Trade Union sponsored play in Corsham



‘Dare Devil Rides To Jarama’ by Neil Gore coming to The Pound Arts, Corsham on the 10th February 2017. This play has been sponsored by trade unions, including GMB.
(Box office: 01249 701628/712618 or online )

The show is about 1930’s famous speedway and wall of death star, Clem ‘Dare Devil’ Beckett. He fought for better wages in his sport and joined the International Brigade to help the people of Spain fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War.

Compelling and humorous, Dare Devil Rides To Jarama focuses on the contrasting lives of Clem Beckett, born in Oldham and famous star of the speedway track around Manchester and the North, and Christopher Caudwell, a renowned writer, poet and philosopher. Both men were killed together at Jarama in February 1937, having become friends as members of the British Battalion’s machine-gun company.

Through stirring song, poetry and compelling movement and dance, Dare Devil Rides To Jarama captures the raw passions and emotions of the time. Musical direction is from acclaimed folk singer and squeeze box player John Kirkpatrick. The play has a particular resonance in our current climate as it examines how the economic pressures in the 1930s contributed to the rise of xenophobic tendencies throughout Europe and the failure of a unified left to join together to successfully challenge these forces. Dare Devil Rides To Jaramaaims to bring the full story of the compelling dispute to life in this powerful and thought-provoking new play. This production follows Townsend Productions’ critically acclaimed United We Stand, The Ragged Trousered

The show has been commissioned by the IBMT and sponsored by all the Trade Unions it marks the 80th anniversary of the International Brigades and The Spanish Civil War. The play has had amazing reviews and audience response. It has been highlighted as one of the top shows in London for 2016 by London Theatre 1 and Blog of Theatre Things.

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Agreement reached with Swindon Borough Council

GMB welcomes agreement with Swindon Borough Council over proposed changes to pay scales for school support staff, and school staff will now have no pay cut.

The Council has now agreed to GMB’s proposals which means that no existing staff in Swindon Borough Council Schools will lose any money with the introduction of the new pay scales.

GMB was particularly disappointed that originally Swindon Borough Council had ignored the fact that GMB is the largest union in Swindon schools for support staff, and had only spoken to another union, UNISON. UNISON agreed the new pay scales despite the fact that it would lead to a pay cut for schools staff.

However, following the rejection of the proposal by GMB members, GMB had a positive and constructive dialogue with Swindon Borough Council, and we believe that these talks have reached an outcome that benefits everyone.

The original proposals were complicated and not the same for everyone. The new agreement between GMB and Swindon Borough Council means that a slow motion pay cut has been reversed.

As originally planned, it that would have left many GMB members £679 per year worse off by the time they have been there 5 years and reached the top of the grade. For those on a higher grade, the loss would have been a huge £1,765 per year after 5 years. Due to GMB’s action, these staff will now not lose that money.

The new agreement is that for all eligible staff recruited prior to 31st August 2016, they will progress two pay scale increments per year instead of one, which means that there will be no financial detriment. Staff taken on after 31st August were recruited on the new pay scales, and have therefore not suffered any detriment..

All school staff need to be in a strong union. Please encourage any of your colleagues who are not in a union to join GMB. They can join online here:


1) GMB has been a recognized trade union with Swindon Borough Council for many years, and is the largest union for school support staff in both Swindon and Wiltshire.


2) Swindon Borough Council has historically had slightly different pay scales from schools in the rest of the country. There has been, relatively recently, a national pay award. GMB members were balloted on that pay award and it was accepted. In order to give effect to that pay increase, there has been a recent process that Swindon Borough Council has called “assimilation” where some individuals have been moved on the pay scale, just so that the national pay rise could be given to them. In addition, a number of very low paid staff were working at less than the national living wage of £7.20 and recently received a pay rise to comply with the law. This did not have a detrimental effect on any GMB members. This is a separate issue from the increased number of points on the pay scale.

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