Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pay dispute ends: nothing much for foreseeable future!

Dear UNISON members

Many of you have received emails from Dave Prentis,  the General Secretary of UNISON, explaining why the pay "proposal" has been accepted as the "best possible by negotiation".

As a branch we have led the way in arguing that this "proposal", now a deal, is the worst thing that could happen. This is why we campaigned for a rejection vote.

Our branch voted by 69% to 31% to reject the proposal.

The Branch Committee's view is that had the national leadership campaigned as vigorously as the London Branches did for rejection- we would not be in this dreadful position now.

Nationally the vote was 65% to accept and 35% to reject.

We are saddled with a "deal" that gives us no back pay, only a so-called "non consolidated" lump sum of £100 to be paid in Islington on 19th December and another in April 2015 of virtually zero!

The actual award/amount works out around just less than 1% this years and next year!

This is utterly deplorable!

Our Branch leadership led the way in calling for a special local government conference to hold the national leadership to account at our Branch Committee on 2nd October 2014. The Manchester branch issued a national call and we now have the required number of branches supporting the call. 


Our Branch leadership is dismayed by this turn of events and will use the special one day local government conference to express the whole branch's feelings of dismay.

Many of our members feel let down by the leadership of our union and they came out on strike on the basis that there was a strategy for winning our claim but it became clear early on that there was no strategy. Many local government members feel betrayed by the national leadership and this has left us in a weak position. Once again it is up to the local branches to rebuild that lost confidence amongst our members and as a branch we will continue to work in a unified fashion in the interests of our members and in defence of the services they provide.

Islington is paying us on 19th December-just in time for Xmas-so you should have your compensatory, unconsolidated payment in your pay. It is subject to tax and NI!

Comradely greetings

Fiona Monkman (Branch Chair)

Jane Doolan (Branch Secretary)

Mike Calvert (Deputy Branch Secretary)

For more information see the branch blog:
And follow us on Twitter: @IslingtonU77
And on the special conference see:


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

For the Unconditional, Total and Immediate Lifting of the Blockade of Gaza

Appeal of Algeria's UGTA (General Workers of Algerian Workers) and PT (Workers' Party) for the Unconditional, Total and Immediate Lifting of the Blockade of Gaza


Algiers, 14 September 2014

To workers, to labour activists,
To defenders of democratic rights

The peoples and workers of the entire world have been horrified by the killing and mass destruction inflicted by Israel and its army on Gaza and the whole of the Palestinian people, unleashing a deluge of fire that lasted 51 days. The macabre tally: 2,150 dead, around 12,000 seriously injured; 20,000 homes destroyed, throwing 25 percent of Gaza's inhabitants onto the street; and all basic infrastructure destroyed (schools, hospitals, factories, roads, universities, etc.), resulting in the destruction of 200,000 jobs.

The peoples and workers of the whole world do not agree that the majority of western governments, beginning with the Obama administration, should arm and support Israel, which is guilty of genuine genocide.

The workers and peoples do not agree that several governments, especially a certain number of Arab regimes in the Middle East, should serve as accomplices in this crime against humanity.

Do the Palestinian people have the right to live? Because what the Palestinian people are demanding is what the peoples of the whole world are demanding: land, peace, freedom and re-establishing their unity as a nation.

On every continent, notably in Europe, in the United States, in Latin America, in the Maghreb, in the Middle East, in Japan, Pakistan, South Africa and elsewhere, powerful demonstrations bringing together tens of thousands -- sometimes hundreds of thousands -- of workers and youth have demanded an end to the killing, an end to the bombing, and the lifting of the blockade that has been strangling Gaza since 2006.

And while Israeli Jews were also demonstrating in their thousands in Tel Aviv to condemn the war on Gaza, hundreds and hundreds of Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide and their descendants in Europe and the United States declared:

"As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine. . . .

"Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water. We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people. . . .

"'Never again' must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!"

They are right. And the international mobilisation has helped the Palestinian people, through their resistance, to force Israel to take a step back, including a partial lifting of the blockade and ending the bombing.

But the Israeli aggression against the battered Palestinian people is continuing through mass arrests, assassinations, incursions by the Israeli army, the continuation of the blockade and the confiscation of Palestinian land in order to extend the Jewish settlements, while starving and ghettoising the Palestinian populations even further. This is occurring at a time when the inhabitants of Gaza, which is completely devastated, find themselves in total destitution, deprived of a roof over their heads, of food, water and electricity -- in short, they are facing death.

The General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) and the Workers Party (PT), which in Algeria are organising the labour and popular mobilisation in defence of Gaza, solemnly appeal to all the organisations of the international labour movement, from north to south and from east to west, to all activists, to all defenders of democratic rights, to all defenders of peace and fraternity between peoples:

- Let us together demand the satisfaction of the vital aspirations of the Palestinian people,

- Let us support the unanimous aspiration of the Palestinian people: "We do not want to die a slow death."

There can be no peace without the unconditional, total and immediate lifting of the blockade, without the rebuilding of the factories, infrastructure and homes that have been destroyed, without the unconditional re-establishment of the right to fish, without the right to have ports and an airport, without the means for hospitals and schools to operate, without the right to a job, without the right of smallholders to cultivate their land, without the right to electricity and water. . . .

There can be no peace without an end to the repression, without the freeing of the detainees, who include 262 children and many women and people who are ill.

We say: It is the particular responsibility of the organisations of the labour movement throughout the world to put an end to the helping hand provided by every government in support of Israel, its army, and its murderous frenzy.

On this basis, we call for every necessary initiative to be taken to put an end to this murderous frenzy.


Louisa Hanoune
General Secretary, Workers Party (PT)

Abdelmadjid Sidi Saïd
General Secretary, General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA)
Vice-President of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity

First endorsers in Britain

Islington UNISON local government branch;
John McDonnell, MP;  
Ian Lavery MP;
Grahame Morris MP on behalf of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East;
Caroline Lucas MP, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion;
Katy Clark MP;
Jeremy Corbyn MP;

Paul Smith MP;
Elaine Smith MSP,
Neil Findlay MSP; 

David Stewart MSP;
Claudia Beamish MSP;
Sandra White MSP;
Richard Baker MSP;
John Finnie MSP;
Jim Hume MSP;
Simon Thomas MSP;
Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM;
Llyr Gruffydd AM;
Leanne Wood AM;
Rhodri Thomas AM;
Alun Ffred Jones AM;
Nicolette Petersen;
Ben Soffa, National Secretary Palestine Solidarity Campaign;
Catherine West Labour Party PPC Hornsey and Wood Green;
Bob Oram, Chair of the Morning Star Management Committee;
Robert Griffiths, General Secretary, Communist Party of Britain in an official capacity;
John McInally, National VP, PCS;
Ronnie Draper , General Secretary Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union;
Ian Hodson, National President Bakers', Food & Allied Workers Union;
Roger McKenzie, Assistant General Secretary, UNISON;
Heather Wakefield UNISON National Secretary Local Government;
Denise Bertuchi, Assistant National Officer, UNISON;
Steve Turner, Assistant General Secretary, Unite;
Diana Holland, Assistant General Secretary Unite, Labour Party NEC member;
Jenny Formby, National Political Officer, Unite and Labour Party NEC member;
Davy Jones, Green Party PPC for Brighton Kempton and Unite the Union;
Cllr Michelle Gregory, Hackney;
Cllr Richard Lufkin, Hackney;
Cllr Keith Morrell, Southampton;
Cllr Makbule Gunes, Haringey;
Cllr Dean Kirk, Hull;
Cllr Gill Kennett, Hull;
Cllr Gary Heather, Islington Councillor and Chair, Trades Council;
Cllr Darren Williams, Labour Councillor Cardiff;
Cllr Nick Davies, Swansea;
Cllr Caroline Russell, Islington Green Councillor;
Cllr John Taylor, Stockport;
Cllr Flora Williamson, Islington;
Cllr William Brown, Lewisham;
Taryn Trainor, Unite Women's Officer;
Diana Leach, UNISON NEC ;
Karen Reissman UNISON NEC;
Polly Smith UNISON NEC;
Bernie Gallagher, UNISON NEC ;
Suzy Franklin, UNISON NEC;
Tony Wilson, UNISON NEC;
Jon Rogers, UNISON NEC;
Max Watson, UNISON NEC;
Lindsey German, Convenor Stop the War Coalition;
Alex Callinicos, Professor of European Studies, King's College London;
Prof Bill Bowring,International Secretary of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, President of the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH);
Sian Davin Solicitor;
Andrew Berry, UNISON National Labour Link Committee member;
Paul Mackney,  former General Secretary NATFHE/UCU;
Haim Bresheeth, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, London School of Oriental and African Studies And Director of Camera Obscura Films;
Alex Gordon, RMT;
Mary Stephens, PSC;
Ghada Karmi, Research Fellow, University of Exeter- Patron Palestine Solidarity Campaign;
Ian Birchall, writer and translator, UCU retirted section;
Shacklewell ward Labour Party, part of Hackney North CLP;
Peter Smith Labour Parliamentary Candidate for South West Norfolk;
Jane Doolan, Branch Secretary Islington UNISON ;
Diana James, Assistant Branch Secretary Islington UNISON;
Fiona Monkman, Chair Islington UNISON;
Mike Calvert, Islington UNISON Deputy Branch Secretary and ILC;
Mark Krantz, Media Officer Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition;
Ann Green British Pensioners & Trade Union Action Association;
Sue Plain UNISON NJC Committee and Southwark UNISON branch Secretary;
Mark Still  RMT Waterloo;
Paul Murphy, Islington UNISON steward & Branch International Officer;
John Calderon, Labour Party - Hackney CLP;
Helen Peters, retired lecturer University of London, UCU;
Doreen McNally  Liverpool Unite Community Branch , Former spokes woman for the Women of the Waterfront;
Paul Filby, UCATT Liverpool;
John Flanagan, trade unionist;
Sheila Coleman, Unite Liverpool Community Branch;
Mona Baker, Professor of Translation Studies University of Manchester;
Dr Gabriela Saldanha, Lecturer in Translation Studies University of Birmingham;
Sue Blackwell, Senior lecturer UCU;
Bahadur Najak,University of Durham;
Randy Banks, Institute for Social and Economic Research University of Essex, UCU;
Mike Cushman, London School of Economics, UCU;
Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, Oxford University;
Paul Hudson, retired university Teacher;
Jo  Ann Rust, Kings Lynn and District TUC, UNISON activist;
Nat Queen, University of Birmingham UCU;
George Binette, Camden UNISON Branch Secretary and Chair Camden TUC;
Sam Grove, Shop Steward, Islington UNISON;
Tyrone Ballinger, Shop Steward, Islington UNISON;
Yesim Senler, rep Islington UNISON; Pam Woods, Islington UNISON;
Denise Facey, Housing Convenor Islington UNISON;
Roger Silverman, Newham NUT;
Joanna Cardwell,Shop Steward, Islington UNISON;
Mandy Berger, Camden UNISON;
Felicity Dowling, Chester NUT;
Michael Loughlin, Manchester Metropolitan University; ;
Richard Carabine, Birkbeck College London, UCU;
David Halpin retired surgeons, founder of Dove and Dolphin ;
Dr George Paizis, UCU Retired Section;
Dee Reynolds University of Manchester;
Dr Shupikai Rinomhota  School of Healthcare University of Leeds; 

Professor Caroline Rooney, Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellow, University of Kent;
Marc Gibson, Loughborough University UCU Branch Secretary (Admin);
Graham Durham Unite Branch  Secretary;
Keith Facey, Steward, Islington UNISON
Rosemary Plummer, Schools convenor, Islington UNISON;
Jenny Densham, Schools convenor, Islington UNISON;
Mary Compton, former National President of NUT, retired;
Brian Caton, former General Secretary of the POA;
Tony Phillips, London Fire Authority Branch Secretary UNISON;
Steve Forrest, GMB;
Steve Hedley, RMT;
Yael Khan, Islington Friends of Yibna;
Gerrard Sables, Peoples Assembly, Devon;
Henry Mott, Southwark Unite;
Angie Zelter;
Dean Ryan, Islington UNISON;
Siobhan Hawthorne, Islington UNISON;
Celia Oakwood, UNITE Liverpool;
Richard Gill, Islington UNISON;
Jenny Sutton, Chair UCU CONEL;
John Owen, TUSP Liverpool;
Frank Fitzmaurice, Merseyside UNITE;
Unite Branch 6/522
Mike Arnott, Dundee TUC;
John Sweeney, UCATT Political Organiser East of England;
Roger Burt;
Richard Seaford, UCU University of Exeter;
Alex Wood, Islington UNISON;
Matt Wells, PCS;
Anthony Brain, Birmingham STWC;
Marian Brain, UCU;
Norman Druker, UNISON retired member;
Miriam Wells, freelance journalist;
Ray Bush, University of Leeds;
Ed Bober, Norwich UNISON;
Max Shanly, Young Labour National Committee;
Alan Wylie, Islington UNISON;
Louise Whittle, Bristol UNISON;
Sean Fox, Haringey UNISON;
Chris Taylor, Haringey UNISON;
Gerard McGrath, Haringey UNISON;
Lisa McInerney, Islington UNISON;
Mick Gilgunn, Islington TUC;
Philip Lewis, Camden UNISON Vice Chair & Branch Health & Safety officer (PC);
Sarah Streatfeild;
Dr Lindiwe Dovey, SOAS;
Professor Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, SOAS;
Professor Laleh Khalilii, SOAS;
Maisie Carter, President, Merton and Sutton TUC;
Dave Carrier, Chair Merton Palestine Solidarity Committee;
Charlie Kiss, Camden UNISON;
John Ross  academic;
Ellen Graubart  Hackney Unite;
Philip Lewis Camden Unison vice chair & Branch health and Safety officer;
Steve Hedley RMT;
Sarah Streatfield ;
Alex Gordon RMT Paddington N°1;
Yael Kahn  Chair Islington Friends of Yibna;   
Atef Alshaer SOAS University of London;
Val Graham Derbyshire Unison ;
Mark Krantz Media Officer Greatezr Manchester Stop the War Coalition;
Mandy Berger Camden Unison ;
Alex Callinicos Kings College London;
Charlie Kimber, National Secretary of the SWP;
Charlie Kiss Camden Unison , Islington Green Party ;
Carolyn Kagan Professor Emerita,  Manchester Metropolitan University;
Kevin Stannard;
Saussan Khalil University of Cambridge;
Kevin Perkins, Islington UNISON LGBT Convenor;
Jean Pierre Barrois retired Senior lecturer, freelance translator;
Andy Richards, Chair of Unison, Brighton and Hove;
Annette Mansell-Green, Green Trade Unionist;
Austin Harney, PCS;

Karolina O'Donoghue, "Palestine Live!"

Below is original French version
For more information contact:

Sunday, 7 December 2014

UNISON Labour Link meeting

Dear comrades

There is a Labour Link meeting this coming Thursday, 11th December in Committee room 5 from 12.30-1.30 in the town hall

Please try and attend

Light lunch provided

Only condition: you must pay into the Affiliated Political Fund or Labour Link

Comradely Greetings

Mike Calvert
Labour Link Officer

Friday, 7 November 2014

Number of Branches Calling for rejection grows

A growing number of branches have joined UNISON’s North West Region in recommending rejection of the rotten NJC pay proposals. UNISON full time officials have been forced by the depth of anger at the proposals to withdraw the disgraceful attempt to prevent branches and regions making recommendations to reject the proposals and communicate this to their members.

This includes the right of branches using the Leeds unit for postal balloting to include publicity calling for rejection of the proposals.
Branches recommending rejection include:
North West Region (at committee meeting attended by 28 of 34 branches)
Notts County
Kensington & Chelsea
Tower Hamlets
Dorset County
Portsmouth City
South Gloucestershire
Norfolk County

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Drop in session on pay and the political fund ballot

There will be a drop in session in room 4B in 222 Upper Street from 1pm to 2pm
This will be on 11 November 2014
Please drop in.

Vote YES in the Political Fund ballot

Vote Yes to a campaigning voice for UNISON

The political fund ballot runs from 1 November till 30 November –
Islington UNISON calls on all members for a Yes vote
UNISON campaigns hard to defend jobs and decent employment standards, to
promote public services and equality, and to protect the health and safety
of our members.
To do this, the law says that unions must have a specific political fund to
pay for such work and that a ballot has to be held every 10 years for it to
This law was brought in by the Thatcher Government to try to undermine
trade unions and their ability to campaign to defend members and services.
No trade union has ever lost such a ballot but we must not be complacent.
In UNISON our Political Fund has two parts. The Affiliated Fund which helps UNISON argue our case in the Labour Party and the General Fund which allows us to campaign against any Government polices of any party that damages our member’s interests.
Members have the right to join either or both and to opt out of either or
No one is compelled to contribute to either.
But if we do not get a YES vote in this ballot both funds will be closed
down and severely restrict our ability to campaign for members for the next
10 years.
Look out for your ballot papers in this month’s U magazine.
Please don’t imagine the insert is adverts and discard it.
We need members to vote Yes to protect their own interests and future.
It will only take a minute so please use your right to vote.
There will be more messages posted shortly
Find out more by looking on UNISON’s national website.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Consultative pay ballot note

Dear Islington UNISON members

All members who are on the Council should have received their ballot paper over the weekend and upto yesterday.
Please read the materials and cast your vote by emailing the paper back to me at

Those not on the council system or with problems accessing their emails such as home care workers and teaching assistants will receive their ballot papers shortly

Please return them as instructed.

It is vital that you vote and the Branch position is to REJECT the proposal.



Monday, 20 October 2014

The march in pictures

St Mungos Broadway Dispute

St Mungos Broadway Dispute

Unite members at St Mungos Broadway (from the Unite Housing Workers Branch) will be taking seven days of strike action in defence of their housing association, staff terms and conditions, and union rights, all of which have come under a sudden and vicious attack following a merger. Over 95% of respondents voted to take strike action on a turnout of almost 70%.
Additional protest added:
Please note that on the final strike day, we are calling all strikers and supporters to an additional protest:
Thursday 23rd October, 10.30am, Griffin House, 161 Hammersmith Road, W6 8BS. Nearest tube Hammersmith
- See more at: Mungos Dispute

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Manchester UNISON rejects pay proposal

Manchester UNISON rejects pay proposal

Manchester Branch rejects pay proposals and calls for a special LG Service Group Conference

Manchester Branch have taken the unusual step of requisitioning a special Local Government Service Group Conference.
It is not something we have done lightly but we think there are major issues to be addressed within Local Government and the best way to do it is in a conference setting, where everyone can have their say.
This can be done under Rule 3.4.11:
“A special service group conference shall be convened on receipt, by the head of the service group, within any two month period, of requisitions to that effect, stating the business to be transacted, from branches representing not less than 25% of the service group membership.”
To requisition a special LG Conference we need enough branches representing 25% of the membership to submit a requisition within two months.
All branches need to do is send the same requisition.
25% of the membership is achievable but we need to use the same wording in the requisition.
So if your branch also rejects the proposals we are asking for your help and support.
If your Branch submits a requisition please email Manchester Branch – – your Branch name and Local Government membership total as of 1st January 2014 so we know when the 25% required has been achieved.
At a North West Service Group meeting on 14th October, representatives from a wide spread of branches informally indicated their branch would support the call to requisition a Special Conference by writing to the National Secretary of the Local Government Service Group – – in accordance with UNISON Rule D3.4.11 to consider the following business:
  • The 2014-2016 NJC Pay Proposals.
  • The decision to cancel strike action on 14th October.
  • The future Pay Consultation protocols in respect of Local Government pay claims.
  • The best means to secure a decent pay increase for Local Government members and to receive and consider all motions from Branches and Regions concerning the above.
Branches are urged to agree this using the same wording to secure a Special Conference.
Motion Agreed by Manchester Branch Executive

An Appeal to Local Government Branches from Manchester Local Government UNISON

An Appeal to Local Government Branches 

from Manchester Local Government UNISON

We have requisitioned a Special Local Government Service Group Conference on pay.
You can read why we have taken this step and if you agree then we need your help.
For the conference to take place it requires branches representing 25% of the Service Group membership to requisition.
If your branch agrees to do this then send this email to Heather Wakefield, Head of the Local Government Service Group at
Dear Heather
I am writing on behalf of our Branch to requisition a Special Local Government Service Group Conference.
In accordance with UNISON Rule D3.4.11 on 2nd October 2014 (02/10/14) our Branch / Branch Executive agreed to call for the requisition of a Special Local Government Service Group Conference to consider the following business:
  • The 2014-2016 NJC Pay Proposals.
  • The decision to cancel strike action on 14th October.
  • The future Pay Consultation protocols in respect of Local Government pay claims.
  • The best means to secure a decent pay increase for Local Government members and to receive and consider all motions from Branches and Regions concerning the above.
Could you then please email us at to let us know and tell us your branch name and Local Government membership total as of 1st January 2014 so we know when we have reached 25%.
Thank you for your support.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Sellout 2014

We have just heard that the planned strike action on 14th has been officially suspended.

We haven't got any specific details and as soon as we have will update the blog and let the members know.

You are now NOT on strike on 14th October.

We have been sold out once again!

A Pay rise is for life not just for Christmas!!!

A Pay rise is for life not just for Christmas!!!

The proposal put by the employers is an insult. It is worth 0.55%. Even less than the original 1% offered and certainly nowhere near £1.20 an hour increase. This insult coupled with a "compensatory payment" of £100 which is not consolidated, does not form part of your pay increase (or cut) or £s reflected in your pension. It is a one off payment and is taxable. It is a joke !!! We need to be clear that for Islington employees this is what is on offer. 

Some members may see the £100 as a help over the festive period but in real terms if we accept this we are taking a year on pay cut of around 20% and they will keep coming back for more until we have had our pay cut by 40%. That £100 one off payment and that slightly over 1/2% will seem like a distant memory. I appreciate that the way the employers are spinning this makes it look as if we have an improved offer. Don't be fooled. If 1% wasn't good enough on the 10th July why would anyone consider settling for 0.55% on the 14th October ?

I rest my case

Jane Doolan
Branch Secretary

Friday, 26 September 2014

TUC : Britain needs a Pay Rise

The Big TUC demo will be on Saturday 18th October in central London.

Please contact the Branch office for more information

Mike and Jane

Prepare for the pay strike

The next day of strike action is Tuesday 14th October

Leaflets and postcards as well as the Joint Union statement will be out next week.

Look out for them or contact the Branch Office.

Jane and Mike

Joint Trade Union Meeting

To all members of UNISON, Unite, GMB and UCATT:

Posters and leaflets have gone out.

This will be held in the Union Chapel on Tuesday 30th September.


All members of UNISON, UCATT, Unite and GMB Branches are welcome

Jane and Mike

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Article on latest strikes in Barnet and Doncaster

Care workers in Barnet and Doncaster strike together against low pay

by Raymie Kiernan
Care workers on strike

Your Choice Barnet and Care UK workers protest on Tuesday
Your Choice Barnet and Care UK workers protest on Tuesday (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Striking care workers in Doncaster and London brought their struggles together on Tuesday of this week in their fight against low pay and privatisation.
In north London Your Choice Barnet workers, in the Unison union, struck for two days on Monday and Tuesday against a near 10 percent pay cut. 
Unison steward Tom Andrews told Socialist Worker, “The strike is solid. It’s a reflection of our united team who want to express their frustration at this attack on our pay.”
A coachload of Care UK strikers, also in Unison, joined the Barnet strikers’ rally. They are fighting for the Living Wage for new staff and a meaningful rise for the rest. 
The Doncaster workers end a three-week strike on Sunday of this week, which is also set to be their 69th strike day this year.
Both groups of workers bear the brunt of outsourcing care services but are determined to fight to maintain quality of service for those they care for. They are also fighting to defend their own conditions.
Barnet Unison branch chair Helen Davies told Socialist Worker, “These are almost identical disputes and workers have taken the logical step of taking action together.”
The Barnet workers could have more strikes to come if bosses don’t back down.
Meanwhile bosses at Care UK met for talks with the union in Doncaster last week. Their derisory offer equated to 14p extra an hour before tax for new staff and nothing for the rest. 
It is clear the strikers will need to find ways of escalating the dispute to win. The strikers’ committee said, “There is no way we will accept the crumbs thrown in our direction. We have come too far to back down now.”
Helen said, “Barnet and Doncaster care workers are offering a lead to everyone who wants to fight back. If this happened nationally and across different unions we could see the back of low pay.”
Care UK strikers voted last week ahead of talks with bosses for a further 21-day walkout, the dates of which were still to be announced as Socialist Worker went to press. 
Workers at Your Choice Barnet also voted for an extra four days of action before striking this week. Both need solidarity from the trade union movement to win their fights.

  • Barnet: Send messages of support and requests for speakers Send donations to the strike fund to Barnet Unison Industrial Action Fund, Building 4, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP
  • Doncaster: Send donations, solidarity messages and requests for strikers to speak at meetings to Make cheques payable to Unison Doncaster 20511. Send to Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ

Barnet strikers latest

Solidarity with Barnet strikers

Dear colleagues,

Your Choice Barnet support workers will be taking industrial action 8th and 9th September with more dates to follow, after having a 9.5% pay cut imposed on them by their employer. Like anyone else in Local Government these workers have had pay freeze after pay freeze up to this pay cut!
Your Choice Barnet is a Local Authority Trading Company set up by Barnet Council February 2012. Barnet UNISON always believed the business case was flawed and sadly we have been proven right as YCB has had to borrow £1 million (around 20% of its budget) from Barnet Homes to be repaid at commercial interest rates over the next 3 years. Our members have already had cuts to their terms and conditions as all shift allowances have been cut and the numbers of Support Workers have been decreased whilst the numbers of Assistant Support Workers have been increased.
If your organisation is thinking of outsourcing some of your services you may want to have a read of this Your Choice Barnet (YCB) "The real deal"
The Your Choice Barnet Care worker cause is very similar to the Doncaster Care UK workers and we believe it is incredibly brave and principled of all of these workers to take this action. Their action throws a spotlight on the travesties of low pay in the care sector and the low quality of care which accompanies this low pay.
We are asking you to get behind this dispute by
1.    Sending in your messages of support to
2.    Collecting money for the strikers
3.    Donating money – cheques payable to: Barnet UNISON Industrial Action Fund
4.    Inviting our strikers to speak at meetings/ rallies/ events ( to arrange
5.    Joining our strikers on the picket line (for details
6.    Please signing our petition and as your colleagues and other to do the same.
Best wishes
John Burgess
Branch Secretary.

Are we history?



The plan has changed.

The trade unions have now agreed to a day of joint strike action in the battle for £1.20 an hour, billed in variously places as "fair pay"!
The actual mandate given by the membership to the leadership was to strike for £1.20 an more, no less.

Now we have the following trade unions (UNISON, GMB and Unite) taking strike action on 14th October and the big task is for a huge mobilisation on this day, on the TUC demonstration on 18th October, and any subsequent action on this issue.

see :

Local Government pay strike: the latest

Local Government pay dispute

Friday, 1 August 2014

Labour councillors vote to support NUT rep made victim of "Nazi" slur

Labour councillors vote to support NUT rep made victim of Nazi slur

Haringey Independent: Labour councillors vote to support suspended union rep suspended by Haringey Council Labour councillors vote to support suspended union rep suspended by Haringey Council
Five councillors are among the members of the Tottenham Labour Group that voted to support a union representative recently suspended by Haringey Council.
Julie Davies, who has been an elected National Union of Teachers official for more than a decade, was suspended for “gross misconduct”.
The NUT claims the suspension is "unlawful" and an "attack on the unions".
The Tottenham Labour Group's general committee last week passed a motion agreeing to “the core Labour values of trade unionism” and “the right of workers to democratically choose their own representatives".
Labour councillors voting in favour of the motion were Gideon Bull, Emine Ibrahim, Stuart McNamara, John Bevan and Reg Rice.
A second motion, relating to comments made by Haringey school governor Gerard Kelly, condemned the comparison of Ms Davies to Hermann Goering.
It read: “This borough has a proud tradition of honouring the memory of victims of the Holocaust and honouring survivors.
“This GC [general committee] therefore rejects any comparison with the experience of people living in our diverse and harmonious borough.
“We reject that a trade unionist of Jewish descent has anything in common with those who committed such horrendous crimes against humanity.”
Both motions were moved by both Islington and Haringey branches of UNISON, the public sector workers’ union.
They were both passed unanimously.
Neither Tottenham MP David Lammy nor council leader Claire Kober, also members of the group, were able to attend the meeting.
Mr Lammy declined to comment on the suspension of Ms Davies.

A ceasefire in Gaza is essential now

A ceasefire in Gaza is essential now

Harrowing images of death, destruction and human suffering in the Palestine/Israel conflict cannot fail to move even the most hard-hearted cynic.
Pitiful scenes of parents, distraught with grief over the slaughter of their children, cry out for the international community, politicians and Palestinian and Israeli leaders to call a halt.
We in UNISON are horrified at the rising death toll in Gaza, now over 1,200 – the vast majority of them innocent civilians, including hundreds of children. Destruction of civilian and UN infrastructure in recent days, including schools, hospitals and the territory’s only power plant, will have grave ramifications for the Palestinian population now and long after this latest military operation ceases.
The excessive Israeli attacks are unjustifiable and totally disproportionate.
UNISON re-iterates its call for an immediate cease-fire and an end to the blockade imprisoning 1.9 million people. And we want the international community to provide urgently needed humanitarian aid to Gaza, including food, water, medical aid and generators.
Our government must immediately end the arms trade with Israel.  But a lasting peace relies on an end to the illegal occupation and blockade of the Palestinian territories and for the creation of a viable, independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

UNISON encourages members and branches who wish to provide assistance to make a donation to Medical Aid for Palestinians, a charity with a long history of working in Gaza and with whom UNISON has worked in the past.

UNISON working internationally

Official UNISON website press release

Why we're striking

We local government workers empty the bins, clean the schools, educate and care for children, look after the elderly, and vulnerable, conduct marriages and civil partnerships, care for parks, and check the safety of the food on your table.
We do it all despite savage cuts to vital services. Almost half a million of our jobs have gone. Those of us left are doing far more for far less.
We have worked hard to get employers to negotiate a deal, but the employers won’t even talk to us about a better offer, or join us for independent arbitration.
So now we are going on strike 

Most UNISON members are low-paid, part-time women workers, struggling to pay their household bills. Losing pay for strike action is not something they do lightly.
Our members are not asking for the 14% pay increase company bosses and bankers are getting. Or the 11% MPs will see. They are just asking for a rise of at least £1 an hour.
That would mean almost half a million council and school support workers currently earning below the Living Wage of £7.65 an hour could come off in-work benefits.

UNISON members: 5 reasons to go on strike 

1. You can’t afford another pay and pension cut
The current government offer leaves most workers with pay worth almost 20% less than in 2010. Falling pay also means loss of pension for the rest of your life.
2. You are worth fair pay for the work you do
Your pay and conditions are the worst in the public sector - from top to bottom.
3. Taking another pay cut won’t save jobs and services
Despite a pay freeze, jobs have gone and services continue to be stripped to the bone, privatised or stopped all together. There’s no reason to believe a pay cut will stop this.
4. All this will continue unless we act now
Low pay is bad for workers and bad for the economy. That’s why politicians from all parties are calling for an end to low pay. Many local government workers rely on benefits to pay bills. Right now, the taxpayer is subsidising local government to pay poverty wages.
5. Our claim for a minimum of £1 more an hour for all is affordable
Paying all local government workers a living wage will boost Treasury coffers by around £0.9bn every year from increased tax and national insurance take - shifting many off in-work benefits and reducing the bill to taxpayers.
Read the live blog covering the July 10 strike