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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2011

Workplace In brief

Pension mythbuster

Teachers' union NUT has revealed that 46.4 billion more has been paid into the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) since its foundation in 1923, than has been paid out. This is in addition to the findings by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee which concluded that the long-term costs of the TPS are declining.

This has not been found on the front pages of the bosses' papers, that continually peddle the myth that public sector pensions are "gold-plated" and unsustainable.

Transport for London (TfL) jobs

Unions took their united campaign to stop the proposed outsourcing of London Taxi and Private Hire (Compliance and Driver Licensing) to TfL headquarters on 23 November. 94 workers could be shunted out of the company, losing their travel facilities and possibly pensions. 68 may be forced to move out of London altogether (to Northampton or Coventry) if they want to keep their jobs. For all TfL's talk of "Safer Travel at Night" it's difficult to see how passenger safety would not be affected with regulation of London's 28,000 black cabs and 50,000 private hire vehicles run from 100 miles away by the same kind of private firms who have so expensively failed to deliver across the public sector (think Tube privatisation!). And, if we let this through, TfL call centres could be the next.

Paul Stevens, TfL RMT

No academy!

On 16 November, teachers in NASUWT and NUT at Prince Henry grammar school in Otley, Leeds took their second day of strike action against the proposal to turn the school into an academy. Academies are a form of backdoor privatisation and in Otley there is huge opposition to the planned changes. School students and parents joined the picket line. Many were discussing how to support the strike. A well-organised strike by students could be a way of upping the pressure on the head teacher and remaining governors to back off from the academisation plans.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Strike vote

PCS members working at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have voted to strike against privatisation. HMRC want to use private contractors in two contact centres dealing with calls about tax credits. In the ballot 70% voted to strike and 86% voted for other action, on a 34.7% turnout in the ballot involving 21,000 workers.

Strike vote 2

Transport union RMT members in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary have voted for action in defence of their pensions. 60% voted to strike and 80% for action short of a strike.

Support Vik Chechi

On 18 October, Queen Mary University (QMUL) Unison branch secretary Vik Chechi was suspended from work at the east London university. This suspension is undoubtedly linked to Vik's opposition to the cuts and restructuring being imposed at Queen Mary.

Please send letters of protest demanding his immediate reinstatement and letters of support to


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In The Socialist 23 November 2011:

Pensions' strike, N30

Enough is enough! Make N30 the start of a fight to stop all cuts

Reasons to be on strike

Socialist Party feature

Capitalism is crisis - there is an alternative - fight for socialism!

Socialist Party news and analysis

Con-Dems worsen the housing crisis

Massive job cuts undermining NHS

Millions unemployed - workers and students must unite and fight!

Them & Us

The Socialist - Readers' comments

Tragic effect of recession

Why I became a socialist

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jarrow marchers put forward an alternative

No answers from politicians on Newsnight

Save Coventry Sure Start

Update: Occupy

Support the anti-cuts election challenge

State intimidation of young protesters

Tories and Labour fail to give 'Any Answers'

Women: sick of sexism, discrimination and cuts?

Mansfield - build houses, create jobs

Pensions protest in Maude's constituency

International socialist news and analysis

Why Europe's capitalist leaders cannot save the floundering eurozone project

Ruling PSOE battered in Spanish general election

Syria: Eight months of mass protests met with bloody brutality

Egyptian masses fight for real change

Socialist Party workplace news

Greece and Italy get unelected technocrats - Southampton gets chief executives!

Construction workers fight pay cuts

Fire service cuts

Bus drivers strike over pay

Workplace In brief


Obituary - Geoff Atkins


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