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.
Young and precarious workers across Britain and Ireland are getting organised. Small but successful campaigns – such as the McDonald’s strike, #Betterthanzero in Scotland and Unite the Union’s Fair Hospitality initiative – have begun to rebuild a fighting trade union consciousness among young people which had been lost by decades of inaction by the majority of union leaderships.
The ongoing threat of outsourcing of work at Bombardier and the current redundancies, linked to outsourcing, are a huge challenge to the workforce. However, having led the battle to save jobs and skills, Bombardier workers have shown what they are capable of when united and mobilised and are now in a stronger position to deal with future threats, whether political or from the company.
Only two days into 14 days of planned strike action by academic staff in Queen’s University, the University of Ulster and 59 universities across Britain and the front page headline of the Times ran “University chiefs split as strikes cause chaos!” Some university bosses went so far as to publicly criticise the plans to scrap defined benefit pensions and declared support for the strike.
2018 has opened with a crisis across our entire health service. Working people are both worried and angry – worried about the service they will receive if they become ill and angry about the unending programme of austerity which has chipped away at our public services. Previously, the Northern […]