Who are TUSC?
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition unites trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists, on the need for mass resistance to the ruling class offensive, and for an alternative programme of left-wing policies to help inspire and direct such resistance.
That's why, on May 7th 2015, TUSC will be standing 19 parliamentary candidates across Yorkshire and almost 150 local election candidates including every seat in Sheffield. This is part of a nationwide challenge of almost 150 parliamentary candidates and almost 700 local council candidates. This is the biggest left of labour challenge the UK has seen since the end of the 2nd World War!!
What TUSC stands for
THE Con-Dem government has inflicted five years of savage austerity on working class people. Unfortunately there is no prospect of this changing beyond the general election, as the leadership of the Labour Party has made it clear that a Labour government would not mean an end to austerity.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) argues that working class people should not pay for a crisis that we did not cause. TUSC was set up to show that there is a clear left-wing alternative to policies of public sector cuts, privatisation, militarism and environmental degradation.
TUSC is committed to standing candidates to build a working class anti-austerity socialist alternative at election time.
Why TUSC needs your support
TUSC has no big business sponsorship. TUSC is a coalition for the millions not the millionaires. Every donation to TUSC strengthens our fight for a better future.
Most trade union backing (with the RMT a noteable exception) still goes to the Labour party. Until such a time that the unions decide that TUSC is better equipped to serve the interests of their members, we will rely of the generosity of our supporters to fund our grass roots activism and electoral campaigns.
Every penny of your contribution goes directly to support these campaigns and activism.
With a donation of £5 we can buy and distribute 150 TUSC postcards or 80 TUSC NHS posters, with £10 we can print 1000 black and white A4 local election leaflets or buy 500 TUSC stickers, £20 would fund 1600 introduction to TUSC leaflets, £40 would fund a new campaign stall table, £45 a huge TUSC banner and with £100 we can print 100,000 local election posters. Whatever you can afford to donate, it will be put towards buying necessary materials to promote our important work.
We need councillors who will refuse to implement the cuts!
The May 2015 council elections are in many ways as important as the general election in deciding what will happen to the vital public services provided by local authorities.
With all the establishment parties - and UKIP too - committed to austerity, the best that will happen in the Westminster elections is that there will be a change of 'management style' at the top.
That's why it is important to have local councillors who will refuse to vote for cuts in the council chamber. It's important to note that the councillors that TUSC already have in place have opposed the cuts openly whereas other supposedly anti-austerity parties like the Green party have failed to do so anywhere. Not even in Brighton where they control the council!
It is not true that councils have 'no option' but to pass on government cuts. If just a handful of councils used the powers they have to refuse to implement the cuts the Westminster politicians could be made to back down.
Individual councillors have a choice. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has a policy platform for local council elections (below) which could make a difference. Even one councillor taking a stand, if they used their position in the council chamber to appeal to those outside, could give confidence to trade unionists and community campaigners to fight.
All TUSC councillors will:
- Oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions. We reject the claim that 'some cuts' are necessary to our services or that the national debt is a reason for austerity.
- Refuse to implement the Bedroom Tax now. Councils should write off all bedroom tax-related arrears, withdraw all court proceedings and eviction orders where the bedroom tax has been a factor, and call on Housing Associations to do the same.
- Support all workers' struggles against the cuts, privatisation and government policies making ordinary people pay for the crisis caused by the bankers and the bosses. Defend the national collective bargaining arrangements for council workers.
- Reject increases in council tax, rent and service charges to compensate for government cuts.
- Vote against the privatisation of council jobs and services, or the transfer of council services to 'social enterprises' or 'arms-length' management organisations, which are first steps to privatisation.
- Oppose racism and fascism and stand up for equality for all.
- Campaign for the introduction of a Living Wage above the minimum wage, including for council employees and those working for council contractors.
- Use all the legal powers available to councils to oppose both the cuts and government policies which centrally impose the transfer of public services to private bodies. This includes using councils' powers to refer local NHS decisions, initiate referenda and organise public commissions and consultations in campaigns to defend public services.
- Vote for councils to refuse to implement the cuts. We will support councils which in the first instance use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid making cuts. But we argue that the best way to mobilise the mass campaign that is necessary to defeat the dismantling of council services is to set a budget that meets the needs of the local community and demands that government funding makes up the shortfall.
- Support action against climate change and for a future where sustainability comes before profit.
This platform is the basis on which any prospective council candidate can stand under the TUSC name in local council elections.