The Scottish Unison Council, made up of delegates from all branches in Scotland, voted on 3 December for a call that the Scottish Parliament and local councils should defy Tory cuts and set “needs budgets”.
This is the first time in the current anti-cuts agitation that a large body in the labour movement has raised the call for councils to defy the cuts. Solidarity has been raising the call for some time, but even the rest of the left press has so far been hesitant about it.
In the 1980s, that call won wide support, though in the end all Labour councils — even those known as “left” like Liverpool and Lambeth — first resorted to rate rises (not available as an option now) and then made cuts.
The meeting also voted, unanimously, to raise with the other public sector trade unions the call for a one-day Scottish public sector strike against the cuts. The successful motion on this said: “The public sector trade unions must now complement the community based anti-cuts work by preparing an industrial action campaign to defend services and the current level of public spending in Scotland.”