Blog 37: Staying positive and public transport wrestling

Hi Dudes,

Blog 37 here, and as 2020 arrives aren’t we all full of hope and vigour? Well if hope and vigour is a new real ale promoted by a micro brewery possibly. However real hope and glory seems in short supply when you see Australia burning , ol Trumpys warmongering, and the Prospect of Leeds Utd’s traditional post Christmas slump around the corner. Oh well, your UNISON Branch will stay positive and keep campaigning and supporting you, our members in 2020.

2019 was another successful year within the Branch. New activists were recruited, old activists retained, and influential positions on wider body’s attained. We supported our members at all manner of meetings within the hospital , and raised our Branch profile especially around the campaign against Climate Change. My personal highlight being the Student Climate Change march in Leeds in September. Clearly the Branch didn’t want to be going into 2020 with a Tory government , an incompetent prime minister, and the NHS for sale, but that’s where we are. We can sit around, mope, contemplate our navels whilst digging out our old Nirvana records or we can fight back. Fight back is certainly how we intend to react.

Your Branch AGM is held on March 3rd – one in the morning at LGI – 07:15 in the food court. The second at the UNISON offices in Beckett Wing SJUH at 16:00. Food and drink is provided at both and it would be grand for us if you could turn up and support our democratic process. If we have supported you with a work place issue in 2019 and you want to show your appreciation of our help there is no better way than attending your AGM and maybe volunteering to take up an activist position (no pressure , please don’t let that put you off attending ).

Another date to carve into your electronic diary is “With Banners Held High” – a celebration of Trade Unionism in Wakefield – Saturday 16th May. The Branch is aiming to have a presence at this ( it was great fun last year) . If any members are interested in attending please give us a shout. It would be good to show a united LTHT front , get together outside the workplace , and have a giggle. The Branch will fund transport to and from Wakefield for members wanting to join the Branch for the march and at the festival.

A petition started by the regional TUC may be of interest to you. Anyone wrestling with public transport will agree that the buses in and out of work are a disgrace. There are times, after a long shift and the buses are knocking more regularly than a giddy ghost at a séance, that I’ve given up completely and gone to the pub instead. My wife however doesn’t seem to understand or empathise when I roll home 5 hours late. It is for you, my fellow public transport victims, that I urge to sign and share this worthwhile petition. https://t.co/Yjk9Wy63F4?amp=1

In December we had a good reaction to this Facebook post …

“Post election we were hoping that you’d all be having a 5% pay rise to look forward to , but alas no…. we know that in work poverty is high so please remember if you are a member in a dire financial position we do have two experienced welfare officers to possibly help (ext 64369). We can also distribute food bank vouchers where necessary. We also ask if any member can contribute any tinned food which we can pass on to established local food banks. We know our members have risen to this challenge before – Thankyou”

Whilst one of our welfare officers added

“As one of our Welfare Officer I think what you are doing is fantastic, please if you can donate a tin or lady products please drop them off at either St James UNISON office or LGI unison office on Tuesday between 8 and 9 am. Also pass on the winter fuel grant to anyone in Unison https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/services-support/there-for-you/there-for-you-winter-fuel-grants/“

Please help where possible and to keep up to date with your Branch our Facebook page is UNISON Leeds Teaching-Hospitals – our website is https://leedsteachinghospitals.unison.site/

You see there are two flames burning
in the human heart all the time.
The flame of anger against injustice,
and the flame of hope you can build
a better world.

Tony Benn

…. Speak soon xxx