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

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

2015-2020: a do-or-die period for UK trade unions

'Trade unions will now pay a heavy price for Labour’s defeat. Tory plans are set out clearly enough in their election manifesto, including the much-trumpeted proposals for yet more restrictions on strike ballots, most notably a requirement that strikes in certain sectors will need the support of 40 per cent of those eligible to vote, as well as a majority of those voting' writes Professor Keith Ewing in today's Morning Star.

The next Tory employment bill will include manifesto commitments to legislate against public sector union facility time and to end political fund opt outs. An even more immediate threat for UNISON members in the health service is the top line commitment of the Tory manifesto - the creation of 'a truly 7-day NHS'. In recent evidence submitted to the NHS pay review body, the employers and Department of Health have stated that unsocial hours payments are the main barrier to 7-day working. This will be the first of many industrial battles UNISON faces in the context of the new Government's continuing austerity cuts and outsourcing.

Professor Ewing concludes that the trade union movement is 'about to be tested like never before' and needs 'a new, clear vision to lead the movement not for the next five years but for the next generation.'