Prepare Members for Collective Action

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2014 Health Care Service Group Conference
11 November 2013
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the Kings Fund and Audit Commission have reported that the majority of Health trusts face extremely difficult financial circumstances to meet the £20 billion in efficiency savings demanded by past and present governments. It also appears likely that any future government will continue with these so called efficiency saving or cuts.

Conference recognises that to meet these so called savings, trusts continue to downband staff, re-organise services leading to a loss of jobs and make increased demands on staff to meet the savings targets. We also recognise that despite the concessions given by members in increased pension payments, reduced sick pay enhancements, and performance related incremental progression, that trusts want staff to make further concessions.

Conference is aware that some trusts wish to increase our hours to resolve staff shortages, while others wish to cut enhancements and our terms and conditions. We cannot let individual branches fight battles on their own as this encourages other trusts to follow suit.

Conference believes that our members have given enough and should not be asked to pay for government debts. We believe that the motion passed last year of drawing a line in the sand remains valid and that we should not accept any further concessions without using our collective strength and putting it to a test.

Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to:

1)explain to all members in all our publications and campaigns the seriousness of the financial situation of the NHS in relation to each of the four nations and that the efficiency savings will not be met without further attacks on all our terms and conditions;

2)explain in all our publications and campaigns where the finances can be found in line with UNISON’s alternative vision to austerity and cuts and that these need to relate to all four nations;

3)explain to members in all our publications that to defend our terms and conditions we will need to be prepared to use collective action including lawful industrial action and that such action may well need to be co-ordinated action owing to the national differences;

4)campaign and build for united co-ordinated national lawful industrial action across all four countries when possible, as an injury to one is an injury to all;

5)defend our pay terms and conditions. United we stand divided we fall.