Socialist Worker

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Issue No. 1966

Opposition to oursourcing plan

Council workers are opposing plans by Burnley council to transfer 60 jobs in its revenues and benefits department to a private firm, Liberata, which already runs similar services in Pendle.

The Unison union says pay and conditions will suffer as part of Liberata’s attempts to make a profit.

Kate Terry of Unison said, “We are opposed to outsourcing to private companies in principle because it’s been demonstrated endless times in other authorities that this actually results in a poorer service to the public.

“Liberata are estimating that if they get three local authority groups together they can provide the service with a 20 percent cut in charges. That can only be done at the cost of staff pay and conditions.

“We will be opposing this move and we will be looking to local councillors to support us very strongly in that.”

Cruel act could split up a family

The Sukula family from Bolton is poised to be the first test of new legislation which provides for the withdrawal of all support from “failed” asylum seekers, under Section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration Act.

The Sukula family lost their appeal at the asylum support adjudicators on 18 August and because Greater Manchester is part of a pilot for the act the family may be made homeless. Five of the Sukula’s six children would then be placed in the care of social services and separated from their parents and 18-year-old sister.

More than a hundred families could be affected by the new legislation.

Social workers should not be forced into breaking up the families of failed asylum seekers and acting as enforcers of an unjust policy, said the Unison union.

Bristol post halted by strike

Postal workers in Bristol struck on Friday of last week and Tuesday this week in a continuing dispute over overtime.

The strikes hit deliveries and collections in the Easton, Fishponds and Lawrence Hill areas of the city.

Around 60 workers took part in the strike, which follows a clear vote for action in a ballot.

Kevin Beazer, CWU union regional officer, said, “The union proposed an agreement that both sides step back and reserve their positions and the matter be dealt with via a joint process involving their respective headquarters, but this did not resolve the matter.”

Aberdeen council workers threaten strike

Almost 2,000 council workers in Aberdeen could be moving towards a strike.

Members of Unison, the T&G and GMB unions filled the city’s Beach Ballroom to bursting as they met last week to decide the way forward following drastic pay cuts as the result of the implementation of a “single status” deal.

After the meeting Unison joint branch secretary Karen Donnelly said, “The council has five days to meet our demands. Otherwise, we’ll be taking the first step towards a formal industrial action process.

“The decision was unanimous and the unity felt in the meeting was amazing. It’s now up to the council.”

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Sat 3 Sep 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1966
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