Tuesday, December 02, 2014
After a long day at work, and ahead of a lengthy, (if less long) meeting of the Left Caucus of the UNISON National Executive Council (NEC) I had the opportunity today to pop by the annual seasonal social event for UNISON staff and NEC members.
Whilst I missed the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets by my late arrival, I did take the chance to discuss current UNISON issues with colleagues who were present.
It seems clear that elements of our leadership, whilst concerned at the criticism which they may face at the forthcoming Special Conference on Local Government pay, are equally concerned to find a positive outcome.
Ironically, those of us on the left who may welcome this deserved discomfort which gives rise to this aspiration share it nevertheless.
We need to find a way forward in which delegates to the Special Conference leave that Conference with the belief that we can at least try to do better.
The miserable outcome of the local government pay dispute justifies even the most intemperate condemnation of every aspect of the architecture of the trade union structure which misled us to this impasse.
However, workers need a better trade union - not the absence of one. The activist left has to find a way beyond condemnation (without failing to express heartfelt rage) in order to advocate for the better union we require.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.