Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) is not "Sexy" #uNDC14

The "Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership" (TTIP) is a proposed treaty between the European Union and the USA (and there is a separate one being negotiated with Canada).

UNISON London delegate, Lucy McLean, had this speech ready at our annual Conference (NDC) last week warning Conference about the dangers of TTIP and what to do about it, but was knocked off from speaking by a point of order "asking the question be put". 

It is an important speech and a shame it was not heard by conference. People generally just do not realise how awful TTIP could turn out to be... "the horror, the horror".
 
"President, Conference - Lucy McLean, Camden and Islington Health speaking in favour of Composite G.

Conference, I'll admit when I'm out and about talking to members in our NHS workplaces, talk often turns away from the local or national issue at hand, away from our pay challenges, our staffing issues and turns to the "water cooler moment" - RCN members said WHAT? about GP charges this week?! Or can you believe who died in Game of Thrones last night?!

Sadly, the "transatlantic trade and investment partnership” is not the hot topic of the day amongst my fellow workers nor our patients. It's just not... Sexy.

Yet, Conference, if this proposed agreement goes ahead as planned: this could mean that my NHS, your NHS, our public owned NHS could be completely privatised, beyond even, the wildest dreams of the far right extremists in UKIP and the Conservative Party.

Conference, TTIP is a Trojan horse to bring about permanent privatisation of all public services. I quote Professor John Hilary that its intention is “to create new markets by opening up public services to competition from transnational corporations”.

Even worse, if a British government in the future wanted to bring back in house, a fully privatised NHS, it would be in breach of the TTIP agreement and would face massive fines for doing so.

Conference, we have a huge job ahead of us to get our message out to all our members and their families; whether they work in health or not; we are all users of the NHS and we would all suffer if it was to be further privatised.

I will need help Conference from my union to make TTIP the "watercooler" topic of the day in my workplaces. All branches and activists will need information, support and guidance to get this message over.  

Conference, support the action on Saturday July 12th, get the message out to members on TTIP and let's take on this latest challenge to our NHS... and win.

Thank you and please support Composite G.
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