Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/569/7023
The Socialist 3 March 2009 |
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Fight the cuts in Nottingham!
Staff at Nottingham city council have been horrified to learn of the savage nature of £20 million cuts in jobs and services. Staff in three elderly persons day centres and the libraries found out about closures on a local radio station!
Jean Thorpe, chair, Nottingham city Unison, personal capacity
The council's public statements that front-line services will be unaffected now seem hollow and misleading. As well as the libraries and day centres, a children's home, social workers in mental health and adult care, home care workers in dementia services, youth workers, housing benefit staff, lift engineers and many other staff face redundancy and services face cuts and closure.
A whole team of portage workers, who work with pre-school disabled children, is to be shut down.
There are many "back-room" jobs going. All front-line workers will understand that they cannot operate without this back-office support. About 360 staff and an unnamed number of vacant posts are at risk.
Several hundred Unison members have attended meetings expressing their anger and desire to fight off these attacks.
Unison has offered to campaign jointly with the council for more central government funding. However, the immediate shortfall could be resolved if the council sacked its over-paid consultants instead of its own staff. Spending on consultants is running at around £15 million a year!
A protest will take place outside the council's budget meeting on 9 March. Should the budget go through it is likely that industrial action will be needed, especially as more job losses are likely to follow in the next two years.
Staff have yet to face the consequences of the Icelandic factor - Nottingham city council lost £42 million in the Icelandic banking collapse.
Meanwhile, increasing numbers of Unison members are raising points about the lack of political representation in our city and the need for an alternative to New Labour for ordinary working people.
Protest 9 March, 1pm, Old Market Square, Nottingham.
Letters of protest to: Councillor Jon Collins, Nottingham city council, The Guildhall, South Sherwood Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BT. [email protected]