Victory for Carmarthenshire Unison

Carmarthenshire County Unison member

Carmarthenshire Labour-led local authority has backed off from ending the trade union secondments (TUS) it funds.

There is no doubt that this decision was the result of our Unison branch’s robust campaign.

We would like to thank the Socialist Party locally and nationally for its support as well as the trade union branches and individuals who signed our petition.

The decision to remove TUS was a political one – made to try and stifle our branch opposing all cuts and from defending our members’ interests.

This victory demonstrates that militancy works. But it is a temporary victory – council leader Kevin Madge has stated that the decision will be reviewed within six months.

The local authority wants information about what seconded officers do. We have always been prepared to provide this information but senior HR officers were not prepared, we assume on the say so of those above, to provide a computer so we could keep a diary. The council wants information they were not prepared to collect!

Kevin Madge indicated that he had revoked the decision to remove TUS in a letter to Simon Dunn, regional Unison organiser. He copied this to the branch secretary, Mark Evans.

Many in the branch are concerned that regional secretary Margaret Thomas and the regional organiser met with Kevin Madge and other executive board members without branch officers being present.

The meeting should not have happened without our branch officers being present. It flies in the face of the claim that we are a members-led union.

The intervention of the regional secretary sent a message that Unison regionally is unhappy but this intervention should have been agreed with our branch and on our terms with our involvement.

Our campaign got us this temporary victory. We will now continue it until this decision is made permanent and the TUS agreement is improved.