Recent days have brought two significant victories for UNISON members. Two long fights – vitally important for the future of public services – have been won by our union.
Birmingham Care Workers have seen plans that put their jobs and wages at risk axed.
And the government have announced that probation services are being brought back in house.
Fighting attacks on low-paid workers and ending the scourge of privatisation are core to our union’s aims and values. That’s why these victories – like recent successes from Sodexo to Sandwell – make me so proud of our union, our members and what we can achieve together.
The Birmingham Care workers dispute is one I’ve been involved with for a long time. Like many within our union, I’ve stood with these women and heard their stories. For over a year they’ve fought against plans which put their jobs at risk and threatened massive pay cuts which these low-paid workers could ill-afford. It’s been an incredibly difficult time for them. They’ve repeatedly taken strike action, not because they wanted to, but because they knew they had to.
And in probation, Chris Grayling’s botched privatisation has caused untold anguish to staff and cost the taxpayer millions – at a time when cuts to services and wages are forcing growing numbers to rely on food banks. Grayling’s ideologically driven failures show he can’t be trusted with the levers of government. I’m proud that UNISON’s voice has been heard and his dreadful errors are being reversed.
Most of all, I hope these victories, and others like them, show UNISON members – and employers – that our union is on the march.
UNISON is a fighting, campaigning union – and where we work together, fight together, support each other and campaign together, there is no stopping us.