the UNISON 2012 Community and Voluntary Sector Service Group Conference – 3rd & 4th March 2012
Brighton Conference Centre
I was the only speaker following the mover of Motion 2, Organising service group members. “Ensure that Community members are being properly organised in their workplaces and are properly represented within the branch.”
I found this motion was the closest I could come to make a point. I said roughly the following:
I recognise fully the needs put forward in this motion and I support it. But, I will take the opportunity to remind the mover of the motion and the congress that, as I see it, a large group of health care workers who should have been included have not even been mentioned; I am thinking of the thousands and thousands of care workers employed by private care homes and by private agencies providing care for the elderly and disabled in their own homes.
As we talk about fighting the cuts, I find it necessary to point out that these people have very little that can be taken away from them, they have very little that actually can be cut. They have no pensions to protect.
They have no sick pay to defend, and, for many of them, because of specific, fully legal, arrangements, they are not even close to minimum wage for the hours they spend at work. These people must not be forgotten.
I call on UNISON as defender of vulnerable care workers not to forget those, the most vulnerable, those most in need.
If these people are openly to be included in this motion it would be beneficial not only for themselves but also for the union; after all, we are here talking about a huge recruiting potential; however, first they have to be given at least a minimum of attention.”