Birmingham Trade Unionists Lead May Day Rally Defending Public Services
Birmingham Trades Union Council and Birmingham Against the Cuts have come together to organise this years Mayday demonstration.
Mayday is the workers bank holiday, and a time for the trade union movement to reflect and celebrate it’s achievements. This year, the movement has a full on fight on its hands as it seeks to defend its members and the public from the huge cuts both local and central government are inflicting on the public sector.
Hundreds of trade unionists and members of the public will be joined by opposition councillors and community groups in advance of the local elections to send a clear message to both the council and the Government, that they do not support the cuts.
The march assembles at 12noon at Birmingham Cathedral, St. Philips Place with a rally in chamberlain square.
Recently the Tory-Lib Dem run authority has signed off the biggest cutbacks in council history with a total of £320million to be cut over the next 3 years, 43 of 60 youth centre’s will close, children’s services will be cut by £69million severely affecting vulnerable children, many of whom are in care, home care is to be removed for 11,000 elderly and disabled residents unless legal challenges stop them and there are 2,500 job losses planned this year with 7,000 over the next 3 years.
Tracey Mooney, a day centre officer in the city, said:
This is a scandal. The public will be outraged when they are paying for the bankers’ crisis.
Other cuts will see £5.2million taken from organisations which help vulnerable pupils, while free school travel is being largely withdrawn. Adults who use social care fare no better, with £35million of cutbacks.
Low-paid workers in the city, the tenth most deprived part of England, will also be hit, some losing up to £3,150 a year.
Unison’s Roger McKenzie said:
Home carers will lose more than £2,000 on average. How can this be right when the top 47 directors at the council keep their combined £4.6million?
The cuts amount to £300 000 per day and a 20% cut in the council workforce with 1500 staff having already taken voluntary redundancy and another 2450 staff facing compulsory redundancy from a total workforce of 18 993 staff.
The demonstration follows on from the massive TUC march last month when half a million people marched on London, and is part of the lead up to wide spread industrial action involving up to 1million workers across the UK in late June. Trade unions including the PCS, NUT, ATL, UNITE (health Section), UCU and Birmingham Local government UNISON are expected to take coordinated industrial action against the cuts. We will be reporting more on some of those strike actions over the next couple of days.
Speakers at the Rally include:
Eleanor Smith, Vice President of UNISON, Britain’s biggest union,
Richard Burden MP (to be confirmed)
Sian Ruddick, PCS National Executive member
Disabled Peoples against the Cuts
Save Our NHS
Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts