Workplace news in brief

Secure hospitals strike

Prison Officers’ Association members working in the NHS took four hours of strike action on Friday 24 October in their struggle for a decent pay rise.

The strike was very well supported with a big picket line outside Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire. These nurses and support staff work with mentally ill prisoners in a highly secure psychiatric hospital. As well as the 1% pay freeze, they also face under-staffing and attacks on trade union facility time, mainly for the health and safety rep.

At the picket line Steve Gillan, POA general secretary, gave reports from the walkouts at Broadmoor and Ashworth hospitals and read out messages of support from various union branches.

Becci Heagney

London buses

Following September’s inspiring demonstration, Unite members in London bus garages are holding consultative ballots on 31 October. If successful, these will soon be followed by a full postal ballot for industrial action. This emerged after the failure of the operating companies to respond to the union’s demand, repeated in September, for talks on sector-wide negotiation.

As many bus drivers say, we all do the same job – so why are we on different pay rates?

A London bus driver

Serwotka re-elected

Mark Serwotka has been re-elected unopposed as the general secretary of the socialist-led PCS civil servants’ union. See for an interview with Mark.

Reclaim Unison

Following the calling-off of the 14 October strike, local government activists in Unison have called a national meeting to discuss the direction of the pay dispute and its implication for the union.

Saturday 8 November, 2-4pm. Room B04, Birkbeck University, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

RMT lobby

Join RMT Northern and Transpennine Express members in protesting over attacks on rail services, safety and jobs.

On Friday 4 November a demonstration will start outside parliament in Old Palace Yard from 12.30pm, followed by a rally in committee room eleven at 2pm, and a lobby of MPs from 3.30pm.