will be reporting all the UNISON speakers on the
main issues every day at the 118th STUC Congress
in Ayr from 20-22 April
. Reports will also appear
in Scotland inUNISON's
May issue and on the blog at unison-scotland.blogspot.co.uk/
For an overview of the whole Congress go to the
the blog for all the main stories
as they happen.
support needs are stretched to the limit
Additional support needs for pupils, particularly
those who start at a disadvantage, are stretched
to the limit with children not getting the support
they are entitled to, Susan Kennedy told delegates.
rescue cut 'indefensible in its inhumanity'
Moving the motion on behalf of the General Council,
UNISON Scottish Secretary, Mike Kirby, clearly
shocked by the events of the previous weekend,
told delegates that the situation in the Mediterranean
“where they are dragging bodies out of the
sea, day after day, thousands of innocent people
dead, simply beggars belief.”
society so women can live free from violence
Gender equality is at the root of violence against
women and girls and the STUC will campaign to
keep this issue at the heart of the agenda for
all public bodies in Scotland.
students are being failed
Too many students in Scotland drop out of full
time education due to inadequate financial support.
Solidarity not charity
The rise of foodbanks in the 6th richest country
in the world is a national scandal and the STUC
will continue to campaign vigorously against austerity,
low pay and benefit sanctions which see so many
people reliant on them.
1 in 5 children living in poverty in Scotland
UNISON Scotland's Kate Ramsden supporting an USDAW
motion said that that the STUC had highlighted
as far back as 2010 that cuts and austerity would
lead to a rise in the numbers of children in poverty.
to challenge gender equality in apprenticeships
The STUC will press the Scottish government to
work with them to tackle gender inequality in
apprenticeships and to encourage women to take
on apprenticeships in under-represented sectors.
poverty to tackle education inequalities
“There is no evidence that children from
deprived backgrounds have fewer aspirations, hopes
and dreams. Let’s continue to fight for
a fairer, just and equal society so that all children
can reach their potential,” says Carol Ball.
calls on University governors to reflect diversity
STUC has called on Scottish Government to legislate
for all university governing bodies to have a
chair elected by all staff and students, ensure
they are representative of the university and
wider community - including a quota for women
members; and include reserved places for trade
to take over transport police is another ‘polishambles’
The STUC will vigorously oppose Scottish Government
plans to absorb the specialist British Transport
Police (BTP) into Police Scotland and delegates
were dismayed that the announcement of these plans
was made without any public consultation.
building and living rent to fix housing crisis
UNISON Scotland’s Susan Kennedy, backing
the USDAW, UCATT and North Lanarkshire and Aberdeen
trade union councils’ motion, said Scotland
has a ‘housing crisis’.
power to local councils to act on services
The STUC overwhelmingly backed a range of measures
to rebuild local democracy and will press the
Scottish Government to provide resources to ensure
strong local democracy and to return to councils
greater control over local taxes and power to
take services back in-house.
to improve access to GPs
UNISON Health’s Catriona Beveridge told
delegates that it is not appropriate for GP facilities
only to be available during the traditional hours
they work whilst the rest of the NHS has extended
success needs unions to work together
The reason the Tories can justify five years of
pay cuts for public service workers is simple
according to UNISON’s Gordon McKay. “They
don’t like you!”
show the Palestinian people why Scotland supports
“Let’s show the Palestinian people
why Scotland supports their cause. The time to
act is now!” said Sam Macartney.
drive to improve equality
“Ensuring that an organisation reflects
the community which it serves is clear proof of
its commitment to equality and inclusion,”
UNISON’s Priscilla Maramba told delegates...
Rojova's democracy and gender equality
The STUC sent solidarity and support to the people
of Rojava and Kobane and pledged to lobby the
Government to do everything it can to ensure that
humanitarian aid gets through to Rojava, to support
the refugees from other parts of Syria and to
ensure that Kobane can defend itself and its people.
needs international response
The STUC in Ayr heard a stark warning from UNISON’s
Jane Carolan that the Transatlantic Trade and
Investment Partnership (TTIP) would be “an
assault on democratic government”.
hope for BME workers lies in their unions
First time delegate and speaker, UNISON’s
Priscilla Maramba, told Congress that ConDem austerity
has worsened the plight of BME workers, and the
rise of UKIP and media bias have added insult
fracking and lobby for sustainable energy
Delegates backed a Fife TUC call to oppose fracking
and underground coal gasification (UCG) until
their potential impact on local communities and
the environment is fully investigated and understood.
change and fuel poverty are urgent challenges
The STUC will work with NGOs and trade unions
internationally to press for a Just Transition
as part of a binding international deal at the
UN Conference on Climate Change due to be held
this year in Paris, which is “critical for
the future of the planet.”
sends solidarity to Kobane
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis took time
out at the STUC conference today to visit the
Kurdistan Solidarity stall along with Depute Convenor,
Stephen Smellie. Dave expressed his solidarity
with the efforts to re-build Kobane and the continuing
struggle against ISIS.
child care needs a valued workforce
The STUC will work across the early years sector
to ensure that all parents have access to free,
universal and flexible childcare, geared to the
needs of children and their families and will
press the Scottish Government for proper resources
to support this.
workers deserve living wage
The STUC endorsed UNISON’s Ethical Care
Charter and committed to campaigning for a living
wage for all care workers in Scotland. Delegates
backed the call from the Chartered Society for
Physiotherapy, which recognised the invaluable
contribution of care workers to health and social
care provision in Scotland and slammed the terrible
working conditions for many as exposed by UNISON’s
“Time to Care” survey.
exploitation of young vulnerable workers
Ryan Boyle supports the call for a campaign against
the exploitation of young workers and the promotion
of credit unions as an alternative to pay day
working good for life and the workforce
UNISON’s Maggie Cook told delegates that
flexible working, when handled well, can enhance
workers’ quality of life and lead to a happier
and more productive workforce.
means rights on both sides – repeal anti-union
Stephen Smellie issues a challenge to the Scottish
Government to make good their “fine words”
and make sure that trade unions are given greater
representation on public bodies.
welcomes Glasgow strikers
The STUC Congress in Ayr gave a standing ovation
to strikers from Glasgow Council’s Homeless
Service who have been on all-out strike since
contracts should demand fair treatment for workers
“Public money going into the private sector
must be spent ethically and not to help contribute
to profits made on the back of the working poor",
says Brenda Aitchison.
for collective bargaining as Fair Work Convention
“We need to take the workers’ and
trade union voice into the boardrooms and senior
management decision making forums. And we need
that voice to be loud and effective,” said
Lilian Macer. 20 April