Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hillingdon NALGO

A Union to be reckoned with
Hillingdon NALGO News & Views September 1989
At long last. NALGO members have won a decent pay settlement. The settlement worth in excess of 9.5%; for lower paid members and 8.6% for everyone else represents a great step forward for every union member. Not only have we achieved an increase in line with the going rate,in excess of inflation and which helps to deal with low pay, but we have also successfully defended our conditions of service and the system of national pay bargaining. What is more we have achieved this in the face of intransigence and hostility from our employers. The benefits to members will be much more far reaching than just receiving an extra 1.6% over and above that which would have been imposed. Of course the extra percentage will mean that we will all recoup the money lost through strike action. It will also mean that our base for future years' pay claims will be that much higher. We have ensured that our negotiators will continue to be able to negiosiatre on our behalf at a national level with our backing. Perhaps more importantly we have demonstrated to our employers, to our national negotiators and to our selves that we are capable of organising and following a programme of action sufficient, to win. This lesson will have repercussions not only for future pay claims but. also future negotiations on local issues. Our victory should not lead us into complacency however. The programme of selective indefinite action backed by short term all out. strikes was enough to win this time. That does not mean that such measures will always be enough under all circumstances. Selective action carries with it the danger of victimisation, particularly if used in a local dispute. It also allows the employers the opportunity to take the initiative by raising the stakes by threats or by intimidation. It is possible that in the event of action being necessary in future yoears our employers will be better prepared and more willing to use such tatics. If that is the case we must tie prepared to take up that challenge by involving all our- members. In winning our settlement in 1989 we have shown that we really are a union to be reckoned with. It does not mean that we will be balloting members on strike action every other day, rather than negotiate. But it does mean both locally and nationally that if negotiations break down our employers will know that not only can we threaten action we can deliver it. Our bottom line no longer has to be a grudging acceptance. For that we have ourselves to thank. Well done.

John Coutts Branch Secretary
Chris Smith