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IWW and NUJ dispute with Tommy Sheridan + other MSP

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Steven.
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Nov 27 2006 18:01
IWW and NUJ dispute with Tommy Sheridan + other MSP

Just seen this:

Quote:
Message to all trade unionist and members of the wider labour movement.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), employed through the Scottish Parliament as Caseworkers, Researchers and Parliamentary Assistant's for the SSP group are now involved in an industrial dispute with Tommy Sheridan MSP and Rosemary Byrne MSP.

After two months of negotiations the dispute has been officially sanctioned by the National Executive Council of the NUJ. It is also fully supported by the IWW.

• The dispute has been caused because the two MSPs have ripped up a collective agreement with the workers and have unilaterally broken a contract agreed to in May 2005.

• On the 18th November 2006 the National Executive Council of the Union gave full backing to the workers involved in the dispute. Workers in the NUJ Chapel will now be asking for support from the wider labour and trade union movement. This dispute needs to be settled quickly before the eleven workers involved face the prospect of being issued with redundancy notices.

• In 2005 the SSP Group and SSP Parliamentary Workers signed a collective agreement where individual workers would no longer be employed by individual MSPs. Money was taken from each of the MSP’s Allowances and deposited in a collective pool to pay workers wages. From that date workers were employed under a joint contract of employment with all the MSPs.

• Three months ago Tommy Sheridan MSP and Rosemary Byrne MSP resigned from the Scottish Socialist Party and the Parliamentary Group. They then withdrew £24,000, previously deposited into the pooled resources of the Group. This was done with the connivance of the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body who had originally advised all parties in how to set up the contract in the first place.

• By withdrawing this money from the pool Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne have breached their contract of employment with the workers. The shortfall means that there will not be enough funds to pay workers their wages for March and April 2007. Effectively Sheridan and Byrne are forcing workers into redundancy. They have rejected offers to solve this dispute and come to an agreement that would mean the continued employment of all the workers involved. They have refused to replace the money from their allowances to pay workers they previously employed.

• To comply with employment legislation the SSP Group may be forced to issue redundancy notices within the next month. This will make eleven workers unemployed in February 2007.Two months before their contract would normally finish.

• The contract was agreed after taking advice and direction from the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB). Whilst the Chapel recognise the main dispute is with Sheridan and Byrne who have broken their contract of employment with the workers. The Chapel also believe that the Scottish Parliament must recognise and take responsibility for their role in the process which has led to the current situation.

• Although the remaining SSP MSPs who make up the group may be put in the intolerable situation of issuing redundancy notices the NUJ members are in no doubt who has caused the situation. They are in no doubt who their dispute is with. They are in no doubt who can resolve the situation.

• Rosemary Byrne and Tommy Sheridan must put aside petty political squabbles and honour their agreed contract with the workers. Workers are suffering as a consequence of their intransigence. It is ironic that the two MSP boast about their support for trade unions and workers in struggle when they are riding roughshod over the pay and conditions of trade union members.

• The NUJ Chapel in the Parliament would like to make it clear that they this is not about the political differences the two MSPs have with the SSP. This is purely a trade dispute. It is about guaranteeing the pay and conditions of workers. It’s about ensuring collective agreements are honoured.

This dispute needs the support of the wider movement. The NUJ Chapel have appealed to trade unionists and supporters.

To send messages of support nujspchapel@hotmail.co.uk

Davy Landels, 34 George Street Paisley, PA1 2JY

Sign the on-line petition:- http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/nujspchapel

Messages of protest should be sent to

Tommy Sheridan MSP, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP
tommy.sheridan.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

Rosemary Byrne MSP, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP
rosemary.byrne.mspf@scottish.parliament.uk

George Reid MSP (Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament) Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP
presidingofficers@scottish.parliament.uk

anyone know any more?

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McCormick
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Nov 27 2006 21:31

www.iww.org.uk for the best coverage of this dispute.

odd
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Nov 27 2006 23:08

That is not the best coverage, that is the coverage from some of the SSP members who are using the IWW branch and the NUJ Chapel for sectarian political purposes.

The so called NUJ quote is from one the SSP members who is "Father" of the chapel and represents the SSP members who are using this (non) dispute to continue their personal crusade against Sheridan and Byrne.

The NUJ national executive DO NOT support their case against Sheridan and Byrne, they are assisting in trying to negotiate a settlement. Below is a statement to Solidarity members from their National Secretary Graeme McIver. I think the most striking thing is that there was a vacant post when this "dispute" started and they went ahead and filled it, knowing that post was unsustainable, and the fact that Sheridan and Bryne are paying £1300 per month each towards the loan that bought the SSPs headquarters. Doesnt sound much like people who are being unreasonable to me. £2,600 of their own money is quite a gesture to a party you no longer belong to.

There is a possibility of one, possibly one and a half, jobs being lost, not eleven like the site claims. Why cant the SSP, who claim to have 2,300 members, raise enough tp pay for that member of staff, Solidarity's workers are lay members, volunteering, apart from two.

The sad SSP have nothing left except the "Tommy is a bastard" campaign or the "It's not fair" tactic. The IWW should not be used in this way by these sectarian stalinists. Pathetic!

SOLIDARITY in the Parliament
Members Bulletin - Graeme McIver
National Secretary,
Solidarity, Scotland's Socialist Movement

Tommy and Rosemary asked me to include information for SOLIDARITY members in this week’s bulletin informing them of the position regarding staff at the parliament and negotiations with The SSP.

Both MSP’s felt it was important to state the position as we see it following an article that appeared on the website of The International Workers of The World (IWW) Union website critisising both Tommy and Rosemary for “betraying” parliamentary staff.

The article has since been reproduced on various other left wing forums and websites.

The article claims that because of our MSP’s withdrawal from the staffing pool previously agreed with The SSP, all of the SSP’s 11 parliamentary staff now face redundancy.

The article by a Manny Neira is entitled; “Tommy Sheridan betrays his own workers.”
It claims that both Tommy and Rosemary fund their own parliamentary work from the “pockets” of SSP staff and that “these self proclaimed champions of the Scottish working class” have treated workers unfairly.
The article goes on to request that trade unionists write to Tommy, Rosemary and The Scottish Parliament to register their “anger” at the treatment of staff. (Some of whom are IWW Trade Union members.)
Whilst the IWW is entitled to represent their members in the parliament during negotiations over employment issues they have no right to misrepresent and distort the issues involved.
SOLIDARITY pres and media co-ordinator Jim Monaghan e-mailed the Union and asked them to remove the article as it contains many factual inaccuracies.
In his e-mail Jim said:
“No-one at IWW has contacted any of the two MSPs who are being accused for a reply or comment on this issue. The writer fails to supply the full facts, and it is a twisted version of events to say the least…
…For a union to attack two socialist MSPs with a proud record in workers campaigns is unprecedented and a very serious mistake, in my opinion. The headline is an insult and, in fact, highly inaccurate.

I think the IWW website is being used as part of a personal campaign against two individuals and for the personal benefit of one or two workers who are using the IWW name to add weight to a flimsy case.”

The IWW responded by saying they stood by the article and would not remove it from their website.

We therefore think that SOLIDARITY members deserve to hear our side of the story in this case.

Without wishing to revisit the arguments for why a split emerged within the SSP that led to the emergence of SOLIDARITY it is important to look at some of the facts.

Rosemary Byrne has conducted the negotiations on behalf of SOLIDARITY.

Rosemary told me:
Prior to the official split from The SSP we received an e-mail from the SSP’s staff union rep stating that the staff would no longer work with myself or Tommy. (This was passed at a union meeting, not all staff attended.)
This followed a press conference where 3 of The SSP MSP’s had already stated that they would no longer work with Tommy.
When the decision was take to split from the SSP a number of things were taken into consideration.
Our first move was to write to Colin Fox seeking withdrawal from the staff pool, I stated that I would pay the full time wages of the full time staff transferring to SOLIDARITY thus fulfilling my obligation.

We then offered to continue to pay another SSP member of staff in the short term and for Tommy’s caseworker to be transferred to Rosie Kane MSP (who had a vacancy for a caseworker) in order to enable Tommy to take on a new member of staff.

It should be remembered that during the court case it emerged that Tommy and his caseworker had virtually no contact during the previous 18 month – 2-year period.

The next correspondence was to offer to take on one fulltime equivalent P.A. and the same offer as before regarding the caseworkers position.

To make this offer more acceptable we offered a Socialist grouping in the Parliament with the SSP, which would have secured Colin's regular First Ministers Questions, their place on the management bureau and other advantages.

We made what we considered to be a very generous offer in a bid to make the separation as amicable as possible.

We would have employed 2 part time members of staff to help us with administration work and would not have asked them to change their political allegiance.

We would continue to pay half of our wages to The SSP to pay the mortgage on the Stanley Street headquarters.

This offer was not responded to.

It has since emerged that the SSP have employed a caseworker for Rosie Kane and therefore do not agree to the transfer of Tommy’s caseworker into this position.

The SSP wish for us to make payments to parliamentary staff not directly employed by us, and who refuse to work for us, however the Parliament Allowances Staff told both us and the SSP that this would be a breach of rules.

The parliament will not allow MSP’s to use taxpayer’s money to pay for staff that they do not directly employ.

Tommy continues to be billed for printing machines and rent at the Stanley Street Offices that are paid for by our salaries.

By the time the parliamentary session comes to an end next year, Tommy and myself will have contributed more in terms of wages to our former party than 3 out of the 4 Scottish Socialist MSP’s who pay considerably less than the agreed workers wage.

We have offered compromises that would employ staff despite them not being members of our party.

How this situation has now reached the stage where Tommy and I are being accused of effectively putting 11 jobs in jeopardy is beyond me.”

It is the hope of everyone in SOLIDARITY that an accommodation can be reached in this case that will satisfy all sides. We would also prefer for negotiations to take place away from the pages of hostile and anti trade union newspapers and broadcast media.

However, damaging and inaccurate stories like the one appearing on the IWW website hamper this process.

Nobody in SOLIDARITY needs to take lessons from anyone about standing up for trade union and workers rights.

Both Tommy and Rosemary have an absolutely magnificent record of doing just that and so have the scores of active trade unionists who have joined our party since our formation.

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JDMF
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Nov 28 2006 08:25

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Serge Forward
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Nov 28 2006 08:56

OK, thanks for the popcorn.

I personally couldn't give a flying fuck about the SSP or Solidarity SSM, but the bottom line here is that two of the employers have reneged on working and collective agreements between themselves and their workers. End of story.

ftony
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Nov 28 2006 11:31
Quote:
I personally couldn't give a flying fuck about the SSP or Solidarity SSM, but the bottom line here is that two of the employers have reneged on working and collective agreements between themselves and their workers. End of story.

couldn't agree more. this is an issue between workers and employers. no-one cares about Solidarity's little tiff with the SSP and vice versa. so i suggest odd stops turning an industrial dispute into a political dispute - trolls aren't welcome here, and nor are personal vendettas or power feuds. this whole 'you hate our tommy' thing is getting really really boring.

ftony
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Nov 28 2006 11:47

on a side note...

Quote:
Nobody in SOLIDARITY needs to take lessons from anyone about standing up for trade union and workers rights.

Both Tommy and Rosemary have an absolutely magnificent record of doing just that

what, even when sheridan denounced and then threatened to grass up the poll tax rioters?

[sorry i know that was below the belt but i couldn't help it grin ]

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the button
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Nov 28 2006 11:49
ftony wrote:
on a side note...

Quote:
Nobody in SOLIDARITY needs to take lessons from anyone about standing up for trade union and workers rights.

Both Tommy and Rosemary have an absolutely magnificent record of doing just that

what, even when sheridan denounced and then threatened to grass up the poll tax rioters?

[sorry i couldn't help it grin ]

Yeah, you beat me to it.

It's a shame we don't have an SSP troll, because then I could talk about the SP-supporting full-time officials in my old union ordering strikers back to work. grin

ftony
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Nov 28 2006 11:58

good old parliamentary socialists, you gotta love 'em.

BB
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Nov 28 2006 12:01
odd wrote:
Both MSP’s felt it was important to state the position as we see it following an article that appeared on the website of The International Workers of The World (IWW) Union website critisising both Tommy and Rosemary for “betraying” parliamentary staff.

Are you sure you went to the right site? Do you even now who you are dealing with.

Oh yeah, ftony and TB ye got there before me!

ftony
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Nov 28 2006 12:22
Quote:
Both MSP’s

and they've got terrible terrible grammar. if this was an official release by Solidarity, they really should get someone in who is able to research fully and write proper English.

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the button
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Nov 28 2006 12:31
ftony wrote:
Quote:
Both MSP’s

and they've got terrible, terrible grammar. if this was an official release by Solidarity, they really should get someone in who is able to research fully and write proper English.

tongue

ftony
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Nov 28 2006 12:56

poo you you poo -

that was a post on an internet forum, and i was referring to an *official* release by a political party to its membership and the wider public

god i hate pedants [/self-loathing mode]

odd
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Nov 28 2006 13:27

hi i just thought that some of you would like to see both sides of the argument,obviously not for some.does the bottom line mean that some of you talk out of your arse.

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Refused
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Nov 28 2006 13:36
odd wrote:
does the bottom line mean ...arse.

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the button
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Nov 28 2006 13:37

While you're here, what do you make of the reports in yesterday's Scotsman about Sheridan being "in negotiations" to appear on the next Celebrity Big Brother?

http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=1521&id=1754462006

ftony
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Nov 28 2006 14:13
odd wrote:
i just thought that some of you would like to see both sides of the argument

not meaning to have a go, but there are indeed two sides of the argument: the workers' side, and the bosses' side.

Jason Cortez
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Nov 28 2006 15:19

grin

ftony
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Nov 29 2006 10:30

yo

on a more serious note, if you have some time, please do write/send an email to TS and RB about this. we have proforma letters/emails if you're lazy like me:

nice person wrote:
I'm writing as a of the Industrial Workers of the World, the One Big Union. I'm writing in support of my fellow workers, members of the IWW Job Branch in the Scottish Parliament who are employed by the Scottish Socialist Party parliamentary group. Last year the IWW was proud to offer support and solidarity to these same workers whose wages were threatened by draconian action taken by the Scottish Parliament which amounted to collective punishment following protest action taken by their employers.

I am therefore angered to hear that these workers' wages and livelihoods are again under threat because of your breach of contract by withdrawing monies set aside by you for salaries as part of your obligations to these workers.

I have no interest in your political differences with other members of the SSP Parliamentary Group.

I do however wish to protest at your actions against these workers which are abhorrent to any activist involved in workers' struggle.

I fully support the workers' demands which are:

» Retention of all 10 FTE jobs until the May 2007 Scottish Parliament elections

» NO redundancies

» NO pay cuts

» Acknowledgement of, and adherence to contractual obligations towards ALL staff employed by the original 6-member SSP Parliamentary Group

I join them in their demands and urge you to remove the threat to these workers' livelihoods by acknowledging and adhering to your contractual obligations, and by restoring the money which you removed from their salary pool.

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the button
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Nov 29 2006 15:56

Apologies for C&P....

Quote:
Statement from the NEC of the NUJ

The SSP staff chapel at the Scottish Parliament has issued a deadline of
this Friday (1st December) for management officials and the two MSPs who
unilaterally withdrew from a collective agreement covering
staff salaries, to offer an acceptable formula to make good on the
financial shortfall which has created the threat of redundancy for
eleven NUJ members of the chapel.

Scottish National Organiser, Paul Holleran is seeking further
information from all sides in the dispute, but says he is making
progress towards a settlement.

This is in line with the call from the NUJ National Executive earlier
this month. The NEC wholeheartedly and solidly backed the chapel in
their fight to secure their jobs. It called on the National Organiser
to negotiate on behalf of the chapel with the two MSPs, Tommy Sheridan
and Rosemary Byrne and with the Parliamentary Corporate Body, with a view
to securing a settlement that lifts the threat of redundancy from the
SSP staff.

Pete Murray
Scottish Representative
NUJ National Executive Council

Jason Cortez
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Nov 30 2006 23:16

odd

Quote:
The NUJ national executive DO NOT support their case against Sheridan and Byrne, they are assisting in trying to negotiate a settlement.

and

Quote:
This is in line with the call from the NUJ National Executive earlier this month. The NEC wholeheartedly and solidly backed the chapel in their fight to secure their jobs. It called on the National Organiser to negotiate on behalf of the chapel with the two MSPs, Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne and with the Parliamentary Corporate Body, with a view to securing a settlement that lifts the threat of redundancy from the SSP staff.

odd you seem to be confused, or are you saying that the NUJ is going to shaft the workers (i.e. you are privvy to information you aren't sharing?), which you would obviously support on the basis that the bosses are Socialists.

ftony
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Dec 1 2006 10:39

appropriate name, odd...

odd
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Dec 1 2006 12:30

whatever the outcome the nuj will not see it as they shafted the workers,come come when do unions ever see things that way.as for the workers/bosses surely when a worker chooses not to work,then it is them ,that have broken their own employment contract.a contract that was with C.leckie ssp msp,so she is the only boss.
i dont care what goes on with the ssp or solidarity,and this is just typical of parliamentary socialists,wanting to hang on to their little bit of power.typical really as its not as if a capitalistic world isn't a big enough fight,they have to fight amongst themselves.as to being privvy to information im not sharing,get real,this is an open forum,and i do not support the bosses,whoever/whatever they are.

ftony
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Dec 1 2006 16:18
Quote:
whatever the outcome the nuj will not see it as they shafted the workers,come come when do unions ever see things that way.

what on earth does that mean?

Quote:
surely when a worker chooses not to work,then it is them ,that have broken their own employment contract

WHAT THE FUCK. :?

a) who said there was going to be a strike?
b) that's precisely the argument that bosses/the media use to de-legitimise industrial action.

you do realise this is a lefty forum don't you?

Quote:
i dont care what goes on with the ssp or solidarity

wait a second, a few days ago you said:

Quote:
the SSP members are using the IWW branch and the NUJ Chapel for sectarian political purposes.

The so called NUJ quote is from one the SSP members who is "Father" of the chapel and represents the SSP members who are using this (non) dispute to continue their personal crusade against Sheridan and Byrne.

[...blah...]

There is a possibility of one, possibly one and a half, jobs being lost, not eleven like the site claims. Why cant the SSP, who claim to have 2,300 members, raise enough tp pay for that member of staff, Solidarity's workers are lay members, volunteering, apart from two.

The sad SSP have nothing left except the "Tommy is a bastard" campaign or the "It's not fair" tactic.

notice any contradictions there?

and finally:

Quote:
i do not support the bosses,whoever/whatever they are.

then you should support the workers. plain and simple.

odd
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Dec 1 2006 18:46
Quote:
then you should support the workers. plain and simple.

does this mean that ive got to support any and all workers,like the nazi concentration guards,they were empolyed by someone,the agents of the state,indeed all the workers that enable the repressive state to exist.there is such a thing as individual responsiblity,and i for one will not support those that abuse,and repress others,whether they be bosses or workers in the employ of these bosses.as for the workers invovled in the ssp/solidarity thing,how do you know that they are'nt colluding,with their ssp bosses,and using the nuj/iww.

The Builder
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Dec 1 2006 22:58

This is the same Tommy Sheridan who led the Anti Poll tax movement in Scotland, providing a model for the wider British Resistance to this which finally brought down the Thatcher Govt.?

This guy can be caught pants down eating babies in the name of Satan and I'd still fucking support him

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Serge Forward
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Dec 1 2006 23:36

So his 'socialist credentials' entitle him to fuck over the workers, right? Anyway, some of us were around at the time and haven't yet lost our memories. Sheridan was a grass then. Now he's just another dodgy employer.

The Builder
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Dec 1 2006 23:52
Serge Forward wrote:
So his 'socialist credentials' entitle him to fuck over the workers, right? Anyway, some of us were around at the time and haven't yet lost our memories. Sheridan was a grass then. Now he's just another dodgy employer.

Nope. His proven ability to help end a fascist regime gets my support.

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Serge Forward
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Dec 1 2006 23:53

Nope... you've lost me now.

The Thatcher regime was not fascist - though it had some similar charcteristics. But to label it fascist is just sloppy. Anyway, I was under the impression that it was the mass non-payment campaign, the anti-bailiff tactics and action on the streets that saw the old sow off. Thanks for setting the record straight. What an amazing guy that Tommy Sheridan must be! He can shaft me at work anytime.

The Builder
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Dec 2 2006 00:04

Nope... you've lost me now.

The Thatcher regime was not fascist - though it had some similar charcteristics.

Picky

But to label it fascist is just sloppy. Anyway, I was under the impression that it was the mass non-payment campaign, the anti-bailiff tactics and action on the streets that saw the old sow off. Thanks for setting the record straight. What an amazing guy that Tommy Sheridan must be! He can shaft me at work anytime

As I said before Sheridan was one of the first organizers of that; why do you guys drop a comrade at the first sign of trouble?

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Serge Forward
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Dec 2 2006 00:09

Many of us dropped him years ago when he nicely offered to grass everyone up after the trafalgar square anti-poll tax shindig.