After the General Election

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Conference
2016 National Black Members' Conference
Date
15 September 2015
Decision
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the Conservative Party’s success at the General and local elections on May 7th created further threats to public services, trade union rights and Black members’ jobs and standard of living.

Conference remembers that the previous Conservative led government pursued a range of policies that have savaged public services and attacked workers’ rights resulting in:

a)Tens of thousands of UNISON members losing their job;

b)cuts in pay, terms and conditions of employment;

c)attacks in trade union rights and facilities agreement;

d)dilution of regulations protecting TUPE transferred workers;

e)introduction of employment tribunal fees;

f)reduction of public services provided to Black communities;

g)reduction in compensation payments for workplace discrimination;

h)dilution of the equality duty; and

i)the slashing the budget of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The new Conservative majority government have made it clear they will continue their policies and have announced plans to:

a)Implement further massive cuts to public services and public service jobs – with nearly one million more job cuts anticipated before 2020 regardless of the consequences on the services Black communities rely on;

b)Continue with the policy of pay restraint which has resulted in the average public service employee now being more than £2000 a year worse off than they were in 2010;

c)Further restrict workers’ ability to participate in lawful industrial action;

d)Reduce trade union facility time and remove DOCAS across the public sector

e)Cut £12 billion from welfare and freeze most working age benefits (e.g. tax credits) until 2018.

UNISON is campaigning with the TUC and other unions to oppose the Trade union bill; an attack by this government on the rights of working people and their unions.

Conference believes that the whole of UNISON including the Black Members Self Organised Group must do everything possible to develop organising, negotiating and campaigning strategies to fight the Conservative’s plans.

Conference therefore calls on the National Black Member Committee to:

1)Participate in any review that looks at the union’s strategies for the next 5 years to ensure that they are responsive to the needs of Black members and harness the potential of the Black Members SOG at national, regional and branch level

2)Produce a guide to political campaigning for regional and branch Black member’s groups with specific ideas of what they can do in their local areas to mobilise Black members.

3)Use every edition of Black Action to raise political awareness of Black members of the impact of the government and how they can fight it. This should include timely reminders about registering to vote and voting for the political party most able to defend public services.

4)Seek to develop a joint work programme with UNISON Labour Link on a programme aimed at increasing the number of Black Labour candidates in local, national and European elections.

5)Promote campaign activities and materials challenging the trade union bill highlighting the specific impact on Black members and encourage Black members to be involved.