|EAST MIDLANDS BRANCH|
Welcome to the homepage of the of the Communication Workers Union East Midlands Branch
You can now follow Linda on Twitter, @LindaWoodings or Facebook page 'Linda4Europe'
Website last updated* 9th April 2013 *Home Page,
Latest news - Linda Woodings, CWU East Midlands Branch officer a candidate for Labour in Europe!
Woodings - Labour Candidate for Europe in the East Midlands
I feel humbled and privileged to have been selected as one of the four candidates standing for Labour in the East Midlands, in addition to our existing MEP Glenis Willmott.
The next step is for Labour party members to vote to place the four selected candidates in order in the list behind Glenis, this vote will take place between May and July. I am campaigning to be placed at the top of that list.
I’ve lived in Nottingham for 20 years with my partner David and daughter May. Previous to this I lived in Derby and before 1988 I was born and brought up in Peterborough.
I’m an activist in the CWU and unashamedly pro-Europe. However I believe Labour must acknowledge that the UK must form a different relationship with Europe because the Euro countries must work more closely together.
Labour needs a compelling and convincing message for Labour voters.
- that the UK must not be sidelined by any new structures formed by the Euro countries
- that Europe needs to become more focussed on creating secure jobs and growth and less on subsidies
- that we must protect migrant workers from exploitation yet also stop undercutting of UK workers the pay, terms and conditions.
- that we acknowledge and will deal with the pressures on housing and public services caused in areas where there are larger numbers of migrant workers.
I promise to take a clear and concise message to Labour voters and I promise I will not stand for a Westminster seat or a local authority seat. I’m only interested in standing for and campaigning for Europe.
We need to address the disconnection felt by British voters towards Europe. If I were fortunate enough to be elected I pledge
- To doorstep campaign EVERY week, listening to people's concerns and queries and dispelling the myths pedalled by the Tories, UKIP and the right-wing press. I will NEVER lose touch with the concerns of voters.
- To campaign to protect and improve the employment rights of workers across Europe
- To campaign to extend equality laws across Europe, especially against homophobia.
- To reform the European Parliament to focus on economic growth and creating secure jobs and ensure that the UK is not sidelined in the necessary restructuring of Europe.
I’m a dedicated Labour Party activist and a committed doorstep campaigner. I worked unpaid full-time on both the 2010 General Election and the 2011 Leicester South by-election (which happened at the same time as the Mayoral and local elections). Recently I’ve campaigned in the Rotherham, Oldham & Saddleworth, Bradford West and Corby & E. Northants by-elections. I also campaign regularly in target seats across the East Midlands.
My email address is email@example.com and my mobile number is 07777 676759. You can also find my details on Facebook and Twitter. I hope you will consider supporting me by voting me as your Number 1 choice on the ballot paper.
Twitter: @LindaWoodings #Linda4Europe/Facebook: Linda Woodings and Linda4Europe
What we need to do to get a second seat in the East Midlands
We need more votes. It’s important that we convince our own natural voters, some of whom are known to be sceptical to the benefits of EU membership. We have to be able to spell out to voters the relevance of full participation and engagement in Europe. I am a good communicator and I believe I am able to put over a clear, concise vision of how being part of a positive, coherent European Parliament is important and why Labour is the party that people should trust to represent their best interests.
We need to also explain that Europe needs reform. Reform is needed on subsidies, banking and the budget; the only way to achieve this change is by shaping and leading the debate within the EU.
My Labour Party experience
I stood as a PPC in South Holland and the Deepings constituency in the 2005 general election. I worked with the regional office team for 2-months on the 2010 General Election and repeated this the following year on the Leicester South by-election (which tied in with local elections and the Leicester Mayoral campaign). I received the Outstanding Achievement award at the East Midlands Member’s Awards Dinner last year.
Other life experience
I’ve been an activist in the CWU for 27 years and I'm the CWU East Midlands region political officer since 2000. I’ve been the CWU delegate to the TULO committee since 1998. I’ve been a full-time officer for the CWU for the last 13 years. I still work for BT and previous to being full-time rep I worked on a call-centre. I deal with industrial issues for the CWU specialising in call-centre workers. I also deal with individual representation for CWU members (unfair dismissals, equal pay claims).
I’m a magistrate on the Nottingham bench (for 10 years) and chair sittings in the adult court. This gives me a perspective on the lives of people who come into contact with the criminal justice system (both victims of crime and defendants/offenders). I see at first hand the poverty and deprivation that leads people into crime, and witness the effects of criminal behaviour on victims.
What makes me a great campaigner
I’m good at talking to people; getting them to open up, listening to their views and taking on board their concerns. I am a committed doorstep campaigner. I’ve recruited new members into the party and hundreds of call-centre workers into trade union membership. I’ve attended countless lobbies of parliament and organised (and led) campaigns with my trade union.
I can get letters published in hostile newspapers and I regularly send out newsletters to CWU members. I’m comfortable with public speaking and handling the media.
I’m a delegate to a European Works Council attended by trade unionists and works council representatives from across Europe.
I have organised and led campaigns; industrial action campaigns within the call-centre sector on the health and well-being of workers; a campaign to widen knowledge and support for victims of domestic violence; a campaign against racism in a workplace.
AGENCY ACTION DAY - NOTTINGHAM
Thanks to all members who supported the campaign on 16th of January!
Closing the loopholes for agency workers
An injustice diminished isn't an injustice ended! That's the key message behind CWU's campaign designed to expose and ultimately close clever legal loopholes that are being used by employers to deny a new generation of agency workers hard won rights to equal treatment.
This new campaign is born out of the success of the CWU's long-running Equal Treatment for Agency Workers campaign. This culminated in the implementation of the EU's Temporary Agency Workers Directive in UK law in 2011.
It hasn't taken long for unscrupulous employers to find new ways to reinvent pay inequality. Many companies are now exploiting loopholes in the UK's new Agency Regulations by drawing up contracts that exclude a new generation of agency workers from the right to equal treatment in terms of pay to that of directly employed staff undertaking comparable roles.
One such way is through the introduction of 'Pay Between Assignment' (PBA) contracts which effectively exempt agency workers from securing equal treatment by guaranteeing (not very much) pay when between work placements. This is allowed to be as little as one hour at minimum wage - but is set at a minimum of four hours' pay in Manpower contracts - and means workers never trigger qualification for equal treatment.
The Pay Between Assignment contracts are currently exploited by BT as an employer and Manpower as a hirer in BT call centres. Since April 2011 most new joiners have been required to sign such contracts which exempt them from the right to pay equal to that of directly employed staff undertaking comparable roles.
Fiercely contested by the CWU from the outset, these contracts now cover a fast growing minority of agency employees on the BT contract. Unless checked, over time this may result in the majority of agency employees losing out on the hard-won rights to equal pay with those benefitting at the moment becoming an ever-shrinking group.
Such an outcome, assistant secretary Sally Bridge insists, is something the CWU can never accept. "From the very outset of the Equal Treatment for Agency Workers campaign back in 2006 our aim has always been to secure employment fairness for all agency workers - not simply for a particular group which will inevitably get smaller over time.
"We did not come this far down the line only to fall at the last hurdle."
Objectives of the Closing The Loopholes campaign
- To secure amendments to the UK Agency Regulations which close current loopholes that currently enable hirers and employment agencies to exploit agency workers.
- To raise the profile of agency issues amongst the CWU membership and to encourage our agency members to become active in the campaign.
- To raise awareness at a political level and to secure support in order that this issue is brought back on to the political agenda.
- To engage and work with the TUC and UNI to make this a wider trade union issue.
- To consider challenging the UK Agency Regulations within the European Commission.
Q. What is a 'PBA' Contract?
Q. Why is a 'PBA' Contract different
from other agency (Manpower) contracts?
Q. Is this legal?
Q. Does the agency worker have
to be aware of these specific terms before working with the employment
Q. Does the employment contract
have to state this?
Q. What is the rate of pay between
Q. What other terms should the
'PBA' Contract state as far as the regulations are concerned?
Q. Does the exemption only cover pay?
A. Yes. All agency workers, including those on 'PBA' Contracts are entitled to equal treatment in relation to, night work, rest periods, rest breaks and annual leave after 12 weeks in a given job.
Q. Can the contract be terminated
whilst between assignments?
Q. Do I have to sign this contract
and what happens if I refuse?
Q. I've already signed a PBA. Can
I get out of it?
Q. Why are these PBA contracts