Socialist Worker

Unison round-up

Issue No. 1946

Walsall branch attacked

Local government managers in Walsall, West Midlands, have launched an attack on the Unison union — effectively suspending branch officers and padlocking the union office.

The move by the Tory-run council follows disciplinary action against one of the assistant branch secretaries. Two other full-time officers also had their union facility time removed and were told to return to their previous council jobs.

Bob Piper, a second assistant branch secretary was ordered to go back to his old job while disciplinary action was taken against his colleague. “But my job doesn’t even exist any more — it was outsourced by the council,” he said.

Members of Unison were balloted for industrial action over the attacks, with 70 percent voting in favour. But with union officers out of the way, the turnout was thought to be low.

Bob believes that the council may be attacking the union in preparation for a sweeping privatisation programme.

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital

Serco employees at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital called off last week’s planned two-day strike at the last minute.

The 430 caterers, porters and cleaners were due to strike to win equal pay with workers directly employed by the NHS at the hospital. But they voted to call off their action while talks between Serco and the workers Unison union took place.

Other three-day and four-day action that had been planned has also been put on hold during talks, which Unison officials expect to last until 26 April.

NEC elections

Unison members began voting in elections for the union’s National Executive this week. Unison United Left are standing candidates for a number of positions. They are:

  • Greater London Mandy Berger, Jon Rogers, Fiona Monkman. South East Diana Leach, Jessie Russell, Mike Tucker.
  • South West Phil Jones, Pat Rowe.
  • Northern Yunus Bakhsh.
  • North West Babs Hennessey, Alex May, Karen Reissmann.
  • Yorkshire and Humberside Helen Jenner, John McDermott.
  • East Midlands John Owens, Anne McMillan Wood.
  • Local government service group Rahul Patel, Phoebe Watkins.
  • Health service group Kate Ahrens, Frances Kelly.
  • Higher education service group Tom Silverlock.

Defend the Liverpool Social Workers

Rally to defend the five Unison members victimised after the Liverpool social work strike

Wed 13 April, 7pm, Room 102, Eleanor Rathbone Building, Liverpool University, Bedford Street South L69

Speakers include: Nigel Flanagan (Chair of Unison north west regional committee), a former Liverpool docker, Professor Chris Jones (department of social policy and sociology), and a speaker from the FBU union

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Article information

Sat 9 Apr 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1946
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