Blog 4: Mixture of experienced (frazzled) and fresh faced activists (23/03/17)

Blog four here. We survived AGM season, and the London NHS demonstration !!! The fact that most of our demonstrators came away with a mere police caution, and only three of us were arrested for breaching decency laws is a record for your unruly branch (apparently it is now an offence to be found frolicking naked in parliament square with only a Jeremy Corbyn pamphlet between the outside world and your particulars). As a consequence I am writing this from Pentonville, whilst a non-descript felon threatens to hit me if I don’t get on with this blog, and continue to pursue this ridiculous fantasy about imaginary criminal scenarios.

Anyway where was I (don’t start about Pentonville again you scream) The AGM’s were a success, and your branch now enters a new year with a nice mix of the old experienced (frazzled) officers, and a batch of fresh faced keen stewards. What are the branch objectives for the new year I hear you cry?

  1. Time To Care Campaign – Ensuring staff have the time to do their job properly and look after themselves in the process
  2. Invisible Worker Campaign – Recognising and campaigning for the invaluable but invisible workers
  3. Jeremy Hunt Put in stocks – and slapped with a rotting Haddock

 One of my roles within the branch is as the International Officer. This involves promoting international union activities, and supporting union members throughout the world (some countries have even more deranged leaders than our own beloved Tories) One campaign that we want to highlight is regarding the hideous treatment of migrant workers building the World Cup football stadiums in Qatar. For full information visit http://www.playfairqatar.org.uk. Workers (slaves) are paid pittance wages that still often go unpaid – The bosses  confiscate passports of migrant workers thus keeping workers trapped in inhumane living and deadly working conditions. Qatar has been called a modern-day slave state. In fact, it is shocking but more workers will die preparing for the Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup than players will take the field. I am personally planning on boycotting all recognised sponsors of the world cup, and also boycotting the entirety of all England’s tedious performances (the latter more out of self-preservation than ethics). FIFA must implement, in full, the recommendations of the FIFA and Human Rights report “For the Game. For the World”, including reserving the option of terminating the Qatar World Cup if the country does not take serious steps towards respecting all internationally recognized human rights….. (phew im exhausted now with all that earnest sentiment). Sign the petition , boycott the goods, contact your MP, and stand in solidarity with these poor workers who are in such a vulnerable position in such a rich Gulf state. Its 2017 !!! how can this be still happening ??

Closer to home we are still fighting for band ones to be paid a living wage, and still collecting food for local food banks. We are representing you with Attendance Management cases, Grievance cases, Flexible Working applications, and issues surrounding Dignity at Work.

The latest NHS demonstration is here in Leeds on the 1st APRIL. Please come along and march under the branch banner – don’t be shy, if you have never been to a demonstration like this I guarantee you will enjoy yourself and find the experience fun. Don’t be worried about the rally turning nasty, it is a family affair and if old Glynnis (with her plastic hip) starts getting too rowdy we will just slip her some medicinal sherry before she bashes another copper with her C&A handbag. It is your NHS so please campaign today, before it is lost forever. Please come and say hello and introduce yourselves so we march in UNISON (see what I did there).

(The views expressed here are not necessarily the views of the UNISON Leeds Teaching Hospitals Branch)