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 key. As 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.