Posted: 22 February 2016
Today's Guardian carried a letter from Dave Nellist, the chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and 27 leading trade unionists at national executive level, calling on the Electoral Commission not to give public resources to Tory and UKIP EU campaigners in the forthcoming EU referendum.
The text of the letter is printed below along with the list of signatories, which include two national union presidents and two national vice-presidents.
TUSC will be arguing for a leave vote in the referendum on June 23rd. We stand on the tradition of the late Bob Crow, the RMT transport workers' union leader, one of the co-founders of TUSC in 2010, who was well known for his support for international workers' solidarity while opposing the EU as an agency of anti-worker and pro-austerity policies.
Posted: 16 February 2016
The Sheffield No-Cuts People's Budget conference held on Saturday 13th February met against the backdrop of proposals from the Labour-controlled city council to make 400 redundancies and ¬£28 million in service cuts at its budget-setting meeting on March 4th.
The conference, initiated by the PCS civil servants' union Sheffield Town Committee, was supported by the local Trades Council, GMB union and People's Assembly as well as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and was attended by 45 activists from several trade unions and campaigns.
Marion Lloyd (PCS), a Sheffield resident and member of the union's national executive committee, opened the meeting by explaining that the Tory government was moving the Northern Powerhouse to London by closing her BIS (Business, Innovation and Skills) office, costing 250 jobs, on top of 500 jobs going with the closure of the city's tax office.
Posted: 8 February 2016
In early January the UNITE union's National Industrial Sector Committee for Local Government workers agreed a significant resolution calling on Labour-controlled councils to no longer meekly pass on the Tories cuts to local government funding.
Instead, the motion argued, by using reserves and councils' borrowing powers, they should set legal no cuts budgets to buy time to build a mass campaign to force the Tories to retreat and properly fund local government.
Now the Local Government Service Group Executive (SGE) of UNISON, the union representing the majority of local government workers, has made a similar call (see below for the full text).
Posted: 4 February 2016
By Clive Heemskerk, TUSC National Election Agent
The EU referendum campaign is now officially under way. Although the actual date has still to be announced the main rules for how the referendum will be conducted have passed through parliament - including plans to potentially give millions of pounds of public money to Tory and UKIP EU campaigners.
Under the rules the Electoral Commission, an unelected quango, has been given the power to choose who shall be the 'official' Remain and Leave campaigns in the referendum.
Posted: 21 January 2016
The TUSC national steering committee met this week and agreed a timetable and procedures to approve candidates for the English local council elections taking place on Thursday May 5th. It also agreed a Guide for TUSC Candidates and Agents, available as a downloadable PDF at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/359.pdf
The steering committee recognises that the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader on an anti-austerity platform has changed the political situation compared to the first five years of TUSC's existence and that this effects how our coalition will approach the May polls.
Although the big majority of Labour councillors did not support Jeremy for leader, TUSC's local election platform, Build on Jeremy Corbyn's Anti-Austerity Call - A Councillors' Revolt Could Stop the Tory cuts! (see http://tusc.org.uk/policy.php) is clear that "TUSC will work with any Labour councillor who backs the call to refuse to implement the cuts". There will not be TUSC candidates standing against councillors who vote against cuts in the council chamber.
Posted: 21 January 2016
Ex-Coventry MP Dave Nellist, the chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, today appealed to the Labour leader to meet up and seriously discuss how to resist the new round of cuts being made by local councils.
The appeal was made after TUSC decided not to contest a forthcoming council by-election in Coventry's Lower Stoke ward, even though socialist councillors have been elected in the city in the past, including Dave himself.
Dave explained: "When the council by-election was announced early in the new year we were immediately approached by trade unionists and community activists in Lower Stoke asking us if we were going to stand.
Posted: 14 January 2016
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is meeting on 23rd January under the heading, 'Preparing the 100% anti-austerity and socialist challenge for the Scottish elections'.
Keynote speakers at the opening session include Sean Hoyle, the newly-elected national president of the RMT transport workers' union, and PCS civil servants union vice president Cheryl Gedling (personal capacity).
Scottish TUSC conference - Saturday 23rd January
At the Renfield-St Stephens Centre, Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP
Registration opens at 12.30pm
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.
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