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SolFed locals

Locals

The Solidarity Federation has a two-fold structure: members belong to Locals and Industrial Networks. Locals form the backbone of SolFed and put solidarity into practice in the local community. They are organise or get involved in local campaigns across a wide range of issues – both in the community and in workplaces. Issues are wide-ranging: defending our natural and local environment and health; opposing racism, sexism and homophobia; in fact, anything which defends or contributes to our mutual quality of life. It is all part and parcel of building a solidarity movement. A Local is formed whenever there are three or more members in a defined geographical area, who should meet at least once each month. Locals are expected to use their own initiative in pursuing their activities.

News from SF locals

Returning to work after the lockdown and staying safe

Working from home

The government guidelines are clear, your employer should  take all reasonable steps to allow you to work from home. You should only be asked to return to work if it is not possible to work from home. If your employer is demanding you return to work when it is possible to work from home, write to them making it clear that they are breaking government guidelines.
If you are working from home your employer still has a duty of care. They should protect your mental and physical wellbeing, including providing you with all the equipment and information you need to work  from home safely. 

Returning to work

Reduced Life = Reduced Work (The Work/Life Balance)

Applause is lauded at NHS workers; ideas for re-compensation; a daily service supplement; an increased hourly rate; even a medal for working during the pandemic. Many of us in the NHS work shifts - day and night - throughout the year. It is not just a virus that killing us, our shift work is too. The World Health Organisation declared in 2007 that shift work is probably carcinogenic (Straif et al 2007 #1). Studies such as Gu et al (2015 #2) have shown us that shift work, especially nights increases our risks of cardio vascular disease, mental health issues, lower immunity, cancer and ultimately our mortality.

Rather than working our life away for minimal financial compensation would we not rather have our life given back? Striking a better work / life balance: a reduced working week without being financially penalised.

Worker’s rights rely on our own strength and power

There has been a lot said since yesterday about health and safety at work, and workers' S.44 right to refuse unsafe work. The right to refuse dangerous work is vital and the fact that more people are being made aware of this right is great to see.
However, the law only goes so far. Bosses regularly break all kinds of laws. The only legal way to enforce these rules in the workplace is through an employment tribunal which is an expensive, complicated and time-consuming process.

Some 54% of staff in higher education are on insecure contracts, it is time for an alternative.

The “marketisation” of universities in the past decade has led to the increased use of insecure and precarious contracts. A report by the UCU found that  54% of all academic staff and 49% of all academic teaching staff are on insecure contracts.

If this was not bad enough, as a result of the Corvid-19, many universities are making temporary staff redundant rather than putting staff on furlough. With universities now facing an £8 billion deficit as a result of Covid-19, there can be little doubt that this is part of an overall strategy that will lead to cuts to jobs and pay in the future.

Free market failings in the coronavirus crisis

Whatever happened to free market solutions? Since the dark days of Thatcherism, we have been told that the state is inefficient and things should be left to the free market. Yet here we are in the middle of the coronavirus crisis and free market solutions are nowhere to be seen. Instead, it has been the state that has been forced to step in and prevent the economy and society from collapsing amid the chaos of an out of control pandemic.

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