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Council staff vote for mass strikes over pensions

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ftony
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Mar 23 2006 10:27

erm, there's nothing on london there!

and of course london's the most important place in the world so there should be something wink

i guess i'll have to get off my arse and find out for myself

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JDMF
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Mar 23 2006 10:29

ooops, sorry embarrassed

ftony
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Mar 23 2006 10:45

don't worry i'll forgive you, in time...

BB
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Mar 23 2006 11:34

City College in Brighton will be hit, along with Portslade community college, according to a local unison rep, although i didn't speak to her myself.

No college for me. tongue

Sickday for miss BB. tongue

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Jacques Roux
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Mar 23 2006 11:59

Yeah lame there is nothing in London.... sad

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Steven.
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Mar 23 2006 12:13

We got this email:

Quote:
I need to get an idea of how much cover we will have in [our dept] if the industrial action goes ahead next week as planned.

... please let [manager] know whether you will be at work, or if you are likely to take action

If I could have information by the end of today (accepting it’s only an indication) I’d be grateful.

Thanks

grin

Some of my co-workers were actually going to do this, but me and another guy pointed out it was outrageous, and in no way should we do it.

ftony
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Mar 23 2006 12:26
Quote:
Yeah lame there is nothing in London...

i emailed london unison so will post again when i find out if anything's happening

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McCormick
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Mar 23 2006 13:02

Steven, spot on - they need to know nothing except that all members are on official strike. All managers do this.

If the strike is called off, it's likely to be Friday at the latest. They are unlikely to go to the wire (Monday).

UNISON Scotland have posted all their rallies, but I couldn't see anything on the national site.

red n black star

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JoeMaguire
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Mar 23 2006 13:37
Steven. wrote:
We got this email:
Quote:
I need to get an idea of how much cover we will have in [our dept] if the industrial action goes ahead next week as planned.

... please let [manager] know whether you will be at work, or if you are likely to take action

If I could have information by the end of today (accepting it’s only an indication) I’d be grateful.

Thanks

grin

Some of my co-workers were actually going to do this, but me and another guy pointed out it was outrageous, and in no way should we do it.

If your union as called strike, then you need not to respond to crap like this, they are breaching an agreement with the union. Also keep a look out for deducted pay.

Barry Kade
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Mar 23 2006 17:43

If we cannot find details of all local rallies in the UK, remember, there will be a picket line at every local town hall.

This is from the Scottish Unison website:

http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/pensions/demos.html

March 28 Strike - Scottish Rallies, venues and times

Aberdeen

March and Rally

10.30 Assemble Rubislaw Terrace Gardens

11.00 March down Union Street

11.45 Rally at Castlegate

Speakers to be confirmed but will include Kate Ramsden and karen Donnelly

Dumfries

Rally organised by Local TUC

11.00 – 12.00 Jay Kays, English Street

Dundee

11.00 Assemble Hilltown Park,

March to City Centre

12.00 Rally with guest speakers,

Rory Malone, and other TU speakers

Edinburgh

Starts 11.30 Rally for 200 to present joint letter to the Scottish Parliament

12.00 Assemble Market Street (New Street end)

12.30 March off along Waverley Bridge,

PrincesSt., Kings Stables Road

13.30 Rally at Ross Bandstand, Princes St Gardens

Glasgow

March

11.30 Assemble Blythswood Square

12.00 March to Glasgow Green via West Regent St, Renfield Street, Union Street, Argyle Street, Queen Street, George Square, High Street, Saltmarket, Glasgow Green

Speakers: Matt Smith, Mike Brider (TGWU), Harry Frew (UCATT) and other TUs, John Keenan (STUC)

Kilmarnock

(To be confirmed)

Probably Rally Kilmarnock Cross 12.30 – 1.30

Inverness

Balloon launch – 85 balloons at Falcon Sq.

(For contact deatils see Unison website)

karmabum
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Mar 23 2006 18:49

For your info - you will probably find that not only town halls but also probation offices throughout London will be picketing their staff, as the probation service union NAPO is linked to Unison and members have voted overwhelmingly (considering their miniscule membership) for strike action.

karmabum
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Mar 23 2006 18:53

Sorry - grim up north - I think I cocked up my profile as my message got posted with your nickname attached to it. I have no idea how that happened and I will try to correct it asap! But I agree, it IS grim up north.

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Ramona
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Mar 23 2006 19:37

Karmabum - it says that under every new user's title, don't worry about it!

Welcome to the boards, by the way smile

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Ramona
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Mar 23 2006 19:43
karmabum wrote:
For your info - you will probably find that not only town halls but also probation offices throughout London will be picketing their staff, as the probation service union NAPO is linked to Unison and members have voted overwhelmingly (considering their miniscule membership) for strike action.

So how are things looking in your workplace? Will people there be on strike, or are there similar problems to what other posters have mentioned (i.e. management trying to organise "cover", people not wanting to get behind on a day's work etc)? Does NAPO cover prisons too, now prisons and probation are all merged under the NOMS scheme?

Vaneigemappreci...
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Mar 23 2006 19:53

just a quick question...i dont think that PCS are striking on tuesday, while i'm not a member they are the union at my workplace, now my deptartment is actually closing down very soon and some of the people at work are being kept on in other departments, only management havent siad whole be staying on despite the very short period before the department closes, now obviously me striking would probably dent my chances of further employment but does anyone know where the law stands, could i get my stay cut short for going on strike in a department which isnt striking? Could i say that SolFed is my union and claim they were striking or would the union have to have government recognition? Any advice would be welcome, if theyre gonna sack me then i'll have to strike under the guise of pulling a sickie!

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Lazy Riser
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Mar 23 2006 20:06

Hi

I've been looking into this lately. There is no simple answer, but to avoid dismissal you need statutory immunity...

Quote:
Tests for determining whether there is "statutory immunity"

When a trade union or individual calls for, threatens to call for, or otherwise organises industrial action a number of tests must be satisfied if the union, or other person, calling for or organising the action are to have the protection of the statutory immunities. In summary, immunity will apply only where:

There is a trade dispute, and the action is called in contemplation or furtherance of that dispute.

A trade union which calls for, or otherwise organises, the action has first held a properly conducted secret ballot.

A trade union which calls for, or otherwise organises, the action has provided the required notice of official industrial action to employers likely to be affected, following the ballot.

The action is not "secondary action" (unless the act is a call for such industrial action made in the course of peaceful picketing at a picket's own place of work as the law allows).

The action is not intended to promote union closed shop practices, or to prevent employers using non-union firms as suppliers.

The action is not in support of any employee dismissed while taking unofficial industrial action.

The action does not involve unlawful picketing.

http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/union/employers-pl870.htm

Love and peace etc

LR

karmabum
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Mar 23 2006 20:26

People will be on strike at my office - I'm picketing from 8.30. Management have indeed put the pressure on by asking who will be striking, immediately putting the wind up anyone who was dithering. We WILL be losing a day's pay and we have no strike fund to on, but management have generously allowed that it will not count as a break in service.

It's hard choice to make to strike when you work with real people, because their lives don't go away for a day, and staffing levels are so poor with under-staffing as a policy, and many staff off with stress/depression, so a day off is merely a day's postponement. Picketing will be grim, as NAPO members are outnumbered by non-members who nevertheless benefit from anything the members manage to squeeze out of the govt, and we are very low-paid compared to even other local govt workers so even the union members aren't keen to lose a days pay.

There are NAPO members in the prisons but they are probation officers, not prison officers. There's a subtle difference between probation and prison staff in that prison officers are civil servants (when they're not private sector employees as in the prisons which have been farmed out to private security companies) and probation officers are local govt employees. We're caught between a rock and a hard place, because we are also governed by the Home Office, so we get the thin end of whichever wedge is smallest. It's all part of the New Labour conspiracy to privatise the whole criminal justice system. I could go on forever about that.

Many people don't seem to get the point about striking - ever since the 80's and Thatcher's very successful campaign to appeal to the selfish side of human nature, the 'Im alright Jack' attitude is well engrained in the minds of most. I'm an old old person, scarily well-able to remember the winter of discontent, 4 day weeks, power cuts every week, rats on the pavements etc and I can honestly say it was all accepted surprisingly well and in good humour by most people I knew. Nowadays it seems that the slightest inconvenience is considered an outrage, why should anyone care about anyone else's working conditions? They should get another job if they don't like it, or be grateful they've got a job at all, apparently. It's a sad sad time, but it's great to see so many people on your site so supportive and so full of energy and enthusiasm to fight for good working conditions.

admin edit - I put in some paragraphs to make it easier on the eye!

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Ramona
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Mar 23 2006 20:39
Quote:
It's a sad sad time, but it's great to see so many people on your site so supportive and so full of energy and enthusiasm to fight for good working conditions.

Good to hear - we're not all as hardened and cynical as I thought wink

Quote:
We WILL be losing a day's pay and we have no strike fund to on, but management have generously allowed that it will not count as a break in service.

Can you explain what that means?

Sounds like you're going to have a hard job on Tuesday, but I'm impressed that some people are coming out. Of the people striking, do you think many will turn up and picket, or just stay away?

About people not getting the point of striking - I agree that seems pretty common - when I was picketing my college during the HE strike, the students that were around didn't seem to get the idea of a picket line at all, there was no notion that you don'tcross it, or that it mattered at all.

karmabum
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Mar 23 2006 20:53

zobag - if you mean what does a break in service mean - a day off work without management approval is a break in service ie you went AWOL and management usually use that as a damn good reason to stop your pension rights. They say you stopped working on the day you went on strike and therefore your pension stops on that day. Then they start it up again on the day you go back to work. It's great from their point of view because they can say your last period of employment before retirement was however many years less than it actually was coz they just count it from the day you came back from strike action. See, they get you at every turn. But it's not worth their while to get snotty about a well-supported one day strike - it would cause too much unrest and publicity.

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Ramona
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Mar 23 2006 21:18

Fucking hell that's a bit harsh, I had no idea! They can seriously do that, just for one day?!

lucy82
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Mar 23 2006 21:50
Quote:
Management have indeed put the pressure on by asking who will be striking, immediately putting the wind up anyone who was dithering.

this is obviously a universal tactic. and there was me thinking it was just my manager who didn't quite understand what 'strike' meant (as if i'm supposed to give a shit about 'cover'). afaik hes the only one coming in on tuesday. i'm thinking he'll choose to work elsewhere.. but then hes making enough money not to need his final salary pension too badly. at least he can buy an alternative.

Quote:
We WILL be losing a day's pay and we have no strike fund to on, but management have generously allowed that it will not count as a break in service.

we've been told some people are exempt from striking by UNISON but Eric at my work whose got a retirement date says if there is a picket line he still won't cross it, he says he will ring in sick instead. old school 8)

Quote:

Fucking hell that's a bit harsh, I had no idea! They can seriously do that, just for one day?!

yep, like karmabum says. but they probably won't.

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Lazy Riser
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Mar 23 2006 21:51

Hi

Quote:
They can seriously do that, just for one day?!

I wouldn't have thought so under statutory immunity rules. Hence...

Quote:
but management have generously allowed that it will not count as a break in service

Love

LR

lucy82
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Mar 23 2006 21:53

no they can. but the unions have exempted people who might be 'got' under break in service from striking

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Lazy Riser
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Mar 23 2006 21:54

Hi

Quote:
yep, like karmabum says

Seriously? Too much. I'm shocked.

Love

LR

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Lazy Riser
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Mar 23 2006 21:57

Hi

So say they choose to do this. What are the actual implications on your final pension pay out?

Love

LR

lucy82
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Mar 23 2006 21:59

i think the pickets are going to be thin on the ground around salford housing offices though. bar one person, everyone in my office is striking but everyone is treating it as a day for a trip round the trafford centre. lots of people have booked monday off as leave for a nice long weekend. bit depressing really that the pickets likely to be just me and our resident witch who drives me insane but is unfortunately also unison steward...

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Ramona
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Mar 23 2006 22:01

So people who might be "got", have to go in to work (or phone in sick)? That's really awful.

As for the management universal tactics - yeah seeing as Steven., Lucy82 and karmabum have all had this, is there some way all managers would have been informed to do this? Or are they all good at being bastards by default?

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Steven.
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Mar 23 2006 22:04
zobag wrote:
So people who might be "got", have to go in to work (or phone in sick)? That's really awful.

As for the management universal tactics - yeah seeing as John., Lucy82 and karmabum have all had this, is there some way all managers would have been informed to do this? Or are they all good at being bastards by default?

Nah they would've been told. My manager thought maybe because she was a manager she wasn't allowed to strike, despite being a Unison member. Said she was going to ask the union if she was allowed. I tried to say, like yes, this is a Unison strike!

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Ramona
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Mar 23 2006 22:06

So I guess the managers are being strongly encouraged not to strike then. it would figure...

lucy82
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Mar 23 2006 22:08
Quote:
So say they choose to do this. What are the actual implications on your final pension pay out?

your pensions based on continuous service (you can move from local authority to local authority but not say from l.a to private sector and back ) so in theory if you have a break through strike action it affects your years of service. its something of an issue for us (not because of the strike) but because we were l.a employed but now as almo employees we had to be tuped over and when the housing stock goes to companies amongst other things we have to be tuped back into the city council for a short period so we can be tuped over to our new employers (whatever company ends up with us) to protect our pensions.