Posts Tagged ‘UNISON’

Placards 2
Staff and students at Lambeth College were shocked by the announcement last week that the college is to lose 70% of its Brixton Centre campus.

Since the college management announced last July that they intended to sell off all or part of the centre to private developers, Lambeth College UCU and Unison, have led a community campaign to stop the sale and to keep and expand the provision of further education in Brixton. Staff, students and campaigners are upset and angry at this recent development in the college’s plans, which will see a reduction in the Brixton centre from 6000 to 2000 sq feet, with a loss of two thirds of the current number of classrooms, as the site is sold to the government Department of Education (DfE).

Unions disagree that this massive reduction of the Brixton Centre campus is  “really good news for the College and the community” as has been presented by the college management in its communication to staff. With 1.2 million young people in Britain out of work and over 60% of young black men unemployed, we believe that it is Further Education provision is essential and must not be reduced. The Brixton Centre provides vital educational opportunities for adults with disabilities and learning difficulties, for young people who need to re-engage with education, and for migrants and those with English as a 2nd language (ESOL) who need to learn English to improve their lives.

There has not been consultation with the staff or students in the areas affected by the reduction as to what will happen to the students and the courses in those areas and the college has also said that it cannot  rule out staff redundancies. Furthermore, there are many concerns about the decision by the DfE to open a new free school on the campus premises.

The  campaign collected over 1000 signatures and organised a successful demonstration and lobby of Lambeth Council on November 20 where the petition was presented to the council meeting. Staff from the college met with local MPs including Chuka Ummuna and Tessa Jowell to raise their concerns and ask for support in protecting and expanding the college’s provision at the Brixton Centre.

We are very disappointed that the college has decided to press on with its plans to sell 70% of the Brixton Centre campus and will continue to campaign alongside college students and the local and wider communities to stop this attack on local further education in Lambeth and to save and expand the provision at the Brixton Centre campus.

Crowds outside town hall
Large crowds gathered outside Lambeth Town Hall last night (Nov 20th) to lobby the full council meeting happening inside. Despite torrential rain and bitter cold, residents, teachers, students, campaigners and trade unionists converged on the steps of the town hall in protest at a number of decisions being made that have may have dramatic effects on the local area. (more…)

Lambeth Save Our Services is proud to support the following demonstration

UCU poster

You can download this poster in .pdf form here

Remember the November story about the ways in which the council’s own equality impact assessment stated that cuts to housing division staff are falling disproportionately on black workers? The union has been working steadily to protect these jobs so far, but they are still on the block. It seems that by the council’s logic, if cuts must be made, why not the most vulunerable workers? Such probable race discrimination in redundancies is compounded by the realities of who is being hit the hardest by these cuts in the community: black women and children, the elderly, the disabled. The Lambeth Ethnic Minority Achievement Team was one of the first services to be completely cut. We believe we need to stand together against discrimination and against these cuts. Join us in fighting to preserve those services that remain, and the qualified and committed people who provide them…

Wednesday, 27th Feb
6-7 pm Brixton Town Hall

06 November 2012

Lambeth caught in race row over job cuts Trade union Unison has attacked senior officials at Lambeth LBC for suggesting job cuts to the authority’s housing division, which would disproportionately fall on black workers.

An equality impact assessment into the restructure of the authority’s housing division reported around three quarters (73%) of BME workers are at risk of redundancy, compared with less than half (45%) of white staff.

According to Unison officials, Lambeth’s redundancy proposals are in breach of the public sector equality duty and represent probable unlawful indirect race discrimination against black and minority ethnic (BME) staff.

Unison housing convenor, Hassina Malik, said: ‘Reorganisation proposals which only reduce the total number of jobs by a handful unnecessarily threaten more than a hundred workers with redundancy and the Council’s own ‘equality impact assessment’ admits that the impact on black staff is ‘extremely statistically significant’.

According to Ms Malik, managers from the housing division began consulting staff on job losses without making available the equality impact assessment. ‘It is not acceptable for Lambeth Council to press ahead with a restructure which they can see is discriminating against black workers,’ Ms Malik said. Concerns over the impact of the proposed job losses will be raised at a meeting between trade unions and Lambeth councillors on Thursday.


NHS Actions

– Saturday Simon Hughes office lobby 10-12am

– March 7: TUC backed Rally to save our NHS. Lobby at Westminster Idea to have a human chain around St Thomas’. Lambeth SOS has backed it. Come one come all and spread the word.

Connexions, national careers service, in Brixton on Acre Lane is shutting at the end of March. There’s a petition against the closure to sign and circulate. Unison is working on campaigning against it and lobbying the council.

Press release and website statement coming.

London Region RMT invited SOS to speak to them. Next Thursday evening – Couple of people are going. Anyone else who wants to go is welcome to join.


Lambeth Pan Disability Forum are mobilizing for it. South London DPAC and Lambeth Accessible Transport will join us.

UK Uncut are really keen to support the town hall demo – putting lots of publicity and info on it


Please sign up to join in the comments as well to spread the word out! Postcards, flyers are available at the UNISON office.


Stockwell: Tuesday, Feb 21 – 4:45-6pm

Oval: Wednesday, Feb 22 – 4:45-6pm

Kennington: Thursday, Feb 23 – 4:45-6pm

Brixton: Friday, Feb 24 – 4:45-6pm

Anybody is welcome to join or do any other time or station, please add a comment or use the discussion email list so that we don’t duplicate effort!


Last night the Lambeth scrutiny committee met in the town hall, along with a rowdy crowd of protestors, to discuss the decision to privatise the call centre in Lambeth to Capita. The 10 year, 10 million deal includes up to a hundred redundancies for the existing well trained staff, unless of course they want to continue the work in the “pretty waterfront” town of Southampton where the deal is being outsourced to.

The deal was “called-in” for scrutiny by Labour’s Vassel ward councillor Kingsley Abrams, the only councillor to raise any opposition to the February budget. The big issues are:

  • Staff have never had a genuine chance to even prepare a bid from inside the council to compete with “the market”. The opaque “consultation” has never given staff the opportunity to match Capita’s 16% saving proposal. Gung-ho privatisation at its worst from a Labour council. Local knowledge is vital to the quality of the service – hard to do from Southampton.
  • The Equality Impact Assessment has some glaringly obvious mistakes and bad references in it and is shoddy at best. The impact on black and minority ethnic workers will be obviously dis-proportionate and the “mitigating factors” in the proposal lack anywhere near enough concrete details.
  • The decision clearly goes against the council’s priority of reducing worklessness in the borough.

Even though the discussion in the meeting showed promise, and big issues with the proposal were identified, cowardly councillors refused to refer the issue back to the Cabinet. An awful decision in our opinion.

We best thing to take from the meeting is the lesson from the Libraries dispute– when the council let you down (and they will) you have to join a union, build a campaign and stand together to defend vital local jobs and services. (more…)

The Save Libraries protest outside Brixton Library, Feb 2011

Strike action planned to close all Lambeth Council’s libraries on Friday 22 July will not now be going ahead as the council management conceded that there will be no compulsory redundancies in an offer put to the union today.

The latest management offer will be put to all UNISON members in Libraries at a joint shop meeting on Monday. No deal can be made before it is discussed and agreed by members in Libraries and you can not rule out industrial action to protect the service, but management’s offer represents a significant victory as it protects both jobs and many frontline services.

This is a tribute to the unity and determination of trade union members in the libraries, who were ready to strike to defend the library service and protect their jobs. This is a lesson to every other worker – in Lambeth Council and elsewhere – that to look after your interests you have to be prepared to take industrial action.

Lambeth SOS goes global!

Posted: June 16, 2011 by lambethsaveourservices in Media attention
Tags: , , ,

The week Lambeth SOS got a mention in the Paris-based international political paper Le Monde diplomatique. It is always nice to see our hard work against cuts to services get some recognition.

Lambeth Save Our Services, which led the occupation of the council chamber in February, was formed in July  2010 by a combination of the local chapter of Unison, the main public services union, and a range of residents’ organisations, including pensioners, disability activists and black and Latin American groups. At present the  balance between union activists and residents’ groups is roughly 50-50.

Many of these groups are linked to student movements: in Exeter, students were involved in the anti-cuts alliance from the outset, and in Lambeth, Dan Jeffery observed that, while there is no university in the borough, the input of radicalised students living there has “definitely helped”. All of these groups stress the breadth of their support  base – rooted in the extent of the cuts being imposed on everything from the National Health Service (NHS) to libraries, housing to playgrounds, bus services to domestic violence counselling.


You can read the full article (in english) and you can get more from Le Monde diplomatique from their website at (French version is at

The next planning meeting is (today) Thursday 16 June 6:30pm, in the Vida Walsh Centre in Brixton. See our calendar for all our events.

You can also get regular updates and get involved with the campaign using our email lists.

Lambeth peoples assembly is Saturday 21st may, assembly rooms, lambeth town hall

Saturday 21st May | 12pm – 4pm | Assembly Hall, Acre Lane, London SW2

Lambeth Save Our Services has called a People’s Assembly as part of the campaign to fight the cuts to services in Lambeth.

Our libraries, children’s playgrounds, schools, NHS services, elderly peoples’ provision are all under threat of the axe. Local people are fighting back.

The Lambeth People’s Assembly will be both a festival of resistance and an organising centre to exchange experience and plan for action.

The event will take place from 12-4pm at the Lambeth Town Hall. Join us! and spread the word! Please let us know you’re coming via facebook. You can also download a poster for the event.

Update: Provisional Agenda

1. Intro (start time 12.00 noon)
The Cuts: where we are nationally and locally (1 hour). Short introduction then open floor

2. Stand-up anti cuts routine (start time 1.15pm)
(to be confirmed) (20 mins)

3. Workshops (start time 1.45. pm) provisionally six proposed (45 minutes)
1. Education
2. Housing
3. Disability and other benefit cuts
4. Health
5. Pensioners
6. Libraries/recreation/Youth services

4. Music/refreshment break (start time 2.30pm – 30 minutes)

5. Organising the communities (start time 3.00pm)
No platform just short intros from floor on how cuts are effecting particular groups and fighting back: disability groups, women, UK uncut Barac, Smiley Culture.

6. Conclusion and declaration (start time 3.30pm)
John McDonnell, Ted Knight summing up how we take Peoples Assembly forward, short written declaration. (30 minutes end at 4.00pm prompt)

See below for the minutes of our latest meeting including a list of where and when we will be leafleting and building for this Saturdays huge protest in London. Let us know in the comments if you can help out!