Monday, November 23, 2009

Where should we build in the Local Government Service Group?

Last Thursday's Regional Local Government Executive saw constructive discussion on a number of topics.

The Committee agreed to express concern to the Service Group Executive about the recent decision of the NEC Development and Organisation Committee to recommend that the NEC overrides the powers of Service Group Executives to determine the composition of Service Group Conferences.

The Committee also discussed the growth of online recruitment and I was able to report that an analysis of where the online recruits are working is to be prepared by our Head of Recruitment.

Most importantly the Committee discussed recruitment in general at some length, including a verbal report on recent evidence about trade union density (about which I have blogged before). Whether relying upon UNISON's own data or that from the employers it is clear that a majority of the directly employed workforce of London local authority employees are not members of any trade union.

However, all of these employees are covered by collective bargaining (i.e. their pay and conditions are determined, in whole or part, by bargaining with employers at national, London or local level). All of these workers work in an environment in which trade unions are recognised and can make a difference to their working lives. These are also the LGPS members whose pensions will be attacked in the next two years.

The more than 100,000 potential trade union members in this group provide both more fertile ground for union recruitment than any other in the Service Group - and recruitment of these potential members will directly build the bargaining strength of workers (those who join and those who are already members).

I agreed with fellow NEC member Glenn Kelly that this group should be our number one priority for recruitment in the next few months.

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