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Date Tue 21 June 2011

UNISON President tells conference 'Now it is time to fight'

UNISON President, Angela Lynes, from Glasgow, called on delegates to join together to fight the cuts during her speech to the union’s national delegate conference today (21 June).

The admin officer, who works for Glasgow City Council, warned that public sector workers are taking hits from all angles by the Government’s cuts agenda and that the economy will struggle to recover.

Angela Lynes said:
“Our activists are giving huge amounts of their time and energy over to defending our members at their hour of need and working to halt the destruction of public services.

“On a deadly serious note, the attacks on our members have been unprecedented, both in their intensity and in their number.

“We are under assault on a number of fronts. On pensions, the Government is determined to hit us with a triple whammy - they want us to pay more, work longer and then get less when we retire.

“The economy is being dragged back towards recession by a chancellor, who refuses to accept the need for a Plan B, despite all the evidence that Plan A is not working.

“There is a refusal to listen to the pain experienced by our sisters and brothers in Greece, Portugal and Ireland, where austerity has simply driven the economy into an ever-deeper crisis.

“Instead, growth has stalled and is even stopping the Government from hitting its own deficit targets.

"Counter-productive, self-defeating and wrong - and the effect is felt every day by real people. Unemployment is huge, homelessness is on the rise and spiralling inflation has meant that the poorest are once again the hardest hit.

"But it doesn’t stop there. One of the ways the Government thinks it can save cash is by parcelling as many of our services off to the private sector as possible.

“Last year at conference I said that our mantra should be, ‘never show your fear, always show your fight’. Well, this year the fear is evident - now it is time to fight.”


Notes to editors

1. Reports from UNISON's National Delegate Conference taking place in Manchester from 21-24 June 2011 can be found here:

2. UNISON’s Public Works campaign highlights the excellent value for money that quality public services deliver. Prosperity and sustainability depends on further investment in the public sector, supporting recovery from the economic crisis, not targeting cuts at those who did not cause the crisis. For more information on our campaign to protect public services, visit www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks