Marching for A Future That Works October 20th

17 10 2012

Colleagues on 20 October in London, Glasgow and Belfast there are TUC marches and rallies for A Future That Works. These events are an important step in lobbying for a change to the  governments  austerity program as the FT says “reality is not obliging Mr Osborne” now is the time for change.

Before Its Two lateThe government’s austerity programme is hurting but not working. After two and a half years, the economy is shrinking and the deficit is growing. All Prospect members are affected by the consequences of this misguided policy, which include:

  • Civil servants and other public sector workers continue to face massive job cuts, pay freezes, reduced pensions and higher pensions contributions
  • Vital public services – from the NHS to policing to social care – are under threat
  • Private companies which depend on public procurement and a healthy economy are cutting jobs
  • Essential investment in infrastructure such as telecoms and energy supply is being delayed
  • Hard-won employment rights are being taken away, with new curbs coming on compensation for unfair dismissal and the right to go to an employment tribunal
  • Youth unemployment is over 1 million
  • Confidence in the economy is falling, with potentially disastrous consequences for investment and growth.
  • It’s time to demand a change of policy. It’s time for the government to abandon failed policies and invest for growth. It’s time to march for a future that works.

Follow  @futurethatworks for more information on the day. The hashtag #Oct20 is being used for this event.

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Prospect Conference 2010

1 06 2010

Just off to prospect conference more reports later

Life on Mars

19 09 2007

(This should have been published in the union magazine – but mysteriosuly never made it…)



Outside it’s the year 2007 but inside the Holiday Inn, Plymouth it must have been 1977 as the Biennial Conference debated the changes to the election of the union’s President and Executive Council. The General Secretary informed conference that if electing the President at Conference was good enough for the 1970s it’s good enough for now. As he said it, the Generalissimo was reminiscing that a lot of other things were big in the 1970s too – kipper ties, racism, football hooliganism and Stalinist workers states to name but a few. The German “Democratic” Republic had back-slapping annual conferences where business was debated but never actually challenged too. Without the efforts of the Generalissimo’s branch the changes might never have been debated.


Now, in theory, the Conference is your supreme policy making body and your branch delegates are your representatives at that body. But do you know what your branch delegates are actually up to? It might be worth asking them since the manner in which they vote doesn’t necessarily suggest that they are motivated by the membership as a whole!

The election of the President was one of only two opportunities that every member in the union gets to have a guaranteed, secret say in who runs it. The other, the election of the Executive Council, is forced on the union by law so cannot be changed, but they have done their best to reduce your scrutiny. How? Well, the subtlety of the change eluded a lot of delegates but essentially the ballot will now take place BEFORE the biennial conference – so the EC presenting reports on its work for the last two years is already secure in its posts for ANOTHER two years. So, when you re-elect them (if you get the chance because of the low number of candidates) you will only know by reputation their stewardship of the union.


What was even more bizarre, and very representative of a workers’ state was the lack of ANY coherent argument by the EC putting forward this shoddy change. From – “it costs too much” (the Presidential election) to “there’s a gap of six weeks in which we can’t do anything” (EC elections after conference). Well, there’s a gap of around six weeks between the Queen dissolving parliament and a general election – but the job of running the country still seems to get done. Certain of the Generalissimo’s contacts have suggested that it is to make the life of permanent officers easier by not having to bother with tiresome paperwork. So this is how democracy gets eroded…

By the time you read this, you will have heard from the Executive Council that one of the key personal benefits you had – the death benefit, has been withdrawn. This may come as a shock to many of you who are outside the bubble of activists and who were sold this as a key benefit to your union membership. If your branch never canvassed your opinion or told you about this move, and if you now want to make your voice heard then tell your branch officers – better still go straight to Head Office. You don’t have to be on a branch committee to be involved.

Proposition 7

21 06 2007

The Executive Council shall consider pursuing cases to seek legal precedent where this will be of benefit to the membership and will positively reflect on the union.

This proposition was supported by the Executive Council and was passed.

Your Sub-Editor Checks In!

12 04 2007

You may now see more than one style of writing in this blog as a friendly sub-editor has joined. They say two heads are better than one…