‘OUR time and patience is running out.’
This is the warning that Unison leader Dave Prentis is due to give to Prime Minister Gordon Brown on behalf of his 1.3 million members at the UNISON health conference today in Harrogate.
He will add: ‘The country is in a mess and we look to the Government to come up with serious solutions, not to waste time in childish venom.
‘But at the moment, the Government is losing us. It is losing the support and trust of health and public service workers in their droves.
‘The rich bankers and greedy speculators who got us into the mess are rewarded with huge bail-outs.
‘And now the fundamental flaws in PFI school and hospital building projects have come home to roost and they have had to be bailed out.
‘Why? Because big business will only take the profit, but won’t shoulder the risk.
‘While ordinary workers, expecting to put in a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay are rewarded with threats of job cuts, low or no pay and privatisation.
‘Carats (gold) for the rich, the stick for the poor.
‘UNISON members, loyal, dedicated, hard-working, delivering the people’s public services, won’t put up with it.
‘The Government has a last chance in Wednesday’s budget to show it understands why it was elected.
‘It must use the power it has left to deliver a package that genuinely shifts the scales away from the rich, away from the tax evaders, away from the market moguls who it has worshipped for so long.
‘It must draw a line under recent scandals and petty point-scoring and show a united, determined effort to work to the people’s agenda.
‘That means help for the jobless, supporting the economy and strengthening public services that people rely on.’
‘UNISON has long argued that privatisation, PFI and market solutions were not in the best interests of the public services, nor did they represent value for money.
‘Big business has made huge profits out of PFI schemes over the years and, now, when times get tough, they just walk away.’
Dave Prentis will be addressing more than 1,000 delegates representing the nation’s nurses, ambulance workers, hospital cleaners and porters, occupational therapists, medical secretaries, administrators, midwives and healthcare assistants as they debate policy.
Health Secretary, Alan Johnson MP will address delegates on Tuesday 21 April in the afternoon.
Big business is demanding that Chancellor Darling announce a public sector wage freeze in his Wednesday budget.
Other measures that are being demanded by the bosses are a freeze in the minimum wage, a speeding up of the privatisation of the NHS and the Royal Mail, and the establishment of low taxation, low wage Enterprise Zones where big business can exploit the growth of mass unemployment.