Blog 23: The blog that makes you all activists (9/11/18)

Hi Dudes,

Welcome to blog 20 odd. Very odd. As odd as a sock you find in your rucksack after a weekend of camping in Cleethorpes.

This is the blog which makes you all activists. Legend has it that everybody present at the 1976 Sex pistols gig at Manchester Free Trade Hall formed a band and became famous. The Buzzcocks, Morrissey, Joy Division, and Miley Cyrus – according to myth they were all there. This blog is going to have that same revolutionary impact… I hope. With a few tips you are soon to be transformed from a bellyacher to a belly dancer … sorry, bellyacher, to a social activist.

So are you ready? Have you got your Che Guevara T-shirt on ? Are your Doc Martins polished ? Your copy of the Morning star shoved suggestively down your jeans? Good then we are ready to begin.

Gandhi said something like “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Well I think it was Gandhi. It could have been some geography teacher in Grimsby for all I know, but the internet has attached it to the great man and it’s a good quote so we can go from there. We all get frustrated in the workplace, or watching the news, or walking down the street in Leeds (how many homeless people are they now !!) but how many of us try and change the status quo ? (they weren’t at the Sex Pistols gig by the way).

How many of us see something frustrating and easy to fix in the workplace, but we just meander on and turn a blind eye? STOP meandering, you are not a river! Report the problem, DATIX where necessary and be a nuisance if the problem is not fixed. I was at the Health and Safety committee t’other day where the managers were getting frustrated as problems were NOT getting reported.

You’re not being a trouble maker, or wasting your time – you will (should) be applauded for raising concerns. Use DATIX (if you haven’t got access to DATIX ask a colleague / manager / rep to help you) Use the freedom to speak up policy if you have concerns, and USE us for help , and or advice (ext 64369). The hospital needs to know about problems if we are going to improve. Please do not be intimidated – minor or major problems can be fixed if the right people are aware of them.

Good workplace reps grow from small issues which they have helped resolve. Today it may be picking up the phone to us and telling us of a concern you have, tomorrow you could be attending conferences with UNISON and taking decisions which effect public service workers up and down the country. Little acorns dudes.

Outside of work there are so many organisations which are trying to make the world slightly less irksome. Give some of the links a peruse. Most organisations are relatively cheap to join, and once joined you will feel more engaged and committed.

The Labour Party – For proper public service funding. Local Branch meetings if you want to be active in your local community.

Hope Not Hate – Anti- Racism campaign group. “We have more in common with each other than that which divides us”.

Labour Start – International Trade Union news – and pressure group. *Free

Greenpeace – Greeny stuff. For those of you who want to put the environment before those ‘orrible big global corporations. Save the Orangutan. Stop fracking.

Amnesty – Giving an international voice to the political repressed. Really inspirational stuff and extremely thought provoking.

These are just a few of the many , many organisations that are out there which are trying to make a difference. Your local UNISON Branch is affiliated to most of them. We can help you with links, or confidence building, or with access to events if you want to become a more socially conscious being. Trade Unions have long been at the forefront of social change. We are not asking you to be an activist or campaigner overnight, but if you can be our eyes and ears, and report your concerns and help us with your local knowledge we should be able to make your little pocket of our great hospital(s) a better place.

…right after all that positivity I’m going to play some Nirvana records, shiver under a naked light bulb, and wallow in a pit of despond for an hour or two. It is frightful and unseemly to be that positive for an entire blog.

…Speak Soon xxx