Friday, 20 April 2012

Swinton Comp. Strike report.

Report from the Rotherham NUT picket lines at Swinton comprehensive school Tuesday 17th April, by Alistair Tice.

Two dozen teachers at Swinton Comprehensive School, near Rotherham, members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) took one day strike action on Tuesday 17th April, to oppose compulsory redundancies.

Mirroring last year's dispute at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham, previous serious financial mismanagement compounded by budget cuts resulted in a £800,000 deficit last year. The new Head announced a "robust recovery plan" this January which included a staff restructure which had the potential for eight teachers to lose their jobs.

Through going part-time etc, ie taking a cut in hours and therefore pay, 7 teachers have avoided redundancy, but the Head still wants to get rid of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) whose work will be shared by other teachers for no extra pay.

So the NUT members voted by 93% in favour of strike action which began on Tuesday. A few teachers have left the union but more, about ten have joined.

The school, a secondary, was closed for the day, but pickets still braved the wet and windy weather at both gates in the morning, getting press and radio coverage.

Significantly, Chris Cooksey, the school NUT rep, who was first at the picket line, was approached at the school gate by the Head who suggested that they, face to face, could sort this out. Whilst there'll be no closet meetings, hopefully this means that the strike, and threat of more, will force the Head to back down and withdraw the compulsory redundancy.

Please send messages of support to Chris at ccooksey@swinton.rotherham.sch.uk

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

MAYDAY MARCH

ROTHERHAM MAYDAY MARCH SATURDAY 5th MAY!!!

After years of Mayday going unmarked in Rotherham, Rotherham Against the Cuts and the united people of Rotherham have called a Mayday March to give EVERYONE -  Workers, the unemployed, Women, the Youth, Old, Disabled - in Rotherham a chance to voice their anger!

BRING YOUR OWN BANNERS!!!

The March is open to anyone who is suffering so the Rich can get Richer!!! They had their bail-outs, bonuses and tax-breaks - and we lose our jobs, watch our wages get cut, prices go up... but it doesn't have to be this way!!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Support the Rawmarsh Drivers!

Below is an article from the Socialist Party website by Alistair Tice covering the latest in the Stagecoach bus driver pay dispute. The drivers will be on strike again on Friday 10th February so if at all possible please don't use Stagecoach buses on Friday as they will be driven by strike-breakers! 
Stagecoach - "Driving Standards Higher" and "Attractive Pay Rates"!

Stagecoach South Yorkshire – Strike Day 11 – management getting desperate!
It was -15C overnight. Pickets arrive at Rawmarsh (Rotherham) depot at 4-30am. Water has been poured over the footpath where the strikers assemble making it into a skating ring. How vindictive and dangerous is that? Just shows how desperate Stagecoach bosses are getting.

Over 300 busdrivers in Barnsley and Rotherham, members of Unite, are now on their 11th day of strike action for decent pay. Their £9/hour claim has been met but they are sticking out for back-pay from last year and will not accept a pay freeze for the next year.

Stagecoach are doing everything to try to break this strike. Since November, they have bussed in management and scabs from around the country. Now they are advertising for scabs in the Barnsley JobCentre: £500/week, free accommodation, free bar and bonus! We’ve contacted the DWP union the PCS to try to get this withdrawn.

Stagecoach have cut their fares to only £1 and can run no services after 6pm. They are losing £millions to try to break the union. But boosted by a big solidarity march in Barnsley last Saturday, the strikers are determined to win. They are on strike again on Friday and have named another 4 strike days in March.

Messages of support should be emailed to Barnsley Unite branch secretary Tony Rushforth at:

Cheques should be made payable to TGWU 9/9 Barnsley and sent to A. Rushforth, 45 Tune Street, Wombwell, BarnsleyS73 8PX

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

May 2012 Local Election Organising Meeting!

In the run up to the 2012 local elections we will be holding a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) organising meeting to coordinate the campaign.

Roth. TUSC 2012 Organising Meeting Leaflet

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

TUSC election conference

A TUSC conference open to all supporters of TUSC, candidates and agents, and those still considering whether to stand in the local elections on 3 May 2012.

Saturday 28 January 2012, 11:00am – 4:00pm, University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY

The conference will be divided into two sections:

How can local councillors fight the cuts? To answer the many questions that are continually raised around this issue and as an introduction to the draft policy platform

Organising an election campaign. To give some guidance to the prospective candidates and/or their agents

Please let us know if you are planning to come by sending an email to: tuscbulletin@yahoo.co.uk

If you have already selected where you are going to stand candidates please let us know, or do so when you decide, so that we can build a national picture of our electoral challenge.

The conference will also debate and vote on the draft policy document set out on the TUSC website - PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Monday, 16 January 2012

South Yorkshire Stagecoach bus drivers take eighth day of strike action.

As South Yorkshire Stagecoach bus drivers took their eighth day of strike action SP members visited the picket line. Article by Alistair Tice.

Stagecoach busdrivers in Barnsley and Rotherham, members of the Unite trade union, took their eight day of strike action on Monday 16th January in pursuit of their pay claim for £9.50/hour.

Boosted by a branch members ballot which had overwhelming rejected the company offer by 206 votes to 89, pickets at the Rawmarsh depot were in determined mood. One steward said that he had spent 16 hours on the picket line last time, put newspapers down his trousers and mustard powder around his toes to keep warm in the freezing temperatures!

Drivers were on £8-57/hour and had a 2% rise imposed, taking them to £8-74.

The ‘offer’ was £9-05/hour but with no back-pay (due from April 2011) and no further rise until 2013, in other words a two year pay deal, with many strings attached.

How far Stagecoach South Yorkshire pay has fallen behind other bus drivers was illustrated by three Arriva bus union reps on the picket line in solidarity - they are on £11-43/hour.

The Barnsley and Rotherham drivers have been taking strike action since November but Stagecoach is bussing in supervisors and managers from all around the country who are prepared to take the “boss’s shilling”. The result is the depot is able to get out about 60% of the services.

But at what cost? The pickets have seen a pay slip showing up to £155 bonuses per day for strike breakers on top of their wage. Hotel and travel is also paid. So the strikers are not disheartened because Stagecoach can’t keep this up as its more expensive than paying the drivers and they clearly can afford to pay the increase they are seeking!

Messages of support should be emailed to Barnsley Unite branch secretary Tony Rushforth at a-rushforth@sky.com Cheques should be made payable to Unite, 8-9/9 Barnsley and sent to A Rushforth, 45 Tune Street, Wombwell, Barnsley S73 8PX