NEC lays ground for action on pay

UNISON’s executive discussed plans for campaigning across the union on pay when it met in London today.

  • Local government and school workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are currently balloting on strike action to win a better pay offer from employers through the national joint council. Local government pay
  • Colleagues in Scotland are about to start a consultative ballot on potential industrial action after their employers rejected the pay claim. Local government pay Scotland
  • NHS workers across the UK are staging a day of protest tomorrow as part of a co-ordinated pay campaign leading up to their own industrial action campaign. NHS pay  

On top of that, the national executive council heard, pay talks in a number of other sectors could lead to action, including the Food Standards Agency, where 72% of members voted against the pay offer in a consultation.

The meeting agreed to send a message of support and solidarity to all union branches and regions taking part in industrial disputes to protect the pay and terms and conditions of members and the services they provide.

But to make these campaigns as successful as possible in winning fairness for union members, the NEC agreed that UNISON needs to be as strong as possible, by recruiting members and increasing union density in the workplace.

The meeting heard that the union’s focused recruitment campaign continues to record successes, with recruitment figures up 5% on the same period last year – but at the same time membership continues to fall as job cuts bite.

The NEC called on all branches to make sure that they are involved in recruitment to make sure the union’s voice is strong in defence of members.

And general secretary Dave Prentis reported a number of positive recent developments, including important wins in the courts where UNISON has won the right to appeal against the refusal to grant a judicial review of the introduction of employment tribunal fees and won the principle that workers who are paid commission as part of their normal income should have that included in holiday and sick pay.

Press release: tribunal fees

Press release: commission and holiday pay

The NEC also welcomed the election of UNISON’s Theresa Griffin, who successfully beat BNP leader Nick Griffin in the elections to the European Parliament.

But the meeting agreed that the union cannot sit back in the fight against racism and for equality, especially in politics where the prominance of UKIP gives particular cause for concern.

In its last meeting before national delegate conference, the executive also:

  • received a final update on conference arrangements, including the draft order of business;
  • agreed policy on outstanding motions, amendments and rules as well as composite motions;
  • approved the financial statement for 2013 and the management accounts for the first three months of 2014;
  • and was updated on arrangements for thus autumn’s political fund ballot.