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Barnsley Branch News
GMB were represented when Barnsley TUC reps assembled at Cudworth Fire Station to greet Firefighters as they walked out on Friday Oct 31st to begin 4 days of Strike action in their battle against Tory pension attacks. Under proposed pension changes, firefighters will be expected to work a further five years until they are 60. If they fail to achieve fitness standards and have to retire earlier, they could lose up to half of their pension or face the sack.
N30 Strike Day
Our Public Sector Strike of November 30th was a great success. It was a historic day. Britain ’s biggest strike since 1926 saw two and half million public sector workers out. In Barnsley pickets were out from 5.30am and were solid, well attended, and full of good spirit and determination. On the TUC Demonstration in Barnsley 500 marched and the GMB was well represented. The Branch Secretary then spoke at a Town Centre Rally. Some of us also went through to Sheffield to join a Regional March of many thousands
Demo at Tory Party Conference Manchester 2nd Oct 2011
GMB Barnsley members joined over 35,000 people who marched on Sunday October 2nd in a magnificent show of strength. Workers, students, disability activists, pensioners, Labour Party activists, first-time protesters and veteran campaigners united together in Manchester against the Tories.
The day reflected the scale of resistance the government faces — and the growing determination among ordinary people to fight back. Chants for a general strike were popular on the march. Union leaders and GMB campaigning Remploy workers were cheered for making militant speeches and calling for united action against the government.
On the demo we saw a glimpse of what 30 November, when millions of workers will strike together, could look like. Strikes by millions of workers on the day could shut down Britain. Demonstrations in towns and cities can bring together everyone who hates the Tories and show the strength of our side.
GMB Barnsley Open New Office
Barnsley Mayor and GMB member Karen Dyson and GMB Regional Secretary, Tim Roache, officially opened the new GMB Barnsley branch office on Tuesday 14th June 2011. Commenting, Tim Roache said: Barnsley GMB has come a long way and the new office will compliment the excellent service that reps provide to members.”
The new office can be found at: 8 Burleigh Court, Burleigh St, Barnsley. GMB Convenor Lee Parkinson say “GMB Members employed by BMBC can ring 01226 772980 any time for advice or representation.
However, when I’m not in the office or in meetings with the Council I’ll be out in the workplaces meeting members and dealing with their issues so just leave a message and I’ll get back to you”.
Also pictured is GMB organiser Paul Wade.
Solidarity at Barnsley Demo
GMB Barnsley reps joined UCU Barnsley College staff and students on Saturday 18th June in solidarity in the fight to protect jobs. Massive cuts have been announced with 25% of all teaching staff across the college facing the axe. Compulsorily redundancies are being threatened even though voluntary redundancies and retiring staff have met the required level of jobs to be lost.
Teaching staff have had to go through a demoralising and humiliating process of being interviewed for the jobs which will remain; those who are unsuccessful may be offered a ‘Zero hours’ contract which would require the same amount of work for a significantly lower wage, and would not guarantee work for more than a year.
This has come as a devastating blow to workers in the college but they are determined to fight for their jobs and for the continued provision of high quality teaching which cannot be delivered with less staff as even more students are due in the academic year to come.
May Day Celebrations
On the Saturday before the internationally recognised workers holiday of May Day, Barnsley GMB activists were in town talking to shoppers about the benefits of joining the GMB and giving out GMB balloons.
The morning event organised by Barnsley TUC and supported by other trade unions was followed by a Love Music Hate Racism festival in Peel Square where local bands performed for free getting across the message that Barnsley is NOT a racist town and the BNP are not welcome here!
Barnsley Delegation Make Their Voices Heard
On Saturday March 26th, 42 GMB Barnsley branch members took part in the biggest trade union demonstration Britain has ever seen. It was an incredible sight. Well over half a million people marched. Banners, placards and balloons filled the streets. We marched behind the branch banner with GMB flags, whistles and vuvuzelas blasting out. Workers came together and for more than five hours the magnificent demonstration, organised by the TUC, weaved its way from the Embankment to Hyde Park.
Branch Secretary, Henry Rajch, said: “The Tories are waging class war. The bankers should pay for the chaos they’ve caused not us. I was on the poll tax demo 20 years ago and know protests can make a difference. Everyone who marched knows how big the protest was and are now more confident to take further action than they were before the demonstration. I’m proud of the GMB today. We had a huge turn out and looked great with the sea of orange and black GMB banners and flags on display. We now need to get all the unions together and take joint action to get rid of this government.”
GMB lead the way at Barnsley demo
Saturday, December 11th, protesters in Barnsley took to the streets in a demonstration, organised by the TUC, against the Tory/Lib-Dem government cuts programme.
GMB reps and members joined with regional secretary, Tim Roache, in protest against the government’s plans to cut services across the whole of Barnsley, which would have a devastating impact on communities.
In his address to the protestors, Tim Roache said: “The unjustified public sector cuts being made by this government would devastate many people’s lives. The private sector would not be able to offer jobs to those being made redundant as this government is claiming.”
GMB will continue to be at the forefront of the campaign in opposing the cuts and we urge all of our members to be in London on March 26th 2011 to attend the TUC national demonstration against cuts.”
Sheffield Rally Against The Cuts
GMB Organiser Paul Wade (Centre) was at a Rally in Sheffield on Saturday 23 Oct 2010 organised by the TUC in protest at the cuts being brought in by the Con-Dem government. Barnsley branch rep, John Garside is second from the right and branch secretary, Henry Rajch, is next to him.
Around 1,000 people were out in the rain to hear speakers, including GMB regional secretary, Tim Roache. He spoke about multi-millionaire George Osborne’s spending cuts which will leave millions of ordinary people without vital services and drive up poverty and inequality.
At least half a million public sector workers, who provide key services, will lose their jobs. For people on benefits and those already in poverty, life will get harder. Disabled and ill people will have money snatched away.
The message from Sheffield was we must organise a serious fight-back against these policies and cuts.
Barnsley Branch Protest Against Con-Dem’s Spending Review
...GMB Barnsley branch reps and members were in Barnsley Town Centre protesting at the Con-Dem government’s public sector spending review issued on Wednesday 20th October 2010. GMB oganiser, Paul Wade and Barnsley branch secretary, Henry Rajch were among the speakers addressing the 250 assembled crowd of workers and students.
In Barnsley we estimate 600 jobs will go this year from the Council with up to 1,400 going over 4 years. 120 Home carers are to be sacked and 27 staff are losing their jobs due to the closure of Greenside House Residential Home. Further announcements on job losses are to come. 1,500 letters warning those at most risk of redundancy have gone out so far and many of us are very worried for our jobs.
If you would like further information on any aspect of the current situation or would like to join the GMB ring the GMB Barnsley Office on 01226 772980.
Taste of Cultural Diversity
....GMB Barnsley B12 branch had a stall at the town’s Taste of Cultural Diversity Day held on Sunday, September 26th.
Now in its eighth year, the festival is Barnsley’s landmark event within the town’s cultural calendar celebrating the communities and individual cultures that live in the borough
At the Continental Food and Music event branch activists talked to passing GMB members and non members about the importance of being in a trade union that fights in the interests of workers from all sorts of different backgrounds and handed out GMB shopping bags for people to take home.
Egyptian Coffee Morning
Barnsley GMB branch secretary, Henry Rajch, was among the guests at an Egyptian Coffee Morning, which was organised by the Barnsley Egyptian Society Mediators (BESM) on 18th September.
He handed a cheque for £50 to BESM as a donation from the GMB. The event was officially inaugurated by the Mayor of Barnsley, Margaret Sheard.
The morning included traditional refreshments, music and a display of Egyptian memorabilia. There was also fund raising for the victims of the Pakistan floods.
BESM is the official Egyptian cultural and educational community organisation in Barnsley. It was established in January 2009 by Asmaa Hydes to promote the welfare of native Egyptians who live and work in Barnsley. To find out more about the work of BESM
Barnsley Branch Members March In Protest
...GMB Barnsley branch members were in Birmingham joining thousands of others protesting in the rain at the Tory Party Conference.
The Tories are coming for our jobs, our pensions, our services, our schools and our hospitals. So this was an opportunity to start the fightback. Barnsley TUC organised a full coach from Barnsley which among these travelling were trade unionists, students from Barnsley College and two Labour Councillors.
Initiated by the Right to Work campaign, the demo was a focus for all the anger people feel against this rotten government. Some of the other GMB banners on the protest were from Sheffield, Hull and the West Midlands Region.