Friday, December 08, 2006

General Secretary's report to UNISON NEC

Dave Prentis pointed out that the main issues with which the Union was dealing (equal pay, pensions and the NHS) had already been discussed at the meeting. He dealt with a number of other important issues.

Expulsion of BNP supporter

Dave thanked those involved in expelling a supporter of the racist British National Party from UNISON. The NEC members and officials involved in the case had had to face up to intimidation from the BNP and had implemented the Union’s Rules.

Farepak

The NEC agreed a donation of £5,000 to the fund established to compensate those who have been ripped off by the collapse of the “Farepak” Christmas hamper company. it was also agreed to urge the TUC to use its links with the bankers involved to put pressure on them to provide more funds (and to reconsider our relationship with the bank, which provides TUC credit cards, if they do not).

White ribbon campaign against domestic violence

Dave reported on a launch of this campaign in North Wales. Domestic violence is one of the topics on which we are considering inviting a guest speaker to next year’s National Delegate Conference.

Community organisations

The General Secretary expressed his support and admiration for TELCO and particularly praised the role of Jean Geldart of the Tower Hamlets branch in working with this community organisation from which he said we had much to learn.

Pink Paper nomination

It was reported that the Pink Paper had nominated UNISON as a contender for an award as a gay friendly organisation.

Trident nuclear submarines

Dave reported that UNISON was working closely with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) to develop details of the alternative better uses to which the billions which the Government wants to waste on new nuclear submarines could be put.

Chancellor’s pre-budget statement

UNISON were hoping for funding for equal pay, pensions and the NHS in the Chancellor’s pre-budget statement. In the event we were disappointed.

TUC lobby of Parliament on Public Services

Following on from the very successful lobby of Parliament last summer organised by the Public Services Not Private Profit Campaign (to which UNISON sent a message of support) the TUC are organising a lobby of Parliament against privatisation on 23 January. This will be an important opportunity to alert MPs to the risks of further privatisation inherent in the Local Government White Paper.

Although we have lots to do in terms of pensions, equal pay and defending the NHS it is very important that we support this joint trade union lobby against privatisation – the Government’s attacks upon our public services are across all the services and we need to respond in an equally coherent way.

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