Yesterday’s last ever UNISON National Executive Council in Mabledon Place was a strangely subdued affair.
After a minute's silence for fallen colleagues and activists as well as those who have died in the Middle East and Christchurch, the following motions were agreed for National Delegate Conference: Educate and Organise; Organising; Branch Funding; International campaign against Public Service Cuts; Palestine; Abolition of the Two Tier Code; Attacks on Health and Safety; Cuts to Benefits and Welfare; The Economy – Cuts are not the Cure; Education; The Future of Local Government Services; Our NHS Our Future; Public Services. Amendments were also agreed to Rules.
A comprehensive 16 page report was then noted on the plans for a broad based campaign to defend members and public services. It was recognised that involving members and communities in grass roots campaigning, calling local elected politicians to account, is essential as part of that process. Much anti-cuts campaigning and industrial action by UNISON members is underway in all parts of the country
Over 275 UNISON coaches have now been booked for the March 26th demonstration in London. Issues over logistical arrangements, drop off, parking, stewarding and access issues (not to mention a revolutionary idea of issuing national advice on packed lunches!) were discussed and all members are advised to check the website for up-to-date details.
Dave Prentis introduced a detailed report on all the threats facing all our pension schemes. “Eighty five billion pounds are being knocked off public pension schemes” he charged. Details are available on the web but he stressed the importance of this fight, planning for it, co-ordinating and working together with other unions and to win these battles.
“A potential 50% uprate in contributions is a disgraceful tax and attack on all our members” he said. “With over 170,000 redundancy notices in the first wave of cuts, leading ultimately to the mass privatisation of public services, we need to organise and build for this fight like never before”.
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