A very Happy New Year to all UNISON Members in our North West Region. I hope you managed to get some kind of break and rest over the festive season and if you had to work, thank you and I hope your rest and period off work comes soon.
Party Time! - Never again will the ‘Tory Party’ mean quite the same thing and the entire scandal highlights this government’s complete disregard for ordinary working people, public sector workers and a lack of any moral compass- truly shocking that rules made by them are so fragrantly ignored by them – a perfect example of the law makers being law breakers.
Change is Coming - This year has to be the time when our region looks seriously at how we engage with our membership – turnout in recent pay ballots across different service groups is shocking; recruitment reduces as the average age of activists increases and the same activists are facing greater challenges.
New Year's Resolution - However, my New Year's resolution was not to seek to lower morale but to challenge us to do things more effectively and differently. There is much good news coming over the horizon – the Branch Support and Organising Fund will bring £500,000 into our region to address some of these challenges. We have a regional strategic organising unit ready to go and a well-established member-led, democratic and transparent system in place for agreeing our organising priorities. Your UNISON NW leadership is very clear, we have to do better to engage with and empower our members and we will.
Join a Gym - Joining a union has to become like joining a gym (very popular at this time of year apparently!!) you cannot expect to get fit unless you get active – starting slowly at first, and with support then getting more active. Support and training are all available.
Organise, Organise, Organise – Our region is a real trailblazer and if you want to come along and experience what we have done and how we will continue to achieve the change that is much needed, please register for our Regional Skills For Strength event on March 12th 2022 in Manchester.
Finally to finish where I started with the despicable Tory Party who have no intention to support working families or any of our members and address fuel poverty, tax rises and the out of control cost of living some help is available for members who are struggling in the form of Winter Fuel Payments – as with Foodbanks we all recognise it is a disgrace they have to exist, but Winter Fuel Payments may well be something you want to apply for – for ease of reference the link is here and confidentiality is assured.
I wish you safety, solidarity and happiness for 2022 and hope your NY Resolution is to carry on being or to get active in our union.