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Scotland in UNISON



Tuesday 20 June Briefing 1



Here we are in Bournemouth, ready to go and full of enthusiasm for lively debates, good trade union solidarity and cheery wit and repartee (sorry, too much sun: ed).

Still the potential is here for some significant debates and decisions and the more branches who participate, the better it is.

As mentioned in the pre-conference bulletin, the guides in these bulletins reflect Scottish policy but cannot mandate branches who will have their own policy on issues. It will however serve as a guide to the main issues.

Let's get on with it

Tuesday morning has the reputation for interminable debates about what should or should not have gone on the agenda - and if it did, where it is on the agenda. The advice is as usual. The Regions, SOGs and all have set out priorities for Conference after consultation. The best thing is to get on with it and try to get through as much business as possible.

It is still difficult to judge how much we will get through each day until we see how fast things will go. We've taken a few guesses, so please forgive us if we end up repeating some of it tomorrow.

25 Under Funding of Social care
The under funding of social care, particularly of the elderly, reduces the quality of care and leads to the exploitation of care workers, particularly migrant workers. Free personal care should be available and provided by competent, confident, trained and valued staff. Edinburgh is involved in this motion and will draw attention to the flagship free personal care legislation in Scotland coming under pressure from bending of rules and efficiency savings. SUPPORT motion and amendment.

29 Offshoring
Many of our members in the utilities are now call-centre based and with financial pressures we must not be complacent about the potential for the problems for public services. SUPPORT

54 Not So Sweet Sixteen
Attention is rightly focussed on developing positive rights for young people. UNISON has recently submitted evidence to the Scottish parliament on this issue: SUPPORT

Comp B Public Services
Scotland is part of this composite. Public Service Reform? Efficiency Reviews? Shared Services? Privatisation? We, and the government, at Westminster, Holyrood and the other devolved administrations, say we want quality public services. However, we obviously disagree on the direction under Blair. Incidentally wasn't Brown the architect?

The Scotland position is to oppose the amendment B.1. While not minimising the hit on the NHS, this is just another back-door attempt to open up the debate on the political fund. We do have to challenge the Labour government but this amendment seeks to again open up the relationship through the Link which has been subject to a ballot and which was specifically resolved in debates at recent Conferences. It takes the real focus off the motion and should be opposed. SUPPORT B, OPPOSE B.1

24 Public Services
Broader Vision of the Future of quality Public Services, well-resourced, democratically controlled, with public engagement and well-trained, motivated and paid staff are discussed in motion 24. Glasgow City's amendment puts the focus on the increasing use of arms-length companies and should be supported. SUPPORT 24 and 24.01

86 NHS Marketisation
While the Government talks of commissioning a patient led NHS, its policies favour market based reform. Again, Scotland has resisted the worst excesses, and reclaimed staff and conditions but must be wary of Treasury impact upon Scotland's economy and budget.

Congratulations in particular to members at Glasgow Royal Infirmary as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde brings its facilities management contract back in-house when the current contract with Sodexho runs out in December this year: SUPPORT

How far will we get?

We may get to 64 at best today and we'll cover more in this afternoon's bulletin.

117 Public Policy etc There are increasing legal obligations across all enterprises but public bodies should be taking a lead role with best practice. Many Service Groups will have already debated this. SUPPORT

75 Pre-Budget Report The March budget and its November pre-report showed a growth in public expenditure and aspects of social care. But at a price of private sector rates of investment, which mean future cost. Scotland has amendment 75.01 which obviously should be supported.

Ha det god Sverige, säga Skotsk

Ha det god för den fotboll idag. Vi älska Henrik Larsson emedan han er nästan Scottish. Vi er säker Henrik Larsson vilja fora räkning över och ger du en bättre spel än Trinidad och Tobaken. Vi deklarera all Svensk honorary Scottish för idag. OK så vi veta du er igenom till nästa sätta upp om Värld kopp utom vill du verkligen vara nöd till å nämna 1966 varje minut om dag. 1966, 1966, 1966. Gud, vi er sjuk av 1966.