Vice president tells conference of the challenges ahead

Political challenges lie ahead from a government still wedded to ‘failed austerity’ policies, vice president warns disabled members’ conference

The future will be difficult, as the government sticks with “the same failed austerity agenda”, reveals its lack of a plan for the country after the summer’s EU referendum vote and the Trade Union Act makes union work more difficult.

That was the message from UNISON vice president Carol Sewell when she addressed the union’s disabled members’ conference in Brighton this morning.

It is a “government in thrall to the right wing,” she told delegates, stressing the need to hold it to account for failing miserably in its stated aim of halving disabled unemployment figures.

There could be a future where people came first, she said, but the threat exists from some in power who would like to make the UK an even lower-tax, deregulated paradise for big business.

Ms Sewell pointed conference toward the union’s current Champions campaign and November’s Stars in Our Schools day as examples of the ways in which UNISON is working to spread understanding of how the whole public services team is important.

Congratulating delegates on a “proud moment for disabled members,” as the group celebrates “the result of your committee’s hard work in winning a rule change to gain two seats on the NEC from next year”, she urged them to “recruit and organise like never before and ensure we’re a union fit for purpose”.