Happy New Year to everyone in UNISON and here’s to a successful year for you and your families.
I have high hopes for 2024 – 12 months of campaigning for UNISON’s Year of LGBT+ workers and for a national care service, securing pay deals across all public services and a general election that will push the chaotic Tories out of Westminster and bring in a new government.
A new government is a must for our members and for our public services. Our NHS, schools, local councils and emergency services are on their knees and stuck in a state of crisis. The current government’s legacy is one of slashing jobs, squeezing budgets, and falling living standards for millions of working people. We need a Labour government that will rebuild our public services, put workers first with a new deal for working people and create a national care service.
Campaigning for that change in government will be a big part of our mission this year, but we won’t let election fever take over our daily task of fighting for our members’ pay and conditions. Day in, day out, our activists and organisers are supporting members in workplaces across the UK, and our teams in head office are mounting legal challenges, influencing politicians, preparing campaigns and helping members when they need us most.
We’ll also be celebrating our Year of LGBT+ workers in UNISON style – continuing to be loud and proud against homophobia and transphobia, and ensuring that UNISON always remains the best trade union for LGBT+ public service workers.
And later this year, there’s something that every working member can get involved with. From 22 April to 17 May, voting will be open for your representatives on UNISON’s service group executives (SGEs) – the lay leaders who decide on campaigns, pay claims, strike ballots and industrial action. Ahead of that member ballot, from next Monday (8 January) until 9 February, branches can nominate their preferred candidates.
Our SGEs are so important in UNISON. They’re powerful groups of activists that keep UNISON with you throughout your working life, campaigning for fair pay and conditions, safe and healthy working conditions, job security, work-life balance, equal pay and against discrimination.
So if you want some more new year’s resolutions, here’s two for you – have your say in UNISON’s SGE elections and get involved in our Year of LGBT+ workers activities that will be taking place throughout 2024.
From everyone in UNISON, we hope you have a happy, healthy and successful 2024.