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There is an alternative. UNISON Strategy Conference A better way for public services
Glasgow, Saturday 4 Sep

Dave Prentis
Dave Prentis addresses the conference
Strategy Conference 4 Sepl in Glasgow - A5 flyer

We've got the argument. We've got the alternatives. We've got the vision - get out and organise for it

There is an alternative to savage cuts in public services is the message today from a strategy meeting of unions and community groups hosted by UNISON Scotland.

The 270 delegates united behind a call from Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, to build "Our vision of a good society. A society based on fairness, solidarity, and democracy. A society in which public services are there to enable everyone to participate.

"This vision, and these values, have always been fundamental to our ethos as a union. Because it's what our members try to turn into reality every day when they go to work.

"So let's not be fooled by the scaremongering about the debt", said Dave. "And let's not fall for the lie that that this society can't afford decent public services. The money is there in our economy, if we want to raise it and put it to good use. But this government doesn't want you to realise that.

"Not because half of the cabinet are millionaires who don't want to pay their share…although half of the cabinet are millionaires who don't want to pay their share.

"It's because of an ideology. An ideology that hates public services. An ideology that loves privatisation. An ideology that sees public service employment - millions of people caring and helping and educating - not as an achievement to be celebrated - but as a problem to be tackled."

Underlining the point, the STUC's Stephen Boyd exploded the myths about the crisis, blow by blow. The STUC's new 'There is a Better Way' campaign (http://www.thereisabetterway.org) is a crucial resource for showing not only that the cuts are ideologically rather than financial driven - but also how they will hinder a recovery and possibly throw us into a further recession.

But this meeting was not just a talking shop. It was there as the first step in a series of events as participants moved into workshops to develop practical plans to campaign forward.

Nobody underestimated the task. As Dave Prentis told UNISON's National Conference in June, "the next four years will test us all. Test our resolve. Test our nerve. But we will pass the test. The world has changed - new worries, new fears. And our members look to us to lead. This is no time to hang our heads. It is time to stand tall."

He returned to that theme in Glasgow "We've got the argument. We've got the alternatives. We've got the vision. What we need to do is get out there and organise for it".


Click here to view or download PDF of Strategy Conference flyer

Thanks to all who have registered
Registration has now ended.

Strategy conference
Saturday 4 September 11am-3.30pm
Thistle Hotel, Cambridge St, Glasgow

Key speakers
Dave Prentis UNISON
Stephen Boyd STUC


Trade union & community campaigns
* Workshops
* Discussion
* Action planning



There will be 10 workshop sessions during the conference. These are not sector specific - although they will each be kicked off by presentations from individual campaigns, as examples of good practice, the workshops will aim to look at issues in the round.


Workshop 1 “We’re all in this together” – Working with users to defend services

The most important people in any debate about Public Servces are the people who use them. This workshop will look at ways that we can work jointly with service users to maintain and improve services.

Workshop 2 Stronger together - Building alliances to protect services and jobs

UNISON is just one organisation among many that wants to see public services protected. This workshop will look at how we can work with other Trade Unions and community groups to campaign jointly for services..


Workshop 3 War by other means – Political lobbying and campaigning for services and jobs

Politicians make decisions. This workshop will examine how do we best persuade them to protect public services and how we can make our concerns relevant to decision makers.


Workshop 4 PUBLIC WORKS – tackling Con Dem ideas

The ConDem Government runs a lot of propaganda, about how public services can’t be afforded, are of poor quality and overstaffed with workers being paid far more than their worth.This workshop will look at how we tackle these ideas and get across the message that Public Works.


Workshop 5 Fair funding for service providers

How do we ensure that the voluntary sector is properly funded to provide quality services. How do we stop the sector being used simply as a step on the road to privatisation?


Workshop 6 Shared services - Silver bullet or Slippery Slope?

Shared services are often touted as the way to get more value for money out of public services. But is ramming together disparate services really the solution?


Workshop 7 Reform - but not as we know it - Making reform and service redesign work for members and users.

The term ‘reform’ is often code for cutting back ofr privatisation . But it doesn’t have to be that way. This workshop will examine how and why we can use reform to generate real value for money - improving services and jobs along the way.


Workshop 8 Jobs, Money, Climate Change

How can we, save energy, save jobs and the planet? UNISON has strong green workplace policies and the new Climate Change Duty for Public Bodies takes effect from January. This workshop will discuss how we can make environmental action central to delivering services.


Workshop 9 From the Cradle to the Grave – what sort of services do we want?

How do we ensure that public services are for everyone, not just a safety net for the vulnerable. The current attack on public services is aimed at ‘shrinking the state’ by reducing the scope of public services. How do we ensure that services are for everyone , not just a safety net?


Workshop 10 Providers are people too…

Services can’t be provided without workers – and workers in public services deserve to be treated fairly and paid properly. With politicians intent on cutting services how do we keep the other issues of social justice - wage levels people can live on - and equal pay, on the agenda.

Thanks to all who have registered
Registration has now ended.

More info
Check the UNISON Scotland blog http://unison-scotland.blogspot.com for more details.

Contact your branch, or get in touch with us at UNISON Scotland 0845 355 0845 if you need more information, including transport details.


Map and details

View 4 Sep 2010 Strategy Conference Glasgow in a larger map

(opens in a new window)

Thistle Hotel (blue marker) is located on corner of Cambridge Street and Renfrew Street, just behind Marks & Spencer's Sauchiehall Street store.

It is handy for Cowcaddens subway station, and only about 3 blocks to the west of Buchanan Bus Station. Queen Street and Central railway stations are within 10-15 mins walking distance. There is a public multi-storey car park next to the hotel, on Cambridge Street.

For more information on the Thistle Hotel, click here (hotel website opens in new page)




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