One in ten council seats will have a TUSC candidate in May, with trade unionists leading the way
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee met on Wednesday to discuss the latest progress report on the TUSC local elections challenge.
A further 91 applications to stand under the TUSC umbrella were approved, taking the total to 440 TUSC candidates - over one in ten of all the council seats up for election in May.
A full list of the candidates so far, broken down into regions and including the applications agreed on Wednesday, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/292.pdf.
There are now three councils, Coventry, Bristol and Portsmouth, where every seat up for election will have a TUSC candidate. In a further nine councils at least half of the wards will have a TUSC candidate and in fifteen more, a third of the wards. In 76 of the 160 councils with elections in May there will be a TUSC challenge.
Another impressive feature reported on was the number of leading trade unionists, at national, regional and branch level, who have come forward as TUSC candidates.
This naturally includes many members of the RMT transport workers' union, which is officially represented on the TUSC steering committee. Fourteen members of the Finsbury Park RMT branch have agreed to stand and there are nine RMT members standing in Portsmouth. RMT candidates include former council of executive members, a regional organiser, regional council officers, and numerous branch officers and reps.
Other trade union candidates include national executive members from the PCS civil servants union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the Prison Officers Association (POA), and the Labour-affiliated UNISON and Transport Salaried Staff Association (TSSA) unions.
There are 109 UNITE union members standing, 19 Communication Workers' Union (CWU) members, including four branch officers, a Fire Brigades Union (FBU) regional secretary, and five branch officers of the University and College Union (UCU).
Could you join the TUSC challenge to the establishment parties and their austerity consensus? In the next week or so councils will be issuing the official 'notice of election', which triggers the formal election period. The official nomination papers have to be handed in by Thursday 24th April (see the TUSC guide to election procedures at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/283.pdf ). But that means there is time to come forward as a candidate even now.
To apply to be a TUSC local election candidate complete the council candidate authorisation application form available on the Candidates page of the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php and e-mail it to Clive Heemskerk, the TUSC National Election Agent, at email@example.com