Branch Meeting Wednesday 1st June 2011

12-2pm at Waltham Forest Town Hall Council Chamber – FIGHTING THE CUTS
Calling all Unison members – ITS TIME FOR ACTION TO FIGHT THE CUTSGiven all the redundancies, service cuts and closures and now the attack on Council workers terms and conditions, which will be passed on to other employers working in the services sector if they can get away with it, it is time for UNISON to stand up strong and resist the waves of cuts that are currently assailing our members. If we pass the motion laid out below then we will be campaigning throughout the branch for members to help us get a ballot for industrial action against the cuts. We will also look to promote non-co-operation with the cuts. For example, all members could and should refuse to agree to the proposed changes in terms and conditions. We will also seek the support of local community groups and will enlist their support for campaigns that strike at the heart of the Government and Council’s cuts agenda.Here is a possible draft motion. Any comments would be appreciated.
“This Branch supports the recommendations of the Branch Committee and instructs them to demand an industrial action ballot to defend jobs and services with a programme of non-co-operation, working strictly to current contractual arrangements and job descriptions, culminating in strike action as a last resort. Reps and branch officers will assist the branch office in updating membership lists and getting non-union members to join UNISON. The Branch Committee will also work with our sister trade unions in the Waltham Forest, the Waltham Forest Trades Council and the Waltham Forest Anti-Cuts Union to campaign against the cuts. We urge our regional officers to work with the branch in sanctioning action to stop the decimation of services in Waltham Forest.”
So far in Waltham forest we have experienced horrendous cuts to vital services like Youth Offending, Careers, Sheltered Housing, Schools Support, Early Years Social Inclusion and many, many other services. The cuts have been damaging and many members have been made redundant. As a trade union we cannot afford to acquiesce and continue to lose our members to the dole queue.
UNISON in Waltham Forest has been campaigning – we have appealed to the local MP’s to help us and both Stella Creasy and John Cryer have met with us and supported the national campaign. We have made representations to local Waltham Forest councillors and we have stood on the council steps for virtually every cabinet and full council meeting lobbying our elected representatives. Apart from some concessions to the Music Service and some amendments to various reorganisations across the Council the campaigns to date have not deterred national and local politicians from pursuing a cuts agenda. However the magnificent demonstration on 26th March, where around 200 of this branch’s members either joined our trade union delegation or made their way independently, shows that when there is a call for action that is properly built for and publicised  there is a determination that reveals very real opposition the this governments cuts agenda. Ten per-cent of the cuts have been pushed through so far and 500,000 people were on the streets of London from all over the country on that day. That demonstration shows that many of us see through the coalition government’s lie that “there is no alternative”.
UNISON needs an open and honest debate with members about what is happening. A few people on the branch committee can’t stop this onslaught .It will take mass action along with support from our friends, families and communities to stop these cuts. Splits and cracks in the ruling coalition are entirely possible as the farcical referendum campaigns show.
Please ensure that all members see this leaflet and let’s make sure that all our members are there for the most important branch meeting in years on 1st June.
Dave Knight. Branch Secretary
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