It’s probably fair to say that this newsletter possibly find’s you after facing off against January Blues that were worse than the usual ones.
The post-Christmas news of the more restrictive lockdown measures although not surprising, hit most people’s morale hard.
It is however important to remember that as the days start to stretch that wee bit longer that we are getting closer to effective distribution of the vaccine. We want you to know that as your trade union, UNISON’s fight for workers’ rights has not stopped.
It hasn’t been stopped by a decade of an anti-union Tory government and it won’t be stopped by COVID-19. If anything, UNISON is stronger than ever because we have welcomed so many new members.
This February, there are a couple of key items we need to make you aware of.
– AGM – 24th February 12:00 – 14:00
– Plug the Gap Campaign – We need your help
– Health & Safety Fortnight + Free UNISON H&S training
Firstly, your UNISON branch AGM will be held a bit differently this year. Like most things we have gone virtual and the meeting will be held on the 24th February 12-2p.m, Papers and Teams link will be sent the day before (23rd February) to those who confirmed attendance.
You should have already received either an email or letter about this. If you haven’t then please get in touch with the branch asap so that we can facilitate your participation in your branch democracy.
We are delighted that our new General Secretary Christina McAnea has agreed to come along and address our meeting to set out not only the unions key priorities but also how we face the challenge of the COVID pandemic. Christina is not only the first female General Secretary but also the first Scottish General Secretary, she has a long track record of fighting on behalf of our members and a track record of winning those fights.
A further series of emails and letters will go out with details on joining instructions and AGM papers so please keep an eye out.
Plug the Gap Campaign
Our campaign to Protect our council services is gathering pace.
UNISON’s campaign is calling for:
- Securing the long-term financial stability of local government: calling for further investment in local government to protect jobs and pay for the future.
- Rewarding local government workers: for the vital services that local government workers provide to our communities.
- Shaping local government for the future: looking at how roles have changed because of the pandemic
- Consolidation of the Living Wage: Delivery of full consolidation of the living wage for across Scotland
We need your help
1. Watch and share our campaign video: Plug the £1bn funding gap
The Scottish government must fund local councils properly to keep communities safe and rebuild the country following the pandemic. We have launched a campaign, #PlugTheGap, to call on the Scottish government to find additional resources for Scotland’s councils to avoid devastating harm to services that have already suffered ten years of budget cuts.
Our governments must #plugthegap in funding. Please join our campaign to protect council services.
2. Ask your MSP to demand that the Scottish government acts to protect essential council services
Write to your MSP using our automated email page – Sign up to support our campaign, read the letter and if you agree, we can send it for you. Or edit the letter yourself and we will send it.
When you email your MSP/MP don’t hold back. Be sure to (politely as possible) let them know how the land lies.
Let them know about the service you still deliver either on the frontline as key workers or working form your makeshift home office.
On the front line tell them about the hazards you have faced at work or during your commute to it. If you are working from home, we want you to let them know how difficult it is to maintain your work while juggling home schooling and caring and worrying about the ones we love.
Most of all tell them why more than ever its vital that MSP’s back the UNISON campaign to properly fund essential council services. You could suggest that if they fail to do so, you will remember their choice when you make yours at the ballot box in May.
Our template letter can be accessed here and has everything you need to get you started. https://action.unison.org.uk/page/70180/action/1
Please encourage your colleagues to join. If they are not members, ask them to take part. If you would like to get involved in this campaign, please get in touch with the branch
3. Get involved in our #PlugTheGap campaign
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @unisonscot. Post and retweet our social media cards with #PlugTheGap
Health & Safety Fortnight + Free UNISON H&S training
Finally, we wanted to let you know about our Health & Safety fortnight. As you will see from the earlier articles, a strong team of trade unionists is needed now more than ever to keep our workplaces safe. During H&S fortnight we will be running free training for UNISON members that will accredit our normal members to carry out vital safety inspections on behalf of the branch.
If you are interested the sessions will take place over Zoom. The sessions are relaxed and informal. Dogs, Cats, goldfish, hamsters, etc. and children are welcome to attend/ make noise/ run around in the background.
The training is only 2 hours (including a break) and will take place on the following dates;
- February 16 @ 15:30 – 17:30 – Spaces Remaining – Be quick
- February 23 @ 18:00 – 20:00 – Spaces Remaining
To book your place just drop an email to the Branch Secretary using the details below.
If these dates don’t suit, then don’t worry. – We know how difficult it is to find a minute.
Simply get in touch and tell the branch a time that is more convenient and we may be able to gather other interested members and run a session at that time with some notice.
Your UNISON branch are here for you, just as we always have been. Our contact details are below if you need to get in touch with workplace issues.
By banding together as workers, we can get through this virus. By working together we will stare down those in power that want to see us poorer and our council services cut.
We hope to see you at your AGM, and perhaps one of our H&S training webinars.
Thank you for your continued support in 2021. Can I take this opportunity once again to thank all our members and please continue to stay safe, fit and healthy.