Friday, 18 February 2011

Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile!

We must stand up to this government’s despicable attacks on our education and our welfare state, public services, jobs and pensions. It’s not too late to win this battle if we act now, but we desperately need a fighting leadership to win.

I’ve got experience successfully fighting job cuts and outsourcing London Met University Branch, proven willing and able to lead a campaign of action and since November 2010 I’ve taken this experience onto the NEC and the HE Executive – thanks to you all who voted.

We need to take escalate our response to defeat these cuts – we must stand up to all the attacks we face: we mustn’t accept a pay freeze, job cuts or attacks on our pensions.

Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile!

We should take inspiration from our students, who shook the government to the core, and smashed all illusions these cuts could get through without a fight. The union movement can finish what the students started.

The government want an elite-based education system, for the rich, privileged few, rather than education for all. Our members have joined the students on the streets and in the campuses: we must also join with the UCU and other education unions to coordinate strike action, and throw everything we’ve got into defending ourselves

We must believe we can win this.

We must rediscover our self-confidence as an organised union in which all of us take part. Many members have never been on picket lines before, and even more don’t vote in elections.

Many Universities have never had compulsory redundancies: but those times are over.

We need members with experience leading action against cuts and getting new members involved in the union. Our branch, through our struggle against cuts, has recruited many new activists along the way.

Actions speak louder than words – that means more than stunts for the press in front of Downing Street.

We lay activists and members are often told we are ‘the backbone of the union’ – so let’s show some backbone, stand up strong, with our heads held high.

The March 26th TUC Demonstration is a good start – we should now launch a summer of resistance to the cuts.

Members must make key decisions, not unaccountable officials. Local branches should have more say over their own disputes: when members want to take action, officials should fully support them, not delay and tip-toe around legal hurdles until the momentum is lost.

I’m an independent socialist, non-aligned to any party, a supporter of the ‘United Left’, with a strong track record of organising members and inspiring new activists.

Please also vote for Carole Hanson, for the female HE seat and for all candidates for a fighting democratic union and encourage your workmates to do so too.

See you in the streets! Get in touch, get involved, visit:

Vote Max Watson - a fighting candidate, standing up for you!

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