As another busy year comes to a close I wanted to thank all of our public service workers for the hard work you do 365 days a year. I also want to thank our activists without who we couldn’t do what we do. Activists are the heart of our union, looking after public service workers every day.
Throughout this year we have recruited and trained a record number of activists and it shows that UNISON members are ready to stand up for what they believe in. Whether that be through one to one representation or supporting a campaign that will improve the lives of hundreds if not thousands of hard working people.
The year started off strong with ambulance staff striking to secure better pay for the whole of the NHS and they did it – ultimately winning a better a better pay deal for NHS staff.
That wasn’t the end of our work to improve NHS pay. We have been campaigning for clinical support workers across all NHS trusts to be moved from band 2 to band 3. This would reflect the hard work and dedication support workers do and recognise that they work far above what a band 2 should be doing. Although the work will continue into 2024 we will start the year in a strong position to take the campaign forward and win.
In social care we continue to campaign for a national care service that would see radical change to a broken care system. A social care system that would become part of a nationally recognised institution which can respond to the needs of vulnerable people and provide better pay and conditions for those working in it – not delivering profits for shareholders of private companies.
2023 has been UNISON’s Year of Black Workers, which was created with a desire of ‘establishing legacy to generate change’ by increasing participation of Black members and activists in the union’s structures to maximise our capacity to see real change to improve the lives of Black communities.
As the regional secretary in the northern region my promise to you is that we will continue to campaign for a fairer future, to protect jobs, improve pay and conditions and fight for equality.
Thank you once again for everything you do for public service and I’ll leave you by wishing you a peaceful Christmas and new year and if you are working over the festive period I want you to know how grateful we all are for the vital work you do.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.