Paul Cooney gave this speech as Unison Health branch secretary, he is also a GPTU spokesperson and Green Party ppc for Huddersfield.
"Thank you for inviting me to speak at this wonderful rally of the Local Government strikers. I was proud to be on the picket line with your comrades at Briar Court Centre in Lindley this morning from 7 until 9. I can assure you that your fellow Unison members in the Huddersfield Health branch want me to express their and my own solidarity with the actions you are taking this week, for a very just cause, decent pay for the public sector.
Earlier this year I had hoped that we would be able to join you in concerted industrial action on pay, but our own union was telling us that the health offer of 2.75% was a good deal. This is the same union which has worked hard to encourage you in local government that your offer was abysmal at 2.45%. I'm not paid much working in health but I can assure you that 0.3% of my money isn't a good deal, and I don't even think the Chief Executive of our Trust thinks it's much money for them either.
We are all working hard and campaigning to get the "re-opener clause" actioned to enable a review of health pay this year in view of the high rate of inflation that you've already heard other speakers talk about, and we all want to be able to join you and the other public sector unions in combined action later and get a real victory.
Thank you for giving me this chance to talk with you all and keep fighting on and make this Govt think again about its attacks on the public sector."