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Category Archives: pay and conditions
But we’re so pleased to be able to say that our Camden Unison traffic warden strikers have won a huge victory in their pay battle!
They’ve won an increase to £15 an hour this year (backdated to 1 April), to £15.90 next year and to £16.50 or RPI increase, whichever is the highest, in year 3. That’s an 18.1% or £5k pay rise in year one!
This has only happened because our members got organised and stood united together. Going out on indefinite strike was a bold move but it’s paid off – striking hard works!!
Over the next week or so we’ll be writing to branches to thank them for their solidarity, but an immediate big thanks to everyone who marched, picketed and protested with us, who sent us solidarity messages, spoke at (mainly rainy!) rallies and meetings and just gave us a honk! Your solidarity kept the strike strong.
At the last mass meeting today, strikers recorded solidarity video messages to Barnet Unison branch, to Kirklees UNISON branch and to Brighton UCU branch to show solidarity with their fights. They’ve become known for their picket line drumming skills, but have sold most of the drums and are donating the money to other strike funds too.
After the best ever ballot result, 73.11% turnout and 100% YES vote for strike, Camden traffic wardens started on Monday 24 July, an indefinite (also known as continuous) strike action. Everyone attended their base picket line since (including many who were meant to be on a rest day), sending a really clear message to NSL that we’re organised and determined and can win!
Picket lines, rallies, lobbying the Council and the strike meetings have been well attended and a resounding success with everyone coming together, reporting how their picket lines were successful and discussion followed.
Many message of support from colleagues, other trade unions and the public have been received. UNISON published a press release and information has been sent to other UNISON branches in London.
A great article about the strike has been published in this the Camden New Journal, and they will continue to report the dispute.
We are continuously producing leaflets, badges and stickers that have been given out to members of the public about the strike, and distributed to other trade union branches asking for shows of solidarity.
A delegation from Tower Hamlet UNISON visited your picket lines already and two young traffic wardens members have attended their branch meeting explaining the reasons behind the strike.
Tower Hamlet Unison has promised a contribution to the strike fund and other will follow from other trade unions as the dispute is publicised.
So make sure you continue to attend your picket line– and let’s be loud and proud!!!!
Tel: 020 7974 1633
Camden UNISON Branch Office
3rd Floor Crowndale Centre
218-220 Eversholt Street
We haven’t been able to email members with the result of our national pay ballot because of IT problems, so we decided to post the results for our branch here.
Our main ballot of Camden employees including the community schools was a turnout of 42.19% with a YES vote of 84.64%.
So very mixed feeling – obviously, it’s gutting that we didn’t quite make it over 50%. Lots of you in the branch and who come to our meetings regularly put in loads of work – so for instance based on our own info, we had turnouts over 80% in DDS and Housing Officers (big up the reps there!). We also had some fantastic turnouts in schools, again over 80% in some.
Our weakness was the areas where we don’t have reps/people we could ask to be ballot rep and chase up their team – so we know what to work on next time. The phoning definitely made a difference and members seemed to like a call from the branch, which will also help in the future. One important action out of this is that we spend time over the summer/autumn making contacts in those areas so we have more organisation.
We are one of the branches with quite a lot of ‘NJC’ members, and so our result really is a testament to the work of reps and pay campaigners – and you can tell the strength of feeling by the huge YES vote for strike action!
We haven’t yet got the results of our non-Camden schools, I think it’s likely that we will have got over 50% in some of those, but let’s see, and we need to look how many members we have in each of them etc.
In the midst of being frustrated that we got so close, there are a couple of important positives. In the last month alone, over 60 people have joined the branch, and hopefully having joined whilst we’re campaigning about action over pay will be up for getting involved. Some of the new members are in the areas where we aren’t so well organised, so will make a difference there. Also, this is the best result we’ve had certainly for about 20 years (of course the 50% turnout wasn’t relevant for most of that time) and almost double what we got in the last official ballot, so is definitely something we can build on. And it’s a good enough turnout, and YES vote, that management will see we aren’t a pushover – if there were to be a local issue, we could get over 50%, and they’ll recognise that too.
UNISON is now waiting for the outcome of the Unite Local Government pay ballot before announcing next steps.
So all in all, we should of course be gutted that we haven’t got over 50%, but also should be very proud of how close we came and the work we’ve done. We can have a good discussion our meetings about how we can build on it. And don’t forget our traffic wardens! More details about their dispute coming soon.
It needs to be in a post box by the end of the week to get to it’s destination by 10am on Tuesday 4 July!
Last year, Chris Smalls was part of a group of workers who took on Amazon and won the right to have a union at the Staten Island centre. They started the Amazon Labor Union (ALO) and since then have been campaigning for recognition across the US, and supporting Amazon workers globally in their fight for union rights. Earlier this year, he met with Amazon strikers at Coventry, where they have recruited hundreds to the union and been taking strike action for decent pay.
During the pandemic, Chris led a walkout about the conditions they were expected to work in. He was dismissed the next day, but along with workmates, he spent the next two years organising the union. Amazon even had them arrested when they brought leaflets and other union material to hand out in the car park.
Jeff Bezos, the Amazon boss, is the third richest man in the world, and he spent millions of dollars trying to stop Chris and his workmates. But they still lost!
Come along to the meeting (in person) to hear the story of how workers beat Jeff Bezos — and be inspired to take on our bosses too!
Visit our Pay Microsite Camden UNISON the public service union
Camden UNISON Members Meeting 1pm, Thurs 22 June Teams Guest Speaker: Mick Lynch, RMT General Secretary
As many of you know, we have a members meeting every Thursday at 1pm on Teams, where we discuss our campaigns, workplace issues and more, and where possible we have guest speakers. These are often strikers or campaigners. And this week, we have a guest speaker that many of you will have heard of. A year ago, rail workers in the RMT were the first out of the blocks to start saying that we can’t put up with any more pay cuts. They were attacked in the media, but Mick Lynch, their union General Secretary, answered every challenge and put the case not just for rail workers, but for all working class people to get a decent wage and have decent working conditions. And he argued that this should not be at the expense of those worse off, but should come from the pockets of the billionaires and the companies that make huge profits from us.
So our meeting on Thursday is a chance to hear from Mick Lynch, to ask him questions, find out any tips to help us win our ballot etc – I hope to see lots of you there!
And don’t forget that next week, we have an in-person meeting on Thursday 29 June – and our guest speaker Chris Smalls comes all the way from Staten Island where he’s been central to organising the union that took on and beat Jeff Bezos at Amazon. So make that the day that you come in to the office!
Dear Camden UNISON Member,
***USE YOUR VOTE***USE YOUR VOTE***USE YOUR VOTE***
POST ME NOW!
This is an invitation for you to join thousands of other London council UNISON members at this meeting on Pay!
A groundbreaking event is taking place on Tuesday 21 March 6.30-7.30 pm when UNISON members from other London councils will be signing up for the first ever London Wide UNISON council & school workers meeting.
UNISON Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 863 5870 6964
The Cost-of-Living Crisis is unrelenting, and more and more workers are under pressure to keep up with increases in costs such as Food, Heating, Rent, Mortgages, Child Care, etc.
Council and Schools workers’ pay has fallen so low over the last 13 years that everyone is now working at least ONE day a week for free.
At the same time energy companies are announcing massive levels of profits whilst many of our members are afraid to turn on the heating.
UNISON Council and School workers now have the opportunity to add their voice to the hundreds of thousands of other trade union members who have already taken strike action over the issue of low pay such as: Transport workers, Royal Mail workers, BT workers, Teachers, Junior Doctors, Train drivers, Cleaners, Teachers, College workers, Border Control workers, Civil Servants, Barristers.
All these trade union members managed to deliver a BIG YES vote in their strike ballot.
In London we need to send a message about the hardship of living on low pay in London. To do that we need to organise across London councils in order for our members’ voices to be heard loud and clear in Parliament.
When is the Strike Ballot to start?
The strike ballot papers will start being sent out to members home addresses from 23 May to 4 July.
What can members do?
It is important that all UNISON members’ email Camden UNISON branch at email@example.com with their correct postal address and contact details including their telephone/ mobile number and email address.
It is critical to the success of the strike ballot that Camden UNISON has the correct details and has your permission to contact you about the strike ballot.
We know from other trade unions the importance of speaking to members about voting and sending back the ballot papers. We are looking for help to be on the Camden UNISON phone bank. If you would like to volunteer, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
3.30-5pm, Wed 8 March
Room 10.10/11/12 in 5PS
and on TEAMS
Come along to the Camden UNISON Annual General Meeting and take part in the discussions around what the union branch has been doing and what we can plan for the coming year. It’s your union, so make sure you get involved and have your say!