Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who's afraid of national pay bargaining?

I am indebted to a an anonymous comment on a recent posts for these news links, particularly since reading the Municipal Journal is not one of those things that I generally give higher priority than the Morning Star.

The MJ report that Labour led Barking and Dagenham are among those thinking of breaking from national pay bargaining - which rather contradicts the statement made by all London Labour Leaders critical of the statements made by Merrick Cockell attacking the national pay offer.

It seems that some unnamed "source" within London Councils is jumping on the real bandwagon started by Tory Birmingham in order to suggest that the London employers could take on pay bargaining from national level. Since it is individual authorities which are members of the National Joint Council, rather than any cohesive London block, this is not really something which is within the limited competence of London Councils to deal with.

This London dimension has the hallmarks of a silly season story - although Councils are now complaining about the cost of a miserably low pay settlement (which we have not yet accepted) - they all set aside more money in their budgets than they are now being asked to find. The case against this offer on the employers' side is implausible.

Birmingham's Tories are disappointed that the national employers did not seek to humiliate the trade unions and force a national dispute. That's fair enough if Councillor Rudge and his colleagues want to play politics with pay negotiations.

However Labour Councils (in London and elsewhere) need to make clear now that there will be no cross party support for attempts to break national pay bargaining.


Anonymous said...

The truth is your 'power' in your own branch very much depends on the support you get from a number of key activists hence the reason for the job share arrangements. You could not survive a vote on your own. You have simply been lucky so far but that can change. There are new people, new ideas, new energy so your time is up.


Anonymous said...

Hey Selwyn
If you are real...and serious about wanting to do something, be brave and start representing members and organising. All public sector workers are heading for a serious fight. I believe your branch is going to need as many reps a possble over the next five years.

If you are not real...then I pity you....Jon is probably one of the most acountable NEC reps we have, and is not afraid of criticism,
John Burgess,Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON

nick venedi said...

Will you leave Jon alone Selwys (that is if you exist) I asked JOn to come back in 2006 as I was doing the job of BS for two years on my own and it was too much (mind you people were behaving at the time) and I am grateful 9and so is the branch) that he agreed to come back. We will conitou serving the branch and its interest until a new leadership is ready to take over (there are some new promising individuals around) but we are 3 to 5 years away from that change and until then things will remain as they are. The AGM makes the decision and they will always make the right one.

Cheers Selwyn (not the ex Tory Chairman??)