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TUSC conference sets parameters for May election challenge

Posted: 15 February 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has decided that it will put up candidates in this year's local council elections - but not "against consistent public supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-austerity policies".

This was the outcome of the conference held on February 10th which, in a session under the heading 'Building support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the 2018 local elections', supported two resolutions encouraging candidates on a selective basis.

The successful resolution from the Socialist Party (see below), one of the constituent organisations of TUSC, welcomed the 2018 local elections as an opportunity to advance TUSC's "founding goal of building working class socialist political representation, but only if a careful approach is adopted that takes into account the surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn expressed in the 2017 general election".

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'To stand or not to stand' is the question at Saturday's TUSC conference

Posted: 7 February 2018

Saturday's conference of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will feature a keynote debate on the controversial issue of whether or not socialist anti-austerity candidates should stand in this year's local council elections.

The session under the heading, 'Building support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the 2018 local elections', will discuss two resolutions that have been submitted to the conference calling on TUSC to put up candidates - but not "against consistent public supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-austerity policies" (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/411.pdf).

The conference will be chaired by Jeremy Corbyn's old parliamentary backbench colleague, Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP (1983-1992), who is now the chairperson of TUSC. All TUSC supporters are welcome and there will be plenty of opportunity to join the debate.

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TUSC conference to discuss Brexit negotiations stance

Posted: 5 February 2018

The February 2018 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference includes a forum session entitled 'TUSC and the Brexit negotiations'.

Following extensive debate within our coalition, TUSC decided to campaign for a Leave vote in the June 2016 EU referendum. This included a '20-city tour' of public meetings under the heading, 'The Socialist Case Against the EU', and a campaign against the official recognition and public funding of the right-wing dominated Leave organisations.

Not every TUSC member or supporter backed a Leave position in the referendum. We had wide agreement on the neo-liberal and anti-working class character of many EU directives and regulations but this did not necessarily mean agreement on how to vote in a 'yes or no' referendum in the specific conditions in which it was held.

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Survey confirms right-wing councillors a block to Corbyn's anti-cuts message

Posted: 31 January 2018

Last autumn the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee launched a survey to find out how far local Labour councillors were prepared to back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the 2018-19 council budget-setting process and, in those councils going to the polls this year, in the 2018 local elections.

Now, as TUSC prepares for a conference debate on what it should do in May's elections (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/events), the survey results are in.

Not unexpectedly, but unfortunately, the survey shows that Labour-controlled councils, still under the domination of Blairite right-wing councillors, are continuing to make drastic cuts to local services, jobs and conditions even under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the national party - over half a billion pounds this year in the 21 councils where detailed information has been collected.

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Obituary: Mary Jackson, 1949-2018

Mary Jackson with Bob Crow, at the 2013 Doncaster mayor election launch

Mary Jackson with Bob Crow, at the 2013 Doncaster mayor election launch

Posted: 30 January 2018

Longstanding Doncaster socialist Mary Jackson has sadly died after a year-long battle against cancer. We send condolences to her husband of 50 years John, and their children Michael, Carol and Peter.

Mary became a socialist through her experiences in the 1984 miners' strike, when with her friend she would picket the local pit and got involved in Women Against Pit Closures.

Her other huge influence was reading Robert Tressell's classic novel The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists. Mary kept wishing this book was updated and finally decided to take that job on herself by writing The Great Money Trick, which explains how the workers are robbed by the bosses. Partly autobiographical, this is a wonderful glimpse into working class life in her village, Thorne, where she lived for 50 years.

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Representative for TUSC Individual Members elected to steering committee

Posted: 29 January 2018

Pete McLaren has been elected as an Individual Members' representative onto the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee for 2018.

TUSC is a coalition with a national steering committee comprised of representatives from its constituent organisations alongside leading trade unionists, sitting in a personal capacity.

Other individual members of TUSC, who are not members of a constituent organisation, also have two places on the committee, elected by individual members at the TUSC conference.

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Steering committee sets timetable for February TUSC conference

TUSC conference January 2017

TUSC conference January 2017

Posted: 28 November 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has agreed the agenda and timetable for the TUSC conference to be held in London on February 10th.

The main conference session will be under the heading, 'Building support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the 2018 local elections'.

Platform speakers from the constituent components of the TUSC steering committee, the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party, and the Individual Members' representatives, will introduce the discussion - which will include the controversial question of whether or not socialist anti-austerity candidates should stand in next year's council elections.

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TUSC questionnaire: building on Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity message

Posted: 27 September 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is conducting an autumn survey to find out how far local Labour councillors are preparing to back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in next year's council budget-setting process.

During the autumn local councils will start to draw up their 2018-2019 spending plans, which they will finally agree at budget-setting meetings in February or March next year. The autumn months will include public consultation events and initial discussions with the local council workers' trade unions.

This is certainly a time to bring into the debate the TUSC policy of 'No Cuts People's Budgets' - of councils using their reserves and borrowing powers to set budgets that don't pass on Tory cuts and using the breathing space provided to demand that central government makes up future shortfalls.

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Unite AGS tells Birmingham Labour councillors, 'stop acting like Tories' in bin dispute

Posted: 22 September 2017

The September 20th meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee sent its full solidarity to the Birmingham bin workers in their increasingly high-profile dispute with the Labour-led council over plans to end safety-critical jobs on its bins service and cut workers' wages.

The workers, members of the Labour-affiliated Unite the Union, recently voted by 92% to 8% to re-affirm their strike mandate. Subsequently the High Court ordered the council to withdraw its redundancy notices, pending a full hearing. Austerity can be beaten back from whatever quarter it comes from, including so-called Labour councillors who so obviously oppose Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts stance.

We carry below a video of the speech by Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett moving an emergency motion at the recent TUC conference, which was carried unanimously. If Labour councillors "act like Tories we should treat them like Tories", he said. Who could disagree?


TUSC launches 'How much reserves have councils got?' report in call for anti-cuts action

Councils reserves report

Councils reserves report

Posted: 6 August 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today launched a new report on the level of reserves held by Labour-led councils across Britain, arguing that "the substantial resources of the local state under the control of the Labour Party" could be used to start putting Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into action now, "without waiting for a change of government".

The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992 and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, said:

"One of the most outrageous aspects of the Grenfell fire disaster was the fact that Kensington & Chelsea council slashed safety standards to 'save' money while they were sitting on £274 million in usable reserves.

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With no mandate for Tory austerity there should be no more cuts budgets from Labour councils

Posted: 23 June 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, meeting this week for the first time since the election, has hailed the phenomenal support achieved for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies in the June 8th poll. That support, together with the increase he is receiving post-election, can propel him to victory in the next general election and mean an end to government-led austerity.

TUSC campaigns for another general election to be called as soon as possible. In the meantime, we believe that the level of support for Jeremy Corbyn's policies should be the signal for Labour-led councils to call an immediate halt to cuts to local public services.

The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992 and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, said:

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That was then, this is now - TUSC's 2017 election broadcast

Posted: 26 May 2017

In the May 2015 general election the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stood enough candidates to qualify for a party election broadcast, which was met with wide acclaim - certainly Sandy and Sandra from Gogglebox thought it was great! The four-minute broadcast can be viewed on the TUSC website at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcEMrCTVRdg. It's still worth watching two years on.

But of course things have changed since 2015. Jeremy Corbyn has put radical ideas like free education, opposing wars for oil, taxing the rich and public ownership back on the agenda. And TUSC is not standing candidates in the general election. But we've still done a broadcast! This time explaining why TUSC is fighting for a Corbyn-led government with socialist policies on June 8. Watch it by clicking below.

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TUSC explains general election stance on the BBC's Sunday Politics show

Posted: 14 May 2017

Following last week's decision by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee not to stand candidates in June's general election (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17366/11-05-2017/tusc-confirms-no-candidates-in-june-and-full-support-for-a-corbyn-led-government-with-socialist-policies), TUSC chair, Dave Nellist, was invited onto the BBC's Sunday Politics show for the Midlands region. Watch the full piece by clicking below.

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TUSC confirms no candidates in June and full support for a Corbyn-led government with socialist policies

TUSC chair Dave Nellist & Jeremy Corbyn, September 2016

TUSC chair Dave Nellist & Jeremy Corbyn, September 2016

Posted: 11 May 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee today confirmed that the left-wing alliance will not be standing candidates in the general election.

TUSC, co-founded by the late Bob Crow in 2010, was the sixth-biggest party on the ballot paper in May 2015, with its general election and council candidates polling 118,125 votes. This time, however, TUSC will be working all out to try and get Jeremy Corbyn into Number Ten on June 8th.

The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992 and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, said:

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The TUSC results from Thursday

Posted: 8 May 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stood 78 candidates across 24 local authorities in last Thursday's local council elections, as well as candidates for the mayor of Doncaster and the Liverpool City Region Metro-Mayor. Overall the TUSC candidates won a total of 15,407 votes.

A report of the campaign, with details of the full results of every TUSC candidate, has been prepared by the TUSC National Election Agent (see the draft report at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/400.pdf), and will be discussed at the TUSC national steering committee meeting this week.

When Theresa May made her surprise announcement of a general election in the middle of the local election campaign it was obvious that, whatever the TUSC candidates did, this would cut across the council contests.

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Vote TUSC on Thursday - send out a message for a 100% anti-austerity alternative

Posted: 3 May 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has 78 candidates standing in Thursday's local council elections, contesting seats across 24 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales.

TUSC is also standing in two of the mayoral elections taking place on May 4th, with the former Unison national executive member Roger Bannister contesting the new Liverpool City Region 'Metro-Mayor' position and NHS worker Steve Williams standing for the mayor of Doncaster. A full list of all the TUSC candidates can be found at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/398.pdf

The general election, called after the local elections were already under way, has obviously cut across the council contests. Driving the Tories out on June 8th and the election of a Corbyn-led Labour government will clearly create the best conditions to defend local public services. But every TUSC vote on Thursday will be an early declaration of support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies - policies that are being attacked relentlessly not just by the Tories but by Labour's right-wing Blairites too.

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Socialist Steve's message to the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce

Steve Williams, TUSC candidate

Steve Williams, TUSC candidate

Posted: 25 April 2017

Steve Williams, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate to become Doncaster's mayor, had to send his apologies to the Chamber of Commerce mayoral hustings at the Chamber's Business conference at the Legacy Centre on Friday 21 April.

Steve is not a politician. He works as a mental health nurse in the NHS. He was rostered to work on Friday and like most workers cannot take time off and so was unable to attend.

However, Steve took up the invite from the Chamber of Commerce to explain his policies for local businesses in a 350 word written statement, policies which TUSC believes would benefit the Doncaster economy, create jobs and raise wages, and stimulate small businesses in the local area. These include refusing to carry out the Tory government imposed cuts in council spending, implementing a £10 an hour minimum wage, a mass council house building programme and inviting small businesses to contribute to his People's Budget.

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TUSC chair Dave Nellist welcomes general election chance to drive out the Tories

TUSC chair, Dave Nellist

TUSC chair, Dave Nellist

Posted: 22 April 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chairperson, Dave Nellist, today welcomed the general election called for June 8th as a chance to drive out the Tory government and reverse their vicious austerity agenda.

Dave, a Labour MP from 1983-1992, urged his former backbench colleague Jeremy Corbyn to fight the election on clear socialist policies, pledging to support him in resisting the efforts of Blairite MPs to water down the anti-austerity platform which won Jeremy his Labour leadership victories.

"According to the annual Sunday Times Rich List survey the wealth of the thousand richest people in Britain has more than doubled since the Tories came to power in 2010", said Dave. "Levying capital gains tax even just on that increased wealth would alone bring in over £80 billion for extra public spending. Austerity is 'working' only for the rich and a new course is needed.

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TUSC backs RMT Save the Guards campaign, while local Labour party blocks debate

Posted: 14 April 2017

The RMT transport workers' union has made a direct appeal to Steve Rotheram MP, the Labour candidate in the Liverpool City Region 'Metro-Mayor' contest, to guarantee that there will be a second safety-critical crew member aboard every Merseyrail train if he wins the election on May 4th.

Pointing out that "the travelling public are behind our campaign" Mick Cash, the RMT general secretary, said that "now is the ideal moment for Steve to say he is with the disabled passengers, the women travelling alone, the elderly, the young - in fact all sections of the community that use the rail network, who overwhelmingly want a guard on every train" (RMT Press Release, 12th April).

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Metro-Mayor candidate Roger Bannister, a former member of the UNISON national executive council, today welcomed the RMT's call. "Merseyside TUSC has been pursuing Steve Rotheram ever since he was selected as Labour's candidate last Autumn to find out where he stood on the RMT's Save Our Guards campaign", Roger said. "Now, with just three weeks to go to polling day, as the RMT puts it, he really must say which side he is on".

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'Socialist Steve' making an impact in Doncaster mayoral campaign

Doncaster Care UK workers demonstration, 2014

Doncaster Care UK workers demonstration, 2014

Posted: 11 April 2017

It's been a great first week for Steve Williams' Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaign for the mayor of Doncaster. Steve won the drawing of lots so his election address will appear first in the mayoral booklet that will be posted out to all 220,000 voters. He is currently in the lead in the on-line poll being run by the Doncaster Free Press.

More importantly, Steve is winning support on the ground. The local RMT rail union branch is strongly backing TUSC, and TUSC backed the Northern Rail guards on their strike picket line on Saturday before petitioning in the town centre to Keep Guards on Trains.

As chair of the Doncaster District & Bassetlaw UNISON health branch, Steve has the backing of Care UK workers who three years ago took 90 days strike action against pay cuts and the privatisation of the NHS (see picture above). Now the Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group has announced more rationing of routine operations and procedures, and this is before the 'Sustainability and Transformation Plans' (STP) cuts are implemented.

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