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Posted on 4 December 2019 at 12:06 GMT

Social workers lobby Hull City Council

Mick Whale, president, Hull trade union council

About 150 social workers lobbied Hull City Council on 21 November. They were campaigning for a more reasonable workload and an end to bullying by management.

While the numbers of looked after children in Hull has grown to a staggering 863, the council's children's services have been heavily criticised by Ofsted - the government's inspectors.

Nine years of austerity has wreaked havoc on the poorest and most vulnerable in Hull, while Tory austerity cuts of more than 120 million since 2010 has cut support services to the bone.

However, while blaming the Tories for austerity, the Labour council has not fought the cuts and the crisis in children's social care is the result.

The Labour council should be looking to link up with the social workers and other council workers who have been under the cosh, to campaign for more resources to lift the pressure on council workers rather than wringing their hands and acting as a conduit for Tory cuts.

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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.
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  • 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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