Health Service lobby
Over 1,000 nurses from the Royal College of Nursing and Unison took part in a mass lobby of parliament on Thursday of last week to protest against job cuts in the NHS.
Huddersfield Save Our NHS
Doctor Jackie Grunsell has won a seat on Kirklees council for Crosland Moor & Netherton ward on behalf of the Huddersfield Save Our NHS campaign.
She won 35 percent of the vote. The joint boards of the Huddersfield primary care trust have agreed to move key basic hospital services, including maternity, to Halifax, and to close St Luke’s hospital, where most of its mental health services are currently based.
This is despite overwhelming opposition in the area, with over 50,000 signatures collected against the changes.
Jackie Grunsell, a member of the Socialist Party, was at the centre of that campaign and her election to Kirklees council expresses the widespread bitterness about the lack of any democratic control over local health services.
Cleaning up pay on the buses
First Bus engineers and cleaners at depots in south Staffordshire and south Cheshire are continuing with their dispute over pay.
The workers, who are members of the T&G union, want their pay to be brought up to the same level as First Bus workers in Chester – who earn nearly £2 more per hour.
The 62 workers are in their second week of working to rule after taking a week’s strike action at the beginning of May.
Civil liberties under attack
Over 50 people protested in Parliament Square last Sunday in support of peace campaigner Brian Haw. He has held a continuous vigil opposite parliament since June 2001.
The home office won its appeal last week against a high court judgement allowing Brian to continue his vigil. Now an act banning unauthorised protests from around parliament applies to him.
Helen John, 68, and Sylvia Boyes, 62, both veterans of the Greenham Common protests, were arrested last month after setting out to highlight a change in the law which undermines the right to peaceful demonstration.
Protesters who breach any one of ten military bases across Britain will be treated as potential terrorists and face up to a year in jail or £5,000 fine under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.
Show solidarity with Rhetta Moran
The employment tribunal of Rhetta Moran, who was sacked from her job at Salford university in January 2005, is continuing.
Rhetta was an active trade unionist and senior research fellow renowned for her work with asylum seekers.
The tribunal will reconvene at Alexandra House, 14-22 The Parsonage, Manchester on Monday 5 to Thursday 8 June.
The NUJ journalists’ union is calling for Rhetta’s reinstatement and solidarity at the tribunal. Please e-mail messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
Protest against death in ‘care’
A group of protesters demonstrated outside New Hall prison, near Wakefield, on Wednesday of last week. They were protesting over the death of Kelly Louise Hutchinson, 22, who died on 1 May while in the “care” of the prison.
Kelly’s death is the 11th at New Hall since 2002.
At 3pm a prison van attempted to take prisoners into the jail.
We blocked it on the grounds that it was unsafe to allow prisoners to be taken in.
West Yorkshire police officers arrived on the scene. I was arrested for an alleged breach of the peace – and released without charge after one and a half hours.
Pauline Campbell mother of Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, 18, who died in the “care” of Styal Prison, Cheshire, in 2003
Winning the Fourth Option
Monday 22 May, TUC, Congress House, Central London
Speakers include MPs Austin Mitchell, Frank Dobson and Michael Meacher, trade unionists Dave Prentis and Jack Dromey alongside leading tenants and councillors
Delegate fees: tenants £5, councillors, unions, others £12
For more details go to www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk