Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/801/18255
From The Socialist newspaper, 5 March 2014
Leeds council workers discuss cuts fightback
A Leeds council steward
On 4 February Leeds Unison branch had an all-stewards meeting in response to our employers' cuts proposals.
We had also teamed up with the GMB and Unite for an activists' rally to mount a serious campaign to back our national pay offer of £1 an hour extra on all grades with a view to involve our members in industrial action to win.
We were told that over 1,500 jobs have been lost over the last three years due to the Early Leavers' Initiative and natural wastage, leaving fewer staff expected to do the same amount of work.
Many services, particularly in adult social care, have been either closed or transferred to the private and voluntary sector.
Approximately £150 million has been cut in the last three years and the council want to cut a further £82 million over the next three years with as much as £50 million being cut in the next financial year. £24 million is to be cut from Children's Services alone. From 2010-11 to 2016-17 as much as 40% will be cut from the council's budget.
Our service conditions are being attacked by cutting jobs, car allowances, pay and overtime, as well our previously agreed redundancy arrangements.
What was significant in both the stewards' meeting and the national pay rally was that activists saw the need for action on both fronts. They are essentially the same battle.
Our employers' shopping list of proposals cut too deep for us to accept, and the union leaders, who up to now, have worked with the Labour-led council, have at last said 'enough is enough'!
To achieve a yes vote in any consultative ballot for industrial action we need a lively campaign against the cuts to inspire our members and prepare for strike action.
We must also build public support with lobbies and marches, calling on the council to set a budget to meet people's needs.
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In The Socialist 5 March 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Pay us a living wage now!
Need for new mass workers' party is undeniable
Government condemns millions to housing misery
NHS in crisis: Stop Hunt's hospital closure plans
Fight the government's vicious sanctions regime
Them & Us
International socialist news and analysis
Ukraine crisis: Ruling elites foster division and conflict
Northern Ireland rocked by 'on the runs' crisis
International Women's Day
The miners' strike changed women's lives
Socialist Party workplace news
Determined Doncaster care workers in 7-day strike
Wales: Unison branch challenges Labour with no-cuts budget
Support strike action against legal aid cuts
Leeds council workers discuss cuts fightback
Train drivers vote for action at Northern Rail
Cleaners strike at London college
Readers' comments and reviews
Nigeria's battle for a mass workers' party
Letter of protest to the BBC
Union question time - Labour has no answers
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Action against vicious council cuts
Police spying ends lives - end it!
Fighting youth low pay (and security bullies)
Calderdale and Huddersfield: People ready to defend A&Es
Barton Moss protesters say no to fracking
Oppose the EDL in Worcester
The Socialist 5 March 2014 |
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