Sunderland public sector workers strike over cuts

Members of Unison braved bitingly cold winds to visit Sunderland on Saturday afternoon to protest against cuts. The contingent arrived to protest in Market Square after previously staging staging protests earlier in the day at Gateshead and South Shields.
Members of Unison braved bitingly cold winds to visit Sunderland on Saturday afternoon to protest against cuts. The contingent arrived to protest in Market Square after previously staging staging protests earlier in the day at Gateshead and South Shields.
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PUBLIC sector workers took to the streets in their fight against community service cuts.

Unison members gathered at Market Square, Sunderland, to protest against the Government’s reductions in funding as part of its regional campaign, Your Future in Their Hands.

Representatives from the many professions affected by the cuts, including fireman, crossing patrol staff and doctors, attended the event to highlight the problem.

There are 20,000 fewer public sector workers in the region than a year ago, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Unison members say as a result of grant allocations to local authorities in the next 12 months the region will see yet more job losses and cuts to vital community services such as day centres, libraries, social care and services to young people and the elderly.

Eddie Harrison, branch official at Sunderland Central Station, represented members of the Fire Brigade Union.

“We want to show people that cuts being made by central Government is putting the onus on local Government to make cuts which affect the safety of the public and firefighters,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of support from people today. The public are starting to realise that this Government’s plan is to cut the public sector because they don’t care about the welfare of local communities.”

Helen Coomer, Unison regional organiser, said: “While recognising that these cuts are being orchestrated by the Government as part of their austerity measures, it is individuals that are suffering whether they are service users or providers.

“We asked the public which one of these people they would make redundant. And the answer was none. Take away the post and you take away the service.”