Voting on the strike ballot starts today!

Ballot papers are being dispatched to your homes as we launch the fight for the 10% pay increase we all deserve.

Local government workers have had enough and it is time to stand up and be counted.  We have lost 23% of our pay since 2010. Enough is Enough

We have had a message of solidarity from the Lambeth Labour Group backing our fight for decent pay.

For more information on the ballot please visit our campaign website.

Look our for your ballot papers – they will come in an envelope marked IMPORTANT YOUR VOTING PAPERS ENCLOSED

Please vote as soon as you get your ballot papers. Email Ruth Cashman at Rcashman@lambeth.gov.uk to confirm you have voted so we don’t have to contact you separately!

In solidarity,

Lambeth Labour supports our pay campaign

Lambeth Labour Councillors support the campaign by local government workers for better pay.

They have published this statement from Cllr Andy Wilson who is the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance and a councillor in Larkhall ward.

The last 18 months have been both tumultuous and terrifying, where the effects of the pandemic and the lockdown touched upon each of our lives.

Despite the upheaval that we all faced in our lives during those dark days, I am proud to report that 100% of essential services were delivered by Lambeth Council during this challenging time.

This is testament to the effort, dedication and professionalism of our local government workers, exhibiting a spirit of public service and hard work in maintaining provision for some of our most vulnerable residents during the most trying of times.

Since 2010 local government workers have suffered a 23% pay cut in their pay due to a decade and counting of austerity, public sector pay freezes and year on year inflation. Inflation is at 6% RPI and we are all facing a take home pay cut next year due to the increase in National Insurance Contributions.

The 1.75% pay offer is in reality a pay cut for hundreds of thousands of staff across the country. Lambeth Labour believes in a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s pay, and we support the joint calls from UNISON, The GMB, and Unite The Union for a pay award that reflects this.

Our residents and local government workers deserve better with a pay award that recognises the worth of the people that kept the show on the road during the height of the pandemic and beyond.

London UNISON policy on the Nationality and Borders Bill – resist racism!

This motion was passed by Greater London Regional Council of UNISON on 2 November 2021

BLACK MEMBERS AGAINST RACIALLY DIVISIVE NATIONALITY AND BORDERS BILL


The ‘Nationality and Borders Bill’ is an appalling, racially divisive piece of legislation that seeks to legitimise and elevate the unpopular, derided racist hostile environment policy. The Bill seeks to criminalise the heroic acts of refugees in carving out routes to safety despite tremendous odds to arrive on Britain’s shores, along with the many thousands of acts within our communities that has played a part in the successive defeats of the Home Office’s most brutal policies. It is likely to lead to more outrages in line with the Windrush-Scandal.
Action now in all sectors, with the leadership of our Black members, and the wider refugee, asylum seeking and anti-racist communities, is essential to stop the Bill from becoming a workable law.
We note that
The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) defied the threat of the Borders Bill to criminalise the act of rescuing people from the sea and responded by asserting that they will not break their ethical code to rescue anyone in distress at sea without discrimination1.
The TUC statement of 24th August 2021 calls on the government to “… suspend deportation flights until it has addressed the miscarriages of justice taking place within the immigration system, and to scrap the new Nationality and Borders Bill that would breach international human rights law and increase worker exploitation.”2
Timed to coincide with the launch of the Bill the Home Office organised a ‘summer of charter flight’ mass deportations and removals to sweep up any ‘low hanging fruit’ the Home Office could reach. These mass deportations during a continuing pandemic were resisted by Jamaican, Nigerian, Zimbabwean and Vietnamese communities and organisations. Work by immigrant-rights organisation Movement for Justice identified so many miscarriages of justices concerning the Jamaica flight it eventually left with just 7 (Seven) of the 90 (Ninety) people originally targeted.
However, rather than end the injustice, the Nationality and Borders Bill:
• Seeks to create concentration camps of asylum seekers on islands hidden from view, inaccessible and out of the regular jurisdiction.
• Criminalises the most important aspect of seeking asylum – the act of moving across borders to escape danger.
• Perpetuates a view of Black people as outsiders whose status is permanently in question.
1 https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2021/july/28/statement-on-the-humanitarian-work-of-the-rnli-in-the-english-channel
2 https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-calls-deportation-flights-be-suspended
• Endorses Home Secretary – Priti Patel’s public attack on the lawyers and organisations who successfully fight oppressive Home Office practices by labelling them as ‘do-gooders’.
• Threatens sanctions against countries that don’t roll over and accept deportations, such as Jamaica which resisted accepting deportees who were effectively British, had no ties in Jamaica, had been in the UK from childhood, and faced immediate risk on return.
Overall, the Bill seeks to divide and weaken the working classes and oppressed through inducing and encouraging racism. The stigmatising of new asylum seekers and other immigrants who possess the highest hopes and ambitions for a better, fairer society, denotes a clear threat to everyone who, by association of the colour of their skin, the sound of their accents and the colour of their passport, prove the historic realty that Britain’s role in the world brings the world into Britain. The dynamism and hope in our increasingly international community is a threat to any government that seeks to intensify exploitation of the working class and to extend deeper cuts to social welfare and provisions.
We therefore

  1. Support the statement against the Nationality and Borders Bill issued by the TUC.
    We call on Regional Committee to
  2. Work with all TUC links that fall within the committee’s competence, to explore ways to further the words of the TUC statement against the Nationality and Borders Bill into effective actions that can defeat that Bill, and reverse the racist hostile environment measures.
  3. Work with Labour Link to strengthen Labour opposition to the Nationality and Borders Bill.
  4. Call on Labour Link to support those local authorities / councils that make public pledges that they will resist collaboration with the Home Office on its new rules which target immigrants.
  5. To launch a high-profile campaign for the region to oppose the bill from becoming law.
  6. Work with appropriate regional and national committees to develop a strategy through discussions / liaison to strongly support the campaign to prevent the Bill from becoming a workable law while in full compliance with UNISON rules.

Join the climate protests on 6 November – we have a world to save!

COP26 is happening in Glasgow and there are protests around the country calling on politicians to do more around runaway global warming.

Workers have the power to change the world for the better, to build a society based on human need not corporate greed.

There are trade union blocs on the London protest that Lambeth UNISON will be joining. You should join too!


UNISON will be meeting in Windrush Square on 6 November at 10am then heading up to Finsbury Circus Gardens (nearest tube Moorgate and Liverpool Street) for 11.


The main protest will start outside the Bank of England at 12noon and march to Parliament Square.


Please see the We Make Tomorrow website for more details


https://www.wemaketomorrow.org/

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