• Rishi Sunak: don't raise the state pension age further
    The state pension age is currently 66 years. It is due to rise to 67 from May 2026, and to 68 from May 2044. However, government ministers have been pushing for this timetable to be sped up, according to media reports. New research by Unite the Union has found that many workers feel they cannot continue working in key roles until state pension age. Over 10,000 Unite members across four key sectors took part in the survey: 86 per cent of health workers do not believe they can mentally continue to undertake their current roles beyond the age of 66, while 83 per cent of them could not physically continue in their roles beyond the same age. 75 per cent of construction workers stated they can’t work physically beyond 66, while 64 per cent said the mental demands of the job would become too much by 66 at the latest. 76 per cent of road haulage and warehouse workers said that they will not be able to physically work beyond 66, while 70 per cent said the mental demand of the job will become too great by that age. 67 per cent of bus and tram workers said the mental demands would become too great by 66, while the job would become too physically demanding by then for 57 per cent of them. These findings show that tens of thousands of workers will be forced out of employment due to the physical and mental demands of their work but will be too young to receive the state pension. *** Join Unite in the fight for dignity in retirement. Join here: https://join.unitetheunion.org/ *** *** Join the National Pensioners Convention, the campaigning organisation for older people in the UK here: https://www.npcuk.org/join-the-npc *** *** Join the Scottish Pensioners Forum here: https://scottishpensioners.org.uk/ ***
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  • No delays, no cuts: Restore Bristol arts funding!
    Mayor Marvin Rees' decision to delay all funding decisions for Arts Organisations funded by Bristol City Council will have hugely damaging consequences for one of the most important industries in the city's economy, and is totally at odds with his One City Approach for Culture launched in June this year. When the Mayor launched his One City Plan 2023 in June, he wrote "Bristol’s culture is internationally recognised for its creativity, vibrancy, diversity, history and innovation across many mediums such as art, theatre, dance, music, TV and film and architecture." But Bristol's reputation and success as a film and TV hub exists in the same ecosystem as the rest of the creative sector in the city and cannot be separated from its live performance industry which is now at risk from this delay in funding decisions. Instead of being told about funding decisions in October 2022, as planned, Arts Organisations and major cultural events will now have to wait until March 2024 to find out how much money they’ll receive – or if they’ll receive any money at all. This is only a month before the grant period starts and will mean organisations can’t plan for the future – leading to loss of work, income and closures in the interim. The Mayor’s claim that he will give the final decision to an ‘independent panel’ about which the he has given no information on the membership or what new process will need to be followed to apply. Mayor Rees has offered no trade union consultation to the relevant culture unions, whilst simultaneously the Mayor’s office have sidelined the Culture Board, a body the Mayor created, which is the only consultative culture body that exists in the city. These less then transparent delays and possible cuts will disproportionately impact working class creative workers, and those from minority and oppressed groups. It will have social and cultural implications for all the large Arts organisations in the city and smaller one off artistic projects that work in local communities, from parent and baby groups and schools, to festivals and live events. Leaving access to the arts only to those who can afford it. Bristol is a fair, healthy and sustainable city. A city of hope and aspiration, where everyone can share in its success. All of this enabled by Culture, which Mayor Rees is placing at risk with his intervention and reckless decision to delay. We demand that Mayor Marvin Rees restore our arts funding. No delays, no cuts, and no more decision-making from non-transparent 'independent' panels. Image credit: crabchick from Bristol, England; Bristol City Hall at night https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bristol_Council_House_at_night_(2693195473).jpg
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  • Support the Bradford College UCU pay rise campaign
    You should support us because further education is a crucial part of the economy which is about providing bridges into employment for young people and adults. If you believe that further education is worth fighting for, then we urge you to support our pay claim in order to support high quality teachers to stay in the profession. Further education also has a crucial role to play in the just transition to decarbonise jobs and train people for the future jobs market and therefore needs to attract workers from a wide set of industries with better pay, so we can provide the best educational experience students deserve.
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  • Whitbread Workers Deserve the Real Living Wage
    With over 34,000 employees in 821 hotels and 411 pubs and restaurants Whitbread (owners of Premier Inn and familiar Brands such as Beefeater and Brewers Fayre) are one of the largest employers in the U.K. hospitality sector. As such they have a moral obligation to build back better after the Covid crisis by setting benchmark standards for decent pay and progressive employee relations.
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  • Urgent support for rail cleaners, security guards and other outsourced workers
    Thousands of cleaners work on our railways, cleaning trains and stations for Train Operating Companies, Network Rail, TfL and London Underground. These cleaners worked throughout the pandemic and continue to work today to keep our rail services clean and safe. The are joined by security guards, gateline staff and many other essential roles. The vast majority of these workers are outsourced to sub-contractors meaning that they have lower pay, no access to sick pay and pensions and are barred from the same free and discounted travel facilities that are given to many other rail workers. The cost of living crisis has hit these low paid workers hard. Yet the directors of rail companies, whose pay is magnitudes greater than that of cleaners, do receive free travel. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has recognised the cost of living crisis and has given travel facilities to all outsourced cleaners working for TfL and London Underground, also agreeing to explore bringing cleaning in-house on the Tube. It is time that the Secretary of State followed this example, providing free travel for rail cleaners and other outsourced workers and reviewing their outsourcing contracts with a view to bringing them into direct employment.
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  • Support the 13th Note workers!
    For too long hospitality workers have been subject to abusive, hyper-exploitative, unsafe and insecure working conditions. Workers at the 13th Note, represented by Unite Hospitality, are part of a sector-wide upsurge in union activity to tackle these problems and achieve decent and dignified jobs. We stand with our friends in other unions, such as the IWW, who also play a crucial role in organising our sector, seen recently in the Saramago dispute. We struggle not solely for ourselves but for the survival of the arts, cultural and live music scenes which are facilitated by our labour. Hospitality is a key component of social life in this country and we deserve to be properly compensated for our role in that.
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  • Save jobs and stop outsourcing at London South Bank University
    The redundancies on the table at LSBU cut across areas crucial to the University's operations and the support offered to students, including Libraries, IT, Student Operations, Estates and Facilities, Finance, Alumni and Development, and Research, Enterprise and Innovation. Many areas have already experienced repeated rounds of cuts and restructures over the past several years and continuing to cut staff and outsource staff to private contractors is both wrong and ineffective. LSBU wants to make staff redundant from mid-June and outsource Customer Care Officers and the Estates Service Desk team by August. Instead of rushing through changes that will lead to unemployment, outsourcing and financial and mental health crises for staff, LSBU's Executive and the Board of Governors should withdraw the current proposals and talk to UNISON and LSBU's other trade unions without this hanging over people's heads. Many staff at risk of redundancy have years, if not decades of expertise, and losing this will only be negative for student's education and experience of LSBU. Support staff make so much of what LSBU does possible. A tiny list, taken from across the University, includes: Keeping the IT systems running and ensuring the virtual learning and working environment functions every day; uploading and making available course marks; organising exams and handling extenuating circumstances claims; supporting students with attendance; giving students crucial advice about all aspects of their life at LSBU; finding library books; accessing e-books; providing guidance and training on how to use a huge variety of computer programs and applications; teaching students how to reference for essays and assignments; handling payments and invoices and staff payslips; making student placements possible; building a relationship with alumni and fundraising with alumni to help support current students; building relationships between businesses and LSBU and supporting research and innovation at the University. Making sure that staff are not made compulsorily redundant and not outsourced is about protecting LSBU, defending the education and attainment of students, and making sure that the staff, who do so much for colleagues and students, have secure employment and can get on with their jobs rather than worrying about their futures. Please add your name to the petition in support of UNISON's campaign against job cuts and outsourcing at LSBU! * This petition is posted on behalf of London South Bank University UNISON Branch
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  • Take West of England Buses Into Public Control
    Currently: local authorities have no control over commercial bus services.This means bus companies do what they like, dictating prices, routes, and timetables. This means: routes have been cut, unreliable services, skyrocketing fares, and poor working conditions for drivers. Public control can deliver the network you deserve that is run: where you need it — meaning profits from busy routes can be used to subsidize less busy but needed services. when you need it — meaning new minimum standards on reliability and sensible timetables, with penalities for letting passengers down. how you need it — meaning a single set of affordable, integrated tickets that work on all buses and vehicles that are accessible for all. What CAN be done: Dan Norris, the West of England Combined Authority mayor and council leaders from Bristol, South Gloucestershire and B&NES have the power to bring your buses into public control. Politicians are there to represent YOU! Let them know you think buses should be in public control. What WILL be done We will deliver this petition to WECA and council leaders to demonstrate that communities across the West of England want our leaders to use their power to regulate and bring buses into public control. Who is Behind This? Environmental groups, charities, and trade unions from across the West of England are backing the call for public control of buses. All three councils have made statements in support of public control being investigated JOIN US! Find out more about how to get involved here: https://westact.org/reclaim-our-buses
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  • Don't give, then take! Stop the 5% price increase to parking etc @ Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
    This was a cynical move, released on a bank holiday weekend to hide the obvious uncosted price hike, hits the lowest paid trust employees the hardest. Support your hard working NHS staff! Don't give with one hand and take back with the other!
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  • Free School Meals: No Island Child Left Behind
    The benefits of free school meals for Primary School pupils are many. Common sense and research shows, well fed children make greater progress in the classroom. Results go up, absence goes down. The benefits will outweigh costs, as they do in Finland, Estonia and Cuba for example. A 2022 analysis of UK costs and benefits by Pricewaterhouse Coopers is clear. (Commissioned by Impact on Urban Health.) Benefits include: - an increased cost saving to schools, increased lifetime earnings by children when they reach adulthood, which means a greater tax contribution. - increased savings on food costs to families and NHS savings, as obesity and ill health decrease. PwC estimated, the overall wider benefit for society by expanding free school meals between 2025 and 2045 would be a staggering £99.5bn. In his automated email response, Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely writes, he is: “pushing hard every day to [ensure] .... no one is left behind.” Between autumn 2018/19 and autumn 2022/23, the number of Isle of Wight children eligible for income-related free school meals increased from 2,452 to 4,008. We need to push harder. Free schools meals for all will help ensure far fewer young children on the Isle of Wight are left behind. This is why we urge you to sign this petition before the Week of Action 24-30 June. It is our chance to mobilise the Isle of Wight and dial up pressure on the Government and our MP to pass the Free School Meals for All Bill. You may also wish to sign the national petition at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/join-the-week-of-action/?source=emailshare&. On behalf of all primary children present and future, we thank you very much for reading and signing.
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  • Save Live Theatre at the Exchange Theatre
    North Tyneside Council has decided to 'appoint a new preferred provider' for the Exchange building in North Shields. That means a private company will be taking over the space, and the Exchange theatre charity will be evicted by 17 April, putting live theatre in North Shields at risk, and depriving Equity members of local work. This is a purely commercial decision, and does not represent a real investment in the cultural value to the local community. This is a shocking failure of leadership by the Mayor and local council. We're demanding that Mayor Redfearn and North Tyneside Council ensure there is no sudden eviction and commit to keeping live theatre at the exchange by making this a condition of the lease agreement with the new operator. We want to ensure that the people of North Shields don't lose a live theatre venue in the heart of their community, and that it continues to provide good quality jobs for local Equity members, on Equity agreed contracts. Sign our petition to demand Mayor Redfearn and North Tyneside Council do the right thing and Save Live Theatre at the Exchange Theatre.
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  • Don't raise the state pension age: 68 is too late!
    The government recently indicated it may raise the state pension age for millions of workers aged 44 to 52. Fearing massive defeat in the next general election, the government announced on Thursday 30 March it will delay this decision until the next Parliament. We must still drive home our message to Parliament: workers will not be made to pay for decades of politicians' bad choices. Older people deserve dignity, respect and financial security, now and in the future. The profits of the UK's largest companies are now 89 per cent higher than before the pandemic, but workers are not seeing our fair share. Our life expectancy is no longer rising, our NHS has been cut to the bone, our work doesn't pay, and our workplace pensions have been raided. We will not allow our State Pension to be raided too. Workers create the wealth in this society, and we demand a share of that wealth in our old age. 68 is too late! *** Join Unite in the fight for dignity in retirement. Join here: https://join.unitetheunion.org/ *** *** Join the National Pensioners Convention, the campaigning organisation for older people in the UK here: https://www.npcuk.org/join-the-npc *** *** Join the Scottish Pensioners Forum here: https://scottishpensioners.org.uk/ ***
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