Report from the 2023 National Delegate Conference

Tuesday 13th June 2023

The Conference began with Andrea Egan, President, welcoming delegates. The incident in Nottingham was remembered and regret was expressed. Palestinian Rights reps, Columbian Human Rights and EPSU wee welcomed. Standing orders report was discussed and passed. SO2 The Right to Strike was passed. NEC 2022 report was passed. Financial statement was passed.

There followed a debate on on The Participation of lower-paid workers within Unison with a number of speakers participating. It was suggested that this motion should be discussed at Branch level  and was passed. Lynn Sudbury-Riley from COVID Bereaved Families For Justice gave a speech. The motion Health and safety response to a National crisis crisis of stress on public service workers was debated. It was noted that within the Unison Stress Charter it is essential that Unison Health and Safety Reps should have appropriate training. Many branches have been unable to fill this officers position. Stress was a real concern for ambulance workers during the pandemic with emphasis upon the fact that COVID is not over. This motion was carried.

Motion Tackling Health Inequalities and closing the life expectancy gap. Evidence being given to the COVID enquiry has noted that there has been an increase in inequalities between the richest and poorest widened. The TUC is urging the government to address inequalities. Amendment 22.1 Build a programme on the importance of improving preventative care was carried followed by the motion being carried.

The Motion Organising to win – Building Workplace Power through participation was discussed. Amendment using information to improve organising in the workplace was carried.. Jon Woods spoke and stressed the importance of solidarity on the picket lines and the need to recruit activists He said it was necessary to Strike to Win. There is a need for political education to encourage members to participate. At this point, after a point of order the motion was passed.

Motion 4 – Equality is Unisons Business. Diversity and equal opportunities is vital. Amendment 4.1  involving black workers should be seen as a priority for all. Expanding work should be more effective. Amendment 4.2 Equality is a vital key to all we do. All should be encouraged to participate. Amendment 4.2 was passed and Motion 4 carried.

Motion 17  Defend the Right to Strike. There was considerable discussion with a number of members expressing concerns about The Labour Party attitude and reluctance to support pickets. This motion was carried.

Wednesday 14th June 2023

Motion Discussion on A Social Care Crisis- Urgent need for Reform and Investment- A discussion and debate followed. The route cause of this problem is privatisation and lack of continuity. It was suggested there was a need for a National Care Service. A speaker from the Isle of Wight said it was important to start with Childrens Services. Additionally there should be a proper pay deal for care workers. The motion was carried.

Motion 2228- A vision for National Care Service with values and purpose. There was an amendment to this motion which stated that people should be able to chose their own carers. This was passed. It was mentioned that The National Care Bill in Scotland had not been effective.. This motion was carried.

Motion 27- Radical Chane in Social Care in Wales can influence the whole of the UK. Amendment 27.1 Social care should not be a minimum wage discussion. In Northern Ireland there is an integrated social care system but a lot has been outsourced. The private sector should pay sick pay. At the moment there is no respect for care workers in Wales who have yo be registered. There is a need to look at the importance of the care allowance.. Motion 27 was carried.

General Secretary Christina McAnea spoke. She said it was necessary to carry on fighting and to support Global Solidarity

Comp D – Industrial Action Ballots- It was suggested that there was a need to use technology to organise and increase membership participation. A speaker against Comp D argued that it was important to win ballots and to take action now. Motion 79 was carried.

Amendment 8.1 Disabilities amendment. Harassment and bullying There was a debate on Andrew Tate’s influence on youngsters. And the amendment was passed.

Motion 8 Harassment is not part of the job. Harassment is not acceptable and there should be zero tolerance for the above. It is essential that abusive behaviour is challenged. Digital harassment also needs to be dealt with. Motion was carried

Motion 57- Make 2024 The Year of LGBT and workers. Speakers argued that it was essential to fight bigotry as we do not discriminate. It was noted that the Labour Party are very negative towards LGBT workers. Motion was passed

Thursday 15th June 2023

The morning began with a video from Gonel Erden the Turkish Trade Union leader speaking. This was followed by an International Guest speaker Rosa Pavenelli, General Secretary Public Services International who talked about the need for solidarity globally and thanked Unison for their campaign for The Right to Strike. She said that right wing Populist parties exist globally and there was a need to fight.

Motion 69 Defending and improving Rights internationally Mee Too campaign. With respect to gender violence and gender based discrimination three should be solidarity with women in Columbia. Build for a Socialist society and equality. This motion was carried.

Motion 72 We Need To Talk about Palestine. There are attacks on Palestinian Rights with people living in an Apartheid State Amendment 72.1 argued that a future Labour government should act and not just use words, this was carried. There is a need to go back to branches and stress the need to talk about Palestine There is a need to put pressure on Labour to stop the arms trade with Israel. Motion 72 was carried.

Motion 44 Crisis in the NHS and Social Care- Cuts are affecting this area severely. The government is not concerned about this crisis. People are dying and staff working in Health and Social Care have had enough. 500 people a week are needlessly dying because of this crisis. Labour are not supportive and instead talk about using private companies to cut the waiting lists. This is dreadful as Care should be free at the point of need. The system is broken. The NHS is not for sale and we should organise a National demonstration. This motion was passed.

Sheree Earnshaw

Hampshire UNISON NDC delegate