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National Delegate Conference Glasgow 16-19 June 2015

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Welcome to Conference from UNISON Scotland Convener Lilian Macer

Lilian Macer
'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.’

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 positive results.

In September 2014 we saw the Scottish population decide that Scotland's future would be to remain within the UK.

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 we deliver.

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 approaches.

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 about people.

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.

Lilian Macer
UNISON Scotland Convener








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Essential cover
Scotland Delegates' booklet