Socialist Worker

Unison stifles debate on council pay talks

Issue No. 2122

The leadership of the Unison union in local government met last weekend but failed to have a proper debate over the decision to go to binding arbitration over the pay claim covering workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Chris Tansey, the newly elected chair of the service group executive, ruled that only questions could be put to the chair of the negotiators and debate would be put off until the outcome of arbitration is known.

Despite this several members questioned the failure to look to joint action alongside the NUT and the PCS unions and said that members felt angry and let down by the decision to go to arbitration without proper consultation with members and branches.

A more upbeat report on the pay campaign in Scotland was given following the two very successful strike days in August.

Talks with the Scottish employers took place last Friday and a marginally increased offer of 3 percent for 2008 resulted in a decision to suspend action while branches were consulted on the offer.

The service group executive agreed unanimously to send a message of support to members at East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL), a council-owned and funded Arms Length Management Organisation.

They are in dispute is over an attack on trade union rights and the victimisation of John McDermott, their Unison convenor and member of Unison’s national executive.

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Tue 7 Oct 2008, 18:07 BST
Issue No. 2122
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