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Reports round-up—Forest School strikers won’t be bought off

This article is over 2 years, 3 months old
Strikes have forced the private school to backtrack. But bosses are still using the threat of fire and rehire to bring in inferior contracts.
Issue 2797
A large picket line outside Forest School in east London

On strike at Forest School

Teachers at Forest School in Waltham Forest, east London, struck for two days this week to beat back the threat of fire and rehire.

Previous strikes have forced the private school to backtrack, allowing teachers to stay in the Teacher Pension Scheme. Teachers were also awarded a below-inflation pay rise of five percent. Bosses are still using the threat of fire and rehire to introduce inferior contracts.

And in a battle over workload and forced redundancies, NEU members at South Chingford school in Waltham Forest, east London are continuing weekly three-day strikes. Workers are hopeful that a deal will be made this week.

Strike to save jobs at British Council

Workers at the British Council were set to strike against job cuts on Thursday and Friday of this week. Bosses want a reorganisation that could slash as many as 20 percent of jobs.

PCS union members were set to strike at offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff. The union’s demands include no forced redundancies and no outsourcing of jobs.

Pay battle in sight at Barnard Castle

Pharmaceutical giant GSK faces a fightback as GMB union members began balloting for strikes this week. Workers at the company’s Barnard Castle site, in the north east of England, have overwhelmingly turned down a below inflation pay offer of 4 percent.

The ballot of more than 150 workers closes on 8 April. If they vote to strike the workers, who produce vaccines and medicines, could walk out at the end of April.

GSK CEO Emma Walmsley enjoyed a 17 percent pay rise, to a whopping £8.2 million a year.

Ballot begins at financial authority

Workers at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last week served notice to begin a ballot on strikes against cuts to their pay and conditions. The Unite union is balloting the workforce because damaging proposals by the regulator will hit workers.

The FCA’s chief executive Nikhil Rathi has refused all attempts by the union to negotiate on the cuts. He has ignored an 87 percent vote for industrial action in an indicative ballot in January.

London bus drivers suspend action

Arriva bus drivers across London have suspended strikes, which were due to begin this week after bosses made an improved pay offer. Initially the workers were just offered a 1.5 percent increase.

Workers will now be balloted on the most recent offer. They should not accept anything less than the current rate of inflation.

If the bus drivers, who are based at the depots in Brixton, Croydon, Norwood and Thornton Heath, reject the pay offer then the 48-hour stoppage which is scheduled to begin on Monday will go ahead.

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