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: These negotiations will define the future of our country for generations

There is a great deal on the line, and these negotiations will define the future of our country for generations. Yet we still know far too little about what the government’s red lines are – and whether ministers plan on selling the British people down the river.

We are fortunate to be surrounded by those who greeted an act of inhumanity with humanity

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the those killed in Westminster yesterday, those injured by this barbaric act and their families, friends and loved ones. At times like these, when those who wish to spread hate attempt to divide us, we must remember those who run towards scenes of danger – brave members of […]

Blog: Work in local government in Scotland? Vote to reject this pay deal

If you work in local government in Scotland, have your say and vote to reject this pay deal via unison.org.uk/lgscot17. And stand up for better wages for vital public services.

Blog: The other u-turns Hammond could have made

The media will mock the Chancellor for his u-turn, but history will judge him and his party far more harshly for the u-turns he has failed to make.

Blog: MPs must guarantee EU citizens the right to remain

Last week I wrote to all MPs backing EU citizens right to remain in the UK. I told them about the 67,000 UNISON members who are EU citizens working in public services, strongly urrged them to support the Lords amendment which guarantees the right to remain and to do all they can to convince the Government to change course.

Blog: The WASPI campaign is a struggle for fairness

Some women have already waited years for an answer from the government – some as many as six years. That’s not fair or just, and it’s created real financial hardship, especially for those who’ve waited 14 years from the passage of legislation to being informed about the changes made. That’s 14 wasted years where different retirement plans could have been made.

Blog: Hammond’s inadequate Budget

While the Chancellor has – at long last – woken up to the reality of a situation exacerbated by his austerity government, the money announced yesterday won’t end the extreme rationing of care. In reality the government is just treading water, as it waits for a real social care plan to emerge.

Blog: A rapid rise in the number of apprentices is on the way

With significant changes on the way, this week is a great opportunity to speak to UNISON members, employers and apprentices and recruit apprentices into UNISON. A rapid rise in the number of apprentices is on the way – let’s make sure they’re part of our union, and getting the best possible deal.

Blog: The NHS is in crisis – there must be an urgent injection of cash now

Thousands will march through the streets of London on Saturday, raising their banners and their voices to oppose cuts, closures and privatisation – and to save our NHS.

Blog: If the government wants to tackle low pay, glossy adverts aren’t the answer

If the government wants to spend money on tackling low pay, there are better alternatives – like real legal enforcement of the minimum wage to penalise unscrupulous employers and introducing a living wage low-paid workers can actually live on, a legal minimum wage worthy of the name.

Blog: Let Copeland be our final warning

While there are many ways in which we can change society and our communities for the better, the only way to make lasting change is to win elections, and seize power for working people. That is, and must always be, the Labour party’s cause. Let Copeland be our final warning, not the latest signpost on the road to decline.

Blog: Standing against hate in all its forms

At a time when our values are under fire, we must take every opportunity to oppose peddlers of bigotry, and attacks on the powerful diversity of our country – and UNISON will take a leading role in the war on hate.

Blog: Heart Unions, Heart Palestinian workers’ rights

I am proud that UNISON supported WAC-MAAN to organise Palestinian workers in the illegal Israeli industrial zones, and we stood with them in their fight for justice for Hatem and the workers at the Zarfarti garage. Wins like this are rare for Palestinian workers living under occupation, so when they happen they should be celebrated. Especially in heart unions week.

Blog: Our NHS is in crisis – and it is a disaster of the government’s own making

Nine out of10 hospitals faced overcrowding this winter – a sure-fire sign that government underfunding is beginning to affect patient care. Waiting times are up. And there’s a widespread cash shortage forcing difficult decisions on staff around the country.

Blog: There is so much to fight for today and in the future

Let’s remember why we fight together to change our government and our country for the better. But let’s also remember the great, often unseen but absolutely vital, work that unions and trade unionists do unheralded each and every day. Those acts of representation, support and campaigning are the foundations on which our union is built. And there is so much of it to love.