Our Annual General Meeting is on Wednesday 3 March 2021 from 3pm. The link has been emailed out to you if you are a member.
Below is the AGM report (which includes the budget) and the motions booklet which we will be going through at the AGM
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 is being held online on 3 March 2021
The purpose of the AGM is to bring the branch committee and its officers to account:
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 email@example.com copying in shannah@Lambeth.gov.uk
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 5pm||Deadline for nomination of Branch Officers, Conference and other delegates|
|Monday 11 January 5pm||Deadline for AGM Motions|
|Tuesday 12 January||Circulation of motions and nominations received for AGM and reminder of dates|
|Monday 18 January 5pm||Copy Deadline for Annual Report|
|Week 18-22 January||Layout and printing of Annual Report|
|Monday 25 January||Circulation of Annual Report (electronic)|
|Monday 8 February 5pm||Deadline for amendments to motions for AGM|
|Monday 15 February 5pm||Deadline for nominations for stewards|
|Tuesday 16 February||February Branch Committee – compositing of motions and amendments for AGM|
|Week of Monday 22 February||Elections for shop stewards etc. if required|
|Friday 26 February||Deadline for Emergency Motions to AGM (motions will be accepted on issues after this date, contact branch secretaries for details)|
|Monday 1 March||Copying of papers for AGM|
|Wednesday 3 March||Lambeth UNISON AGM|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also be raising a collection in his memory.
Join on your computer or mobile app
Get in touch at email@example.com for the link
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.
Download Winter Appeal Collection sheet:
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/
Before me, my older sister worked in Lambeth and because of her I spent a great deal of time around Lambeth and Lambeth staff. Evenings of Black and white staff together – from the cleaners to directors – all with one thing in common, they were all Lambeth. I loved it and knew I was Lambeth at heart. I pursued every possibility of employment in the Borough. In October 2002 to my absolute delight I got a job in Central Rehousing Services. I now realise that I had unfortunately arrived at the tail end of an era of positive change for Black staff in Lambeth. Soon the Council entered a state of permanent restructuring and the unwilling exodus of many senior Black managers and many white colleagues who were no longer seen as fitting new Lambeth.
For the first few years I thoroughly enjoyed my employment and felt that I was able to positively contribute to effecting change for Lambeth residents. However, as the Council changed so too did my working life and my resolve to do what was necessary to challenge the devastating effects of restructures. The main purpose of many restructures seemed to be the removal of large numbers of staff, primarily Black staff. In anger at the destruction of services to tenants and the loss of increasing numbers of respected colleagues, I became a Unison shop steward.
As members of staff we are able to identify inequality and injustice in our workplaces however, as a shop steward these are magnified because of representing numerous cases of staff subjected to unjust and unequal treatment. Only then did I recognise scale of the problems facing the Borough that I had longed to work for. It was also at this point that I started facing personal consequences for challenging institutional racism. Until 2007 my employment had been without blemish, even receiving an award at a staff conference. But following a contentious restructure which required forthright action to redress inequality, I found myself subject to the full force of the organisation’s wrath. I faced several years of continuous disciplinary action, including criminal prosecution on faked evidence. With resilience and a commitment to outlast those responsible, I am still here in Lambeth and they are gone. I recommend this course of action to all staff when faced with adversity!
As the daughter one of the first civil rights leaders in the United Kingdom I am only too aware of the way institutional racism works. For instance, my father, Michael X was directly responsible helping to bring about the very first race equality legislation but was ironically the first to be imprisoned under this legislation. This would mark the beginning of a long and concerted effort by the State to vilify and penalise Michael X for challenging the outright, violent racist attacks faced by the Windrush generation.
Ultimately, even after leaving the UK to escape State sponsored hate, the consequences of race hate followed, and Michael X was executed in Trinidad with the support and assistance of the British Privy Council. But this was not the end. The State had not yet completed what it had set out to do. Information relating to a Black Civil Rights movement in the UK is notable only by its absence. The State erased our history and our children do not know and are not taught the history of their proud past and those who, along with Michael X, fought so we could have better lives.
My background prepared me for adversity and gave me an advantage – resilience and a profound understanding of how the system works to destabilise Black progression, while giving a false impression of cooperating in the fight for equality. I am also committed to ensuring that our history and presence in Lambeth is carved in stone.
I, along with my amazing UNISON colleagues have fought for the rights and continued presence of Black staff in Lambeth. We are not a minority! We are many and they are few, and though we struggle for equality Lambeth Black staff have demonstrated our power! That fighting spirit that kept our rebellious ancestors going for hundreds of years, courses through our veins!
To be Black in Lambeth means being alert to the possibility of recrimination for raising concerns generally, worse if our concerns relate to issues of race discrimination.
But together we know our collective POWER and are not afraid to assert it
To be Black in Lambeth means sitting in offices that are sometimes segregated along racial lines.
Yet our shared history in Lambeth is marked by our standing together at demonstrations and strike action for collective rights of ALL workers
To be Black in Lambeth means our white colleagues can work from home or Starbucks without having to plead and bargain for this right, as we have had to.
Through our lasting friendships we support each other emotionally and even financially in times of hardship
To be Black in Lambeth means being micromanaged so that even the time for toilet breaks are be monitored.
We won’t be worn down! Outside work we party together, attend weddings, special events and funerals of our colleagues, who are also friends
To be Black in Lambeth means knowing that the young white man who has arrived as an administrative officer will soon be our boss.
Yet we continue to hold Lambeth dear to our hearts and are committed to fighting for a better Lambeth. Our Lambeth that once saw better days and will again.
Tower Hamlets Council – which is a Labour run authority – is planning to ‘sack and re-engage’ its entire workforce in order to force them to accept worse terms and conditions.
‘Sack and re-engage’ is what Asda did to its workforce before Christmas. British Airways is doing it to its worekrs now. It is shocking to see a Labour run council deploy the same tactic.
The new plan, called Tower Rewards, includes:
– Out of hours pay is reduced
– Severance pay has been slashed
– Reduces the Flexi scheme
– Worsens pay for some grades
– Staff being asked to work anywhere in the borough with little notice whilst travel allowances are being cut.
By Jeremy Drinkall, schools convenor
For over a week now US cities have been convulsed by an unprecedented wave of militant fightback precipitated by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin.
For almost nine minutes Floyd, a black man, was held down by Chauvin’s knee on his neck in front of cameras while Floyd begged for his life. Even after he lay limp and unresponsive, Chauvin continued his torture of Floyd for several minutes more, even though bystanders filmed the murder and begged the cops to get up and let him breathe. George Floyd died and will never breathe again.
From Ruth Cashman, Joint Branch Secretary
Many of you will remember that following a racist mass stopping operation at Brixton Tube we started working with the local RMT branch on a campaign around the police. Unfortunately, it petered out as other priorities took over but the reps Stephen and Phil were supportive and have been active in the latest BLM protests. Given the historical moment, it would be good to contact local unions to start that work again. The branch has a great history of campaigning around police violence, racism and surveillance. Below, is a starting discussion document. I wanted to put it as a motion to the Branch Meeting, but I think we probably don’t have enough time to discuss in full so will but to next BC catch up.
I’d appreciate feedback and suggestions on the draft motion below