Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Nepal Trekking Challenge for UNISON's Sheila

The branch has given its support to UNISON member, Sheila Waterhouse with a donation of £100 towards her ongoing challenge to raise £7000 as part of a major fundraising event in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

You can support her too by going to www.justgiving.com/Two-Fab-Ladies

Sheila and her friend, both from Kennethmont will undertake an intensive 8 day trek in the Annapurna region of the Himalaya.

Sheila said, "I would like to thank UNISON for their generous donation of £100.

"In May this year, Macmillan Cancer Support launched their fundraising challenge for Spring 2015 which will see 30 people from all over the UK travelling to Nepal for the trek."

Monday, 8 December 2014

Austerity isn't working as foodbanks in Aberdeenshire grow - Branch calls on members to do what you can to help

UNISON Scotland's report, "Austerity economics don't add up" showed that last year in Scotland 71,428 people, including 22,387 children needed to use Trussell Trust food banks, up 400% in three years.

In 2012-13, a total of 480,000 working age adults in Scotland were living in relative poverty, more than half in homes where at least one adult was working (classed as in-work poverty). Nearly one in five children - 180,000 - were in relative poverty, 59% in a home with at least one adult working. Charities warn of a scale of poverty and adversity unheard of since Victorian times.

And Aberdeenshire is not immune. There are foodbanks at Ellon, Inverurie, Huntly and Banchory.  People can only use a foodbank if they get a referral from their Doctor, Social Work or Housing Support Services.

Steve Gray, Branch Development Officer, who compiled this report, said, "The branch has highlighted that the rise of in work poverty has created the problem that ordinary working people are not earning enough to provide the basic necessities of life like food.

“It is a disgrace in our wealthy society that people in work don’t earn enough to feed their families.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

UNISON members vote to keep Political Fund Ballot

UNISON members have voted YES by a whopping 87% to keep our political fund. This will allow our union to continue its tradition of successful political campaigning at both local and national level.

Dave Prentis
UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said:"Our members have spoken loud and clear that they want UNISON to continue to promote their interests at European, national and local levels.

"This is in spite of the government's cynical 'gagging act' that aims to reduce the lobbying power of trade unions while the Tories happily sit back and pocket millions from corporate and financial elites.

"UNISON campaigns hard to defend jobs and decent employment standards, to promote public services and equality, and to protect the health and safety of our members, and this is possible because of the political fund."

Friday, 28 November 2014

Aberdeenshire UNISON calls on council to rethink privatisation of Design and Print Services

Aberdeenshire UNISON has called on elected members to reconsider their plan to privatise the Print and Design service alongside the renewal of the printing and photocopying contract.

In a briefing to all councillors, the branch has commended Aberdeenshire Council for having not gone down the route of many others by outsourcing/privatising its services and urged it not to sell off their Print and Design Service for short-term gain.

A paper compiled by Morag Lawrence, steward, detailing the benefits of insourcing was also sent to councillors.

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "We have launched a dialogue with the employers to continue over the coming months to campaign to keep services in house not only for print and design but for all council services.

"UNISON will not sit back and let our services and staff be sold off to the highest bidder when the people of Aberdeenshire will end up picking up the costs in financial terms and diminished services."

Monday, 24 November 2014

Lock ruling on holiday pay - Branch urges members to get in touch if they think they have a claim

The Branch has written out individually to all our members urging them to get in touch with the Grampian Resource Centre on 01224 620624, if you think that you might be entitled to a claim under the new ruling.

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "If you work on commission, work overtime, get a bonus, shift premium or any other payment, and this has not been paid during your holidays then you may have a claim.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Come along to the St Andrews Day March and Rally and show racism is not welcome in the North East

We are encouraging all our members to join us at the ATUC organised St Andrew's Day March and Rally, to give a clear message that racism and fascism are not welcome here in Aberdeenshire.

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair, who will be chairing the Rally as Vice President of the Aberdeen Trades Union Council said, "The St Andrew's Day March opposes racism in all its forms and celebrates diversity.

"The particular theme this year is Anti-Apartheid, because it is 30 years since Aberdeen gave the Freedom of the City to Nelson Mandela.

"It is also UN Day of Solidarity with Palestine, a country still suffering from Israeli apartheid. Hopefully Aberdeen City Council will be flying the Palestine Flag that day."
11 am Assemble at St Nicholas Churchyard. Look out for the branch banner and join us to march behind it.

11.30am March down Union Street

12.15pm Rally at the Castlegate

There will be speakers from Trade Unions, Community Organisations and Political Parties at the Rally.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Consultative Ballot on LG Pay Scotland - Members vote to accept

The Scottish Local Government pay ballot closed yesterday with members voting 70.8% to accept and 29.2% to reject the revised pay offer.

The Local Government Committee meets on 5 November, after which a further update will be circulated.

Commenting on the ballot result, Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "Members have recognised that it has been a significant achievement on the part of our negotiators to get the employers back round the negotiating table, after years of imposed pay awards.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Vote YES in UNISON's Political Fund Ballot 1st-30th November

UNISON is calling on all our members to vote YES in the Political Fund ballot which opens on 1 November and closes on 30 November.

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair, said, "UNISON has a tradition of successful political campaigning both at national and at local level.

"The law says that unions must have a specific political fund to pay for such work and that a ballot has to be held every 10 years for it to continue.

"Many of our members don't appreciate that UNISON is unique in having two parts to its political fund.  You can choose whether you want your political fund payment (which is a small part of your normal subs rate and does not cost you anything extra) to go into the General Political Fund (GPF), the Affiliated Political Fund (APF) - which funds the Labour Party - or not to pay into the fund at all.

"All this ballot is asking is for members to confirm these arrangements, which have been in operation since the formation of UNISON."

Branch Secretary, Inez Teece added, "UNISON's National Executive Council is recommending a yes vote to keep a strong political voice for the union at European, national and local levels. Our political fund is what allows us to take campaigns into the political arena."

The ballot papers and materials will be mailed out with U magazine in late October. For more information or if you have not received your ballot paper by 10 November please call 0800 0 857 857.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Thousands demand a just Scotland

Aberdeenshire UNISON members joined thousands of trade unionists and anti-poverty campaigners in Glasgow on Saturday 18th October to demand a just Scotland with decent work and decent pay, and an end to austerity, child poverty and foodbanks.

The branch banner joined hundreds of others as the march made its way from Glasgow Green to George Square. At the same time tens of thousands marched in London and in Belfast to make the same demands and to call for decent wages and an end to the low wage economy created by this Condem Government.

In Glasgow, the assembled marchers heard from a range of speakers calling for an end to attacks on the poorest and most vulnerable in our country whilst the richest continue to amass huge wealth which could clear the deficit many times over.

Suspension of Industrial Action 21 October 2014 - new consultative ballot

Following a meeting of UNISON’s Scottish Local Government Committee on Tuesday 14th October, the committee has taken the decision to suspend strike action planned for 21 October and consult our members on new proposals put forward by the Scottish Employers (CoSLA).

The proposals concentrate on three areas of our dispute: the future participation in the agreed bargaining machinery; consolidation of the living wage; and the deletion of spinal column point below the level of the living wage.

The view of the Scottish Local Government Committee is that these proposals represent a significant change to the current award. In line with our agreed procedures UNISON is consulting members on the revised pay offer from the employers and a full consultative ballot will now take place.

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "The branch's view is that to get the employers back round the table represents a significant achievement on the part of our negotiators and we are delighted that our low paid members will benefit from the consolidation of the living wage.

"We recognise that for our members, 1% is still a pay cut of around 16% but at least we can now engage with the employers within the proper bargaining machinery next year and we will certainly be campaigning for a better pay rise for us all."

The ballot will open on Monday 20 October 2014 and close on Monday 3 November 2014.

Click here to see full statement from the Local Government Committee

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Action plans put to industrial action committee

Following the ballot vote for action, UNISON Scottish local government leaders have sought authority from the union's industrial action committee for a programme of industrial action over the coming months.

This will include a day of action followed by a programme of geographical/selective action. Branch consultation will kick off next week.

UNISON negotiator and Branch Secretary, Inez Teece said: "Members are angry about the way they have been treated. Their pay being eroded whilst theytake the brunt of the cuts. We urge employers to come back to the negotiating table."

Click here to check for updates.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Members vote YES for action

The Local Government Pay Ballot, which closed at lunchtime today, 29 September 2014, has delivered a Yes vote for industrial action on the basis of 53.5% to 46.5%.

UNISON Scotland's Local Government Committee will meet in Glasgow on Friday 3rd October to discuss the way forward and a full update with follow then.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Branch calls on all members to join the March and Rally on 18th October 2014 in Glasgow to call for "A Just Scotland"

The branch is calling on all our members and their families and friends to join us at the "A Just Scotland" March and Rally in Glasgow on 18th October 2014 which will call for decent work and dignified lives.
The March and Rally is part of Challenging Poverty week and has been organised by the Scottish Trade Unions Congress (STUC) . The march will muster in Glasgow Green at 10am and will march off at 10.30am to a Rally in George Square.

See more information on the STUC website
It has been timed to coincide with the TUC's mass demonstration in London, "Britain needs a Pay Rise."
Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said, "The Referendum has been and gone and the Scottish people have spoken. However if the independence debate did one thing that was to engage great swathes of the Scottish people, young and not so young, in the debate about what kind of Scotland we want to see, and to put social justice and equality high on the political agenda.
"Creating decent work and providing dignity for those who cannot work is at the heart of the battle for social justice and against austerity, and tackling inequality. Those of us who believe in this must come together now from both sides of the Referendum debate and work together to win social justice in Scotland.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

UNISON Scotland local government strike ballot Vote YES for Fair Pay

UNISON Scotland is balloting all its council members on strike action for fair pay. Ballots were sent out from 9th September and the Branch is encouraging all our members to vote and to vote YES.

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary and member of the Scottish Local Government negotiating team explains the background to the dispute.

"The Scottish Employers have imposed a pay award of 1% on our members from 1 April 2014.

"Further they have refused to negotiate on UNISON's claim for this period which was:
  • An additional £1 per hour for all staff conditioned by the Scottish Joint Council
  • Consolidation of the Living Wage
  • Deletion of spinal column points below the level of the Living Wage
"This action by the employers is quite unacceptable and shows a blatant disregard for the agreed bargaining structures and threatens the future of nationally agreed pay awards.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Meat hygiene inspectors strike for fair pay

Meat hygiene inspectors, vets and support staff took two days of strike action last week in a long-running dispute over pay. They staged two four-hour walkouts from 6.30am-10.30am on Tuesday, August 26, and again on Wednesday, August 27.

This follows a ballot earlier this month, which saw UNISON’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) members overwhelmingly vote for strike action over an imposed pay offer of just 0.75%, while most other public service workers have been offered a 1% increase.

UNISON has previously invited the FSA to resolve the pay dispute through independent conciliation. Even as late as last week, UNISON asked them to reconsider and go to ACAS for arbitration, but they refused.

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair said: “Our Branch is one which hosts members in the Food Standards Agency Sector. We stand fully behind our members' action.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Branch gears up to win fair pay

The Branch is gearing up to win a YES vote in the forthcoming strike ballot for fair pay. Following a 65% yes vote in a consultative ballot, UNISON Scotland will ballot council members on industrial action. The ballot will be held from 9th to 29th September 2014.

It has arranged two members’ meetings, the first in 53 Windmill Street, Peterhead on 21st August and the second on 25th August at Gordon House, Inverurie, both from 12-2pm.

All members are encouraged to come along and hear why you need to vote in the ballot and why UNISON is calling for a YES vote.

The Branch is also encouraging members to write to their councillors calling for fair pay.

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, “This year's imposition of a 1% pay increase was made without reference to the agreed bargaining machinery.

“This can’t go on. We need to get back to proper negotiations with the Scottish employers on pay.

“We have all seen the value of our wages drop in real terms. Everything else has increased in price while our wages have stagnated.

“We are continually told that the economy is recovering, yet for local government employees the prospects continue to be as bleak as ever.”

Inez added, “This is a national Scottish fight and we must ensure that we deliver a resounding YES so that all local government employees across Scotland receive a fair wage for a fair days work.”

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Ballot for action to begin 9th September

Members in Scottish Local Government will be balloted on a programme of industrial action in support of an improved pay offer in September this year. The ballot will open on 9th September and close on 29th September.
Inez Teece

Industrial action options are currently being considered but it is likely that it will start with a day of action by all members in the event of a successful ballot.

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary and Vice Chair of the Scottish local Government Committee said, "This is an important time for our members, cuts to services are a reality in all local authorities, jobs continue to be shed at an alarming rate, terms and conditions are under threat and those members that are left are required to do more for the same or less.

"On top of this the Scottish Employers have imposed a paltry pay increase. This has not been negotiated it has simply been imposed!

"Pay remains a priority for this union now is the time to give that message to our employers and tell them that we will not be treated like this. We are told that the economy is back at 2008 levels. If that is true how come our pay has not kept pace?" asked Inez.

A group has been established at Scotland level, to develop the campaign and provide the resources and support for branches to engage with members. The Branch will now take the campaign out to our members to build for a YES vote. Further details will be announced on the website in the coming days.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Aberdeenshire Branch sends best wishes and solidarity to all trade union members taking action for fair pay today

Aberdeenshire Branch sends greetings in solidarity with all our UNISON colleagues in schools and local government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and with other trade unions colleagues, including the PCS union, taking action across Scotland as well as the rest of the UK.

Click here to see reports from our UNISON colleagues.

Tweet your support at #J10strike#NJCpay14

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Members vote for action ballot

The Consultative Ballot on Local Government pay closed on 7th July with members voting by 65% to 35% in favour of moving to a formal industrial action ballot in support of an improved offer.

UNISON's Scottish Local Government Committee meet with Branch Secretaries to plan the next steps to maximise participation and win the ballot.

The Branch Secretaries' meeting will take place before the end of July.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Engaging with Health and Social Care Integration to protect members’ interests and the services they provide

Health and social care integration is both an opportunity and a threat, so it is important that UNISON branches in Health and Local Government are fully engaged in the process, to maximise the benefits for our members and service users, and to address any concerns.

Willie Duffy, Mark Ferguson and Tam Waterson
That was the message from Tam Waterson, Chair of Scottish Health and Mark Ferguson, Chair of Scottish Local Government, as they met with representatives from the Grampian Health Branch and Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire UNISON on Tuesday 1st July. Willie Duffy, Regional Organiser was also in attendance.

Tam and Mark have been charged by the UNISON leadership to visit Health and Local Government branches across Scotland to monitor progress and offer advice on the integration agenda.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Conference slams the austerity agenda and supports Scotland's stance on independence

Like Local Government Conference the focus of National Delegate Conference was again on the pay and conditions of our members, with calls for decent pay rises, an end to zero hours contracts and a proper living wage for all.

There was also a huge focus on the equalities agenda as it is women, especially low paid women, black, disabled, LGBT and young members who have been the hardest hit by this Tory/Lib Dem Government's austerity policies.

Conference backed action, including co-ordinated strike action to win decent wages for our members.

Local Government Conference - Fighting for decent pay

This year's Local Government Conference rightly had a major focus on pay, with UNISON in England and Wales balloting members for strike action on pay, and a consultative ballot in Scotland.

Kate Ramsden
Delegates were reminded that pay freezes and paltry rises over the past few years have led to a 13-17% pay cut for most of our members. With rises in food and energy prices, this has had a big impact on many as they have seen the money in their pockets more and more squeezed.

However, for our low paid members, it has forced many into a choice of eating or heating, reliance on foodbanks to feed their kids and the need to work more than one job.

This has been exacerbated by a steep rise in zero hours contracts, especially (though not exclusively) in the private and voluntary sector, and a failure by many employers to pay the living wage, with more than 5 million out of only 38 million people of working age earning below this level.

And all this at a time when the rich have seen their wealth rise by £190 billion and the levels of income inequality are almost as high as they were in Victorian times.

Aberdeenshire UNISON Pay Meetings - Find out why you should vote in pay ballot

The Branch will be holding two Pay Meetings where members can come along and find out more about the pay campaign and consultation.
  • 26th June 2014 12.30-2pm Inverurie Town Hall, Market Place, Inverurie
  • 27th June 2014 12.30-2pm Council Chambers, Arbuthnot House, Peterhead
Why is UNISON balloting?
The Scottish Employers have rejected UNISON’s 2014 Pay Claim for £1 per hour and consolidation on of the living wage. It is their view that pay has been settled until April 2015.
This is because, after UNISON members accepted a 1% rise in 2013 in good faith, the employers imposed 1% for 2013 and 2014. The decision to move to a consultative ballot was taken at a meeting of all council branches. UNISON wants all our members to have a say on how we go forward to challenge the erosion of our pay over the past four years.

Inez Teece, Branch secretary said, "Many of our members are low paid and a 1% pay rise, even with the living wage and the Aberdeenshire uplift, is still paltry when you think that we live in one of the most expensive parts of Scotland.
"With the pay freeze, we have taken a 13% pay cut in real terms."

Friday, 13 June 2014

North East Branches host Norwegian trade unionist Kerry

The North East Branches were delighted to welcome Kerry Macallan (centre) from Norwegian trade union Fagforbundet to talk about about working life in Norway and to hear about the challenges facing trade unions in Scotland.

Lyndsey Wallace, local organiser, who had a role in organising the event on Thursday 12th June, at the Aberdeen Resource Centre said,
"Kerry was born in Aberdeen and moved to Norway when she was just 20 years old, so has spent all of her career in Norway.

"She explained there are many similarities between work life and trade unionism here in Scotland and in Norway—namely the fundamental employee rights that trade unions have fought for that are still relevant today—paid annual leave, maternity and paternity rights, a minimum wage,  health & safety standards in a workplace, paid overtime, paid sick leave, equal rights... The list goes on and on!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Branch to consult on pay action after employers reject claim

UNISON Scotland Local Government leaders have announced a consultative ballot of members in local government on pay.

The Branch will now ask our members whether to ballot for industrial action in support of an improved offer for this year, or whether the focus should be on building a campaign of action in support of our 2015/16 pay claim.

The ballot will run from 9th June and close on 7th July. It will be a postal ballot to members home addresses and UNISON's Local Government Committee is urging members to support a full industrial action ballot.

Inez Teece
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary and Vice-Chair of the Scottish Local Government Committee said, "The Scottish Employers have rejected UNISON’s 2014 Pay Claim for £1 per hour and consolidation of the living wage. It is their view that pay has been settled until April 2015. This is because, after UNISON members accepted a 1% rise in 2013 in good faith, the employers imposed 1% for 2013 and 2014.

“The decision to move to a consultative ballot was taken at a meeting of all council branches. We want all our members to have a say on how we go forward to challenge the erosion of our pay over the past four years.

Monday, 26 May 2014

UNISON Family Benefits Fair - A fun day enjoyed by all

UNISON's first local Family Fair was hailed a great success both for those who came in to browse the stalls and enjoy the activities, and for the stall holders who were able to build networks for the future.

Local Organiser, Lyndsey Wallace said, "There was a steady flow of people, both adults and children, who came through the doors. They learned a lot about the money saving benefits of UNISON membership, and the kids had a ball at the fun activities.

"There was also time for the people on the stalls to talk to each other and some good links were made which can only benefit our members in the future."

Lyndsey thanked all those involved in helping to run the event and those who staffed the stalls.

"We will now looked to build from this event to let more and more of our members know what UNISON has to offer them," said Lyndsey.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

May Day celebrates solidarity across borders as polticians, trades unionists and citizens take to the streets

 The banners and flags of dozens of trades unions and community groups made a colourful display as Aberdeenshire UNISON joined hundreds of marchers as they snaked down Union Street in Aberdeen to celebrate International Workers Day, and to call for solidarity across borders.

Shoppers again stopped to watch and wave, as the Guarana Drummers led the march from the West End to a rally at the Castlegate.

Here, speakers spoke passionately against the austerity measures of this UK Government which have hit ordinary people the hardest with cuts to welfare and poverty pay whilst the richest increase their wealth by £190 billion.

Click here for a full report of the March and Rally

Click here to see more photos on Picasa

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Come along to the UNISON Family Benefits Fair Saturday 10th May 2014 and find out how UNISON membership benefits you

UNISON is inviting all our members from local Branches to come along to the Benefits Fair to see how much money they can save by being a UNISON member, and see what help is on offer to them through our services – welfare, financial and legal.

Bring your kids along too, as there will be face painting and balloon modelling from Magic Faces.

There are also local charities coming along – so it should be a really good day.

Entry is free.

Come along to the May Day March and Rally 2014 and celebrate solidarity across borders

Celebrate International Workers Day. We are calling on all UNISON members to join with us in a family friendly march down Union Street to demonstrate your opposition to austerity and to show solidarity across borders.

The 2014 May Day March and Rally will gather at Rubislaw Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen at 11am.

Organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC), it will march off at 11.30am down the full length of Union Street, to a Rally in the Castlegate at 12.15 where there will be a variety of speakers.

Branch activists take key role at STUC

Branch Chair, Kate Ramsden and Assistant Branch Secretary, Susan Kennedy both had key roles at this year's Congress in Dundee.

Austerity 'a political choice, not an economic necessity'

Susan Kennedy
Susan has attended Congress as a delegate for a number of years now and has been a regular speaker.

This year Susan spoke to a Composite calling for the STUC to continue its high profile campaign against welfare cuts and austerity. As part of this, the STUC will press the UK and Scottish governments to take steps to improve employment protections, including the abolition of employment tribunal fees, and an end to poverty pay.

She condemned austerity as a “a political choice, not an economic necessity” as she supported a call from USDAW, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and Aberdeen TUC for a range of measures to tackle poverty and the cost of living crisis in Scotland.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Branch to consult Food Standards Agency members on pay

The Branch will conduct a consultative ballot of FSA members on whether to accept the FSA's implementation of the 2014 pay award. Ballot papers have been issued and need to be returned by Tuesday 15th April.

This follows a decision of the UNISON FSA Sector Committee on 1st April.

The UNISON Sector Committee's view is that the employers' below-inflation pay offer falls far below the aspirations in our 2013-14 pay claim and what our members deserve. It means a further real terms pay cut for our members.

However, the Committee also believes that it is the best offer achievable by negotiation and that only sustained, all-out strike action can achieve an improved pay offer. The type and format of any strike action will be geared to causing the most disruption that can be achieved with the smallest possible effect on members’ take home pay.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Workers' Memorial Day Monday 28 April 2014 "Remember the dead, fight for the living"

This year's Workers Memorial Day Service, will be held at 11am (gather from 10.30am) at Persley Gardens, Persley, Aberdeen. All are welcome to attend.

International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) takes place all over the world on 28 April each year.
The purpose of IWMD is two-fold. Firstly it is about not forgetting those who have died, been injured, or made ill by their work. Secondly it is about ensuring that tragic loss and suffering are used to reinvigorate the campaign for healthier and safer work.

The campaign calls on us all to "Remember the dead, fight for the living."

The number of people killed at work in Scotland has been rising in recent years, according to official figures. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said 20 workers lost their lives north of the border in 2012 - a rise of six on the previous year.

In this time of austerity, it is ever more important to protect our Health and Safety legislation, which is constantly under attack.

The Service will last for approx 30mins.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Council Staff say We are "Worth It"

Dozens of staff in Woodhill House and Gordon House showed pride in being a public service worker by signing up to UNISON's "Worth It" campaign.

Branch activists, some dressed as key council workers, such as school crossing patrol staff and road workers, held events in Woodhill House on 26th March and Gordon House on 27th March as part of the TUC Fair Pay fortnight, to highlight the very important work that public service workers do, and to remind staff that they are worth decent pay, terms and conditions, and that Aberdeenshire residents are worth decent public services.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Go along to the free showing of "The Happy Lands" and "City Without Class" as part of Aberdeen Festival of Politics 24th March 2014

"The Happy Lands" will be shown at the Belmont Cinema as part of the Aberdeen Festival of Politics on Monday 24th March.

The evening will begin at 6pm with a showing of "City Without Class" a short film about Aberdeen made by local film makers. The Happy Lands will be shown from 6.40pm followed by a discussion and debate about the campagning work of trade unions today. The evening will finish at 9pm.

Sponsored by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire UNISON entry will be free to all.

For more information about the Festival of Politics go to their website

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Aberdeenshire UNISON to visit school support staff "You support children, we'll support you"

UNISON will visit schools across the authority to meet with school support staff to discuss issues affecting Nursery Nurses, PSAs and Admin & Clerical staff.

Susan Kennedy
Susan Kennedy, Assistant Branch Secretary, who has arranged the visits said, "There are a number of issues affecting our support staff in schools across Aberdeenshire,from changes to pre-5s provision to the administration of medications.

"UNISON is very clear that support staff are absolutely fundamental to our children's education. They support the children in their schools and we support them.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Branch AGM says “We’re Worth it”

Members at the 2014 AGM threw their weight behind actions to protect members in the workplace and to support their standards of living at a time of cuts and change for the workforce in the council and the voluntary sector.

The AGM unanimously supported calls to campaign for affordable housing and for decent pay, alongside measures to monitor the effect of cuts and to press for fairer funding for local government. Members heard of the new threats to social workers and others working to protect children; and of the unreasonable expectations on some of our lowest paid staff to administer medications to children.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Branch AGM 2014 Come along and hear what the Branch is doing for members at this time of cuts and falling living standards and get a chance to win an iPad Mini

All Branch members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Aberdeenshire Branch of UNISON on 19th February 2014 from 7 – 8.30 p.m. at the Kintore Arms, Inverurie. 

Click here for a poster. Please print off and put up in your workplaces.
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "Whether we work for Aberdeenshire Council, a related employer or the voluntary sector, we have all had the challenge of change over the past year. 

"Terms and Conditions, Pay, Pensions and the impact of Service Reviews have been the major issues we have faced. 

"The key component for defending all these issues is membership participation, so we would urge you to attend the AGM and hear what UNISON is doing locally and nationally and be part of our decision making process."

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair added, "The AGM is your chance to have your say on the issues of the moment and gives you a chance to raise issues or discuss concerns with Branch Officers." 

Monday, 13 January 2014

Note change of date - Aberdeenshire Branch 2014 AGM now on Wed 19th Feb

All Branch members are invited to attend the 2014 Branch AGM to be held on Wed 19 Feb at 7pm in the Kintore Arms, Inverurie. Buffet from 6.30pm.

Please note that the date of the Branch AGM has been brought forward a week,  to enable the meeting to consider Branch motions for the Local Government Service Group Conference and National Delegate Conference, in time to meet the deadlines for submission.

The AGM is the branch's supreme policy making forum. It will elect the Branch Officers and stewards for 2014, set policy on important issues affecting all members and can amend rules.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Aberdeenshire UNISON supports the Miami Five and calls on members to sign online petition

Aberdeenshire UNISON has donated £100 in support of the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Miami Five which will take place in London on 7-8 March and is encouraging all our members to support the online petition.
UNISON has long supported the campaign to free the Miami Five.

Who are the Five?
The Miami Five are five Cuban men who were unjustly imprisoned in the United States after being arrested by the FBI on Sept 12 1998 and convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami in 2001, in a political prosecution by the U.S. government.

Inverurie Film Club hosts free showing of The Happy Lands on Friday 24 Jan at 7pm

Aberdeenshire UNISON is encouraging members and non-members to go along to a Branch sponsored free showing of the feature film, The Happy Lands, hosted by the Inverurie Film Club, in Inverurie Town Hall on Friday 24th January at 7pm.

The Happy Lands is a powerful film which has been developed by members of the mining communities of Fife. It is a Theatre Workshop Scotland Production supported by Creative Scotland through The National Lottery, in association with BBC Scotland and is directed by Robert Rae.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Branch recognises the work of members in Social Work as UNISON issues guidance on Edinburgh contempt of court ruling

The Branch will make workplace visits to all the Children and Families Social Work Teams across Aberdeenshire in January and February, to recognise the work of our members and to recruit more social work staff to the union.

Lyndsey Wallace, Local Organiser said, "We will be taking round cupcakes for our members to thank them for the work they do to protect our most vulnerable children and their families.

"We also want to encourage non-members to join UNISON to have the protection of the union behind them as they undertake the increasingly complex but very important work that they do.