Branch AGM postponed until further notice

Due to the precautions needed to try and prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus) the Brighton and Hove Unitary Unison Branch AGM, due to take place on 26th March, has been postponed until further notice.

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Branch statement on Coronavirus

These are very difficult and worrying times for all of us.  You may have an elderly relative you are concerned about, or wonder how you are going to support your kids and work from home if the schools close.  You may be worried because you have a health condition, or what is going to happen to the small business owners and self-employed people you know.

Those of us employed in local government are some of the the lucky ones, as our employer has sick pay and self-isolation procedures in place for us.  Others we know may not be that lucky.  If you are a member of Brighton & Hove Branch and have any worries or concerns, do contact us.  If you need support in the community, want to offer support, or want to stand in solidarity with campaigns and petitions calling for more help for some of the most economically vulnerable, please see the links below.

As always Brighton & Hove Unison stands in solidarity with you and hopes you and your friends and family stay well.

Brighton Covid Mutual Aid (if you can offer support or need it locally)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/491658741529273/

Small business emergency grant:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/11/sunak–budget-lifeline-small-firms-coronavirus

TUC Advice to Unions and Union members:

https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/covid-19-coronavirus-guidance-unions

Self employed petition:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300336

Petition to protect renters:

https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-prime-minister-of-great-britain-robert-jenrick-mp-secretary-of-state-for-housing-coronavirus-protect-renters-now?

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March Against Racism

Race hate crime is on the rise and the far-right are organising all around the country. Racist graffiti has appeared in our own city recently.

Boris Johnson’s re-election means that the Tories’ racist agenda will also continue.

As anti-racists, we need to show that we will fight all racism and resist the Tory government’s attempts to divide and rule.

The national  March Against Racism in London will be held on UN Anti-Racism Day –  Saturday, 21st March. Join other Unison members from our branch on the day.

For more details go to standuptoracism.org.uk or find them on Twitter at @AntiRacismDay or on Facebook at Stand Up to Racism.

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Unison supports Moulsecoomb strikers

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Unison members joined parents and other trade unions on the picket outside Moulsecoomb Primary School last Thursday (21st November.)

The NEU and GMB unions were striking in protest at the government’s attempts to force the school to become an academy. Unison has also balloted its members at the school and won 100% support for a strike.

A vibrant parent-led campaign is opposing the attempt to privatise the school. They want it to remain in local authority control, where it is at the heart of the community it serves. Speakers at the rally after the picket included Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle and the President of the NEU teachers’ union.

Pic: Dave Jones, NEU

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Disability Pride talk marks International Day of Disabled people

Unison members are among those invited to this event organised by Brighton & Hove City Council:

Why I Started Disability Pride’ Talk and Q&A from Jenny Skelton

Tuesday 3 December, 12.30 – 2pm

Brighton Town Hall, Council Chamber

To mark International Day of Disabled People, Jenny Skelton, founder of Disability Pride will tell her story about why she started Disability Pride , and about her new campaign #ComingOutAsDisabled.

This free session is open to all council staff and friends and family of staff are also welcome to join the conversation. Bookings will be taken on a first come, first serve basis via the following link: https://bit.ly/2s2o5xX

This forms part of the council’s new ‘Diverse Stories Series’, following successful sessions, ‘Let’s Talk Gender with Jules’ in April, ‘Streets Paved with Gold’ – a performance to celebrate National Windrush Day 2019 in June, and ‘Who was Thomas Highflyer’ – a screening to celebrate Black History Month in October.

The series aims to support staff awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion through storytelling and hearing about other people’s authentic lived experiences.

If you have any access requirements please contact: equalities@brighton-hove.gov.uk  in advance of the event.

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Real Living Wage goes up to £9.30 per hour

Brighton & Hove Local Government Unison branch continues to sponsor the city’s vibrant Living Wage Campaign and was at its event to mark Living Wage week on 13th November.

The real Living Wage (not the fake “Living Wage” which is the Tories’ rebranding of the much less minimum wage) is now £9.30 per hour outside of London and £10.75 in London.

Read more about the campaign here:

https://www.bhep.co.uk/brighton-business-news/2019/11/19/the-new-real-living-wage-rate-is-announced

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Join the fight for our NHS on 5th November

STOP PRESS! time change for Defend NHS lobby on 5th Nov
The Defend NHS lobby of the Health and Wellbeing Board will now be at 8.45am at Hove Town Hall on Tuesday, 5th November. The meeting time has been changed from the afternoon to the morning.
We will be taking the Unison branch banner to the lobby, so please come along to join in the battle to stop the local NHS from being further privatised and cut!

Sussex Defend the NHS campaigners are calling on everyone to join them at a lobby on 5th November at Hove Town Hall to oppose the latest attempt to privatise and starve the local NHS of funding.

The Health and Wellbeing Board – a largely unaccountable body of unelected representatives – will be voting on whether to turn the local NHS into an Integrated Care Services (ICS) system.

The name change comes from the new NHS Long Term Plan published in January this year. Well, it’s the ‘NHS’ – but not as we know and want it. And it’s Integrated Care – but also not as we know it (or want it).

Whilst integration could be about seamless health and social care, full public accountability and better services for patients/clients, this current NHS England integration is more of the integrating with private providers,  revolving door,  conflict of interest,  rationing care type that is actually the opposite of what the NHS and social care need.

This is before we even begin to consider one of the other problems with ICS – that they have a fixed population budget – health care based not on need but on a fixed capita budget. Beginning to sound like the American model of health care? We think so. There are concerns over budget, over accountability, over ideology behind these reforms.

Please join in the lobby at the Brighton & Hove Health and Wellbeing Board on Tuesday 5th November – 8.45am outside Hove Town Hall for 9.30am meeting.

We don’t want  ICS in Brighton and Hove. We have the example of councils like Luton who are challenging this process! Let’s do it in Brighton and Hove!

For more information visit the Sussex Defend NHS website or Facebook page.

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