UNISON’s local government conference kicked off in Brighton this morning, with a rallying call to activists to win a big turnout in the current ballot on pay.
Moving the annual report, service group executive chair Glen Williams told delegates that “we are living in times of extremes” – not just “the extreme gap between the rich and the poor” but also the extreme pressures on local government services and workers.
He said that the government was playing a sort of “reverse Monopoly” – just taking away funding from councils “when they want to”.
Paying “genuine congratulations to Barnet” local government branch for its continuing fight against privatisation and cuts, Mr Williams urged delegates to meet those Barnet members who were attending at the conference – along with many others who are involved in similar struggles up and down the country.
“We face an extremely vicious government,” he told then, “but we also have actions planned to fight back”.
And with that in mind, he called on delegates to call or text 10 members and tell them to “vote yes to strike action.
“Contact them in the break … contact them by email, contact them by Twitter, contact them by text,” he said, as he stressed the need to ensure a high turnout and a big vote for industrial action against the pay freeze.