Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/888/22195

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2016

  (Click to enlarge)

No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

Rob Williams

The GMB union has revealed that there are over 25,000 redundancies in the offing at 52 English, Scottish and Welsh councils.

This is a devastating total on top of the huge numbers of local authority workers sacked since Osborne's austerity offensive was launched in 2010. Unison, the biggest union in local government, claims that in that period half a million council workers have lost their jobs.

When you consider that the GMB figure is from just 52 councils out of over 400, hundreds of thousands of workers could face the dole.

As we enter council budget-setting season, a much clearer picture of this catastrophe will come into view. Every job lost is yet another essential service strained to breaking point, outsourced into the private sector marketplace, or simply closed.

Onslaught

These developments bring into sharp focus the issue of how the local authority unions fight back against this onslaught.

Unite's Scottish secretary, Pat Rafferty, has correctly attacked the SNP-led Scottish Government for passing on Tory cuts: "Make no mistake our councils are being force-fed an austerity agenda that's been manufactured by the Tories in Westminster but delivered by the Scottish government". But there is a far more muted response by the trade unions when it comes to Labour-led councils and the Welsh Assembly Government.

The letter issued to Labour councillors by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell before Christmas (saying that they must set 'legal budgets') is being used by right-wing Labour councillors to justify implementing the cuts.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chair and former Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist has written to Jeremy and John to request a discussion about working together to avoid what we consider to be a mistaken approach to the cuts. We believe that they do not appreciate the catastrophe that is facing councils, their workforces and communities.

Save Coventry's play centres! Jan 2016

Save Coventry's play centres! Jan 2016   (Click to enlarge)

Under former Labour leader Miliband, the leaders of the council unions seemed, at best, conflicted about what to demand of Labour councils. This was reflected in their lack of support for Labour councillors who rebelled and voted against cuts.

But also, there was no coordinated national campaign of industrial action across the local authorities, meaning that every union branch largely fought alone. On top of the pulling out of the pension strike in late 2011, this lack of a serious fight only emboldened the Tories to go further.

The election of a left, anti-austerity Labour leader should have transformed the situation. But where have the demands been from the leaders of the main affiliated unions representing council and fire service workers to the new Labour leadership about calling on Labour councillors to resist?

Outgoing GMB leader Sir Paul Kenny has railed against Jeremy because of his opposition to Trident and its potential threat to 19,000 defence workers' jobs. But have he and other union general secretaries been beating a path to Corbyn's door about potentially ten times as many job losses in local government? Over 20,000 of the redundancies claimed by the GMB are in either Labour majority controlled councils or where they lead the local authority.

Contrast

In contrast to some of the leaderships of the unions, the national local government committees of both Unite and Unison have passed motions from Socialist Party members which call on Labour councils to set no-cuts budgets.

The massive level of public sector cuts means that the struggle can't be postponed until Corbyn possibly wins a general election four years away. In any case, Labour is in power in over 100 councils and in Wales.

A clear anti-cuts stand that calls out to Labour councillors to resist in the council chamber and link up with the unions and communities is needed. This could build a mass movement to face down the new tidal wave of cuts and take on what is a weak Tory government.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 10 February 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight council cuts!

Tories bankrupting NHS

Defiant mood as junior doctors demonstrate

Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts

Cushy government job for Amazon boss

'Pro-rape' anti-feminist Roosh V humiliated

Liverpool fans walk out against ticket price hikes

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Mental health: system in crisis

Mental health: My battle for the help I needed


What we think

Cameron's EU renegotiation charade

Don't give money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!


Momentum, Labour and the Socialist Party

Lack of strategy and exclusions threaten Momentum

Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum

Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets

Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack

Cuts to premiums mean no 'rise' in store for Tesco workers

Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy

South London: Library workers strike to save services

Continued action in crane drivers' pay dispute

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Portsmouth: support for anti-austerity stand

Leeds meeting expresses Corbyn and McDonnell's contradictions

Socialist Party members inspired by conference

Torbay: "A tale of two towns"

Anger against plans to close Bradford libraries

NHS campaign gains support


International socialist news and analysis

Sanders' socialist message rattling the establishment

US elections: Clinton coins it

International news in brief


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 February 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Local government:

triangleCouncil cuts can be fought - and they must be!

triangleSick of sham consultations - give us a real fightback

triangleUnite election - fight the Blairites, vote Len McCluskey

Jobs:

triangleTata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

triangleUnited fightback needed as entire grade of rail worker is at stake

Cuts:

triangleSolidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine's Day strike

triangle"Disgraceful" treatment of sacked EHRC workers

triangleSpain: clear win for left in Podemos!

Council:

triangleAslef members reject Southern deal - now for coordinated action to fight to win

Councillors:

triangleSouthampton: no-cuts budget needed

GMB:

triangleNewham council challenged over 1.8 million cut workers' pay

Austerity:

triangleCorbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

Redundancies:

triangleGovernment attack on DWP job centres and offices

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleYemen solidarity

Anti-cuts:

triangleIsle of Wight independents resign over cuts

Anti-austerity:

triangleSNP and Greens agree cuts budget in Scotland

Rob Williams:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

16/2/17

Aslef

Aslef members reject Southern deal - now for coordinated action to fight to win

15/2/17

Socialist Students

Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence

15/2/17

NHS

March to save #OurNHS

15/2/17

Local government

Council cuts can be fought - and they must be!

15/2/17

Benefits

Super-rich subsidised

15/2/17

Prisons

Prison deaths scandal: invest in better inmate and staff conditions

15/2/17

Refugees

Save child refugees, fight the cuts

15/2/17

EU

Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

11/2/17

Welfare

60 Years After Beveridge Welfare reform - back to the future?

8/2/17

Pay

Universal basic income - what do socialists say?

8/2/17

RMT

Stand with the RMT: unite against Southern Rail and the Tories

8/2/17

SNP

SNP and Greens agree cuts budget in Scotland

8/2/17

NHS

NHS: fight for funding - not passport checks

6/2/17

Aslef

Southern dispute: Aslef members must reject offer

1/2/17

NHS

Fight for our health service!

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Feb Tata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

triangle16 Feb Aslef members reject Southern deal - now for coordinated action to...

triangle15 Feb Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence

triangle15 Feb March to save #OurNHS

triangle15 Feb Vibrant Picturehouse pickets in continued living wage strike

triangle15 Feb French presidential election: crisis in the establishment parties

No cuts!, photo by JB

triangle15 Feb Council cuts can be fought - and they must be!

More ...

triangle20 Feb Chesterfield Socialist Party: Capitalism - On the edge of the volcano?

triangle20 Feb Leeds Socialist Party: LGBT rights & the Russian Revolution

triangle21 Feb Bristol North Socialist Party: Where is Britain heading?

triangle21 Feb Manchester Socialist Party: Where does British capitalism come from?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice