Sunday, 28 December 2014

Unison Emergency Local Government conf on pay set for Tues 24 March, London

The date was announced just before christmas eve, so apologies for not posting this sooner.

We now have the opportunity (that our national local government conference in June failed to allow us) to discuss a serious strategy for our pay dispute including:
- the nature of industrial action,
- the question on the ballot paper, 
- the resourcing of such a dispute (strike pay, strike fund)
- how decisions are made
- how we coordinate with other unions and sectors
- what has gone wrong in the last few years. 

This is a real opportunity to raise the issue of how we ensure our "member-led" union lives up to that name. How we can ensure that full time officers, are led by us, not because we don't trust them, or they are not capable, but because ordinary low paid, members facing the reality of cuts, pay freezes, and austerity are the only and the best people who can understand what action our members are willing to take. 

But also this is a crucial time for the survival of local government and wider issues than just pay, we need to use this opportunity to get together activists from as many branches (and cross union if possible) to discuss, why it is that members in some branches overwhelmingly rejected this deal and in some others overwhelmly accepted it. We need to discuss why some workers have more confidence in taking strike action and others felt the less so. Lets not waste this opportunity. 

Please comment below with any thoughts. 

From Unison's website

A special conference of UNISON's local government group convened to debate the 2014-16 NJC pay proposals; the decision to cancel strike action on 14 October; the future pay consultation protocols in respect of local government pay claims; the best means to secure a decent pay increase for local government members and consider all motions from branches and regions concerning the above.

Monday, 1 December 2014

How do we save Local Government? We need to start by some frank talking

As the National Audit offices announces that councils will have faced 37% cuts under this government and the LGA points out when hundreds of thousands of front line local government workers already know that we are buckling under the strain of these cuts.

This contribution from Jon Rogers is a useful starting point: