GMB Cardiff1 News Update
I am delighted that we now have a young member’s officer for GMB Cardiff 1 Branch. As the branch grows, we are mindful that we need to be encouraging more young members, to take an active role within the branch. To that end, I will be working closely with Georgia to arrange some special events for those eligible to join Young Members Forum.
If you wish to have any particular event or news item included in updates, please email me at Kenneth.Daniels@ntlworld.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org
We shall be upgrading our website shortly, which will enable us to live stream conferences directly. Along with other interesting live streams and links. Once up and running your comments on what you would like to see on there would be of great benefit.
Ken Daniels GMB Branch Secretary.
To update you on the parking issues at County Hall. We shall be meeting with senior management, this week to discuss in more detail proposals we tabled at last week’s meeting. As we have previously stated, the Council cannot provide each person a parking space, however, we believe there are more creative ways we can address the issues.
Young Members Officer Georgia Chedzey.
We are delighted to have a new Young Members Officer for GMB Cardiff 1 Branch. Georgia Chedzey. Georgia is passionate about getting our younger members voice heard, not only within the branch, also within GMB Nationally. She will be organizing events for our young members very shortly, which we encourage those of you eligible to attend to do so.
Georgia, will be having her own section on our soon to be revamped website, with current and topical issues pertaining to young people. You can contact Georgia on 07792490495.
Equalities Officer. Colin Griffiths.
GMB has been leading the fight for equality within the trade union movement, and within society for many years. Women make up 50 per cent of our members. We have had structural arrangements for women since 1980. Our equal rights structure also covers discrimination on the grounds of disability, age and sexual orientation and equality issues for men.
At Cardiff 1 Branch, we intend to lead on the fight for equality within the work place, by working with Cardiff Council to provide input, and help shape a new Strategic Equality Plan with new equality objectives entitled 'Equality Making a Difference for Cardiff'
The GMB Cardiff 1 Branch is committed to ensuring that the Council fulfil its duties under the Equality Act 2010 to promote equality, eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and promote good relations between different groups.
National and regional equality & inclusion forums advise on GMB equal rights policy and liaise with the Central Executive Committee. They advise on recruitment and participation within GMB at all levels of women and other groups, which experience discrimination. The national equalities & inclusion officer, Kameljeet Jandu, acts as secretary to the national forum.
GMB remains one of the few unions to have reserved seats for women at both Central Executive Council and Regional Council levels. GMB sends full delegations to the TUC and Labour Party Women’s Conferences and the TUC Lesbian and Gay Conference. A reserved seat for Lesbian and Gay workers on the TUC General Council was set up in 2001.
You can contact Colin on 07803400032
Schools Officer Suzanne Williams.
At present GMB Cardiff 1 are battling very hard to retain our schools cleaning contracts. It appears that many of the schools are determined to outsource these services. Cleaners are some of the lowest paid employees and, we view the actions of the schools to be outrageous. We know that governors of schools do have the authority to change suppliers, however, we are deeply concerned at the growing number of schools who are tendering out, for new contracts. We would encourage members to apply to become governors of their local schools, to ensure that GMB has a voice on these boards to try to retain public sector jobs, in the communities.
If you have any issues either in a school or education department, please contact Sue on 07977576247
If you have, any further queries please contact either:
Paul text only 07940305051
Office 02920 873154
Or email at info’gmbcardiff1branch.org.uk
Other news from GMB.
North Wales Workers ‘Betrayed’
GMB and Unite have accused a conglomerate of North Wales councils of ‘betraying’ the local workforce.
The North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Partnership consists of five local authorities responsible for building a new £800million waste facility in Parc Adfer Deeside.
The partnership has contracted French company CNIM to undertake the project.
CNIM, has a history of poor relationships with trade unions in the UK, and has refused to allow unions access to the site.
CNIM and its supply chain has failed to engage local workers on the project and some of the work is expected to be given to overseas contractors.
The company is also refusing to abide by the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI), which means that the workers employed on the site are not receiving the correct pay and conditions for the work they are conducting.
If workers are brought in from overseas then legally the company only has to pay the national minimum wage which is a 63.5 per cent cut in wages compared to the NAECI agreement.
The unions have written to the local authorities involved in the project about their concerns but have not received a response.
The two unions will now be stepping up the pressure on CNIM and the local councils to ensure that workers are paid the appropriate rates for the work undertaken and also skilled local workers are fully given opportunities to work on the project.
Jeff Beck, Regional Organiser in Wales South West said the Unions worst fears had been realised:
"We expressed our concerns in a meeting with Flintshire County council about the lack of opportunities extended to local labour. Unfortunately our worst fears have been realised"
Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer for Construction, said:
“From past experience, CNIM do not seem to want to engage with trade unions
“We are seen as a necessary evil who they won’t embrace in a harmonious partnership.
“The Parc Adfer Deeside area workforce has been sadly let down by a union-hating company and an uncaring, incompetent local authority conglomerate who are just interested in saving money and not the wider local economy.”
Bernard McAulay, Unite National Officer for construction, said:
“Our joint talks with CNIM failed to achieve a way forward but we are not going to stand idly by and allow workers to be mistreated and exploited.
“Trade unions feel the North Wales councils have betrayed the local community - and spend more time on box-ticking exercises rather than promoting job opportunities in the surrounding communities.
“It is essential that local people realise what is being done in their name and clearly say that what is happening on Deeside is not acceptable. It is totally immoral that these practices are being conducted on a public sector contract.
“There have already been local protests about the way this project is being conducted and without an agreement similar disruptive activity could re-occur.”
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GMB secure commitment from Cardiff Airport to pay a living wage
GMB is pleased that Cardiff Airport has agreed with GMB to pay a real Living Wage by 2020.
The agreement dates back to the 2016-17 pay negotiations where Cardiff Airport agreed with the GMB that it would strive to achieve parity with the Living Wage Foundation rate of pay.
As the union for security staff, GMB believe that Cardiff Airport should pay the real Living Wage but recognise that Cardiff Airport is working to a detailed business recovery plan, to ensure a sustainable airport in the future for both its stakeholders and the Airport team, and believe that the Airport is taking steps to implement the full living wage rate in an appropriate and affordable manner.
The rate is different from the legally obliged National Living Wage implemented by the UK Government in 2016, which offers a bare minimum to workers and has had little impact to reduce the phenomenon of in work poverty that has rocketed since the Tories came to power.
The Airport is working towards being in a position to implement the Foundation Living Wage by the end of 2020.
The agreement was originally made with GMB in the 2016/17 pay discussions, where Cardiff Airport agreed to ‘strive to achieve parity with the Living Wage Foundation rate of pay, but that this would be balanced in line with airport profitability’.
In the meantime the current deal agreed in September sees all staff receiving a two year pay deal of 4%, 2% of which would be applied this year.
This award was put to GMB members which received a majority acceptance.
We are also pleased that the Airport have transferred all security staff ‘in house’ and these staff are no longer on exploitative Zero Hours Contracts but on contracts that offer decent terms and conditions to staff which, following the 2016/17 pay negotiations include time and a half for overtime working outside of full time contracted hours.
GMB Organiser Rosemary Broad said:
“GMB is delighted to have secured a commitment from Cardiff Airport to pay a living wage."
"We are clear we support a real living wage and are pleased to have got that commitment form Cardiff Airport through discussions with GMB last year.
"Whilst we accept that big changes like this cannot be made overnight we’re satisfied that there is a plan in place that will see the living wage implemented voluntarily.
“In the meantime, we are happy with the outcome of the pay negotiations this year, 4 per cent pay raise over 2 years for members and confirmation from the airport to pay all staff the national living wage rate regardless of age - ensuring that younger members of staff get a deal in line with their peers however old they are.
"Additionally parity was attained for all security staff securing double time pay should they be required to work Bank Holidays.
“We have a constructive relationship with the airport management which has allowed us to reach this point and we hope to see this continue in the future.
“However we will remain vigilant and should we be in a position where we believe the airport is reneging on their agreements, we will be the first to speak out.”
GMB has called for urgent action after the union’s investigation revealed a significant increase in applications for domestic abuse court orders in England and Wales.
A Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Justice reveals 17.2 per cent jump in the number of people asking for non-molestation orders between 2012 and 2016.
The figures also show for first time the number of applications made in different parts of the country.
These types of orders are only made in domestic violence cases.
The most common protection is a non-molestation order which prohibits an individual from violent or abusive actions.
In 2012 there were 16,288 applications for such orders, which can apply to harassment and abuse in workplaces as well as homes. Applications for non-molestation orders increased to 19,087 in 2016 – a rise of 2,799.
The Midlands court region saw the biggest increase in all types of orders – a rise of 48%.
Domestic abuse is a serious workplace issue that will be discussed at GMB’s inaugural Women’s Conference, which begins tomorrow [November 6, 2017] in Liverpool.
Applications for civil orders have risen despite restrictions to legal aid in family law cases which were first introduced by Chris Grayling’s Legal Aid, Sentencing of Prisoners Act 2012 (LASPO).
Although exemptions were provided in domestic abuse cases, the House of Commons Justice Select Committee warned in 2015 that more than a third of victims were unable to provide the necessary evidence.
GMB, the union for Legal Aid Agency workers, has long campaigned against restrictions on legal support for victims of domestic violence.
Ruth Bennett, Senior organiser for Equalities in GMB Wales and South West said:
"The GMB has campaigned and recognised the damage caused by Domestic violence.
"The GMB will continue to do all we can to ensure our workplace organisers and reps are fully trained and posses the skills to understand the issues surrounding domestic violence and be able to support victims and offer guidance and ensure workplace polices are in place to protect victims within the workplace and their homes.
"It is terrible to find out see domestic violence rising so sharply – especially alongside reductions in resources provided to victims by local government and national barriers to accessing legal aid."
Ann Lafferty, GMB National Officer, said:
“GMB has long recognised the damage caused by domestic violence.
“It destroys families, it hurts children, it poisons society and it places workers at risk.
“It knows no social boundaries and is often an issue of secrecy based on fear.
“It is terrible to find out see domestic violence rising so sharply – especially alongside reductions in resources provided to victims by local government and national barriers to accessing legal aid.
“And whilst rightly concerned about these statistics, GMB understands each incident reflects a personal tragedy.
“These are the reasons why GMB is doing all in its power to ensure that their workplace representatives are able to understand what victims of domestic violence go through, how best to support them and ensure they are safe at work.
“In its quest to do this GMB will cover the scourge of domestic violence at the National Women's Conference.
Groundbreaking Report Shows Lifting Public Sector Pay Cap Would Cost 43 per Cent Less than Previously Thought
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
New IPPR paper strengthens case for budget boost says union.
GMB, the union for public sector workers, has welcomed new research that shows ending the Government’s policy of real-terms public sector pay cuts will be much cheaper than previously thought. 
The IPPR think tank’s research, supported by GMB, shows if public sector pay was raised by inflation then 43 per cent of the cost would be reclaimed by the Treasury through taxation, lower welfare payments and higher GDP growth.
The research also shows that inflation-matching pay rises would boost GDP by £800 million in 2019/20.
In total, 43 per cent of the overall cost would also be saved if public sector pay was raised by private sector rates plus one per cent to make up for years of real terms pay cuts.
Public sector wages were frozen for two years after 2010/11 which was then replaced by a one per cent cap that was due to extend to the end of 2019/20.
Pay for local government workers and school support staff are amongst the worst hit after their pay was frozen for an additional year from 2009/10.
Although Ministers have said they would adopt a more flexible approach for next year’s pay settlements, no new funding has been committed.
Previous GMB research found that:
- The Treasury’s own internal analysis shows that average public sector pay has fallen behind private sector rates 
- The average public sector worker has cumulatively lost £9,000 and will lose a further £4,000 by the end of 2019/20 if the cap is not lifted 
- 2.4 million children in 1.3 million families are affected by the pay cap across the UK 
- The annual cost to the public sector of hiring agency and temporary workers has risen by £2.5 billion since the pay cap was introduced 
Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said:
“This important report proves that lifting the Government’s pay policy is affordable and would provide a much-needed economic boost just when the country needs it most.
“The last objection to providing decent pay rises was affordability but this research shows that almost half that cost would be returned to taxpayers and could be reinvested in public services.
“Recruitment and retention problems are impairing public services for everyone as staff are pushed to breaking point – the public sector pay pinch is hurting but it isn’t working.
“It is a moral outrage that in one of the world’s richest economies public sector workers are left homeless, skipping meals and relying on food banks.
“Unfunded pay rises that still fall below inflation just won’t cut it. GMB stands ready to use all options at our disposal to ensure public sector workers get the real pay rises they need and deserve.
“The Chancellor must announce a fully-funded, above-inflation pay rise for every public sector worker in next week’s Budget
GMB CALLS ON LABOUR FRONT BENCH TO COMMIT TO DOWNGRADE OFGEM IN LINE WITH HELM REPORT AND PUSH FOR SSE NPOWER MERGER TO BE BLOCKED
Ofgem has been a toothless wonder for years and has failed to protect consumers so creating a ‘big five’ energy companies, instead of six, will only make things worse in a market that is already failing every household in the UK says GMB.
GMB, the union for energy workers, is calling on the Labour Party front bench to commit to downgrade Ofgem in line with the Helm report and push for the SSE Npower merger to be blocked.
The union has written to Rachel Reeves, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee and Rebecca Long-Bailey the Shadow Secretary of State for BEIS seeking their support.
Last week GMB wrote to Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, calling on him to use his powers under the Enterprise Act 2002 to block the proposed merger of energy companies SSE and Npower  on public interest grounds if the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) didn’t initiate an investigation.
GMB says that turning the big six energy providers into a big five would create ‘a chokehold that is bad for customers, workers and the wider economy, while the union has long called for the abolition of Ofgem.
Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for Energy said:
“GMB is calling on the Labour Party front bench to give a commitment to downgrade Ofgem in line with the recommendations of the Helm report  and for their support in bringing pressure to bear on Greg Clark to block the proposed merger between SSE and Npower.