Boot out civil service cuts
MEMBERS OF the PCS civil service workers’ union in Merseyside protested outside Sefton council’s meeting on Thursday of last week demanding that they act to stop job losses. Gordon Brown’s plans to axe 104,000 civil service jobs will hit 4,000 workers across Merseyside.
Union members from 20 government departments handed in a petition and addressed the council meeting.
Paul O’Connor, a member of the PCS national executive, said, “The civil service offices in Bootle house about five or six departments. Bootle is going to be hit especially hard because of that with a possible 1,000 job cuts.”
Programme of anti-war protests
THE STOP the War Coalition has called a national “outreach day” on Thursday of next week, the day of George Bush’s inauguration. The idea comes from activists in the US who use such days to contact a local union, a community group, colleagues, friends or just their neighbours and let them know about the ongoing case against the war and the next local and national activities.
Stop the War groups are being asked to use the outreach day on 20 January to raise awareness of the national day of disobedience on 15 February and the demonstration on 19 March. Many towns and cities have already called Stop the War rallies over the next few weeks.
For details of what is happening in your area go to www.stopwar.org.uk
NUT election: a breath of fresh air
BALLOT PAPERS have gone out in the election for deputy general secretary of the largest teachers’ union, the NUT. Christine Blower, who has held senior positions in the NUT, including national president, is standing with the backing of the left in the union.
Among the priorities she is highlighting is pensions. “Teachers should not be forced to work to 65,” she says. The campaign to stop the proposed changes must now build on the TUC demonstration and lobby of parliament with further campaigning activities building towards strike action if necessary.”
She is also calling for the union to “take a public stance against the unjust and illegal Iraq war on which billions of pounds have been spent”.
For campaign literature go to www.electchristine