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Scotland in UNISON



Thursday 22 June Briefing and Report 1



Do not take this union's support for granted - Prentis warns Labour

Dave Prentis"Do not take this union's support for granted, you'll have to earn it," was Dave Prentis clear message to Labour as he addressed conference. He warned Labour that it needs to change direction or it will not be re-elected.

And to those waiting in the wings for Tony Blair's departure as Prime Minister, "We've been let down too often before. That means abandoning the ideological attacks on our public services."

"I do not want the Tories back, I want a Labour government, a real Labour government, but Labour will not be re-elected and nor will it deserve to - unless it changes direction, restores trust and reconnects with its core vote."

"March 28th. What a great day! The biggest strike since the General Strike." Dave congratulated members on the Local Government Pension Scheme.

"UNISON at its most determined, driven. 800,000 members, shoulder-to-shoulder with 12 other unions. Strong, united - one million workers, angry that this government cared so little for them and angry at being denied the same protection as others."

"And what does happen if the judicial review fails. The fight goes on to protect our pensions, not just for this generation, but for future generations. And I promise you this, any final offer will be put to members in a ballot and if negotiations fail, we will ballot again for industrial action."

Dave criticised the Government for "wasting billions on management consultants, the here today gone tomorrow rip off merchants." and "so called turn around teams in the NHS like KPMG paid £700,000 in three months i one trust and axing 400 jobs."

"We will fight back to defend our NHS. Joining forces with patient groups, community groups, NHS unions working with the TUC and the grassroots of the Labour party putting forward an alternative vision - an improvement agenda. Co-operation not competition. Efficiency, not cuts; Devolution, not framentation."

"We will support our members in the NHS taking industrial acion against job cuts and privatisation of our National Health Service."


Palestine and Israel - build the trade union links

International debates will dominate this morning with guest speakers from the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions and the Israeli Histadrut trade union federation.

As we welcomed guests from Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions and the Israeli Federation Histadrut to the STUC in April, we should similarly welcome their representatives to UNISON conference.

We work for a free, independent, viable Palestine, alongside a secure Israel.

We remember the words of Nawaaf Masalha the Chairperson of the International Committee of Histadrut at the STUC, "I am against the humiliation of Palestinians, I support a Palestinian state”. He also called for, "Israel and Palestine to be together as workers... We are more than neighbours”.

UNISON Scotland has just agreed to send money to support equipment for a cultural and computer school in Jenin in the north of the West bank and office equipment for the regional office in Jericho.

Motion 126 reflects the work UNISON Scotland has put into facilitating the dialogue between the PGFTU and Histadrut. The dialogue was never going to be easy but is progressive and creates historic opportunities.

126.01 should also be supported. But Amendment 126.02 explicitly removes the action to facilitate crucial dialogue and co-operation between the PGFTU and Histadrut. This is in complete opposition to the position Scotland has taken and the work it has been doing.
SUPPORT 126 and 126.01 OPPOSE 126.02

Comp H Venezuela The new government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and its importance for emergent politics of other states in the Andean Continent are addressed in composite involving Wales and others including Edinburgh. However, our solidarity should be raised through broad-based organisations campaigning within UNISON's criteria for affiliations. SUPPORT

99 and 98 Protecting and Organising Migrant Workers Scotland and the Women's Committee assert a particular trade union responsibility to protect migrant workers, particularly women, particularly in health and social care.

125 Labour Migration While recognising the rights of migrant workers and the benefits they bring, we must be wary of the adverse effect of their migration upon their indigenous countries. SUPPORT

45 Racist Attacks The continuing scourge of racism was evident in the May local government elections in England. In Scotland we cannot be complacent. We've witnessed racist attacks on our members at work and in the community. It's a trade union issue. Motion 45 calls for vigilance and action in union activity at work and in the communities. SUPPORT

45 and 45.01 8. Monitoring of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity by Employers Is any kind of monitoring of the workforce a means towards a positive end taking up constructive enablement or forcing identification and victimisation? It depends upon the conditions and these are addressed in Motion 8. SUPPORT 8 and 8.01.