Local Councils

Tower Hamlets strikes again

Tower Hamlets council workers’ fight against attacks on their terms and conditions is continuing, with new strike dates on 13, 14 and 17 August. The workers want to reballot when their current ballot mandate expires on 22 August; so far the Unison bureaucracy is stalling them on that. • Sign up for solidarity and donate here • Updates here • Interview with Tower Hamlet’s Unison’s social care convener Amina Patel here

Tower Hamlets workers can win

Members of the public services union Unison in Tower Hamlets council, East London, had good support again for a strike on 15-17 July, following another on 3-6-7 July. We understand that the local Unison branch is pressing the union nationally to approve a longer strike, and a reballot if the council will not concede before the validity of the current ballot expires on 22 August. Tower Hamlets Unison’s adult social care convener Amina Patel told us: “The fight is very much continuing and we need to keep the momentum up. We’re calling on all Tower Hamlets councillors, on all Labour MPs but most...

Luton cuts

Luton’s Labour council has passed an emergency budget (with support from Tories on the council) which cuts 365 jobs and frontline services. Luton is particularly hard-hit because the council has depended heavily on revenues from Luton Airport, which have dwindled with the lockdown. Other councils also face budget gaps from extra spending in the lockdown, only partly covered by central government aid, and reduced incomes. Labour should be campaigning for the Tory government to restore the cuts made by the Tories to local government funding since 2010.

Support the Tower Hamlets workers!

Thousands of council workers in Tower Hamlets struck on 3-6-7 July against mass sackings and the imposition of new, significantly worse terms and conditions under the “Tower Rewards” scheme. As we go to press Tower Hamlets Unison reps have been meeting to discuss their next steps. There may be more strikes in the week starting 13 July. Picket organisers reported a strong strike turnout and good numbers at socially distanced pickets across the borough, plus many more members “striking from home”. Refuse workers organised by Unite and GMB supported the action, and some refused to cross picket...

Support the Tower Hamlets strikers

Tower Hamlets Labour council intends to implement a plan, “Tower Rewards”, to sack its entire 4,000-strong workforce — carers, caretakers, children’s centre workers, housing and homelessness workers, refuse workers, cleaners, social workers, teaching assistants and many, many others — and re-employ only those who will accept substantially worse terms and conditions.

NEU and the Tower Hamlets dispute

Tower Hamlets council has re-started the process of imposing a cut in workers' conditions, and Unison has declared strikes on 3, 6, and 7 July. Shamefully, the leadership of Tower Hamlets NEU have demobilised their membership.

We need more class-struggle socialists

Ruth Cashman, who is standing for election to the Momentum National Co-ordinating Group (London region), discusses the future of the left. Part three of three articles. Part one, 'How I Became a Socialist' + part two, 'The irreplaceable strategy of simply keeping going'. The depth of the recession facing us means that the Tories might either force through an enormous amount of new cuts or that they will calculate that such a magnitude of cuts are not worth it. That the economic hit and ensuing social chaos will be too great. Whatever is in store for us, it has been a big failure of the Labour...

Still only 40% of care homes with isolation pay

Almost a third of COVID-19 deaths, over 16,000 people, have occurred in care homes. Careworkers are twice as likely to die of COVID-19 as the general public. A little acknowledged but major factor in these carehome deaths is the low pay and insecure employment of careworkers. It is estimated that around 440,000 care workers have no rights to occupational sick pay. If they develop symptoms of Coronavirus or a member of their household develops symptoms, then they are faced with an impossible choice: take time off on Statutory Sick Pay (just £95.85 a week) or continue to work potentially...

“The irreplaceable strategy of ‘simply keeping going’”

Ruth Cashman, who is standing for election to the Momentum National Co-ordinating Group (London region), discusses “holding the line” for militant trade unionism in local government. Part two of three articles. Part one, 'How I Became a Socialist'. Picture, Lambeth Unison's campaign to stop cuts to Local Children's Centres I came into local government, getting a job in the Lambeth Library Service, almost exactly the same time that the government was making lots of cuts (2008). My entire experience of trade union activism has been about dealing with austerity. About six months into the job, the...

£6 billion council gap

Stevenage’s Labour council has threatened to declare bankruptcy. The Local Government Association (an umbrella body for councils) says councils need £6 billion extra from central government this year — if not the full £15 billion taken away from councils since 2010 — to keep basic services going after their extra spending and their loss of income in the pandemic. Labour activists are building a campaign for Labour councillors to unite with unions and communities to fight back. • Check out the campaign online here.

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.