Hi! And happy new year to all!
Sorry to be a bit late in pasting this! BTW re casuals walk-out referred to last time, not sure why a comment was placed that it didn't happen - as if this person was against workers standing up for themselves - or does that bring union officials into disrepute? A lot of casuals voted with their feet last month. They just left because they did not wish to tolerate such bad treatment from managers - especially for such miserly pay for so few hours.
THIS TIME, THROWN TO THE REINDEER
Amazing. The Crown Office mates went out on strike for the whole week before Xmas (5 days in all) - and CWU HQ's only "contribution" was to stage a costly stunt outside the government's business department - and they didn’t even invite us (or our kids!).
Said the union press office: "the CWU delivered amid great fanfare over 750,000 postcards ... protesting at the closures"... in a... "special delivery conducted by Santa and his sleigh with the help of two live reindeer and a snow machine"... Call us tight-arsed, but WTF!!?? Yeah, instead of ensuring PO workers had a chance of winning, by getting as many of us out alongside them as possible, (our pensions are under the exact same threat, 30% loss - and cuts loom!), CWU officials stage a Xmas party for tourists??
DO THEY LIVE ON ANOTHER PLANET?
So Crown PO mates lost 5 days wages, but never mind. These CWU HQ clowns even boasted that they had "seized the media agenda"! Which agenda was that? CBeebies?
Top union officials who came to show off during the Xmas sleigh "event", wondered aloud why government and PO management had ignored them. Should somebody explain it to them - or is it not worth the bother?
WE’D BETTER GET FIGHTING ASAP...
So the “unofficial” union officials have issued Members Bulletin No2 in the “fight to save our pension”. Good to be informed, but from what they say (and don’t say), we’d better not rely on them! It’s not from anonymous officials above our heads that an effective fight will come! Anyway, they see no common cause with the Post Office workers (don’t even mention them) - and explain, that since the pensions issue is bound up with the new RM agreement which will start being negotiated next year (behind closed doors) - we must wait before we fight!
...AS GOOD LEADERS ARE MADE IN THE BATTLE
Oh and then they add that we will have to jump at the eventual “call to arms” from CWU HQ, when it comes, if it does, and “support our union”. Well, we members are the union, so “supporting” it is hardly the point. It goes without saying. What they actually mean is “support your union leaders”... The same ones who always let us down?
RM WANTS TO “AMAZONISE” THE SERVICE
There was some worrying information added though, and that is the reminder that RM wants later starts, collections on delivery, clocking in and out, etc... Surely all of this is serious enough for us to start preparing ourselves to oppose it - by organising meetings of ALL WORKERS in each office to discuss how? How else to have maximum understanding of the issues and thus maximum involvement?
YES, WE NEED THEM, BUT...
We were sorry when so many of the Xmas casuals here in HMP processing asked us if bosses here would take them on in permanent jobs… we had to say no, it’s unlikely, if nobody kicks these bosses’ backsides - because for RM, profits come before anything else - especially paying decent wages for enough workers !
THE DUST NEVER SETTLES
In fact, we've actually seen our numbers dwindle further: more of our mates left in December taking EVR. All the best to them! But with fewer hands on deck, we can be sure that when the dust settles this January, it's still going to be merry chaos in HMP…
We were shocked at the way Xmas casuals were treated in here: their rate of £8.20/hr mentioned in the last bulletin was in fact the ("better"!) night shift rate. For days, it was a miserable minimum of £7.20/hr! And this for 10hr-shifts, with only one 30min break - and no seats! Fortunately, casuals didn't wait for managers' goodwill to take extra breaks…
Not only did RM/Angard trick casuals into expecting £9/hr on nights (2 hours were in fact paid at the normal rate, so it was down to an average of £8.20/hr) but to top it all, management announced that they'd terminate many casuals earlier, before the end of their short 3 weeks, cutting their already small income by 2-3 days! And then these same bosses wished us all a merry Xmas?
ASAP IS NOW!
At Romec/RM we cleaners numbered only 34 all-in-all - during Xmas pressure, including some extra casual help. Of course, this is not enough in normal times, so how much worse was our hands-shortage during Xmas rush?! We need these extra casuals to be made permanent, ASAP!
IN OTHER WORDS: PAY RISE!
So our mates in processing have got their Xmas bonus. Not so alright, given what you lose in extra tax. But in Romec we're now also part of Royal Mayhem. So are we getting our bonus reinstated? And why was it scrapped in the first place? We want it back, weekly and what's more, fully consolidated into our wages!
NOT JUST JUNK BUT A CON
Hmm it wasn’t too funny to get that junk mail advertising inside the Voice - for a company which charges you to check your correct tax code, taking a percentage of any overpayment (beyond the current year) which HMRC may have made! Especially since you can find out and get it sorted yourself - and for free - by just phoning HMRC! Worse, the ad was formatted so that it looked as if it was from the union!