Will Bristol school students and educators have a holiday break?

Social distancing at school

Bristol and South Gloucestershire NEU branches met last week to discuss the ongoing Covid crisis in our schools.

Schools are engines of Covid spread and young people living in multigenerational households or with family members with underlying health conditions risk bringing a deadly virus into their home. Mindful that educators’ first concern is always for the health and wellbeing of the young people they work with.they have therefore agreed on the following set of demands.

  • A move to remote learning for the week beginning Monday 7th December to serve as a firebreak to suppress Covid. Whilst remaining open to vulnerable students, children of key workers and academically vulnerable students who could not access remote learning during the last academic year.
  • A wider closure on the 14th December to ensure students and educators alike do not face the risk of needing to spend their well deserved holiday break self-isolating.
  • Full pay for supply teachers and any staff member who needs to take time off of work to care for sick or self-isolating children.
  • All clinically extremely vulnerable staff and staff in the third trimester of pregnancy to work from home.

Educators, school leaders, students, staff and their families, deserve a holiday break with a semblance of normalcy. Schools need to be closed on Monday 14th December to ensure this.

NEU logo
Please contact Bristol National Education Union:
07394447160 for further comment.

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PCS petition for fair pay

PCS petition for fair pay

At the request of Bristol PCS members Bristol Trades Union Council are asking you to show your anger at the decision by the Tory government to freeze public sector pay in the recent spending review by signing the PCS petition for fair pay.

The PCS petition for fair pay for UK government workers has seen a surge in popularity over the last few days as anger grows at the public sector pay freeze and they are well on our way to their target of 100,000 signatures.

The petition reached 91,000 signatures by Thursday 26th November with a surge in recent days following the Tory chancellor Rishi Sunak announcement, in the spending review, that there will be a public sector pay freeze for millions of workers. Jeremy Corbyn and other MPs have shared the petition on their social media accounts and urging people to sign and share it.

A pay freeze would be a slap in the face for millions of public sector workers who have worked hard to keep vital services running during the pandemic and who have suffered over a decade of pay restraint.

It is therefore crucial that we support PCS members and others who will suffer from this pay freeze by showing our disgust at the plans by signing and sharing the PCS online petition for fair pay for UK government workers and by reaching 100,000 signatures force MPs to debate the issue in parliament.

For more information about the campaign and a link to the petition visit PCS pay petition passes 90000 signatures

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No choice but to strike

Emergency first responders at Airbus to strike
The first strike will be between

6am December 1 to 6pm December 4

A second round of strike action will be between

6am December 14 to 6pm December 17

Emergency first responders working at Airbus’ Filton site will go on strike over an ultimatum by their employer, Securitas, to either be made redundant or accept new contracts that will see their pay reduced by up to £6,000.

The 10 Unite members, who voted unanimously in favour of December strike action, have been told that if they do not accept the changes, which also include reductions to holidays and sick pay, they will lose their jobs.

More info and messages of support Facebook – No choice but to strike

Full story can be read here UniteLive – No choice but to strike

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Key Workers Summit

Key Workers Summit

Thu, 26 Nov 2020 – 19:00 to 21:00

Summit will be held on Zoom

The Gloucester & District, Bristol and Bath Trades Councils invite friends, activists and other interested trade unionists to a Key Workers Summit where we will hear from key workers on the front lines. Our aim is to begin a broad discussion on how we can bring together trade unionists and trades councils in the South West to start thinking about what a campaign or campaigns could look like, to win for key workers. We will seek to identify ways of moving public focus back onto key workers, explore opportunities to collectively organise and to strengthen participation and activity in local Trade Councils

Do you remember a time not so long ago when we came to realise that society relied on groups of workers who were previously taken for granted? Workers in jobs that were often considered to be low skilled, of low status and with little respect or appreciation. We came to call them KEY WORKERS.

Although lauded during the lockdown, applauded each week by the public and the Prime Minister , this public expression of appreciation has not resulted in improvements to their pay and conditions, or the respect they receive from some members of the public.

There remain far too many workers in critical, unsung occupations who are poorly paid , often requiring in work benefits to get by. At the start of the year, the TUC found over 2 million key workers in Britain were on the minimum wage; ¾ of them in the private sector. Many of these workers are also in precarious employment, stuck on insecure work contracts with few benefits and treated appallingly.

Key workers have more than proved their worth during the pandemic. As trade unionists, we have always spoken up for workers who provide vital services to our communities and have always fought for better terms and conditions, and pay that truly reflects their high skills and value. This is a cause for which trades unions must continue to be active.

To get involved, and help win a better deal for our key workers, click on the link below to register.

TUC webpage of events: Key Workers Summit

Details can also be found on facebook Key Workers Summit
A flyer for the event can be downloaded click here >>>> Key Workers Summit

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Rally For Jobs

Save our Jobs

Bristol Unite Community Branch have organised this rally and stall and will be handing out Unite Community material with a few labour movement speakers to attract attention. Other labour movement organisations have been invited to participate and to hand out their own material.

12 noon, Sat 24th October

Centre of Broadmead, Bristol
(between Barclays and Metro banks)

More information on Facebook: Rally for jobs

A flyer for the event can be downloaded click here >>>> Rally for jobs

Unemployment is already soaring and likely to spike further when the government ends the furlough scheme on 31st October. Unite has called for the scheme to be
extended to avoid the risk of ‘redundancy floodgates’ opening. We can’t let unemployment mar our communities and help bosses drive a race to the bottom
on terms and conditions. Join us in the centre of Broadmead, between Barclays and Metro banks as we rally for jobs.

***COVID PRECAUTIONS***

Anyone who is experiencing possible Covid-19 symptoms or who has been in contact with anyone experiencing symptoms must not attend. This will be a socially distanced event. Please wear a mask if you can and take all necessary precautions to prevent the transmission of the disease. Masks will be available for
those who do not have them

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Putting People Before Profit

Thursday, 8th October 2020
from 19:00 to 20:15

More information on Facebook: Putting People Before Profit

Roger Thomas, Bristol Trades Union Council Executive Committee member, will be presenting the view of Bristol and South Gloucestershire trade unionists to the meeting.

These are just some of the topics that will be discussed –

  • Extend the furlough scheme – defend every job
  • Safe workplaces – protect workers and students from the virus
  • Tax the wealthy – no to austerity
  • Public ownership of services – including testing
  • Massive investment in a green economy
  • Scrap universal credit – we need a welfare state that provides security and dignity.
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Safe Reopening of Schools Day of Action – Bristol

Friday, 21 August 2020
from 11:30-12:30
Wine Street, Bristol, BS1 2

Bristol Trades Union Council is calling for all to support this action.

All education workers want schools to reopen and say the best place children can be is back in school, learning, playing and socialising with their friends.

However, Britain is still in the midst of a global pandemic and the availability of vaccine for everyone is still out of sight for now. This means that all are still at risk of a deadly virus. It is still the clinically vulnerable staff, students, parents, grandparents, carers and members of our community who we most at risk to the virus.

As all in education go back to school we need to ensure our schools are safe. This means demanding amongst other things:
– weekly testing for all staff and any students whose parents wish to be tested
– continued shielding for any clinically vulnerable staff or anyone who lives with a clinically vulnerable person
– PPE for all cleaners in schools
– the availability to self-isolate on full-pay

More information on Facebook: Safe Reopening of Schools Day of Action – Bristol

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Not A Penny More

Not a penny more to Serco - BRISTOL action

Tuesday, 18th August 2020
12:00-13:00
College Green, Bristol, BS1 5UY

More information on Facebook: Not a penny more to Serco – BRISTOL action

This Bristol event is part of a national Day of Action: show your support for safe, local track and trace in your community!

Unless explicitly stated otherwise any commercial advertisements appearing on this page aren’t endorsed or supported by Bristol Trades Union Council.

NHS workers say “NO!” to Public Sector pay inequality

NHS workers say 'NO!' to Public Sector pay inequality

Saturday 8th August
11am, College Green, Bristol

Facebook event: Bristol Protest for Pay Justice

Bristol health and social care workers will be protesting along with colleagues across the country demanding a 15% pay increase paid from 1 December 2020, in order to start recovering a decade of lost wages.

From the organisers: “We are calling on NHS staff and supporters to join us to send a clear message to the government. We do not accept your plans to exclude us from the public sector pay increase, and we will make ourselves heard until you listen.”

All attendees are asked to respect social distancing as much as possible and the planned route gives as much space as possible. Mask wearing will be mandatory, and masks will be available on the day for those that don’t have them. Attendees are asked to wear blue, or a blue ribbon in solidarity.

There will be several speakers including Sheila Caffrey President of Bristol Trades Union Council.

At 11.58 there will be 2 minutes of still silence for all our brave colleagues that lost their lives.

The march will then proceed to Castle Park, making as much noise as possible!

An online rally will also be taking place from 11:30am to 1pm for anyone who cannot join outdoor protests. Details can be found here Online DEMO for NHS PAY Justice

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TV licence for over 75’s

Save TV Licences

On 13th July 2020 the Gloucester, Avon & Somerset region of the National Pensioners’ Convention (NPC) issued the following press release

NPC blames Government over BBC’S decision to end free TV licence for over 75’s

The news that the free TV licence for over 75s is to end from 1st August is absolutely devastating for the millions of pensioners who rely on their television for information, entertainment and company.

The NPC lays the blame for this draconian measure squarely at the door of the government, who have handed responsibility for this universal entitlementto the BBC, knowing that many of our oldest and most vulnerable people will struggle to find the money to keep their TVs switched on.

It is a cruel decision for the government to force the BBC to take, particularly while a great many over 75s are still self-isolating and afraid to go out because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The majority of over 75s are not online – so forcing them to switch off unless they pay for a licence is depriving them of their only means of obtaining key messages and, for many, their only companionship. This may well have a profound impact on their health and well-being in general, particularly if, as predicted, the coronavirus spikes again this winter.

Over 75s will now have to choose between switching off permanently or finding the money for the licence to stay switched on – which could leave many having to decide between their TV or eating and heating. It is a choice that they should never have to make in the 21st century.

The Chancellor is busy handing out money to save businesses, but this government clearly has no concept of how most of our elderly live and how even those whose income goes just beyond the Pension Credit level, still struggle daily to make ends meet.

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