Union News 24/11/22

  • Long Covid sufferers face stigma

A new study has found that the majority of people living with long Covid have experienced some form of stigma associated with their condition.

The research, which was based on a survey of 1,100 people, found that 95% of those suffering from long Covid have experienced some form of stigma while 76% reported experiencing it “often” or “always”.

As of October 1 it is estimated that 2.1 million people are living with long Covid in Britain — around 3.3% of the population, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Dr Marija Pantelic, a lecturer in public health at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said: “The stigma attached to long Covid is likely to leave a devastating mark on our society and health service provision.”

  • RMT announce further strike action

RMT union members at Network Rail and 14 train operating companies plan strikes on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December and 3, 4, 6 and 7 January, in addition to an overtime ban between December 18 and January 2.

This is the latest development in an increasingly bitter six-month dispute over potential job cuts and plummeting take-home pay.

RMT assistant general secretary John Leach has called on Mark Harper—the third Tory transport secretary since July—to meet with RMT general secretary Mick Lynch and come to a resolution.

  • Strikes close Scottish schools

The Education Institute of Scotland has launched their first national strike over wages in 40 years, with the action expected to close most schools north of the border.

This comes after the union rejected a last-minute offer which would have seen most staff pocket a 5 per cent rise – less than half of soaring double-digit inflation.

General secretary Andrea Bradley has branded the proposal an “inept rehash” of the offer made to teachers earlier this year and accused ministers and local authority umbrella group Cosla of “not trying hard enough.”

She has repeated her demands for a 10 per cent salary boost, a figure described by Scottish Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville as “unaffordable due to extreme budget pressures.”

  • Strikes called off after pay deal

Outsourced workers at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy called off strike action today after winning a 12 per cent pay boost.

The caterers and hospitality staff, employed by Aramark at the government department, had been set for five days of walkouts into next month after public services union PCS warned of plummeting take-home pay.

But they are now set to pocket a rise above last month’s 11.1 per cent consumer prices index inflation rate.

Meanwhile, PCS members employed in the same central London offices by fellow contractor ISS as security guards, postal staff, porterage workers, cleaners and receptionists have suspended a planned four-day strike after receiving an improved offer on health and safety issues from bosses.

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