Keep pushing for pensions debate
The Unison union’s national executive last week voted against a request from the local government service group request for a special conference on pensions.
John McDermott, a member of the executive, says, “It voted to refer the matter to the service group liaison committee and finance committee. This is what happened last time and resulted in the request being smothered.
“The arguments put forward to oppose the conference were that it is not the wish of the other service groups, and it would delay a ballot for industrial action.
“Several delegates, including myself, argued in favour of explaining that the service group executive had voted three times to have a special conference with increasing majorities.”
The Kirklees branch’s initiative for branches to call for a special conference is still an option and if enough branches support this motion a conference can be called.
The motion to be passed is, “We request a special local government service group conference to discuss the current situation in the local government pensions dispute, under rule D.3.4.1.”
Branches should pass and submit this motion to Heather Wakefield at Unison headquarters by 13 November at the latest.
Wider backing for John McDonnell
John McDonnell’s campaign for the Labour leadership was boosted last weekend when he received the unanimous backing of the influential Amicus Unity Gazette, the centre left campaigning group within Amicus.
At a national meeting of the Unity Gazette there was a unanimous decision to campaign for John McDonnell to become the next leader of the Labour Party.
This was on the basis of the policy programme he is endorsing, in particular his support for pensioners, union rights, council housing and an independent foreign policy.
This added to the warm reception McDonnell received after his address to the CWU union’s London regional executive.
Guardian ballot boosts the union
Journalists in the NUJ union at the Guardian newspaper are gearing up to ballot for industrial action over pay.
The dispute is seeing a big increase in union membership.
“We have increased union membership at the Guardian from around 80 percent to around 91 percent,” says an NUJ member at the Guardian. “We have recruited new people into the union and brought old members into the branch.”
An Iftar dinner unites Newham
Newham Respect organised an Iftar dinner for local residents to celebrate the Islamic month of Ramadan. It was attended by 200 local residents and Lindsey German.
It was a great success for the whole community.
Falkirk single status protest
Angry workers made their feelings on single status known by taking part in a noisy protest outside Falkirk council’s headquarters on Wednesday of last week.
The Unison and GMB unions have threatened to take the council to court to protect the pay and conditions of their members.
They are angry at council moves to cancel hundreds of people’s terms of employment and replace them with a package that will take money out of some pay packets to give pay rises to others.
Glasgow Unison strike ballot over single status
Glasgow City Unison branch last week voted to seek headquarters’ authority for a strike ballot over the council’s attempt to implement a pay review as part of a single status agreement which is supposed to eliminate discrimination.
At the meeting where the vote was taken, one steward asked, “Where is the equality and fairness in the scheme? In the libraries section 80 percent of staff are female and all are losing money.”
Strike threatened at Baxi Potterton
Workers at the Baxi Potterton factory in Padiham, Lancashire, are threatening strike action following the sacking of a worker in June.
The 300 Amicus union members are set to stop working overtime from Wednseday and they plan to strike every Monday from 23 October.
Large Dundee Solidarity meeting
Last Tuesday saw some 240 people in Dundee attend a lively meeting of Solidarity, the Scottish Socialist Movement.
Speakers included Tommy Sheridan, representatives from the FBU and PCS trade unions and from the central mosque in Dundee.
Sheridan will be one of a Scottish delegation travelling to Lebanon next week.