Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Looking forward to the pensions debate

Following on from yesterday's keynote speech from our General Secretary - and a positive and well attended fringe meeting organised by the Kirklees branch and addressed by Alex Kenny of the NUT and Sue Bond of PCS - this morning sees UNISON Conference debate Composite B on Pensions.

The Composite motion, which runs to four pages and stands in the names of seven branches, the National Women's Committee, Scotland and the NEC. It will be augmented by an NEC policy statement which brings the content of the Composite up to date.

I hope that the debate gets beyond anger to begin to deal with some practical questions.

First, if we are to mobilise our members to achieve the impressive result achieved by the NUT in their national postal ballot, we need an online pensions calculator as they have (in fact we need two, one for the NHS Pension and one for the LGPS).

Secondly, once we have educated - and agitated - members we need to organise for action. This means we need to improve our structures to direct this dispute, not least by enhancing Regional representation on the LGPS Campaign group which reports to the Service Group Liaison Committee.

Thirdly, we need to begin an inclusive discussion of tactics for industrial action. This cannot be conducted in private. Whilst there is a risk that the Government and employers may be able to witness our discussing tactics, there is a bigger risk if we don't involve members and activists in this debate.

I hope today's debate sets us off on the right course to fight and win the battle for the survival of public service pensions.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

nick venedi said...

Hi Jon,

Can you answer this please?
Great news that the NUT are taking industrial action on the 30 of June but have been approached by several Unison member I know who work in schools and asked whether they will be right in refusing to cross an NUT picket line at their school? I think the answer is that they are within their rights not to do so but can someone from the NEC clarify this? I have send this message to Jon and John who are now both on the NEC and will see what their answer is if any.