Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 April 2009

Little debate at Unison health conference

Any Unison members in the NHS who were hoping that this year's health conference would see the start of a fightback against job losses, cuts and privatisation will be hugely disappointed.

Adrian O'Malley, Unison Health service group executive, personal capacity

Motion after motion highlighted the attacks that are taking place on the NHS, particularly in England, by the New Labour government, which as every delegate understood is intent on privatising the NHS bit by bit.

Unfortunately the Unison leadership nationally and in the health sector is tied to the Labour Party and is unwilling to rock the boat and 'risk letting the Tories back in'.

These insane illusions in the Labour government were exposed when the health ministers from the Unionists in Northern Ireland and the Nationalists in Scotland were applauded for saying they would not privatise services. Alan Johnson for the New Labour government was listened to in silence as he offered nothing but more private sector involvement.

There was very little debate at the conference as most of the motions, including the demand to renationalise PFI hospitals, were supported by the service group executive, mainly to stymie controversy rather than lead any serious campaign to achieve steps forward.

Any real fight-back was reserved for the joint Left fringe meeting which heard inspiring reports from the Visteon and Glasgow schools occupations.

Nevertheless, the ten Socialist Party members who were delegates took every opportunity to point out the need for industrial action against New Labour's policies and the need for a political alternative.

Our members spoke over 20 times from the rostrum, sending a clear message to the union leadership that they may try to expel socialists from the union but there are plenty more to take their place!

One of the Unison 4, Glenn Kelly, was unable to address a fringe meeting against the witch-hunt in the union because he was in a third round of union disciplinary hearings! At that fringe meeting, Yunus Bakhsh, a left health activist, told how he had been sacked from his job, then expelled by Unison, with alleged involvement by a BNP supporter, in a story that you just couldn't make up! This makes the current NEC elections vital to the future of the union.

The main debate of the week was whether to withdraw the union from the pay review body and negotiate directly on pay with the government. After a lively debate, this was defeated on a card vote by 243,051 votes to 152,519.

This will prove to be a temporary victory for the right wing. They will be forced by the membership to take action against the low pay awards we will inevitably be given as the government and its lackeys on the pay review bodies force public sector workers to pay for the bosses' crisis.

Despite the downbeat mood of the conference, Socialist Party members sold 62 copies of The Socialist and raised over 800 for the Socialist Party's fighting fund.

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

In The Socialist 29 April 2009:

Fight for jobs!

Youth Fight for Jobs launch conference

Olympics: Defend jobs, pay and conditions

Socialist Party election campaign

European elections: Build support for a workers' alternative to Labour

Stop Press

STOP PRESS: Key union activist sacked

Socialist Party workplace news

Sacked workers protest in Newcastle

Socialist Party news and analysis

Budget 2009 - debts passed to all of us

Does the 'botch it' budget benefit young people?

It's tough at the top!

Jack Jones obituary

International socialist news and analysis

Workers' internationalism: A history of the first four socialist international organisations

Sri Lanka war: Rajapakse regime ignores Tamils' plight in renewed army offensive

NUT feature

National Union of Teachers conference: Fighting "teaching-on-the-cheap"

Hands off Lewisham Bridge school!

Being a new teacher - a shock to the system


Home   |   The Socialist 29 April 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

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


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts


triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleTories torn - bin them now

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni



PCS ballots members on the pay cap


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



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



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



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



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

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...

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