Thursday, August 17, 2017


SARAH Dearman, née CHAPMAN – Matchwomen’s 1888 Strike Committee and TUC Delegate
Born: 31st October 1862 – Died: 27th November 1945 – Buried: 3rd December 1945
Sarah Chapman was a leading member of the 1888 Matchwomen’s Strike Committee (pictured above). Sarah (ringed) is standing to the right of Herbert Burrows and Annie Besant, the Socialist Reformers. Sarah went on to become one of the first working-class women to represent their Union at the TUC.
Sadly, despite the great contribution Sarah made to the beginnings of the modern trade union movement and to working women’s rights, Sarah’s final resting place is a ‘pauper’s grave’ in Manor Park Cemetery. The grave, nothing more than a grassy footpath with no marking, let alone a headstone, was rediscovered by her Great Granddaughter in early 2017.
With burial space running out in London, cemeteries are looking at ways to reclaim land and at Manor Park they do this by ‘mounding over’ so that they can re-use the space. The area adjacent to Sarah is now scheduled to be mounded over and there is every possibility that this will be extended to include Sarah's grave. The Cemetery has offered a plaque elsewhere in the cemetery grounds but Sarah’s descendants feel she deserves to be remembered at the exact location of her grave.
With your support we hope to place a permanent memorial to Sarah on the site of her grave. We already have parliamentary support via Lyn Brown MP and Author Louise Raw (see her Facebook page - Matchwomen Memorial @MatchwomenRemembered). 
This petition will be delivered to:
  • Lord Chancellor an Secretary of State for Justice
    The Rt Hon David Lidington MP

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Being taught to hate...shocking picture even after 25 years

Was this little boy nowadays one of the torch bearing Nazi thugs in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Do you want to be a MP? Unison wants to hear from you.

"The recent general election saw Labour take a huge stride towards Downing Street.
As no party won a majority, the next election could be just around the corner. That’s why the Labour Party plans to select candidates for 75 of the most marginal seats in England in the coming months. Welsh and Scottish seats will be selected separately.
As a union that’s affiliated to the Labour Party, UNISON wants to see our members following in the footsteps of Angela Rayner and Eleanor Smith by getting elected to Parliament and changing our communities for the better.
Are you
  • Active in your local Labour Party and our union?
  • Someone with a strong track record of local or national campaigning?
  • Keen to represent UNISON’s public service values in Parliament?
We’re seeking expressions of interest from potential Labour parliamentary candidates.
If you think you’ve got what it takes – or are eager to hear more – please send us a political CV outlining your experience, and which seat(s) you’d be interested in, to by noon on 31 August".
Hat tip @unisonpolitics

Saturday, August 12, 2017

11 weeks until the TUC National Inspection Day

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August 2017

TUC National Inspection Day - Wednesday 25 October

It's 11 weeks until the TUC National Inspection Day and UNISON is encouraging safety reps to specifically consider inspections focusing on whether the workplace is healthy for all ages.

With the working population ageing and apprenticeship schemes being introduced as an alternative to schooling, this couldn't be more important.  Today’s young worker is more than likely to be tomorrows older worker, but only if work is safe and healthy for all ages.

Safety reps can use inspections to consider not only the tangible hazards such as slips and trips, fire, and work stations. They should also focus on intangible hazards and solutions, including: shift work, job rotation, and flexible working.

Remember, workplaces with active safety reps are twice as safe. So carry out an inspection on national inspection day and:

- raise awareness of the issues;
- identify concerns to raise with the employer;
- raise the profile of safety reps;
- meet members, hear their concerns, and ask if they would like to get more involved or become a safety rep; and
- meet non-members, as issues they raise may also concern members or present opportunities for success or recruitment.

UNISON has various resources which will be of use including our:

- safety rep guide on
workplace safety inspections,
- other guides available from the online catalogue and/or the get help pages,
- National Inspection Day webpage, and

Friday, August 11, 2017

Vote James Beckles for Greater London Seat on National Labour Link (APF) Committee

(Ballot papers are now out for all UNISON members in Greater London who are part of the Labour Link).

This is the message that my branch which nominated James has sent out

"Dear Branch Members

Ballot papers for this very important election should be sent to your home addresses from Wednesday 9 August 2017.

All branch members who pay the UNISON Labour Link levy (also known as the APF) can vote for the Greater London seat. Please take part in the internal democracy of your union.

Your branch Labour Link nominated the following candidate for the Greater London candidate:- JAMES BECKLES.

Statement (and see attached photo)

We support James because he wants to ensure all our members including our black and women members become politically active, vote Labour and we win the next general election as well as supporting UNISON policies in the Party. 

He wants to work with members, UNISON colleagues and the Labour Party to ensure our members’ voices in the Greater London region and across our union are heard at every level of the party. 

James is a young, hardworking and dedicated socialist & trade unionist, and if elected by you the members, he will be accountable to you and serve your best interests".

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Housing association pensions survey 2017

UNISON is carrying out mapping work on what is happening with housing association staff pension arrangements and their relationship with the Local Government Pension Scheme. 

Please do all you can to encourage responses to this survey.


Gavin Edwards
UNISON National Officer
Community and Voluntary Service Group

Housing Associations
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UNISON Community Service Group

1st August 2017

Housing association pensions:


Dear Housing Association UNISON Activist,

s to get an up to date picture of pensions in the housing association sector.

To achieve this, it would be very helpful if you could complete this survey:

This important information will inform our bargaining and campaigning work in the sector.

Best Wishes,

Gavin Edwards
UNISON National Officer for Community

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

West Ham Branch Labour Party Summer BBQ & Fundraiser: Thursday 31 August 7-9pm

This will be a fun event taking place at the Vicarage Lane Community Centre, Govier Close, West Ham, E15 4HW.

Please RSVP to branch secretary John Whitworth if you are planning to come.  All members and their guests welcome.

Hat tip invite Seyi

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Lobby LGA Employers Pay Consultation: London Councils Monday 14 August

I have a clash but hope this important lobby in support of decent pay for all Council workers goes well! I will be submitting a motion on pay to the next Newham Labour Group and branch/CLP meeting.