TUSC Against Cuts
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition says:
No to Cuts and Privatisation!
Make the Bosses Pay!
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Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Bulletin No.28

Monday 9 January 2012

Income inequality in America worse than in Ancient Rome http://thkpr.gs/uox4lh and the planet's biggest military spender is... no prizes for guessing who: http://econ.st/sHW4Zo

TUSC election conference

Saturday 28 January 2012, 11:00am – 4:00pm, University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY: http://www.ulu.co.uk/content/622693/contact_us/

This is a conference open to all supporters of TUSC, candidates and agents, and those still considering whether to stand in the local elections on 3 May 2012. The conference will be divided into two sections:

How can local councillors fight the cuts?

To answer the many questions that are continually raised around this issue and as an introduction to the draft policy platform

Organising an election campaign

To give some guidance to the prospective candidates and/or their agents

Please let us know if you are planning to come by sending an email to: tuscbulletin@yahoo.co.uk

If you have already selected where you are going to stand candidates please let us know, or do so when you decide, so that we can build a national picture of our electoral challenge.

The conference will also debate and vote on the draft policy document set out below:

Draft policy platform:

Stand up to the Con-Dem government - For councillors who refuse to implement the cuts!

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Steering Committee has agreed a draft policy platform, outlined below, to contest the local council elections that will take place in May 2012, in 158 councils in England and all councils in Wales. There are also local elections in 2012 for all councils in Scotland, and TUSC supporters there are discussing a similar platform.

The local elections policy platform, to be discussed at a conference of TUSC supporters in January, will be the basis on which any prospective council candidate who wishes to can stand under the TUSC name in May’s elections.

This policy platform is a supplement to the core policy statement that TUSC candidates endorsed when they stood in the general election in May 2010, which still stands as the basic policy position of the TUSC coalition (see Policies on the TUSC website).

An application form for the legally necessary ‘Certificate of Authorisation’ to stand as a TUSC candidate is available on the website (see Candidates).

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition policy platform for the 2012 local elections in England and Wales:

Oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions – we reject the claim that ‘some cuts’ are necessary to our services.

Reject increases in council tax, rent and service charges to compensate for government cuts.

Vote against the privatisation of council jobs and services, or the transfer of council services to ‘social enterprises’ or ‘arms-length’ management organisations, which are first steps to privatisation.

Use all the legal powers available to councils, including powers to refer local NHS decisions, initiate referenda and organise public commissions and consultations, to oppose both the cuts and government policies which centrally impose the transfer of public services to private bodies.

When faced with government cuts to council funding, councils should refuse to implement the cuts. We will support councils which in the first instance use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid passing them on – while arguing that the best way to mobilise the mass campaign that is necessary to defeat the cuts is to set a budget that meets the needs of the local community and demands that the government makes up the shortfall.

Can you help the campaign to stand candidates on the list section of the GLA elections in May 2012? If you live or work in London, make sure you sign the petition supporting the call for TUSC anti-cuts candidates: http://www.tusc.org.uk/supportGLA.php Download copies of the open letter and petition and take them round your workplace to get signatures. http://www.tusc.org.uk/GLALetter.php

Independent Socialist Network meeting: Saturday 14 January 2012, 12 noon. 2 Langley Lane, Vauxhall, London SW8 1GB. For independent socialists who are not members of existing socialist groups. http://www.independentsocialistnetwork.org/ £5 Registration fee and pooled fare.

For more information contact indsocnet@yahoo.co.ukor phone Will McMahon: 020 8525 6616 or Nick Wrack: 07812 063 409. Follow @TUSCIndependent on twitter.

From the unions

Labour 'not speaking' for workers
Mark Serwotka speaking to Hardtalk's Stephen Sackur explains why they won't be contributing a single penny to the Labour: http://bbc.in/yNJG8Z

Unite unanimously rejects NHS pensions offer and teachers are not happy either

The government’s latest proposals on NHS pension ‘reform’ - the ‘Heads of Agreement’ document – have been unanimously rejected by Unite, the largest union in the country. Unite’s health sector national industrial committee (HSNIC) rejected the ‘Heads of Agreement’ as a basis for a satisfactory outcome. http://bit.ly/A2Uys1. The NUT challenges the Coalition offer: http://bit.ly/A1DJnO and NASUWT is also opposed to the proposed settlement: http://bit.ly/xXyR0A

Thousands protest over tax dodgers

More than 31,000 people have written to Revenue and Customs to demand that big businesses are chased for all the tax they owe. The action has been co-ordinated by the 38 Degrees online campaign group. http://bit.ly/wcj5at

Fire crews warn delaying response to automatic fire alarms will leave 170 fires a year to spread

Devon and Somerset fire crews warn that delaying sending fire crews to attend automatic fire alarms in business premises will leave 170 fires to spread every year. The Fire Brigades Union says this is gambling with lives, businesses and jobs and is a ‘cut too far’ http://bit.ly/ygUSBD

Unilever – further pension protest announced

Unilever Workers to stage Demonstration on Tuesday 10th Jan at 12:00 noon outside Unilever’s head office (100 Victoria Embankment EC4Y 0DY) over Closure of Final Salary Pension Fund http://bit.ly/zf9OeB

BMA considering industrial action over pensions

Doctors and medical students are being urged to complete a survey on whether the government’s final offer on the NHS pension scheme is acceptable and, if not, what action they would be prepared to take. A formal ballot on industrial action could follow. http://bit.ly/zlu6Xg

Support Greek trade unionists who face prison on Tuesday

More than 12 members of the power workers' union GENOP/DEI, including the President, were arrested in November for protesting against part of the Greek austerity measures - the cutting off of power to people unable to pay a new property tax, levied regardless of income or wealth and added to all electricity bills They could be jailed for up to five years. Send in your messages of support .http://bit.ly/wwpbRZ

Information burst

Labour Councillor resigns over cuts

A councillor in Barking, east London, has been expelled from the Labour Party—for refusing to vote for cuts. Mayesbrook councillor George Barratt resigned from the Labour group on the council, publicly saying he couldn’t support its £20 million cuts package. Read more here: http://bit.ly/zpqMNp

Government wastes £31bn on 'rip off' contracts: More than £31 billion has been wasted by government departments in the past two years because civil servants lack the skills to negotiate better contracts with the private sector : http://tgr.ph/wVZbrb

Publication: Homelessness – A Silent Killer
Homeless people in
England die 30 years younger than the national average, research from the charity Crisis has suggested. The report 'Homelessness: a silent killer’ found an average homeless person has a life expectancy of 47, compared with 77 for the rest of the population. For PDF copy of the Crisis report see the link: http://bit.ly/sJ6n7e

Total unpaid overtime worked is equivalent to a million extra jobs
The two billion hours of unpaid overtime worked last year would be enough to create over a million extra full-time jobs:
http://bit.ly/wlvGLc

96 murders since Stephen Lawrence's
The convictions of Gary Dobson and David Norris will be bitter-sweet vindication for the family of Stephen Lawrence who have fought an 18-year campaign for justice:
http://bit.ly/xDIYYr

Events

Pension lobby of Unison Health & Local Government Service Group Executives

10 January - Unison national office on Euston Rd, London, 12pm.

Construction Electricians Protests

11 January 7am-11am ManchesterTown Hall and 6.45am - Blackfriars train station, London.

Lobby of Parliament to oppose the Welfare Reform Bill & benefit caps

11 Jan 2012:Vigil & lobby of the Lords & MPs to oppose the Welfare Reform Bill & benefit caps. Opposite Parliament http://bit.ly/ygg0wz

Pension lobby of TUC General Council, Congress House, Gt Russell St, 12 January - London, 12pm.

Demonstration and Protest over Liverpool City Council Budget Cuts

Called by Liverpool Trades Council for Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 4:00pm until 8:00pm.

Fuel Poverty Action calls for support on the last weekend of January (27– 30)

People are being asked to come out of their cold homes and into the warm offices of the Big Six Energy : E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern, Centrica (British Gas), and Npower - and to warm-up at the town halls and housing associations, which are putting profit and cuts before people’s welfare http://bit.ly/yeGMF7

TUSC information
You can find out more about
TUSC at: http://www.tusc.org.uk/index.php

To donate to TUSC go here: http://www.tusc.org.uk/donate.php

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TUSC aims to bring trade unionists, socialists and anti-cuts campaigners together to stand candidates at elections who are committed to representing working-class interests. Resistance to the cuts is vital, but we also need a political alternative to the policies of cuts and privatisation. TUSC believes that a new working-class party is needed that campaigns for a democratic socialist society run in the interests of the millions not the millionaires.

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