Illness has prevented me attending the first two days of the UNITE Executive Council (EC) meeting this week. However, I'm told that the debate on public service and the public sector pensions dispute has resulted in the following statement today:
The Executive council notes the health sector ballot result declared on 19th March 2012 with 94% rejection of the pension scheme changes proposed by the government. This consultative ballot reaffirms UNITE members defiance. A day of protest is organised for 28th March and all UNITE members are encouraged to support health workers distribute leaflets and attend lunch time rallies.
Health sector members recognise their fight is part of a wider fight to defend public services and involves not only members working in all the other public and not for profit sectors but all UNITE members and their families who rely on the public services we provide.
The executive council also notes the rejection of the pension proposals by the NUT, UCU and PCS and their committment to taking further industrial action in April.
This union commits itself to maximising its support to the public sector members to participate in further action, including co-ordinated national strike action alongside other public sector unions in April, and to developing and articulating its strategy for a fightback to defend pensions as part of a wider fight to defend public services. The executive council acknowledges that UNITE ia not the biggest union in each pension scheme but has members in all the major schemes and is therefore able to provide a leading role in co-ordinating action.
The executive council welcomes the committment by our general secretary to ask the TUC to organise a national demonstration in support of our NHS.
UNITE recognises this is a fight for the very survival of public services and the key struggle facing the trade union movement today.