Feb 6 - the fightback starts here!
UNISON branches are faced with cuts in funding,
exacerbated in local government by artificial restraints on council
tax levels. This is likely to get worse in future years.
UNISON wants to start the fightback now – with a
twin-tracked campaign at Scottish and branch level engaging user
groups and communities to lead successful opposition to cuts.
It starts with a rally after Scottish Council on Feb 6 and
will continue into an important demonstration in spring - date
to be confirmed.
This briefing is to tell you about the rally, but
please also start to build support for the demonstration. Public
Works is UNISON’s Scottish campaign against the storm whipped
up by big business, some politicians and the media, to cut public
services to pay for the massive loans pumped in to prop up irresponsible
private sector bankers.
Public Works is part of the UK campaign - a million
voices for change - and has been busy challenging these attacks.
February 6 – the day of the next Scottish Council - is a key date
in this campaign. UNISON is planning a major rally against the
cuts and we need branches to make the day a success.
What you should do before Feb 6
A rally with General Secretary, Dave Prentis will
take place at 12.00 noon on Saturday, in the Royal Concert Hall
in Glasgow. We need you to be there and to bring along:
- Your activists – stewards and reps who are not
necessarily Scottish Council delegates
- Branch Banners – to take part in a photo opportunity
and to link with your local cuts reports
- Any user or community groups who you are working
with to fight cuts in your authority.
We are sending out a Cuts Impact Assessment.
We need branches and Regional Organisers to fill these in jointly,
and return to Fiona Montgomery by February the 1st – firstname.lastname@example.org
. We need this information to use in the rally to show how cuts
affect jobs and services. The form is designed to be updated and
will be used to monitor changing situations.
Branches need to plan their campaigns against the
cuts at local level. Advice on running campaigns is contained
in the Stop the Cuts toolkit circulated at an earlier Local Government
Group. This will soon be on the website at unison-
A course on running campaigns is available to be
run for individual branches as a one or two day course. Contact
Chris Bartter email@example.com to arrange. This course will
also be run as a Scottish weekend course planned for 23 . 25 April
. but these dates may be brought forward.
Campaigns should be part of the overall Public Works
and million voices campaign and general materials for these campaigns
are available from the Communications section in London and the
P&I team in Scotland.
Branches should be:
. collecting and monitoring the position on cuts
in their own authority,
. planning and carrying out campaigning activities
against cuts locally,
. contacting other trade unions, user and community
groups to brief them on cuts planned, and to build alliances,
. lobbying local politicians to challenge both specific
cuts, outsourcing and other plans, and to build support for UNISON's
alternative budget (see unison.org.uk/ million/resources/Alternative_Budget.pdf
. making sure that UNISONScotland is kept informed
of the impact in your authority Use the upcoming General Election
. question your candidates, and get members to do
so too! Some suggested questions will be circulated.
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