Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Now for a Unison hustings?

The GMB deserved the media attention they received for the hustings at their Conference addressed by candidates for the Labour Leadership.

Whilst it is a crying shame that the best candidate - who evoked the best response from our brothers and sisters in the GMB - is not now on the ballot paper, having stepped aside in the interest of diversity, UNISON nevertheless now faces the challenge of matching the self-confidence of the GMB and organising hustings at our National Delegate Conference.

As a member of our NEC I believe that - if we have the courage of our convictions - we will invite all candidates for Labour Leader to a hustings either in the lunch break or immediately following the conclusion of the afternoon session of Conference on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. I hope that is not a big "if"!

A hustings only at the Labour Link Forum will exclude many Unison members and will signal defeatism on the part of those charged with preserving - and developing - our affiliation to the Labour Party. Anyone who believes that Unison should remain affiliated to our Party must support the proposal that hustings for Labour Leader take place at National Delegate Conference.

And if (with which I would not agree) we felt that we should restrict attendance at such a hustings to APF payers then we should ensure transfer forms were available on the door so that we could invite GPF payers over!

Those who want to hear the very best candidate for Labour Leader (the one we cannot vote for) may do so at the Bournemouth Central Premier Inn at 7.30 on Tuesday 15 June.

Unison needs to change sides within the Labour Party. We need to be on the side of the workers - not the bosses.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

quote from Public Finance -With friends like this unison leaders should distance themselves immediately……

By David Williams

10 June 2010

Unison members might be willing to accept some redundancies in return for less outsourcing and more say over public service reform, according to the union’s head of local government.

Heather Wakefield admitted that her comments might be seen as ‘heresy’ at Unison’s local government conference, set to take place this weekend in Bournemouth.

Speaking this morning at the CIPFA conference in Harrogate, Wakefield told delegates that in-house staff should sit on a par with managers when discussing reforms, as their skills and experience will be valuable as the public sector adapts to reduced resources.

She said such a dialogue could bring about reform without alienating workers, ‘without outsourcing and bringing in so-called outside experience and knowledge – which is often significantly poorer’.

Wakefield said: ‘I want sustainable in-house solutions and I believe that as a trade union we can engage in real discussions at a local level about that as a quid pro quo for redundancies and rationalisation.’

Later in the same session, on rethinking public services, Wakefield said that while each job cut would be a personal tragedy and would hit the state with new welfare costs, she had ‘no doubt that jobs can go’.