Retired Members Forum

UNISON works to raise awareness of issues which concern older people and to influence decision makers. Our priorities include:

  • Pensioner poverty
  • Health care and age discrimination
  • Isolation and mobility issues

We believe our union should reflect the society we live and work in. There are more than 10 million elderly people in the UK. Retired and working members have a shared interest in obtaining decent incomes in older age, a universal health service and the creation of a civilised society.

Today’s workers are tomorrow’s pensioners and UNISON’s members work in public services on which many older people rely.

Who to contact:

Chair: Bill Allen – 01706 815333      

Secretary:  Maureen Vass – 01257 271480      

Regional Admin Support:  Helen Fisher -  01228 815676  

Lucy Culshaw’s 90th

Lucy Culshaw was presented with flowers and cake to celebrate her 90th birthday at the Regional Retired Members committee.

Lucy started work as a medical secretary in a hospital in Liverpool in 1939, and one of her jobs was to obtain details of wounded German POWs who were at the hospital.  She moved to Sharoe Green hospital in Preston, again doing the same job.  She remained a medical secretary until the age of 72, after slipping through the retirement net at the age of 65!  

She became a retired member and soon after became the Retired Members Secretary, a post which she still holds today.  Lucy continues to fight for the NHS and other issues which affect the working members today

 Retired members 1 Retired members 2

(2014) NW UNISON Regional Retired Members AGM

The NW Regional Retired Members AGM was held in County Hall, Preston on Friday, 17 January 2014.  44 members were in attendance.

Following a minutes silence for members who were no longer with us, the Chair made introductions to the meeting and apologies for absence were given.  The Chair went through the minutes of the previous meeting and the minutes were then agreed. 

Roger Bannister, NEC member, was the guest speaker.  He outlined his history with UNISON and thanked the committee for his invitation as he had never been invited to address retired members before.  He spoke of the government’s constant attacks on the public sector and how UNISON, along with other trade unions, would have to stand firm to resist the constant onslaught.  He also spoke of the issues facing retired members and how the government should not forget the ever growing ‘grey’ vote. He then took a number of questions from the floor.

The Chair then gave an update on 2013 and reported an increase in new retired members sections being set up in the North West.  He stated that it was a disgrace that Food Banks are now not only feeding the homeless but also working families and pensioners struggling on low incomes and rising costs.  He said that this year up to 26,000 cold-related deaths are expected and yet it is still rumoured that the Winter Fuel Allowance will be abolished.  Bus passes are also to be reviewed.

It was reported that the Retired Members’ Conference would be held at Southport this year in October and that this Region would be hosting a social evening.  He reminded the meeting that delegate entitlement is based on branch retired membership.

The Pensioners’ Parliament would again be held in Blackpool this year, although it was noted that this would again clash with the National Conference.

Members were also reminded that RM Sections can submit motions to the Standing Orders Committee either through their branch or through the Regional Retired Members Committee, and if it meets the criteria for a motion it will then be submitted.

Following a ballot the members below were elected on to the Regional Retired Members Committee for 2014:-

Bill Allen (Chair)               -     Rochdale Branch

Eileen Berry                      -     Wigan Metropolitan Branch

Roz Cheetham                   -     Sefton Health Branch

Lucy Culshaw                    -     Central Lancashire Health Branch

Alan Dickenson                 -     Cheshire East Branch

Frank Duffy                       -     Manchester Metropolitan University Branch

Alan Hodgkinson               -     Stockport LG Branch

Harry Lord                        -     Pendle LG Branch

Val Lovell                          -     Blackburn with Darwen Branch

Kath Montgomery              -     Lancashire County Branch

Harri Pickles                     -     United Utilities Branch

Margaret Pritchard            -     Knowsley Branch

Muriel Shingler                  -     University of Manchester Branch

Mary Throp                       -     Cumbria Police Branch

Maureen Vass (Secretary)  -     Lancashsire County Branch

Alan Webb                        -     Blackpool LG Branch

Pauline Wilson                  -     Lancashire Care Branch

Joyce Wright                     -     East Lancashire Health Branch

 

There being no further business the Chair closed the meeting.

                      

(2013) NW UNISON Regional Retired Members AGM

The NW Regional Retired Members AGM was held in County Hall, Preston on Friday, 11 January 2013.  42 members were in attendance along with Regional Manager, Lynne Morris, and John Eccles from UNISON Income Benefits.

Following a minutes silence for members who were no longer with us, the Chair made introductions to the meeting and apologies for absence were given.  The Chair went through the minutes of the previous meeting and the minutes were then agreed. 

The Regional Manager addressed the meeting, informing them that public services had sustained an onslaught with over 80,000 jobs lost in the NW alone and local government grants being cut by 28%, which was 10 times worse than those in southern rural England. Terms and conditions of members were being cut and staff morale was low. UNISON’s key campaigning issues for the coming year would include campaigning for better pay for members, and increasing and maintaining membership. They would continue to defend the NHS and carry on fighting the BNP in both local and European elections. The main challenge would be to stop the fragmentation of services at local level and she stated that retired members could be a real asset in assisting their branches in any campaigns that were running.  She then answered a number of questions from the floor.

The Chair then gave an update on 2012 and reported an increase in new retired members sections being set up in the North West. He reminded members that Retired Members Sections stood alone in the branch and were not run by the parent branch. If their meetings were being run correctly with a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and with accounts being submitted to the branch, they should be allocated money by the branch to conduct their meetings. Depending on numbers, the RM Section would be entitled to send a delegate(s) to Pensioners Parliament and are entitled to assistance from the parent branch in sending delegates to the Retired Members Conference. He informed the meeting that the NW Retired Members banner was now in use and, providing plenty of notice is given, may be used for other relevant events. The banner would be kept at the Regional Office in Manchester.

The Secretary informed the meeting that she was compiling a list of RM Sections in the region and that the committee would support any retired members wishing to set up their own RM Section.

It was agreed to again affiliate to the National Pensioners Convention and the North West Pensioners Association.

Members were also informed that the TUC, in conjunction with all unions and pensioners organisations were holding a full day seminar at Manchester Town Hall on 26 March to prepare a Charter to be given to the Government on ‘Austerity and the Elderly’.

Following a ballot the members below were elected on to the Regional Retired Members Committee for 2013:-

Bill Allen (Chair) – Rochdale Branch

Eileen Berry – Wigan Metropolitan Branch

Lucy Culshaw – Central Lancashire Health Branch

Alan Dickenson – Cheshire East Branch

Frank Duffy – Manchester Metropolitan University Branch

Rose Hopkins – Stockport LG Branch

Harry Lord – Pendle LG Branch

Val Lovell – Blackburn with Darwen Branch

Kath Montgomery – Lancashire County Branch

Harri Pickles – United Utilities Branch

Margaret Pritchard – Knowsley Branch

Brian Rimmer – Sefton LG Branch

Muriel Shingler – University of Manchester Branch

Mary Throp – Cumbria Police Branch

Maureen Vass (Secretary) – Lancashsire County Branch

Alan Webb – Blackpool LG Branch

Pauline Wilson – Lancashire Care Branch

Joyce Wright – East Lancashire Health Branch

There being no further business the Chair closed the meeting.

Following the A.G.M., the committee agreed to continue to give there full support to both Regional events and support any branches in the region. We are involved with a major event in Manchester with the T.U.C.which will take place at Manchester Town Hall in March. We will be present at the National Pensioners Parliament in June and we will be attending and speaking at the National Retired Members Conference in Brighton later in the year. We will be starting new retired members groups across the region in the next 12 months.

 Retired Members on the national UNISON website