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.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Kathleen's equalities role raises branch profile in Scottish and national disabled members' forums.

Branch Equalities Officer, Kathleen Kennedy, is a member of the UNISON Scotland Disabled Members' Committee, which is a self organised group consisting entirely of disabled members who campaign on behalf of our disabled members to ensure that disability issues are given a voice within UNISON.

From the Scottish Committee Kathleen has now been elected onto the National Disabled Members Committee.

Kathleen said, "The National Disabled Committee has a key role to raise issues surrounding disability across the whole of UNISON. As a member of this committee I am also involved with organising the National Disabled Members Conference."

Kathleen will attend this conference and will co-chair the Women's Caucus meeting at the National Disabled Members Committee and National Disabled Members Conference.

Kathleen is also involved in two Disabled Women Members' Network Days and has been elected as one of the National Disabled Members Delegation going to the TUC Disabled Workers Conference.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Branch lobbies Scottish Parliament for increase to council budget settlement

Branch activists lobbied the Scottish Parliament on 3rd and 24th February as it debated the Budget Bill, to call on the Scottish Government to improve their settlement for Local Authorities to prevent cuts and job loss.

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary and Vice Chair of the Scottish Local Government Committee who attended both events with the branch banner said,
"It was good to see such a big turnout at the lobby of parliament on the Budget Bill.

"It is very disappointing that the Scottish Government has refused to shift and is talking down the impact of the cuts on council jobs and services.

Click here for a full report on the Branch website