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STUC 2009

Jane  Carolan
Matt Smith

Mike Kirby

Alex Salmond


Reports on all the main UNISON speakers at the STUC (20-22 April) will also appear in Scotland inUNISON's May issue. These reports cover the UNISON speakers and issues - for an overview of the Congress go to the STUC website

Wed 22 April 2009

Euro candidates must restore working people’s rights “Unless we defend our rights we will end up in a Europe in which capital roams free and where labour is cheap, plentiful and unprotected – neo liberalism writ large", says Jane Carolan, launching UNISON Scotland's Euro election manifesto.

Level workers' pensions up - not down "It is a disgrace that anyone should be left to face poverty after a lifetime's work", declared Catriona Beveridge , calling for every worker to have access to a fair and decent pension scheme.

Workplace learning should be there for all "UNISON believes in equal opportunities for all to access lifelong learning which leads to a more informed, educated and upskilled workforce", said Jim Burnett.

Make the 'two ticks' scheme work for disabled people Julia McIlhatton calls for an external awarding body to place the attainment of the 'two ticks' symbol at the same level as other quality standards.

Israel boycott to bring justice to Palestinians Delegates were profoundly moved by a film of an STUC delegation’s visit to Palestine and Israel, which showed clearly the human rights abuses experienced on a daily basis by Palestinian men, women and children, by the actions of an occupying Israeli government.

Fringe meeting calls for boycott of Israeli goods, disinvestment and sanctions A packed UNISON STUC fringe meeting heard a range of Palestinian speakers call on the Scottish Trade Unionmovement to support boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) on the Israeli state.

Human rights call for Gypsy Travellers Delegates heard of the harassment and prejudice experienced on a daily basis by Scottish Gypsy Travellers and pledged to support the work of the Scottish Gypsy Traveller and Law Reform Coalition who are looking to set up an advocacy and advice service for the community in Scotland.

Peoples' Charter - campaigning tool or sloganising? But UNISON had backed the charter, with Mike Kirby asking, "How can we oppose something which includes much of our current policy?"

Union action to tackle suicide and self harm in young people Suicide rates among youg people in Scotland are the highest in the UK and the STUC pledged action to combat this appaling statistic.

Tue 21 April 2009

Glasgow outsourcing tax scam removes democratic control, and attacks fair pay Mike Kirby, Scottish Convenor of UNISON and Chair of Glasgow City Branch denounced the rush to outsource services as a tax scam that abandons democratic control, and allows the council to avoid its legal duty to pay men and women equally.

Cuts and tendering threaten social care - social workers warn Many thousands of children are protected day in and day out because of the work that social workers and other social care staff do. All this is achieved, despite all the problems, through the hard work and commitment of social care staff, and that should be recognised too.

Put needs of trafficked women and children first "If we are really rescuing people, we need to give them time to regroup, understanding and care to recover and most of all, independent support that puts them first" , says John Stevenson.

Scottish Government must stop wrecking bargaining in non-departmental bodies The STUC backed UNISON's call for a review of Scottish Government pay policy to allow real collective bargaining in Non-Departmental Public Bodies.

Court plans are 'barrier to justice' for workers Scottish Government plans to change the legal system will put up 'barriers to justice' for workers and must be withdrawn, UNISON's Dave Watson told the STUC Congress.

Anti-union laws must be challenged across the UK Unions at the STUC Congress threw out a call for trade union legislation to be devolved to Scotland as it re-stated its aim to challenge anti-union laws across the UK.

End parking charges in the NHS Katrina Murray called on affiliates to support Paul Martin’s Bill to end parking charges in the NHS and to keep the NHS car parks safe for patients, visitors and staff alike

Mon 20 April 2009

Budget must tax the greedy, not cut public services The economic crisis must be paid for by fairer taxation, and more investment in public services, says UNISON's Matt Smith in a hard hitting speech.

Balanced energy strategy needed. "Market fails the fuel poor", says Dave Watson Congress again threw its weight behind a balanced energy strategy, based on a diversity of fuel sources from renewables to nuclear power, to ensure a secure and affordable supply of energy which contributes to a reduction in emissions.

Campaign to recruit more black members UNISON's Ravi Nathan told Congress, "We all need to be a part of making this change. We must be prepared to take on the mantle of leadership".

Happy Birthday Young Members Delegates celebrated 70 years of the STUC Youth Committee and the motion was seconded by UNISON's Katrina Murray - a young member who went on to become STUC President!.

Congress puts the environment top of the agenda in the workplace Supporting a motion from the Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists, Fiona Smith of UNISON's NEC told congress that UNISON has long been committed to sustainable development and protecting the environment.





Perth Concert Hall

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Stories: Chris Bartter, Kate Ramsden, John Stevenson