General Secretary Election – Southend nominates Paul Holmes

General Secretary Election – Southend nominates Paul Holmes

  • Southend branch has nominated Paul Holmes for General Secretary because we know he wants change.
  • Unison nationally is not delivering for members. Branches currently only get 25% of our subs and no say over national and regional resources. Paul wants half of Unison resources directed to us and our members. 
  • The Government is coming at us with more attacks. Paul has the best track-record of leadership in fighting for members and winning – on pay, jobs, safety, racism and discrimination .
  • Paul is the grassroots candidate and will take the job on his current wage of £32,000, not the £138,000 salary advertised.

    Photo of Paul Holmes
    Paul Holmes

8th August – Essex March for Fair NHS Pay

Saturday 8th August, March for Fair Pay for NHS Workers-

March organised by local NHS nurses and other staff to protest at being left out of pay rises for some other areas of the public sector (like doctors and police). Part of a national day of demonstrations. Meet 11am at Basildon Hospital for a short socially-distanced march to a town centre rally. #NHSWorkersSayNo

8th August NHS March Flyer

Solidarity with Tower Hamlets UNISON Strikers

Tower Hamlets Council Workers Strike against attack on Terms and Conditions 3rd, 6th and 7th July

Tower Hamlets Strike PosterOn 3rd, 6th & 7th July, workers for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets will be striking against the imposition of “Tower Rewards”. Their council is seeking to sack 4,000 council workers and remploy them on a new contract with much worse conditions. This is the thanks essential public service workers get during a pandemic! Our colleagues in Tower Hamlets UNISON branch  have published the details on Facebook here.

Show Solidarity – Join the Virtual Picket Line

Tower Hamlets UNISON are holding  online rallies / virtual picket lines at 11.30am on each strike day. We urge Southend members to join the ‘virtual’ pickets and show our solidarity with our colleagues – we all face the same attacks!    You can ‘book’ your place the pickets on Eventbrite here. 


Have Your Say On Pay!

Council and Schools Pay Deal – Make up your mind on ‘final offer’

The national employers in local government have made what they say is their ‘final offer’ on the 2020 pay deal. If you work in the council or schools (or other groups who get the ‘NJC’ pay rise), UNISON is arranging for all members to take part in a ballot on this offer. Southend branch will soon be sending out information about how you can vote.

Find out about the employers’ offer – make up your mind whether or not to accept it: You can find information about the ‘offer’ on the national UNISON website here.

2020 pay photos

Have we got your contact details?

If you want to have your say, we need to make sure we have up to date contact details for you. You can update your details online at My Unison

Peoples Assembly Online Rally 7th May

The Fight for our lives

Mass online rally from 6:30pm Thursday 7th May organised by the People’s assembly:

The Government’s mishandling of the coronavirus crisis has cost thousands of lives. The People’s Assembly will be hosting a huge online platform for campaigns to voice their demands to meet this emergency and for a better life after the crisis.
We will be broadcasting across a large number of social media platforms so there is the potential for an audience of thousands, a social media takeover.

Watch live from the People’s Assembly Facebook Page on Thursday from 6:30pm:

Peoples Assembly rally lineup

Here are a few things you can do to help us make this as big as possible:

1. Share the event:

Use your 500 invites on Facebook. Don’t be shy!

2. Post on social media:

Here is some sample copy you might want to use:

Join the Fight for our Lives rally on Thursday 6.30pm. More than 50 organisations representing millions of people are coming together to take over social media platforms by streaming an online rally to demand universal testing, tracking, PPE and no return to austerity.  Key Workers, so crucial to our society deserve a pay rise, better conditions and recognition for their contribution. We will not be made to pay for this health crisis that has been so badly managed by this Government.

3. Use the graphics in this email. You can find them here on our resource page.

4. Let’s get trending on social media during the online Rally using #HealthBeforeWealth 

Domestic Abuse and Covid-19

Domestic Abuse and Covid-19 – advice and support from the TUC

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) groups together all the UK’s trade unions. Their Education team have produced this advice on the threat posed by domestic abuse as we all face lockdown and isolation.

TUC header

The physical workplace can be a place of safety for those experiencing domestic abuse. Now, with stringent social distancing measures in place, that option may be gone.

In only the first weekend of UK lockdown, visits to the national abuse website increased by 150%. Domestic abuse has always been an issue for reps to engage with, but we need you to do this now more than ever.

That’s why today we are launching new guidance on what reps can do to ensure women and their children stay safe during this time. Please take a  look  at our new online domestic abuse guidance for reps

If you or anyone you know may have been affected by domestic abuse, the guidance contains information on how you can seek help.

For further resources on coronavirus, check out our recordings of our recent Coronavirus at Work webinars and our new guidance for unions.

28th April – Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living

International Workers’ Memorial Day Tuesday 28th April-   Join the minute’s silence at 11am

IWMS Selfie PosterEach year, trade unionists across the world mark all those who have lost their lives at work.
This year, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic makes this occasion more poignant than ever. The deaths of key workers in the crisis are avoidable and we must demand that they are all protected. We must make sure we mark this day despite the restrictions we are all under.
UNISON, along with other trade unions and organisations, is calling on all our members to join in a  minute’s silence at 11am Tuesday, 28th April.

What you can do
Whether you are at your workplace, are working from home, retired or perhaps self-isolating, you can still join in on the day:

  • Take a ‘selfie’ with our poster (or perhaps make your own)
  • Post it on your preferred social media and tag us – #unisonsouthend and #iwmd2020
  • You can also email your photo to and we will put together an album for our website and Facebook page
  • If you will be in work, why not do a group selfie with your colleagues and encourage other UNISON members (and non-members) to take part? (keep a safe distance)
  • In central Southend, UNISON is arranging a ‘socially-distanced’ event on the steps of the Civic Centre at 11am so that we can have a collective (but safe!) meeting in memory of those who have lost their lives. If you work in the Civic Centre area or live nearby, please join us if you can
  • In the evening, UNISON’s Assistant General Secretary, Roger Mackenzie, will be one of the speakers at an online ‘Stand Up To Racism’ meeting, addressing why so many Covid-19 deaths have been of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) people, particularly in the health and care sectors. The meeting will be livestreamed at 7pm on the Facebook page for Stand Up To Racism.


One of the slogans for International Workers’ Memorial Day has always been ‘Remember the Dead but Fight for the Living’. That idea has never been more relevant as we have seen health’ care and other key workers losing their lives, in the UK and around the world. We all join in the #clapforcarers but we need to fight for them, not just thank them.

We want to make sure we demand the things which will help protect frontline workers who continue to be at risk. That means giving a clear message that they all need the right level of PPE and access to testing, so they can be safe at work and help keep the rest of us healthy. These things have been too long in coming and standards have been sacrificed. So, we will be saying PPE Now! If you post online, use the hashtag #PPEnow .

Many of our members work for Southend Council and we expect the Council to support the minute’s silence. Ask your employer to allow everyone to join the minute’s silence and let UNISON know if they won’t!