Thursday, 21 November 2019

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

GPTU minutes of 5.10.19, update 07/09/2019, MINUTES 16th May 2019


Draft MINUTES GREEN PARTY TRADE UNION GROUP AGM 5/10/2019 at Green Party Conference, Newport
1) Introduction to GPTU by P.Murry, (summarised in London Trade Union Liaison Officer report below).
2) Election of Committee 2019/20
Co-chairs: Noel Lynch and Adam Clarke
Secretary: Peter Murry
Treasurer: Sue Tibbles
Membership Secretary: Noel Lynch
Equalities Officer: Beccy Sawbridge
Media Officer: Martin Francis
Committee Member: Paul Valentine
3) Tolpuddle: PM reported that Derek Hardman had successfully campaigned to get the Green Party to finance its stall at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ festival, rely on an individual member to do so. Thanks also to the work of Paul Valentine who worked for this in his role as Trade Union Liaison Officer on the Green Party Executive.
4) BEIS strike: This was a strike of   cleaners and catering staff at BEIS supported by PCS, who have been on indefinite strike action since the 15 July. “We have also called out receptionists, porters, post room and security workers and from w/c 30 September they will be on rolling one week on strike one week off. They are fighting for a Living Wage and proper terms and conditions. 
These are the biggest strikes Whitehall has ever seen and the whole support staff team has been out.” Beccy Sawbridge reported on solidarity contributions from SE Kent TUC. The strikers had asked to visit the Green Party Conference but had been directed to the GPTU meeting rather than a plenary, however they decided not to visit because they were about to get a settlement. (“We also salute the win by catering workers, working for Aramark at BEIS who have finally won the London Living Wage after two months of indefinite strike action. The union is still fighting for it to be awarded to their members in ISS at the same government department. http://shopstewards.net/2019/10/nssn-455-victories-at-harland-wolff-hull-and-beis-show-that-workers-action-can-win/?fbclid=IwAR1CqkeRHoDCpU3p7U0xW6h2qKzs6MMrPNQ57xoY2xS0bFel0kqWA1syCng)

5) Ruskin College: Sue Tibbles that this college, originally founded by and for Trade Unions, had been in disputes involving UCU which had led to the vicitimisation of a lecturer, Lee Humber, and solidarity resignations and recently attempts had been made to place responsibility for the death of a student on security staff. ( see: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10200/Ruskin-College-under-fire-for-trade-union-victimisation and
Sue Tibbles to write to Unison and Oxford TUC.
6) 20.9.19 Global Climate Strike: Over 7 m worldwide reported to have participated. In UK, the TUC passed a motion call for solidarity but stopped short of calling for strikes or even stoppages. Several Union branches were able to take solidarity actions usually with the agreement of employers. Caroline Lucas, & Jeremy Corbyn (among others) spoke at the London demo. It was felt that Caroline could have voiced criticism of the Anti-Union laws which prevent TU’s from legally taking solidarity actions. Peter Murry to write to Caroline Lucas.
7) NEU H&S reps
8) Two Green Party councillors had recently been elected in Ashford. It was noted that advice for Green Party councillors on liaison with their local TUCs was needed.
9) Date of next meeting: PM to circulate a doodle poll for an early December date, Zoom or Skype to be used to increase participation.

APPENDIX
Trade union liaison officer (Pete Murry)
I have been building links with the trade union movement and have worked with the Green Party Trade Union Group (GPTU). I am Co-Secretary of GPTU and have attended its meetings. I have regularly attended London Green Party meetings and submitted written reports on trade union matters I have supplemented these with verbal contributions when appropriate.

I blog at http://greentulondon.blogspot.co.uk/ carrying reports of disputes, trade union news, solidarity actions and demos etc, I attend meetings of the Campaign Against Climate Change TU group, the Greener Jobs Alliance, the Lucas Plan Just Transition working group. I have recently become a member of the newly established TUC, (Trade Union Congress), London, East and South East Region Environmental Sustainability and Just Transition Network.

I am an active member of the University and College Union (UCU) London Retired Members’ Branch. I have drafted motions on climate change for the UCU annual conference, most recently attempting to challenge the attempt by some unions to restrict union discussion of Just Transition only to their memberships.

I have also been active in encouraging TU support for the recent school/students’ strikes to call for effective action on climate change.

GPTU Update 07/09/2019

It seems unlikely to be able organise a GPTU meeting before Conference (Autumn Conference 2019 - 4-6 October, in Newport at International Convention Centre, Wales ).


GPTU  CONFERENCE MEETING
A GPTU  Conference meeting is booked for 13.30-14.45 on Saturday 5 October, this will be the AGM. Nominations/expressions of interest are invited for the following committee posts:
Chair
Secretary
Treasurer
Membership Secretary
Media Officer
Equalities Officer
Nominees must be members of the Green Party of England and Wales. All posts may be job shares. It is not necessary to attend the AGM to put forward a nomination which should be sent to Peter Murry (GPTU Secretary) at yrrumuk@googlemail.com.

We hope there will be time to discuss the future of GPTU at the AGM.

TUC congress

There will be several fringe meetings on Climate Change at the TUC congress at The Brighton Centre, 8 - 11 September. The Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group fringe will concentrate on building support for the Climate strike 20 September (details at https://www.cacctu.org.uk/climate_strike_20_september), this is also the focus of a UCU (University and College Union) motion to congress. The Greener Jobs Alliance which has just produced an excellent “Trade Union Guide to Just Transition” available FREE at http://www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/courses/

Is also running a fringe about this and wider issues around just transition. Full details of the congress can be found at https://www.tuc.org.uk/congress2019 .
Disputes etc
There are currently Major disputes around redundancies at Tata steel works in Newport where GPEW conference is taking place ( see “Tata Steel to close Newport factory, putting 400 jobs at risk : https://www.theguardian.com  @ByRobDavies Mon 2 Sep 2019) and at The Harland and Wolf shipyard where like the Lucas aerospace workers in the 1970’s , workers want to put their skills to better use (see https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/harland-and-wolff-belfast-occupation-nationalisation-labour-john-mcdonnell-a9071536.html
Even as heavy industry is being battered to bits outsourced workers in service industries are being squeezed down to poverty wages like the striking Medirest staff at Northwick Park Hospital. To whom gptu has sent a message of support (https://greentulondon.blogspot.com/2019/09/hospitals-and-nhs-depend-on-porters.html)

Minutes of 16th May 2019 Zoom meeting


1.   Apologies: , Paul Valentine, Beccy Sawbridge, Martin Childs, Noel Lynch
Present: Sue Tibbles  Martin Francis, Peter Murry

2.   Minutes of Previous Meeting 21 st February 2019
Matters Arising

a)    Martin Francis to investigate GPTU mission statement for social media sites. (Martin thought current statement on GPTU webpage ok)
b)    Martin Francis to contact Conferences Committee re adequate space for stalls at conference and encouraging more TU stalls. (Contacted Louisa Greenbaum but no response)
c)    Use of Glyphosate weedkillers, cancer death reported (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45155788). (See recent US award of damages for Roundup cancer)

4.   a) Membership, 
·       around 200 members. Any members wishing to join GPTU email list, contact Noel Lynch as Paul Valentine currently on tour so might not have time to do this. Noel Lynch to update on numbers.
·       There are still two membership lists

5)    Finances: £1358.04 less a further £25 to Beccy Sawbridge for travelling, paid by Peter Murry. £ 17.04 mistakenly paid from the account should be repaid. (Sue has repaid Pete. Previous error paid back-(refreshments for Trades Council event )no change

6)  Regional Organising:
·       Beccy Sawbridge contacted Roy Sandison to ascertain where there were TULO’s and to increase them if possible….. No reply
·       Beccy Sawbridge to contact GPHQ to get list of party contacts. May be able to start with Kent and London (

·         Beccy congratulated on her election to Dover Town council and Dave Plummer on election to Waltham Forest Council )

7)   General Updates, Solidarity and Outreach Work

a)    Oxford City Council Climate Emergency passed after Labour watering down amendment. Council considering setting up citizens’ assembly
b) UPDATES FROM UCU May 2019

 No sexual harassment week: 10 - 15 June 2019
Further information on a week of focusing on challenging sexual harassment in the workplace, which will take place from 10 to 15 June.
UCU956.html | UCU956.rtf [97kb]


FE fights back: latest wave of action
Further education (FE) members in London took strike action at Lambeth College, New City College, Poplar & Arbour Square this week, and industrial action ballots opened at New City College, Hackney and Croydon College as part of our fight for fair pay. Photos and messages in solidarity with striking members can be viewed at our online wall of support here. Branches and activists are asked to keep tagging their Facebook and Twitter posts with the hashtags #FEFightsBack and #FEpay.

 

c) CACC Trade Union solidarity day with Student Climate Strikes, Friday 24 May, 11 am, Parliament Square.

8.   Trade Union And Workers’ Rights Committee (update on where the Transition Team are up to and a report on the current thinking of Green Left.):
Pete Murry proposing an amendment on this. Members advised to email SOC to support PM’s amendment before 16/05/19 midnight deadline.

9.   GP conference:
As there is a clash with the Green New Deal Panel, look into possible change of GPTU meeting Sunday 9.30 am to 10.30 am or use special interest group vacancy Sunday 18:15-19:30.
Martin Francis to manage text service at Conference.


8.   Updates from Officers:
a)   GPEX: PV has secured an assurance that Brian Heatley will be reimbursed for his expenses for running the Tolpuddle Festival stall. Other helpers always welcome.

b)   London Fed: Meeting on 20 May cancelled because of doing work around European elections.

   9 AOB:
Levellers Day: Sue gave a summary of this year’s event. See Facebook Levellers’ Day.
Oxford Levellers’ Day event,

Trade Union Clean Air Network (TUCAN) meeting 20 June UCU HQ, Carlow Street, Camden, NW1 7LH.
PM emailed info to the lists. Anyone interested in attending to contact UCU Secretary, Janet,

Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) latest newsletter. PM circulated to the list.

LESE Environmental Sustainability and Just transition Network:

Sue to check details.   Encourage GPTU members to put names forward.

   10. Date of next meeting:6th June Zoom discussion if necessary pre Conference on last minute items.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Intergenerational solidarity - Protest songs from three generations - IOE picket line 27 November

Intergenerational solidarity - Protest songs from three generations - IOE picket line 27 November

UCU members in 60 higher education branches are preparing for eight days of strike action from Monday 25 November to Wednesday 4 December over pay, pensions and working conditions. 

We have received the following invitation from UCU at the Institute of Education

The  strike theme on 27th November is 'pensions'. Retired members are especially welcome to join the picket on the IOE concourse from 10am-12pm on 27 November to demonstrate and celebrate intergenerational solidarity through collectively signing protest songs from three generations. Song book and backing track provided

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

TUC LESE update about trade union campaigns

Welcome to our regular update about trade union campaigns

From Sam Gurney, regional secretary and
Laurie Heselden, regional policy and campaigns officer

TUC: LESE is the Trades Union Congress region that is responsible for London, the east and the south east of England, where nearly two million trade union members live and work. Think Norwich across to Oxford, and then down to the Isle of Wight and you will have a rough image of our geography.

As always there is a lot in this bulletin so please feel free to scan down and look at the items that are of most interest to you.

And please cascade this campaign bulletin to trade union colleagues and activists, and urge them to register to receive it directly, by using the registration tool at the end of this bulletin.

Johnson's deal - a disaster for working people

Whether you voted 'remain' or 'leave', decided not to vote in the referendum, or indeed, you were too young to vote at the time, be under no illusion, your employment and trade union rights are under threat.

In Theresa May's deal there was a commitment in the Withdrawal Agreement to retain existing worker's rights and to maintain a 'level playing field' with the EU going forwards. In Johnson's deal the reference to worker's rights has been moved from the binding Withdrawal Agreement to the entirely voluntary Political Declaration. And the government's media line is 'Ministers will make decisions and will be accountable to Parliament for them'. So no worker's rights, or trade union rights, are protected - all is in play, all is in jeopardy!

Johnson has publicly emphasised "UK laws and regulations will potentially diverge from the EU's. That is the point of our exit...."

Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary, and former Brexit Secretary, has said "Once they enter the workplace the British are among the worst idlers in the world..."

Priti Patel, Home Secretary, once said "the government must not underestimate the damage that trade unions are planning and the scale of their abuse of taxpayer's money". That was because we dared to oppose austerity economics and the public spending cuts that have been proven to be so harmful to the UK.

Our paid holidays, rights for part time workers, rights for agency workers, time off for working mums and dads, equal pay for women and limits on working hours, that make life better for millions of people up and down the UK and are all guaranteed in EU law.

If you want to read more about what the TUC is doing to defend worker's rights now and in the future please see https://www.tuc.org.uk/blogs/boris-johnsons-brexit-deal-disaster-working-people

Sam Gurney has been contacting MPs, and meeting MPs with delegations of trade unionists, to emphasise the TUC's position and outline our concerns.
 

Make sure that everyone you know is 'registered to vote'


It now seems very likely that there will be a General Election in December 2019.

It is not an exaggeration to say that woman and men died in the struggle to win the vote for working people. This includes the 18 people killed in the Peterloo Massacre  200 years ago, in August 1819.

If someone is not on the register they cannot vote. Young people and people who move home regularly are the most likely to not to be on the register. So check your family, friends and neighbours.

It takes fewer than 5 minutes to register online and it might make a life time of difference https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Another union win against an outsourcer - GMB members force Mitie to drop plans for redundancies and pay cuts



The GMB is celebrating, and consolidating the organising benefits of, a massive win against giant outsourcing company Mitie. Southern Region GMB said "Mitie  proposed 60 compulsory redundancies and pay cuts to 400 workers at St George's Hospital, in South London. But a 99.6% vote for industrial action, broad support from the community, the local MP, and robust negotiations, stopped a multi-national company in its tracks and saved jobs, pay levels and protected the quality of public services." And the GMB gained 200 new members during the campaign.

And not one, but two more union wins against outsourcers - this time PCS wins twice at a government department, and fights on at another



After three months of indefinite strike action PCS members, who are caterers and work in a government department HQ in Westminster, have won their struggle for the real London living wage. The outsourcing contractor Aramark reached an agreement with the PCS that members working in the kitchens at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy accepted. The PCS branch at BEIS said "WE HAVE WON!! Congratulations to our strikers for an historic and massive win." TUC: LESE visited their lively picket lines many times and arranged for Frances O'Grady to visit too.

And soon after the branch announced it had also won its dispute with outsourcer ISS, this time the members that work as receptionists, security guards, porters and post room staff  members won the real London living wage, better annual leave entitlement and occupational sick pay for the first time.

The prime minister is lyrical about his commitment to the real living wage and world class employment conditions, meanwhile, many people working in government departments and the public sector are denied decent terms and conditions by outsourcers.

Congratulations are  due not just to the strikers, who were brave, principled and ceaselessly upbeat, but also to the reps and wider PCS branch at BEIS, for a fantastic organising and leadership job. @BEIS_PCS_LS

Meanwhile the struggle at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues, this time against Interserve. The members have just been re-balloted and an 82.5% turn-out  voted 100% in favour of further industrial action.  Interserve is seeking to impose job cuts, refuses to pay the real London living wage and refuses to recognise PCS. More details at https://www.pcs.org.uk/news/call-on-foreign-secretary-to-intervene-in-fco-interserve-dispute

Unison members at Frimley Park and Heatherwood hospitals to go on strike to oppose privatisation


Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust plans to privatise up to 1,000 NHS cleaners, caterers, porters, security and estates staff, transfering them to a new ‘wholly owned subsidiary’ company early next year. UNISON has been campaigning against subsidiaries in the NHS believing them to be little more than back-door privatisation of the NHS, a blatant tax-avoidance scheme and massive threat to the long-term pay and conditions of members.

Unison South East organised a series of public demonstrations in the summer and autumn and 99 per cent of Unison members affected have now voted to take strike action.

Steve Torrance, Unison South East regional secretary said: “This ballot sends an important and overwhelming message that hospital bosses can’t afford to ignore. The trust must now take staff's concerns seriously and work with Unison (and other unions involved) to ensure these workers remain directly employed by the NHS. These hard-working hospital staff are some of the lowest paid workers in the health service and feel targeted for a quick saving by their employer. They don’t deserve to have their NHS employment status ripped away just so the trust can avoid paying some tax."

For updates follow Unison South East at @unisonSE and #scraptheWOS and @unisonFhft

Fantastic organising was the foundation of CWU's massive ballot win for industrial action at Royal Mail 


97.1% of  CWU members at Royal Mail voted for strike action, and two further ballots of Parcel Force voted 95% and 94.7% for strike action.

The CWU said "just over a year ago the Royal Mail group and CWU agreed a blueprint for the future, but the new leadership of the company wants to break that agreement. Our members take honour seriously, integrity and pride still matter. The workforce has completely rejected the company's plans to set up a separate parcels business and allow UK postal services and thousands of jobs to wither."

This dispute is about  thousands of jobs, the future of a highly valued universal public service and the integrity and value of industrial relations. CWU  members deserve support from the family of unions and from every community.

Keep up to date with developments on the CWU website at http://cwu.org  and #WeRiseAgain You can print the poster  from the CWU website and display it in your window.

BFAWU's  McStrike campaign takes next step


Young BFAWU  members took strike action at McDonald's  fast food restaurants  in Crayford and Cambridge in 2017, the first strikes in the UK against the multinational, which is notoriously hostile to unions. BFAWU has continued to organise methodically and it has called for street stalls 9 November to be organised outside of McDonald's branches by supporters, in advance of proposed strike action at more restaurants 12 November  2019.

Please stay alert to updates from BFAWU.  https://www.bfawu.org/mcstrike

And TUC: LESE will circulate more information about locations and campaign materials when we have it.

Unions say 'Thomas Cook collapse - never again"

Weak UK company law, incompetent boardroom behaviour, poor management  and government indifference all contributed to the closure of  yet another famous high street name, the loss of thousands of jobs in the UK and many thousands more abroad, 150,000 holiday makers stranded abroad and hundreds of thousands of holidays lost - when Thomas Cook collapsed. Some jobs seem likely to be rescued in the shops but more than 2000 cabin crew lost their jobs, 600 of whom are based in the TUC: LESE region.

Unite is campaigning for this never to happen again and for the workers who are owed money to be paid in full. For details of what you can do to help them go to https://unitetheunion.org/campaigns/thomas-cook-collapse-never-again/

TSSA has condemned the UK government for doing nothing to save Thomas Cook, in stark contrast to the actions of the German and Spanish governments, which intervened to save businesses and jobs.  Read more. 


FBU says - "Communities need to join it and fight to rescue our Fire Services"

Last month we featured Suffolk FBU's campaign to defend fire and rescue services in the county. This month we are featuring Surrey FBU's campaign against 'ludicrous and dangerous' cuts in the county, where it is proposed that 7 fire engines will be lost from night time services and 70 fire fighters post will be lost.

Lee Belsten, Surrey FBU Brigade Secretary said "They are claiming that the service will continue to meet its response times. But Surrey Fire Services cannot meet the standard with the existing resources - and these cuts will only make things worse."

If you live in Surrey please contact your local councillors and MP, and send a message of support to the FBU.

The campaign to defend public services in Surrey can be found at http://www.sosis.org.uk/

And wherever you live stay alert to cuts to the Fire and Rescue Service near you. 

Union members at London Borough of Tower Hamlets vote to defend their terms and conditions

Unison Greater London reports that the LB Tower Hamlets is seeking to implement wide ranging changes to terms conditions including pay scales, working time, on-call payments, annual leave, redundancy, redeployment, overtime, flexitime, shift allowances, grievance and disciplinary procedures - pretty much everything. We have seen a joint union briefing by Unite, Unison and GMB that details the detriments caused by the so called 'Tower Rewards' scheme. Members have rejected the scheme in an indicative ballot. Management has reportedly threatened to use a notorious Section 188 notice dismissing the entire workforce offering the chance to be re-employed on the new terms and conditions.  

Follow https://www.facebook.com/pg/TowerHamletsUnison/posts/
for updates.

Industrial action in universities and colleges near you; UCU, NEU and Unison members deserve your support

How false the government's fake news that 'austerity is over' rings. Union members in further education colleges, and universities, are being forced to take industrial action to win a pay rise and defend the pensions that they have already paid for.

National Education Union members in 25 FE colleges were on strike 17 October, and will be on strike again 5 November, and 20 November.  NEU members in another 16 FE colleges are being re-balloted.  More details at https://neu.org.uk/sixth-form-colleges-ballot-and-strike




The University and College Union has ballots running in FE about pay and in HE  about pensions. More information at https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10372/Give-UCU-a-mandate-to-resolve-the-USS-dispute



Unison members in HE are presently being balloted with the recommendation to reject a 1.8% pay offer. The retail price index of inflation, which is traditionally used for pay claims, in August was 2.6%. So 1.8% is effectively an offer of a real terms pay cut. Doesn't sound like austerity is over - does it?

Prospect members at Science Museum and the Museum of London strike against low pay


Prospect members at the world famous Science Museum went on strike again 23 October opposing a below inflation  pay offer of 1.5%. Workers there have had a real terms pay cut of 10% since 2011. Unfortunately, the institution's world class reputation is built upon low pay for many, the lowest paid of whom earn less than the real London living wage. These eloquent Prospect members say 'We show you tomorrow's world, on yesterday's wages'.

And Prospect members at the Museum of London went on strike 24 October, also seeking a commitment for the lowest paid to receive a basic pay of at least the real London living wage.

Those who visit these prestigious organisations marvel at the quality and dedication of the staff, but few realise that some are paid poverty pay.

Please support  the Prospect members in their struggle.
https://prospect.org.uk/news/prospect-members-at-science-museum-group-announce-new-strike-date-after-talks-fall-short/

GMB members employed by ASDA across the country are receiving redundancy notices. How can you support them?


 
Loyal staff, including many who are GMB members, are being rewarded with cuts to their terms and conditions. Asda has begun a consultation with 3,257 employees in 18 'so called' underperforming stores, singled out as overstaffed relative to their current sales performance.
 
It's not good enough. Asda is a company with a multi-billion pound turn-over. It doesn’t have to do this. Please sign this petition to stand with Asda workers.

USDAW, apparently with Santa's support, says 'Keep your cool and respect shop workers'


Every minute of the working day a shop worker is verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked. USDAW's 'Freedom from Fear' campaign  aims to speak to members, to win the support of the public and to influence both bosses and the government to act to protect shop workers.

Respect for shop workers week will be celebrated 11-17 November. And there are other campaign actions that we can all support detailed at http://www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Freedom-From-Fear 

We have one climate and we all share it - so let's defend it



The October meeting of the TUC LESE’s regional council resolved to publicise the next 'school climate emergency strike', 29 November, and to encourage unions and union branches to find imaginative ways to show support and to join in the action.

Congress 2019 resolved that 'we must keep the pressure up'. The school students have led the way but educators and the trade union movement as a whole must now act to ensure that they do not fight alone'.

In every workplace, company and organisation, there should be a commitment to change and a conversation with workers and unions at the centre, about a green new deal, just transition and quality jobs.

The TUC's thoughts on a just transition for workers can be found at https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/just-transition-greener-fairer-economy

Sexual harassment has no place in the workplace. But every day people across the UK are sexually harassed at work. So sign this petition, and demand radical change

Unions and campaign groups are demanding that the government creates a new law to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Sign the petition and demand that the government takes immediate action:
https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/uk-gov-act-to-prevent-sexual-harassment-at-work

More than half of women have been sexually harassed at work. More than two-thirds of LGBT+ workers have experience sexual harassment in the workplace. But currently, there is no legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent this from happening.
 
We're demanding a new easily enforceable legal duty requiring employers to take all reasonable steps to protect workers from sexual harassment and victimisation.
Our present laws rely on individuals reporting abuse but #ThisIsNotWorking. The onus is on the victim to report offences, which can be isolating, confusing and traumatic. Four out of five workers who have been sexually abused don’t feel able to report the sexual harassment to their employer.

For more information from the TUC about tackling sexual harassment in the workplace please go to: tuc.org.uk/reportit

The reps guide is available at https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/tackling-third-party-abuse-and-harassment
 
Workers who join a union have union reps and legal services that they can call upon, so do urge workers who have not joined a union yet to 'protect themselves and join a union': https://www.tuc.org.uk/join-union

We are a union family - we are a working class family - and we should be proud of ourselves!

This short film captures the spirit, values and resolve of TUC Congress 2019 and the union movement today's thinking about the base we must build from.
https://www.tuc.org.uk/blogs/were-working-class-family-and-we-should-be-proud-ourselves

The TUC's class discrimination report is at https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/building-working-class-power

Help with difficult conversations and with tackling the politics of fear and hate in the workplace, and the community

A new TUC Education e-note has been launched to help you tackle difficult conversations with more confidence. Together, we can build respect for all in our workplaces and build a wider recognition that the smart and principled solutions are the ones proposed by the trade union movement, and not the ones posed by the far-right.

Defending and securing the rights of migrant workers

Amidst all the uncertainty about how, when and whether the UK will withdraw from the European Union, working people need to get on with the hard facts of life that confront them, no more so than migrant workers resident in the UK.

The TUC stands for the rights of all workers. The TUC has published a guide for unions and union reps on the 'EU settlement scheme and supporting EU workers'. It can be found at https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/eu-settlement-scheme-and-supporting-eu-workers

An example of the practical obstacles that migrants can face is explored by 'Maternity Action' in its report about the impact of 'strict government regulations that obliges the NHS to charge some migrants for some NHS care, which can include midwifery services'. The report has collected and examined first-hand testimony from midwives and is available at https://maternityaction.org.uk/midwivesreport/

Building solidarity with Spanish and Portuguese speaking workers and communities in our region


Each September, with the support of the CCOO and CGTP trade union confederations  in Spain and Portugal, and with many community activists in our region, we were pleased to celebrate Amigo Month with a unique blend of song, dancing, music, poetry, politics and solidarity. We have only scratched the surface of the potential of #MesAmigo.

Decent Homes for All



One hundred years ago the 'Addison Act of Parliament' established the framework and concept of council housing in the UK. This year the Stirling Prize, awarded for the project that makes the most significant impact on architecture in the UK, was awarded to the development of new council housing in Norwich. 105 new homes, built directly by the council with secure tenancies at fixed social rents - and they are fantastic homes too.

When Radio 4 asked one of the architects why a social housing project had never won the stirling Prize before she rightly and tellingly said, "because none were being built".

Recent research by the Royal Town Planning Institute suggests that currently two-thirds of local authorities are involved in projects to directly provide new housing. https://www.rtpi.org.uk/knowledge/better-planning/better-planning-housing-affordability/local-authority-direct-provision-of-housing/

But constraints on the way councils can finance new projects are putting a massive handbrake on them. It is time for a national council house building strategy and a new dawn for council housing.

A new campaign tool for your union - and it is free and easy to use

Megaphone UK
Megaphone is a new petition website that is provided by the trade union movement and can be used to support your campaigns.

It is free, easy to use and you can start your own petition.

We think it will work best for local and specifically targeted campaigns. And it can be used to target the person, or body, that the campaign needs to make the decision that will give you the campaign win.

Take a look at the campaign petitions that are already running, sign the petitions you support, and think about how your union might best use Megaphone in future campaigns.

https://www.megaphone.org.uk/

You can help build our trade union communications network

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