Tag Archives: ucu

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)


Lifford House


At the Rally

Kings Heath demo

Small Heath Demo

Handsworth Demo


On the march

Banner on March



Flags on the march


Flag on the march



Banner at the rally

Banner on march


Broad Street demo

Marching to Victoria Sq

At the rally


Picket Line



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




Filed under Events, Handsworth Anti-Cuts Group, strike

J30 Mass Strikes in Photos

(c) Geoff Dexter Sherborne Publications

Thursday 30th June (dubbed J30) saw mass strikes around the UK from NUT, ATL, UCU and PCS Unions over pensions.  In Birmingham we also had UNISON members striking – council workers out because of pay cuts and changes to conditions, and Connexions members out over job cuts.  With hundreds of pickets, 14 feeder demos and the main strike rally & march, there is far too much to cover in a word report, so here are pictures from the day (A second post of pictures is found here


Selly Oak Library

Norfolk House

Central Library

City Centre House


Victoria Square House

Hamstead Hall Secondary School

Handsworth Leisure Centre

Redfern Fleet and Waste Depot

Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts

Weather Oak Day Centre picket line

Northfield Demo

Strike Rally

8,000 people on the March


I’m afraid I don’t recognise most of these people, and I wasn’t there this afternoon – so if anyone can fill in the blanks, I’d be grateful 🙂 – Just tell me in a comment

Rhiannon Lockley, Halesowen College UCU

Caroline Johnson - Birmingham Unison

Kevin Courtney - NUT



With thanks to everyone for the photos:
Geoff Dexter Sherborne Publications (all the ones with GD in the filename, if you hover your cursor over an image) More of his photos here and here

Chris Hughes from Strichley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts
Sue Thomas
Sharon McCourt
Fiona Rachell
Edward Bauer


Filed under Events, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts, strike

Unite the Resistance – J30 Meeting

On Tuesday, there will be a public meeting, called by representatives of UCU, NUT and PCS whose unions will be on strike on Thursday, along with ATL and UNISON.

Speakers at the meeting include:

Kevin Courtney – Deputy General Secretary of NUT

Sue Bond – PCS Vice President

Alan Whittaker – UCU Past President.

The meeting runs from 7:30pm at the council house, and everyone who wants to help to make June 30th the biggest day so far in the struggle against cuts and the austerity agenda, and to help fight for public services and the alternative, is welcome to attend.

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Filed under Events, strike

Mass Strikes in Birmingham on 30th June

UNISON today announced that it’s council workers will be on strike on the 30th, this is shaping up to be the largest strike in recent history.

We have already reported that teachers and civil servants voted for strikes in national ballots that could see over 500,000 public sector workers on strike over pensions.  The best way to keep up with what is happening around the country is J30strike.org or on twitter as @J30Strike.

Locally the strike is set to be huge, with the addition of up to 9,000 council workers.  As well as that UCU members at Birmingham City University and in the Birmingham Adult Education Service have previously been balloted for strike and will join in on the 30th June.

I will be endeavouring to get a list of pickets and other activities around Birmingham on the 30th, and mapping them out on this page

There will be a huge, regional, strike rally in Birmingham, assembling at 12noon in Victoria Square.  Invite people to the facebook event.  Strikers from around the West Midlands will come to the city centre of Birmingham for the rally, with workers in Wolverhampton holding a rally from 10:45-11:15am and then coming into Birmingham en masse.


With so many workers on strike, this rally should number in the thousands, and will march around the city centre.

Kevin Courtney (NUT) will speak at the J30 rally

Speakers at the rally include Kevin Courtney (Deputy General Secratary of the NUT), Hugh Lanning (Deputy General Secretary of PCS) and Michael McNeil (UCU Head of HE).  We expect to have confirmation on speakers from ATL and UNISON as well.  There will also be local speakers from all the unions involved and someone from Birmingham Against the Cuts.

We call for everyone who can to attend the rally.  If you work, can you book a day of annual leave, or come an join us in your lunch hour?  If you are a student, benefit claimant, pensioner, parent or anyone else who is not working on that day, come and attend.  Make this about the cuts, and austerity in general and not just about the specific strike actions on that day.  This strike is part of the anti-cuts movement – obviously and directly in the case of UNISON, and although the pensions question has been ongoing since before the crisis, the way in which the ConDem’s are seeking to change public sector pensions (whilst leaving MPs’ pensions alone of course) fits directly with the austerity programme, and the wider anti-public services ideology that pervades this coalition.

hugh lanning (PCS) will speak at the J30 rally

Show the strikers that they have your support.  I will by posting a post sometime this week with more of the arguments as to why public sector worker pensions should matter to private sector workers, or people who don’t work.  You can read some of it in the posts about the Teachers and Civil Servants strike decision.

In the case of UNISON it’s pretty simple – huge cuts in pay and big changes in condition for workers cannot improve the services provided by the council, who are also cutting funding by a whopping £212million this year.  As council services degrade, the ideology of the ruling parties suggest to me that they will look to outsource those services to the private sector, probably with similar results to the childrens homes (in short: costs more for a worse service).

They are striking to defend public services.  The dispute they can raise is about pensions, pay and terms and conditions.  With attacks on the unions coming from politicians, it is important that we show the strikers that they have our support.  So parents, if your school is closing on the 30th June, why not bring your kids along to the rally.



Filed under Birmingham City Council, Events, strike

Hundreds to demonstrate against Council Cuts on Saturday

Hundreds of people in Birmingham this Saturday will be demonstrating with a call for councillors to vote against cuts at the council meeting on 1st March. The planned cuts will see £212m slashed from the council budgets this year, at the cost of 2,450 jobs and many services, such as adult care services and youth centres:

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Heart of England PCT – 1,600 jobs to go, 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.  At least 4,000 NHS Jobs will be lost across the West Midlands.
  • 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.
  • £10 million cuts in Children’s Social Care, affecting “looked after” children, some of the most vulnerable children in the city.
  • £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.
  • Pay Cuts and terms and conditions reviews for 26,000 council staff including refuse workers who have already been on strike.
  • Community Safety Partnership – £1.6m less spending on, and reduction in funding for West Midlands Police Force (2,200 jobs to be lost, including 600 officers) will see rising crime.

These cuts will affect every person in this city, and every person has their own reason to be there. Godfrey Webster, Secretary of Birmingham Against the Cuts, says:

“There is an increasing mood of anger amongst the ordinary people of Birmingham who are furious about the proposed cuts to jobs, services and pensions. There is a growing awareness that these cuts, being carried out by the Conservative-Lib Dem Council, are political in nature. The poor, women and the vulnerable should not be made to pay for the bankers’ greed. ”

The demonstration meets at 12 noon, Birmingham Cathedral and will march around the city centre before reconvening at the Cathedral for a rally, at which the Bishop of Birmingham will address the city, along with speakers from CWU, PCS, UCU and Unison trade unions, Bob Williams-Findlay from Disabled People Against the Cuts and Caroline Johnson from Birmingham Against the Cuts.

On Tuesday, from 2pm-6pm there will be a demonstration outside Birmingham City Council house in Victoria Square, whilst the council meets to vote on the budget.  During the budget meeting Cllr Salma Yaqoob will present a petition to the chamber from the people of Birmingham calling for councillors to vote against the budget that will have such a detrimental effect on so many citizens of Birmingham.

Over the past few days and weeks many councils across the UK have met to vote on budget cuts,  and there have been strong demonstrations at all of them.  Some councils have decided to close their public gallery, removing the right of citizens to observe and partake in the democratic process, and there have even been arrests at a couple of meetings.  Closing the gallery has led to occupations of council chambers in Brixton, Leeds and Haringey and impromptu peoples’ assemblies which have discussed the impact of council cuts on local people.

There is a rising mood against cuts in the UK which Birmingham will be part of on Saturday and Tuesday.  Join Us.


Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts, Events

Speakers for Rally on Sat 26th Feb Announced

Birmingham Against the Cuts and Unison have announced speakers for the rally as part of the Say No To Council Cuts demonstration to be held on Saturday.

Bishop Urquhart (Bishop of Birmingham);

Lee Barron (CWU);

Trudy Allen (PCS);

Roger Jenkins (GMB);

James Smith (UCU);

Roger MacKenzie (Unison);

Bob Findlay-Williams (Disabled People Against the Cuts), and

Caroline Johnson (Birmingham Against the Cuts).

More speakers to be confirmed

The demonstration assembles at 12 noon, at Birmingham Cathedral, St. Philips Place, Birmingham.  There will be a march around the city centre followed by a rally back at the Cathedral.

This demonstration will call for councillors to vote against cuts at the council meeting on 1st March.  The planned cuts will see £212m slashed from the council budgets this year, at the cost of 2,450 jobs and many services, such as adult care services and youth centres.

Facebook event for 26th Feb

Facebook event for 1st March

Sign our petition against council cuts, to be presented to the council by Cllr Salma Yaqoob on 1st March

And most importantly, come along on Saturday and Tuesday to make sure councillors know that Birmingham does not support these cuts, does not think that redundancies will help a city with high unemployment, and is not happy to see vital services to the people of Birmingham being closed or reduced.


Filed under Events