Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/20141

Posted on 23 February 2015 at 12:28 GMT

South east Unison activists challenge New Labour

Paul Couchman, branch secretary, Surrey County Unison

On Saturday 21 February, around 75 delegates from across south east England attended the Unison Regional Council AGM. These are trade union activists from local government, health, schools, colleges, universities and from the community and private sector.

Apart from the usual union business of elections and reports, there were three important motions up for discussion.

A motion (originally from my Unison branch but since adopted by the regional Local Government group) called for support for the 10 an hour minimum wage campaign. This was supported unanimously and enthusiastically by delegates and it was agreed to take the motion to the national delegate conference in June, to get Unison nationally to take up the campaign.

A motion from West Sussex branch condemning the attacks on trade union rights - in particular the Tories' proposals for new strike ballot thresholds - was also passed unanimously and will be taken to national conference.

Political representation

The most challenging motion was from my branch, entitled 'on political representation'. Although not as challenging as we would have liked, due to making sure it would be allowed for discussion, the motion caused quite a stir.

It condemned Labour councils that are making cuts, talks in detail about the disconnect between ordinary people and the mainstream parties and urges the trade unions to tackle the growth of Ukip by offering bold socialist policies in the forthcoming election.

When I moved the motion, I introduced myself as a proud Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) general election candidate. Four other TUSC candidates came into the discussion and did the same - to loud cheers. Some Labour Party members incorrectly said that no-cuts budgets are 'illegal'. I got a rousing cheer when I said I would rather vote for a representative who stands firm on principle than one who has already thrown in the towel.

A key part of the motion was calling on all Unison branches to organise election hustings meetings, inviting all local progressive, anti-cuts candidates - so that our members can decide for themselves. The motion also "calls on all prospective local council candidates to stand as real public champions against austerity and cuts. Refuse to make cuts in jobs and services or in the pay, terms and conditions of council staff".

Unison activists in the south east can use this decision to put pressure on local candidates to fight the cuts and to invite TUSC candidates (along with any other 'progressive' candidates) to Unison members' meetings.

Originally, one or two key Labour Link activists had said they would oppose the motion but in the end they chose to vote for it 'with reservations'. Only one delegate voted against. Nine copies of the socialist were bought.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 23 February 2015 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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






Related links:

South East:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Hear about the Socialism 2017 weekend

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Why do we need international socialism?

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Football - Reclaim the Game

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: The Battle of Cable Street

triangleSouth East London Socialist Party: 100 years ago - February revolution in Russia

Unison:

triangleThreat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

triangleUnison national women's conference

triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

triangleLeeds college pay protests

Labour:

triangleNo fudge with the right wing

triangleBuilding support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections

triangleHaringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

Cuts:

triangleBradford Socialist Party: A strategy to defeat the cuts

triangleScene set for TUSC conference electoral debate

Election:

triangleAmy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

Council:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: When Liverpool council defied the Tories

Local government:

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleTUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

Labour Party:

triangleCarlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/2/18

Haringey

No fudge with the right wing

15/2/18

TUSC

TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

14/2/18

Haringey

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

14/2/18

UCU

Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

14/2/18

Cardiff

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

14/2/18

Carlisle

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

14/2/18

Firefighters

Staines fire services saved

14/2/18

Surrey

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

14/2/18

Woolwich

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

14/2/18

London

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

14/2/18

Mansfield

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

8/2/18

Newham

Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

7/2/18

Unison

Unison national women's conference

7/2/18

Royal Mail

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

7/2/18

Walthamstow

'Occupy to save the town square'

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999