Unison Labour Link – Branch Officer Update

UNISON has always given its members the choice of opting in to its affiliated political fund, that gives them a say in the democratic processes of the Labour Party, or of opting into the General Political Fund, independent of any political party. For those members that choose to opt into the affiliated political fund the following will be of interest.

Branch Labour Link Officer, Francesca Brennan gives her thoughts.

I was delighted to be able to help with handing out free UNISON hand sanitisers around Inverclyde and it was great to get sight of our amazing members. What a lovely feeling to be able to give something away, no matter how small, as a token of our appreciation of the hard work of our public sector staff!

As a working parent, it’s tricky to take part in all the meetings and groups I really want to attend. During lockdown, most meetings have gone online so I’m finding it easier to take part in discussions and get a real picture of how the pandemic is affecting us all and where we go from here – am hearing some great thinking and ideas from the Scottish Labour Party about how we build back better as we recover from COVID 19.

I applaud the work that local man and lawyer Graham Winters is doing around the removal of town landmarks with images linked to slavery. There is understandably a lot of talk about virtue signalling amongst white people and sometimes I worry about getting it wrong in my efforts to support a movement of which I have no direct experience. However, that shouldn’t stop us making sure we UNISON members lead the way as allies against racism. I’ve been a committed anti-racist since I first developed a childhood awareness of the problem but now I’m trying to do more self-reflection, listening and reading to ensure I am a true ally to the Black Lives Matter movement.

On the subject of reading, we are missing our library visits so much in my house! My kids have actually tried to recreate Greenock Central at home ….but that doesn’t really cut it in terms of range and genre! At times like this, having books to learn and to expand our understanding or simply for a bit of escapism is so important. That’s why it’s been brilliant to see my old pals from Inverclyde Libraries running online sessions for children and young people and giving people access to e-books or mobile services. Right now, we need our fact and fiction fix more than ever!

Francesca can be contacted at the Branch Office on 01475 715900 or on Facebook and Twitter, search @FrancescaLabour