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STUC 2013 Perth
STUC website
These reports cover only the UNISON speakers on the main issues at the STUC Congress in Perth from 16-18 April. Reports will also appear in Scotland inUNISON's May issue. For an overview of the whole Congress go to the STUC website

Food safety: More robust inspection needed UNISON's Ewing Hope highlighted the recent horse meat scandals caused by cuts to the Food Standards Agency, as Congress backed UNISON’s call for the FSA to be properly resourced to maintain quality in the food chain. 18 April 2013

Debate on the fate of the nation must be on the state of the nation UNISON’s Hazel Marshall told Congress that we have an opportunity to influence and drive the debate on Scotland’s future in a way that can engage our members and the wider population. 18 April 2013

Education and care must go hand in hand in early years services Congress welcomed the recent Scottish Government’s response to the consultation on the Children and Young People Bill and the commitment to enshrine in law more effective rights for children and young people in Scotland, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 18 April 2013

Bin Atos sponsorship and give us a Commonwealth games we can be proud of Congress roundly condemned the conduct of Atos Healthcare and its target driven approach to assessing entitlement to benefits for those with disabilities, now outsourced to SALUS. 18 April 2013

End the forced destitution of asylum seekers and embrace immigration in Scotland Congress slammed the Westminster Government’s rigid and unfair approach to immigration and called for a more humane and economically sensible approach in Scotland, to support a sustained economic recovery. 18 April 2013

For a more equal society we need a living wage for all workers As the lowest paid in our society suffer as a result of pay freezes and rising costs, UNISON's Stephen Smellie led the call for the STUC to take forward its campaign for the living wage in Scotland. 18 April 2013

Support for career progression for BME Community Congress backed a range of measures to support the black and minority ethnic community in the workplace, in the face of continuing discrimination even in the 21st Century. This will include positive action programmes, targeted training and a sharing of good practice. 18 April 2013

Welfare cuts: Heaping homelessness on top of poverty The Scottish Government must work to prevent evictions over the deeply unfair bedroom tax – evictions that would heap homelessness on top of poverty. That was the call from UNISON’s John Stevenson as he supported a motion condemning the despicable ‘welfare reform’ agenda of the UK coalition government. 18 April 2013

Integration must be about care not costs Lilian Macer tells STUC that Scottish Government moves to integrate health and social care when providing services for older people, should be about improving services not about cutting costs. 17 April 2013

Women and work – STUC demands good quality jobs, not zero hours and less pay UNISON's Equalities Officer Eileen Dinning, highlighted the pressures on women in the workforce in her speech to STUC Congress today. 17 April 2013

Devastating impact of FE cuts on economy and workforce The STUC will camapign against Scottish Government further education cuts which will 'have a devastating impact on the Scottish economy and workforce'. 17 April 2013

Tackle poverty to help children's education Congress condemned the inequalities in education, linked to poverty, which blight the life chances of many of Scotland’s children, and prevent them from taking up places in colleges and universities. 17 April 2013

Bring national bargaining back to further education UNISON joined forces with the EIS to win STUC backing for the re-establishment of national bargaining in FE in Scotland at the earliest opportunity with the full involvement of trade unions in the further education sector. 17 April 2013

Careers: Reform is a cut and 'modernisation' is selling young short UNISON speakers condemned Skills Development Scotland 'reform' as a cut and warned that the modernisation programme was letting young people down. 17 April 2013

Support PVG but staff shouldn't have to pay to work A robust checking system for people working with vulnerable groups, through the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PVG) scheme is essential, but employees, many of whom are low paid worker in the care and education services, should not be made to pay for these themselves. 17 April 2013

Police: Rushed changes disguise cuts as 'reform' Congress backed a UNISON motion condemning plans to sack some 3,000 non-uniformed staff in the move to a single police force and fire service, to meet a political target on police officer numbers, rather than to reflect the balance of staffing needs for modern effective policing . 17 April 2013

Procurement: Public money should be spent for Public Good Said Jane Aitchison as Congress welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to new legislation on public procurement and called on them to work with the STUC to shift the focus from cost to quality and sustainability in public sector contracts. 17 April 2013

Public ownership needs to rise up political agenda to end fuel poverty: UNISON Scotland’s Willie Docherty told congress that more than one in three households in Scotland are estimated to be in fuel poverty as a result of poor energy efficiency in their homes, low incomes and the high cost of fuel. 17 April 2013

The real legacy of the 80's and 90's is the UK Government of today - Statement from STUC General Secretary: Given what has happened over the past week it is understandable that people want to look back - particularly those who suffered at the hands of the Conservative Government's of '80s and '90s: - the workers who lost their jobs; - the communities devastated; 17 April 2013

Action must back words in fighting cuts:
The General Council motion laid out a wide ranging strategy for campaigning against austerity and for a socially just and progressive welfare and tax system. Delegates also agreed to mobilise for a one day strike in protest at the cuts and to support trades union colleagues taking action. 17 April 2013

Lives depend on robust safety laws:
Only one in 170 fatalities and major injuries at work resulted in prosecution in 2010/11 and only one in 65 results in any enforcement action – down by 30%", UNISON's Hazel Marshall told the STUC. 16 April 2013

Attacks on union reps an issue for the whole trade union movement:
'Stewards and reps are the lifeblood of the union' UNISON's John Stevenson tells Congress. 16 April 2013

Unions only hope for workers as government tears up employment rights: The one place of hope for working people is trade unions, banding together as we’ve done for generations to fight for the Better Way. - Mike Kirby as he slams government attacks on basic employment rights and Dave Watson demolishes TUPE changes. 16 April 2013


STUC 2013
We will be reporting all the UNISON speakers on the main issues every day at the 116th STUC Congress in Perth from 16-18 April. Reports will also appear in Scotland inUNISON's May issue. For an overview of the whole Congress go to the STUC website

This year's STUC Annual Congress in Perth will highlight the 'There is a better way' campaign which promotes a clear and distinct economic alternative to current policies of the coalition government.

Congress will attract over 330 trade union delegates representing almost 630,000 members. There will be 38 trade unions attending, 20 trades union councils as well as a number of international guests and speakers from the world of politics. UNISON's delegation is 33 strong and includes NEC members, delegates elected by Scottish branches and staff. Congress will be chaired by President Agnes Tolmie of Unite.





STUC Perth Concert Hall

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Reports by John Stevenson, Kate Ramsden and Fiona Montgomery in Perth.