• #PayUpEngie: Fair Pay for Tameside Hospital Security Guards Now!
    It shouldn’t be too much to ask that hospital workers get the agreed NHS rates of pay. But here on site at Tameside General Hospital, there is a hidden workforce earning well below Agenda for Change rates of pay and on lower terms and conditions than other Trust staff. As Engie security guards we put ourselves in danger every day and work tirelessly to keep staff, patients and the public safe. During the pandemic, we have been on the front-line of the fight to keep our communities safe, whilst putting ourselves at significant personal risk. ONS figures show that male security guards have the highest risk of dying as a result of COVID-19 compared with other demographics. In spite of the vital job we do protecting patients and staff, we earn well below the NHS rates. Some of us are on the minimum wage. This is plainly unfair! We have been seeking to resolve this for some time, but to no avail. In February, Engie told us they would not agree to pay us NHS rates. In the absence of progress, we held a UNISON ballot of Engie security staff at Tameside General Hospital and voted unanimously to take strike action to fight for fair pay for all.  In May, Engie have agreed to pay the NHS rates from October 2020. This is a step in the right direction but we lodged our pay claim in December 2019- it's wrong that we should have to wait almost a year for the pay we are rightfully owed. What's more, Engie have only agreed to pay the correct rates if we agree to changes to our shift patterns which may result in pay cuts.  Given the current context, we have done everything we can to avoid taking industrial action. We have given Engie over six months to resolve this dispute. Given the lack of resolution and the potentially detrimental proposed changes to shift patterns, we have no other option- this really is an action of last resort. As a result, we served notice for a two day strike beginning at 7am on Monday 13 July. We hope that Engie see sense and get back around the negotiating table before 13 July. Tameside Hospital staff- please sign to support and consider leaving a comment.
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  • Tell fast food CEOs: Listen to your workers, Black Lives Matter
    Racism is systemic across our society. And it runs through the global fast food corporations making millions in profit by paying us poverty wages. Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) workers are disproportionately represented in the fast food workforce. In our industry people accept job offers quickly because we need security, only to find ourselves in low paid employment, being told we're replaceable. This is fertile ground for abuse and racism which further impacts workers and our families. Our fast food companies say that they believe in equality, that they are on the side of black people. But they also say we don't deserve a living wage. That we don't deserve stable hours, we don't deserve to be treated with respect and we don't deserve a union. A union is workers coming together to use our strength in numbers to change things we can't change alone - that is the only way we will stamp out racism across our society. We demand: 1) The right to refuse to serve rude customers, with a ban for racially abusive customers, and enforcement of zero tolerance policies by managers, including training for all managers in conflict management and how to recognise racism in the workplace. 2) £15 per hour, stable hours and a union - to lift us out of in-work poverty and give us a platform to have our voices heard. 3) The immediate release of the statistics of BAME workers in different roles across these businesses, including pay discrepancies: McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Taco Bell. Police killing black people is violence. Big rich fast food companies forcing poverty pay on us is violence too. Black Lives Matter. And black quality of life matters. That’s why we need to stand together to end racial and economic injustice. We need our entire communities, everyone who agrees with us, to show us solidarity. Help us send a message to our CEOs by signing this petition now.
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  • Help support the NUJ's recovery plan for the news industry
    Journalists – whether they are staff or freelance – need to be valued and their livelihoods protected. Targeted measures aimed at supporting quality journalism and bolstering independent, diverse, ethically-produced content are urgently needed. Covid-19 has demonstrated just how important credible, trusted news and information is, and NUJ members will play a vital role in reflecting and shaping the recovery yet to come. But this is not and cannot be about the preservation of the status quo. Journalists are not seeking handouts or compensation for the industry – we are looking for investment in our future to transform the news industry, make it fit for our collective purpose and truly serve the public good. Pledge your support today for the NUJ's recovery plan to create a news industry reimagined. Download the full plan from the NUJ website - https://www.nuj.org.uk/documents/from-health-crisis-to-good-news/
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  • Give taxi drivers the wage support they need now, not in June
    Unite Hackney cab and taxi drivers are ready to do whatever it takes to help keep the country moving during the coronavirus crisis, but we are facing financial ruin without the same level of government support. The Prime Minister and his chancellor said that they would do ‘whatever it takes’. For taxi drivers it takes: • Wage support straight away. No delay, until June. • No means testing of Universal Credit or other benefits. • Suspending or reducing all taxi related running costs, including licence plate fees, monthly radio fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road. • Backing loan repayment holidays for private hire vehicles and moratoriums on marking down drivers’ credit files. • Emergency interim payments to keep the taxi on the road. • Reviewing the licensing regime and stop all payments for licences, with a three month temporary extension for those expected to renew in the next 12 months. We’re ready to help. With these financial support measures, Unite taxi and private hire driver members stand ready to support our emergency services. We’re fully licenced and DBS checked. Clean, safe and wheelchair accessible. Equipped with a glass partition separating driver from passenger. Support us and we can: • Transport patients to and from non-emergency appointments. • Deliver shopping for the elderly or transport them to and from supermarkets • Transport key workers to work and deliver medical supplies. Unite Hackney taxi and private hire drivers are ready to talk.
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  • Suspend all strike pay deductions
    This is important at a time when university staff have rallied and gone beyond their contractual duties and normal working hours to ensure that all essential work including teaching has continued whilst the University has taken measures to address the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several universities in the UK (including the University of St. Andrews, King’s College London, and Birkbeck) have already announced an amnesty on pay deductions in recognition of the exceptional demands on their staff. We ask that the University of Kent follow these examples by granting an amnesty on strike pay deductions given that exceptional demands on their staff are likely to be ongoing for some time and to ensure staff morale and goodwill at this time.
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  • #SickPayForAll: Guarantee decent sick pay for every worker
    Workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak could have to go into quarantine or self-isolation to prevent the further spread of the virus. But already companies like Wetherspoons are refusing to give staff sick pay from day one, even if they are quarantined by government order. Right now millions of UK workers don’t earn enough to get this protection. And even those that do have to be off sick for at least three days before they get paid. And workers with existing sick pay schemes should be paid at the full rate offered by the employer while in isolation, and not be considered as on annual or unpaid leave. No one should worry about falling into debt or struggling to pay their bills when they’re ill or have to self-isolate. If people aren't compensated for the time spent at home, the risk people go to work and spread the illness increases. Nearly 2 million UK workers do not qualify for statutory sick pay, including 1 in 10 working women and 23% of zero-hours contract workers. Currently, workers need to have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row to receive the payment. And people who earn less than £118 a week don’t qualify for statutory sick pay. The government must ensure everyone gets statutory sick pay from day one, however much they earn.
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  • AFG: Reinstate UNISON rep Peter Moorhead and stop victimising trade unionists
    I'm Peter Moorhead, I have worked for social care provider AFG for over 20 years. In 2019, AFG care workers took strike action against our employer because we were not being paid the minimum wage for so-called "sleep in" shifts. As UNISON's convenor (lead representative) for AFG, I was involved in supporting our members in their fight for fair pay. AFG did not react positively to the strike action. Recently, I have been informed by AFG that they are going to make me redundant and scrap any provision for a UNISON convenor at the care provider. We feel that AFG have unfairly selected the UNISON Convenor position for redundancy and that in reality this is about AFG responding to last year's industrial dispute by trying to shut down any worker representation at the organisation. AFG did not enter into meaningful consultation and their decision potentially amounts to trade union victimisation. This is bigger than my job though. With over 750 UNISON members working for AFG across the North West, the removal of the position will severely impact on the industrial relation with AFG and also hamper the day to day needs of UNISON members. Please sign this petition calling on AFG to do the decent thing and reverse their decision to make me redundant. Thank you for your support, Peter Moorhead (UNISON Convenor- AFG)
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  • Take West Yorkshire's Buses Back Under Public Control
    West Yorkshire's bus services are up for sale. Local Council leaders are currently discussing what to do about it. And they'll be making a decision soon. But franchising (taking buses under public control) is not currently an option they're considering! OUR buses aren't good enough. Right now, bus companies do what they like and it's a wild west free market. We need public control. Private companies control West Yorkshire’s bus network. They dictate prices, routes and timetables. The result has been catastrophic - passenger numbers have plummeted, prices have risen and services have shrunk. West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) - which is made up of your local Council leaders - has the power to regulate our buses. Regulation would mean affordable fares, and more evening and weekend services, all with a smart ticket where daily spending is capped. Local council leaders are yet to commit. Sign this petition now to take back control of our buses! +++++ https://www.tuc.org.uk/campaigns/better-buses-west-yorkshire The privatisation of buses has been a total failure. Outside London, passenger numbers have fallen by half and average prices have risen 35% above inflation since the 1980s. It’s a shambles for passengers, but a money spinner for bus companies who have made £billions for their shareholders. FirstBus, Arriva West Yorkshire have recently announced they want to sell their bus services. But without franchising, which gives local government the power to set prices, routes and bus frequency, this Wild West market stays open for another big company to come in and make further cuts to your local bus service. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Under the 2017 Bus Services Act, West Yorkshire's council leaders have the power to take buses back into public control through franchising - but so far they've failed to act. We know franchising is more effective. It's how it is run in London where the market is regulated by Transport for London (TfL) - buses are more regular, prices are capped, and essential routes are protected. We want West Yorkshire's council leaders to establish something like TfL for West Yorkshire. Why Franchising? Franchising gives us - - control over the bus network, which would mean companies would be forced to put on certain, less profitable routes and more regular services. - control over fares, so we are the ones that set the prices. - control over ticketing, which could mean one single, affordable ticket for the whole of West Yorkshire, like it is in London. Send West Yorkshire's leaders a message, we deserve better! (Image credit: Michael Taylor)
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  • We need disability pay gap reporting
    For too long, disabled workers have faced double discrimination. Not only are they less likely to have a paid job but when they do, disabled people earn much less than their non-disabled peers. Disabled workers face a pay gap of 15.5 per cent. This means they earn £3,003 less a year than their nondisabled counterparts. This pay gap means that disabled people effectively work for free for the last 57 days (or 8 weeks) of the year and stop getting paid on 04 November. The TUC has branded this day Disability Pay Gap Day. Mandatory disability pay gap reporting would mean bosses had to identify and address poor workplace practices that lead to inequality. Mandatory gender pay gap reporting has shone a light on the barriers faced by women at work– and it’s also one of the reasons why the government is consulting on the introduction of mandatory reporting on the ethnicity pay gap. So if compulsory transparency about pay is seen as a positive way of addressing gender and race pay gaps, then why isn’t it being applied to disabled workers too? Without a legally binding requirement on companies to publish their pay gaps – and say what action they are taking to address them – progress will be too slow and disabled workers will be consigned to many more years of lower pay and unfair barriers to getting jobs and progressing at work. Disabled people shouldn’t be fobbed off with voluntary reporting. We know that doesn’t work. The government’s voluntary scheme for gender pay gap reporting, only led to 5 businesses actually publishing their data. However, when mandatory reporting was introduced more than 10,000 employers reported their gender pay gap – close to 100% compliance. Disabled people deserve more, they need mandatory disability pay gap reporting – they have waited long enough for fair and equal treatment at work.
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  • Support Thomas Cook workers to get the money they're owed
    On Monday (23 September) Thomas Cook the world’s oldest travel agency collapsed into administration with the loss of 21,000 jobs (9,000 in the UK alone) and stranding 150,000 holiday makers. The sudden collapse has left many workers desperate and with no income. Staff were due to be paid on Monday (30 September), but will not now be paid after the business went bust. Two years since Monarch Airlines went into administration with the loss of 2,000 jobs, the government has totally failed to learn lessons or bring in new laws which could have saved these jobs. These are not highly paid workers, many were living pay cheque to pay cheque. Given the dreadful stress this has caused to workers, the priority, now that repatriation of stranded travelled is underway, must be for the secretary of state to fast track the payment of workers’ wages.
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  • Addaction: don't break your pay promises!
    "Supporting people to overcome drug and alcohol addiction is an incredibly tough job and makes a difference for every single one of us in Wigan. "Addaction’s employees deserve the pay settlement they were promised when they moved from the NHS to Addaction". Lisa Nandy, Wigan MP Drug and alcohol addiction effects all members of UK society, irrespective of their social and economic background, their education and occupation. It doesn't just effect the individuals who suffer these problems, it impacts negatively on their families and the communities they live in. It impacts on their ability to contribute economically and socially to their communities. It impacts on their ability to care for their children, the next generation in our society. Ultimately it can lead to premature and avoidable deaths. But it doesn't have to. Treatment can work, people can recover, they can regain health, self esteem and become fully functioning members of our society. We work hard for Addaction in Wigan and Leigh to ensure that people do recover. For Addaction to achieve this, they need to both recruit and retain experienced staff with appropriate expertise and a caring approach. We work in this field because we care and because it's rewarding to support recovery, but we deserve to make a decent living. When we transferred over to Addaction from the NHS, we were promised the NHS rate for the job, but Addaction have gone back on their word. We deserve a decent wage for doing what is an important job for our communities. Please sign the petition to support us. #AFCForAll #NHSPayForAll #PayUpAddaction
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  • Save Our Shops
    Over 74,000 retail workers lost their jobs during 2018 and so far this year, the rate of store closures and jobs losses has increased dramatically. Usdaw, the shopworkers' union, is calling on the Government to protect the 4.5 million jobs that rely on the success of the retail sector. The scale of store closures we have seen is devastating, not just for the workforce, but also for our communities and town centres. The Government needs to show that it takes retail jobs seriously by listening to and acting on workers’ concerns. Please sign our petition: We call on the Government to take urgent action by adopting an industrial strategy for retail and implementing the following comprehensive and co-ordinated policies: • Review taxation, commercial rents and business rates to ensure a level playing field between ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers and online retailers, providing a new framework that supports local communities and the wider economy. • A minimum wage of £10 per hour for all workers, secure work and investment in skills and training to provide decent pay and job security for retail workers and drive up productivity. • Give retail workers a say over the future of retail and the introduction of new technology, with a designated inclusive body that ensures the Government recognises the crucial role retail has in the UK economy. A copy of Usdaw’s industrial strategy for the Retail Sector is available at www.usdaw.org.uk/industrialstrategy
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