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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 May 2013

Workplace News in brief

UCU university pay

University management made their "final offer" of a 1% pay rise to workers on 21 May. The offer, a laughable improvement on the 0.8% second offer, falls short of workers' demands for an above-inflation rise to make up for some of the past four years of pay cuts, coupled with a living wage for all university workers.

University staff also want national agreements to close the gender pay gap which exceeds 30% at some universities, to bring workload to manageable levels, and to stop casualisation, as well as a UK-wide promise to stop redundancies - all things bosses have refused to take seriously in negotiations.

Of the five unions, UCU, Unison, Unite, EIS and GMB, who take part in the negotiations, Unison and EIS are already recommending rejection. Strike action could potentially begin as early as 23 October.

UCU's annual congress takes place on 29-31 May in Brighton but its negotiators are refusing to make a recommendation on the offer.

Congress should reject the offer and elect new, fighting negotiators. Most critically, UCU must avoid the fiasco of 2012, when an absentee leadership meant that of the five Higher Education trade unions only UCU failed to win a strike ballot on pay.

UCU is in budgetary crisis due to dropping membership numbers. Scandalously the UCU leadership has refused to rule out making union staff redundant.

To survive and thrive, UCU must adopt a fighting lead against cuts and job losses and show potential members the power of a union.

Edmund Schluessel, UCU member

Equinox strike

Workers at Equinox Care - a charity dealing with substance abuse problems - have voted (by 98%) for two days of strike action against pay cuts of up to 8,000 a year for many staff.

Unite, the union representing more than half the workforce, said the ballot result was "a massive vote of no confidence" in chief executive Bill Puddicombe.

Management proposes huge cuts for frontline staff directly working with some of the most vulnerable people in society. As a result, most staff face cuts of between 4,000 and 8,000 a year.

Two separate 24-hour strikes are set to be called, and further strike action is on the cards, unless the dispute is settled.

Tory hammer horror

"Hammer home the value of culture to our economy!" Thus spake Maria Miller, Tory culture secretary, this April. But entertainers' union Equity has been hammering this home since the recession began.

The 43,000-strong union's 2013 conference was mixed but positive. Equity is increasing in membership. It has won key battles on the minimum wage in fringe theatre, and credit-squeezing on TV.

Left resolutions on introductory fees and union democracy failed. However, reactionary motions against recent democratic improvements fell too.

There was a real increase in 'fresh blood' at this conference, which bodes well for the future. Let's show Miller the hams can hammer.

James Ivens

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 29 May 2013:

Scrap the Bedroom tax

Evict this millionaires' government

Campaign to stop bedroom tax evictions!

Socialist Party editorial

No to terrorism! No to racism! No to war!

Socialist Party news and analysis

Unite to fight racism!

Even the cutters say cuts aren't working!

This is what's 'not to like' about Free Schools, Boris

Nasty party exposed by equal marriage bill

Stop the NHS privatisation rip-off

Socialist Party review

Rotten greedy banks still threaten crisis

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS conference sends defiant message to the government

PCS Land Registry delegates commit to action

Strike action needed to save Royal Mail

Wales TUC conference - a missed opportunity

No future with Future Directions

Fire service cuts

Workplace News in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Haringey TUSC: trade unions and communities prepare for 2014

'Brilliant' South West conference sees record turnout

Fund the fightback in the SP collectathon

Boosting South West Wales paper sales

Socialist Party youth organisers meeting Sunday 30 June, 10.30am-4.30pm, London

International socialist news and analysis

Oppose Kazakhstan regime's latest campaign clampdown

South Africa: Eye-witness to the developing struggle

Riots expose inequality in Sweden

Sri Lanka: Working class beginning to move forward

Socialist Students

Salford Socialist Students help lead fightback against job and course cuts

London students fight union closure plan


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