Socialist Worker

Unison


Health workers get thrown to the wolves

03 August 2002
TOP OFFICIALS in Unison, the biggest NHS union, have disgracefully pushed through a deal with the government over the transfer of staff to private companies. The deal means that 15 percent of staff in PFI deals can be transferred to private companies and have their pay and conditions slashed.

No deal! Get ready for 14 Aug action

03 August 2002
LEADERS OF the three council workers' unions-Unison, the TGWU and the GMB-walked out of talks with management in disgust last week. Council bosses had widely hinted in the press that they were putting a new deal on the table, including offering £5 an hour to some low paid staff, to end another strike across England and Wales scheduled for Wednesday 14 August.

University staff

27 July 2002
UNIVERSITY STAFF are being consulted over a new pay offer. It is for a basic rise of 3.2 percent plus another 0.3 percent on average for transferring to a new pay scale. Lecturers and academic-related staff in the AUT and Natfhe unions will be consulted on the offer as will administrative staff in Unison.

All out against privatisation in Westminster

27 July 2002
WESTMINSTER council workers began an all-out strike on Monday against a major privatisation plan by their Tory council. The strike in the London council began with 77 workers in the Parking and Highways Licensing Departments striking and staging lively pickets. At least three people joined the Unison union on the picket lines in order to take part in the strike.

Councils

20 July 2002
UNISON MEMBERS working for London's Westminster council are set to start strikes next week over privatisation, attacks on their pensions and working conditions. The action is due to start with 77 workers in the parking and highways licensing departments coming out.

Defend our hospitals, defend Phil Billows

20 July 2002
ANGRY HEALTH workers demonstrated outside the Royal London Hospital in east London on Friday last week. They were demanding the reinstatement of their Unison union branch secretary, Phil Billows.

NHS

13 July 2002
FRIDAY 5 July was the 54th anniversary of the NHS. To mark the anniversary Newcastle Unison petitioned against fat cat pay and creeping privatisation. They got a great response, with several hundred signatures collectedRAY SMITH

Public sector

06 July 2002
MEMBERS OF the National Union of Teachers (NUT) at St Paul's Way School in east London face an outrageous attack from their own union leaders for standing in solidarity with other workers at the school. NUT members refused to cross Unison union picket lines set up by support staff during a recent London-wide two-day strike.

Unison must back action by workers

06 July 2002
AROUND 800 council workers are gearing up for a major battle against privatisation. They will be standing up against plans by Tory-controlled Westminster council to privatise the bulk of council services. If the council gets away with its plan every council will be encouraged to press ahead with similar privatisation plans.

Mixed messages from Britain's biggest union

29 June 2002
THE NATIONAL conference of the giant public sector union Unison took place in Bournemouth last week, as 800,000 of the union's members in local councils in England and Wales balloted on strikes over pay. If that ballot, and similar ballots in the GMB and TGWU unions, are successful a massive one-day national strike of council workers could take place on Wednesday 17 July.

In brief

22 June 2002
Solidarity at the chalk face THE UNISON union strike made last week one of the most exciting I have ever experienced. I called a NUT union meeting on Tuesday, and 40 people turned up to decide our action. There was a fantastic discussion, and an emergency staff meeting was held on Thursday.

Angry and ready for united action

22 June 2002
THE MOOD for a fight for decent pay for public sector workers marked the conference of Britain's biggest trade union this week. So too did the growing feeling for united action over pay across the public sector. The main conference of the Unison union took place in Bournemouth after Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday.

Leisure workers

15 June 2002
IN A disgraceful attempt at union busting, Glasgow's Labour council has hired scab labour to break an official strike. Last weekend council officials hired the private firm Scotia Security. Along with senior managers, they were used to break the strike by 140 low paid Unison staff who work for the city's leisure and recreation service. The strikers asked council workers in other unions to respect their picket lines on Saturday and Sunday.

European Social Forum

08 June 2002
OVER 100 elected reps from branches of the Unison union in the south west of England met in Gloucester last week at the union's regional council. They voted overwhelmingly to support the European Social Forum. Representatives at the the regional council also agreed to send a delegation to Florence in Italy from 7 to 10 November.

Unison

25 May 2002
DELEGATES AT this year's conference for Unison members in higher education sent a clear message to their leadership over pay. A motion of no confidence in the executive was only narrowly lost on a card vote.

Debbie Fogg

11 May 2002
Debbie was a central member of Wolverhampton Socialist Workers Party for many years. She was also an active trade unionist and campaigner for women's rights. Until recently she was deputy branch secretary of the Wolverhampton Unison union.

'New Labour is still exploiting health workers'

04 May 2002
"An insult." "Taking advantage of our goodwill." "This government does not appreciate us." They were some of the reactions of health workers to chancellor Gordon Brown’s refusal to offer them decent pay after his recent budget. The workers were speaking on the first day of the health conference of the public sector Unison union.

KCL

04 May 2002
LIBRARY AND computing workers at Kings College London held a successful one-day strike on Thursday of last week. The workers, members of the Unison union, were protesting against a cost-cutting restructuring of the department.

Round-up

04 May 2002
OVER 100 people attended a public meeting on Monday of this week commemorating the Holocaust. The meeting was jointly organised by the Sefton Unison union branch on Merseyside and the Holocause Memorial Project. Two Holocaust survivors addressed the meeting about their experiences.

Strikes and ballots in May about pay

27 April 2002
PRESSURE FOR action over pay next month is spreading to major groups of workers. Council workers in the Unison union are balloting for strikes over London weighting, the payment to cover the extra cost of living in the capital. This would begin with a 24-hour stoppage on 14 May. Post workers are pushing for strikes in pursuit of their national pay claim (see left).

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