AGM & Branch Secretary Elections

It’s our first online AGM at 12.30-2 pm on 18 March. The meeting will include the election of our new Branch Secretary, so it’s really important that as many members as possible come and exercise their democratic vote.

Please see below for the nomination statements from Trevor Redmond, and from Diana Leach and Corinna Edwards-Colledge who are standing for the role as a job share. Click on the image to view. You can also see the statements on the Brighton & Hove Unison Facebook Page or read the plain text version at the bottom of the page.

If you are a Brighton & Hove Unison branch member you should have received all the details of how to join the virtual AGM via your work email. Or you can contact the branch for more details at unison@brighton-hove.gov.uk, 01273 291611.


Branch Secretary Nomination Statement Corinna Edwards-Colledge

HELLO MEMBERS!

I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about myself, and my vision for the branch.

It would be my absolute privilege to represent Brighton & Hove Unison as Branch Secretary on behalf of you, its members.  I am also excited to be standing as a job share with Diana Leach, a hugely experienced and skilled Branch Officer and Rep of over 20 years.

As Unison’s new General Secretary, Christina McAanea, said recently, ‘There is no essential service that exists that hasn’t been kept going through the Covid crisis because of Public Sector Workers’. Frontline workers are disproportionately women and/or people who experience racism.  These workers have been bearing the brunt of this crisis for a year; and many work part-time and are on low wages.  This is why, along with your amazing testimonials, I recently challenged BHCC’s decision to make the extra AL ‘Thank You’ day pro-rata. Although this is only a small step, it is great that this was successful, and hundreds of part-time workers are going to get the same recognition and thanks as full-time workers.

The pandemic and Brexit represent a perfect storm for workers.  More than at any time in living memory we are seeing our hard-won rights and conditions under threat, and inequalities deepening.  We also know that other vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, LGBTQi+ people and those from disadvantaged areas are more at risk of having their wellbeing, health, and livelihoods negatively affected by the pandemic.

Public Sector workers DESERVE decent pay and job security, but local government workers, like us, are often overlooked and undervalued.  It is more important than ever that we use our collective voice to protect our livelihoods and fight for a better future for ourselves and our families.  We also need to do so much more to tackle the rising inequality and division that is blighting our country, and create instead, one in which everyone can thrive. These core principles would run through everything I would do as joint Branch Secretary.

As a Unison rep I have supported many people through challenging and distressing times and secured the outcomes that they needed.  I also designed and ran a staff survey on working conditions in BARTS house, which was responsible for a six-figure commitment from senior management to improve temperature and air quality.  As Comms Officer I have transformed the Branch’s promotional materials and social media profile. I am an experienced campaigner, having run a national action against council cuts, and a number of affordable housing campaigns in the city, including one that has led to a change in council policy.

I am a passionate and accessible communicator who is also resilient, tenacious, and prepared to fight for the things I believe in.  However, this is also balanced by my being collaborative, constructive and strategic when I am working with others to try to bring about positive change, or defend people’s rights.

I want to use my campaigning skills to build a truly member-led branch, with more participation in branch events, solidarity actions, promotion, recruitment and learning & development opportunities; I want to use my communication skills to grow and amplify the diverse and powerful voice of our local movement; and I want to use my negotiation skills to get a fair facilities agreement for the branch, and make it more accessible.

I come from northern working-class routes, but moved to Brighton in 1991, raising my kids and step-kids here. I’ve worked in the Public, Community and Voluntary Sector for nearly 25 years, and at the council for 17, leading on projects around health, wellbeing and inclusivity.  I also work one day a week for a local organisation that campaigns for affordable housing, and co-ordinate a food collection for Brighton & Hove Unemployed Centre Families Project.

Trade Union membership is on the increase, and after a year of unprecedented challenges and anxiety, there has never been a more meaningful time to come together to build something better.   We have been at the heart of our city’s survival of this crisis, and we deserve a fair and thriving workplace and good pay and conditions.  We can achieve that together.

Corinna Edwards-Colledge

We’d love to hear from you!  If you have any questions about our vision for the branch or would like to find out more please get in touch:  corinna.edwards-colledge@brighton-hove.gov.uk / diana.leach@brighton-hove.gov.uk.


Branch Secretary Nomination Statement Diana Leach

Vote Diana and Corinna for Branch Secretary!

I am standing alongside Corinna Edwards-Colledge as your job share branch secretary asking for your vote in this contested election. 

As a long-standing branch officer I have been involved for many years representing members both in the branch, regionally and nationally.  I am currently a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) for Unison previously on as a regional rep and more recently as one of the national local government members.  As a NEC member I am supportive of member’s issues and disputes, challenging our leadership on many occasions. 

As a branch of over 70% female members we need to reflect this in our branch committee and I want to take this opportunity to thank Sue Beatty for taking up the role of Branch Secretary following the departure of Alex Knutsen.  This was not an easy task and yet Sue has been a tremendous leader and shown strength in the face of some very difficult situations.  So much about this role is what happens in our negotiation meetings with both HR, senior managers, Chief Executive and the added complication of dealing with our councillors.  These meetings require focus and strength and an iron will to get the best possible deal for all members.  I am confident that both Corinna and I will carry on this strong tradition.

During this last year Covid 19 and the effects of the pandemic has challenged all our workers and Unison has been at the forefront of negotiating safe workplaces, payments during lockdown and more recently the reopening of schools and parity with our Early Years settings.  Testing should be available for all workers we cannot allow this government to divide public sector workers and create a two-tier system.  So many of our members have not been recognized and I will fight nationally for a decent pay rise for all.

On the personal side I believe I have the necessary skills to unite members and the diplomacy, knowledge and experience in managing and serving a branch of this size.  We have a strong branch committee with shared values and a willingness to help and nurture new branch officers.  Having worked as a job sharer previously I know the value of working together as one with the added vantage of bringing two sets of experiences to the one role.

Diana Leach

We’d love to hear from you!  If you have any questions about our vision for the branch or would like to find out more please get in touch:  corinna.edwards-colledge@brighton-hove.gov.uk / diana.leach@brighton-hove.gov.uk.


Branch Secretary Nomination Statement Trevor Redmond:

VOTE – Trevor Redmond for  Unison Branch Secretary on 18 March 2021

WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER

Trade unions like UNISON are here to look after your rights at work.

We have all been through some very tough times during this terrible Covid pandemic and during this time, I have acted decisively, with success, in defending members rights when they were not treated fairly. On occasions working together with our sister union GMB. I have also walked alongside colleagues in the NHS and Brighton University in defending their members during the pandemic.

I will always represent your best interest. Outcomes are influenced by the integrity, credibility, skill, know how, persuasiveness and ability of the person or team that is on your side.

My excellent record of successfully influencing change in the council since 2013 and getting results for members involved in dispute with managers is evidence of my commitment to fairness. Also, my experience and insight from working at the highest level in Brighton and Hove City Council and across other services such as the NHS CCG, Fire Service, University and Police, will be advantageous to this position.

I was nominated for the Brighton and Hove City Council Big Difference Award in 2018 and was the individual Winner of the award. See testimonial extracts.

“I am nominating Trevor for his work with the BME Workers Forum.  Trevor has chaired this vital forum for the last 4 ½ years.  He has always dispensed this duty well despite it being challenging.  Trevor had conducted himself impeccably well doing this role and has shown real leadership and drive which has helped guide the work of the forum and ultimately the organisation.” and

“I feel that Trevor’s commitment and work should be recognised as it has far exceeded what one would expect of a high performing employee and he has a genuine passion for this organisation and he has striven for it to improve in all of his actions during his time as chair and I have no doubt this commitment will continue..” 

Lend me your vote to become your Unison Branch Secretary, I will look out for you during the pandemic recovery, always fight for your rights, look after you at work, making sure that you have all the information necessary to help you make informed choices.

In service for you and your rights!

Thank you 

Trevor


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