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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 November 2013

Workplace news in brief

One Housing success

After a long dispute involving eleven days of strike action members at One Housing Group have voted to accept a significantly improved management offer. 61% voted to accept management's proposals on a 72% turnout.

Through the dispute management have made a series of improvements to their offer; most recently they have agreed to pay a bonus to supported housing workers previously excluded and a package of other improvements. The outcome of this dispute sends out a clear message that fighting back gets results and a warning to management in the sector that workers in supported housing are no longer prepared to accept whatever employers force on them.

The Unite housing branch repeats its thanks to members and to other union branches who generously contributed to the hardship fund. We also congratulate Unite members at One Housing who stood firm.

Unite committed itself to campaigning for a national agreement in the sector at last week's conference.

Paul Kershaw

Save our children's centres!

Tory dominated Kent County Council (KCC) has announced cuts of 273 million over the next three years. This includes 24.8 million in staffing costs. This is a direct threat to our public services and to the jobs and livelihoods of an estimated 600 KCC staff. This is on top of 1,500 jobs already gone.

KCC has proposed 23 closures of Sure Start children's centres. Linking up with parents around the county, the Kent trade unions have begun a campaign to mobilise opposition to these Tory cuts, beginning with the children's centres. We held an initial protest in support of Kent parents in Maidstone on 19 September.

David Semple, secretary, Kent Association of Trades Union Councils, personal capacity

Children protest

My heart sang when I saw and heard them. Children and young people, marching and singing and chanting and banging drums. They were making their grand entrance onto the political stage and would not be ignored. On 19 November they were protesting about Leicester city council's plans to drastically cut the budgets of their adventure playgrounds to the point where they will not be able to function.

Children from the Woodgate Adventure playground told me that these playgrounds keep violence down and life without them would be boring with nothing to live for. Some 14 year old volunteers from Goldhill adventure playground described how they involve disabled children in their playground.

Their pride in their work was obvious and moving.

Some of these adventure playgrounds have been around for 40 years. They work with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the city.

Some are open from 9am until 6.30pm during term time working with children excluded from school and children that have to hide from their families because of abuse and violence.

Yet Leicester council are cutting their budgets by 300,000. Children did not cause this economic crisis and should not be made to pay for it.

Councillors serious about representing the people of Leicester would not be making cuts but mobilising people of all ages in a struggle to obtain more funding. We need people to stand as Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates to defend ordinary people and refuse to pass on these hated cuts.

Heather Rawling, Leicester NUT, personal capacity

Mike Barker adds: "This is not the first time that the council has attempted to undermine the provision of childcare facilities in Leicester, and it is not the first time that Leicester's residents have been forced to defend their services. The last time such cuts to the city's adventure playgrounds were fought the council was controlled by the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, with the opposition group of Labour councillors acting as part of the protest. Now they are inside voting for them!"

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In The Socialist 27 November 2013:

Socialist Party youth and students

No recovery for Britain's young people

Will angry youth turn to Labour?

NUS NEC votes to support education workers strike

Referendum victory for York housing campaign

Socialist Party news and analysis

We need a real living wage!

Nothing achieved by UN climate talks

Flower power - downfall of a banking boss

UK governments approved secret mass surveillance

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Europe - centre of capitalist crisis

Iran nuclear deal reflects changed world relations

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Councillors: Say no to Tory cuts!

TUSC byelection candidates show cuts aren't necessary

Socialist Party workplace news

End the pay freeze: A united fight in post-16 education

Massive campaign planned against Underground cuts

Hull city council unions force cuts climb-down

Anti-blacklisting campaign will not go away

NUT election: Support for national action call

Criminal justice: More privatisation problems

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: Labour flies the white flag in face of call to fight back

Brazilian socialist councillor speaks in Britain

Bristol: Art and Revolution

Socialist Party review

TV review: Amazon's exploitation exposed


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