Friday, March 14, 2008

Haringey local government branch AGM

It’s good to learn of progress in negotiations in the dispute over Birmingham’s pay and grading review. I hope that the detail of offers being made (and those being accepted) can be shared more widely in the Union.

Whatever view members in Birmingham take of the current state of negotiations it is clear that the dispute shows that strike action can shift the employers – in other words, strike action works.

This is a point I made (perhaps a little predictably) yesterday to the well attended Annual General Meeting of the Haringey local government branch, at which I spoke about the national local government pay claim, pointing out how our pay has fallen behind rising prices, and how the evidence of the past is that national local government pay strikes can improve the pay of local government workers.

Sonya Howard, from Kensington and Chelsea branch, who also addressed the meeting, gave a wide ranging and well received overview of the challenges facing UNISON in local government.

The branch also agreed a very positive policy to promote and development environmental activism as an integral part of our Union (Green UNISON as it is now being called). Will environmental activism given an impetus to our organisation – and recruit new activists (as our work on the learning agenda has to some extent) – or will it just be more demands upon the time of a few?

Since climate change has destructive potential equivalent in the long term to the threat we faced (rather more immediately) from nuclear war in the 1980s we probably need to pay attention to the issue regardless of its implications for our organisation of course!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi mate,

I see that Julie Parker has joined you Haringey council. I worked with her at Barking and Dagenham and it was the worse thing that they did in giving here a job. It eneded up with a staff survey saying the finance dept that she headed was the worse place to work with morale heading towards the floor at a rate of knots!!.

She was mainly appointed by Graham Farrant our Ce at the time and he now heads Leisure Connection ( the swimming pool nightmare lot)