Notts County Council strike: rally

Tagged as: austerity budget council cuts nottinghamshire_county_council rally strike union unison work
Neighbourhoods: county_hall nottingham nottinghamshire west_bridgford

On February 24th Nottinghamshire County Council met to set its budget. Unison members at the council were on strike, to coincide with this the union organised a march across Trent Bridge and a rally in front of County Hall.

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This is the fourth such lobby of County Hall since the Tories took control of the council, but the first to be preceded by a march.

There were a range of speakers, but there was a clear orientation towards trade unionists. Among them Unison's head of local government Heather Wakefield, Jean Thorpe from Nottingham City Unison and somebody from the FBU. Other speakers included the head of the Labour Group on the council Alan Rhodes and at least one service user.

Unfortunately (or possibly fortunately), the PA wasn't very good so I couldn't actually hear much of what was being said. At one point, the speakers system packed up completely (blamed, jokingly on council leader Kay Cutts) and speakers had to make do with a megaphone.

The crowd was initially quote noisy and chanted enthusiastically. Unfortunately, as inevitably happens, people drifted off. The event was just about to be drawn to a conclusion when it was discovered that the BBC would be going out live at 1.30pm, so the chanting was started up again and kept up fairly impressivley throughout the broadcast.

It was notable that while the previous such rally in October had filled the area in front of County Hall, this one didn't do so. Whether this was because it is currently half term or for some other reason isn't clear.

While not as large as might have been hoped, the turnout was still impressive and the rally was a central part of the action on the day. With further strike action likely this probably won't be the last time workers rally outisde County Hall.

Links:

Link_go Notts County Unison
Local branch of the public service union

Link_go Notts SOS
Local anti-cuts campaign