Socialist Worker


Unity message in north east

19 July 2003
THOUSANDS OF people attended the biggest Durham Miners Gala in over a decade on Saturday of last week. The event was co-sponsored by the National Union of Mineworkers and the Unison union. It attracted the support of many other trade unions, including the RMT, Aslef and Usdaw.


12 July 2003
SOME 80 trade unionists from Natfhe, Unison, PCS, FBU, Usdaw and Amicus marched with their banners in Manchester last Saturday. The march was over the bullying of staff at the Mancat college. One department with 20 posts has seen 35 pass through it in two years. The management made an unsuccessful attempt to dismiss the branch secretary last year. Now the college has declared compulsory redundancies in the trade union education unit, which includes a number of union branch activists.


05 July 2003
OVER 400 people attended a union mass meeting in Liverpool on Monday of this week. The workers, members of the Unison union, are employed by the Liberal Democrat run council in Liverpool.

Tension with New Labour

28 June 2003
Tension with New Labour

Leaders lean left to defend Labour link

28 June 2003
"MR BLAIR, we will take strike action again." This warning came from Dave Prentis last week at the conference of the Unison union. He is the general secretary of the 1.3 million strong public sector workers' union. Prentis praised the strikes the union's members have staged in the last year. He warned more would follow unless the government coughed up to tackle low pay and improve schools and hospitals.

Funds debate won't go away

21 June 2003
THE NATIONAL conference of Britain's biggest union got under way on Tuesday as Socialist Worker went to press. Delegates representing 1.3 million members of the Unison public sector workers' union faced a series of key debates.

Sandwell protest at BNP councillor

31 May 2003
AROUND 80 people protested against the first council meeting of Nazi BNP councillor John Savage in Sandwell, West Midlands, on Wednesday of last week. The protesters were mainly members of Sandwell Unison union. Tony Barnsley, the assistant branch secretary of Sandwell Unison, said, "We think the BNP have conned their way into power by blaming asylum seekers. Our members, particularly our black and Asian members, feel threatened by the BNP. I will refuse to work for them and we are encouraging our members to do the same." Another BNP councillor failed to show up for the meeting.

Don't copy this sell-off example

31 May 2003
COUNCIL WORKERS in Luton from the TGWU, GMB and Unison unions held a 40-strong protest of the council on Thursday of last week. Workers were protesting against plans to privatise the building, cleaning and printing departments. Jim Gregg, Unison branch secretary, said, "These are loyal, dedicated workers who after years of operating under difficult conditions are now finding themselves outsourced."

Nursery nurses

24 May 2003
SOME 140 nursery nurses in Kirklees completed five days strike action last Friday. The strikers, who are members of the Unison union, had already taken four days of action as part of their campaign to win a regrading. The action is having a big effect.

Determined to win decent pay for all

17 May 2003
WORKERS IN schools, council offices and universities - some of them among the lowest paid in London - struck last week as part of their union's campaign for decent allowances for working in the capital. The council workers' action was over three days and involved about 1,000 Unison union members in selected schools and offices.

'We care too much not to fight back'

17 May 2003
AROUND 140 nursery nurses in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, started a five-day strike on Monday. The strikers, who are members of the Unison union, have already taken four days of action and have now stepped up their campaign to win a pay regrading. Jill Hinchliffe, a nursery nurse shop steward, said, "We are determined to win our fight. We have been underpaid for years and they thought we would just put up with it because we cared about the future of the children. But that is the reason that this fight is so important because it is a scandal that so much of the education system relies on low-paid women. There was no shortage of money for the war in Iraq. That money should have been used to p

London weighting

10 May 2003
Some 2,000 Unison union members at pre-1992 universities in London were due to strike on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. It is part of the ongoing campaign to win an increase in London weighting, the allowance for the extra costs of living and working in the capital, to £4,000. After three one-day strikes across all the London colleges employers in the post-1992 universities made an offer. The 6.5 percent increase was narrowly accepted.

Nursery nurses

10 May 2003
SOME 140 nursery nurses in the Unison public services union in Kirklees, Yorkshire, are set to start a five-day strike from Monday of next week. They are fighting for pay regrading. They have already taken four days of action.

No to an agenda for low pay in the NHS

03 May 2003
ALMOST HALF a million health workers are starting a vote on the government's Agenda for Change proposals. Members in the Amicus union started voting this week, and the much larger group of workers in Unison will vote from next Thursday. Agenda for Change is a serious attack on every health worker. Many health workers will be paid as little as £10,100 a year for a full time job.

Ready to step up the action

03 May 2003
SOME 140 nursery nurses who are members of the Unison public services union in Kirklees met on Monday to discuss escalating their industrial action in support of a regrading claim.

Council Workers

03 May 2003
JOHN PAGE and supporters lobbied his disciplinary hearing in Hackney, east London, on Friday of last week. The New Labour council suspended John with two other Unison union activists in December 2002.

Scottish Water

03 May 2003
SCOTTISH WATER (SW) has announced 1,400 redundancies over the next two years (900 this year and 500 next year). Around 1,300 jobs have already been lost through voluntary redundancy. A year ago the four unions in SW, Unison, TGWU, GMB and AEEU,went into a partnership agreement with management.

Mobilising against Britain's Nazi party

26 April 2003
TRADE UNIONISTS and campaigners were set to march through central Manchester on Saturday in a united protest against racism. The demonstration and rally was called by the TUC and the Unison union, and backed by the Anti Nazi League. It is a recognition of the danger posed by the British National Party (BNP), which has been targeting the north west of England.

Union activist needs support

26 April 2003
HACKNEY COUNCIL in east London is pressing ahead with its disciplinary of Unison union branch officer John Page. In December 2002 Hackney council suspended Unison branch officers John Page, Brian Debus and Will Leng after they raised concerns about racism in a draft report to the council.

Strikers resolved to win

19 April 2003
SOME 140 nursery nurses in the Unison union in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, struck on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week. The action is in support of a regrading claim. The strikers got support from parents, colleagues and members of the public.

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