About 50 teachers joined the picket line outside Crofton School in Lewisham, south east London, last week as they struck for a day over pay cuts. The cuts are a result of the implementation of new allowance payments for teachers, which means some face the loss of thousands of pounds a year. Strikers then travelled to Woolwich to join a protest outside the town hall against New Labour’s education White Paper.
BBC Radio strike is called off
Media unions at the BBC have called off strikes at BBC Radio after a new offer from management over changes to job descriptions.
Bectu and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members had been set to strike on Wednesday of this week and Thursday of next week.
Lucy Davies, a Bectu union rep at BBC Radio, told Socialist Worker, “Management has come up with a new offer which means that people recruited as assistant producers on the first round will start on a higher salary. People who start in the next round won’t be on as much.
“We’re now putting this out to the members with a neutral recommendation for them to decide. The concessions show that the BBC is worried by the prospect of strikes. However the offer does not address concerns over multiskilling and the decline in the quality of service that might result.”
Indie workers to ballot over pay
NUJ union members at the Independent newspaper have voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding a ballot for industrial action over pay.
At a well attended chapel (workplace branch) meeting on Thursday of last week, union members working on the daily and the Sunday titles decided to reject the company’s latest pay offer of 2.5 percent.
Gate Gourmet solidarity visit
About 100 people visited the picket by Gate Gormet workers at Heathrow airport on Friday of last week.
They were showing their solidarity with workers sacked by the company six months ago. The workers are demanding their jobs back, on their old conditions. They are also calling on the T&G union to reinstate hardship payments.
Joining together in pensions fight
Unions in Islington, north London, have got together to call for a rally on pensions to build for a proposed one-day strike on 28 March.
Sean Vernell, branch secretary of the Natfhe union at City and Islington College, said, “A lot of people in my workplace are very unhappy with the deal that was made last year.
“Colleagues realise that if it wasn’t for other people fighting in the past, we would not have the pension rights we have today. They do not want to be working in a two-tier workforce.
“The proposed joint action by unions made the government step back last year. Now we need to build on that success.
“This is why unions in the area decided to get together and call a rally. We’ve invited MPs, pensioner groups and other community groups to come together and discuss what we can do to stop government attacks on our pension rights.”
Pensions rally, Islington town hall, 7 March at 7pm. Called by Islington branches of Unison, FBU, NUT, City and Islington College Natfhe and London Metropolitan Natfhe.
Justice for Azelle Rodney
The family of Azelle Rodney, the young black man shot dead by a Metropolitan Police officer in west London on 30 April last year, has again demanded that unanswered questions about his death be resolved.
Susan Alexander, Azelle’s mother, spoke out in the wake of the conviction of two men on firearms and drugs offences who were with Azelle in a car when he was killed.
She said, “We are calling again for the truth and for the police officer that has admitted firing the shots that killed Azelle to remain off duty until the closure of this case.” An Independent Police Complaints Commission report has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.
TUC May Day march
This year's TUC May Day demonstration has been organised around the demands for better rights for workers in Britain.
Marches will take place across in cities and towns across Britain. The London march will assemble at 12 noon at Clerkenwell Green (nearest tube Farringdon), with a march to Trafalgar Square for a rally.