Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2789

Reports round-up: more strikes at Preston school as academisation nears

News in brief from workers' struggles
Issue 2789
A redbrick primary school building

St Matthew’s Church of England primary school in Preston

Workers at St Matthew’s Church of England Primary school in Preston have completed nine days of strikes against academy plans.

The members of the NEU union are set to strike again for three more days from Tuesday of next week—the day the academisation begins.

Over 40 of the 65 workers have struck holding picket lines on the school gate and outside academy trust Cidari’s headquarters in Blackburn.

Messages of support to NEU rep Julie Copeland at [email protected]

Teachers at Abbots Hill School in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire struck for two days over pensions and against the threat of fire and rehire.

NEU and NASUWT union members were set to walk out again on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.

Teachers are angry at the school governors for removing their pension scheme and using fire and rehire tactics to achieve it.

Teachers at Gordano School in Portishead, Somerset, are set to strike from Thursday of next week over workload after an overwhelming vote for action.

NEU union regional officer Ian McCann said the workload level is “having a detrimental effect on our members’ welfare”.

Messages of solidarity to [email protected]

Strike threat gets results on pay

Vehicle technicians at Mercedes Benz Retail Group have won a 13 percent pay increase for 2022 after threatening strikes. Bosses previously offered no pay rise—effectively a pay cut.

The 185 Unite union members had planned four days of strikes this week before accepting the offer.

Workers show true grit to get new offer

Workers that grit roads in Carmarthenshire have suspended strikes after council bosses made a new offer.

The gritters struck for two days earlier this month over bad treatment by bosses.

Hospital cleaners hold off action

Security guards at Great Ormand Street Hospital in central London suspended strikes last week after members of the hospital’s boards announced improvements to terms and conditions.

Members of the UVW union want to be brought in house and receive the same benefits as staff directly employed by the NHS.

Workers say if they don’t receive a clear proposal from the hospital, they will strike for six weeks from Wednesday of next week.

Protesters support scaffolders’ fight

Supporters of the Scunthorpe scaffolders in their pay dispute protested on Monday.

The scaffolders are employed by Actavo. They were set to begin a continuous strike from Wednesday of this week.

The workers are being paid up to 15 percent below the nationally agreed rate for the job. One Unite member, Dayne,  told Socialist Worker, “We’re putting our message across that we’re not happy with what they are doing.

“All the other companies on the site are getting paid the rate that we want.”

He added, “We’ll be escalating things a bit more this time.

“We got a lot of support off a lot of people, but standing there waving a flag wasn’t getting the message across.

Coalition to fight cuts in Wirral

Wirral Council has proposed £19 million of cuts to services. It is set to make its final decision on 28 February.

Wirral trades council, and public sector unions are preparing opposition. A grassroots organisation Wirral Needs Action is also spearheading a broad campaign of activists to fight back.

Norman Meddle

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