No Return to Normal

Well we continue to live through strange and challenging times where so much has changed and yet so much stays the same: Tory sleaze, Tory allocation of contracts to party donors and ‘friends’, a pending pay freeze for public sector workers and the real threat to our NHS- all under the ongoing cover of Covid.

The Tory focus on the vaccination programme should never detract from the fact it is being run by our NHS members and not private vultures. Neither should attention be moved from the 130,000 who have lost their lives and the government’s plans to incrementally and secretly sell off the very NHS which is saving us.

Fair pay and reward is what public sector workers deserve (even before the pandemic) and we will not be conned by the £billions wasted on quickly aborted vanity projects – gifts to friends (and more recently it would seem ‘girlfriends’) – when suddenly there is no money for our legitimate pay claims whilst some Tory donor consultants are reputed to be receiving £6,000 per day to outsource parts of the NHS!

There can never be a return to normal when ‘normal’ means undervalued, underpaid, exploited and more recently subject to the obscene tactics of fire and re-hire. Our region continues to adapt brilliantly to a digital world of organising. I would encourage all activists in our region to register for the ‘Online to Picket Line’ event to see how we have been and can continue to organise digitally, effectively and creatively to support our members in struggle. Our region is living proof that some of the most bitter disputes can be won with the support of the digital world– please come along and find out how.

The 18th July is Mandela Day, which acknowledges Nelson Mandela's values, dedication to the service of humanity and struggle for peace throughout the world. Nelson Mandela’s fight for justice began in 1942 and for 67 tireless years he continued to fight for social justice and human rights. The My67 programme encourages people to give 67 minutes of their day to help someone else, ideally on Mandela Day or in that week. Why not do something different and positive during these challenging pandemic times – more details are available here.

Our union now has a new General Secretary, a new NEC and a new Presidential Team (special shout out to our very own Andrea Egan from Bolton Local Government branch who was elected Vice President) as well as access to a new Branch Support and Organising Fund. These may be strange and challenging times, but our region is organised to organise and we always welcome new ideas and new activists. Interested? Just contact your local branch.

Stay safe and well everybody.

Glen Williams,

Regional Convenor,

UNISON North West

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