Tag Archives: events

If you missed Soul and the Civil Rights Movement event and would like to watch it, look for it on YouTube as a Camden Event

The Black Lives Matter protests that have followed the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police have thrown racism and how we can challenge it into the spotlight. From police brutality, to institutional racism and decolonising society, millions are now fighting for change. In June, Camden UNISON organised an online event, sponsored by a number of other UNISON branches and bodies, on Soul and the Civil Rights Movement. Speakers included UNISON Assistant General Secretary Roger McKenzie and Michael Brown, a Black Lives Matter activist from California, and we discussed the Civil Rights Movement, the music that was part of it, and the similarities and differences with today. If you missed the meeting and would like to to watch it, look for it on YouTube as a Camden Event

Liz Wheatley
Branch Secretary
Camden UNISON
London Borough of Camden

Telephone:   020 7974 1633
Web:             www.camdenunison.org.uk

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camden Black Workers Group Statement on Black Lives Matter

The following is Camden Black Workers Group Statement on Black Lives Matter reproduced from the Camden Black Workers Group page of this website.

The last few months have been very difficult for Black staff and Black people all around the world including ourselves. At Camden Black Workers Group like yourselves, we have gone through the motions of anxiety and fear from being four times as likely to die from Covid-19, to disappointment in Government in not taking adequate steps to protect Black communities, to sheer horror and triggered memories and trauma as a result of George Floyd’s murder in the USA.

All these events are rooted in the simple fact of systemic racism and injustice which is not only prevalent in America, but also here in the UK and all over the world. Our exec members are not new to this fact hence why we were set up and continue to work with the Chief Executive Jenny Rowlands, and the Leader of the Council, Cllr Georgia Gould to represent the voices of Black staff in the organisation as well as working with UNISON on wider campaigns to change the system for the better. We stand with all the families around the world who have lost loved ones because of a racist system and we say Rest in Power to all the Black lives lost.

Recent events have been hard hitting not only physically in terms of the pressures of having to stay at home and / or work on the frontline, but also mentally with the psychological effects of trauma and this ‘new normal’ that we are all coming to terms with. Firstly we’d like to say Black Lives have ALWAYS Mattered, and our work is to continue to make this true for all. Secondly, we share your frustrations in being exhausted in having to re-educate counterparts at this time and forever being reminded of the racism and injustices we face as a race. We also understand that BAME is not a homogenous group and different ethnic groups face different pressures, and have a diverse range of needs. This is what we will continue to communicate to our leadership and ensure that HR recognises this.

Some of the ways in which we are working to make the organisation a place of inclusion where Black staff are treated fairly is through setting up a Resource Hub for all staff to tap into to learn more about systemic racism, the Black British experience, and how to be better allies and actively Anti-Racist. So please do send in your recommendations for this and anything you’ve come across that would be useful. We want to make sure that we are adequately representing the voice of our Black staff so we are holding an online General Meeting on Thursday 25th June at 3pm which will be a safe space for Black staff to tell their stories, express their thoughts, feelings and suggestions on how we can make real change in the organisation and ensure Black staff voices are heard. This will also be a chance for you to hear what we have done so far and have a say in what we communicate to the leadership going forward. You can join it via this link if you are on the Camden IT system:  Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

We are committed to ensuring the organisation is progressive and Black staff are protected and supported in their work at Camden. We recognise that this is the time to really start changing things and for it not just to be a trending moment but a catalyst for long term and sustainable change so that our children can grow up in a BETTER future.

We encourage you to tap into well-being resources such as the Employee Assistance Programme and Black Minds Matter are also having free mental health sessions. We recognise the importance of staying informed but it is just as important to take care of you and take breaks from negative media and let your manager know if you need time off or someone to speak to.

Lastly, HAPPY WINDRUSH DAY, we know that Black people have made significant contributions here in the UK from BEFORE the Windrush Generation and to this present day. Without Black people there would be no workforce! Thank you for being patient with us and we look forward to working with you all to Champion the voices of our Black staff.

In solidarity,

CBWG Executive

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Soul and the Civil Rights Movement

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Soul and the Civil Rights Movement

 

Online event, Weds 17 June, 7pm

Live stream via Camden UNISON Facebook

 

 

Recent weeks have shown that racism still runs through society – at the hands of the police, in the workplace, in education – it’s in every part of our lives. We are witnessing a huge movement challenging that, but it’s not the first time this has happened. The civil rights movement that reached its height in the 1960s in the US changed society for Black people and inspired later generations. Alongside the movement in the streets, a ‘soundtrack’ developed – from Sam Cooke to the Staple Singers, music and protest were intertwined.

 

Camden UNISON has organised this online event where we will be discussing the link between soul music and the civil rights movement with Yuri Prasad, author of A Rebel’s Guide To Martin Luther King, and of course looking at the relevance of this movement for today. Roger McKenzie, UNISON Assistant General Secretary, will introduce the event, and we are excited to be joined by Michael Brown, a Black Lives Matter activist from Long Beach, California. Sponsored by a number of UNISON branches and other bodies, this is part of Camden UNISON’s work to promote Stand Up To Racism and the campaigning they do.  Please do put it in your diary and join us for the event.

 

 

 

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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

Stand up to racism

 

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).