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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 November 2006

Sri Lanka protest

THE CIVIL service union PCS National Executive Committee (NEC) met recently and discussed and agreed a motion condemning the assassination in Sri Lanka of prominent Tamil MP, Nadarajah Raviraj and the ongoing threats to other prominent members of the Civil Monitoring Committee (CMC), including its chair, Siritunga Jayasuriya, which has been investigating attacks on the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka. They agreed to send a letter of protest about this.

Local government pensions

LOCAL GOVERNMENT minister Phil Woolas made a statement in Parliament on 23 November on a new local government pension scheme for England and Wales. He did this without warning, during negotiations on the scheme. His statement contains unacceptable measures including an increase in contribution rate from 6% to 7.5% and a reduction in the employers' contribution rate. UNISON's Service Group Liaison Committee will meet this week, followed by meetings of the Service Groups on 4 December. A strike ballot is planned for the new year.

Gloucester health cuts

AT A well-attended branch meeting of members in the Gloucestershire Partnership Trust on 21 November, feelings were running high. The meeting had gathered to discuss a response to cuts, reductions in service and redundancies in the Trust, which provides mental health services.

With services in the county already slashed to the bone, the membership made it clear that they had had enough. They voted for strike action, with further industrial action planned if the Trust continues with its current policy of "savings".

This is only the start. Next year the Trust has further cuts in the pipeline to meet targeted savings.

Mental health workers in Gloucestershire have shown they are not prepared to take this lying down. Our struggle is mirrored nationwide and we need a national fightback before we have no NHS left.

Messages of support to UNISON Severn Health branch, UNISON, Stroud General Hospital, Trinity Rd, Stroud, GL5 2HY. Fax: 01453 562299

Jim Stone, Gloucester Socialist Party

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In The Socialist 29 November 2006:

Ripping the heart out of the NHS


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Socialism 2006 - an unmissable event!

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Vote 'yes' for national strike action

Fighting and striking, on all fronts

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