Peterborough TUC March & Rally

PTUC March and Rally – 10 July 2014

In order to support the public sector strikes which tens of thousands of workers are expected to participate in nationally on July 10, PTUC have arranged a march and rally in Peterborough City Centre.

Please assemble from 9.30am outside the Bridge Street Court House for the 10am march to St John’s Square (behind the church on Cathedral Square). When we get to the rally point there will be speakers from Trade Unions.

Unions already declared include Unison, NUT and GMB with Unite and PCS declaring their ballot results tomorrow (Monday) and many other TU’s expected to participate.

Please spread the word and make every effort to join us if you can. You can keep up to date via the website, and via Twitter @peterboroughTUC and the Facebook Page.

In Solidarity,
Hazel Perry
PTUC Secretary

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POLITICAL FUND REVIEW BALLOT

As a result of the Trade Union Act 1984, to maintain a political fund, the union has to renew our political fund resolution every ten years. Our current resolution expires on 11 November 2014. Therefore, we have to renew our resolution and obtain authority from CWU members in England, Scotland and Wales to maintain a political fund. This entails carrying out an individual members ballot and achieving a majority yes vote. 

In the first place, the union has to agree the rules of the ballot and the timetable with the certification officer. We have been in contact with the trade Union certification officer (CO) and have achieved preliminary agreement of our proposed rules for the ballot. In addition, we have reached agreement with the CO on the timetable. The NEC has today, endorsed the proposed rules and the timetable.

The proposed rules, although being preliminary agreed with the CO, now have to be submitted for final approval. However, the proposed ballot rules are attached.

The timetable for the ballot is:

BALLOT OPENS – 6TH October 2014
BALLOT CLOSES – 28TH October 2014
Counting of ballot commences ​ – 29th October 2014

There will be substantial campaigning required to ensure that we secure the yes vote. CWU HQ has established a steering group to manage the campaign consisting of members of the Political Fund Management Committee, General Secretary, Head of Communications, Deputy General Secretaries and SDGS.

We will communicate further on the details of the campaign and how best to utilise all of our activists in working toward a Yes vote. We will be discussing regional and Branch campaigns, in the first instance, with Regional Secretaries.

However, a skeleton outline of the proposed campaign and timetable is attached. More details will follow and the campaign is likely to be preceded by a members poll to inform our communications.

Successful talks with Parcelforce for Sunday deliveries

Ahead of Parcelforce Worldwide’s introduction of Sunday deliveries this weekend, the CWU today (Thursday) announced successful negotiations which are sensitive to staff concerns about the new seven-day service. 

Following high level intensive negotiations with Royal Mail Group’s express parcels business Parcelforce regarding the introduction of Sunday deliveries and seven-day service, the union is pleased the following commitments have been made by management:

Commitment resourcing will be on ‎a voluntary basis

Current Sunday working pay rates will apply

Commitment no individual will work seven continuous days

Commitment from management to timetabled formal talks over potential new and innovative shift duty patterns

The delivery company is the first national parcel carrier to deliver seven-days a week and is designed to offer improved flexibility for online shoppers.

Terry Pullinger, CWU national officer, said: “Negotiations with Parcelforce management were fruitful and we are pleased that the move towards Sunday deliveries is not at the expense of our people but with our people. Staff are alive to the need for Parcelforce to respond to changing customer demands and the competitive challenge relating to a seven-day service in order to continue to be a leading provider.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure working on Sundays is voluntary for staff and we’ve got a commitment from management to timetable formal talks over potential new and innovative shift duty patterns, while still maintaining previously agreed principles, if this seven-day working is rolled out on a permanent basis.
“The talks with Parcelforce management established a very important principle as far as employment security is concerned and we are delighted that we have had an assurance that permanent employees will be used to deliver this new exciting innovation to customers.”

Britain Needs a Pay Rise National Demonstration

Dear Colleagues

Britain Needs a Pay Rise London Demonstration- taking place on Saturday October 18th 2014.

This March and rally will take place 7 months before the next general
election and it is crucial that we get as many people onto the streets
to demonstrate against the dominant view that austerity is the only
answer. What the people of this country need are decent living
standards achieved by proper jobs on wages that don’t create poverty.

The 18th of October is our opportunity to add our voices to an
alternative that offers hope to millions and not just the few.

The Britain Needs a Pay Rise demo has been organised by the TUC and
is calling for a properly enforced minimum wage, higher wages from
employers who can afford to pay, increased commitment to the living
wage and a crackdown on excessive executive pay.

The march will assemble on the Embankment from 11am and move off at
noon heading to a rally at Hyde Park via Northumberland Avenue,
Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly. The march will not be passing
Westminster or Downing Street as it is a slightly shorter route than
previous marches this is to allow as many people as possible to get to
Hyde Park in time for the rally.

Any enquiries should be forwarded to the SDGS Department
at sdgs@cwu.org quoting reference GS13.5

Yours sincerely
Tony Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary 

NSSN Bull

Its official – Unison’s local government workers have voted to strike on July
10th against the ConDem pay freeze (read here –
https://www.unison.org.uk/media-centre/local-government-workers-vote-for-strike-action).

This raises the prospect of well over a million public sector workers striking
together in a ‘Coalition of the Willing’ unions that could also include Unite,
GMB, PCS and the NUT. It is possible that the FBU, who were again on strike
last Saturday could also take part on the biggest day of co-ordinated strike
action since N30 2011.

That 2-million strong strike against the Government’s attacks on public sector
workers’ pensions was arguably the biggest single day of strike action since
the 1926 General strike. It could and should have been the platform for the
decisive action that could have won a victory on pensions which would have
blown a hole in Cameron’s austerity offensive.

Instead, particularly the leaders of Unison and the GMB with the support of
the TUC and its then general secretary the now Sir Brendan Barber stopped the
struggle in its tracks. Undoubtedly, that loss of momentum only emboldened the
ConDems to unleash the most vicious package of cuts since the 1920s. The NSSN
along with militant unions like the RMT, PCS and POA attempted to build rank
and file pressure to maintain this action.

Nevertheless, in the process, the ConDems have created a huge anger and
frustration that would make the July 10th strike the most popular thing the
unions could ever do.

This is the lesson of the tube strikes which had massive public support for
the RMT because in the midst of all political parties signed up to austerity,
workers want to see someone fighting back. That is why the unions should
organise public strike rallies on July 10 to bring behind them all those
suffering from these brutal cuts. The N30 demonstrations that took place in
virtually every town and city were massive and these could be bigger.

But the main lesson that has to be learnt from N30 is that they have to be the
start not the end of sustained action that takes in all the public sector and
spreads to the private sector and even those workers currently not organised
in the unions. Just over the last months we have seen a rash of disputes from
workers in Doncaster Care UK and Safety Glass in Tyneside to One Housing and
the indefinite strike in Lambeth College. These along with the big protests by
the legal profession against the cuts to legal aid, the protests and stoppages
by construction workers and the people that were attracted to Saturday’s
Peoples Assembly march show the potential that the unions could realise if
they put themselves at the head of this movement. The 750,000-strong TUC
demonstration on March 26th in 2011 as well as the mass mobilisation of N30
that year shows once and for all the authority that the unions have when they
act decisively.

The 8th annual NSSN conference is meeting on July 5, five days before the pay
strike. I appeal to all activists in the trade union and anti-cuts movements
to come along to discuss how to build the biggest strike possible on July 10
and how to sustain it into the autumn and beyond to win what could be a
decisive victory against this fat cat government.

Rob Williams NSSN national chair

CWU supports call for protection of universal service obligation

Responding to the announcement by Royal Mail today (Friday) that they have called on Ofcom to bring forward a review of the direct delivery market, Dave Ward, the CWU postal deputy general secretary, said: 

“Ofcom’s primary duty is to protect the universal service which allows us to send a letter to Belfast, Bristol or Brighton all for the same price. If Ofcom does not carry out an immediate review of the impact of direct delivery on universal service, it will have failed in its duty.

“The ability of TNT to be able to choose when, where and what they deliver has a profound impact on the sustainability of the universal service. Not surprisingly, TNT is cherry-picking big city deliveries only, where profits are maximised.

“This is unfair competition with little benefit to customers or the British public. In a shrinking letters market having two posties following each other up the same garden path is inefficient.

“The government needs to wake up and realise the implications Ofcom’s lack of action will have on Royal Mail’s ability to deliver the universal service obligation. TNT is not introducing new jobs, they are just replacing decent and well-paid Royal Mail jobs with minimum wage employment and supporting the growth of a low-pay economy. In the end, workers everywhere will suffer through this race to the bottom.” 

CWU retired members have their say at Pensioners’ Parliament

Retired CWU members attended the annual National Pensioners Convention (NPC) Pensioners’ Parliament at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool this week to debate, rally and network with fellow pensioners. 
Hundreds of retired and soon-to-be-retiring people from across the country gathered in the seaside town to listen to key speeches from Dot Gibson of the NPC, AgeUK’s Caroline Abrahams, and columnist and left-wing commentator Owen Jones.
Joining the dozens of CWU delegates on the pre-conference march was Margaret Greenwood, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Wirral West who, with the union’s support, is looking to oust sitting Tory MP Esther McVey at the 2015 general election.

Carl Webb and Margaret Greenwood support retired members at the annual National Pensioners Convention Pensioners
Carl Webb, North West regional secretary, commented from the event: “We are proud to march side by side with our retired comrades who are fighting against cuts to the NHS and for dignity and respect in retirement.
“We are not only fighting for today’s pensioners, but also tomorrow’s pensioners. Don’t forget we all aspire to be a pensioner,” he added.
Over the course of the Pensioners’ Parliament delegates discussed key topics including the future of the NHS, tackling loneliness, dignity in care and how to fight back against cuts to bus services around the UK.

CWU Youth & Women’s Event

(From LTB388/14)

Dear Colleagues,

Next Meeting of the CWU Youth (under 30) & Women’s Under-representation Working Party & the National Youth Education Event 2014.

This is to advise you that the next meeting of the CWU Youth & Women’s Under-representation Working Party will be held in Edinburgh on the Friday afternoon (3rd October 2014) before the start of the National Youth Education Event at the Novotel Hotel.

Branches are asked to encourage young women to attend both events where possible and timings will be issued nearer the time, but it is envisaged it will commence at around 1300. If branches have already submitted applications for the NYEE could they please let their female delegates know of the meeting so that they can factor in the timings to attend this meeting too.

Branches are also reminded to encourage young members to attend the National Youth Education Event which will be taking place from Friday 3 October to Sunday 5 October at the Novotel in Edinburgh. Early applications are encouraged to enable branches to take advantage of any advance travel arrangements that may attract cheaper prices and to arrange time off with employers.

Further information on the event was issued via LTB 178/14 in March, but if colleagues have any queries on this LTB or the events themselves please get in touch with the Branch Youth Officer or Branch Secretary

Revised ‘Delivery To Neighbour’ Agreement

Branches will be aware of the debates and updates at this year’s annual conference about the services currently being offered by competitors of Royal Mail regarding first time delivery of parcels.

We have identified in recent discussions with Royal Mail an opportunity off the back of an existing agreement ratified by the Postal Executive in September 2012 to be able to offer a similar, if not better, service than that being offered by competition.

Whilst first time delivery rates of competitors are generally high and in some cases higher than those of Royal Mail their definition of delivery is not the same as Royal Mail’s and we have no intention of lowering the standards of delivery provided by our members to that of the competitors. This is an area where our members can give Royal Mail the edge on competition through the quality of the service being provided.

We have therefore revised the existing agreement and placed the emphasis on delivering first time wherever possible but retained the discretion of the delivery OPG. Branches and Representatives will note that the date of the agreement is 2nd May 2014. This is when the document was agreed with Royal Mail. The Postal Executive endorsed the agreement on the 7th May 2014 and we have recently agreed a release date for this including supporting documentation and WTLL sessions etc following further discussions with Royal Mail.

The revised agreement is straightforward to avoid confusion and should not present our members who will be expected to carry out this service with any problems other than where they believe their safety is at risk or the security of the item(s) is at risk. The existing agreement has been deployed with very few operational problems being raised with the department since its introduction.

There is no definitive National Deployment date for this revised service as some offices are already operating this system successfully but as stated above there are dates for communications including WTLL sessions now in place and these will begin being rolled out and briefed into all delivery units week commencing 23rd June 2014.

The revised service will also remain subject to review under the auspices of the Safety, Customer Service and Quality Strand of the Integrated Delivery Programme where we will be able to assess the operational impact the revised service has had on delivery times, enquiry offices, redeliveries and complaints etc. How we might use PDAs to help us increase first time delivery success going forward is also part of the ongoing discussions with Royal Mail regarding ‘Service View’.

The P739 has been amended to cater for the service and stickers have also been supplied. 

We believe that the introduction of the revised service is a necessity at a time of increasing competition and this along with other new initiatives will help to offer sound alternatives to the services being offered by competitors and we fully support its national deployment.

Any enquiries to Bob Gibson’s Office, quoting reference 530
Email address: hnutley@cwu.org

Yours sincerely

Bob Gibson
CWU Assistant Secretary – Outdoor

NSSN Bulletin 197

For full NSSN e-bulletin 197 with info about current national & international
disputes plus a diary of events:-
http://shopstewards.net/2014/06/nssn-197-support-the-fire-fighters-pension-strikes/

NSSN supporters all over the country visited the FBU picket lines at fire
stations giving solidarity to these workers and their union when they took the
absolutely solid action last Thursday.

Fire Brigades Union members are striking again against attacks on their
pension scheme which will mean they pay £4000 more for the same or worse
pension.

Making matters worse, the same attacks from Fire Minister Brandon Lewis mean
firefighters towards the end of their working lives will be drummed out on
‘capability’ grounds for being physically unable to do the job of a 20-year-
old! After national negotiations, the government has confirmed it will plough
ahead with its pensions proposals without further discussions.

Thursday’s 24-hour strike is an escalation of previous action, because it will
be followed by action short of strike for over a week until Saturday 21 June,
when a 7-hour strike from 10am will be followed by action short of strike
through until 9am the next day.

On the picket lines, many fire-fighters supported joining the planned mass pay
strike on July 10th which could see up to 1½ million public sector workers on
strike together.

Victory to the fire-fighters and the FBU!

See FBU video http://www.fbu.org.uk/?p=10225
Messages of support http://www.fbu.org.uk/?p=10226#more-10226

FBU responds to Brandon Lewis’ letter to firefighters (June 13) – In a
circular to members Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, has responded to
fire minister Brandon Lewis letter to firefighters http://www.fbu.org.uk/?p=10236

 

NSSN News

Come to the 8th Annual NSSN Conference on Saturday July 5th – ‘What recovery?
We want our share! Fight Together for a Pay Rise! – Break the pay freeze,
fight for a real living wage, oppose zero-hour contracts, fight for PAYE’.
Leaflet – http://www.scribd.com/doc/221151679/NSSN-2014-conference-leaflet

It will be on from 11am-5pm in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn,
London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6. Confirmed speakers include Ronnie
Draper BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary, POA General Secretary Steve
Gillan, Janice Godrich PCS President and Peter Pinkney RMT President.

Confirmed workshops include:-
Fast food rights/zero-hour contracts/living wage/$15Now
Fighting NHS cuts
Construction: fighting the umbrella scam and blacklisting
Political representation for workers after the Collins Review
Housing workers fighting back

REGISTER TODAY! Email us now if you want to come as well as if you want
leaflets – info@shopstewards.net.
If you want to put yourself forward for the NSSN steering committee, email us
by 12noon on Thursday July 3rd

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it
only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many
of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing
order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account
number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE.
Affiliation letter here shopstewards.net/2014/02/nssn-affiliation-letter/

And if you can, come to one of our regional Conferences. If there is not one
in your area, get in touch to either assist in organising or have a speaker at
one of your meetings or events. Contact Rob or Linda on info@shopstewards.net