yesterday’s UNISON NEC meeting the issue of pay was centre stage as reports were received on the union’s response to the abysmal situation in health and local government where over 90% of UNISON’s membership are facing pay rises of between 0% and 1% - 1.8% below inflation if you’re lucky. Members in local government are being consulted over the employers’ 1% offer with a strong national recommendation to reject and support strike action.
In the NHS, the Government has disregarded the PRB recommendation of a 1% rise across the board, and has already imposed a 0% pay rise on ALL health workers. Only the minority who do not receive an annual pay increment this year will receive a 1% non consolidated cash payment. Next week’s UNISON health conference will decide next steps but the situation is crying out for an urgent move to an industrial action ballot so that the pay campaign can be coordinated across the public sector’s two main bargaining groups where we are the largest union. Anything less will be an inadequate and unacceptable response.
As Dave Prentis pointed out to UNISON activists in Northern region last Friday the union has simply got no alternative other than to take a stand. “At the end of the day it’s the Government that decides what pay increases we get and if it takes co-ordinated action across our local community services, health services and all other employers where we’ve got members, we will seek to take co-ordinated action.”
UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.