Monday, 28 January 2013

Jean Lambert statement on TU rights

Martin Francis via 

Speaking after an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the European Trade 
Union Confederation (ETUC), Ms Lambert criticised David Cameron’s position
that the EU should be all about promoting the interests of big business
rather than people.

She said: “Giving working people the freedom to live and ply their trade
anywhere in the EU, safe in the knowledge that their workplace rights are
the same across the union, and will be upheld, is a cornerstone of what the
EU's all about.

"But David Cameron wants to repatriate workers' rights: by branding them as
a a 'burden on business' he wants to see a race to the bottom in which
every EU nation makes up its own rules on workers' rights - and standards
for everyone fall as a result.

"Greens and trade unionists have a very different vision: one in which the
EU is based on a shared, robust, set of core standards on such matters as
protecting the health and safety of workers, rights for part-time and
agency workers, time spent at work, and so on.

"I'm delighted to be at this ETUC conference in Madrid today, along with
hundreds who want to see moves towards a more equal Europe and investment
in creating new jobs for a sustainable future, rather than pushing

Sunday, 27 January 2013


Green Left met last week and discussed the Councillors against Cuts initiative, which we warmly welcomed. Please record our support for it. We also resolved to send a letter to Green Councillors, which is pasted bellow for your information
Peter Allen
on behalf of Green Left
Dear  Green Councillor
The Green Party has a clear position, unlike other significant political parties, of fighting against the cuts that are being imposed on public services and local communities by this right wing CONDEM Coalition. We in the Green Party recognise the absolute unfairness of the current situation and the untold misery these cuts will being onto ordinary people we represent.

The hope of many of us, that the UK could be at the fore front of the fight against increasing climate change and that we could use our positions on local authorities to promote affirmative action has also been a casualty, in the main because of the cuts.

As Green Party members we recognise in general that those with vested interests are upholding the interests of big business. Promoters of unfairness and climate damagers can only really be challenged by building a movement for environmental and social justice, especially at a time of capitalist crisis.

The attacks on local government jobs and services need to be taken board by all of us in the Green Party.The situation is rapidly approaching a point where any hoped for reforms that we wish to see in our local communities are not going to happen and, in fact, real damage will take place unless we can build a movement to defend local government.

Many Greens have been calling for a campaign to be built involving progressive people including good people in the Labour Party and we should all welcome the Councillors Against the Cuts initiative.
The Councillors Against the Cuts statement is calling for unity and says that:Most of us are Labour councillors and our campaign is sponsored by the Labour Representation Committee, but we are open to all left and labour movement councillors willing to pledge to vote against/refuse to implement cuts.
Whether you are a councillor, local government worker, other trade unionist, anti-cuts campaigner, community activist or Labour Party activist – get involved!

As fellow Green Party members, we would urge you to join the Councillors Against the Cuts growing campaign – already a number of Labour Councillors have done so and we in the Green Party need to join their ranks, with the aim to build a movement of local Councillors who can work together to protect jobs and services in our local communities.

Please contact us further, if you would like further information – but please do join!


Green Left

Friday, 25 January 2013

News from Darren Johnson AM: Mayor should scrap 7p council tax cut to save fire stations

21 JANUARY 2013

The London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) has today voted against a consultation which included proposals to close fire stations and remove fire appliances. The plans had proposed the closure of 12 fire stations and redundancy for 400 fire fighters and 100 civilian staff.
Darren Johnson AM said:
"I am delighted that the proposed closures have been rejected by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority today. The Mayor must now decide whether or not he is happy to ignore the will of the Authority and push these dangerous cuts through. A far better solution would be for the Mayor to scrap his proposed 7p a week cut in the average council tax cut and use the savings to halt these closures before they start."
Notes to editors
1) Darren Johnson AM is available for comment.
2) The Mayor is planning a council tax cut worth 7p per week to the average Band D resident. We estimate the lost income over the next two years from cutting council tax to be in the order of £46m compared to a freeze, or £87m compared to increasing the precept by 2%. However, this is based on the assumption that the Mayor seeks to reduce the precept in even steps in the years leading up to 2016-17, in order to cut council tax by 10% by the end of his term of office.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Campaign Against Climate Change Meeting 26/1/2013 Manchester

Campaign Against Climate Change Meeting 26/1/2013 12 noon Manchester Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street. This is about 10 minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly Rail Station. A map and directions can be found here.

GPTU members urged to attend

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Motion to TUC disabled workers conference

Acknowledgements to Martin Francis
-----Original Message-----

Sent: 09 January 2013 14:58
To: Darren Johnson
Subject: TUC disabled workers conference

Dear Darren

Happy New Year!

Are you in a union or do you know anyone who is in a union? If so please could you ask your union rep if this motion can be put forward to go to the TUC disabled workers conference which is being held in May. The deadline for motions is 20th February but unions are deciding which one to put forward now.

I hope you can help.

Thank you very much

01895 443056

Motion to TUC disabled workers conference
Conference notes that only a handful of Members of Parliament have a declared disability. If Parliament was to represent the population of the UK there would be 65 disabled MPs.
The requirement to work full time to be an MP is a barrier to many people, including carers and women. It also prevents disabled people who are unable to work full time from standing for Parliament.
Conference notes:
*    the campaign being run by Disability Politics UK to change the law to allow MPs to job share.
*    the Representation of the People (Members' Job Share) Bill presented to Parliament on 20th November 2012 by John McDonnell MP.
*    the e-petition which has been started:
*    the legal advice obtained by the Equality and Human Rights Committee - on Disability Politics UK website - which advised there was a reasonable prospect of success if the Electoral Commission was judicially reviewed.
Conference agrees to:
*    Support the campaign to change the law to allow MPs to job share.
*    Ask union members to sign the e-petition in support of the law change
*    Ask all TUC member Trade Unions for financial support for a test case of judicial review.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Defend the Halesowen 4 PLUS GPTU Statement

Defend the Halesowen 4

A  lobby outside Halesowen College on Monday morning 7th January in support of the Halesowen 4 was supported by around 100 UCU members and others. After a branch meeting and a campaign group meeting on Tuesday 8th, the following action was agreed:
  • Branch passed motion of no confidence in senior management ability to support students or staff
  • Branch passed motion calling for national day of action in branches Friday 18th January and national protest Halesowen Sat 26th Jan
  • Branch endorsed call for ballot for strike action and action short of a strike, which kicks of process of ballot now going out to members
In addition the campaign also agreed to organise a lobby for 12.45Thursday 24 Jan for Dave Muritu’s appeal hearing.
Below is an extract from Dave’s dismissal letter which will gives a sense of the seriousness with which every lecturer should view the grounds given by the college for his dismissal and which should send a shiver down any teacher’s spine:
‘As a result, I have no alternative but to terminate your employment. The reason is not gross misconduct, because you have not committed one individual act of misconduct, nor is it individual under-performance because your lesson observations have shown you to be a “Good” lecturer in the classroom. The reason is some other substantial reason arising from the consistent failure to carry out the fundamental part of your job as lecturer which is to ensure that students fulfill their potential and achieve their expected levels of attanment’
Mary Higgins, Director of Planning and Students, 20 December 2012)

We now have to throw ourselves into building solidarity with Dave and his colleagues (whose hearings took place on Monday). 
i. make sure the college is flooded with letters of protest and the branch with messages of support:
ii.  organise a solidarity protest on Friday 18th January. For example, a protest at the college entrance with members holding big letters and placards, a protest meeting, inviting someone from Halesowen if possible.
iii. make plans now for getting members and branch banners to Halesowen for the protest outside the college Open Day on Saturday 26th January.
There is an online petition at calling for Dave to be reinstated which has already received over 1,000 signatures. Please take a few minutes to add your name and UCU branch support now.
Please make sure you and your branch send messages of support to Dave and the other victimised UCU members and write letters of protest to the college Principal. This case, where staff are being attacked and sacked on the basis of predicted exam results and erroneous statistics, has implications for anyone working in FE and HE.
Messages to Dave and the branch:
The Principal’s email is


GASLAND: & Discussion led by Derek Wall, International Co-ordinator of the Green Party of England & Wales.

Sunday 13th January 2013
at the Renoir Cinema, 
Brunswick Square, 
London WC1N 1AW 
(Nearest tube:Russell

10.30 am for 11 am.

Josh Fox, USA 2010 (PG) 107min

“Fracking,” mining shale gas by injecting water, sand and
chemicals into rocks far below the ground could meet the 
UK’s energy needs for 100 years but conservationists 
condemn it. This documentary investigates environmental 
concerns of climate change and the risks to human health 
of “fracking” in north America. The Co-operative Group 
supports this film in campaigning for a moratorium on the 
development of shale gas and “fracking” in the UK.

Oscar Nominated 2011, Sundance Special Jury Award 2010.

Discussion led by Derek Wall, International Co-ordinator 
of the Green Party of England & Wales.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Demo by sacked Wembley Rail workers

acknowledgements to Matin Francis and the RMT