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Support and Solidarity

Lambeth College UCU on indefinite strike

As you are likely aware, Lambeth College UCU members went out yesterday, Wed 4th June 2014, starting a period of indefinite strike action. The dispute concerns the serious erosion of terms and conditions at Lambeth College.

UNISON members are joining the strike next Wednesday and Thursday, with escalation to follow.

You can learn more about the strike by following the strike’s blog:
http://lambethcollegestrike.wordpress.com/

Please send messages of support and donations via the following page:-
http://lambethcollegestrike.wordpress.com/support-us/donations/

You can follow the strike action’s twitter feed at:
@LambethStrike

Without doubt, support and solidarity from the LJMU UCU Branch to all those at Lambeth.
An attack on one is an attack on all.

ICM Cleaners at John Lewis balloted for Strike Action for London Living Wage

IWW unionised cleaners at John Lewis are continuing their campaign towards a wage increase above Minimum Wage and to the London Living Wage.

Following extensive attempts by the workers to improve their situation, their union IWW entered a new pay claim with ICM on 26th October. Clear, realistic and reasonable, not to mention necessary, the pay claim aims at an immediate and backdated increase to £6.72 p/h for cleaners, £8 p/h for supervisors, plus a timetable of discussions aimed at securing full London Living Wage of £8.55 and full sick pay.

Cleaners are currently paid at minimum wage, £6.19/hr.

IWW Link

EU Workers Strike and Protest against Austerity

Massive anti-austerity strikes and protests swept across Europe as millions took to the streets to express their frustration over rising unemployment and dire economic prospects. Many rallies ended with violent clashes with police.

Workers marched in 23 countries across Europe to mark the European Day of Action and Solidarity.

General strikes had been called in Spain and Portugal, paralyzing public services and international flights, in Belgium and France transport links were partially disrupted by strikes and demonstrations, in Italy and Greece thousands of workers and students marched through the streets.

Other EU countries, such as Germany, Austria and Poland, saw well attended union-led rallies.

The Europe-wide strike action, the largest in a series of protests against the austerity policies, was coordinated by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and promoted on Twitter under the “#14N” hashtag

(Quote from Russia Today online)
http://rt.com/news/austerity-protests-eu-solidarity-727/

Further details about the UK’s TUC action in support:
http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-21663-f0.cfm

Please encourage your MP to sign Early Day Motion 609 – BLACKLISTED WORKERS

Please support UCATT’s Postcard Campaign against the recent Blacklisting scandal and email or write to your MP, asking them to sign EDM 609 asking for justice for the Blacklisted workers in the recent Consulting Association.

UCATT’s campaign page is here, with more details and a template email to send to your MP:
https://www.ucatt.org.uk/blacklisting

Parliament.uk’s page on the EDM (showing those MPs who have already signed) is here;
http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/609

Unilever workers on strike over pension

Unite, USDAW, and GMB workers at Unilever in Port Sunlight and Warrington, in addition to their other sites across the UK, are to take strike action on Friday (9th Dec) over changes to their pension scheme. The changes include withdrawal of the final salary pension benefit from existing scheme members.

Unilever seem to have forgotten their reputation for treating workers well, and are instead opting for BA-style punitive measures, above and beyond deduction of pay. They are reported to have retaliated by undertaking a number of measures, including:
-Withdrawal of workers’ Christmas hampers at striking sites
-Blocking holiday bookings for next year
-Refusing to pay sick pay for this week (2-9th Dec)

Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16098379
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/08/unilever-strike-scrooge-accusation

Current students can expect to graduate with £24,700 debt

A Grauniad article on student accommodation finishes with a depressing stat in the last couple of paragraphs.
Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/aug/21/best-worst-student-accommodation

“…Meanwhile, a report published last week suggests the problem of student debt is getting worse. The Push Student Debt Survey, which questioned 2,000 students, found that those starting this autumn can expect to owe £24,700, compared with students who began courses last year who are likely to graduate with debts of £23,200.

Undergraduates now owe, on average, £5,600 for each year of study after any help they are given by parents is stripped away. The report found that average debt for students at university in England is £5,293 per year, while in Wales it is £6,411. In Scotland, where fees are still paid centrally, the average debt per year of study is just £2,637.”

Applied retrospectively, do you think you would you have been discouraged from studying for a degree on these terms?

The TUC’s Brendan Barber on November 30th

Source: http://pensionsjustice.org.uk/the-article-the-sun-refused-to-run/

Yesterday the Sun asked the TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber to write 200 words setting out the case for the day of action. They are not in today’s paper. We have been asked to reproduce them here:

This government cancelled the tax on bankers’ bonuses. Instead it has brought in a nurses’, teachers’ and lollipop ladies’ tax.

This is what the increase in pension contributions – around £1,000 a year for a nurse – really means. It is not paying for pensions but going straight to the Treasury to fill the hole left by the bonus tax.

It takes a lot to get Brits to strike. Yet the government has driven millions of its own staff to stop work, including unions that have never gone on strike before such as head-teachers. They are not stupid or manipulated by union leaders, but ordinary decent people doing important jobs taking a stand as a last resort.

We know the strike will cause difficulties today, and we regret that. But it’s proved to be the only language the government understands.

I’ve been leading talks with ministers for months. But they were going nowhere. It’s only when we called a day of action that government started to move. Ministers should listen carefully today to their staff, and get stuck into trying to reach the fair negotiated settlement that unions want.

LSU message of support

Source: http://www.l-s-u.com/news/index.php?page=article&news_id=292673

We’d like to thank the LSU for their message in support of all public sector workers taking strike action on the 30th November.

UNISON members also vote for 30th Nov strike

As expected, UNISON members have also voted to strike on the TUC’s National Day of Action to defend pensions – 30th November 2011. Further details on local arrangements at LJMU will be posted in due course.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15570669
http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-20188-f0.cfm?regional=5

Strike Action – 30th June

The UCU, along with several other public sector unions announced a day of industrial action for Thursday 30th June 2011. This affected UCU members working at an institution where TPS is the predominant lecturers’ pension scheme, including LJMU.

UCU members joined strike action with members from the NUT, ATL, and PCS over the ideological attacks on TPS and other public sector pensions. Ministers are insisting that the cuts are a necessary “affordability” measure, while we argue that:
a) the proposed alterations are above and beyond those already implemented for pension affordability.
b) they are ideologically motivated, and as part of an attack on the public sector as a whole, aim to destroy public sector pensions in the same way that employers’ pension contribution “holidays” of the 80s and 90s destroyed private sector pension value.
c) the government are not prepared to engage in meaningful negotiations about the scale and depth of these pension cuts.

The PCS organised march convened at 1130 on William Brown Street, and set off at around noon, marching via Whitechapel, Queen Square Bus Station, Lime St, then along Renshaw St and Berry St to the Black-E Arts Centre on Great George Street in Chinatown.

The march was very well attended by members of all striking unions, and we were joined by marchers carrying flags and banners for RMT, UCATT, and NASUWT. The route was lined with members of the public showing their support.

We’d like to thank all members who took industrial action, all those who were able to join us on the march, PCS Liverpool for organising / marshalling the march, Merseyside Police for providing traffic/police support, and the public for their warm support along the route.

Marching along Whitechapel in Liverpool

Marching up towards Lime St, Liverpool