Sunday, 21 June 2015

End Austerity Now Demonstration

A couple of members of North Somerset UNISON travelled to London with colleagues from the NUT for the End Austerity Now demonstration. We joined 250,000 people from all over the UK who marched from the Bank of England to Parliament to demand an end to austerity.

We heard some great speakers including: Charlotte Church, Liz Carr, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Caroline Lucas MP, Marina Prentulis, Christine Blower, Shappi Khorsandi, Francesca Martinez, Steve Turner, John Rees, Sam Fairburn, Martin McGuinness, Mark Serwotka, and Len McCluskey amongst others.

Here's a few photos from the day:

Friday, 19 June 2015

UNISON Local Government Conference - Some Reflections

Two delegates from North Somerset attended UNISON's Local Government conference at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow on 14th and 15th June. Our union debated many motions, including: Local Government Cuts and Finance, Privatisation, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Devolution, Co-ops and Mutuals, the attacks on facility time, Organising in Schools, the Living Wage and Local Government Pay, We heard inspirational guest speakers - John Hilary from War on Want, and Vincent Ncongwane, General Secretary of Swaziland TUC. We attended a fringe meeting on the impact of TTIP on Local Government, and a demonstration in support of Robert O'Donnell - a UNISON Rep victimised and sacked by the SECC only days ahead of our conference starting - so too late for us to transfer it elsewhere in protest, although a the President of UNISON read out a statement at the beginning of conference informing the SECC that if a way forward is not found, UNISON will withdraw any future business from the SECC and encourage other trade unions to do the same.

With the election of a Tory government we're certainly going to have a lot on over the next few years - with more attacks on our pay and conditions, more cuts and privatisations of local government services, and more attacks on our facility time. The Trade Union bill aims to make it almost impossible to strike with restrictions on ballot turnouts, unless we are able to mobilise our members. One delegate from Islington branch called for demonstrations across the country on Emergency budget day - 8th July, followed by an industrial action ballot over pay before Schools break up for the summer holidays, and industrial action in the Autumn on the day that the Trade Union bill gets its first reading in parliament.

During the conference we also got the news that Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington, had just in the nick of time received enough nominations to stand for Labour Leader. All trade union members must become Trade Union Affiliated Supporters and use their vote to elect a Labour Leader, who will stand on an Anti-Austerity platform. Tomorrow, on the 20th June, tens of thousands of people will take part in the End Austerity Now demonstration in London, marching from the Bank of England to Parliament. A demonstration will also take place in Glasgow. This must become the start of a massive campaign to end austerity and kick out the Tories - we cannot wait another five years in the hope of a Labour Government.

UNISON members - help choose the next Labour Leader

If you are a UNISON member and want to choose the next leader of the Labour Party you need to register as a Trade Union Affiliate Supporter. You can do that for free by going to the following link:

Voting ballots will be sent out on Friday 14 August, so you'll need to register by then.

You can find out more about the candidates at this link:

Thursday, 4 June 2015

End Austerity Now National Demonstration 20th June - Coach from Weston super Mare, Gordano & Bristol

The coach will leave Locking Road car park in Weston super Mare at 7.30 am, picking up at Gordano Services at 8.15 am, and Anchor Road, Bristol at 8.45 am.

Tickets cost £5 for NUT members, £10 for non NUT members.

Demonstrators will assemble at the Bank of England and march to the Houses of Parliament.

If you're interested please contact