Tag Archives: rally

All Out on 30th November!

Yesterday, UNITE and NAPO (probation officers) declared they had won the vote to strike, and today the last teaching union balloting, NASUWT also declared their result – 82% on a 44% turnout – a clear indication from members that they want to take industrial action over changes to their pension schemes that will see people working longer, paying more and getting less, in order to reduce a deficit created by the bankers.

With NASUWT declared, all the major unions will be on strike, with over 3,000,000 public sector workers out on 30th November, this will be the largest strike since the general strike, and will see large parts of government shut down for the day.
This result also pretty much guarantees that every school will be closed on the day, as all the main unions, incluing the head teachers union NAHT have voted to strike. Parents should be told by their schools shortly whether the school will be open.
To see all the results click on this image:

There are many things happening on the day – if you know your workplace will have a picket, please let us know by commenting on this post or emailing us at BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com so we can list it. If you are on a picket, please take a photo and send it to us at the same email address, it would be great to comprehensively document this strike.

Following picket lines, there are local rallies planned in Cotteridge, Selly Oak/Edgbaston, Handsworth and East Birmingham.
The TUC are planning a March, but details are not finalised. Assembly will likely be from sometime around 11am or 12noon at Lionel Street Car Park, with a march through the city centre to an indoor rally at the NIA.
The doors of the NIA will be open from 12:30, and the rally is expected to start at 1:30.

Full details are available on our Pickets, Rallies and Demonstrations page:

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J30 in Photos Part 2

So many events, so many photos.. more than enough to make a second post.. so here we are! (First post is here)

UNISON

Lifford House

Yardley

At the Rally

Kings Heath demo

Small Heath Demo

Handsworth Demo

NUT

On the march

Banner on March

Inflatable

ATL

Flags on the march

Placard

Flag on the march

UCU

Placard

Banner at the rally

Banner on march

Connexions

Broad Street demo

Marching to Victoria Sq

At the rally

PCS

Picket Line

Banner

Placard

Solidarity from other groups

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)

Aston Against Fees and Cuts

Handsworth Against the Cuts

Handsworth Library

Handsworth Library

Handsworth Library

With thanks for the photos to:

@JhonCooper – Flickr Set

DPAC – Flickr Set

Jo Stevenson from Handsworth Against the Cuts

Becca Kirkpatrick

Vez Kirkpatrick

John Cooper – Flickr Set

Fiona Raychell

Euan Smith

 

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Filed under Events, Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group, strike

Birmingham Will Not Be Silenced! Procession for Justice

Friday 3rd June, Assemble: 12noon, Law Courts, Corporation Street

Dress code: Mourning black & gaffer tape

At lunchtime on Friday, June 3rd, workers and service users from a variety of Advice and Legal Support agencies across the city will join Jack Dromey MP to lead a silent procession from Birmingham Law Courts to the Council House, symbolizing the stifled voices of the thousands of people who will be denied representation as a consequence of the Government’s proposed cuts to legal aid services.

Cuts to free legal advice target the most vulnerable – over 700,000 people will lose out on vital legal help through cuts to legal aid alone. People on low incomes and those who are disabled or vulnerable rely on community advice agencies for the help they need, yet the funding for this service is under serious threat. We further believe that this is really a false economy. Without advice, people’s problems spiral out of control, escalating costs for the public purse including housing, education and health budgets. Evidence suggests that early advice can save up to £10 for every £1 invested.

The Silent Procession for Justice is part of the national Justice for All Day of Action. The Justice for All campaign is calling for the protection of the frontline advice services which keep families together in their homes and in work and education to be maintained.

If you can’t make it on the day, please sign this petition – Birmingham supports Justice for All – to show local opposition to the plans to cut legal aid and deny people access to justice based on their income.

Facebook Page for Justice for All

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Hundreds come out for Mayday Demonstration

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Birmingham today to celebrate the trade union movement and demonstrate against the cuts.

Mayday is the traditional workers holiday and every year Birmingham Trades Union Council (BTUC) organise a celebration.  For the last 10 years, this has taken place inside, but this year working with Birmingham Against the Cuts, BTUC decided that it was time to get back onto the streets because of the savage cuts that are being implemented by the ConDem coalitions both nationally and locally.

Fortnum 145 solidarity bloc

The march gathered at Birmingham Cathedral, with banners on display from the Trades Council, Birmingham Against the Cuts, CROSSBrum, Save the Blood Service, Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Resistance, Respect and others.  There was also a group of protestors dressed in white in solidarity with the 145 people arrested for peacefully protesting in Fortnum and Mason on March 26th.

The march left the cathedral and went around the city centre to regather in Chamberlain Square for stalls, speakers and music – and this time we had a soundsystem so everyone could hear what was said!

David Hughes, the President of BTUC, introduced the day saying

We are returning to an era of massive cuts, massive unemployment and massive social deprivation

and giving a short background to some of the cuts and the trade union movement in Birmingham.

The Clarion Singers followed this, with stirring performances of “power in the union” and “Are we going to take it lying down?”

UNISON on the march

Graeme Horn, UNISON council wokers branch secretary spoke about the labour movement in Birmingham and reflected on past struggles against Apartheid, deportion and other wider issues that the trade union movement in Birmingham had been involved in

Mayday is a day to celebrate the fights of trade unions for workers rights and to express solidarity with workers struggles around the world

before moving on to the upcoming struggle that UNISON will be waging against the council, who are seeking to make changes to terms and conditions that will see already low paid workers, such as home carers, losing as much as 1/3rd of their pay.  UNISON will be balloting through May for strike action, which if the ballot is succesful we are told will be planned to co-ordinate with other unions for a huge strike on the 30th June – we will keep you up to date on any developments there.

PCS are one of the other unions balloting for strike action on June 30th – and indeed their workers in the EHRC will be on strike on the 4th and 11th May.  Sian Ruddick was there to talk about the attacks on the civil service:

We are facing attacks on our jobs, pay, pensions and services … it was the fault of the greedy bankers but we are paying for it … the sick, disabled and poorly paid”

She was followed by Albert Bore, the leader of the Labour party group in Birmingham City Council, who attacked the cuts being made by the ConDem coalition, saying that the loss of thousands of full time jobs from the council would be a disaster.  He said the coalition were treating the people of Birmingham very badly and that the loss of 2 judicial reviews showed this.  Thanking everyone for coming out he said:

We need more demonstrations like this to stop the Lib Dems and Tories

Disabled People Against Cuts on the Mayday march

Eleanor from Disabled People Against the Cuts also talked about the judicial reviews, which mean that 11,000 adults in Birmingham should not have vital care withdrawn from them, and informed us that another case is forthcoming to do with housing benefit.  She argued passionately that everyone needs to stand and fight together and that all workers needed to help defend disabled people from cuts which are affecting disabled people severely:

At a local level disabled people are already losing funding for care and support and together with the closure of day centres many are becoming isolated in their own homes. Social care is not free for the majority of disabled people either

With the recent attacks on disabled claimants in the press, she went on to explain what DPAC and other groups are doing – there will be a national week of action against benefit cuts and against ATOS from the 9th may (with two events in Birmingham on the 12th and 13th).

Of those tested by ATOS and found fit for work 70% who have representation and 40 % without any representation have the decision overturned on appeal, although it can take up to 12 months to reach a tribunal hearing because there are so many cases wrongly assessed.

So when you hear the papers saying how many disabled people are found fit work work, remember that the vast majority of them are in fact found to be unable to work.

NHS workers carry their banner

Vez Kirkpatrick, a health care assistant and UNISON member spoke about the NHS, saying that the budget is increasing very slightly, but not in line with the rising costs of drugs and the additional costs produced by a population that is living for longer.  She talked about how the government released news on Friday, no doubt designed to coincide with the royal wedding, that the NHS will have to find an additional 50% in efficiency savings, and how this actually means the loss of 50,000 jobs.

There will be 1,600 job cuts – 20% of staff – at the Heart of England trust, and 17% of jobs will be lost at University Hospital Birmingham – causing delays and cancellations in routine procedures, which can include things vital to quality of life such as hip replacements.

In summing up, Vez said that people need to work against the health bill currently passing through parliament and that Save the NHS West Midlands – a regional campaign group – has been set up and will launch shortly.

This bill is opposed by anyone who knows anything about health – the BMA, Doctors,  Nurses, other unions in the health service, as well as user groups.  Even the Lib Dems oppose the health bill

And warned that

If we make these reforms then the NHS will no longer be available to everyone in the way it is now

Mary Pearson from the Troops Out Movement

Speakers from the Troops Out Movement, Stop the War Coalition and Unite Against Fascism spoke about issues which the trade union movement has been involved in, with Stuart Richardson from Stop the War pointing out the extreme costs of war – each cruise missile costs £700,000 – and how even though there’s no money for services for vulnerable people, there is always money for a war somewhere.

The final two speakers were Charlie Friel, who spoke about the Connexions Strike coming up next week, and Doug Morgan from NUT who spoke about their forthcoming ballot for industrial action, which we hope will result in a strike on June 30th, co-ordinated nationally with ATL, PCS and Unite (health) and locally with Unison (council branch).

All in all a good day.  With thanks to Pete Jackson from Right to Work for getting these pictures up quickly, more photos to come I’m sure, keep an eye on our facebook page, and I’ll also add links to this post, and probably more photos – or I might just make a new post on Monday or Tuesday just with photos from the event.

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10 Reasons to demonstrate on Saturday

Why should you come to the demonstration on Saturday against the council cuts? There are lots of reasons, but here are 10 of them:

1) Job Losses – 2,450 council posts will be cut this year (7,000 over 3 years) and 5,000 posts privatised (making it easier to cut funding in the future).  Birmingham already has an unemployment rate twice the national average and cannot afford to lose thousands more jobs.

2) Adult Care Services – 11,000 people who currently receive care having been assessed as having “substantial” care needs will no longer be eligible for home care, day care or residential care and will lose their care services.  Overall, more than £33million will be cut from Adult Care Services, affecting older people, those with learning and physical disabilities and people with mental health problems.

3) Youth Services – £3m will be cut from Birmingham Youth Services budgets.   Such a cut would close over 40 youth projects (more than 2/3rds) across the city and deprive young people and communities easy access to trained and qualified youth workers.

4) 1,600 jobs to go at Heart of England PCT, affecting NHS services in this city, and this is only 1 of 5 PCT’s to serve Birmingham so there will probably be more job losses to come.

5) Neighbourhood Office and CAB closures – CAB has been temporarily saved but neighbourhood offices are still under threat.  Both of these provide vital and free advice on financial, legal & housing problems and council services.  As unemployment rises, these services will become more important.

6) £10 million cuts in Childrens Social Care, affecting “looked after” children, some of the most vulnerable children in the city

7) £1.3 million cuts in library services, £1 million cuts in grants to arts and £1.25 million cuts in funding for Museums with entry charges “almost decided”.  Ikon Eastside will be closing, and this will probably just be the first of many cultural venues in Birmingham to shut down.

8 ) Pay Cuts and terms and conditions reviews for 26,000 council staff including refuse workers who have already been on strike.

9) £1.6m less spending on Community Safety Partnership, and reduction in funding for West Midlands Police Force (2,200 jobs to be lost, including 600 officers) will see rising crime

10) There are alternatives. False Economy maintain a nice collection of alternatives, including closing the tax gap, a robin hood tax on the bank, green jobs for growth and other solutions to the deficit problem and banking crisis that will not involve huge spending cuts in vital areas.

Of course there are many more than 10 reasons to march on Saturday against the council cuts.  These cuts will affect every person in this city, and every person has their own reason to come.

Then on Tuesday, the council meets to vote on the budget.  There will be a demonstration outside the council house, here are 10 more reasons to demonstrate on Tuesday

The demonstration assembles at 12 noon, Birmingham Cathedral, St. Philips Place.

We will have a short march around Birmingham City Centre, followed by a rally with the following speakers:

Bishop Urquhart (Bishop of Birmingham);

Lee Barron (CWU);

Trudy Allen (PCS);

Roger Jenkins (GMB);

James Smith (UCU);

Roger MacKenzie (Unison) and

Caroline Johnson (Birmingham Against the Cuts).

More speakers to be confirmed

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Birmingham City Council deputy leader hits out at cuts

The Birmingham Post has today reported that:

Birmingham City Council’s deputy leader has spoken of his frustration and exasperation at the “draconian” budget cuts forced on the city by the Government.

Coun Paul Tilsley is among 91 Liberal Democrat councillors to sign a letter accusing Tory Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles of gunboat diplomacy and “shaking a stick” at councillors.

 

Birmingham City Council is facing amongst the largest budget cuts in the UK, far more than wealthy, tory strongholds, despite the fact that Birmingham has the highest unemployment rate of any city in the UK.  We have seen that the prospect of national cuts, and the ending of the effects of the stimulus provided by quantitative easing led to a reduction in GPD of 0.5% in the 4th Quarter of 2010, and believe that the implication of cuts for this city (and indeed the UK as a whole) is a continued reduction of GDP, and the job losses that accompany that.

Birmingham Against the Cuts is calling for councillors to vote against cuts in the budget for 2011/12.

We hope that Coun Tilsley follows through on his criticisms of the council budget settlements by voting against the cuts.

We have a petition online for people to sign: here

On the 17th of February, there is a public meeting, 7:30pm at the Council House.

Speakers:

Cllr Salma Yaqoob, Respect
Caroline Johnson, Unison
Paul Mackney, former General Secretary UCU
Martin Empson, Campaign against Climate Change
John Lister, Health Emergency

Plus speakers from Local campaigns, and contributions from the floor.

All welcome.

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On Saturday 26th Feb there will be a rally and march, assembling at Birmingham Cathedral at noon.  March route is to be agreed with police/council.  Speakers to be confirmed.  This is the time to come out and show your opposition to the local cuts.

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On Tuesday 1st March, there will be a demonstration outside the council house from 2pm (it’ll be going into the evening so join us after work ).  This is the meeting at which the council budget will be set, and we need to have vocal and visual reminders to councillors that they should be voting against any cuts to local services.

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CYWU – UNITE rally to SAVE BIRMINGHAM YOUTH SERVICE

Saturday 13:00 at Chamberlain Square

· This is a peaceful rally for everyone to come along and show your support and solidarity for Youth Work and Birmingham Youth Service which will be faced with massive cuts. This will have a detrimental effect on the good work that youth workers do in transforming young peoples lives.
Young people will be speaking and hosting this rally with Guest Speakers
Jack Dromey LABOUR MP
Salma Yacoub RESPECT councillor
also performances by young people.

So please come along and show your support for Youth work

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