Preparing for a government that fights for our services

Liz Davidson reports back from UNISON’s national Labour Link Forum

The Eastern delegation to Labour Link 2023 pose for a photo on the platform

It was lovely to be able to attend Labour Link Forum as a member of standing orders from the Eastern region.

My work started some time before other delegates, checking out all the motions that had been submitted and preparing the timetable for the forum but once that was done I was pleased to join the rest of the Eastern delegation.

We had a packed day which started with motions at 9.30am followed by a very inspiring speech from UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea.

She outlined what UNISON was looking to have included in the Labour manifesto to benefit our members and public services. These priorities have come from UNISON members via the Labour Link Forum.

Christina reminded us of how important it was to go back to our branches and encourage members to get involved, by speaking to people and building on the principles of collectively standing together for the better of everyone.

Alex, Sam and Shabina take a selfie at the forum

We continued the morning with more motions, Eastern region moved motions and our delegates spoke to other motions. At one point we were worried that we might not get through the agenda!

After lunch delegates took part in a workshop on Labour’s New Deal for Working People. There were some interesting ideas that would benefit public service workers and it was good for UNISON members to further feed in to Labour’s policies.

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson spoke to delegates about Labour’s plan for its first 100 days in government which would include important changes across all public service areas. Her speech also raised lots of questions from our members in higher education.

The last speech of the day was from Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar. He told us about how things were feeling in Scotland as the SNP’s star appears to be fading. Polls suggest many Scottish voters are planning to turn back to Labour which could provide a completely different political landscape after the next general election.

We managed to squeeze the last few motions in after his speech and closed the day just after 5 pm.

It was lovely to be able to chat with other like-minded people and make contacts! It was even good to meet members of Eastern region who until now I had only seen on paper. So we took a team photo and headed home!


Liz Davidson is a member of Bedfordshire Police branch