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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 March 2006

Stoke UNISON prepares for action against cuts

ISSUE 430 of The Socialist explained how Socialist Party councillors Dave and Paul Sutton proposed an alternative budget at Stoke city council's budget-setting meeting.

The Labour Mayor tried to pass on 21 million of government cuts by slashing jobs and services.

The following emergency motion was carried with only two votes against at Stoke UNISON AGM. About 250 attended. Even the branch secretary and chair, both staunch Labour defenders, supported the motion, with some reservations about the first paragraph.

"This branch notes with concern that no New Labour, Tory, Lib Dem or BNP councillors voted for the alternative budget proposed and seconded by the Independent Socialist Group councillors Dave Sutton and Paul Sutton at the 2006/2007 budget setting meeting on 6 March.

This alternative budget would have prevented any cuts in jobs and services or another council tax increase for the '06/07 financial year and ended the current freeze on job replacement.

It would also have committed councillors to "launch a broadbased campaign to demand that the government returns the millions of pounds in funding taken from the city over the years" to ensure jobs and services can be safeguarded in the future.

This branch also notes with alarm that the budget which was agreed instead, proposed by New Labour Mayor Mark Meredith, includes the removal of sick pay for the first three days of illness for council employees, more privatisation and the introduction of compulsory redundancies if necessary to make up for the shortfall in funding created as a result of continued cuts in funding by successive Tory and New Labour governments.

This branch further notes that the council workforce is not responsible for this shortfall in funding and should not have to pay for it with these attacks on our jobs and conditions.

Therefore, this branch agrees to:

  • Campaign vigorously to defend our sick pay entitlement.
  • Step up our fight against privatisation.
  • Begin from today a thoroughgoing campaign among all city council staff to prepare for industrial action up to and including strike action in response to any attempt at compulsory redundancies."

Proposed by Andy Bentley, Community Link Worker at Willfield Neighbourhood College.

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Finance appeal

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.
  • 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 30 March 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the NHS jobs massacre

New Labour's NHS lies

Call for NHS demo gets support

Huddersfield trust votes for cuts - but campaign gets stronger

Save jobs and beds at the Royal Free


Pensions

Britain - Over one million strike for pension rights...

'Time for a new working-class party'


International socialist news and analysis

France - millions march for job security

USA: Millions march for immigrant workers' rights

Ukraine's 'orange revolution' goes pear-shaped

Will ETA's strategy lead to Basque national rights?


Socialist Party review

Paradise Now

Gordon's global gurus


Socialist Party campaigns

Why socialists oppose state funding of political parties

Local council services are still worth fighting for

Council elections: Great response in Lewisham

Stoke UNISON prepares for action against cuts

Strong support for minimum wage demand

Lambeth College students launch campaign against cuts

Save chemistry - sack the vice-chancellor!


 

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Related links:

Stoke:

triangleTo push change we need to be organised - why we joined the Socialist Party

triangleThe Socialist Party and socialist ideas are growing

triangleStoke council unions beat pay cuts - now let's stop all cuts

triangleSelling the Socialist in Stoke

triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

Unison:

triangleSocialist Party to the fore at Unison LG conference

triangleRight lose control in national executive council election

triangleUnison & PCS conferences Socialist Party fringe meeting

triangleCadent Gas plans 200 job losses

Labour:

triangleBirmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

triangleEnfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

triangleMajority of BFAWU members vote to break from Labour

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triangleNorth London Socialist Party: How can a party for the working class be built?

triangleWaltham Forest byelections: Council homes not unaffordable flats

Jobs:

triangleDea-John Reid murder: Jobs, homes and services, not racism

Pay:

triangleSparks win victory!

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