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.
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.
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".
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.
Posted: 10 April 2017
There are 78 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates standing in the local elections taking place on May 4th, contesting elections across 24 local authorities.
In Wales there are 22 council candidates standing this time, contesting seats in five local authorities. In England there are 37 candidates, standing across 13 councils. In addition, TUSC is fielding candidates for the mayor of Doncaster and the new directly-elected mayor of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (the 'Metro-Mayor').
Scottish TUSC, which organises autonomously, is standing 19 candidates, contesting seats across six councils. For further information about the campaign in Scotland e-mail email@example.com or call 07889-135-533.
Posted: 1 April 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is on the ballot paper for the inaugural election of the Liverpool City Region directly-elected Mayor (the 'Metro-Mayor').
Roger Bannister, a member of the UNISON national executive council from the formation of the public services' union in 1993 until his retirement this February, will represent TUSC's anti-austerity socialist message in the May 4th contest.
Roger was a Labour Party member from 1970 until his expulsion in 1986 for his role in the struggle of the Liverpool Labour council against Margaret Thatcher's government. He stood as the TUSC candidate for the Mayor of Liverpool council in May 2016, polling 4,950 votes (5.1%), coming in ahead of the Tories in Britain's eighth biggest city.
Posted: 1 April 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is pleased to announce that Steve Williams will be standing as the TUSC candidate for Doncaster Mayor in the May elections.
Steve is the chair of the Doncaster District & Bassetlaw UNISON health branch, with a decades-long record of fighting for the NHS.
Steve says: "I've worked in the NHS for 27 years as a mental health nurse. I see first hand the devastating effects of the cuts on the most vulnerable in society.
Posted: 27 March 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee met on March 22nd to discuss candidates for the local council elections taking place in May.
Twenty-two candidate applications were approved to contest seats across five local authorities in Wales, and 42 candidates - across eleven councils - in England. Details can be found at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/397.pdf.
Scottish TUSC, organising autonomously, has approved 19 candidates to date, fighting seats in six councils. For further details of the campaign in Scotland e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07889-135-533.
Posted: 6 March 2017
Scottish TUSC activists gathered in Glasgow on February 25th to discuss plans for a 100% anti-austerity, socialist election challenge in May's Scottish local council elections.
A draft manifesto for the elections had been discussed by Scottish TUSC's constituent organisations, the RMT transport workers' union, Socialist Party Scotland, and the Socialist Workers Party, and was agreed by the conference (see below).
The conference heard from a number of trade union speakers from the frontline in the battle against austerity. Dave Semple, a member of the PCS union's DWP Group Executive Committee, speaking in a personal capacity, explained the union's campaign against the mass closures of DWP and HMRC offices and sites. Dave will be a TUSC candidate in Glasgow.
Posted: 1 March 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today added its support to an appeal to Jeremy Corbyn by socialist members of the Irish parliament (Teachta√≠ D√°la - TDs) to use the Brexit negotiations as an opportunity for an international anti-austerity campaign.
The TDs, members of the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit (AAA-PBP) group in the Irish parliament (D√°il √Čireann), had written to Jeremy Corbyn earlier this year.
They suggested that a proposed European conference hosted by the Labour leader should be used to discuss how to "promote the case for a fundamental recasting of European relationships, encompassing your stated opposition to EU-driven neo-liberalism and austerity and your support for public ownership" (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/396.pdf for the full text).
Posted: 28 February 2017
A well-attended Campaign for a Sheffield Peoples Budget public meeting on Monday sent a clear message to Sheffield's Labour council ahead of their budget setting meeting on Friday 3 March: 'Labour council, grow a backbone. Stand up to Tory cuts!'
Around 40 local trade unionists and community campaigners heard speeches from Clare Goonan (PCS union, Save Eastern Avenue Job Centre); Julie Marsland and Stella Garnham (Unison, Save Hurlfield View); Tim Jones (Sheffield Mental Health Action Group); Chris Rust (trees campaigner); Pete Davies (GMB union at Veolia and Amey); and Neil Carbutt (Fire Brigades Union).
They all explained the effects of Tory government imposed austerity cuts on the most vulnerable people in Sheffield, but were also scathing about the Labour council passing on these cuts without any resistance.
Posted: 27 February 2017
Last week it was revealed that the right-wing Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland had spent ¬£282,000 to pay for a pro-Leave newspaper cover-wrap advert in June's EU referendum - for papers distributed, not in Northern Ireland, but in London and elsewhere in Britain.
This apparently bizarre move seems to have been an attempt by wealthy individuals to intervene in the EU debate while keeping their anonymity - by exploiting the fact that, unlike elsewhere in the UK, political parties in Northern Ireland can receive large donations (of more than ¬£7,500) without details being published by the Electoral Commission.
Under pressure the DUP are now claiming that the money came from the 'Constitutional Research Council', headed by the businessman and former vice-chair of the Scottish Tories, Richard Cook. But not before BBC journalists got it into their heads that TUSC were the mystery funders of the DUP!
Posted: 25 February 2017
The RMT transport workers' union is stepping up its campaign to save the safety critical role of train guards on Britain's railways, the issue that lies behind the long-running dispute on Southern Rail. But it's not just Southern that is putting railway safety at risk.
The Northern Rail franchise awarded last year to the Arriva train operating company includes plans to switch some routes to Driver Only Operation (DOO). And now the RMT is in dispute with Merseyrail, after its failure to provide assurances about the train guards' role when it introduces new rolling stock on the network.
The RMT general secretary Mick Cash has made the union's position on DOO "perfectly clear" to Merseyrail (RMT press release, 2nd February). "We will not agree to any extensions of DOO and will fight to retain the safety critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train", he said. On March 7th the RMT will be staging a 9-30am protest in Derby Square, Liverpool to take its campaign to the public.
Posted: 21 February 2017
Last week's meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee approved the first batch of candidates to contest the local elections taking place on Thursday May 4th.
The February 15th meeting was the first steering committee since the TUSC conference in January, which set the parameters for TUSC electoral challenges this year (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17332/05-02-2017/tusc-conference-debates-election-plans-and-anti-cuts-campaigning).
In line with these parameters, none of the TUSC candidates approved at the February 15th meeting are contesting seats in which the Labour candidate came out in support of Jeremy Corbyn in last year's Labour leadership contest.
Posted: 17 February 2017
Leicester City UNISON branch has become the latest local government trade union body to present an alternative No Cuts Budget proposal to its local council.
Like other council union branches that have taken the same stance (see for example http://www.tusc.org.uk/17325/10-01-2017/carmarthenshire-unison-shows-the-way-on-fighting-council-cuts), the report submitted by Leicester UNISON is based on the strategy that the council should use its reserves and borrowing powers to refuse to make cuts today in order to allow it to build support for a campaign to reverse the national cuts to local authority funding.
"In proposing this 'no cuts' budget", they write, "we acknowledge that this would be a one-off budget that could not be repeated in three years' time". But jobs and services could be protected now, buying time to build support for a campaign, including linking with other Labour-controlled councils.
Posted: 17 February 2017
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is meeting in Glasgow on Saturday 25th February to discuss plans for a 100% anti-austerity, socialist election challenge in May's Scottish local council elections.
Scottish TUSC has written to trade unions, left/socialist organisations, and anti-cuts campaigns seeking to build a coordinated election challenge for this year's council elections. With both the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Scottish Labour acting as delivery mechanisms for Tory austerity, the space for a genuine anti-austerity alternative in Scotland is growing.
The February 25th conference to discuss the elections will hear from leading trade unioinsts in the forefront of fighting cuts in local government as well as speakers from TUSC's core participant organisations: the RMT transport workers' union, Socialist Party Scotland and the Socialist Workers Party.
Posted: 12 February 2017
TUSC's campaign for Labour councillors to refuse to implement the Tories' austerity agenda got an unexpected boost last week with a favourable mention in an article by Matthew Turner on The Independent's website.
Matthew was responding to the revelations of how the government had brought off the opposition to its cuts from Surrey county council (see http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/pmqs-labour-councils-sweetheart-deal-surrey-theresa-may-austerity-a7571156.html).
TUSC has pioneered the idea in its electoral campaigns that councils can use their borrowing powers and reserves to set legal no cuts budgets as a first step to building a mass campaign to force the Tories to retreat and properly fund local government.
Posted: 5 February 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) met in conference last Saturday to discuss its plans for 2017. The main session was a forum under the heading, 'TUSC's role now and the 2017 elections', exploring how TUSC should operate in the welcome new political situation opened up by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party.
This included the question of whether or not TUSC should stand candidates in the local elections taking place this May, with platform speakers from the three constituent organisations of TUSC - the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party, and the SWP.
Reports of this debate have appeared in The Socialist, at http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/24360/01-02-2017/tusc-to-stand-or-not-to-stand and in Socialist Worker, at https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44016/TUSC+tackles+the+elephant+in+the+room. A resolution was agreed by the conference (see text below), which will now go to the TUSC national steering committee meeting on February 15th.
Posted: 23 January 2017
The TUSC national steering committee has published detailed guides to the elections taking place on Thursday May 4th, including a timetable and procedures to approve any TUSC candidates there may be in these contests.
There are elections this year for all the 32 Scottish councils, the 22 councils in Wales, and 33 English county councils and unitary authorities. At the same time there will be Mayoral elections for the new combined authorities' so-called 'Metro-Mayors', in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, Teesside, the West of England, and the West Midlands.
As usual TUSC has produced a directory of these elections, listing the councils being contested and their current political control, the number of councillors up for election and, in a new feature, a list of the 210 Labour councillors who publically joined the coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn last summer who are up for re-election this year! The directory is available on our website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/392.pdf.
Posted: 23 January 2017
Pete McLaren has been elected as an Individual Members' representative onto the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee.
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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