Monday, 31 August 2015


Sunday, 30 August 2015

Please join this anti-fascist demo in Croydon called by UAF

Please join this anti-fascist demo in Croydon called by UAF

We are Croydon

No to Racism & Fascism -

No BNP in Croydon

 Saturday 5 September 11.30am Lunar House 40 Wellesley Road,
Croydon CR9 2BY

The fascist and racist British National Party are coming to Lunar House to try to intimidate new migrants in our community.

A coalition of local people and trade unions have come together to stand against racists and to stand up for our diverse community.

Join the demonstration against the BNP coming to Croydon.
Supported by Croydon Trades Council, PCS, NUT, GMB, Unite, UCU and DPAC

Solidarity with migrants and refugees in Calais
A solidarity delegation is heading to Calais on Sat 5th September organised by Stand Up to Racism
People can donate money, food or practical things such as clothing, sanitary products, bedding or children’s toys etc a collection sheet is available via the link below.If you have items to donate or can organise a collection at work or in your community this week please contact

A second delegation is being planned for October 17. If you would like to help organise a contingent from South East London to join this delegation and collect for it contact

check for what's happening locally - collections etc or start something ! Contact and coordinate with those groups starting up ? Socks/ jeans / t shirts / hoodies / sleeping bags / wash stuff / phones / etc

Monday, 24 August 2015

Time to Act! Climate Change conference: Sheffield 19th September

Noprivatisation AtNG

Our second week of all out strike action has brought results!
  • Our petition went over 130,000 signatures as Gabriele Finaldi the new director took up office.
  • PCS met with Dr Finaldi and talks are ongoing in an attempt to resolve the dispute over privatisation and to demand Candy Udwin’s reinstatement.   

Thank you for all the amazing support!  See just some of the solidarity here

We are still appealing for help to raise sufficient funds to ensure that the low paid strikers can afford to keep fighting.
Or donate to  sort code 08/60/01 and account no: 20169002 or cheques to PCS Culture Media andSport Association, c/o PCS North West Region, Jack Jones House,1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG

PCS members in National Museum of Wales and National Museums Scotland are also on strike and on 29 August there will be strikes in London, Wales and Scotland. 
Please support your local strikes and consider organising a solidarity protest outside your local museum or gallery.

Picket 9-11am (including weekends and bank holidays!)
Plus Fridays 5-6.30pm
University workers will join us on Tuesday and Council workers on Saturday.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

London Federation of Green Parties' speakers' meeting 18/8/2015. Eliot Corner (Music, musical instruments and Green politics) and TTIP (Mark Dearn)

London Federation of Green Parties' speakers' meeting 18/8/2015. Eliot Corner (Music, musical instruments and Green politics) and TTIP (Mark Dearn)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Crash call for the nhs

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Crash Call for the NHS - Saturday 

Shepherd's Bush Green at noon

- See more at:



Candy Udwin heard today that the National Gallery had turned down her appeal against dismissal despite the ruling of an Employment Tribunal Interim Relief Hearing that it was likely she had been unfairly dismissed for her trade union activities.

60,000 people have signed the petition to the new gallery director Gabriele Finaldi against the gallery’s privatisation plans  since he took up post this week, doubling its numbers to over 120,000 signatures !

PCS is meeting Dr Finaldi this week and will ask him to step in to resolve the dispute by doing the right thing  - to overturn the privatisation and to reinstate Candy.  Talks are also ongoing with the National Gallery and Securitas at ACAS. 

Friday 21 August Picket 5-6.30pm supported by London Region PCS 
Friday night Solidarity Social 6.30pm – all welcome Silver Cross Pub, Whitehall

Thank you so much for your support so far. We are still appealing for help to raise sufficient funds to ensure that National Gallery strikers can afford to keep fighting.
Or donate to  sort code 08/60/01 and account no: 20169002 or cheques to PCS Culture Media andSport Association, c/o PCS North West Region, Jack Jones House,1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG

Picket seven days a week 9-11am plus Friday 5-6.30pm
Thursday 20th additional picket 4.30-6pm supported by Unite Housing branch
Saturday 22nd additional picket 1130-12.30 supported by Rank & File Building workers
Saturday 22nd solidarity with museums and galleries fighting cuts in Wales, Scotland and England

The strikers are inviting trade unions or campaigns to adopt a day of strike action during August.  If you can’t come to the picket line please show your support in other ways by organising collections or solidarity messages.

Pictures here of just some of the amazing support so far:

Strikers will help adapt a suitable painting from the National Gallery collection to help publicise your solidarity if you like. 

Alan update, Bromley library leafleting this Saturday and SERTUC Trades Council Conference

Ann Garrett
On Tuesday, 18 August 2015, 22:05, BTUC <> wrote:

Just to update in typical Bromley Council style they cancelled Alan's hearing at the last minute, thanks for all those that came along to his rally, we will keep you posted on the re-scheduled date, in meantime please do keep posting messages of support on his FB page:-
This Saturday there will be leafleting outside Bromley Central Library, 11-1pm, if around please do come along and help, if only for a few minutes, don't forget about the library consultation:-
Finally please see below and attached about the SERTUC Trades Council Conference on 31st October, Kathy is going to be one of the speakers so please register and attend, be good to have a good showing from the Bromley area as we are going to be highlighted.
In solidarity.
Dear Colleague
SERTUC is organising an event for Trades Councils and County Associations of Trades Councils in London, the South East and the East of England, and indeed for trade unionists who would like to work more closely with trades councils, or even begin a new one.
The event will be held at Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS on Saturday 31 October 2015 from 09.30 (registration and coffee) through 10.00 (start) to 15.45 (finish), when there will be a brief period of refreshments. A working lunch will be provided.
Themes may include:
·         Smart campaigning against cuts in local authority services
·         Stronger unions: lobbying and organising against the Trade Union Bill
·         Reaching out to and defending young workers
·         Making May Day 2016 a day of hope, celebration and protest
We have invited Matt Wrack, General Secretary FBU, to speak in his capacity as Chair of the Joint Consultative Committee between the TUC and Trades Councils, and several other high profile speakers, but there will also be presentations from trades councils and generous time devoted to questions and contributions from participants.
Please join us. Please help publicise and mobilise for this event. Financial support is available for travel for ‘up to two’ delegates from registered trades councils and CATCs. Please see the flyer for details.
Please register at
Telephone enquiries should be directed to the SERTUC Office at 020 7467 1220.
Laurie Heselden
Regional Policy and Campaigns Officer
T: 0207 467 1292 (DL) and 0207 467 1220 (Darren Lewis-Office Administrator)
M: 0781 800 2877
Twitter: @TUCLaurieHeseld

Monday, 17 August 2015

UCU retired members branch update

Next Branch Meeting
Thursday November 5th at 2pm
View this email in your browser

Defend the Union at London Met

On Thursday 27 August, Max Watson, London Met Uni UNISON Branch Secretary will be making his appeal against compulsory redundancy.  Max Watson, 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.
Solidarity Demonstration Thursday 27th August, 12-2pm
Outside Rocket Complex, London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road

Fund Raising Dinner for Medical Aid for Greece

on Friday September 18th.
Cypriot Centre, Earlham Grove, Wood Green N22 5HJ
Fabulous Buffet Dinner! Live Bouzouki Music! A Raffle! - Bring own wine!
ORDER TICKETS (BOOK A TABLE!)  £30.00 each from  Send cheques, payable to ‘Medical Aid for Greece’, to Greece Solidarity Campaign, Housman’s Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N19DX.
Pay direct: to Medical Aid for Greece A/C 20307259  Sort Code 08-60-01. 

Iranian Teachers' Leader Arrested  

Esmail Abdi, a leader of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association, was arrested on 27 June following his attempt to obtain a visa to attend the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa, Canada in late July. The Education International is deeply concerned about the repression facing representatives of the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers Trade Associations.
sign the petition...
more details...

Another Walk in Deepest Bedfordshire

Monday 24th August 2015 Meet on Platform 3 at St Pancras International station at 10.45, with tickets, for the 11.01 train to Luton
This walk is being organised by Richard who can be contacted on 07903019336
walk details...

Bahrain: Support Early Day Motion 241

Sponsored by Angus MacNeil, among others, the motion provides a comprehensive overview of the spectrum of human rights abuses for which the regime is regularly condemned by Amnesty and other rights advocacy groups. Numerous areas of "ongoing violations" are identified.
more details...

Next Branch Meeting

Thursday November 5th at 2pm

Meetings take place in the union office in Carlow Street NW1 7LH, nearest tube Mornington Crescent.
All retired academic staff are welcome (as well as those about to retire).
If you have items for the agenda, or wish to be put on the mailing list please let me know.
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

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Why we must oppose austerity, and join the coming protests in Manchester - a Green perspective

Why we must oppose austerity, and join the coming protests in Manchester - a Green perspective

We all know that austerity is a ‘social justice’ disaster. This morally reprehensible policy is forcing ordinary people – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable – to pay for the economic crash caused by the reckless speculating of unaccountable banks in deregulated financial markets. In its most extreme the cuts to disability benefits, the NHS and a vindictive regime of benefit sanctioning have led to thousands of deaths. Austerity kills.
On top of this, the economic justification for inflicting all this misery has been completely discredited with most economists agreeing that by shrinking the economy austerity has harmed growth, prolonged the effects of the recession (even the IMF is issuing proclamations against it) and utterly failed as an apparent strategy to reduce national debt. Austerity is revealed to be not an economic necessity but a repackaged conservative ideology to undermine the welfare state. The financial crash is being used as a smokescreen to implement the same brand of neo=liberal policies (cuts to public spending, privatisation and de-regulation) that led to it in the first place.

All this is grounds enough for why austerity is wrong and why we must fight against it, and large protests like the 250,000-strong June 20th Demo in London and the ones in Manchester in October this year (co-organised by the TUC and The People’s Assembly Against Austerity, to coincide with the Tory Party Conference) are crucial in building this struggle against a great social injustice. Nonetheless, within these debates and protest movements we must be sure to argue that austerity is also a huge obstruction to the aims of environmental justice and directly threatens attempts to mitigate climate change.
For one, if Britain is to transition to a sustainable carbon neutral economy it is going to need massive investment in infrastructure, housing and renewable energy. As well as stopping us from destroying the environment and the habitability of our planet, this could both provide jobs for millions of people and the fiscal stimulus needed to get the economy going again. But austerity takes us in completely the opposite direction. As long as we have a Conservative government pursing ideological austerity, determined to reduce state spending at any cost (whilst shamelessly cutting taxes for the rich and large corporations), arguments for investment will always fall on deaf ears.

Cutting ‘Green’
Each year in the UK 25,000 people die from the cold, and at least a third of these deaths are due to living in cold homes. This is because the UK has some of the worst insulated homes in Europe, with expensive energy bills putting millions in fuel poverty. Under the coalition, home insulation was a disaster, with loans for insulation (the so called Green Deal) taken up by so few that new cavity wall insulations fell in 2013 to a quarter of previous levels. Under our new majority Conservative government the home insulation budget has been cut by another £40 million in the first round of departmental cost-cutting and the Green Deal loans completely scrapped (along with a decade-in-the-making plan to make all new homes carbon neutral by 2016). And it’s the same across the board.

Under Austerity the government is not only completely unwilling to embark on the investments our communities and our planet so badly needs, but is actually cutting what few vital green initiatives we already have. As well as backtracking on its home energy-efficiency and insulation programme, it is slashing the subsidies for biomass, aerobic digestion and biogas, as well as solar, onshore wind and even tidal power. So far the only renewable energy source that isn’t being cut is offshore wind (much more expensive than its onshore counterpart), and even its future seems uncertain.

The Green investment bank, which has increasingly played a pivotal role in providing start-up capital to the environmental industry (and one of the Coalition’s few positive achievements) is being privatised in the largest ever sale of state assets. Green taxes like fuel duty are being cut. Even the incentives to buy less polluting cars (through differential rates of Vehicle Excise Duty) are being scrapped from 2017.  However, the cuts to the Environment Agency and flood defence programs have caused the most headlines after they spectacularly highlighted the – contradictory – long term costs of austerity, by contributing to the massive flooding that hit southern England (especially the Somerset levels) over the winter of 2013-14.

The ‘dirty’ economy rolls on…
What’s more, whilst environmental programs and renewable energy are being cut left right and centre, subsidies for the fossil fuel industry continue unabated (this is primarily in the form of tax breaks for oil companies and government funding for exploratory oil drilling), amounting to several billion pounds a year. As fossil fuel reserves decline (unfortunately not fast enough to stop us destroying the planet as more than two-thirds of current reserves need to be left in the ground to avoid catastrophic warming), the government experiments with riskier unconventional extraction methods, from offshore deep water resources, to the now infamous ‘fracking’. Everywhere we look the short-termism inherent in austerity is taking us the wrong way in the fight against climate change.

Outside of the arena of state action, by reducing people’s incomes as the cost of living increases, austerity is further encouraging environmentally harmful consumption. Austerity has seen the longest and sharpest decline in living standards in the UK since Victorian times, driving the demand for (among other things) cheaper food – which can currently only be provided through ecologically harmful processes. Food production is a major source of carbon emissions and ecological damage, but as our current economic system privileges ecologically damaging production norms – making the green choice the more expensive choice – people have no option but to take what they can get in the age of austerity. When people are struggling to put food on the table, they’re less inclined to worry about the environmental impact of that food or of green issues in general.

Join the movement!
For all these reasons and more austerity is an environmental disaster. If we want to make sure the UK does its part in ensuring we don’t warm the planet by more than 2 degrees by the end of the century (the internationally-agreed target we’re all very close to making impossible), then austerity has to end. We already know we owe it to the most vulnerable in our society and our wider communities in general, but now we also owe it to our planet to end austerity now. Anyone who cares about climate change has a duty to join the movement against austerity (The Green Party is an official affiliate and supporter of The People’s Assembly Against Austerity) and take to the streets to protest these policies that are having such a disastrous effect on both our society and our environment.

That’s why I hope you’ll join us on the streets of Manchester for the huge march on Sunday 4th October, and in the public spaces, faith centres and community halls for the ‘festival of resistance’ Mon 5th – Wed 7th (encompassing everything from workers’ rights, to welfare, to TTIP, to climate), where we can create the broadest possible demonstration of defiance to this government and a huge public debate about austerity that the Tories don’t want to have!

Transport details for #TakeBackManchester: 

Friday, 14 August 2015

GPTU, Green Left, The National Gallery strike and vincent-van-gogh

GPTU got a warm welcome from Candy Unwin and other strikers at the National Gallery this morning when they joined the picket line. Infromation on the dispute here: 

Latest News

Gallery management announce private ‘partner’ and all-out strike looms

PCS members, who have already taken 52 days of strike action in opposition to the privatisation and to demand the reinstatement of unjustly sacked PCS rep Candy Udwin, are striking again between 4-6 August. The Union, which has repeatedly urged management to work with PCS and the conciliation service ACAS to resolve the dispute, views the decision to announce the private sector provider now as a deliberately inflammatory move by Gallery management. Consequently PCS have now served notice on the Gallery that the Union plans to commence all-out continuous strike action from 11 August.
Urgent appeal
With all-out strike action looming, the Gallery strikers are making a fresh appeal for financial support; You can help the campaign in a number of ways:
· By organising a collection at your workplace (a collection sheet can be downloaded from this page)
· By donating to Sort Code 08-60-01; Account No. 20169002
· By sending cheques to PCS Culture Media and Sport Association, c/o PCS North West Region, Jack Jones House, 1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG
· By donating via PayPal
You can also show your support by visiting the picket lines, which will be mounted outside the Gallery between 9:00-11:00am every strike day.

AS a gesture of support GPTU and Green Left have chosen  a National Gallery painting to help publicise our solidarity. vincent-van-gogh-long-grass-with-butterflies

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

EDF Energy workers to strike over ‘pay loss of up to £6,000’

EDF Energy workers to strike over ‘pay loss of up to £6,000’

05 August 2015 from acknowledgements to William Quick
The roll-out of a Smart meter installation programme across London and southern and western England will be hit when EDF Energy staff stage two days of strike action this month in a dispute over pay cuts, job losses and working extended hours to install the meters.

Unite, the country’s largest union representing nearly 500 staff, said that if the proposals were allowed to go through some of its members would lose up to £6,000-a-year in income which was ‘totally unacceptable’.    

Meter readers and fixers, office staff and managers will be striking for 24 hours from 00.01 on Wednesday 12 August and at the same time on Thursday 20 August.

They had voted by a margin of 85 per cent for strike action and 92 per cent were in favour of industrial action short of a strike.

The strike will disrupt the training of staff to use and install the Smart meters, designed to give more accurate readings centrally, and cause inconvenience to consumers expecting a visit to install the new meters.

The union accused the company of backtracking on an agreement with Unite last year to protect current staff – that deal was thrashed out after three days of strike action.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The company has shown yet again that it is not to be trusted. We have an agreement protecting current staff, which the company interprets as a license to propose longer working hours, pay cuts and job losses.

“For example, company proposals could mean some of our members losing about £6,000-a-year. How can anybody interpret a pay loss of £6,000 as ‘protection’ for current staff? This is totally unacceptable.

“EDF Energy is failing to abide by last year’s agreement whereby current staff would not be adversely affected by the company’s programme to introduce Smart metering.

“The strikes will disrupt the introduction of the Smart meter programme that the company is so keen to continue to roll out.”

The dispute follows the employer’s failure to resolve a list of issues including: 
  • Extended working hours to install Smart meters, but withdrawing the London allowance which could mean a pay cut of up to £6,000 
  • No pay awards for staff on personal contracts, despite saying performance pay should be awarded if targets are met 
  • Job losses caused by managers applying for their own jobs and if rejected, facing potential unemployment. 
The EDF Energy sites affected will be:  

Broadway, Bexley Heath, Kent, DA6 8ET; Georgiana Street, London NW1 0QS; Three Bridges, Crawley RH10 1QQ; Speedwell, Bristol BS15 1NT; Osprey Road, Exeter EX2 7WN; Exeter Business Park, Exeter EX1 3UT; Outland Road, Plymouth PL3 5TU; Portland Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 5S; and Canning Town, London E16 4TL


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite regional officer Onay Kasab on 07771 818637 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. 
  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

Monday, 10 August 2015


Subject: National Gallery: Important Update
Reply-To: Clara Paillard via Campaigns by You

Dear supporters,

The National Gallery has now appointed the private company Securitas to run their security and visitor services but the PCS campaign to stop privatisation continues with staff going on a all-out strike from tomorrow. 

The National Gallery have decided to bring forward the date to sign the contract with Securitas before the new director takes up office so we have brought forward the date of our all out strike which is now starting on 11 August.
PCS members are intent on continuing to fight against the privatisation plans and to demand guarantees about their future. Join our events:

Picket 9-11am each day plus Friday 5-6.30pm

Silver Cross Pub Whitehall

We are inviting trade unions or campaigns to adopt a day of strike action during August.  If you can’t come to the picket line please show your support in other ways. Strikers will help adapt a suitable painting from the National Gallery collection to help publicise your solidarity. See the choices different campaigns and unions have chosen here:
Wed 12 August 2.30-3.30pm: Equity
Thurs 13 August 9-10am: London Universities and college unions (Unison and UCU)
Fri 14 August 5-6.30pm: PCS London DWP
Fri 14 August 5-6.30pm: Disabled People Against Cuts
Sat 15 August 9-11am: London council workers (Unison)

Thank you so much for your support so far. We are still appealing for help to raise sufficient funds to ensure that National Gallery strikers can afford to keep fighting.
A collection sheet is here if you want to organise a fundraiser. 
or you can donate via PayPal.

More ways to donate on our blog here.

The future of arts & Culture

Our campaign is part of a bigger fight to preserve access to art & culture as a public service. Other museum workers are also fighting the impact of budget cuts across the country. Please sign their petitions in solidarity:

Tate privatised workers on zero hours contracts fighting for decent pay
Welsh Museums workers striking to stop a pay cut up to £3,000

All the best,


The ITUC is organising an international meeting of Trade unionists & environmental campaigners

From Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and the climate jobs campaigns in Norway, South Africa, UK, Philipines, New York, Canada, and Portugal:

The ITUC is organising an international meeting of Trade unionists & environmental campaigners for the first time ever on 14-15th September. This is a unique opportunity to discuss some important initiatives already involving Trade Unions and Climate. On Sunday 13th September (11am - 530pm), we are therefore organising discussions & workshops on the themes of Climate Jobs and Energy Democracy. We hope you can join us to discuss the way forward, how we extend those initiatives and to network with like-minded activists.

There will be 3 sessions. More details soon with exact venue in Paris

Saturday, 8 August 2015

the first ever migrant workers strike in this country?

Martin Francis 

Francis Sealey 

Using social networks like facebook thousands of Polish people working in Britain are expected to take part in the first ever migrant workers strike in this country later this month. The protest, planned for 20 august 2015 is the result of discussions on Polish internet forums by people angry at immigrants being blamed for Britain's economic problems.

And the unofficial strike, which does not involve any trade unions, is being backed by the Polish Express newspaper which has created a Facebook group to promote the event. A red t-shirt produced for the protest states: “Enough! Stop blaming us.”

The suggestion of a strike came from one of their readers, claimed Tomasz Kowalski, editor, Polish Express. “It’s just a way to show people in the UK that immigrants are an important part of Britain. We want to make the point that we are here and that we want to feel appreciated,” he said.

At more than 680,000 people, the Polish community is one of the biggest in Britain. Around half a million Polish workers are relied upon in areas such as construction, healthcare and catering.

Maybe this is the way of protest in the 21st century when Government is fast eroding the rights of trade unions. Strike and protests may well spring up spontaneously and through social networking rather than through organisations like trade unions that can be held legally liable by increasingly repressive governments.

Of course this strike may not work but it may signal a method or organisation in the digital 21st century that could be replicated again and again with growing and greater success.

Thousands of Polish workers to take part in the first ever migrant workers strike in Britain

Thousands of Polish people working in Britain are expected to take part in the first ever migrant wo...