Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/427/5016

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2006

Sick of the system

ON 7 February, council workers in Tower Hamlets, east London went on strike. They walked out because of a new sickness procedure that the New Labour-dominated council imposed last September. The strike is a first step to force the council to throw out this draconian policy.

A Tower Hamlets UNISON, member

The policy sees the implementation of a 'trigger point' system - which means if workers are sick for three days in six months or five days in one year, they must report every day of any subsequent absence to 'First Assist'. First Assist, based in Croydon, is a call centre where they ask you why you're sick, what you are doing about it and when you will be back at work. There are only a couple of qualified occupational health nurses on site.

Not only do staff have to ring the call centre, in addition to calling their manager, on every day off sick, but also those on long-term sick leave have to do the same. The calls cost 10p per minute.

Some workers have had their sick pay stopped and the council has threatened to take any excess, not correctly reported leave, off annual leave (although as yet, they have not been able to implement this).

The council introduced this policy to try to live up to the government's unrealistic targets for local government. In Tower Hamlets there is a higher then average absence rate but rather then look at the reason why, the council prefers to bully its workers into coming to work when they are sick.

Tower Hamlets is one of the poorest boroughs in the UK. Is it any wonder that this impacts on the staff - many of whom live in the borough?

There was a 75% 'yes' vote for the strike. It was a success, with two of the council flagship 'Ideas Stores' and many other council buildings closing, including the Housing Benefits office. There were pickets on most major council buildings.

The council has contacted UNISON to open up discussions.

To make this campaign a success there must be unity of all the unions that represent local government workers. The GMB must listen to its members and ballot for strike action. The campaign must be broadened out into the community and increase the action.

UNISON's affiliation to New Labour also needs to be raised. This dispute is a perfect example of the need for a new party to represent the working class.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 16 February 2006:

Troops out of Iraq

Fight for your future

Hands off our schools!

ID cards: 'Creeping compulsion' and grovelling MPs

The real cost of BP mega-profits

Universities and the arms trade

Haitian poor rebel at suspected poll-rigging

Building an alternative to the profit system

New Labour attacks the sick and disabled

Keep fighting New Labour's Education Bill

Labour's pro-business policies are punished

The housing scandal

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month

Striking postal workers build support

Sick of the system

Marching for jobs and services


 

Home   |   The Socialist 16 February 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Unison:

triangleSocialists in Unison hold positions in elections despite ban on campaigning

triangleBirmingham home care strikers close to victory!

triangleDoncaster NHS pay win shows: strikes can get results!

triangleRight wing tries to block campaigning

triangleSouth East Unison annual general meeting votes for no-cuts budgets

Council:

triangleTerrible child murders linked to cuts

triangleSocialist Party members make big impact at trades council conference

triangleSave Essex libraries protest

triangleGrenfell two years on - Still fighting for safety and justice

Strike:

triangleSouth Western Railway guards to strike again

triangleScottish airport strikes against attack by "ideological capitalists" - fight for better pay and pensions

triangleMitie strikers at Sellafield with copies of the Socialist, 7.6.19, photo by Robert Charlesworth

Labour:

triangleEdmonton joins Enfield North Labour in supporting 'no cuts' fightback strategy

triangleNeglected Newham tenants demand action

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/6/19

Airport

Scottish airport strikes against attack by "ideological capitalists" - fight for better pay and pensions

12/6/19

Hospital

Southampton hospital workers win

12/6/19

TUC

Socialist Party members make big impact at trades council conference

12/6/19

National Shop Stewards Network

Fight the closures save every job!

12/6/19

Essex

Save Essex libraries protest

12/6/19

Enfield

Edmonton joins Enfield North Labour in supporting 'no cuts' fightback strategy

12/6/19

Trump

D-Day for fighting Trump attack on NHS

12/6/19

South Western Railway

South Western Railway guards to strike again

12/6/19

Unison

Socialists in Unison hold positions in elections despite ban on campaigning

10/6/19

Barking

Fire tears through flats - cladding off now!

6/6/19

Lancashire

Stagecoach strike - bus workers show how it's done

6/6/19

Bridgend

Ford closure announcement must be met with united response of defiance

5/6/19

National Shop Stewards Network

Strike together to kick out the Tories!

5/6/19

Wales

Welsh train fleet workers' victory

5/6/19

UCU

UCU conference 2019: Preparing for struggle

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999