Unison Labour Link – Branch Officer October 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:

UNISON Inverclyde members know what it means to raise our voices together against poverty. Many of us aim to tackle the effects of poverty in our working lives and beyond. We all want to live in a Scotland where Inverclyde’s citizens don’t have to struggle to pay bills, put food on the table or take part in society.

Challenge Poverty Week 2020 took place from 5-11 October and I wrote to the Greenock Telegraph and spoke out on social media to recognise the dynamic work taking place here in Inverclyde to combat food poverty. Our area is known for its strong beliefs in justice and compassion and never have those beliefs been more evident than in our community’s response to safeguarding that most basic of human rights: the right to food.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, UNISON members were part of a diverse coalition of community groups and third sector organisations working in partnership with Inverclyde Council to develop an impressive, committed and innovative food justice response. Inverclyde now boasts a comprehensive system of food delivery services, community growing facilities, community fridges and outdoor larders with sophisticated logistical credentials.

But while we can celebrate Inverclyde’s excellent work towards achieving food justice, we can also share a deep sense of sadness that too many of our neighbours, family members and friends are living with the constant pressures of living in poverty. The responsibility to make sure that everyone has a decent standard of living sits with all of us but particularly with elected representatives in the Scottish and UK governments.

Challenge Poverty Week presented an opportunity to call on the SNP government to challenge themselves to properly address poverty here in Inverclyde. When too many people are being swept up by the rising tide of poverty and in need of new and different levels of support from the public services we all rely on day to day, we need to see a deeper commitment from Scottish Government to invest in public services and support justice for all.