Friday, July 13, 2007

No pay talks today - no pay motion for TUC (yet)

Good to see an official report of the NEC meeting on the UNISON website promptly. I’ll circulate the full and unexpurgated version to London branches over the weekend – but won’t repeat the attempt at almost live blogging from an NEC meeting having been politely requested not to by the President.

I am pleased the trade union side of the NJC decided not to waste their time today talking to local government employers who aren’t coming forward with a revised pay offer (though I can’t see why we should view 2.5% any differently to 2% if and when it is offered.

I do think there is a bit of a danger of whistling to keep our spirits up in relation to the policies of the Government – I believe that this misplaced optimism underpinned the decision of yesterday’s TUC delegation meeting not to put forward a motion on public sector pay proposed by Health NEC member Kate Ahrens, and supported by the Chairs of both the Health and Local Government Service Groups.

UNISON’s submissions to the TUC will instead be on public services and affordable housing (both important issues in my view, but not as high a priority for our Union right now as fighting the pay freeze). The eventual decision, following a strong intervention from the General Secretary, was clear, with 66 delegates supporting the motion on Public Services, 45 backing affordable housing and 29 supporting the motion on pay.

Dave Prentis did give a pretty unequivocal assurance that the issue of public sector pay would be on the TUC agenda – whether in a General Council statement or in an emergency motion, and promised the delegation a report back from a meeting of the TUC Public Service Liaison Group in the next few days.

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