We continue to live in bizarre times and you all continue to work in what must feel like ever-changing pressures. I am increasingly aware of members showing signs of Covid fatigue and, as a region, we are looking at ways this can be addressed. It goes without saying that I hope all reading this and your families stay safe and well until the pandemic recedes.
Meanwhile, the North West region continues to actively demonstrate that organising successful disputes and reaching out to increasing numbers of members in a virtual world of work is not just possible, but vital.
Our incredible Skills For Strength event on Saturday 13 March went virtual this year. Speakers from all over our union and the globe shared amazing experiences and examples of winning disputes in a digital world but with the clear message of an organising pathway that moves workers from on-line to off-line - from virtual to real world. If you missed Skills for Strength, you can watch it back here.
Regional Convenor Glen Williams chairing Skills for Strength 2021
The full range of work undertaken across the North West region and forthcoming events are laid out in our recent In Touch magazine including ongoing disputes with OCS and Engie as well as the staggering outcome of forcing this Tory Government to do a complete U-Turn on their LGPS and redundancy attacks in which your region played a key role.
Mitie on profits but not so mighty on pay!
UNISON Members in Cumberland Infirmary are set to stage a further 48-hour strike on 26/27th March over Agenda For Change parity with NHS colleagues. Whilst Mitie squabble over releasing the money given to them to cover the staff costs, they announce their revenue has risen to £574m! Please support our members in struggle, get your branch to donate and join the virtual rally on Friday 26 March at 3pm.
Branch Resources Review
The virtual Special Delegates 'themed' conference this year will debate the future funding and support to all branches and regions and I would encourage all UNISON members to look at what it means for your members.
As the AGM season comes to a close and branch secretaries sigh with exhaustion, exasperation and even maybe some with exhilaration, we now plan for the next 12 months and beyond. Work in the post-pandemic world will be different and UNISON North West is looking at the implications with the North West TUC but also specifically for what it might look like in our region. Our safety and our pay have to be the top priorities and I am sure you will support all the work being done by our union to shift the Tories on their pay policy of setting private against public and NHS against the rest of the public sector.
Please stay safe and well and thanks for reading this blog - longer than I intended as always!