Wednesday, June 22, 2011

UNISON NDC 2011: Defending our Pensions Composite B

I managed to speak during this important debate. “President, Conference, John Gray Housing Association Branch, Greater London Region speaking in favour of Composite B.

Conference, also speaking as a member of the Community Service Group I think it is important to remember that it is not only it not only those in Health and Local government who face a bleak future in retirement. There are hundreds of thousands of workers who now work in the private and voluntary sector who depend and rely on public sector pensions for their future. In my own employer we have around 500 staff who like me, are still members of the local government pension scheme.

My members, like those in the traditional public sector, cannot afford a 50% hike in pension contributions. They have also suffered from years of no pay rises. Many who work in care and support have also seen their pay savagely cut due to the race to the gutter in Supporting People commissioning. They will be forced to leave the pension scheme.

So, in the Community Service Group we also face being robbed of our pensions. That is why, for the first time ever for many in my sector we are organising for strike action. However, delivering sustained and successful strike action is not going to be easy in any sector. That is why it is even more important than ever that our union keeps up the pressure on the government while working with our sister unions to organise effective campaigns, inform our members of the facts and carefully build for action. Caroline previously called it SMART

We have to recognise that our pension arrangements are different and sector specific. While we all face a common threat, we must make it clear to our members the exact reasons why we are calling for strike action and what we expect that particular action to achieve. Conference, the prize for us if this is successful will be worth it. Solid and committed strike action by everyone in UNISON. Conference please support this composite.

(Photo Phil Lewis)


nick venedi said...

Hi John,

Great news that the NUT are taking industrial action on the 30 of June but have been approached by several Unison member I know who work in schools and asked whether they will be right in refusing to cross an NUT picket line at their school? I think the answer is that they are within their rights not to do so but can someone from the NEC clarify this? I have send this message to Jon and John who are now both on the NEC and will see what their answer is if any.

Mark P said...

Great T-shirt John. Wjen was the last time you irone it tho?

Mark P

John Gray said...

Hi Nick

Sorry, this is my own personal blog and not the NEC's.

All branches have been written to about the 30th and information handed out at conference.

You know what can or can not be done legally.

In my own personal opinion I would have thought that sec 3 H&SW regs would apply and all schools without teachers should be closed on safety grounds.

Hi Mark

Yes, great T-Shirt. I was rushing around that morning and put a jacket on to cover up. The conference hall that day was hot and stuffy... (the rest is history)