Stop Cuts and Privatisation of Health Visiting and School Nursing in Barnsley

Please sign this petition to stop the cutting and privatisation of health visiting and school nursing services in Barnsley.

There will be a stall in Barnsley town centre on Saturday, 3rd October starting at 10.30 am to raise awareness and get more signatures. Please come and help if you can.

March against austerity. March to protect workers’ rights!

Dear friends

Sunday, October 4, 2015

In May, the Conservative Party won just 36% of the popular vote in the General Election and yet they were handed a majority of seats in the House of Commons and formed the first Tory government in two decades.

Since then they have lost no time in launching their vicious ideological attacks. People in employment looking to make ends meet, those without work as well as the sick and disabled all face further hardship.

Tory plans to reduce the vital help that low waged workers get through tax credits, leaving them £1200 a year worse off, have already passed through the House of Commons.

And new restrictions on the rights of trade unionists and proposals to criminalise workers involved in industrial disputes are fast on their way to becoming law in the Trade Union Bill.

On Sunday 4 October the Tory Party will be holding their conference in Manchester.  You can be there too – click here to book your place now.

This is your chance to speak out against the government’s cruel attacks and austerity obsession which is destroying jobs, living standards and vital services – not to mention the economy too.

This government knows that your unions are on your side.  That is why they want to stop us standing up for you and against their cuts.  Into the bargain, they will give bad bosses the green light by undermining the basic rights of working people.

Let’s lead the fight back for a fairer Britain.

Join us in Manchester on Sunday October 4.

  • 12 noon – Assemble Oxford Road
  • 00 pm – Rally
  • 30 pm – March through the city

You’ll be among friends as thousands of trade union members and supporters tell the Tory Party conference that we say yes to workers’ rights and no to austerity.

Book your seat now on Unite transport to the demonstration for our members and their families here or visit

Please share this with friends and family and on your Twitter and Facebook pages.

I hope to see you in Manchester.

Len McCluskey
General Secretary

Barnsley Trades Council Public Meeting

“Don’t let new Tory anti-union laws shackle us”

Tuesday 20th October, 6.30pm
Miners Hall, Huddersfield Road, Barnsley

Liz Lawrence
National President UCU

Ian Hodson
National President BFAWU

Brian Steele
Secretary Barnsley Trades Council

More details: 07594 857960
View the flyer: TUC Oct demo back

Cuts to services

Cuts to young people’s health services are being planned with the possibility of privatisation also Unite and Unison are planning resistance to the cuts along with community save our NHS campaigners press release below.

Defend Children’s Health Services in Barnsley – a message on behalf of local Health Visitors and School Nurses.

On 1st October Barnsley Council takes on responsibility for commissioning (planning and paying for) Health and Wellbeing services for children and young people (0-19).

This includes Health Visiting, School Nursing and the Family Nurse Partnership that works with young mothers (aged 19 & under).

The service is currently commissioned by the NHS and provided by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust (SWYPFT) and costs around £6.5 million per year. On 1st October Barnsley Council takes on this responsibility.

But even before it has taken on the responsibility for it Barnsley Council has put the service out to tender, with bids to provide the service after June next year being due in on 5th October.

Apart from the fact the service could be privatised and provided by a company such as Virgin Health the Council have said they will not accept bids to provide the service in the future costing over £4.8 million pounds per year.

That is a £1.7 million pound cut to start with, though the Council also wants the children’s oral health service including as well, and says in the contract it will withhold up to 1.25% of the money due if it pays it’s provider promptly.

Nearly £2 million pounds are being cut from children’s health services by this move, almost a third of what is currently spent. This is on top of cuts to social work teams and Children’s Centres.

We are writing this as the unions representing Health Visiting, School Nursing, The Family Nurse Partnership and their support staff.

You cannot take nearly 1/3 of the money out of the budget without this resulting in a worse service to children and their families in Barnsley and the loss of over 30-40 qualified nurses and support staff.

The Council might think there are some savings that can be made. But this scale of budget cut will leave an unsafe service and risk vulnerable children dying. The children of Barnsley deserve better than this.

Please call upon your local Councillors and MPs to halt the tendering process and to put the money into the service that it needs.

RCN (Royal College of Nursing), UNISON and UNITE representatives in SWYPFT.

Watch the trailer for Sleaford Mods’ Invisible Britain

Unite Community Activists from Barnsley helped with the making of this hard hitting documentary from the Sleaford Mods “Invisible Britain”

The band’s “state of the nation” documentary combines interviews, live footage and a look at how individuals and communities are campaigning against austerity measures

2nd ‘Ghost Lab’ research workshop

This is a Reminder and invitation to South Yorkshire Unite the Community members to attend:

What? – ‘Social Haunting’ Research Project – Ghost Lab 2: ‘Haunted Horizons’ (led by Dr Toby Pillatt, Landscape Archeologist from Sheffield University & Andrew McMillan, acclaimed Barnsley-born Poet).

When? – 11.00 am to 3.00 pm, Tuesday 6th October.

Where? – the NUM Offices, 2 Huddersfield Rd (Victoria Rd entrance), Barnsley S70 2LS.

Participants? – SY UtC members already participating in this creative research, PLUS those interested in participating for the first time (this workshop is different to Ghost Lab 1 so it will be worthwhile for both to attend).

For further details, please see the attached leaflet, and note that you need to contact Dr. Geoff Bright to register your intention to attend.

The notion of ‘social haunting’ is a fascinating way for us as individuals and as members of our various communities (however we define these), to reflect on our lives, and it is a concept of great interest to front-edge, academic researchers studying the dynamics of identity and societal construction through Sociology and its related disciplines, notably when cross-referenced with perceptions of social hauntings found in the expressive ‘producings’ (can’t think of a better word!) of those working in Creative/Artistic fields.

As I write to you all, it could be said that we find ourselves in “The Corbyn Moment,” when, as trade union members – and very often as social and political activists as well – we find ourselves re-thinking old possibilities as potentially new promises. What a great time to have the opportunity to be participants in this kind of research, looking at the idea of “Haunted Horizons”!

Individuals who have already had some involvement in the research have reacted very positively to the experience so I urge you all to put this date in your diaries now, and make a point of attending. The Arts & Humanities Research Council has funded this Project on the basis that it will ‘partner’ with the Rochdale-based Co-operative Movement and the South Yorkshire Unite the Community Branches, so we do need a good number of our members to take part. The first Ghost Lab workshop demonstrated that it is also a good opportunity to foster inter-branch awareness and friendship.

If you are in contact with any Branch members who are not on this email list but may be interested, please do not hesitate to tell them about the Ghost Lab event and urge them to participate in the research as well. It would be useful if you could print off a few copies of the leaflet I have attached, so you can give it to such contacts.

Please note that it is not necessary for you to have a background in the Mining Industry or communities to participate in this research.

Ghost lab 2 – South Yorkshire

Do not diminish freedom and democracy, Unite urges ministers

Len McCluskey, the leader of Britain’s largest union, Unite put the government on notice that it would defy the trade union bill “using any means necessary to defend the democratic rights and freedoms of all trade unionists and the working people of our nation.”

The warning came as Unite called upon the government to end its systematic efforts to paint trade unions and their members as the `enemy within’, driven by a prejudice so intense that the government is willing to jeopardise the basic freedoms of all in the UK.

Len McCluskey said: “This is a movement that has from its inception delivered for each generation continued improvements to the working lives of millions of people.  It has secured our nation’s wealth and fought for the social and political progress that has made this county a place of fairness, equality and social justice.

“But instead of recognising our role this Prime Minister seeks to paint the millions of trade unionists and their families at `the enemy within’, with a Tory party drunk on class prejudice intent on destroying this movement as a force in British life.

“They seek to reduce trade unions to no more than employment advice agencies, while turning our members – who dare to act – into criminals.

“There is though, an emerging broad and united democratic campaign against this legislation is greater than ever before – because it doesn’t just attack trade unions.

“It threatens freedom of speech. It menaces freedom of association. It insults the values which all British people cherish.”

Len McCluskey called for the government to abandon the conflict it is pursuing with the unions and instead work with the movement to modernise voting arrangements:

“Instead of quibbling over percentages, let’s use the language of democracy and modernisation and implement secure workplace balloting. End this archaic reliance on postal ballots, and turnout will never be a problem again.”

The general secretary raised again the issue of when a law is so unjust, can it always be obeyed:

As we celebrate 100 years of women suffragettes fighting for votes, thank goodness that they did not see the law as sacrosanct.

“And had this conference been meeting in the 1960s in the southern states of America, would we have asked our black delegates to sit at the back of the hall – like Rosa Parks – or would we have defied the law?

“Our history, and that of the world, is littered with brave men and women who have defied bad laws and who fought and yes died to give us our heritage.

“And if that history tells us anything, its that when one section of society is segregated, asked to identity itself with labels and armbands and submit to a state-sponsored blacklist, the civil liberties of all of us are put at risk.”