Socialist Worker

Unison


Phil Billows

24 August 2002
A RALLY has been called in defence of Phil Billows. He is the Unison union branch secretary at Barts and the Royal London Hospital Trust in east London. Trust bosses suspended Phil from his job over one month ago. Phil has been at the forefront of the fight against the PFI scheme at the hospital trust.

FE

17 August 2002
UNISON UNION members in further education colleges are to ballot on strikes over pay. The 25,000 support staff have rejected a 2.3 percent pay rise, worth as little as 13p extra an hour for some workers. They are demanding a "substantial" increase that would see all support staff in England and Wales on at least £11,000 a year.

Lowest paid lead drive to reject half-baked deal

17 August 2002
HUGE NUMBERS of council workers across England and Wales are up in arms over the pay deal agreed by their negotiators last week. It is now out for consultation among council worker members of the Unison, GMB and TGWU unions. Consultation will last six weeks.

This is no time to stop fight for pay

10 August 2002
UNION LEADERS called off the strikes of over one million public sector workers on Monday of this week after they struck a deal with council bosses. The leaders of Unison, the TGWU and the GMB called off all strike action for six weeks after bosses were forced to slightly improve their previous offer of a 3 percent pay rise. This is despite the fact that they had previously refused to offer anything to council workers and said anything more than 3 percent was "pie in the sky". But the offer falls far short of what council workers deserve and what could have been won.

More sections join walkout

10 August 2002
"WE'RE FIGHTING to save our jobs, save our pensions and to not be privatised." That is how Nicky, a striker and Unison union member at Tory-controlled Westminster council, central London, summed up the battle to stop the wholesale privatisation of services. Nicky, along with 76 other members of the parking department at the council, has been out on strike for three weeks.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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