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:

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

triangleTories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

triangleFearful Tories mull borrowing to build

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

Jobs:

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleRBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

triangleRoyal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

triangleVictory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

Cuts:

triangleEnd Tory war on poor

triangleGlenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

triangleTyneside to protest against A&E and walk-in cuts

Council:

triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

triangleNew ebook: Liverpool A City That Dared To Fight

Labour:

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

Government:

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

Councillors:

triangleTUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

GMB:

triangleArriva bus strikers stand firm

Austerity:

triangleBlack Country Socialist Party: Workers striking back against austerity

Unite:

triangleUnite protest against blacklisting

Unison:

triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

Redundancies:

trianglePlymouth PCS members fight relocation threat

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleSurveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

Anti-cuts:

triangleBristol libraries safe - for now - as council caves to pressure

Anti-austerity:

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

Council workers:

triangleBin workers vote to continue action following rally

Rob Williams:

triangleMixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

8/12/17

Government

Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

6/12/17

Labour

Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

6/12/17

NHS

Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers

6/12/17

Immigration

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

6/12/17

Banks

RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

6/12/17

Homelessness

Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

6/12/17

Poverty

End Tory war on poor

6/12/17

Rail

Nationalise rail now

29/11/17

Them & Us

Them & us

29/11/17

Homes

Tory housing policy: build zilch, hike prices

29/11/17

Wages

Make the Tories history

29/11/17

Birmingham

Birmingham bin workers win!

29/11/17

British economy

Amber warning lights flash on British economy

23/11/17

Pay

After the budget - unions must launch pay fight

22/11/17

Climate change

Carbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


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

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

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

V2