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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 June 2014

Leeds unions prepare for action

A shop steward

The trade unions within Leeds City Council's collective agreement - Unison, GMB, Unite and Ucatt, through the JTUC have formally notified the employer of our opposition to the cuts it is proposing. These attacks on our conditions are the biggest in 100 years.

The council has already made cutbacks of up to 150 million over the last three years resulting in almost 2,000 job losses.

It intends to wipe off another 150 million over the next three years with a further 600 jobs to go. The council cannot guarantee there will be no compulsory redundancies.

Many of the council's proposals around 'flexible working' arrangements and bans on overtime pay are already happening.

Some workers could face a 2,000 loss in pay dependant on the scale of the post. The employer wants to do away with shift allowances, overtime pay, and weekend and bank holiday enhancements, which could result in a further loss of pay.

Over the last two months the trade unions have organised several stewards' and members' meetings at many workplaces across the city that have combined the council cuts issues with the national pay dispute.

At a recent workplace meeting I organised, I invited Unison NEC member Vicky Perrin to address my members (in a personal capacity) about the issues we all face as local government workers. It was an excellent meeting.

It came as a surprise to my members that she is an ordinary worker on low pay and struggling just like us, and not a full time official on a fat salary.

We were frank about what austerity meant and what is necessary for all our members to win. We explained the possibility of coordinated action over pay and the need to be prepared to take action over cuts to our local conditions in the imminent future.

Vicky spoke about the ongoing Care UK dispute and a hardship fund for our members. Leeds Unison has donated 1,000 of its members' money to the fund.

The campaigning doesn't stop here. It is necessary to keep the pay ballot and the cuts to services in the minds of our members while voting takes place.

We must prepare our members to be ready for the first date of national action on 10 July.

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In The Socialist 4 June 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Workers can win: Victory for $15 campaign in Seattle

Enough of 'all the same' capitalist politics!

TUSC: Next steps building political voice for workers

Inclusive capitalism? You're having a laugh!

Children handed poverty "life sentence"

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

US: How Seattle won a $15 minimum wage

Ireland: Electoral surge against austerity


Socialist Party workplace news

"Enough is enough!" - 1.5m could strike over pay

NHS: We demand a living wage!

Come to NSSN conference!

Unite conference: Fighting policies needed

UCU: Members losing patience with leadership

PCS-Unite merger: Will it strengthen our fightback?

Leeds unions prepare for action

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bakers' Union interview: "We can stop race to bottom"

Stevenage: March against the far-right, racist EDL

Rhydyfelin library occupied by protesters


Readers' comments

NHS: Night shift and a cold rage


Building the Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Plan now for the fundraising collectathon

'Join the socialists' week of action

Successful building in east London

Rapid recruitment in Plymouth


 

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