Sunday, 30 September 2012

An opportunity for ALL opponents of NHS cuts and closures

An opportunity for ALL opponents of NHS cuts and closures to come together to defend our health services. London Keep Our NHS Public is calling for this to be a London wide protest. For us in NW London, it is a chance before the consultation ends to show our solidarity. We will NOT give in to pressure to choose one A & E department over another or one hospital over another. Yes, we need better services out of hospital. Yes, we need services which will support people so that they don't need to be admitted, but we need our hospitals too. Please join the demo.
MONDAY 8th OCTOBER - PRESENTING OUR PETITION 12.30 pm Outside the Department of Health in Whitehall, then to NHS NW London HQ in Victoria St. BRING BANNERS or COME IN BANDAGES: Don't make a Casualty of our NHS This will be an opportunity to get more publicity for our campaign and to tell NHS NW London that our campaign is not over yet. We will keep on fighting for our health services.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

On Saturday 20 October trade unions and anti-cuts campaigners will be marching for 'A Future That Works'. The Green Party is supporting and taking part in this demo. Many Greens have been involved in anti-cuts campaigns across London. We have also been calling for 'Green New Deal' investments to create jobs, steer the economy onto a sustainable path whilst addressing the climate and energy crisis. But is a Green voice getting across on these issues? Do we need to talk more about job creation, public investment and mutual models for the economy? The meeting will discuss these issues, share anti-cuts campaigning experience from across London, and help to build a strong, visible Green presence for the demo on 20 October. Contributions from Green Parties across London - especially on local anti-cuts campaigning. Hope to see you there ie at London Green Party, 56-64 Development House, Leonard Street, EC2A 4LT on Monday, October 15, 2012, 6:00pm - 7:20pm. Danny

Monday, 24 September 2012

Solidarity with the workers of Greece on General Strike,

Comrades and friends This Wednesday, 26 September, the Greece Solidarity Campaign asks you to bring your banners and stand in solidarity with the workers of Greece on General Strike, at 5.30, outside the Greek Embassy, 1A Holland Park, Notting Hill, London W11 3TP (nearest tube Holland Park on the central line). Aλληλεγγύη και φιλία - solidarity and friendship ~paul~

Thursday, 20 September 2012



The campaign continues. Please support these events:

Monday 24 September 6 - 8 pm Stonebridge Centre, Hillside NW10 8BN. Brent LINk public consultation event with Dr Mark Spencer, Medical Director of NHS NW London – an important chance to make your views known.To confirm your attendance email or ring 020 8965 0309

 Wednesday 26 Sept 10 am: Brent Town Hall, NHS NW London Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Brent) Open to the public and press.

 Saturday 29 Sept 10 am - 4 pm: Harlesden Methodist Church NHS NW London Roadshow with Q & A from 11 am - 12 noon. Another chance to have your say about why we need health services where the health needs are greatest.

 Wednesday 26 Sept 7 pm: Victoria Hall, Ealing Town Hall Debate between Dr Mark Spencer of NHS NW London and Dr John Lister of London Health Emergency, author of the report NW London NHS Under the Knife.

 Friday 28 Sept 7 pm Hammersmith & Charing X Campaign debate Phoenix High School, the Curve, Shepherds Bush Saturday 6 Oct Demonstration for Hammersmith and Charing X Hospitals and all NW London Health Services: assemble 12 noon Sulgrave Rd nr Shepherds Bush Green. March to Frank Banfield Park nr Charing X Hospital

 Brent Campaign
 Ealing Campaign Hammersmith
 Charing X Campaign

 acknowledgements to sarah cox

Friday, 14 September 2012

The Government is planning to drastically change the way National Trails – including the iconic Pennine Way – are looked after.

 Nicky Philpott - the Ramblers 

Sent: Thursday, 13 September 2012, 15:58
Subject: Our best walks at risk?

Our National Trails are under threat and we need your help.
The Government is planning to drastically change the way National Trails – including the iconic Pennine Way – are looked after.
The Government wants to wash its hands of National Trails and hand responsibility for them to hard-pressed local authorities and volunteer groups.
These plans are bad news for walkers.
They could lead to a massive fall in the quality of the Trails. This would also be devastating for the local businesses and communities who rely on trade the Trails bring to their area.
Ramblers have been very clear that National Trails need a national champion.
You can join the Ramblers campaign for National Trails TODAY simply by watching our video.
Once you’ve watched the video  please ask your friends and family to watch it too. We really need your help to get our message across.
I will be in touch over the coming days and weeks with more ways you can support our campaign for National Trails. In the meantime, please do watch our video and share it with your friends.
By coming together for National Trails, we can help give them a fantastic future.
Thanks for your support.
Nicky Philpott
Campaigns Director
PS – Please watch and share our National Trails video TODAY.


Save A & E at Central Middlesex Hospital - March and Rally
Saturday 15 September 2012


Photo montage of the march (by Martin Francis) below

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

London Met Uni Protests

·       On Thursday 13th of September, London Met UCU, Unison and Students Union  will be hosting a public meeting/rally at North Campus - Tower Building, room TM-183 from 5-7pm entitled 'Education not Deportation - Save London Met'.
  166-220 Holloway Road - London N7 8DB - opposite Holloway Road tube

·       On Friday 14th September, there will be a UK-wide lunchtime solidarity protest outside colleges/ universities from 12.30 to 1.30, demanding an Amnesty for all London Met international students, a reversal of the UKBA ban, and no to privatisation.
Branches are asked to make posters and placards – “Hands Off Our Students” and send in photos of their protests to: Mark Campbell (
·       London Met are also asking you to encourage your members to lobby their MPs to sign EDM 437 by Jeremy Corbyn demanding the lifting of the ban on London Met. See:

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Striking waste centre workers left with 'nothing to lose'

Striking waste centre workers left with 'nothing to lose'

Budget cuts see the city council struggling as well as the recycling staff at the centre of a long-running dispute. Kevin Meagherreports
Jarrow marchers at a rally in Sheffield City centre
Jarrow-London marchers in Sheffield last year. Now the city's waste disposal staff say that less pay and fewer hours make their jobs scarcely worth doing. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian
Pity the gardeners of Sheffield if they wanted to take their household waste to one of the city's five recycling centres last weekend. Workers there spent Saturday and Sunday, 1 and 2 September, manning picket lines - a fresh round of stoppages in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.
All the usual elements of an industrial dispute are in place: a grievance about low pay, poor working conditions and allegations of unresponsive management. But this is a very modern strike too.

It also involves a local authority struggling to make the scale of cuts required by the government's massive public spending reductions while being hemmed-in by a long-term private waste contract that it didn't negotiate, can't change and has another 25 years left to run.
The recycling centre workers are among Sheffield City Council's lowest paid, with most operatives scraping the minimum wage. They complain they are the poor relation of the council's binmen who earn around £9.40 an hour.
If their site achieved a 65 per cent recycling rate they receive a bonus payments to top-up their wages. These payments are worth several hundred pounds a month to each worker. But their recycling targets have now been raised to 90 per cent, making it nearly impossible for them to achieve, they claim. 
Management of the council's waste service is contracted out to the large waste company Veolia which in turn sub-contracts the management of the recycling sites to Sova Recycling Ltd. This took over the management of the five sites last December and has spent the year dealing with a series of stoppages.
Nick Clegg in his Sheffield Hallam constituencyNick Clegg in his Sheffield Hallam constituency. Photograph: Dan Chung for the Guardian
A previous round of industrial action saw the men win a concession to receive a time-and-a half payment for working on Bank Holidays, but they get no special allowance for routinely working weekends and say that their holiday pay is not even paid at a full-day rate. The dispute also centres on the threat of reduced hours, as the council scales back the opening hours of the recycling centres as part of shaving £57 million from its budget this year to absorb government funding cuts.
This, says the workers, would be the final straw, cutting their take-home pay to the point it is not worth bothering to go to work. Peter Davies from the GMB union which represents the men says:
Low pay and reduced hours simply doesn't work. You need the hours to make up for the fact you are low paid.

Many of the men are also already reeling from an equal pay ruling that has affected councils across the country and has seen some of the men working at the sites already lose thousands of pounds a year from their pay packets. Davies says: 
What the council is not telling the public is that these cuts are on top of cuts. The guys here feel they have absolutely nothing to lose.
The Labour council is frank about the Hobson's choice it has to make.Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member responsible for waste services, says:
We have made a number of improvements to the service over the last few months that we thought would help to resolve this problem. However, the basic problem is that Sheffield is facing massive government cuts. Of course, if there was an alternative to making this cut, we would take it, but the reality is that this is the consequence of the scale of the cuts.
Some town hall figures mutter darkly about Veolia and Sova but recognise they are powerless to do much about it. The Liberal Democrats who ran the city until two years ago agree, but are also calling for Scott to "consider his position" in light of the latest bout of strikes – which may see the recycling centres shut every weekend in September.
He in turn accuses them of "scoring political points" saying the reason the council has to make tough decisions is because "Nick Clegg sold Sheffield out to go into government with the Tories".
The men on the picket line aren't bothered where the buck stops. They just want to work enough hours to make a living.
Kevin Meagher chaired the Mayor4Sheffield campaign and was a strategist in the Yes for the North West regional assembly campaign in 2004

Monday, 3 September 2012

Support Bootle teachers

Support Bootle teachers Workers at two schools...
Sarah Cox10:35pm Sep 3
Support Bootle teachers

Workers at two schools in Sefton, Merseyside, face a bizarre battle for
redundancy payments following the opening of a free school.

The Hawthornes free school replaced St George of England School and
St Wilfrid’s High. It is on the site of St George of England School, has
the same head teacher and teaches the same students.

Workers at the two schools expected that they would transfer to the
 free school under Tupe employment regulations. But the free school
hasn’t taken on the workers – and now they’re in limbo.

Avis Gilmore is the north west regional secretary for the NUT union.
 She told Socialist Worker, “The local authority says it hasn’t made anyone
redundant as they should have automatically transferred to the new

“That means they don’t have to pay any redundancy money.  And the
 free school says the workers are nothing to do with them. A lot of people
aren’t sure whether they’re employed by anybody at the

Trustees at the free school say they don’t have to pay any redundancy
money because the school is “a completely new entity”. They said this after
receiving advice from the Department for Education.

Trustees said if workers turned up for work on Monday of this week they
would be treated as trespassers and face security. Yet around 30 teachers
defied this warning and protested at the school.

The NUT, Unison and NASUWT unions, along with head teachers’ group the
ASCL, are considering legal action.

Avis said, “The free school has refused to talk to unions about the workers’
situation. NUT members in the school don’t know what their terms and conditions
are because they haven’t been given contracts.

“For those without jobs it’s very difficult to claim benefits because they haven’t
 been made redundant. And Bootle isn’t overrun with jobs for them to pick up.”

Send messages of support to

Sunday, 2 September 2012

London Met Uni petition re potential expulsion of students from UK

This is a message from Steve Cushion , Secretary of the UCU retired members' branch but the cause it describes should be of concern to all trades unionists and supporters of education, please sign the London Met Uni petition (P.Murry Secretary GPTU)

To all members UCU London Retired Members

I'm writing to encourage all UCU retired members to sign an urgent petition to the UK Borders Agency with respect to international students (current and prospective) at London Metropolitan University.

Without warning these students have been told that they are unable to continue at London Metropolitan University, due to management failings in complying with the Government's 'Points Based Immigration System'.

The petition simply calls for an amnesty so that they may complete their studies. The reasoning is that the priorities of the government "taskforce" announced today should aim to put right the problems at LMU, not merely seek to move students around the UK as a consequence of the decision to withdraw the University's sponsorship status.

If there are management failings for which London Met is responsible, it seems wholly counter to elementary natural justice to deport some 2,700 international students - which is the inevitable result if they are unable to find (or accept) university places elsewhere in the UK.

Please sign the petition here, and forward to colleagues -

For background I include below a message from the London Metropolitan University UCU Executive Committee to members sent out today.
Dear All,

By now most of you will know that UKBA have ‘announced’ the decision
to revoke London Met’s right to sponsor international students. As it
stands at present the revocation applies to all current students at
London Met and to all prospective students.

UCU and UNISON have already asked to meet with the Governors and
received a positive response. The governors themselves will be meeting
in emergency session this Monday September 3rd. We expect to meet with
them then.

UCU and UNISON will be holding an emergency joint ALL MEMBERS meeting
in the Tower Building on Monday between 1-2pm. Room details will
follow. A statement from that meeting will go to the governors and to
the press.

To date we still have very limited information as to the basis of the
UKBA decision.  The assertions from Damian Green (Minister for
Immigration) regarding the failings of London Met  reported variously
throughout the media today and arising from BBC interviews this
morning (Radio 4 & 5) provide very little clarity. His statements
appear in support of an UKBA announcement that appeared last night on
their website. The link is provided below.

Unfortunately, as you can test yourselves, the link does not work as
the notice itself has now been withdrawn. We understand that this was
at the request of the university who claimed not to have had time to
respond to the decision.

For information the notice contained very little detail itself, but
did include the following short statement, ‘the latest audit revealed
issues with 61% of the files we randomly tested’. Note that this
statement does NOT state the character of those issues nor do UKBA
indicate here or elsewhere the extent to which they sought to satisfy
themselves about these ‘issues’. So at the moment we have a series of
assertions from a government minister and very little else. This is
all symptomatic of the general obscurity that surrounds the decision
and of the carelessness of UKBA towards international students at
London Met. We are demanding at the very least an amnesty for current
students at London Met whilst we seek to rescind the revocation.

Whilst we are clear about very little, we are now sure that a very
significant factor in UKBA’s interest in London Met is the
university’s recent association with LSBF (London School of Business
and Finance. Part of our demands to the Governors will be that this
connection is severed.

SEPTEMBER 3rd - TOWER BUILDING HOLLOWAY RD (room to be confirmed)

Cliff Snaith UCU London Met Secretary
Mark Campbell UCU London Met Chair

PS. Despite the removal of the statement from UKBA's website, you can
still read it yourself if you want to (courtesy of a screen grab). See
link below.
Steve Cushion