Week of Action Activists Meeting

PAY MEETING
Pre–strike solidarity meeting

THURSDAY 9th October 2014 7pm
(Light refreshments from 6:30pm)

 Lecture Theatre, Level C, St Michaels’ Maternity Hospital
Southwell Street, Bristol BS2 8EG

 Bristol Health Service Branch have called this meeting to discuss the current pay offer and planned public sector strike action week commencing 13th October 2014 to include NHS staff who will be taking part in a four hour strike on 13th October.

 Speakers
Stuart Davies – Regional Officer, Unite the Union
Dave Honeybone – Care UK Striker, Lead Steward,Unison Healthcare Doncaster and Bassetlaw Branch
Richard Capps – PCS South West Regional Vice-chair
All Trade Unionists welcome

 FFI email: Kathy Taylor Branch Secretary   Kathy.Taylor@unitetheunion.org

Or phone: Chrissie Gardner, Assistant Branch Secretary on  07983233908

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Still The Enemy Within


See this fantastic film celebrating 30 years after the Great Strike!
Tickets here.
More information and Facebook event here.

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The TUC has called a ‘Britain Needs A Pay Rise‘ demonstration in London on October 18th.

Details of coaches from Bristol and the south west are below.
Bristol Unison coach
Free for members, £10 for others
Book here http://bit.ly/1sohBTb 
Email: bristol.unison@bristolunison.co.ukPhone: 01179540053
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Bath UCU coach
Departs: University of Bath East car park 7.30 am, 
Laura Place 7.45 am
Returns: arrive Bath 8 pm (approx)
Tickets:£8 (waged), £4 (unwaged and concessions),
UCU members free.
e-mail: ucu-sec@bath.ac.uk

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North Somerset UNISON coach

7 am from Locking Road Car Park in Weston super Mare
7.30 am from Castlewood in Clevedon
Back in North Somerset around 10 pm
Free for UNISON members and their families, £10 for non-UNISON members, and £5 unwaged, students, children, senior citizens

To book seats phone 01934 634759 or email unison@n-somerset.gov.uk – give numbers of seats, whether UNISON members or not and mobile phone and email contact.

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UNITE coach from Swindon
Pick up Swindon 8am at the layby opposite the Sun Inn at Coate Water by the petrol station on the A4259. Leaving London 6pm to return to Swindon.
Email: peoplesassemblyswindon@gmx.co.uk

October Strikes!

On Monday 13 October hundreds of thousands of NHS workers will strike in England. The strike is rejection of a paltry one percent pay offer from the government. Most healthworkers will not even get that.

The strike is from 7am-11am, and will see picket lines across the country.

These healthworkers work long hours to provide an essential public service.
David Cameron is determined to wreck the NHS through cuts, closures and privatisation. Opening up our health service to private companies will see services run into the ground. The NHS has to be driven by peoples’ health care needs not by the push to drive up profits by money grabbing big business.

The strike on 13 October is not just about fair pay, it’s about defence of our health service.

Sign this pledge sheet to support the strikes. Join the picket lines on 13 October, take a collection down, and take them some breakfast!

The strike in the NHS is part of a week of rolling strikes. On 14 October over a million local government workers will strike, and on 15 October civil servants will strike. On 18 October the TUC has called a ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’ demonstration in central London.

The march can be a huge show of strength against the Tories and austerity.
Everyone who wants to see fair pay and the defence of our public services
should be on that demonstration!

**breaking news. Royal College of Midwives to join strike action!

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Fire Brigades Union ‘Ring of Fire’

FBU: Ring of fire anti-cuts protests this week

Tuesday 30 September – Portsmouth – Guildhall, Portsmouth , PO1 2AB

Wednesday 1 October – Plymouth – Armada Way, off Royal Parade, Plymouth , PL1 2HJ

Thursday 2 October – Cardiff – Roald Dahl Plass, Oval Basin , Cardiff Bay , CF10 6AN

Friday 3 October – Bristol – Castle Park , Broadweir, Bristol

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Care UK resume strike

The ex-NHS care workers who now work for Care UK are out on strike again for three weeks from 7am this Monday 29 September through until 7am on 20 October.

This period of strike action will take them over the previous longest strike in the history of the health service (70 days).

CareUK270814ii

Over £100,000 has been raised in trade union branches and workplaces around the country to support the workers, who’s fight for fair pay and against savage attacks on their terms and conditions is also a strike in defence of the National Health Service.

The strikers have been out and spoken at scores of meetings around the country, it’s now time to deepen that support.

Have you invited them in to speak at your union or campaign meeting? Send email requests to: admin@unison-dab.org.uk

Cheques can be made payable to: “Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch” and sent to:
Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ (ps. £192 was collected for the strikes at a showing of the film ‘Pride’ at the Watershed last weekend!)

Could you do a collection at work for the strikers? Click here for the pdf of an updated collection sheet.

During their previous three week strike they joined care workers who work for Your Choice Barnet who were also on strike over similar attacks. They are set to strike again on Tuesday 14 October and Thursday 16 October.

The Care UK workers’ strike coincides with the big week of action from 13-18 October, which will see NHS workers strike on 13 October, local government workers strike on 14 October and civil service workers strike on 15 October. The TUC’s ‘Britain Needs A Pay Rise’ demonstration on Saturday 18 October.

For updates on their strikers itinerary and you can support them, go to their facebook page here

Barnet Unison has also organised a meeting in the House of Commons involving Your Choice Barnet and Care UK strikers on the crisis in social care. This takes place at 6.30pm, Tuesday 21 October, in Committee Room 10. It is important that it’s a well supported meeting. Please ensure to arrive early as the House of Commons run security checks and this tends to mean there is a queue to get in.

Roger Hutt and Mags Dalton from the Care UK strike, a speaker from the Your Choice Barnet strike and Helen Davies from Barnet Unison will all be speaking at the Unite the Resistance “Striking Together – Organising to Win” conference on Saturday 15 November. Click here to visit our conference page.

July 10th Strikes!

July 10th

The number of unions announcing strike action on pay, pensions and working conditions for July 10th is growing. Unions joining the action so far include NUT, Unison local government, Unite local government, FBU, NIPSA and GMB local government. The Royal College of Midwives have also voted for strike action, and there remains the possibility of the RMT striking on London Underground. The strike will involve more than 1.5 million workers and will mark a significant change for the better in the class struggle against the ConDems austerity.

Bristol Unite the Resistance are holding a pre-strike rally on Thursday July 3rd, 715pm at the Create Centre, B Bond Warehouse, Smeaton Road, BS1 6XN.
UtR3rdJuly
Argos workers strike this Friday in Manchester, Essex, Leicester, Castleford and Bridgwater :

 

  • About 1,000 warehouse staff employed by Argos at five distribution centres are to stage a 24 hour strike in a dispute over terms and conditions. Members of Unite will walk out on Friday, threatening disruption to deliveries. The strike, starting at 6am, will hit the company’s distribution centres at Basildon, Bridgwater, Castleford and Magna Park (Lutterworth, Leicestershire). A strike at Heywood (Greater Manchester) starts at 6.30am.

 

  • Unite national officer Matt Draper said: “The crux to the dispute is Argos ‘ determination to push through a new 24/7 shift pattern, without offering our members a decent compensation package to offset the severe disruption to their personal and family lives at weekends.
  • “In many cases, it is going to cause havoc with childcare arrangements and mean spouses and partners will see much less of each other.
  • “The company’s plans will seriously undermine the ‘work/life’ balance.”

Meet and Greet the Care UK Strikers!

Meet and Greet the Care UK Strikers

 
On Wednesday the strikers from Care UK in Doncaster launched a serious escalation of their campaign against their bullying management who are trying to force through big pay cuts.

The strikers hired a coach and travelled the 175 miles from Doncaster to Colchester to target Care UK’s headquarters there. Strikers say this is just the start.

As part of their effort to build solidarity across Britain Care UK strikers will be visiting Bristol and touring workplaces on Friday May 16th. There will be a ‘Meet and Greet’ event on May 16th, 8pm, in the Shakespeare Tavern, 68 Prince St, Bristol BS1 4QD (behind the Arnolfini, near Mud Dock cafe). Come along and meet the strikers, bring collections if you can.

 
If you wish to have a visit to your workplace/trade union branch on Friday 16th from the strikers ring 075855139940.
 
Facebook event here.
 


Radical Perspectives in Mental Health
 
This mini Conference is organised by both users and people who work in mental health in the South West. We ask what is the nature of the crisis in mental health today? How can we resist austerity and cuts? How can we construct a strategy of liberation and democracy in relation to mental health?

Plenaries on Austerity, Cuts in Services, and the effects on Mental Health

Plus Workshops on:

The Tyranny of the Target Culture The Recovery Approach: A Radical Critique
Mental Health and Liberation: What Does it Mean Today?

Including contributions and facilitation from Salena Williams (Senior Psychiatric Nurse and Unison activist), June Sadd (Social Work Action Network), Rich Moth (Liverpool Hope University researcher), Judy Wilson (SW Region Unison Organiser) and others from campaign groups.

Refreshments available. Bookstalls etc.

Email radicalperspectivesmh@gmail.com

for further information and to book a place
£3 entry (free to unwaged and service users)
 
Saturday May 17th, 12 noon to 4pm, City of Bristol College, Ashley Down Centre, Ashley Down Road, Bristol.
 
Facebook event here.
 

Events and Disputes to Support

Two national disputes where solidarity collections are important.

Doncaster – Care UK

The Care UK strikers in Doncaster who are showing incredible resolve against a bullying employer attempting to slash their wages are in the midst of four days of strikes (which will make it twenty days), through to first thing Tuesday morning.

doncastercare

On Saturday 12 April a protest was held outside the Fat Face store at Orchard Square in Sheffield. Fat Face is owned by the huge multinational Bridgepoint Capital which owns Care UK.Bridgepoint also have huge stakes in Pret a Manger, Virgin Active, Leeds-Bradford airport and many more. The message of the protest was that will continue to embarrass brands on the Bridgepoint portfolio until Care UK stop attacking their staff.

Every message of support and donation has been very gratefully received. Send donations, solidarity messages and requests for strikers to speak at meetings to: admin@unison-dab.org.uk Make cheques payable to: Doncaster , District & Bassetlaw Health Branch and send to: Jenkinson House, White Rose Way , Doncaster DN4 5GJ

Facebook page is here.

Brixton Ritzy Cinema

The fight for a Living Wage at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton has huge local public support. The cinema is at the heart of Brixton on Windrush Square.

ritzy

A collection sheet for solidarity donations is attached to the link below. Donations should be made payable to ‘BECTU’ and sent to Ritzy strike, BECTU, Finance Office, 373-377 Clapham Road, London SW9 9BT. Many areas have local Picturehouses, comrades in Hackney are part of a solidarity leafleting later today of their local Picturehouse cinema.  A list of Picturehouse cinemas is available here: http://uniteresist.org/2014/04/ritzy-strike-collection-sheet/

Send a message to Cineworld and Picturehouse Cinemas, telling them that you support the Living Wage for their workers: lyn.g@picturehouses.co.uk, alastair.o@picturehouses.co.uk and corporate@cineworld.co.uk and Twitter: @picturehouses and @cineworld using the hashtag #WhereIsMooky in reference to the company’s elusive boss, Mooky Greidinger

Radical Perspectives in Mental Health

The local Social Work Action Network, and SW Region Unison are supporting the mini-conference below on Saturady May 17th.

mentalhealth4

 

Probation Officers and Bedroom Tax Action

Probation Officers Strike

probationAny visits to the picket line outside New Bridewell police station welcome. The strike begins at 12 noon on Monday 31st, and continues Tuesday 1st April from 8am. The strike is against plans to privatise 70% of the services work. There will be picket lines and protests on Monday and Tuesday organised alongside the Justice Alliance (the organisation that’s been defending Legal Aid from Graylings attacks).
Details of the dispute are here:

PROBATION Staff to Strike Against Reckless Gamble with Public Safety

 On Monday 31st March from 12:00pm and all-day on Tuesday 1st April, Probation staff in Avon & Somerset will join colleagues across Englandand Wales on strike. At a time when all Probation Trusts are achieving ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ performance

[1] and are well financially managed[2], the Government is determined to abolish them by 1st June. It then wants to hand over supervision of up to 250,000 offenders to private companies by October-December 2014.

The Government has argued the changes are needed to cut costs and reduce re-offending by people sentenced to less than 12 months in prison. Probation Trusts currently have no role working with these people, but they could take on this extra work and deliver reduced re-offending, whilst achieving further cost efficiencies.

Ian Lawrence, head of Napounion & professional association for Probation staff, has said “It’s not something our members take lightly but they feel that these proposals will have such an impact on public safety that they have no choice”

[3].We are concerned about how this will affect the local communities in which we live and work in Avon & Somerset, where we manage the sentences for over 5000 offenders

[4]. We work in specialist teams with partners such as the Police, housing, education and drugs services to focus on those who commit the most serious violent and sexual crimes. This is complex work that requires highly-trained and experienced professionals.

The Government wants potentially hundreds of private companies, with no experience of ‘offender management’, to take over the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders on an untested, payment-by-results model.The potential for significant mistakes involving public safety is extremely serious; something acknowledged by the Government’s own risk register

[5], including an 80% risk that “…an unacceptable drop in operational performance will lead to delivery failure and reputational damage”.

The Government is desperately working to a parliamentary timetable to complete the changes before the next General Election, instead of taking the time necessary – however illogical the plans – to make sure they are safe and effective. Napo, whilst opposing the changes, is calling for an immediate halt to the changes, so that a pilot of them can be completed before any national implementation.

Bedroom Tax

ids-bedroom-dining-room

Don’t forget the DAY OF ACTION on 5 April from 12.00 – 1.00 pm in Broadmead (outside BHS)! We need a good turnout for this, trade union banners would be welcome.

So far we’ve received support from Bristol Disability Equality Forum, Unite the Community and the Bishop of Bristol among many others. Our press release will be going out early next week. Now we need people to come along. We’d expect to attract the interest of passing shoppers but we shall need our own supporters there.

There’s a flyer to help you put the word around attached to this message.

This will be a national Day of Action so please put this in your diary and help Bristol do its bit to make a splash against the Bedroom Tax on Saturday 5 April.Planned so far are some excellent speakers, a little bit of street theatre and also an advice stall to help people appeal against the Bedroom Tax. Please bring banners, placards, friends and anyone you know who is affected by the Bedroom Tax – but mostly bring yourselves.

Press coverage today further discredits the Bedroom Tax (see these links to the BBC and Guardian coverage this morning Bedroom tax fails to help tenants move, says report and It’s official: the bedroom tax causes misery). It’s an unpopular measure and we need to turn the tide of public opinion even further aganst it. Now’s the time to show our opposition – so be there if you can.

And a reminder: Last planning meeting for Day of Action is at 8.00 pm on Monday 31st March at Hamilton House. Come along and add your ideas for the Day of Action. Please contact me on 07758806144 if you will need a lift to get there.

Bristol and South West Unite the Resistancehttp://bristolunitetheresistance.wordpress.com/

March Dispute News

NHS PAY SQUEEZE – A STEP TOO FAR- Say NO! on Budget Day Wednesday 19th March, outside BRI, 7-8.30am

Our reaction to Jeremy Hunt’s latest pay insult to health workers should be swift and strong.  The current pay offer is an attempt to  destroy our national pay agreement while spinning it to make it seem like we all get a rise.  Please join other activists outside BRI main entrance to talk to the public, press and other staff and demand decent pay for NHS workers.

Despite the Independent Pay Reveiw Board recommendation for a 1% pay rise to all NHS staff, the government want to freeze pay scales for NHS staff in England, with the headline 1% going only to those at the top of their incremental pay bands (‘non-consolidated’ like a bonus and we lose it next year).  This would leave 600,00 nurses and thousands more support staff without a pay rise at all!

Moreoever, this offer also includes a pernicious attempt to break our nationally agreed pay scales next year by offering us another rise (non-consolidated 2% only) as long we all forgo our increments.

Under the current government the NHS is constantly under attack.  Experienced NHS staff are being encouraged to leave through down-grading, re-organisation and increased work as we grapple with the affects of £20billion cuts.  Those of us who remain are seeing pay cuts in real terms due to years of below inflation pay offers and pension contribution increases and 40,000 of us receive less than the Living Wage (£7.65 an hour).

As UNITE nationally plans to hold a consultative ballot for all 100,000 NHS members, UNITE Bristol Health activists have called this action to start discussions between all NHS supporters and build the confidence of all to oppose this further attack on the NHS.

Please come along if you can and please spread the word.

In Solidarity,

Gwyneth Powell-Davies –  For UNITE Bristol Health branch

 
NUT Strike Day
teachers2
 
Details of the NUT teachers’ rally in Bristol on their strike day (March 26th) are : 1130 assemble College Green. 12 noon march through centre to rally at Castle Park (stalls, food, music, speeches etc.). Forv details of the dispute click here.
probation
Probation Staff across England and Wales will be going on strike from midday on Monday 31st March and all day on Tuesday 1st April.
Any help you could offer in publicizing the strike and/or helping on the picket lines would be much appreciated.

In Avon and Somerset Probation, we have offices in Yeovil, Taunton, Bridgwater, Worle, central Bristol and Bath; so members will be picketing outside these offices!

We are against the Government’s plans to abolish all Probation Trusts by 1st June and to privatise 70% of  Probation work. The companies likely to be taking over Probation work are akin to Serco and G4S, although these companies were ruled out of the bidding due to gross misconduct such as massively over-charging the Government in the electronic monitoring of offenders in the community.

The plans are on a dangerously tight time-table, driven by the Government’s determination to complete the changes by the next election, rather than what would be necessary to make sure the changes are safe and effective.

Kind regards,
Matt Austin (NAPO).