The Socialist

The Socialist 11 April 2018

Youth demand a future

The Socialist issue 990

Alienation and austerity behind London deaths - fight for socialism

No to bombing Syria


Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts


Striking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

Moving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

The Socialist inbox


NEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

PCS elections: Vote for Democracy Alliance candidates!

Surrey Unison takes the anti-austerity message to the chancellor's back yard

McStrike: ballot for strike action at six McDonald's stores

FCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

Aberdeen workers step up strike action against profiteering First Bus


A socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union


Save our NHS candidate contesting South Yorkshire mayor election

South West Socialist Party conference

Socialist Party meeting to discuss fightback against cuts to women's services

To produce the Socialist we need a building - help us keep ours!

Fighting fire cuts in Wirral

Hull City supporters fight to reclaim their club and the game


May elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care


Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant against lawsuits

Poland: huge demos against right wing government's abortion ban

Workers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

Ireland: March against misogyny and injustice

 
 
 
 
 

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Surrey Unison takes the anti-austerity message to the chancellor's back yard

Trade unionists and campaigners rallying for pay at Runnymede in Surrey, photo by Surrey Unison

Trade unionists and campaigners rallying for pay at Runnymede in Surrey, photo by Surrey Unison   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Couchman, Surrey Unison branch secretary (personal capacity) and Socialist Party member

In one of the best local demos for many years, Surrey County Unison members turned out, alongside their sisters and brothers from across the South East region, to protest in the constituency of Philip Hammond MP.

The rally was symbolically held at the site of the signing of the Magna Carta over 800 years ago on the banks of the River Thames at Runnymede. Unison members were joined by Fire Brigades Union, RMT transport union and Unite the Union banners as well as several local Labour Party activists. The Socialist Party in Unison was well represented with dozens of activists, banners and placards and around half of the day's speakers.

Poverty

I outlined why our Unison branch called the demo - with 30% of children in some parts of Surrey living below the poverty line and foodbank use among working parents up fourfold in the last four years. It is impossible for the average worker to get somewhere decent to live.

One recent report showed that you would need to earn 85 an hour to afford to buy the average Surrey home. The protest's call for a 10-an-hour minimum wage is a modest step towards fair wages for Surrey council staff and other public sector workers.

Surrey council has imposed an effective pay freeze for nearly a decade and one of the knock-on effects of government austerity is that less and less money is available to pay those community sector companies who have picked up all the outsourced work like home care.

One charity in Surrey has had its local authority funding slashed to the point where it has made pay cuts of 2,000 to 3,000 a year in its care workers' salaries. Two Unison reps from this sector proudly carried the branch banner at the front of the demo.

Trade unionists and campaigners rallying for pay at Runnymede in Surrey, photo by Surrey Unison

Trade unionists and campaigners rallying for pay at Runnymede in Surrey, photo by Surrey Unison   (Click to enlarge)

Buoyant mood

The mood was buoyant but frustrated. Speaker after speaker called for serious coordinated national action on pay.

This protest could not have come at a better time with all the capitulations over pay going on at the moment. A clear majority of the best activists from right across the region were there and the day was a huge success.

I said: "We will use the mood here and the photos from the day to build our local campaigns on public sector pay. We can and will achieve a 10-an-hour minimum wage rate in Surrey and beyond. We will continue to fight for a fair local pay increase this year - even if the unions at national level don't appear to be fighting back."

Around 70 was collected towards a May Day greeting in the Socialist from all those attending.


In this issue


What we think

Alienation and austerity behind London deaths - fight for socialism

No to bombing Syria


Socialist Party news and analysis

Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Striking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

Moving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party workplace news

NEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

PCS elections: Vote for Democracy Alliance candidates!

Surrey Unison takes the anti-austerity message to the chancellor's back yard

McStrike: ballot for strike action at six McDonald's stores

FCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

Aberdeen workers step up strike action against profiteering First Bus


Customs union

A socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save our NHS candidate contesting South Yorkshire mayor election

South West Socialist Party conference

Socialist Party meeting to discuss fightback against cuts to women's services

To produce the Socialist we need a building - help us keep ours!

Fighting fire cuts in Wirral

Hull City supporters fight to reclaim their club and the game


Local elections 2018

May elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care


International socialist news and analysis

Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant against lawsuits

Poland: huge demos against right wing government's abortion ban

Workers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

Ireland: March against misogyny and injustice


 

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