UK : Prentis: The most important election for the future of our union
Whatever political party you belong to, we need to get the Tories out of government at the next election – for our members' sake and for our union's sake.
"In my 40 years in this union, this is the most important election for the future of our union that has been fought," he said.
"It's not just what happens to low-paid people. It’s not just what happens to our members' jobs. It’s not just what happens to our public services.
"It is about what happens to our union. The Tories’ plans are an ideological attack on our union."
Tory threats to undermine union funding through the withdrawal of DOCAS and fresh restrictions on balloting would leave union members vulnerable to unscrupulous employers, he warned.
"We are fighting on every front now," he said.
"It will be an even bigger battle if the Tories get back in. Further massive job cuts are planned. Attacks on welfare and benefits that support the vulnerable - the stakes could not be higher."
Mr Prentis said that the recent voter registration drive – which has seen some 400,000 voters registered after joint campaigning by UNISON, TUC unions and campaign groups – shows that when we mobilise, we can make a difference.
He also reported that progress was being made around Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade talks.
"The original proposals could have meant that wherever we have services privatised, we could never bring them back into public service," he said.
Current amendments being discussed would exclude public services and although there was not yet agreement, progress is being made.
The NEC also agreed a set of motions to national delegate conference covering:
- Fairer taxation and the future of public services;
- The dangers of the new pensions choice;
- Tackling the pay gap;
- Tackling vulnerable employment and casualization;
- Promoting trade union and employment rights;
- UNISON and devolution;
- Time for a new direction for public procurement;
- Campaigning for our public services;
- Supporting the campaign for rights and democracy in Swaziland;
- The rights of migrant workers in Qatar;
- Planning initiatives to get more members active;
- Meeting the training needs of UNISON activists in challenging times.