Wednesday, June 12, 2013

UNISON and the defence of our National Health Service

At the front line of public service delivery, in health, local government and across public services, many trade unionists are ground down by falling living standards, increasing workloads and job insecurity.

Even the most politically motivated of us can be constrained by this everyday reality - too busy dealing with constant pressure of redundancy and reorganisation to raise our eyes from our local concerns.

In these circumstances it's all too easy, when asked to imagine the challenge of bold and decisive action (whether a national strike or a national demonstration) to shrink back to dealing with pressing local concerns, unable even to believe that more is possible in the here and now.

That's why an event like UNISON Conference, next week in Liverpool, can be an important occasion in the battle to defend our National Health Service. We must and will fight locally to defend our health service, but this war cannot be won only with local skirmishes.

Next week, UNISON's leadership will have the opportunity to give a bold lead to the next step in a national fight to save the NHS, leading a united Conference to engender confidence and enthusiasm among local activists.

We know this is possible, we saw the potential of the Union when decisively led in this spring's recruitment campaign, and eighteen months previously in the run up to the pensions strike.

A national mobilisation in defence of the NHS can provide a vital focus for essential local campaigns - and an opportunity to shift popular opinion and electoral politics in our direction.

In Liverpool next week, UNISON has an opportunity to give a united lead.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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