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

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Strong support at NDC for UNISON's organising agenda

#undc13 The conference debate on organising and recruitment was the most comprehensive in the 20 year history of the union. NEC member Sue Highton moved motion 1 which confirmed that workplace activity is essential to recruitment and emphasised the importance of developing new activists if the union is to adapt to new employer structures.
   In a similar vein, Diane Kelly (pictured) North West regional delegate moved amendment 1.1 stating that ‘if we are to fight back, it’ll be with one hand tied behind our back. Because less than four out of ten local government workers are in a union. Less than six out of ten health workers are in a union. And the picture just gets worse in the other services.'

'No wonder the Government doesn’t see us as any threat to their hegemony. Our effectiveness as a trade union is hamstrung by a lack of members. Under the impact of austerity the rate of recruitment has fallen by 20 per cent since the end of 2010. But the national recruitment campaign launched in March has changed all that. My own region had its best monthly recruitment figures for three years. And the picture was the same in other regions. What that national recruitment campaigned demonstrated is that we can turn things round if we put our mind to it. But a one off campaign is simply not enough.'

'We have to repeat the campaign every year and, in the opinion of my region, at least four times a year. That will give Dave and the NEC the influence, the strength and the power to challenge the Government over their treatment of our pay and our jobs. But the effectiveness of our campaigns relies heavily on knowing where our members are and how many of them are to be found in each workplace and each branch. That way we can identify the workplaces with the greatest recruitment potential. It will also allow us to be strategic and choose workplaces where we can have the most influence on the employer. And the simplest way to do that is to count our members every year.'

'We don’t need David Cameron to tell us to count our members, we can do that ourselves thank you very much. As everyone in the hall today knows, accurate membership data is at the heart of any effective membership drive. That is why we are calling on the NEC to implement an annual membership count.’