Socialist Worker

Reports round-up - reject TA pay offer in Durham and fight for more

Issue No. 2561

Durham teaching assistants deserve better than the offer on the table

Durham teaching assistants deserve better than the offer on the table (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Reject offer in Durham

Durham teaching assistants’ (TAs) ballot over a new pay offer from Labour-run Durham County Council closes next Monday.

The vast majority are Unison union members.

Unison has said the offer is “a significant improvement on what has been offered previously”.

But the last “offer” was a sign or be sacked ultimatum imposing new contracts to work more hours for a pay cut of up to 23 percent.

Four solid walkouts last year forced council bosses to suspend the sacking threat.

TAs are furious that the new council offer would still see 22 percent of them paid less. They would also work longer.

TAs should reject the offer and demand Unison names new strike dates to focus the minds of their employers.

They still have a live ballot.


Fight over unsocial work in Kirklees

Social workers at Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire were set to strike on Wednesday and Thursday this week. The Unison union members working in children’s services are in a long-running dispute.

Their grievances include pay, workloads, agency staff, allegations of bullying, IT systems, accommodation and travel plans.

Unison members have welcomed the council’s announcement that children’s services will remain in house.

But they are not prepared to drop their demands.

They plan to rally on the first strike day to discuss further action if required.

Donate to the strike fund and send solidarity messages via branch@kirklees-unison.org.uk

Tories want fresh cuts to fire service

The FBU firefighters’ union has slammed fresh cuts to the fire service.

The union demanded that the Tories halt fire service cuts and reinstate firefighter jobs that have already been scrapped.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack warned, “We have already seen the worst cuts in the history of the fire service but more are on the way.”

FBU members in Surrey passed a motion of no confidence in Surrey County Council last week as Tory council bosses plan to slash £10 million from its fire service budget.

The Grenfell Tower fire last month drew attention to the cuts that have left fire services across Britain struggling.

Strikes could resist the cuts and help kick the Tories out.


Delivering on resistance

Royal Mail bosses want to force through massive attacks on postal workers’ pensions, pay and conditions.

But CWU union members are gearing up for a big fight this autumn to stop them.

The union had held large reps meetings in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Belfast as Socialist Worker went to press. It was set to hold more in Glasgow, Liverpool and Sheffield this week.

It will take national strikes to make Royal Mail drop its plans. CWU activists have to make sure they can deliver the strongest possible vote for action.


Bank of England workers to strike

Workers at the Bank of England are set to strike for four days from 31 July.

The Unite union members voted overwhelmingly to strike against a real terms pay cut.

They include cleaners, maintenance and security workers.


Protesters block fracking lorries

Anti-fracking protesters began camping near a factory in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, last week.

They are trying to block equipment being delivered to Cuadrilla’s fracking operation in Lancashire.

They have blocked and climbed on lorries leaving Marriot PR Drilling in Coney Green business park, causing severe delays.

Louise told Socialist Worker she was there to stop the lorries because of the environmental impact of fracking.

“It’s dirty and disgusting—we have to use renewables instead.”

Local resident Will has been helping support the campers by getting supplies. He added, “I’m worried about the planet’s future. When a community comes together and says no to fracking, it has to stop.”

The Marriots camp is the latest part of a campaign that has seen sustained protests at the fracking site near Blackpool and action outside other suppliers. The protesters encourage supporters to come along and get involved.Kai Hodge

  • Residents and councillors in Lancashire have locked themselves to heavy objects outside the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire.

They are trying to block the drilling rig from being delivered.

There have been protests outside the Caudrilla fracking firm’s site since January.

Lancashire council voted against allowing Caudrilla to drill two years ago.

But Tory communities secretary Sajid Javid overruled t


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Tue 4 Jul 2017, 16:32 BST
Issue No. 2561
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