Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/433/5104
Stoke UNISON prepares for action against cuts
ISSUE 430 of The Socialist explained how Socialist Party councillors Dave and Paul Sutton proposed an alternative budget at Stoke city council's budget-setting meeting.
The Labour Mayor tried to pass on £21 million of government cuts by slashing jobs and services.
The following emergency motion was carried with only two votes against at Stoke UNISON AGM. About 250 attended. Even the branch secretary and chair, both staunch Labour defenders, supported the motion, with some reservations about the first paragraph.
"This branch notes with concern that no New Labour, Tory, Lib Dem or BNP councillors voted for the alternative budget proposed and seconded by the Independent Socialist Group councillors Dave Sutton and Paul Sutton at the 2006/2007 budget setting meeting on 6 March.
This alternative budget would have prevented any cuts in jobs and services or another council tax increase for the '06/07 financial year and ended the current freeze on job replacement.
It would also have committed councillors to "launch a broadbased campaign to demand that the government returns the millions of pounds in funding taken from the city over the years" to ensure jobs and services can be safeguarded in the future.
This branch also notes with alarm that the budget which was agreed instead, proposed by New Labour Mayor Mark Meredith, includes the removal of sick pay for the first three days of illness for council employees, more privatisation and the introduction of compulsory redundancies if necessary to make up for the shortfall in funding created as a result of continued cuts in funding by successive Tory and New Labour governments.
This branch further notes that the council workforce is not responsible for this shortfall in funding and should not have to pay for it with these attacks on our jobs and conditions.
Therefore, this branch agrees to:
- Campaign vigorously to defend our sick pay entitlement.
- Step up our fight against privatisation.
- Begin from today a thoroughgoing campaign among all city council staff to prepare for industrial action up to and including strike action in response to any attempt at compulsory redundancies."
Proposed by Andy Bentley, Community Link Worker at Willfield Neighbourhood College.
In The Socialist 30 March 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party campaigns