Socialist Worker

Unison round-up

Issue No. 2255

University of Sheffield

More than 700 low paid workers at the University of Sheffield struck against pension cuts on Thursday of last week.

Support workers in the Unison and Unite unions, including cleaners, caterers and security guards, joined the 24-hour walkout.

Bosses want to move the pensions of staff on lower grades from a final salary to a “cash balance” scheme.

Unison said this was likely to cut their pensions in half.

It called it “a disgraceful attack on the mainly female low paid workers in the university”.

The workers plan to strike again on Friday of this week.

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Carlisle protest

More than 400 people took to the streets of Carlisle on Wednesday of last week to protest against pay cuts for teaching assistants in the county.

The teaching assistants are being told to take pay cuts of up to a third under “single status” rules.

The protest, organised by the Unison union, saw them march on the council building to deliver petitions.

Unison branch secretary Deborah Hamilton said the rally was “great”.

She pledged, “We will continue to support you.”

Tower Hamlets anti-privatisation campaign

The Unison union at Tower Hamlets council in east London has launched a campaign against privatisation plans that could outsource up to 850 jobs.

The union fears a two-tier workforce, and terms and conditions being eroded.

“The mayor and his cabinet need to be very careful about falling for the promises of the private sector, who are only interested in shareholder profit,” said Unison assistant branch secretary Graham Eddy.

Dorset ballot

Unions at Dorset council are set to ballot on a deal that would mean cuts to terms and conditions, including unsocial hours payments.

The council has withdrawn plans to force workers to take up to 12 days a year of unpaid leave.

Unison branch secretary Pamela Jefferies said this was a “step forward”.

But, she said, “I still think it’s wrong that staff are having to pay for the mistakes of bankers.” She’s right.

If workers accept some cuts, it will encourage bosses to come back for more.

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Article information

Tue 7 Jun 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2255
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