Wednesday, October 31, 2012

London UNISON Regional Council: 31 October 2012

The meeting was not quorate but we heard our speakers. The first guest speaker was Nick Raynsford MP, Greenwich and Woolwich who spoke about proposed cuts and mergers to South London Healthcare.

The Tories are playing politics with local NHS services regardless of clinical merit. 

Head of UNISON local government Heather Wakefield spoke next on pay. We are opposing the 1% public sector pay limit, regional pay and attacks on facility time. We need to restore pay. Aim to have a Living Wage for everyone who works in public services. Outside London this is £7.20 per hour. Currently the lowest pay band in Local Government is £6.30 per hour. Which is barely over the minimum wage. Need to encourage our members to take up any benefits that they are entitled to claim.

There will in real terms have been a 15% pay cut in local authority pay by April 2013 due to the rising prices and the pay freeze. Heather went through the campaigning issues on pay, terms & conditions.

220,000 workers in Local Government and 50,000 in the National Health Service have so far lost their jobs. Members in work are obviously worried about their jobs. 

Then Roisin Wood from "Kick it Out" which use to be an anti racist but is now a "pro-equality" in all aspects of football campaigning group. There is only 7 of them and they are campaigners are not the regulator, the football players union nor the employer. The recent controversy involving the wearing of tee-shirts by some players has been "challenging" but not of their making. They hope this has now been sorted out!

Our Parliamentary report was from Jeremy Corbyn MP. Who spoke about changes to housing benefit forcing the social cleansing of poor people out of Islington and inner London. He had a 6 hour surgery last Friday mostly made up of private tenants who are being forced out of their homes. His belief that there will have to be caps and controls of private sector housing rents.  He reported on the the "media assassination" of London Metropolitan University over foreign students which has damaged the entire UK reputation for further education. 

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