UNISON: Fight all Cuts, Not just Tory ones!
27th April 2013
Well, UNISON's 'U' magazine didn't print my letter, which lends support to one of the points I made in it - that cuts made by the Welsh Government are played down within the union just because the Welsh government is Labour. In fact, in an article in the last edition of the magazine, which prompted my letter, we were told that the Welsh Government protects our members from the worst of the Con-Dem public sector cuts.
That doesn't fit the experiences of many of our members. The Welsh Government has total responsibility for Health & Education in Wales. In the former we are seeing deep, deep cuts. In the latter, the Welsh Government's current White Paper for its FE/HE Bill, among other things, seriously risks exposing Welsh Further Education to privatisation by granting FE corporations powers to disolve themselves and transfer their assets to limited companies.
The picture for our members working for Labour Councils isn't any better. Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taff were enthusiastic pioneers of the tactic of using the threat of 188 notices to drive down our members' terms and conditions. In Neath Port Talbot there is another local, across the board, absolute pay cut to set against the below-inflation national rise.
It is a serious error for UNISON to not come out boldly fighting against Welsh Government and Welsh Labour councils' cuts. How can we hope to recruit new members from workers facing cuts if we tell them that they are protected? I want to see my union fighting all cuts, regardless of who's making them. This is why I'm voting for Socialist Party and other 'Reclaim the Union' candidates in UNISON's NEC elections.
Ronnie Job, UNISON member