Friday, 16 December 2011

Don't give up the pensions fight

The government's "final offer" is no improvement. There is no extra money on offer. The government still wants public sector workers to work longer, pay more and get less. They haven't moved on core issues:

* Fifty percent rise in pension contributions.
* Normal pension age to rise to the state retirement age. Retirement at 68 for those 34 and under.
* Pensions indexed at CPI instead of RPI. A cut for all existing pensioners.

We agree with those union general secretaries who are against accepting this offer. We ask all union general secretaries, if it was right to strike against these proposals on November 30th how it can be right to accept them now? Ordinary trade union members have demonstrated their determination to resist these unfair and unnecessary changes; we call on our trade union leaders reject the Government's bullying tactics and reject their unacceptable offer.

Alex Kenny        NUT Executive member (Inner London)
Andrew Baisley        Camden NUT branch secretary
Dave Harvey        NUT Executive member (Outer London)
Martin Powell-Davis        NUT Executive member (Inner London)
Mark Campbell        UCU Executive member
Liz Lawrence        UCU Executive member
Sean Vernell        UCU Executive member
Loraine Monk        UCU Executive member
Christine Vie        UCU Executive member
David Armstrong        UCU Executive member
Guy Stoate        UCU Executive member


Acknowledgements to Doug Rouxel & Romayne Phoenix

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Defence of Public Education Conference, Saturday 10 March 2012 – University of London Union, Malet Street

UCU will be holding a major conference on the defence of public education in London on Saturday 10 March 2012.

Its aim is to bring together unions, students and organisations with an interest in defending our education system from cuts, privatisation and the institutionalisation of social inequality.

The conference will include speakers on the break-up of the school system, the attacks on further, adult, prison and ESOL education at a time of rising unemployment, and on the abject poverty of the government’s vision for the future of higher education.

There will be an opportunity for delegates to discuss how we can most effectively unite around a principled defence of our education system.

Attendance at the conference will be free for all UCU members.

Victory at Langdon Park(?)

NUT members at Langdon School, Newham have agreed to suspend further strikes and return to work on Wednesday 14 December, following a series of important concessions by officers of the Local Authority in the last few days.

The overwhelmingvote was taken at a strikers' meeting on Tuesday following a thorough evaluation of what was being offered. The range of measures to allay their grievances concerning excessive workloadand oppressive management will come into force immediately.

But the NUT is equally clear that more strikes will be called if the measures do not work. The dispute will only be settled when all staff grievances have been thoroughly addressed.

NUT NEC member Nick Grant said that:

"This is an excellent result. Mass scabbing organised by the school managers could not break the solidarity of Langdon's majority of teachers, 70 of whom struck again today."

"Collective action has forced previously compliant Council officers to act as well as decreasing parents' confidence in the head teacher."

"Strikers in turn are very grateful for the hundreds of messages  received from across the UK. This is not the end of the dispute, but should go a very long way to redressing the core injustices felt by teachers."

A joint public statement is expected from the NUT and Newham Local Authority tomorrow.

acknowledgements to Martin francis

Friday, 9 December 2011


Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 11:32 AM
Subject: Exciting news! Meeting Tuesday
Camden Town Hall, Judd St, WC1 (Kings X tube)
The meeting will discuss these important and exciting developments and draw up an action plan for the New year:
It seems likely that a national demonstration against the Health Bill will be called in January or February, backed by the Labour Party, Unite and hopefully the TUC. This is something we have been campaigning for, and will be a fantastic opportunity to mobilise the massive opposition to the Health Bill. We need to start planning now to make it a huge show of strength demanding that the Bill is dropped.
As the evidence mounts that the Health Bill means the privatisation of the NHS, the BMA has now come our in total opposition to the Bill in a vote that piles even more pressure on the government. Meanwhile the government has been struggling to push clause by clause of the Bill through the Lords.

Hundreds of thousands of health workers joined the massive public sector strikes last week laying down a gauntlet to the government over pensions and the future of public services. Hundreds joined picket lines outside hospitals, clinics and ambulance stations across London reawakening trade union organisation in the NHS. The strike had fantastic support from members of Unison, Unite, the Society of Radiographers and Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, and may be joined by the RCN and BMA next time.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Unilever workers in first UK strike against greedy boardroom raid on their pensions

acknowledgements to Chris Cotton                                                               7 December 2011

Unilever workers fighting an unjustified attack on their pensions will take part in their first ever strike action on Friday 9 December.

More than 2,500 workers from Unilever's sites at Purfleet, Port Sunlight, Warrington, Leeds, Crumlin, Gloucester, Manchester, Burton-on-Trent and Chester will join picket lines from 7.00 am as part of a widespread day of action to protect their pensions.

The stoppages will hit production of the global giant's leading brands, including Dove, Marmite, PG Tips, Pot Noodle and Hellman’s mayonnaise.

Unite, the lead union at Unilever, is furious with the company’s plans to axe the final salary pension scheme, which will see the retirement income of thousands of staff slashed by up to 40 Per cent.  Unilever promised to secure the scheme for its existing members when it closed the final salary pension scheme to new entrants in 2008.  Yet the company intends to push ahead with plans to close the scheme to its existing members and transfer them to an inferior career average revalued earning (CARE) scheme with effect from 1 July next year.

Unite is urging Unilever to reconsider these unjust proposals and return to negotiations with the trade unions.

Jennie Formby, Unite national officer, said: “Thousands of our members will walkout on Friday to show their disgust at Unilever’s unacceptable attack on their pensions.

"Their pension fund is financially robust and yet Unilever, a highly profitable company, has shown little willingness to negotiate seriously to avert this dispute.  This is a disgraceful incidence of a wealthy global company using the recession as cover to raid the pensions of the less well off.
“Unite is demanding that Unilever reconsiders its plans. The company is being driven by nothing other than wanton greed, putting its profit and shareholders first at the expense of the staff who have worked so hard to make Unilever the global money maker it is today.

"Striking workers wearing face masks of Unilever’s chief executive, Paul Polman, will be demanding ‘hand off our pensions'.  Wealthy Mr Polman should reflect on what he would do if he was ‘faced’ with the pension cuts that he plans to impose.

"Unite remains ready and willing to talk at any time."

For more information, please contact Jennie Formby on 07702 206 436 or Karen Viquerat, Unite communications officer, on 07768 931316.
Notes to editors:
Unite members will join picket lines at Unilever sites:
Purfleet  Factory (Hellman’s mayo/I can’t Believe It’s not Butter)
London Road,
Essex, RM19 1SD

Commencing at 19:00 hours on Thursday 8 December, 2011
Concluding at 06:59 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Trafford Park Factory (PG Tips)
Trafford Park Road, Trafford Park,
Manchester, M17 1NH

Time: Commencing at 21:50 hours on Thursday 8 December 2011
Concluding at 06:59 hours on Saturday 10tDecember 2011

Port Sunlight Factory (laundry products)
Port Sunlight,
Merseyside, CH62 4ZD

Commencing at 18:00 hours on Thursday 8 December 2011
Concluding at 17:59 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Gloucester Factory (Wall’s ice cream)
Corinium Avenue,
Gloucester, GL4 3BW

Commencing at 06:30 hours on Friday 9 December 2011
Concluding at 06:29 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Crumlin Factory (Pot Noodle)
Croespenmaen Industrial Estate,
Gwent, NP11 3AG

Commencing at 06:00 hours on Friday 9 December 2011
Concluding at 05:59 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Warrington Factory (laundry products)
2 Liverpool Road,
Cheshire, WA5 1AA
Commencing at 18:00 hours on Thursday 8 December 2011
Concluding at 17:59 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Burton Factory (Marmite)
Wellington Road,
Staffordshire, DE14 2AB

Commencing at 06:00 hours on Friday 9 December 2011
Concluding at 05:59 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Norwich Factory (Colman's),
Coleman’s of Norwich,
Norwich, NR1 2DD
Commencing at 06:00 hours on Friday 9 December  2011
Concluding at 05:59 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Leeds Factory (Dove deodorant)
Coal Road,
Leeds, LS14 2AR
Commencing at 07:00 hours on Friday 9 December 2011
Concluding at 06:69 hours on Saturday 10 December 2011

Port Sunlight Research & Development site
Quarry Road East
Merseyside, CH63 3JW
24 hour stoppage commencing at 00:01 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Unilever Europe IT
Unity House,
St David's Park,
Ewloe, Deeside

24 hour stoppage commencing at 00:01 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Colworth Research & Development site
Colworth Science Park,
Bedford, MK44 1LQ

24 hour stoppage commencing at 00:01 hours on Friday 9 December 2011

Monday, 5 December 2011


"We are appalled at developments in the dispute at Langdon School in Newham, east London, which started over issues of workload and oppressive management.

The head has employed up to 46 scab supply teachers and brought them in to try to break a lawful, balloted strike by NUT members at the school. Worse still the local authority, and a Labour one at that, has put this strikebreaking force on temporary local authority contracts when they scab.

This shocking move is unprecedented in education disputes and the employment of a strike breaking force has shades of Rupert Murdoch's union busting tactics under Thatcher's government in the mid 1980s.
We totally condemn this move and see it as a threat to every trade unionist.

We call upon all our unions and organisations to ensure the widest possible condemnation of the head and Newham local authority and to work for the fullest possible solidarity with the Langdon School NUT to beat this attack on the basic trade union right to take legal industrial action."


Noel Lynch - Chair, London Green Party and Green Party London Assembly Candidate
Peter Murry - Secretary, Green Party Trade Union Group, UCU
Martin Francis - NUT, Brent Green Party, School Governor.
Doug Rouxel - South East Essex Green Party, UCU NEC.
Joseph Healy - Green Party Trade Union Group Treasurer, UNITE Voluntary Sector.
Paul Philo - Brighton Green Party.
Owen Clayton - York Green Party.
Lynton North, West Devon Green Party
Tom Maltby Green Party TU Group / Hackney. UNISON /TUC
Will Duckworth - NASUWT member
Derek Wall Green Left Committee
Malcolm Bailey Green Left Committee
Romayne Phoenix Green Left Committee, Coalition of Resistance Chair, Lewisham GP
Howard Thorp Green Left Committee
Jim McGinley Green Left, GPTU, NUT
Josiah Mortimer University of York Green Party
tony matthews cardiff and vale GP

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Carillion solar panels: Job Threat

from: Martin Empson, Treasurer, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group

With all the activity around the strikes last week and the demonstration this weekend, the news about 1000 jobs underthreat at Carillion in Newcastle may have been overlooked. Carillion is one of the largest installers of solar panels and with government reductions to the "feed in" tariff - the amount of money that is given to those who sell electricity from renewable sources, back to the national grid, there is likely to be a drop in demand for the panels.
There is a BBC report here:
and a Guardian report here

As part of the climate jobs campaign, I think it is important that the CaCC TU group stands with those workers who face losing their jobs. If anyone on this email list is in the Newcastle area, or has contacts with the Carillion workers (or their trade union), or indeed knows of any campaigns, public meetings etc that we can publicise, please drop me a line off list.

My contact details are below,

Martin Empson
Treasurer, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group
079 585 35231