Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/686/12832
Recognition won back - at a price
Rob Rooney, Plymouth Unison shop steward, personal capacity, and Socialist Party member.
Unison has won back recognition by Plymouth city council but only after agreeing to a cuts package which inflicts devastating losses on some workers.
The Tory administration summoned Unison, along with GMB and Unite, to talks in January on how to cut £18 million from the city budget over the next three years. When, in August, Unison refused to sign the deal, management took the unprecedented step of de-recognising Unison, by far the biggest union at the council.
With heavy hearts, the branch voted to accept a revised cuts package. I have always argued against accepting any cuts and consequently voted not to accept.
Management have made minor improvements and made it clear that, with the agreement of GMB and Unite in its pockets, they were set on imposing the cuts even if Unison refused to sign.
There's no getting round the fact that this is a defeat for all Plymouth city council workers.
The challenge for the branch is making sure every Unison member is prepared for the fact that management will try to come back for more.
In the battles ahead it is crucial that all three recognised unions act together, that a democratically elected joint shop stewards committee emerges and that a policy of no cuts of any kind is adopted. Unison is calling for a mass meeting of all three unions.
In The Socialist 21 September 2011:
Building for 30 November strike
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party news and analysis
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Socialist Party youth and students
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