UNISON president Margaret McKee urged members “to keep up the fight” against the pay cap, when she addressed the union’s disabled members’ conference meeting in Manchester this morning.
Noting that the government’s statements about ending the cap on public sector pay have not been followed up by anything concrete, Ms McKee (pictured) stressed the importance of building on the Pay Up Now! campaign.
She noted that a million public service jobs have gone, bullying is on the increase and employers are not responding properly to reasonable adjustment requests.
These were just some of the problems that members – who work hard to provide our public services – are facing.
Not only did the pay cap have to go, but it needed to be followed by a decent pay rise and some form of catch-up to help members who have lost out so badly for so long.
Ms McKee also stressed the importance of continuing to recruit and organise.
Mre members in the unionat every level would make if far easier to win, and she noted that there were still plenty of people in workplaces who had never even been asked to join a union.
But winning is not just about pay.
Observing that in-fighting in the Conservative Party is, “on one level, quite entertaining,” she went on to describe is as also “deadly serious”, with the government “wasting time on infighting and plotting”, with little pretence of any work being done or any seriousness taken in terms of Brexit negotiations.
That includes on the issue of the border between the president’s home region of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“Ours is a government with unfairness seemingly written into its DNA,” she told delegates. It seems “remarkably relaxed about the rising inequality.”
At the heart of the answer lies a straightforward challenge: “you, me, all of us doubling our efforts”.