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National Delegate Conference 17-20 June 2008

Funding formula agreed to fight for equal pay

by Kate Ramsden

Chris Stephens
Chris Stephens
Fiona Smith
Fiona Smith

Conference threw its weight behind Glasgow City's proposals for funding the challenge of securing equal pay for all our members and reaffirmed this as one of the union's founding principles.

In a closed session, conference debated the principles and the practicalities of meeting the substantial costs to UNISON. It agreed a formula for funding which ensures that all branches play their part and held to Glasgow's proposals to support less well off branches on a case by case basis.

Chris Stephens from Glasgow City Branch told SiU that Glasgow City had employed a three pronged attack to fighting for equal pay: negotiation, litigation and industrial action.

He thanked all the branches from all sections of the union who supported their action. "This inspired members to carry on and win the dispute," he said. "Our funding formula is geared to be universal; to protect branches, to support branches, especially the smaller ones and to ensure continued funding.

"It will be a long road and we will need patience. Let's leave this conference with a clear decision and a clear mandate so that we can go back to our branches with confidence." Fiona Smith, Scottish NEC member, commented that the NEC was happy to increase its allocation to £4.5 million. However, she warned that this does not overtake the need for branches to contribute.

"It is only through a collective approach from UNISON that we can resource the challenge that we face in securing equal pay for our members."

Supporting this move, Fiona said it should be in the knowledge that, rather than replacing the branch contribution, it will instead see our equal pay fund growing strong to support the vital work of branches, activists and officers.