Last week the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided the Unison backed case of Mercer v Alternative Future Group Ltd. In this case a union rep had helped to organise and took part in a strike for the Unison union, and was disciplined by her employer for having done so, being given a disciplinary warning. The union … Continue reading BEIS argues disciplining striking workers may be legitimate and lawful.
A basic rule of contract law is that any change in contract needs to be agreed by both parties, and unless there is a specific pre-agreed clause allowing unilateral changes, no one party can change the terms of the contract. If a change is sought then one party will need to end the contract (give … Continue reading ‘Fire and rehire’ under spotlight
I have covered the ongoing constructive unfair dismissal claim and associated matters of the former Permanent Secretary of Home Office Philip Rutnam a couple of times. As has now been widely reported that case, which concerned accusations of improper conduct by the Home Secretary Priti Patel or those who for her, has been discontinued after … Continue reading Not with a bang but a whimper?
In April earlier this year Cetin Avsar, a United Voices of World union member, was leading a strike at St Georges Hospital where he was a security guard. Fast forward to this month and Cetin was in a new job working as a security guard for Wilson James, a security contractor. Just three weeks into … Continue reading Solidarity with Cetin
At the beginning of this year I suggested that there had been signs of a ratcheting up of interference of union activities commenting that there "are worrying signs that should a copper turn up on a picket line their agenda should not be automatically assumed to be as an independent and fair-minded enforcer of the … Continue reading Lockdown and the right to picket
In February 2020 (back when coronavirus was barely a thing - it seems so long ago!) the Permanent Secretary of the Home Office announced in a press briefing that he had resigned from his role because continuing was no longer tenable, given a reported hostile working relationship caused by alleged activities of the Home Secretary … Continue reading What’s new in Rutnam’s constructive dismissal complaint?
In a relatively rare occurrence a UVW union member has been reinstated after making an interim relief application and an employment tribunal ruled it was likely that his claim would succeed. When an employee is dismissed then a tribunal can order (but not enforce) an employer reinstates the employee to the post they were dismissed … Continue reading Dismissed worker reinstated after manager’s anti-Union rant
In May 2020 a PCS Union rep was dismissed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), a decision PCS believe to be in retaliation for the rep blowing the whistle on matters of public interest. The summary below is taken from the PCS website but I do hope all readers, whatever their union, take … Continue reading DWP dismissed whistleblower
A little over a week ago it was confirmed that the former Home Office Permanent Secretary Sir Philip Rutnam had launched employment tribunal proceedings against the government for constructive dismissal. The case alleges a toxic working environment and allegations of improper conduct by the Home Secretary Priti Patel. After the news of the remarkable resignation … Continue reading FDA slams Priti Patel inquiry
Following a meeting of the union's NEC last week PCS has announced announced that this year's conference (groups and national) due to be held in Brighton this year has been cancelled. The website explains the decision in this way: The NEC also agreed that it would not be possible to go ahead with our conferences … Continue reading PCS 2020 Conference Cancelled
I have discussed the prohibition on pre-employment health enquiries imposed by the Equality Act before on this blog. Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 imposes a prohibition on an employer making health related enquiries of a prospective employee. Section 60(1) states (1)A person (A) to whom an application for work is made must not … Continue reading Covid-19: License to discriminate?
Tim Roache, General Secretary of the GMB Union has come out on the defensive over accusations of a no strike agreement between G4S, who provide security for Job Centres and the Union. Seeing some shite on social media from people I wouldn’t normally respond to. But just to be clear. @GMB_union has never signed a … Continue reading GMB’s No Strike Agreement?
Some of the abiding images of past industrial disputes are of large confrontations of police and striking miners, and some three decades on questions are still being asked about the the violent conduct of Police at Orgreave. To a large, but by no means complete extent, the Police's approach to striking workers in the UK in … Continue reading Policing of Union Protests: Independent Enforcers of the Peace or Employer Stooge?
At midday today the ballot of union members for PCS Union's General Secretary election closed. I am pleased to say that votes have now been counted and the results have been published with the declaration that Mark Serwotka, the incumbent, has been re-elected as the union's General Secretary for a five year term. With the … Continue reading PCS members re-elect Mark Serwotka as General Secretary
Workers in the Whirpool factory in Bristol have just secured a 13.75% payrise as the company gave into demands from Unite union in advance of a planned strike on 12 December. Prior to the threat of strike action Whirlpool had only been willing to offer a 1.25% raise for workers who were already low paid. … Continue reading Whirlpool workers secure 13.75% pay rise after threat of strike action
Earlier this year PCS successfully concluded a protracted indirect discrimination legal claim on behalf of members. That claim, which that went all the way to the Supreme Court, resulted in more than £1 million compensation being awarded to members within the department who alleged they had been discriminated against. It has just been announced that … Continue reading PCS union launches legal action against Home Office over check-off removal
This is Godwin, he is a cleaner at St Mary's hospital employed by Sodhexo. Godwin, along with fellow UVW Union members has been on strike seeking insourcing of contracts. In flagrant breach of employment protections for striking employees Sodexo sacked him as soon as he returned to work. Sodexo claimed he was on a zero … Continue reading UVW secure reinstatement of striking worker
Section 94 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, if read in isolation, gives a very valuable right to all employees - the right not to be unfairly dismissed. However, by a series of qualifications what sounds a universal right is in fact only of benefit to a smaller percentage of employees. The Labour Party Manifesto … Continue reading On Labour Manifesto Commitments and Hash Brown Related Dismissals
Right now there is an election in progress that will effect the working lives of all union members in the UK, with one group of candidates having made commitments to end austerity and provide a real pay rise to civil servants after a decade of real terms pay cuts. That election is, of course, the … Continue reading PCS General Secretary election begins
On 7 November 2019 union members in the PCS will begin voting to decide who will be be the General Secretary of the union for the next five years. Under union rules a candidate must have a minimum of 15 branch nominations in order to make it onto the national ballot, three candidates met this … Continue reading PCS General Secretary election due to start in November
In May 2019 John Moloney, the candidate for the Independent Left faction, was elected as Assistant General Secretary of the PCS Union. This is the second most senior full time officer (FTO) post in the union. PCS watchers will know that in respect of the Independent Left's (IL) policy platform for full time officers there are … Continue reading PCS union AGS takes worker’s wage
FBU expels trade unionist from its NEC
While the UK remains a member of the EU the decisions of the ECJ on employment law will be binding on UK employers/the Government (depending on the circumstances). Indeed, as I have discussed before, even after the departure the decided cases of the ECJ are likely to be binding after Brexit. Last week the ECJ … Continue reading ECJ up the ante on Working Time Records
The last couple of months have been a bruising one for the PCS Union in respect of ballots and elections. Across the union there was huge amounts of work to get members to vote in the industrial action ballot against the government's pay policy, that is content that is content to force its own staff … Continue reading PCS Elections