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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2016

Fight council cuts!

Protesting against the cuts, photo Senan

Protesting against the cuts, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Clive Walder, Birmingham Socialist Party

There is nothing left to cut. Even Tory council leaders don't know where they'll find the government's latest 'savings'!

The Socialist Party says: strike to save jobs and services - and fight to oust the Tories and Blairites, for a political alternative to austerity.

In Birmingham, Britain's second city, the council is trying to make its workers pay. The ruling Labour group wants to withdraw staff from nationally agreed terms and conditions. General union GMB is set to ballot its 7,000 members employed there if this happens.

There are three main proposals. Reduce sick pay to three months' full wages followed by three months' half wages - half the current entitlement. Stop performance-related raises for three years, starting in the 2017-18 financial year. And add half an hour to the working week.

The council will also charge workers who are required to have regular criminal record checks 13 a year.

Council leader John Clancy said at budget consultation meetings he will "wave any placard and go on any demonstrations against government cuts to local authority financing". But he clearly will not take the lead and set a no-cuts budget. The GMB has rightly attacked Birmingham's Labour leaders for betraying their supposed principles.

This is a serious test for Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, as well as the pro-Corbyn group Momentum. Labour's leadership should be instructing council chiefs to propose no-cuts budgets.

If local authorities won't, Momentum should work with council unions and groups like the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. We need to kick the pro-austerity right wing out of Labour - or prepare to stand anti-austerity candidates against Blairite cutters at May's elections.

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 10 February 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight council cuts!

Tories bankrupting NHS

Defiant mood as junior doctors demonstrate

Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts

Cushy government job for Amazon boss

'Pro-rape' anti-feminist Roosh V humiliated

Liverpool fans walk out against ticket price hikes

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Mental health: system in crisis

Mental health: My battle for the help I needed


What we think

Cameron's EU renegotiation charade

Don't give money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!


Momentum, Labour and the Socialist Party

Lack of strategy and exclusions threaten Momentum

Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum

Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets

Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack

Cuts to premiums mean no 'rise' in store for Tesco workers

Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy

South London: Library workers strike to save services

Continued action in crane drivers' pay dispute

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Portsmouth: support for anti-austerity stand

Leeds meeting expresses Corbyn and McDonnell's contradictions

Socialist Party members inspired by conference

Torbay: "A tale of two towns"

Anger against plans to close Bradford libraries

NHS campaign gains support


International socialist news and analysis

Sanders' socialist message rattling the establishment

US elections: Clinton coins it

International news in brief


 

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Related links:

Council:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools

triangleLiverpool Council must save care homes

triangleExtend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!

triangleNottingham City Council: The (mis)adventures of Robin Hood Energy

Cuts:

triangleDover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class

triangleCovid-19 pandemic increases financial pressures on Welsh local government

triangleLincoln: Save Drill Hall

triangleDon't blame asylum seekers for Tory cuts

Labour:

triangleWhy we joined the Socialist Party

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: The Labour Party - what is its future?

triangleNon-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn

Birmingham:

triangleBlame politicians, not workers and young people

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The collapse of stalinism

Momentum:

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

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