Ramsden, chair of the STUC Standing Orders
Committee, gets business started at the
These reports cover the UNISON speakers on the main
issues at the Congress from 18-20 April
Reports will also appear in Scotland
May issue. For an overview of the Congress go to
Wed 20 April
UNISON's Mike Kirby new
STUC President: UNISON Scottish Secretary
Mike Kirby was elected as STUC President for 2011-12
at the Congress in Ayr.
Action on government
pensions robbery This Congress and
this Government should be under no illusion that
if this tawdry coalition of a government does
not end their attacks on our pensions, then UNISON
will ballot for industrial action and we will
win, Gordon McKay told the STUC to loud applause.
There is a better way: A
Living Wage: The Living Wage campaign
in the NHS has been a major victory at a time
when many of our campaigns have been about holding
on to the terms and conditions we have, UNISON’s
Gordon McKay told the STUC.
What kind of residential
care would we want for ourselves? Asked
Stephen Brown on the day the inquiry into the
Uddingston care home fire exposed serious safety
failings. The STUC called for an end to privatisation
of homes for older people, a stricter regulation
scheme and proper staff training and standards.
Domestic abuse: We have
a critical role in campaigning for protection,
prevention, provision and workplace policies:
The STUC in Ayr backed the Women’s Aid STOP campaign
and heard a powerful and courageous speech from
UNISON’s Marie Garrity.
Fighting for disability
benefits is about protecting services we all need:
“Fighting to protect disability benefits is not
just about protecting a vulnerable group. It’s
about protecting the services we all need”, UNISON's
John Nisbet told the STUC.
STUC opposes tuition fees:
The STUC backed a Youth Conference call to oppose
tuition fees, remove the burden of debt from graduates
and support campaigns for a fairer funding system
for higher education in England.
More modern apprenticeships
- and the rate for the job: The STUC will
demand that Modern Apprenticeships are made available
to young people who don't go into further or higher
education - and campaign for the £2.50 rate
to go up to the minimum wage.
Housing should be a right
for everyone: Decent housing should be
a right for every individual in society and this
could do much to improve health, social mobility
and community regeneration, said a motion from
UCATT and Midlothian TUC.
Higher education: Business
should pay its share: Higher education
benefits society as a whole - including the business
and financial community, said the STUC as it agreed
to campaign to ensure business and finance pay
a fair share of the costs to address underfunding.
Public transport should
not just be for the fit: The STUC backed
a Disabled Workers' Conference call for more accessibility
for the disabled on public transport, with more
audio announcements, staff training to assist
disabled passengers sensitively and safely, more
spaces on trains and buses and lobbying to ensure
operators meet duties under the Disability Discrimination
Tues 19 April
Our young people have a
right to a future: Slamming cuts in benefits,
education allowances and employment opportunities,
UNISON NEC Policy Chair Jane Carolan told the
STUC, “there has never been a worse time in this
country to be young.
NHS and social action both
needed to improve nation's health "We
cannot let that great vision be washed away by
another Tory Government. We must fight to protect
the NHS and all our services"
UNISON wants time
to consult on national fire service: The
STUC supported the amalgamation of fire and rescue
services, while UNISON abstained on the issue
until it could consult fully with its members
in the service
Health and Social Care: 'Injury
to one is an injury to all' - It's the
principle that underlines our determination to
defend those services, those that rely on them,
and those that provide them", UNISON Scottish
Convener Lilan Macer told the STUC today.
Comprehensive education works
- let's protect it: Sandra Kennie highlights
the role of the whole education team.
Be bold in the defence of
our public services, says Mike Kirby as
the STUC set out plans to build the widest possible
alliance to popularise an alternative economic
strategy and to fight the cuts.
Mon 18 April
Bonuses: We are not all in
it together: Pat Rowland condemns the
massive bonuses for senior executives in the finance
sector, while workers face the stress of redundancy.
Call for balanced energy
policy: Congress set out an agenda for
a balanced energy policy in the UK, aiming to
reduce energy consumption and investing in renewable
energy generation. Willie Docherty calls for action
on climate change.
Lossiemouth 'deeply let down
by the ConDem government': "I have
seen first hand the damage being caused to our
communities in Moray as we have been left in suspense
for the last six months over the future of RAF
Lossiemouth", Kieron Green tells Congress.
Support Highland development
but protect Careers Service: Delegates
backed the important role of Highlands and Islands
Enterprise but rejected any merger with Scottish
Enterpise as UNISON called for the Careers service
to stay with Skills Development Scotland.
There is a Better Way special
session: Civic society speaks up for services.
Katrina Murray warns that personalisation is being
driven by cuts.
Congress slams 'irresponsible
and ideological' cuts:
"We need a fair tax system and a crackdown
on tax avoidance, decent pay for workers and improved
social provision to reduce individual debt. We
need to re-regulate the finance sector and re-direct
our pensions to useful and sustainable investments",
said Rory Malone.