UNISON needs to pull out all the stops to make the week of action on pay starting on Monday a success, the union’s national executive council declared when it met in London today.
With industrial action scheduled in the health service (England) and local government (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) next week, leading up to national demonstrations and rallies in London, Glasgow and Belfast on 18 October, this is a crucial time for the whole union.
As general secretary Dave Prentis noted: “In 30-odd years, I’ve never known so much happening in the union.”
The NEC received updates on pay campaigns, disputes and negotiations across the union, including planned strikes, other industrial action and ballots.
But union wide, whether members are involved in current pay disputes or not, we need to make sure members travel and take part in the demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Belfast.
As the NEC noted, that will be the union and its members fighting not just for ourselves, but for our families, and for the whole of society.
The NEC sent a message of support to the Care UK strikers, who were lobbying the parent company of Care UK in London, and met members at UNISON Centre in the afternoon.
The executive also welcomed the lastest phase of the union’s continuing recruitment campaign, which saw nearly 4,000 new members join in the first week, and heard that recruitment so far this year was up on 2013.
It noted that the success of the campaign over the last two years had mitigated the effect of massive job losses – 800,000 in local government alone – so that UNISON membership was reducing by around 1-1.5% a year.
The NEC urged all union branches to get involved in the campaign and keep recruiting. As Mr Prentis said: “We’ve got to make sure we keep the union strong and able to move forward.”
Related to that was this autumn’s political fund ballot on allowing the union to keep a campaigning voice, and the NEC called for al strong Yes vote.
The meeting also:
- heard an update on preparations for the political fund vote
- received the union’s management accounts for the first eight months of the year
- heard an update on effects of the latest government pension changes which allow peole to take their whole pension as a lump sum if they are in a personal or funded pension scheme.