Sunday, 29 January 2017

"Ich bin ein Migrant" Solidarity to all migrants

In 1963 President J F Kennedy made what has become an iconic speech in Berlin.

"Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was "civis Romanus sum." Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Berliner."

I woke up this morning to watch distressing images of protests in response to Trump issuing a ban on people from certain countries. 

In less than 24 hours this news had travelled the world. The politics of the far right are being fuelled by hatred and fear. I often wondered what I would have done if I had been alive and organising during the rise of fascism in the 1930's. 

That is no longer a hypothetical question the rise of the far right and the politics is with us. 

As a union organiser, there is only one response and that is to tackle the far right head on. The far right always use fear to rally to their cause. 

Trade unions need to respond with our politics of solidarity amongst workers and our communities. 

Our Barnet Unison branch are organising an action of solidarity with "One Day without us" on Monday 20 February and we will be taking our banner to Stand up to Racism demo on 18 March in central London. 

As a proud grandson of migrants I have only one thing to say: 

" Ich bin ein migrant" 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

In UNISON? Vote 4 Grassroots Fighter Gary Padgett #UNISON NEC Elections

National Executive Council Elections
East Midlands Regional Male Seat

Request to nominate Gary Padgett

I am writing to your branch about the forthcoming National Executive Council (NEC) Elections.

Nominations open on Monday 9th January 2017 and close at 5pm on Friday 10th February 2017.

I am seeking election to the East Midlands Regional Male Seat

The Conservative government are privatising and destroying the welfare state. Many young people are minimum wage. Many people receive poor quality services from the private sector. The number of fifteen minute home care visits is on the increase. Sections of the NHS are outsourced and many schools are no longer run by local authorities.

Further planned cuts will take public services back to 1930’s levels. Some local authorities are looking at becoming commissioning authorities only, with virtually all services outsourced. One million people in Britain now use food banks, the majority being people in work.

I oppose all cuts in job, and services. I oppose all forms of privatisation and attacks on pay and conditions and on employment rights. I believe the Health and Social Care Act should be repealed. The £20billion NHS cuts means closures and service reductions; private sector profiteering means healthcare rationing; waiting times increase; targets are fiddled.

It is vital that the full strength of UNISON, other trade unions and the wider community is deployed to stop what is happening, before there are very few public services left to defend.

I am standing for the NEC for the first time.  I previously held the position of Assistant Branch Secretary in my branch, but now I am a rank and file Workplace Rep, not a career UNISON official. 

As well as representing our members, I have participated in many UNISON campaigns such as lobbying parliament against the Trade Union bill and have been involved locally in campaigns to save Lincolnshire Libraries and organising anyi racism campaigns, particularly mobilising against the EDL when they have decided to come to Lincoln. 

I firmly believe that racism is used as a tool by those in power to divide working people so that our anger is directed inwards instead of at those with the power who have caused the financial crisis, and implemented ideological austerity on the back of it. 

I believe we need a UNISON leadership that will give confidence to members that they will be supported by leaders who have a determination to win a fight back. I believe that the current UNISON leadership has failed to do this and as such a change is required

Where uncertainty or low morale does exist, UNISON’S leadership should be going out to the membership to raise the confidence to fight, to explain that there is an alternative to cuts and that we are determined to stop the destruction of our public services by this reactionary, millionaire-led government. 

If elected onto the NEC, my campaigning message will be opposition to all cuts in jobs and services, to all forms of privatisation and to attacks on pay and conditions and on employment rights. I will also push to make sure that UNISON becomes a bastion of anti-racism and a force for bringing together workers

I hope that your branch will agree with my election programme and nominate me. If elected I will campaign for a genuinely member led union, and for the accountability of the union’s leadership.

If you nominate me, I would be grateful if you would send me a copy of your nomination.

Yours sincerely

Gary Padgett

In UNISON? Vote 4 Grassroots Fighter Jordan Rivera #UNISON NEC Elections

To all Unison Health branch secretaries

Dear Branch Secretary,

I am writing to ask you to nominate me in the election for Unison's NEC for the Female Health Seat.  Please can you raise this at your next branch or branch committee meeting. If agreed, it needs to be done at a meeting between Monday 9th January and Friday 10th February 2017 and sent off by 5pm on 10th February.

I attach a nomination form with this letter or they can be obtained at

I am an activist in the Health Service. I am part of a health branch that organises to take on the private sector. We recently fought back an attempt by the oursourced company which provides our catering, domestic and portering services to make a third of their workforce redundant. We organised a campaign a very active campaign at our hospital, and they were unable to go through with their plans, with cutbacks being drastically reduced and a reduction from 89 proposed redundancies to only a few voluntary redundancies.

I am always willing to offer solidarity to others resisting the impact of austerity. I work with all unions, users of the health service, MPs, councillors and other campaigners.

We have a government which is relentlessly attacking working class people, whilst giving the rich tax breaks. Our union needs to be better at fighting back. I am standing because I am unhappy with the current leadership of Unison. When branches resist attacks, we need to do more to support them.  We need to coordinate national response rather than leaving each branch to struggle on their own. We cannot be complacent and imagine just having Unison survive by 2020 is enough. Our members are getting poorer whilst working harder or being made redundant, driven out by sickness policies, constant reorganisations and privatisations. Members and branches are tired and overwhelmed. They are also angry.

We need a union leadership that leads. After everything that has happened, our members sometimes lack the confidence to fight. They need to know their union nationally is serious and is 100% behind them. Calling off strikes after one or two days action or not calling anything nationally does not help this.

I welcome the election of Jeremy Corbyn, a principled socialist, as Leader of the labour party. I hope the Labour Party uses this to create real anti-austerity opposition to the Tories and that those MPs who did not support him accept the democratic decision and stop wasting their anger on Corbyn.

The Tories are weak. They have a small majority. They are divided over the EU, and many other things, which will get worse for them as Brexit approaches. They have been forced to back down on some things e.g. immediate cuts to child tax credits, agreeing to take 20,000 Syrian refugees. If we fought we could beat them.

The Tories want to blame migrants for the mess. But it is not migrants who cut our wages, jobs, services and bully us. It's the government, and vicious employers. £22,000 million has been cut from the NHS, this is the root of problems in the NHS, not migrants.  I welcome the 10,000s migrant workers who since its beginning have kept the NHS going.  The NHS would not function without them. The problem is that the Tories do not believe in the NHS.

I will fight for
ü  Solidarity for all those groups the Tories try to scapegoat – migrant workers, refugees, women, LGBT+, disabled, unemployed, users of our services.
ü  Real solidarity with others in struggle e.g. the Durham and Derby Teaching Assistants, Southern rail workers.
ü  Campaigns fighting for the proper budgets needed to sustain our NHS and its staff.

If you would like me to speak at your meetings, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Jordan Rivera

I would also ask you to consider nominating these who are standing for similar reasons:-

National Black Members seats (all branches can nominate for this)
April Ashley for female black member seat
Hugo Pierre for male black member seat.

Disabled seats (all branches can nominate for this)
Roger Lewis for general disabled seat.

National Community seats (if you are a branch with a community section i.e. most branches)
Janet Bryan (Bolton) for the female community seat.

National Health seats (if you are a health branch)
Neil McAlistair (Manchester Mental health) for general health seat
Roger Hutt (Care UK) for male health seat

Thank you, Jordan Rivera

Monday, 16 January 2017

In UNISON? Vote for Grassroots Fighter Roger Lewis #UNISON NEC Elections

Dear Branch Secretary 
I am seeking nominations for the Disabled members General seat on the National Executive Council 2017-19.

Who I am:

I have been a member of Lambeth UNISON Local Government Branch for over 25 years.

I have been a Shop Steward in Adult Social Care for this entire period and have been Branch Disabled Members Officer for many years and Branch Equalities Officer for 2016/17.

In seeking your branch’s nomination I would like to outline my reasons for standing for this position.

I believe that for the past seven years we have been experiencing the most serious attack on our jobs, pay and pensions and services in the history of our union.

As Disabled people we face seeing all the advances we have fought for and won in the past undone.

During this time Disabled people have been at the sharp end of attacks by the current government.

We have seen Disabled people scapegoated, portrayed as work-shy scroungers and benefit cheats.

With the imposition of the Work Capability assessments and sanctions, cuts to social care support and cuts to the voluntary sector Disabled people have been hit nine times harder than non-Disabled people and those with the most complex needs nineteen times harder.

For the past 7 years I have been a member of the National Steering Committee of Disabled People Against Cuts, DPAC.

I participated in the occupation of the Head Office of the DWP on the opening day of the London Para Olympics to highlight the scandal of the games being sponsored by ATOS and have lead on many of the other high profile direct action protests that have become the hallmark of DPAC’s campaigning against Disability cuts and against austerity.

Last summer we organized a 70 ft banner drop from the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital with the slogan No More Deaths from Benefit Cuts clearly visible from the terrace of Parliament while we simultaneously blocked Westminster Bridge.

This action was timed to pressurize the government to acknowledge the findings of the enquirey that was partly triggered by DPAC by The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which concluded that there is reliable evidence of grave or systematic violations by the UK government of the rights of “persons with disabilities” due to welfare reform.

DPAC has received huge support and solidarity from Trade Union members and individual branches of Unison but sadly we have not had any support from Unison’s national leadership.

DPAC has campaigned alongside Unison members taking industrial action to defend jobs and services including supporting the 2012 national day of actions to defend pensions.

I was a leading Lambeth Unison activist in the campaign to Defend the Ten Lambeth Libraries last year and supported the National Day of Action to defend Libraries, Galleries and Museums.

I believe this represents the sort of coordinated solidarity we need right now but which I feel has sadly been missing from our own Union.

I will bring the same level of determination that I put into DPAC to defending our Disabled members to my work in the NEC should I be elected.

We need a Union leadership which stands up for our members and which is determined to defend our jobs and services.

I support all movements which aim to develop the struggle against Austerity – from organizing against racism and the shocking rise of anti-immigration rhetoric over the last years to standing in solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. 

I hope you agree with me and support my nomination request.

Outsourcing: You really couldn't make it up

Our branch has been involved in a relentless fight with mass outsourcing. During my first week back at work I saw an example of just how bad things have got in particularly in terms of health & safety.

The picture above was taken of the floor in a building which staff are working on a daily basis. The bolt head which you can see is a result of metal caging being removed from the workplace, as a result of another health and safety issue we are trying to address. When I first saw eight bolt heads protruding from the floor, covered with red hazard tape, I couldn’t believe it. Apparently the contractor only had a contract to remove the metal cage not the bolts in the floor. I’ll repeat it again, ‘the contractor only had a contract to remove the metal cage not the bolts in the floor’.

It really beggars belief but this is but one example of how managing with so many different contractors is causing serious issues, in this case, health & safety. Apparently, the bolt heads stay in the floor until a fresh contract is issued to remove the bolts.

Inwardly I had a Basil Fawlty moment outwardly I left the room after assuring the members I would be raising it with the senior management which I did. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

#UNISON NEC Election: A chance for democracy for a union with 1.3million members?

This year the fight for an alternative response to austerity and delivering a real grassroots leadership for workers across the whole of the public sector, including those outsourced services has begun again.

I refer not to the Unite general secretary election but the UNISON NEC elections which you can read online here

There are 65 NEC seats.

Whoever controls the NEC has control over the direction and leadership of our union.

If we stick to the Austerity Years 2010 to present there have been 3 NEC elections, this will be the fourth.

If you are a UNISON member or UNISON rep or a former UNISON member who has retired or made redundant, what do you think of UNISON’s response to the brutal austerity cuts, the mass outsourcing, the failure to deal with Pay and the attacks on our pensions?

If you think that the NEC reps did a good or bad job then seek out the names of the reps on this link and make sure you find out about all the candidates for whom you can vote.

Had a look?

Below are a couple of links to some hard working grassroots UNISON reps who I believe will want to change the way we fight austerity.

In UNISON? Vote 4 Grassroots Fighter Claire Dixon #UNISON NEC #Vote4ClaireDixon

In UNISON? Vote 4 Grassroots fighter Andrea Egan #UNISON NEC Elections #Vote4AndreaEgan

In UNISON? Vote 4 Grassroots Fighter Helen Davies #UNISON NEC Elections #Vote4HelenDavies

In UNISON? Vote 4 Grassroots Fighter Roger Hutt #UNISON NEC elections #Vote4RogerHutt

The fight is on, but it will only be delivered if members and reps take part in the democratic process.

I understand just under 5% of the membership voted in the last NEC elections. 

That is appalling, but also a challenge. 

Clearly for members, elections are not having a meaningful impact on their working lives. Morale is low, in my view the inability of the union to mobilise nationally against austerity has seen almost a million jobs lost without a national fight. 

As the late Bob Crowe said: "If you fight you won't always win. But if you don't fight you will always lose."

Over the next few months there should hopefully be workplace discussions about what they really want from their union. 

My view is that we can't continue as we are, we need to focus on building grassroots participation within the workplace and the communities that our members live. 

We can't leave Durham & Derby TAs behind, we can't leave the Kinsley 3 behind we can't continue with appeasement and managed decline. 

Solidarity to all grassroots members and reps. 

In UNISON? Vote 4 Grassroots Fighter Claire Dixon #UNISON NEC

Dear Unison Branch Secretary,

My name is CLAIRE DIXON and I am asking your Branch of Unison to nominate me for the FEMALE HEALTH SEAT in the forthcoming NEC Elections. 

I am the Branch Secretary of Whittington Health in Islington, North London. I am passionately committed to fight for our NHS!  

I am proud to have fought alongside my union colleagues and the local community to save our A&E from closure not so long ago and stop the sale of half our hospital site.

 As a consequence of privatisation and massive cuts in the NHS, patient care has suffered. Staff in the NHS are totally demoralised and feel undervalued as they are overworked, unappreciated and face down-banding and job cuts. 

The driving force behind the latest ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ is pure economics, to cut, streamline and close. Under these plans many more A&E's including my own will again face the threat of closure. These plans have to be opposed if we believe in the founding principles of the NHS – to meet the needs of everyone; be free at the point of delivery; based on clinical need, not ability to pay.

My own pathology lab where I work is under the threat of being outsourced as are many others under the directive of NHS England. 

Social Care in the community has become almost non-existent. Hospital wards are packed to the rafters as a result. Many patients end up waiting on trolleys for a bed. In the midst of this crisis Tory leader Theresa May says there is no crisis! That is even when the Red Cross have been brought in to help the overstretched (outsourced) London Ambulance Service!

It is time to stand up to all of this, speak out and make it clear enough is enough. We need national action and strong national leadership to fight this. There should be no hesitation in supporting the National March that been called on March 4th to defend the NHS.

We must work with all our colleagues in local government and education who face the same onslaught to bring the struggle together.
change in direction of the union leadership
I am standing for a, one that stands up and shows its teeth in fighting this Tory government and its hateful policies. We must put an end to the pain and misery that they are imposing on millions of ordinary workers and their families.

I was one of the 11 complainants who went to the Certification Office hearing recently over the conduct of staff in the London Region during the 2015 General Secretary Elections. A recording emerged of paid full time union officials and staff openly engaging in a meeting at Unison HQ in London being encouraged to break the rules and mocking other candidates who stood.  We can no longer tolerate such practices.  I stand for a truly democratic and membership led union. 


I am also asking for nominations in health for:     ROGER HUT
                                                                             JORDAN RIVIERA
                                                                              NEIL McALLISTER

Please also support all other UNISONaction Broad Left candidates.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Grassroots Jeremy Corbyn Social Care & NHS should be public

I’m not interested in political posturing by any politician or trade union leader, what I want are policies that will address the brutal Austerity policies that are destroying public services, sacking workers and promoting privatisation at the expense of the workforce.

Nowhere is the brutality of austerity exposed than in social care services. For nearly three decades social care services have been undermined by the commissioning culture. The industrial scale outsourcing of social care services such as Home Care, residential & nursing care homes, day centres has struck dep into one of the most disadvantaged workforce's in our society today.

As a Labour Party member I am ashamed that the commissioning/outsourcing culture was encouraged and promoted by successive Labour Governments from 1997 onwards. Before I hear the screams about Sure Start centres, which I support, that doesn’t excuse what has been done to social care services by the mainstream political parties.

What is equally shameful is that national assault on the lowest paid has met no national strike. Instead it has been left to local grassroots union branches to try to fight alone a policy which is being driven nationally.

Back in 2007/8 our branch tried to fight with our Fremantle Care Workers draconian cuts to their Terms & Conditions and the subsequent cut to their Pension. Details of this campaign will be reported in my ‘Memoirs’ at a later date... Whilst some protections were won, the damage had been done and the new Terms & Conditions (appalling pay and no local government pension) for care staff are now in place.

Zero hours, travel time, working too much overtime (to make up the poor pay), lack of quality training, high turnover of agency staff are all symptoms of the ongoing attacks on social care provision through commissioning.

The trick with Commissioning, is that once they outsource, they quickly lose control over the quality of the service and in effect wash their hands of what happens to the workforce.
Was it short sighted or was it deliberate or do those in power not care when they promote commissioning?

My view is that Commissioning Fundamentalists know full well what happens. The Commissioners year on year cut the budget to the social care providers who then cut the staff Terms & Conditions and we wonder why we read about social care standards failing. I’ve even heard politicians being told that the reason there is an increase in the number of social care settings receiving a poor rating from Care Quality Commission (CQC) is that they are being more rigorous!

Too bloody right!

Anyone who has a loved one in a social care setting wants to know that the best care is being delivered. I’ve been a care assistant in a residential and day care setting and a social worker so I think I know a little about care and the standards which I personally believe should be enshrined within our Human Rights. By that I mean the actually care residents and services users are receiving.

The relentless attacks on social care provision by politicians promoting commissioning has got to end. I believe we reached a tipping point in social care over a decade ago, but now the ‘humanitarian’ crisis in the NHS has brought the critical need to do something urgently to the nation’s attention.

This is why I welcome the announcement by Jeremy Corbyn made on Saturday to the Fabian Society conference in London on

“So a Labour government would give social care the funding it needs and give a firm commitment to take failed private care homes into public ownership to maintain social care protection,” the speech says. “It’s the least we can do to guarantee dignity for people who’ve given so much to our country.”
(Guardian 2017.01.14. )

In Barnet we had an example where the above commitment would have been helpful.
In 2012, our Learning Difficulties social care services were outsourced to a company called Your Choice Barnet. Needless to say the outsourcing hit the rails within the first year and you can read the whole sorry mess here:

It led to a damning report by CQC.

You can read our response and demand for the services to be brought back in house

You can read a statement read by local Barnet Campaigner Barbara Jacobson on behalf of John Sullivan a Barnet resident and ardent campaigner for social care services

I leave with this message.  If we want to have a better future, a fairer society we need to work to take it back. Those in power are going to fight tooth and nail to stop us, because they will want to protect the ‘lucrative fat cat contracts’ which have flourished under successive governments.

I both marched and sang with the heroic Care UK 90 strikers in 2014,

To really know about their campaign you need to speak to the likes of Roger Hutt, Theresa Rollinson, Andy Squires, Dave Honeybone.

Their campaign became legendary.

They were outsourced and then the attacks came. I know that they have been handed over to another provider and the new staff are not on the same Terms & Conditions as the former NHS staff. I know the damage that was done by this fight and I know they would love to hear that their service along with all other NHS services outsourced would be brought back into the NHS under a Labour Government.

Building a grassroots movement
I want to hear more statements of what a Labour Government under Jeremy Corbyn will actually mean to the grassroots ordinary workers and their families and the communities they live.

We need bold statements we all understand and with which we can campaign on both in the workplace and on the doorsteps.

Let’s take back social care and make sure it works together with NHS services for the betterment of those in need and not ‘Fat Cat’ contractors.

Friday, 13 January 2017

30 counselling sessions later and now it’s just me!

I had a long break over the festive season, some carer responsibility which I enjoyed and had some ‘me’ time (as my counsellor keeps asking me to organise).

On Tuesday I had my last counselling session. At times I can’t believe I have been lucky enough to have so many counselling sessions. But I suppose it shows just how bad things were for me at the time. I was always a big supporter of talking therapy but it often not on offer for those of us with mental health issues. Frequently there is a long waiting list and then only a short number of sessions, nowhere near enough to begin to try and tackle the issues. It is all so clear how mental health issues when left unsupported can lead to further and more damaging issues for services users. I found this was the case as a social worker and my personal experience has merely affirmed this view.

I still get strong feelings of depression, but now I feel more able to contain and understand what is happening. Developing a coping strategy has been critical to strengthening my mental health for the many challenges that lie ahead of me. I don’t pretend that I can’t ever relapse, the fear of relapsing is something that I am learning to deal with, it is hard, but I am ready for it.

I feel I know myself a little better. I believe this will enable me to cope when facing difficult decisions on a regular basis; something we always seem to have here in Barnet!

The Stigma, of being labelled as being ‘tainted’ ‘unable to cope’ ‘unfit’ to be a trade union rep by both employers, union comrades, members was and still is a concern to me. In terms of my employer I have not yet seen any evidence of my mental health being an issue. However it has disappointingly been raised as an issue within the trade union community. I am disappointed, but not surprised because ‘fear of mental health’ is not something that confined to employers. It happens with our friends and families, so why not trade union comrades. I supposed I am, just disappointed as I expected better of trade union comrades. On a positive note I have some fantastic solidarity and support within the trade union community and outside it, along with friends and family. You can never underestimate the importance of solidarity to the good mental health.

In my view real solidarity is one of the most important and greatest strengths within the Trade Union movement and sometimes you are surprised just where the strongest solidarity comes from.

My next challenge is to come off the medication. I never wanted to take it, it was a compromise. I’ve never been keen on medication and I am conscious I will never know how I am really until I am off the medication. I will be arranging to meet my GP in order to discuss how I manage coming off medication.

Now I am back representing members, I am seeing on a regular basis the impact of austerity on the mental wellbeing of our members regardless of the employer. The impact of cuts to resources, cuts to staff but increased workloads, is predictably leading to industrial scale levels of stress for our members. Austerity is literally destroying members and service users lives and worryingly there is no sign of a fightback except in small pockets of communities.

It is almost a year since my breakdown, back them I was worn out, both physically and mentally. Now I am feeling invigorated, energised for the fights ahead. To try and do the best for my members and the community that I serve.

I have a very, very long ‘To Do’ list.

In the midst of the bitter war against Austerity, we can lose sight of the importance of the need to celebrate and relax (something I am re-learning), with that in mind I want to plug our Solidarity Warm up for the 4 March NHS march.

So be my guest and pop along to:

Rock against Austerity presents: “Sing your Heart out 4 our NHS”

Date: Saturday 25 February 2017, 7 pm til late

Venue: Midland Hotel, 29 Station Road, Hendon, London NW4 4PN

Download Flyer here

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Vote 4 Grassroots fighter Andrea Egan UNISON NEC Election

Dear Branch Secretary,

I am seeking your branch nomination for the National Local Government (Female Seat) on UNISON’s NEC. There are 2 Female seats. I believe that I have the experience, commitment and energy which are all pre requisites for this important role.

I am standing because I want to make a difference. I am in a branch were members have experienced; cuts, privatisation, excess workloads, worse hours, pay freezes, downgrading, reorganisations and worse pensions rights, some of these impacts could have been worse but we have been an organised campaigning branch. Supporting and facilitating members to fight back using the union as a collective voice.

To deal with the increasing challenges we face, it is essential that we have the full involvement of activists and members and officials at every level. Accountability and commitment is vital. I always ensure that I represent member’s views, visiting workplaces and talking to members about their day to day concerns. I have always believed that members must have balanced information alongside strong leadership.

We must ensure that our union is organised and ready, from the bottom right up to the top. I believe our union has to change, my experience over the last few years, in particular on the issue of pay, is that full time officers have had too much influence. That has to change; we are a member lead trade union. Decisions should be based on the views of members. 

·         I have been an active UNISON member for the last 28 years, and held various officer positions during this time.  I currently hold the post of Assistant Branch Secretary of Bolton Local Government Branch (6,000 members), a post I have held for the last 8 years.  This involves being part of the negotiating team for the core employer, Bolton Council. I played a key role in negotiating Single Status at a local level and managed to maintain unsocial hours and bank holiday payments. I also played a part in the local application of the National Job Evaluation scheme. 

·         I led the first UNISON strike against academies in Bolton. And whilst the action failed to stop the conversion I was able to negotiate first class union recognition agreements which are still in place today.

·         I lead on Education within the branch, including Schools, Academies   Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges. 

·         I was elected last year to the Local Government Service Group Executive where I hold the North West Female seat.

·         I am a Delegate to Local Government Service Group, Regional Council and Regional Committee. I have been an active delegate to National and Local Government conference for many years.

·         I believe in mentoring and supporting stewards and have organised a steward development weekend for later this year. 

I feel I have the skills and experience to help with the challenge facing the union and our members: Together with a team of branch officers I work tirelessly on recruitment and retention initiatives to maintain union density and consequently recognition rights.  

Recruitment and retention is only effective if the union is relevant to members. Defending terms and conditions and resisting the worst aspects of privatisation are keyAs a Union we must be proactive in organising campaigns and programmes of opposition to cuts and privatisation now. We can't afford to wait until 2020.

I would ask you to consider also giving your vote to Jane Doolan for the National Local Government (Female Seat) on UNISON’s NEC UNISON RMS number 1179349.

Yours Faithfully

Andrea Egan