The full speech is below. Mike Clancy will be available for interviews.
“I want to pay tribute today to the thousands of Prospect specialists who are the unseen and unsung heroes of public service.
The scientists who gather and analyse the evidence we need to protect human, animal and plant health.
The experts called in when something goes horribly wrong – from air accident investigators to health and safety inspectors.
Our members in the Hydrographic Office, who have travelled from Somerset to be here today, who provide the information that helps to protect lives at sea.
The curators, conservators and other specialists in our museums and galleries who preserve our fantastic heritage.
The power workers, staff in the Environment Agency, the Highways Agency, the Met Office and countless others who work day and night to protect our communities from devastating floods and other extreme weather events. They are our fourth emergency service.
The list is endless and I salute you all.
But many of these people have not had a pay rise for years. Some specialists could earn more in the private sector but they do not leave because they believe in public service.
At the same time, their workload is soaring because of government cuts.
It’s ordinary people who pay the price when these services are cut to the bone.
Yet in the City of London it’s business as usual, while children go to school hungry.
It’s business as usual for the top earners while the divisions in our society just keep growing. In the private sector more and more jobs are low paid, temporary or zero hours.
We need a new beginning in our workplaces – public and private.
We need a new economic model that works for all our people – not just a hereditary elite.
One that gives us hope that we can build a better, fairer future for our children and our grandchildren.
It would be understandable to feel overwhelmed by the challenges ahead of us.
But unions are showing that there is a better way.
We stand up for fair and decent workplaces. Workplaces where people progress on merit – not on which school or university they went to or their parents’ connections.
Workplaces that invest in their people – not just their shareholders.
Workplaces that are productive, healthy and sustainable.
We also need to build trust in our politicians and business leaders.
A good starting point would be to dust down the Nolan principles of public life – and see how they could be adopted in the private sector, too.
The seven principles are: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
So let’s take strength and hope from today.
Let’s go back to our communities and spread the word that trade unions stand for fairness and decency.
It’s one of the oldest slogans in the trade union book – but we really are stronger together.”