Sunday, January 24, 2021

Nominate John & Denise for UNISON NEC Community seats 2021

 

(Nominations period opens 1 February 2021)

NEC Elections 2021: Community General Seat & Female Seat Nomination Request

John Gray                                                                                       Denise Thomas

24 January 2021

Dear Branch Secretary and Chair

Your branch is entitled to nominate candidates to the two Community seats for this year’s National Executive Council elections. We're asking that you put this request to your community members for consideration - John Gray for the General Seat and Denise Thomas for the Female seat.

We are standing on a platform to unite the leadership of the union. Our new General Secretary needs unity in the National Executive Committee not factions of politics fighting internally. A united leadership will ensure UNISON concentrates on taking on the government making sure our members don't pay for the cost of Covid and fighting their plans to divide public service workers over the pay freeze. We can't do any of that if we don't have unity in UNISON's leadership.

There's been a change this year in how Community seats can be nominated to. This guarantees that members of the Community Sector can have their say. Please ensure you consult with your Community Sector members in time for your Branch Committee to nominate. Both of us are more than willing to attend (virtually) any hustings you may arrange with your community members to decide upon your nomination.

Denise is currently the NEC member for Community (Female seat). Her background is working in the Voluntary and Community sector for the past 28yrs supporting adults with learning disabilities and works for a national organisation. She holds Regional positions as Branch Black Members Officer and Welfare officer for Ymlaen/Forward Cymru Wales

John is also currently a NEC Community member (General seat) and has been an activist in UNISON for many years and held a number of different branch and regional positions. He works for a large Housing Association and is its National Convenor. He is the former Branch Secretary and Chair of the GLR Housing Associations Branch.

Denise has served as a NEC member on Policy Development & Campaigns, Trustee for “there for you”, Labour link. Branch Resource working group and International Committee.

John has served as an NEC member on the Policy Development & Campaigns, Trustee on the UNISON staff pension fund, Chair of Investment Sub-Committee, National Labour link and Vice-Chair of the Industrial Action Committee.

Covid 19 Pandemic This past year has been the most difficult time in our lifetimes. AS NEC members we are so proud of our members for continuing to provide much needed public services and also UNISON activists and staff who have supported sometimes very frightened members and fought hard for adequate PPE and risk assessments. But the impact of the pandemic on our members physically and mentally can't be underestimated- proper support needs to be in place for those who got the country through the pandemic as we hopefully come out of this crisis

Austerity. All of us deserve decent wages and decent terms and conditions. Instead many of us are facing cuts in pay, reduced benefits and redundancies. Both of us as your NEC members will be working and campaigning even harder with branches and regions to oppose these measures. We believe that Community members must play our part in opposing further Covid related austerity.

Equalities: We welcome that public service employers have acknowledged systemic racism in their structures, procedures and in society. The pandemic has highlighted the health inequalities with women and Black communities impacted the hardest. UNISON should be leading campaigns to end the disgraceful health inequalities in this country and holding the government and employers to their commitment to end systemic racism. We also support the Community specific campaigns below:-

  • Better funding & resources for branches that support Community member who often work for small employers and in isolated workplaces.
  • No public money for “union busters”. Any employer that does not have a union recognition agreement should be barred from public grants or contracts
  • Sector Wage Councils. Set up to decide the pay and conditions of all staff by collective bargaining including a real living wage minimum for all Community workers and agency/sub-contractors.
  • UNISON Ethical Care Charter. All employers must be called upon to sign up.
  • Better governance and democracy.  Many of our employer management boards are unelected and unrepresentative.
  • Defend Pensions. Protect the Social Housing Pension fund and the Pension Trust from further cuts. A decent defined benefit pension scheme for all.
  • Better health & safety at work in particular protecting members by supporting the UNISON “End Violence at Work” charter.
  • Recruit & train more activists to support members

We believe that we both work together well as your Community NEC team. While Denise’s employer is a charity, John’s is a housing association, so we represent and complement both of the major sectors in the Community Service Group. 

You can contact Denise on denise_thomas2@msn.com or John on john.gray2012@icloud.com.

Denise Thomas & John Gray


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PART 2 of 2

My friend tried to book a NHS COVID test (PCR test), which is more accurate (as it is lab based testing), but the website will not send a home testing kit or give an appointment for testing, unless people have symptoms. Why is n't there an option to say "been in contact with an infected person". The Government web site is blocking people who don't meet set criterias. The PCR test is more accurate then the rapid test. It seems absurd, people cannot get a test, if they have been in contact with someone with a virus, even if they are critical worker. The only option is a private paid for test.

Unless, my friend lies on the Government web site and claims they have a temperature, fever, loss of taste…. . They phoned NHS 119, to explain the situation, but could not get a PCR test organised.

NHS 119 was a farce, as the first advisor told them they should self-isolate. So legally they can't go to work, but they did n't receive anything in writing. They told their boss, they are not coming into work, but the boss did n't accept it. Then when they called NHS 119 for help, they said they don't need to self-isolate, as they were wearing masks at work. Who is right?

They contacted their Union, but it was n't much help. They quoted the company handbook.

When his bank told him, not to self-isolate and come into work the next day. He felt it was just like those soldiers in the Great War, when they were ordered to climb over the top in the face enemy fire.

The HSE and ACAS web site remain silent on what happens in a situation where a co-worker is infected.

It seems Critical workers (and their families) are free for the slaughter, where as Zoom workers (professionals) and others can stay at home safe. Why is n't there mass testing, to stop the spread for those on the Critical list?

The Bank maintains their workplace is COVID secure. They were told, they should be fine, because they were wearing masks (most masks on sale are not medical grade).

No one from NHS Track and Trace called any of the staff. If they had been called, staff would have been legally ordered to stay at home.

Workers are falling through the cracks.

It has made me re-think about the people who work in supermarkets and elsewhere, who may still have to come to work despite a colleague getting infected. They are paying the price for the rest of us. My friend at his bank said, some customers came in for trivial matters, for which they don't need to visit the branch. For some, it was a day out.

This is why if they displayed covid infection rates on the front of the branch, it would make people re-think, if they really need to come in. I have decided to stop buying stuff on-line, because I know there are a chain of people, I would be put in jeopardy….. everyone from warehouse stuff to parcel delivery….. I am going to hold off until cases, as low.


(1) Experts call for rethink of lateral flow mass testing for Covid in UK
www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/12/experts-call-for-rethink-lateral-flow-mass-testing-covid-uk