Welcome to Conference from UNISON Scotland
Convener Lilian Macer
by organising in the workplaces will we continue to
deliver for our members, therefore we need to double
our efforts around organising, building our union
in size and strength.’
This year we will host UNISON's 22nd National
Delegate Conference in Glasgow and I would like to like
to extend a very special welcome to our first time delegates
and visitors to conference.
Since we met last year in Brighton our agenda
has been extremely busy and our commitment to achieving
the best possible outcomes for our members has produced
In September 2014 we saw the Scottish population
decide that Scotland's future would be to remain within
Our role was to ensure that the debate about
Scotland’s constitutional future delivered concrete
benefits for working people and that the services we deliver
were at the heart of the debate.
The extent of our engagement amongst our
members was reflected in what we have seen across the
country, with quality public services being the key issue
for the people of Scotland.
The referendum campaign saw political conversations
taking place throughout our communities. The turnout alone,
at 84% the highest for any election in over 60 years,
tells you how seriously voters took their responsibility.
It is a truly humbling experience to see the power of
democracy at times like this.
The UNISON Scotland priority remains the
same, with the type of society we want to live in, a fairer
Scotland, protecting our members and the public services
In our submission to the Smith Commission
we outlined how extended devolution could be delivered
with greater control over fiscal and other powers.
In this debate we should always remember
that we seek greater devolved powers for the purpose of
improving people's lives.
One of the strengths of devolution is that other parts
of the UK can learn from the success and failures of different
Our message is that high quality public
services are affordable and can be funded through fair
taxation; this is the basis for decent services provided
by properly rewarded staff and is the key to achieving
our social objectives.
Whilst the 2008 financial crisis created
the economic world in which we now find ourselves, the
outcome of the General Election in May returning a majority
Tory Government to Westminster will see our worst fears
delivered, dramatic cuts in public spending that will
have a disastrous impact on communities in Scotland.
UNISON Scotland played a significant part
in delivering the Working Together Review in Scotland.
The Review Group identifies a shared ambition
to embed progressive workplace practices for the benefit
of working people and to deliver high-quality jobs and
a more equitable society.
As a consequence of the review we have seen
the establishment of the Fair Work Convention which will
be a stakeholder body providing leadership on Scottish
industrial relations, and will promote the principles
behind fair work, promoting decent work and dignified
lives for working people.
Our 'Worth It' campaign on pay remains a
priority across all sectors in Scotland. Its aim is to
raise the profile of pay within the membership, the wider
public, and to find a new way of talking to people about
the impact of the continued pay injustice, making pay
Only by organising in the workplaces will
we continue to deliver for our members, therefore we need
to double our efforts around organising, building our
union in size and strength, a strong voice for working
people delivering high quality public services day in
and day out.
Glasgow NDC is the right place to be and
I look forward to seeing you and importantly hearing you
in the debates and focused discussions over the week of
National Delegate Conference.
UNISON Scotland Convener