Industrial News in Brief

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 23 September, 2004 - 12:00

Liverpool Social Workers' Strike, Swansea ballots on all out strike, Hackney College job cuts.

LIVERPOOL SOCIAL WORKERS' STRIKE
One hundred plus Liverpool social workers and front line managers have been on all out strike since 24 August. The action follows moves by the Liberal Democrat Council and Chief Executive David Henshaw to cut costs, privatise services and make the existing workers work harder. Bullying managers have led to high stress stress levels, people leaving and going sick.

Also there has been a lack of consultation over changes, a failure to use procedures properly and a misuse of the disciplinary procedure to scapegoat staff.

The present strike follows a three-day work to rule in February 2004.

The service is being “covered” by a rump of GMB/Apex staff and a misuse of Family Support Workers. Management are masking the absence of social workers by having case conferences etc with no social worker or report, then pretending the procedures have been correctly followed.

Liverpool Social Workers need funds and want to speak at meetings. Please contact Norman Smith at Liverpool Unison on  0151 236 1944 or email him on Liverpoolunison@btconnect.com

SWANSEA BALLOTS ON ALL OUT STRIKE

By a Unison member

Swansea Council’s Information Technology (ICT) workers have been on indefinite strike since 16 August with no indication that the council is willing to reconsider its decision to privatise IT within the council.

The ICT dispute comes as a result of Lib-Dem Swansea Council’s intention to restructure all its services under a £100 million Services@Swansea initiative.

Ballot papers have now been issued to Unison members throughout the council for wider strike action.

The closing date for the ballot is 30 September. This is a critical moment for the dispute. If council workers vote to strike it will hugely escalate the dispute. This is on the back of an already successful petitioning campaign, daily strike bulletins, a strike website and a 1000 strong demonstration and rally in Swansea.

ICT workers welcome your support. To read about the dispute or send messages of solidarity and support check-out the website www.swansea-ict.org.uk

HACKNEY COLLEGE JOB CUTS

Hackney College in East London has announced up to 71 job losses, affecting both lecturers and support staff at the college. Ten of the proposed redundancies are in the area of Adult and Continuing Learning and are directly attributable to the Learning Trust, which operates education in the borough, reducing the adult education budget.

Management are now in the process of targeting other areas for cuts and job losses.

The lecturers’ union, NATFHE, which is opposed to all compulsory redundancies, had planned to take strike action on 16 September. The union was forced to postpone its action when the college challenging the strike’s legality.

Despite the legal threat NATFHE remains committed to strike unless redundancies are withdrawn. Unison, representing college support staff, is in the process of balloting its members too enable it to fight alongside college lecturers.

• Send messages of support to Maggie Carmen, NATFHE, Hackney Community College, Falkirk St, London N1 6HQ e-mail: platham@natfhe.org.uk
• Donations to Fighting Fund: NATFHE, Hackney Community College.

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