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No More Lies!

25/02/2015

Solidarity with Firefighters’ 24 hour strike

Starting 7am Wednesday 25 February 2015

Support FBU pickets at firestations across Sussex

Support FBU “No More Lies” rally

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For over a year now firefighters have been striking against Coalition attacks on firefighters’ pensions and the reckless cuts to the Fire & Rescue Service – cuts happening nationwide, not just across Sussex.  Please stand together with firefighters as they take action again on Wednesday 25 February 2015.  Support picket lines outside fire stations in East and West Sussex.

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Many FBU pickets across Sussex will be barely staffed as firefighters and supporters descend on central London for the FBU’s No More Lies rally and protest, after Tory Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt MP gave non-existent guarantees to secure MPs’ votes in the recent parliamentary debate on firefighters’ pensions.

No More Lies

FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack explains why firefighters are striking again: “Firefighters are justifiably angry with how this government is treating them.  MPs, the public and firefighters were completely misled and given a false guarantee in order to pass the legislation. This is wrong.”

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Firefighter Paul Drinkwater has also caught the determination and mood of all firefighters in his brilliant beat poem.

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We encourage you to support the FBU’s London rally if you can and, if not, to show solidarity with pickets at local firestations. We’re sure spirits will be high when firefighters return to picket lines tonight. The defence of firefighters’ pensions is the defence of our Fire Service. Stand together united!

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For a Socialist New Year!

01/01/2015
11am – 4pm, Saturday 7 February
ULU, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY
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We wish everyone a happy, healthy, peaceful, tolerant and socialist New Year.  In particular, we wish everyone working, caring or volunteering – whether emergency or rescue workers like nurses, paramedics, firefighters, coastguards or police, other public sector, transport, rail or road maintenance, hostel or shelter workers, and any shift workers, especially those working in fast food outlets, pubs, clubs and the hospitality industry – a quiet and straightforward time as they work on to keep the rest of us safe, well and warm.
5 key pledges
As we look forward to 2015, it’s clear that we must rid ourselves of the Coalition, elect a Labour government and then hold Andy Burnham, Ed Miliband and others to their pledges if we are to save our NHS and Fire Service, stop Osborne taking all public services back to the 1930s and ensure that Britain retains a social security system worthy of the name.  Attend the Labour Left Platform to discuss the key policies the Left will demand from a Labour government in 2015.
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All workers must receive fair pay not poverty pay.  As 2015 begins our thoughts are with City Link workers,  miners and others starting the year facing redundancy, unemployment and an uncertain future.  A commitment to full employment must be the overriding policy objective of any Labour government.   John Tempest has already put for miners the question that should dominate the 2015 election for everyone: “why won’t the government help the mining industry like the banking industry?
Hastings firefighters say Save Our Fire Service!

Hastings firefighters say Save Our Fire Service!

Inspiration may come early this year if Syriza wins the upcoming elections in Greece and applies its socialist, anti-austerity programme of “modest common sense” without flinching.  This will require international support but, like the possible election of Podemos in Spain, would then provide an alternative for other European countries, including Britain, to follow.  We must do all we can to support the election of Syriza (and Podemos) as this could spell the beginning of the end for European austerity
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Support our Firefighters!

06/12/2014

Solidarity with Firefighters’ 24 hour strike

Starting 9am Tuesday 9 December 2014

Support FBU pickets at firestations across Sussex

Defend Firefighters against “No Job, No Pension”

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For over a year now firefighters have been striking against Coalition attacks on firefighters’ pensions and the reckless cuts to the Fire & Rescue Service – cuts happening nationwide, not just across Sussex.  Please stand together with firefighters as they take action again on Tuesday 9 December 2014.  Support picket lines outside fire stations in East and West Sussex.

Hastings firefighters say Save Our Fire Service!

Hastings firefighters say Save Our Fire Service!

We are seeing continued huge and reckless cuts to Fire Services in both East and West Sussex and across the country.  The FBU reports that central government funding has been cut by over 20% under the Coalition, with more than 5,000 frontline firefighter jobs cut in the UK since the Coalition took power in 2010.  This jeopardises the Fire Service’s ability to deal with floods and all major incidents.  Firefighters perform over 100 rescues a day, including 4,000 people annually from fires.  That level is similar to a decade ago but cuts mean that the average response time to dwelling fires in England is now almost two minutes slower than two decades ago, while response times to road traffic collisions have also slowed substantially.  We say: Save Our Fire Service

Picket outside Eastbourne Fire Station, 4 November 2014

Picket outside Eastbourne Fire Station, 4 November 2014

During 2014 Sussex has been battered by storms and flash floods, including the tail-end of hurricane Bertha.  We have seen the resulting travel chaos on road and rail, plus numerous major fires, most notably the devastating blaze on Eastbourne Pier.  Why doesn’t the Coalition recognise the work of the Fire & Rescue Service during floods, give it statutory responsibility to deal with flooding and the necessary funding?  Rather, the Coalition continues to cut Fire Service budgets and force through an increase to firefighters’ retirement age from 55 to 60, with plans to reduce a key firefighter fitness standard from 42 to 35 VO2.  Such a drop in fitness of nearly 20%  will put everyone’s lives at risk in the emergency situations when we most rely on our rescue services.  Do we want to test whether crews of 60 year old firefighters could have coped with 2014 in Sussex?

Old age firefighter

Coalition plan for firefighters

We now have Cameron’s third Fire Minister in four years,  but Tory MP Penny Morduant has carried on as before by dissembling to the FBU leadership, trying to ignore firefighters’ elected representatives and issuing misleading press releases, rather than entering into a constructive dialogue to settle this dispute.  The responsibility for next week’s strike, as with earlier strikes, lies entirely with the Coalition.  Please support the FBU’s Hands Off Our Pensions campaign.

Firefighters picket outside Crowborough Fire Station, 1 November 2014

Firefighters picket outside Crowborough Fire Station, 1 November 2014

Recently Morduant met with Brighton Tory MP Simon Kirby but discussed only roads – not the reckless cuts to East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, which will particularly hit emergency cover in Hove, Brighton & Hastings.  Still only 1 Sussex MP is among the 260 MPs to have signed EDM454 to defend firefighters’ pensions.  Keep urging your MP to sign up until the deadline of 11 December and also ask MPs to support Labour’s call for a parliamentary debate of this Early Day Motion.  You can also ask your local councillors to pass an emergency motion in support of local firefighters in their pension dispute.

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Clear message from Preston Circus firefighters, 31 October 2014

Firefighters remain united and determined.   Please show firefighters your support by standing with them on FBU picket lines at local firestations, sending solidarity messages and posting support on social media.  Firefighters are there for all of us, providing fire and rescue services in the most dangerous of conditions, whenever needed.  This is routine for firefighters, who are deeply committed to their local communities and do not take strike action lightly: “People do not become firefighters to become rich…(but) to serve the public, to put other people first, to risk their lives to save others” Simon Herbert, Chair, East Sussex FBU.

Nancy Platts joins pickets outside Hove Fire Station, 31 October 2014

Nancy Platts joins pickets outside Hove Fire Station, 31 October 2014

On Tuesday 9 December, please make an effort to show firefighters your appreciation and support.  If you cannot attend a picket at your local firestation, please ensure that you have supported the FBU campaign Justice for our Firefighters by signing the petition calling on East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to pay the compensation due to the families of Brighton firefighters Brian Wembridge and Geoff Wicker, who were killed at Marlie Farm in 2006.  It is nothing short of a scandal that East Sussex Fire Authority members allow ESFRS management to continue to contest this case despite damning court judgements.

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Picket outside Battle Fire Station, 1 November 2014

Remember, an attack on workers’ pensions is always the first step of a government preparing to sell-off a public asset, as private companies do not want the open-ended liability of paying staff pensions.  Cutting a service to the bone is the second step – in an attempt to persuade people that the service could be better run privately.

Purna Sen supports pickets outside Preston Circus Fire Station, 31 October 2014

Purna Sen supports pickets outside Preston Circus Fire Station, 31 October 2014

Please support firefighters’ picket lines during this 24 hour strike from 9am Tuesday 9 December to 9am Wednesday 10 December 2014.  The Fire Service is facing huge cuts under the Coalition.  We must stand together with firefighters now to defend our Fire Service.  This must include demanding the reinstatement of firefighter Ricky Matthews, who was sacked by Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service for participating in the last strikes.

Always a warm welcome from firefighters picketing outside Bohemia Road Fire Station, Hastings

Always a warm welcome from firefighters picketing outside Bohemia Road Fire Station, Hastings

 

No Justice! No Peace!

25/11/2014

Brighton & Hove LRC meeting

Speaker: Bev Trounce, author of “From a Rock to a Hard Place”

7.30pm, Tuesday 2 December 2014

The Mesmerist, 1-3 Prince Albert Street, Brighton BN1 1HE

Snowdown Womens Support Group

 

Brighton & Hove LRC discusses “No Justice No Peace” with local author Bev Trounce at its next meeting at The Mesmerist, starting 7.30pm on Tuesday 2 December 2014.  Bev has spent the last year researching the effects of the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike on the mining communities.  Her talk will focus on the deprivation these communities experienced after the Thatcher government cut social security payments to striking miners, the effects this had in the run-up to Christmas 1984, and the years since.  Her book, “From a Rock to a Hard Place” will be published on 2 February 2015.  After Bev spoke so passionately to us on the 30th anniversary of Orgreave, everyone is looking forward to hearing more from her, so do come along.  More details for this meeting are listed in our Events tab.

From a Rock to a Hard Place

Brighton & Hove LRC holds friendly and informal meetings every other month, usually chatting around a table in a pub room.  All welcome.

Vote NOW for the East Kent Railway!

24/11/2014

Before midnight, Monday 24 November 2014

EKR logo

Please support the East Kent Railway’s “Prepare for Steam” project today by voting for it to receive a “People’s Millions” grant.  You can vote by calling either 09015 228217 (landline) or 622 8217 (mobile).  Mobile & BT landline votes cost just 15p.  Other networks may vary.  Please vote before midnight tonight, Monday 24 November, and also encourage everyone you know to vote.

EKR Til carriage

Monday 24 November is a very important day for everyone connected with the East Kent Railway but especially for young people from Kent’s former mining communities which were devastated by the closure of their pits after the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike.  Supported by Kent NUM, the EKR provides jobs, apprenticeships and training to young people who would otherwise face a bleak future.

Kent NUM 1984 badge

Tonight’s 6pm Meridian News on ITV will include a feature on the East Kent Railway but you don’t have to wait to vote!  Lines are open so please get voting!

EKR board

The motto of the East Kent Railway is “From our Past we can create a Future”.  Help EKR do this today by spending just 15p per phone call. 

EKR loco

Text Relay users should dial 18001 before the landline number and, from mobiles, users can go to the App Store or Google Play Store and download an app to enable them to vote.  No profits are made by ITV or the Big Lottery Fund from your calls.  Terms & conditions

Fair Pay For NHS Staff

24/11/2014

Support striking NHS staff 

7am – 11am, Monday 24 November 2014

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Members of  British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT), the GMB, Managers in Partnership (MiP), the Prison Officers Association (POA).  the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), the Society of Radiographers (SoR), the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT), Unite the Union and UNISON working in the health sector are striking from 7am – 11am in protest at a third year without a pay rise.   NB: The Society of Radiographers is striking from 8am to midday.

SCoR

Following this NHS staff will only work their contracted hours as they participate in industrial action short of strike action throughout 24-30 November 2014.  Members of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) and the British Dietetic Association (BDA) will also be taking part in the week of action short of strike action between Tuesday 25 and Sunday 30 November 2014.

13.10.14 Midwives RSCH

NHS workers are seething over low pay.   Their pay has been frozen for four years and they have been denied an independently-awarded 1% pay rise, yet MPs are taking an 11% pay rise on the grounds that it has been awarded to them independently.  This is rank hypocrisy when MPs are already on high salaries while many NHS staff are low paid and earn below the Living Wage.

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1 in 5 NHS workers have taken second jobs and half say they can’t get through to the end of the month without relying on debt. Two thirds of NHS workers have cut back on food, 51% have reduced their energy usage, 44% have cut back on transport, 80% went without holidays and 90% had to cut back on leisure activities.  Shocked?  This is unsurprising when UNISON calculates that there has been a 8-12% real-terms fall in NHS salary levels since 2010 and no above-inflation pay rise since 2009.  If you need to hear more, NHS workers have explained why they are striking and UNISON members have a bit more to say.

UNISON no pay cuts, save our NHS

We encourage everyone to send messages of support to members in all the unions involved in the week of action, either as individuals or from your own union branch, workplace, Labour Party branch or other labour movement organisation. Those on twitter can tweet support to: @GMBPressOffice@unisontweets, @unitetheunion@MidwivesRCM@SCoRMembers, @UCATTunion,   and others.

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Please support health workers at local Sussex pickets from 7am-11am, which have so far been advertised at these Sussex NHS facilities:

Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton

Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath

Brighton General Hospital, south entrance

Lanchaster House, Trafalgar Place, Brighton - home to Brighton and Hove CCG

Worthing Hospital

St Richards Hospital, Chichester

Aldrington House, Hove

Swandean

Millview Hospital, also known as Hove Polyclinic

Hill Rise, Newhaven - 8.30am to 11am

Uckfield Hospital

Langley Green Hospital, Crawley

Eastbourne District General Hospital - and don’t forget also the march to stop the cuts to Eastbourne DGH which starts from Eastbourne Pier at 10.30am on Saturday 29 November, finishing at a rally at the green opposite the Wish Tower.

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This list above is unlikely to be comprehensive.  We fully expect that there will also be pickets at other Sussex NHS facilities, such as at the Conquest Hospital in Hastings and at SEC Ambulance stations.

NHS workers deserve fair pay not poverty pay.  Please support the pickets outside your local hospital or CCG office. 

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No Justice! No Peace!

12/11/2014

Brighton & Hove LRC meeting

Speaker: Bev Trounce, author of “From a Rock to a Hard Place”

7.30pm, Tuesday 2 December 2014

The Mesmerist, 1-3 Prince Albert Street, Brighton BN1 1HE

Snowdown Womens Support Group

 

Brighton & Hove LRC discusses “No Justice No Peace” with local author Bev Trounce at its next meeting at The Mesmerist, starting 7.30pm on Tuesday 2 December 2014.  Bev has spent the last year researching the effects of the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike on the mining communities.  Her talk will focus on the deprivation these communities experienced after the Thatcher government cut social security payments to striking miners, the effects this had in the run-up to Christmas 1984, and the years since.  Her book, “From a Rock to a Hard Place” will be published on 2 February 2015.  After Bev spoke so passionately to us on the 30th anniversary of Orgreave, everyone is looking forward to hearing more from her, so do come along.  More details for this meeting are listed in our Events tab.

From a Rock to a Hard Place

Brighton & Hove LRC holds friendly and informal meetings every other month, usually chatting around a table in a pub room. All welcome.

12pm – 2pm, Friday 14 November

Join the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign demonstration

Outside the IPCC offices

90 High Holborn, London WC1V  6BH

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We encourage everyone who can to support this demonstration in London.  High Holborn is only a short walk from either City Thameslink or Farringdon mainline stations, so is easily reached using the Thameslink rail service which runs on the Brighton to London mainline, and can be joined at various points from those coming from East and West Sussex.  Alternatively, take the tube to either Holborn or Chancery Lane – High Holborn runs in between these two stops.

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