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

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Moment of reckoning for UNISON in health

#uHealth14 There is a beautiful blue sky and the sun is dancing on the gentle waves lapping the Brighton shore line. All appears calm. But hundreds of UNISON activists are pouring into the Brighton conference centre for the national Health Conference. The delegates are angry and rightly so. It is clear from the off that this year's conference will be dominated by pay.
    Standing orders has admitted an emergency motion on pay from the SGE. Early speeches by the SGE Chair and the General Secretary set the scene and anticipation of the pay debate has hung over the proceedings as delegates appear itching to give the go ahead for a broad based campaign on pay within the service.

But in many ways the debate on organising and recruitment is as much about the forthcoming debate as the mechanics of the union's position on pay. If we are going to win the battle with this government then we need to have good strong organisation at branch level. We also need to boost the membership levels so that we can harness and moblise the growing anger amongst NHS workers.

Motions were carried calling for the development of strategic organising plans to build capacity across the union.

Delegates highlighted the boost to recruitment during the pension dispute and the governments challenge to the union over pay will be a great opportuntiy to show that UNISON is the Trade Union ready to lead the fight for our members pay.

Tuesday's debates will be a defining moment for our membership and probably for the future of the NHS.