Friday, April 10, 2015
After 50 years - what sort of trade unions do London Borough workers need?
It is fifty years since the London Boroughs which we now have were created - they've lasted more than twice as long as the Greater London Council which was created alongside them.
That still means that, in London local government, our employers are less than half as old as our union branches (allowing for the creation of UNISON in 1993 and subsequent merger of branches in 1997).
Because we're older than they are we rightly expect to be treated with respect by our employers - and indeed it is often the case that union activists have more experience of their employer than the managers with whom we negotiate.
Next week UNISON's Greater London Regional Local Government Committee will hold its Annual General Meeting, and Sue Plain from Southwark and Sean Fox from Haringey will be re-elected as Chair and Vice-Chair.
Sue and Sean exemplify the sort of independently-minded lay activists who have been the lifeblood of local government trade unionism for more than a generation (since the socialists chased out the freemasons in most authorities).
The local government workforce is the most multi-skilled in the economy and it deserves vibrant, lay-led trade union branches. Following the trouncing of the right-wing lackeys of the paid officials at last month's Special Conference, we who believe in trade union democracy need to renew our efforts to assert the trade unionism our members deserve.
Those of us who will be at the Regional Local Government AGM will have much to do there to oppose those whose mission is to do as they are told by those whose salaries are paid from their union subscriptions - everyone else can vote for the Reclaim the Union candidates in the elections for UNISON's National Executive Council (NEC) - http://reclaimtheunion.blogspot.co.uk.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.