General secretary’s blog

Dave Prentis is UNISON’s general secretary – the highest elected post in the union. He speaks up for UNISON members, campaigns for public services and leads the union.

Read Dave’s blog for views on issues UNISON is working on and information on what he’s doing.

Blog: Northern Ireland must come first, no matter what else is in the Brexit deal

The impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland cannot be reduced to simplistic quotes about borders or considered only as an afterthought. For UNISON – and for Parliament – it must be integral.

Blog: Every victory for our union is a victory for our women members

UNISON women are the majority of our members and the heartbeat of everything that we do – so it’s only right that women are a majority in our democratic structures too. That’s not an accident, that’s integral to how our union works and how our union succeeds.

Blog: Taking the sleep-ins fight to the Supreme Court

We’re fighting every step of the way to win our case on “sleep ins” – making sure care workers who stay overnight with the vulnerable people they care for receive the pay they deserve for their work. And this week we were granted permission to take our case to the Supreme Court.

Blog: There are so many reasons to be proud of UNISON

That’s why this week – Heart Unions week – is so important. In recent years, we’ve taken this week to celebrate the achievements of our union and the wider trade union movement.

Blog: An honour and a privilege to stand with the Birmingham homecare workers

It is incredible to see how these care workers stand together, fight back and strike – day after day after day.

Blog: The UK cannot leave the EU without a deal – the risk is too great

Last week, I met the Prime Minister in Downing Street. I spoke to her at length about the concerns of public service workers. I told her that years of austerity at the hands of her party mean public services are already at breaking point. I told her that the economic calamity of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would wreck the economy and cause untold damage to services which simply can’t take further pain. I told her about the lives of those UNISON represents – the hospital porters, librarians and school cooks –and the pressure her government has already put them under.

Holocaust Memorial Day – Today we remember those ‘torn from home’

On this day, we remember the precious lives lost and the deep grief felt by those who survived. We honour their memories. We challenge hate. And we remember, as we sit in our homes, with our families and friends, in our communities, the overwhelming loss that the holocaust represents. And we say never again.

Blog: Give further education the funding it so desperately needs

Further education is a vital resource that has given our country and our communities so much. It benefits not just the young but the lifelong learner. And as a union built on the principle of public service, FE represents not only a public service, but a service which has trained and educated millions of public service workers for generations.

Extend article 50 and avoid no-deal Brexit catastrophe

At a time when the far right is on the rise and politicians are viewed with disillusionment and cynicism, it’s vital that the best possible remaining options be pursued, and quickly. There has to be a way to spare the pain of a no-deal catastrophe.

Blog: Just as we took on Enoch Powell and his rivers of blood, we will fight today’s hate-mongers

It’s a difficult and worrying time for anyone who cares about the equality and fights injustice. Sometimes battling against bigotry, racism and xenophobia can feel like an impossible task. But I know that this is a fight we can and will win.

Blog: UNISON will always stand with those facing the brunt of this government’s brutality

Universal Credit needs to be halted before more people suffer and lose out.

Blog: Let’s make 2019 our union’s best year yet

I still have big dreams for this union – and I know you do as well. Together, we can be the bridge that takes our members and our country from an imperfect present to a better future. We can grow faster, deliver more and fight even harder. It won’t be easy – it never is – but it will always be worthwhile.

Blog: This Christmas, UNISON members will be working around the clock

So whether you’re spending this festive period with family, or gritting our streets, travelling long distances to see loved ones or driving around your community caring for those who can’t care for themselves, I want to say thank you. Thank you for everything you do for all of us, now and every single day of the year. I can never say that enough – no-one ever says that to you often enough. You are the glue that holds our fractured communities together, especially at a time when cuts and austerity have caused such havoc and harm.

Blog: Not just the biggest union, but a growing union

We did it – UNISON is officially the biggest union in the UK. It makes me incredibly proud to say that, because I know what it means. It means that despite a decade of austerity, pay cuts, job losses and attacks on the public sector, UNISON has remained strong.

Blog: Decent quality care is something which benefits the whole community

Care workers provide an exceptional service, so they deserve to be treated with respect. Today’s signing – and every council who signs up to the charter – helps ensure more care workers benefit. And that can only be good for all of us.