Defend the Green Book

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2011 Local Government Service Group Conference
25 February 2011

Conference agrees that National Joint Council (NJC) agreements enshrined in the Green Book form the very basis of Local Government workers terms and conditions, especially those covered in Part 2. We value our leave arrangements and believe that our sick pay arrangements protect members who are ill from having to survive in poverty.

Over a long period of time, the employers through their national body The Local Government Association (LGA) have attempted to get UNISON to agree to the weakening of these terms and conditions. UNISON have in the main resisted these attempts and this has led to local employers trying to get local UNISON branches to give up their members rights under the Green Book in return for some short-term gain. It is noted however that the overwhelming majority of branches have retained their NJC terms and conditions.

Conference is therefore extremely concerned that the contemporary situation leads us to expect a sustained campaign by the LGA supported by the Conservative led coalition government to erode the value of our nationally agreed terms and conditions. We are fully aware that the ultimate aim of both the LGA and the government is to abolish any notion of national free collective bargaining, leading to a version of localism that will empower local employers to ride rough shod over our rights at work.

Conference therefore instructs the Service Group Executive to

1)Mount a very high profile campaign that establishes our commitment to defend the Green Book;

2)Lend all practical support to branches that are coming under pressure to go local;

3)Investigate the possibility of assisting branches outside the Green Book to explore ways of returning to the fold;

4)Take a firm stand against the employers whenever they try to weaken national terms and conditions.

5)Develop a strategy that will stand UNISON in good stead to defend the Green Book against any attack from central government to completely abolish national agreements.