Labour Link elections 2021

An election will shortly be held for regional seats on the union’s National Labour Link Committee.

These elections are absolutely critical to determine how UNISON’s policy objectives are taken forward within the Labour Party. As the UK’s largest union, how UNISON uses its voting strength within Labour Party structures and conferences can go a long way to shaping the kind of party Labour will be.

Branches were asked to nominate their preferred candidates prior to ballot papers being issued. Our branch has nominated Ruth Cashman for the London seat.

Ruth Cashman is a socialist trade unionist She has led strikes against cuts and section 44 action for safety in the pandemic. She will fight for UNISON to defend the left-wing policies of 2017-2019 and for the policies UNISON members need in such tough times.

She says “Covid-19  has exposed to the public how crucial public sector workers are, our union must be bold and confident in its political demands”

Ruth will raise:

·         Pay rises across public services 

·         An end to austerity and privatisation 

·         A nationalised and well-paid social care service 

·         Abolish all anti-union laws 

·         Mass council house building programme 

Only full members and retired members who pay the Labour Link APF levy are eligible to vote in this election.

Ballot papers will be sent to members’ home addresses and online ballot codes will be emailed to members’ email addresses as shown on our membership system. Members will have the option to vote online or by post. The ballot papers will include a prepaid envelope for returning the postal ballot to the scrutineer, and unique security identifiers for returning the vote online.

The despatch of ballot papers to members will begin on 7 September 2021.

If individual members have not received a paper by 13 September 2021 then they should contact the ballot helpline operated by UNISONdirect on the following telephone number: 0800 0 857 857.

The deadline for receipt of ballot papers is 5pm on Wednesday 13 October 2021.

Care workers get organised! Protest 4 September

Care and Support Workers Organise (CASWO) are planning a day of action on Saturday 4 September during Professional Care Workers Week. CASWO is a cross union campaign made up of care and support workers from across the labour movement. Care and support workers have risked their lives during the pandemic to continue to care for the society’s most vulnerable. They have been at the sharp end of the government’s policy failures and have had to endure PPE shortages, lack of adequate testing in care homes and continued poverty pay.           

CASWO are demanding:

  • £15 per hour minimum wage for all care and support staff    
  • Full recognition as key workers making it easier for carers to access genuinely affordable housing
  • For the social care sector to be bought under democratic ownership

We fully support CASWO’s demands, and we encourage all our members to take part in the day of action. If you are a care worker or just believe that care workers deserve better, then we urge you to join the demo! Care and support workers need our solidarity as they have given so much over the past 18 months. They don’t just deserve our gratitude and applause but a meaningful pay rise and better working conditions.  

The action will start at 11.30am on Saturday 4 September outside the Department for Health and Social Care with a full list of speakers to be confirmed. Other demonstrations will take place at the same time in Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Preston, making it a national day of action!

Make sure to spread the word about the demo at your workplace and support this vital campaign.

Also, please click the link below and sign CASWO’s petition calling on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and members of The London Assembly to include all care and support workers in ‘Key Worker’ housing schemes across London.

Make sure to follow CASWO on both Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter: @CaSWO_

Facebook: @CareAndSupportWorkersOrganise

Council workers deserve decent pay

The national employers council for Local Government has offered Council workers a 1.75% pay increase for most staff and 2.75% for lower graded staff.

UNISON is rejecting this derisory offer which is below inflation and in no way makes up for over a decade of below inflation pay ‘increases’. UNISON is arguing for 10% for all staff. This would go some way to improving the lives of dedicated local government workers who have sacrificed so much and worked so hard even through the pandemic.

You can read more about the pay campaign for 10% below

Council staff who kept local services and schools running deserve a real pay rise

And for more details and why you should vote to REJECT the offer in the forthcoming ballot please click on the link below

Lambeth UNISON supports the Palestinian’s right to exist!

Motion adopted at our Branch Committee 18 May 2021

This branch deplores the violence currently taking place in the Middle East, including the bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli Defence Force.

The context within which this violence is taking place is that of the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestine. 

We echo the view expressed by Labour Party Conference 2019 that an internationalist Labour Party has a special responsibility to redress the ongoing injustices against the Palestinian people, denied their right to self-determination during the British Mandate, because of the role Britain played as a colonial power during the 1948 Nakba when Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes.

We support the call from Labour Party Conference 2018 for a freeze of UK Government arms sales to Israel; and an immediate unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza.

We endorse the following demands supported by the Trades Union Congress in 2020;

  • respect for all Palestinian rights, including the right to collective self-determination and the right to return
  • an end to the illegal occupation and a halt to further annexation.
  • support for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace that is consistent with international law and based on a two-state solution, which must promote equality and respect for human and labour rights.

We call on the UK government to publicly support the same goals and to recognise the State of Palestine.

‘In addition, we welcome the recognition in the TUC Congress resolution that the Israeli government’s declared intention to annex great swathes of the West Bank would be “another significant step in the creation of a system of apartheid”

In February, Israel’s largest human rights group, B’Tselem, published its report  A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid.

Human Rights Watch, one of the two most important global human rights monitoring bodies, released a report at the end of April that unequivocally declares Israel is guilty of the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.

Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah are facing imminent forced evictions, which is part of the Israeli’s government’s ongoing plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem

UK trade policy and business should ensure Palestinian labour and human rights are protected and respected, and support an end to the occupation.

We further support Keir Starmer’s pledge, made in the Labour leadership election last year to put human rights at the heart of foreign policy and to review all UK arms sales and make us a force for international peace and justice.

We resolve;

  1. To support, and encourage our members to attend, local and national protests in support of a just peace in the Middle East;
  2. Reaffirm our branch’s continuing support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and circulate information to members encouraging them to support BDS
  1. To send this motion, appropriately reworded, to the Regional Council;
  2. To refer this motion to UNISON Labour Link.

JOB ROLE: Private sector organiser

Lambeth UNISON are recruiting for a temporary private sector organiser for 21 hours a week.

Lambeth UNISON organises many public sector workers at Lambeth Council and at Lambeth College, but we also have members in many private sector work places including care homes, industrial laundries and security services. Our branch is committed to organising our members across these different industries.


The successful candidate will bring their experience and skills to the role and be able to develop and deliver recruitment and organising initiatives and campaigns, train and develop new stewards and undertake case work (representing workers at disciplinaries/grievances, etc).


You will have excellent presentation skills and communication skills, both face-to-face and on paper. A sound understanding of trade unions and their objectives is essential. Our Branch is committed to member led trade unionism, with our activity driven, shaped and controlled by members and activists. Your role will be to work with reps and members in private sector workplaces to build up organisation and member led activity. You do not need to have worked for a trade union before however the Branch would value skills and experience as a rank and file trade union and/or community activist.


You will be required to travel to workplaces across Lambeth and work hours which best allow you to access members


We understand that some candidates may need to slightly reduce or increase hours in order to fit with benefits stipulations. Please feel free to call the Branch Office if you would like to apply but may need to alter hours.


This role will be for an initial three months and then extended depending on assessments.

Pay

£16,000 per annum

How to apply
Please email us a statement that answers the following questions
What relevant experience and skills do you have?
What qualities does a trade union organiser need to have?
What kind of campaigns do you think are pertinent to private sector workers right now?
Email Ruth Cashman at rcashman@lambeth.gov.uk with the subject: Private sector organiser role application

About UNISON
UNISON is the UK’s leading public services trade union, with over 1.3 million members working in the public sector, private, voluntary and community sectors and in the energy services. Lambeth UNISON organises local authority, education and private sector workers across Lambeth.
UNISON is a dynamic, progressive union, committed to equality. We encourage men and women of all ages, Black and minority ethnic groups, disabled people, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to work with us.

Application deadline

4 June 2021 at 5pm

MEETING: Fighting local government cuts

We are bringing together activists across local government unions, community campaigns and the Labour Party to discuss how we can stop local government cuts and defend our communities.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

Sean Fox, UNISON Chair of the National Joint Council Committee

Susan Matthews, Unite Branch Secretary and Executive Council member

Andy Prendergast, GMB Southern Region Lead Officer for Public Services

Duncan Morrison, Lewisham NEU Branch Secretary

Councillor James McAsh

Chaired by Ruth Cashman, Lambeth UNISON

The government must fund local councils properly for the first time in more than a decade in order to keep communities safe and rebuild the country after the pandemic. Unless ministers fix the current funding shortfall – estimated to be in the region of £10bn – there could be tens of thousands of job losses and catastrophic cuts to local services in England, according to the union.

Many of the people providing essential services throughout the pandemic – including social care, waste collection and environmental health workers – could soon be out of work, despite councils having a central role in keeping people safe in the months ahead.

TO REGISTER CLICK HERE https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fighting-local-government-cuts-tickets-140255023551

Lambeth UNISON AGM – 3 March 2021

Lambeth UNISON AGM is being held online on 3 March 2021

The purpose of the AGM is to bring the branch committee and its officers to account:

  • to report on the branch’s finances;
  • to report on the branch’s activity during the past year;
  • to receive a report on the annual assessment.
     
    It is also to make decisions for Lambeth UNISON in 2021:
  • agree policies and plans for the year;
  • to elect branch officers and branch representatives to external bodies for the coming year
  • Elect conference delegates for Local Government Conference and National Delegate Conference
     
    This year there will be one AGM for all members and not a rolling AGM as we have had in previous years.
     

Do you want to write a motion for the AGM?

Motions at our AGM become branch policy and help guide us in campaigns we will run over the next 12 months.

For instance, we passed a motion at our 2019 AGM in support of school climate strikers and then we organised a delegation to go to their protest in central London in September. We passed a motion supporting the return of a Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) at the Council and we argued for it with senior managers, one is now being created.
Motions should be no more than 250 words (not including the title) and in numbered paragraphs
      .
Email motions to rcashman@lambeth.gov.uk copying in shannah@Lambeth.gov.uk

Do you want to stand for an elected officer position?

Nominations are now open for officer posts on our branch committee

Lambeth UNISON is run by a branch committee, made up of officers elected at AGM, convenors elected by members in each directorate of the council, and stewards elected by members in teams/workplaces.  The branch committee meets monthly and is the leadership of the branch. For an overview of the different roles and their responsibilities, please check out (https://www.unison.org.uk/about/our-organisation/activists/branch-roles/)

All officer posts are open for nominations. For information on how to nominate please read below.

Branch Secretary                In charge of day to day running of the branch, overall strategy, campaigns, etc (5 days facility agreed)
Assistant Branch Secretary     Currently three roles for overseeing policy, casework and campaigns
Branch Chair                        The branch chair facilitates branch and committee meetings, and may also be a senior negotiator.
Branch Vice Chair               Chairs meetings when the branch chair is unavailable
Branch Treasurer                 Responsible for finances in collaboration with the secretary
Deputy Branch Treasurer   Assists the branch treasurer
Publicity Officer                    Helps produce newsletters, manage social media accounts, press releases and so on.
Membership Officer             Assists with recruitment and retention, managing our membership database.
Health and Safety Officer##  Watch that badly fixed light! Is work making you stressed? Health and safety is the name of the game.
Environmental Officer         Helps keep the branch up to date on green issues and develops campaigns and policy (will be a very important role in years to come!)
Equality Officer                    Is responsible for equalities issues, assisting self-organised groups and being a union lead on equalities at work
International Officer            Keeps an eye on the news, is informed about international issues and feeds campaign ideas into the branch (e.g. anti-fascism in Brazil, solidarity with trade unionists in Colombia, anti-war campaigning in the Middle East)
Welfare Officer                     The lead person for assisting members with any welfare issues and providing access to UNISON’s welfare fund.
Learning Co-ordinator#      Works with employers and co-ordinates the work of union learning reps in supporting members with lifelong learning and skills for life
Education Officer                 Helps arrange training courses and education programmes for members, stewards, health and safety reps and branch officers.
Returning Officer                 Oversees elections for the AGM and any by elections that may be held for officer posts or convenor roles.
Branch Auditor                     Checks over our finances and ensures we have complied with UNISON regulations.
Deputy Branch Auditor       Helps the branch auditor carry out their duties
Young Members Officer**  Coordinates campaigning and organising work among younger members – are you under 27 and interested?
Labour Link Officer++         A crucial role in liaising with local Labour Parties and coordinating delegates from UNISON to Labour to advocate for our unions agenda.
** must be under 27 at end of their term of office (early 2022)  
++must be a Labour Party member who pays into the Affiliated Political Fund
# must be a trained ULR        (training provided)
## must be a trained safety rep (training provided)

All posts are open to job share 


To apply please email your name, membership number, employer and which role you are interested in standing for to JABlake@Lambeth.gov.uk copying in PDFitzgerald@lambeth.gov.uk. You will also need to find another member to second your nomination.

More details can be found on lambeth-unison.org or call Lambeth UNISON at 020 7926 2858 for more details or to answer any questions

Time Table for AGM

Monday 14 December 5pmDeadline for nomination of Branch Officers, Conference and other delegates
Monday 11 January 5pmDeadline for AGM Motions
Tuesday 12 JanuaryCirculation of motions and nominations received for AGM and reminder of dates
Monday 18 January 5pmCopy Deadline for Annual Report
Week 18-22 JanuaryLayout and printing of Annual Report
Monday 25 JanuaryCirculation of Annual Report (electronic)
Monday 8 February 5pmDeadline for amendments to motions for AGM
Monday 15 February 5pmDeadline for nominations for stewards
Tuesday 16 FebruaryFebruary Branch Committee – compositing of motions and amendments for AGM
Week of Monday 22 FebruaryElections for shop stewards etc. if required
Friday 26 FebruaryDeadline for Emergency Motions to AGM (motions will be accepted on issues after this date, contact branch secretaries for details)
Monday 1 MarchCopying of papers for AGM
Wednesday 3 MarchLambeth UNISON AGM

Lambeth UNISON update

Eamon Maguire, Lambeth UNISON Housing Convenor, Memorial Friday 20 November 11am-12noon

The memorial for Eamon Maguire is booked for Friday 20 November from 11-12noon. Council staff have time off agreed., subject to the needs of the service, so please tell your manager you would like to attend.

Eamon was an actor, a musician, a brilliant story teller, a historian, an officer of Lambeth Council, a convenor for UNISON and so much more. He will be terribly missed by his family and friends.

Due to COVID restrictions it is not possible to have the service in person so we will be holding it over MS Teams. You can download the app and use that or you can click on the link and join through your browser.

If you would like any remembrance to be read out or any photos of Eamon then please email them to shannah@lambeth.gov.uk. We will also be raising a collection in his memory.

Join on your computer or mobile app

Get in touch at shannah@lambeth.gov.uk for the link

Care4Calais winter appeal

From Tim O’Dell (Libraries)


Support Stand Up To Racism Care4Calais Winter Appeal 
For the last 5 years, the SUTR appeal has been critical to getting refugees through the cold winter months. This year we need your support more than ever.


Hundreds of refugees remain trapped at the border in Calais, Dunkirk and Belgium. There have been police raids on their settlements year-round, with harsh evictions taking place almost every day in the autumn. Tents have been taken or destroyed. Places where they slept have been fenced off. A cruel food ban also came into force in Calais which stopped volunteers from giving out meals in key streets.
Refugees have been forced to use dangerous routes at the hands of ruthless smugglers to get to Britain and make the asylum claims to which they are legally entitled. At least 6 people died at sea this year.
Those who get to the UK are treated no better. At least four asylum-seekers died in UK accommodation this year. The government also started using military barracks to house refugees, with reports describing the barracks in Kent as cramped and unsanitary.
The Home Office has tried deporting as many vulnerable refugees as it can in charter flights to other countries. There, people are left homeless with no access to help. Lawyers have been doing good work to stop many of these deportations, but they face repeated public attacks from the government.
Winter has come and the refugees once again face months in cold, rain and snow with no permanent shelter. This is the hostile environment governments want to create.
Don’t let the refugees freeze this winter. Your donations help Care4Calais supply tents, tarps, sleeping bags and blankets, as well as boots and warm clothing. They can pay for hot drinks and the daily services refugees need to survive, as well as support them once they get to the UK.
Financial donations are most useful. These mean Care4Calais can buy the supplies they need, when they need them. They also keep the vehicles on the road for distributions and keep the warehouse running.
DONATE
Download Winter Appeal Collection sheet:
winter-appeal-for-refugees-2020DOWNLOAD
Support Coats4Calaishere

Transgender awareness day – 20 November

Every year on 20th November the lives of trans and gender-diverse people reported murdered in the last 12 months are remembered.

In the past 12 months, at least 369 trans and gender-diverse people were reported killed globally, migrants and sex workers make up the majority of victims. It is important that these lives are remembered and celebrated.

A trade union organises workers regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability because we believe that workers have more in common than divides them and our power comes from our collective strength.

For more please visit https://www.unison.org.uk/health-news/2019/10/transgender-day-remembrance-20-november/