Union elections

A national contract for all school workers

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 09:59
Author

Tracy McGuire

By Tracy McGuire

I’ve just been elected to the support-staff place on the Executive of the National Education Union, in a by-election.

My first priority is unionising as many school support staff as possible into the NEU.

Especially with the election, there are going to be cuts to schools and job losses for support staff.

We need campaigns. We need more support-staff reps, and not just as reps for support staff.

At present the NEU has a support staff conference, but it is entitled only to put one motion to the national union conference. [The system was inherited from the ATL, the union that

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 08:38
Author

Duncan Morrison, Ollie Moore and Jay Dawkey

Lewisham members of the National Education Union (NEU) in primary schools are to take part in an indicative ballot over boycotting high stakes testing. The ballot will run from 6 January for two weeks.

There will be two questions on the ballot, one about “action short of strike” (i.e. the question about the boycott) and a second asking members if they will strike in the event of victimisation of members who take part.

The ballot information summarises the boycott as follows:

“Leadership and teacher members will refuse to administer the year 2 SATs, the year 6 SATs, the phonics test and the

Tracy wins in NEU

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 15:41

Workers’ Liberty supporter Tracy McGuire has won the by-election for support staff rep on the National Education Union’s national executive.

In a three-way election, Tracy won 1,200 votes, 53%, with the rest split almost evenly between the two other candidates. However, the turnout was, at 2270, only 7.7%.

Tracy, a teaching assistant in Darlington with a strong profile in the local labour movement, ran a campaign focused on workplace and industrial issues for support staff – but also raising wider questions including Brexit and migrants’ rights.

As we understand it she was also the only one

Vote Tracy in the NEU!

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 13:13

The election for the Support Staff sector seat on the executive of the NEU is now running and will close on 2 December.

The candidate for the rank-and-file Education Solidarity Network is Workers’ Liberty supporter Tracy McGuire. She is supported by many militant support staff, including the Durham Teaching Assistants’ Value Us campaign.

Tracy says:

  • Support staff should be treated as equal citizens in our Union. That means the NEU fighting for the right to represent and negotiate on behalf of our support staff members at every level.
  • The union should campaign for national pay arrangements

Three candidates, one rank and file

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:23
Author

A PCS activist

The election campaign for PCS general secretary has now started, and runs until 12 December.

Before it started, the union closed down the members’ Facebook page, leaving only the main union Facebook page, administered by head office staff. That page has churned out a weekly, sometimes daily, stream of videos of the current general secretary, Mark Serwotka, holding forth on various issues.

Closing down a potential forum for debate, and using the union’s official platforms for blatant electioneering, do not reflect well on Serwotka’s campaign for re-election.

Bev Laidlaw is standing as the

Vote Bev Laidlaw for PCS General Secretary

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 08:21

PCS has been run by a “broad left” alliance, made up of the Left Unity grouping working with some more right-wing elements, for over 15 years. In that time, after an initial increase, membership has haemorrhaged. In all major government departments, membership has fallen by between 10-50%.

The “broad left” narrative is essentially that, if you elect a “left-wing” leadership, you can simply put your trust in them and everything else will fall into place. The dominance of this narrative has led to a decline in workplace activism and militancy, and a decline in density across all bargaining units

GMB rules hamper democracy

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:35
Author

Dale Street

Ballot papers have been sent out to GMB members in the union’s General Secretary election, a choice between the incumbent Tim Roache and the union’s European Officer, Kathleen Walker-Shaw.

That an election is taking place at all is an achievement.

In previous elections only 30 nominations were needed to get onto the ballot paper. But last year’s GMB conference agreed to increase the number of nominations by two thirds, raising the number to 50.

The GMB’s rules also make it notoriously difficult, and deliberately so, for anyone who is not already a union full-timer – such as an incumbent

Second victory at BEIS

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:32
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

On 21 October our members working for the contractor ISS at BEIS (the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy) won a complete victory in their dispute.

This follows a victory for catering staff at BEIS, employed by another contractor, Aramark, on 4 October.

Now porters, security, post room, cleaners and receptionist staff have also won the London Living Wage, improved sick pay, and a number of other conditions.

The victories can be put down to one factor: all-out indefinite strike action, which isn’t that common these days.

At FCO (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) we’ve

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:31
Author

Gerry Bates, Dom Sztyber, Darren Bedford and Ollie Moore

The ballot for general secretary of the civil service union PCS will open on 7 November and close on 12 December.

For the first time in 18 years, the sitting general secretary, Mark Serwotka, faces a challenge from the left.

Bev Laidlaw, the Independent Left candidate, got 17 branch nominations, topping the number of 15 required to get on the ballot paper.

Serwotka got 62 nominations. The candidate backed by the Socialist Party, Marion Lloyd, got 39.

The SP was a dominant force in the union, closely allied with Serwotka, until about a year and a half ago.

In the Assistant General Secretary

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 08:52
Author

Ollie Moore, Duncan Morrison and Darren Bedford

London Underground station workers at the east end of the District Line began industrial action from Friday 27 September, in a dispute over workplace safety.

Workers will refuse to detrain or attend incidents alone, and will work from a place of safety, after their union, RMT, launched a campaign to demand safe staffing levels following a spike in antisocial behaviour and staff assaults. Workplace safety is becoming an increasingly acute issue on the Tube, after a serious assault on staff at West Ham station.

Drivers in the RMT on four lines — Victoria, Central, Northern, and Jubilee — will

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