Chagos islanders protest
Chagos islanders protested to the House of Lords on Monday at the start of a hearing into their right to return to Diego Garcia. Labour is oppposing their return home.
Brighton buses accept pay offer
Bus drivers in the Unite union at the Brighton and Hove Bus Company have voted to accept an improved pay offer and to call off planned strike action.
The new offer averages out at a 7.6 percent pay rise. All drivers will now be on at least £10.40 an hour. This is a significant shift from the original deal which offered some drivers as little as a 1.1 percent rise.
Management were clearly rattled by the threat of action and came up with the offer just before drivers in the Unite union were set to start six 24 hour strikes on consecutive Mondays.
Strike ballot over bullying
Around 160 members of the UCU union at Newi College in Wrexham, north Wales, voted unanimously to ballot for strike action on Thursday of last week.
The dispute is over allegations of bullying by management at the college. The union lodged a collective grievance over bullying in January that was rejected by management.
Eight complaints have been made in the last few months that the UCU says college management has failed to take any action over.
If workers vote to take action, strikes are likely to take place in September.
Anger at Brown at Scottish TUC
Anger at government attacks on wages and affordable housing were the major themes at the annual Scottish Trade Union Congress Youth Conference.
Grum Smith, a delegate from Unison, told Socialist Worker, “We are ready to challenge Gordon Brown on the wage differential which penalises young workers.”
Eiran Cooper, a council worker from Aberdeen, said, “Nobody believes the likes of Brown, Alistair Darling, and Mervyn King on issues of inflation and public sector pay. What we need is real change.
“Only coordinated action across the public sector can break the pay freeze.”
Mark Lynch from the Ucatt union said there was a “high level of confidence and self-esteem” at the conference. “What we need is united action. Unions are stronger together.”
Derby nurses force climb down
Nurses in Derby have agreed to withdraw their threat of strike action after management backed down on part of its attempts to downgrade staff.
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust wanted to cut the pay of nearly 300 surgical nurses by demoting them from band six to band five.
But a ballot of members on an improved offer this week accepted the new pay structure with an improved protection package, meaning that the worst affected staff will have their pay protected for three years and will still receive pay rises.