Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Branch urges members to get along to council meetings about alternative service delivery model for sport and culture

The branch is encouraging all affected members to get along to a series of meetings arranged by Aberdeenshire Council in the run-up to the next EL&L Committee.

This committee will consider a report from the project board which includes a commissioned report from Ernst and Young on an alternative service delivery model for sport, culture and community learning and development. The branch will be represented at all these meetings to hear what you think.

Four alternative models that were considered have been narrowed down by the Project Board to the creation of a charitable trust, which would deliver sport and cultural services on behalf of the council, (also known as an Arms Length External Organisation or ALEO) and the potential of an enhanced status quo model through which those services would continue to be directly delivered by the council.

The meeting dates are as follows:
  • North (Fraserburgh CSC) – 11am – 12pm Tuesday, 25 October
  • North (Peterhead Community Theatre) – 3 – 4pm Tuesday, 25 October
  • Central (Meldrum Academy) – 3.30 – 4.30pm Wednesday, 26 October
  • Central (Inverurie Town Hall) – 6 – 7pm Monday, 24 October
  • South (PFR Room, Banchory Academy) – 6 – 7pm Tuesday, 25 October
  • South (Mearns Community Campus) – 6 – 7pm Wednesday, 26 October
On 27th October EL&L committee members will be presented with a report on the work carried out so far before the preferred option is chosen by all councillors at next month’s full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council on 15th November.

The branch has been pressing the council through the working group, project board and elected members to think very carefully before going down any outsourcing route. We have pointed out that ALEOs in other Local Authorities in Scotland have led to cuts in services as well as in staff, and terms and conditions. Aberdeen City is currently seeing the closure of pools in the City by their ALEO, Sport Aberdeen.

The branch has worked to see CLD services removed from this proposal and welcomes the recommendation that CLD services be removed from the scope of this proposal. If the committee agrees, CLD will remain under the direct management of Aberdeenshire Council. We believe that the best way to protect and deliver public services is to keep them in-house.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Branch supports Graham's half Marathon and fundraising and you can too

Branch steward Graham Wilson will be running in the Fraserburgh half Marathon on the 6th November in support of Oldmeldrum based charity Kayleigh's Wee Stars and the branch delighted to have donated £100 to this very worthwhile cause.

This local charity provides financial support for families where there is a child with a terminal illness, and helps makes memories for these extremely courageous children

We would also encourage members to donate in recognition of Graham's efforts and you can do so by clicking here. Kayleigh's Wee Stars.
Graham in training
Graham said, "Whilst I really enjoy running and it provides so much for me in the way of stress relief, I do want some good to come out of it.

"Rather than ask for sponsorship I am encouraging friends and family that maybe would consider sponsoring me to instead make a donation to Kayleigh's Wee Stars.

"The charity continues to receive on average 4 applications for support a month, and by May 2015 had donated almost £250,000 in total. The applications continue to come in and every bit of support is vital," added Graham.

" It doesn't take long to donate, and every little makes a difference, giving me some inspiration to run this half marathon.

"Please make a donation and help to provide a family with a chance of making precious memories together."

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Branch to the fore at both local government and national delegate conferences.

Kathleen makes her maiden speech
Branch delegates were active at the podium at both UNISON's Local Government Service Group Conference and the union's National Delegate Conference (NDC).

Branch Secretary, Inez Teece and Branch Chair, Kate Ramsden both spoke at this year's Local Government Conference - Inez in her role as Regional Delegate and Kate as branch delegate.

Click here to see the report of the Local Government Conference on the Branch website

Kate Ramsden then made two speeches at National Delegate Conference, whilst Branch Equalities Officer, Kathleen Kennedy made her maiden speech at NDC.

Kate spoke in the first debate of the week on poverty then on Palestine during the international debates. Kathleen spoke on combatting bullying, especially amongst young workers.

Click here to see the NDC report on the Branch website

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Workplace disability standards a sham says Branch Equalities Officer Kathleen at TUC Disabled Workers' Conference

Kathleen Kennedy
The TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference condemned the current schemes to improve disability equality in the workplace and will lobby the UK government to impose transparent and regularly measured disability standards on both public and private sector employers.

Supporting the motion from the Prison Officers’ Association, Branch Equalities Officer and UNISON delegate Kathleen Kennedy, in her maiden conference speech, told delegates that neither the two tick scheme or Disability Confident do anything much to remove barriers for disabled workers or to ensure disabled workers get equal rights.

“They are a sham!” slammed Kathleen.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Branch joins Aberdeen May Day March calling for collective action in the struggle against inequality and injustice around the world

UNISON activists and the branch banner joined hundreds of trade unionists, community activists and politicians, four beds and three dogs on the Aberdeen May Day March on Saturday 30th April, calling for workers' rights around the world.

It also called for the ARI Trauma Centre to stay open for the people of the North East of Scotland.

The march was led off once again by the uplifting beats of the Guarana Drummers, stopping at regular intervals to lead the marchers in a chant of “Save our NHS” – a reference to the campaign to save the trauma centre in the North East of Scotland.

Four UNISON members and activists representing  the Grampian Health branch had dressed up as beds to highlight the campaign to ensure that Aberdeen Royal Infirmary can keep its trauma centre for the people of the North East of Scotland.

Humphrey the basset hound brought UNISON health activist Sandra-Dee Masson on the march with him, where he was joined by two other politically active dogs!

Passersby once again stopped to watch and wave as the colourful procession of banners, placards and flags marched by on its exuberant way down the whole of Union Street to the rally in the Castlegate.

Click here for a full report of the March and Rally on ATUC blog

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Aberdeen remembers - Workers' Memorial day 2016

Aberdeen remembered all those who have lost their lives, been injured or made ill at their work at a moving and well attended Workers’ Memorial Day service on 28th April.

Opening the ceremony at the Persley Walled Garden in Aberdeen, Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair, and President of Aberdeen Trades Union Council, extended a particular welcome and deepest condolences to the family and work colleagues of Ian Walker, the worker who lost his life in the construction of the third Don Crossing.

Kate said, “This will be a very poignant service as we mourn the deaths of three workers, including Ian, killed at their work in a three week period in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire earlier this year.

“In coming together today we mourn all those, like Ian, who have lost their lives doing their job.

 “But we also make a pledge to continue our fight for robust health and safety procedures, inspection and legislation to make sure no more workers are killed at their work and no other families have to grieve the loss of their loved ones.”

Kate also thanked Aberdeenshire Council for their messages of support.

Kate said, "Although the elected members are unable to attend, the Provost opened their Full Council today with a statement about Workers' Memorial Day and a period of reflection."
Click here to read a full account of the ceremony on the ATUC blog.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Workers' Memorial Day Thursday 28 April 2016 - Remember the dead, fight for the living

This year's International Workers Memorial Day Service, will be held at 1pm (gather from 12.30pm) at Persley Walled Garden, Persley, Aberdeen. All are welcome to attend.

For more information go to the ATUC blog.

International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) takes place all over the world on 28 April each year.
The purpose of IWMD is two-fold. Firstly it is about not forgetting those who have died, been injured, or made ill by their work. Secondly it is about ensuring that tragic loss and suffering are used to reinvigorate the campaign for healthier and safer work.

The campaign slogan is "Remember the dead, fight for the living."

The number of people killed at work in Scotland has been rising in recent years, according to official figures. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said 20 workers lost their lives north of the border in 2014-15. Recently three workers have lost their lives in work related accidents in the local area so this will be a particularly poignant service.

In this time of austerity, it is ever more important to protect our Health and Safety legislation, which is constantly under attack.

The Service will last for approx 30mins.