Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/353/5839

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 June 2004

UNISON local government conference

From Drama To Farce

AT THE end of a day of high drama on 21 June, UNISON's Local Government conference descended into farce when the president refused to take a vote on two emergency motions rejecting the pay offer and simply closed conference!

Dave Gorton

The dangerous three-year pay offer (see XXXX) has been roundly condemned by activists but the national 'consultation' exercise has been designed to give an 'accept' vote with UNISON's executive refusing to make a recommendation.

Emergency motions calling for a rejection of the offer and moving to an industrial action ballot were originally ruled off the agenda on spurious technicalities. But conference, led by Socialist Party members Glenn Kelly and Mike Forster, on three separate occasions overturned standing orders and insisted on their being heard.

Eventually Glenn Kelly was allowed to move Bromley branch's motion. His condemnation of both the offer and the cowardice of the leadership was loudly applauded. There was no doubt conference was going to overwhelmingly pass the motion. Calls for the vote were refused - this is 'not allowed' under UNISON's standing orders - the executive spoke against and the president turned the lights out and walked off the platform!

The executive had been 'on the run' all day, being easily defeated on two earlier motions on pay and a number of other issues.

But the other main debate was to be around the "Remodelling the Workforce" agreement in schools. Last year's conference rejected a call to withdraw from this agreement which the Socialist Party has called a recipe for 'teaching on the cheap'. Clearly there was a feeling amongst branches and long-suffering teaching assistants that it was worth giving the agreement a try.

One year on and it was equally clear that 'remodelling' had been tried and it had failed. Remodelling is one of UNISON's flagship policies, supposed proof of a successful partnership with the Labour government.

Socialist Party member Roger Bannister, moving an alternative motion calling for a complete renegotiation of the deal to include a national claim for all school support staff, reminded conference that even the UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis, had said 12 months ago that if there was no extra money to fund remodelling, UNISON would be withdrawing.

There have been further budget shortfalls, not more money. The agreement is a key cornerstone of Labour's plans to cut teacher numbers and replace them with teaching assistants on much less pay.

Mike Forster, Socialist Party member from Kirklees, ridiculed the idea raised in the debate, that the existing agreement could be 'negotiated' borough by borough. The reality is that the agreement would have to be negotiated school by school!

Conference sank the flagship by 420,000 votes to 250,000.

In the week where we have been forced to announce our departure from the UNISON United Left because of the rightward drift of its largest component, the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party has proved that it has the authority to lead on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of low-paid members in UNISON's ranks.

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


In The Socialist 26 June 2004:

Time For A New Workers' Party

Stop Cuts In Jobs And Services

Socialist Students Fight NUS Cuts

Socialist Councillors Fight Housing Crisis

Encouraging Result for Martin Powell-Davies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Kilroy Was Here, Then There. Where Next?

Respect And The June Elections

UNISON local government conference: From Drama To Farce

Firefighters' Bitter Pay Battle


Socialist Party features

European Union: Bosses' Club Agrees A Constitution

Blair's War on Workers' Rights

Iraq: Imperialism's Plans Going Up In Smoke

Unite Campaign In Australia Wins Major Victory Against Low Pay


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 June 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Unison:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleHelp fund the fightback: sponsor my marathon

triangleCarmarthenshire union demands no-cuts budget

triangleFrimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation

triangleUnison's retired members reflect growing anger

Local government:

triangleCorbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

triangleTories prepare to attack education workers' pensions

triangleThem & Us

triangleGrenfell two years on - Still fighting for safety and justice

Socialist:

triangleFight for your future - join the socialists

triangleThe Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019

triangleClimate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together

Socialist Party:

triangleWhy I joined: "Proud to be a socialist"

triangleSelling the Socialist

Pay:

triangleNorthern Ireland: Health workers take action over understaffing and pay equality

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

4/12/19

Socialist Party

Fight for your future - join the socialists

4/12/19

UCU

Strikes: more determined than ever

4/12/19

Socialist Students

Students and workers united in struggle

4/12/19

South Western Railway

It's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

4/12/19

Surrey

Surrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

4/12/19

Hull

Social workers lobby Hull City Council

4/12/19

Climate change

Climate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together

4/12/19

Socialist Party

Why I joined: "Proud to be a socialist"

4/12/19

Carlisle

Carlisle election meeting: Education - time to make the mega-rich and corporations pay

4/12/19

Council

Workplace news in brief

4/12/19

West Midlands

Solid support for guards on West Midlands Trains

4/12/19

Climate change

Climate change election debate - Corbyn offers best green solutions but needs to go further

4/12/19

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

4/12/19

Royal Mail

Royal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

4/12/19

RMT

Jared Wood overwhelmingly elected to RMT executive

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: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

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


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999