Category Archives: Anti-austerity

Protest the Budget with the Big Collection

Chancellor Phillip Hammond will announce the Budget next week and outline the Government’s spending priorities for the next year.

We’re calling a protest at Downing Street the night before to urge the Government to use the Budget to scrap their plans for Universal Credit, to close tax loopholes and force the tax avoiders to pay their fair share, to end the public sector pay cap with an increase above inflation, and to properly fund our NHS and public services.

Protest: 6pm, Tuesday 21 November, Opposite Downing Street, Whitehall, London

** We’re asking everyone to take 10 minutes today and invite your friends on Facebook: click here to invite your friends
** Please also Tweet using hashtag #SackTheTories


We’re pleased to team up with Health Campaigns Together, Unite Community, Axe The Housing Act and many other campaigns to organise this protest. (If your campaign would like to get involved please get in touch)

It’s fair to say that this Government hasn’t had the best few weeks. Theresa May’s authority is dwindling even in her our party while a growing crisis in the cabinet, based on inappropriate behaviour from ministers, leaves a question mark over whether this Government will survive the next few weeks in office.

But the crisis around the roll out of Universal Credit is growing which will push thousands into poverty, the Paradise Papers revealed the huge extent of Tax Avoidance where the rich are thieving money which should be spent on services, and the head of the NHS last week warned billions of pounds extra is needed if the NHS is to survive this winter.

Come along, bring friends and workmates. Let’s make sure this weak Government feels the growing opposition to their damaging austerity measures.

Foodbank Collection
As part of the protest we’re collecting food which will be donated to local foodbanks so their shelves are stocked to deal with the fallout from Universal Credit and the continuation of austerity policies in the budget. We will also be using the thousands of pounds that was raised through sales of Captain Ska’s track ‘Liar Liar’ to buy tonnes of food and deliver it to foodbanks across the country. But before it’s delivered, we’ll be displaying all of it right on the doorstep of Downing Street to show Theresa May and Phillip Hammond the effect their damaging policies are having on ordinary people.

Items that are needed for Foodbanks:

  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned fish
  • Tinned veg
  • Tinned fruit
  • Pasta sauces
  • Instant coffee
  • Milk (UHT or powdered)
  • Fruit juice (long life)
  • Tinned pudding
  • Jam / preserves
  • Instant mashed potato
  • Male and female toiletries

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity

New People’s Assembly pamphlet: “In Place of Austerity – a programme for the people”

As you will know the TUCJCC encourages all Trades Union Councils to work closely with the People’s Assembly.

This new People’s Assembly pamphlet is very useful in winning yet more people to an anti-austerity position, and convincing them that there is a real, practical and achievable alternative.

Download here: In Place of Austerity pamphlet

No More Austerity Demo 1st October Manchester

Theresa May and the Conservative Party have got themselves in a real mess, with a dramatically weakened Government, a divided party, and no obvious way out of the situation. Join Barnet TUC as we head up for a national protest against them.manky

The details for the train to Manchester are:
01/10/2017 London Euston (EUS) 08:20 Manchester Piccadilly (MAN) 11:02
01/10/2017 Manchester Piccadilly (MAN) 16:35 London Euston (EUS) 18:46

Contact Helen Davies (07432 733168) or the Barnet UNISON office (020 8359 2088) and leave your contact details if you want a ticket. Tickets will go on a first come first served basis.

Show Culture Some Love

16797816_1093584557419993_4489735210433799335_oThe third conference of the “Show Culture Some Love“ campaign – organised in conjunction with SERTUC and affiliated unions – is taking place on 25 March 2017 from 1.00-5.30pm in TUC Congress House. Tim Newton’s film of the first conference can be viewed here:

The conference focusses on the theme of “The Future of Arts & Culture” and will be opened by Megan Dobney, (Southern & Eastern TUC Regional Secretary). The main session will be chaired by Clara Paillard (President, PCS Culture Sector) – and will feature a number of leading speakers. Further announcements will be made as and when speakers are confirmed.

The main session will be followed by four workshops which will explore equality issues:
• Race, Racism, Art & Culture: (Chair: Zita Holbourne, “Black Activists Rising Against Cuts”)
• Disability, Culture & Art: (Chair: Mark Leopard, TUC Disabled Workers Committee)
• LGBT, Art & Culture: (Chair: Theresa Easton, Artists Union England)
• Gender, Art & Culture: (Chair: Fiona Whitelaw, Equity).

A second series of workshops on a number of issues relevant to the sector will then take place:
• Arts & Campaigning: (Chair: Nicola Hawkins, SERTUC Creative & Leisure Industries Committee)
• The Arts & “Brexit”: (Chair: Tracy Edwards, PCS Culture Sector)
• Developing and taking forward the Show Culture Some Love programme: (Chair: Tom Taylor, SERTUC Creative & Leisure Industries Committee)
• National Libraries and Museums Campaign: (Chair: Candy Udwin, PCS or Helen Davies, Barnet UNISON)

Each workshop is being asked to identify two priority action points and to appoint someone to report back to the final session – which will be chaired by Tom Taylor (Secretary, SERTUC Creative & Leisure Industries Committee).

Registration will take place between 12 noon to 1.00pm – with free sandwiches and refreshments being provided. Advance booking is essential – and people can book their place via email at:

I Daniel Blake screening

16358539_10154765740641206_221928706_nBarnet UNISON is proud to be able to screen ‘I Daniel Blake’ in our local community cinema the Phoenix in East Finchley on Tuesday 28 February.

We are absolutely delighted that our long-time supporter Ken Loach has agreed to join a Q & A with DPAC’s Paula Peters, who will be interviewed by Aditya Chakraborrty senior economics commentator for the Guardian.

See flyer and poster for details.Flyer







Useful links

Phoenix Cinema – East Finchley

Accessibility at Phoenix

I, Daniel Blake trailers

I, Daniel Blake – Official Trailer I HD I Sundance Selects

Ken Loach: life in austerity Britain is ‘consciously cruel’

barnet_idanielblake_28Feb2017_A5_2ppAditya Chakrabortty

Download our poster here


People’s Question Time – Brexit: What are our Demands?


7pm, Thursday 19 January, St Pancras Church, Euston Road, NW1 2BA.

This has been a year full of surprises; the Political landscape is changing at an unprecedented rate. Brexit has been hugely divisive and has created a dynamic and unpredictable situation.

Our new (un-elected) Prime Minster and her cabinet clearly have no real plan. One thing is for sure, if the last 6 years are anything to go by, if the Tories are left to handle Brexit negotiations on their own we’ll see a deal that suits the bankers, the bosses and the corporations. What should we be demanding from the government that means Brexit is negotiated in the interests of the people? However you voted in the EU referendum, we need to put pressure on the Tories to ensure they don’t use Brexit as a way of increasing attacks on the majority, continuing austerity, whipping up racist divisions in our community and scapegoating immigrants.

Book here.

Panel includes:
Emily Thornberry MP – Shadow Foreign Secretary, Labour Party
Amelia Womack – Deputy Leader, Green Party
Kevin Courtney – General Secretary, National Union of Teachers
Lindsey German – People’s Assembly
Steve Turner – Assistant General Secretary, UNITE
(more tbc)

Do you have a question for our panel? Submit one when registering for a chance to put it to the event.

Check out the Facebook Event and invite your friends!

Any questions about the event or for the People’s Question Time, please contact:
Google map and directions

“Fighting tooth and nail” – a Barnet UNISON Film

John Burgess writes:

Whilst we have tried hard to support and represent our members the last 9 years have been painful, fun, tiring but invigorating but most of all it has been a privilege to have belonged to Barnet UNISON branch.

Austerity introduced mass outsourcing to our members and residents. I have never been prouder than when I have been at committee meetings with hundreds of residents or with residents with hundreds of questions.

Our members have had the courage to give it a go. To get up off our knees and at least stand up for what is right.

Sometimes we have lost and sometimes we have won, that is the way it is in Barnet UNISON.

But we can always look back and say that we have not gone missing.

We don’t leave anyone behind, even when we lost the big outsourcing to Capita and hundreds of our members were later made redundant as their jobs were scattered to the four winds. We stayed and supported, represented our members and we won some compensation for some of those who lost their jobs.

We can always say we didn’t avoid difficult decisions and we don’t run from a fight, we organise and we lead but always it must be the members who decide when and for how long we fight.

Outsourcing and job cuts has had a detrimental impact on worker and I have observed the workplace has become toxic environment. I point to the consultant’s catch phrase “More for less” as one of the most insidious and unhelpful jargon to emerge over the last decade.

“More for less” has in my opinion has contributed directly to “unsustainable and unsafe” work places; we are only just beginning to see the impact on workers mental health and wellbeing.

Over the past decade we have seen a high burn out of UNISON reps simply because the challenges and pressures that mass outsourcing brings are too much.

I have always believed in taking responsibility where you can and for me that has been in the London Borough of Barnet.

I have worked with so many wonderful and creative people both inside and outside UNISON. I have gained so much more from being in their company and most importantly listening and learning to what they have said or done.

It is in recognition of this experience and in an attempt to reflect on what has happened and think about my future and the future of the branch I have put together a film montage of the last decade in the life of Barnet UNISON. The film opens with Fremantle Care workers and campaign that shocked me and a campaign that still troubles me deeply nearly 9 years after it began. Their fight and the draconian cuts were later to be followed by the heroic Care UK 90 day strikers and our very own Your Choice Barnet care workers campaign.

Anyway enough from me.

The short film is just under 20 minutes long so make sure you have a nice drink, comfy seat you might have a few surprises from a few guest appearances.


CETA Protest Event near Royal Free Hospital Saturday, 15th october 11am

Event at Southend Green, Hampstead, to protest against CETA & TTIP organised by Global Justice Now London Action Network and #noTTIP, with the support of War on Want.
This event is on Saturday, October 15th from 11am until 3pm at Southend Green NW3 2QE, very near to the Royal Free Hospital , Hampstead.
This protest event is happening in conjunction with a number of other demonstrations against CETA taking place on the same day in Paris , Madrid , Barcelona , Sevilla, and elsewhere across Europe .
A list of all the actions happening can be found at:

CETA is a trade deal being negotiated between the EU and Canada which poses a major threat to our democracy, public services and the environment. Like TTIP, CETA could have wide-ranging effects on our lives. If ratified, CETA would:
  • Allow corporations to sue governments in secret offshore courts for making laws to protect their citizens
  • Hand multinationals a greater role in making new regulation and thereby risk sparking a race to the bottom in standards for important areas like food safety and environmental regulation
  • Lock in privatisation of services. CETA includes a ‘rachet’ clause which only allows governments to move in the direction of privatisation
  • Remove protection for key UK products like Cornish pasties or Cumberland sausages
  • Enable companies involved in shale gas extractiont sue the UK government. This could well be the case  if any local authorities were to turn down planning applications for fracking., as has already happened in the iSDS case of Lone Pine vs. Quebec  .
We have chosen to demonstrate near the Royal Free Hospital as we are very worried about the creeping tendency to privatise the NHS. In some parts of the country hospitals are already run by Virgin. CETA will mean that it is not only easier for private companies to bid for NHS services but it will be impossible for governments to stop private companies winning these contracts without suffering legal and financial consequences.
This is because of one of the most insidious parts of CETA called the ICS (investment court system) –
formerly known as the ISDS – a system of parallel justice, where international corporations will be able to sue Governments for any laws they make that effect corporations ability to make profits. These courts are held in secret and there is no right of appeal. CETA will also mean that governments have to allow private corporations to bid on services like the NHS and are therefore not allowed to protect important public services from being taken over by private companies.
If privatised parts of the NHS were to be bought back into public ownership, then the UK Government could be sued under the ICS system for billions of pounds. The same applies for railways, the education system, and any other public services.
We are demonstrating along with people all over Europe . The reason for this wave of demonstrations is that on October 18th the European Commission is meeting in Luxemburg to decide whether to approve CETA or not. If this is approved, then CETA will be signed at the EU-Canada Summit on October 27th
However, there has been no public debate either in the House of Commons or in the UK media on CETA. This is despite the fact that over 3 million Europeans voted against TTIP and CETA in the European Citizens Initiative including of which 500.000 were from the UK .
On September 17th this year the fact that 340,000 in Germany and Austria were on the streets against CETA and TTIP, there was hardly any mention of this in the British media.
In addition there was a public consultation by the European Commission on Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which was opposed by 97% of respondents.
We feel that this very toxic trade deal is being negotiated in secret without proper public and parliamentary scrutiny. If the public knew the risks that CETA posed to the NHS, democracy and our country they to would be very worried.
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