Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/665/11718
Leeds Unison - fighting the cuts
A Leeds Unison steward
Leeds Unison local government branch, jointly with the other council unions, has recently run a consultative ballot amongst the membership. This is over the employer's cuts packages.
But there was no clear mandate from the ballot. This is partially because the wording of the recommendation from the Joint Trade Union Committee (JTUC) said that the offer was the best that could be achieved through negotiations but we cannot positively recommend this offer. This was a confusing and defeatist message.
After hearing concerns from branch activists, Unison sent out a much stronger statement to recommend a rejection. Yet the initial recommendation will have contributed to the low turnout.
The union leaders feel incapable of raising the confidence of activists and mobilising a genuine campaign to oppose all the cuts. Instead they have decided to jointly reject the council's proposals but also to continue negotiations "with the aim of avoiding compulsory redundancies".
It's clear that the unions want to engage with the employer with a 'softly softly' approach. But in doing so they are agreeing to 'smaller' cuts. We've already had consultation and we've been issued with another 90-day consultation period that ends on 3 May.
Socialist Party members believe that we need to move straight to a strike ballot against these severe cuts.
In The Socialist 6 April 2011:
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party youth and students