Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Defend Max Watson, UNISON Branch Secretary, London Met University

Defend Max Watson, UNISON Branch Secretary, London Met University

Petition published by claire locke on Jul 23, 2015
466 Signatures 
Target: London Metropolitan University
Region: United Kingdom

Petition Background (Preamble):

Max Watson, UNISON Branch Secretary at London Met University is under threat of being made redundant. He is the only member of staff in his whole faculty being made compulsorily redundant and one of only three UNISON members facing compulsory redundancy among non academic staff across the whole University.

Max has proved time and again to be a staunch fighter of members’ interests at the University, and UNISON believes the University is using this round of redundancies to deliberately target Max because he is a thorn in their side.


Max Watson, UNISON Branch Secretary at London Met University is under threat of being made redundant. He is the only member of staff in his whole faculty being made compulsorily redundant and one of only three UNISON members facing compulsory redundancy among non academic staff across the whole University. Max has proved time and again to be a staunch fighter of members’ interests at the University, and UNISON believes the University is using this round of redundancies to deliberately target Max because he is a thorn in their side.

All UNISON members have the right to be represented by their chosen elected representative and we will not accept Max being singled out in this way.

We the undersigned call on the University management to withdraw the notice of dismissal on Max Watson with immediate effect and stop the victimising of UNISON representatives.
The Defend Max Watson, UNISON Branch Secretary, London Met University petition to London Metropolitan University was written by claire locke and is in the category Employment at GoPetition. Contact author here.
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Monday, 27 July 2015

Barnet Unison v Capita starts today

/Message from Barnet Unison/


Employment Tribunal starts TODAY 27 July 2015

 Barnet UNISON members may remember the following awful headlines:



 UNISON call on Capita to reverse mass redundancies in Barnet LINK

 130 Capita CSG redundancies is far too many....... LINK


 Barnet UNISON represented members throughout the redundancy process
 after which UNISON submitted a claim against Capita. The legal process
 does take a long time, but finally the date of the hearing has been set.

 The Tribunal will start on Monday 27 July
 2015 at 10:00am
  at the Watford Employment Tribunal at the
 following address: Radius House, 51 Clarendon Road, Watford,
 Hertfordshire, WD17 1HP .

 The case is due to last until Friday 7
 August 2015 .

 For staff/members/public interested in this case Tribunal Hearings are
 open to the public

Gp-tu mailing list
acknowledgements to Martin Francis

Friday, 24 July 2015

Thursday, 23 July 2015

SERTUC activities and news SERTUC Regional Council

SERTUC activities and news  SERTUC Regional Council

Saturday 31 October – note the date and more information soon
Course: Gender, Globalisation and Poverty Reduction three days Weds 22, Thurs 23, Fri 24 July at South Thames College, Tooting with Rosa Crawford TUC, Susan Cueva Unison, Klara Skrivankova Anti-Slavery International contact 

TUC march and rally
Manchester on Sunday 4 October (during Conservative Party conference) 

Disputes/union actions

PCS National Gallery
Support the National Gallery Collection Week 13-17 July – after 45 days of strike action, organise a collection at work, info here
http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/national-gallery/latest-news.cfm#july_strikes_august_escalation collection sheet here https://ngnotforsale.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/ng_appeal-collection-sheet-july-august-2015.pdf
Unite Community Southampton

LEFTFEST Saturday 25 July 11am with Kate Smurthwaite comedian, Tony Woodhouse Unite, music, poets, film, more info here

Trades Council actions

Portsmouth trades council

Blacklisting meeting Thursday 23 July 7.30 with author Phil Chamberlain more info 
Battersea & Wandsworth trades council

John Burns’ Battersea: A walk through local trade union heritage Saturday 25 July 11am ending at the Bread & Roses pub, info here

Croydon trades council
Open meeting Tuesday 4 August 7.30pm at Ruskin House with Jeremy Corbyn MP more from 

West Surrey trades council
Next meeting is Thursday 17 September 6pm for 6.30 preceded by food, coffee and soft drinks, at NASUWT in Send, contact Mick Dawson

Lincoln trades council
Yes, we know it's not in our Region, but we are neighbours and they are organising a response to the EDL demonstration on Saturday 25 July, contact 
lincolntuc@gmail.com and see https://www.facebook.com/LincolnTUC and http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/Campaigners-planned-English-Defence-League-march/story-26797287-detail/story.html#Ev6MDEpitZxFK5tU.01

Barking, Dagenham & Havering
With the NUT is putting on a coach to the Tolpuddle festival Sunday 19 July departs 7.45am contact 

Other actions/events

Camden – Dangerous characters in London’s Little Italy
A free historical exhibition to Friday 31 July at Camden Library more info here 
US archive of radical posters
All sorts of stuff here 

Marx Memorial Library

Martin Rowson's cartoons "terrify our rulers and scandalise the respectable" Thursday 16 July at 7pm £3 admin@mml.xyz
Sylvia Pankhurst Memorial Lecture
Organised by the Sylvia Pankhurst Memorial Committee at Wortley Hall, near Sheffield, Friday 14 August 7pm to be given by Mary Davis more details here 

Compass local meeting
Godalming Saturday 18 July 10am with Ruth Lister details here 

Women's Assembly Against Austerity
Is looking for a date for their rally/conference - they've moved from 3 October (TUC demo in Manchester) and will establish a date soon

Burston Strike School Rally

Sunday 6 September with Jeremy Corbyn MP, Clive Lewis MP, Megan Dobney SERTUC, Elvis McGonagall (performance poet), RMT Brass Band, Christine Blower (NUT), Matt Wrack (FBU), The Hurriers, Mike Jackson (Lesbian & Gays Support the Miners)

Romayne Phoenix
Green Party Trade Union Liaison Officer,
Green Party National Executive

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

SABMiller responds to support for striking workers by blocking emails

Last week we asked you to show support for the unions on strike for bargaining rights at global brewery giant SABMillers' subsidiary in Panama, Cervecería Nacional. Thousands of you quickly responded, and your support has been conveyed to the workers.

SABMiller management in Panama responded to this show of solidarity by blocking these messages on July 18. But the strike continues, and you can still show your support - your messages to the company are now being collected by the IUF for presentation to SABMiller as a petition. Your voice will be heard! If you have not yet been able to send a message, please take a moment to do - CLICK HERE to sign the petition to SABMiller!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

London Retired Members Branch Number 3 - July 2015 Newsletter

Newsletter #3 

Download the UCU London Retired Members Newsletter from here...or see below

Articles on:
  • The Labour Leadership Election and the NPC Pensioners Manifesto
  • Lewisham Southwark college plan to close their Camberwell site and sell it for £5 million
  • The Dominican Republic and Bahrain
  • Ongoing Dispute at the National gallery and further developments at London Metropolitan University
  • TUC to organise national demonstration in October
  • A book on "Working Lives and Trade Unions in West London 1945-95"

Branch Walks

Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

London Retired Members Branch Number 3 - July 2015 Newsletter

 The Labour Leadership Election and the NPC Pensioners Manifesto 

NPC Pensioners Manifesto

* A basic state pension for all, set above the poverty level of £175 a week
* Increases in pensions to be linked to the best of RPI,CPI, earnings or 2.5%
* Universal pensioner benefits (bus pass, winter fuel allowance, free TV licences for the over 75's and free prescriptions) to be maintained without means testing
* A National Health and Care Service which is free at the point of use and funded through taxation
 * A legally binding Dignity Code to improve the quality and standards of care for older people

Following a discussion at the last UCU London Retired Members meeting, the branch secretary has written to all the candidates in the Labour Leadership election asking them whether they support the National Pensioners Convention's Pensioners Manifesto. Each candidate has been sent an email to their campaign address, an email to the House of Commons and a written letter in the post to the House of Commons.

After 3 weeks, only one has replied. Jeremy Corbyn's campaign team have said: "Yes, Jeremy does indeed support the National Pensioners Charter". The secretary has received numerous emails from the other candidates on a range of different topics but, alas, nothing that relates to the question actually asked.

 If you're a member of the Labour Party you can sign up to vote in the leadership election for free. Otherwise, you can become a registered Labour supporter for £3 to vote in the leadership election. More details from the website: http: //support. labour. org. uk/

 Stop this college closure: support the occupation

 Lewisham Southwark college plan to close their Camberwell site and sell it for £5 million. Police have threatened to evict occupiers trying to save the site. Ian Crosson, of Defend Lewisham Southwark College, said: “We want college governors to meet with us and look at alternatives ways out of this crisis than simply sacking key staff.” UCU believe strongly that the proposed cuts will have a devastating effect and that the notion these cuts will "save" the college is farcical.

Furthermore, the proposal to close Camberwell campus and its provision will further deprive the community of vital educational opportunities.

 The Society for Caribbean Studies condemns the threat by the Dominican Republic to expel thousands of its citizens of Haitian heritage.

 The Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic made a ruling in September 2013, which retroactively stripped the birthright citizenship from tens of thousands of people whose families have lived in the country for generations. The ruling covers Dominican citizens resident in the Republic since 1929 and their descendants, rendering them not only stateless but unable to attend school or make a living while becoming even more vulnerable to all kinds of hostilities. Researchers have already noted the impact of the ruling. A recent report by US trade unions concluded that “the deliberate creation of a stateless underclass increases the already formidable risks of exploitation”. It warned that the ruling could worsen poverty among those affected, because without an identity card people are relegated to informal jobs and have little bargaining power in relations with employers. The last time there was a major governmental crackdown against people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, during the 1937 “Parsley Massacre” by the forces of Dominican state, over 20,000 men, women and children were rounded up, then beaten or hacked to death for just being considered to be Haitian or simply looking as if they were because they were of African heritage. The Society for Caribbean Studies therefore calls upon governments, international and regional organisations, as well as human rights, and trade union organisations to put all available pressure on the government of the Dominican Republic to reverse this injustice. No ethnic cleansing in the Caribbean.


In a recent statement, Education International reports that Jalila al­Salman and Mahdi Abu Dheeb, leaders of the suppressed Bahrain Teachers Association (BTA), have been awarded this year's Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights.

For more than two years the UCU London Retired Member branch has publicly opposed the atrocious treatment of the BTA and other Bahraini opponents of the absolute monarchy. Prisoner of Conscience The ongoing nature of the attack on the BTA is emphasised in Education International's report on the Svensson Prize: "Mahdi Abu Dheeb, currently incarcerated, was sentenced to five years in prison. His health condition worsens steadily due to a lack of essential and critical medical aid. He is recognised as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Jalila al­Salman was released after nearly six months in prison, but suffers still from a job ban and restrictions to her right to free speech."

British Base

In May of this year our branch's motion on Bahrain was carried at UCU Congress. In particular, the branch has been concerned about British government complicity in human rights abuses in Bahrain and support for the repressive regime which hosts a large British base in the country and we are calling for an international trade union led inquiry into British support for the regime. Read more about Bahrain on the branch website: www. ucu­ retired­ london. org. uk/bahrain3. html

Ongoing Dispute at the National gallery

 Previous issues of this newsletter have raised the question of the National Gallery's plans to privatise 400 of their 600 staff. These are the staff who are responsible for the security of the paintings and the public, looking after millions of visitors every year. 50 days on the picket line The next strikes in the campaign to oppose mass privatisation within the National Gallery and to demand the reinstatement of unjustly sacked PCS rep Candy Udwin, take place on 20­22 July 2015. The action on 20 July also marks 50 days of strike action taken by the PCS members working in the Gallery and the strikers are planning to make the day a real celebration of the tremendous solidarity and support that the long­running action has attracted.

PCS members at National Gallery will be striking every week through July and in August will be voting on escalating their action still further, if the gallery has not agreed to halt their privatisation plans and to reinstate Candy Udwin. Judge’s summing­ up at Candy Udwin’s successful Interim Relief Employment Tribunal Hearing “it actually says no more than that the claimant did what any employee, but perhaps more particularly one in the trade union looking for relevant material, could have done. That is, she accessed the respondent’s internet legitimately and found a document that was marked private and confidential. Having found the document she used it to do a calculation. That cannot be wrong or improper. ". . . .the claimant could have shared this with any other employee entirely legitimately. Instead, she told Mr Bemrose, her trade union national negotiator. I consider it highly likely that it will be accepted, as the claimant urges, that an internal trade union representative (here, the claimant) is at liberty to consult a senior national (i.e. external) trade union negotiator freely and openly with relevant concerns. . . . . .I do not consider it likely that the claimant informing Mr Bemrose will be found to be culpable of blameworthy conduct, let alone gross misconduct. . . . . . It actually was permissible trade union activities is what I consider an employment tribunal is likely to find.”

More details from the PCS website: www. pcs. org. uk/en/national­ gallery/national­ gallery. cfm

Further developments at London Metropolitan University

 Unison branch secretary at London Metropolitan University, Max Watson, has been targeted for compulsary redundancy. Both UNISON and UCU believe that this is politically motivated ­ it is the second time that they have tried to get rid of Max. Management are using this as a diversion from the fight to oppose 165 redundancies across the univeristy. The trade unions at Lonon Met are determined to fight the cuts and protect their union organisation. They deserve everyone's support.

REDBRIDGE TRADES COUNCIL PASSES MOTION IN SOLIDARITY WITH LONDON MET: This Redbridge Trades Council condemns the compulsory redundancy notice issued to London Metropolitan University UNISON Branch Secretary, Max Watson. We believe that the LMU management have taken this action because of Max Watson’s Trade Union activities and his active support for anti­cuts campaigns, both within the university and the wider community; we note his role in the successful campaign to re­instate Charlotte Monroe at our local,Whipps Cross hospital.

1) We call for the withdrawal of this notice
2) Offer unconditional support to UNISON in this action
3) Express solidarity with all those fighting for higher education and against the cuts at London Metropolitan University London Metropolitan staff will be on strike on 24th July: Strike Rally: 12.00­2pm Tower Building, 166­220 Holloway Rd, London N7 8DB

The TUC will organise a national demonstration in Manchester this autumn against the government’s austerity agenda and attacks on trade unions. It will take place on Sunday 4 October and will begin with a march through central Manchester, culminating in a rally close to the Conservative Party Conference. Workers and community organisations from across the country will join the demonstration, which will be the first the TUC has organised since the Conservative government came to power.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This October’s march and rally will allow thousands of ordinary people to show the government exactly what they think oft heir policies. “The Conservatives’ planned attack on trade unions and extreme cuts are an assault on working people at a time when they should be focused on securing the UK’s fragile recovery and creating better jobs to boost productivity.” Defend the Right to Strike We propose an energetic campaign across the trade union movement to safeguard our rights. We intend to make the case that trade union rights are democratic rights. No other voluntary organisation in society faces as much legal intereference in their internal affairs as we do in the trade unions. The right to withdraw one’s labour is a hallmark of a free society. We believe this law can be defeated if the movement acts quickly and decisively. Defeating it would be the first step in recovering the trade union rights which have been taken from us in recent decades

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Halt privatisation plans and reinstate Candy Udwin.

PCS members are voting on all out strike action from August if the gallery has not agreed to halt their privatisation plans and to reinstate Candy Udwin. So we are asking our supporters for your continued support and solidarity!!

Next strike dates: MON – WED 20-22 JULY Picket 9-11am
PCS members at National Gallery will celebrate 50 days of strike action on Monday 20th with a party on the picket line!

Wednesday 22 July 8-9am
National Gallery
Trafalgar Square

On the eve of his retirement National Gallery Director has given press interviews saying staff should not be privatised!
“The recent strike over plans to contract out certain jobs was a “great sadness”, in part because he sympathised with the union case. “I would very much prefer to keep all the gallery assistants as part of the gallery, " he said. "If they're not, they don't feel part of the institution in the same way."

Recently knighted Sir Nicholas Penny has also stood down from chairing Candy Udwin’s appeal against dismissal following the Interim Relief Employment Tribunal found it likely she was unfairly dismissed for trade union activities. This means someone from outside the gallery who has not been mutually agreed by PCS will chair the hearing.

The appointment of new director, Gabriele Finaldi, has been delayed till August. PCS are calling on him to intervene now to help enable talks between the gallery and the union to resolve the dispute.

Ways you can help:

Please make a donation or do a collection next week if you can.
Details of our strike fund are here https://ngnotforsale.wordpress.com

It would be great if supporters could discuss how they could support escalated action by planning a speaking tour in your area or picking a day to provide support on the picket lines.

If you have submitted a Freedom of Information request you may have had a reply from the  National Gallery stating your request was "vexatious" are therefore they are not complying. Please reply to the email stating that you do not believe that your request was vexatious but believe it is in the public interest and therefore you would like them to supply you with the information you have requested. 

Our petitioni has now topped 45,000. Please use this poster to share 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Greece Solidarity Campaign demonstration outside the German Embassy in Belgrave Square at 6.30 on (this) Wednesday 15 July 2015.

Solidarity with the People of Greece

As part of Europe-wide demonstrations, Greece Solidarity Campaign Officers have called for a demonstration outside the German Embassy in Belgrave Square at 6.30 on (this) Wednesday 15 July 2015.

The Greece Solidarity Campaign says:
The need for solidarity with the people of Greece is greater than ever before. They are fighting an ever greater struggle, not only against austerity and illegitimate debt, but against the destruction of their democracy, self-determination and national sovereignty. It is our responsibility to work to end the isolation of Greece through both political and material solidarity: we cannot let the people of Greece stand alone - the development and strengthening of solidarity networks coordinating together across Europe must be our urgent priority. We stand with the people of Greece in their determination to defeat austerity.
Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

1,500 Bolton and Glasgow Call Centre staff will walk out for 48 hours next Monday and Tuesday

1,500 Bolton and Glasgow Call Centre staff will walk out for 48 hours next Monday and Tuesday after 84% of Public and Commercial Services Union members voted for a strike against the DWP's "increasingly oppressive working culture".

Monday, 13 July 2015

Socialist History Seminar and Epping Forest Walk

Epping Forest Walk

(Epping to Loughton), 27th July 2015
Meet at Epping underground station on the Central Line, to start the walk at 12.00 noon.

Socialist History Seminar

Saturday 18 July 2015
Bernard Capp (University of Warwick) speaks on
Diggers, Ranters and Fifth Monarchy Men: An Overview of the Revolutionary and Radical Sects in the 1640-60 Era.
Time: 2.00 pm Venue Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green. London EC1
Socialist History Society website...
Copyright © 2015 UCU London Retired Members Branch, All rights reserved.
UCU London Retired Members Branch - members and supporters

Our mailing address is:
UCU London Retired Members Branch
53 Fladgate Road
Leytonstone, London E11 1LX
United Kingdom

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Friday, 10 July 2015

Sotheby's London: Reinstate your Cleaners and Pay them the Living Wage

We (Marco, Barbara, Percy and Jorge) worked as cleaners at Sotheby's, the multinational auction house. We have just been suspended from our jobs, after calling for contractual sick pay and to keep the Living Wage when it goes up this November.
We have effectively been sacked for daring to ask for a decent wage and better benefits. We are asking Sotheby’s to reinstate us and treat us better. We currently only receive statutory sick pay which means that if we are sick or injured we only receive a small fraction of it. We cannot afford to live off that which means that we end up working when we are sick or injured in order to afford the rent for our homes.
They also promised that they would become a Living Wage employer, but in November the Living Wage will go up, and Sotheby’s have refused to raise our wage to match it.
We have families to support. It’s not reasonable to withdraw our full wages when we work hard throughout the year but cannot work because we’re sick.
On Wednesday 1st July we organised a protest with our trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), because Sotheby's refused to pay us this basic compensation. The morning after Sotheby’s banned us all from the building. We were made to hand over our passes and escorted off the premises. They treated us like criminals. Sotheby’s have released a statement to say we have been suspended for “attempting to assault clients”. The protest was peaceful -- we feel they are using excuses to avoid an employee dispute over pay.
Today the Government said that Britain has a “low wage problem” and that a living wage is necessary for a basic standard of living.The Living Wage is the minimum amount needed to cover the cost of living in the UK.

According to Sotheby's bosses we were dismissed because, the protest may have “put the business at risk” and resulted in loss of revenue. But that same evening Sotheby’s held a record-breaking auction where it sold £130 million worth of paintings. Our protest was both peaceful and lawful and only held because Sotheby's refused to discuss our pay.
Please sign this petition and tell Sotheby's to reinstate us. We have worked there for many years and done nothing wrong. All we did was exercise our human right to protest for a real living wage and sick pay. Is this too much to ask from a multinational auction house that makes millions of pounds in profits per year and pays its CEO $7 million a year?

petition at https://www.change.org/p/sotheby-s-london-reinstate-your-cleaners-and-pay-them-the-living-wage?recruiter=9757788&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_page&utm_term=des-sm-no_src-custom_msg&fb_ref=Default