The branch will be lobbying Waltham Forest Council over the Cuts that are being proposed on Thursday 16th December 2010 from 6pm outside the Town Hall. This branch believes that the cuts are unnecessary. The money required to meet the nation’s deficits could be raised by dealing properly with tax evasion and tax avoidance. A tax could also be levied on financial transactions (see more by going to the Robin Hood Tax web site by clicking here Robin Hoood Tax). Instead the government is insisting that public sector workers and the poor pay for the crisis created by the rich and the banks.
Locally, the Council is saying it will set a legal budget and follow the cuts agenda. UNISON believes that our Council should make a stand and oppose the cuts.
The local Council proposals at the moment include huge cuts in Children’s Services – Careers, Education Welfare, Behaviour Support, Early years and Youth offending Teams all face such massive cuts that the service they currently provide will have to be massively reduced. There are to be cuts to the working hours of the Council’s lowest paid workers – the Council cleaning staff, whose contracts are to be limited to 10 hours a week meaning a maximum wage of £78 a week on top of more massive cuts in terms of job losses. The Councils FM staff (the porters and staff who look after the Council workplaces and public buildings) are to be reduced from 30 to 10 staff and will be a mobile service meaning that buildings will be uncovered for substantial periods which means that health and safety for both workers and members of the public will be compromised. And all this is just a taste of the cuts. Phase 3 involved over 600 Council workers receiving “at risk” letters and Phase 4 involves 586 staff. That is over 1,000 staff who are currently facing potential redundancy with something like 400 likely to be made compulsorily redundant. Meanwhile, the Council continues to recruit highly paid staff – £95,000 for a new Head of HR and £83,000 for the Head of Residents First and continues to hire consultants, like BMG to carry out work on preparing for the cuts. BMG are currently surveying library users at a cost of £20,000 to the Council.
The branch also recognises that many external organisations are likely to be hit by these savage cuts and we call on all members of the branch to join us at the lobby on Thursday 16th December to show the Waltham Forest councillors that we do not accept that the cuts are inevitable and that we do not accept the attacks on the poor and vulnerable in order to preserve the power and wealth of the banks and the rich.
The Branch agreed a strategy for campaigning and fighting against the cuts at the Branch Meeting on 9 December. You can see the Motion using this link