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

Monday, 22 April 2013

UNISON Health Conference Preview

#uHealth2013 UNISON health activists are meeting in Glasgow today for the union's 2013 national health conference. Delegates gather at a pivotal time for the NHS as it struggles under the Con Dem government's onslaught of cuts and structural destruction. The scale of the government's attack is unprecedented and the NHS now stands on a precipice, which if unchecked will see the end of free universal health care in this country.

Conference will discuss the importance of building local organisation and membership as an integral part of the fight to defend the service. Trusts with high union density and well organised are better placed to resist the dismantling of services.

A key debate at the three day conference will be around pay and the role of the Pay Review Body. The PRB once again imposed the government's policy of just 1%, this despite two years of pay freeze which means that in real terms health workers have seen a 15% drop in the value of their pay.

Conference will discuss a range of activity to put the campaign for fair pay and a living wage at the heart of the union's activity. The defence of the National Agreement, Agenda for Change will be another important debate. Given the financial crisis in the NHS more Trusts, lead by the reactionary NHS Foundation Network are looking at ways to further erode terms and conditions. The health service group executive is moving a wide ranging motion stressing the importance of national support for local and regional campaigns and action in defence of the national agreement.

It is hoped that activists will leave Glasgow on Wednesday with renewed vigour to take the fight to the government in order to save the NHS and our members who deliver the essential services to communities.