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Economic and employment impact of Covid19 in the Midlands – BTUC Thur 9th 7pm on Zoom

The meeting is called to discuss the gravity of the looming economic crisis and its effect on employment in the region. Key union representatives have been invited to speak about how the unions propose to overcome the crisis which could see millions of workers being left unemployed across the country. Continue reading

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Launch of TUC’s plan for manufacturing in the West Midlands Monday 6 July 3.30

Real Help Now for Manufacturing – and A Green Future Ahead

Launch of the TUC’s plan to protect the West Midlands from mass unemployment – and build back better.

It’s a plan, not only for real help now to save manufacturing, but a blueprint for how our region, the home of the industrial revolution, can become Britain’s Green Manufacturing Capital for the years ahead.

Speakers:
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC
Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Mayor for the West Midlands
Ann-Marie Kilcline, Regional Secretary, Unite WM
Joe Morgan, Regional Secretary, GMB WM
Ravi Subramanian, Regional Secretary, UNISON WM
Chaired by Lee Barron, Regional Secretary, TUC Midlands

Join for the launch of the Report
Monday 6 July 2020, 3:30PM

Sign up to register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMkf-qqqz0uHtTQ6V0cei1nJ6tkcS3_-HcL

After registering, people will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Everyone has to register to attend.

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Rebuilding the Birmingham economy – Five Steps to A Green New Deal for the Green Heart of Britain

Birmingham urgently needs a clear programme of campaigning policies to get the city out of the Covid crisis and rebuild the local economy including our public services.

Liam Byrne has produced a set of policies in his manifesto as Labour’s candidate for West Midlands Mayor. Birmingham Labour Party should be arguing NOW for a hard-hitting programme for the city, tailoring Liam’s policies to Birmingham, strengthening them where necessary, publicising them on its website, and actively building union and community support for them. Continue reading

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FOR a NATIONAL NHS, Care and Support Service (NHS)

Dear Branch/CLP Secretary,
I am circulating the attached draft motion on behalf of Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham to a number of unions, Labour Party branches and CLPs for discussion purposes with members.
We know that branches are not formally meeting at the moment or taking motions, although you may be holding informal Zoom meetings or keeping members up to date via email.
The attached contains an aspirational set of “demands” and could maybe feed into e.g. the National Policy Forum.
Given the public’s and politicians’ heightened awareness about the NHS and its interactions with Social Care and Public Health we hope that timely consideration of these demands might help lead to consolidation of comprehensive publicly owned health and care services, which is not guaranteed by any means despite the outpouring of love for the NHS and key workers.
By the way, Sunday 5th July will be the NHS’s 72nd birthday. On the weekend of 4/5th July, a number of events will be planned nationally and locally. Details of these can be provided when they become clearer.
Happy to take feedback on any of this at your convenience.
In solidarity,
John Caffrey, Secretary Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham

DRAFT Motion for union branches, political parties and other organisations

FOR a NATIONAL NHS, Care and Support Service (NHS)

Background: The COVID 19 crisis has shown that we need an integrated, “joined-up”, comprehensive NHS integrated with social care and support services. (For example, the Government recently took over private sector beds for the crisis, effectively ‘nationalising’ them, ostensibly at a ‘basic cost, but no profit’ basis, for a period from March to May 2020. Concurrently, the NHS built a series of pandemic field hospitals in the space of a few weeks.)

In contrast, COVID 19 has been a gravy train for multinational companies that earn £millions leeching money out of the NHS. (Privatising whole chunks makes services less efficient and less able to deal with national emergencies like the one we are going through right now. This has already been illustrated by the catastrophic and dysfunctional ‘outsourcing’ of services such as testing centres, regional labs and track and trace I.T and app services to firms like Serco, G4S under the control of Deloitte.)

This branch notes that:

1) Since 2012, the NHS has ‘contracted out’ up to 20%* of services to private profit-making bodies – so none of that profit goes back into the NHS.

2) Since 1990, it is a legal requirement that 85% of care home services should be provided by the private sector

3) Since the 1980s and, increasingly, 2012 many so-called ‘back office’ services in the NHS such as laboratories, imaging, cleaning & catering are privately-run

4) Public Health has been vital in dealing with COVID 19 despite being decimated since 2012 and side-lined by ministers looking for simple answers.

This branch calls for:

– The renationalisation of our NHS, keeping it publicly owned

– A National Care and Support service that works closely with the NHS, takes the market out of social care and lets councils and service users decide what’s best for them.

– Bringing ‘outsourced’ services back into the NHS and stop wasting time, effort and money on competitive tendering for clinical services by using the NHS

– Funding Public Health properly by either ring-fencing the local authority funding or bringing it back into the NHS to keep it safe.

These are 4 simple demands which the COVID 19 crisis has shown to be necessary

Please encourage your union/political party branch to support the motion above to show that you support a NATIONAL NHS Care and Support service.

*According to the King’s Fund health think tank “public spending on healthcare services from private and non-NHS organisations is…anywhere between 7% and 22% of its annual budget”

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The West Midlands’ Automotive Industry in the Aftermath of COVID-19: Survival of the Fittest?

Covid is going to leave tens of thousands of workers in Birmingham and the West Midlands without jobs. The auto industry is one sector that will be hard hit, as this new report by Dr Amir Qamar and Professor Simon Collinson of the University of Birmingham explains, with a list of the companies most at risk. Continue reading

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Climate, the Council and the WMCA

The city council’s Climate Emergency Task Force continues to meet online – the next meeting is Thursday June 10 from 4-6pm. But unlike previous meetings there will be no observers. It will not be webcast, but no explanation has been given as to why. Continue reading

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THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND ITS IMPACT ON THE UK ECONOMY – Michael Roberts’ presentation at BTUC

Michael Roberts spoke to Birmingham Trades Union Council delegates on Zoom on this at last Thursday’s meeting. Here are his presentation slides.

https://thenextrecession.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/corona-virus-pandemic-and-its-impact-on-the-uk-economy.pdf

And you can watch Michael Roberts’ presentation here http://btuc.org/wordpress2/?p=665

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Health, care and support: leaflet and draft motion from KONP Birmingham

So You Think You’ve Got a NATIONAL Health Service (NHS)? Think again!

The COVID 19 crisis has demonstrated that to ensure the health, care needs, support and wellbeing of all members of our society, we need comprehensive NHS, social care and support services that are integrated, collaborative and coordinated. But we’ve been moving away from that for years. Let’s agree what we want and some simple steps to set us in the right direction.

1) We need fully-funded National Care and Support services that works closely with the NHS

* But did you know that the law (1990 Health and Community Care Act) says 85% of social care services should be provided by the private sector? Why?

Amend the law so that Local Councils and service users can decide what’s best for them within national entitlements and standards and take back failing private sector social care services.

LET’S TAKE THE MARKET OUT OF SOCIAL CARE

2) Stop wasting time effort and money on competitive tendering for clinical services

* Did you know that since 2012, the NHS ‘contracted out’ up to 20% of services to private profit-making bodies using NHS-trained clinicians – none of the profit goes back into the NHS?

Privatising whole chunks of the NHS erodes its capacity and creates a barrier to the cooperation vital during national emergencies like the one right now! The drive for profit opportunities for big business ahead of practicality robs patients of choice and doesn’t save but wastes public money

* Did you know that vital procedures which were previously on the NHS are being rationed or removed, meaning comprehensive healthcare only for those with the money to go private?

Tell decision makers to USE THE NHS!

LET’S RE-NATIONALISE OUR NHS AND KEEP IT PUBLICLY-OWNED

3) Did you know that an increasing number of so-called ‘back office’ functions in the NHS such as laboratories, imaging, cleaning & catering are now privately-run?

* COVID 19 has been a gravy train for multinational companies that earn £millions leeching money out of the NHS e.g. big contracts for badly-organised testing, with stressed and exhausted ‘frontline’ workers having to travel long distances to private centres rather that facility being offered locally.

Restore NHS integration of clinical and supporting services

LET’S BRING THE ‘OUTSOURCED’ SERVICES BACK INTO OUR NHS

4) Public Health has been vital in dealing with COVID 19 despite being decimated since 2012 and sidelined by ministers looking for simple answers.

* Did you know that, in 2012, Public Health was transferred to local councils and has suffered massive cutbacks along with other council services because of deliberate government underfunding?

Either ring-fence the local authority funding or bring it back into the NHS to keep it safe.

LET’S FUND PUBLIC HEALTH PROPERLY

4 simple demands which the COVID 19 crisis has shown to be necessary

DRAFT Motion for union branches, political parties and other organisations Continue reading

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The economic impact of the Coronavirus crisis – Birmingham TUC Zoom meeting Thur 4 June 7pm

NOTE NEW LOG-IN: ID 895 5088 8818 password 027430

Michael Roberts, Marxist economist

David Room, General Secretary Bham NEU, on the NEU trade union response to the 1st June opening of B’ham schools

 7 pm Thursday 4th June 

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Support the Black Lives Matter protest, Thur 4 June 4pm Victoria Sq

Please keep to social distancing!

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