Monday, 30 September 2013

Support for teachers' strikes today

TeacherROAR advice:     Homework #3

We've had lots of people asking how they can show their support for the strikestomorrow.

Here are some practical suggestions:

1. If you live in an area where strikes are taking place go and visit a
   picket line to show your support. We guarantee you it will mean an
   awful lot to those teachers. If you're feeling really flush go mad
   and buy them a coffee, or make a donation to the strike fund. You
   will make their day! (please note they will still love you for
   turning up even if you don't do that)
2. Tweet messages of support to us using the hashtag #teacherROAR
3. Even better still, send us a photo of you holding up a message of
   support -- we all love a picture!
4. Send an email to your local paper or TV station expressing support
5. Tell friends and family that you're supporting the teachers. Ask
   them to send a message of support too.


Tweet solidarity messages @NUTonline and @NASUWT

acknowledgements to Marti Francis

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Unite, Unison and UCU, FBU & CWU preparing for further strike action?

FBU & CWU both reported to be preparing for further strike action,over pensions and privatisation, respectively, see;


Douglas Rouxel
7:52 PM (36 minutes ago)
to megptuGreen
Unite, Unison and UCU are also balloting for strike action on pay in HE, NUT and NASUWT start joint strike action on pay on Tuesday.

Monday, 23 September 2013

SERTUC newsletter 76

Subject: SERTUC newsletter 76 - digest of trade union and trades council activities in the region


newsletter 76

SAVE OUR NHS @nhs299
·         Kings Lynn trades council coach 8am with pick up at Peterborough 8.45am contact Jo Rust   
  • St Albans, Welwyn & Hatfield trades council coach 8am contact Jon   
Union information
PCS DCLG check-off court protest Tuesday 3 September 9.30-10.30am  
NUT/NASUWT Rallies for Education for parents, teachers, governors and public
  • London 11am Saturday 14 September with Christine Blower NUT, Patrick Roach NASUWT
  • Cambridge 11am Saturday 21 September with Chris Keates NASUWT and Kevin Courtney NUT 
Trades council actions
Great Yarmouth trades council "Save our Royal Mail" rally Saturday 7 September Market Place 11am contact Kevin Reynolds  
Camden trades council open meeting "Fighting cuts and privatisation" Thursday 19 September 7pm with Paul Embury FBU, CWU, PCS contact 020 7974 1633
Norwich trades council NHS march and rally Saturday 12 October 1pm more  
Portsmouth trades council Workers Celebration Family Event Saturday 7 September 7-11.30pm BBQ and light buffet £2 admission contact Avil Eley 02392 824 514 or 02392 007 914 or Louis Mac Donald  
Southend trades council Public Meeting Wednesday 4 September 7.30pm "Unity is strength: why you should join a union" with Megan Dobney SERTUC contact Ian Pope
Chelmsford trades council present Banner Theatre's cabaret "In a right state" Saturday 26 October 7pm £5, fairtrade refreshments and debate. Contact Malcolm
Kings Lynn trades council Film Event "The Spirit of '45" Friday 30 August 7pm £4 contact Jo Rust
Kings Lynn trades council Women for Change talk "Women in Nepal" Saturday 21 September with Feyzi Ismail. Contact Jo Rust
Kings Lynn trades council Women for Change talk "The impact of cuts on women" Saturday 19 October with Jo Rust. Contact Jo Rust
Kings Lynn trades council "Celebrate the NHS and Defend Public Services" event Saturday 28 September 12 noon with face painting, balloons, music, food and speakers. Contact Jo Rust
SERTUC Regional Council videos of speakers at July RC: Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Tommy Molloy, Tommy Sheridan  
SERTUC unionlearn regional conference Tuesday 26 November with Kay Carberry TUC, Paul Maloney GMB, Chris Humphries, Megan Dobney SERTUC. More info Jon
SERTUC Health & Safety Reps seminar "The Healthy Workplace" Thursday 31 October10am Congress House. More info
SERTUC trades councils conference 10am Saturday 23 November Congress House with Bob Crow RMT. More info  
SERTUC Education courses for union reps in the Region - contact Rob Hancock or Phil Gowan for full details of what's on from September
Action for Rail campaign 
TUC Organising Academy programme for 2013-14 available or contact Becky Wright
Other actions/information
Stop the War Coalition national demonstration "No attack on Syria" Saturday 31 August 12 noon Temple Place, London
Burston Strike School Rally 11am Sunday 1 September with Bob Crow RMT, Steve Turner Unite, Lesley Mercer TUC President, Richard Howitt MEP,  Beth Davies NUT, co-chairs Megan Dobney SERTUC, Pilgrim Tucker Unite, music Leon Rosselson, Red Flags, RMT Brass Band coach details here
Campaign for Press & Broadcasting Freedom "End the intimidation of journalist and their families now" petition re David Miranda etc 
Anglia National Pensioners Convention 2013 Conference "Respecting the Elderly" Attleborough, Norfolk Friday 4 October 9.45am with Chris Brooks, Norman Lamb MP, Lella Hudson CQC, Dot Gibson NPC, Eamon McGrath Age UK, Ron Douglas NPCcontact Frank Lucking or 07584 284 204
National Pensioners Convention e-petition "Hands off universal pensioner benefits"
Redmond O'Neill Memorial Lecture "From Marti & Bolivar to Castro & Chavez"Wednesday 18 September 6.30pm London with Richard Gott, Ken Livingstone, Kate Hudson contact  
Ruskin College "Spirit of 45" Friday 11 October 6pm with Alex Gordon RMT see
Norfolk People's Assembly 7.30pm Norwich Thursday 12 September more info 
Miami 5 Vigil Grosvenor Square Tuesday 17 September 6pm. More info Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Ross Pritchard Memorial Fund annual essay competition, prize £750, closing date 30 September. Contact Joanne Adams for more info
Luton People's Assembly campaign against Riverbank Children's Ward closure Saturday 31 August. For more info

Firefighters to Strike on 25/9/2013

Expecting large numbers of fire fighters in their late 50s to fight fires and rescue families is not just ludicrous: it’s dangerous to the public and to fire fighters.

The government is simply ignoring all the evidence — even their own — about the physical demands of fire fighting and has been unable to answer our concerns during two years of negotiations.

The government in Westminster’s proposals could mean mass sackings as thousands of fire fighters become older and are no longer fit enough to do the job. Fire fighters, who already pay some of the highest contributions in the public or private sector, would also be expected to pay an average of 13.2% of employer and employee.

This is not the deal we signed up for. None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and fire fighter safety. We hope common sense prevails, and the government returns to the negotiating table.

UN derecognizing the organization's staff unions

Acknowledgements to
Howard Thorp

From: UnionBook <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 09:14:21 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Outrageous: UN to derecognize unions

This is outrageous.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, is derecognizing the organization's staff unions who represent 65,000 workers.

He will no longer negotiate with unions over issues like safety and security, welfare and conditions of service.

The people who work for the UN often risk their lives to do so.  In the last decade, 555 staff have been attacked and 200 killed.  They often work in dangerous and hostile locations.

The UN Staff unions are calling for support from trade unionists everywhere.  They are demanding  that Ban Ki-moon respect labour rights at the UN.  Please support the online campaign and spread the word:

Thank you!

Eric Lee

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Green Party: Stop the Privatisation of Royal Mail

15 September 2013

THE Green Party has passed an emergency motion to stop the privatisation of the Royal Mail.
The Green Party motion instructs the Green Party Executive and the Green Party’s elected representatives to throw their full weight behind the ‘Save Our Royal Mail’ campaign, support the Communication Workers’ Union’s industrial and political fight against the sell-off.
"In unanimously passing the emergency motion against the sell-off of Royal Mail, the Green Party has sent out a strong and unanimous call of support for the campaign to defend our postal service, a 500-year old institution, joining with the 70% of the public who oppose the privatisation”, said motion proposer Josiah Mortimer (University of York Green Party). 
"The privatisation of the Royal Mail will only lead to rising prices, worse conditions for postal workers, declining reach to rural areas, and a threat to the six-day a week service obligation. 
"Unlike Labour, which tried to sell-off the Post Office several times during office, the Greens stand firmly on the side of public services and public ownership, in line with our commitment to bringing rail, energy and other privatised utilities back into public hands."

Gold mining in Greece: stories of resistance and repression

Joseph Healy
Sep 16 (2 days ago)
to Noelme

Hi Noel, Martin and Pete,

Can you publicise this event on Thursday which deals with the main environmental issue in Greece at present. This has led to riot police battling with villagers and protesters trying to preserv one of Europe's main ancient forests.


Gold mining in Greece: stories of resistance and repression

Come and hear first-hand accounts of resistance to gold mining in Greece by Eldorado Gold, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Thursday 19 September, 7 to 9pm, Unite House, 128 Theobald’s Road, Holborn, London, WC1X 8TN.
Nearest tube Holborn. See map at
Under the pretext of a severe financial crisis Greece is reasserting its investor-friendly profile by opening up all goldmines across the country without regard to the threats that mining poses to the environment and to people’s livelihoods. Foreign investors are particularly welcome: fast track processes; tax relief; exception from damages; easy money; no royalties; no problems.
But the true picture is not so rosy! Sham public consultations, questionable deals designed to advance specific corporate interests and the slow but steady destruction of the environment have been met with resistance. The struggle to oppose Eldorado Gold’s plans to create an enormous open pit mine on Mount Kakavos and within the ancient forest of Skouries has succeeded in capturing people’s imagination and inspiring waves of solidarity across the country.
While organising their long campaign affected communities have learned a lot about Greek law; geology; environmental science; and the technologies of extraction. As they did so, they begun to ask questions about development, participation, human rights and the public interest. Their questions were answered by the riot police.
Now the people from Skouries are bringing this discussion to London. Lazaros Toskas, member of the Struggle Coordinating Committee of Megali Panagia, will share stories of resistance and repression, of mining, rights and the politics of development.
Other speakers from Corporate Watch, Greece Solidarity Campaign and London Mining Network.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


From: TMellish@TUC.ORG.UK

Colleagues, please see below for your immediate attention. Please support. Many of you will not be able to be there physically but  please send messages of support.

Tom Mellish
TUCJCC Secretary
Trades Union Congress
Congress House
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3LS

020 7467 1380
Stronger Unions: A blog from the TUC Organising Team <>
Unions in the Community <>

 <          <


From: T ABBOTT []
Sent: 16 September 2013 11:01
To: Kara Stevens; Sumner, Nicola; Formby, Jennie - UNITE Political Director; ( ; SHARON HUTCHINSON; Mick; JohnLea; Graham, Des (EC); Tom Mellish; Alex Halligan; Neil Sheehan; Peter Bury; Andrew Ford; &#39;;#39; ;
After a four hour battle with the Police and scab Management this morning Monday the 16th, nothing came out of the plant for two hours then escorted by the police the first wagon took 40 minutes to travel just over 500 metres,but a price was paid when three of the pickets were arrested at the main junction when the police used heavy handed tacticsand threw a female across the road on to her back narrowly missing the pavement edge and a set of railings.
Comrades we are calling for a show of solidarity on Wednesday the 18th from 2am to support the Hovis workers and the Bakers Union in their heroic strike against zero hours contracts.
Please make every sacrifice they are on a 24 hour picket line, they are fighting on behalf of the whole Trade
Union Movement against Slave Labour. 
The address of the plant is Cale Lane, Wigan WN2 1HD, 

How can Greens in Local Government Fight Austerity ? videos

How can Greens in Local Government Fight Austerity ?  Green Left/ Green Party Trade Union Group  Public meeting near to the Green Party of England Wales autumn conference, Brighton 14/9/2013.

Introduction: Chair: HOWARD THORP (Green Party Campaigns Co-ordinator)
The speakers: Peter Allen (Green Left), Dani Ahrens (Brighton Bedroom Tax Victims' Support Group), Sean Thompson (Left Unity), Adam Ramsay (Oxford Green Party/Young Greens),
Discussion part 1  http:`//
Discussion part 2

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Blimey, we won something! PCS won our legal challenge to Eric Pickles' decision to scrap check-off

Dave Plummer via 
3:12 PM (18 hours ago)
to gp-tu
Blimey, we won something! PCS won our legal challenge to Eric Pickles' decision to scrap check-off in he Department of Communities and Local Government.

I think this, posted in the PCS members' Facebook group, is going to be the statement on the PCS site later:

   Eric Pickles costs taxpayers £90,000 in attack on union

   Taxpayers face a £90,000 legal bill after communities secretary Eric
   Pickles' "reckless and political" attack on the Public and
   Commercial Services union was ruled unlawful.

   The Department for Communities and Local Government had tried to
   unilaterally end a decades-old system for collecting union
   subscriptions through salaries -- an arrangement that costs the
   department just £300 a year to administer.

   But a High Court judge ruled today (3) the move was a breach of
   contract and must be reversed, and that DCLG will have to pay the
   union's legal costs as well as its own.

   The judge agreed with the union that having union subscriptions
   deducted through salaries -- known as 'check off' -- forms part of
   DCLG staff members' contracts and therefore could not be withdrawn
   without consent.

   Pickles has previously advised local authorities to end check off
   but was the first cabinet minister to attempt to apply it in the
   civil service.

   PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "It is staggering that
   Eric Pickles pressed ahead with this reckless and political attempt
   to undermine our union in his department.

   "Pickles has very serious questions to answer about why he decided
   to spend tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money fighting to
   scrap something that costs less than £30 a month."

There'll be some video of this morning's protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the PCS Euston Tower Branch YouTube channel later (I ain't finished editing it yet!)

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Green Left and Green Party Trade Union Group Public Meeting 14/9 Brighton

How can Greens in Local Government Fight Austerity ?

Starting with BRIEF introductions to the meeting from

Peter Allen (Green Left),  Dani Ahrens (Brighton Bedroom Tax Victims' Support Group),Sean Thompson (Left Unity), Adam Ramsay (Oxford Green Party/Young Greens),

Chair: HOWARD THORP (Green Party Campaigns Co-ordinator)
ALL Brighton Green Councillors will be invited to participate

Saturday 14th September at  8.00 pm Brighton Media Centre FRIESE-GREENE HOUSE 15-17 MIDDLE STREET  BRIGHTON BN1 1AL

Local Councils across Britain are in severe financial crisis, finding it difficult to carry out their statutory duties and certainly unable to expand and improve services in a climate of growing need. Brighton and Hove Council is in a particularly difficult situation, having suffered deeper cuts in central government funding than most.

● What is to be done?

● How can Green Councillors in Brighton and Hove and elsewhere most effectively fight the cuts?

● What role can Green Party members and anti-cuts campaigners play?

● How best to link up with local campaigns against council cuts ?

● How much more difficult is this when our Green Council in Brighton and Hove are making cuts?

● What should be our response to anti cuts campaigns in Brighton and elsewhere?

● Should Green Party members support Council workers and Unions in dispute with Councils?
 Even Green led Councils?

Should Green Councillors anywhere EVER vote for cuts?

Lend Labor Day Love to These 4 Striking Worker Groups

Lend Labor Day Love to These 4 Striking Worker Groups

(acknowledgements to Pete Frmin (Brent Fightback))

The labor dispute gaining the most attention currently is between fast food workers and their management. Unions have organized sporadic strikes at assorted restaurants across the country, including McDonalds, Taco Bells and KFCs, though there are currently mobilization efforts to turn the strike into a nationwide action.
Workers are demanding both the ability to unionize and a living wage. The $200 billion fast food industry is hardly short on profits to pay its employees fairly, but it may require the companies to stop paying their executives more than twice as much in a single day than their average worker makes in a year.
2. BART Employees
San Francisco’s popular public transit line is currently in a heated labor dispute. Though the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) continues to run during a 60-day “cooling off” time, it looks like the dispute might not get settled during this period on account of a $100 million discrepancy between union and management proposals.
BART workers haven’t received a raise in five years; their union representatives argue that pay needs to be adjusted to not only match inflation, but also the extraordinary cost of living around San Francisco.
The threat of a BART strike is frightening business for a city that has previously experienced the repercussions. With BART servicing nearly 375,000 passengers each weekday, buses and ferries were ill equipped to handle the sudden surplus, leaving many of the city’s commuters stranded.
3. The Minnesota Orchestra
Since last autumn, the Minnesota Orchestra has been in a prolonged labor dispute with its management. After having to cancel last year’s symphony season altogether, it looks similar action could occur this year if an agreement isn’t reached in the next couple of weeks. This time, however, if the two parties can’t successfully negotiate, the Minnesota Orchestra is likely to be permanently — apology for the pun — disbanded.
Thus far, the musicians are unimpressed with the management’s offer to cut their base pay by 32%. While the Minnesota Orchestra did agree to a mediator’s proposed compromise that would have the group rehearsed and ready for upcoming Carnegie Hall concerts, it was the management that declined this proposal.
4. Port Truck Drivers
Los Angeles and Long Beach port truck drivers are fighting the good fight for the ability to unionize. Comparing their jobs to “sweatshops on wheels,” the truckers complain that they are paid wages that leave them in poverty, are denied bathroom breaks and are forced to work overtime without compensation.
Thus far, the drivers’ parent company, Green Fleet, has intimidated the workers from trying to unionize, even going so far as to hire a law firm known for union-busting. Still, their threats were not enough to stop over one-third of the workforce from striking this past Monday, hindering the day’s shipping business.

Read more: