Socialist Worker

After N30 unions discuss the way forward

Issue No. 2283

There is a debate across the trade unions that joined the magnificent strike on 30 November about where the struggle goes next.

Many have held meetings of their executive committees to assess the action and make plans for the next steps.

Socialist Worker is arguing for a speedy escalation of the strikes early in the new year and for a fight to bring more unions on board.

Here are some reports from national executive members on where some of the major unions stand.


Unison

Everyone is buoyed up by the success of the action on 30 November.

Now we are seen as a union that stands up and defends its members. Recruitment figures in October 2011 were the best for ten years—and November 2011 was the best ever.

The union will remain in negotiations with the government. But at the same time there will be discussions at meetings throughout the union over the next four weeks about what action we take if the government doesn’t shift.

The executive also agreed that no one sector should settle separately after the government tried to put a separate offer to health workers (see right). This was rejected as being divisive.

We also agreed the importance of organising a fight for decent pay alongside the pensions.

Karen Reissmann


PCS

N30 was the largest strike turnout yet for the PCS.

PCS will be urging other unions to join in further mass joint action as soon as possible in the new year.

This decision was unanimous, as was the feeling that it would be a mistake for the TUC to postpone consideration and organisation of follow-up action into spring.

We also agreed that we should make renewed efforts at forging unity with private sector workers such as those at Unilever (see above).

Andy Reid


Unite

Everyone is proud of the role of the union in the strike on 30 November. This is seen as a great opportunity to recruit a whole new layer of activists into the union.

We are committed to further coordinated action, and want to make sure we involve both private and public sector. People are clear that we should not have different unions accepting scheme by scheme settlements.

We issued a statement calling for “a strategic plan to escalate the action to win decent pensions for all”.

Sara Bennett


NUT

We go into 2012 committed to seeking a further day of national joint-union strikes as early as possible.

We have agreed to call on the TUC to call a further day of action early in the new year—and to draw up plans for a national demonstration.

Nick Grant


UCU

We unanimously voted to call for a one-day national, coordinated strike “as early as possible in the spring term”.

It called for this to be “immediately followed by coordinated regional action” and to end with a “48-hour nationally coordinated strike”.

Sean Vernell

All reports are in a personal capacity


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