Category Archives: Environment

CAMDEN COUNCIL MEMBERS Working From Home

By now, the vast majority of you will be working at home. Lots of the important work can be done online (and I think a big shout out to our IT members, we know it’s been full on for you as hundreds of us work from home for the first time!) so make sure that you are not coming into the office unnecessarily. If you are asked/instructed to come into an office, check with your manager if it’s really needed, and let us know. You shouldn’t be coming in for the sake of it, but some of the essential work can only be done from a Council building.

If you aren’t used to working from home, it can be quite isolating. There are some good ideas on Essentials to help, but do make sure you keep in touch with colleagues, and that you also take regular breaks – don’t let your home become just your office. It’s easy to feel there’s ‘no escape’ from work and the people wanting help (and another shout out to our members in Contact Camden, we know you’re getting inundated with calls, mostly about CV19) so look at options that can help your wellbeing.

Self-Isolating, Showing Symptoms, Caring

Because of how CV19 can spread, it’s really important you follow the advice if you have an underlying condition, have any symptoms or are a carer or have children at home. Again, Essentials has been really clear on what to do in all of these circumstances, including how to enter information on Oracle (which is important you do so that up to date numbers of who can/can’t do the essential roles are available).

You won’t lose money if you are self-isolating or advised to stay at home due to your symptoms, and in both cases may be able to work from home. If you cannot and are sick due to CV19, this will not trigger any action or loss of pay. If you have caring responsibilities or children at home because of the school closures, speak to your manager – you may be able to work different hours or a similar arrangement. If you are having difficulty working this out then get in touch with your rep or email unison@camden.gov.uk

Helping with Essential Services

Some members have already been asked to help with important services to support vulnerable families and older residents by doing things like making up food parcels. Lots of this kind of thing is going to be needed over the next few weeks and more, so you will be asked to do different work to your everyday roles, in particular if you have a job where working from home is limited.

For these roles, guidelines about doing the work safely are being (and in some cases have already been) drawn up so that there is as little risk as possible to you. Some of these services will involve PPE, and you should get information about how to use that correctly. Again, you will not lose any pay. If you are worried about what you are being asked to do – eg if you have any of the listed underlying health conditions but are still being asked to travel rather than work from home, contact your local rep or email unison@camden.gov.uk

Shielding Group

If you are in the ‘shielding needed’ group and have been written to, then let your manager know – again, it is important that you are recorded as such so that Camden knows who is able to help out in different ways.

PPE, Health and Safety

Whilst you are doing all of this, it’s important you are as safe as possible. Some of the roles you already do, or will be asked to do require PPE. Check this with your manager, and if you are unsure contact us. There is a national shortage of things like hand sanitiser and wipes, Camden has centralised their supplies and is distributing them to specific services – social workers for when visits can’t be avoided, caretakers and others doing similar roles where hand washing is more difficult to access – so let us know if you haven’t got what’s needed.

I hope that this is helpful information, you can also find more on the national UNISON website, but if you have any queries, please email us.

And don’t forget to show your support for our NHS workers tonight!

Liz

Liz Wheatley
Branch Secretary
Camden UNISON
Telephone:   020 7974 1633
Web:             
www.camdenunison.org.uk

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TO CONTACT CAMDEN UNISON PLEASE EMAIL unison@camden.gov.uk AS WE ARE NOT ABLE TO WORK FROM THE OFFICE

Dear Camden UNISON member,

TO CONTACT CAMDEN UNISON PLEASE EMAIL unison@camden.gov.uk AS WE ARE NOT ABLE TO WORK FROM THE OFFICE

First of all, we hope that you’re all keeping as well as possible. This is a worrying time for us all and making sure you are as safe as possible is really important.

Clap For The NHS – Thurs 26 March, 8pm

One of the things that has become very apparent in the CV19 crisis is how important NHS workers and other care workers are in society, including the porters and cleaners in the hospitals. Every day they are amongst the most at risk, and it would be good to be able to show our appreciation.

Therefore, across the country, people are being asked to Clap for the NHS at 8pm tonight (clap, bang a pot, generally make some noise). This can be from your front door, balcony, wherever is safe to do it. Let’s make sure all our health workers and carers know we support them!

If you can take pictures or a short video of your area safely, then feel free to email it to unison@camden.gov.uk and we will put them on our website www.camdenunison.org.uk

and also share them with our UNISON branches at UCH, GOSH and the Royal Free.

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CAMDEN COUNCIL MEMBERS

Working From Home

By now, the vast majority of you will be working at home. Lots of the important work can be done online (and I think a big shout out to our IT members, we know it’s been full on for you as hundreds of us work from home for the first time!) so make sure that you are not coming into the office unnecessarily. If you are asked/instructed to come into an office, check with your manager if it’s really needed, and let us know. You shouldn’t be coming in for the sake of it, but some of the essential work can only be done from a Council building.

If you aren’t used to working from home, it can be quite isolating. There are some good ideas on Essentials to help, but do make sure you keep in touch with colleagues, and that you also take regular breaks – don’t let your home become just your office. It’s easy to feel there’s ‘no escape’ from work and the people wanting help (and another shout out to our members in Contact Camden, we know you’re getting inundated with calls, mostly about CV19) so look at options that can help your wellbeing.

Self-Isolating, Showing Symptoms, Caring

Because of how CV19 can spread, it’s really important you follow the advice if you have an underlying condition, have any symptoms or are a carer or have children at home. Again, Essentials has been really clear on what to do in all of these circumstances, including how to enter information on Oracle (which is important you do so that up to date numbers of who can/can’t do the essential roles are available).

You won’t lose money if you are self-isolating or advised to stay at home due to your symptoms, and in both cases may be able to work from home. If you cannot and are sick due to CV19, this will not trigger any action or loss of pay. If you have caring responsibilities or children at home because of the school closures, speak to your manager – you may be able to work different hours or a similar arrangement. If you are having difficulty working this out then get in touch with your rep or email unison@camden.gov.uk

Helping with Essential Services

Some members have already been asked to help with important services to support vulnerable families and older residents by doing things like making up food parcels. Lots of this kind of thing is going to be needed over the next few weeks and more, so you will be asked to do different work to your everyday roles, in particular if you have a job where working from home is limited.

For these roles, guidelines about doing the work safely are being (and in some cases have already been) drawn up so that there is as little risk as possible to you. Some of these services will involve PPE, and you should get information about how to use that correctly. Again, you will not lose any pay. If you are worried about what you are being asked to do – eg if you have any of the listed underlying health conditions but are still being asked to travel rather than work from home, contact your local rep or email unison@camden.gov.uk

Shielding Group

If you are in the ‘shielding needed’ group and have been written to, then let your manager know – again, it is important that you are recorded as such so that Camden knows who is able to help out in different ways.

PPE, Health and Safety

Whilst you are doing all of this, it’s important you are as safe as possible. Some of the roles you already do, or will be asked to do require PPE. Check this with your manager, and if you are unsure contact us. There is a national shortage of things like hand sanitiser and wipes, Camden has centralised their supplies and is distributing them to specific services – social workers for when visits can’t be avoided, caretakers and others doing similar roles where hand washing is more difficult to access – so let us know if you haven’t got what’s needed.

I hope that this is helpful information, you can also find more on the national UNISON website, but if you have any queries, please email us.

And don’t forget to show your support for our NHS workers tonight!

Liz

Liz Wheatley
Branch Secretary
Camden UNISON
Telephone:   020 7974 1633
Web:             www.camdenunison.org.uk

UNISON Office

3rd floor Crowndale Centre
218 Eversholt Street
London NW1 1BD

 

Don’t invest in fossil fuels!

We have a petition calling on Camden to divest our pension fund from the fossil fuel industry. Our aim is to collect as many signatures as possible and submit the petition alongside a deputation to the pensions committee in November.

Abandoning fossil fuel investment is not only the right thing to do is also the financially smart thing to do. Several major financial institutions, among them the bank of England, have branded investment in fossil fuel as ‘risky’.

Please sign the petition which is attached here, or available at the UNISON office or from your UNISON steward.

climate student protest photo 3

Interview with Camden Unison Equalities Officer Adejare Oyewole on the day of action on climate change

 

  1. How important do you feel environmental degrade is and why?

I feel that our political leaders are not taking the threat of environmental degradation seriously simply because it doesn’t fit in with their agenda. Politicians come and go but the fact is the degrading of the environment will not stop unless something is done about it. It is important to take action to reduce our carbon emission because if we don’t. the young ones will suffer the consequences of our inaction. One of the slogans at the Friday climate emergency rally was “System change not climate change”. We can change our attitude to the climate by changing the government to those who care about the climate, the future of our planet and the young ones that will live after us. “ No soil, no life” was another poignant message of the day.

2. What unite workers to the victims of the Atlanta’s floods or the indigenous people of the Amazon?

Global warming and environmental degradation is causing people to move in large numbers. Millions of people have been forced to migrate from their homes and leave their countries for a safer environment. Trade unions are for social justice and preservation of human rights including the right to adequate shelter. For this reason, workers will continue to identify with the victims and do whatever possible to push the climate emergency to the top of the agenda.

3. Is global warming an inevitable epilogue or leading world economies governments and global business multinationals bear a responsibility for what is happening to our earth?

4. How does the unbridled exploitation of world resources pair up with unregulated workers exploitation in both the advanced and the third world?

5. Who’s responsibility is to organize and mobilize against the dual exploitation of workers and earth resource?

All of the above questions are inter linked. Government groups like the G7 and other big players in the world economy including multinationals don’t care about what is happening on the earth, all they care about is about making profit. They are polluting our climate, causing untold damage to the earth, so they are responsible for the climate emergency. They continue to exploit world resources while attempting to silence environmentalists, and scientist are being called liars for campaigning against their attitude to climate change.

 All activists who care about our earth, the future of our children and fairness, equality and social justice for all should join in collective action in mobilising, organising to shame governments and multinationals who are exploiting workers and earth resources.

 

“Today we’re making history” – Climate emergency rally outside 5PS on 20 September

Following on from the Thursday’s atrium briefing at 5PS, where Camden UNISON Branch Secretary Liz Wheatley joined Camden Council leader Georgia Gould addressing the challenges that the climate emergency raises, hundreds of Unison members joined Friday’s day of action, filling the main area of Pancras Square.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCk64aqgxGk&feature=youtu.be

The day was characterised by the awareness that impending climate disasters responsibility lies at the door of the irresponsible strategy of the world governments. This strategy is dictated by the interests of carbon lobbies and multinational corporations who can no longer deny the damage that their exploitation is causing to the environment.

climate student protest photo 3

Over the last year, students have been walking out of school to highlight the climate emergency, and in advance of Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN, they asked us to join them. In response to that call, Camden UNISON called on members to rally at lunchtime outside 5PS and, for those who could, to join the students in Parliament Square. Council staff were met by NUJ members from the Guardian and other local workers, and a group of primary school students with placards they’d made.

Speakers from Camden UNISON, the NUJ at the Guardian, the UCU (college workers’ union) at UAL in Granary Square, Extinction Rebellion and from the political parties in Camden addressed the rally before a group of UNISON members left to meet the student strikers and march in Whitehall to chants of “No coal, no oil, keep your carbon in the soil” and “system change not climate change”.

climate student protest photo 1

Friday was a real success, involving members who had never been on a rally or march before, and it was great to be part of a massive global movement where it’s estimated about 4 million people took to the streets. But it’s only the beginning of what we must do. We will keep members updated but put 7 October (when Camden UNISON will be presenting a deputation at the Council meeting) and 12 October (when Extinction Rebellion have asked for trade unions to join their protests) in your diary now.

Climate Rally outside 5PS at 12.30 and Student Strike in Parliament Sq at 2pm on Friday 20 September 2019

Greta Thunberg, the school student from Sweden who has sparked a global movement against climate change, has called on us to support the protests on Friday 20 September. Around the world, millions of students will be marching. They have already taken climate change to the top of the political agenda and now they want us to join them to send a clear message that action is needed now. Continue reading