Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/814/18745

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 June 2014

Unison conference

No waiting for Labour - fight the job cuts

Glenn Kelly, Socialist Party member in Unison

While low pay and the pay freeze are a major issue for public sector workers, job cuts are increasingly a threat. 450,000 council jobs have gone in England alone since 2010, a 17% cut in the workforce.

A survey has revealed that 40 councils alone are planning another 700 million of cuts with 18,000 more jobs to go.

What councils can't cut or shut, they are looking to privatise. A staggering 1.5 billion of services has been handed over to the profiteers in the last three months. In Bromley, where I work, the chief executive aims to reduce the 4,000 directly employed workers to 300.

Unison members have been fighting for the leadership to act on their promise to take action on pay and are now being balloted for action. There is the potential for much-needed coordinated action on 10 July.

Strategy

Members will also demand to know the union's political and industrial strategy to defeat these cuts. But the union's national conference has been barred from debating the strategy on cuts put forward by my branch and others.

Councils sit on 20 billion in reserves and they have access to borrowing at cheap rates so we called for Unison to demand that "councils set a one year balanced budget using reserves and borrowing to guarantee no cuts in jobs and services and then for councils to use this time to launch a joint campaign with the workers and community to demand the return of the 7.6 billion stolen from the councils by the Con-Dems".

Surely Unison members have a right to demand it of Labour councils - given we hand Labour 3 million a year. But this proposal will not only not be debated, it couldn't even be printed on the agenda. Why? Because according to the Unison leadership setting a lawful balanced budget using reserves and borrowing is "illegal".

Daylight robbery

The Unison leadership was "particularly concerned" that we referred to money having been "stolen" from councils by the Con-Dem government! From where I'm sitting, on the front line, it's daylight robbery.

At the moment Unison's strategy appears to amount to leaving branches to fight the avalanche of cuts alone. This is a strategy that is clearly failing.

In an attempt to address this Bromley branch put up a motion calling on the union to lodge a claim for a guarantee of no redundancies to the national local government employers.

We said, if they refused then we would have a national trade dispute and could have a national strike against cuts. This was ruled out of order as it was calling for 'illegal action'! When I then amended the position to say we should seek legal advice to see if it was possible, even this was ruled out.

The reality is the union leadership has no strategy to defeat the cuts other than to wait for a Labour government. Any hope that a Labour government will bail us out is pure fantasy and they know it.

Last week the Labour shadow minister for Local Government Chris Leslie made clear what's in store for local government if Labour wins the next election when he openly said that "we won't be able to undo the cuts".

That's because a Labour government has pledged to stick to the Tory spending cuts that will see the job slaughter rise to 1.2 million by 2018.


Unison Bureaucracy Unmasked: The Defend the Four Story

In 2007, four trade unionists from different Unison branches were publicly and unjustly accused of racism. Yet all were committed anti-racists and led well-run union branches.

All four are well-known members of the Socialist Party. But this provides only part of the explanation; the bureaucracy was also driven by a desire to make the union safe for its full-time machine, and safe for the Labour Party.

This book tells the story of the ultimately victorious campaign and legal challenge that cleared them of all charges, and which exposed the true nature of Unison's bureaucracy.

Available for 5 (plus p&p) from www.leftbooks.co.uk

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 11 June 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS: Private profit kills

Newark byelection: capitalist parties in crisis

'Trojan Horse': who is attacking education?

World Cup carnival can't hide corruption and injustice

Them & Us


Anniversaries

Tiananmen Square 1989

The battle of Orgreave


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: European elections redefine political map

Greece: CWI councillors elected


Socialist Party workplace news

10 July: United action can beat austerity

Bakers' union calls for general strike

Unison: No waiting for Labour - fight the job cuts

Housing workers strike against rep suspension

Firefighters to walk out for 24-hours

Care UK workers continue dispute

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Now is the time to join the Socialists!

Why I'm a socialist

Stevenage: EDL not welcome here

Cuts consensus: Labour joins with Ukip to back Tory council


Readers' comments and reviews

Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall

Obituary: George Duff


 

Home   |   The Socialist 11 June 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Unison:

triangleMake a stand: set legal no-cuts council budgets

triangleReverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer

triangleUnison national executive members challenge validity of nomination for Keir Starmer for leader of the Labour Party

triangleCouncil concedes to striking winter gritters' demands

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Labour:

triangleAfter the defeat

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleTo win back working-class trust Labour must take the 'Liverpool road'

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Cuts:

triangleUnite regional committee votes to support anti-cuts Enfield councillor

triangleCouncil cuts continue... So must the fightback

triangleLabour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

Bureaucracy:

triangleChina after the 1949 revolution: the benefits of the planned economy stifled by bureaucracy

triangleTV Review: Chernobyl - Workers' heroism vs sclerotic Stalinism

Government:

triangleFrench workers demonstrating in Paris on 16 January; Over 40 days of strike action have taken place against the government's attack on pensions. Photo James Ivens

Local government:

triangleCorbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

27/1/20

London

We need socialists in London's City Hall

27/1/20

Labour

After the defeat

22/1/20

Austerity

Council cuts continue... So must the fightback

22/1/20

Labour

To win back working-class trust Labour must take the 'Liverpool road'

22/1/20

Them & Us

Them & Us

22/1/20

Capitalism

End climate change, end inequality, end capitalism!

22/1/20

Police

Protesting is not terrorism

15/1/20

Unison

Reverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer

15/1/20

NHS

Build for strikes to save NHS

15/1/20

Labour leadership

Labour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

15/1/20

Nationalisation

No free ride for the airline bosses - nationalise Flybe now!

15/1/20

Them & Us

Them & Us

15/1/20

Minimum wage

Low Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

8/1/20

Austerity

Ignore the hype - austerity goes on: organise to resist

8/1/20

Capitalism

Capitalism must go - fight for socialism

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999