Dave Prentis has already started rowing backwards. At the conference (19-24 June) of the big local government and health union Unison, which he leads, Prentis promised a huge campaign of industrial action to beat back the Coalition government.
As soon as the conference delegates went home, Prentis declared (27 June) that now Unison “has no plans to ballot members on strike action yet.
“The government is willing to take these negotiations [on the public sector pension schemes] seriously. We have agreed to two more meetings in July and we will continue to negotiate throughout July”.
There is no evidence that the Government is willing to do more than negotiate on the details of the pension changes — and it has always been all too happy to negotiate on those details, as long as it gets the basics through.
This shows that union members must have the chance to discuss, and impose on their leaders, precise demands and precise plans for action, not be satisfied with vague promises of “action” and “continuing campaigns” some time in the future.