UNISON vowed to fight cuts and privatisation and highlight the damage austerity measures are causing to communities when the union’s local goverment conference debated the issue in Liverpool this morning.
More than 470,000 jobs have been lost in the sector since the coalition government of David Cameron and Nick Clegg took office, delegates heard.
The money available to councils will have fallen by 28% by 2014/15.
And more cuts are on the way.
Emma Hoddinott from Yorkshire warned that “another £3bn of cuts in local government will harm members and communities”.
Conference called for a co-ordinated campaign to defend jobs and services including:
- a recruitment and organising campaign to increase union density across council services and in those which have been privatised;
- support and resources for branches, including lawful industrial action where necessary;
- working with other parts of the union, sister unions, community campaigns and a range of other groups to oppose cuts.
Pointing out that privatisation often means putting services in the hands of companies which aggressively avoid tax, Linda Jones of the North West asked: “Should individuals or companies which avoid their share of UK tax be allowed to benefit by securing public contracts?”
Of course not, she answered herself: “Taxpayers’ money should not fund tax dodgers!”