Analysing the unison action broad left manifesto

Before anyone says that the document is not produced by the hard left faction ‘unison action broad left left’, let’s just be clear, they have produced it.

This is a short analysis of the document that is accompanying the hard left faction’s slate. If you disagree with this analysis, I welcome your comments. I would also welcome any comments from the candidates themselves. I very much doubt they will. As they have been whipped not to respond to this blog for fear of being exposed.

The National Executive Council Elections are very important for the leadership of our union. Every 2 years, we the members elect the leaders of our union. The NEC works in a democratic way on the principles of collective responsibility and accountability. They are a diverse group who represent the entirety of our union and make major decisions through discussion, debate, consensus and democratic process. The NEC employ staff to assist in delivering its work program and maintain its structures, including operating within the rules and values of the union. The governance of the union is overseen by the NEC who are lay members just like you.

FOR A LEADERSHIP THAT LEADS

We need a serious national leadership for joined-up strike action against the government & employers.

The hard-left fact believe that the response to any issue must be strike action. Driven on by their SWP/Socialist party sponsors, their intent is to use industrial action, not to better the working conditions and pay of our members, but to politicise disputes with the aim of overthrowing the government. In these circumstances the views and needs of members will become a means to achieving this primary aim. They do not care about what happens to members or the issues that arise out of conflict. They are very often no where to be seen after a dispute or be involved in the work required in rebuilding good industrial relations.

What this statement actually means is that they want to remove the legal safeguards and protections afforded to members, so they can initiate strike action whenever and for whatever they want. The hard-left faction care nothing for the consequences, legal or otherwise. They choose to shout it down claiming that the union is undemocratic and blairite. Nothing could be further from the truth, the final say on strike action is always that of the members.

ACROSS THE SECTORS

We must support members in every sector – including the private and community sectors, fighting to win collective bargaining rights.

This is an attempt to gain votes from the private and community sectors. The suggestion that UNISON does not support them is ridiculous. Hard working activists in both of these sectors are fighting to gain agreements with employers supported by the union. Of course the hard-left faction’s approach is to use strike action to try and force employers to their will.

FOR UNITY

UNISON must take a high profile lead, alongside other trade unions in fighting racism, as well as working with organisations opposing racism and fascism. For an anti austerity message of jobs, homes and services – not racism.

This one somewhat misses the mark as well as being offensive in the suggestion that UNISON does not fight racism or have a high profile in the fight. Of all the trade unions, UNISON’s record on fighting racism and fascism is solid. UNISON does have many affiliations with anti racism groups such as Hope not Hate, an arrangement that goes back to their inception. Let’s not forget that the hard-left faction wants to put in a motion to prevent Hope not Hate from attending our conferences.

I am not quite sure because of the way it is written, that they aren’t saying that UNISON is not putting out messages of anti austerity, jobs homes and services and putting out racist messages. If this is the case, they should be ashamed of themselves. Let’s remember, they were content to share racist materials on their facebook page. They refused to remove this material, which is there to this day. They attacked Dave Prentis for showing leadership and taking action against anti-semitism. Check their social media output and you will find nothing that attacks anti-semitism.

They were repeatedly asked to give their position on anti-semitism, they never responded!

FOR A SOCIALIST, ANTI-AUSTERITY LABOUR PARTY

No more members’ money should go to support MPs/Councillors attacking Jeremy Corbyn. We must support any Councillors making a stand against cuts and call on Labour Councils to stand up against the cuts now.

The right to criticise the Labour leader or indeed any labour politician is the right of all Labour Party members where there is justification. To cut off support for people that share our values and provide a voice for us in parliament and local councils is naïve. It’s a bit “pot calling kettle” this one, given the amount of abuse they have given Dave Prentis and other officials of our union.

Labour Link have the responsibility to make decisions about financial support, which is actually limited in its operation. The fact the SWP/Socialist party members believe that they can dictate UNISON policy outside of rules beggars belief. The issues that surround Labour councils and austerity are very complicated and that is as much as I will say in this critique.

As far as I am aware, the Labour Party are a socialist anti austerity party, or am I mistaken? What they really mean is a SWP/Socialist party influenced Labour Party.

FOR A GENERAL ELECTION NOW!

We should be using our influence in the TUC for a national demonstration to kick this government out.

Anyone who believes that work is not being undertaken by UNISON through the TUC and Labour link does not know our union. UNISON and the TUC could call for a national demonstration, but in reality what would it achieve at this time? Time effort and resources would be better utilised in creating a credible alternative that is electable and supports UNISON’s aims and objectives.

Is having a demonstration really what is is important to UNISON members who are struggling with the cost of living, the threats to jobs and services and the uncertainty of Brexit?

FOR DEMOCRACY

Members and activists must have full transparent, democratic control over the union.

These elections are a transparent democratic process and members will make the decision on who represents them on the National Executive Council. The NEC has governance on all things which are moderated through the rules of the union and the agreed protocols and processes. What the hard-left faction mean by this is not actually about democracy or indeed transparency. What they want is to be able to ignore the rules, processes and procedures that do not fit their objectives. They want to overturn democratic decisions and scrap collective responsibility. Those that are currently on the NEC don’t even sit with the NEC. They prefer to be in a different room and not to engage fully with the democratic process. See my previous post  Upstairs Downstairs 

FOR FAIRER BRANCH FUNDING

Put the money where the work is!

The issue of funding is always going to be an issue as the resources of the union are not infinite. What they mean by putting the money where the work is; is linked to their attitude towards strike and funding of the SWP/Socialist party. There have been too many examples of monies being spirited away from branches preventing much needed work and functionality. There are strict rules surrounding the use of members money for good reason. Doubtless there will be much debate at National Delegate conference on this subject.

DEFEND THE RIGHT TO DISSENT!

Branches and members must have the right to campaign against national policy – including opposing pay deals – free from interference of unelected union officers.

This really does demonstrate their anti-democratic, anti-rules, separatist stance. One of their number was suspended from office and they perpetuated the myth that it was for speaking out against the Health pay deal. This turned out not to be true; the individual concerned was put under investigation because of their behaviour towards a member of staff. Sadly I don’t know the precise details, but is was sufficient to warrant an investigation. The matter has since been dealt with through the appropriate process. The decision to suspend the individual and the subsequent investigation was made by Lay officials of the NEC who have responsibility for these matters.

The NEC employs staff to undertake certain duties and on its behalf and work within the rules and direction of the NEC. All decisions are made by elected Lay officials. In the example given, the individual concerned appeared before a panel of elected Lay officials who made the decision based on the evidence presented under the a process of natural justice. Having heard the case, the decision was made to lift the suspension and as far as I am aware, no obvious sanction was imposed. Of course none of this was mentioned by the hard-left faction or on the individuals campaign facebook page. The hard-left faction continue to perpetuate the myth that their comrade was a victim of of over zealous paid officials.

Taking all of the above into account, what exactly is the relevance to ordinary subs paying members? Well not a lot really. As a member I want the people we elect to operate within the rules, support our union and most importantly support them when they need it. Unison action broad left work on an SWP/Socialist party agenda; they take a parochial view of the world based on their own agenda.

Reader, I ask you to seriously consider what a vote for anyone on their slate will mean for our union. We need strong voices to represent us and we need people who are interested in the issues that matter to us and that put our union first. It is perfectly ok for people to have different political view points but bring our union’s aims and values into those politics, not those political aims into our union.

The elections start on the 15th April 2019 and run until the 17th May, please choose wisely and continue to keep our union something to be proud of.

Thanks for reading.

G I Jayne

Nominations Nominations

You may be forgiven for not noticing that prospective NEC candidates are currently seeking nominations from Branches for the forthcoming NEC elections. The hard-left faction, although trying hard not to fly the unison action broad left flag, are fielding about 50 candidates, if the list they are peddling in their begging letters are to be believed. The most recent of these was circulated at the Black Members Conference.

The list of demands on the leaflet are somewhat confusing, because it looks like they are demanding it of themselves. But let’s be generous and look at each one.

We demand unison action against racism (obviously slotted in to appeal to Black Members) Difficult to understand exactly what they are demanding, as UNISON’s record on challenging racism is pretty solid. Interesting they make this demand, given the fact they allowed racist material to be displayed on their face book page. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

We demand unison action to save our jobs Presumably this is a call for more strikes, as they are clearly failing to recognise the hard work of branches, activists and officers. As a lot of those named are officers and stewards of branches, are they suggesting that they themselves are doing nothing? Well, they are probably not putting the work in were its needed. If your response to everything is strike, you are bound to miss other oportunities.

We demand unison action for decent pay This suggests that UNISON has done nothing on pay, the last time I looked UNISON members voted on pay deals. The hard-left faction do not respect the decisions of members who make democratic decisions. Don’t they trust members to do this? You would think not.

We demand tories out now and a general election Straight from the SWP playbook. This call can be heard at the paste tables of the SWP and Socialist party in most cities. Interesting that they are not demanding this of UNISON, in fact it is not clear who they are demanding it of?

Let’s have a look at some of the comments contained within a unison action broad left nomination request.

The way the nec works must change and It must reach decisions member’s want.

The union works in a democratic way, so by default not everyone is going to be satisfied, It is of course right and proper that democratic decisions are supported by all members of the NEC by virtue of collective responsibility, something the hard-left faction are not keen on.

Given that this individual prefers to segregate themself from the NEC by sitting in a different room, I think I may agree with this one; yes turn up and get involved!

Not content with continuing austerity, members in this region are being forced to work for no pay.

Now forgive me if I am wrong, but isn’t what is described here slavery? Wouldn’t you expect this individual to be reporting this to the police? At the very least you would expect them to do something about it it?

The rule  book states we  are a member led union. But are we? Or are we led by  unelected  paid officers, the  majority of whom are NOT unison.members. And what about the majority  of the  current nec? Can  they  really be  trusted to defend our  member’s.?

This is a long running claim by the hard-left faction that has no basis in fact whatsoever. It does emphasise their total ignorance of how the union works and given this individual has been a member of the NEC for a number of years, it clearly demonstraits that they have not been paying attention. Paid officers of the union are employees of UNISON, who are free to join a trade union. There are a number of trade unions recognised by unison who make up the staff side just like any progressive employer. Some of them are UNISON members mainly for reasons of solidarity. If UNISON did not employ people it would not be able to function.

Can the current NEC members be trusted? Well I don’t think I would be trusting this individual. I am sure that this sort of rhetoric is the cause of great offence to current NEC members who do work hard on behalf of the members.

There must be no more polical witch hunts. Both  branches and members must  have the  right to campaign against  national policy- including  opposing  pay deals – free from faceing  suspension and free from the interference of unelected  of paid officers.

Please read my previous blogs on this subject. To summarise, an individual is currently suspended from UNISON and is under investigation. The hard-left faction are claiming it is for speaking out against UNISON policy. The truth of the matter is that they don’t know what the person is suspended for or what the allegations amount to. They have mounted a campaign of support for a reason that is nothing more than fantasy. I am sure that the truth will leak out once ever the formal process has ended. UNISON has specific rules relating to the conduct of its members and where allegations of a breach of these rules are made, it has a duty to investigate. UNISON employs staff who are trained and able to conduct these investigations. The decision as to wether the allegations are upheld is made by lay officials.

The time has come for members to take control of thier union. Yes  there has been industrial action but these have been grass roots level action and only belatedly received national backing, what we need is an NEC that leads and not follows. No more letting branches  fight alone.

Another old chestnut this one with a touch of the Brexit missive. All industrial action must be approved by the National Industrial Action Committee, having been first approved by the Regional Secretary concerned. There has been industrial action and it has been supported by the wider union and the Regions concerned. If they believe that there has been no industrial action, they must have been living in a bubble.

As I have explained many times before, all industrial action has to abide by legislation to provide protection to both members and the union. The hard-left faction keep ignoring this vitally important point. What they mean by “fighting alone” is that they want secondary action which is unlawful.

What is meant by “an NEC that leads not follows” is beyond me, as to its meaning, perhaps someone could explain it?

Most of the requests that I have seen cover the same territory, some in a slightly different way and many are obviously cut and paste from the same template. The template has probably been penned by the shadowy characters who associate themselves with unison action broad left, obviously fuelled by the SWP/Socialist party.

Having been declared as an outside organisation, unison action broad left are struggling to leave their fingerprints off the campaign, however the cracks are forming. You don’t have to be a forensic genius to to see this.

My advice to you reader, would be to support anyone other than the people that appear on the list. If you care about the union and everything it does, don’t give these people a bigger foothold on your union. They claim they do not want to take over the union; the evidence proves that they do.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

 

 

 

PERCEPTION! a confusion of facts

Here we go again, the hard left faction making a mountain out of a molehill or rather a reality out of a perception. The latest lunacy from unison action broad left is a ridiculous attack on the perception many people have of trade unions and which are perpetuated by anti trade union politicians (otherwise known as the government).

So let’s be clear what we are talking about; the dictionary definition “perception”- the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted. The hard left faction definition “perception” – this is the truth, the reality, the actual facts.

What they are saying? This was posted on their twitter feed, “There is so much wrong with it. It denigrates battles fought by previous generations. It implies that militant struggle is only the property of men. It erases Grunwick. It ignores the current battles in Glasgow & Birmingham. It’s shameful”.

It would be so easy to insult their crass stupidity on this matter, but I will refrain; a bit… They actually prove the point of the caption in their comment. This is the “perception” P E R C E P T I O N… For crying out loud!

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Of course perception does not reflect the facts as it is based on assumption. Do a google search for NUPE strike and you will see many sisters involved in strike action, so I am surprised that they reference Grunwick (http://www.striking-women.org/module/striking-out/grunwick-dispute) and how “perception could erase a well reported documented dispute by Asian women. Also worth remembering that they lost the dispute, something the hard left faction claims as a success.

This is fact not perception. If the only pictures of strike are of the Miners Strike or Longbridge etc. Then your “perception” will be exactly as described. Of course the real reason for this faux outrage is to have another go at UNISON, their favourite target. They of course know best, they of course can run the union better. The Grunwick dispute ran for two years, can you imagine any public service workers taking sustained industrial action for that length of time? Also worth noting that the Grunwick strikes were not in any of UNISON’s partner unions.

As with all things, the hard-left faction’s ideology is rooted in the 1970’s when life was a little simpler economically for working people. The law enabled trade unions to act in a more militant way and to offer support in a very different way. The world has moved on and deindustrialisation, globalisation, technology and the nature of debt has changed communities for ever. The economic stresses and strains on modern workers is completely different.

I am told that a number of people that associate themselves with unison action are independently wealthy, so they would be able to survive the financial impact of industrial action far better than the people they encourage to fight their politically charged disputes.

As I have said before, I am not anti strike, it has its place and when used effectively can be successful. The hard left faction wants strikes all of the time, it is there first line of attack. Well let me tell you, I have been involved in organising industrial action, I have taken part in industrial action and the work involved does not finish when the dispute has ended. It can take a lot of effort, time and pain to rebuilt a relationship with you members and your employer. Funny how these people are never around to help with that heavy load. The move onto the next dispute so they can make themselves look good and massage their own egos. I have seen it many times, they just abandon the members and the activists.

The childlike affectation of unison action broad left is to be pitied, how sad it is that adults can behave in a way that is detrimental to our members and our union. Their SWP/Socialist party fuelled outdated fantasy politics is tired and impotent and best left in the 1970’s where it belongs. The absurd dick swinging and pissing contests is pathetic, they really need to grow up and put away their childish fantasies.

The piece in the UNISON activist magazine identifies that we need to wipe away the perceptions of what modern trade unionism is about. It seeks to encourage members to get involved and get active. It most certainly is not about reinforcing stereotypes or attacking disputes of the past. UNISON recognises that trade unionism has had to change, that our tools have had to be adapted to deal with 21st century situations. People have changed and so have their needs. This latest attempt to rubbish UNISON is most likely out of fear, because the hard left faction know its days are numbered.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

Shameless Showboating Exposed

The hard left-faction couldn’t make its mind up over the reasons for some strike action over the weekend. The attempts to build a molehill into a mountain were sadly scuppered by an informed user.

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This was posted on Saturday (17th November 2018 23:59) Which clearly informs the the reader that members in the branch have voted YES for strike by 74% in a consultative ballot, which apparently is a record turnout over proposals to move from 4 weekly pay to monthly pay. “Members have had enough” it goes on to say.

It’s not exactly clear what members have had enough of though? Have they had enough of being paid? have they had enough of being used as pawns to satisfy the ego of the person posting the information?

A conversation ensued… The below was posted in response.

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PH2_LI (2)

So we see the usual defensive mechanism at play here, that someone who points out the obvious flaws is branded an anti-trade union, tool of the bosses. Interesting that they say members understand the issues as they clearly don’t. Perhaps it would have been helpful if they had spoken to the members rather than at them. Our conversation continues…

PH3_LI

The person responding points out the flaws in the argument and the absolute absurdity of resisting something that virtually every worker in the UK experiences. They also take the time to point out how keeping a 4 weekly pay structure will be damaging to workers on universal credit. They also point out that efforts would be best put into negotiating transition arrangements, rather than trying to get them to strike.

Well it didn’t end well for our strikemonger, they were clearly outgunned intellectually and therefore had to withdraw by removing the conversation, probably fearing that their members may read it and realise that they had been duped.

Sometime later, the post was amended…

 

PH1_LI - Copy (2)

As you can see by the amended post, the reason for the ballot has changed to be dismissal and re-engagement notices being issued. Now I don’t know about you? but this seems a little disingenuous. If the employer was going to dismiss its workforce, you would have expected a little more noise over it. Words such as “sacking the workforce” would have been used, which is very valid reason for going on strike. It is of course doubtful that there would need to be dismissals as a consequence of changing pay frequency, as it would not be seen as a significant change to the contract. From the employer’s perspective, the administration and legal challenges would not be worth the trouble of dismissal.

There is clearly something not quite right about all this and having been found out the person decided to delete the conversation. Creating a dispute for the sake of it is a despicable thing to do. To do it so you look good and to feed your own ego is also reprehensible. Effort should be in supporting members and resolving issues, not the pursuit of self aggrandisement. You have been caught out and your subterfuge exposed, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Make up your own mind reader, this is just one example of many that shows the hard-left faction for what they are; egotists and charlatans.

Thanks for reading

GI Jayne

 

 

 

HE Ballot and the Disability fail

The hard left faction have not given the energy of a single comment on the Disabled members conference. UNISON’s Disabled members came together this weekend to discuss important issues affecting disabled people who work in public services and the issues of how Disabled people are treated by the Tory government and in wider society. These issues affect us all and the treatment of Disabled people is of vital significance to us all. It is shocking that these people can’t even acknowledge that we have Disabled members, they are a disgrace to UNISON.

I am reliably informed that people that associate themselves closely with the hard left faction were more interested in selling the rape apologist SWP news papers outside the venue. There was no unison action broad left fringe meeting as they obviously have no interest in the issues affecting Disabled people. Obviously there is no glory in it!

The results of the HE ballot have been published by the hard left faction. Unfortunately the turn out is reported as 31% turnout with 62% voting yes to industrial action. Under the new legislation introduced the Tories, this means that industrial action will not take place because it has failed to meet the threshold of a 50% turnout.

Well it will come as no surprise that the hard left faction are blaming UNISON. They are saying that the left needs to debate it an push the union into not making the same tactical errors next time. Well maybe just maybe, the members do not want to take industrial action given the low turnout.

UNISON has spent thousands of pounds publicising the ballot and encouraging members to support industrial action. No one can accuse UNISON of not supporting the ballot, except of course the hard left faction. They really are a one trick phoney shambles.

Thanks for reading.

Glasgow Women’s Strike

First, I would like to say how proud I am of our sisters taking strike action for equal pay in Glasgow, this is indeed an historic event. Their bravery and fortitude will send a powerful message to all employers who seek to treat women lest favorably than men.

Looking at the hard left faction’s Facebook page, I had to do a double take when I read the comments from one of their prolific posters. They explain how incredibly excited they are by the action and how the women are ripping up the rule book that the unions have used to control us for the last thirty years. Of course, in the rapture of their excitement and never missing an opportunity to bash UNISON, our hero lays their ignorance bare for all to see.

This action is a legitimate trade dispute supported and backed by the unions concerned. The action has been taken within the confines of current legislation and is nothing to do with disregarding the union’s rules, which of course conform the prevailing legislation. The semi autoerotic pleasure displayed is an expression of a delusion fantasy.

Conversely, a comment on this post makes the claim that the union’s support was only given from fear of litigation.  This of course is utter nonsense.

We also see the comments of one of the shady characters who associates themselves with the hard left faction, making claims that the action was masterminded by a socialist party member who is a unison action sympathiser.

These hard left fantasists would latch themselves onto any successful action to feed their own mania and self-aggrandisement. These egotists would have you believe that they are responsible and that the union does nothing to support and fight for its members. The evidence would strongly suggest otherwise. They seek to scab off the backs of our women for their own aims. This enrages me as it should you.

I wish my sisters in Glasgow every success and I thank them for their courage and fortitude and most of all, for making a stand for Women’s equality, not just for themselves but for us all.

Thanks for reading.

GI Jayne

Upstairs Downstairs

Well this certainly was a revelation; I had no idea that the majority of those NEC members who align themselves with the hard left faction, don’t even meet in the same room as the NEC. They choose to inhabit a room on one of the lower floors. Even though provision is made for them to join the NEC; they just choose not to. They claim to be showing solidarity with another member who has medical issues. It seems very odd that 15-20 of your NEC members don’t even engage at probably one of UNISON’s most important meetings. They are mic’d up to the chamber so they can take part and I am told that the start of the meeting usually involves a cacophony of noise and claims that the tech isn’t working, for the purpose of causing disruption.

It seems absurd that people who have been elected to represent members behave in this way; self segregating so they don’t have to take part fully with the NEC. UNISON members would do well to remember this in the forthcoming NEC elections. One would expect that a commitment to fully engage with the NEC would be mandatory if not an obligation.

There was a presentation on recruitment for the forthcoming Grovember initiative. The faction asked about servicing members who work for private contractors, suggesting that unison probably shouldn’t recruit them unless they are serviced by the centre. The response from Dave Pentis was that it would have been sorted if the review motion had been passed at National Delegate Conference. Hmmmm, wonder who was responsible for bringing that down?

A discussion followed on direct debit subscriptions, with a faction member claiming that a number of members don’t have bank accounts. This may be true, but you have to wonder how they get paid. It was clear that they were angling for direct cash collection, for reasons we can only speculate on.

Of course the NHS pay deal came up. As you will recall reader, I have reported on this previously and outlined the hard left faction’s plan to undermine it by making claims that UNISON mislead members on the deal. This is categorically untrue! This of course cannot be said of the RCN who recently issued an apology to their members for misleading them. The faction have tried to lump UNISON with the RCN on this matter, but the evidence and ballot result tell a very different story.

Using RCN issue to whip up trouble when our members made a democratic decision on the offer is unacceptable.

It was reported that the NHS pay deal had brought thousands of staff within the living wage threshold, which is a good news story. Not seen the hard left faction celebrating this achievement and I doubt we ever will.

Another previous reported issue was discussed, that of the Dave Prentis article in the New Statesman regarding UNISON’s Labour Link decision to support the IHRA definition on anti semitism. As you will all know, the definition has now been re-adopted by the Labour Party after much furore. The President made it clear that the business of Labour Link was not for discussion at the NEC as not all NEC members are levy payers or members of the Labour Party. The point was made that if people wanted to be part of the debate they should join the party.

Dave Prentis explained that he had written the article in the New Statesman in a personal capacity. He had been referred to as the General Secretary of UNISON because that’s who he is. A faction member said that they had not received a response to the letter they had written to Prentis on the article. It transpires that Prentis had responded on the 23rd August. Strangely enough, an apology from the faction member was not forthcoming. I not that the individual has put the response on the hard left factions facebook page. Of course they had neglected to to supply the full facts or offer an apology.

Dave Prentis pointed out that he had said nothing different than others had said. UNISON has adopted a policy on anti semitism not the IHRA. The IHRA definition was Labour policy in 2016 and it does not impinge on the work of the union with regards to Palestine. UNISON continues to work with trade unions in Palestine. UNISON’s policy is and has always bee a two state solution. He said go back to conference if you want to change it. He is proud of the fact that UNISON came out against anti semitism, it is blight of the party. We need a labour government and that is what we should be focusing on. The NEC had agreed at a previous meeting that anti semitism is racism and therefore they would denounce it. This was a unanimous decision.

The faction want to discuss the general Secretary election of 2016, particularly on the Certification Officer report. The president gave his commitment that the report would come to NEC, but all processes have not been completed and the matter can”t discussed until process is done. This is a matter that has troubled no one outside of the unison action camp. It is quite clear that they want the opportunity to bully and make accusations against staff and lay leaders. This for all intents and purposes is a dead issue. The world has moved on considerably and it certainly is not an issue that is of any importance to UNISON members, not that it ever was.

If you are having trouble sleeping, I suggest you look it up, it’s freely available online. Quite interesting that those who are named from the faction in the document don’t exactly come out smelling of roses. These observations will no doubt be ignored.

I have never understood why they are so keen to beat up our union and make claims that it is corrupt in some way; that certainly is not the case. Spending valuable time on this kind of incessant navel gazing is pointless and prevents the union from getting on with work that actually makes a difference. I suppose if you are self obsessed, you may not want to move the spotlight.

My contact told me that a lot of these arguments are brought up over and over again, and valuable time is wasted by this perpetual hate of our union. The hard left faction claim that UNISON is not a fighting union; apparently a number of branches taking industrial action were discussed at the meeting. Interesting to note that most of them were branches that don’t associate with the faction.

Sounds like NEC meeting are somewhat convoluted due to the constant time wasting of the hard left faction. Is this really what we want from our leadership? Remember! Unison action broad left is brought to you by the same people who created militant (now the Socialist party). We all know how that ended.

Thanks for reading.

What they Stand for; the Truth

What do the hard left faction stand for? Let’s have a look at their statement “what we stand for”.

A meeting was convened to discuss the lack of effective leadership throughout UNISON at National level in most union structures.

Leadership throughout the National union has been determined by democratic process, members have decided by voting who represents them at a national level, not the SWP/Socialist Party. Chairs and Vice Chairs are elected by National Committees again through democratic process, not the SWP/Socialist Party.

UNISON is meant to be a lay led union but currently the majority of the NEC, most service group national committees and the national Labour Link Committee are dominated by the internal aims of some national officers rather than led to the needs of UNISON members.

This is SWP/Socialist Party propaganda, those lay members who were elected by the members make the decisions on the National Committees within the rules of the union, paid officers of the union are employed to provide support and to undertake work as determined by the lay officials that make up the committees. All decisions are made through democratic process, paid officials do not have a vote.

This lack of effective leadership is one of the central factors behind the inability of the union to seriously challenge the continued destruction of our public services, the cut in our real earnings of over 25 % in the last 8 years and the escalating attacks on our pensions.

Again, SWP/Socialist Party propaganda. UNISON have battled hard against austerity within the confines of the law. The only way to defeat austerity is to win at the ballot box in a general election. The Socialist Party and SWP decided to put candidates under the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) banner, a pointless endeavour with most if not all candidates getting less votes that the Monster Raving Looney Party.

If we were to believe this propaganda, it would mean that UNISON has done nothing at all in fighting austerity; this of course is total nonsense. It would mean that hard working branches and activists have sat on their hands and supported the cuts, you all know that this is not the case. What the hard left faction mean, is that UNISON has not called for General Strike or supported the SWP/Socialist Party agenda. Their attitude is offensive and insulting to every activist in UNISON who work tirelessly to support their members and fight austerity.

Yet even where members voted for action on pay and pensions that action was undermined by prevarication, delay and the overwhelming desire of officers, supported by the majority of the national leadership of our union, to end the disputes at the earliest opportunity rather than seek real improvements for lay members.

More insulting words that do not reflect the truth. UNISON members voted on acceptance of pay offers, the majority of members did not want to take industrial action over pay and that is their decision to make. What the hard left faction conveniently fail to highlight, is that members are consulted throughout pay consultation and it is the members that make the decisions. The special conference that was held over Local Government Pay was a farce; it amounted to nothing more that the usual suspects bullying UNISON staff and senior lay officials. The cost of the conference could actually been better spent in fighting austerity rather than supporting the vanity of unison action.

That lack of real leadership has cost our members dear.

The ridiculous behaviour of the hard left faction has cost us dear, is the truth of the matter. How dare they accuse democratically elected members of not providing leadership; this coming from a group of people who dare not fart without the say so of their SWP/Socialist Party masters.

Activists who seek to challenge this position are increasingly threatened with individual disciplinary action to silence them and warn off others.

Anyone who breaks the rules of the union may be subject to disciplinary process as a result, the suggestion that threats are made to those that follow the mantra of the hard left faction is untrue, if this were the case, most of them would have been expelled from the union some time ago. UNISON operates under collective responsibility, but the hard left faction do not support democratic process or collective responsibility if it does not suit their aims.

Our UNISON democracy is circumvented in some ways and grossly abused in other instances. UNISONaction Broad Left believes this situation cannot continue and the union needs to be cleaned up.

This is rich coming from people who don’t actually support democracy or collective responsibility. What is really telling, is that they offer no examples to support this claim. The suggestion is that the union is corrupt and that democratically elected officials and paid members of staff need to be expelled to make way for their SWP/Socialist Party pals. We have heard this language a thousand times, such as Trump’s “drain the swamp” mantra, used to vilify any opposition.

To do that means electing an alternative leadership throughout our structures. UNISONaction Broad Left is composed of a wide range of activists of different views on some issues but who are working together to bring about positive change in our union to benefit our members.

Here we get to meat of their aims, their reason for existence; quite simply they want to take over the union. They seek to usher in their own people, backed by the SWP/Socialist Party so they can use the resources of the union. They have long tried to break the link with the Labour Party, calling for more diverse use of the political funds, well I think we all know what that means!

Wherever possible UNISONaction Broad Left will seek to get agreed candidates to stand for all national lay posts in future with the aim of electing a new national lay leadership to bring about the changes needed.

So who will agree the candidates? You? Me? The members? No; they will carefully select the people they believe best serve their aims. It would be interesting to know how many candidates on their slate are either members of the SWP/Socialist Party or associated with them. Probably worth asking that question if they contact you. What are the changes needed? They don’t tell you reader, because they know you would not support them.

If UNISON is to even try and fight to represent our members interests there is no option but to change our national leadership who year after year have failed our members.

This is an insult to hard working activists and officials who battle every day in support of UNISON members. I have seen strikes, campaigns and successes through the political funds over the last eight years. I have seen dedicated members and staff fighting on the frontlines against this government and its ideological austerity. UNISON members and activists deserve better than the hard left faction political throwbacks who choose to ignore the successes that the great union that is UNISON have achieved.

Do not be fooled by these shysters who attack the very fabric of your union, they will not support UNISON’s members, they will not work in a democratic way. They are no better than the drunk who hurls abuse at passers by as they drown in their own intoxication and inadequacy. To give this faction oxygen is to deny our union breath. They are about themselves and their masters not our members or our values.

Thanks for reading.

UNISON Faction Inaction

UNISON members often find themselves at the forefront of major events, being first responders when communities are under attack. Our paramedics, Nurses, Police Civilians, PCSOs, Council Workers to name but a few put those in peril before themselves. Many UNISON members were directly involved in the terror Attacks, such as the Manchester Arena bombing, the attacks on Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. These members were dealing with victims, victims families and the aftermath of the atrocities. The UNISON members involved showed courage and determination in providing services to the public in the worst of situations. All these members are worthy of our thanks and admiration for working beyond the call of duty.

I know that many UNISON Branches gave thanks to their members for doing such a good job, reflecting the gratitude of the public and authorities alike, and quite right too. What annoys me intensely, is that the hard left faction did not even acknowledge one single member, or acknowledge that anything had happened. No messages of support, no messages of thanks and definitely no messages of solidarity.

Being a public service worker can be a very difficult job, working in areas that the others would shy away from. I for one believe that UNISON members are brilliant and mean so much more to us than fodder for strike action in support of an SWP/Socialist Party political agenda. UNISON members deserve our respect, acknowledgment and our support. The hard left faction want to take over UNISON and turn it into what they call a fighting union; they don’t have an ounce or respect for UNISON members or the work they do, they are a single issue pressure group backed by the SWP and the Socialist Party. If we allow them to get a grip on UNISON, you will see it collapse and members much needed support will be eroded in favour of their political agenda. Shame on them and their political masters.

I say thank you to UNISON members and all the work you do on our behalf, I notice you, I acknowledge you, I believe in you and I am proud of you,

Thanks for reading.

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