Glenn Kelly, Socialist Party industrial department
Unison conference opened on 20 June and immediately reflected the sense of change at the moment. When it was announced that Jeremy Corbyn will be speaking on the final day at the conference on 23 June, the conference erupted with applause.
The first debate of the conference was on the public sector pay cap and the demand for a £10 an hour minimum wage. Such is the pressure from below, even Unison leadership was forced to say it will ‘smash’ the pay cap in the next 12 months.
Socialist Party members spoke in the debate, pointing out that we’ve heard this before and this time there needs to be a real fight, with Ivan Bonsell saying Unison should be demanding £10 an hour now.
Angie Waller said: “£10 an hour now isn’t just desirable but an absolute necessity.”
Showing the mood and pressure from below, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis called on all members to join the 1 July ‘Tories out’ demonstration. As we go to press 100 copies of the Socialist have been sold.