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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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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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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


 

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Related links:

Leeds:

triangleLeeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

triangleLeeds & York Socialist Party: How apartheid was ended in South Africa

triangleLeeds & York Socialist Party: The end of the Corbyn era

triangleLeeds & York Socialist Party: The future for young people

triangleBlack Lives Matter protests: week three

Cuts:

triangleNews in brief

triangleCome to the NSSN conference

triangleWorkers need a new mass party to defend their interests

triangleFight back to stop Tories scrapping protections for children in care

Council workers:

triangleEnd council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

triangleEast London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades

triangleWorcester: Fightback against library cuts

Council:

triangleCardiff community fights nursery closure: Council must step in

triangleTower Hamlets council strike

Pay:

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