Socialist Worker


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A pay rebellion at 'Crapillion'

19 April 2003
"THIS IS a historic day for us," said Unison union steward Joe Kaperas he stood on a picket line outside Scunthorpe General Hospital on Friday of last week. Around 400 porters, domestics and caterers at Scunthorpe, Goole and Grimsby hospitals were on the first of a series of one-day strikes. They are also refusing to work overtime.

Unison elections

12 April 2003
"THE UNION needs change from the top down. I want to be there arguing for socialist politics and action at all levels of the union," says Glasgow health worker Margaret Bean.

United against a two-tier NHS

12 April 2003
GOVERNMENT "MODERNISATION" plans for the NHS came under attack this week from workers gathered at the health conference of the biggest NHS union, Unison. The whole of the conference united against the government's plan for foundation hospitals.

Nursery nurses

12 April 2003
SOME 140 nursery nurses who are members of Unison in Kirklees schools struck last Friday. The action is in support of a pay regrading claim. The strikers got support from parents, colleagues and members of the public. A local radio station could find no parents willing to criticise the nursery nurses at one of the biggest schools affected.

Nursery nurses

05 April 2003
NURSERY NURSES in Kirklees schools have voted overwhelmingly to strike over a regrading claim. The first strike was set for Friday of this week affecting over 70 schools, followed by three days of action next week. The Unison union lodged the regrading claim nearly three years ago.

Unison executive elections

05 April 2003
BALLOT PAPERS will start going out next week for elections to the national executive of Britain's biggest union, Unison. The union has members in local councils, the health service, schools, higher and further education, as well as in areas like the gas, water and electricity industries.

Health workers

15 March 2003
HEALTH WORKERS in the Unison union employed by private contractors across east London are stepping up their fight for decent pay and conditions. Domestic workers, caterers and porters at Homerton and Whipps Cross hospitals have rejected an offer from ISS Mediclean.


08 March 2003
CONTROL STAFF in the London Fire Brigade have voted unanimously to ballot for a work to rule and strike action over congestion charges. An angry mass meeting last Sunday left GMB and Unison union officials in no doubt of the strength of feeling. A claim was submitted for compensation for congestion charges over a year ago.

Hackney Council

08 March 2003
THE CAMPAIGN against racism and the victimisation of union stewards in Hackney, east London, received a boost on Tuesday of last week. Hackney council has lifted the suspensions of two of the three Unison union stewards.

Outrage is sweeping the unions

08 March 2003
SUPPORT HAS been growing for the campaign to reinstate two leading activists, Candy Udwin and Dave Carr, to the Unison union. The recent expulsion of Candy and Dave has created shockwaves within Unison and beyond.

Local activists against the war

08 March 2003
Around 120 staff and students came to an anti-war meeting on one site of London's Metropolitan University on Friday. The speakers included Tariq Ali, Paul Mackney, leader of the Natfhe lecturers' union, and Jean Geldhart, a local Unison branch secretary.

We need these two fighters

01 March 2003
I WAS shocked and very angry last week on hearing that Candy Udwin and Dave Carr had been expelled from the Unison union for actively opposing PFI. We all thought the witch-hunt against leading left activists had drawn to a close, and that the worst they would face was a period of suspension.

Their only 'crime' was to defend NHS

22 February 2003
TWO LEADING campaigners for the health service, Candy Udwin and Dave Carr, have been unjustly expelled from the Unison union. It is one of the most shameful episodes in the history of Unison. It is the final act of a political witch-hunt that was waged by a section of the Unison bureaucracy. This witch-hunt began with the election of New Labour in 1997.

Unison expulsion outrage

15 February 2003
ACTIVISTS IN Unison have been shocked by the decision of a disciplinary appeals panel to expel Candy Udwin, London Region deputy convenor and University College London Hospital (UCLH) branch secretary, and Dave Carr, UCLH branch chair, from union membership.

A lesson in not weighting

08 February 2003
UNIVERSITIES and higher education colleges across London were closed on Tuesday as lecturers and admin and manual workers continued their campaign for a decent London weighting payment. The unions involved-Natfhe, AUT, Amicus and Unison-are claiming a London weighting payment of £4,000.

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