Report of UNISON NEC 8th October 2014.
Rather than reinvent the wheel and doing my own further report here is an abridged version of my good UNISON comrade John Jones, WET (Water, Environment and Transport Service Group) NEC member's report of the NEC held on 8th October 2014 which has been circulated to WET branches:
Obituaries were read out which included former NEC member Carole Horsfield as well as the murdered hostage, Alan Henning.
The General Secretary's report had been moved up the agenda and Dave Prentis covered the need for a Labour Government being returned next May as the alternative was a nightmare.
Labour will allegedly respect pay review bodies and instigate a massive house building programme. They will also restore check off in time if the Tories do away with it which they will if elected next May.
800,000 jobs have gone in Local Government since the unelected coalition came into being but there has only been a 1% drop in UNISON membership which is a fantastic effort. Dave has recently chaired a conference in Washington, USA on TTIP, deregulation and the adverse effects on workers rights.
A suggestion was made for branches to consider entering into service level agreements with employers regarding check off.
There are now some 540,000 UNISON members in the private sector which isn't far short of 50%.
The NEC rightly sent a message of support to the striking Care UK workers who have now taken over 80 days strike action and we agreed that a letter be sent to all branches asking for more donations to sustain and overcome hardship.
It was emphasised that it's very important to get bodies on the streets on 18th October as Britain clearly needs a pay rise.
A further letter of support was also agreed to be sent to our Rotherham Local Government branch which has come under attack including physically in some cases following the recent child abuse cases.
Literature is to be produced outlining what the abhorrent UKIP actually stands for including charging members of the public for GP's appointments.
It was reported that their candidate for the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) position was on duty at both Hillsborough and Orgreave.
Labour have committed to reviewing the ET procedures if elected including doing away with the fees. They have further committed to the disbandment of the Police and Crime commissioners. Dave concluded by praising the efforts in the North West in getting shut of the detestable Nick Grifffin of the BNP.
Under the organising report, it was reported that there has been a welcome 17% increase of young members in 2014 compared to 2013. There is a definite threat from the Tories from August 2015 if they're re-elected to funding for Trade Union education which could have a devastating effect on UNISON and the TUC.
It was agreed however that work needs to be done to ensure online joiners are being correctly allocated from which areas both regionally and a from a service group perspective they emanate.
UNISON is committed to funding political education at both Ruskin and Northern Colleges but a review may well be necessary in due course.
If Unionlearn is disbanded, money will have to diverted from other budgets to compensate which won't be easy.
A questionnaire has recently been sent to branches and replies are urgently needed back.
Written reports were submitted for a number of the Service Group reports section but unsurprisingly, this item concentrated mainly on the forthcoming industrial action in Health and Local Government.
Health are to commence on Monday 13th October with a 4 hour stoppage from 7 am, the first pay strike in 32 years with action short of strike action to follow the following week.
Subject to the NJC not accepting the following day a so called improved offer in Local Government they will be out on Tuesday, 14th October for the full day.
UCU are taking action on the 14th with PCS following suit on the 15th.
UNISON's meat hygiene service members have recently undertaken 2 days of action.
Clarity Is obviously needed in getting members to walk when the need arises.
Speaker after speaker from the North West was solid.
A paper was submitted to the NEC which hadn't gone to the previous week's F&RM which in a nutshell means that all subsistence over £30 is taxable so in easy lay terms from Monday 13th October the previously paid £40 daily allowance will be £38 if members attract the normal tax rate of 20 pence.
It is crucial that communications on this development are sent out from the centre as soon as possible but if anybody has paid in advance for future conferences etc. the amounts need altering in line with this guidance.
A full and comprehensive report was given on private contractors and the fragmented workforce with terms of reference that have been adopted by the inclusive working group which will regularly report its findings to the NEC.
The NEC agreed proposals for the political fund ballot which will run from 1st - 30th November and will be sent out to all branches as a priority stating the need for a YES vote.