Monthly Archives: March 2012

Notts SOS meetings and events – week starting Monday 26th March 2012


This is the latest update from Nottinghamshire Save Our Services
(Notts SOS), including information on our meetings, Mansfield SOS and
the ongoing campaign against academies in the county, as well as the
usual list of upcoming events.

NOTTS SOS MEETINGS
We meet every two weeks. The next meeting will be tomorrow (Monday 26th March).

Meetings start at 7.30pm and are held at the International Community
Centre, Mansfield Road. Meetings are usually finished before 9pm and
there’s often an opportunity to carry on any discussion informally in
the pub afterwards. Please do come along and get involved.

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MANSFIELD SOS
Our sister group Mansfield SOS will also be meeting tomorrow (Monday
26th March). Among the items they’ll be discussing are the NHS and May
Day.

They are meeting from 7.15pm at the Gas Sports and Social Club, Lime Tree Place.

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NO TO ACADEMIES

Hands Off Notts Schools is the new name for the Nottingham and Notts
Anti-Academies Alliance, they will be meeting on Tuesday 27th March at
7pm at Beeston Library, Foster Avenue, Beeston, hoping to build on the
back of the successful anti-academy campaign at Kimberley School.

More information: http://nottsantiacademies.org

South Wolds Community School is among the schools currently pursuing
academy status. They are currently consulting on the proposals.
Anybody wanting to respond has until 11.30am on Tuesday 27th March to
do so.

Details: http://www.southwolds.co.uk/index.phtml?d=148072
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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Monday 26th March, 7.15pm: Mansfield SOS meeting. Gas Sports and Social Club, Lime Tree Place.

Monday 26th March, 7.30pm: Notts SOS planning meeting. International Community Centre, Mansfield Road

Tuesday 27th March, 11.30am: Closing date of South Wolds academy consultation
http://www.southwolds.co.uk/index.phtml?d=148072

Tuesday 27th March, 7pm:xHands Off Notts Schools meeting. Beeston Library, Foster Avenue, Beeston. http://wp.me/p1FhWU-2G

Thursday 5th April. Occupy Nottingham court date: http://occupy-nottingham.org.ukSaturday 12th April, 2pm

Legal observer training organised by Nottingham Defence Campaign and run by Green and Black Cross. Held at the Sumac Centre: https://imc.li/2sgsx

Friday 27th April, 7.15pm-late. Notts Trades Council May Day social. The Polish Eagle Club. £5 on the door/concessions.

Saturday 5th May, 10am. May Day march from the Forest Recreation Ground for a rally in the
Market Square. Speakers to include Mark Serwotka from PCS.


Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)


Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)
Website: http://nottssos.org.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nottssos
OStatus: https://indy.im/nottssos
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/nottssosfb
Email list: http://goo.gl/uT89q
Nottingham Indymedia group page: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/groups/notts-save-our-services

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Health and Social Care Bill passes – Keep Our NHS Public response


Following the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill, here is the press release from Keep Our NHS public. Wendy Savage spoke in Nottingham last year, followed by the relaunch of Nottingham KONP.

Keep Our NHS Public

Media Release
For Immediate Use: Wednesday 20th March 2012

Health Bill Passes: New Campaign Begins

The Health and Social Care Bill has now completed its passage through Parliament and will become law. This is despite the Bill being opposed by the great majority of doctors and health professionals, and by virtually all their professional bodies. It is also despite public opinion: polls have repeatedly shown that a large majority of the public want the Bill scrapped.

Prime Minister David Cameron has put his political future on the line by backing this badly drafted, illegitimate, chaotic and damaging Bill which received over 1000 substantive amendments, most which were not discussed in the Commons. He has told worried Conservative MPs that he is “prepared to take a hit” over the Bill, but that opposition will die away after the Bill becomes law. In this forlorn hope, he is wrong. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has inflicted permanent damage on his own Party by claiming to have transformed the Bill, while in fact leaving all its worst features intact. Even his own Party activists rejected this transparent excuse at the Liberal Democrat Spring conference.

Plans are already in train for a major campaign to save the National Health Service, that will run at a national and local level until the next General Election and beyond. There will be hundreds of battles to be fought across the country in the next few years, as Clinical Commissioning Groups struggle to deal with a morass of contracts and the overstretched CQC try to ‘kitemark’ services; predatory private healthcare companies and management consultants scramble to pick the bones of the NHS; and dedicated healthcare professionals fight against the odds to continue to provide a comprehensive, high quality and free service to the public.

The struggle against this dreadful Bill is only beginning. And the high political price to be paid by those MPs who backed it is only just starting to become clear.

Commenting, Professor Wendy Savage of Keep Our NHS Public said:

“I want to thank everyone involved in the campaign against the Health Bill. It has been a remarkable campaign, uniting doctors, nurses and health professionals with the general public. It has been highly successful in exposing the myths and lies peddled by politicians trying to sneak the Bill past without proper debate or scrutiny.

This is an awful Bill. It will damage patient care. It will waste precious public money on an unaccountable and more complicated bureaucracy and legal costs as private providers fight for thousands of healthcare contracts. It will damage the health of the most vulnerable patients and their communities. If it is not scrapped as soon as possible it will destroy the National Health Service, so valued and loved by those who work in it and those who depend on it.

We will make sure that the Bill haunts the Coalition Government from now until the next General Election. Mr Cameron will find his belief that defence of the NHS will soon fade from the public mind to be an arrogant and stupid delusion.”

ENDS

Contact:

Professor Wendy Savage 020-7837-7635 home 07939-084-544
Ian Willmore (media) 07887 641344 willmorei@live.co.uk

Wendy Savage
Cochair Keep Our NHS Public
19, Vincent Terrace, London N1 8HN
0207-837-7635
www.keepournhspublic.com

Notts SOS update for week beginning 19th March 2012 and forthcoming events


This is the latest update from Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS).

While there isn’t as much happening in Notts over the next week as the last few, the struggle against the cuts continues. The government are
not relenting (indeed they’ve just announced plans to further attack public sector workers by abolishing national pay arrangements) and neither will we.

NOTTS SOS MEETINGS
We meet every two weeks. The next meeting will be Monday 26th March.

Meetings start at 7.30pm and are held at the International Community Centre, Mansfield Road. Meetings are usually finished before 9pm and there’s often an opportunity to carry on any discussion informally in the pub afterwards. Please do come along and get involved.

—————

OCCUPY NOTTINGHAM
Occupy Nottingham was in court to challenge Nottingham City Council’s eviction order on Tuesday 13th. The case was adjourned to Friday 16th,
but on Thursday the occupiers were informed that the judge had granted them a 3 week adjournment until 5th April.

Press release: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2472
On Saturday 24th March there will be a benefit night for Occupy Nottingham at the Sumac Centre.

This will include Dub Reggae, Ragga Bashment, D+B, Dubstep & Jungle Bizness! All in aid of Occupy Nottingham!

Headliner: YT (SATIVA RECORDS) + DJ’s: Shrug Knight; Buda; Vinyljunkie; Remington; Spread; Jake5nake. £4 on the Door!!!

Food will be available at ‘Peoples Kitchen’ from 6.30pm, a great vegan meal for a small donation to Occupy Nottingham, it is hoped that there will be an open forum discussion before hand from 5pm.

Details: http://www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=1079
—————

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Wednesday 21st MarchBudget Day

Saturday 24th March, 6.30pmOccupy Nottingham benefit night at the Sumac Centre

Monday 26th March, 7.30pmNotts SOS planning meeting. International Community Centre, Mansfield Road

Tuesday 27th March, 7pmHands Off Notts Schools meeting. Beeston Library, Foster Avenue, Beeston: http://wp.me/p1FhWU-2G

Wednesday 28th MarchPossible national strike action over pensions by PCS and NUT (and maybe other unions).

Thursday 5th AprilOccupy Nottingham court date: http://occupy-nottingham.org.uk

Saturday 12th April, 2pmLegal observer training organised by Nottingham Defence Campaign and run by Green and Black Cross. Held at the Sumac Centre: https://imc.li/2sgsx

Friday 27th April, 7.15pm-lateNotts Trades Council May Day social. The Polish Eagle Club. £5 on the door/concessions.

Saturday 5th May, 10amMay Day march from the Forest Recreation Ground for a rally in the Market Square. Speakers to include Mark Serwotka from PCS.


Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)
Website: http://nottssos.org.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nottssos
OStatus: https://indy.im/nottssos
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/nottssosfb
Email list: http://goo.gl/uT89q

Notts SOS meeting Monday 12th March 2012 and forthcoming events


This is the latest update from Notts Save Our Services with information on our upcoming meetings, a report back from the city council budget meeting, news about the Market Square occupation and invites to an online security skillshare and a ramble in Sherwood Forest.

NOTTS SOS MEETINGS

We meet every two weeks. Last week’s city council protest fell on what would have been our meeting dates, so we’ve slipped a week. This means that the next meeting is tomorrow (Monday 12th March). The next meeting will then be Monday 26th March.

Meetings start at 7.30pm and are held at the International Community Centre, Mansfield Road. Meetings are usually finished before 9pm and there’s often an opportunity to carry on any discussion informally in the pub afterwards. Please do come along and get involved.

—————

CITY COUNCIL CUTS

On Monday 5th March Nottingham City Council met to agree its 2012-13 budget, with £20m cuts, 195 job cuts and a 3.49% council tax hike. Notts SOS protested outside.

We’re disappointed – but not surprised – by the vote, but this is not the end of the campaign. This is the fourth year in a row the city council has cut its budget and they already expect to slash a further £24m by spring 2015

Press release: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2456

Nottingham Indymedia coverage: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2457

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OCCUPY NOTTINGHAM COURT DATE

After serving notice on Occupy Nottingham, a week earlier, Nottingham City Council served court paper on the camp on Tuesday 3rd March. The case is to be heard from 10am on Tuesday 13th March at Notttingham County Court, 60 Canal Street, Nottingham.

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ONLINE SECURITY SKILLSHARE

An increasing amount of activism takes place online, this can be very effective, but it also carries a number of risks and potentially leaves you vulnerable to surveillance.

On Saturday 17th March, Nottingham Indymedia are running a session at the Sumac Centre exploring how you can communicate securely online, defend your anonymity and evade state repression on the internet.

Communicating securely is everyone’s business. Even if your activism is super-fluffy, you can help make the internet safer for everyone by adopting good security practices. If only the people doing spiky things used these practices, they would attract attention just by doing so. Get into the habit of doing things securely before you really need to and you will be a thorn in the side of the surveillance state. There will also be a chance to look at how to use the Nottingham Indymedia site to publish your own stories from the streets.

The skillshare is at the Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX and begins at 2pm.

Details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2413

—————

RAMBLE IN THE WOODS

The Save Sherwood Forest campaign are organising a ramble on Sunday 18th March to celebrate World Forest Day and mark a year of campaigning to keep the Public Forest Estate in public ownership. They’re hoping for a good turn out to show that people are still passionate about keeping Sherwood Forest & Sherwood Pines in public ownership and that this is the best way to protect our forest heritage for the community and future generations.

They will be meeting by the big notice board mid-way between the car park and the Visitor Centre/Café at 10am for a 10.30am start. Sherwood Pines is off the B6030 near Old Clipstone, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire – the post code is NG21 9JL.

The walk will be accessible to all and will feature interludes by Dave Wood – the Nottinghamshire poet – and members of the Clarion Choir. It should be over by 12pm-12.30pm, just in time for Mother’s Day Lunch.

Details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2442

Save Sherwood Forest website: http://www.savesherwoodforest.org.uk

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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Monday 12th March, 7.30pm
Notts SOS planning meeting. International Community Centre, Mansfield Road.

Tuesday 13th March, 10am
Occupy Nottingham court hearing. Nottingham County Court, 60 Canal Street, Nottingham.

Wednesday 14th March
National student walkout over “reforms” to higher education: http://gu.com/p/35dqz

Thursday 15th March
Nottingham Solidarity Network meeting: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2446

Saturday 17th March, 2pm
Nottingham Indymedia are organising an online security skillshare at
the Sumac Centre.This will include an introductory session on using Indymedia to post your own news about campaigns: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2413

Sunday 18th March, 10am-12pm
Save Sherwood Forest ramble to celebrate World Forest Day and mark a year of campaigning to keep the Public Forest Estate in public ownership: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2442

Wednesday 21st March
Budget Day

Monday 26th March, 7.30pm
Notts SOS planning meeting. International Community Centre, Mansfield Road.

Wednesday 28th March
Possible national strike action over pensions by PCS and NUT (and maybe other unions)

Saturday 12th April, 2pm
Legal observer training organised by Nottingham Defence Campaign and run by Green and Black Cross. Held at the Sumac Centre: https://imc.li/2sgsx


Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)

Website: http://nottssos.org.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nottssos
OStatus: https://indy.im/nottssos
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/nottssosfb
Email list: http://goo.gl/uT89q

Report on NHS anti-privatisation action in Beeston on 10th March


On Saturday March 10th, constituents of Anna Soubry MP’s Broxtowe constituency displayed postcards signed by over 500 people asking her to reconsider plans to privatise the NHS. As well as being a local Conservative MP, Soubry is parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Simon Burns (Minister of State for the Department of Health). Campaigners gathered outside Beeston Library where Anna Soubry was meant to be holding a surgery. Unfortunately when Ms Soubry heard of this she changed the location of her surgery. More details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2467

Campaigners condemn city council budget decision – Notts SOS press release – March 2012


Campaigners condemn city council budget decision

Download Press Release: Notts SOS Nottingham City Council budget decision press release March 2012

Campaigners from Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS) have condemned the budget, voted through by councillors on Monday 5th March.

Councillors overwhelmingly voted for the budget which included a 3.49% council tax increase; the sell-off of Portland Leisure Centre; the closure of two centres for older people, Marlstones Elderly Person’s Home in Bulwell and the Willows Centre in Beechdale; the closure of the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard; the ending of food waste collections and closure of nine recycling centres; and a reduction in funding to Connexions, a support service for young people.

There were only four votes against – the city’s few remaining Tories voting who have no particular objection to cutting services, but opposed the council tax increase.

Notts SOS held a joint protest with Nottingham City Unison outside the Council House at lunchtime and another for people coming from work at 5pm.

The group also handed in a petition to the council calling on the council not to implement a cuts budget. This was presented by Councillor Alex Norris during the budget meeting.

Tom Unterrainer from Notts SOS said, “Labour councillors made a lot of speeches, all of the ‘with a heavy heart’ variety. Piffle. If they had any heart – or backbone – they’d have set a no cuts budget and taken their fight to the government with action not hot air.”

Richard Smith from Notts SOS said, “This is not the end of the campaign. This is the fourth year in a row the city council has cut its budget and they already expect to slash a further £24m by spring 2015. Sooner or later, something’s going to give. Hopefully it’s some of the local Labour councillors rather than any of Nottingham’s residents.”

Contacts

Website: http://nottssos.org.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nottssos
OStatus: https://indy.im/nottssos
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/nottssosfb
Email list: http://goo.gl/uT89q

Notes for editors

1. Notts SOS was set up in the autumn of 2010 to campaign and oppose
all cuts to services in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. We have been
fighting council cuts on many levels since then, including organising
a 1,200 strong march to the city centre in November 2010.

ENDS


Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)
Sign up to our email list for regular updates:
https://groups.google.com/group/notts-sos-announcements

Nottingham action against cuts and austerity – City Council budget demos, Occupy, NHS and more


This week will see Nottingham City Council vote on its cuts budget for
the next year, we’ll be there to protest. The city council is also
beginning the process of evicting the Occupy Nottingham campaign from
Market Square. This week’s email update has information on all this
and more.

We’ll see you on the streets!

CITY COUNCIL CUTS

On Monday March 5th, Nottingham City Council will be meeting to agree
its budget, slashing jobs and services and hiking council tax.

The council is planning to

* increase council tax by 3.49%
* encourage staff to volunteer to reduce their hours from 37 to 35 hours a week
* realign management and cut 195 jobs
* close the Museum of Nottingham Life (Brewhouse Yard), except for
group and school visits
* close two centres for older people, Marlstones Elderly Person’s Home
in Bulwell and the Willows Centre in Beechdale
* sell-off Portland Leisure Centre
* cut food waste collection and close nine recycling sites
* reduce funding to Connexions, a support service for young people

The council had initially planned to reduce reduce redundancy payments
for laid-off workers to the legal minimum (which would have been the
third time redundancy payments at the authority had been attacked),
but has subsequently decided against this.

Notts SOS and Nottingham City Unison will be holding a join
demonstration outside the Council House from 12.30pm-1.30pm.

There will also be a demonstration from 5pm-7pm for anybody coming from work.

More details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2421

—————

OCCUPY NOTTINGHAM FACING EVICTION

On Monday 27th February, Nottingham City Council served the Occupy
Nottingham camp in Market Square with notice to leave within 7 days,
after which they will serve notice of intention to seek possession
through the courts.

The occupiers state that they “have collectively decided so far, not
to move from the Market Square, and through civil disobedience and
lawful rebellion we will stay, and prevent intimidation tactics being
used on those involved with Occupy.”

Campers are encouraging people to come down and show support.They have
also request help from anybody able to provide assistance in preparing
a court case.

A petition has been started, calling on the city council to reverse its decision

Petition: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/nottingham-occupy-camp-eviction.html

More information: http://occupy-nottingham.org.uk

—————

BOYCOTT WORKFARE

Yesterday saw a UK-wide day of action against workfare. Locally this
was supported by Notts Uncut and Notts Trades Council who had a
successful demonstration, protesting various companies profiteering
from unpaid labour. Both the BBC and ITV turned up to report on the
protest.

Anybody wanting to find out more about workfare could do worse than to
check out the excellent factsheet provided by the Boycott Workfare
campaign.

This provides information on all five workfare programmes;
demonstrates that none of them are voluntary; explains why they
undermine wages and replace jobs; shows the programmes don’t and won’t
work; and explains why people should care.

Factsheet: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=663

—————

KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC

Following their successful stall in Beeston on Saturday 25th february,
the local Keep Our NHS Public branch are going to hand over the 500+
postcards to Anna Soubry MP next Saturday (10th March) lunchtime
following her surgery at Beeston Library. They are encouraging
supporters come along and join them.

They will assemble from 11:45am in Beeston Library car park and expect
to have completed the handover by 12:45pm.

More details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2445

The next Keep Our NHS Public branch meeting is on Thursday 8 March
from 7:30pm at the Nottingham Friends Meeting House, 25 Clarendon
Street, Nottingham, NG1 5JD.

The branch have made presentation to Broxtowe Labour Party CLP,
Rushcliffe Labour Party CLP and the Nottingham Elders Forum – these
have been well received and have prompted further activity in the
fight to save our NHS. The group have also been invited to speak at a
meeting in Mansfield hosted by Mansfield SOS and are happy to provide
speakers for other organisations if requested.

Email: info@notts-konp.org.uk

—————
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Monday 5th March, 12.30pm-1.30pm and 5pm-7pm
Nottingham City Council meets to set its budget. A lunchtime protest
is being organised by Notts City Unison and Notts SOS, with another
demo in the evening for those coming from work
http://www.nottinghamcityunison.org.uk/

Wednesday 7th March, 1pm-7.30pm
Save our NHS mass day of action and rally, Westminster, London.
http://s.coop/unitenhs

Thursday March 8th
International women’s day

Thursday 8th March, 7.30pm
Keep Our NHS Public branch meeting at the Nottingham Friends Meeting House

Saturday 10th March, 11.45am
Notts Keep Our NHS Public will handover postcards to Anna Soubry MP at
Beeston Library
http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2445

Wednesday 14th March
National student walkout over “reforms” to higher education
http://gu.com/p/35dqz

Saturday 17th March, 2pm
Nottingham Indymedia are organising an online security skillshare at
the Sumac Centre.This will include an introductory session on using
Indymedia to post your own news about campaigns
http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2413

Sunday 18th March, 10am-12pm
Save Sherwood Forest ramble to celebrate World Forest Day and mark a
year of campaigning to keep the Public Forest Estate in public
ownership
http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2442

Wednesday 28th March
Possible national strike action over pensions by PCS and NUT (and
maybe other unions)

Saturday 12th April, 2pm
Legal observer training organised by Nottingham Defence Campaign and
run by Green and Black Cross. Held at the Sumac Centre, Forest Fields
https://imc.li/2sgsx


Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)

Website: http://nottssos.org.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nottssos
OStatus: https://indy.im/nottssos
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/nottssosfb
Nottingham Indymedia:
http://nottingham.indymedia.org/groups/notts-save-our-services

Campaigners to protest at city council budget meeting – Notts SOS Press Release – join the demonstrations on Monday 5th March


PRESS RELEASE Notts Save Our Services 1st March 2012

Campaigners to protest at city council budget meeting
On Monday March 5th, Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)
will protest outside the Council House when Nottingham City Council
meets to vote on its budget for 2012-13.

From 12.30pm-1.30pm, campaigners from the group will join with members
of Nottingham City Unison, demonstrating against the cuts to jobs and
services being voted through.

There will also be a protest for people coming from work at 5pm-7pm.

Protesters hope to present a petition against the council’s cuts
during the lunchtime demonstration.

The budget being discussed at the meeting includes a 3.49% council tax
increase alongside 195 job cuts.

The council are looking at selling-off Portland Leisure Centre;
closing two centres for older people, Marlstones Elderly Person’s Home
in Bulwell and the Willows Centre in Beechdale; closing the Museum of
Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard; cutting food waste collections and
closing nine recycling centres; and reducing funding to Connexions, a
support service for young people.

The council had also propsed reducing redundancy payments for laid-off
staff to the legal minimum, but has subsequently withdrawn this
proposal.

In total the council hope to save £20m to cover a shortfall arising
from reduced government funding as a result of the coalition
government’s austerity drive.

The council has also said that this will not be the end to the cuts,
with an additional £24m of cutbacks required by the end of the spring
2015.

Notts SOS believe that the cuts agenda is ideologically driven and are
urging councillors to stand-up to central government.

Claire Taylor from Notts SOS said, “Council Leader Jon Collins and
Deputy Leader Graham Chapman have been vocally critical of central
government and often with good reason. Now it’s time for them to put
their money where their mouth is and refuse to pass the cuts onto the
people of Nottingham. Even a single council refusing to implement a
cuts budget would shake the coalition government.”

Contacts

Email: nottssos@gmail.com
Website: http://nottssos.org.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nottssos
OStatus: https://indy.im/nottssos
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/nottssosfb
Email list: http://goo.gl/uT89q

Notes for editors

1. Notts SOS was set up in the autumn of 2010 to campaign and oppose
all cuts to services in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. We have been
fighting council cuts on many levels since then, including organising
a 1,200 strong march to the city centre in November 2010.

ENDS

Anti-workfare demonstrations in Nottingham on Saturday 3rd March 2012 – part of National Day of Action


National Day of Action Against Workfare (March 3rd)

Joint Notts Uncut/Notts TUC Workfare Action as advertised on Nottingham Indymedia: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/events/2429

Saturday 3rd March 2012. Starting 12:00 noon outside Wilkinsons, Parliament Street (across road from Victoria Centre), Nottingham.

See also: Boycott Workfare Leaflet

In solidarity with Liverpool Uncut’s action against workfare on Saturday 3rd March, Boycott Workfare has called a national day of action against workfare.

So many high street stores are involved in taking on forced unpaid labour that there is plenty of choice – Tescos, Asda, Holland & Barrett, Primark, HMV, and Topshop to name but a few.

Workfare means that those who need welfare are forced into unpaid work for multi-million pound companies. Instead of a living wage, they receive only JSA – a tiny £53 a week for the under-25s – far below minimum wage.

Workfare means those in paid positions may see their jobs replaced by this unpaid labour. Why would a company pay for people to do these jobs when they can get free labour from the Job Centre?

We can put a stop to this forced unpaid labour – Waterstones, Sainsburys and TK Maxx have all recently announced that they would no longer take unpaid placements – the other companies just need a bit more encouragement to stop this exploitation.

We demand an end to this exploitation and call for welfare rights and living wages for all!
If you continue to exploit us we WILL shut you down!

In conjunction with Notts Trades Council.

Contact email: nottsuncut@gmail.com

More background information

The government has budged a tiny bit on workfare by claiming to withdraw the sanctions from its Work Experience scheme. This is a direct result of the enormous public pressure that has been put on companies who have been profiting from workfare.

But this is not the end of workfare and therefore we must keep the pressure up. That is why we will be taking to the streets this Saturday. Work Experience is just 1 of 5 workfare schemes. The Work Programme is another one of these schemes in which job seekers will be forced to work unpaid in high street stores, including well known charities, up and down the country. Some of these stores that may be worth a visit include – Wilkinsons, Savers, Asda, Pizza Hut, British Heart Foundation, Barnardos, Holiday Inn, Poundstretcher The Work Programme is a particularly disturbing form of workfare – not only can job seekers be forced to work unpaid for 6 whole months, but most shockingly, disabled people can be forced to work unpaid for an unlimited amount of time.

If you cannot make it to your local high street (or there is not an action near you) then you can follow the link to the companies’ online complaints page to raise issues about the exploitation that they profit from. You can also target the usual suspects (Tescos, Poundland, McDonalds, Holland and Barret, WH Smiths) who are still taking part in the Work Experience scheme and may well be involved in others. And then there are the companies who have only suspended involvement: Scope, Matalan, Argos, Superdrug. The Work Experience scheme is still a cause of concern. As the government press release made clear, there are still sanctions involved in this scheme and therefore there is still the element of compulsion. George Osborne has stated “Young people who don’t engage with this offer [of work experience] will be considered for mandatory work activity” where severe benefit sanctions (starting at 3 months!) can be imposed. With the Work Experience programme still being linked to sanctions directly and indirectly, and still remaining unpaid, we suggest pressure is put on companies to withdraw their support and to offer real paid jobs!

Here are some forms of action that will be happening up and down the country that you may like to try out: local groups are planning to do tours of the companies involved, set up stalls to make people aware of their rights on the various programmes (see Boycott Workfare site for materials), go into stores and ask managers to withdraw support or simply shut the stores down. Teach-ins and mic-checks are also fun activities you might want to include.