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: Today is an opportunity for MPs to stand up for public service workers

A letter to the Prime Minister – “After a life fighting for the interests of working people I am under no illusions about your government’s real plans. As things stand, it looks like you have no plan to restore public sector pay to pre-crisis levels. Nor do you have a plan to stop year on year pay misery, or to find a way of stemming the steady flow of disillusioned staff exiting our under pressure public services.”

Blog: For public service workers, London’s housing situation is bleak

The housing crisis is one of the greatest problems – and challenges – that our country faces. For too long, not enough homes have been built. As a result, house prices in many parts of the country have risen dramatically, often to levels which make housing completely unaffordable for those who provide our vital public services.

Blog: A day to celebrate the remarkable work of all school support staff

Recently it was my pleasure to visit Lister Community School in Newham, East London and speak with support staff there. Like UNISON members across the country, they are having to do more with less while being paid less at the same time. Yet what shone though was their determination to do the very best for all the children being taught there.

Blog: Hammond’s budget left public services gasping for air

The budget was another opportunity for Philip Hammond and Theresa May to show they had understood the anger caused by their government, and a nation’s fear of what impact their attacks are having on communities and future generations. It was an opportunity they didn’t deserve. It was an opportunity they squandered.

Blog: Tax cuts for the rich have cost the country dear

Governments should not be afraid to make the case for higher taxes to pay for the investment in pay, services and infrastructure our country needs. A higher rate of income tax for those who can most afford it would be a sensible and rational start.

Blog: The Chancellor’s budget choice is between decent services and lost services

The government must make the right choice, after so many years of making the wrong choices.

Blog: Time to stop FE cuts and invest in education

This government must show it is willing and able to prepare our country for the challenges of the future – and its treatment of vital public services like further education will show how serious ministers really are about governing

Blog: The time for kind words is over, it’s time for decent pay

The living wage is about being able to live on what you earn. It should be a simple ask. In fact, in 2017, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it should be a given. Yet every year unions are forced to demand – once again – that businesses pay decent wages and end poverty pay.

Blog: Proud of our internationalist union

I have always believed that internationalism matters. I have always been an internationalist. But right now, when Brexit threatens to make Britain an inward looking tax haven on the coast of mainland Europe, I think it’s time to be more internationalist in our outlook, more collaborative with our brothers and sisters around the world and more dedicated to building a global movement for change.

Blog: Celebrating the life and legacy of OR Tambo

Today marks the centenary of the birth of Oliver Reginald – ‘OR’ –Tambo, the “quiet revolutionary” who led the African National Congress through the darkest days of apartheid, and laid the foundations for the liberation of South Africa. OR Tambo dedicated his life to the struggle against apartheid, much of which he spent in exile, […]

Blog: Now is the time to stand strong, stand united and put public services first

Together, united, we can break this immoral pay cap for all public-sector workers. All deserve the pay rises they’ve been denied. All deserve an end to attacks on their jobs, their services and their wages. The Tories will pay the price for their failure and for letting public servants down. And we will hold them to account for what they have done to public services – at the ballot box and every day until then.

Blog: On mental health, there is so much more that all of us can do

We want to see employers ensure that workers are not overloaded by their jobs, and that they have suitable support systems to help them overcome difficulties – like well trained and supportive managers, regular supervision, employees assistance programs and access to counselling to help them cope.

Blog: Taking our pay campaign to our local communities, and to the streets

Across the country, MPs are coming under increasing pressure to show whose side they’re on, and stand with those who serve our communities, teach our children and care for our loved ones. Together, we can help them make that vital decision.

Blog: A great day for UNISON and public services

Real pay rises, an end to PFI and fighting welfare cuts, that’s what UNISON achieves in Labour, working with our friend Jeremy Corbyn. Today was a good day – I hope there are more to come this week.

Blog: Lillie McNaughton was one of those special people

She will be missed by her friends in UNISON Scotland and across our union, and by those who she stood up for in the workplace and the conference hall. Our thoughts are with all those who knew her.