Sunday, August 03, 2014
Implementing Motion 53
The link above is to the speech given by the proposer of Motion 53, agreed on Friday 20 June at UNISON National Delegate Conference in Brighton.
This motion, reprioritised for debate by Conference delegates and overwhelmingly agreed by Conference, with the support of the National Executive Council (NEC) commits the Union to vigorous and wholehearted support for victimised activists.
This is vitally important to the future of our Union (and of trade unions generally). Our movement depends, more than anything else, upon the voluntary effort of our activists. In the current climate of austerity we are - inevitably - asking our volunteer army to engage in confrontation with employers.
Every one of us who has chosen to give years of our lives to the movement remembers the first time we realised that we had to face down people with the formal power to sack us. That's the moment at which you choose.
Those who choose the movement are the lifeblood of the Union. Our activists must know that the Union stands behind them when they stand up to the employers to defend the interests of our members. That's why Conference delegates supported Motion 53.
In implementing Motion 53 our NEC will always need to be alive to tactical questions in particular cases. There's no single correct way to fight victimisation - and sometimes private political pressure can deliver a sensible result where an immediate public campaign would entrench positions unhelpfully.
However, what our Conference has told our NEC, by passing Motion 53, is that we have no higher priority than the defence of our activists - and that means that, whilst we may not immediately highlight every case, no UNISON activist will ever be victimised for their union activities without those responsible being held to account in public - and where employers fail to respond to reasonable pragmatism they should expect the full political weight of our 1.3 million members to fall upon them.
From a great height.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.