Unison Labour Link – Branch Officer November 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:

My grandparents worked for local government, and so did my parents. When my sister and I were old enough to enter the workforce, we also made a choice to work in the public sector. It felt like the most natural place for meaningful, purposeful employment matched with good terms and conditions. When I approached a referee for my first council job, he said: as an employer, the council can’t be beaten.

That’s why the hollowing out of vital local services by the Scottish SNP and UK Tory governments breaks my heart and was a key factor pushing me towards political activism. Without local services, communities fail to thrive and society starts to break down. There is no logical reason for under-funding the services that support our communities so it all comes down to money and priorities.

This pandemic has exposed the fault lines in society caused by years of austerity and the need for adequate funding. I want to put my full support behind UNISON’s Plug the Gap campaign which launched on 30 October. I will be writing to our MSPs to ask them to work to properly fund local government and I would urge all UNISON members to use this easy link to do the same:

UNISON Plug the Gap Campaign

Also this month:

Keir Starmer commissioned Baroness Doreen Lawrence to undertake a review into the disproportionate impact of the corona virus on the Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities of the UK. The Lawrence review concluded that the virus has both “exposed” structural racism in the UK and itself “fuelled” racism. You can read more about the report here:

Lawrence Review

Please remember that 25 November 2020 marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Many UNISON members will continue to be survivors of domestic abuse and this day allows us all to renew our support for women who have experienced violence and pledge to eliminate it. If you are affected by violence, please contact the National Domestic Abuse helpline:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline