“UNISON is up for the fight”

Christina McAnea addresses her first in-person national delegate conference as general secretary.

A standing ovation greeted Christina McAnea as she took to the podium at national delegate conference for the first time as the union’s general secretary.

In a powerful speech Christina spoke about the cost of living crisis and that the union is making this it’s number one priority.

“Struggling familiies are being forced to choose between heating and eating. Foodbanks are stretched to breaking point and mental health services are on their knees.”

“One in four people are skipping meals, and 700,000 more children are in poverty than ten years ago.”

Later in the speech, referencing the recent Downing Street wallpaper saga, Christina got a laugh from the floor.

“£840 a roll?! For that I’d want the wallpaper to walk in and apply itself!”

Christina also touched upon the work of the NHS and our members throughout the pandemic. Reflecting on the work of care workers when there was no vaccine, when there was a lack of PPE and when they were on the frontline of the response to Covid-19.

“You are the ones who held the hands of dying relatives while the Tories partied in Westminster.”

“I will make sure that no one forgets the sacrifices of our members.”

Ending the speech with a call to action to fill the streets of London, to take strike action over pay and cuts Christina rallied the conference floor.

“Our members should be positive and hopeful because we’re ready for the fight.

“UNISON is strong, UNISON is resolute, UNISON is up for the fight. Together we rise, conference!”

Catch up online

Christina’s speech is available on Youtube.

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