‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” said Peter Stafford, opening UNISON’s disabled members’ conference in Manchester today with a quote from Charles Dickens’ novel  A Tale of Two Cities.

“Why do I quote something from 224 years ago?” he asked, “because not much has changed.” He condemned an out of touch government that “does not know what we go through.”

He was followed by Karen Jennings, assistant general secretary for bargaining and negotiation, who reported chancellor George Osborne’s decision to extend the Tory’s cuts plan from 2017 to 2020: “Clearly the Tories don’t think we’ve suffered enough yet.”

Meanwhile, “they boast that the recovery has arrived. But who has it arrived for?” she asked. Not the young unemployed, the workers not yet on the living wage or the public sector workers denied even a 1% payrise while shareholders and the super-rich get richer she said.

She called for members to get involved in UNISON’s Worth It campaign, to demand an end to insecurity, casualisation and low pay for all workers, whether public or private sector.


UNISON disabled members webpages

Disabled people and the cuts