Thursday, 26 February 2015

Branch to revisit Children and Families Social Work teams

The Branch will once again 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.

This is a follow up to last year's very successful visits and is at members' request.

Lyndsey Wallace, Local Organiser said, "We will once again 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."

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair and herself a social worker added, "UNISON promotes this important role of our members in social work and we believe that we have had some success in improving the profile of social work in the media and in promoting a better understanding of the work done by social work members and the pressures they face."

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UNISON seeks talks with management amidst concerns about new “Buddy” phones

Aberdeenshire UNISON is to meet with home care management to discuss the concerns of members in South and Central Aberdeenshire about the new “Buddy” phones, which the council has issued to home carers.

At a packed meeting of both members and non-members in Inverurie on 12th Feb 2015, staff told how these phones are not properly programmed, break down regularly and of their worries that these could put both service users and carers at risk.

Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair, who organised the meeting following requests from home care members said, “The issues raised at that meeting have now been sent to management. We have also sent a copy of the report to all home care members across Aberdeenshire and we are urging them to get in touch to let us know of their experience of the “Buddy” and whether it chimes with the concerns expressed by the carers who attended on 12th.”

Inez Teece, Branch Secretary added, "The council is also planning a series of meetings with home care staff across Aberdeenshire, which UNISON will attend, and we are urging all our members to get along to these meetings, to pass on their concerns direct to senior management."

Click here to read the full story

Friday, 20 February 2015

Branch will raise profile at monthly stalls and surgeries

Steve and steward James Mulholland
at a previous stall at Gordon House
Branch stewards, with the support of Steve Gray, our Branch Development Officer, and Lyndsey Wallace, our full-time local organiser, will be holding regular stalls and surgeries in Woodhill House, Gordon House, Inverurie and Viewmount in Stonehaven.

Steve said, "We hope that this will raise UNISON's profile across the council. We think that it's very important for members to know when UNISON stewards will be available for discussions, queries or just for a chat, and for non-members to know where they can find out more about the union, and most importantly, how to join.

"As a workforce we face many challenges over the coming years and it has never been more important to be in a union and to get involved in your union.

"We do hope that members and their colleagues will take this opportunity to come and meet us and hear more."

The dates for the surgeries are below:

Aberdeenshire UNISON AGM - campaigning for public services and the people who provide them

Members at this year's aggregate Aberdeenshire UNISON AGM, condemned the Tory led Westminster government's failed austerity measures which threaten to dismantle the public services we all rely on.

Members backed the branch in campaigning for decent pay, for a living wage for those in services contracted by the council, for a living rent and affordable housing for all, and for measures to combat austerity and to tackle the growing inequality in our country which "is not just bad for the poorest and most vulnerable, but is bad for the economy too."

Members also called on the Scottish Government to end the council tax freeze which has cost more than £2.5 billion and benefits the better off the most.
The well attended AGM was held on Wednesday 18th February 2015 across two meetings, the first in Woodhill House over lunchtime and the second in the evening in the Kintore Arms, Inverurie.

Click here for a full report on the Aberdeenshire Branch website.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Cuts impact “devastating” says UNISON - speaking up for services and the people who deliver them

Aberdeenshire UNISON has warned that the council’s planned cuts over the next five years will hit jobs and services hard and will continue to have a devastating impact on the quality of life in Aberdeenshire, especially for our most vulnerable.

The branch has called on Aberdeenshire councillors to minimise job losses and to keep their commitment to no compulsory redundancies and to maintain services to the most vulnerable.

Branch Secretary Inez Teece said, “We recognise that the council is in a difficult position, especially with the continued council tax freeze and we would urge the Scottish Government to reconsider this as we have shown that it only benefits the better off.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

REMINDER: Aberdeenshire UNISON AGM on Wed 18th February

The Aberdeenshire Branch AGM will be held on WEDNESDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2015 12noon till 2pm in Woodhill House, Aberdeen and 7-9pm in the Kintore Arms, Inverurie.

There are 2 venues and times to enable members to attend.  Firstly 12-2pm at Committee Room 4, Woodhill House, and later from 7-9 p.m. at the Kintore Arms, Inverurie.  The Agenda and other papers have been sent out and can be found on the Branch website.

Dave Watson
Dave Watson, UNISON Scottish Organiser and Head of Bargaining and Campaigns will be at both AGMs to talk about our new pension scheme, and other local and Scottish issues.

Branch Secretary, Inez Teece said, "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. 

"A buffet will be available at both venues and members of the Branch Committee will be on hand to answer any questions or just to chat.

"We very much hope that you will come along and look forward to seeing you there."

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Aberdeenshire UNISON success at Scottish Communication Awards

Following on from their success at last year's Scottish Communications Awards, the branch has won a silver and a bronze at this year's awards.

Kate Ramsden receives silver award from
Sara McLelland UIA
The branch took the UIA sponsored second prize in the Best Campaigns category, for the campaign to recruit members in Children and Families Social Work teams, with the Branch newsletter awarded a bronze award sponsored by the TC Branding Group in the best publications section.

Certificates were presented to Inez Teece who received it on behalf of Morag Lawrence, Newssheet Editor and Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair at UNISON's Scottish Council Meeting of branches on Saturday 7th February 2015, along with cheques totalling £150 for the branch.