It's been a year of uncertainty for all of us. The Brexit vote of 2016 still continues and has consequences that are still not clear and this has become particularly unsettling for our members who have come from the European Union and beyond. These members are our friends, neighbours and work colleagues and it is upsetting for us to see the distress this uncertainty is causing them. Unison is doing all it can to provide support for those most worried about what lies in store post Brexit. It has published two guidance documents; Migrants and the future of social care and Your Right to Remain, both of which are excellent sources of support and are available on the Unison website. As Dave Prentis says in the introduction:
“Now, more than ever, our union must show its support for members from across the EU. They have given so much to our communities and our services – now we must stand with them and defend their right to remain”
This year has seen the branch restructure still ongoing and I'd like to put on record my thanks to all of the staff for bearing with us during this process. There have been a lot of factors that we've had to take into consideration including budgets. As well as agreeing a new structure with current staff that provides the best possible service for you, our members. We are working closely with the region to ensure this process is concluded as soon as possible and with the full co-operation of our branch staff who throughout the year have worked incredibly hard supporting our members. I would like to thank them personally for all of the help they have given me and the rest of the executive team over the past 12 months.
On a sad note we have had to say goodbye to a couple of highly respected and regarded Unison officials this year.
Firstly, I'd like to put on record my thanks to Colin Inniss our previous Regional Organiser for all of his hard work and support that he is given both to you the members and us in the branch executive during his time with us. We are sad to see him go but we all wish him well in his new post in the local government sector. On behalf of all of the branch I would like to say a big welcome to Ezequiel Kramer our new Regional Organiser. It’s great to meet you Ezequiel and we look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship.
The second sad goodbye is to our current branch secretary John Gray. Who I have been fortunate to work with so closely over the past number of years. John's been a terrific Branch Secretary and has made a real impact on the branch and how it works. We are sad that he's decided to stand down but we hope that he remains an active member of the branch executive committee.
In conclusion I want to remind all of you that we are only as strong as you, our members, make us. I urge you to not only continue your membership but also commit to making 2019 the year that you become more active in your union by becoming a shop steward, health and safety rep or a staff contact and by so doing join the current activists to that are the backbone of Unison.
With so much uncertainty around at the moment there has never been a better time to be a part of an organisation like Unison which is fighting for the rights of all of workers in your workplace, region and worldwide.