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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2020

Big Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

Surrey Unison on the march against austerity

Surrey Unison on the march against austerity   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Couchman, Surrey County Unison (personal capacity)

Over 150 delegates registered for the South East regional council meeting of local government union Unison which took place on 8 February. This was the biggest meeting for many years. There was a serious mood and a clear willingness to start the fight-back against Boris Johnson's Tory government.

There were nine motions on the agenda, including our Surrey County branch motion calling on Labour councils to fight the cuts. I made the point that Unison, as the biggest trade union representing members in local government, must adopt a position of supporting Labour councils and councillors who make a stand against the cuts. I gave the example of socialist-led Liverpool City Council in the 1980s.

Two other Socialist Party members spoke in the discussion, Paul Tovey and Chris Pickett. A range of other supporting speakers included Diana Leach (Unison national executive committee member) and Antoinette Solera from Reading, who spoke about how their branch and other local trade unions have been protesting against their Labour council outsourcing to union-busters Greenwich Leisure Limited!

National action

Ours was definitely the motion of the day, and it topped the poll for motions to go from the region to Unison's national conference in June. If it gets on the agenda and is passed there, we can use that to push the national union into taking action which reflects this position.

All the Unison Action broad left candidates who stood for regional positions were elected.

A motion was also moved by Socialist Party member Paul Tovey from Bucks Health branch on developing a campaign for a South East cost of living allowance, building on the current Thames Valley Allowance campaign. This was also passed unanimously.

The day was topped off with Kye Gbangbola, from the Truth About Zane campaign, as the guest speaker (see 'Five years on - and still no justice for Zane' at socialistparty.org.uk). The campaign has 90,000 signatures on its petition now and is holding a commemorative public event at the House of Lords on 12 February.

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In The Socialist 12 February 2020:


News

Tackling climate change: Johnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

Windrush deportations: end the hostile environment

Streatham attack: Johnson's bill can't stop terror

Them & Us

What We Heard


NHS

NHS: Fight for full funding!

Unnecessary surgery scandal shows need for democratic control of NHS

NHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

Callous Tory cuts to children's speech therapy in Nottinghamshire


Trade unions

Trade unions - new decade, new challenges


Workplace news

Big Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

PCS union: Uniting the left around a leadership that can win for members

Westex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike

University strikers walk out for better pay and pensions

East London school strikes against academisation continue

Foreign Office workers' strike

Solidarity with Turkish workers

Lambeth Unison letter

London NSSN meeting

Solidarity with victimised bus rep Moe

Support Clive Walder


Cuts

How to resist tory attacks on local communities

Cuts councillors are the real problem

Council houses - not private property developers


International

Sinn Fein harnesses working-class anger to top poll

Lebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division


Campaigns

Build independent workers' media with May Day greetings

Building a working-class movement for Tamil rights

Hackney: We don't want homes and retail units working-class people can't afford

20 years of housing failure

Socialist Sellers


Universal Credit

New BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

Nottingham: death of vulnerable claimant

UC stopped without warning


 

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Related links:

Unison:

triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleTower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

triangleTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

triangleElectricians pay victory

triangleLambeth Unison letter

South East:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: The environmental crises

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: The history of the Communist International

triangleSouth East Unison annual general meeting votes for no-cuts budgets

triangleEDF Energy strike victory against vehicle tracker device

Cuts:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: How to fight the cuts

triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

Anti-cuts:

triangleSouth Devon Socialist Party: End of the Corbyn era - What next for socialism?

triangleIs there an anti-cuts rebellion in Scotland?

Union:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

Council:

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