public and third sector

The NHS pay freeze and the end of Agenda for Change

NHS Logo

This article looks at these changes and the ways in which successive years of 0% or 1% pay rises in the NHS have undermined the national Agenda for Change pay structure, paving the way for localised and potentially privatised pay agreements.

The recent announcement by the government of a pay freeze pay for NHS workers in England and Wales earning below the top of their pay band was the latest attempt to ‘get tough’ on public sector workers.

PCS hangs militant rep out to dry in HP dispute

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka

The Public and Commercial Services Union has in the past year worked to sabotage a dispute between its members at Hewlett Packard and their employer. This has culminated in the betrayal of one of their own reps, John Pearson, after he was unjustly sacked by the company.

PCS is best known as the civil servants’ union, however it has members in various areas of the private sector due to privatisation and outsourcing. This includes workers for Hewlett Packard who before 1995, with several contract transfers in between, were civil servants in the Department for Social Security’s (now the DWP) IT Services Agency.

Background

Images from 1970 U.S. postal strike

Pictures from the 2 week wildcat strike at the post office in the U.S. For background on what and why it happened, we recommend these excerpts from Jeremy Brecher's excellent book, Strike!.

U.S. Army report on strikebreaking activities during the 1970 postal strike

A report by the U.S. Army on their strikebreaking activities (delivering the mail, etc.) during the 1970 postal workers strike.

1970 USPS strike: the strike that stunned the country

An article from March 30, 1970 Time Magazine about the nationwide United States Postal Service strike that year.

So invisible were the docile, dependable men in gray until last week that no one noticed that their passions were about to explode into a historic and ominous strike. The first national postal stoppage in U.S.

Images from 1946 Rochester general strike

Pictures from the 1946 Rochester, New York general strike, which happened in response to the mass firings of city workers attempting to organize a union. Pictures originally posted at Rochester Labor.

The Socialist Party have no right to demand one way solidarity from claimants

Following a debate on Twitter, several statements appeared online seeking to defend the PCS union over its position on welfare reform and sanctions. This is a response, particularly aimed at PCS Vice President John McInally’s piece for the Socialist Party.

In writing this I am “helping the Tories,” if the nonsense aimed at Boycott Workfare of late is anything to go by. They raised the question of PCS members in the Department for Work and Pensions refusing to sanction claimants, which is apparently highly divisive and has the government rubbing their hands with glee.

Has PCS been outflanked to the left by a bosses’ union?

A look at two of many attacks faced by workers in HM Revenue & Customs. The contrasting responses from clerical grade union PCS and senior grade union ARC are worth noting, but not for the reason you might guess.

Listing all of the ongoing issues and disputes within HMRC at present would be an essay in itself. Suffice to say, there are a lot. In this post I want to talk about two in particular; the imposition of detrimental new terms and conditions for staff and the quotas in the new performance management system which are aimed at making it easier to sack the “bottom 10%” of staff from the job.

Leaflet on Current Wage (un-)Freeze in the Public Sector, East London

Leaflet distributed at Tower Hamlets Homes annual staff conference. It basically raises the question what the 600 workers of the East London housing group can do in order to get a pay hike after four years of freeze, given that waiting for the UNISON ballot won't cut it...

It makes us sick: notes on affective labour, sanity, and post-Fordism

The division of leisure time is an insult - Abigail Rebakah Barr

A slightly polished version of a short talk for a panel discussion on post-Fordism and mental health with Hannah Black and Mark Fisher, as part of Auto Italia South East's Immaterial Labour Isn't Working 2013 event series.

From the 1970s onwards Marxist feminists paid close attention to the role of affective labour and caring work1, and expanded our understanding of what counts as “work” into

  • 1. by which I mean traditionally “pink collar” occupations such as nursing, social care and so on