Wednesday, 25 March 2015

What was passed at Special Conference

The important vote was on Comp C - with 62% supporting on a card vote

Composite C A Decent Pay Increase For Local Government Members
(Motions 5 and 21)
Member and activist confidence in the relevance, integrity and mutuality of the NJC bargaining machinery on a „sector-wide‟ (cross-nation/whole nation) basis and UNISON‟s role within it is at an all-time low.
In light of all the above this Special Conference agrees it is imperative that proactive engagement, campaigning and negotiations on NJC pay are reinstated now if we are serious about seeking to secure a fair and decent real term pay rise for NJC workers.

This Special Conference instructs the UNISON National Joint Council (NJC) Committee:
1) To formally submit the following to the NJC Employer‟s body with immediate effect as an additional NJC Pay Claim for the 2015/16 pay round (to be implemented from the settlement date of 1 April 2015);
2) The full-time equivalent (FTE) Living Wage rate to be the minimum pay value of the NJC pay spine;
3) An equivalent flat rate pay increase to be applied to all other NJC pay scale points.
4) To communicate our position to the other NJC Trade Unions;
5) To work with NJC branches and regions/nations to identify and submit, as soon as possible, equivalent local, regional or national pay claims as appropriate for groups of members who have previously transferred out of local government and are currently outside the NJC pay bargaining machinery or other collective bargaining arrangements that cover pay awards.
This Special Conference believes all these measures are necessary to ensure UNISON demonstrates to all Local Government members this union, with our members support, is prepared to take strike action to secure fair pay no matter which Government is elected in May 2015.
5 North West Region
21 Manchester Branch

But also others were passed including
Motion 1

1. Aftermath of the National Joint Council (NJC) 2014 Pay Campaign
This conference notes:
1) The profoundly disappointing outcome of the 2014 NJC pay dispute, which effectively resulted in another real terms pay cut for the vast majority of members across local government and left tens of thousands of the lowest paid on hourly rates still below the current Living Wage.
2) The employers‟ proposal that was the subject of members consultation after the NJC committee meeting on 09 October 2014 bore no resemblance to the original flat rate, £1 an hour joint trade union claim and was not an appreciable improvement on the March 2014 offer of 1% from the then Tory-run local government employers‟ body.
3) The suspension of industrial action squandered the opportunity to create a „united front‟ in October against public sector pay restraint with fellow UNISON members in the NHS and other trade unionists in the run-up to the TUC‟s 18 October national demonstrations.
4) The NJC „deal‟ also appears to preclude any industrial action over national pay for the first 11 months of the next Westminster Parliament at a time when the Tory-led coalition has categorically restated its determination to enforce public sector pay restraint as a central component of an ongoing draconian cuts programme.

5) The commitment to adhere to Tory-dictated spending limits and pay restraint stated repeatedly by Labour‟s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, who has even refused to reverse the current Government‟s veto of the NHS Pay Review Body recommendation for 2014.
6) Votes to reject the employers‟ proposal and resume industrial action in a clear majority of branches that exercised their right to campaign for rejection of the proposal.
This conference believes:
a) The outcome of the dispute has further imperilled the future of the NJC as the forum for collective bargaining on pay and conditions.
b) The dispute itself proved an effective recruiting tool in many UNISON branches, but the outcome risks demoralising activists and jeopardising the prospects for effective resistance both to further erosion of real pay and the assorted other attacks being unleashed on the local government workforce generally.
c) The dispute lacked a credible industrial strategy, with no clear commitment to build on the broadly successful action on 10 July.
d) In future, there should never again be a suspension of planned industrial action accompanied by moves to consultation in the absence of confirmed offer from the employers‟ side as opposed to a „proposal‟.
e) Members‟ interests should never be subordinated to the union‟s relationship with the Labour Party, or indeed any other political party.
This conference resolves to call upon relevant national bodies (such as the Service Group Executive, the NJC Committee and National Executive Council) to:
i) Ensure far greater transparency around negotiations with the employers‟ side with the dates/times and venues of any talks shared in advance and a „headlines‟ report from meetings to be sent to NJC committee members and to branches within 24 hours.
ii) Ensure that where a decision has been made to pursue discontinuous industrial action that there is a clear commitment to and timetable for escalation of action from the outset of the action.
iii) Encourage branches to either establish or expand industrial action/hardship funds.
iv) Identify and act upon feasible means of reopening the 2014-16 NJC deal.

and amendment:

In numbered paragraph 3, add after "industrial action":
", was contrary to the spirit of the Industrial Action Ballot, when members voted in the knowledge that more than one day of strike action would be necessary to secure an acceptable settlement, and"

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