Socialism offers Scots a positive post-indy vision

24-year-old ecologist Roisin McLaren has been elected national co-spokesperson of the Scottish Socialist Party and joins Colin Fox in the role which is shared on a gender-balanced basis. Here she sets out her ideas.

Things can only get better”. The song echoed in my mind as the first news item I can remember.

It was 1997, I’m not yet three, sitting at my granny’s feet, watching the news at six. I liked the man, he smiled, but most of all I liked the song. I would sing it to myself: “Things can only get better”.

Growing up in our council house in Knightsridge, Livingston, on a street in the lowest 5% of Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation,

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SNP and Tories unite to deny Public Railway bid

Commenting on today’s defeated proposal in Holyrood on exercising the “break clause” in the ScotRail tendering contract, SSP Trade Union organiser, Richie Venton said:

“ScotRail passengers and ScotRail workers today witnessed the grotesque spectacle of SNP MSPs lining up with Tory MSPs to defeat the modest proposal of applying a contract break clause in Dutch company Abellio’s franchise in 2022. They combined to defeat the call in the Scottish Parliament for a public sector ScotRail bid in 2022 – a full four years hence! – by 85 votes to 34.”

“Twenty-five years of railway privatisation has been an unmitigated disaster for workers and passengers alike, but a Klondike gold rush of profiteering for train operating companies and those who grabbed infrastructure,

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SSP Executive Committee 2018/2019 election results

At the SSP National Conference 2018, after full hustings for contested posts and statements from the nominees, the party elected its office-bearers.

The 2018/2019 members of the committee are as follows:

Joint National Spokespeople: Colin Fox, Róisín McLaren

National co-Chairs: Calum Martin, Christine McVicar

National Secretary: Hugh Cullen

National Treasurer and Membership Secretary: Jim McVicar

National Workplace and Trade Union Organiser: Richie Venton

International Secretary: Bill Bonnar

National Press Officer: Ken Ferguson

Social Media Coordinator: Scott Macdonald

Photos: Craig Maclean

Members also elected seven women and seven men by single transferable vote to serve on the committee:

Carly Cunningham
Frances Curran
Dawn Fyfe
Debora Kayembe
Louise McDermott
Rosa Stevenson
Suzanne Wright

Andy Brown
Ashab Ahmad
Colin Turbett
Kevin McVey
Liam McLaughlan
Morgan Lewis Wilson
Steve Hudson

The Scottish Socialist Party thanks the comrades vacating the committee for their service,

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Unions Pledge to Fight For Dundee Michelin Jobs

by Ken Ferguson

The news that tyre company Michelin are to close their Dundee plant with the loss of 850 jobs is a tremendous blow offsetting much of the optimistic economic talk around the recent opening of the V and A in the city

Commenting on the announcement STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

‘This announcement is a devastating blow to the workforce and to Dundee. However, they have faced this situation before and overcome it due to their commitment and resilience.”

“We will give the workforce and their union Unite every possible support to do so again and to ensure that Michelin continues to operate in Dundee”.

“The company needs to meet its obligation to explore with the union every avenue to retain activity and jobs at the plant and both the Scottish and UK Governments and their agencies need to work all out with the union to put in place an alternative plan that will retain Michelin in Dundee and secure the jobs at risk.

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Teachers Union ballots members on Swinney and COSLA’s “divisive” offer

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) has begun balloting its members on a ‘final’ pay offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA.

The SSP attended and supported Saturday’s march and rally to support teachers and support workers in their modest demand of 10%.

Today, SSP workplace organiser Richie Venton said: “Like millions of other workers, teachers have been mugged by a succession of Tory and New Labour governments.”

“This is one of only 5 countries in the advanced economies where teachers’ real wages have dropped – by a quarter in the past 10 years, in Scotland’s case.”

“Loss of real pay has made it harder to recruit and retain teachers,

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Hammond’s pre-Brexit Budget Fails 8.5 million Workers

SSP is proud to announce its new websiteCommenting on Philip Hammond’s budget SSP spokesman Colin Fox said;

“This is a pre-Brexit giveaway budget designed to put pressure on dissident MP’s Remainers and Brexiteers alike on the spot ahead of a likely Westminster vote in December.”

“Chancellor Philip Hammond promises to find £20bn more for the NHS over the next 5 years, £2bn more for mental health services, £420m for potholes and tax cuts for millions but only if Parliament votes for Theresa May’s Brexit deal negotiated with the EU next month. Otherwise all bets are off.

His increase in the minimum wage from £7.83 to £8.21/hour still leaves 8.5 million people on poverty pay. The Government has already conceded that workers need to earn £10 an hour to pay their own rent,

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The Biggest Ever Equal Pay Strike

by Richie Venton, SSP national workplace organiser – reporting from the Glasgow strike

There’s no exaggeration in these words from a woman who works in the language unit for kids. 8,000 members of Unison and GMB unions on strike for equal pay, mostly women, makes it the biggest action of its kind, ever, in the UK.

Every one of the city’s hundreds of primary schools and nurseries were shut down – a timely reminder of the critical role in children’s education played by these workers – and care services severely disrupted, but with the unions ensuring ‘life and limb’ cover for the most vulnerable service users.

A huge proportion of the 8,000 marched through the city centre.

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Equal Pay Strike: pay up now!

Richie Ventonby Richie Venton

Over 7,500 Glasgow city council workers — overwhelmingly women — are set to strike next week for equal pay, after 12 years of brutal discrimination.

Staff in education and Cordia feel they’ve had enough of being treated like second class citizens. There are 13,000 equal pay claims already. “We’ve had our marches, meetings, TV appearances. The only thing left to get pay justice is strike action”, as one woman told us.

The pent up rage at being paid less than mostly male workers in refuse collection — which was deemed work of equal value in the council’s 2006 Pay and Benefits Review — has led to unprecedented majorities in the September strike ballots.

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