Pay, hours, conditions

Social care: tax the rich!

Social care needs a transformation comparable to the transformation of UK healthcare seven decades ago through the NHS. It seems likely such a policy, for a public care and support system, would be popular, if strong enough voices argued for it. At the moment the forces campaigning for anything like it are weak, but the issue is centre-stage as never before. When the Tories produced their “plan for social care” — taxing workers more to produce extra money for the NHS and a much smaller amount for care services (later) — the Labour Party embarrassed itself by its lack of alternative ideas. Now...

Morrisons cuts sick pay

Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest supermarket, with over 120,000 workers, is cutting sick pay for those who need to self-isolate if they have not been vaccinated. Despite Morrisons saying they will make exceptions, the announcement has sparked outrage — particularly because the chain’s chief executive has been open about their cost-cutting motivation. Justifying the cut, chief executive David Potts cited the “biblical costs of managing Covid” and other increased costs facing the company. Morrisons’ profits have fallen, but they were still £105 million in the six months to 1 August. It is due...

NHS pay: debate the options!

As I write on 14 September, neither Unison or the RCN has issued the results of their NHS pay consultations, which closed on 10 and 13 September respectively. The other unions are still in process. The votes are likely to indicate rejection. Very few workers give positive endorsement to the award, although there is a lack of confidence that anything can be done. There are rumours of relatively low turnouts, unsurprising given generally poor workplace organisation and limited campaigning by the unions nationally. Even if this is the case, participation will vary between workplaces and sectors...

Forced back into the office? (John Moloney's column)

Many of our members have been in the workplace throughout the pandemic. A majority, though, have home-worked. We have always known that these members will return to the workplace some time. Our argument is that they should only do so when safe. In September last year, the government made a concerted push to get everyone back to the workplace but that failed. This September, the concerned push has been replaced by an expectation that staff will return to the workplace for one or two days a week either this month or in October. The union is opposed to any moves to force staff back. Our...

BEIS strike 22-24 September (John Moloney's column)

Outsourced workers at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will strike again, unless a deal is found, from 22-24 September, demanding pay increases and the reinstatement of annual leave entitlement. The last day of that strike coincides with a global climate strike; that’s significant as BEIS is a key department in terms of the UK’s climate policy. We’ll make the picket line at BEIS a focus for mobilising union members across London, and will be promoting the union’s climate policies as part of that. PCS is balloting our driving examiner members for industrial...

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...

PCS and UVW: a model for union joint working (John Moloney's column)

In Royal Parks, outsourced cleaners and attendants demonstrated on 30 August, part of a two-week strike against job cuts and for improved conditions [workers at the rally above]. The contractor, Just Ask, has already back off from its original plan to cut 33% of all jobs. On 9 September, they’re due to write to us with a new proposal. Some of our next steps will depend on that. There’s also a positive aspect to the dispute, including the demand for full sick pay. Royal Parks has admitted that the previous contractor had agreed to implement 18 weeks’ full sick pay entitlement to all staff...

Letter: British Gas outcome still a defeat

The report on the settlement in British Gas in Solidarity 602 was right to acknowledge that the concessions in the new deal are real. However, this is not some last-minute victory, nor even a score-draw, but an outcome that blunts some of the employer’s worst attacks within an overall context that is still very much a defeat for the workers. The new settlement does not return engineers to the terms they were on before new contracts were imposed. British Gas has ultimately succeeded in imposing worse conditions. Hundreds of engineers remain sacked for refusing to accept the new contracts, and...

Unison calls to reject local government pay offer

“Despite their courage and sacrifice throughout COVID-19, council and school workers have been offered 1.75%. With inflation at 3.9%, that’s a real terms pay cut.” With those words, the public services union Unison is launching a consultation with a strong recommendation to reject. On 27 July the Employers’ Side of the National Joint Council (NJC) wrote to the unions with a final pay offer for 2021. • An increase of 2.75% for those on pay point 1 • An increase of 1.75% for everyone else • Completion of the outstanding work of the joint Term-Time-Only review group • Discussions on joint...

CWU capitulates on "Count me in"

The telecoms leadership of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) has totally capitulated in the “Count Me In” campaign. They have let CWU members in BT and EE down massively. The union has agreed a “framework” for future talks that (with a Kafkaesque twist) is an “agreement” to have future agreements. It has been presented as this because doing so avoids the basic demands of union democracy. The reality is they have totally given in on pay, jobs and future grading. There is to be no ballot on this framework agreement despite BT openly calling it an agreement and the Union and BT saying...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.