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The magazine for GMB members

Vision | Summer 2013

Making Waves! Pl Visit our new website: ymouth w

elcomes GMB Congress

Battle Bins OF THE

Brighton members fight pay cuts

WIN a Toyota Aygo See p15 worth ÂŁ9,000

Don’t miss your chance to be part of GMB decision making!


ongress 2013 has just finished, but you can still make a difference to GMB policy by coming to Congress next year! GMB Congress decides what polices the union will follow – but this is built on the hard work of GMB branches over the rest of the year. So if you’re meetings not already involved in your branch, now’s the time to start. Branch e. differenc a make to chance your are take place regularly and


FOLK HERO GMB Congress 2014 will take place in Nottingham, home of Robin Hoo d.

GMB Congress 2014 takes place in Nottingham from 8 to 12 June. To attend GMB Congress: • You must be nominated by your branch a paid-up • You must have been week s GMB member for 53 ns must reach the regional • Your branch’s motio2014 office by 31 January


Find your GMB branch on your membership card or ask your GMB workplace organiser. Alternatively, check your profile at

Watch THE video 02

Catch up with the highlights from GMB Congress 2013. For videos of everything from GMB banners to key political addresses, go to:

In this issue…

Paul Maloney GMB Southern regional secretary

GMB members take on Carillion Page 6

Get GMB in your pocket with the new mobile app Page 14



4 Save our NHS

9 Congress

Mass demos in London and Brighton

All the news from GMB Congress in Plymouth

6 Being heard

11 Paul Kenny says

7 Stop for Sure Start

12 Political candidates

8 Congress

14 GMB in your pocket

25 Total rubbish

15 Win a car!

26 School scare

16 Striking a light

28 Andy Burnham

17 Take a break

29 Perfect partners

19 Free our pubs

30 In with the new

22 Selling services

31 Contact GMB

24 Members’ statement

GMB members win awards for Carillion fight

Protest over Sure Start service cuts

Your region’s report from Plymouth

Action against Brighton’s refuse pay cuts

GMB warns of asbestos in school heaters

Labour MP speaks up for the NHS

GMB and GLA Labour join forces

The new GMB Southern Regional Comittee

Names and numbers you can call

GMB regional editor Michelle Gordon: 020 8397 8881 Editorial director Stephen Pierce Editor Matt Robinson Art editor Johnny Goddard Contributors Emma Johnston, Jayne Nelson Advertising manager Steve Hulbert Account managers David Parker, Lisa Dunham Production and procurement manager Matt Eglinton Production co-ordinator Tracy Nugent Art directors Stuart Hobbs, Dermot Rushe Director, Future Plus UK Jayne Caple Printed at St Ives Direct

A word from your general secretary

Meet GMB’s Labour candidates

GMB’s mobile app can keep you in the loop

Your chance to win a Toyota Aygo

Commemorating the matchwomen’s strike

Help for women who need a holiday

How sky-high rents are shutting our pubs

Why public services must remain public

GMB’s annual statement and audit

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We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

Would you like to advertise in GMB Vision magazine? Please contact Steve Hulbert on 01225 442 244 (ex 5205) Accepting of advertising and inserts does not imply GMB endorsement of the product or services. Remember that GMB recommends all services and offers should always be used to test the cost against other commercial companies. Members are advised to secure at least two quotes on all commercial transactions.

Protect yourself and join GMB today The GMB annual Congress in June was one of the most vibrant conferences in years, with healthy debates on blacklisting construction workers, the government threat to cut 230,000 teaching assistants in schools, privatisation of the NHS and many more. At a time when the government continues to attack the rights of trade union members, it is obvious that GMB is the last defender of workers’ rights – rights to have respect and decency in the workplace, rights not to be unfairly dismissed and rights to have legal recourse for wrongdoings. Well, on 29 July the government will introduce charges for a worker to go to an employment tribunal if they are unfairly dismissed or have any other employment claim against their employer. This means that for an employee to get access to justice they would have to pay £250 to submit a claim and an additional £950 for the hearing, and then may have to pay for representation as well. Imagine you have just been dismissed and then you have to pay £1,200 to go to an employment tribunal which has been the basic right of any worker since the 1960s, free of charge. I can assure GMB members that you will have full access to justice without the fear of whether or not you can afford it. GMB will not allow our members to be debarred from justice on financial grounds. However there are workers who are not GMB members who should now join GMB and insure their jobs as they would their cars, homes or lives. Tell your friends and workplace colleagues not to wait for something to happen, because it is then too late. Protect yourself and join GMB today. 03

l a n o i g e r


GMB m o r f s w e n All the

y c n e g r e Em

s t s e t o r p T

housands of GMB members descended on London on Saturday 18 May to protest against Coalition cuts to the NHS. The march assembled in Jubilee Gardens and proceeded to Downing Street to make the strength of feeling in support of the NHS clear to the prime minister. The thousands of members taking to the streets also sent a serious message to secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt, who recently referred A&E closures across London to the Independent Review Panel – the findings of which will be heard on 13 September. WALKING THE WALK GMB has shown firm opposition to the GMB members marched . ent’s NHS cuts since they were first May governm in don Lon through announced and will continue to fight them 04

tooth and nail. Closing vital services will affect the livelihoods of members working in the NHS and will literally be a matter of life and death for residents losing their A&E departments. “GMB is out today defending our NHS from the ConDem government’s constant attacks,” said Paul Maloney, GMB regional secretary for the Southern Region. “They are threatening frontline services by attacking jobs, outsourcing and attacking our members. GMB is here to tell the government that the NHS is ours and we will do everything we can to defend it.” GMB national president Mary Turner addressed the crowds, condemning the government for its betrayal of the NHS. She also thanked local activists, community and faith leaders for their efforts over the last 18 months.


Mass demos in London and Brighton show strength of feeling against NHS cuts


Bring these pages to life!



1 2



7 6



DIAL 999 FLAGS FLYING GMB made its support for the NHS clear.

SOLIDARITY GMB members will not back down from the fight for the NHS.

right on brighton! Members also marched in Brighton as hundreds of NHS employees, patients and local people turned out for a mass demo against proposed cuts at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals. The demonstration followed the appointment of new NHS chief

executive Matthew Kershaw, whose first act in the role was to announce £30m worth of cuts to staff and services. You can find updates on the campaign and watch videos from the march in Brighton at

HELP GMB FIGHT BACK 1. Sign GMB’s petition against the cuts at 2. Write to your MPs and local newspaper. 3. Follow the campaign on Facebook (search for the page “Defend Our NHS Brighton”) and Twitter (@GMBSouthern). For more information, you can also email

London Ambulance Service needs help – GMB challenges staff skills changes The London Ambulance Service (LAS) plans to send less-well qualified ambulance crews to emergency calls, GMB has learned. At the moment, an ambulance attending an emergency is crewed by a qualified paramedic and a qualified medical technician. LAS proposes to replace the technician with a less-qualified A&E emergency care support worker. “An A&E emergency care support worker will have very limited training to cope with many medical situations,” said Brendan Kemp, GMB regional officer. Both A&E emergency care support workers and paramedics are said to be unhappy with the proposal. Tony Hughes, GMB lead NHS organiser, said: “If these plans go ahead we will see a reduction in the level of service, as we have already seen in other parts of the country. LAS must remember there are people’s lives at stake here.” On 14 May the London Evening Standard reported how a 21-year-old woman died following a series of blunders by trainee paramedics who failed to provide her with basic medical checks or take her to hospital. “The public deserve the best service that can be offered,” said Tony. “These changes will leave patients at risk and undoubtedly result in a situation which may cost lives.” GMB has raised concerns with LAS and is in consultation. Members will be informed of progress. 05



from GMB All the news

Fair pay for

fire staff GMB wins backdated pay rise for fire members GMB members at London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) have won a backdated pay rise after LFEPA refused to honour a four-year pay deal. Fire staff should have been given a 2.5 per cent pay rise in the third year of the agreement, but LFEPA paid just 1.575 per cent. GMB took the claim to the Court of Appeal, where a unanimous decision backed GMB members. GMB regional officer Clive Smith said: “GMB is delighted that this decision has finally brought justice. Staff will receive increases ranging from £182 per annum to £664 per annum. The backdated amounts cover the four-year range from £750 to £2,600. “GMB successfully challenged the use in 2009 by the LFEPA of a legal loophole to take hundreds of pounds a year out of our members’ pay packets. I have no doubt that this was a politically motivated decision by the Tory dominated authority, at that time led by Brian Coleman. The authority chose to spend money on lawyers and barristers in an attempt to backtrack on a settlement negotiated and signed off in 2007. Coleman has now got his comeuppance. GMB is prepared to fight all the way to defend our members’ rights.”

OWED MONEY GMB members celebrate their win.


HONOURED Jose Estrocio is honoured by TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady (left).

Fighting to be heard GMB members honoured for courageous Carillion strike


MB members working for Carillion have taken 21 days’ strike action over the appalling way they have been treated by supervisors at the Great Western Hospital (GWH) in Swindon, and the GMB reps responsible for organising it have been honoured with TUC awards. Members have endured bullying, bribery and corruption. GMB’s Jose Estrocio and Paulo Fernandes have organised and supported the members in the face of persistent failure of management to deal with the problems. Jose has won the TUC’s Equalities Award, while Paulo won the Most Promising New Rep Award. The campaign was co-ordinated by Andy Newman, branch secretary for Wiltshire and Swindon GMB, who said: “This award is nice, but the real issue is that we’ve

advanced the interests of our members at the hospital. There are still outstanding issues at the GWH concerning holiday policy, and inappropriate behaviour which GMB is confident could be resolved by negotiation.” GMB also attended a demonstration outside the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2013. Carillion is involved in the blacklisting scandal in which thousands of construction workers were prevented from getting work. GMB Wiltshire branch president Chris Watts said: “We had a fantastic response from those attending the awards event. Many of our leaflets were taken by those nominated for awards, who wished us luck. When being nominated for sustainability awards in the building industry, company ethics should play a large part in the shortlist selection process.”

RECOGNITION GMB members were recognised for standing up to Carillion.


Follow us on Twitter @GMBSouthern


STOP THE GMB leads protest over shocking Sure Start service cuts Back in May, protestors were determined to get their voices heard as they gathered to demonstrate about proposed cuts to the government’s Sure Start scheme, which provides services for families with young children. More than 250 people joined GMB members at the protest in Portsmouth, which was sparked by the Liberal Democrats’ decision to slash Sure Start services

by an astonishing 48 per cent – leaving services for children and their families drastically reduced, at a time when they are needed the most. GMB and the Portsmouth Labour Party delivered 6,000 leaflets around central Southsea to spread word about this disgusting plan, led by Portsmouth Council chief Gerald Vernon-Jackson. GMB organiser Frank Minal said: “The Liberal Democrats are simply not listening to the resounding objections to cuts to Sure Start centres in Portsmouth. The turnout at the protest today shows the strength of feeling about preserving these valuable services. We will continue to campaign until they get the message.”

FAMILY VALUES Sure Start offers vital support for families.

PARENT POWER GMB members make their voices heard.


Mother of a problem

GMB wins tribunal for sacked pregnant member

A pregnant GMB member was unlawfully dismissed from Express Construction Cleaning Ltd when she sought to bring forward her maternity leave. Joanne Glover, who worked for the company as an administrator, said: “I telephoned the company to tell them that I would be bringing forward my maternity leave. The next thing I knew I was dismissed. I tried to appeal against my dismissal but the company didn’t allow me any appeal hearing.” GMB’s legal team at Simpson Millar LLP gave Ms Glover the support she needed to take her employer to an employment tribunal. The tribunal upheld Ms Glover’s

claims for discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity and supported her claim for unfair dismissal. Asha Wije, solicitor and partner at Simpson Millar LLP, brought proceedings on behalf of Ms Glover. She said: “The Equality Act 2010 makes it very clear that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a woman because of her pregnancy or because she seeks to exercise the right to take maternity leave.”

Mark Turner, GMB branch secretary for Brighton said: “Many people will be shocked that in 2013 Ms Glover found herself discriminated against and unfairly dismissed for using a basic right like taking maternity leave. It shows that legislation isn’t always enough. Trade unions still have to pursue companies who believe they are above the law.” Shortly after her dismissal, Ms Glover gave birth to a healthy, happy baby girl.

“Many people will be shocked by this discrimination” 07



from GMB All the news


The FUTURE How the Southern region got involved at GMB Congress

what is s? congres

al the biggest annu GMB Congress is ds re nd Hu rs. be em meeting of GMB m ss ro ac guests from of members and cuss GMB policies dis to t ee the UK m s, voting on motion for the next year, ing ap sh d an ns cia questioning politi the future of GMB.


g MB Congress 2013 was a rewardin for outh Plym in k and productive wee the GMB Southern region. The delegation did a great job and the mely visible, with delegates extre was region regularly speaking at the rostrum. young It was great to see new delegates and sha Nati . lved invo e mor ing delegates gett spoke Thakoor was a first time delegate and to ent rnm calling on a future Labour gove l rights lega ns unio e trad change the law to give es. ness busi n unio e trad to access nonLeak, also One of our young members, David . He GMB in spoke, calling for plain speaking badly and s nym acro k, outlined how text spea le. peop use conf can on written informati an The Southern region also submitted wing follo ce eren emergency motion to the conf ce redu to s plan e’s Gov ael the discovery of Mich try coun the in s tant assis hing teac the number of huge a by 230,000. The Southern region has hing number of members who are teac this was felt n gatio dele assistants and our gress Con that issue t rtan such an impo these must pledge to campaign against damaging proposals. sed GMB Southern region was also plea the by uced prod rt repo nt rece the to hear

CONGRESS HIGHLIGHTS Speakers and award-winners from the Southern region. 08

en are campaigns company on why wom r 50 per cent Ove n. unio the in nted rese under-rep women now of Southern region members are g the takin is GMB that and the region is pleased usly. serio n tatio esen repr issue of women’s


on won the Long-term GMB member Brian Burt nal Project iratio Insp t Mos for rd Awa t’s Presiden worked has He for Making a Difference at Work. which en, Que way Med on the restoration of the was and II War ld Wor ng duri served at Dunkirk ey and mon ery Lott the ing gett in ntal instrume to set up European funding that enabled him ps. eshi entic workshops and run appr nal The region also won “Most Inspiratio paign cam its for g” nisin Orga for ect Proj Equality al soci against the retailer Next for its antion employment practices. Southern Regi rty pove se expo to ly rous campaigned vigo ers. work g youn wages for the best in All in all the conference was one of many saw n regio recent years. The Southern in the lved invo e mor get bers activists and mem ested inter be ld wou you If . GMB of cy democra in Nottingham in attending next year’s Congress y. etar secr ch please contact your bran

congress 2013


l na O I T NA


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From blacklisting to badgers, George Fraser reports on a successful GMB Congress


he sun shone on Plymouth in June, making it the perfect setting for GMB Congress. But the weather wasn’t the only thing dazzling delegates as a roster of speakers inspired members with their stories. Emma LewellBuck addressed Congress – and what a breath of fresh air she is! The first woman MP in South Shields and a GMB member, Emma is a tribute to GMB’s policy of getting real people into the House of Commons, a tribute to our new political team and a tribute to our activists in the Northern region. Congress also received a video message from Ed Miliband, and Andy Burnham, shadow secretary of state for health, came to speak and answer questions about the NHS. Another high-profile speaker was author and newspaper columnist Owen Jones. His

address made real sense and coincided with our own GMB values.

blacklist battle The evil of blacklisting was brought home to us by Dave Smith, who told his heartbreaking story. He was denied work for years because he complained about health and safety, and the details held about him by the Consulting Association would do credit to the KGB. But I was struck by his resilience. He will not give in and it is for Dave and the other 3,212 on the blacklist that we must win the blacklisting campaign. GMB has lodged a High Court action for defamation on behalf of 90 GMB members affected against the companies that funded the blacklist.

GEORGE FRASER ss. re Reports from Cong

Many delegates when looking at the list of blacklisted workers from their particular area, especially in Scotland, recognised a good number of names and Phil Read, GMB’s blacklisting liaison officer, will be contacting each of them to see if we need to add them to the court case.

On the Blacklist?

Contact Phil Read, GMB blacklisting liaison officer, on 07840 897 997 or

plymouth, 2–6 june 09



from GMB All the news

BADGER OF HONOUR GMB members spoke out against the badger cull.


SAVE OUR SERVICES Andy Burnham backs GMB’s fight for the NHS.

The most inspirational speech of the week was That is a debt GMB will by Margaret Aspinall of the Hillsborough never be able to repay. Family Support Group. She spoke with feeling, He listed the expectations of GMB on a new without notes and I am certain there was not Labour Government, telling the Labour Party, a dry eye in the house by the time she finished “be bold, be radical, be truthful.” He urged her story. Let down by government after them to build council housing with the money government and suffering the indignity of lost currently being paid to private landlords for loved ones having to undergo CRB checks, she shoddy housing, put a stop to the tax dodging carried on until the of multinational battle was won. She companies that profit showed incredible from UK workers, and k wee a determination in the make all companies 5p a on ded deci ss GMB Congre from face of South pay a living wage, increase in GMB subscription rates ime rate removing the burden Yorkshire police 1 October 2013. Therefore the full-t month) bridging the gap force’s resolve to will become £2.75 a week (£11.92 a £1.60 a me beco will rate e -tim part the and lie, falsify and deny between people’s king week (£6.94 a month). Members wor any complicity in wages and their daily k wor as school support staff and who the deaths of those needs from the k wee per 0 £1.6 pay will 28 hours or less 96 people. benefits system. (£6.94 per month). Jan Jepson of GMB He also pushed for Northern region and employment rights from the Julie Hunt of GMB London region eloquently first day at a new job and for agency workers moved and seconded composite 17. That to enjoy exactly the same employment rights motion was about Orgreave during the miners’ as permanent staff. Delegates also heard how strike in 1984 and 1985. It is asking for a public GMB’s Living Wage Campaign has progressed inquiry into the atrocities of that same to more than 100 councils, which now pay scumbag police force on the picket line at their staff a living wage. Orgreave. If there is any justice in this world, Other issues covered by Congress the police officers on the picket line will be included domestic violence, badger sent to Wakefield prison, the same prison culling and the scourge of pay day where so many of our innocent miner brothers loan companies. GMB also were incarcerated. revealed the cost of dying (see GMB general secretary Paul Kenny page 20) the impact of rising addressed the crowd on Tuesday and drew fuel prices and the scandal of a standing ovation. The financial report on housing benefit enriching Wednesday showed how secure GMB is in his private landlords at the hands. We should not forget, colleagues, that cost of families he has sacrificed a well-deserved retirement to without a decent steer GMB through a potentially difficult time. place to live.

Rates increase


The contributions of the 500 delegates were better than any Congress I can remember and I am amazed at the number of first time delegates. All of them performed magnificently.

Dynamic delegates Caroline Campbell of GMB Scotland spoke in support of the Mental Health motion. It was not only her first time as a delegate it was her first ever day in Congress. Other first-time speakers also got great responses. But seriously, you were all great and it’s not only your performances which made this Congress memorable. You were all elected or appointed, under rule, to attend what is the parliament of GMB and you have carried out that duty with honour. You were so good you turned over the CEC three times. Colleagues, that is democracy alive and well and living in GMB. On behalf of the Mary Turner, GMB national president, Malcolm Sage, GMB national vice president, Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary and all of the Central Executive Council (CEC), I salute you.

EMOTIONAL TALE Margaret Aspinall (left) with GMB President Mary Turner.

Paul kenn y


cretary e s l a r e n e g your GMB m o r f d r o w A


have just spent a wonderful week in Plymouth in the company of nearly 1,000 GMB delegates, visitors and guests at GMB’s annual Congress. The contributions from members gave all who were present or who watched on GMB Congress TV an insight into the varied problems facing people in the world of work and beyond. The media and certain politicians like to portray trade unions as unrepresentative of their members or even sometimes attack what we do as undemocratic. GMB Congress is our Parliament, but unlike the phoney democracy of Westminster, ours actually is run by our members to guide and direct GMB in its work.

HOUSING FOR ALL Over the last 10 years our Congress has warned successive governments about corporate tax avoidance, bankers’ bonuses, private equity buy outs and the loss of corporation tax and so many other matters that at the time politicians ignored, but who now wring their hands and say how terrible these abuses are. The truth is that it was politicians that created the loopholes for corporations like Google, Starbucks, Amazon and hundreds of others to use. While the Daily Mail and George Osborne attack the millions of working people who have to rely on benefits to make ends meet, the billions of untaxed

profits made by these companies continue to flow out of the UK and into the slimy hands of corporate greed. And now GMB has exposed the scandal of billions of pounds of housing benefit being paid to private landlords, many of whom are companies based overseas to avoid tax in this country. £23bn a year is paid in housing benefit because we have failed to build affordable homes. Find out more, at The right-to-buy scheme put up in the early 1980s was a political vote catcher for the Tory government at the time, but in reality it was the privatisation of our social and council housing stock. And like all privatisation of our country’s assets, the corporations make a killing and the public get a worse service and bigger bills. Those in housing being squeezed by higher and higher rents whilst at the same time having a cap put on what support they can get shows the government doesn’t care about the have nots or those working poor who can’t afford a deposit for a house let alone find a mortgage.

TIME FOR COURAGE If only we had the courage to cap the rents and build homes for people, not only would we eventually cut the housing benefit scam payments to landlords, but we would get people back to work and the economy would benefit.

If only we had the courage to introduce a living wage for all instead of millions of workers having to apply for benefits to supplement their low wages. Companies would have to show their books and profits, a sort of corporate means testing. If working people have to be subsidised by the state then we should be sure these companies, which include tax avoiders making vast profits, pay their workers a living wage. Companies where the chief executive is paid 500 times the minimum wage, yet their workers require state support – that needs addressing.

REMPLOY SCANDAL As many people at Congress said, while Starbucks dodges its commitments to the country and makes huge profits, Remploy workers in their thousands have been thrown on the scrapheap. Politicians were responsible for both of those situations and the quicker we get more GMB members into the House of Commons to challenge this corrupt system the better. One last word, treat yourself to a visit to the York Disabled Workers Co-operative website at This is a group of ex-Remploy workers fighting back and trying to build decent jobs. This government will come and go, our job is to make sure we never stop fighting for the decent life everyone in GMB and indeed our country has a right to expect. 11



from GMB All the news CATH SPEIGHT GMB national politcal officer.

“We have introduced political education for new workplace representatives on the GMB@WORK courses to help members learn more about the way we are governed and how to get involved in the Labour Party. “We are in good shape to make sure that in the forthcoming elections for Europe and Westminster we can support our candidates who share GMB aspirations and understand the problems our GMB members face.”

nancy platts, birghton kemptown Nancy Platts has been selected as the Labour candidate in Brighton Kemptown, where Labour needs just a small swing to beat the Tories in 2015. Nancy was supported by trade unions across the region and it's easy to see why – she spent the morning of her selection marching with Brighton's striking City Clean workers. Nancy has spent her life campaigning for social justice because she saw first-hand how unfair the system was – she started work at the London Fire Brigade at the age of 18 because her family couldn't afford for her to go to university. She studied at night school to get her qualifications. She's worked for a trade union, for the Child Poverty Action Group and health campaigns. “GMB was a huge, practical support during my selection campaign. Now I'm selected I want to work across the entire Labour movement – because that's where my roots are – to make sure we get the policies and representation we need for working people. The hard work starts now to get rid of the Tory MP here. I hope GMB members will join me on the doorstep soon!”

Look at our

s e c c u s

All these GMB members are making inroads to Parliament Emma Lewell-Buck Mp, South Shields


email me at 12

mma is North East born and bred and is a long-standing GMB member. She has a long history in the region – her dad worked on Tyneside shipyards and she is the direct descendent of a town hero who famously (in South Shields!) invented the lifeboat. Before the by-election last month, she was working as a social worker locally and representing her area on the local council.

“I’m a working class lass from the North East and a long-standing GMB member. My dad worked in the shipyards and I was the first in my family to go to university. After university I trained as a social worker and have been on the front line ever since. Now I’m on the front line of politics, fighting against this government’s damaging policies, as South Shields’ first female MP and a GMB MP as well.”

SIGN up for the GMB eNEWSletter AT

NATional email me at

Sarah Owen, Hastings and Rye Sarah Owen is a former GMB rep who was born and raised in her constituency. At the moment she is working for the Labour Party on living wage campaigns and opening up the policy process, but she has plenty of real life experience too, having worked countless shifts caring for patients at the Conquest Hospital, planning for large scale emergencies in the fire service

and getting to know how local councils in East Sussex work. “As a former GMB rep and someone who has worked on the front line of public service, the support of my union has been a huge boost. Hastings and Rye is a marginal seat we have to win if we want a Labour government. I’m looking forward to working with members to make that happen.”

Clive Lewis, Norwich South


Operation Black Vote and their Clive was born into a working programme to shadow MPs. class family with a Grenadian “It’s incredibly important father and English mother. He that Labour looks and sounds was the first person in his like the country if we’re to family to go to university, rebuild trust and convince which is where he first people to vote for us again. got involved in I’m proud to be supported politics. He served in by GMB. My message to Helmand with the members is if you don’t like Territorial Army and what’s happening has worked as a BBC to our country, journalist. He has get involved also been and help us an active email me at change it.” part of


email me at

Vicky Foxcroft, Lewisham Deptford Vicky grew up in the North West in a single parent family. When she was younger her family was made homeless and spent much of her childhood moving from place to place and school to school. Thanks to a second chance in education and the support of her teachers, she was the first person in her family to go to university. She currently works for Unite, the union, representing low-paid workers

in the financial sector, and is a councillor in the area where she was selected. “I’m proud to be a working class candidate selected to fight the seat where I live for Labour. It’s important to make sure people in parliament actually understand people’s lives – we need more common sense in the policy process! That’s why I stood. I’m looking forward to working with GMB in the run-up to 2015.”

Lisa Forbes, Peterborough Lisa Forbes is a GMB member and mum of four who has lived in Peterborough for 25 years. Over the years she’s done jobs from potato picking to working in a DIY shop to being a travel agent at Thomas Cook. When the Tories were elected, she decided she couldn’t sit by and see what happened in the 1980s happen to her community and her family. She stood for council, winning a previously safe Tory ward for Labour, and is now Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Peterborough. “GMB is my union and was behind me during my selection. I’m a working class woman, and

mum, who remembers what a Tory government meant for people like me last time around. People are struggling again and I couldn’t stand by and watch history repeat itself. Now GMB is helping me to take the fight to the Tories in Peterborough – I’ve never been more email me at proud to be a member.” 13



from GMB All the news


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a toyota aygo worth £9,000

Exclusive GMB prize draw to win a Toyota Aygo, simply by switching your GMB subscription payment to Direct Debit


e in with a chance to win this gorgeous car and Apple gear, regardless of whether you already pay by Direct Debit or are switching now. There is a second prize of an iPad, and third prize is the latest iPhone. The draw closes at midnight on Monday 16 September 2013. Reasons to switch to Direct Debit • As some employers frown on trade unions, paying your GMB subscription by Direct Debit means that your membership is a matter for you alone and no one, including your employer, will know unless you tell them yourself. • You won’t lose your GMB membership as

the result of an administrative slip-up in your payroll office. • Your membership will follow you if you change jobs with your current employer. • Your membership will follow you if you change jobs and get a new employer. Reasons to switch away from check-off • Check-off is the system where your GMB subscription comes out of your wages. GMB pays an administration fee on this which costs thousands of pounds a year. • Help GMB make that saving by switching away from check-off to Direct Debit and you will automatically be entered into this exclusive prize draw.

TERMS & CONDITIONS The winning entry will be drawn at random from GMB members only who pay their GMB subscription by Direct Debit. It will be drawn after midnight on the closing date of Monday 16 September. The winner will be notified by GMB. No purchase necessary. The winner’s name and photo may be published in future issues. The GMB prize draw is open to GMB members who are fully financial at midnight on Monday 16 September 2013. This prize draw is not open to any GMB employees or members of their families. The result of the draw is final. All entrants agree to publicity in GMB material. Only one entry per eligible GMB member.

how to enter Go to and click the link to switch to Direct Debit. You can also use the Move To Direct Debit button on the GMB app, which you can download from Don’t forget to tell your employer to cease your check-off payment. You can still enter the prize draw if you already pay by Direct Debit. Simply go to and press the button to enter the competition – good luck!

Last issue’s Glasto tickets winner GMB member Erika Radu of GMB Northern Region won a pair of Glastonbury tickets in the prize draw in the last issue of the magazine. 15



from GMB All the news

Striking a light! celebrate the matchwomen Author Louise Raw celebrates the founders of working women’s rights


n 6 July the first annual Matchwomen’s Festival was held in London. The festival celebrated the start of the modern movement for workers’ rights: a strike by young women and girls, who took on their employer – and by extension the entire Victorian establishment – in the summer of 1888. Matchstick makers, Bryant and May were powerful and prosperous Victorian gentlemen, with friends in very high places. The matchwomen, by contrast, were labelled a “rough set of girls”. Wages were so low the women were malnourished. They had no contracts or job security and working with toxic white phosphorus caused what the women called “phossy jaw”. This grisly disease decayed the jawbone, slowly and agonisingly, and could prove fatal.

fighting back But the matchwomen refused to be victims. Without a union to support them, they surprised – and outraged – the country when they took matters into their own hands. When one girl was sacked (supposedly for being a troublemaker, but in reality to punish the women for speaking to a journalist about

conditions), 1,400 workmates downed tools and streamed out of the gates of the matchstick factory in Bow. Their two-week strike changed everything. The scandalous truth about Bryant and May was revealed and the women marched to parliament and impressed MPs with their eloquence and intelligence. They went on to win a huge victory for themselves, for women workers, and for working class people everywhere. They formed the biggest union of women and girls in the country, and inspired a wave of strikes that kicked off the trade union movement we know today. In the ’20s that union evolved into GMB, which is therefore essentially still the matchwomen’s union.

the legacy The vital role of working class women has been ignored for too long! This year many GMB members attended the Matchwomen’s Festival on

Louise Raw is the author of Striking a Light: the Bryant & May Matchwomen and Their Place in History and the organiser of the Matchwomen’s Festival. For details of next Matchwomen’s Festival contact: 16

6 July. It was organised by the Bishopsgate Institute and held near Liverpool Street in London. The grandchildren of the original matchwomen were VIP guests at the festival and everyone enjoyed a packed roster of high-profile speakers and excellent entertainment. Members also enjoyed a jig or two as the traditional Irish band brought the atmosphere to life. There was music, stand-up comedy, poetry, special children’s events, stalls and food and drink. Michael Rosen read for children, John Hegley made us laugh with his poetry, and in the evening Attila the Stockbroker, Izzy Thomas, the Ruby Kid helped get the party started. This was a great festival to commemorate an important part of GMB’s history. To help the festival in coming years, please donate, become a sponsor, or volunteer your time via the website below.

Support l the Festiva n’s Festival go to: Matchwome For more details on the fes www.matchwomens or email matchwomen1 atchwomen @matchwomen1888

SIGN up for the GMB eNEWSletter AT Bring these pages to life!


to gmb WOMEN members

regional NATional

Take a


If you’ve not had a holiday in years, the Mary Macarthur Holiday Trust can help


he Mary Macarthur Holiday Trust provides holidays for women who are in need of a break. When life gets tough, it’s here to help you enjoy a rest. The Trust helps women book a holiday because of:

an amendment to the Munitions Act, which required that women should receive the same rate of pay as men for doing the same job.

iStock x 4

What does the Trust do? At the time of Mary’s death, working • Age women had no paid • Poverty holidays and there • Infirmity was no such thing • Disablement as the NHS. In her • Social or economic memory, an appeal circumstances was launched and a Trust formed to ? Whatever the reason, the fund places in ro er lp Po Fancy a brea k in Trust aims to offer some convalescent or respite from life’s traumas. holiday homes for women in need. Who was Mary Macarthur? Its success enabled them to buy a home and Part of GMB history, Mary Macarthur was name it The Mary Macarthur Holiday Home. a trade unionist who fought tirelessly for More homes were opened and for more than working women who had no paid holidays. 60 years, women Born in Ayr in 1880, she died in 1921 and benefited from time although her life was short, it was very full. at Mary Macarthur At 23 she became general secretary of the Holiday Homes. Women’s Trade Union League, and was the As times changed, president of the National Federation of the homes were closed Women Workers from 1906 to 1908. One of and the Trust now her main achievements was that she secured awards grants towards the cost of any holiday – still preserving the Trust’s original ideals. The range, number and complexity of ...or a peacef ul cases which continue to be referred to the Trust for assistance show that its work is just as relevant and vital in today’s world as it ever was.

...or Woolacombe Sands?

Do I qualify for a holiday? Holiday grants are just for women and you must be 18 or over to qualify. Also, you must not have had a holiday in recent years, and must not have received a grant from the Trust

PROUD LEGACY Mary Macarthur fought for equal rights and pay for women. for at least three years. You also need a letter from a sponsoring body or person explaining why you deserve a holiday grant. The Trust will help you pay for a holiday, but it is up to you to choose where you go and to make enquiries with a local travel agent – so you can go anywhere! The Trust encourages women to go away on their own but you can bring someone with you if you prefer. However, the Trust cannot give you more money to pay for a friend. The grant is normally paid directly to the holiday provider. If you think you would benefit from a Mary Macarthur Holiday, or you know a woman who would, please contact Cheryl Andrews, Mary Macarthur Holiday Trust, 1 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9SD. Telephone 02920 359 091, Fax 02920 666 447 or email: How you can help the Trust... The Trust never wants to turn someone down due to a lack of funding. It is likely that disadvantaged women among GMB’s membership have received help from the Trust and benefited from a holiday that might otherwise have seemed out of reach. If you would like to help the Trust continue providing this valuable service, please make a donation via the can al trip? website listed below.

Do you need a holiday? For more details on the Trust or to fill in an application form, go to 17



from GMB All the news

How to make GMB work for you

GMB workplace organisers are there to offer support and advice, so whether you are having a problem that you need help with, or if you just want to know what your rights are, feel free to call them. One day at work…

Well, I’m having a few problems with management. They’re giving me impossible workloads.

Hi sara, it’s Joe.

Do you want GMB to approach them?

Hi Joe, what can I do for you?

Not at the moment, but I’ll tell them I want GMB involved if they won’t deal with the matter.

Later that week...

any time Joe.


Thanks a lot for your support, sara.

Hi sara, I got my problem sorted out with the management.

The End


Joby Seesions

The threat of involving GMB did the trick.

SIGN up for the GMB eNEWSletter AT




Keep your glass filled at your local – ask your MP to help landlords fight sky-high rents


imes are hard for pub landlords, and the many GMB members who work in the UK pub trade. This is thanks largely to a scourge that’s pubs to close. many forcing Property companies known as ‘pubcos’ own more than half of Britain’s pubs, charging sky-high rents to their tied tenants. The money is used to pay interest on financially engineered debts – debts that are held mainly by bondholders in offshore tax havens. Interest payments have to be paid each week before the tenant pours a pint, regardless of whether they can make ends meet. To pay these inflated rents, a pint of lager is, on average, 80p per pint higher and ale is 65p per pint higher than justified by inflation and like-for-like changes in taxes since 1987. This is pricing pubs out of the market, resulting in them closing in droves.

Infernal machine The common view that shareholders in the pubcos own a pub business is wrong. In fact, the shareholders don’t own a pub business; they own a holding company which invests in and manages rental incomes from pubs. These are called pub securitisations. These securitisations are the infernal machine that is closing pubs unable to pay their rents. It’s also

the same infernal machine that drove the Southern Cross care homes to the wall. In 2009 an Office for Fair Trading report concluded that the average pub tied-lessee is being overcharged by pubcos by around £12,000 a year, or £230 per pub per week, after higher “wet rents” and lower “dry rents” are factored into the equation. GMB has campaigned for parliament to legislate to free pubs from this infernal machine before it destroys them all. In April 2013 the Department for Business, Innovations and Skills published a draft statutory code for tied pubs for consultation which closed in June. GMB welcomed their conclusion that pubcos will overcharge tied tenants for rents unless they are prevented

tenants the ability to buy beer, lager and other products from the open market, as well as pay a fair market rent for the building. You can help to make this happen: ask your local pub’s tenants to lobby their MPs to go for Option 3. GMB thinks that the other two options will allow pubcos to put up rents by the backdoor by over-charging for products tenants are tied to buy from them. Please ask your MP to support Option 3 when the matter comes before parliament later this year. You can also support the Fair Deal For Your Local campaign, which calls Option 3 a ‘Market Rent Only’ option. GMB members whose livelihoods are tied up in our pubs need you to make their voice heard.

“Pubcos are pricing pubs out of the market”

from doing so.

YOU CAN HELP We will likely only get this one chance to save our local pubs. Later this year a draft statutory code covering tied pub rents will come before parliament. GMB wants MPs to support ‘Option 3’, which will give tied pub

re n mo Lear information about For more ct GMB how you can help, conta on mp Ke ve Ste r political office 07730 898 102 or email k g.u steve.kemp@gmb.or 19



The cost

from GMB All the news

of dying GMB survey reveals that the cost of dying is more than £7,000








£2,265 £2,350

Cityof London



Top six councils for cremation charges in the uk Cremation, interment of ashes and Exclusive Burial Rights


charges £5,329, the City of London £5,185, and at the bottom of the top 20 chargers, Exeter cashes in £2,650 for every burial. These figures were revealed at GMB Congress and come from a GMB study for all councils in the UK. These charges are major items in The Sun Life Direct Cost Of Dying Survey. The 2012 edition states that the average funeral costs are £3,284. If all the services are included, for example funeral director’s costs, doctors’ fees for certification, flowers, limousines and catering for the wake/reception then the total average is £7,114. Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, said: “At a time when the cost of living occupies most people’s concerns it will be a real shock to many living in that the cost of dying is so high. While GMB realises that the public are not queuing up to test the services

it remains a fact that few have any idea of how much even a simple burial or cremation actually costs. “When council charges are included the average funeral costs are £3,284 and the total costs average over £7,000 according to some surveys. “Someone is making a lot of money out of peoples bereavement.”

Find out more

in To find the cost of dying the t ou eck ch , ion reg your information online at: newsroom iStock


t will be a real shock to many living in the UK that bereaved families are forced to pay thousands of pounds for cremation and burial services. GMB has discovered that the average cost of dying in the UK is more than £7,000. A GMB survey into the cost of cremation and funeral services found that someone is making a lot of money from people’s bereavement. To ensure that like was compared with like, GMB looked at charges for cremations, interment of ashes and exclusive burial rights. The City of London has the highest charge of £3,464, but this is not a one off as other councils also charge thousands of pounds for the service. Wandsworth charges £2,350, and Manchester charges £2,012.25. And it’s not just cremation that costs bereaved families; the cost of burial also runs into thousands of pounds. Lambeth Council



from GMB All the news

Selling our

services One way or another the Tories want to sell off public services, but this is a recipe for disaster, warns Paul Routledge


he Tories had one so-called big idea at the last general election: the Big Society. Nobody knew what it meant, least of all David Cameron and his merry band of job-robbers. But we know now. It’s about culling jobs in the public sector, and replacing them with charities, staff buy-outs and “social enterprises.” “They’re trying to privatise by the back door,” says GMB’s Kathleen Walker Shaw. “They’re now tackling social services and health care services. They know public opinion won’t take kindly to it, so this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” The potential for out-sourcing of public services across a wide range of activity, from housing to looking after children, is enormous. There is big money at stake. The government spends £23Obn every year on public sector procurement of goods and services, and the privateers want more of it.

councils, the NHS and government departments to commission services from organisations that create “social value” in communities. This is defined as doing something for the community and is supposed to “put people before profit.” But does it? Services being spun out to social enterprises or staff mutuals – workers buying out their business – will inevitably mean more job losses, on top of the hundreds of thousands already lost since Cameron came to power. In the end, this reform is all about cutting the cost of providing public services with the added bonus – in Tory eyes – that it will diminish trade union membership and activity.

Their Social Value Act was the brainchild of a Conservative politician, public relations consultant Chris White, MP for Leamington and Warwick. Speaking in the Westminster debate, he said government should tell procurement commissioners: “You can still save money on that youth service or care home, but by letting a community organisation run it you could involve the people who have actually got a stake in that venture.” Translated into everyday speech, he’s saying “Take your services out of the hands of directly-employed workers and put the business into private-sector hands.”

social value The springboard for this latest radical change is the Social Value Act 2012, which came into operation earlier this year. On the face of it, this legislation looks like a good idea. It calls on public bodies such as

utuals “Charities, staff m rises and social enterp fail” are being set up to CRITICAL SITUATION The Tories are trying to kill off our health service. 22


Bring these pages to life! buy-out. “In some cases, this is the difference between trying to set up a social enterprise – or you are redundant,” a source in the Local Government Association told me. “Faced with that choice, it sharpens thinking.” Ed Mayo, general secretary of Cooperatives UK, fears that staff are being pressed into something they don’t want. “This is not really a new model, but rather good old fashioned privatisation,” he says. Do workers really want this change? Not on the evidence of real votes by real employees. In the vast majority of cases where staff in the NHS have been balloted, it’s been shown that most have chosen to stay with the health service.

CHILDCARE THREAT Would you trust a big business to look after your baby? What’s more, experts warn that charities, staff mutuals and social enterprises are being set up to fail, opening the way for the big boys in the private sector to come in and take these lucrative contracts. There is an added danger that pressure from government to drive down costs will mean employees being given a stark choice between the sack and tendering as a worker

Look at the figures of Primary Care Trust staff voting against transfer: • Cornwall 81% • Plymouth 74% • Shropshire 85% • Greenwich 86% • Mid-Essex 97% • Sandwell 67%

GMB is strongly opposing this dilution, telling MEPs that the development of mutuals in the UK is part of a different political agenda to their operation elsewhere in Europe. “The UK model is a route to privatisation of public services,” union general secretary Paul Kenny argued in a letter to parliamentarians in Strasbourg. He’s right. But this is a complex subject, and I hope I’ve carried you with me through the jungle of government double-speak. It’s clear from the mouth of the man who gave us the Social Value Act. The Big Society revolution, he told Parliament, “won’t happen by itself.” No, it won’t. It will only happen where employers see a financial benefit from spin-out. And the workforce will foot the bill.

Help GMB S e NH Saveyoth ur services and

Spin-out is not safe, either. Public service contract commissioners can withdraw funding from these “mutuals” as quickly as they grant it, leaving the workforce vulnerable to redundancy or takeover by a private contractor.

Stick up for the NHS join GMB’s rally to Save ce ren at the Tory Party Confe ay in Manchester on Sund re mo 29 September. For information on how you can get involved, go to

GMB Member offer

Andrew Wiard

iStock x 3

Wedding photography From getting ready to the ceremony itself and until way past the first dance…


emember your big day forever with beautiful professional wedding photography from GMB’s official photographer, Andrew Wiard. Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, says:

“Andrew has photographed the work and campaigns of GMB members and the Labour Movement for over 30 years. You can have all his experience to capture your most treasured moments. As a trade union member and activist, you can rely on him.”

To find out more or take advantage of his services, phone Andrew Wiard on 07973 219 201 or email andrew@ See his work at: 23



from GMB All the news

GMB’s annual statement and audit Audit Report

The following is reprinted from the Annual Return (AR21): Report of the Auditors to the Members of GMB Statement of Central Executive Council’s (CEC’s) responsibilities The legislation relating to trade unions requires the CEC to submit a return for each calendar year to the Certification Office for Trade Unions and Employers’ Associations. This return contains financial statements which must give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Union at the year end and of its transactions for the year then ended. The financial statements set out on the preceding pages have been prepared on the same basis and are used to complete the return to the Certification Office for Trade Unions and Employers’ Associations. In relation to the Union these requirements are the responsibility of the CEC. It is responsible for preparing the financial statements of the Union and in so doing is required to: • Select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently • Make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent • State whether applicable accounting standards have been followed • Prepare the accounts on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to do so. The CEC is responsible for keeping proper accounting records and establishing and maintaining a satisfactory system of control over its records and transactions in order to comply with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. It is responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Union and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. The CEC is also responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Union’s website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of accounts may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions. Report of the General Members Auditors We have examined the financial statements in accordance with Rule. I. Burkett General Member Auditors S. Dery Independent Auditors’ Report to the Members of GMB We have audited the financial statements of GMB for the year ended 31 December 2012 which comprise the Income and Expenditure Account, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement and the related notes. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice). This report is made solely to the Union’s members, as a body, in accordance with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the Union’s members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditor’s report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Union and the Union’s members as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed. Respective Responsibilities of GMB’s Central Executive Council and Auditor As explained more fully in the Statement of Central Executive Council’s (CEC) Responsibilities, the CEC is responsible for the preparation of the financial statements and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view. Our responsibility is to audit and express an opinion on the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland). Those standards require us to comply with the Auditing Practices Board’s Ethical Standards for Auditors. Scope of the Audit of the Financial Statements An audit involves obtaining evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements sufficient to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or error. This includes an assessment of: whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the Union’s circumstances and have been consistently applied and adequately disclosed; the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by the CEC; and the overall presentation of the financial statements. In addition, we read all the financial and non-financial information in the General Secretary’s Introduction to identify material inconsistencies with the audited financial statements. If we become aware of any apparent material misstatements or inconsistencies we consider the implications for our report. Opinion on Financial Statements In our opinion the financial statements: • give a true and fair view of the state of the Union’s affairs as at 31 December 2012 and of its deficit for the year then ended; • have been properly prepared in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice; and • have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Matters on Which we are Required to Report by Exception We have nothing to report in respect of the following matters where the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 requires us to report to you if, in our opinion: • adequate accounting records have not been kept, or returns adequate for our audit have not been received from branches not visited by us; or • the Union has not maintained a satisfactory system of control over its transactions in accordance with the requirements of Section 28 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992; or • the financial statements are not in agreement with the accounting records and returns; or • certain disclosures within the form AR21 of Officers’ remuneration specified by law are not made; or • we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit. Chantrey Vellacott DFK LLP Chartered Accountants and Statutory Auditor London Financial Affairs of the Union A member who is concerned that some irregularity may be occurring, or has occurred, in the conduct of the financial affairs of the Union may take steps with a view to investigating further, obtaining clarification and, if necessary, securing regularisation of that conduct. The member may raise any such concern with such one or more of the following as it seems appropriate to raise it with: the officials of the Union, the trustees of the property of the Union, the auditor or auditors of the Union, the Certification Officer (who is an independent officer appointed by the Secretary of State) and the police. Where a member believes that the financial affairs of the Union have been or are being conducted in breach of the law or in breach of rules of the Union and contemplates bringing civil proceedings against the Union or responsible officials or trustees, he should consider obtaining independent legal advice.


Annual statement to the members of GMB Required under Section 32A Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992

Year ended 31 December 2012


Total Income 64,679 of which, Income in respect of membership 60,468 Total Expenditure 57,529 Movement in actuarial valuation of pension scheme (9,637) Political Fund Income 3,194 Expenditure 2,701

Analysis of Officials’ Salaries and Benefits Office Held Gross Super Salary Annuation

Benefit Car


£’000 £’000

£’000 £’000

12 1

0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 0 0 15 8 18 2 0 0 6 0 9 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 14 0 3 127 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 40 0 2

£’000 £’000

B. Adams S. Bearcroft MBE 4 S. Berwick E. Blackman D. Bruno K. Buchanan R. Clarke D. Clements K. Daniels 14 J. Dolan G. Doolan R. Dunnett 15 G. Emmerson 8 G. Evans 18 B. Farr 2 G. Ferguson J. Foster B. Fraser 6 G. Fraser G. Gibbs 9 M. Gregg J. Hall 1 S. Harding A. Harry MBE D. Hope 1 B. Hulley 1 M. Hutchinson M. Jackson J. Jones 14 W. Juss P. Kane 3 P. Kenny (General Secretary) 94 A. Leader 2 M. Lock E. Marnell E. Martin J. McDonnell A. McGivern A. McLaren J. Minnery B. Modlock 9 C. Murphy D. Noble L. Parker G. Richardson 1 L. Ryan M. Sage 4 L. Sharp N. Sharpe K. Slater V. Smart J. Stribley M. Turner MBE 39 R. Waugh P. Wheatley 2


Benefit Total Employers’ Mortgage NI


1 1 2





UPDATE from GMB All the news

Bring these pages to life!


Strike Brighton refuse workers stand up to rubbish pay deal


MB members employed in refuse, recycling and street cleaning at Brighton & Hove City Council have taken a week’s strike in response to proposals to cut their take home pay by up to £4,000 a year. The action left the streets of Brighton looking like a ‘bomb site’ however there was huge support from the public and the Trade Union movement across the country for the Cityclean workers’ cause. Following a week of intense negotiations between GMB officials and the Council a new proposal was made which led to GMB temporarily suspending the industrial action in order to conduct a postal ballot of the membership to see whether or not they accept or reject the revised offer. Mark Turner, branch secretary GMB Sussex branch said: “We have made progress over recent days, and the new proposal significantly reduces or eliminates losses for individual staff members which arose under the previous offer, with some members even gaining. There are some areas that must be addressed and I will be continuing to meet the Council regarding these aspects of the proposal.

injured ? orgk at ww .uk .gmb.or ww

“For their part, the Council have committed to confirm to each staff member how the revised changes will affect them on an individual basis. When this detailed information is received we will then conduct a postal ballot of our members to ask them whether they accept or reject the changes. “In the interim I can confirm that we have suspended our industrial action, for a period of 28 days, to allow this process to take place.”

“We have made progress over recent days”

sign the petition

To show your support for sign rs, Brighton’s refuse worke at: on titi pe e lin GMB’s on www.gmb-southern.

SIGNS OF SUPPORT The public show their solidarity with the members. 25



from GMB All the news SAFETY FIRST SafeGuard staff demand protection.

hidden peril

GMB warns of asbestos in some school heaters

GMB is calling on headteachers and school governors to confirm whether their schools have warm air heaters containing asbestos. GMB believes that last year’s closure of Cwmcarn school in Wales, after reports of asbestos in the convection heaters and ceiling voids, is the tip of the iceberg – and that it’s indicative of the problem common in schools. In February 2012, an All-Party Parliamentary Group report called for six action points, including the phased removal of asbestos, after finding that more than 75 per cent of state school buildings contain potentially dangerous asbestos. John McClean, GMB National Health and Safety Officer, said: “GMB is warning everyone with children at school and those who also work in our schools to get their heaters checked by an authorised, qualified asbestos surveyor. “The information regarding the heaters should be in the school’s own Asbestos Management Plan. If there is no reference to these heaters in the plan, then the school governors must get all the heaters examined by a qualified asbestos surveyor. Each local council usually has approved local contractors for this work. “If the school doesn’t have an Asbestos Management Plan, then the headteacher, chair of governors or the local authority must get busy and put one in place as a matter of urgency.”

safety first GMB reboots SafeGuard security campaign as attacks increase


MB G36 security branch has taken action as members working in the security industry reported an increasing number of verbal and physical attacks. Sadly this is not a new issue. Back in 2010, GMB launched the SafeGuard Campaign at the House of Commons. The campaign called for more respect for security workers. Speaking at the event, GMB general secretary Paul Kenny made it clear that it is not an acceptable view that being attacked is part of the job. Attacks have increased sharply in offices where people claim benefits, such as JobCentre Plus. Tension in these places is at fever pitch as the government’s benefit cuts, which were introduced in April, combined with a complicated Universal Credit payment system, leaves the public frustrated and confused. To keep security professionals safe at work GMB G36 branch will start, once

again, to raise awareness of SafeGuard. A new campaign will include workplace visits to organise around health and safety. G36 branch secretary Barry Beaven said: “We will get what our members demand – a workplace in which you can arrive and leave in the same physical condition.” As part of the campaign, GMB activists, through their positions on joint committees, will reinforce the commitments given by all stakeholders at the House of Commons launch to the SafeGuard Charter, and will also drive home GMB’s position of zero tolerance.

fe! stay sa about GMB’s

Find out more line: SafeGuard campaign on e Brimble Jud and ny Ken l Pau tch Wa interviews at security on n atio rm Get more info at

pay news In April, the national Local Government Employers sent GMB and other unions their ‘final’ offer for 2013 pay. The offer is to increase all pay points by one per cent, and to remove spinal column point four (the lowest pay point, meaning some 20,000 26

people would move up to point five). There are no changes to terms and conditions – that is to say, there are no strings. The increase, if accepted, will be applied from 1 April 2013. GMB will now consult members as to whether they accept or reject this offer.


GMB will ballot local government workers on 1% pay offer with no strings

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Move tto Direc Debit www.gmb

GMB stands up to bullies at home


very day a huge number of people are trying to cope with violence in their relationships – one incident is reported to the police every minute. So what is domestic violence? It’s not just physical assault; it also includes psychological, financial and emotional abuse. This may present as intimidation or controlling behaviour in relation to finances, or restricting what you do and who you see. Legal firm Simpson Millar’s family department gave information and advice to GMB’s political and equality officer Michelle Gordon and regional equality forum at March’s REF meeting. They produced guidance for ways in which we can support

our colleagues and members who are – or who have been – victims of domestic violence, as well as those at risk of abuse. The forum has also developed a best practice policy for reps to use to negotiate with their employers. Employers giving good support to employees who are victims of attacks in the home can literally save lives. Some of the suggested advice includes: • Ensuring perpetrators are not put through to a victim on the phone at work, and are also not allowed to enter their workplace to see them. • Offering time off to attend legal advice sessions.


• O  ffering a buddy system to and from the victim’s car, for safety’s sake. If you or someone you know is suffering in silence – help is available. • Call 999 if you are frightened. The police should arrive quickly and can install panic alarms if you need them. • Visit your GP. The doctor’s records can be used in evidence if needed in the future. • Call a family solicitor, who can get an injunction to protect you.

Don’t suffer in silence – take action now! Simpson Millar has expert family solicitors who can help GMB members suffering domestic violence. Legal aid is still available for these cases, but if you are not financially eligible they

*Subject to rule.

can offer low-cost services to GMB members*. They can see you in Wimbledon, London or at your local GMB branch. Call Victoria Walker on 0844 858 3800 for free advice. 27



from GMB All the news

MEDICAL APPOINTMENT GMB members meet Andy Burnham to help save the NHS.

Health of

the nation

GMB members meet Labour MP Andy Burnham to speak up for the NHS

ANDY BURNHAM Labour MP and shadow secretary of state for health.


MB activists from the NHS recently met with the shadow secretary of state for health, Andy Burnham, at the House of Commons to discuss their concerns regarding the future of the NHS. They explained to Mr Burnham the real worries that they have about the impact of the government’s austerity policy on the service that NHS staff can provide. Representatives of GMB were very pleased to hear Andy Burnham reiterate his commitment to repealing the Health And Social Care Act, which he plans to put into action as and when we have a new Labour government.

The GMB activists went on to speak to Andy about the problems that GMB faces in protecting national terms and conditions – in the NHS these are called ‘Agenda For Change’. The Agenda For Change agreement was a success that saw the Labour Party finally introducing a fair and transparent pay structure across the National Health Service. The current government is trying to destroy the agreement. Andy Burnham emphasised that, as and when he becomes secretary of state for health, he would protect

the ‘N’ in NHS – and that includes national pay terms and conditions. The meeting was a good opportunity to discuss a very serious issue for some GMB members: the increased use of private ambulances for emergency work. Mr Burnham was shocked when he was told how widespread this practice really is, and a few days later he launched a press campaign criticising the increased use of private ambulances. This was an excellent example of how the Labour party and GMB can work together on such important issues of common concern.

“Andy Burnham would protect the ‘N’ in NHS”

Locked ON! GMB members who work as lock keepers along the Thames are at risk of losing their homes. Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, who is a GMB MP, has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in parliament on the issue. For the second time in two years the Environment Agency is threatening to sell off or rent the lock keepers’ cottages 28

and to force lock keepers to find their own accommodation. This means that response times to incidents will be significantly extended. Teresa Pearce recognises that this is a real problem that puts safety at risk and increases the chances of flooding. This is another example of ways politicians can support GMB members.

COTTAGE INDUSTRY GMB MP supports Thames lock keepers.

Graham Horn/iStock

GMB MP Teresa Pearce supports Thames lock keepers

Join our facebook group GMB Southern Region




GMB and GLA Labour join forces for London

GMB AND THE GLA Working together to make London a better place.

BECOME GMB Southern Region and GMB London Region members have agreed to meet with A GM HealthB Greater London Authority (GLA) Labour safety & members at least twice a year to discuss www.gmb rep joint working, developing agreed campaigns, building membership, increasing funding, and promoting both organisations. GMB will assist in funding agreed projects that benefit both sides within the London area. GLA members will assist in recruiting GMB members, while GMB members will assist in the recruitment of Labour Party members. In the first meeting, GMB discussed what the major campaigning issues should be for the Labour Party and GMB over the London Borough elections next year. GMB Southern Region political officer Michelle Gordon said: “We will focus on cost of living rises and how this makes living in the capital almost impossible for low-paid workers. It is essential that we focus on raising everyone’s income to a living wage, tackle unfair rents and deal with the rise in utility costs and transport costs.”

Political networking Sign up to GMB’s political activists’ network!

GMB Southern Region has recently launched a political activists’ network, which works to campaign on issues important to the movement and to support and build GMB’s links with and within the Labour Party. Examples of recent campaigns include protests against tax avoidance at Starbucks, demonstrations in support of a proper Living Wage at Next, and working to support Labour candidate Martin Tiedmann in the Brixton Hill by-election. If you are interested in signing up to the activists network, go to and fill out the form. We will then be in touch when there are events and campaigns taking place in your area.

GETTING ACTIVE GMB members campaign for Martin Tiedmann in Brixton. 29



from GMB All the news

welcome the committee

Meet your new GMB Southern Regional Committee


ollowing a meeting of GMB’s Regional Council a new Regional Committee has been elected. The new Regional Committee members are: Bill Modlock (regional president), Andy Geaves, Jean Foster, Clive Hepolette (Area 1), Andy Newman, Carolyn Cotterell, Eileen Theaker (Area 2), Barbara Plant, Charles Adje, Dave Clements (Area 3), and Mick Laws. The Regional Committee works in conjunction with the Regional Council to oversee the business of the region.

The newly-elected committee will meet regularly to discuss issues affecting GMB members. At Regional Council, long-standing former Regional Committee members Martin Jordan and Roy Reeves were awarded the GMB Silver Badge as a token of thanks for their many years of service to GMB. The meeting was a great success and was also addressed by guest speaker Kevin Maguire from the Daily Mirror. The Regional Committee will continue to meet regularly to protect the interests of members in the Southern region.

Give Gove grief! GMB fights to keep teaching assistants in the classroom As the union for school support staff, it was with a great deal of anger that GMB heard the education secretary Michael Gove announce that he wants to see all teaching assistants in schools lose their jobs. Yes, all teaching assistants. According to Gove, there is no benefit to be gained from having a "mums’ army" in the classroom. This ridiculous idea is based on Gove's belief that teaching assistants do not make a worthwhile contribution to children's education and well-being in school. GMB knows full well the vital and underpaid role that all support staff play in schools and is challenging these plans.


SURVEY www.surveymonkey. com/s/ZGZ3HGN

GMB launches the East Sussex School Reps Forum

T SCHOOL SUPPOR A mix of members . shared their views


GMB workplace organisers from schools all over Sussex recently headed to the first ever East Sussex School Reps Forum (ESSRF). The forum gave GMB workplace organisers the chance to meet and discuss the key issues affecting their workplaces. High on the agenda were Academy conversions, administering medicine, legal updates and health and safety. But the most staggering fact revealed on the day was that school workers are drastically underpaid for the vital services they provide. Shirley Hoad, a teaching assistant of 27 years’ experience, revealed that when she first started she was paid an hourly rate of £4.50; she is now paid about £7.50 per hour. This is an increase of 11p per year. An increase in line with inflation alone would take her current wage to £11.48.


GMB has long believed that its members in education deserve better pay and will continue to fight for a more appropriate hourly wage. Members all shared their views and experiences at the forum. The event was a great success and all members have committed to meet every term to help each other with guidance and support.

Join the umbmer of school Fora me

Are you x? support staff in East Susse n nio BU GM email

iStock x 2

PROTECTING YOU The committee will look after the region’s interests.

Help GMB fight for these jobs by completing our questionnaire at

Visit our website

Banner time! Design a GMB banner and win £250* How do you fancy getting creative for GMB? The Southern Region is looking for a talented designer to come up with a striking new banner – and the winner will receive £250 as well as the honour of seeing their design proudly displayed at marches and demonstrations across the region. Whether you focus on your area, the NHS or public services, just be inspired and let your creativity flow! To enter, send your design to Michelle Gordon at the regional office. Post your entry to Cooper House, 205 Hook Road, Chessington, KT9 1EA or email

BOLD BANNERS The region wants a striking new banner.



Contact GMB

If you have a problem at work and need advice, in the first instance speak to your GMB workplace organiser. Alternatively, contact your local GMB office.

GMB southern region

TERMS & CONDITIONS *Closing date is 16 September 2013 . Entries will be judged by the regional secretary and his decision is final. If the design is suitable it will be produced as a full size banner, although we reserve the right to use the winning design and elements of other entries. The design you submit must be your own original work and must not contain any other content or materials that you do not have permission to use. By entering you agree to take part in any publicity in the next issue of Vision. If the entry is selected as the winner, then all property rights are transferred to GMB.

Cooper House, 205 Hook Rd, Chessington, Surrey KT9 1EA. T: 020 8397 8881 F: 020 8397 1588 E:

GMB basingstoke Office

Thorne House, Queen Mary Ave, Basingstoke, Hants RG21 5PL. T: 01256 308080 F: 01256 843879 E:

How do you



49 Church Rd, Hove, East Sussex BN3 2BE. T: 01273 777027 E:


GMB south coast Office

6 Gloster Ct, Whittle Ave, Segensworth, Fareham, Hants PO1 5SH. T: 01489 578665 F: 01489 578889 E:

GMB swindon Office

• F  ollow the region on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news. • Search for GMB Southern Region and ‘Like’ us to get regular updates about campaigns, demos and GMB activity near you. • If you Tweet, find the region on Twitter with the handle @GMBSouthern • S  end us a message and let us know what you’re up to!


wonder Get the very latest news from the region, update your GMB profile and manage your GMB subscription payments using the region’s new website. The site has everything you need to keep informed about what GMB’s up to in your area.

Swindon Suite 22, Cherry Orchard North, Kembrey Park, Swindon SN2 8UH. T: 01793 818005 F: 01793 617027 E:

GMB thanet Office

Innovation Centre, Thanet Reach Business Pk, Millennium Way, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2QQ. T: 01843 609306 F: 01843 609309 E:

GMB welling Office

3 Park View Rd, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY. T: 020 8303 3407 F: 020 8303 1781 E: GMB regional website 31

Get up to


** OExfclusive fe ends r 31 July!

l il b s a g h is it r b r OFF you

B Steward Monica Griffiths, GM etering section at British Gas’s Smart M : “We all need endorses the deal, saying ese difficult help with fuel costs in th e of this offer times so take advantag d. If you’re not that GMB has negotiate GMB you don’t get it.”

British Gas enginee rs Andy Glenn, GMB senior steward, North of England; John Daly, GM B senior steward, North West; and Phil Be eston, GMB senior steward, Wales & West sa y: “Sign up for your exclusive GMB deal with British Gas and we will deliver it.”

credit. GMB members who are already British Gas customers can claim £35* y tariff Choose either British Gas’ Clear & Simple or Price Promise July 2014 energ **! before 31 July and you’ll receive a further £65* credit: a saving of £100

Don’t miss out! Sign up now. Go to: GMB credit offer *Not available in conjunction with the BG employee discount scheme or for existing customers on an Online variable tariff **Only available with Clear & Simple or Price Promise July 2014 tariffs Energy offers end on 31 July. The amounts include VAT at 5%. Only one offer per household customer. Subject to status. Excludes Pay As You Go Energy™ customers. Limited availability. £100 offer: For eligible, new customers taking gas through a credit meter. You must take both your gas and electricity with British Gas and remain a customer for both fuels on our Clear & Simple or Price Promise July 2014 tariff at point of credit. The £100 offer will be shown as two £50 credits on your gas bill, the first within 3 months of your Supply Start Date and the second on your first bill issued after 12 months. The £100 credit offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. £35 offer: You must remain a British Gas customer for gas or electricity at point of credit. The £35 credit will show on your gas or electricity bill issued 3 months after you sign up to the offer. The £35 credit offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.

Your GMB

Vision summer 2013  
Vision summer 2013  

GMB magazine for southern region