This is a brief report of the open Branch Committee meeting that took place 2 August 2011 and a strategy for our branch in our ongoing campaign against changes to our Terms and Condition. Unison has produced its’ own response to the short list.
The council’s Staffing Committee meets on 5th of September and it is at this meeting that the final short list will be decided on for the contract that we will be expected to sign. We have no idea how this strange sounding “Staffing Committee” came into being, we don’t know who it is answerable to and what authority it has to make a final decision on our new contracts. We believe that local democracy means that it should pass through the elected bodies that are fully accountable to the public, especially as these changes affect the entire council workforce.
CONDITIONS FOR PRIVATE PROFIT
We intend to hold two meetings, one before the Staffing Committee meets and one after. Dave Knight met with our UNISON Officers at our Regional Office and we informed them that we were not prepared to be associated with a contract that undermines our pay and conditions. At yesterday’s meeting a member made the point that the changes to our terms and conditions are about softening people up to be privatised so that the private firms of the future do not have their profits eaten into by our pay or conditions. UNISON not only opposes this Labour Council undermining our pay and conditions it also opposes any attempt to make it easy to move in and privatise services in the future.
SECTIONAL AND BRANCH WIDE ACTION
After the Staffing Committee has met on 5th September we will be holding a General Meeting which is for all our members to attend. We will have the final version of what the new contract is likely to look like so we want a large General Meeting and we are calling on all our members to come along. On the agenda at this meeting will be the branch’s strategy of sectional industrial action with the perspective of possible branch wide industrial action against the imposition of the new contract. Still on the table are the changes to our sick pay and the freeze in our increments, these two issues will affect ALL our members detrimentally.
TWO IMPORTANT UNISON MEETINGS
1)A UNISON MEMBERS meeting on Thursday 1st September between 12-2pm at the Town Hall in the Council Chamber – We will be discussing how members feel about sectional strike action combined with the perspective of branch wide action at a later date. We want to encourage a full and honest debate for the General Meeting that will take place on 13th Sept, we are encouraging all members who are in the respective departments affected by the proposed changes to come along to this meeting as well as other members.
2)A GENERAL MEETING ON Tuesday 13th September 12-2pm in the Council Chamber – this will be the meeting where we discuss our branch strategy and we vote on particular departments taking industrial action to defeat this contract. A branch strategy document will be put forward and at this meeting we will vote on our strategy.
If you feel strongly about what is happening to you or you are worried about future privatisation, please come along to either of these meetings and help the Branch Committee build a strategy that keeps the membership together and does not allow this employer to pick us off one by one, whether now or in the future.
TWO MEETINGS, ONE BEFORE THE STAFFING COMMITTEE AND ONE AFTER –
MEMBERS ARE WELCOME TO BOTH.
WE ARE LOOKING TO BALLOT THE SECTIONS AFFECTED BY THE SHORT LIST
AND POSSIBLE BRANCH WIDE ACTION DEPENDING ON THE MOOD OF MEMBERS AFTER THE
UNITY IS STRENGTH
Nancy Taaffe, Branch Chair