Important message regarding a March in Leeds on Saturday 8 August – demanding a fresh pay deal for the NHS

Many members have contacted us regarding the March in Leeds (this Saturday, 8th August, 11am) regarding the demand for a fresh pay deal for the NHS.

Clearly the Branch supports the marches aims and principles and ordinarily we would be there with all our bells, whistles, banners, and collective voices. However these are not normal times and we are now in a real predicament. If we support, we are endorsing a mass gathering of people which is difficult at the moment, however supporting and unifying in these situations is also important to us and the right of association a fundamental human right. We cannot win.

The organisers are at pains to point out mask wearing and social distancing will be mandatory and this demo can be used as an example of current socially conscious protest.

The Branch have heard many  points – “if the pubs are open what’s the problem?” “I’m so angry at the government I need to make my voice heard no matter” it could blur our message around Health and Safety in the workplace”.

The Branch will not officially be present or “supporters” on Saturday but many of the Branch will be in attendance as individuals with a United cause… we hope this clears things up (not sure it does but it may have answered some questions ).

Also to mention if you don’t want to attend ( understandable) or are shielding, or actually working that day you can still contribute – Share our posts on Facebook, contact your MP ( we have draft letters you can use), and talk to colleagues about our shared goals   #clapsdontpaybills

John Ingleson
UNISON Branch Chair