Christmas is going to be a lot more expensive this year. Food prices have gone up at twice the rate of wages. And with overall inflation running higher than pay rises families are really feeling the squeeze. Working people need a pay rise.
Season’s greetings from South West TUC
The opportunity to show the value of trade unions and make the case for priority campaigns will take place in February. The TUC shall be supporting the Bakers’ Union campaign for an independent voice for workers inside MacDonalds. Trades Union Councils are helping to organise the hand-out of leaflets. The week will help make the case for a new deal for working people including proper funding of public services, decent pay rises for all and assistance to particular union campaigns.
Friday 2 February 10.30am-3pm
Plymouth Athenaeum, Derry's Cross, Plymouth PL1 2SW
Half-day event with three interactive workshops for reps and officers wanting to understand more around mental health issues in the workplace, tackling stigma and discrimination, and how best to support members in the workplace. This event is free, with lunch and refreshments provided.
Thursday 8 February
Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6AY
Tuesday 27 February
Mecure Rougemont Hotel, Exeter
Communication skills sessions for trade unionists to help use social media, blogs and video clips can help get your message across. Learn about reaching people by social media - knowing your audience and finding your tone of voice - blog writing skills, getting your message across on video, tips and techniques for social media and online conversation, and more.
If you’ve recently started blogging or using social media or already have experience and are looking to further improve your skills, come along to one of these workshops with Riz Hussain, TUC Social Media Officer and Niamh Ni Mhaoileoin, TUC Digital Content Editor.
There’ll be practical tips and activities and opportunities to share experiences with other union reps too.
The High Pay Centre and CIPD’s ‘Fat Cat Thursday’ was 4 January, the day on which the typical FTSE 100 chief executive already earned the same as the average wage for a whole year. Analysis by the High Pay Centre and CIPD found the ratio of CEO pay to the average full-time worker wage is 120 to 1. In the South West the average pay is around £2,000 less than the UK average.
South West TUC Regional Secretary Nigel Costley said: “Workers are suffering the longest pay squeeze since Napoleonic times. One out of seven are skipping meals to make ends meet. But fat cat bosses are still getting salaries that look like telephone numbers. The government needs a plan to make the economy fair again.
“Workers should be given seats on pay committees to bring some common sense and fairness to boardroom pay. And the minimum wage should be put up to £10 an hour as quickly as possible.”
Journalists at the Swindon Advertiser have been on strike over low and unfair pay at the daily title owned by Newsquest. Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: "Our members at Newsquest are taking a determined stand against poverty pay and a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the injustice and inequality that sees colossal profits channeled out of the local centre at the expense of local journalism.”
NEU-NUT Section Office is moving and the new address will be:
NEU South West, Knightshayes House, 9 Harrier Way, Sowton, Exeter EX2 7HU
All the phone numbers, etc. will remain the same.
Unions are fighting plans to establish so-called NHS subsidiary companies (subcos) across the South West. NHS Trusts say they can claim back VAT using subcos but when staff are transferred into an NHS subsidiary company, they are no longer part of nationally-agreed terms and conditions (Agenda for Change). This means Trusts can change employee contracts to be less favourable.
Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has secured a new recognition agreement with retail discounter B&M Bargains, which allows the union to recruit and organise the company’s retail staff.
Closing date 29 January
Closing date 29 January
Home-based South West and South Wales
Closing date 9 February
The Rebellious Sounds Archive will collect women’s contemporary stories of activism in the South West. A mobile listening booth built like a voting booth will tour museums and locations to gather and share contemporary stories of women’s activism, whilst also looking back 100 years to discover local stories and connections to the women’s suffrage campaign. Supported by Heritage Lottery Fund.
Thursday 18 January 11am
Lord Mayors Chapel, Bristol
Everyone is welcome to the celebration of John’s life and work in Bristol City Council and the Trade Union movement. Tributes will be made by Alun Beynon, Marvin Rees and Doug Naysmith and others from Bristol City Council.
4 February 7pm for a drink before the 45-minute film
Cube Cinema in Kingsdown, Bristol BS2 8JD
In 1918 a small group of firefighters, disillusioned with poor treatment at the hands of those who oversaw their service, set up the Firemen’s Trade Union with the founding aim of “a means to reorganise the conditions of their labours and thus bring more happiness into the lives of its members.” Soon renamed the Fire Brigades Union. In its centenary year, the FBU wants to commemorate and celebrate the people who built the union. A special film for the occasion has been commission and will be shown in Bristol followed by a Q&A session with FBU General Secretary, Matt Wrack.
The 4th February has a special place in the hearts of everyone in the South West FBU as it was the date in 1996 when Avon Firefighter Fleur Lombard QGM lost her life in the line of duty whilst fighting a blaze in Bristol.
Tuesday 6 February 6-9pm
Berkeley Square, Bristol BS8
Celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Representation of The People Act, which allowed some women to vote in the UK for the first time! The parade will march pass Wills Memorial Building which will be lit in suffrage colours and down Park Street to City Hall. The March will be accompanied by an all-female marching band playing popular songs followed by a reception hosted by the Mayor of Bristol, where a 100-girls choir will perform the March of The Women and a newly composed song by Dionne Draper celebrating women and girls today. This will be followed by speeches from Bristol politicians and activists, celebrating democracy.
See Facebook Event Page
We Are The Lions, Mr. Manager! is the story of the Grunwick Strike of 1976-78 and the inspirational strike-leader Jayaben Desai who led a group of workers in the backstreet London factory. Their stand kick-started one of the longest and most important industrial disputes.
16 February 7.45pm
Dorchester Arts Centre, The Corn Exchange, High Street East, Dorchester DT1 1HF
Box Office: 01305 266926 / Website
Bridport Arts Centre, 9 South Street, Bridport DT6 3NR
Box Office: 01308 424 204 / Website
21 February 7.30pm
Blackwood Miners High St, Blackwood NP12 1AA
Box Office: 01495 227206 / Website
22 February 8pm
23 February 7.30pm
6 April 7.30pm
The annual gathering of trade union delegates.
For more information contact [email protected]
Applications for stall holders and volunteers for the 2018 Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival 20-22 July can now be made on the Tolpuddle Martyrs website.
In early news of the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival line-up it is announced that the fantastic CAPTAIN SKA will perform on the Saturday evening – 21st July. Captain Ska are releasing their new Christmas single Sons and Daughters, in collaboration with The People's Assembly. All proceeds in the run up to Christmas will be split between the People's Assembly and Food Banks Nationwide - directly helping those suffering most at the hands of the Tories and helping sustain a campaign for the alternative to austerity.
Check out this video with interviews from the band: