Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Regional Anti-Cuts Conference – 31 March – hosted by Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance

Regional Anti-Cuts Conference – 31 March – hosted by Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance
Posted on March 10, 2012 by SACA
Regional Conference hosted by Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance
31st  March at Burngreave Vestry Hall
9.30 – 4.30

Programme to include:

Plenary session with Wendy Savage (tbc)  on Save our NHS;

Alan Gibbons (Campaign for the Book);

Chris Walker (Pitsmoor CAB) on the Welfare Reform Bill

workshop sessions on –
· Community Campaigns
· Culture – music, libraries, museums, theatre
· Welfare, disability, unemployment
· Trade Unions, political links, representation.
· How can Councils resist the cuts
· Housing crisis – Housing Emergency campaign
· Education – academies, abolition of EMA, tuition fees – student/ staff action
· NHS – Kill the Bill, local & national campaigns

Plenary session on the
alternatives –

Climate Change Jobs; unpaid tax & tax avoidance; Occupy movement;
TUC the People’s Charter

All Welcome
£5.00 waged; no charge unwaged/low income
Tea/ coffee provided; cheap & cheerful food midday


If you would like to be added to the SACA mailing list (low traffic, announcements only), please send a blank email with header 'please add me to the mailing list' to:Email Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance
In addition, this email address can be used for any questions or queries, or press enquiries.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Update from the Greek hospital under workers' control

Not sure when this statement was released but I think it gives an insight into the horrendous situation in Greece, and the resistance. I look forward to hearing more about Romayne's trip (Peter Allen)
Update from the Greek hospital under workers' control
Update from the Greek hospital under workers' control
The health workers who have occupied a hospital in Greece and placed it under workers control have issued a new statement regarding the occupation.
The following statement has been made by the health workers occupying the hospital.
Hello all,
Thank you so much for your interest and support.
The occupation of our hospital in Kilkis by its workers started on Monday, February 20th, 8:30 local time.
This occupation is not only about us, the physicians and the workers at the Kilkis Hospital. Neither is it only about the Greek National Health System, which is collapsing, indeed. We are in this fight because what is in real danger now is the human rights and our lives. And this threat is not against just a nation, or against a few countries, or a few social groups, but against the low and middle classes in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, in the whole world.
Today’s Greece, is tomorrow’s picture of Portugal, Spain, Italy and the rest of the countries worldwide.
The workers at the Kilkis Hospital and at most of the hospitals and health centers in Greece are not paid on time and some of them see their salaries being cut down to practically zero. A fellow-worker of mine was transferred to our cardiological clinic almost in shock, when he realized that instead of receiving the usual check of 800 euros (yes, that is his monthly salary) from the state, he received a note saying that not only he will be paid nothing for this month, but he is also has the obligation to return 170 euros! Other workers were paid only 9 (nine) or 4 euros and even less for this month! Those of us who still receive some kind of a salary will support them in any way we can.
This is a war against the people, against the whole community. Those who say that the public debt of Greece is the debt of the Greek people are lying. It is not the people’s debt. It was created by the governments in collaboration with the bankers in order to enslave people.
The loans to Greece are not used for salaries, pensions and public care. It is exactly the opposite: salaries, pensions and care are used to pay the bankers. They are lying. Contrary to what they declare, they do not want a debt-free society.
They create the debts themselves (with the help of corrupt governments and politicians) for their own benefit. They gave Greece a banker as prime minister to ensure that the “job” will be done properly. Our Prime Minister Loukas Papadimos was not elected at all. He was appointed by the ECB and the bankers with the help of European and Greek corrupt politicians. This is their interpretation of the term “democracy”!
The debts are created by bankers who create money out of thin air and collect interest, just because our governments gave them the right to do so. And they keep saying that for those debts it is you and me and our children and grandchildren that will have to pay with our personal and national assets, with our lives. We do not owe them anything. On the contrary, they owe the people a great part of the fortunes they made thanks to the political corruption.
If we do not open our eyes to this truth, we will soon all become slaves, working for 200 or less a month. That is those of us who will be able to find a job!
No medical care, no pensions, homeless and starving, as now is the case with my fellow citizens in Greece. Thousands of them live outdoors and starve.
We have no intention to paint the reality with dark colors, but this is the truth. This situation is not due to a financial or monetary accident or mistake. It is the start of the ugly phase of a long process following a carefully designed plan, a process that has started decades ago! We have to fight together against this neoliberal plan. And this is what we, in Kilkis and in so many cities around the world, do now.
For the time being, we are not considering the opening of a donations account. We might, however need to do this in a few months or even weeks, if the situation might be worse. What we currently need most of all is moral support and publicity. Local struggles all around the world have to spread and gain massive support if we are to win the war against the corrupt system. If you can think of any additional ways to spread our news and ideas, it would be great!
Again, we can’t thank you enough for your kind thoughts and words. This solidarity of yours has a great meaning to us.
You can contact us at the following mail address:
Leta Zotaki,
Director of the radiological department, of Kilkis Hospital
Member of the workers general assembly,
President of E.N.I.K. (Union of the Doctors of Greek National Health Care System in Kilkis)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

UCU London Retired Members Branch

Annual General Meeting
The AGM of the London Retired Members' branch will take place on
April 19th 2pm-4pm

Meetings take place in the union office in Carlow Street NW1 7LH, nearest tube Mornington Crescent.
All retired academic staff are welcome (as well as those about to retire). If you have items for the agenda, or wish to be put on the mailing list please inform the secretary.

or write to 53 Fladgate Road London E11 1LX

Elections will take place at the AGM for Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and
Committee.If you wish to stand for any of these posts, please inform the secretary.
Nominations will be accepted on the day. There will also be a discussion of the forthcoming UCU Congress and we will elect our delegate.

If you know of any retired academics who you think might be interested, bring them along. UCU office

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

NZ Lockout dispute: GPTU Statement

Talleys/AFFCO: End the lockout!

Talley's/AFFCO has locked out 1,000 meat workers in an attempt to force them and their union, the New Zealand Meat Workers' Union, to accept changes to their collective agreement - changes which will make it easy for the company to impose individual contracts on workers and thereby to set wages unilaterally. Changes which will eventually destroy the Core Collective Agreement now applicable to AFFCO's 8 plants in New Zealand's Northern Island.

Tell AFFCO and its parent company Talley's to lift the lockout and return to the negotiating table!

STATEMENT FROM Romayne Phoenix, Green Party TU group 13/3/2010 

The actions of AFFCO in locking out workers in order to force changes to their collective agreement are indefensible. This vindictive attack on your workers is all the more reprehensible as it occurred while mediation was in progress. I urge you to immediately return to genuine negotiations with the NZ Meat Workers Union and end your assault on working conditions and workers rights.

Romayne Phoenix
Green Party TU group

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

My fourth Lib Dem leaflet of the Dollis Hill by election

I got my fourth Lib Dem leaflet of the Dollis Hill by election today. The LD’s seem to throwing a shed load of money at this rather obscure little political competition, They also seem to be becoming strangely modest about who they are and what they want voters to do.

I did not, at first, recognise it as as a Lib Dem leaflet. It was A4 single fold. One side has the slogan: "Who Can you Trust to STOP THE CUTS?" twice in a very large bold font coloured black and red. Inside are quotes from & pix of Ed Balls and Milliband plus quotes from Union leaders Bob Crow & Dave Prentice criticising Labour cuts.

No mention in the leaflet of who to vote for if not Labour, nor any prominent indication of who it is from. On closer examination I found in tiny font (c2pt) a declaration that this was printed on behalf of "A.Hopkins (Liberal Democrats)" which was concealed by being printed along the fold in the page.

This verges on a dirty trick Lib Dem bid for disillusioned Labour voters, whilst totally omitting any mention of Lib Dem involvement in coalition government cuts. I can at least say, as Green Party candidate in the Dollis Hill by-election, and Secretary of the Green Party Trade Union Group that the Green Party nationally opposes cuts and supports Trade Union Opposition to them through its affiliation to the Coalition of Resistance and its support for the creation of at least one million jobs to build the infrastructure that the country needs for a low carbon economy that can help to combat climate change.

What can the LD’s say? That they are part of a coalition imposing swingeing cuts to public services and initiating privatisation programs that are making ordinary people pay for a crisis of international finance? That is the truth. So, no wonder they don’t wish to acknowledge it by pushing leaflets through voters’ doors that seem almost ashamed to ask people to vote Lib Dem

Monday, 5 March 2012

The 35 MPs who opposed the pensions robbery


2 March 2012
PCS is publishing the names of 35 MPs who opposed the theft of thousands of pounds from pensioners in public and private sector schemes in a parliamentary vote yesterday.
The politicians were debating the switching of the measure used to upgrade pensions from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the usually lower Consumer Price Index (RPI).
The move – which has been imposed by the government and many private sector employers – will cost pensioners about £15,000 over an average retirement.
The debate was sparked by a petition against the change which was drawn up by PCS member Jim Singer, and has been signed by more than 110,000 people.
Opponents of the pension robbery were defeated by 232 votes to 33 – after the Labour Party told its MPs to abstain.
Under parliamentary rules two MPs who opposed the switch had to act as tellers – which means they count the votes but can’t vote themselves.
So in total 35 MPs backed Jim’s petition. They were – by political party:
Naomi Long
Democratic UnionistNigel Dodds, Ian Paisley, Sammy Wilson
Caroline Lucas
Denis MacShane
Graham Allen , Katy Clark, Michael Connarty, Jeremy Corbyn (teller), David Crausby, Frank Doran, Jim Dowd, George Howarth, Mark Lazarowicz, John Mann, John McDonnell, Alan Meale, Madeleine Moon, Grahame Morris (teller), Albert Owen, Teresa Pearce, Dennis Skinner, Derek Twigg, Joan Walley, David Winnick
Liberal Democrat
Bob Russell
Plaid Cymru
Jonathan Edwards,  Elfyn Llwyd, Hywel Williams
Scottish Nationalist
Mike Weir, Pete Wishart
Social Democratic and LabourMark Durkan, Alasdair McDonnell, Margaret Mitchie.
PCS – which is not affiliated to any political party – will be balloting members in June on whether the union should support candidates who agree with the organisation’s policies at future elections.
Following yesterday’s debate there has been discussion about the political representation of working people in the UK parliament on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Forum on Austerity and Resistance Sunday 11 March the Right to Work campaign open forum on unemployment and the ‘lost generation’

Dear Friend, Forum on Austerity and Resistance

On Sunday 11 March the Right to Work campaign will be hosting an open forum on unemployment and the ‘lost generation’ as part of our AGM.

 Confirmed speakers so far include
 Owen Jones author of Chavs
Tony Kearns CWU Deputy General Secretary
Zita Holbourne BARAC and PCS
Sean Vernell UCU National Executive
 John McDonnell MP
 Dannie Grufferty NUS Vice- President Society and Citizenship
Plus speakers from DPAC and others.

 As a member of the Right to Work steering committee we hope you will be attending the “Austerity and Resistance” event organised on 11 March. The event aims to carry forward the work the campaign has undertaken over the last year, challenging attacks on the unemployed and disabled people, uniting the anti-cuts fight with strike action by trade unionists and hounding the Tory wreckers.

 It would be great to see you on the day and we’d encourage you to play an active role in proceedings. Right to Work Forum on Austerity and Resistance 12-4pm Canterbury and Hughes Parry Halls 12-26 Cartwright Gardens London WC1H You can register online now at:


 Please publicise the event within your organisation and let us know if you are able to bring a delegation. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. In solidarity,

 Sam James National Chair - Right to Work 07961 337640

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Crisis in the Eurozone, Crisis in the UK: Coalition of Resistance Plenary at Green Party Conference, Spring 2012

Introduction by Romayne Phoenix (CoR Chair, Green Left, GPTU) James Meadway, Senior Spokesperson, New Economics Foundation Maeve McDaid, President of Liverpool Guild of Students Chris Baugh PCS Questions and discussion