Protest at the Tory Party Conference

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Victoria Sq, Birmingham | 29 September| 11.00am

Ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, join thousands of ordinary workers as we march to call time on failed austerity and instead to campaign for a new deal for working people.

Our message could not be clearer. There is an alternative:

  • We need a minimum wage of £10 an hour, now.
  • Ban those exploitative zero hours contracts.
  • Fund our NHS and public services properly.
  • Repeal the trade union act which makes it harder for us to stand up for working people.
  • Crack down on tax dodgers who starve our schools and hospitals of funding.

Together – we can build a growing economy for the many not the few. Together – we can nurture a society free from sexism, racism and discrimination. And together – we can win the New Deal working people are crying out for.

Let’s get to it.

 

 

National Library Campaign Update

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This is a general heads up. After the fantastic 2,500 strong National Demonstration for Libraries, Museums and Galleries, we are now planning a series of regional marches starting in Warrington which faces drastic library cuts. The local campaigners are looking at dates, depending on when the council plans to press forward with its plans. Please be prepared to pull out all the stops to support this initiative. We want all public sector campaigns to rally around this issue.

Report

On Saturday, November 5th, the National March for Libraries, Museums and Galleries drew a good crowd, estimated between two thousand and two thousand five hundred people in press reports.

Initiated by local trade union branches representing public sector workers in the cultural services and library campaigners, the march drew library staff, members of the public, workers in museums, galleries, archives and the arts, trade unionists, authors and illustrators. It surpassed the organisers’ expectations.

On a bright, crisp autumn morning, supporters including campaigners from Warrington, Swindon, Coventry, Merseyside, the North East, Wales and elsewhere gathered near the British Library to hear speeches from Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Warrington, Swindon and Coventry campaigners, authors Philip Ardagh and Alan Gibbons and others.

A lively march weaved its way through central London to Trafalgar Square where speakers included the legendary Ralph, eleven-year-old Barnet campaigner, poet Steve Tasane, Clara Paillard, President of the PCS Culture Sector, Kathleen Smith from Bromley Unite, Barnet Unison members striking to save local libraries, poet and broadcaster Michael Rosen, Douniazed Zaouche from the French trade union, the CGT, Paula Peters from the disabled campaign group DPAC, Zita Holbourne from Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, Sara Wayid from the Museums Association, Sarah Kasab of Unite, a representative of the Durham Teaching Assistants, Bob and Roberta Smith, Cathy Cassidy, Sian Berry of the Green Party, Corinne Sweet of the Writers’ Guild and Megan Dobney from the South East Region of the TUC .

For years the Department of Culture Media and Sport has hidden behind the funding arrangement for the cultural sector which leaves councils in charge, but operating within nationally determined funding and strategic planning. This allows central government to step back and say, mischievously: “Not down to us, people. It is all the responsibility of those wicked councils.”

Added to this, cuts have fallen disproportionately on the shoulders of the large metropolitan councils, most likely to be run by the Labour Party. Saturday’s demonstration, while not absolving councils of responsibility, reminded the public that it is the government which sets overall funding and which has failed consistently to provide leadership. Ireland and New Zealand face the same severe economic conditions, but have made far fewer cuts, partly because, particularly in the case of libraries they have national plans.

Campaigners are now seeking meetings with the Culture Ministers and are actively discussing a series of regional demonstrations to further raise consciousness among the public of the havoc wrought by the failed ‘austerity agenda.’

The North West region is taking responsibility for staging the first such march and is scheduled for Warrington in the New Year. As speaker after speaker insisted, this was a qualitative gear shift in campaigning.

The campaign has only just begun.

This film gives a sense of the march:

https://vimeo.com/190425076

UNION STREET NEWS – Issue 15 – GET IT HERE…

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Latest Issue – articles on Connecting Communities, Palestine, Jeremy Corbyn and more….

Essential reading for all public service workers in Coventry.

GET IT HERE – union-street-news-issue-15

Meeting for Coventry City Unison Members – Connecting Communities

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UntitledConnecting Communities Phase Two

Cuts &/or Privatisation plans for:

  • Nurseries
  • Libraries
  • Youth Service
  • Childrens’ Centres

Come and tell the Branch Your Views.

Help UNISON oppose these threats to Jobs and Services.

Any query please contact UNISON Coventry City Branch either by phone or e-mail.

02476 550829      office@unisoncoventry.co.uk

Read it Here – Union Street News – Issue 13

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Union Street News Issue 13 – Branch Magazine of Coventry City Unison. Articles on learning opportunities for Unison members, facility time and why it is important, the Trade Union Bill and more.. Do have a read and why not send us an article or review for the next issues.

Thanks

Coventry City Unison Communications

Union Street News Issue 13

 

 

National demonstration against Austerity – March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education

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National demonstration against Austerity

March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education

Saturday 16th April

Coventry City UNISON are supporting the People’s Assembly Demonstration in Central London on Saturday 16th April.

Cost per ticket is £15, and the branch have paid for an initial 6 seats for UNISON members which are available on a first come first served basis. If there is further demand we will cover the cost of the ticket for members.

If you would like to come please email George.sands@unisoncoventry.co.uk to reserve your place.

 

Peoples Assembly Coventry & Warwickshire Facebook Page is via https://www.facebook.com/groups/176332289208775/?fref=ts

PRESS RELEASE – Coventry UNISON condemns the proposals to close Woodlands Academy

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Coventry City Branch of UNISON, that represents most Support staff working at Woodlands Academy in Coventry, today condemned the proposals to close the school.

The decision to effectively close Woodlands Academy without explaining the reasons for doing so with such a short consultation is completely unacceptable.

It’s the first Secondary School Academy in this city to face possible closure causing a potentially devastating impact on our members and their livelihoods. Richard Harty Corporate Representative from UNISON said

“Our entire membership at the school could ultimately lose their jobs. They are devastated by this news, many being long serving, loyal professionals who have given their best in the service of the school and its community”

UNISON are not satisfied that this matter can simply be seen as a lift and shift of pupils from one school to another and cannot simply allow the school to be erased from the map in this way.

“We will be seeking an urgent explanation from the DFE about this matter. We have long stated that the development of Finham Park 2 would have a detrimental impact on the area where there are already surplus places. The DFE have allowed this and they need to explain themselves. After all this is about pupil’s education and the employment contracts of our members, as well as the use of taxpayers money.

We have so many questions to ask. For example, how have we got to the point where an entire school is being closed so suddenly? Why hasn’t there been earlier intervention by the DFE? We understand the school is running a deficit budget – who will pay for staff redundancies?. What happens to staff during the proposed changes?

We are concerned at the potential destabilising effects of these proposals both to the pupils and staff at Woodlands Academy.

These issues reflect the fact that the Academy system x does not work and has not made any real difference to the lives of the pupils and our members compared to the previously local democratic structures that were previously in place. Instead we see a market driven approach where schools have to compete to get pupils, regardless of the impact on the wider community, and see the potentially catastrophic impact on a school with the history and integrity Woodlands has. Unnecessary extra school places are being created using taxpayers money at a time of extreme austerity and cuts in local government of more than 40%.

 

Contact: Richard Harty   024 76521125             Richard.harty@unisoncoventry.co.uk