NOVEMBER GENERAL MEETING
Delegates at the monthly meeting agreed to produce a new programme of work for 2017 which will include opposing cuts to the NHS, racism and housing shortages, and supporting a proper living wage. Reports of branch and social activities covered a wide range of issues including the recent National Pensioners’ Convention’s lobby of Parliament. This was supported by several Labour MPs including the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell. Richard Harrington, representing the SNP, also spoke at the meeting. Much of the discussion was about the crisis in social care that is affecting over a million pensioners. It was said that recent government proposals allowing local authorities to raise an additional 2% towards social care had raised only £380m - not surprising as since 2010 budgets have been reduced by £4.6bn and more cuts are expected. It was noted that social care visits are frequently a mere 15 minutes with some councils stipulating 5 minutes. The NPC takes the view that the privatisation of care homes has been a disaster and they should be brought back into public ownership. The rally also deplored the fact that some politicians and organisations in the media are trying to divide the generations as a way of attacking our welfare state and public services.
Chelmsford TUC has launched its publicity for the exciting show ‘Chicago - The Great Teachers’ Strike’. This will take place at Christ Church on November 28, commencing at 7pm. Tickets can be obtained from 01245 601373 at £10, £5 concessions. The show’s theme is the way the Chicago Teachers’ Union and their community allies worked together for public sector education. The story, told by the excellent Banner Theatre Company, is woven together with vibrant music, songs and video footage. It is a remarkable performance that not only provides lessons but also inspiration.