Links: home page here ••• local events here ••• schedule of meetings here.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Get involved in the pay ballot

PCS is calling for volunteers to help get the vote out so that the turnout meets the stringent threshold imposed upon trade unions by this government. Last year's vote missed being legally valid by a small margin.

If you are available and willing, please click here to find out ways you can help and to register your interest.

NO TO AUSTERITY!

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Liverpool Women’s Hospital workers vote 100% for strike action

Hospital workers in Liverpool, employed by the private company OCS, are set to strike next week after a 100% vote for action in a ballot organised by UNISON.

More than 40 cleaners, catering staff, porters and security officers at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Crown Street, Liverpool L8 7SS, will take action on Monday 25 February after OCS refused to pay them the NHS rate for the job.

Click here for a full report.

Friday, 15 February 2019

AGM guest speaker: Chris Baugh

Chris Baugh, PCS AGS
Advance notice
We are pleased to announce that PCS Assistant General Secretary (AGS), Chris Baugh, has accepted our invitation to be the guest speaker at the ARMS Mersey AGM. As you will know, Chris is a candidate in the forthcoming AGS election. He first stood for the post as a rank and file activist in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009.

When the ARMS Mersey group was set up in 2014, Chris came to some early meetings with encouragement and support.

AGM details
  • Thursday 11 April.
  • 11.00 for 11.30 start.
  • The Robert Tressell Room, Jack Jones House, Liverpool.
All ARMS members in Merseyside are invited.

Other meetings
To see full list of meetings in 2019, click here.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Youth strike about climate change

There will be a national strike of all school students on Friday 15 February over the impact of climate change. The Daily Mail has predictably proclaimed "Fury as headteachers BACK pupil strike", and indeed the National Association of Head Teachers has welcomed the day, stating: 'When you get older pupils making an informed decision, that kind of thing needs to be applauded.'

Right-wing journalist, the inappropriately surnamed Toby Young, said: 'Calling this a strike is ridiculous. What are they going to do? Down pencils? This is just truanting.' Such sarcasm about a demonstration by the very people who will suffer from the effects of climate change for far longer than Mr Young will is particularly misjudged.

In Merseyside, assemble 11.00 a.m. at St Georges Hall. Not sure whether this means the Hall or the Plateau but that will doubtless become clear upon arrival.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

NHS campaign guest speaker on 14 Feb

Our next meeting is a committee meeting, but all members are welcome - especially as we have a guest speaker to the meeting.

Details:
  • Thursday 14 February
  • 11.00am coffee & chat - 11.30am start. Please arrive before the start time.
  • Lilian Urmston room, PCS office, Jack Jones House, Liverpool
Our guest speaker is Ann Dean of Health Campaigns Together.

She says: "I retired in 2014 after 42 years working in Hospital Laboratories. I got involved with Merseyside Keep Our NHS Public and the Save Liverpool Womens Hospital. Merseyside KONP was affiliated to Health Campaigns Together, an alliance of organisations campaigning to defend NHS services and oppose cuts and privatisation and PFI and including trades union organisations at all levels. I also got involved with Merseyside Pensioners Association..

"The Health Campaigns Together newspaper has been produced quarterly since January 2016, it remains free online, and bundles are bought by affiliates to distribute free. The HCT Conference held in November 2017 at Hammersmith was attended by about 400 campaigners. After Dot Gibson from the National Pensioners Convention had pushed for some space to discuss social care, a workshop was held which packed out the small room allocated - from that the Reclaim Social Campaign began ... to be continued."

Click here to go to the Health Campaigns Together website.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Mandela8 Fundraising Event

PCS is supporting this fundraising event for Mandela8 campaign which is seeking to establish a permanent memorial to Nelson Mandela in Liverpool’s Princes Park.
    • Wednesday 13 February 2019
    • 7.00 pm
    • Devonshire Hotel, Liverpool L7 9LD
    Mandela8 in collaboration with Liverpool City Council have arranged for a visit from Dr. Makaziwe Mandela and Mrs Tukwini Mandela, the daughter and granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, to coincide with the 29th anniversary of his release from prison and to formally lay foundations for the Mandela8 memorial. Guests at the event will have a chance to meet and hear from the Mandela family directly, and all funds raised will go toward the memorial. 

    The event will celebrate the solidarity shown by our city over the years in its stance against Apartheid and the campaign for the release of Mandela, and will celebrate the principles by which he lived his life. A limited number of tickets are available at a discounted price of £15 please click here to secure your ticket and for further information. 

    Monday, 28 January 2019

    Robert Tressell Memorial March

    3 February 2019
    11:00 - 13:00
    Noonan Close, off Hornby Road, L9 3BT, next to Walton Station.

    Liverpool Walton CLP has taken the decision to hold a march to commemorate writer Robert Noonan, better known as Robert Tressell, author of the classic of working-class literature and "Socialist Bible", The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

    The march will go to Tressell’s grave inside Rice Lane City Farm where there will be speeches, including by local MP Dan Carden.

    The relevant webpage on Walton CLP's website is here.

    Saturday, 26 January 2019

    This blog has been revived

    The PCS ARMS Mersey Meeting on 24 January 2019 decided to revive our ARMS Merseyside blog. We will be using it for:
    • local trade union and other progressive events.
    • listing dates of ARMS Mersey meetings.
    • ARMS Mersey contact details.
    Plus the usual info on membership benefits, etc. All new posts will also be placed on our Facebook page.

    This blog will now concentrate solely on local matters. Save this link - arms-mersey.blogspot.com - to your 'favourites' and check this site regularly. Wider issues are the province of the ARMS national blog, which you can reach here.

    I hope this becomes a useful local ARMS resource.

    Neville Grundy
    Chair
    ARMS Mersey

    Thursday, 29 September 2016

    This blog is now archived

    The Merseyside ARMS committee has agreed that this blog and the North West ARMS blog are mostly duplicating each other. From now on, all posts and information for Merseyside ARMS will be on the North West ARMS blog. This blog will remain for information purposes but there will be no further updates.

    Please click here for the ARMS North West blog.

    Monday, 26 September 2016

    Socialist Party Public Meeting Supporting Jeremy Corbyn

    The Merseyside Socialist Party congratulates Jeremy Corbyn on being re-elected Labour Party leader. This victory confirms that, in spite of the sustained campaign of vilification against him spearheaded by 170 members of the Parliamentary Labour Party and the exclusion from the vote of thousands of genuine supporters – the Party is determined to shuffle off the remnants of Blairism. We believe Labour Party members should have the right to begin the process of holding MPs to account and replacing those who are implacably opposed to Corbyn with candidates who are prepared to fight for working class interests.

    Come and hear Tony Mulhearn at next Tuesday's public meeting (27 September) at 7.30pm in The Liverpool Pub (upstairs), 14 James Street, Liverpool, L2 7PQ (next to James Street Mersey rail station).

    Hear the story of the Liverpool 47 and what really happened in the 1980s as opposed to the continued distortions expressed by the opponents of both Jeremy Corbyn and Labour Party democracy.

    Hear also Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, national organiser of the Socialist Party, explaining the Socialist Party's campaign for its right to affiliate to the Labour party and its demand for a democratic rewriting of Labour's constitution.

    **********

    For further information contact:

    Wednesday, 14 September 2016

    Merseyside ARMS all members meeting

    • Date:  Thursday 29 September 2016.
    • Time:  11.00 to 14.00.
    • Place:  Robert Tressell Room, PCS Regional Office, 3rd Floor, Jack Jones House, 1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG
    • Guest speaker: Tony Mulhearn, co-author of Liverpool: A City That Dared To Fight, and also Liverpool Labour Party City Councillor in the 1980s.
    • Meeting open to:  Merseyside ARMS members - North West ARMs members and PCS branches are all very welcome as observers.
    A unique opportunity to hear first-hand the experiences of the Liverpool Labour Council in the 1980s when tens of thousands of workers united to gain major concessions from an intransigent Tory Government.

    Active in his trade union, the National Graphic Association, since starting work, Tony Mulhearn joined the Labour Party in Liverpool in 1963. He was Vice-President of the District Labour Party for 8 years, then its President for a further 5 years. Elected to the Liverpool City Council in 1984, he soon became a key figure in the council struggle, combining his position on the council with the presidency of the Liverpool District Labour Party, until his expulsion from the Labour Party after a Spanish Inquisition-style inquiry in 1986. Tony Mulhearn was one of the 47 councillors surcharged and disqualified from office by the unelected district auditor in March 1987. We hope that this account of Liverpool's struggle can play its part in the rearming of the British working class for the mighty battles to come.

    Agenda
    1. Welcome (11.00-11.05) 
    2. Previous minutes (11.05-11.10) 
    3. Guest speaker – Tony Mulhearn, former Liverpool councillor (11.10-12.30) 
    4. Lunch (12.30-13.00) 
    5. Clara Paillard PCS NEC (13.00-13.30) 
    6. NW Regional Committee (13.30-13.40) 
    7. National Committee (13.40-13.45) 
    8. Finance (13.45-13.50) 
    9. Activities (13.50-13.55) 
    10. Close of meeting (13.55-14.00)

    Thursday, 8 September 2016

    TUC should speak for rank & file

    TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady calls for the Labour Party to look outward and deal with the Tories but she doesn’t identify the guilty party. Not a word of criticism of the Blairites who caused the divisions and chaos. She should declare that the rank and file Party members campaigning for socialist change are lions led by the Blairite donkeys of the PLP who are turning their fire on the leadership instead of organising to defeat the Tories. You can't be neutral in this situation; as the spokesperson for six million organised workers she should be demanding full support for Jeremy Corbyn whose policy is totally in accord with the TUC's policy of opposition to all austerity.

    Tony Mulhearn ARMS Mersey

    Tuesday, 6 September 2016

    Miners' pension fund demo

    Further to the post here on 31 August about the ongoing theft from the miners' pension fund, here are details of a demo in Liverpool on the issue on 27 September. There's also a petition here.

    Friday, 2 September 2016

    TUSC meeting for Corbyn, Liverpool

    TUSC continues to support the campaign to re-elect Jeremy Corbyn and to elect an anti-austerity Metro Mayor.

    Roger Bannister will speak at a meeting in the Casa, Hope Street on Saturday 3 September 2016 at 12noon.

    Roger, TUSC candidate for Liverpool mayor in May 2016, is hoping to meet Labour’s metro mayoral candidate Steve Rotheram to explore a meeting of minds on fighting cuts.

    Steve is committed to building council housing, to social justice and standing up for ordinary people, which are policies that TUSC has advocated at elections on Merseyside for 6 years.

    Roger Bannister said: 'I commend Merseyside and Halton’s Labour members for rejecting the austerity agenda defended by the likes of Joe Anderson. In May’s mayoral elections in Liverpool I argued for: no more cuts to council services, no cuts to our colleges, save Liverpool Women’s Hospital and other threatened NHS facilities, and to defend the Mersey rail train guards and their service. I won over 5% of the vote which is a firm basis to build on.'

    All are welcome to attend and broaden the campaign for the socialist alternative.

    A display of the 1983-1987 Socialist Council’s achievements will also be on display.

    Tony Mulhearn
    ARMS Mersey

    Thursday, 1 September 2016

    News updates - from the web

    Our regular round up of relevant news items, by Steve Ion of ARMS Mersey.

    One in ten over 65s in work - here.

    Waspi: Jeremy Corbyn pledges support for pensioners - here.

    Expats pensions possible impact - here.

    Care home costs increase - here.

    Potential plans to reform final salary pensions - here.

    Wednesday, 31 August 2016

    Miners pension fund fight

    This petition calls upon the UK Government to review the mineworkers' pension fund to reduce the 50/50 share of the surplus that the Government takes from the system. It has been many years since the mineworkers and widows have had an increase in their pension (other than cost of living increases). They deserve a fair increase in their pension.

    Since 1994, both Labour and Tory governments have taken from the surplus of the miners' pension fund at a rate of £1 million per day, making a total of £8 billion. The government must reduce the deduction from 50% of the surplus to a more reasonable percentage. 

    Sign the petition here.

    Monday, 29 August 2016

    PCS Bulletin - help & support requested

    The help of ARMS members is asked for the following campaigns:

    • Protect Chorley and South Ribble Hospital from Cuts and Privatisation
    WE NEED YOUR HELP to demonstrate outside these hospitals for 1 hour from 10.00 a.m. on Saturday 17th September to protect your local A&E: 
    Preston, Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn, Blackpool, Lancaster.

    Our campaign was given the bad news that Chorley and South Ribble Accident and Emergency department will be closed until April 2017; we believe this is a move to close it indefinitely. The effect of this is rippling out to A&Es in other areas. This isn't good for other A&Es and the people they are intended to serve. It is having a negative effect on the North West Ambulance Service, some ambulances are queuing for hours to hand over sick or injured people.

    Ask yourself these questions: If not me then who? If not now, then when? The NHS will survive as long as there are people willing to protect it. We are those people.

    To help contact: Andrew Birchall on andrewbirchall3@gmail.com or mobile 0784 0202 084.

    • March for the Liverpool Women’s Hospital 
    25th September 2016 – Assemble at the Women’s Hospital at midday and walk to the water front.

    The Liverpool Women’s hospital is a 20 year old world class hospital on a good site. It’s the largest maternity hospital in Europe and cares for more than 50,000 patients a year. Its future is under threat because of inadequate maternity funding, lack of investment, funding problems for all the NHS and the rampant privatisation and market focus of the NHS.

    Follow ‘Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital’ on Facebook, Save-Liverpool-Womens-Hospital or email SaveLWH@outlook.com.

    • Conservative Party Conference Demonstration 
    Sunday, 2nd October 2016 – Assemble in Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BD at 11.30 a.m.

    Austerity has failed! Join the Midlands TUC’s march and rally to tell the Government that austerity isn’t working. Please let PCS NW know if you wish to attend. Please email: nwrc@pcs.org.uk

    Thursday, 18 August 2016

    News updates - from the web

    A triple lock, yesterday
    Our regular round up of relevant news items, by Steve Ion of ARMS Mersey. 

    Over 60s cutting back to make ends meet - here.

    Why we must stick with the triple lock - here

    Annuity pensions cut again - here.

    Lifetime ISA should not be used for pension - here.

    WASPI campaign has no support from Government  - here.

    UK firms paid five times more in dividends than into pensions - here.

    Retired people spending less than £20 per week - here.

    Saturday, 13 August 2016

    Zero hours contracts - a personal view

    My grandfather was gassed aged 15 or 16 in the trenches during the First World War. The lifelong ill health that resulted made finding work hard but he never gave up trying. He'd go from his Kirkdale home to the Liverpool docks every day to try to get a single day's work. He never managed to because he refused to pay the foreman a bribe from the meagre wages that were on offer, partly on the principle that a man shouldn’t have to pay to get a day’s work, and partly because he had a family to keep. He died in his 40s during the Second World War from an illness related to his First World War injuries. 

    What a way to treat an old soldier who had ruined his health for his country - and what a way to treat a worker. That's the world the Tories want to take us back to with their attacks on employment rights, with "no fault dismissals"; we have them already in the form of redundancy, but they actually want a US-style "hire and fire" regime because that’s a lot cheaper. Zero hours contracts take us precisely to what my grandfather had to face in his struggle to get just a single day’s work. 

    This is even further than Mrs Thatcher dared go. We must not allow it.

    Neville Grundy
    Organiser
    ARMS Mersey