Nov. 21, 2019 Both public services union UNISON and the RCN nursing union have voted for strike action in Northern Ireland over low pay and staffing levels. Members of both unions voted 92% in favour of strike action. The RCN’s action short of a strike will begin on 3 December building up to a strike on the 18th while UNISON will start its campaign on 25 November, also leading up to a strike on the 18th. The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance is currently balloting its members on action, again over low pay, and the result will be announced on 25 November.
Nov. 07, 2019 Members of the PCS civil service union are continuing their long-running campaign for union recognition at the Interserve outsourcing company which provides maintenance and cleaning services at the Foreign Office. Four further days of strike action were planned for 7, 8, 11 and 12 November. Meanwhile members of the UNISON public service union are planning two days of strike action at three hospitals run by the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. Around 1000 cleaners, caterers, porters, security and estates staff are threatened with outsourcing as part of a national trend in the health sector to set up wholly-owned subsidiaries. UNISON is campaigning against the initiative.
Nov. 07, 2019 The three main trade unions in local government - UNISON, GMB and Unite - came together to lobby employers in advance of negotiations on pay. The unions' pay claim is for an increase of 10% and a minimum pay rate of £10 an hour (€11.60). They are also calling for a two hour reduction in the working week (with no loss of pay), one extra day of annual leave and the ending of the freeze on allowances. The unions argue that local government workers have seen a 22% cut in pay in real terms over the last 10 years.
Oct. 24, 2019 The public services union UNISON has secured a major victory for around 900 outsourced security and cleaning workers at University College, London. The workers will soon see their holiday entitlement aligned with that of directly employed workers while pay, overtime, sickness and pension benefits will be brought into line by the autumn of 2021. Meanwhile the union is continuing its campaign to get better pay for outsourced workers employed by the Compass multinational at two hospitals in North West England. The minimum hourly rate for these workers is only GBP 8.21 (EUR 9.50 - the national minimum wage) while the minimum for directly employed staff is GBP 9.03 (EUR 10.50).
Oct. 18, 2019
As the text of the agreement of the European Union and the UK has become available, it is clear that this UK Conservative government has no ambition to seek a long-term alignment with EU workers’ rights.
Oct. 09, 2019 Workers employed by the Aramark outsourcing company at the government's Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have won their campaign to be paid a living wage. After two months of strike action the company agreed to pay a minimum of GBP 10.55 an hour (EUR 11.75) and also to improve holiday entitlement and sickness benefit. Negotiations covering other workers at BEIS employed by the ISS multinational are still underway.
Sep. 27, 2019 Unions in the UK and Ireland are both making moves towards a four-day week campaign with the TUC's initiative in the UK gaining momentum with support from the Labour Party. The TUC's conference last year put a four-day week on the agenda and last week's Labour Party conference set out the 10-year objective of a 32-hour week without loss of pay. Meanwhile public services union Forsa was the first Irish union to back a new coalition of businesses, environmental and other campaigning organisations to support a Four Day Week Ireland campaign for working time reduction.
Sep. 27, 2019 Central government union PCS organised a fifth week of action against outsourcing company Interserve which provides services for the Foreign Office. The core of the dispute is over union recognition. Meanwhile, the union also organised a five-day strike by cleaners employed by the ISS multinational which has a contract with the tax and revenue service (HMRC) on Merseyside in north west England.
Sep. 13, 2019 A nine-month long dispute between the PCS civil service union and contractors ISS and Aramark could be near to conclusion if details of a pay offer are confirmed. The companies provide services to the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy which has indicated that the contractors may meet the union's demand to pay the London living wage of £10.55 (EUR 11.80) an hour. Meanwhile, the union is planning another five days of strike action in another long-running dispute, this time over union recognition at the contractor Interserve which provides services for the Foreign Office.
Aug. 22, 2019 Public service unions are fighting for better pay from outsourcing companies and to stop further outsourcing. Members of the PCS civil service union are continuing their long-running strike to get outsourcers Aramark and ISS to pay the living wage. They are calling on government intervention to resolve the dispute. Meanwhile health workers in Bradford in the north east are threatening an all-out strike in protest at plans to transfer them to a wholly-owned subsidiary rather than retain them as direct employees of the National Health Service.
Aug. 07, 2019 Around 300 hospital support workers, including catering, cleaning and portering staff, took strike action on 31 July in their campaign to get pay parity with National Health Service employees. The workers at three hospitals in North West England are employed by the multinational Compass and many of them are on the lowest pay rate of £8.21 (€8.95) an hour which is £0.82 (€0.90) less than the £9.03 (€9.85) minimum for NHS workers. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
Aug. 07, 2019 Public services union UNISON has won a significant victory at the Court of Appeal that will benefit hundreds of thousands of employees working part-time and irregular hours. The case involved a part-time teacher and it clarifies that all workers are entitled to a minimum of 28 days of paid annual leave, even if they do not work or are not paid for parts of the year. The ruling also confirms that this leave must be paid at the rate of a normal week’s pay, or based on the average payment for the preceding 12 weeks if pay is irregular.
Jul. 25, 2019 Outsourced workers at the Foreign Office and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) are continuing to fight for better pay and at least the living wage. Workers employed by the Interserve company at the Foreign Office will be involved in talks at the conciliation service ACAS on 26 July to try to resolve their dispute over pay and recognition but their union, the PCS, has said strike action was already planned if a suitable settlement was not achieved. Meanwhile at the DBEIS, cleaners employed by ISS and catering workers employed by Aramark are on all-out strike to secure the living wage.They were joined on 22 July for a five-day strike by porters, security guards and postroom staff also employed by ISS.
Jun. 21, 2019 Employees of the multinational contractors Aramark and ISS are continuing their strike action at the head office of the government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in London. The latest five-day action by catering, cleaning, security and portering staff is to put pressure on both the contractors and the government department to pay the £10.55 an hour (EUR 11.55) living wage for London. EPSU sent a solidarity message.