Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 June 2013

Unison Local Government conference: Leadership faces delegates' anger

A Unison delegate

The local government Unison conference met on 16-17 June. Although the agenda was largely uncontroversial, it couldn't stop the concern and anger of delegates surfacing.

Most noticeably this came during the debate on pay. In a consultation ballot of members Unison's England and Wales leadership said the derisory 1% 'offer' was the best that could be achieved by negotiation.

In Scotland, where there were parallel but separate negotiations, the Scottish local government union leadership was pressured into recommending that members reject the offer, and indeed it was rejected. They are now preparing for a strike ballot.

Consequently, we have the crazy situation where a pay offer has been accepted in England and Wales but is being contested - with the strong possibility of strike action - in Scotland.

Delegate Amanda Lane from Bristol received a standing ovation when she demanded action and articulated delegates' frustration, given that Unison general secretary Dave Prentis had last year promised to 'smash the pay freeze'.

Delegates rejected attempts to curtail the debate. The example of the north west region was given which campaigned against the offer and, most significantly, took a position against the national leadership.

There, the ballot result was 71% in favour of rejecting the offer and balloting for sustained industrial action.

Fighting leads get results

Where there has been a clear and fighting lead, members had responded positively. Had a national lead of that nature been provided then it would be very likely to have resulted in a national dispute and a fight to get a decent pay award.

The union leadership was extremely uncomfortable during the debate as delegates attacked them over their handling of the situation. Socialist Party members played a prominent role in the debate.

On the second day conference debated 'motion 47' on affiliation to the councillors against cuts organisation.

The leadership was 'supporting' it but had put in a 'wrecking amendment' that referred to advice previously given to branches which reflected Unison's national opposition to councils setting no-cuts 'needs budgets'.

So, the union leadership were effectively saying 'affiliate to councillors against cuts but on the basis of not supporting action along the lines of socialist-led Liverpool council in the mid-1980s (see page 10)'.

After a debate, in which Socialist Party members argued effectively, the position of the leadership was defeated.

Against the background of that debate, there was standing room only at the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) lunchtime fringe meeting, with former Liverpool Labour councillor and Socialist Party member Tony Mulhearn speaking. Over 80 people attended to hear an alternative anti-cuts fighting council strategy.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 19 June 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Cuts can be beaten!

Why we're going to the NSSN conference: Coventry communications workers

Fight the Tories for right to a decent education system

Student loans threat: Action needed on student debt mountain

Lowest living standards in a decade

Sir 'sell-out' Brendan

Them & Us

Fighting the bedroom tax

We can beat the bedroom tax - Supplement to the Socialist

Let's axe the bedroom tax

International socialist news and analysis

Turkey: Eyewitness to Erdogan's state terror

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton byelection: Labour vote halved

Fire cuts - public will support strike action

Stopping the BNP from meeting

Home care: Cuts and outsourcing equal abuse

Wales campaigners fight for NHS

Socialist Party news

Socialist Party workplace news

Bin workers strike for seven days

NUT members strike to defend teaching assistant posts

Housing support workers say 'enough is enough'

Unison Local Government conference: Leadership faces delegates' anger

Support for socialist alternative to pro-cuts New Labour at GMB conference

Wales Shop Stewards' Network conference

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reviews

Budding trade unionists and passionate Chartists

BBC 'unbalanced' on Liverpool 47


Home   |   The Socialist 19 June 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleThe fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

triangleUnison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

triangleSurrey County Council staff on collision course over pay freeze

triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

Local government:

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleDemand for no-cuts budget grows

triangleBack the Brum bin strikers!

triangleUnison must back Corbyn's pledge to abolish zero-hour contracts with action


triangleConference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future


triangleWorkers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses


triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Striking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems


Royal Mail

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



PCS ballots members to send message to government: scrap the pay cap



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea


Local government

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice