GMB

Votes on pay action in health and local government

The health unions are carrying out their second round of membership votes on the 2021 NHS pay award of 3%. GMB is holding a formal industrial action ballot which closes on 15 December, Unison’s second informal consultation closes on 5 December, and the RCN’s on 30 November. Across the unions the proportions of members voting in the first rounds were not high enough to meet the legal threshold for industrial action, and so the main objective of the current ballots is to increase the turnout. In some areas the campaign has had more energy this time, and in these last weeks activists should...

Sheffield bin workers fight for "going rate"

Sheffield bin workers employed by Veolia at the Lumley Street depot struck on Monday 8 November over pay. The company had offered them a below-inflation pay award of 3%, plus a ÂŁ250 bonus offered on condition that they accepted the offer. At a 6:30am picket attended by 100 to 200 workers, the workforce voted by show of hands to demand a 6% pay increase plus the ÂŁ250 bonus back. On 8 November, the action was for one morning: after a march through town and a rally at the town hall, the Lumley Street workers returned to work at 10:30am. But the picket meeting voted that from 22 November (after...

“Cityclean is a powder keg”

A shop steward from Brighton bins tells us about their victory in their recent dispute. Firstly, congratulations on winning the dispute, I wouldn’t have expected anything less! Haha, yeah, it’s a brilliant outcome, to come out of a dispute with something even better than what we were demanding in the first place is just brilliant, but it shows you our strength. So can you tell me a bit about the deal? What does it mean for the workforce? So as you know, the dispute was about round changes, changes to working patterns at very short notice and without explanation, about management unilaterally...

Diary of an engineer: Bin strike - “Someone must be bullshitting”

The ERF [Energy Recovery Facility] where we work is fuelled and funded by bin waste. In a series of morning meetings, we’ve heard that the city’s refuse collection workers are taking strike action over pay and conditions. The first strike day [scheduled for 1 November] was called off after the company made a pay offer, but the GMB drivers’ branch rejected it. The following week, workers and managers at the ERF began discussing the effect on the plant. Management estimate (or at least tell us that they estimate) a small reduction in waste. Other waste streams will be tipped at the plant as...

Local government and health pay: build the campaigns!

Members of GMB and Unite have voted to reject the local government pay offer, with similar percentages to Unison members, who voted by 79% to reject a 1.75% pay increase (2.75% for those on pay point 1). Ballot papers are scheduled to go out to Unison members in early December, asking whether they want to strike to secure an improved pay offer. The union will be asking members to vote yes. Meanwhile, the Joint Trade Union Side have written to the Employers’ Side, asking them to return to the negotiations and make an improved pay offer. Since 2010 the value of local government pay has fallen by...

Brighton bin workers win a deal

Update: Brighton council refuse workers voted on 18 October to accept a deal in their pay and conditions dispute. See here. A GMB organiser spoke to us on 14 October about the strike by refuse workers in Brighton, who have a long history of standing up for their rights. • Visit picket lines early mornings at Hollingdean Depot, Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton BN1 7GA. Pickets on Friday 15 October, then off for three days, back on morning Tuesday 19 October. • Donations to GMB Brighton branch, account 42004718, sort code 60-83-01. • Messages of solidarity to mark.turner@brighton-hove.gov.uk. •...

Silence at Labour conference on NHS pay

Trade unions, the Labour left and Labour NHS campaigners failed to raise the issue of NHS pay at Labour Party conference – or, more exactly, did not try. Rank-and-file NHS workers, organised through NHS Workers Say No, Nurses United and other networks as well as their various unions, are focusing on a difficult struggle to get industrial action off the ground. Some of them were invited to speak at various fringe meetings at the conference. But beyond that minimal gesture there was little attempt by unions and Labour activists present at the conference to use it to boost NHS workers’ campaign...

Push for action on NHS pay!

Members of the main health unions have overwhelmingly rejected the government’s 3% NHS pay award. RCN rejected by 91.7% (in Wales 93.9%), Unison by 80%, and GMB by 93%. Unison and GMB included willingness to take industrial action in their informal ballot. These votes show the activist base of the unions is ready to take action. The decisive figure for action, under the anti-trade union laws, was always going to be the turnout. There, the news is not positive. RCN turnout was 25.4% (29.3% in Wales), and Unison, 29%. GMB have not released their turnout figures, presumably meaning they did not...

Support firefighters' Green New Deal motion to Labour conference

The Labour Party’s Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) has sparked outrage by ruling out of order the “Green Jobs Revolution” motion promoted for Labour conference by the Labour for a Green New Deal (LGND) campaign and submitted by at least 21 Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). They have ruled out 45 submissions in all, including one called "Build Back Fairer" about the pandemic and reconstruction, submitted by Newark and Newcastle East CLPs and promoted by Momentum Internationalists. It advocates taxing the rich to attack inequality and reconstruct society. LGND and others are protesting...

Reject the NHS pay award

The trade union consultations on the NHS pay award are coming to an end. The Unison ballot runs until 10 September, the RCN finishes on 13th, GMB on 17th, and Unite on 24th. The next days and weeks are the last chance for members to vote and for activists to get out and encourage them to reject. The award doesn’t get anywhere near the claims of the unions. All have stated that it is not good enough. RCN, GMB and Unite have recommended rejection. It is likely that all the results will be to reject the deal. It’s obvious to all NHS workers that a lower than inflation pay award of 3% is...

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