Low paid Teaching Assistants to be made redundant as one Head Teacher’s salary soars

Low paid Teaching Assistants to be made redundant as one Head Teacher’s salary soars

Photo – Rugby Observer

By a Socialist Party member in Rugby

Avon Valley School in Rugby have announced they are to make seven teaching assistants redundant due to consistent cuts to their budget by the Tories.

This comes just a week after it was revealed that the head of Ashlawn School in Rugby is earning £270,000 per year. Head of Ashlawn Lois Reed received a pay rise of around 50% from 2016 to 2017. This places her among the highest paid heads in the country and on £150,000 more than the second highest paid head in the town at Lawrence Sheriff School.

One Rugby resident said Mrs Reed’s pay is obscene particularly at a time when many schools are struggling to balance their budgets.

It’s a question of priorities, do we want our schools adequately funded and staffed in order to provide quality education for our children or do we want fat cat salaries for one head teacher who values the Government’s academy and free school programme above a decent education for all? (As well as being Ashlawn’s head teacher Mrs Reed is also acting CEO & accounting officer for the Transforming Lives Education Trust and is leading the expansion of free schools in the Rugby area.)

The Socialist Party says:

* No to all cuts – defend every school, job, course and service
* Organise campaigns in every area uniting teachers, support staff, parents students and the community
* For a trade union organised national demonstration in defence of education
* Co-ordinated strike action by education workers to stop cuts
* Fight for a fully funded, democratically run, genuinely comprehensive education system

If you agree with us, we urge you to get in touch and help us build a movement to defend education and to fight for socialist change. Please fill in the form below!

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“Their real aim is to run down the NHS and sell it off so they can make a profit from it at our expense”

“Their real aim is to run down the NHS and sell it off so they can make a profit from it at our expense”

jeremy hunt

Photograph by Paul Mattsson

The news headlines tonight have led with the NHS crisis and an apology from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. But as this letter from a reader of coventrysocialists.com points out, it is not enough


Well that didn’t take long did it?

3 days in and it’s New Year and new crisis in the health service. Crisis for NHS staff and patients that is.

Up and down the country appointments for long awaited operations are being cancelled because the service cannot cope. Emergency admissions wait for hours on trolleys or are even asked to make their own way to hospital rather than use an ambulance.

So has a bomb dropped? Has there been a massive terror attack? Has there been a nuclear accident?

No it’s winter.  Maybe you think the job of Government and the Health Secretary in particular is to prepare for this?

Well Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been forced to apologise, but that is not enough.This crisis affecting ordinary working people us a direct result of Tory government cuts.

Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly warned the Prime Minister in the House of Commons of the effects Tory cuts to health are having. Junior doctors and health service workers have repeatedly sounded the alarm.

But the Tories claim to be surprised! Their real aim is to run down the NHS and sell it off so they can make a profit from it at our expense. This totally ineffective Tory Government have proved themselves incompetent and incapable of delivering basic services.

We must demand that Hunt resigns, that May resigns and that an immediate General Election is called. Every day this Tory Government remains in office the more damage they cause. Let’s make it our New Year resolution to force them out!

 

Passport furore can’t hide Tory rifts

Passport furore can’t hide Tory rifts

notobosses

For a Socialist Europe

The announcement from Theresa May and the Tories regarding the changes to our passports may have been designed to hide the deep rifts that have developed within the Tory party; however neither this move, nor the recent deal on Brexit made before Christmas can succeed in healing the Tory divisions. We are reproducing the editorial from the current issue of The Socialist newspaper which we believe provides a socialist way forward for Brexit


Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

No divorce bill to subsidise capitalist elites of Europe

For a socialist, internationalist Brexit

For a while it looked like Theresa May might be about to crash out of office, as her fractured, divided party, propped up in government by the DUP, seemed unable even to reach agreement on a deal on the ‘first stage’ of Brexit negotiations. This time, however, the crisis did not prove fatal. A deal, involving numerous concessions by May, and a lot of deliberately ambiguous wording, has been cobbled together and acceded to by the DUP, keeping the show on the road for now. This so-called victory for May’s negotiating skills has solved none of the problems that May and her government face; it has only ‘kicked the can down the road’.

The most important conclusion for the millions of working and middle class people in Britain is that this government remains extremely weak and can be defeated. For as long as it remains in power, however, the norm will continue to be wage restraint, a catastrophic housing crisis, and endless cuts in public services.

Raised hopes

For the majority of Britain’s capitalist class, despite their horror at being represented by a party as dysfunctional as the Tories, the deal has raised their hopes. They now dare to dream that the ‘soft’ Brexit which would suit their interests might be achieved, despite the hard Brexiteers on the Tory right. After all, the government has acceded to the EU’s demands for an exit bill of at least £36 billion, shamefacedly abandoning their previous posturing that the EU could ‘go whistle’.

They have also agreed that, in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, there would be ‘full alignment’ between Northern Ireland and EU law. In reality this would only be possible in one of two ways – either a divergence between the laws of Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which would be unacceptable to the majority of Protestants in Northern Ireland, or remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union: that is, within the EU in all but name.

However, the welcoming of the deal by the Tory right does not mean they accept ‘full alignment’ by whatever means, but only that they had no choice but to agree it in order to prevent a complete collapse of the Brexit negotiations and hope, Mr Micawber-style, that something will turn up further down the road. It is likely that what will turn up will be the Tories repeatedly being forced to bang their heads against the reality that British capitalism is third rate, and that they have no choice but to make concessions to both the institutions of the EU and any of the other major powers with which they hope to negotiate favourable deals.

The nationalist ‘hard Brexiteer’ wing of the Tory party, which is fuelled by an utterly utopian dream of a return to Britain’s past as a pre-eminent world power, offers absolutely no way forward for working class people in Britain. Brexit on their terms would undoubtedly mean job losses, economic crisis and further steps towards Britain becoming little more than a global tax haven. Nor, however, do the pro-EU capitalist politicians, who represent the interests of the major corporations, have any common interests with the majority of people in Britain.

Jeremy Corbyn should be leading the campaign against paying a penny for a divorce bill that will subsidise the capitalist elites of Europe, declaring instead that the money should be spent on the NHS, raising public sector pay and abolishing tuition fees.

Instead, the pro-capitalist Blairite wing of the Labour Party is campaigning for Labour to adopt – hook, line and sinker – the position of the capitalist class on Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn and those on the left of the party need to clearly reject this.

It is ludicrous to claim, as the Blairite Labour MP Chuka Umunna has, that the EU single market is, “uniquely, a framework of rules that protects people from the worst excesses of globalisation and unfettered capitalism.” It certainly doesn’t protect those fleeing war in the Middle East and largely kept outside of the borders of ‘Fortress Europe’. They face the unimaginable horror of slave markets in Libya and risk drowning in the Mediterranean. But nor does it protect those already inside the EU’s borders from the ‘worst excesses’ of capitalism. On the contrary, the institutions of the EU have inflicted terrible hardship on the workers of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and elsewhere. In Greece wages have fallen by an average of a third. In every country, including Britain, EU directives are used as a means to implement privatisation and drive down wages.

Rip up neoliberal rules

If Jeremy Corbyn were to launch a campaign for a socialist Brexit it would transform the situation. A socialist Brexit would mean ripping up the EU bosses’ club neoliberal rules – not in order to create the more isolated and even more exploitative neoliberal vision of the Tory right, but to begin to build a society for the many not the few. It would mean taking socialist measures so that the enormous wealth in society could be harnessed to provide everyone with the prerequisites for a decent life: a high-quality, secure home, a good job, free education, a top class NHS, a living pension and more. Such a programme could unite working class people in Britain, regardless of how they voted in the referendum.

It would also act as a beacon for workers and young people across Europe to take the same road, opening the path to mass opposition to the EU bosses’ club – and towards a democratic socialist confederation of Europe. Jeremy Corbyn should urgently use his international anti-austerity authority to help establish a new collaboration of the peoples of Europe on a socialist basis. Only this approach can cut across the confusion created by the lies of all wings of the Tory party.

 

Xmas greetings from Coventry Socialist Party 

Xmas greetings from Coventry Socialist Party 

tories out

Socialist Party members campaigning against the Tories. Photo by Paul Mattsson

Coventry Socialist Party would like to send Xmas greetings to all members and supporters in what has been a busy 2017. We would like to thank all those who have helped us during the year, whether you donated to us, signed our petitions, came to our meetings, bought our literature or aided us in any other way.

In 2017 the capitalist system once again showed us it has nothing to offer other than growing inequality, attacks on the NHS and education, environmental damage, austerity, racism and much more.

In 2018 the ideas of socialism and Marxism will be needed more than ever to combat the capitalist crisis and show a way out for working class people. In working class communities, in the trade unions and amongst young people, the Socialist Party will continue to put forward bold socialist policies as the way forward.

We encourage everyone to think about how you can help us in the vital task of building a force for socialist change. Can you make a donation to our Fighting Fund? Whether £1, £5 or £50, it all helps fund the fight to transform society. Please click here to help out.

Furthermore, take the step of joining the Socialist Party. We are fighting for socialism in Coventry, across the UK and in nearly 50 countries around the world with our sister organisations in the Committee for a Workers’ International. To find out more, click here!

 

 

 

Trump retweets Britain First videos – time to fightback against racism and capitalism!

Trump retweets Britain First videos – time to fightback against racism and capitalism!

trumpbritainfirst

Trump and Jayda Fransen

Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, has once again hit the headlines for his Twitter activities. On this occasion he has sent the tiny far right grouping Britain First in to raptures by retweeting videos posted by their deputy leader Jayda Fransen. Not surprisingly this has been warmly welcomed by Britain First, who despite having a large social media following struggle to get more than a few dozen people to their ‘national mobilisations’.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said that Trump was wrong to retweet Britain First saying “hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions”. However no one will forget Theresa May gladly holding hands with Trump, nor the role the Tories and right wing Labour MPs have played in helping to create an atmosphere where the far right can potentially grow.

It is rumoured that Trump will visit the UK some time in 2018. The Socialist Party look forward to being part of the mass movement that will great him in opposition to his agenda that seeks to divide working class people away from the real problem in society, that is the capitalist system that breeds war, racism and poverty in the UK, US and across the world.

Join us to help build a mass socialist movement that will consign Trump, Britain First and their system to the dustbin of history!

DWP to outsource more core work to Capita

DWP to outsource more core work to Capita

cof

We have received the following article from a Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) member in Coventry.

“The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced on Wednesday 16th November that telephony work for new claims to Income Support and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) along with general enquiries for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), would be outsourced to Capita.

This is not the first instance of outsourcing vital DWP work to a private company. JSA claims were handed to Capita in 2012, a move that resulted in a failure to meet targets on processing claims. DWP staff even had to go to Capita to clear the backlog!

The decision to outsource ESA new claims to Capita will be disastrous. A huge proportion of ESA claimants suffer with mental health issues and are therefore more vulnerable. If Capita performs as well as it did with JSA claims, then this is likely to have a severe impact on the wellbeing of those who most need support.

This is already beginning to affect the morale of DWP staff too – with many workers fearing either the prospect of losing their jobs, or the stress of a complete change in the roles in which they have been trained in. There is also the issue of staff feeling like they are ‘worthless’, ‘undervalued’ and not doing an important enough job.

For staff in Poole Contact Centre, this truly is a ‘slap in the face’ – along with the planned closure of the office in February 2018, the DWP will also contract out the Income Support work they do!

The PCS union which represents DWP staff has consistently opposed the privatisation of their work, and campaigns for it to be brought back in-house – the way our public services are meant to be operated!”

The Socialist Party echoes this, and we also call for:

• An end to all privatisation of public services – run them for people, not profit!

• No more benefit cuts or sanctions! For the right to a decent living, and support for those who need it!

• An end to austerity! For a £10 an hour minimum wage now and the scrapping of zero-hours contracts!

Socialism 2017 – an appeal from Dave Nellist

Socialism 2017 – an appeal from Dave Nellist

Socialism 2017

In 10 days’ time, on the weekend of November 11/12, over a thousand socialists, young people and trade unionists will gather in London at Socialism 2017.

It will be, quite simply, the best two days’ discussion and debate on issues from Catalonia to fighting Donald Trump, from ending low pay to fighting racism.  And in each session and rally there will be leading participants in the struggles that are taking place.

For example, what’s going on in Catalonia? What do socialists think about it all? Juan Ignacio Ramos, General Secretary of Izquierda Revolucionaria (the Socialist Party’s sister organisation in Spain) and Coral Latorre, General Secretary of the Student Union in Catalonia, will be among our keynote speakers.  There will hardly be a better way of getting an up-to-date socialist view of why we believe fighting for an independent socialist Catalan republic, which defends the aspirations of the majority, is part of the fight to change society along socialist lines.

And as well as speakers from Spain we will have internationalists from elsewhere, including leading elected socialists from Ireland and the USA, including Kshama Sawant from Socialist Alternative in Seattle and Paul Murphy from Dublin.

Or take the greatest event in 20th century history when, 100 years ago next week, workers in Russia took power out of the hands of the bosses and the bankers and their political representatives. Today that group of people is rapidly sending our living standards through the floor not to mention warmongering and destroying the environment! So what can we learn from the 1917 Russian Revolution for today? How did Stalinism arise? Would future socialist change inevitably follow the same path?

One issue perhaps above all others will unite the 1000 people at Socialism 2017 – we can’t wait until 2022 for a general election, we need Jeremy Corbyn’s policies now! So how can we best fight for free education, major housebuilding and rent controls, and secure jobs on a £10/hr minimum wage? How we do that will be a central theme of Socialism 2017 where speakers on the struggles of today will include Ian Mearns, leading Corbyn supporting Labour MP; Howard Beckett, Unite assistant general secretary involved in Birmingham bins dispute; Sean Hoyle, RMT president, and Chris Baugh PCS assistant general secretary.

The weekend will have around 40 workshops and forums which will be introduced by a speaker or a panel but each one will include time for everyone to participate, asking questions or making comments – if they wish.  There’s bound to be several that will interest you – the full programme is here.

So why not join a thousand of us in London that weekend or for the Saturday or Sunday?  Whether it’s to learn, to ask questions, to be inspired or to feel the solidarity of knowing your wish for a socialist world is widely shared – you’ll get something special out of Socialism 2017. I hope you can be there with us.

If you would like more information about the event, including travel details, tickets etc get in touch by filling in the form below. If you book now you get 10 per cent off the ticket price! 

Yours in solidarity
Dave Nellist