Unite and USW Working Together in Health Care Sector and Public Sector

Unite's Frank Keogh wrote the following about his and Sarah Carpenter's experience at the USW Healtchare Workers Council Conference and USW Public Employee Conference in San Diego, California in late November, 2012. Frank is the Chair of the Unite Health Sector National Industrial Sector Committee and Sarah is the Unite Deputy Regional Secretary, South East region:

frank keogh

                         Frank Keogh

Having been offered the opportunity to participate in the conferences of Our Sisters and Brothers in USW we set out to share our experiences of workers here in the UK and Ireland, and learn from the experiences of our sisters and brothers in the USA and Canada.

Whilst in health we work in different systems it became very evident that the challenges faced by workers in both systems were the same:


*Safety in the workplace

*Skill Mix

We had the opportunity to participate in a number of workshop sessions around using social media as an organising tool, building workers confidence, engaging in the political process and collective bargaining strategies for healthcare workers.

We delivered a session on the public sector pension’s dispute and the ongoing attacks on the NHS; in addition we spoke at a lunch reception for the joint conference of Public and Health sector workers.

We were struck by the similarities between the members we represent on both sides of the Atlantic, and want to help build those links to ensure we can work in solidarity to address the issues we face.

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