By now we have all had chance to read and digest the report ‘NJC Pay – Progressing Conference Motions’ which was sent to branches.
In many ways we welcome this kind of document. It is good to see the work that is being done on our behalf nationally and to know what is being planned for the future.
On the face of it, at seven and a half pages it seems like there’s a lot going on, that as a union we are actively working on pay.
But how much will all this activity achieve? The action it proposes reads as a long lists of reports to be written, meetings to be held, surveys to be conducted and letters to be written. In short all the things we have been doing for years to no effect.
It will keep a lot of people very busy for long time, but only committed concerted strike action can deliver the kind of pay our members deserve.
But this document waves the white flag on national strike action. Saying clearly that we can’t “mobilise the level of action which is likely to make the LGA or local councils respond to us.”
How can we hold our own at the negotiating table when we openly say we can’t strike effectively? How can we expect the LGA to take us seriously? How can we expect to win any local government dispute with that level of defeatism?
But there are further implications with the publication of the preliminary agenda for the Special Local Government Conference.
The composite ‘NJC Pay Campaign 2016 Moving Forward’ references and endorses this document. We are in danger of writing off industrial action as an effective tool becoming sector wide national policy. In danger of agreeing on the conference floor, as representatives of UNISON members, that any action they want to take is doomed to failure. We need to vote against that composite unless the amendment from Salford and Manchester is carried.
We are a smarter union than that. A stronger union than that. A better union than that.
We can deliver strong effective industrial action. It seems some of our National leadership are the only people holding us back.