Oct 022015
 

Unison MeetingOutsourcing Meeting Report by Ron

John Burgess, Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary, led a discussion of how trade unionists and community residents can organise to combat councils’ attempts to outsource public services. Drawing on the experience of the London Borough, where since 2008, many public sources have been outsourced or privatised, John cited examples of campaigning activity, including holding stalls, petitioning, speaking at council meetings, grilling councillors with questions and political action aimed at unseating Tory councillors.The 25 who attended the meeting resolved to meet in the near future to build a movement in Northamptonshire to contest NCC’s plans to outsource a range of public sources to Community Interest Companies.

The Northampton ​TUC secretary  has  reserved a room  at the Doddridge Centre on Wednesday 7 October at 7:15 for the meeting to kick start a campaign against  outsourcing of NCC services. Feel free to spread the word to colleagues, neighbours  and friends, since the Barnet  campaign took off when they involved not only trade  unionists but community residents also.

Tory Party Conference Protests and Events

https://conservativepartyconference.com/agenda (from People’s Assembly)

Details of March

CTUF_Manchester_Tory_demo_flyer_v2Form up Arrangements and Dispersal area map

Travel – it’s a bit late to book coaches now – details have already been circulated. If you want to attend the TUC demonstration at the Conservative Party Conference 4th Oct, there is NUT transport available from Northampton or Kettering.

08:30 Coach departs from Cornmarket Hall (Kettering)

09:00 Departure from Mounts Car Park (Northampton)

12:30 Estimated arrival at Oxford Road or police directed drop off point (Manchester)

16:30 Departure from pick up point (Manchester city centre) 

19:30-20:00 Arrival Mounts (Northampton)

20:00-20:30 Arrival back at Cornmarket Hall (Kettering)

Please contact Gordon White for further details: Email – georgecharles1895@icloud.com by the end of today (Friday).

4 October join Defend Council Housing in a housing contingent on the big TUC People’s Assembly march in Manchester. The DCH Contingent assembles 12.30pm by the National Computing Centre, Oxford Rd, M1 7EF.

Other DCH  information

Also the People’s Housing Conference 10 October 10-5 at Friends Meeting House Euston Rd in London, will bring together tenants, trade unions and housing activists. DCH with Unite the Union, the People’s Assembly and many others are collaborating to build on the growing housing movement. For details and to book see The People’s Housing Conference. And housing and health campaigners will join protests 21-23 October in Olympia, West London, when developers gather to buy up public land: see more information and leaflet here.
Sign up to resist attacks on council housing, along with Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline Lucas, councillors, trade unions and tenants: see statement
And pass this statement against means testing by Councils and housing associations – see model resolution.

DPAC demo 5th Oct http://dpac.uk.net/2015/09/fury-road-manchester-dpac-protest-during-camerons-conference-speech-7th-october/

Northampton Solidarity Network next meeting 26th October on austerity: https://www.facebook.com/events/869175936491691/

Syria http://stopwar.org.uk/ has a quick way to lobby your MP over the UK not bombing Syria

NSSN latest newsletter http://shopstewards.net/2015/09/nssn-262-demonstrate-outside-tory-conference-oct-4-to-killthebill/

 BooQfest see poster to rightbooQfest-Flyer2015-HI-RES

West Midlands Hazard Trust AGM

At Irwin Mitchell, Imperial House, 31 Temple St, Birmingham, B2 5DB Tues 13th October.  refreshments and AGM at 6.15, followed by Speaker on Cancer- causing substances in the workplaces by Hilary Cross, industrial toxologist.

NUT lobby of Parliament about cuts in funding 18th Nov http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/24758

 

Jan 172014
 

Events

19th Jan Sunday: First Red Rope walk of the year. Please see previous newsletter for details.

21st Jan NCC Budget Cuts Consultation Meeting to Oppose Cuts. 7pm at the Dostiyo Centre 52 Dunster Street, Northampton. Nearest easy parking at St Michaels car park unless you have a blue badge. Please advise me and/or Ron if you are able to attend or invite others if you think that they can contribute to discussions and any decisions. I will pass on attendance emails to the organiser. Analysis of Equality Impact Assessments are here: EqIA analysis Summary 2013 and EqIAs 2013.

2nd Feb Sunday Stand Up For the NHS Comedy fund raising event. Includes Arthur Smith and Sarah Pascoe. Tickets going fast. Please support. Tickets and press coverage.

9th Feb Sunday Red Rope Walk: See previous newsletter for details.

10th February 2014 NTUC AGM, venue to be arranged. Click here for a copy of the NTUC rules 2012 and the TC nominations

The following proposal will be put: In the light of NTUC’s financial year

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from January, Rule 8a to be amended to read ‘The Annual Meeting of the Council shall take place in January from 2015 onwards. Proposed by Bob Ansell, seconded by Ron Mendel.

Please come along or make sure someone from your union can attend. Nominations are invited for all posts as listed in the rules. If you are having your AGM soon, please remember to elect NTUC reps. The number you are allowed is also in the rules.

Work is ongoing for our Vision For Northampton, but we really need more unions and organisations to get their ideas to us asap. Contact Sarah for details/help etc.

8th March Diggers’ Festival Wellingborough. Various events are taking place and there will be a display in the local museum from 27th Feb. Digger Festival ‘Early Bird’ tickets are NOW ON SALE for the evening event! All Fringe events are free – but it would be great if you could let organisers know if you have an interest in attending the library event so that they can keep the library informed of numbers.’Early Bird’ tickets for the evening are available until 24th January 2014 at a price of £8 or £7 concessions. Tickets are available direct from Mike Matthews with a S.A.E. 38 Curtis Mews WELLINGBOROUGH Northamptonshire NN8 5PG. Cheques should be payable to Independent Socialists of Wellingborough.

Information and requests for help

Petition Against Government Cuts to Daventry District Council

The Government has decided to cut funding to Daventry District Council by 13.9%, despite the fact that the national average is a cut of only 2.9%. This cut is on top of a cut of nearly 8% last year.

This impact of this dangerous cut will be a loss of services as well as a possible increase in business rates or council tax. Daventry deserves better than to suffer a further loss of services and attacks on local residents and businesses.

Please click on the link below and add your name to the petition opposing the cut to Daventry District Council,

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/rt-hon-eric-pickles-secretary-of-state-for-communities-and-local-government-we-the-undersigned-call-upon-rt-hon-eric-pickles-to-reverse-his-planned-cut-of-13-9-to-the-funding-allocated-to-daventry-district-council?utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_target_tips

Defend Council Housing

Some NBC tenants will be able to get a refund of the bedroom tax due to a recently discovered loophole. They will need to have been in the same property since 1996 and have been in receipt of Housing Benefit all that time. DCH has a template letter on their website. Please go to http://northamptondefendcouncilhousing.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/as-nbc-have-not-we-will/ and click on the help link. Circulate to anyone who

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know who might be entitled to a refund.

One For All – Chesterfield/Derby

You might be interested in the newsletter for the ‘One Fund For All‘ newsletter produced in Chesterfield/Derby. The fund is to support the unemployed with centres/resources etc and there are quite a few around the country. Useful info on a range of activities and issues.

 

Dec 192013
 

Last newsletter before Xmas! I will try to get a calendar out over the holiday – there are several dates in here so please have a good look through. I hope you all get at least some break over the Xmas period.

Trades Council Report

Different unions and organisations are now being asked to discuss and come up with some ideas for the Vision For Northampton, so you or your union/organisation may be contacted in the near future with suggestions on how to go about this. Please could you put the item on your branch or meeting agenda.

REGIONAL TUC MOTION 2014 in support of the right of students to protest has been sent to the Regional TUC.

Next AGM Monday 10th February 2014: John has circulated details and nomination forms. There will be a motion for moving the AGM to Jan in 2015. Please make sure your branch gets a rep along.

NCC Budget Cuts

An 8 week public consultation will launched by Northamptonshire County Council this week and closes 4th February 2014. It is likely there will be no real choices nor proper consultation.

Cabinet Paperwork
https://cmis.northamptonshire.gov.uk/cmis5live/MeetingsCalendar/tabid/73/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/410/Meeting/2211/Committee/399/Default.aspx

List of Cuts/Savings (with Equality Impact Assessments)
http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/en/councilservices/council/equalities/pages/budgetequalityimpactassessments.aspx

The main issues of concern are:-

* Connexions staff reduction – quality of service implication

* Care provider funding – reducing funding to providers (includes Olympus Care), and/or going with cheaper providers – Implications of quality of service, and care worker pay/conditions. eg increasing use of zero hours contracts or reducing pay and terms and conditons of staff. Care home funding is already at below acceptable levels after funding reductions over last 3 years

* Public Health department restructure – reduce staff and impact on delivery

* Merging of police and Fire & Rescue – staff implications (could reduce number of staff, and/or pay and terms and conditions) and subsequent implications for quality of service

* Voluntary Sector Funding reduction – charities and voluntary groups could close or reduce their activities

* Social Services staffing reduction (MAP Team) – reduce back office staff, and impact on placements. This could be time taken to allocate care worker or move someone into a care home. Also more placements could be made inappropriately. eg. more “15 minutes of personal care”

*

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LGSS Proposals – reduce back office staff for HR, Finance and IT departments which are already stretched. Impact on other departments (eg social services) reliant on these back office functions

* Charging for Social Care – increasing charges for placements and transport, especially for non-statutory and low level needs – will this be affordable for users?!

Could everyone looks at the detail of the draft budget to identify what are the concerns which are worth protesting about, over the Xmas and New Year period with a view to having a meeting early Jan? Alternatively, if any campaign groups wish to lead

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a campaign perhaps contact NTUC who will can circulate an invite on your behalf to our contact list?

Also if you require further detail about any of the proposals then it will be worth going along to the various Scrutiny meetings on different topics – further information and dates of meetings here: Scrutiny – draft budget

Useful links and other resources and events:

Left Unity: Meeting tonight at Old Black Lion at 7 for members and open for non-members 8pm. Next meetings January 8th and 22nd. These will also be for party members in the first hour, second hour open to non-members.

One billion and rising global day of action against violence against women. The Northampton Borough Women’s Forum has set up a working group to organise an event on February 14th. They are looking at having an event at lunch time in the Market Square. Please note the date in your diary. More info to come.


People’s Assembly
: Action Plan of events including support for students, Women’s Assembly, Budget events and then May Day etc.

Red Rope: Please see Jan + Feb Walks Publicity 2 for the walks early next year – first will be 19th Jan.

Austerity Uncovered: A longer video of the bus tour is now available.

Left Economics Advisory Panel (LEAP) for interesting blogs and other info: here

National Shop Stewards Network: Current Bulletin

DCH – Useful stats on housing situation: http://northamptondefendcouncilhousing.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/the-housing-situation-in-northampton/

TUC

Current Touchstone blogs

TUC Action Plan

 

 

Jul 262013
 

Useful TUC news and other links.

http://www.unionlearn.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=1398 New Union Learning Reps Stage 2 Online Course starting Sept.

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1940 ACAS East Midlands news/conferences –

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of interest to Trade Unionists.

https://www.tuclearning.net/ – find out about TUC e-notes, which bring you up to date info on a range of issues eg facility time, paternity rights etc.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/index.cfm?mins=156&minors=124&majorsubjectid=2 See all back copies of Risks newsletter

http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-22325-f0.cfm Self employed and the Health and Safety at Work Act. This briefing outlines the proposals in the Deregulation Bill and to exempt certain self-employed persons

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from the Health and Safety at Work Act and outlines the TUC’s objections.

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/07/practical-predistribution

http://www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/611/How%20to%20Boost%20the%20Wage%20Share.pdf New Pamphlet ‘How To Boost the

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Wage Share’

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/07/the-myths-about-who-is-protected-from-the-bedroom-tax

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/07/when-cuts-cost-lives-womens-economic-independence-and-domestic-violence When cuts cost lives: women’s economic independence and domestic violence

http://northamptondefendcouncilhousing.wordpress.com/2013/07/ – NBC rent

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arrears up by over £305k (DCH)

http://www.notamazon.co.uk/ – website that promotes online ethical trading and fair employment practices around the world

Apr 012013
 


A lively

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and well attended demonstration against the so-called bedroom tax was held at the Guildhall on Easter Saturday. There were a number of speakers who eloquently outlined how the tax would affect them, and it was made clear that this was one in a swathe of political attacks by government on the poor, vulnerable, sick and disabled.

There will be another protest soon – DCH will

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publish the date when it is agreed. DCH also has a very useful list of arguments against the bedroom tax on its site, which points out that already some councils and Housing Associations are taking measures to protect tenants.

Photos Courtesy of Paul Hogan: http://pauljhogan.co.uk/wordpress/northampton-bedroom-tax-protest-300313/