Schools reopening March 2021

The two meter rule

Bristol Trades Council extends solidarity to education staff across Bristol as schools allow all pupils back on site on Monday and will continue to support and share any action taken.

As 10 million, pupils and staff are herded back into school buildings this Monday, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), GMB, National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), NASUWT, National Education Union (NEU), National Governance Association (NGA), Sixth Form Colleges’ Association (SFCA), Unison, and Unite have all signed a statement that although all staff want pupils back in school as soon as possible, this must be done in a safe and sustained fashion.

Student wearing masks

To ensure that this is safe, and doesn’t lead to a further spike in cases, we need further mitigations, and the key thing is to have smaller class sizes. That means more social distancing, less viral load testing the ventilation of the room, and less mixing of households. Calls for this have been backed by scientists in SAGE and Indie SAGE, who have warned of a third wave with virus rates of transmission increasing by 10-50% from schools reopening, even with the vaccination roll out as far as it is, and they argue that things should be relaxed later.

It could be easily achieved by opening Nightingale classes, ran by supply staff, many of whom haven’t been able to access furlough and so have been living off very little for the past year. Or by putting in rotas, with students spending part of the week in school, and part of the week learning remotely. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t wish to take these obvious steps. Instead, they insist that by all pupils facing forwards and if they’re over 11, maybe wearing a mask, it will be safe enough. This is an appalling shirking of a duty of care for staff and students by the government, and one that won’t be forgotten quickly by education staff.

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Organise 2020

Organise 2020 is the TUC’s free festival of ideas in union organising. Join activists and staff from across the TUC’s unions this July for 3 days of online events.

From 9 to 11 July, we’ll showcase union organising stories from around the UK and around the world, host debates on major trends in organising, and offer online training sessions in key organising topics and new digital technologies.

We aim to link reps and organisers around the country, build their skills and inspiration, and support unions in working together to recruit and organise new members and their workplaces.

Details of the whole programme and how to register can be found at TUC Organise 2020

There are four headline sessions see below for details

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Tackling the far right

Tackling the far right

Far-right extremism is on the rise in Britain. Hate speech spreads unchecked online, and acts of far-right terrorism have rocketed. In our communities, in our elections and in everyday conversation, far-right mouthpieces are doing their best to spread their hateful message.

Tackling the far-right seems like too difficult a task for one person.

Where do you start? Can you alone make a difference? What can you actually do?

But unions have stronger weapons than the far-right — solidarity, trust, and of course, our union reps and activists. Together we can keep our workplaces hate-free.

There is a TUC Education e-note to help you do just that.

This short online course introduces the big issues and challenges. It identifies who the far-right are, how they get their messages out and how we can stop them.

Let’s not pretend this is easy – it might mean having difficult conversations with colleagues or having to campaign.

You can access the e-note here. Tackling the far right – e-note

Once you’ve completed it, please consider what you can do next to help tackle the far-right. This might include:

  • Encouraging fellow reps, or colleagues to take part
  • Discussing the issues raised at your labour movement meetings and agree an action plan
  • Sharing the e-note with fellow progressive networks
  • If you aren’t already, become a union member. If you are, consider becoming a rep.

The far-right love to exploit issues to divide our communities. As trade unionists, we cannot allow them a free pass on this.

Our history has shown us that when we stand together, we can defeat this hate.

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

Heartunions Week 10-16 February 2020

Heart Unions logo

Heartunions week is a chance to tell the story about why unions are vital for everyone at work, and encourage people who aren’t yet in a union to join. Every year it’s a chance for reps and activists to publicise what they’ve been doing and make the case for union membership.

Heartunions week is all about recruiting people. In 2020 the TUC will roll out new training on how to have organising conversations, as well as materials and advice to support you in getting new members into your union.

In 2020, the campaigning theme for heartunions is stamping out sexual harassment at work. Look out for more details about how you and your workmates can take action on sexual harassment, and use the campaign to encourage non-members to get involved.

And as always – heartunions belongs to union members and union branches all over the UK. So use the week to raise the profile of your union branch and your workplace priorities in the way that works for your members and activists.

Send an email to Bristol Trades Union Council and tell us about your Heartunions activities, it will also cc South West TUC.

Above all please get involved. As and when more events get organised Bristol Trades Union Council will post details here.

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

Fighting back in the low wage economy!


People’s Forum

Organised by Bristol People’s Assembly

Fighting Back

TUESDAY 16 October 7pm
TSSA, Newminster House,
29 Baldwin St, BS1 1LT

Speakers include:

📢 Lauren Townsend, TGI Fridays worker & Oct 4 strike leader (Unite)
📢 Paul Shanks, striking Deliveroo rider (couriers network)
📢 Susan Newman, political economist and anti-austerity activist
📢 Rob Wotherspoon, Communication Workers Union Bristol branch secretary

The last year has seen a series of successful and news-grabbing strikes and protest campaigns by groups of workers ranging from social care workers, fast food workers, university cleaners, Uber drivers and delivery workers.

On Oct 4th workers at McDonalds, TGI Fridays, UberEats and JD Wetherspoon workers went on strike for a living wage in over a dozen workplaces and eight cities across the country, including Bristol, for the Fast Food Shutdown!

All were highlighting issues of poverty pay, precarious contracts, insecure working and lack of union recognition.

Bristol People’s Assembly has invited workers from these sectors to talk about their experiences and where they’re planning to take their campaigns next.

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

CND Public Conference comes to Bristol!

CND protesting

Sunday 21st October 2018
Wills Memorial Building, Bristol, BS8 1RJ

CND’s public conference is on Sunday 21st October 2018 and will include a series of workshops and plenaries focusing on grass roots activity for peace, as well as a peace history walk.

The full Public conference programme can be found here CND’s conference 2018

CND will be working with the local group Remembering the Real World War 1 to understand the reality of war in this centenary year, as well as paying tribute to conscientious objectors.

Winning the defence diversification argument

The day will also offer an opportunity for trade unionists to attend the workshop Winning the defence diversification argument which starts at 1:30pm. This workshop will provide an overview of the defence diversification argument in the Trade Unions and what we can do to create support within them. A local Labour Party activist will share their story of pushing for defence diversification action within the local and national agenda of the Labour Party. Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West will discuss green employment alternatives. Alex Kempshall will give an overview of the positions adopted by various trade unions.

Public Conference administration

For more information about the Public conference, which is open to all, go to CND’s conference 2018.

To register for the Public Conference head down to the bottom of CND’s conference 2018 and click on the link to Eventbrite. Registration will enable CND to get an idea of numbers of people likely to turn up on the day. If you don’t want to register feel free to turn up on the day!

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

#heartunions – get involved

Heart Unions logo

Unions and their network of workplace reps help working people every day. In workplaces all over Britain there are unions making sure we are safe at work, protecting our jobs, pushing for higher pay, and helping us get learning and training.

But millions of our friends and colleagues who are not in a union may not appreciate this. They probably don’t know either that the Tory government is attacking the very trade unions that have done so much to protect workers.

With anti-trade union legislation rushing through parliament there has never been a more important time to speak up for your union. If the Tories get their way, UK workers will be among the easiest to underpay and sack in the western world.

Heartunions week is an opportunity to shout about the great things that you and trade unions achieve together so please get involved. You can find how to at Heartunions week

Bristol Trades Union Council is urging you to do all you can to make heartunions week a success.

There are lots of easy ways to take part –

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