Wednesday, 30 April 2014

UCU members at Lambeth College are taking/indefinite/strike action

  • GPTU sends it's solidarity to Lambeth College UCU strikers. Green Party Trade Union group Secretary Peter Murry writes; "As an ex FE lecturer and member of the UCU Retired (London) Branch, I know that Further Education can often seem like the 'forgotten' sector of education and it is all to easy in a climate of austerity for yet more attacks to be mounted on FE Lecturers' pay and conditions inspite of the fact that FE plays a vital role benefitting society as a whole. I therefore send support to theLambeth College UCU strikers on behalf of GPTU."
acknowledgements to dave plummer

   UCU members at Lambeth College are taking/indefinite/strike action
   from this thursday 1st May. This bold and militant move is a
   response to a remarkable assault on pay and conditions by
   management, who are attempting to impose new contracts which include
   the following changes:

   . Increased working hours
   . Extended working week
   . Annual leave cut by 2 weeks
   . Increased contact hour time by 1 hour
   . Additional duties for no remuneration
   . A link between pay increments and capability
   . Reduced notice of redundancy
   . Drastically reduced sick pay

   Management are initially attempting to impose these contracts on new
   staff, current staff who are promoted or wish to change their
   fraction and will also affect current hourly-paid staff. However,
   management documents also state that the new contract of employment
   may be rolled out across the board for all existing staff.

   This dispute is of huge significance; if the new contracts are
   allowed to go through it will set a dangerous precedent for the
   sector and more widely. This is happening in a further education
   sector which is already being hit by funding cuts, frequent
   restructuring and in which staff already deal with unacceptably high
   workloads. So support for the strike is crucial - to boost the
   morale of the UCU workers, to show public condemnation of
   management's actions and also to increase the likelihood of Lambeth
   College Unison joining the strike as well - they are currently
   balloting for action. Here's how you can show your solidarity:

   On thursday 1st May. in addition to picket lines at the Brixton
   and Vauxhall Centres, there will be a Mass Picket  outside
   the  Clapham Centre, 45 Clapham Common Southside (Clapham Common
   tube station, Northern Line) to which trade unions and other
   supporters are invited.
   . That evening there will be a solidarity strike rally at 6pm in the
   evening, at the Karibu Centre, Gresham Road, Brixton, called by
   Lambeth College UCU, Lambeth College Unison and London Region UCU,
   where there will be hot food, and placard-painting activities for
   Send messages of support to Branch Secretary, Mandy Brown, at
   . Donate to the strike fund:

     Make cheques payable to J. Eldon and send to Mandy Brown c/o
   Lambeth Trades Council, Hambrook House, Porden Road, London SW2 5RW.

    Bank details: Halifax, Acc Name: J Eldon. Sort Code: 11- 01- 07.
   Acc No: 11242869

TUC conference - Greening the workplace: building the “union effect”. July 11th 2014

From: Emma Hendy <EHendy@TUC.ORG.UK>
Date: 30 April 2014 10:36:03 BST
To: Undisclosed recipients: ;
Subject: TUC conference - Greening the workplace:  building the “union effect”.  July 11th 2014
Dear colleague,

TUC conference - Greening the workplace:  building the “union effect”
Congress House, London, Friday 11 July 2014 10.00-13.00 – free, with buffet lunch

We would like to invite you to the upcoming TUC event Greening the Workplace – building the “union effect”

The TUC has invited Labour’s shadow energy Minister Tom Greatrex MP to open this national conference, which focuses on the achievements of trade union reps in building sustainable workplaces, and the rights and responsibilities they need to be even more effective. We will launch new findings from the Labour Research Department’s (LRD) study of the “union effect” on greening the workplace, and introduce UCU’s new Environment Reps Handbook Staff Organising for Sustainability SOS. Aimed at shop stewards and activists interested in creating sustainable workplaces, the conference will brief delegates on best practice projects across the UK, and advice on building green networks in trade unions and in the regions.

Speakers include
Paul Nowak, Assistant General Secretary, TUC
Lionel Fulton, LRD Secretary
Sarah Pearce, editor, TUC Greenworkplaces newsletter
Beverley Hall, International, Environment & CSR Officer, Prospect
Keith Hatch, South West TUC
Graham Petersen, UCU Environment Coordinator

Further speakers to be announced

Our chair is Sue Ferns, Director of Research & Communications at Prospect and General Council lead on the environment.

To register online, please go to:

Kind Regards,

Emma Hendy
PA to Nicola Smith
TUC Economic and Social Affairs Dept
Congress House
Tel: 020 7467 1258

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Commemorating workers memorial day

Commemorating workers memorial day

April 28, 2014  lead Green Perty MEP candidate, East Midlands

Remember also, those who gave their lives at work . . .
I am writing this on the first anniversary (24th April) of the fire in the
Bangladesh garment factory that killed over 1100 workers. One year
on their families still wait for adequate compensation and large retailers
still “bring to the market” clothing made in unsafe conditions by over
exploited workers in Bangladesh and elsewhere.
Monday April 28th is Workers’ Memorial Day, when trade unions
across the world remember fellow workers who have lost their lives
 due to accidents at work, which have often been caused by a lack
of health and safety measures by employers, and reaffirm their
commitment to creating and maintaining safe working environments.
As the TUC says on its website The purpose behind Workers
Memorial Day has always been to “remember the dead; fight for the
living” … the latter can best be done by building trade union
organisations, and campaigning for stricter enforcement of health &
 safety laws with higher penalties for breaches.
Deaths at work due to poor Health and Safety measures are not
confined to poor countries. In the UK of particular concern is the
danger faced by workers on building sites. 760 site workers have
been killed since 2001, more than the number of British soldiers killed
 in Iraq and Afghanistan combined during the same period.

In 2012-13, 5.2 million working days were lost due to injury at work
and there were 148 fatalities. After a steady decline in recent years,
there is a serious concern that deaths and injuries are showing an
There has been a decrease in trade union membership with an
increased casualisation of the workforce in recent years, something
that is particularly strong on building sites. To compound this problem,
the budget of the Health and Safety Executive was cut by 35% in
2011, which has resulted in fewer inspections and fewer prosecutions
of negligent employers. This puts more workers lives and health at risk.
The Green Party agrees with the TUC that we need a strong strategy
on Health and Safety from the European Commission to raise standards
throughout Europe. We also recognise that actions by politicians in
Parliaments need to be combined with action by trade unions, fighting,
like the Green Party, for the Common Good.
Vote Green 2014

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Great Grunwick Strike: the Past and Present Politics of Class, Racism and Gender

The Great Grunwick Strike: the Past and Present Politics of Class, Racism and Gender

StartsApr 24, 2014 06:00 PM
FinishesApr 24, 2014 08:00 PM
VenueQueens Parade. 12 Willesden Lane, Willesden Green, NW2 5HT
Booking details
Free entry; booking required

Event description

This session will feature a screening of the documentary 'The Great Grunwick Strike, 1976-78' produced by the Brent Trades Union Council. The film deals with a bitter industrial dispute involving union recognition for a workforce that was largely made up of Asian women, and which unfolded in the backstreets of Willesden Green. Trades unionists, feminists and anti-racist campaigners will join us for a discussion of the contemporary legacies of the strike: how class, ethnicity and gender overlapped and diverged during the strike itself, and how the events of that period can inform struggles for equality today.
This event is part of Birkbeck’s, Pop Up University at Queen’s Parade on Willesden Green High Street taking place from mid March until end of May to bring you a series of thought-provoking events designed to engage and inspire.  Come along to participate in free workshops, lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, debates and performances.
You will also have the opportunity to:
  • Find out more about Birkbeck courses
  • Talk through your options with a qualified careers consultant
  • Find out more about fees and funding for courses
  • Get help writing your course application
  • Gain practical hints and tips to help you return to study

Visit to find out more or email us at

Thursday, 17 April 2014


Romayne Phoenix12:47pm Apr 17
In most countries in Europe, the 1st of May (International Workers' Day) is a public holiday, but the official "May Day" holiday takes place on the firstMonday in May in the UK. The London May Day Organising Committee organises a march on the 1st of May anyway, and campaigns for that day to be a public holiday.

As says, it "has been a unique bringing together of trade unionists, workers from the many international communities in London, pensioners, anti-globalisation organisations, students, political bodies and many others in a show of working class unity."

In the model motion, accessible from the same page, it says "We urge unions involved in industrial action to consider May 1st as an appropriate date for such action." One such union involved in a dispute is the National Union of Teachers (NUT); if it called another strike on that day, that would be particularly effective at building a big demonstration, since many parents and school students could join it as well as striking teachers.

This is an unofficial event. I live in Manchester so couldn't be involved in the London May Day Organising Committee, but having noticed that the publicity for this very important event is low key (as I noticed last year when I called for a general strike on that day - see I decided to set up this Facebook event to build the demonstration and encourage coordinated strike action.

According to the latest news page, accessible from, the London May Day march will follow the traditional route and timings:


This May Day event will be part of a mass movement across the world. The following event coordinates demonstrations (with a call to reoccupy the streets across the world):
May Day
London May Day Organising Committee (LMDOC) brings together trade unions, organisations from London'...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Monday, 14 April 2014

The People's Parliament meeting on the NHS: Room 19 House of Commons 6.30 to 8.30pm TUES 29TH April.

 The People's Parliament meeting on the NHS
   Room 19  House of Commons     6.30 to 8.30pm   TUES 29TH April.


    There will be short talks by a number of people from Keep Our NHS Public (KONP).  The subjects are the effects of the H & SC
   Act; a clinician on the effects on morale among clinicians and staff; a speaker from the Lewisham campaign; a talk on the NHS
  we need; and a speaker on the Transatlantic Trade and=  Investment Partnership (TTIP).

  The speakers will be Paul Evans, Jacky Davis, Jill Mountford, John Lipetz and Gay Lee.
  Each will be short to encourage debate.
    For those of you in London this should be worth attending.
    You have to book a ticket - so go to People's Parliament, look at events and get your place booked.

Romayne Phoenix
Green Party Trade Union Liaison Officer,

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Ritzy Cinema, BRIXTON union members name first strike date -

Subject: Ritzy Cinema, BRIXTON union members name first strike date -
Friday 11 April
BECTU members at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, part of the Picturehouse
chain, are to take strike action in a week's time on Friday 11 April.

Members at the venue are determined to persuade management to recognise the
London Living Wage (LLW) as the minimum benchmark for earnings.

The Ritzy cinema in located in a vibrant and increasingly wealthy part of
South London and staff there face all the increasing costs of living in

*Strike action on Friday 11 April *The strike action will commence at 06.00 on Friday 11 April and will run through until 03.00 on Saturday 12 April.

BECTU served management with formal notice of the date of action today
* <>*

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Middle East Solidarity: "The Egypt Solidarity Initiative and the campaign for academic freedoms in Egypt "

Middle East Solidarity pt1 Anne Alexander of Middle East Solidarity addresses UCU retired members' London Branch AGM 10/4/2014 on "The Egypt Solidarity Initiative and the campaign for academic freedoms in Egypt ". Chaired by Jan Pollock.
 Middle East Solidarity: questions and discussion Anne Alexander of Middle East Solidarity at UCU retired members' London Branch AGM 10/4/2014: Questions and discussion on "The Egypt Solidarity Initiative and the campaign for academic freedoms in Egypt ". Chaired by Jan Pollock.

Friday, 4 April 2014

People's Assembly demo's 1pm, Saturday 5th April, and 21 JUNE

The People's Assembly Against Austerity
Dear Peter,


1pm, Saturday 5th April, One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge London

Join the demonstration against the impact of welfare reform and the attacks on those claiming welfare benefits tomorrow at One Hyde Park building, the most expensive residence in the world.
There will be music, a choir, helium balloons, a giant birthday card for Iain Duncan Smith for protesters to sign, and face painting!



No more Austerity: Demand the Alternative!

Demonstrate Saturday 21 June
Assemble 1pm, BBC HQ, Portland Place
London W1A 1AA. March to Parliament

Leaflets and posters are now available from the office. Please email with the subject line 'demo publicity'. 

Download the new leaflet:
A5 Leaflet

Download the posters:
A2 Poster / A3 Poster

If you missed our last email, here are 6 things you can do today to help make this demo massive:


The People's Assembly Against Austerity

In solidarity,

The People's Assembly Against Austerity
The People's Assembly Against Austerity · United Kingdom
This email was sent to To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with The People's Assembly Against Austerity on Twitter or Facebook.

Firefighters and the floods: magnificent response but problems underlined

Charles Gate11:28am Apr 4
FBU and Flooding

New firefighters and the floods: magnificent response but problems underlined

by Paul Hampton, Fire Brigades’ Union

The recent floods saw the biggest fire and rescue service mobilisation since the Second World War, with firefighters involved in huge numbers of rescues, wide-scale evacuations and deployment of high volume pumps.
But Fire Brigades Union members also reported that serious budget restrictions caused by cuts in central funding had created problems such as equipment shortages and inadequate training.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters did a fantastic job in the floods, saving lives and reducing damage done to homes and businesses, and are always proud to serve their communities during difficult times.
“But a very troubling picture is emerging of understaffed operations, badly equipped firefighters and inadequate training severely hampering their work and creating greater risk for firefighters and the public.”
He added: “Although there has been improvement in equipment after firefighters raised concerns during the 2007 floods, it seems our calls for better preparation and support have not yet been adequately addressed, with NOT not been adequately addressed, with unprecedented cuts severely jeopardising our ability to cope with the floods effectively.
“Firefighters are keen and proud to do this work but they have the right to expect the best levels of training, equipment and resources. That was promised after 2007 but has not been delivered and the situation is getting significantly worse due to the huge cuts the government has made to fire service budgets.”
The union said 20 brigades were sent into Devon and Somerset and a further 16 crews deployed to support fire-fighters in Berkshire.
The FBU investigation found:
• Large numbers of firefighters attending floods in protective equipment designed for dealing with fires, rather than water
• A shortage of specialist fire service vehicles capable of driving through high water levels
• A lack of sufficient dry suits, meaning replacement crews had no immediate access to this equipment, restricting their ability to respond
• Poor quality dry suits and other equipment
• A lack of replacements for equipment damaged during use
• Widespread problems relating to health and welfare, with firefighters being affected by suspected waterborne infections and sickness
• The deployment of ageing or deteriorating boats.
Problems with training were also reported, with firefighters saying that specialist water training, for example on using boats, had been significantly reduced because of budget restrictions.
Trades Union Congress - GreenWorkplaces News: March 2014
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Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Truth about UKIP

Unions Together
We've all heard the hype, but what is the truth about UKIP? They're like the Tories BUT WORSE. Want job security? Take a pay cut. UKIP think job security is a luxury you should pay for with lower wages.
Maternity pay! Who needs it? UKIP would scrap the right to maternity leave for women working for small businesses. Our NHS up for sale to the highest bidder. UKIP would auction the whole of our NHS off to private companies, from ambulances to hospital wards. Taxes cut for the richest, taxes raised for the rest. UKIP would introduce a flat rate of tax, raising taxes for the poorest tax-payers, while the rich would pay much less.
Paid holiday? Scrapped. UKIP would scrap your legal right to four weeks' paid holiday. So now you know the truth about UKIP. Let's stand together and stop them.