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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Miners pension fund fight

This petition calls upon the UK Government to review the mineworkers' pension fund to reduce the 50/50 share of the surplus that the Government takes from the system. It has been many years since the mineworkers and widows have had an increase in their pension (other than cost of living increases). They deserve a fair increase in their pension.

Since 1994, both Labour and Tory governments have taken from the surplus of the miners' pension fund at a rate of £1 million per day, making a total of £8 billion. The government must reduce the deduction from 50% of the surplus to a more reasonable percentage. 

Sign the petition here.

Monday, 29 August 2016

PCS Bulletin - help & support requested

The help of ARMS members is asked for the following campaigns:

  • Protect Chorley and South Ribble Hospital from Cuts and Privatisation
WE NEED YOUR HELP to demonstrate outside these hospitals for 1 hour from 10.00 a.m. on Saturday 17th September to protect your local A&E:
Preston, Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn, Blackpool, Lancaster.

Our campaign was given the bad news that Chorley and South Ribble Accident and Emergency department will be closed until April 2017; we believe this is a move to close it indefinitely. The effect of this is rippling out to A&Es in other areas. This isn't good for other A&Es and the people they are intended to serve. It is having a negative effect on the North West Ambulance Service, some ambulances are queuing for hours to hand over sick or injured people.

Ask yourself these questions: If not me then who? If not now, then when? The NHS will survive as long as there are people willing to protect it. We are those people.

To help contact: Andrew Birchall on andrewbirchall3@gmail.com or mobile 0784 0202 084.

  • March for the Liverpool Women’s Hospital 
25th September 2016 – Assemble at the Women’s Hospital at midday and walk to the water front.

The Liverpool Women’s hospital is a 20 year old world class hospital on a good site. It’s the largest maternity hospital in Europe and cares for more than 50,000 patients a year. Its future is under threat because of inadequate maternity funding, lack of investment, funding problems for all the NHS and the rampant privatisation and market focus of the NHS.

Follow ‘Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital’ on Facebook, Save-Liverpool-Womens-Hospital or email SaveLWH@outlook.com.

  • Conservative Party Conference Demonstration 
Sunday, 2nd October 2016 – Assemble in Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BD at 11.30 a.m.

Austerity has failed! Join the Midlands TUC’s march and rally to tell the Government that austerity isn’t working. Please let PCS NW know if you wish to attend. Please email: nwrc@pcs.org.uk

Thursday, 18 August 2016

News updates - from the web

A triple lock, yesterday
Our regular round up of relevant news items, by Steve Ion of NW ARMS.

  • Over 60s cutting back to make ends meet - here.
  • Why we must stick with the triple lock - here.
  • Annuity pensions cut again - here.
  • Lifetime ISA should not be used for pension - here.
  • WASPI campaign has no support from Government - here.
  • UK firms paid five times more in dividends than into pensions - here.
  • Retired people spending less than £20 per week - here.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Zero hours contracts - a personal view

My grandfather was gassed aged 15 or 16 in the trenches during the First World War. The lifelong ill health that resulted made finding work hard but he never gave up trying. He'd go from his Kirkdale home to the Liverpool docks every day to try to get a single day's work. He never managed to because he refused to pay the foreman a bribe from the meagre wages that were on offer, partly on the principle that a man shouldn’t have to pay to get a day’s work, and partly because he had a family to keep. He died in his 40s during the Second World War from an illness related to his First World War injuries. 

What a way to treat an old soldier who had ruined his health for his country - and what a way to treat a worker. That's the world the Tories want to take us back to with their attacks on employment rights, with "no fault dismissals"; we have them already in the form of redundancy, but they actually want a US-style "hire and fire" regime because that’s a lot cheaper. Zero hours contracts take us precisely to what my grandfather had to face in his struggle to get just a single day’s work.

This is even further than Mrs Thatcher dared go. We must not allow it.

Neville Grundy
NW ARMS 
Committee member

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

NW Regional ARMS Committee Special General meeting

To: North West Regional ARMs Committee members and all ARMs members in the North West.

As you may be aware, following on from the 2016 ARMs Forum held in June, arrangements have now been put in place to hold elections for the ARMs National Committee.

The first step in this process (which is set out in detail on the PCS National ARMs web-page ( ARMS latest news - PCS ) will be for the NW Regional ARMS Committee to hold a Special General Meeting (to which all ARMs members in the North West are cordially invited) to consider putting forward nominations for the National Committee. Accordingly, the Special General Meeting will be held as follows:
  • Date: Wednesday 24th August 2016
  • Venue: PCS Regional Office, 3rd Floor, Jack Jones House, 1, Islington, Liverpool, L3 8EG
  • Time: 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
This is the first opportunity in over two years that members will be entitled to participate in the election process for the ARMs National Committee, so it is hoped that as many members as possible will be able to attend the meeting, As it is a special meeting, the question of nominations will be the only item on the agenda, so that the meeting will not be expected to last more than an hour, even though the meeting room has been booked for longer. Nominations are invited for the following National posts: Chairperson; Vice Chairperson/Editor; Secretary; Assistant Secretary/Organiser; Treasurer and Committee member (6 posts).

In order to facilitate debate at the meeting, any NW Regional ARMs member who wishes to submit nominations for the ARMs National Committee should send the details (via hard-copy or e-mail) to the NW ARMs Regional Secretary so as to reach him no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday 17th August 2016.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Green
Secretary
PCS North West Regional ARMs Committee

E-mail: p.c.green@ukgateway.net
33 Cambridge Avenue
Churchtown
Southport PR9 9SA

Monday, 8 August 2016

John McDonnell’s plea to JC’s would be assassins

John's history underpins his loyalty to the working class and the ideas of socialism, but I was puzzled by his comments on BBC Radio's Today programme. He described the right wing MPs as nice people who should get behind Jeremy. John should know that they are behind him alright with daggers poised to plunge into his back. When asked was he in favour of re-selection he completely rejected the suggestion instead arguing that they could be persuaded to support a Corbyn-led party.

The right wing are desperate to preserve their influence, income and privileges which they see threatened by a rank and file who are supporting a radical leader and are rightly calling for control over their elected representatives, and that includes reselection. It’s called democratic accountability, a concept now described as 'bullying' by those hostile to JC.

John should be familiar with the truism: 'no ruling group has left the scene of history without a fight, and that means a fight with no holds barred.' When JC is re-elected as the leader, the truth of that axiom will be confirmed in spades.

Tony Mulhearn
NW ARMS

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Jeremy Hunt: reveal your plans for the NHS

Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has a secret plan to force changes to local NHS services in order to cut costs. The changes, called "sustainability and transformation plans", are being kept secret. But they could mean cuts to hospital beds, local walk-in centres or family planning services near you.

Across England, these plans are being drawn up in the next few weeks. Because they're secret it's hard to say exactly which services near you are at risk. But the plans for one area have been leaked and show the scale of the threat: they include axing 500 hospital beds and some emergency ambulances. No wonder Jeremy Hunt doesn't want us to see them!

The best way to stop these cuts is to get them out in the open and demand the public has a say. So please can you sign the petition now, demanding that Jeremy Hunt publishes his plans for local NHS cuts? It only takes 30 seconds to add your name to the petition - here.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Corbyn providing an inspiration

To paraphrase a well-known old class fighter: ‘Let the ruling class and their Labour shadows in parliament tremble at the developing movement which will recreate a new mass party of the working class. We have nothing to lose but a fossilised right wing bureaucracy which has stripped working people of political representation for the last thirty years. All forces on the left are uniting to ensure the success of Jeremy Corbyn.’

St George’s plateau [in Liverpool] the scene of magnificent demos in 1911, 1926, 1983-87, last night witnessed the re-emergence of the spirit of workers who, given leadership, displayed magnificent energy in their quest for a just socialist society and see Corbyn as the leader that can achieve that objective. The ban on CLPs meeting should be lifted and the re-selection procedures be started immediately.

Tony Mulhearn
ARMS NW committee