You are not alone in UNISON
Never in recent history have you needed your Union more – if you hear other colleagues or members questioning the influence of UNISON, tell them this.
The more voices that speak out the louder our message will be. Sometimes we hear or feel a mood of defeatism and many people ask what the union is doing for them. We are all together as strong as our membership.
Therefore if the branch sends out a survey – please complete it.
If in future we send out a ballot asking what action you would be willing to take – please complete it.
We need to know what you think – whether it’s yes or no, make your opinion known. If we do not get the information, attention and backing from you as members our union is in for an uphill struggle. Some ballots recently have had very low responses – we understand that the questions are difficult ones. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, lose something short term, try to gain it back long term, but we are much stronger together and we all need to know what the union thinks. That’s you, me, US.
It cannot always be a question of what are the unions doing but what are you the members willing to do.
If you know of a colleague who would like to join Unison then please pick up a membership form (you can get these from your nearest reps or from local offices like the Frome & Glastonbury Social Care Offices or again ask the branch office.
Please note: although you can join on line SCC staff who pay direct from salary currently receive an additional benefit. Paying this way also means that you can be eligible for the branch hardship fund in the event that you take strike action – in 2011 many low paid members applied and the branch was able to pay to those members to make up for their loss of pay on the strike for pensions day. UNISON pays for this service so the County Council derives more benefit too.
Some worry that union membership costs too much. I would say to them what is your job worth to you? If you insure a car you will know its worth and what it costs. So what is you salary worth to you? A roof over your family’s heads, the car, paying food and energy bills – a lot I expect. Active members, activists of all sorts –
How to get more involved?
If you would like to get more involved, please contact the branch office or myself, the branch secretary – we are waiting to welcome you. There is a training course for new stewards starting in January or March; let us know if you can step up – it is very rewarding and you will be supported all the way.
- health and safety reps,
- workplace contacts,
- learning reps,
- green reps,
- equality reps,
- branch officers.
I don’t know how many of you know that Chris Briton has very recently retired, which has left a great big Chris sized hole in your union. He supported Somerset County Council’s care services – social workers, care workers for children and adults, all the people focussed services. The Branch is particularly short of representatives for the County Council who are social workers, who work in Heritage, and who work in Childrens’ Services. If you work in SCC’s Social Work, Childrens Services, or Heritage, come and represent yourself and your colleagues. The Branch is also short of activists for other employers – e.g. Somerset Care, Voyage, Way Ahead and National Autistic Society.
Being an activist is many things – hard work, challenging, understanding and challenging changes, but also a privilege and uplifting – you can make a big difference if you try.
Message from Kris (steward), Tracey (H&S rep) and Arminel (Branch Secretary)