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UK public sector pay dispute - nurses, local gov, civil service, post office, etc.

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Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Sep 17 2007 15:19

Unison health workers accept deal, following the union blocking branches recommending rejection:

Quote:
Health workers back pay deal
(13/09/07) UNISON members in the NHS have voted 2 to 1 in favour of the revised pay offer secured by union negotiators in August.

The deal will put extra cash in the pockets of the lowest paid workers in the NHS. In addition, non-clinical staff will have their training budgets boosted, and clinicians will get money to put towards their training fees - though only in England, where the award is being staged.

Karen Jennings, UNISON head of health, said it was a pragmatic vote.

"I believe that workers in the health service deserve better - however UNISON said the revised offer was the best that could be achieved through negotiation, and the result shows that members recognised that fact."

Members had been told that should they reject the deal, they should also be prepared to support industrial action.

However, the union will be seeking more money next year to make up for accepting this year's below-inflation award.

"We will be making a strong case for a catch-up award," Ms Jennings said. "I don't believe health workers will accept a below-inflation pay increase for two years running."

In the meantime, the union is determined to improve terms and conditions for NHS staff by making progress over issues such as a reduced working week and better training. Talks are due to begin soon.

UNISON represents 450,000 members in the NHS including nurses, paramedics, healthcare assistants, cleaners, cooks, porters, administrative staff and therapists. 68.8% voted for and 31.2% against the offer.

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Joseph Kay
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Sep 17 2007 15:45

a guy i do kung fu with who works in the NHS said the 'explanatory note' provided by unison was so complicated no-one could figure out what the deal meant, whether it was staggered etc. so coupled with the witch-hunting of antis it's not surprising people went with the 'recommendation' - not sure what the turnout/response was?

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Sep 17 2007 15:51
Joseph K. wrote:
a guy i do kung fu with who works in the NHS said the 'explanatory note' provided by unison was so complicated no-one could figure out what the deal meant, whether it was staggered etc. so coupled with the witch-hunting of antis it's not surprising people went with the 'recommendation'

exactly

Quote:
- not sure what the turnout/response was?

My guess would be very low.

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germs90
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Sep 19 2007 17:34

Turn out for the UNISON health service group pay offer ballot was around 20%.

There are clearly huge problems to address with the membership database. Some of these errors will be down to slackness on the union's part - others from members moving + not remembering to update their records (which the union should make more of an effort to remind people of - regularly).

An anecdote from my section - one blood service UNISON rep phoned regional office to see why 100 or so branch members had not received voting papers + was told they were listed wrongly as employees of the 'National Blood Authority' (defunct for about 10 years - now part of 'NHS Blood + Transplant') + therefore not entitled to vote!! This surely could have been repeated across all NBS branches, potentially running into 1000+ healthworkers denied a say.
Pissed off, powerless, + poorer!

What if consultations had to report a turnout of over 50% to be binding? Or, even better, if no vote counted as a 'No' vote (as technically, the member has not accepted the offer)... Then you would see officials with an agenda sweating their arses off to get full participation...

Dundee_United
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Sep 20 2007 01:13

I presume folks have seen this...

"19/09/07) UNISON is to ask its 850,000 local
government members whether they're prepared to take
action over this year's low pay offer.

The ballot was given the go ahead by the union's
industrial action committee at a meeting today. Papers
will be sent out in October.

Earlier this month local government representatives
rejected the employers' revised offer of 2.475% and a
new minimum rate on scale point 4 of £8 an hour.

The deal is below inflation, despite being a slight
improvement on the original offer. The Retail Price
Index figures were recorded at 4.1% in August.

UNISON’s head of local government, Heather Wakefield,
said: "I don't want to see local government pay
falling further behind the rest of the public sector
and private sector. Our members' morale is low. We
urge employers to help resolve this situation by
returning to talks."

Council workers covered by the pay claim include care
home and home care assistants, housing and
environmental health officers, refuse collectors,
librarians and school cooks. Almost two thirds of
them, 75% of whom are women, earn £15,825 or under a
year -- £8,000 less than the national average."

http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=3682

In Edinburgh local government workers (organised through Unison) have played a role in the ongoing campaign against council cuts, schools and nursery closures and redundancies...

http://www.edinburghunison.blip.tv/

Also check out: http://stopthecuts.blogspot.com/

There are some positive initiatives coming out of that campaign... Much, much more vibrant than the campaign against school closures in Glasgow last year.

Mike Harman
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Oct 3 2007 12:42
Quote:

Talks between Nipsa and the Education and Library Boards broke down last night with thousands of classroom assistants refusing to return to work until their demands are met.

At the end of the first day of a three day strike, relationships between the unions and management appeared at an all time low and all out strike action appeared likely.

Up to 3,000 members of public service union Nipsa staged the first day of a three day walk out yesterday in a dispute over pay and terms and conditions.

Special schools across the province forced to close while pupils at mainstream schools with special needs were also forced to remain at home. The situation is expected to deteriorate as strike action continues.

If no agreement can be achieved, the classroom assistants will only return to work on Friday before beginning all out action on Monday.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/article3021938.ece

Anyone in Belfast know more about this? Sounds pretty full on.

also, nasty: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7017298.stm

Mike Harman
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Oct 3 2007 12:45

Norwich hospital cleaners:

Quote:
Dozens of cleaners, porters, and catering staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital are voting this week on whether to take strike action as a dispute over pay threatened to boil over.

If given the go-ahead, the move would affect 44 workers, who are members of the union Unite, who are employed by the private contractor Serco.

Angry staff claim they are missing out on the same pay and benefits that there NHS employed counterparts receive.

Mike Harman
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Oct 3 2007 12:58

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6993366.stm

Tower Hamlets council gardeners after 3.5% offer.

Mike Harman
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Oct 8 2007 15:43

Very odd Guardian article by ex-swappie Gregor Gall: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/unions/story/0,,2182949,00.html

The relationship of the unions to Labour is at least mentioned as contributing to the lack of strike action - haven't seen that much in the press, but otherwise the usual Trot fare, just unusual to see it in this context.

steven
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Oct 9 2007 09:21
Dundee_United wrote:
I presume folks have seen this...

"19/09/07) UNISON is to ask its 850,000 local
government members whether they're prepared to take
action over this year's low pay offer.

The ballot was given the go ahead by the union's
industrial action committee at a meeting today. Papers
will be sent out in October.

This ballot ends Oct 26, and is for action beginning with a 2-day all-out strike 14-15 November. A Yes vote is expected, although the union's vote yes prop is shite, giving the employers arguments on the front page and workers' ones on the back.

Some teachers were trying to bring forwards their ballot for their action to coincide, the PCS says they'll try to have action then or very soon around then. Some posties will probably be out on those days too.

Mike Harman
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Oct 16 2007 13:01

NI classroom assistants back at work, no deal: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7044503.stm

Mike Harman
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Oct 18 2007 12:03

Looks like BBC strikes will be on pretty quick:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2193379,00.html
http://media.guardian.co.uk/bbc/story/0,,2193436,00.html

Medical secretaries balloting on strike as NHS trust derecognises the GMB: http://www.gmb.org.uk/Templates/PressItems.asp?NodeID=96157

No strike at Nuclear plant http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/7048546.stm would be good to have details of what the deal was.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Oct 30 2007 19:32

Unison local govt strike ballot was narrowly for yes, but the union decided not to call a strike. People at my work are going to be pissed... i'm pretty furious. the union's pro-yes prop was awful - it gave the bosses arguments on the front page of leaflet, and workers ones small on the back. this definitely helped the big no vote. fucking unions sad

Quote:
* FOR strike action 74,631 (51.6%)
* AGAINST strike action 70,088 (48.4%)

* Turnout 24.4% of members eligible to vote.

UNISON's national negotiating body, the NJC Committee, met yesterday and considered this outcome. Whilst welcoming the majority vote for strike action, the Committee decided that in all the circumstances, including the narrowness of the majority and the size of the return, this result does not constitute the basis for viable industrial action to break the Government's pay policy.

UNISON will therefore now settle the 2007 Pay Claim on the basis of the employers' revised offer made on 24 August. As you will recall, this provides for an increase of 2.475% at all points, apart from the lowest pay point (scp4) where the national basic rate will rise by 3.4% to produce an hourly rate of £6.00. These increases are backdated to 1 April 2007. London Weighitng will be increased by the same percentage at each pay point.

The Committee agreed further action to continue into next year the fight against the Government's pay policy and the prospect of employers' attacks on our national pay and conditions agreements, in coordination with other services within UNISON and other public service trade unions. Further information is on UNISON's national website.

Mike Harman
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Oct 31 2007 15:23
Quote:
PCS members have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the union's proposals for national industrial action aimed at resolving the ongoing national dispute in the civil service and related bodies over job cuts, below inflation pay and privatisation.

68% of members voting in the national consultative ballot voted for national strike action as part of the union's campaign, which has already seentwo strongly supported national one day strikes this year. The result is a clear demonstration of PCS members resolve to reach a fair settlement with senior civil service management and the government over jobs, pay and conditions.

The union's National Executive Committee will meet tomorrow, 1st November, to consider the ballot result and to receive a report on the discussions currently taking place with Cabinet Office officials.

Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "The union's NEC will be meeting tomorrow to consider the result in the context of discussions with the Cabinet Office. Civil service management and the government must be in no doubt of the determination of their own workforce to take action if necessary, to achieve a fair settlement over jobs, pay and conditions and must now find added urgency in reaching an agreement with the union."

http://www.pcs.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=914787

Mike Harman
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Oct 31 2007 15:24

More NIPSA school assistants strikes in NI:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/article3112892.ece

Airports might go out over pensions:

Quote:
Unite, formed by the merger of Amicus and the Transport & General Workers' Union, confirmed yesterday that shop stewards representing about 6,000 staff at BAA's British airports, had formally asked for a ballot on industrial action, up to and including strikes. BAA owns seven UK airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton.

http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2202041,00.html

Sidney Huffman
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Joined: 13-06-07
Nov 2 2007 16:08

Unison want shooting with shit for the totally embarrassing end to this dispute. At my workplace in Local govt. we have union members of 20-odd years standing leaving unison because of this and who can blame them? Anyone for self-organisation?

Spikymike
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Nov 6 2007 20:02

Well indeed - the strategy of UNISON was probably on a loser despite the radical sounding language - but none of us can hold our heads up, insofar as we are yet unable to significantly influence our fellow workers in a more radical direction. More effort I suppose with the likes of Dispatch and similar bulletins.

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Steven.
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Nov 7 2007 11:28

Prentis was overheard saying at TUC conference there would be a strike "over his dead body"...

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 7 2007 11:34

that could suit all concerned

Dundee_United
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Nov 7 2007 12:20
Quote:
Prentis was overheard saying at TUC conference there would be a strike "over his dead body"...

That sounds like a really good sticker idea. grin

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Steven.
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Dec 10 2007 10:33

civil servants 2 day strike:
http://libcom.org/news/uk-public-service-strike-enters-second-day-07122007

then ongoing overtime ban from today

not that they should be supported, but for interest police also threatening strikes:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=500681&in_page_id=1770

ftony
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Dec 10 2007 11:53

so we wait for the police to strike then take over this joint yeah? black bloc

Mike Harman
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Jun 23 2008 09:23

Unison local government ballot result is due today. Going to be lots of 'summer of discontent' articles all day I reckon, here's one from yesterday:

Mail on Sunday:

Quote:

Tomorrow sees the result of a strike ballot of more than 800,000 local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who have been urged by their union Unison to reject a 2.45% pay offer.

That offer is already above the Government's target of 2% but it has still failed to appease unions.

The ballot results could prove a shot across the bows ahead of pay talks between the Government and six unions due to resume on Wednesday.

The unions represent 250,000 staff at further education colleges in England who have rejected a 3% pay offer and are demanding 6%.

Meanwhile, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is finalising plans for a strike ballot of 280,000 members in the civil service in pursuit of various pay claims, all of them above the Government's 2% norm.

Mike Harman
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Jun 23 2008 13:51

http://unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=4461

Quote:

Local government members vote for action

(23/06/08) UNISON members in local government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have voted by 55% to 45% for a programme of sustained strike action over a 2.45% pay offer.

The union’s negotiating team, the National Joint Council committee, will now meet tomorrow to decide what action to recommend to the national strike committee that meets on Friday 27 June.

Commenting on the ballot result, general secretary Dave Prentis said: "This is a solid vote for action and a clear message to the local government employers that our members are willing to fight for a decent pay rise.

"They are fed up and angry that they are expected to accept pay cut after pay cut, while bread and butter prices go through the roof.

"Most of them are low paid workers, who are hit hardest by food and fuel price hikes and they see the unfairness of boardroom bonanzas and big city bonuses

"Other local government workers who have to use their cars for work are being hit hard too by spiralling fuel costs and they end up subsidising their employers."

UNISON head of local government Heather Wakefield added: "The employers should be in no doubt: the members have voted for a programme of sustained and escalating strike action because they are sick of being treated as the poor relations of the public sector.

"Their case for a realistic pay increase is indisputable. We are, of course, willing to meet with the employers at any time, but we will decide tomorrow what recommendations to make to our national strike committee."

Nearly 600,000 UNISON members were balloted on industrial action; including social workers, housing benefit workers, rent collectors refuse workers, school meals staff, teaching assistants, cooks, cleaners, architects and surveyors.

Almost 250,000 of those balloted earn less than £6.50 an hour and 75% of them are women.

The joint unions' pay claim was for 6% or 50p an hour whichever was the greater.

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Steven.
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Jun 23 2008 19:04

thread for this year here:
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/public-sector-pay-disputes-2008-23052008

ricardoexterp
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Feb 7 2009 18:00

"UK public sector pay dispute"

Heh - there have always been quite a dispute between some things that just need to be solved and because of that everything needs to be settled up by managing some issues that are done in a way or another only by us humans who have to take decisions. I work as a pigeon control guy for example but that doesn't stop me for caring about how nurses, local gov, civil service or post office works in this Kingdom.

-Richard