Wednesday, 5 March 2014
The dispute is over pay, pensions, conditions of service and the Government’s refusal to listen to teachers’ concerns over excessive workloads and removal of working time limits.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:“Strike action is always a last resort for teachers and we deeply regret the fact that we have been put in a position whereby we have no alternative. The strike action can, of course, be called off. For this to happen, the Secretary of State needs to give reassurances that he will not go ahead with any changes which worsen teachers’ working conditions. "
NUT is organising a street stall in Bridgwater on Saturday 15th March, from 11a, - 3pm at the Cornhill, to inform the public about the reasons for the strike. Please come along to show support .
FURTHER INFORMATION FROM TRADES COUNCIL SECRETARY, DAVE CHAPPLE mob. 07707 869 144
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Predictably and appallingly the Tory led Somerset County Councillors have agreed that £10,000,000 should be cut from public services. There has been no evidence of any objections from any Tory in the council to this Government sponsored cut- they have been craven in totally accepting what the Tory Party has told them.
I read in that Linda Vijeh says ‘if we do not tighten our belts we cannot go forward’ WE??? How many of this Tory led council are dependent on busses, home, nursing and residential care? How many of them are amongst those that will lose their jobs? How many of them are in sheltered housing, or need mental health care or help with learning disabilities? We? As always its the poor, disabled and disadvantaged that suffer. I’m reminded by her remark of the discredited ‘all in it together’ fantasy. And how could a proposed amendment to modify these cuts be described as ‘reckless’? And how can these cuts be fair when the Tories do nothing about the billions avoided in tax and keep the billions in unclaimed benefit.
The council needs to be more transparent. If they are challenging the Government about these cuts then they ought to tell us. And also tell us why they can’t ‘comment’ on the ‘Wheelergate ‘ business, about the CEO’s inflated salary and pay off..how many thousand pounds? And who pays? We need to know. Was it a tiff? A coup? Incompetence? What?
This council in this instance seem determined to ignore serving the people who voted for them and more inclined to be in thrall to the Nasty Party.
NUT Retired member
NUT Retired member
Monday, 10 February 2014
Bridgwater members of the Somerset People's Assembly will join a lobby of Somerset County Council on Wednesday 19th February at 9.15am, outside Shire Hall, Taunton, organised by Taunton's Anti-Cuts Community Campaign Group.
Councillors will meet to discuss proposed cuts of £30 million to Council services, followed by 3 more years of similar cuts. "Soon there will be nothing left" said People's Assembly spokes-person, Sarah Shaw. "These cuts will mean more job losses, more privatisation, further reduction of services, and closure of facilities, but we'll still go on paying council taxes for non-existent services. What a con!"
It's time for councillors to stand together to call the Government to account. These cuts aren't the result of local councils squandering money, or because they don't know how to cost and deliver services. They are due to continued cuts and underfunding of local councils by central government.
Lobby Government for increased funding
Instead of continuing to be the Government's spineless "hatchet-men", it's time councillors remembered why they were elected in the first place. Local councillors should represent local democracy and carry out the wishes of local people. They must refuse to carry out the proposed cuts and, through the Local Government Association, lobby Government for increased funding for local councuils.
The People's Assembly calls upon the people of Somerset to join the lobby on 19th February, and support the national campaign against cuts and austerity.
CONTACT: G BURROWS 077813 562 869
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
|ILG gets down and damp amongst his people|
Delegates to Bridgwater & District Trades Union Council reacted angrily to the sight of local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger joining flood victims protesting outside the Environment Agency in Bridgwater on Friday. Said a spokesperson: “Liddell-Grainger would be better off protesting against his own Government which has helped to cause this devastation. How dare he focus the blame on Environment Agency workers, who have struggled to carry out their duties in the face of Government cuts? The Tories have slashed £800 million from the country’s flood defence budget. Why doesn’t Liddell-Grainger protest about that?"
A recent appeal from Somerset County Council for more funding to deal with the devastation to flood-hit communities has been refused by the Government. Why doesn’t Liddell-Grainger sort that out first?”
Proposals recently announced to cut Environment Agency staff levels by a further 15% will mean the Environment Agency will be even less able to protect the public from flooding and pollution risks.
'Crazy Short term thinking'
These cuts follow 20% cuts to flood defence staff between 2010-2013, and come despite growing evidence of the impact of climate change, and the fact that Environment Agency staff dealing with pollution risks are now faced with the challenges of climate change, fracking and new nuclear build. A spokesperson said: "This is crazy, short term thinking."
Across the country, these cuts could end up costing £7.88 billion in flood-related damage.
Instead, Liddell-Grainger reserves his ire for Environment Agency flood defence staff, many of whom have been called out to help flood victims for the second Christmas running. Despite years’ worth of real-term pay cuts, Liddell-Grainger, a direct descendant of Queen Victoria, who owns his own castle and has in the past been criticised for claiming over £100 000 in expenses, calls Environment Agency staff “feather-bedded” on his personal web-site!
The targets of Mr Liddell-Grainger’s action are ordinary workers, many his own constituents.
Public Apology demanded
Bridgwater & District Trades Union Council request that Mr Liddell Grainger issues a public apology for his attack on the staff of the Environment Agency. Furthermore, we fully support Environment Agency workers in their campaign to stop the cuts, draw attention to the way these cuts may endanger the public and call upon anyone concerned to write to their MP, or email via http//www.theyworkforyou.com/
A public meeting is being arranged in Bridgwater on 27th February. For details contact Secretary D Chapple 01278 450562
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
A day of action against racism has been called for across Europe on Saturday March 22nd to coincide with the marking of UN Anti-Racism Day in 2014, with eyes on the European elections in May.
Across Europe the fascist and populist racist right are on the rise. From the violent Golden Dawn in Greece, the anti-Roma Jobbik in Hungary, the Islamophobic Freedom Party of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands to the success of the Front National in France, these currents are encouraging hatred, fear and prejudice in a frightening wave across the continent.
In Britain the far right is hoping for gains in the Euro elections. The British National Party (BNP) is seeking the re-election of Nick Griffin in the North West and Andrew Brons is seeking re-election in Yorkshire and the Humber. The mainstream political parties look set to capitulate to UKIP in their calls for draconian ‘anti-immigration’ policies and promoting a ‘Little Englander’ anti-foreign, anti-Europe mentality.
This all encourages currents like the English Defence League, which turn their Islamophobic prejudices into real attempts to terrorise the Muslim population – attacking Mosques, assaulting veiled women, insulting religious sensitivities with vile slogans and throwing pigs’ heads, and organising intimidating marches into Muslim communities.
Following the rising violence of Golden Dawn and the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, (also known as Killah P), the Greek anti-fascist and anti-racist movement has proposed that next year’s UN Day Against Race Discrimination on March 21/22 should be the focus for actions against racism and fascism across Europe.
Unite Against Fascism has therefore initiated this call for a demonstration and rally to Stand Up to Racism in London on Saturday 22nd March. The event has been backed by the TUC and most trade unions in the UK.
Martin Upchurch (Convener, Bristol Unite Against Fascism) email@example.com
Tuesday, 7 January 2014
You are invited to Bridgwater Trades Union Council's screening of "The War on Democracy" on Thursday 30th January ( this is rescheduled from 12th December)
As part of its "Cinema of Dissent" series, Bridgwater Trades Union Council will show John Pilger's film: " The War on Democracy" on Thursday 30th January, at the Engine Room, High Street, Bridgwater.
In this powerful documentary, Pilger travels Latin America to uncover the consequences of the United States' greed and exploitation there. For decades, the US installed presidents in South and Central America who kept the rich in palaces and the poor in slums. Through interviews with former CIA chiefs, and people from Latin America, including the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, Pilger sets out to prove that you can never believe anything until it's officially denied!
Doors open at 7pm, and the film starts at 7.30pm. Admission is free. Refreshments will be on sale. Seating is limited, so please let me know if you will be coming.
Glen Burrows 01278 450562/ 07813 562 869
Monday, 30 December 2013
|Protest against the bedroom tax|
Bridgwater & Somerset People's Assembly will present their petition against the Bedroom Tax to the full meeting of Sedgemoor District Council on Wednesday 8th January, at 2.30pm
The petition calls for the Council to lobby Government for the abolition of this unreasonable and unworkable tax, which is causing evictions and homelessness across Britain.
It also asks the Council to agree that no-one shall be evicted from any council property due to arrears caused by the Bedroom Tax.
Said spokesman Gwyn Holland: " Councillors know this tax is unworkable. It is increasing the cost of housing benefit by forcing people into high-priced private accommodation, because of the shortage of one-bedroomed accommodation in the social housing sector. This is against the aim of the Tax which the Government claims will reduce the cost of housing benefit. This is apart from the misery and stress caused to people faced with rent arrears and possible eviction.Many of those targetted by this wicked and vicious tax are disabled people.
It is not enough for Councillors to wring their hands. It's time they stood up to a government which is clearly incompetent at introducing reforms to the benefits system. Councillors are elected by local people and paid for by local people. it's time they acted in our interests.
There will be a lobby of councillors as they enter the meeting on 8th January. This will start at 1.30pm outside Sedgemoor District Council Offices, King Square, Bridgwater.
Information: Gwyn Holland: 07919676156 Glen Burrows 07813 562 869