Socialist Worker

Unison


Respect Festival

13 October 2001
Saturday 20 October, Werneth Park, Oldham Carnival against the Nazis Called by Oldham United Against Racism. Supported by North West Region TUC, ANL, local NUT, Greater Manchester FBU Region Five, PCS, TGWU and UNISON

Royal London Hospital

29 September 2001
SOME 200 people joined a protest against threatened PFI privatisation at east London's giant Royal London Hospital on Wednesday of last week. UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis addressed the rally against the proposed PFI scheme to redevelop the hospital.

In brief

29 September 2001
OVER 400 angry UNISON members met last week to plan a campaign against privatisation proposals in Nottinghamshire county council. The chief executive, who is about to take up the post of director general for schools in England, is pushing for over 600 jobs to be handed to a private company.

Newcastle revolts

15 September 2001
PLANS FOR major strikes against privatisation were given a boost on Monday, when over 500 UNISON members in Newcastle City Council voted for action. This will now trigger a one-day strike, probably on Friday 28 September, which could see up to 9,000 workers out across the city. The workers balloted are mainly staff in information technology and street lighting departments of the Labour-run council.

Letters

15 September 2001
Workers fight the BNP in Oldham WE MET last week to launch Oldham Trade Unionists Against Racism and Fascism. Around 20 people, mostly local union reps and shop stewards from a range of unions including MSF, AEEU, UNISON, NUT, PCS and others, attended our inaugural meeting.

Shock sentences

11 August 2001
OUTRAGE has greeted sentences passed on anti-capitalist protesters who demonstrated in the Swedish city of Gothenburg in June. Luigino "Gigi" Longo, a 43 year old trade unionist and socialist living in Norway, and Jonas Enander both received sentences of two and a half years. Paul Robinson, a UNISON union member from Britain, was also imprisoned, for a year.

Council workers

11 August 2001
OVER 100 social workers in Newham, east London, will strike again next Monday. This latest 24-hour walkout is part of UNISON's campaign for fair and equal treatment for all social workers in the borough.

Civil service

11 August 2001
THE CIVIL servants' PCS union is balloting over 300 members for all-out strike action in the Brent and Streatham Jobcentre Plus Pathfinder pilots. The mood is excellent, with over 100 members at an evening rally last week headed by general secretary elect Mark Serwotka and Brian Butterworth from Brent UNISON.

Medical secretaries

11 August 2001
AROUND 300 medical secretaries across the north of Glasgow planned to strike for three days this week. The action follows a stunning 91.3 percent vote for strikes in a ballot. The workers' UNISON union branch has been pursuing a regrading claim for all medical secretaries for 14 months.

Building an alternative in Scotland

10 March 2001
Carolyn Leckie is branch secretary for North Glasgow Hospitals UNISON union and the Scottish Socialist Party's health spokesperson. She is a single parent with two children and will be an SSP candidate in the general election:

Council workers

03 March 2001
Unison union members in Knowsley council, Merseyside, were due to take their third round of strike action on Thursday of this week. They have had overwhelming support for action against an increase in the working week for white collar workers from 35 to 37 hours.

Councils: Spread the resistance

24 February 2001
All UNISON members at Kirklees council elderly people's homes went on strike on Monday of this week. The strikers are cooks, cleaners and care workers in 15 residential care homes for elderly people.

Dudley strikers

24 February 2001
Dudley hospitals strikers confronted their UNISON union leader Dave Prentis when they lobbied Labour's spring conference in Glasgow last weekend. Prentis came out of the conference to speak to the strikers, to pledge his support for their battle, and to underline his hope that a settlement could be achieved soon. But strikers wanted more.

Socialist Alliance round-up

17 February 2001
Some 60 workers and trade unionists attended Wigan's first Socialist Alliance rally last week. It was one of the best political meetings in the area for years. The branch secretary and both assistant secretaries of the local UNISON branch turned up, together with at least eight shop stewards from across many different unions. Community activists and a local Green were there, together with two tenants' reps.

Unions united in solidarity

10 February 2001
Some 1,300 council workers in Knowsley, members of the public sector union UNISON, struck on Thursday of last week against our bosses' plans to make us work longer hours. The strike was absolutely solid across the council.

Hackney's defiant fightback

03 February 2001
Around 5,000 council workers in Hackney, east London, struck for three days this week in a defiant response to cuts pushed through by the ruling Labour-Tory coalition. Max Caller, the council's managing director, and Labour leader Jules Pipe say the council's workers are overpaid and have too many holidays. "Caller gets £150,000 a year. How dare he tell people who work their guts out for £13,000 a year that they are overpaid," striking UNISON member Jane Brockway told Socialist Worker on Monday.

Scottish councils

13 January 2001
"This is about our union leaders letting New Labour off the hook," was how a worker in East Ayrshire council reacted to the news that leaders of the UNISON union are calling off strikes by council workers across Scotland. Workers in other Scottish councils had the same reaction. "There's a feeling of shock, of betrayal," argued a worker in Inverclyde council. "The union leaders are trying to ditch the fight, to help out New Labour in the run-up to the general election."

Chance to kick the councils over pay

26 August 2000
They are fighting against scandalously low pay. The mostly women council workers, members of the UNISON union, do jobs ranging from admin to social work, cleaning to catering. One council worker explained, "For years we have seen our pay fall when compared to other workers. People have suffered massive cuts. It's just a feeling that enough is enough."

UNISON round-up

05 February 2000
Roddy Slorach THE APPEAL against the expulsion of leading Scottish activist Roddy Slorach from his UNISON union was last week postponed until 7 March.

Police staff

18 December 1999
POLICE CIVILIAN staff in Manchester continued their campaign of strike action on Monday. Over 100 people attended the picket line outside Greater Manchester Police HQ. The campaign follows a "job evaluation report" which recommended pay cuts of up to £5,500 a year. This is in stark contrast to the chief constable, who received a £20,000 pay rise and spent £80,000 on a new toilet for his office. Following the first strike last week, management offered to delay the pay cuts by a year. The UNISON union has rejected this and has pledged to continue the action next week and into the new year.

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