Monday, February 20, 2023

UNISON Women's Conference 2023: Denise Thomas report

Guest post by Denise Thomas.

"I attended Women’s Conference as a delegate from Cymru Wales, Ymlaen/Forward Branch.

This year it was held in the wonderful seaside resort of Bournemouth. Firstly, it was great to see so many friendly faces as this was the first face to face Women's conference since Covid.

Conference held a minute silence to remember Brianna Ghey and other Transgender people who died at the hands of violence

There were many interesting motions and great speakers on Cost of living, sexual abuse, industrial action and mental health amongst young workers. These were all motions that resonated with me, working as a Black support worker for a national charity supporting vulnerable residents, who live in a 24/7 residential project.

Our General Secretary, Christina McAnea gave a great speech to conference, which was well received, explaining how Women are at the forefront of so many of our disputes and campaigns, fighting for fair pay and for the future of our public services. Women are empowering women to not give up with the challenges we are facing.

Labour Bridget Phillipson, Shadow Secretary of State for Education addressed conference about the importance of childcare and education in Labours plans to form the next UK government. Many exciting ideas and plans.

Attending the Community Service group meeting, which continues to struggle and still experiencing the same issues, lack of pay due to the lack of local government funding, lone working, shortage of staff plus recruitment due to low pay, facility time plus the difficulties of organising due to the workforce being so fragmented.

With the cost of living continuing to rise, members are having to work extra hours or having to take on a second job in order to just survive.

Conference congratulated Sian Stockham, Unison Member for National Executive Council, on receiving an OBE for her Political and Public Services".

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