Hot on the heels of the critical comments made by the head of Leicestershire Police, the Secretary of the Leicester branch of Unison the union, Gary Garner, has spoken out to the media about the dangers of the Tories ongoing funding cuts.
As the Leicester Mercury reported in an article titled “Union’s school cuts warning” (June 14):
“Schools in Leicester cannot afford to lose any more teaching assistants or administrative staff without risk to pupils, city union bosses have warned. Unison says at least six primary and secondary schools have just embarked on cost-cutting reviews of their staff numbers to deal with budget pressures which could see posts cut.”
“Cutbacks in education funding are having a devastating impacts on children’s education… Instead of starving schools of funds, the Government should invest in education and ensure children get the start they deserve in life.”
In a similar vein, speaking to the union’s national executive council on Monday, Unison’s general secretary Dave Prentis explained that Labour’s ability to turn round a 20-point deficit in early opinion polls had dispelled three political myths. These were that:
- “young people are not interested in politics”;
- “the people have accepted austerity”;
- “you can never win if you pitch to the left”.
So in many respects the Leicester Unison branch of his union (of which I am a member) has kept ahead of curve, as has been demonstrated by our realising the necessity of pitching left and by fighting against austerity. This is because earlier this year our branch submitted a worked-out proposal for how Leicester’s Labour-run Council could take a lead from Jeremy Corbyn’s fight against austerity by setting a no-cuts budget for our city.
Unfortunately, prior to Corbyn’s election result, Leicester’s Labour Council (most especially leading Corbyn critic Sir Peter Soulsby) had belittled Unison’s demand to fight against austerity as being completely unreasonable. But now it is abundantly clear that opposing Tory cuts is the only reasonable thing left to do.
All Labour-run Councils must now urgently unite in refusing to pass on Tory cuts at a local level.
Unison’s no-cuts budget proposal couldn’t be more relevant, and any campaigns that are successfully built around such demands will only serve to help place Corbyn in Downing Street sooner rather than later.
Join the public meeting tonight (Thursday) “Tories in Tatters, Fight for Socialism!” — June 15, 7.30pm, upstairs at the Barley Mow pub on Granby Street in Leicester. https://www.facebook.com/events/1575345832478624/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%2222%22%2C%22feed_story_type%22%3A%2222%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D&pnref=story