UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Monday, 18 June 2012

UNISON members to decide on New LGPS after ultra left routed

#undc12 Yesterday, the local government service group conference decisively backed a composite, moved by Manchester branch (see below), which called for a "an inclusive, thorough and democratic consultation process” on the new LGPS scheme due to be introduced by 2014. Desperate attempts by a sectarian minority to pre-empt member consultation and deliver a UNISON rejection for their political parties, regardless of the merits of the proposals, were seen off in a two hour debate:

Eddy Redmond, Manchester branch, moved Composite 5 as follows:

“Moving Composite EC5 and opposing the other motions in this group debate that take different positions on involving our members in determining the recommendation on THEIR ballot.

And Conference, no matter what else follows this is what we are really debating. The absolute right of our members - who took magnificent strike action last November - to be fully involved at all stages. To be central to our democratic process, not just on the receiving end of a pre determined recommendation based on the initial views of those of us in this hall today.

This is the very essence of a member led, inclusive trade union. So let's keep that principle to the forefront.

This motion welcomes the conclusion of the lengthy and complex negotiations, and the
opportunity for members to now consider the long awaited proposals based on hard information.

The motion recognises, as reflected by the number of emergency motions, there
are various initial views on the proposals.

The proposals will affect members differently dependant on a number of factors such as age, length of service, working pattern, domestic circumstances, etc.

The details are very complex and individual members are only now receiving full details of what is being proposed.

Naturally they will want to see how these proposals affect them individually and also members collectively.

Conference, large sections of our membership took strike action on pensions even though some were not in the scheme and others were already covered by protection.

The union is rightly proud of that collective solidarity.

Therefore it is right that now final proposals have emerged we seek to inform every member of the detail - clearly and factually - and consult with members at every step to seek their views on the proposals.

Branches need to prioritise a consistent consultation exercise and report fully on the views of members to every region.

Only that way can our regional representatives on the SGE be fully informed of the balance of views of members and make an objective recommendation.

We need to liaise with the 4 other SGE's covering LGPS members.

Just because we are the largest Service Group doesn't mean we are the only Service Group involved in the consultation exercise affecting all members involved.

Conference, why would anyone oppose such an open, inclusive, and transparent consultation process?

Yet all the other motions in this debate have one thing
in common.....

They all seek to undermine the consultation process - by taking away from members THEIR opportunity to express THEIR view as to what recommendation THEIR union
should make in THEIR ballot.

Conference, it is simply wrong and undemocratic to deny our members their chance to have their say in determining any recommendation that may be made.

Some will seek to claim the other positions in this debate is somehow leadership.

It's not, it is paternalistic and patronising and elitist by those who believe their own views are more important than our members and arrogantly believe our union does not need to consult our own members.

The consultation process has barely begun so how can we substitute our own initial views above asking our members for their views?

Unless some people have other agendas....

Conference, let us have confidence to trust our members who took such magnificent action on 30 November and give them the respect they deserve - including the right to be consulted on how our union should respond to the proposals and what recommendation should be made in the ballot.

Please support our members right to determine their future and support Composite E 5.”