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

 

 

Aug 152013
 

It’s a quiet time but here are some bits and pieces for those of you still around. Please pass on a link to our website to your members. They may find our help pages useful too.

Umbrella Fair

Just a reminder that this is on this coming weekend and that we need helpers and details of anyone who wants to share the marquee. Please see the previous newsletter below for details.

Union News

Save Our Royal Mail: the CWU is running a campaign atm with petitions etc. Please see their website for details http://www.cwu.org/save-our-royal-mail.html. In

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the petition here: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/vince-cable-save-our-royal-mail.

Shrewsbury 24 Campaign. The Shrewsbury 24 were building workers who took part in the first ever national building strike in 1972. It was successful, but 5 months later the pickets were arrested and charged in relation to the picketing – conspiracy to intimidate, affray and unlawful assembly. Six were imprisoned, with Des Warren and Ricky Tomlinson (the actor) doing the longest periods. The campaign believes they were innocent but the Government is withholding papers about it under a section of the Freedom of Information Act relating to National Security. Please download the petition and get others to sign it: http://www.shrewsbury24campaign.org.uk/

The National Shop Stewards Network send out bulletins detailing current events and a lot of union news you won’t hear elsewhere in the media. You can get regular mailings if you sign up. Current bulletin: http://shopstewards.net/2013/08/ebulletin-154-zero-tolerance-for-zero-hour-contracts/

TUC

Risks 617 – 10 August 2013 Health and Safety Newsletter 10 August 2013 http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-22450-f0.cfm

Online Courses: there are some excellent looking short online courses coming up including Cancer in the Workplace, Disability Champions in

the Workplace, Equality Reps, Going Global, Pensions etc. Go to http://www.unionlearn.org.uk/online-courses. well worth doing.

Insurance: The TUC has negotiated an insurance package with CaSE Insurance which can be used by Trades Councils or Trade Unions (they also do charities and the voluntary sector). See: TU Insurance