Thursday, 28 February 2013

Tide turning in Brighton but not in Bristol?

acknowledgements Paul Philo and Ben Duncan

Two significant motions were passed this evening (27/2/13) at a well attended EGM of
B and H Green party , Caroline and several councillors supported them 

*The Brighton and Hove Green Party wishes to make clear that under no
circumstances whatsoever will it agree with or support dismissing and
rehiring staff, who on the advice of their union negotiators, reject new
pay and conditions unilaterally imposed on staff by the Council management
side. The party therefore asks the Green Group to make it unequivocally
clear to the CE and other officers leading the negotiations on "Pay
Modernisation" that both the activation and/or the threat of the activation
to dismiss/rehire is completely unacceptable, and should this  nevertheless
proceed the party will publicly dissociate itself from such an action and
will actively campaign against it.*
*Proposed John Medhurst*
*Seconded Paul Philo*

From April 2013, the government is introducing a 'size criteria' which
will limit how many bedrooms a family in council or social housing will
receive benefit for - the so-called 'Bedroom Tax'.****

** **

If a household has more bedrooms than the Government says they need, their
Household Benefit will be reduced: a 14% reduction in benefit for one
'spare' bedroom and a 25% reduction if a household has two or more 'spare'

** **

This will affect an estimated 990 households living in accommodation owned
by Brighton and Hove Council: resulting in a total reduction in Housing
Benefit of some £750,000 a year.****

** **

These changes will force many households into real financial hardship, rent
arrears – and ultimately, for some, homelessness. Many who are able to
prevent these outcomes will be forced to move home, in some cases away from
the city.****

** **

At its meeting on February 18th, the Green Group agreed to support the
following statement:****

'*Overcrowding, forcing families apart and damaging community cohesion are
just some of the consequences of this unfair and dangerous ideology. Green
Party councillors around the country are fighting this measure and asking
Councils and Housing Associations to sign a pledge to protect their tenants
from some of the worst effects.*'  ****

** **

While the 'Bedroom Tax' has attracted much condemnation, a clear public
statement that no-one will suffer financial stress, homelessness, or be
forced to move from a Brighton and Hove Council home as a result of these
changes will help Brighton and Hove City Council realise the aspiration
contained in this statement.****

** **

It will protect many of the city's most vulnerable residents, in line with
the Green Party's manifesto pledges prior to the 2011 election.****

It will also enable Greens around the country to demonstrate to voters how
Green councillors are making a real difference to the lives of the least
well-off in our society.****

** **

The Green Party of Brighton and Hove therefore resolves to:****

** **

   1. Publicly condemn the 'Bedroom Tax' as an ideologically-driven attack
   on the least well-off in our society.****
   2. Request that the Convenor of the Green Group makes a clear public
   statement that no household will be evicted from a Brighton and Hove City
   Council owned home as a result of rent arrears accrued solely as a result
   of this cut to Housing Benefit.****
   3. Request that the Chair of the council's Housing Committee instructs
   officers accordingly.****
   4. Publicise this position, externally and in our own publications and

** **

Proposed by: Cllr Ben Duncan****

Seconded by: John Medhurst


The first budget by Bristol's first elected mayor will cut 325 jobs from Bristol City Council while raising council tax by 1.99%.
George Ferguson spoke of his "duty to set a legal budget while protecting the most vulnerable in society".
The council has to make savings of £35m - 9% of its budget.
Other threatened cuts to services were dropped including the proposed loss of night buses and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
Unions representing staff expressed anger at the plans. (see
Bruvver Blavkwood reports "Passed with the support of Gus and Tess (Green Party councillors) at yesterday's budget mtg:"

“Resisting Austerity in Europe and the UK” Saturday 16 March & “Young Disabled People, employed and empowered?”Saturday 6 April

SERTUC Public Services Committee & International Committee conference “Resisting Austerity in Europe and the UK” Saturday 16 March
  • first session: International crisis, international resistancewith Fernando Mauricio Head of CGT Portugal International Dept, Marina Prentoulis/Andrew Burgin Greece, Paul Murphy MEP Ireland.Chair Bernard Regan
  • second session: Austerity in Britain with John McInally PCS, Bill Greenshields People’s Charter, Duncan Weldon TUC, Sarah Veale TUC, Owen Jones journalist. Chair Megan Dobney
  • third session: How trade unions can fight austerity with Matt Wrack FBU, Joe Simpson POA, Max Hyde NUT, Paul Moffatt CWU, Gail Cartmail Unite, Unison, UK UnCut. Chair Martin Powell-Davies
Flyer, more details and registration: Joanne Adams 020 7467 1218 
SERTUC Disabled Workers Committee with SERTUC Young Members conference “Young Disabled People, employed and empowered?”Saturday 6 April: more information shortly 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

International Women's Day 2013, TUC Women's Conference, A future for families: A future that works - TUC pre-budget rally

International Women's Day 2013
Thu 07 Mar 2013
For International Women's Day 2013 the TUC will host an evening event to mark 'the struggle for Arab women's rights' and will look at and how trade unionists and consumers can help.  Guest speaker will be Jalila al-Salman, trade unionist and vice president of the Bahraini Teachers' Assoc...

TUC Women's Conference
Wed 13 Mar 2013 - Fri 15 Mar 2013
This conference is only open to nominated delegates from TUC affiliated unions.Women: Organise and Mobilise!The TUC Women’s Conference is a motions based conference which meets annually. A wide range of motions relating to issues of gender equality and women in the work...

A future for families: A future that works - TUC pre-budget rally
Wed 13 Mar 2013
As part of a Europe-wide week of trade union action on austerity, the TUC are holding a rally in Central London, calling on the Chancellor to make sure his Spring Budget delivers for Britain's hard pressed families and ordinary working people....

acknowledgements Paul Mackney

People's Assembly against Austerity backed by Green Party

 The Green Party pledged at its Spring Conference
to support the People's Assembly planned for June 22nd:
The Green Party notes with approval that 
he Coalition of Resistance (of which it is an affiliate),
 launched a call for a People’s Assembly Against Austerity 
on 5 February 2013, to be held on 22 June 2013. 

The aim of the People’s Assembly is  to bring together 
campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade
unionists in a movement for social justice to develop 
a strategy for resistance to mobilise millions of people 
against the Con Dem government. The Green Party agrees
 to send a delegation to the People’s Assembly and to
 encourage local parties, regional federations and other 
GP bodies (eg GPTU) to also send delegations and to 
support future local People’s Assemblies.

Acknowledgements to Martin Francis


College Green opposite House of Lords
Bring banners, placards, street theatre and more!
Andy Slaughter MP and Steve Pound MP will join the protest. 

On 5th March a Lord's committee will discuss secondary legislation that will mean virtually all NHS commissioning will have to be done through competitive markets

On 13th February 2013 the Government published the regulations (SI 257) under Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This Statutory Instrument (SI) will be going to the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee on 5th March; this Committee will then report to the House and the regulations would become law on 01 April.

Assurances were given by ministers during the passage of the Bill through Parliament that it did not mean the privatisation of the NHS, that local people would have the final say in who provided their NHS.

The regulations just published break these promises by creating requirements for virtually all commissioning done by the National Commissioning Board (NCB) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to be carried out through competitive markets, which will have the effect of forcing through privatisation regardless of the will of local people. They contain legal powers for Monitor to enforce the privatisation spontaneously or at the request of private companies that lost bids.

Sign the petition here:

More information including briefings and template letter here:

More information

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Trade Union presence on the St. Patrick's Day Parade in London on Sunday 17th March.

_Wz3EK&> Austin Harney posted in C R A I C

Fighting the cuts

  Dear All, 

There will be a Trade Union presence on the St. Patrick's Day Parade in London on Sunday 17th March. The occasion is to commemorate the 100 years since the "Dublin Lockout!" This event was an important epoch in the history of Trade Unionism in Ireland as the anniversary is being promoted by the Dublin Trades Union Council and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

 In addition, this event in London is in memory of all the Irish workers who immigrated to Britain for decades due to economic hardship and contributed, enormously, to the economy of this country. During their time here, the Irish workers will be greatly remembered for building the roads, bridges and houses as well as the nurses for their impeccable work in the National Health Service of which is now under attack.

 Please spread the word to other Trade Unions in London and ask them to bring their banners on the parade. 

We will assemble at Green Park from 11.00 am. The march starts at 12 noon and we will proceed to Trafalgar Square. If you have any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

 Kind regards, Austin Harney, 
South East Regional TUC. View Post on Facebook .

Thursday, 7 February 2013

No to Green / Tory cuts at Brighton & Hove City Council



No to Green / Tory cuts at Brighton &; Hove City CouncilShare on TwitterShare on Facebook

Posted: 29 Jan 2013
GMB members employed by Brighton & Hove City Council are facing massive cuts to their take-home pay following Green Party & Conservative plans to alter their terms and conditions.
At a meeting of Brighton’s Policy and Resources Committee on 24th January 2013, Green and Conservative Councillors forced through a measure* which authorised Council officers  to implement a ‘modernised pay and conditions package’. Labour Councillors voted against the proposals.
Council officers will now enter into negotiations with the recognised unions to seek cuts for allowances under part 3 of the NJC terms and conditions. These include measures such as overtime and shift allowances and could affect up to 75% of the Council’s workforce. In the event that agreement is not reached the Green / Conservative measures authorise officers to take ‘all necessary measures’ to implement the changes and e-mail correspondence** from the Green Party’s leader of the Council, Jason Kitkat, confirms that he will not rule out instructing officers to impose the changes by dismissing and re-engaging members of staff on new terms and conditions.
Mark Turner, Branch Secretary GMB Sussex Branch said:
‘These proposals could lead to cuts of up to £4000 per annum for low paid workers. This strategy that the Green and Conservative groups are embarking on is unprecedented in Brighton with the potential of dismissing staff and re-engaging them on revised terms and conditions. This has never been done within Brighton & Hove City Council or its predecessors.
To make matters worse, the leader of the Council has decided to delegate responsibility for delivering these changes to Council officers. This is shirking his responsibility and putting officers in the firing line to deliver his bad news. We would have expected this sort of behaviour some other political parties however the greens are now showing their true colours.’
If you want to show your support for our members who are facing cuts to their take home pay then you can sign our petition below. The petition may be published and / or presented to the Council / Councillors and all information submitted through the petition form will be utilised for this purpose.

Petition against cuts at Brighton & Hove City Council

For more information contact Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary on 07860 787973, Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser for Sussex on 07977518042 or Rob Macey GMB Senior Organiser for Legal, Political and Campaigns on 07710 618 908.
* A copy of the proposal agreed by Green and Conservatives Councillors at Brighton & Hove City Council can be downloaded below:

Pay Modernisation (88.2 KiB, 46 downloads)
** E-mail correspondence between Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary & Jason Kitkat, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council:

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Kingston Save Our Hospitals public meeting & march and demonstration

Kingston Save Our Hospitals public meeting
7pm Monday 4th February 2013
Clattern Room, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road KT1 2EE
With Helmut Heib (Lewisham Save Our A&E), Kevin O'Brien (St Helier Hospital Unison) and Gill George (London Keep Our NHS Public).

Save Our Hospitals march and demonstration

Saturday 16th February 2013
Assemble 12 noon @ Norbiton Station, Coombe Road West KT2 7AZ
Following the demonstration of 30,000 people last weekend, a Lewisham NHS campaigner will be appearing at the Save Our Hospitals meeting in Kingston on Monday.

Helmut Heib, from Save Lewisham A&E, will be speaking about the experience of building the biggest local hospital campaign for decades, and what the massive cuts announced this week for Lewisham A&E shows us about the future of our NHS.

The Save Our Hospitals public meeting has been called to build the resistance to government plans to close two maternity, two A&E and two children’s wards in South West London. The plans are part of a 24% cut to the local hospitals budget – and they mean worse treatment, longer ambulance travel times, less beds and, eventually, deaths.

Join the meeting on Monday evening and find out you can fight back against cuts to our health service – and get organised to build a massive demonstration in Kingston on Saturday 16th February to say HEALTH CUTS, NO WAY – OUR NHS IS HERE TO STAY!