Anti-cuts, public services

Health, education, housing, benefits, local councils, ...

Wirral Against the Cuts

Author: 

By Elaine Jones, Vice Chair Wirral TUC

Just as the boards were going up on the first of eleven libraries due to be axed by Wirral Council, we were told that the closures would be halted pending a Government enquiry and decision by Andy Burnham MP, the Culture Secretary.

Let's be clear: this enquiry has come directly as a result of the campaigning that has taken place across the Wirral and is, despite problems to be faced in the future, a big step forward. As council cuts begin to be made across the country, it is important that we pool information, about what activists are doing on the ground in local areas.

Fighting back against huge cuts in local community resources

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Campaign for free, publicly owned transport

Author: 

Bruce Robinson

On the 11 December Greater Manchester will vote on a package of government funding for transport that is dependent on the introduction of congestion charging over a wide area of 80 square miles around the centre of Manchester. To win, there needs to be a majority for the proposals in seven of the 10 GM boroughs. This may be helped by the fact that the referendum question does not mention the charge.

On the 11 December Greater Manchester will vote on a package of government funding for transport that is dependent on the introduction of congestion charging over a wide area of 80 square miles around the centre of Manchester.

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Illusions of Power: The Labour Left, Local Government, and the Challenge of Thatcherism After 1979

Author: 

Mick O'Sullivan and Martin Thomas
The tragic, leson-rich story of the Labour Local Government Left — Ken Livingstone, David Blunkett, Margaret Hodge, Ted Knight, etc. — who took "local power"and then collapsed ignominiously in face of the Thatcherite offensive against the working class and the Labour Movement.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

On the bus workers’ strike, on the economic crisis

Author: 

Robin Sivapalan

2 years ago, Metroline drivers broke 7 years silence from the union and took strike action against the 2nd biggest transport transnational organization in the world. A visibly scared, and in some ways corrupt, union leadership backed down - and drivers agreed to pocket far less than their due before Christmas. They were the only section of the union to take action.

The next year Metroline bosses were unusually quick to meet the union’s (low) demands. Unite leaders, probably to save Ken Livingstone, appeared to shelve all disputes on the London buses.

A step closer to a London wide bus strike

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Council cuts threatened

Stop the cuts

Author: 

Rhodri Evans
Councils are preparing their budgets for 2008-9. Some councils, notably Newcastle and Southampton, are planning sizeable cuts.

Councils are preparing their budgets for 2008-9. Some councils, notably Newcastle and Southampton, are planning sizeable cuts.

In recent years, such cuts have been rare. Cumulative central government controls since the 1980s have reduced local councils to little more than local agents of central government.

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A Montparnasse rail worker speaks

Author: 

Ed Maltby

Following the massive strike movement of last Autumn which ended in stalemate, French rail workers are preparing for the next round. I met with Joachim, a union activist and member of the revolutionary group the LCR at Gare Montparnasse in Paris to talk about the situation. He told me about the atmosphere at the station in the wake of November’s battle with management over pensions.

Interview with a union activist from the Montparnasse rail station in Paris

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Labour and Tories race to attack benefits

Author: 

David Broder

David Cameron has launched a fresh offensive against single parents, unemployed and disabled people with plans to force them into work. The Tory leader’s proposals include making the unemployed participate in “community work”, penalties for those who turn down “reasonable” job offers and cutting the number of people receiving incapacity benefit by 600,000 over the next five years.

David Cameron has launched a fresh offensive against single parents, unemployed and disabled people with plans to force them into work.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Glasgow daycare strike

At the time of writing, Glasgow City Council daycare strikers are about to begin their eighth week on strike. All the signs are that they will still be on strike over Christmas and the New Year.
The indefinite strike action is in response to the City Council’s implementation of “Single Status”, which is meant to end sexually discriminatory rates of pay in local authorities.

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OUR POSTMAN IS A POET

Author: 

Attila

Our postman is a poet
Today, I found that out.
No, it’s not that unusual -
There’s loads of us about.
And he’s not any old poet -
He’s a hippie poet for sure

OUR POSTMAN IS A POET

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Defend legal aid!

By Mike Rowley

State legal aid is a vital lifeline for many people who cannot afford to pay a lawyer, including people with problems with debt, police and this country’s endlessly persecutory immigration authorities. Naturally, therefore, New Labour has decided to “marketise” the legal aid system.

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Stop this privatisation!

By a Probation Service Unison activist

WITH privatisation legislation now heading for the House of Lords, the probation unions Napo and Unison need to urgently organise for joint action to stop the rot. We’ve got an uphill task.

UK-wide probation areas are preparing for the first raft of privatisations. Probation areas have been told to spend more of their budget on buying services from the private sector, and this is already going ahead.

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Will to fight on public sector pay

By Mike Fenwick, leeds health unison and leeds keep our nhs public

GORDON Brown will impose a below inflation pay award on the public sector this year. The armed services are exempt but all those working in the NHS, civil service etc will have an effective cut in salary.

The headline award for nurses is 2.5%, but, staged, in two payments, it becomes only 1.9%. Deduct the 0.25% Gordon has claimed for extra pensions contributions, and consider that the inflation rate is 4.2%: that’s a real terms cut of 2.55%.

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Fighting New Labour cuts in Lambeth

By Faryal Velmi

Despite the biggest demonstration seen in Lambeth for a decade, savage cuts to Adult Social Services in Lambeth were voted through on Wednesday 28 February.

The Labour run Lambeth Council voted to cut £736,000 from the ASS budget and the results will be felt harshly by local frail and isolated older and disabled people, adults with learning difficulties, people with mental ill-health and carers.

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Stop British Library Cuts

I love the British Library's Newspaper Archive in Colindale. I discovered it when I first started looking into the Poplar Rates Rebellion of 1921, and came away with armfuls of newspaper articles which transported me back eighty years as effectively as a Tardis might. At that time, I could hardly believe such a teasure trove existed. Now, I can barely contemplate it not existing.

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TUC Blog: Monday morning – Pensions and Public Services

After the formalities and back-slapping that mark the start of Congress, the first big debate was on Pensions. As I reported yesterday, we had a long and uncontroversial composite motion on the subject.

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Public services not profit

Following a successful lobby of Parliament on June 27, the John McDonnell-initiated ‘Public Services Not Private Profit’ campaign looks as if it may have the potential to cohere the various trade union-orientated anti-privatisation campaigns into a single fight-back against the Blair government’s assault on the public sector.

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European Network for Public Services

Dear friends from the European Network for Public Services,

This message is sent to all people registered on the list we made during the last saturday session.
The RAS (an activist Host ) is ready to contribute by hosting our collective tool . We propose to name our mailing list "athens-sp@ras.eu.org".

Around the world: 

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Unison Northern Region proposal on European Network of Public services

this proposal is going to Northern region of unison from Newcastle City Branch delegates to Esf from Northern Region

Ed

EUROPEAN SOCIAL FORUM 2006

Public services were a major theme at the 4th ESF held in Athens, between

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Welfare State campaigning

Motion passed at AWL conference 29-30 April 2006.

For many on the left the LRC and the crisis of working class representation in politics seems an abstraction compared to short cut demands for a new party now. We have called over the years for a campaign to link the issue of political representation to the defence of the Welfare State representing the independent political economy of the working class. Despite our best efforts and some well attended lobbies and conferences we failed to build the Welfare State Network (WSN) into the broader CND style campaign we desired.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Collision time for welfare?

By Colin Foster

We may be approaching the point at which — given a lead by a sufficiently strong and weighty body of activists — the multiform discontent with the Blair-Brown government's drive to chop up the welfare state could be transformed into a campaign strong enough to change the social balance of forces.

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Sheffield library workers strike

350 library workers in Sheffield have been on all-out indefinite strike since 5 June over the council’s threat to remove enhanced pay for weekend work, breaking national conditions of service. All workers in the Council’s leisure department face the same threat, resulting in a pay cut of up to 7% for some of the lowest paid workers.

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A Workers' Budget

For Gordon Brown, Tory public spending limits, pleasing the City, and retaining Tory tax cuts for the rich are the priorities; the rest of us must submit to "tough choices" to meet those priorities. A government truly accountable to the labour movement and committed to the welfare state would have spelled out different priorities in a "Budget speech" something like the following.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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