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

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

UNISON Health conference calls for mass action on pay

#uHealth14 After some infantile posturing by the ultra left who embroiled conference in a farcical row with standing orders committee about the structure for yesterday’s crucial pay debate, delegates finally got the chance to show their anger at the Con Dem's attack on NHS workers’ pay.

Christina McAnea, UNISON’s Head of Health moved the emergency motion ‘launch a national challenge to Hunt’s divisive pay strategy’. The motion calls for an emphatic rejection of the government’s pay package for 2014-15 and to make NHS pay the major focus of the Service Group for 2014. Christina announced that there will be a day of action on 5th June.

But the campaign must start today urged Northern regional convenor Claire Williams; she said the public are behind the campaign and during the recent TUC fair pay campaign thousands of people signed UNISON’s petition calling for a decent pay rise for NHS Staff.

 George Barron, Health SGE Vice Chair, won a rousing response from conference when he called on the TUC to call a day of action in support of the NHS campaign for a decent pay award for health workers. George went onto to demand that if Labour MPs fail to support the campaign then we will not support them in 2015.

Speakers from all four countries backed the motion which set out a programme for action. Key to the action will be an industrial strategy. This will include both protest and formal action. The motion calls for coordination between all health trade unions and involve all NHS Staff. There were many emotional stories from delegates as they related the struggle to make ends meet as the value of their pay has fallen over recent years.In supporting the motion.

Mick McKeown, from the national nursing sector called for a well organised strategy which needs to include community groups. He pointed out that evidence from an International study which showed where health workers combined to take action to defend their living standards, they have been very successful. In passing the motion by an overwhelming majority conference sent a clear message to the Con Dem government.

UNISON is ready to fight and we will mobilise our membership to meet the challenge thrown down by Hunt and Cameron. This is a fight we must win not only for NHS workers but for the future of our NHS.