Unison vote may lead to Euro-style strike action
Unison vote may lead to Euro-style strike actionOn 24 Jun 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. The UK’s biggest union took a step closer to continental-style collectiveindustrial action, after its members voted in favour of changes to its nationalpolicy. Unison, which represents more than 1.3 million workers, overwhelminglypassed the amendments, which could lead to local government, NHS and teachingstaff striking simultaneously. The vote, at its annual conference in Brighton last week, means the union willnow be able to co-ordinate action across different parts of the public sector,with a more harmonised approach to pay bargaining and strike action. A Unison spokesperson said the motion would mean a more consistent andcoherent approach to agreements and industrial action. “It will ensure one sector doesn’t get left behind, but will also allowus to make the most of our broad base. If we weren’t getting any movement onpay claims in different sectors, we could then have action across them,”he said. Unison’s general secretary, Dave Prentis, warned the Government that it muststart to back public sector reforms with more investment, or face theconsequences. “If the local government pay commission is not funded, if the reformsin schools are not funded, if Agenda for Change is not funded, then we willtake strike action again,” he said. However, the union’s stance was criticised by the Chartered Institute ofPersonnel and Development for being too antagonistic and potentially damaging. Mike Emmott, the institute’s employee relations expert, said it raised thestakes and could cause serious divisions. “Assuming they get co-ordinatedaction, it would precipitate further gaps between the Government and theunions. “It’s born from a loss of patience and would be bad for the generalpublic and the unions because, as we saw in the fire dispute, no governmentwanting to be re-elected could back down,” he said. By Ross Wighamwww.unison.org.uk Comments are closed.