In Scotland, the chances of coordinated strikes across the public sector have taken a significant step forward.
Delegates to the Unison union’s Scottish council last Saturday voted unanimously for a one-day public sector strike across Scotland in early 2011.
This was supported by the Scottish leadership of the union.
A delegate from Edinburgh City Unison said the unions in Scotland should strike in February when councils set their budgets.
There are arguments in the union about which way forward.
The day before, Unison’s Scottish leadership had suggested a “social contract” with local councils and the Scottish government in an attempt to secure a “no compulsory redundancy” agreement. And a poor £250 flat rate pay claim is also being recommended to branches.
But a “social contract” would mean bargaining away our terms and conditions.
Dave Prentis, Unison’s general secretary, said the union was establishing a £10 million fighting fund.
He argued that, “we are the one big union that can lead the charge”.
Speakers from the floor pressed Prentis to use the TUC’s 26 March demonstration as a springboard for a general strike across Britain.
Scottish Unison also agreed to urge councils to pass “needs” budgets that maintain services, rather than cuts budgets.
The motion supporting this was carried despite the opposition of the Scottish committee.