January 2011



January 2011
Wakefield MDC
Wakefield MDC Branch Newsletter | www.wakefield-unison.org.uk | Winter 2011
There is an alternative to
Government Spending Cuts
or many of us the
customary New Year
routine brings with it
the usual resolution to
eat more healthily, drink
less, take more exercise
and stop smoking.
And, in what seems
as inevitable as day
following night, those
promises soon fall into
disrepute as we return
to normal routine.
But for many of us 2011
will be very different
to previous years. As
we return to work and
progress through the
first few weeks of 2011
an atmosphere of fear
and trepidation will
prevail as the full impact
of Government policy
becomes clear.
UNISON predicts that
as many as 1000 jobs
across the Council
and the wider public
sector in Wakefield will
be swept away on a
tidal wave of spending
cuts. Behind every
single job there is a
human story - a family
and a community. And
each one is asking why
me, what have I done
wrong. The truth is they
haven’t done anything
The problem with our
economy was not
caused by public sector
workers it was caused
by the bankers who
recklessly gambled
our money in the
pursuit of ever bigger
bonus payments. Our
economy was sent
into a downward spiral
causing the central
banks to intervene with
public money in the
form of bail outs and
The debate is now
dominated not by who
caused the problem
but how to remedy the
On the one hand the
Government plan is
for the
March 26th
Getting the message out on the streets
of Wakefield (see more photos inside)
to reduce the budget
deficit (£150bn) by
cutting public spending
on welfare benefits,
public sector jobs,
services and capital
investment. This
strategy will contribute
80% of their savings
target with the
remaining 20% being
found from tax rises,
such as the recent
takes to the
streets of
increase in VAT from
17.5% to 20%.
We take a markedly
different approach to
the problem. Firstly, it
is important to place
public debt into context.
This is not the first
time that the national
economy has been in
debt. Between 1918
Continued overleaf
Sports and
There is an alternative
Continued from page 1
and 1961 debt was
greater than 100% of
GDP and during this
time the Government
of the day established
the Welfare State,
Education, the NHS and
much of what we now
commonly understand
as our public
services. Therefore,
we argue, that in
times of recession,
public services
should be seen as an
investment not a debt,
providing employment
opportunities and
levering in investment.
The deficit is due to
the recession, which
has reduced revenues
as less people are in
work and are therefore
spending less. At the
same time, government
expenditure has
increased as more
people are without
work and are entitled to
Public servants, the
vast majority of whom
are low paid, deliver
vital services to our
communities. They
spend a high proportion
of their wages directly
in the local economy,
buying goods and
services from local
businesses, which in
itself helps to sustain
local communities. This
is especially the case in
former industrial towns
of the North where
private sector growth
has historically been
weak and the public
sector remains the
biggest employer.
The answer to the crisis
is therefore to create
jobs not cut them.
The reality is that there
does not need to be a
single penny taken away
from any public service,
or a single job lost.
If the government cuts
more jobs this will only
exacerbate the deficit
crisis – more people
will be unemployed
and there will be less
Addressing the tax gap
is an important part of
maximising revenues,
figures produced by the
Tax Justice Network
show that £25 billion
is lost annually in
tax avoidance and
a further £70 billion
in tax evasion by
large companies and
wealthy individuals. An
additional £26 billion
is going uncollected.
£20bn to £30bn could
be raised through a
modest 0.005p tax on
each global financial
transaction. UNISON
continues to argue
that the super rich,
those with the broadest
shoulders, should
be the ones
who take the
biggest share
of the pain.
agenda is not
about fairness
or economic
necessity it
is an all out
attack on
public services.
If the spending
cuts don’t
Join us we march in London
on March 26th 2011. See back
this then
page for all the details.
the recently
who are not prepared
to stand by and see this
Bill, a major piece
Government repeat the
of Government
mistakes of the 1980’s
legislation, paves the
that so damaged our
way for a new round of
privatisations in Local
Government. This is
It is important that
the same old Tories,
UNISON members are
with their new Lib Dem
at the forefront of the
partners, attacking
public services because fight to save jobs and
services. Now is not the
ideologically they think
everything public is bad time to keep your head
down and hope the
and all that is private is
axe falls on someone
else. We must have
confidence to come
You will see reported
together with others
elsewhere in this
and campaign for a
newsletter that it is not
change in public policy.
only trade unions that
If you would like to get
think this way and are
campaigning against the more involved please
cuts. New broad based contact the branch
for more information,
community groups are
see your local steward
emerging across the
City made up of people or visit the UNISON
website at:who genuinely care for
our communities and
Say NO
to unfair and
spending cuts.
UNISON takes campaign
on to the streets
UNISON members
braved the icy weather
and took to the streets
of Wakefield just
before the Christmas
break to ask members
of the public to join
forces in sending a
message of opposition
to David Cameron and
Nick Clegg.
A Dickensian Christmas
card depicting Leaders
of the ConDem coalition
as “scrooge” was signed
by more than 750
people. UNISON Branch
Secretary, Linda Bratley,
said: “the public were
very supportive and
despite the cold weather
many of them spent time
to talk to us about their
own experience of using
public services in the City.
Almost all were appalled
at the Government and
pledged to join our
campaign and oppose
the spending cuts.”
e on
W liti
a ST eldUTS
It is important that all areas
have effective steward
representation – as a steward
your involvement and activity
will vary depending on your
experience, skills and the time
you are able to commit. Your
work may range from being a
local contact in the workplace
to a high level negotiator.
As an elected steward you
have access to important
rights and support, including:
• paid time off for training,
meetings with members
and managers
• training by UNISON and
the TUC
Why don’t you become
a steward or encourage
someone within your area
to be a steward who could
represent your views to
Management. Nomination
papers are available from the
Branch Office. If you require
more information or want to
discuss the role please contact
the Branch Office on telephone
no. 01924 305360.
New group emerges to fight cuts
People from the four corners of the district are coming together
to join forces in an unprecedented display of confidence.
Wakefield Coalition Against the Cuts is a broad based group
consisting of service users, charities, community groups, faith
groups, trade unionists and political activists.
The group is holding its first open meeting on Monday
24th January 2011 at 7pm in the Town Hall, Wakefield and
everyone is welcome so please make the effort to come
along and join with us in defending public services.
UNISON supports
football in
Our sponsorship of the
youth teams at Wakefield
FC is now established. It
is a sponsorship we are
keen on developing, as
it will encourage home
grown talent to come up
through the structure of the
club. The club are giving
UNISON members access
to all first team games at the
concessionary rate of £5 and
are also offering 10% off all
Wakefield FC merchandise.
To qualify for either offer
proof of membership will be
needed (either a wage slip
or membership card). The
club gave free admission to
all Wakefield MD UNISON
members for the game
against Ossett Albion on
New Year’s Day, the game
ended in a 1-1 draw. The
club may make similar offers
to members in future, so
keep an eye on your notice
board or the Branch website
Rovers Return
Once again Wakefield MD
UNISON has entered into
a sponsorship deal with
Featherstone Rovers. The
playing and replica shirts
have our logo on the back of
the shirt in a prime position.
There will be a full page
advertisement in the match
day programme and new
ground boards.
The club are an integral
part of the community and
run various initiatives. They
are recognised by various
organisations and involve
over 50 local schools on an
ongoing basis. They also
operate in four spheres of
activity; Health, Education,
Physical Activity and Social
Inclusion. The club also run
programmes which cover
Tackling Temper, Study
Rovers and a Rovers Dance
In recognition of our
sponsorship we are making
various offers to Wakefield
MD UNISON members and
their families:
Members can buy tickets
for games at the reduced
cost of £7 per person
(normal admission £15).
The offer is limited to four
tickets per game and can
only be applied for on the
enclosed form, which should
be returned to the UNISON
office with a separate
cheque and SAE for each
game applied for.
This season we also
have a table for each game
in the Gallery. The offer
includes admission to the
gallery and the use of the
table throughout the game;
a meal before each game; a
match day programme for
guests; Pre and post match
talks and presentations
with the players and coach
and high tea served at the
table. We are offering this
to members at the greatly
reduced cost of £12 per
person, which is less than
normal admission to the
ground, the offer is limited
to four people per applicant.
Tables will be allocated fairly
with all members having
the opportunity to apply.
Allocation of further tables
to the same applicant and
their families will depend
on demand throughout the
season. Challenge Cup
games are exempt from this
offer. Once again you can
only apply by completing the
enclosed form.
Finally we will be running
a family day at the club so
watch this space....
Wildcats on
the Prowl
We have
renewed our
of Wakefield
for the
forthcoming season. Our
logo remains on the collar of
the playing and replica shirts.
We also have the ground
board and the programme
advertisement. The UNISON
Community Shield for Junior
Rugby League teams will
again take place before the
local derby with Castleford
on the 21st August 2011.
This season is
momentous in the sense
that it is Wakefield’s last
season at Belle Vue, having
played there since 1879.
According to my sources
the club previously played
at Heath Common, Manor
Field and Elm Street. The
club originated in the Holy
Trinity Church, hence the
name. They did not have a
penchant for naming clubs
after animals at that time
otherwise it could have
been Wakefield Ferrets or
In recognition of our
sponsorship with the
Wildcats we are once again
offering tickets at reduced
prices to Wakefield MD
UNISON members. The
tickets for this season will
be available at £9 per ticket
and are limited to four tickets
per applicant and can be
applied for on the enclosed
application form, enclosing
a separate cheque and SAE
per game. Tickets are issued
on a strictly first come first
served basis. Again please
do not phone the office
about this offer as tickets are
not available over the phone.
Sleeping Beauty
and Wakefield
This year’s Pantomime
was another success for all
concerned. The Pantomime
moved from its usual spot in
the New Year to Saturday 4
December. It was the classic
Pantomime Sleeping Beauty
and contained all the ingredients
which make such panto’s a
success, including a baddie
and a wedding at the end.
As part of our sponsorship
with Wakefield Theatre we
have negotiated a deal where
members get money off most
shows. Coming up in the
Spring Season is:
John Godber’s April in Paris
Hull Truck Company
Thurs 1 to Sat 5 February
Roald Dahl’s The Witches
Wakefield Little Theatre
Weds 16 to Sat 20 February
Mark Thomas
Weds 21 February
Romeo & Juliet
Pilot Theatre & York
Theatre Royal
Tues 15 to Sat 19 March
Dave Spikey
Friday 15 April
Further details can be found
in the season’s brochure or at
the Theatres website at www.
Telephone 01924 211311
or book in person (proof of
membership needed).
Day Trips
The kid’s trip last year was
to Lightwater Valley and
although the weather was
poor everybody had a good
time. Meanwhile the trip
to Liverpool for the day
was also a success. If you
have any ideas where you
would like to go next please
contact the office via our
email address – [email protected]
unison-wakefield.org.uk and
let us know.
We are
back to
one golf
this year
– if you are a golfer please
keep a watch out for flyers
and notices – also please
check the website from time
to time. The competition is
usually held in the spring.
Balkan Grill owner, Tony Gaunt, with Andrey and Sasha after serving up a real
feast for them after their first training session at Sharlston. The Balkan Grill
(Doncaster Road, Belle Vue, Wakefield ) will sponsor a meal per week for the guys
during their 5 month stay. The deal was set up by club sponsor UNISON.
The Russians are
coming...to Sharlston!
round two years
ago Wakefield
Amateur Rugby League
Association hosted
Lokomotiv Moscow.
As part of the tour
Wakefield UNISON
met the players and
coaches to discuss
bringing two Russian
players over to
Wakefield as a way to
help develop the sport
in Russia. Quite a lot
of time passed and we
subsequently found
out that Lokomotiv
had changed codes to
Rugby Union in order
to gain access to the
nines competitions in
next year’s Olympics.
Plan B then came into
Working in conjunction
with others we
discovered that
there was a second
Rugby League club
in Moscow, Moscow
Veyera. They were
approached and we
found out that they
had two players who
wanted to come to
Wakefield. Since May
2010 we have been
contacting various
bodies to try and make
this happen. Sharlston
Rovers, who we
sponsor, have agreed
that they can play for
the club, staying in
accommodation above
the club house. As
with all things in life
sometimes nothing
seems to happen for
ages and then suddenly
it starts to work out.
Finally the visas were
The Russians, Andrey
and Sasha (short for
Aleksandar) flew into
Manchester Airport on
Friday 7 January. As
soon as the registration
documents are sorted
out they will be playing
for the Rovers. We
hope that they are
given a warm Wakefield
welcome. No doubt
their experience in the
Pennine League against
teams such as Queens
and Drighlington will
give them a taste of
what Rugby League is
like at grassroots level
in the north.
Meanwhile the Gym
has now been built at
Sharlston and will be
officially opened soon
so watch this space...
Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the above
Branch will be held on Thursday, 24 February 2011 at 5.30 p.m.
in The Kingswood Suite, Town Hall, Wakefield.
The venue is accessible – crèche facilities will be available but
must be booked with the Branch Office by Thursday 10 February
2011 – telephone 01924 305360 to book a place.
To Receive the Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet.
To Receive the Annual Report.
To elect/confirm the following Branch Officers -
Nominations received from
Communications Education Coordinator
Life Long Learning Coordinator
Equalities Officer
Health & Safety Officer
International officer
Membership officer
To confirm
To confirm
To confirm
Young Members Officer
Welfare Officer
To confirm
Terry Ratcliffe
Linda Bratley
Dave Tolson
Les Davies
Heather Varley
Hannah Schofield
Job Share –
Kaye Potter
Lynne Whitehouse
Warwick Stephens
Dave Evans
Job Share –
John Connor
Jack McCleary
Bryn Pelzer
To confirm Branch Auditors – Ray Henderson, Colin Jarvis.
Update on Public Sector Cuts & Implications
Motion - the closing date for submission of motions to the Branch Office is 5pm on Thursday 10 February 2011.
Any other business as determined by the Branch Committee.
Copies of the Annual Report are obtainable from the Branch Office and will also be available at the meeting.
Consumer Direct
wins interim contract
Consumer Direct was initially
set up as a government initiative
and began life at West Yorkshire
Joint Services as a pilot project
and named the West Yorkshire
Helpline. The project was rolled
out to regional centres and
became Consumer Direct which
was operated by the now defunct
Department of Trade and Industry.
Responsibility for the running of
Consumer Direct then passed
to the Office of Fair Trading and
Consumer Direct was by then
a national service with several
regional centres.
144 Donca
ster R
Wakefield oad - Belle Vue
4b Seemore Arcade, 39 Towngate, Ossett, WF5 8HR
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At Browns Hair Centre, whether hair
is dry; damaged; colour-treated;
fine and lifeless; coarse and
unmanageable, or just needs a little
something extra to make it really
healthy and beautiful, Joico's salon
hair products offer targeted
solutions to meet every hair type's
specific needs.
Feel free to call in or ring for advice
and appointments
With the change of government
an announcement was made that
responsibility for Consumer Direct
would be passed to the Citizens
Advice Bureau. As yet the details
of how CD will be run are unclear.
However Yorkshire and Humber
Consumer Direct, which is based
at Joint Services, at Morley bid
for an interim contract which was
won with an increased amount
of calls being awarded. Not all
centres are run by local government
and the bid was against some
of our competitors in the private
sector. Most people employed
by Consumer Direct Yorkshire
and the Humber are members of
the Wakefield Local Government
Branch of UNISON and continue to
enjoy NJC terms and conditions, set
against the competitive background
which we found ourselves in this is
quite an achievement. Meanwhile
despite the current climate we have
been in the fortunate position of
recruiting new staff to start work
from the 1st April 2011 when the
interim contract begins for a year.
Charlie Robinson - Steward West
Yorkshire Joint Services
Join the March for
Public Services on
26th March 2011
Join thousands of people on the
TUC march in London to tell the
government that savage spending
cuts are unnecessary and unfair.
UNISON believes that there is an alternative.
• Investment in local communities
• Health and education
• A more equal and just society
There will be a bus departing Providence Street (behind the bus station)
Wakefield at 6am and returning from London at 6pm.
Assembling at 11am on Victoria Embankment between Temple Place and
Blackfriars Place to march to a rally in Hyde Park.
If you and your family are interested in joining us please complete the form
below to reserve a place on the bus.
Join the March on March 26th in London
Daytime telephone Number
Membership Number
I would like to reserve
seats on the bus
Please return to UNISON, 18 Gills Yard, Wakefield, WF1 3BZ