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

CWU members congratulated on their success

Ten CWU members will today (Friday 13th June) receive certificates from the leader of the Scottish Labour Party Johann Lamont MSP to mark the completion of their two-year CISCO Discovery course from Glasgow Clyde College.
The BT workers enrolled on the course in December 2012 after a survey by David Dick, a union learning representative, identified a demand for accredited IT training amongst members.
“This serves as an important reminder that trade unions…play a crucial role in creating better opportunities for workers”
Johann Lamont, MSP
The course was run with help from the Learning Fund from Scottish Union Learning and organised around BT work patterns to ensure there were no barriers to participation.
Craig Anderson, CWU west of Scotland area secretary, congratulated the workers who took part: “I am delighted that the hard work and dedication of these learners is being acknowledged.
“It is a fantastic achievement by all our learners to gain their CISCO certification and I am sure this will provide individuals with future career and employment opportunities in a highly skilled employment sector.”
Johann Lamont MSP added: “This is a great achievement and it serves as an important reminder that trade unions, working in partnership with employers and our colleges, play a crucial role in creating better opportunities for workers across Scotland.”

Crown Post office workers vote to accept ‘first class’ pay deal

Crown Post Office members today (Wednesday 11th June) voted overwhelmingly to accept a “first-class” pay deal which will see their pay increase by up to 7.5 per cent. The CWU – which represents thousands of frontline workers across the Post Office Ltd network – negotiated the pay agreement following the longest-running industrial dispute the union has ever experienced. 

Voting closed today with 95.4 per cent of postal workers voting to accept the deal.

The pay agreement, for Crown Post Office employees, includes:
A consolidated rise by 3.9 per cent in wages with effect from April 1st 2014
A further increase of up to 3.4 per cent to be paid in one per cent instalments when targeted savings are achieved
Lump-sum payments totalling £3,300 ( pro-rata for part-timers), paid in instalments, and linked to Crown Transformation targets

CWU national officer Andy Furey said: “I’m extremely pleased with today’s positive result which will see Crown Post Office workers receive an above-inflation pay increase. It’s fantastic news for employees who stood firm throughout these long and difficult negotiations. This was one of the CWU’s longest-running industrial disputes and we’re delighted that Post Office workers have overwhelmingly voted to accept the pay agreement.
“This is an excellent settlement that would not have been achieved without the strength and determination of post office workers around the UK. Today’s ballot result is testament to the quality of the deal we have negotiated, which will see post office workers pay rise by up to 7.5 per cent with full-time employees receiving a further £3,300 in transformation lump sum payments.
“Post office workers have stayed strong throughout these protracted negotiations and I’d like to thank them wholeheartedly for their support and patience.”

International solidarity for all postal workers

In the US, members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) together with their comrades from other US postal unions are picketing sites belonging to retail giant Staples, after the United States Postal Service started putting post office counters into Staples stores. 

At sites across the nation, APWU members have been protesting against the postal operator’s plans, which union president Mark Dimondstein has dubbed “a dirty deal.”

The deal introduced postal counters in more than 80 Staples stores, staffed with Staples employees rather than fully-trained, uniformed USPS employees, with plans to expand the deal to all of the company’s 1,500 US stores.

According to the APWU, full-time Staples employees’ salaries are around $18,000 per year, which is less than £11,000, and they receive “minimal training” in handling post.
The union – supported by the other US postal unions* and by the US equivalent of the TUC, the AFL-CIO – is urging customers to boycott Staples until agreement is reached to pay USPS rates of pay and meet USPS terms and conditions of employment.

“Our brothers and sisters in the labour movement are key allies in this struggle and we greatly appreciate their support,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein, adding: “we intend to win this fight against privatization and save our public post offices.

Commenting, CWU head of international affairs John Baldwin said: “The CWU sends our full support and solidarity to our comrades in the US” and pointed out that this latest development is “very similar to the franchising of post office services that’s been taking place here in the UK.
“However, a key difference is that in the US there is no equivalent to our TUPE laws and so when workers are ‘franchised out’ in this way, there is zero protection under law of their terms and conditions.”
“It’s so important that we strengthen and develop our international links so that we can defend and protect all postal workers”

In continental Europe, postal workers are also facing almost identical challenges to our own members, John continues, describing a recent international gathering of postal union representatives in Nyon, Switzerland, at which Portuguese delegates reported on partial privatisation of CTT Correos. Plans are also in hand to privatise post Italiane and Hellenic Post whilst Australia Post has confirmed that 900 jobs will be axed over a 12-month period as part of the company’s transformation plans.
“The way things are going, it could well be the case that in the next few years France will be the only country in the European Union with a fully state-owned postal service,” explained John, adding that the CWU is widely admired abroad for the post-privatisation national agreement that we have managed to secure.

“I don’t think there’s any other postal union that’s been able to achieve such innovative and ground-breaking protections for members – when our delegates speak at international events, we’re often asked: ‘How did you manage to get all that’?
“This is why it’s so important that we strengthen and develop our international links – so that we can defend and protect all postal workers across all countries and stop the employers from playing workers in one country off against others.”
*In the US, there are four postal unions. Post Office workers and clerks belong to the 300,000-strong APWU, along with plant and vehicle maintenance staff, while the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU: 50,000 members) organises processing and distribution workers, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC: 300,000) and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA: 100,000) are SOLELY DELIVERY WORKERS.

Find out more about the US postal workers’ campaign and sign the petition here: US Mail is not for sale.

CWU Conferences 2015

Dear Colleagues,

At a meeting of the NEC it was agreed the dates for next year’s General and Industrial Conferences is as follows:

• General Conference – 26th – 27th April 2015

• Postal Group Conference – 28th – 30th April 2015

• Telecom and Financial Services Conference – 28th – 30th April 2015

All conferences will be held at the Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth

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