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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2016
Fight council cuts!
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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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.
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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
The Socialist 10 February 2016 |
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