On Tuesday our special local government conference will be debating the composite motion “Future Pay Consultation Protocols”.
Cancelling the strike in October caused widespread anger, disillusionment and disunity.
Lets be clear. We requisitioned this conference with the best intentions. It is not about making a protest, showing the decisions of the NJC committee to be wrong or a demonstration of the power of local branches.
We requisitioned this conference so we can talk the issues over, heal the wounds, solve the problems and bring the union together again.
The fact is that our members are saying that their views aren’t being represented and that they have lost trust in the process. We need to restore that trust. So we are proposing that there is always an opportunity for an elected representative to be present at all pay negotiations.
What we are trying to achieve is a direct chain of accountability from members at work all the way to the negotiating table with the LGA. We want our negotiating team to have someone who knows our members and is chosen by them directly.
UNISON employs thousands of people doing a lot great work for us, so this shouldn’t be taken as a criticism of particular employed officers, or the principle of employed officers in general.
We believe that this will help our employed negotiators too, helping them to understand the feeling of the members more clearly.
This composite will also give branches and members their rightful say about when they are ready to stop taking industrial action. No more snap decisions at short notice.
This composite and this special conference will hopefully give UNISON and its members the things they need: trust, accountability, democracy and future unity.