Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/211/8555
Unison Leaders Under Pressure
SHOWING THE pressure the union leadership is under, new general secretary, Dave Prentis, announced he had "personally promised" the government that there would be disputes in all 29 PFI hospitals if UNISON members' jobs continue to be privatised.
He was forced to pay tribute to the long struggle of the Dudley hospital workers against privatisation.
But the rumours of a government commitment to allow health workers in all PFI hospitals to remain in the public sector, were unfounded. (see page 11)
Almost half the conference of 2,000 delegates backed Bromley delegate Glenn Kelly's call to allow his branch's resolution, calling for a review of how the union's political funds are spent, to be debated later in the week.
At the local government conference on Monday, delegates defeated the leadership on a number of resolutions.
Roger Bannister won widespread applause when he attacked the platform for opposing the Knowsley resolution on how the employers are exploiting the Single Status deal.
The Campaign for a Fighting and Democratic UNISON (now the United Left) warned about these likely attacks as long ago as 1997.
Onay Kasab from Greenwich UNISON won his amendment, against the opposition of the platform, when he called for a campaign against "arm's length companies" who are taking control of council estates.
Julie Thompson from Kirklees spoke on the successful campaign to raise the wages and conditions of school support staff. She explained how headteachers with "massive salaries" tried to keep their wages and conditions down. Her resolution was unanimously adopted, including the call for a national campaign.
Roger Bannister moved another resolution against so-called partnership deals with the employers which was won, again despite the opposition of the platform.
Youth against Racism in Europe had a very successful lunchtime meeting on events in Oldham, with about 20 present.
In The Socialist 22 June 2001: