No-one (except the Exit poll) predicted that we would wake up today to find a Tory government, albeit with a small majority. I thought my worst nightmare was a Tory-Ukip coalition! Locally, although the Tories have lost 1 high profile councillor - Exec member Jeremy Blatchford, they still have an overwhelming majority at North Somerset Council - 36 out of 50 councillors.
What does all this mean for UNISON members? Quite simply it means another 5 years of attacks on our public services, our jobs, our terms and conditions and our rights as trade union members. Here's what the Conservative party manifesto says about trade unions:
"We will protect you from disruptive and undemocratic strike action
Strikes should only ever be the result of a clear, positive decision based on a ballot in which at least half the workforce has voted. This turnout threshold will be an important and fair step to rebalance the interests of employers, employees, the public and the rights of trade unions. We will, in addition, tackle the disproportionate impact of strikes in essential public services by introducing a tougher threshold in health, education, fire and transport. Industrial action in these essential services would require the support of at least 40 per cent of all those entitled to take part in strike ballots – as well as a majority of those who actually turn out to vote. We will also repeal nonsensical restrictions banning employers from hiring agency staff to provide essential cover during strikes; and ensure strikes cannot be called on the basis of ballots conducted years before. We will tackle intimidation of
non-striking workers; legislate to ensure trade unions use a transparent opt-in process for union subscriptions; tighten the rules around taxpayer-funded paid ‘facility time’ for union representatives; and reform the role of the Certification Officer."
Now is the time for UNISON members to stand up to protect their trade union. Now is the time for you to get more involved in your trade union. If you're not a member, now is the time to join a trade union. Don't let them take away everything that has been fought and won by working people over the last 100 years.