Tag Archives: industrial action

TFL bosses to get £80,000 Olympic bonuses

10 Jun

Fair Play for Bus Pay

by Amy Jackson

Unite the Union has accused Transport for London of ‘ barefaced hypocrisy’, following revelations that senior TfL executives are in line to earn Olympic bonuses 160 times more than the award bus workers are demanding.

According to TfL’s unaudited annual report, the  top seven staff at the organisation are in line to cash in on two years of annual bonuses worth £560,000 which equates to £80,000 each if the system runs smoothly during the Olympic Games.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, who earns a basic salary of £234,000, condemned bus workers whose average salary is £26,000, for asking for an Olympic award. Meanwhile, Mr Daniels himself will be one of the seven managers to receive the £80,000 bonus.

Bus workers are asking for an Olympic award in line with what every other London transport worker will get for the massive increase in workload during the Games. Unite has been urging TfL to intervene since September 2011 to persuade  London’s bus operators to meet with Unite. In line with Boris Johnson’s rule of non-negotiation with trade unions, TfL has refused at every turn to help resolve this dispute. In a clear sign that bus workers patience has run out, they have voted by 94 per cent for industrial action.

Peter Kavanagh, Unite regional secretary for London, said: “This is barefaced hypocrisy of the highest order. TfL chiefs on six figure salaries are in line to earn Olympic bonuses worth 160 times more than bus workers are asking for.

“These revelations will infuriate our members and serve to strengthen their resolve to fight for fairness.

“TfL has done nothing to help get the bus companies around the table to resolve this dispute. Since September last year TfL has consistently refused to get involved. All TfL can do is condemn workers asking for a fair award for the massive increase in workload that they will face during this historic occasion.

“There is no doubt that with the huge numbers of extra passengers and major congestion on London’s roads, bus workers will be on the front line ensuring London runs smoothly during the Olympics.

“TfL’s  approach to this dispute is a dereliction of duty to London, it is time TfL acted responsibly.”

For 2010/11 revenue for TfL from the buses was £1.3 billion, an 8 per cent year on year increase. Bus workers have endured pay freezes and below inflation increases over the last few years.

Following the strike ballot result, Unite has given the bus companies a final opportunity to reconsider their refusal to pay bus workers a bonus. If the dispute is not resolved, strike dates will be announced early this week – not what London needs in the run up to its big Olympic party.

“Things are getting tough” #M10

10 May

Stephanie Wilkins, a member of Unite, has worked as a bio medical scientist for the NHS for over twenty years.

In this short interview, she claims she has been forced to join fellow NHS workers, and others from across the public sector, on the picket line in sending a message to the UK Government.

Like all those taking part in this 24 hour strike Stephanie says she doesn’t want to pay more to work longer and get less.

The changes will mean that she will be £30 a month or £1,400 a year worse off.

Public sector workers strike to defend pensions

10 May

by Amy Jackson

Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers are taking part in a 24-hour strike today across the UK to defend their Strikers brave the rain in Walespensions.  The strike goes ahead after union members from PCS, Unite, UCU, NIPSA and RMT overwhelmingly rejected the government’s proposals, saying the changes will leave them paying more and working longer for less in retirement.

Braving the elements on picket lines across the country, the public sector workers on strike today include paramedics, border agency staff, lecturers, MOD staff and civil servants. Lunchtime rallies in support of the strike are planned in major cities over the UK, such as Bristol, London,. Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Swansea. Despite the government dismissing the strike, the unions are determined to get their message across to the government. They will not work longer, pay more, and get less, in order to pay for a crisis they did not create.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The early signs are that our strike is being very well supported across the UK. Our members do not take strike action lightly but, faced with severe attacks on their pensions, pay, jobs and communities they have no choice but to defend what they and their families have worked to create for generations.

“Ministers are making unpopular, unnecessary and unfair cuts to the livelihoods of public servants to pay off a deficit caused by greed and recklessness in the financial sector, and for more than 12 months have refused to negotiate on the key issues of paying more and working longer for a worse pension.”

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘College and university staff are already seeing the impact of the government’s pension changes on their pay packets and will lose hundreds of pounds every year in return for reduced pensions when they retire. It is simply not fair for ordinary families to be bearing the brunt of the government’s cuts while those at the top get tax cuts.’

Unite’s Assistant General Secretary, Gail Cartmail said: “Tomorrow’s industrial action will build on the high level of anger that was on display during the 30 November strikes.

“George Osborne’s austerity plans are beginning to sicken everyone.  A ‘work until you drop’ culture in this country is not because people want teachers, nurses, firemen struggling at work into their 70s. It is because Osborne has ordained that this is the way to get ordinary people to carry the heaviest burden.  It is another attack on living standards and will make the UK, a miserable and socially divided island in which to live.”

Refusing to take the strike seriously, Conservative Party chairman Lady Warsi told BBC News that workers were being asked to “work a little bit longer and to pay a bit more but they will be guaranteed a pension which is index-linked and inflation proof”.

“I’m disappointed that a handful of unions are striving to carry on with union action which is going to benefit no-one and is going to inconvenience the public.”

Alongside the strike, 20,000 off-duty policemen are marching through London in protest against cuts and privatisation. The first 16,000 will be wearing black caps to represent each job in the police force that is being lost.

Left Out sends its solidarity to all striking workers today, and we’d love to hear from you! Send us a message to contact@left-out.net, or drop us a tweet to @leftoutblog. Leave your message of solidarity in the comments area below.

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