SPEAK UP FOR SCHOOLS – VOTE TODAY! #SpeakUpForSchools

Feature image reading: "SPEAK UP FOR MY SCHOOL – VOTE TODAY! Alongside text is a photograph of Jo Gull (Southend UNISON Steward) and Caron Mullins (UNISON Schools Organiser, Eastern Region) at an awareness raising event at Greenways Primary School.
Jo Gull (Southend UNISON Steward) and Caron Mullins (UNISON Schools Organiser, Eastern Region).

Caron and I organised a SPEAK UP FOR SCHOOLS event at Greenways Primary School on 28th January.

The event supported by Principal Mr Ashley Eastwood raised awareness of the UNISON Consultative Ballot about support staff pay, terms and conditions and workload.

UNISON represents around 250,000 school support staff across the UK and those members do fantastic work to help children learn, keep them safe and healthy and schools running smoothly.

If you haven’t done so already VOTE TODAY and have your say on what’s happening at the school where you work.

The consultation ballot is now open and will run until 5th March.

For more information about the SPEAK UP FOR SCHOOLS campaign and to join UNISON click here.

All the best,

Jo Gull
Southend UNISON Steward, Greenways Primary School

SAVE OUR local SERVICES, Protect Our Communities. Support SAVE OUR SERVICES DAY on Thursday 6th December!

Announcement graphic reading: "Save Our Local Services."

Dear Officers, Stewards and Members,

On Thursday 6th December for SOS Day, we are focusing on the role our members play in keeping people safe. Workers in trading standards, environmental health, social services, schools and many others are the unsung heroes of our communities. However, cuts to council budgets have put these jobs under extreme pressure and our communities at risk.

Do you work in a service that helps to keep communities safe?

If so, tell us how cuts have affected your job and the service you work in.

Whether your job has obvious and high profile impact on people’s safety, or whether it’s a role that doesn’t often get any limelight but has safety implications that might surprise people, we’d like to hear from you.

So please get in touch using the form in the “tell us your story” section on the UNISON Save Our Services campaign page or contact the branch office. We will use your comments in our campaigning to highlight the impact of cuts on local services and let us know if you’re happy for us to publish your name.

What else could you do?

On SOS Day you could also hold a workplace meeting, talk to colleagues in public safety-related roles about how cuts have impacted their jobs and local services, or do something much bigger. Download the Save Our local Services toolkit and contact the branch office for some ideas!

All the best,

Claire Wormald
Branch Secretary

Grovember: Let’s grow our union. Get a fellow worker to join today!

Announcement graphic reading: "Grovember – Let's grow our union."

Dear Officers, Stewards and Members,

We’re in the final week of November and our month-long push for growth: Grovember.

We can all feel very optimistic about what everyone has achieved so far – but there is still time before the campaign formally comes to a close this weekend for one final effort to get a fellow worker to join.

So everyone, let’s get talking, getting names on application forms (which can be collected from the branch office) – and using the  Easy Joiner  tool to get potential members signed up digitally in just two easy steps.

Let’s remember to highlight the strengths that makes UNISON and our branch great – and highlight the special thank-you offers that give members and their families the chance to save money on holidays, days out and theatre trips.

 ▹ Find out more about Grovember and the resources to help you 
 ▹ Find out more about our offers for new and existing members 
 ▹ Have you signed up at least one member? You could win cash! 

All the best,

Claire Wormald
Branch Secretary

Southend UNISON members join the #StandUpToRacism demo – 17th November 2018

Photograph of Southend UNISON members and friends with branch banner.
Southend UNISON members and friends with branch banner. Photograph by Tim Fransen

Southend UNISON branch members joined 40,000 people in London supporting the Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) demo to Whitehall on Saturday.

“Hey Hey Theresa May! Refugees are here to stay!”

“Stop the deportations! Black and White, Unite and Fight!”

It was a real statement of opposition to the rise of racism and fascism in the UK and across Europe, there was also a large and powerful contingent of anti-fascists from Brazil who are opposed to Bolsonaro, the new far-right President.

There was only a very small group of fascists sighted in Whitehall Wetherspoons who ended our day nicely by being arrested and marched away in handcuffs by the Police.

Photograph of marchers gathering in Portland Place, London.
Marchers gathering in Portland Place, London. Photograph by Paul Stygal

Thanks to all those who came along (and thanks to Paul Stygal and Tim Fransen for the photos). Look out for the local SUTR meeting which we will hopefully be able to arrange early in the New Year. With the Tories and their austerity measures causing such poverty and misery in this country, we need to organise as soon as possible to ensure they can’t use racism to divide us.

Photograph of Tom Robinson speaking at the rally outside Downing Street.
Tom Robinson speaking at the rally outside Downing Street. Photograph by Paul Stygal

For older readers, here is the ‘real Tom(my) Robinson’ speaking at the rally outside Downing Street. He played the Anti-Nazi League rally in 1978 alongside The Clash and X-Ray Spex and is still fighting the fight in 2018.


National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism & Racism in pictures.

Photographs by Tim Fransen

Also click here to view Paul Stygal’s excellent Facebook album and for more photographs of the National Unity Demonstration by Tim Fransen click here.

REMINDER: National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism & Racism this SATURDAY 17th November – FREE coach seats available for Southend UNISON members.

Announcement graphic reading: “National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism and Racism, Saturday 17th November, FREE coach seats available for Southend UNISON members."

Southend UNISON has booked a coach for the National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism & Racism this Saturday 17th November – pickup points and times below.

If you are interested in joining this important demonstration, please contact the branch ASAP to book your coach seat.

Coach seats are free for Southend UNISON members. If you know any non‑UNISON members who would also like to attend please get them to contact us ASAP – tickets are £10 for non-members (concessions are available).

TIME PICK-UP (AND DROP-OFF) POINTS
9:00am ASDA SHOEBURYNESS North Shoebury Road, Shoeburyness SS3 8DA
9:15am OLD WALNUT TREE(formerly THE WHITE HORSE) Southchurch Road, Southend-on-Sea SS2 4XA
9:25am VICTORIA CIRCUS Bus lay-by behind the Odeon Cinema
9:30am PALACE THEATRE 430 London Rd, Westcliff-on-Sea SS0 9LA
9:40am The ELMS 1060 London Road, Leigh-on-Sea SS9 3ND
9:50am HADLEIGH CHURCH
10:00am The TARPOT London Road, South Benfleet SS7 5SQ

Return from London: 4:30pm (approx.)

We are experiencing the biggest rise in support for fascism, the far right, racism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism since the 1930s. In Britain, fascists and racists are mobilising on a scale not seen for decades. We must unite against this threat.

As you know the majority of society opposes fascism and racism, but we can only defeat this threat if we come together and take action. This demonstration will show that we are proud of our diversity, and we stand united in our determination to drive back this toxic cloud of hate.

Join the Southend UNISON coach on Saturday and let’s help flush this vile movement back down the sewer where it belongs. We hope to see you on the coach and for more information please visit the National Unity Demonstration Facebook page and/or contact the Branch Office.

All the best,

Claire Wormald
Branch Secretary

Join THE LAST MILE CITIZENS’ LOBBY on Monday 5th November #thelastmile

Announcement graphic to join THE LAST MILE CITIZENS’ LOBBY on Monday 5th November 2018 – Meet at 10AM in Parliament Square.

UNISON members will be taking part in what’s been dubbed the ‘last mile citizens’ lobby’ at Westminster on 5th November, a third and final effort to speak up for the rights of EU citizens in the aftermath of the UK’s departure from Europe.

For more information read the news story and visit the event page.

If you’re a Southend UNISON member and would like to attend please contact the branch which will be covering travel expenses and subsistence.

Alternatively, an e-lobby is also available for people who cannot make the journey or take the day off.


For further information on this day of action contact Katia: k.widlak@unison.co.uk

You might also be interested to know that UNISON has launched a new web page on EU Citizens’ Rights, which provides organising information for UNISON’s EU members

To coincide with the launch, UNISON has also provided new guidance for branches and information for EU members on the government’s Settled Status proposals for EU citizens.

UNISON has an estimated 70,000 members who are EU nationals and the national executive council has made it a priority to support them.

STAND UP TO RACISM International Conference – Call for people to join the National Unity Demonstration on Saturday 17th November | #N17

Photograph showing a large group of STAND UP TO RACISM International Conference attendees holding National Unity Demonstration posters above their heads as a sign of support – the accompanying text reads: “National Unity Demonstration Saturday 17 November.”

The STAND UP TO RACISM International Conference in central London on Saturday 20th October brought together trade unionists, campaigners, parliamentarians, and faith and community leaders from across the UK, Europe and the US to help build a mass movement against the far right on our streets, in our workplaces, on our campuses and in our communities.

Around 1,400 people attended throughout the day – themes included combating racism, building solidarity with refugees, and defending migrants’ rights – with a resounding call for people to join the forthcoming National Unity Demonstration on Saturday 17th November.

If you’re a Southend UNISON member and would like to join the National Unity Demonstration on Saturday 17th November please contact the branch ASAP to book your coach seat.

If you know a non-UNISON member who would also like to attend this national demonstration please get them to contact us.

For more information please read this previous post and/or contact the Branch Office.


STAND UP TO RACISM International Conference in pictures.

Click here to view more pictures from the STAND UP TO RACISM International Conference and for more information about the proceedings download the Conference Agenda and read Tomáš Tengely-Evans’ article: Anti-racist conference meets in London and pledges to push the racist right back

Contact the branch to book your coach seat to join the National Unity Demonstration on Saturday 17th November

Announcement graphic reading: “National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism and Racism, Saturday 17 November, Assemble 12 noon, central London (details tbc).” Stand Up To Racism, TUC, Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism logos are displayed vertically alongside.

If you’re a Southend UNISON member and would like to join the National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism & Racism on Saturday 17th November please contact the branch ASAP to book your coach seat.

We are experiencing the biggest rise in support for fascism, the far right, racism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism since the 1930s. In Britain fascists and racists are mobilising on a scale not seen for decades. We must unite against this threat.

If you know a non-UNISON member who would also like to attend this national demonstration please get them to contact us.

Dependent on numbers, we hope to be able to provide transportation (for a nominal fee) – this would be dependent on sufficient numbers for a coach booking.

If we do not have enough numbers for a coach we would be looking to support UNISON members from the Southend-on-Sea Local Government branch by covering/contributing towards return train tickets.

The demonstration has been initiated by Stand Up To Racism, officially backed by the TUC, co-sponsored by Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism and supported by Diane Abbott MP and John McDonnell MP alongside a whole host of trade union leaders, politicians and cultural figures.

For more information please visit the National Unity Demonstration Facebook page and/or contact the Branch Office.

All the best,

Claire Wormald
Branch Secretary

Graphic depicting numerous demonstrators in shocking pink silhouette on a yellow background.

Join the SHOULDER TO SHOULDER – Women’s Pensions Rally in London – Wednesday 10th October – #shouldertoshoulder #onevoice

Announcement graphic reading: "SHOULDER TO SHOULDER Women's Pensions Rally London – Wednesday 10th October." Also displayed are WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality), BackTo60, 'We Paid In, You Pay Out' and Southend UNISON logos.

Dear Members,

WASPI, BackTo60, ‘We Paid In, You Pay Out’ and other women’s pension groups will join together ‘SHOULDER TO SHOULDER’ on 10th October in London in a joint endeavour to secure back their earned dues.

When / Where
Wednesday 10th October / London
12:00 – 3:00pm at Reformer’s Tree, Hyde Park
3.30 – 6:00pm at Parliament Square

Everyone affected by the unacceptable changes in the pension provision for women are invited to attend.

Confirmed speakers at the rally are key figures in the political and legal dispute, including David Hencke, Yvette Greenway, Sam Smethers, Helen Shay and Frances Barber.

If you’re a Southend UNISON member and need support with costs to attend this important event contact the branch office ASAP.

For more information download (and share) the SHOULDER TO SHOULDER press release and event programme, and read the BackTo60 post.

All the best,

Claire Wormald
Branch Secretary

Please complete the UNISON Equality Survey 2018 – and enter a fantastic prize draw with a chance to win a holiday in North Devon

Announcement graphic reading: "Please Complete Equality Survey 2018 and maybe win a holiday for two at Croyde Bay Holiday Resort in North Devon! Survey closes at 5pm on Monday 27 August 2018." This text overlays a photograph of the beach at Croyde Bay, Devon.

Click here to take survey

Equality is one of UNISON’s central values and each year we carry out an Equality Survey to find out more about the issues affecting our members to help inform our campaigning work.

Last year 11,500 members took part and helped inform briefings for the union’s service groups and self-organised groups on key issues for their bargaining and organising agendas – it will take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.

Completing the survey entitles you to enter a fantastic prize draw with a chance to win three nights for two people at Croyde Bay Holiday Resort in North Devon.

Click here to take survey