News Brief 5 June 2015

View in your browser By Claudia O’Brian

5 Jun 2015| News

View in your browser

By Claudia O’Brian


Cameron has suddenly dropped his pre-election moral opposition, and MPs are set to receive a 10% pay rise. In the meantime, the rest of continue to face a landscape of public sector pay freezes, stagnant wages, and zero hours contracts.

As PCS leader Mark Serwotka said: “It would be grossly hypocritical for any MP who voted for years of pay cuts for public sector workers to accept a 10 per cent increase for themselves.”


TTIP, ISDS and INTA; the elephant in the room

By Professor Keith Ewing and John Hendy QC

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the secret trade deal currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA. Its text is a closely guarded secret shared only by the negotiators (including representatives of multinational corporations). Drafts are withheld from both MEPs and members of all the European national Parliaments (as well as US congress and senate members)….

Read the full blog here…

Act Now: Write to your MEP here.



Rana Plaza murders show what’s at stake for employment rights

42 people in Bangladesh have been charged with murder in connection with the Rana Plaza factory collapse which killed 1,134 people in 2013. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady commeted; “It is important that those responsible for the terrible loss of life at Rana Plaza face justice. But thousands of factories in Bangladesh are still unsafe, putting more workers lives at risk”.

Read More…

NHS in workforce crisis

The NHS has announced it is considering creating a new category of nurse, as agency staff bill soars. The Royal College of Nursing commented; “There’s overwhelming evidence that patients have better outcomes when they are cared for by graduate nurses, and any proposals must avoid diluting the skill mix of staff, which would have an impact on patient care.”

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All ‘failing’ schools to become academies

The Education and Adoption Bill will see up to 1,000 schools in England turned into academies, regardless of popular opinion. It will scrap the requirement for academy sponsors to consult locally on whether they should take over schools. Academies do not have to abide by the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), or other nationally negotiated collective agreements. The creeping transformation of our schools into academies is indented not only to overturn the education system, but also to weaken workers’ rights within the sector.

Read More…

Mental Health in the Workplace: Much more to be done

A report from Lancaster University’s Work Foundation finds that more must be done to support those with depression in the workplace. Depression has a wide range of effects on an individual’s work life or job seeking. The Work Foundation has released a report, authored by Karen Steakman and Tyna Taskila, which finds that that “the most effective interventions, including a range psychological therapies and specialist employment support services, are not widely accessible, nor available in a timely fashion”.

Read More…

How Corrupt is Britain?

A review of How Corrupt is Britain by IER Executive Committee member Professor David Whyte, by the Morning Star’s Gwyn Griffiths

Read More…


Conservative Timeline

Our Conservative timeline will document the ongoing attack on workers’ rights under the Tory government. The Coalition Timeline will remain online for you to look back at.

Click here to see the Conservative Timeline

New on the timeline this week…

  • Cameron prepared to pull out of EHCR
  • NAO criticises civil service cuts


IER Manifesto for Collective Bargaining

Read the ten-point manifesto

Buy the book

VIDEOS: Watch the experts

PODCASTS: Listen to the experts

What is collective bargaining? Why do we need it? What will be the consequences of its restoration? Keith Ewing and John Hendy explain all in a new collective bargaining video.




Workplace Issues: Taking up the issues with the new government

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Diskus Room, Unite the Union, London

This event will be the first IER conference to take place after the general election, providing an excellent opportunity to assess the government’s programme of work. How will worker’s rights fair under the new Tory regime? Which labour law topics will trade unionists need to be aware of in order to best protect their members at work?

The People’s Assembly ‘End Austerity Now’ Demonstration

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The IER, a founder signatory to the People’s Assembly, is supporting this post-election demonstration to keep our anti-austerity message at the public and political forefront. More details here.

Human Rights: Possibilities and Problems for Labour Law

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Diskus Room, Unite the Union, London

The Tory government is gearing up to withdraw the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights. They plan to replace the Human Rights Act 1998 with a British Bill of Rights. So what would withdrawal from the ECHR mean for employment rights and worker protections? This conference aims to shed light on the issues by focusing on the kind of workplace abuses that the Convention aims to protect us against.

Human Rights: What we’re set to lose

The Tories plan on replacing the Human Act with a British Bill of Rights.

The IER has published experts’ analysis on articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, and what they mean for employment law. Read them here:

Article 4: Prohibition of slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour

Article 8: Right to respect for private and family life

Article 10: Right to freedom of expression

Article 14: Prohibition of discrimination


Reconstruction after the crisis: a manifesto for collective bargaining

By Professor Keith Ewing and John Hendy QC

Collective bargaining is under more threat than ever. This publication presents an evidence-based policy proposal for the state encouragement of collective bargaining, and particularly sectoral bargaining, as a tried-and-tested means of reducing income inequality and stimulating the sustainable recovery of a strong and resilient economy.

Trade Unions and Economic Inequality

By Dr Lydia Hayes and Professor Tonia Novitz

What is the point of trade unions? What do they deliver? Are trade unions relevant in 21st century modern society? These and many other questions are answered by the authors of this timely and well presented report. Order your copy here

Re-regulating Zero Hours Contracts

By Zoe Adams and Simon Deakin

ZHCs are highly profitable for employers, but lead to insecurity of income and low pay for workers. The authors point to rigidities in employment law and the operation of the tax-benefit system as being responsible for the rise in zero hours contracting. Order your copy here