Labour Staff Divided Over Pay Rise Settlement

Labour members of Unite have just rejected party bosses’ deal for a real-terms pay cut, voting in favour of strike action on an indicative ballot and demanding a meeting next week to re-negotiate. The cash-strapped party had offered workers a 2% pay rise next year – well below 5.1% inflation. All to fill a £3 million hole left by falling memberships, reduced union backing… and settling legal cases.

Speaking earlier this week ahead of the ballot, a Labour spokesperson said they’d been “open” about the party’s dire finances:

“We have been open about the challenges the party faces. Party staff have done great work to tackle these challenges and everyone is focused on ensuring we are ready to fight the next general election.”

They’ve done such great work they’re now being rewarded with real-terms pay cuts. Although GMB members actually voted in favour of the pay cut deal, Unite’s rejection prolongs the squabbling for at least another week. Apparently the party tried to soften the blow by claiming they’d make up the shortfall with ‘big donations’ – where or when those donations will actually come in is still anyone’s guess…

mdi-timer 28 January 2022 @ 16:11 28 Jan 2022 @ 16:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hundreds of Teachers Attended Mask-Free Boozy Awards Bash After Omicron Restrictions Were Announced

Masks are once again mandatory in secondary school communal areas for staff and pupils. Despite the current lack of concrete evidence that the Omicron variant is any more dangerous than Delta – the new measures are only here to “buy time” for scientists to better understand the threat – the NASUWT Teachers’ Union is already insisting these rules don’t go far enough.

Coincidentally, the Pearson National Teaching Awards ceremony was on Sunday, fifteen Gold Award winners were celebrated for excellence in their selected categories, with all the award-winning teachers, teaching assistants and lecturers being presented with their trophies at a glamorous ceremony at The Brewery in the City of London. This was the day after the Omicron variant restrictions were announced. Hundreds of teachers from across the country gathered for the packed awards ceremony – and almost no-one, with the exception of the waiting staff, wore masks.

It is fair to point out that they were within the rules. However the teaching unions want masks reintroduced for primary schools and in classrooms:

“The reintroduction of the requirement for face coverings to be worn in communal areas in all settings by staff and visitors and by pupils in year 7 and above, including on public transport, is helpful. But there is strong evidence that the Government needs to go further, including by reintroducing the requirement for wearing face coverings in classrooms in light of the persistently high daily number of Coronavirus cases.”

It’s one thing to call for yet more government restrictions nearly two years into a pandemic; it’s another to completely ignore them just days before grandstanding about it in the media…

mdi-timer 30 November 2021 @ 15:45 30 Nov 2021 @ 15:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
£15 Per Hour Campaign Pays £12 Per Hour

Trade Union supporting Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise has spent much of 2020 vehemently campaigning for a £15 per hour minimum wage. In July 2020 they nosily protested for £15 per hour and then in January complained that Rishi’s minimum wage pay rise from £8.72 to £8.91 didn’t “go far enough” because workers “deserve a real living wage of £15 per hour”. 

The passionate £15 per hour advocate has advertised three Union Organiser jobs this morning to be paid just £12 per hour. Shameless!

On top of that, the job which involves organising “low wage workers in the food and hospitality sector” will involve “evening and weekend work”. Sounds like a lot of responsibility. Maybe successful applicants should start by improving their own working conditions…

mdi-timer 11 November 2021 @ 14:23 11 Nov 2021 @ 14:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sturgeon has Just Two Hours to Avoid COP26 Rail Strikes

The RMT rail union has until 5 pm today to accept the SNP’s terms for ending an ongoing dispute over salaries before proceeding with their planned strike action throughout COP26. So far, the talks have been stuck in deadlock, with the SNP offering an increase in basic pay of between £1700- £2600, and the RMT still demanding a renegotiation. Only four days until delegates arrive for the opening…

The union, which represents Scotrail, is insisting that the SNP’s “new deal” is “just the same numbers repackaged but still loaded with strings that would amount to a defacto pay cut“, and has confirmed that conductors and ticket examiners will strike throughout almost the entirety of the summit unless the Scottish government returns to the negotiating table. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said:

“…The ball is in the SNP’s court. They need to take responsibility for bringing us to this point and get into a dialogue with the union that puts pay justice on the agenda. We are waiting.”

The Scottish Conservatives have also jumped in to urge the RMT to “take the threat of strike action off the table” and to find “a speedy resolution“. All just to keep COP26 on-track…

mdi-timer 27 October 2021 @ 14:52 27 Oct 2021 @ 14:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
GMB Union Boss Tim Roache Bags £868,800 Plus £60,000 Annual Pension

Whilst the TUC bosses are enjoying their annual booze-up, the TaxPayers’ Alliance has calculated that the average remuneration of the top 30 Union Chiefs on more than £100,000 was £150,755 in 2020. The highest-paid trade union boss, outgoing General Secretary of the GMB Tim Roache, bagged an unbelievable £288,000 plus an £80,000 payment for long standing service, a £500,000 lump sum, a car of his choice and a £60,000 annual pension after terminating his employment in sordid circumstances. By comparison Prime Minister Boris Johnson earns £160,000…

The boss of the National Association of Head Teachers, Paul Whiteman, was the second highest paid union boss, taking home a staggering £216,387. TUC boss Frances O’Grady pockets a comfortable above average £167,229. John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, says:

”These red barons relentlessly preach policies around wealth inequality and demand evermore tax-and-spend, but are sitting comfortably as some of Britain’s biggest earners. Hypocritical union heads should stop lining their pockets with these six-figure salaries.”

Nice work if you can get it…

mdi-timer 13 September 2021 @ 15:58 13 Sep 2021 @ 15:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Unions Demand MPs Wear Masks in Parliament

A joint letter from the GMB, TUS and Unite unions urges the Speaker to make masks compulsory on the parliamentary estate for MPs. Guido revealed that staffers will be made to mask up, whilst MPs will only be “encouraged” to wear face coverings. It is safe to say that staffers are not best pleased…

The letter explains that the reaction of staff across Parliament has been one of incredulity, anger and concern”. The letter also accuses parliament of failing to “exercise its duty of care to its own employees”. Parliamentary double standards have a distinctly uptsairs / downstairs vibe…

The letter argues that:

“Members also have a responsibility to keep those around them—staff of the House, their own staff and, indeed, other MPs—safe.”

“We would therefore ask you to urgently reconsider the guidance provided to Members so that all staff and members are content that the appropriate measures have been taken to protect their health.”

It will be up to Hoyle to decide whether this double standard is allowed to continue… 

UPDATE: Face coverings have not been mandatory for MPs since 21 June, however almost all MPs have chosen to wear masks when on the estate. 

mdi-timer 14 July 2021 @ 15:07 14 Jul 2021 @ 15:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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