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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 December 2009

Fighting council cuts in Greenwich

EVEN PRIME minister Gordon Brown has condemned Tory Nottinghamshire county council's savage plans to impose over 31 million of cuts, cutting 450 jobs this financial year alone and attacking staff terms and conditions and council services.

Onay Kasab, secretary, Greenwich Unison branch (personal capacity)

Nottinghamshire's Unison union branch has consulted members on a possible industrial action ballot with 87% saying they would be prepared to take industrial action. Gordon Brown said: "The council has made these cuts simply because it's their ideological position... To cut 30 million out of your budget at a time when we are wanting to get the economy moving forward is a mistake."

Yet Brown does not condemn Labour-controlled Greenwich coun-cil, where a cuts programme of over 30 million was recently agreed at a Labour group meeting. Services, pay and conditions are all under serious threat.

Greenwich Unison branch is currently fighting pay cuts, compulsory redundancies, privatisation and the transfer of Eltham Green school to a Trust. Reorganisations are deleting jobs. Anticipated proposals include cuts to the library service and youth and after school play clubs. Voluntary sector organisations will have their funding cut.

So-called "low priority" services will no longer be provided and many people will no longer be able to access council services. Council plumbers are to be balloted for strike action as their pay is being slashed. Social workers caring for the elderly and vulnerable face 5,000 per year pay cuts and want to be balloted for strike action.

Brown does not condemn the Greenwich cuts equally because Nottinghamshire council is led by the Tories.

But those working for service-cutting Labour councils are not convinced by arguments from union leaders about Labour being a 'lesser evil'. Both parties are committed to making cuts. Maybe the Tories will make more cuts than Labour but that is little comfort to those having pay cuts, losing jobs or having their services removed now.

Greenwich Unison is organising action to defend jobs, pay and services. Don't just tell council workers to vote Labour. What is needed is a party in the council chamber looking after the interests of the working class, including those who use and provide council services. We need no cuts and a party that stands for this principle.

Join Greenwich Unison lobby against council cuts, Tuesday 8 December, 6pm, Town Hall, Wellington St, Woolwich, SE18.

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In The Socialist 2 December 2009:

Climate change 'gigantic market failure'

Copenhagen climate change talks


Socialist Party NHS campaign

National Health Service: Patient safety not private profit


Youth fight for jobs

Youth march for jobs: "A fantastic experience"


Credit crunch

Dubai's house of sand crumbles


War and occupation

Chilcot inquiry: Put the warmongers on trial!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fast news

Yorkshire strikes - the lessons

BA management get tough

Fighting university cuts

Fighting council cuts in Greenwich

Stoke Axiom action continues

Defend the Four!

NUS plans mean students pay


Anti-racism

Rally to oppose racist EDL

How mass campaigning closed BNP HQ


International socialist news and analysis

Irish Republic: Huge public sector workers' strike against cutbacks

Indonesia: Eyewitness report from Tamil refugee boat


Socialist Party election campaign

Politics 'illegal' in Lewisham council

Help give a socialist answer to cuts and privatisation


Marxist analysis: history

Liverpool council's budget 'black hole': Establishment parties only offer swingeing cuts


 

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