As the Summer holidays come to a close, UNISON North West is entering a very busy Autumn period. This week sees two important events in our region aimed at highlighting the damage being done by Austerity and demanding a better future.
On Saturday we have our regional march and rally in Manchester under the banner ‘Austerity Wrecks Lives’.
We know that Austerity has a tremendously negative impact on our public services, welfare state, jobs and wages. We need to demonstrate to show the current Government (and any future Government) that we’re not prepared to accept permanent austerity.
The current Government has introduced the ‘Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act’ – more often referred to as the ‘Gagging Act’ – which makes it harder to organise political protest in the run up to the general election in May 2015. We need to demonstrate now while we still can.
We’ll be assembling at Castlefield Arena at 11am for a family-friendly march and rally. There will be national speakers and children’s activities. Please come along and bring your families, friends and colleagues.
The day before, on Friday 5 September, we will be launching our new report, ‘After Austerity: An Economic Plan for the North West’.
The report has been prepared by the respected research organisation CLES – the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and it highlights how Austerity policies are not working in the Region and points the way to a better economic future.
The Report describes how the Government has not succeeded in rebalancing the economy in a way that benefits economic development in the North of England and criticises the absence of an active regional policy. To stimulate the regional economy, the report calls for better institutional and physical infrastructure including an investment bank, more house-building and better transport links. The Report calls for better jobs to help the local economy – through the expansion of the living wage and reducing the numbers employed on zero hours contracts.
Highlighting the damage done by Austerity and the alternatives to it will remain central in our campaigning over the coming months. We need to break the chains of Austerity in order to rebuild our public services, repair our society and improve the condition of working people.