Friday, February 08, 2008

UNISON London Region backs coordinated pay fight

A full and considered report from Wednesday's Annual General Meeting of the UNISON Greater London Regional Council will have to wait for the weekend.

Gloria Hanson was elected Convenor and Conroy Lawrence Deputy Convenor and I have sent both my congratulations. The first opportunity for the new team to show leadership will be in Newham on Monday evening – to support victimised activist Michael Gavan (for whom the Regional Committee expressed their full support).

In the brief time I have now I will remark upon the perplexing sight of a small bloc of delegates (including fellow NEC members and Regional Council officers) voting – against the policy of the Regional Committee – against a motion calling for coordinated action over public sector pay (which motion was entirely consistent with UNISON national policy and with what our guest speaker, UNISON President Norma Stephenson, had been saying).

The speaker against the motion rallied a small minority of delegates in opposition with the thought that national strike action is outdated and that we need “new thinking” – quite what this new thinking is about, where it is leading and how it will help our members facing real terms pay cuts we were not told. Perhaps someone who also opposed the motion will be able to elaborate in public on this “new thinking”.

Even stranger, the text of the gist of the speech which was read out by the delegate who spoke against the motion (and some of its keynote imagery of “sabre rattling”) is available online (as an article in the February 2008 edition of the journal of an obscure and secretive political group). If this is the inspiration for “new thinking” on pay I can’t wait!

Happily the Regional Council overwhelmingly agreed the motion for coordinated action on public sector pay and agreed to submit it to National Delegate Conference in the name of the Region.

The duty of all those in leading positions in the Region is now to work to implement the policy to coordinate the fight against the Government’s public sector pay policy – starting with wholehearted support for our comrades in other Unions.


Anonymous said...

It did strike me as odd that some Regional Council Officers and NEC members were prepared to vote and speak against motions that were supported by Regional Committee (and also speak and vote for some rule changes not supported by Regional Committee) but perhaps their branch mandate from -for example -Valuation Tribunals and Housing Associations -was to do so? I guess their branches can hold them to account in their report back?

Jim Ennis said...

God help us if these people who oppose co-ordinated strike action favour a different approach which includes supporting the sinister sounding total rewards approach to pay
which is favoured by the LGE

As far as I'm concerned the only 'reward' I want is a good decent rate of pay and decent pension provision. I don't want to be competing against colleagues to grab a portion of an ever diminishing pay pot via performance related pay targets or whatever other bullshit highly paid consultants dream up.