PRESS RELEASE FROM BRIGHTON AND HOVE UNISON
Trade Unions response to the Tory/Liberal Democrats "Slash and Burn"
At a meeting on 25th May 2010 in Brighton, over 150 Trade Unionists,
politicians from the Labour Party (Gill Mitchell, Leader of the Labour
Group on BHCC), Green Party (Caroline Lucas, newly elected MP for
Brighton Pavillion) and community organisations , came together to
hear about the crisis that is imminent for the people of Brighton and
The meeting was hosted by the local UNISON Branch and the Trades Council.
Those present heard "real" news about the implications for local
workers, service users (often the most vulnerable in our community)
and the general public. These included :
Announced redundancies at City College.
The threat of more than 20 redundancies in the Museums section, as
European Funding is cut.
In BHCC the "planned" £16.8 million cut in budget next year (equal to
at least 600 jobs) may increase to £21million (equal to, at least, 800
jobs), with some, or all, of this to be implemented in the current
The Labour Governments "Building Schools For The Future", £150 million
in Brighton and Hove (with all the jobs it would create locally) is to
be completely cut.
The £400 million earmarked for redeveloping the Royal Sussex County
Hospital will be cut.
Funding for the voluntary sector, both from the Council and from
Central Government will stop completely, or, at best, be slashed
Information received from a senior Council source, suggests cuts in
schools will total 25% in budgets, over the next 3 years. That is
simply, disastorous for our children - there will be bigger,
understaffed, classes, at best.
There is much, much more.
This crisis was caused by the private financial sector, our money was
used to prop up the Banks, and now we are being asked to pay again
with our jobs and services. The meeting was unaminous in condemning
what was called the "economics of the madhouse", and completely
rejecting David Cameron's statement that "we are all in this together"
- all the 18 Trade Unions represented entirely reject this.
All Trade Unions pledged to fight job and service cuts whether they
occur in the private, voluntary or public sector.
For UNISON, Alex Knutsen, Branch Secretary, committed the Branch to
launch a local campaign against these cuts. Delegates will also go to
the National Conference on the 14th June to call for immediate
industrial action ballots, locally, and nationally, and this will
certainly include strike action.
Alex Knutsen, said,
"This coalition government must not be allowed to get away with the
slashing of jobs and services. This is not a perfect society, but at
least we strive to provide basic protection for the most vulnerable in
our community - a civilised society stands or falls on this measure.
The claim by the Tories/Lib Dems that frontline services will be
protected would be laughable in other circumstances, but it is a
complete and utter lie.
UNISON calls upon all the people of Brighton and Hove, the public,
workers - in a Trade Union, or not, community groups, employers,
politicians, to come together on 22nd June (the day of the
Chancellor's emergency budget) to defend the services and jobs that
our local economy depends upon. This fight affects us all - it is a
fight for a decent, moral, society.
I say, "build a ring of steel" around the City - no cuts, protect our
kids, the elderly, those with disabilities, and your own services as
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