The key issue in my branch is the imposition of new working practices – for example, the longs and shorts (where we might be instructed to work only six hours on a Tuesday but up to nine hours on a Friday), and the 30 minutes of 'flexible' time on a daily basis.
The more that people examine the deal, the more they realise that if we accept it we will be handing over scores of hard-won conditions – that is why we decided against the deal. Now we have to go out and explain our position to the members.
At our office meetings we will argue that the strike action we have taken so far has forced management to make some significant concessions and that things would have been a lot worse without the strikes.
We will talk about how strong the mood is among the rank and file of the union, and why there was no reason for the leadership to call off the strikes.
Our reps will point out that the deal we have now is far short of what can be achieved and that we must continue the fight until we get an offer that matches the determination that we have all shown on the picket lines.
There are some good reps in the London region that are recommending this deal, even though they know it is poor.
I would say to them that they must not put their loyalty to any individual member of the executive above the needs of their members. They must think of what the deal will mean in areas where the reps are in a weaker position than themselves.