Unison members have voted to strike on 30 November against the government's attacks on pensions. The results are:
Overall: Yes: 245,358
78% in favour
76% in favour – Turnout 30%
82% in favour – Turnout 25%
The Tories, the NHS bosses and the right-wing press are making great play of the relatively low turn out, arguing that every member who didn't vote should be counted as a No. Of course this makes no sense whatsoever. And given the Tory anti-union laws which insist on postal ballots rather than workplace ballots or mass meetings, 25-30 percent is not a great turn out, but not bad either.
What is noticeable is that the Yes vote in health is even higher than in local government - destroying the commonly held notion that health workers are inherently less militant.
Statements from the leaders of the big unions (Unison, Unite, GMB), while for now they say the strike is still on, suggest they are preparing a possible way out. Unison workers' big Yes vote is very encouraging, but in fact it means we need to up the pressure - to make sure the strike happens, to make it effective and to make sure it leads to further action after 30 November.
For the AWL's model motion, putting forward ideas about how to step up the action on and after 30 November, see here.