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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2010

Unison general secretary election: Nominate Roger Bannister

Roger Bannister, photo Paul Mattsson

Roger Bannister, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The outcome of a BBC survey shows that at least 25,000 council jobs are at risk. A spokesperson from the London School of Economics has declared that: "Nothing like this has happened for a generation". They added that council job losses could soar to 100,000.

Unison members will be asking which candidates in the current general secretary election have a clear strategy to fight these massive cuts.

Socialist Party member Roger Bannister, who is seeking nominations to stand, says that local government members should be mobilised now, with a clear message to local authorities and all the main political parties that their union intends to resist these cuts.

He believes that it is crucial to move now to send a message out that whoever wins the general election will face nothing but opposition to these draconian cuts to jobs and services.

Cut to the bone

There is a lot of talk about maintaining 'frontline' services and reducing the 'back office'. But with years of cuts (3% savings year on year) back-room services have already been reduced to the bone and frontline services cannot function without workers in the back.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis responded to these cuts by saying that: "big job losses could cause social disharmony." And that: "We will not allow our members to pay the price" (of bailing out the banks). But there is no clear plan as to what he is going to do about these attacks.

The current leadership of Unison gave no effective opposition to the employers when 'single status' (which was supposed to increase the pay of many women) led to women workers suffering pay cuts. Unison are still bogged down in legal battles over this. Socialist Party members warned of the pitfalls of single status before it was implemented.

The one-day strike over pensions by local government workers in 2006 was the biggest strike since 1926. If Unison had taken that strike action further, Unison members would not be paying more for their pensions now. Unison only put up half a fight and now we see more attacks on public sector pensions.

Unison members who want a democratic fighting union should back the nomination of Roger Bannister for general secretary at their union branch meetings. He believes Unison should not fund the Labour Party which is committed to implementing massive public sector 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.
  • 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 3 March 2010:

Fighting for jobs, services and conditions

PCS: All Out to Defend Jobs and Services

Stop council cuts


Youth fight for jobs

Invest in jobs, education & Training

Cut the working hours, not the jobs!

Portsmouth students and workers unite to fight cuts

Brighton students say: Save our nursery

EMA inadequacy impacts badly on students


International socialist news and analysis

Building action across Europe

Greece - millions take part in general strike

Spain: Thousands join mass demonstrations


Socialist Party news and analysis

The fairytale world of RBS

Nationalise the energy giants

Activists launch socialist challenge

Walsgrave hospital Coventry: Stop the parking charges rip-off

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Where is the BA cabin crew dispute going?

Smash the bosses' construction blacklist!

Leeds lecturers win concessions - but cuts remain to be fought

Workplace news: In brief


Unison

Unison general secretary election: Nominate Roger Bannister

Legal ruling exposes hypocrisy of Unison leadership


The Socialist Interview

FBU general secretary speaks to The Socialist


Socialist Party women

Women will be at the fore in the fightback!


Media

Global media monster News International condemned

The hounding of Tommy Sheridan

Savage cuts planned at the Beeb


Football

Supporters should own Pompey, not developers


Socialist Party feature

The worldwide thievery of big business


 

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Related links:

Roger Bannister:

triangleI joined the Socialist Party to fight back

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: The danger of the far right

triangleCharity workers' strike

triangleChester Socialist Party: After the election - which way for socialists?

triangleUnison's retired members reflect growing anger

Unison:

triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleTower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

triangleTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

triangleElectricians pay victory

Election:

triangleUCU: election victory for combative rank and file

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The US presidential election

triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

Pensions:

triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

triangleTory think tank proposes attack on pensions

Pay:

triangleSocialist Party & Unison NEC member Hugo Pierre (centre), alongside others, taking part in the 8 August health workers' protests for a 15% pay increase. Photo Sarah SE

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