Over 1200 march in Nottingham during a great show of solidarity on the June 30th coordinated strike day

Nottingham coordinated strike day 30th June 2011
Nottingham coordinated strike day 30th June 2011
Workers, students, unemployed, a wide spectrum of people of Nottingham City and the County including families with their children joined the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), University and College Union (UCU) and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) at the Forest Recreation Ground in a large show of solidarity against pension threats, job losses and pay cuts in the public sector.

These pension threats are part of the ongoing attack on the wages of workers whether immediate or deferred and the push to make us all work harder and longer to pay for the profit losses of the banks with their market manipulations. A crisis not of our making. All this while the rich are all but unaffected, the banks have been given billions, and corporate interests are taking the piss with massive tax dodges.

March, Rally & Meeting

Amongst a sea of trade union banners, trade unionists, services users and those threatened or already suffering from service cuts marched to Trinity Square. Anti-cuts activists involved with Notts SOS were prominent in the events. Trade union activists then marched to the Albert Hall for an indoor rally and campaign meeting. Speeches in Trinity Square continued to outline the threat to education, the NHS and local services from government policies. At County Hall, Notts Unison members and supporters protested against cuts and axing of vital services supporting people in the County.

At the same time as the Albert Hall meeting, after packing up began at Trinity Sq., Notts UnCut visited the usual targets of tax-avoiding companies in the city centre to protest against the hypocrisy of companies like Boots who now have their HQ abroad to avoid tax. All this whilst the Chamber of Commerce of Derby and Notts has the audacity to complain about the loss to UK PLC of one strike day. Especially galling as this was the same day that Lloyds TSB bank said they aim to axe 15,000 more jobs (on top of 27,500 losses already announced) as part of a review to get them back into the black – showing again that it is workers who are paying for the crisis, while it was reported by the Daily Telegraph that “Investors welcomed the results of the review sending Lloyds share price up more than 6pc in early trading to 47.17p”, showing which side private investors are on.

Notts Cold Cuts

Earlier in the morning, from 8am, Notts UnCut and Notts Save Our Services activists, including some individuals from unions not on strike today but supporting the strike action, went round pickets at Job Centres, Courts and the Tax Office handing out sandwiches, cake and chocolate, giving a boost to the official pickets.

The night before, other activists reported having superglued the locks to the doors of Job Centre Plus on Canal Street, and also Atos Origin on Stoney Street (who carry out health examinations which are being used to carry out government policy to kick a lot of disability claimants off vital benefits). Elsewhere in the UK, activists made the links between unemployed struggles and the PCS dispute.

Some of the high points: It a was a large and passionate march from the Forest and families with children who were missing school due to the teachers’ strike came along to support their school teachers. Royal Mail workers refused to cross picket lines. Workers asked for union application forms on pickets. Lots of honking of horns supporting the pickets and march, including bus drivers.

Some of the low points: At one point picket supporters were chased and shouted at by G4S security staff at the Tax Office for going off the right-of-way through the middle of the office grounds in order to find the strikers. Then at Castle College we heard that Teaching Assistants were disgracefully covering lecturers’ classes. Elsewhere some individuals seemed to have fallen for politicians’ rhetoric about pensions and against strike action.

But this will not be the end of the strikes and other actions against austerity. In fact action against destruction of the NHS will take place next week on Tuesday 5th (NHS founding anniversary) and a major day of action on Saturday 9th of July. Activity on the 5th will be in North Notts as well as Nottingham. Full details elsewhere on the site or coming soon. The next Notts SOS meeting is on Monday 4th July at the usual venue – YMCA International Community Centre on Mansfield Road, starting 7.30pm. Come and get involved with saving your services!

Other reports/photos: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk. See also UCU Castle College picket photos on facebook.

Nottingham Mayday 2011 photos – and (partial) list of services due to close in the County & City

The Nottiingham Mayday celebrations for 2011 took place in Victoria Park and the Market Square with a march between.

Why were we celebrating? Mayday has been going at least since 1886 when workers in the USA began a general strike for an 8-hour day. See photos on Indymedia (including Chesterfield as well as Nottingham and reports about both).

Why were we marching, demonstrating and making public speeches? Take a look at this list of services due to close in the city and county. Many more are closing or threatened. Get in touch with Notts SOS (or comment on this artilcle) if your service is not listed here.

How much more will we be forced to work or suffer cuts to pay, pensions and services to bail out the debt and bank bail-outs caused by capitalist speculators and sanctioned by our rulers?

Save Hayward House Daycare in Nottingham – campaign and website

Hayward House ‘hospice within the hospital’ at City Hospital, Nottingham cares for terminally ill patients. Its methods encompass compassion, dignity, and clinical expertise in palliative medicine. Its approach integrates medical, social, personal, emotional and community care in a way unique in Nottinghamshire. This has brought quality of life back to the last months and days of many patients. Nottingham PCT are closing daycare from September 1st 2011 – we cannot let them.

Visit the website: http://www.savehaywarddaycare.org.uk for more information and how to get involved.

On Wednesday, April 20th, 8.00am News on BBC Radio Nottingham plus news bulletins throughout the day will feature the proposed closure of HH daycare. Also watch BBC East Midlands News at breakfast, lunchtime and early evening. Also, look at the Evening Post on (we think) Thursday, 21st April.

On Saturday April 30th, Save Hayward House Daycare Campaign will be having a stall at the Mayday celebrations. Assemble in Victoria Park, Bath Street, near the Victoria Leisure Centre at 11 am. The march will leave the Park at 12 noon; why not join us? Bring your Save Hayward House Daycare placard! There will be speakers at Speakers’ Corner near the statue of Brian, then back to the park for music, food, more speakers, more food etc, etc.

University and college strikes next week including Nottingham city centre demo on 24th March 2011

UCU logoNottingham staff and students have mounted a united campaign at our local universities and colleges to support University and College Union strike action on the 22nd and 24th of March (Tuesday & Thursday next week in Nottingham). There will be picket lines on the 22nd and 24th and solidarity action by students from both universities and FE colleges via Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts. A joint staff/student leaflet has been produced at Nottingham University. Download student side of leaflet. UCU staff side of leaflet. The context of the strike is not only pensions (or forthcoming action on pay and condidion) but the commodification of education.

On Thursday 24th March, UCU members from all FE and HE institutions in Nottingham and across the country will be on strike together. AS PART OF THIS A PUBLIC RALLY WILL BE HELD THURSDAY 24th MARCH at 11 noon until 2pm OLD MARKET SQUARE NOTTINGHAM CITY CENTRE. Everyone is invited to support the rally. University of Nottingham UCU branch is also running coaches to London for the 26th TUC ‘March for the Alternative’. Nottingham University UCU office Tel: (0115) 9514976 Email: ucu [at] nottingham.ac.uk

Later in the afternoon on the 24th will be the ESOL day of action against cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages. Nottingham open air meeting will take place in the Old Market Square at 3.30pm. Download flyer: ESOL Day of Action flyer 24 March 2011. Help us show the importance of English classes.

See also: Photos from student anti-cuts fundraiser

Background: Tomorrow (Thursday 17th March 2011) members of the University and College Union that represents lecturers, researchers, admin staff and part-time students in universities and colleges in Higher and Further Education will begin a week of strike action to defend pensions. The action will begin in Scotland, followed by Wales, Northern Ireland and England (on Tuesday 22nd) before the final UK-wide day next Thursday 24 March. Employers have ignored attempts to meet employers at ACAS to negotiate. Due to continued support and negotiations, the proposed changes have been temporarily postponed but the employers still refuse to meet. See: http://www.ucu.org.uk/defenduss. The union does not claim a monopoly of wisdom on the Universities Superannuation Scheme, only that as one of the fund’s co-founders more than thirty years ago it is dear to our hearts and central to terms and conditions. The union remain committed to negotiations and are willing talk any time, anywhere, to the employers to protect members’ interests, but if they won’t talk we have no option other than to take action.

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) cuts: more help needed and meeting on 24th March 2011

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
Update: ESOL day of action. Nottingham open air meeting will take place in Market Square on 24th March 2011 at 3.30pm. Download flyer: ESOL Day of Action flyer 24 March 2011. Help us show the importance of English classes.

Data shows 76% of Nottingham ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students will face new &/or much higher fees. What will happen if they cannot pay, & cannot speak English with their children, at work, or in the community?

There are now 750 people waiting for ESOL. What will happen if some classes close? 10,526 people have signed the online petition & thousands of paper petitions are being counted too. Have you, your family & friends signed?

Petition to sign: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/defend-esol.html

In Nottinghamshire, 665 people signed the online petition, 917 have signed paper petitions, 810 students have completed surveys, 589 have sent prepared letters to John Hayes (Minister for Skills) & 60 people have written their own stories or letters. THANK YOU!!!

Background: http://nottssos.org.uk/2011/01/02/sign-the-petition-to-defend-esol-english-for-speakers-of-other-languages/

3rd National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts – April 14th 2011 – supported by Nottingham Claimants’ Union

A 3rd National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts has been called for Thursday April 14th 2011 and Nottingham Claimants’ Union is supporting the event.

Millions are set to be affected by savage cuts to housing, disability, sickness and welfare benefits. People with disabilities, illness, the unemployed, single parents, carers the low waged, part time students, volunteers, homeless people and college students are all likely to see a devastating drop in disposable income with many slipping even further below the poverty line.

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=164277070288955

Read more about the event: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/national-day-of-protest-against-benefit-cuts-day-3/

See also, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC): http://www.dpac.uk.net/

And also read:

Thanks from the Communication Workers Union [plus photos via Nottingham & Notts Trades Council]

On behalf of my Branch, its members and the CWU, I would like to thank all who supported the March & Rally this Saturday, in Beeston.
With over 1,000 attending, despite bad weather, it was a great turnout by all.
Again many thanks, and see you on the 24th of Feb in support of Unison.
Darren Glebocki, On behalf of the Central Committee of the, Nottingham & District Amal Branch – CWU.
Read report and watch slideshow of photos of the event via Nottingham & Notts Trades Council website: http://www.nottstuc.org/2011/02/notts-cwu-keep-post-public-attracts.html. Also at http://www.nottstuc.org/p/keep-post-public-demo-19-feb.html
See also: slide show of Valentine’s card demo on 12th Feb.

NOTTS SOS Newsletter No. 3 – February 2011 – out now!

See also: events diary.