Aug. 17, 2018 The GMB general and public services union has raised concerns about safety in the waste sector. The union says that official figures show that deaths among refuse workers rose from eight to 12 last year while staff faced 1,000 instances of dangerous driving every single day. The GMB points out that workers are facing these serious threats to their safety while having seen their pay plummet in real terms since 2011.The average earnings of a refuse worker are just over £19,000 a year (EUR 21250), 7.4% lower in real terms than in 2011.
Aug. 16, 2018 A planned three-day strike by UNISON members at the Mid Yorkshire National Health Service (NHS) Hospitals Trust has been called off after the trust’s management lifted the threat of creating a wholly-owned subsidiary. In line with other NHS bodies around the country, the trust had intended to set up the company and transfer the contracts of cleaners, maintenance workers, IT and canteen staff to it. The subsidiary would have made it possible to put staff on non-NHS terms and conditions and to make it easier for it to be sold to a private company. UNISON is campaigning around the country to block these kinds of initiatives.
Aug. 01, 2018 A ballot for strike action carried out by civil service union PCS has produced a massive majority (86%) in favour of strike action over pay. However, the vote is invalid because of restrictions on public sector strike action introduced two years ago by the Conservative, centre-right government. Under the rules public service unions need to achieve a 50% turnout in the ballot and on this occasion it was 41.6%. This was the highest majority and highest turnout for a strike ballot in the union's history. PCS will use the high majority for action to strengthen its pay campaign. It is also considering legal action against the government over its refusal to allow electronic voting in strike ballots.
Jul. 19, 2018 Both UNISON and the GMB, unions representing care workers, have condemned the ruling of the Court of Appeal on 13 July that care workers needn't be paid the minimum wage for the whole of the period when they are on a "sleep-in" shift. The ruling overturns an earlier judgement by the lower level Employment Appeal Tribunal that workers were entitled to at least the minimum wage for the whole "sleep-in" shift when they were on-call, even if they weren't working. The unions say this is an attack on a large group of low-paid workers whose work is already undervalued.
Jun. 28, 2018 The three main civil service unions - PCS, Prospect and FDA - have strongly rejected the latest pay guidance from the government. While lifting the 1% cap on public sector pay increases, the latest guidance for negotiations across the civil service are for pay to rise on average by 1.0%-1.5%. The unions argue that the proposed level is derisory and fails to acknowledge the real pay cuts suffered by civil servants in recent years. They are also angry that the government failed to carry out a proper process of consultation with the unions over the pay guidance document.
Jun. 18, 2018
On the 30th June a demonstration and celebration for the NHS's 70 year anniversary has taken place in London.
Jun. 01, 2018 Public services union UNISON has highlighted the case of care workers employed by the national charity Community Integrated Care who are being subjected to excessive surveillance. Staff have to sign-in on an hourly basis with their photos being taken and their identity also being checked with finger prints. The workers argue that the process actually hampers their ability to deliver proper care to clients. UNISON is also concerned that the company's use of biometric data without personal consent might infringe new data protection rules.
May. 18, 2018 After two weeks of industrial action short of a strike, employees of ACAS, the national service providing conciliation and employment advice, took strike action on 11 May in protest at management changes and excessive workloads.The workers, members of the PCS civil service union, are unhappy about the downgrading of their conciliation work and are faced with a big increase in workload following a surge in employment tribunal cases. Further strike action is planned for 6-7 June if management doesn't take action to resolve the dispute.
May. 03, 2018 Information gathered by the GMB trade union shows that the number of violent attacks on ambulance workers in the UK increased by 34% between 2012/13 and 2016/17 with a total of 14,441 physical assaults against ambulance workers over that period. The figures are published in the GMB's new report, In Harm’s Way: Confronting Violence Against NHS Ambulance Staff, providing arguments for the union's campaign to have special legislation aimed at protecting emergency service workers.
Apr. 20, 2018 Public services union Unison has criticised NHS Trusts - the local bodies that run health services - for creating a two-tier workforce by setting up wholly-owned subsidiaries to which they transfer staff and which are then used to reduce pay and pensions and other working conditions. Not only is the union strongly opposed to this initiative - which mainly affects lower paid workers such as porters and cleaners - but it has also exposed how some NHS Trusts have spent millions on consultants to advise them on the process.
Apr. 05, 2018 The PCS civil service union is calling for a 5% pay increase in its campaign to end the 1% pay cap. The union has called for talks with the government on pay and is urging its members to begin preparations for a possible ballot for industrial action. The union has been petitioning on the issue and organised a rally in early March. As part of its pay campaign PCS is also calling for support for the national demonstration organised by the TUC confederation under the banner "a new deal for working people."
Apr. 04, 2018 Waste workers in the UK and France are taking or planning industrial action over a wide range of issues. Public and private sector workers in France, organised by the CGT union, are taking action over major demands on pay, pensions and health and safety. Meanwhile, in Hull in North East England workers employed by the FCC multinational are protesting over sick pay and inThurrock in South East England the issue is one of surveillance. Workers there are objecting to live streaming to management from cameras in all refuse lorries.
Mar. 21, 2018 Health service unions are consulting their members over whether to accept a three-year pay offer which would mean workers at the top of their pay grade would get a 6.5% increase between April 2018 and April 2020, marking a break with the government's 1% pay cap in the public sector. All but the very highest paid staff would get 3% in April 2018, 1.7% and a 1.1% lump sum in April 2019, and 1.7% from April 2020. However, changes to the pay structure would mean significant increases of 15%-17% for the lowest paid. The government has also confirmed that it will fully fund the pay rises. Most unions are recommending to their members that they accept the deal. However, the GMB union argues that the 6.5% will be inadequate to cover forecast inflation.
Feb. 07, 2018 Hundreds of home care staff, members of the Unison trade union, joined a strike and demonstration in Birmingham in central England on 20 January in protest at plans to slash jobs and impose a new three-shift pattern on workers. The workers had voted by a massive majority to take strike action with the first stoppage running from 11.30 to 14.00 and with a further stoppage taking place on 6 February. The workers say that the new shift pattern (7.00-10.00; 12.00-14.00; 16.00-22.00) will make it impossible for them to have proper rest breaks and put the quality of care at risk. Around 150 jobs are also under threat.