Tag Archive for protest

Council workers demand fair pay!

Sara Huntingford, assistant branch secretary of Unison Nottingham City and Socialist Party member on megaphone

Nottingham City UNISON, UNITE and GMB held a protest yesterday against the 1% pay rise that has been offered to local government workers. Many council workers are low paid and have had, in effect, a pay cut of 18% over the last few years.

Adrian Piction, senior steward for UNISON and Socialist Party member speaks to protest

Adrian Piction, senior steward for UNISON and Socialist Party member speaks to protest

As well as this, workers at Nottingham City have had their increments frozen, meaning that some of the lowest paid in the council are earning below a living wage.

Unison have been demanding fair pay – an £1 an hour increase for all workers.

Nottingham City Unison branch also have an agreed position of calling on the Labour-controlled council to refuse to pass on the cuts and set a balanced, no-cuts budget using their reserves and borrowing powers whilst building a mass campaign to demand more money from central government.

The Socialist Party supports this position and argues that if Labour are not prepared to do this, in next year’s council elections we should stand candidates who are prepared to stand and fight!

 

 

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Teachers ‘inspect the inspectors’!

Photo0117[1]Stand Up For Education coaltion, involving teachers from NUT and NASUWT unions, have been protesting in Nottingham against Ofsted after 6 schools in Nottingham were suddenly put into special measures.

The unions see this as a politically motivated attack on the schools in Nottingham in an attempt to push for more free schools and academies. Even schools that received over 88% in their teaching were deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

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After a protest in December under the banner “Hands Off our Schools”, teachers went into Ofsted offices to ‘inspect the inspectors’, to question who they were accountable to and to demand they can look at the data collected from the schools in Nottingham.

Ofsted did not allow the teachers in to inspect – a luxury that schools don’t have when they are faced with constant inspections! They have agreed to a meeting with the unions, however, which would not have happened without these protests.

The Socialist Party demands that Ofsted is abolished. Bullying and target-setting are not ways to provide decent education. We also demand an end to and reversal of privatisation and for schools to be run democratically by elected representatives, subject to recall, including school teachers and non-teaching staff, parents, local trade unionists, community organisations and secondary school students. For more info on our demands around education, see: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/campaign/Education/Ofsted/17569

Young campaigners holding protest fortnight of action against government cuts

Young people from the campaign Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) have organised a fortnight of action against government cut-backs. In towns up and down the country there will be protests to stop the attacks on education, job opportunities and benefits.

In Nottingham, there will be a protest to bring back EMA (Educational Maintenance Allowance) in the Market Square at 12pm on Tuesday 16th October. There will also be a lobby of Poundland (Clumber Street) on Thursday 18th October at 12pm against the company’s participation in the government’s ‘workfare’ scheme – where young people are forced to work 30 hours a week for their 56.25 Job Seekers Allowance.

Starting on Saturday 13th October and ending on Saturday 27th October, the fortnight of action will incorporate the TUC’s ‘March for a Future that Works’ in London on 20th October, where YFJ will be joining hundreds of thousands of trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners in a united demonstration against austerity.

The campaign is also holding an open meeting on Wednesday 24th October at the ICC (YMCA), Mansfield Road at 7pm, with speakers including student activists, young campaigners and trade unionists.

Rich Redmore, YFJ activist in Nottingham, said:

These protests come a week after the Tory Party conference where young people have been offered more years of austerity. Not content with pricing many of us out of education and watching the unemployment rate rise, they now want to take away our ability to live independently by cutting housing benefit for under-25’s.

We will not sit back and allow this government of millionaires to take away our future. We urge all young people, trade unionists, community campaigners and everyone else angry at the coalition’s cuts to join our fortnight of action.”

This action is supported by Nottinghamshire Trades Council, who have encouraged their affiliated members to support the protests. 

Save the DVLA: successful strike at Nottingham office

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) took strike action today against government plans to close all 39 of the DVLA local offices, 10 enforcement centres and 3 processing centres. This would mean there would be no face-to-face services for DVLA customers and would also mean 1,200 job losses.

PCS points out that the government is making these cuts as part of their austerity measures but that it is a false economy. Not only will it put more people on to the dole queue but will also mean a rise in vehicle excise duty evasion which will cost the exchequer tens of millions each year.

In Nottingham, PCS members walked out at 3pm, taking 2 hours of strike action to defend the local office. This is the start of a month of rolling action by PCS in the Department for Transport (DfT).

Jan Watts, DfT Midlands branch secretary, spoke to the Socialist Party:

“It’s been a fantastic success here. All members have walked out apart from two managers. So I’m really proud of every one.

“We’re doing this today because we’re all under attack. It will mean that everything will need to be done via the post or the internet, which we don’t think is a viable service for the public. And also, putting another 1,200 people out of work in this economic climate is completely nonsensical.”

Check out pcs.org.uk/dvlapcs for updates and sign the petition at savethedvla.co.uk

Mass walkout at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station against victimisation

Over 600 construction workers walked out of Ratcliffe on Soar power station this morning in protest against the suspension of Unite health and safety rep Jason Poulter.

Those walking out included electricians, pipe fitters, scaffolders and welders. Later today the night-shift workers are also going to refuse to work. This effected several companies on site with workers employed by Spie WHS, Dewson Babcocks, Alstom, FB Taylors, Howdens, Cape and C&D downing tools.

The walkout was planned by a recent national meeting of rank and file sparks, and was supported by members of the National Shop Stewards Network and the Socialist Party. Also at the protest was expelled Ucatt member Mick Dooley.

Jason was suspended by management six weeks ago for carrying out his trade union duties, an action that workers believe was taken in revenge for their success in defeating the Building Engineering Services National Agreement (Besna) which would have reduced pay and attacked terms and condtions.

This is just the first step in the campaign to reinstate Jason and what a start! Today’s protest has sent a clear message to the bosses: the rank and file aren’t going away!

Teachers plan strike at Kimberley School to say ‘no to academies!’

NUT members at Kimberley School, Nottinghamshire have voted for industrial action against the decision for the school to become an academy. The governors had previously ruled out this option but have since done a u-turn.

Notts NUT and Notts Save our Schools oppose the privatisation of schools in the county and are holding a public meeting on the day of the strike, Tuesday 29th May, at 7pm in Kimberley Parish Hall.

Nottingham Socialist Party supports this action taken by teachers. Academy schools are not controlled by the local authorities and are therefore not accountable. They are run for profit by businesses and not for the good of students. It will also mean an attack on teachers’ pay and conditions.

Education needs to be decent and fully funded – kick out the private profiteers!

Further protests against 5 Term Year plans for Nottingham schools

A loud and lively protest took place outside Nottingham City Council’s head office this week, by those teachers, school support staff and parent who oppose the City Council’s plan to alter the school year holiday arrangements.

The protest was organised by the NASUWT teachers union and attended by members of many unions as well as parents and pupils. The main slogan chanted was “Five term year, bad idea!”. The National Union of Teachers has already taken several days of strike action on this issue .

Although at first sight this is a local dispute between unions at Nottingham City and the local council, the issue has national significance not least because the City Council has threatened to force all school staff onto the new working patterns by a ‘dismissal and re-engagement’ process.

Whilst talks between the NUT, City Council and ACAS are currently underway, it does appear the Council is not at this stage prepared to back down. It is essential that the other school unions support the NUT by joining any strike action.

  A group of local parents –PA5TY – is also organising against the Council’s proposals and has already organised a well attended public meeting as well as a protest by parents.