The following motion was passed by Southwark unison at a special members meeting to discuss how to fight the cuts in local government. We are publishing it here as it represents a good template that can be used by trade unionists elsewhere in drafting similiar resolutions:
Southwark UNISON Local Government Branch resolves to put itself at
the head of the local struggle against public sector cuts. We consider any cuts
to our essential public services to be unacceptable and criminal.
Furthermore, we consider that these cuts imposed by the unmandated ConDem
government will destroy jobs and communities at a time when the divisions
between rich and poor, regional divisions and mass unemployment are
damaging millions of innocent people.
Local and national trade unions and trades councils must be clear
and take a lead in explaining that the blame for the crisis lies with the
bankers and their capitalist system as a whole. Their crisis has simply been
unloaded onto the public sector, whilst they continue to make huge profits,
because this government is a banker’s
Therefore we believe that the maintenance and expansion of badly
needed public services should be funded from these banks that have gone into
public hands anyway. Society is no poorer than it was before – we have just as
many workers, just as many factories, trains and roads, and just as much need.
It is scandalous that this government would put workers willing to provide
public services on the dole to satisfy the speculators.
We believe that the election of a Labour Council in Southwark, and
the removal of the ConDem coalition here, signifies a public rejection of the
latter’s programme. Therefore we call on
this new administration to declares its opposition to the government’s
programme, and to not implement the Tory cuts by cutting the council budget, to
oppose the privatisation of any part of the public sector, and to join with the
unions and community groups to fight the cuts. We
would be willing to work with Labour Councillors in building a broad based
campaign across the borough.
We agree to:
Support similar campaigns by our sister unions in Southwark and in
other local authorities
Initiate a broad-based “Southwark Save Our Services” Campaign to
support and co-ordinate opposition to cuts in public services. This campaign
should invite all local trade unions, the Trades Council, community groups,
tenants organisations, voluntary organisations, pensioner organisations,
campaign groups, faith groups and Labour parties.