At the lunchtime meeting we heard from the Tower Hamlets Branch Secretary and Service Group Executive Member, John McLoughlin, who talked to us about the importance of this year’s pay claim. This is basically £1 on the hourly rate at Spinal Column Point 5 and this is repeated across the pay scales. It is slightly more in London. To win our claim may well require us to take action, but failing to take action could well mean further drops in our standard of living. We have already dropped 18% under this government. The line has to be drawn.
We then heard from Jonathan Jeffries, a TUC tutor from CONEL, who spoke to us about the LGPS. It is important to recognise just what a good scheme this is. It provides good benefits and employers pay a significant contribution. Jonathan also pointed out just how significant the LGPS is to the City with its investment portfolio being handled by about 60 firms. When the right wing press like the Daily Mail go on about our scheme being a burden, remember that their friends in the city also do well out of our scheme. If the LGPS were to be lost there would be serious financial consequences for the country as a whole. Those Tory MP’s and their media cronies are hypocrites when they moan about the LGPS.
In the evening the Branch Secretary explained these contribution to the best of his ability.
Two motions were passed, one agreeing that our industrial action fund could be used as a reserves account for the branch and one calling on UNISON to use more politically correct venues when organising social events and fringe meetings at Conference. These events are currently held in hotels like the Thistle, Holiday Inn or Marriott. Our motion seeks to use local working people’s clubs and community centres. We believe these venues have more in common with our trade union aims and values than the global hotel chains.
Finally, our accounts were agreed, the new officers were ratified and the reports were accepted. If anyone wants a copy of the agenda which includes the motions, accounts and reports please contact the branch office on 0208 496 4703.
To see further photographs from our AGM please click here