Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A healthy Conference

I was pleased to have the opportunity to attend UNISON Health Conference as a visitor, however briefly, to hear the debate on staffing numbers. It is a disgrace that committed health workers are being put in the position of caring for more patients than it is safe for them to care for, and I was pleased to hear our Head of Nursing express UNISON’s full support for members who refuse to tolerate this danger to staff and patients.

I won’t be around for the fringe meeting of the 4:1 campaigntoday, where that debate may very well continue. I was very pleased to be able to attend a fringe meeting to mark thirty years of work by Health Emergencyand to hear John Lister express the absolute urgency of getting this Tory led Government out before they can complete their destruction of our health service – a discussion to which delegates may return at the Labour Representation Committee fringe meetingthis evening.

It was good to hear of the constructive work done in the past between Health Emergency and UNISON, including in the Greater London Region – and to see an old friend, Geoff Martin, whose presence was a reminder of what our Region has achieved.

This morning the delegates at Conference will be debating pay (if they can resolve a difference of opinion between the floor of the Conference and the Standing Orders Committee (SOC), who were referred back more than once to consider a “grouped” debate between motions which (according to SOC) are counterposed). I hope that  delegates at our Health Conference are enabled to make a strong statement of opposition to the pay freeze. 

Good luck and best wishes to all delegates at Health Conference!

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