Friday 4 November 2011

Prepare for Nov 30: Come to the SERTUC Mobilising Conference on November 12

The news of the UNISON ballot result - with almost 80% of Unison members who voted saying yes to strike action, clearly shows the growing momentum towards November 30. Today's announcement of an 82% YES vote, on a 54% turnout, from Scottish teachers in the EiS also augurs well for the results of other ballots that are yet to be announced.

The Government's attempts to cut across the threat of mass co-ordinated strike action with their new 'offer' has not succeeded as they might have hoped. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, summed it up when he said "Any new offer is always welcome but the latest concessions are only marginal and would still force public servants to pay more in and work longer for less in retirement...It should be remembered that this latest offer was only wrung out of ministers by the threat of mass industrial action on 30 November, and following our successful strike with other unions in June. We will look at the details to see how they affect our members, but we continue our plans to make 30 November the biggest strike we have ever seen."

It is now vital that we bring as many different unions together in joint activities in preparation for November 30. The SERTUC 'Mobilising Conference' on November 12 can help do exactly that.

As you will see below, there will be speakers from ATL, BARAC, CSP, FBU, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NUT, PCS, Prospect, TUC, UCU, UNISON, UNITE and Trades Councils. A substantial part of the day will be devoted to workshops so participants will have a good opportunity to contribute to active debates. There will be a rousing closing address from a guest speaker from the USA, Leo Gerard, President of the United Steelworker’s Union.

Date: Saturday 12 November 2011, 10am - 4pm
Venue: Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

Follow the link below to register.

Draft Programme

10.00 to 10.45            Registration (tea and coffee provided)

10.45 to 11.00            Welcome to Delegates   Martin Gould, SERTUC President

11.00 to 12.00             Opening Session - key note speakers     

Guest Speaker: Breaking the myth that the cuts are necessary and the alternative programme for growth Paul Nowak, TUC

Defending the NHS; cuts, mutualisation and privatisation Glyn Hawker UNISON
Fair Pensions for All:   Alex Kenny, NUT

Uniting the private and public sectors to oppose the cuts Pete Kavanagh, UNITE

Broadening the alliance to defend public services Noel Glover, Regional Officer
National Association of Head Teachers

12.00 to 13.00             Workshops to discuss key issues affecting each sector

1.    Health

Speakers: Gail Cartmail, UNITE, Claire Sullivan, CSP, Sian Rabi-Laleh, UNISON

2.  Education

Speakers: Jean Roberts,  ATL, Chris Lines, NASUWT

3.  Local Government

Speakers: Richard Ascough, GMB, Heather Wakefield, UNISON

4.  Rest of public sector, including civil service and fire service

Speakers: Ian Leahair, FBU, John McInally, PCS

13.00 to 13.30           Lunch (sandwich buffet and soft drinks provided)

13.30 to 14.00           Workshop report-back and discussion

14.00 to 15.10           Forums: Campaigning at Work and in Communities

1.  Local Government Disputes – lessons to be learned
Lessons for unions from the Southampton Dispute
John Rowse, UNITE
Lessons for unions from the Barnet dispute
Magi Ferncombe, UNISON
2.  Anti-cuts activities in the community

Roger Mackay, Ipswich TC, Gawain Little,  Oxford and District TC

3.  The impact of the cuts on equalities agendas

Scarlet Harris TUC,  Lee Jasper, BARAC
Sean McGovern, TUC National Disabled Workers Committee
 4.  The dangers of privatisation and mutualisation
Simon Watson, UNISON, Dave Allen, Prospect, John McInally, PCS

15.10 to 15.40           Open session feedback from forums

15.40 to 16.00           Closing plenary speakers

SERTUC – Megan Dobney

Leo W. Gerard, President, Union of Steelworkers, USA

16.00                         Close of Conference

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