The Local Government sector conference of public sector Unison takes place on 15-16 June in Brighton, with the union’s National Delegate Conference immediately following from Tuesday 17 June to Friday 20 June.
Workers’ Liberty members and supporters will be in attendance as delegates and observers, distributing our bulletins and fighting for greater democracy and more focused industrial militancy across the union.
The conference gives delegates an opportunity to discuss strategy for the ongoing pay fights in Local Government and Health. In Local Government, Workers’ Liberty members will argue for the likely 10 July strike to be part of an ongoing and escalating campaign of industrial and political action, and supporting an amendment from the Islington Local Government branch that sets out this kind of radical, creative strategy.
In health, whilst Unison Health Conference (14-16 April) agreed a campaign on pay that could include a strike ballot, it has not been launched to coincide with 10 July strike date. A day of action on 7 June is a start, but delegates and Unison members should discuss urgently launching a proper strike ballot of NHS members.
Unison’s bureaucracy has ruled that a motion from the union’s Women’s Conference to develop a campaign about violence against women will not be discussed. The decision of the leadership not to hear the motion at all is disgraceful, and shows contempt for a serious issue that cannot be ignored by the left and labour movement. Delegates will be challenging the right to overrule this motion on “legal” grounds. A fringe meeting on the issue, organised by Unison Womens’ Committee, will argue why the motion should be discussed, and discuss how to develop the campaign. It will take place in Syndicate 1 at The Brighton Centre, at 12.45pm on Wednesday 18 June.
Workers’ Liberty members will be also be arguing for an independent working-class perspective in the conference debates on wider political questions, including when this cuts against the “common sense” of much of the left, on issues such as Palestine and Cuba.