Peoples Assembly – Take Back Manchester – #ToriesOut

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Saturday 30 September – Wednesday 4 October – Protest the Tory Party Conference

Unite Free Coaches for members & families Contact Sharron.Lucas@unitetheunion.org

Join us this autumn in Manchester for a huge political and cultural festival to coincide with the Tory Party conference. 

We’ll be holding a series of gigs, parties, rallies, meetings, screenings, comedy nights, educational events, and a National Demonstration on Sunday 1 October, in the city to let them know that we won’t rest until we have chased them out of office…

**FACEBOOK EVENT NOW LIVE – PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE WIDELY**

You can download the Flyer Here.

Transport Page now Live! Check it out here.

“How dare the Tories come to our city?! A city annihilated by their cuts.” was how actor and friend of the People’s Assembly Maxine Peake put it last year. 2017 is the time to remind the Tories they are still not welcome in this great city. Their coalition of chaos is bound to fail, this is the ideal 

Put the date in the diary and join us to help us chase the Tories out of Manchester.

If you’d like to preform at the festival please let us know here.

 

For a taste of some of the things we put on in 2015 take a look here.

More details to follow*

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Solidarity with UCU against changes to Statutes undermining protection for staff

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Show your solidarity with UCU members in our industrial dispute at the University of Leeds:

  • Sign and circulate the UCU petition:  http://speakout.web.ucu.org.uk/university-of-leeds-statutes-no-sackers-charter/
  • Email Vice Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, to protest:  Vice-Chancellor@leeds.ac.uk You could let him know that the catch-all SOSR (some other substantial reason) grounds for dismissing staff has no place in a University and that Leeds University has operated successfully without it to date. Please mention if you are a Leeds University alumnus. For information:  UCU offered to negotiate over additional specified ground for dismissing staff but management has refused.
  • Write to Privy Councillor, Hilary Benn, bennh@parliament.uk (parliament), boxj@parliament.uk (constituency) asking him to use his influence to stop the detrimental changes to University of Leeds statutes being imposed on staff. Management plans to seek privy council approval for the changes, despite widespread opposition and a live industrial dispute; Hilary Benn is a Privy Councillor.
  • Send messages of support to:  ucu@leeds.ac.uk
  • Share this message widely

Lesley McGorrigan University of Leeds UCU Campaigns Officer and UCU NEC member

Summary of issues Further details are on UCU local branch website:  http://www.leedsucu.org.uk/

Management at the University of Leeds wants to change the university’s statutes (which set the terms and conditions for academic and related staff) to worsen the protections for staff. Leeds UCU is in dispute about three changes in particular:

  •  adding an undefined catch-all category for dismissing staff for ‘Some Other Substantial Reason’ (SOSR).
  • removing medically qualified chair for panels deciding ill health dismissals.
  • removing independent legally qualified chair for most dismissal appeals.

Leeds UCU has negotiated long and patiently with management, including via ACAS, but management utterly refuse to withdraw any of these changes.

We are concerned because management has suggested that a potential reason to use SOSR to dismiss staff where there is  ‘third party pressure’ (this could be from corporations or government agencies who are unhappy with certain research findings), ‘breakdown in trust’ (this could cover anyone falling into disagreement with their manager) and ‘conflict of interest’ (this could be used against whistleblowers who alert the public or wider academic community about certain issues or concerns). Given the likelihood of such situations arising, Leeds UCU believes that this clause could seriously jeopardise academic freedom – which is at the heart of a functioning University.

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Tribunal fees – Ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court

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Dear Unite Community,

Today the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government’s sky-high tribunal fees are unlawful, accepting UNISON’s argument that the fees are restricting working people’s access to justice.

What’s more, the government will have to refund any fees paid since 2013 — at a cost of about £27m.

It’s a massive win for working people, and we congratulate UNISON for doggedly pursuing this case. 

When tribunal fees of up to £1,200 per case were introduced in 2013, it very quickly became clear that many working people could no longer afford to uphold their rights at work.

The number of cases taken has dropped by nearly 70%. Low-paid and insecure workers have all but lost their ability to take cases, whether on non-payment of the national minimum wage, unauthorised deductions from pay, or even unfair dismissal. Only union members and the well-off were guaranteed access to justice.

And the number of discrimination cases has gone through the floor too, hurting women, workers with disabilities, black and minority ethnic and LGBT+ workers who have been unfairly treated or harassed.

The fees have been a bonanza for bad bosses, giving them a free rein to mistreat staff. As UNISON rightly argued, access to the courts is a vital component of the rule of law. Working rights aren’t worth the paper they’re written on unless they can be enforced.

This is a resounding defeat for the government, and they must act immediately to implement the court’s finding. Any fees paid should be refunded as soon as possible. But even then, we’ll never know how many people have missed out on justice over the last four years because they couldn’t afford to pay for it.

Above all, today’s result shows the value of working people standing together in trade unions. This decision will have a lasting impact, making sure people can enforce their employment rights.

The government priced workers out of justice, sending the message that fair treatment is a luxury, not a right. They’ve been proved wrong. 

Today’s victory is a great example of the value of working people standing together in trade unions.

Thanks for your support,

Frances O’Grady
TUC General Secretary

Further reading:
Unison: A massive win for our union and a massive win for all workers: https://www.unison.org.uk/news/2017/07/massive-win-union-massive-win-workers/
TUC: Employment Tribunal Fees found to be unlawful: http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2017/07/employment-tribunal-fees-found-unlawful/

RMT Safe Trains For All – Save the Guard

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RMT Campaign to Keep the Guard

Unite Community Leeds & Wakefield Branch pledges our support and respect to RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport Union), RMT members and their endeavours to keep Trains and Transport safe and secure, for all customers, staff and Govia Thameslink Railway train operating company (GTR).

As Trade Unionists, one of our aims is to support: workers, and their concerns, all health and safety aspects, workplace conditions and positive workplace relationships between all staff.   The safety of passengers and RMT workers is critically important particularly considering the potential risks associated with Train travel.

Unite Community Leeds & Wakefield Branch endorses RMTs endeavours to protect the On-Board Supervisor in the interest of sustaining essential services and their proposal of an Accessibility Guarantee to protect and deliver high levels of customer service in accordance with the Govia Thameslink Railway train operating company (GTR) objectives.

The presence of a Second Safety Critical Member of Staff to provide assistance to passengers, in case of accidents, incidents, or travelling alone at night in virtually empty Carriages, will provide reassurance to passengers.

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An On-Board Supervisor on board every Train is essential to guarantee safety, security, access to everyone including, people with disabilities, the elderly and vulnerable and to assist with information if connections are missed due to delays.

GTR amassed annual profits of nearly £100 million in 2016, plenty to guarantee the best possible standards for passengers and workers. Reducing staff numbers by removing the Second Safety Critical Member of Staff will downgrade standards, reduce accessibility to passengers and compromise safety.

We urge GTR to provide Quality Standards of Services passengers are entitled to expect and in accordance with their objectives, and to consider their obligations and moral responsibility to ensure the Duty of Care their Passengers and Staff deserve.

Unite Community Leeds & Wakefield Branch request GTR to continue with collective negotiation to resolve this important dispute as soon as possible.

Yours Sincerely in Solidarity

Unite Community Leeds & Wakefield Branch, NE/COM/5large_campaign-graphic

Northern Rail want to remove your Guard from the train.
Sign the petition here.
Write to your MP and ask them to Support the RMT Guard Guarantee.
Write to your Councillor Model Letter at this link
RMT Campaign to Keep the Guard

‘ Online Privacy & Security Workshop’

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Event details: Wednesday 12th July, 6.30pm The Regent’ Room The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Lower Briggate, Leeds.

The Workshop is FREE and will start at 6.30PM ending at around 8.30PM.

Please arrive from 6.15PM onwards so you can get a seat and setup your laptop etc.

https://www.meetup.com/ORG-Leeds/events/241305212/ Facebook www.facebook.com/orgleeds

Did you know that at the end of 2016 you lost your right to online privacy?

In passing the Investigatory Powers Act (aka Snoopers Charter) the UK now has the most extreme surveillance regime of any western democracy.

Our communications can now be monitored and analysed, our location tracked, the apps we use and websites we visit stored for up to 12 months; regardless of whether we are suspected of a crime.

Through our internet connection records, a detailed picture of our lives can now be requested by up to 48 public bodies, including even the Food Standards Agency, through a process of self-authorisation.

This meta data can reveal many things – when we are awake, where we are, who we know, our sexuality, religion, political leanings, causes we support, mental and physical health concerns, addictions, who we bank with, the list goes on…

The erosion of our privacy will create a chilling effect that will lead to self-censorship and stifle free expression at the expense of our democracy.

All of this information will be stored by your ISP or mobile provider, making them a prime target for hackers. Remember the recent TalkTalk hack?

In addition, the power to force communication service providers to insert backdoors into their products and services undermines online security for everyone.

So what can you do?

Come along to our privacy workshop and learn how to protect yourself from mass surveillance and online crime.

This workshop is aimed at beginners, no prior knowledge or advanced technical skills are required.

Just bring along yourself and the device(s) you would like to protect, i.e. smartphone and laptop, as you will have the option to follow along with the tutorials.

Bringing a device isn’t strictly necessary however, if you would prefer to just take notes.

The workshop will include the following;

– Why digital rights and privacy matter and what the recent General Election results mean for these.

– How to assess your threat model.

– How to install and use tools such as Signal, VPN and secure email.

– How to manage your passwords, encryption keys and use two-factor authentication.

– How to secure your browsing environment.

– How to recognise and avoid common attacks like phishing and malware.

By the end of the workshop you will possess the basic knowledge and skills to keep yourself safe online.

Most importantly you will be able to pass this knowledge on, helping to protect your family and friends too.

If you are bringing along a device, please ensure that it has sufficient charge for the duration of the session as we can’t guarantee a spare power socket. Free WiFi is provided.

If you would rather confirm your attendance via email please contact: leeds [at] openrightsgroup [dot] org (replacing [at] and [dot] with the correct characters).

Durham Miners’ Gala

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Saturday 8th July

Durham Miners’ Gala website has been established to publicise the activities of the Durham Miners’ Association and in particular to raise material support for the Durham Miners’ Gala which continues to grow year on year.

In the coming weeks and months we aim to build our website so that it truly reflects the rich heritage of the Durham Coalfield, not just as an interest in the past but as a guide to the present and future struggle of working class people.

Durham Miners’ Gala hope you enjoy the experience, visit regularly and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

And please help secure the future of the Big Meeting by joining the Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala today.

Latest News:
Camping facilities available at Durham Miners’ Gala 2017
Durham Miners’ Association: “5 reasons to Vote Labour”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to address the Big Meeting 
Ken Loach to speak at Durham Miners’ Gala

Read more news 

THE UNITE UNION COACH TO THE GALA IS NOW FULL

We are proud to announce that Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party will address this year’s Durham Miners’ Gala on Saturday, 8th July. 

Jeremy has spoken at the Gala on numerous occasions over the years as a backbench MP, a Labour leadership candidate and as Labour Leader. This summer we hope he will address the Gala as Labour Prime Minister.

The Durham Miners’ Association are strong supporters of Jeremy’s leadership of the Labour Party and we believe that the general election manifesto is the best in generations. We particularly welcome the manifesto commitments to return transport and utilities to public ownership, introduce a real Living Wage, scrap the inhumane Work Capability Assessment, restore proper funding for our NHS, ban zero-hours contracts, hold inquiries into the events at Orgreave and blacklisting and scrap the Tory Trade Union Act.

Jeremy has described the Big Meeting as “simply the greatest demonstration of working class culture in Britain” and we are very pleased that once again he has accepted our invitation to speak.

Alan Cummings

Secretary, Durham Miners’ Association

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JEREMY CORBYN to speak at NotOneDayMore #ToriesOut demo

Peoples Assembly is pleased Jeremy Corbyn is speaking at our NotOneDayMore #ToriesOut – National Demonstration
Sat 1 July, Assemble 12pm, BBC Broadcasting House – March to Parliament.

The Tory/DUP coalition can’t last, they represent some of the most reactionary elements of British and Irish politics, are committed to austerity and defending their privilege at the expense of the many. The Tories actually CHEERED when they successfully voted against a pay rise for our hard-working and brave emergency services. We Say, Not One Day More.
Jeremy Corbyn will join a fantastic line up of political speakers from the Labour Party, the Green Party and many more campaigns and trade unions, along with an amazing line up of performers and artists.


Speakers include (more tba):
Representatives from the Labour Party front bench include, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Diane Abbott MP, John McDonnell MP, Siân Berry from the Green Party, from the Trade Unions, Len McCluskey (Unite), Mark Serwotka (PCS), Frances O’Grady (TUC), Dave Prentis (UNISON), Matt Wrack (FBU) and more… Other speakers include Owen Jones (journalist), Dr Aislinn Docherty (Health Campaigner), Jacqueline Berry (Nurse and Health campaigner), along with representatives from many other campaigns including, The People’s Assembly, Momentum, Stop the War Coalition, Stand Up to Racism, Fast food Workers campaigns, and more… 
Performers include (more tba):
Shy FX, Wolf Alice, Peace, Captain Ska, Sink the Pink, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and more…
It’s still not too late to volunteer!
We need hundreds of people to help us make sure the day runs smoothly. We rely entirely on our supporters to volunteer as stewards. We’ll have a stewards briefing in the morning of the demonstration at 10am at the assembly point – no prior experience or training needed. If you’re up for joining our team for the day please email office@thepeoplesassembly.org.uk 

You can find all the info you need about the march here, and you can take a look at the march route here:

 See you there!

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/