Posts Tagged ‘Trade union’

Crowds outside town hall
Large crowds gathered outside Lambeth Town Hall last night (Nov 20th) to lobby the full council meeting happening inside. Despite torrential rain and bitter cold, residents, teachers, students, campaigners and trade unionists converged on the steps of the town hall in protest at a number of decisions being made that have may have dramatic effects on the local area. (more…)

Lambeth Save Our Services is proud to support the following demonstration

UCU poster

You can download this poster in .pdf form here

Its now 2 days before what is set to be one of the largest strikes in British history – millions of public sector workers will be refusing to work on Wednesday as part of a campaign to reverse huge planned Government cuts to public sector pensions.

However it is obvious to most people that while on paper the dispute is over pensions, a big issue that unites most public sector workers, in reality it is about much more than that. It is a movement against a Government that is dismantling the welfare state, closing and privatising vital services, a movement against unemployment and “austerity”, and a movement against the huge inequality in our society where a small minority are thousands of times richer than everyone else and whose reckless greed brings about global recession.

Locally in Lambeth there is lots going on, but we need your help. Here are 3 things everyone should do before Wednesday

  1. Know the facts – Read up on some pension stats (see below). “Gold plated” public sector pensions is a myth publicised by a wealthy minority.The average public sector pension is £7,800, which, combined with the state pension would leave these people hovering around the poverty line.
  2. Talk to friends and family, especially those who work in the public sector – Almost everyone will know someone who might be striking on Wednesday. Teachers, Nurses, Healthcare assistants, Librarians, Job Centre staff, Local government staff, Social workers and many more will work in workplaces that are closed or on strike. Ask them are they in a trade union? Will they be on strike? Why? What will they be doing on the day. We need the strike to be as strong as possible if we want to win the campaign.
  3. Make a plan for Wednesday. If you are in a union on strike then join with your colleagues and ideally hold a picket line at work. You should do this to encourage other workers to join you – talk to your union rep if unsure of what to do. If you are not in a union but others in your workplace are  then avoid going into work by refusing to cross a picket line. Strikers are sacrificing an entire days pay to demand better conditions for everyone. Crossing a picket line is incredibly selfish and against the greater good. If you are not on strike then try to go to a local pick line (details for Lambeth coming very soon here) and show support.

Remember: The longer the picket line, the shorter the strike!

The pensions dispute in numbers
£7,000 —
the average (so-called “gold plated”) public sector pension
£24,000 —
MPs’ pension
£137 billion—
amount by which the 1,000 richest people in Britain increased their wealth from 2009-2011
£157 billion—
current budget deficit
£95 billion—
size of the cuts proposed over the course of this government
97%—
amount of private sector bosses with access to a company-backed pension scheme
33%—
amount of private sector workers with access to a scheme
£175,000 —
average pension for a boss at one of the country’s 350 richest companies

Some more stats at the guardian

 

Last night the Lambeth scrutiny committee met in the town hall, along with a rowdy crowd of protestors, to discuss the decision to privatise the call centre in Lambeth to Capita. The 10 year, 10 million deal includes up to a hundred redundancies for the existing well trained staff, unless of course they want to continue the work in the “pretty waterfront” town of Southampton where the deal is being outsourced to.

The deal was “called-in” for scrutiny by Labour’s Vassel ward councillor Kingsley Abrams, the only councillor to raise any opposition to the February budget. The big issues are:

  • Staff have never had a genuine chance to even prepare a bid from inside the council to compete with “the market”. The opaque “consultation” has never given staff the opportunity to match Capita’s 16% saving proposal. Gung-ho privatisation at its worst from a Labour council. Local knowledge is vital to the quality of the service – hard to do from Southampton.
  • The Equality Impact Assessment has some glaringly obvious mistakes and bad references in it and is shoddy at best. The impact on black and minority ethnic workers will be obviously dis-proportionate and the “mitigating factors” in the proposal lack anywhere near enough concrete details.
  • The decision clearly goes against the council’s priority of reducing worklessness in the borough.

Even though the discussion in the meeting showed promise, and big issues with the proposal were identified, cowardly councillors refused to refer the issue back to the Cabinet. An awful decision in our opinion.

We best thing to take from the meeting is the lesson from the Libraries dispute– when the council let you down (and they will) you have to join a union, build a campaign and stand together to defend vital local jobs and services. (more…)

The Save Libraries protest outside Brixton Library, Feb 2011

Strike action planned to close all Lambeth Council’s libraries on Friday 22 July will not now be going ahead as the council management conceded that there will be no compulsory redundancies in an offer put to the union today.

The latest management offer will be put to all UNISON members in Libraries at a joint shop meeting on Monday. No deal can be made before it is discussed and agreed by members in Libraries and you can not rule out industrial action to protect the service, but management’s offer represents a significant victory as it protects both jobs and many frontline services.

This is a tribute to the unity and determination of trade union members in the libraries, who were ready to strike to defend the library service and protect their jobs. This is a lesson to every other worker – in Lambeth Council and elsewhere – that to look after your interests you have to be prepared to take industrial action.

Last night around 300 protesters lobbied Lambeth Councillors to vote against the Labour group budget. When security and police refused to allow members of the public into the galleries and overflow rooms a fight broke out in the council lobby and protestors stormed the council chamber.

(more…)

 

Contact – Jon Rogers 07957505571

Anti-cuts campaigners call for mass lobby of Lambeth Council as it considers £37 Million cuts package

A packed planning meeting of local anti-cuts campaigners on Wednesday 2nd Feb called upon the people of Lambeth to rally at the Town Hall on Monday evening, 7 February, as the Council considers a £37 Million package of cuts which will cost 600 jobs, including all School Crossing Patrol staff and all Parks Rangers.

“Local people must demand that this Labour Council does not make these cuts,”said local resident Andy Tullis, “we need to be there on Monday night to make sure our views are heard.”

Representatives of local trade unions, pensioners and tenants were joined at the meeting by students and anti-cuts protesters from UK Uncut. Organisers are predicting a large turnout at the lobby of the Council on Monday night.

ENDS

Notes

  1. Lambeth Save Our Services is a local umbrella organisation opposing cuts in public services, supported by the local branches of the UNISON, GMB and NUT unions, by Lambeth Tenants Council and Lambeth Pensioners Action Group. For more information see http://lambethsaveourservices.org/.
  2. The lobby on Monday 5 February will commence from 6pm outside Lambeth Town Hall. Protesters will be dressed as School Crossing Patrol staff (“lollipop ladies”) as one of the Council proposals is to sack all their School Crossing Patrol workers.
  3. Details of Lambeth’s Cuts proposals are included in papers going to the Cabinet meeting available online at http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/Consultations/BudgetConsultation.htm