Tuesday, April 19, 2016
An excellent result for UNISON - credit where it's due
Although (of course) I am not in the front rank of those who will praise UNISON's leadership (albeit I am consistently clear that our General Secretary has done no wrong - and that I am sorry for any suggestion to the contrary which may ever have been attributed to me), I am very clear that the news that this Tory Government is abandoning its attack upon the way public sector unions collect our subscriptions is a tremendous victory for UNISON.
The unprecedented lobbying of members of the House of Lords by UNISON has clearly created circumstances in which a Government with a tiny Commons majority has caved in. Trade unionists in the public sector will now continue to have the choice to pay their subs from their salary just as our private sector colleagues can.
This is a good result. We still need to improve our administration of subscription income from our growing private sector membership - but we do not (yet) need to transfer the bulk of our membership away from the most efficient and economic means of collecting substriptions.
We now need to work out how to respond to the unreasonable restrictions on strike ballots with which the Lords have not interfered.
We have won a battle which (I will concede) I did not expect we would win. I salute those who won this battle.
It is excellent that we have protected the income of our trade union, upon which it depends. Now though we must defend the rights of our members to take action in their interests.
The interests of the members of the trade union are infinitely more important than the interests of the trade union.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.