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.
List of Cuts/Savings (with Equality Impact Assessments)
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.
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/
Current Touchstone blogs