
Standard Rate £5.00
Representative £10.00

The conference is costing many thousands of pounds to put on and we are keeping the registration fees as low as possible to allow maximum attendance.

We need volunteers to help cover the forthcoming student and Stop the War marches. Please contact Sam on 07872481769 if you can help.

There will be a small number of stalls for movement organisations at the conference and these will be £75 each. The stalls will have to be booked and paid for in advance.

Coalition of Resistance badges and t-shirts are now available and will on the website soon.

Please circulate this bulletin throughout the labour and trade union movement.

Andrew Burgin
07939 242229
Coalition of Resistance
Housmans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DX

Private teachers' pensions subsidised

Sunday 07 November 2010

Millions of pounds in taxpayers' money is being used to subsidise pensions for teachers at elite public schools such as Eton and Harrow, the government has been forced to admit.

The disclosure came today in response to a Freedom of Information request regarding independent school membership of the Teachers' Pension Scheme made by the Green Party.

Eleven named institutions, including Eton, Harrow and Cheltenham, have 1,639 members of staff in the scheme with the top 100 schools receiving an estimated £40 million in subsidy per year.

London Green Party chairman Noel Lynch said: "It's scandalous that taxpayers are unknowingly paying towards the pensions of teachers at schools like Eton and Harrow. It will come as a surprise to a lot of people that these elite, private-sector employers have access to the government's Teachers' Pension Scheme to the tune of over £40 million."

Mr Lynch said the money should be ploughed into more urgent areas such as building new local schools in deprived areas and employing more teachers.

GET REAL ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE! Willesden Library 23/11/10

Time to tell the politicians...


Faced with cuts to jobs and services it’s easy to forget that if we don’t act now climate change will be a far worse threat to our future than the economic crisis. If the banks are too big to fail, then so is the planet. We need carbon cuts, not job cuts!

Come to the Local Public Meeting
Tuesday 23 November 7.30pm
Willesden Green Library Centre 95 High Road NW10 2SF
(nearest tube, Willesden Green)
Jonathan Neale, Campaign against Climate Change, author One Million Climate Jobs Now!
Derek Wall, Green Party, author No Nonsense Guide to Green Politics
Nick Grant, National Executive, National Union of Teachers (pc)
Ann Hunter, Brent Lib-Dem Councillor

PDF of leaflet at

Join the National Climate March
March on Parliament for a Zero Carbon Britain
Saturday 4 December 12.00 noon Hyde Park

Brent Campaign against Climate Change

Friday, 5 November 2010

FBU have called off their planned 47 hour strike today

Guardian mentions FBU concerns for public safety called off?

SW says management agrees to accept arbitration

Support the BBC NUJ strike on Friday and Saturday this week

NUJ members are to strike in protest at plans to make them pay more, work longer and get significantly lower pensions. Please support NUJ members fighting for fair pensions at the BBC.
Journalists at the BBC stand to lose thousands of pounds every year under draconian new pension plans set to be imposed at the Corporation.

In response, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has announced dates for strike action. NUJ members will strike for 48 hours on 5/6 November and 15/16 November with further dates to be announced.

Union members will also refuse to take on additional duties or volunteer for acting up as part of an indefinite work to rule starting on Friday 5 November.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary said:
"Could you afford to simply give away £100,000, £25,000 or even ‘just’ £10,000? Of course not. But those are the kinds of sums every journalist faces losing under the BBC’s latest pension proposal. BBC journalists are not asking for higher pensions. They are not even saying they wouldn’t consider paying more or working longer for a fair pension settlement. That means a deal based on the real deficit in the scheme, not speculative and questionable figures. It means a pension which does not lose a significant part of its value every single year for the rest of their lives – which is what will happen under the current proposals. And it should be a deal that means what has been promised to them - which they have already paid for - is protected. The current offer fails those tests and it fails BBC staff. That’s why they’ve been left with no choice but to take industrial action on 5 and 6 November and 15 and 16 November. They can’t afford not to…and they need YOUR support"

How you can help

- Make a donation
Please make cheques payable to NUJ (mark on the back BBC Strike hardship fund) and send to NUJ General Secretary, Headland House, 308 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP.

- Send messages of support
Please email messages of support to

- Join the picket lines
Please visit your local BBC centre to join the pickets on 5 and 6 November.

For further details of picket times/places email

In London we are asking people to attend TV Centre, W12 at 12 noon.

- Invite a speaker
Contact your local BBC rep or to arrange a speaker for your next meeting

- Keep up to date on developments
For all the latest information about the BBC disputekeep checking the BBC pensions robbery page of the NUJ website
- Attend public meetings in your area
Contact your local NUJ chapel or branch, trades council or TUC region for more details:
Trade Union Congress in the Regions
Directory of Trade Councils

- Use the NUJ strike solidarity leaflet
This leaflet is a call to support the NUJ strike and includes information about what you can do, please use it at your local meetings and events.

Support the NUJ BBC strike leaflet

NUJ and FBU Thursday 4 November evening meeting in London:

A public meeting in south London on the eve of the BBC and FBU strikes will be addressed by leading members of the unions involved: Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Becky Branford, BBC NUJ member who lives locally and Ian Leahair, from the national executive of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), will speak in the Salvation Army Hall, Princess Street, Elephant and Castle, SE1 6HH, at 7pm on Thursday 4 November.

The meeting has been organised by local campaign group Southwark Save Our Services.

We believe quality broadcasting and talented, hardworking staff are the BBC’s best assets. We are asking you to support our campaign to stop the pensions robbery and defend the BBC.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Barnet TU Council at Barnet Green party

November meeting of Barnet GP is on this coming Monday, November 8th (Always the 2nd Monday of the month.) Venue: Madden's Tavern, High Street, East Finchley, N2. Near the East Finchley Tube.

Austin Harvey, Secretary of Barnet TU Council will be speaking. Interested members from outside Barnet are welcome to attend. Barnet GP is affiliated to BTUC.

Noel Lynch Chair BGP.

Defend South Manchester Law Centre

Defend South Manchester Law Centre

The law centre’s judicial review of the Legal Services Commission immigration tendering process is to be heard on Monday, 8 November at the Civil Justice Centre, on Bridge Street, next to the peoples history museum.

There will be a protest outside the civil justice centre at 9:30am, before the JR hearing. The hearing is due to start at 10:30.

We would appreciate your attendance at the protest and also in the court for hearing.

So that the Judge hearing the case can see its not just about legal issues: the case is of great importance to the people of Manchester.

We look forward to seeing you there.
For more information on the campaign to keep the Law Centre open go to

South Manchester Law Centre has been providing free legal advice and representation to the Manchester community for the last 35 years.

Our expertise is in Women's rights, Immigration and Asylum Law.

The problem...

The Law Centres ability to provide these services is under threat because of a severe reduction in its funding from both Manchester City Council and the Legal Services Commission. Funding for Welfare Rights, Housing and Employment has already been withdrawn.

The Result...

As you may have guessed, the result of these cuts will be severe. The Law Centre is now faced with closure. This will mean the death of an organisation that has, for 35 years been a pillar of the community, helping the most vulnerable members of society to access advice and and protect their rights. This will leave;•NO Free court representation for employment law or benefits issues

•NO Free Asylum and Immigration advice in South Manchester

•NO Choice of providers for free advice

•NO Law Centres in Manchester

Why we need you...We now need members of the community to help us fight these cuts. We demand that Manchester City Council and the Legal Services Commission continue to fund the Law Centre to help us deliver services to the most vulnerable in YOUR community.

0161 225 5111

Champions for Change in the Workplace TUC Conference Friday 19th November – Bristol

Dear All,

Attached is the November GreenWorkplaces Newsletter. I would like to bring your attention to our forthcoming conference – Champions for Change in the Workplace

Conference – Champions for Change

Friday 19th November – Bristol 10:00 – 3:30

Don’t Miss this!! Places still available – book now!

To register

Please click on and follow this link
For more information please contact Beth

Event Outline

The event will provide unions and reps with enthusiasm and examples of good practice to take back to their workplace. What work has been done so far with the project, what help is needed in the last few months and what reps want left in place when the project finishes.
· Excellent examples of the work done so far
· Benefits of union involvement
· The future possibilities of the project

The conference will look at these issues and more

Kind regards,
Beth Callinan
Project Worker
GreenWorkplaces project
South West TUC

T: 0117 947 0521

F: 0117 947 0523

M: 07771713467


Tuesday, 2 November 2010


Darren Johnson, green party member of the London Assembly (he also sits on the London Fire Authority), said: "- horrified that firefighters who were lawfully picketing were injured in this way - there needs to be thorough investigation and I will be tabling a formal question at next Fire Authority meeting for 18 November."
> -----Original Message-----
Sent: 02 November 2010 16:23
> To: gptu
> Subject: [GP-TU] Fire strikers injured
> FBU press release
> 02 November 2010
> A DAY OF SHOCKING VIOLENCE AGAINST LONDON'S FIREFIGHTERS Vehicles driven at speed into three FBU pickets Two strikebreakers arrested
Strikebreaking contractors refuse first aid equipment to the injured Yesterday, three members of the Fire Brigades Union were hit and hurt by speeding vehicles driven by strikebreakers.

First, a Croydon firefighter was hit by a speeding car driven by a
non-union manager at Croydon fire station. FBU president Mick Shaw, who
was there, described what happened.
"A fire engine returned from an incident and drove into the fire
station, its crew refusing to wind down their windows and talk to the
pickets. But at least it drove slowly, at the brigade maximum of five
mph, so that the pickets could get out of the way before they were mown
"It was followed by a car driven by the officers, and as the pickets
tried to talk to the driver of the car, it accelerated suddenly and one of the striking firefighters was thrown up and into the windscreen, then several feet in front of the car.

"We asked the AssetCo employees who had control of our fire station for
the first aid kit and some blankets, but they would not give them to us despite the obviously serious nature of the injuries.
"An ambulance was called at once, and the ambulance crew asked for an
air ambulance. Our member was not able to move during the 25 minutes
between being hit and being taken away in the ambulance."
The LFB manager was arrested at the scene. Mr Shaw and general secretary Matt Wrack intend to visit the member (whose name cannot be given until his family consents) today, Tuesday. It is understood he has injuries to his spleen and spine.
Second, two hours after the strike, Dagenham firefighter Graham Beers
held his hand up at the side of a road in Southwark, to signal to the
crew of a fire engine being returned to Southwark Fire Station that they should stop and speak to him. "The fire engine swerved towards me and hit my hand" says Mr Beers, who suffered a sprained and badly bruised hand.
Third, a fire engine was deliberately driven into the FBU London
representative Ian Leahair, at Southwark fire station. This happened
more than two hours after the strike ended.
There was a huge police presence at Southwark, and FBU members who were
there accepted with cheerful good humour being penned in across the
road, away from the incoming fire engines. Just eight pickets were
Although the strike ended at six, the fire engines did not start coming
until about 8 pm. When they did start coming, the permitted eight
pickets, in the midst of dozens of police officers, stood in front and
asked the drivers to stop while they spoke to them. The first two fire engines stopped, and waited for the two minutes or so the police allowed the eight pickets to try to talk to them, without winding down their windows.
But the third didn't stop. It just kept coming. As the pickets fled
before it, the great, heavy fire engine actually picked up speed, and
hit Ian Leahair and then one of the police officers, before the police
finally persuaded the driver to stop. By then, Ian Leahair's legs and
half his body were underneath the fire engine and he was clearly in
pain. If he had been standing an inch or so further left, his legs would have been crushed under the fire engine's wheels.

FBU pickets yelled at the driver to reverse, but he would not do so
until instructed to do so by the police. The police officer, we
understand, had a bruised leg. Ian Leahair has injured ribs. He was
pulled out and helped to the side of the road.
The fire engine was deliberately driven at the pickets. There was no
reason to do this. The driver cannot have felt in any way intimidated.
He could see at least 50 police officers who would have protected him,
had any violence been offered, which it was not.
After that, the police handled the arrival of the rest of the fire
engines very differently. They decided, with great fairness, that they
were not going to stop the picketing because a driver had endangered the pickets. So police officers themselves stopped the fire engines, gave the pickets their couple of minutes, then cleared the way for the
The police, in effect, began to protect the pickets from the
strikebreakers. It was the police who ensured the right to lawful
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said today: "This has been a day of
shocking violence directed at London's firefighters. "An incredible pattern seems to be emerging. It looks as though the private company hired to do our work has instructed its drivers to drive
fast through picket lines. We ended the day in the extraordinary
situation where the police had to protect striking firefighters from
recklessly speeding vehicles, which were driven by those paid to break
the strike.
"If our people had done a fraction of what they did, there would be
inflammatory and self-righteous condemnation from the London Fire
Brigade, and no doubt it would find something else from the personnel
files to feed to its friends in right wing newspapers. But they have not even condemned what happened. Can it possibly be that they do not care about the danger in which their contractor has placed their LFB's own employees? Could they, incredibly, even be a party to decisions which have led to this? They have brought hired thugs into London who have driven around at speed with their faces hidden by balaclavas in an
attempt to menace and intimidate our members. Tragically three of our
members have been injured as a result. I wonder whether the Prime
Minister, Boris Johnson and the others who have spent the past week
condemning the FBU for our industrial action will now condemn this
violence against us."

> Francis Beckett 020 8349 9194 or 07813 001372 Helen Hague 07889 792360 or 020 8340 5571
> The information in this email may contain confidential or privileged
> materials.
> Please read the full email notice at

Monday, 1 November 2010


1 November, 2010
Filed under: green party, FBU, Trade Unions — admin @ 10:10 am
Letter to Fire Brigades Union

I am sending you the support of the Green Party Trade Union Group who decided at our committee meeting to totally support the London fire strike and the struggle of the FBU against the draconian measures being introduced by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the threat of sackings. We stand
in solidarity with you and hope that your industrial action will bring the employers to the table for further negotiations and that they will end their attempts to settle this dispute under duress.

Members of the Green Party and Green Party Trade Union Group will be joining picket lines across London on November 1st and on the 5th and 6th of November.

In Solidarity

Joseph Healy


Green Party Trade Union Group

Anti Cuts Protests November 2010

Protests: Ongoing

Check UK Uncut for news of further tax protests against Vodafone. UK Uncut:

Background info:

Tuesday 2rd November

Barnet – Lobby of Council from 6pm, Hendon Town Hall. Called by Barnet TUC.

Saturday, 6th November

Taunton – Defend Public Services March and Rally. Assemble French Weir at 10.30 am. Organised by Taunton Trades Union Council.

Wigan Town Centre Rally from 12 noon:

Meetings and organising events:

Monday 1st November

Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance Open Planning Meeting, Barton Hill Primary School, 7pm. and

Tuesday 2nd November

North Sussex and East Surrey Tuc Meeting:

Crawley Anti Cuts Coalition Public Meeting:

Wednesday 3rd November

Bracknell Defend Our Community Services Public Meeting:

Tyne and Wear Coalition of Resistance public meeting:

North Wales against the Cuts. Wrexham Lager Social Club 8-9pm. Open Meeting.

Saturday 6th November

Scottish Anti Cuts Alliances open meeting. 1pm at Glasgow City Unison Branch, 4th Flr, 18 Albion St, Glasgow.

SERTUC Conference, Congress House, London:

Falkirk TUC “There is a Better Way” Campaign Event, Camelon:

South Lanarkshire TUC’s “There is a Better Way” Campaign Event, Blantyre Miners Welfare, Blantyre: