Tag: unite the union

Shelter Strike Action

Three day strike over pay cuts to hit national housing charity

The housing charity Shelter is set to be hit by a three day strike next week as Britain’s largest union, Unite announced that 400 of its members would be walking out from Tuesday 16 December over pay cuts of up to £5,000 for frontline staff.

Amid warnings that ‘cut rate pay’ will lead to a ‘cut rate organisation’, the advice and support workers are angry over the imposition of a new pay scale at the charity leading to pay cuts of up to £5,000 for new starters, with the pay of current frontline staff only being guaranteed until 2016.

The action, hitting the charity’s advice and support work, was backed by two thirds (69.2 per cent) of those taking part in a recent strike ballot and follows a continued refusal by Shelter management to negotiate meaningfully.

In addition to pay cuts for new frontline staff, the proposed pay changes have left the charity open to accusations of creating a two tier workforce. The new pay scale only affects frontline staff and will see some advice workers earning several thousands of pounds less than non-frontline colleagues working on the same grade elsewhere in the charity.

Shelter’s main offices in London, Glasgow and Sheffield as well as smaller ones in cities such as Manchester and Bristol will be affected by the three day strike, which starts at 00:01 hours Tuesday 16 December and concludes at 23:59 hours on Thursday 18 December.

Unite regional officer Peter Storey said: “Our members care deeply about the help they give and the people they support. They are fearful that ‘cut rate pay’ will lead to a ‘cut rate organisation’ as managers struggle to recruit experienced replacements on the new lower rates of pay.

“Shelter’s frontline support and advice workers are the lifeblood of the charity and deserve better than pay cuts while those with huge salaries at the top see their pay protected.
“Cutting pay for some of our lowest paid staff is simply not necessary. Shelter is in a healthy financial position and management need to get back around the table to negotiate a fair settlement.”

we are encouraging Unite Community Members to attend the picket line at Furnival House, Furnival way, Sheffield, from 8am each day, next Tuesday, Wed and Thursday.

View the newsletter: Strike at Shelter Newsletter

Message of Solidarity to Freedom Riders

Ged Dempsey
Wath upon Dearne


I am disappointed that owing to being at a union conference, that was arranged months ago, I can not be with you this time to celebrate this massive victory for this magnificiant campaign that has grabbed the attention of our Movement and country.

The campaign has been fantastic and is a justification for fighting for free travel for the elderly and disabled who have paid into the big pot all their lives. Concessionary travel should be extended to cover the unwaged and low paid too.

As we know, it was not the elderly, disabled, unemployed or workers that caused the mess that lead to austerity.

Instead it was the madcap casino economics of the so called political elite and the vested interests and greed of fatcats, bankers and big business.

They have returned to business, as usual, whilst the rest of us as victims pay the price and face ever more swingeing cuts and get shafted!

This result is a vindication of the courage and solidarity by the freedom riders.

That standing together and being counted does work.

That not “kow towing” to the brutal force and thuggery of the state works for our class.

That the transport police and those behind the brutal attacks and manipulation should be put in the dock to face justice.

We have been proud and honoured to stand with you in this valiant struggle.

On behalf of our GPM comrades within the Print Sector, the General Secretary & Chair of Unite and all the Executive Council we salute you.

In Solidarity

Bro Ged Dempsey
Member of Unite EC

NHS Strike 24 November – Fair pay for the NHS

Unite members working in the NHS stepped up their campaign for fair pay with a further four-hour strike on Monday 24 November. We managed a short video snapshot of a picket line at Guy’s hospital in London.

NHS pay strike solid as public support swells

Members of Britain’s largest union Unite working for the NHS were out in force today (Monday 24 November), joining tens of thousands of health workers who took part in a second four-hour strike over pay.Commenting Rachael Maskell, Unite head of health said: “Today’s second strike action for fair NHS pay has been strongly supported with Unite health members joined by colleagues from the country’s leading health unions at over 120 pickets across England and Northern Ireland, behind a swell of public support.”

Across picket lines protesters held up ‘fair pay now’ and ‘peanuts won’t pay the bills’ placard messages in the second four-hour strike over the government’s refusal to implement the Pay Review Body’s (PRB) recommended 1 per cent pay increase for all NHS staff.

Rachael Maskell added: “Our members have been especially grateful for all the messages of support they’ve received from the public. They see the unfairness of the government’s decision to deny NHS staff a decent cost of living pay increase after years of pay freezes.

“The nation’s 1.35 million strong NHS workforce has been forced, reluctantly to strike for a second time after suffering a 15 per cent cut in their wages since 2010. Today also heralds the start of eight weeks of working to rule by Unite members.

“Our members are working harder and getting poorer. It doesn’t have to be this way. We are urging the health secretary to value the vital work of NHS workers who would rather be caring for patients than fighting their own poverty.

“Health secretary Jeremy Hunt cannot keep turning his back on hardworking health workers. With the Welsh government reaching a pay settlement last week, there can now be no excuses for Hunt’s continued refusal to get around the negotiating table.”


Unite Community Regional Day


Thursday November 13 2014

What an amazing day!! It was well organised, informative, fun and inspirational!

Unite Community is 3 years old. There were 480 members in this region (Yorkshire, Humberside and North East) last September, now there are 1000! No other union is organising people who are out of work. There are now 5 branches in this region, with South Yorkshire the biggest and 2 other branches are on the way.

This was a day for 3/4 activists from each branch in the region. Other members came from Newcastle, Durham,  Barnsley, Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, Grimsby Teesside and Newcastle. It was inspiring to hear what the campaigns were achieving with the support of Unite Community.

Unite Community is helping release an absolute powerhouse of energy. It is involving people of all ages, abilities and experience. Campaigns include support for the Freedom Riders which has grown into a national campaign; Justice for Orgreave; the Bedroom Tax, opposing benefit sanctions, boycotting workfare, demonstrating against ATOS, campaigns against the closure of children’s centres and campaigns around student fees.

Branches have petitioned, held public meetings, rallies, demonstrations and supported picket lines. Two branches have had joint meetings with PCS members to encourage union staff to refuse to carry out unfair and cruel sanctions.

Some branches have established food banks and clothing banks – with a laundry in one branch area, washing and ironing the clothes for free. This has been very helpful for people attending job interviews.

There are courses for public speaking, learning computing skills, welfare benefits training; banner-making – whatever the need to take a community forward – it can be done with Unite Community support.

It was agreed that we needed to be clear about our aims which are to raise political awareness and give a voice to people who are not working, helping people shape and build strong working class communities.

Many of our campaigns will be about resisting austerity cuts to jobs and services and challenging racism.  It was felt important that we link up with industrial unions and with other community organisations who are working with the unemployed and that we send delegates to trade councils.

Legal help and advice is available to members from the experienced trade union law firm, Thompson’s solicitors. Services include personal injury and accident compensation, criminal law, clinical negligence, free legal advice, pensions and conveyancing.

See photos from the day in the gallery below.

TTIP Action Alert


Do TTIP, CETA and TISA ring any bells? They should be ringing alarm bells and
really loudly! These initials stand for a new generation of trade treaties that are being negotiated in secret between the European Union and other trading “partners” across the globe such as the US which will impact badly on you – where you work and where you live.

The campaign Unite is involved with – #noTTIP – has listed half a dozen key threats demonstrating why TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership – should be opposed.

WE NEED YOUR HELP. We need as many of our activists as possible to sign up to the Self-
Organised ECI. This is done on-line. Go to this web site http://stop-ttip.org/sign follow the steps and register your opposition to TTIP. Make sure your friends and family sign as well to register their protest at this assault on our democratic rights.

Read the full alert here: TTiP action alert

Training members in Graphic Design

Educate Agitate Organise!

Unite / Unite Community offer a wide range of educational courses that are designed with the intention of giving you the skills to effectively campaign in your workplace or community.

Below are some examples from our recent Graphic Design Course held in Leeds please follow this link to see more courses available. We need to build a team of skilled activists in every workplace and community across the whole country if we are to win the battles that face us.

The Con Dems are very determined and organised, we need to be more determined and better organised if we are to win!


New training dates

A host of new training dates have just been added to the site here, with more for 2015 to follow soon. Contact Andy Pearson for more info on 0113 236 4830 or send an email.

Be sure to check back soon for more dates.

Industrial branch donation

A huge thank you from the Barnsley Unite Community Support Centre to Pegler Yorkshire Branchl NE 405 22, who last night decided to donate £1000 to the Unite/NUM Barnsley Community Centre.

Graphic Design Course

graphic designGraphic Design
Unite Office, Leeds
Monday 10th November

This course will help you to create poster and other literature in order to communicate with your members more effectively. We will use programmes such as Word, Publisher and PowerPoint.

To apply for this course please email Justine Renner.