The failure of the DUP and Sinn Féin to agree a basis to re-establish an Executive has hampered and delayed the annual round of pay negotiations for civil servants. When it became clear that there was little prospect of the two main parties returning to partnership in government, and having consulted with members, public sector union NIPSA reluctantly entered formal pay negotiations with the NI civil service (NICS) management, submitting a 5% pay claim in July 2017. This reflected the anger of members at 7 years of pay awards below inflation.
On Tuesday 27th March, hundreds of parents, children, staff and trade unionists rallied in opposition to the proposal to close seven special needs schools across Belfast and merge them into three super schools. Parents had made their own posters and banners, many with images of their own children, with slogans such as ‘Save My School’ and ‘Not all children have voices, but they have choices’.
In a show of cross-community, working-class unity, leisure centre workers from the Shankill Road and Falls Road, trade unionists and people from across Belfast came together to protest the declining working conditions and plans which threaten forty-nine jobs that have arisen since the takeover of Belfast’s leisure centres by Greenwich Leisure Limited.
The sexist attitudes that have dominated this trial show there is a need for special measures in order to ensure that victims of sexual violence receive justice. The example of specialised courts should be considered, as in South Africa and other countries, which provide judge and juries with training and have achieved a higher level of conviction and a less traumatic experience in court for victims of sexual violence.
A friend in hospitality argued that I’d be better off in McDonald’s as they’d just won a pay-rise and it was due to the collective action taken by workers with the help and guidance of a union. I thought we at Boojum could take similar action and contacted the union. Since Unite and Boojum workers started our campaign, the number of active members has grown and we’re slowly gaining concessions. We used to feel powerless, but now we feel empowered