Saturday, March 24, 2012

UNISON Pay, Bargaining and Equalities Seminar 2012

On Thursday I attended this national UNISON seminar at our headquarters in Euston. Jane Carolan, NEC, Chair of Service Group Liaison welcomed us saying that the traditional response by the union to serious disputes with our employers had been industrial conflict, that option will always remain but we also need to consider other options. We had a presentation on the "Economic Overview" by Nicola Smith , Head of Economic and Social Affairs at the TUC.

After a Q&A there were workshops on "Outsourcing and procurement"; "Attacks on terms and conditions"; "Negotiating with the private and voluntary sector" and "Bargaining". Then there was a presentation on UNISON Pay Strategy by our General Secretary Dave Prentis and Assistant General Secretary Karen Jennings. This was followed by a reception in the Atrium with speaker Anna Bird (Fawcett Society - see picture). On Friday morning Alistair Hatchett, Head of Pay and HR services from the IDS gave an entertaining account of how the Tories and the Tax Evaders Alliance deliberately distort and mislead on public sector pay. After the last workshop, Mike Kirby, Regional Secretary Scotland spoke on "making the best of the Coalition Government, a perspective from devolved nations".

I am pleased that UNISON is taking the education and development of its activists seriously. Not just the nuts and bolts of bargaining and negotiating but the wider economic, social and economic framework.

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