Tag Archives: events

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No Return To Unsafe Schools

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May Day: Remember The Dead, Fight For The Living

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Union online Meeting Thursday 30 April at 1pm

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Camden UNISON AGM

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DAVID LAMMY MP SPEAKS AT CAMDEN UNISON AGM

Our AGM on Wed was addressed by guest speaker David Lammy MP. David is MP for Tottenham and has had a high profile campaigning against racism. He has spoken at rallies and protests against nazi ‘Tommy Robinson’ (aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon), and has had widespread press coverage for the work he has done highlighting institutional racism in the education system. He has also campaigned for justice for the Grenfell victims, many of whom are still without permanent housing. Questions were raised and, while answering, David took part in a discussion about how best we can challenge racism in Britain today.

We also had a guest speaker from the UCU (college workers union) who talked about why they are currently taking strike action.

YOUR UNION, YOUR VOICE!

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Thank you for coming along and making a success of  the Camden UNISON Annual General Meeting and for  taking part in the discussions around what the union branch has been doing and what we plan for the coming year. Your contributions will help us to be more effective in continuing campaigning on your behalf.

It’s your union, so continue to get involved and to have your say!

If you know a colleague who hasn’t yet joined UNISON please tell them that they you can contact us on unison@camden.gov.uk

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Save our Nurseries! Join the protest Mon 2 March, 5.30pm, Camden Town tube

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Many of you may have seen the campaign about cuts to nurseries in the borough. Camden UNISON and parents are marching to save nursery places in 4 of our outstanding maintained nurseries! Officers will be looking at the consultation response but we know thousands have opposed the Council’s preferred option to close the places and instead have ad hoc provision for children with their parents.

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Camden have the resources to keep funding high quality outstanding nursery places that make a real difference to families and children’s outcomes. Join us at 5.30pm to march from Camden Town tube to the Crowndale Centre on Eversholt Street. We have submitted a deputation to the full Council meeting that evening.

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UNISON Conferences

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Each year, UNISON holds a number of conferences, and Camden UNISON always sends delegates and observers as these are the decision making bodies for our union. In June, there are two important conferences, the national Local Government Conference and the National Delegate Conference (this is for all sectors so includes health and higher education branches). At our next Branch Committee meeting on Monday 9 March, we will be electing our delegations to both of these conferences. If you would like to be part of the Camden UNISON delegation, please email unison@camden.gov.uk by 5pm on Tuesday 3 March. You can include a statement of up to 200 words saying why you would like to come, and make sure you say which conference and delegate or observer.

If you would like to find out more about the conference and what it involves to be part of the branch delegation, contact the office on 020 7974 1633 or unison@camden.gov.uk

March Against Racism Saturday 21 March

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Assemble: 12 noon, Portland Place London W1A

March 21 is UN Anti Racism Day and there are marches, rallies and events taking place around the world. In the last week, we have seen Johnson’s government introduce new immigration rules, and he himself has an appalling record on making racist statements. Camden UNISON is supporting this march and we will be going with the banner, so do come along and march with us. We will be assembling from 12 noon in Portland Place (outside the BBC building).

 

 

Support the UCU strikes!

 

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This week Camden UNISON officers joined University and College Union members on strike at their rally in Tavistock Square outside their employer’s HQ.

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UCU members in 74 colleges began 14 days of strike action over pay, workload, equality, casualisation and pensions. The rally was extremely well attended by members from several colleges.

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All of the speakers emphasised how important this struggle will be to determine the kind of education system for both staff and students. Plans are afoot to transform the educational sector in to a ‘free for all’ service industry where university and colleges compete with each other for student numbers by cutting academic posts, conditions and equality standards.

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Liz Wheatley, Camden UNISON branch secretary, brought our solidarity to the rally, and spoke about our experience of successes like the NSL traffic wardens. She also spoke about how education should be valued, and without funding, how would we have the answers to address things like the climate emergency?

Issues that UCU members are on strike about have long being the focus of Camden UNISON’s campaigns, and our branch will support in any way it can other unions involved in the same fights.

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Camden UNISON AGM

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YOUR UNION, YOUR VOICE!

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3:30pm-5pm, Wednesday 4 March

Rooms 10.10/11/12

5 Pancras Square N1C 4AG

  • Satellite Meeting on Monday 2 March at 1:00pm in Crowndale Centre, 3rd Floor – Committee Room 3

 

Come along to the Camden UNISON Annual General Meeting and take part in the discussions around what the union branch has been doing and what we can plan for the coming year. It’s your union, so make sure you get involved and have your say!

Paid time off (including reasonable travel time) has been agreed.

If you haven’t yet joined UNISON you can contact us on unison@camden.gov.uk

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Report from UNISON National Black Members conference

Camden Unison members at National Black Members Conference were Hugo Pierre, ‘Jare Oyewole, Jahnelle Hutton-Parr, Dolly Akin-Agunbiade, Muna Matewos, Vino Sangarapillai, Fatima Fernandes and Howard Elliott.

The Conference was in Bournemouth from Friday 31st January to Sunday 2nd February 2020.

The Conference started with an address from the General Secretary, Dave Prentis, and a presentation of an award to a young Black member for her efforts in recruitment. In his speech, Mr Prentis highlighted the negative impact of the Conservative general election victory on trade unions and public sector workers. He bemoaned the loss of Labour seats, including that of former Unison President, Eleanor Smith, who had lost her seat in Wolverhampton South West. Although Ms Smith had lost her seat, there was also a new Unison Black Member in Parliament – as Kim Johnson had held the seat of Liverpool Riverside for Labour.

There were a number of motions discussed on the first day, including racial disparity in the public sector and discrimination at early stages of the recruitment process against applications with “non-British” names.

The second day of Conference (Saturday 1st February) was the first day after Brexit and the Conference Chair, Carol Sewell, pledged that the union would continue to support its EU citizen members.

Conference was addressed by the Unison President, Josie Bird, who worked as an admin officer for Newcastle City Council. She emphasised the importance of Unison’s international work, and her presidential charity for the year was one supporting indigenous people and peasant activists in Colombia – a country where there was a great deal of violence against trade unionists and social movement activists.

Yvonne Green, the London Regional Convenor, was presented with the Mandala award for her work for the union and its Black members.

Motions and the annual report of the National Committee highlighted the importance of reducing the stigma around mental illness for Black workers. This was one of the priorities of the Committee.

Members discussed the gender and ethnicity pay gap – with Black women workers being paid much less on average than white workers (whether male or female). In terms of the ethnicity pay gap, London had some of the starkest figures – with an ethnicity pay gap of 21.7% between white and Black workers. Speakers at conference congratulated Samira Ahmed on winning her equal pay case against the BBC.

There were fringe meetings at conference, and Hugo chaired one on the rise of the far-right and how to combat it.

Conference had a guest speaker, Katrina Ffrench, who was the CEO of StopWatch. The organisation’s role was to monitor stop & search and its disproportionate racial impact. She also highlighted the impact of facial recognition technology and its effect on civil liberties.

Conference considered motions on international issues – including two submitted by Camden. Vino spoke on the motion about defending the human rights and civil liberties of Kashmiris, and Dolly spoke on the one about standing up to xenophobic attacks on African migrants in South Africa. Both motions were passed – although the vote on the Kashmir motion was close.

Conference also considered rule changes. The proposal that motions be limited to 500 words and amendments be limited to 250 words was rejected. Our branch delegates voted against, feeling that in some complex situations – and where detailed actions were requested of the National Committee – it was important that motions be permitted to be longer.

Another guest speaker at Conference was Kye Gbangbola, whose son Zane died in 2014. Zane died following flooding in the basement of their home. This flooding had resulted in the release of poisons which had killed Zane. The inquest said that it was carbon monoxide poisoning but the view of others (including the FBU) was that it was hydrogen cyanide from a landfill site underneath their home. There appeared to have been a cover-up regarding the presence of toxic waste underneath the site their home and others had been built on. Mr Gbangbola was campaigning for an independent inquiry which could reveal the truth of the matter.

Conference was an interesting experience and it was good to see so many Black activists gathered together to exchange views on what was important for workers and Black communities.