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BICKERSTAFFE OUTLINES UNISON'S ASPIRATIONS

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Unison general secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe this week outlined his union's hopes for changes under the newly elect...
Unison general secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe this week outlined his union's hopes for changes under the newly elected government, which include an end to the requirement to sign up all its members every three years.

All unions are forced by Tory legislation to periodically ask individual members to re-confirm that they wish to have membership fees deducted from their pay packet. Unison claims most big employers oppose the requirement.

'But we have learnt valuable recruitment lessons from the sign-up campaigns, lessons which can be put to good use with some of the resources saved from abolishing the need for new payroll deduction mandates every three years,' writes Mr Bickerstaffe in the union's fortnightly paper, Unison Focus.

Unison will fight for an end to CCT, which Mr Bickerstaffe describes as 'a lottery which drives down the standard of service and wages'.

He makes a personal appeal for a minimum wage, saying it has been his quest for more than 20 years: 'We are not expecting favours. Unison will have to use all its influence to ensure that we have a statutory minimum wage set at a level which lifts people out of the poverty trap.'

Mr Bickerstaffe calls for a warmer UK welcome for political refugees. 'We shall expect the justice, tolerance and the sympathy of a civilised society.

'Above all, the change of government offers hope of constructive dialogue instead of conflict.'

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