Saturday, 19 April 2014

Notes on Pay by Claire McNulty



The following notes were used by Claire McNulty, Housing steward, in her introduction at the pay meeting last week at Northway House


1.       Local government workers have suffered an 18% cut in wages since 2010. A pay freeze and eight years of below-inflation pay rises since 1997 mean thousands of local government workers, from across the pay scale, are struggling to make ends meet.
2.      Employers forced to increase bottom pay points in pay offer more than 1% to avoid falling below National Minimum Wage – the lowest legal rate.
3.      Since 2010 councils have saved a quarter of their staffing costs. Their reserves rose by £2.6 Billion to £19 Billion.
4.      The extra £2.6 Billion in 2012 alone would pay for a 10% pay increase.
5.      Inflation is predicted to remain 3% during 2014 and increase to 3.4% in 2017. Average gas and electricity prices are due to rise by 8.2% over the coming year.

What impact does low pay and the pay freeze have?
·         Smaller family and personal budgets, forcing a cut in people's standard of living.
·         Stress on individuals and family life.
·         Increased reliance on benefits.
·         Less money in the local economy.
·         Problems for recruitment and retention of local government staff in vital public sector work.

“We cannot go on forever in a low pay and low productivity world in which all we can say to workers is 'you have got to take a wage cut to keep your job'."

Vince Cable,
The Guardian, September 2013



Thursday, 17 April 2014

Unions and Labour Party launch Staff Manifesto


The trade unions and representatives of the Labour Party in Islington launch the "Staff Manifesto" this afternoon in the Leaders' office.

Pictured in first picture (from the left): Labour Group Leader Richard Watts, Mike Calvert (UNISON Labour Link), Jane Doolan (UNISON Branch Secretary) and Labour Group Deputy Leader Andy Hull.

Second picture includes (from left):  Richard Watts, Vaughan West (GMB), Jane Doolan, Mike  Calvert, George Sharkey (GMB) and Andy Hull

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Doncaster Care UK latest

UNISON members at Care UK in Doncaster are taking a further two days of strike action this week - and the branch has launched an appeal for donations to help support them.
Although the union has tried to negotiate, Care UK refuses to back down from plans to slash the pay, terms and conditions of the workforce.
The workers took a second week of strike action in March, with the latest round of action beginning today.
The Doncaster, District and Bassetlaw health branch has launched an appeal to help members who are now in their third period of action.
Please make donations payable to Doncaster, District and Bassetlaw Health Branch 20511, and send them to the UNISON Office, Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster DN4 5GJ.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Keith Facey-our communication officer- says:

Keith says the following:

"Please comrades, we need you all to use the blog, tell people about the blog and write for the blog.
We also need you all to use it's sister Blog which can be viewed at: Islington UNISON Pay Blog
http://strike2014.webs.com/

Both of these blogs, and the regular newsletter are vital weapons in our campaigns against the Local Government employers and to get the word out to the membership that this is a real genuine nationally led campaign.

Jon Rogers of the NEC agrees with me  when I say that this time it looks like the national union is going to fight for a rejection in the ballot."

Cheers

Keith

1st April Protest at Town Hall on Fair Pay

Rosemary Plummer

Paul Atkins of the NUT

Vaughan West of the GMB

Fiona Monkman, our very own Chair

Everyone campaigning for unity

Meetings around the Borough on our pay claim

These are the meeting to come:

Monday April 14th 1pm-2pm
3, Elwood Street, London N5 1EB


Wednesday April 16, 2014 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
222 Upper Street  (map)

Room 4. A,B,C.

Thursday April 17, 2014 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Youth Offending Team, Dingley Place

Pay Meetings Calendar 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

National Pay Meetings in Islington

Dear members

There are going to be a series of local pay meetings all over the Borough over the next couple of weeks starting with the Town Hall tomorrow.
This meeting will be at 12.15 in Committee Room 2  and the speakers are Jane Doolan and Jon Rogers (member of the National Executive Council for London).

All town hall staff are welcome to attend, but you can only vote if you are a member.

Regards

Mike

Friday, 28 March 2014

Islington on the March

 
Diana James, Assistant Branch Secretary, on 
 the recent Million Women Rise march on 8th March in London

Pay Rally on Tuesday

Dear UNISON member

As you may be aware, UNISON is campaigning for a pay rise for all members of £1.20 an hour.

We will be organising local pay meetings in the Town Hall, 222 Upper Street, Newington Barrow Way, and Conewood Street. We are also doing one at the Youth Offending Team at Dingley Place.

More can be arranged if you contact Jane or me.

On 1 April we are holding a rally for fair pay on the town hall steps at 12.30. This is part if our national day of action.
We have invited the following unions to join us and send speakers:

  • Local branches of the GMB, 
  • UCATT, 
  • NUT 
  • Unite the Union
  • Islington Trades Union Council
  • Jeremy Corbyn MP

Sandwiches and drinks will be available as well 

In Solidarity

Mike Calvert
Deputy Branch Secretary  

AGM Report

A full report of the AGM will go up shortly

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Emergency Motions on Pay for AGM this Thursday

Keith Facey, Communications Officer says:

"There are two emergency motions submitted for the Islington UNISON AGM our AGM,  this Thursday.Other motions we have received will go up on the blog today and be distributed by email. There will be a motions booklet available at the AGM.

These are both here and will be emailed today and distributed at the AGM hard copy on Thursday.

For national information on pay see:
http://www.unison.org.uk/njc-14-21

For our local strike page-designed by me and a helper- see:
http://strike2014.webs.com/ 

best regards

Keith"



Emergency Motion 1 on Pay

Reject the offer! Organise for Action!

This Annual General Meeting wishes to put on record its disgust at the 1% offer made by the employers in respect of the 2014 Pay Claim. The Trade Unions have made a claim of £1.20 an hour, which is reasonable and just. Local Government workers have suffered a pay cut of 18% over the last 4 years.

Council's nationally have reserves of some £19 billion. We are ostensibly told this is for investment yet whilst they pay lip service as to how they value one of their valuable assets i.e. their workforce. They are unwilling to meet our demands for a pay rise that will only go some way to making up the cut in pay we have all suffered.

There is always the justifiable argument that the low paid are suffering and yes they are but so are those members on middle income. Individuals and families on what are deemed reasonable salaries are facing fuel and food poverty. The cost of living is soaring and the rents in this borough along with rents elsewhere are rising both in social and private housing.

Food banks are springing up all over the place and in some cases churches have set them up and will only supply food if individuals attend worship. This is not right.

As part of the TUC's Fair Pay Fortnight the branch has organised a rally at the Town Hall on the 1st April 12.30 and will be providing food. Guest speakers have also been invited but as part of building our rejection of this offer we resolve to do the following


Organise a series of workplace meetings taking this message to our members. We REJECT this insulting offer.

The Branch publicise the local pay blog widely at  http://strike2014.webs.com/

Call on UNISON side of NJC to reject and widely publicise our rejection.

Urge the National union to move to balloting our members for strike action as a priority.

 
Proposed Rosemary Plummer, Schools Convenor/Children's Services

Seconded Mike Calvert, Deputy Branch Secretary/HASS

21st March 2014

Emergency Motion 2 on Pay

1% is an insult it is not an 'offer' but another 'pay cut'.

The Local Government employers finally responded to the Trade union claim of £1.20 per hour with an insulting offer of 1%. This is in the context that Local Government pay has fallen by 18% since 2010. 
 UNISON members will be consulted on this offer. Islington Branch AGM condemns last year’s lack of recommendation to members which did not inspire confidence that the union was prepared to fight. Our members need to know that their union will fight for a better offer, to achieve this:
We call on UNISON NJC committee to make a clear recommendation to members to reject this “offer”. The branch to write our local representatives ASAP to ask they vote to reject and recommend rejection to members. 
The branch should immediately inform members that we oppose this offer and will be recommending rejection.
The branch to look at organising a Local “worth it event” and apply for a spot bid of £500.

 The two regions that made a recommendation to reject London and North West did just that in the member’s ballots.

Proposed: Lynne Moffat, Convenor Adult Social Care/HASS
Seconded: Dean Ryan, Steward Children's Services

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Fair pay rally, April 1st

The trade unions have called a day of protest about fair pay on 1st April.

In Islington we will have a fair pay rally on the town hall steps at 12.30.

The following unions will be invited to address the rally:

  • UNISON
  • GMB
  • Unite
  • UCATT

We will also invite Islington Trades Council.

Lunch will be provided

Flyers will be going out this week

Friday, 21 March 2014

Teachers Strike Action on Wednesday 26th March

The NUT is on strike this Wednesday 26th March.

The NUT needs your support to defend education and protect teachers.

UNISON has issued advice to our members from Rosemary Plummer, Schools Convenor, about what support we can give on the day.

Rosemary said the following:

" UNISON members should not cover for absent teachers, also in the event that you feel you do not have enough staff in school to cover the amount of children, or students you may have on the day. Please ask your HEAD TEACHER to carry out a risk assessment.
Do not undertake any duties that a teacher would normally undertake."



Thursday, 20 March 2014

Stand up to racism and fascism march and rally


Stand up to racism and fascism - Saturday 22 March 11am - Procession from Parliament Square to rally at Trafalgar Square
Stand up to racism

March and rally this weekend.
Join up with the branch banner.

We are back...

Keith Facey says:

"The blog is back and up and running in the run-up to the Annual General Meeting. There are loads of things to report back on from the last four weeks and I shall be putting them up over the next few days.
I hope to see you all at the AGM on Thursday."

Islington UNISON AGM: 27th March 2014

The AGM of the Islington UNISON Local Government Branch is next Thursday 27th March, in the Union Chapel opposite the Municipal Office, Compton Avenue (see map), N1.

An agenda has gone out by email and hard copy so look out for your copies.

Starts at 3.30pm sharp

Facility time has been agreed with management

Please try and attend

Jane Doolan
Branch Secretary








TUC Fair Pay fortnight-Islington unemployed day

 ISLINGTON FAIR PAY FORTNIGHT EVENTS

Organised By London Unemployed Strategies in conjunction with SERTUC, Local Trades Unions and advice agencies  as part of the TUC "Fair Pay fortnight."
Information on in work out of work benefits,what to do if your benefits are stopped, How to join a trade union
Islington events-preliminary programme
Friday 4th April
10am-11.30am Archway /Holloway Rd N19 5QT. (Small open space at top left Holloway rd)
http://fairpayfortnight.org/events/street-stall-islington/ 
12.00-2.00pm outside Oxfam/Cancer Research shops on Holloway Rd
http://fairpayfortnight.org/events/street-stall-islington-2/
2.30-4.00 pm Junction Medina Rd/Seven Sisters Road N7 7PU
http://fairpayfortnight.org/events/street-stall-islington-3/
Contact :
Nick Phillips 
0207467 1283
07530 001653

UNISON to consult members over meagre pay offer

20 Mar 2014 17:56

UNISON to consult members over meagre pay offer

UNISON is to consult more than 600,000 of its local government and school members over industrial action, following a meagre 1% pay offer made today.  
Around 50,000 of the lowest paid local government workers will receive a rise that is slightly above inflation, while the remainder of the workforce - around 90% - will receive just 1%.

The 1% offer from Local Government Employers will apply to more than one million workers including teaching assistants, planners, administrators, social workers and engineers.  For these workers, the offer represents a real terms cut in basic pay of almost 20% since the Coalition came to power, following three consecutive years of pay freezes followed by below inflation rises in 2013 and 2014. 
Additional pay-related cuts at local level are now widespread across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
UNISON's Head of Local Government, Heather Wakefield, said:
"It is outrageous that the vast majority of local government workers have effectively been offered another pay cut. 
"Although the long overdue modest rise for the lowest paid workers is welcome, this offer is another slap in the face for local government workers.
"Just this week we learned of the scandal of cabinet ministers happily approving pay rises of up to 36% for their own special advisors, while condemning thousands of other public sector workers to poverty pay.  UNISON has seen a growing number of workers forced to rely on food banks and in-work benefits as a result of continuous pay freezes."

Monday, 10 March 2014

Local Government Needs A Pay Rise

The national union is organising a "Local Government Needs a Pay Rise" day on 1st April. This is because it co-includes with the NJC pay anniversary date.

Our Branch Committee agreed we would carry out activities locally on the day and more information will be going up soon so keep your eyes on the Blog.

Jane

Pay latest: prepare for industrial action

Dear member


The battle for fair pay for all our members is hotting up.

It is now for £1.20 an hour

The employer refused to make an offer when they met with the joint trade unions.
The unions have responded by saying we:

Deplore the employers' failure to make an offer on 14 February 2014 and their statement on 21st February 2014 that a 1% remit was not negotiable

Reject any pegging of NJC pay to the National Minimum Wage

Reiterate the view expressed our members last year that 1% for 2014/2015 would not be acceptable

The Branch has produced a newsletter which is being distributed as we speak.

We will be circulating a new website in the event of industrial action.

Please tell all your friends and colleagues and circulate this as widely as you can.
Please recruit non union members as well.

In order to prepare for industrial action please make sure that we have your correct address by emailing Lisa whose email address is: admin@islingtonunison.org.uk

Jane Doolan

Branch Secretary

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Remember, remember, remember...the recruitment open day on pay

Islington UNISON is holding an open day on Thursday 27th February

It will be held from 12 noon to 6pm

The venue is the Gallery at the Central Library, 2 Fieldway Crescent, London N5 2EA

   The open day is around the £1 an hour pay campaign

More news to follow

Mike

More from the Islington UNISON Open Day

Rosemary Plummer and Denise. Facey with Councillor Barry Edwards

Friday, 7 February 2014

Worth It Campaign message from Karen Jennings

Worth It - Welcome to the campaign for better pay
Worth-It 
 
UNISON has launched a major new campaign to boost the pay of public service workers.
 Members have had their pay capped and frozen whilst prices have continued to shoot
up.  All workers have seen a huge chunk taken from their pay packets (a 16%
reduction in public services since 2010) and many are simply no longer able to make
ends meet.  The message of the 'Worth It' campaign is that with UNISON, you can
fight for better, fairer pay  and  we can help members make ends meet.  In doing so
we are making the case for why fair and decent pay is important for members, service
delivery and for society.  For more details of our campaign messages, see our
campaign webpage
here<https://secure.unison.org.uk/unisonf0d2bfd2bf1d3bbfa7ac24c0e625b2ff6c26750879/unison1/our-campaigns/unison-campaigns/worth-it/home/>.



Over the coming months we will be spreading the 'Worth It' message in every UNISON
workplace, in the media and online.  We are determined to break down the myth that
holding down workers pay is a necessary or even an effective way of tackling the
deficit and getting the economy back on track.  The current  policy of pay caps and
continued pain for public sector workers is unjust, damaging and self-defeating.



In the initial stages of the Worth It campaign there are three things you can do help:



1.       Follow the campaign on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/WORTHit_UNISON



2.       Like our Page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/WORTHitUNISON


3.       Forward this email to all of you branch contacts, asking them to sign up to
our email list by emailing  worthit@unison.co.uk<mailto:worthit@unison.co.uk>



In future months we will be asking those who have signed up to the campaign to get
involved in further campaigning activities.



Best Wishes,



Karen Jennings

UNISON Assistant General Secretary

Bargaining, Negotiating & Equalities


More pictures from the London Met Picket Line





London Met Pay Strike Rally


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

UNISON Recruitment Week


Pay campaign Open Day: Worth it

There will be a branch wide open day on Thursday 27th February as a part of the national recruitment initiative.

The open day will be held in the Gallery on the first floor of the Central Library at 2 Fieldway Crescent, N5 1PF.

It will be from 12 noon to 6pm

We are using the recruitment day to recruit new members and highlight the £1 an hour national pay campaign

More details will be going on the blog shortly


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

RMT leader Bob Crow and Boris Johnson

http://www.rmt.org.uk/news/listen-to-bob-crow-on-lbc-with-boris-johnson/

Latest on the STEM 6 Free School

STEM 6 free school renege on commitment to recognise teachers’ union. Strike action back on this week.

Following a meeting last night where STEM 6 Principal, John O’Shea reneged on written commitments to recognise the NUT – to which most teachers at the newly opened free school belong – and to enter in to “meaningful negotiations” about staff terms and conditions, strike action previously called for tomorrow and Thursday this week is to go ahead.
Last Wednesday, the day before teachers were to begin strike action in support of union recognition, John O’Shea wrote to the NUT:
Just to confirm that we are willing to recognise the NUT and a commitment to enter into meaningful negotiations about the terms and conditions about the contract and to install a local and national representative within the Academy.
We would be willing to sign a formal recognition agreement
Please let me know some dates/times when you are free so we could meet next week
John O’Shea
Principal
STEM Academy Tech City
After receiving this firm written commitment, the NUT and its members at STEM 6 suspended last Thursday’s action to allow the agreed negotiations to take place.
We were hopeful, especially after Tony Sewell, Chair of STEM 6 governors, had apologised to teachers on Thursday for failing to listen to their concerns and removing some of the most objectionable  terms in the contracts they had been forced to sign under duress – such as a zero hours clause – that a line could be drawn under STEM 6’s previously dismissive and intimidating attitude to its teachers and that, once a recognition agreement had been signed, constructive negotiations could begin that would bring the terms and conditions in to line with those enjoyed by teachers in maintained schools.
So we were shocked yesterday afternoon first to receive a message from John O’Shea that he had decided to “postpone” the meeting which had been agreed for 5pm last night because “The NUT has not sought recognition rights with the CAC [Central Arbitration] so I cannot negotiate with you”.
This blatant demonstration of bad faith was either completely disingenuous, badly informed – or both. The NUT has never sought “statutory recognition,” both because we think that it is inappropriate and unnecessary (recognition which has to be enforced by law is unlikely to be genuine) and, as John O’Shea had previously stressed to us in writing before his commitments last week, as a pretext for refusing to recognise us at all, statutory recognition can only apply to 21 or more employees, a stipulation which the NUT is, of course, fully aware.
John O’Shea’s game-playing last night has made it even more difficult to resolve this dispute –and the real losers are going to be the STEM 6 students, many of who have made it manifestly clear that they support their teachers’ right to have their trade union recognised and to be treated in a civilised way.
The strike action (two days this week, to be followed by another three days next week) will now go ahead because STEM 6 teachers have lost all trust in their Principal and governors to keep their promises.
This morning we learned that John O’Shea has told his staff that the school will be closed tomorrow “because of the tube strike”.
Ken Muller, Assistant Secretary of Islington NUT commented:
This game playing must stop if we are going to return to where we were after STEM 6 agreed last week to recognise the NUT and enter in to meaningful negotiations with us about teachers’ terms and conditions.
Closing STEM 6 “because of the tube strike” is yet another act of dishonesty aimed at denying the demonstrably obvious reality that teachers at the school are angry at the disgraceful way in which they are being treated and are prepared to take the action necessary to rectify the situation.
Other schools in Islington, such as the Islington Sixth Form College just up the road from STEM 6, are open, despite the strike.
The sooner John O’Shea and the STEM 6 governors honour their promises, respect their teachers and sign a standard TUC drafted union recognition agreement the sooner we can enter in to constructive negotiations about staff terms and conditions of employment and the sooner the school can focus on what it is meant to be doing: providing students with  the high quality of education to which they are entitled.
Unfortunately, because they have not been able to do this, teachers at STEM 6 will be striking tomorrow and Thursday and picketing from 7.30 am onwards.

For further information, call Ken Muller on 07950075088


Message from Barnet UNISON

Dear Supporter

We are now 56 days before our branch officers are kicked out of the UNISON office and all facility time is removed. I would like to thank those branches who have already sent in messages of support which we are going to be using as part of communication with our members, so please carry on sending in those messages.

We have just produced ‘Sign our Petition’ video (1 minute) http://youtu.be/ePgn632jOV4 .

We could do with help promoting the video and petition on websites/face book and Twitter. If you are able publicise please send links so we can show them to our members.

It is only now that staff/members even HR are actually asking me if the Council is going to implement this final cut. My answer is yes unless there is a change in the attitude by our Barnet Council.

Below is a transcript of comment made by Conservative Councillor Robert Ramsspeaking at Budget Scrutiny 26.11.2013.

The Video clip can be viewed here http://youtu.be/-7dTF6Kmej8

This is what he had to say about the cut to Facility Time (by the way we have been informed his full time job is a political post in the Greater London Authority (GLA).)

“ I come from a completely different standpoint on this I think that they should be able to do their job without any funding whatsoever ....I think there are lots of examples of councils, authorities across London across the country that provide no funding for activity and I believe we should be moving to a model were we don’t provide any funding for union activity, I think as I stated before if we are looking to make cuts out there, there are some difficult decisions, I think it is clear area  we can make even more savings, the proposals provide a generous amount of funding, over generous in my personal view towards the service I think as we go forward and tougher decisions are made we will get to the point where we will remove all funding............................

I don’t think the work they do needs to be funded by us, they do some excellent work and as I said they are some other authorities I organisations across London, but trade unions provide an excellent service to their members by no means do I denigrate their work the unions do, they provide an excellent service to their members..........I think there is enough ability for them to do it whilst carrying on doing their work for the council”

We are sending a delegation of reps from our branch to speak at the London Rally: “Hands off our Unions” organised by Peoples Assembly on Tuesday 11 February 6.30 pm.


Once again many thanks for any help you are able to give on behalf of all of our members.

Best wishes
John Burgess
Branch Secretary.
Barnet UNISON
Barnet UNISON “Watch it & Share it”
Barnet UNISON AGM 12 March 3.30pm NLBP

Keep up to date go to the new Barnet UNISON website athttp://www.barnetunison.me.uk