Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/630/9868

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 June 2010

Unison leadership: Lack of anti-cuts strategy

Unison's national delegate conference met in Bournemouth on 15-18 June. Against the background of the attacks of the Con-Dem government on public services and public sector workers, this was the most important conference to be held by the union.

A conference delegate

Despite outbreaks of anti-Tory/Con-Dem rhetoric, the mood however seemed fairly flat. Part of the reason for this is that the agenda items were formulated before the general election, so nobody knew which party would be in power. Further, the Con-Dem's budget proposals were only known the week after the conference finished, making it difficult to focus on specific areas.

Add to that the large number of items kept off the agenda by the Standing Orders Committee, suspected of deliberately trying to create a non-controversial 'showcase' conference and the lack-lustre quality of the union's national leadership. The preparation for battles ahead had a damp squib air about it.

In his keynote speech, general secretary Dave Prentis at least promised national industrial action if the Con-Dems attacked our pension schemes. But for other aspects of fighting cuts it seems that branch by branch action, with no national industrial action, is all that is envisaged.

This means that stronger branches will make a stand, inevitably with mixed results, whilst weaker branches could go under in a welter of attacks on jobs, pay and conditions of service. More worryingly the right wing national executive (NEC) backed agenda items indicating a favourable attitude to privatisation by co-operatives and other mutual organisations, as if that made it much better! An emergency motion from the NEC and certain branches had a shopping list of measures to fight cuts, but again devoid of a national industrial action strategy.

There were three main points of contention between the NEC and the delegates during the week. One was where the creation of a new service group, combining higher and further education members was rejected, largely as a result of poor pre-conference consultation with the branches concerned.

A central role for trades councils in the battle against the Total Place privatisation scheme was successfully opposed by the NEC. A rule change proposed by the Bolton branch seeking to limit the length of time that Unison members could be banned from holding office as a disciplinary measure to two years was backed by a majority of votes, but narrowly missed the two thirds necessary to change the rules.

In effect this item became a referendum on the witch-hunt, and conference delegates were angered by the initial refusal of vice president Angela Lynes to allow a card vote, despite having allowed one on the previous item, that no delegates actually requested.

A stand-off between platform and delegates developed, with delegates stamping their feet and demanding the card vote, refusing to move on with the business. Eventually Lynes was forced to back down and allow the vote!

The witch-hunt against Socialist Party members and other lefts rumbled through the conference, and was dealt with by tactics worthy of the East German Stasi secret police. Delegates who referred to it had the microphone turned off, one delegate was ejected from conference for wearing a T-shirt in support of Yunus Bakhsh, a witch-hunted activist from the Northern region!

A Coffee Republic coffee bar with a public entrance and an entrance that only delegates could access was forced to close its public entrance in case any expelled or banned members used the public entrance and spoke to conference delegates!

A Reclaim the Union fringe meeting, addressed by Glenn Kelly, Caroline Bedale and Yunus Bakhsh, all witch-hunted activists, attracted a large turnout, over 300 of whom marched behind the speakers back to the conference in order to protest at the witch-hunt. Most Unison members understand that the fight against this vicious Con-Dem government to defend jobs, pay and conditions of service will be undermined by the scandal of the ongoing witch-hunt.

50 attended the Socialist Party meeting, where Peter Taaffe, Glenn Kelly and Roger Bannister spoke. Almost 2,000 was collected for the Fighting Fund.

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


In The Socialist 23 June 2010:

Stop budget attacks with mass action

Budget cuts hitting the poorest hardest


Youth fight for jobs

Young people: fight for your future!

Youth speak for jobs at UCU union rally

Anti-EDL protest

Protesting at Iain's Dickensian Society


National Shop Stewards Network

The role of the NSSN in the battle to defend public sector jobs and services


Budget

Budget Day: workers' responses

Fightback to stop the cuts - public meetings


Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday: Innocent protesters murdered by the British army in 1972


Workplace news and analysis

PCS union rejects 'inevitable' cuts

Unison election: Over 42,000 votes for socialist candidate

Unison leadership: Lack of anti-cuts strategy

Fighting cuts in Nottingham: Save the WAP day centre

Workplace news in brief

National Shrewsbury 24 Justice Campaign March and Rally


Socialist Party news and analysis

Refugee and Migrant Justice: Save this vital service!

Afghan war

Coventry rally against public sector cuts

Stop attacks on services for the vulnerable in Nuneaton

Birmingham: Growing anger against cuts

Save South Leeds Pool

Why BP should be nationalised


Socialist Party feature

How deep is Britain's media crisis?


International socialist news and analysis

Ethnic conflict explodes in Kyrgyzstan

Donate to aid Greek socialists


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 June 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Unison:

triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

triangleLeeds college workers protest poor pay rises

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

Witch-hunt:

triangleLivingstone's smear of Militant

triangleThe Socialist Party and support for the Corbyn movement

triangleSupport the campaign to readmit expelled socialists

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Glenn Kelly:

triangleUnison conference: confident delegates take control, give Corbyn 'rapturous' welcome

triangleWhere next for the BMA junior doctors' dispute

triangleEx-TUC chief lines up with David Cameron

Coffee:

trianglePost-election campaign stalls, coffees, chats on Saturday 10 June

Cuts:

triangleBradford campaign to save children's services launched

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2