Posted: 12 January 2016
What can councils do in the face of government cuts to funding for local public services? Actually, they could do a lot to throw back the Tories' austerity agenda - if councillors had the determination to fight.
A new briefing pack has been produced by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) drawing together notes, documents, transcripts of speeches, etc of four cases where rebel councillors showed how it would be possible for councils to fight back and not implement the Tory cuts.
Under the title, Preparing a No Cuts People's Budget, the 43-page pack is available as a downloadable PDF at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/355.pdf
Posted: 7 January 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Tower Hamlets is hosting a joint meeting with the Tower Hamlets Independent Group, the main opposition group on Tower Hamlets council, to draw up plans for an anti-cuts People's Budget for the East London borough.
The meeting is at 7pm on Thursday 14 January at the Alpha Grove Community Centre, Alpha Grove, E14 8LH (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17155/17-12-2015/tower-hamlets-peoples-budget-meeting).
A PDF of the joint leaflet produced by TUSC and the Tower Hamlets Independent Group can be downloaded at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/352.pdf
Posted: 6 January 2016
The Southampton People's Budget takes place on Saturday 9 January, 2pm
The Meon Suite, James Matthews Building, Guildhall Square, Southampton, SO14 7NN
All welcome, Full Access
Sean Hoyle, RMT National President
Posted: 5 January 2016
Published below is an appeal from Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis, member of British Medical Association (BMA) Junior Doctors Committee National Executive:
"Junior Doctors across England will be commencing industrial action on Tuesday 12 January. We are opposing this government's attempt to impose an unsafe new contract on the medical profession.
"It is our view that the proposed contract represents an existential danger to the NHS as an institution.
Posted: 11 December 2015
Southampton Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have launched a consultation for a People's Budget for the city, in contrast to the new round of cuts being proposed by the Labour-led council.
A questionnaire has been produced (click http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/351.pdf) for community groups, local trade unions and Southampton residents generally to say what they would like the council to do to improve life in the city.
Respondents are also asked whether they would support Southampton Labour council refusing to carry out further cuts; whether they think the council should use its reserves and borrowing powers to protect jobs and services; and whether they would actively support a campaign to restore government funding to Southampton.
Posted: 4 December 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chairperson, Dave Nellist, a former Labour backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn in the 1980s, was interviewed on Radio Four's The World Tonight programme about the repercussions of the vote by 66 Labour MPs to support airstrikes in Syria.
Dave responded to the charge that pro-war MPs have been 'bullied' for their position by opposing all personal abuse but making the clear case for the right to deselect Labour MPs, and the need for other far-reaching changes in the Labour Party, for it to carry out Jeremy Corbyn's anti-war and anti-austerity policies.
The interview, broadcast on December 3rd, can be heard by clicking below.
Posted: 30 November 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Fleetwood Town councillor Simon Roberts has been leading the opposition to plans by the Labour-led Lancashire County Council to make further devastating cuts to local public services.
A local paper picked up Simon's support for a protest at the county council's next full meeting on December 17, reporting that the £65 million cuts include "the removal of bus subsidies, funding for the Knott End ferry and Fleetwood Museum, among many others".
In total, it went on, "the latest cuts will cost the equivalent of 367 full-time jobs and include closing 40 libraries, withdrawing funding from five museums, axing of £7.5m bus service subsidies, £2.8m reductions in the highways budget and a major shake-up in the way the council delivers its remaining services and the closure and sale of many council buildings".
Posted: 26 November 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has responded to the Comprehensive Public Spending Review by calling on Labour-controlled councils to come together and resist George Osborne's latest cuts to vital local public services.
Dave Nellist, a former Labour backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn who is now the chair of TUSC, said:
"If Osborne can be forced into a U-turn on his tax credit cuts by the House of Lords he can be made to retreat on his new draconian cuts to local council funding. But it will need a determined fight by Labour councillors".
Posted: 19 November 2015
Leicester is facing severe cuts to its fire services - with the city's Labour councillors accepting the cuts without a fight. The directly-elected Labour Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, sits alongside a Tory as vice-chair of the local fire authority which is pushing these cuts through.
A sham 'consultation' exercise is currently being carried out to axe fire services by £1.5 million a year. In concrete terms, this represents a one-third reduction in firefighters and the closure of two local fire stations: Leicester Central, the busiest fire station in the city, and Kibworth, which serves a more rural and isolated population.
Response times would be at least doubled and with the fire service unable to provide an effective emergency response in the case of a large fire, lives will ultimately be lost if these cuts go through.
Posted: 19 November 2015
After the recent decision of the Scottish government to restore the right to strike to Scottish Prison Officers, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has received an appeal from the Prison Officers Association (POA) national executive committee member Michael Rolfe to step up the campaign for the same right to be returned to prison staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
TUSC's core policies, the platform on which we fielded candidates at the May general election, included explicit support for action to "reinstate full trade union rights to prison officers" including, of course, the right to strike (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy ).
Michael writes: "Please could you post the following to your page so that people can sign the petition?
Posted: 11 November 2015
Southampton council meets on 18 November in the next round of council budget consultations. Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporters will be lobbying the council to defend jobs and services and back Jeremy Corbyn's call to stop cuts.
Services currently under threat include six libraries in the city. Just £250,000 would keep them open and protect librarians' jobs. NHS walk-in services in Bitterne have recently closed, despite a five-year long TUSC campaign. Just £120,000 would fund the nursing staff to re-open services there.
While these essential services suffer, Southampton council has found £2 million to complete its corporate arts centre project, now home to a new Nandos restaurant.
Posted: 29 October 2015
Lincoln Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) made the local media headlines this week when they condemned the city's Tory MP, Karl McCartney, for opposing the abolition of a 5% VAT charge on sanitary products.
The Tory MP, having previously voted to cut the top rate of income tax and corporation tax, was challenged to explain "why he voted to maintain the 5% tax on essential sanitary products, but is happy to vote to cut taxes for big businesses and the wealthiest people in our society".
The full story in the Lincolnshire Echo can be found at http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/Karl-McCartney-criticised-voting-proposals-change/story-28071204-detail/story.html
Posted: 21 October 2015
The call from Warrington TUSC councillor Kevin Bennett for the town's Labour-controlled council to back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity stance and vote against new cuts to council services has picked up positive coverage in the local media.
Kevin, described as Warrington's 'rebel councillor', points out that he was the only councillor in Warrington who endorsed Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership.
He is then quoted as saying "TUSC believes that in the new situation opened up by Jeremy Corbyn's victory, there really is no reason why Labour councils should not combine together and refuse to implement the Tories' brutal austerity agenda.
Posted: 8 October 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition National Election Agent Clive Heemskerk introduces the debate at the September 26th TUSC conference on TUSC's core policies for the 2016 local elections, and outlines the vital role TUSC can play, building on Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership victory, in helping to organise the resistance to the new round of local council cuts that are coming.
Posted: 8 October 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today announced that it would officially register as an exit campaigner in the forthcoming referendum on EU membership.
TUSC, which stood the sixth largest number of candidates in May's general election (after the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Greens), was co-founded by the late Bob Crow, the RMT transport workers' union leader who was well known for his opposition to the EU as an agency of anti-worker and pro-austerity policies.
Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP who is now the chair of TUSC, said:
Posted: 2 October 2015
The president of the RMT transport workers' union, Peter Pinkney, addresses the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference in September 2015.
Posted: 1 October 2015
Last Saturday saw over 200 people assemble in London for the autumn Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference.
The opening session on the role of TUSC in the new situation was introduced by platform speakers from the main constituent organisations of TUSC, headed up by an address from the president of the RMT transport workers' union, Peter Pinkney.
Other sessions agreed TUSC's core policies for the 2016 local elections (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17112/09-09-2015/the-tusc-2016-local-elections-draft-policy-platform) and, in a separate debate, that TUSC would campaign against EU membership in the forthcoming referendum, while guaranteeing the right of TUSC participating organisations, members and candidates to present an alternative position.
Posted: 25 September 2015
Saturday 26 September, 11am to 4.30pm
Student Central, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY
Chaired by the TUSC national chair and former socialist Labour MP, Dave Nellist
Posted: 12 September 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chairperson Dave Nellist has warmly welcomed Jeremy Corbyn's decisive victory in the Labour leadership contest.
Speaking shortly after the result was announced at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in London, Dave Nellist, a former Labour MP who served in the Commons alongside Jeremy Corbyn in the 1980s, said:
"Jeremy's clear victory will now give a voice to the depth of anti-austerity feeling in Britain. He has clearly inspired huge numbers, particularly young people, with his call for free education, public ownership of rail and energy, and for councils to stand together in opposition to government cuts.
Posted: 15 September 2015
Sky News interviewed Dave Nellist, chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on 13 September 2015 the day after socialist Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in a landslide victory for socialist ideas. Sky wanted to know what TUSC's reaction was.
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