Thursday, 9 November 2017

Havana Glasgow Film Festival

A reminder that the Havana Glasgow Film Festival runs from today until Sunday 12 November.

The festival has a great selection of films and UNISON is associated with the screening of From Ghost Town to Havana at 7.15pm at the CCA, Glasgow, on Friday 10 November. Ghost Town to Havana is a heartbreaking, funny, and inspirational story about mentorship, life, love, murder, kids and baseball in Oakland and Havana today.

The full programme is here and on the HGFF website.

Of course, our thoughts are with Doreen Kean and the family of our friend, comrade and former UNISON Communications Officer Chris Bartter as the festival he helped promote gets under way.

This image dedicated to Chris Bartter will be displayed before the screening of From Ghost Town to Havana.

Chris said recently of the film: "I've seen the film now and it was great. It is both human and very political (without being overtly partisan). The director, unusually, is a key figure within the film - being the son of a baseball coach himself."

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Three things UNISON members can do about climate change today/this weekend! #ScotPfG

You may have spotted some good news about climate action in yesterday’s Programme for Government, including action on phasing out new fossil fuel cars, investment in active travel, drink deposit schemes and low carbon infrastructure. (UNISON briefing here).
We particularly welcome news of the Just Transition Commission, although we still need to hear the details of it and some other commitments and proposals to be sure they can and will deliver on what is needed in the necessary timescales. STUC response to PfG here. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland response here. (We are obviously still opposed to the Scottish Government continuing with plans to cut Air Departure Tax - taking money from essential public services and going totally against proclaimed ambitions on climate.) 

There’s also lots happening this weekend about climate action and UNISON members can play a part by doing one or more of the following three things...
  1. Add your voice to calls for the new Climate Act to be as strong as possible by making sure you support the SCCS E Action to contact First Minister Nicola Sturgeon or send a postcard (email Fiona Montgomery with your postal address to receive one for you and a few for colleagues )
  2. Are you or colleagues interested in ‘Energy Democracy, Public Energy Companies and Investment for Just Transition’ – come to, and/or tell them about, the seminar on Friday, 8 Sept, organised by the Just Transition Partnership. 9.30am-12.30pm at the STUC. Speakers include Sean Sweeney, of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy. Apply to Matthew Crighton to be sure of a place.
  3. All UNISON members are welcome at the Green Network meeting on Saturday, 9 Sept, in the UNISON Scotland office. Sean Sweeney is speaking at this too, along with Allison Roche, Policy Officer at UNISON UK. Come along and/or tell interested colleagues. Find out more about potential income generation for councils through city energy generation / renewables projects. Info also on pensions divestment, Just Transition, Green Workplaces, etc. 1.30-3.30pm. Details here

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Act for our Future – help make new #ClimateChangeBill bigger and better

UNISON members are being urged to help make Scotland’s new Climate Change Act as strong as possible.

With other members of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), we are disappointed that the Scottish Government’s proposals for the new Bill are not ambitious enough.

The SCCS Act for our Future campaign has an easy online E Action. You can click here to email First Minister Nicola Sturgeon asking her to:

•Set a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest, and a reduction of 77% by 2030

•Ensure that future finance budgets are consistent with our climate targets

•Commit to actions that cut emissions and deliver a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous Scotland by:

Making all homes efficient and warm: Ensure that all homes have at least Energy Performance Rating ‘C’ by 2025.

Cleaner transport: phase out the sale of new fossil fuel cars by 2030 to reduce emissions, clean up air pollution and improve the nation’s health.

Greener farming: Set a nitrogen budget for Scotland by 2020.
The Scottish Government consultation on the new Climate Change Act closes on 22 September. UNISON will be submitting a response, as will Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. More information about our asks for the Bill will be posted later this month on this blog.

Please support the E Action and help spread the word to colleagues and through social media.
UNISON Scotland members interested in working on climate change issues can join our Green Network email list and come to meetings. The next is on Saturday 9 September, 1.30-3.30pm in the UNISON Scotland office at 14 West Campbell Street, Glasgow, G2 6RX. We have an excellent speaker on city renewable energy generation, as well as updates on campaigns for a Just Transition to a low carbon economy. If you would like to be added to the email list, contact Fiona Montgomery at
Also, see our Green Workplace pages and the Green Network Facebook page

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Early Years and Childcare

This is Pat Rowland's, UNISON Scotland, speech at Scottish Labour Party Conference on Early Education and childcare.  
"Early Education and childcare has become a political football over the years with publicly provided provision becoming a hostage to fortune at the whim of councils trying to manage SNP and Tory cuts to Local Authorities.
Early years establishments follow education standards.
The mix of private and publicly  funded childcare doesn't work.
The publicly funded provision employs highly qualified professionals in the field whereas private provision has first of all to make a profit at the expense of lower wages, qualified staff with support workers and sometimes much poorer quality.
High quality childcare is imperative to enable women to reach their potential and ensure their independence.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Courses available in March and new Inverness courses

Please find below a list of training courses where we still have availability. If you have any activists who are interested in attending any of these courses please go to for an application form  Please note that all of the courses are subject to numbers.

Employment Law Discrimination – 14 March – Edinburgh closing date extended to 1 March as currently an insufficient number of applicants
This course is open to experienced stewards and Branch Officers. Covers all aspects of potential discrimination as defined by Equality legislation.
• Mental Health at Work – 20-22 March – Inverness (course commences 12.30pm on the first day, finishing early afternoon of the final day)
This course will assist reps on how to deal with members in difficult situations which may involve “mental illness” – a look at what employers can do, common signs and symptoms of poor mental health in the workplace, strategies for intervention and support, causes and strategies for coping with stress. This course is only available to experienced stewards, officers and H&S Reps. (This course will also be run in Glasgow on 10 & 11 May and 4 & 5 October.)

• Developing Representation Skills – 28-29 March – Glasgow
This is an advanced course which requires delegates to have completed Organising Stewards and Further Representation Skills courses first. The course is designed to develop representation skills, structured around one extended case study and looks at three different ways in which the case could evolve. This course can be used to renew ERA accreditation.

Further information regarding these and all the year’s regional courses can be found on the course programme

Can we also advertise the following course which has just been added to this year’s programme in Inverness:-

• Organising Stewards (part 1) – 3-5 April – Inverness (course commences 12.30pm on the first day, finishing mid afternoon of the final day)
• Organising Stewards (part 2) – 8-10 May – Inverness (course commences 12.30pm on the first day, finishing mid afternoon of the final day)
This first course for new stewards will develop skills, knowledge and confidence to enable them to carry out their role and it covers the role of the organising union in public services, the importance of equalities, tackling issues in the workplace, working with members, understanding procedures, handling grievances and disciplinaries and understanding the world UNISON works in, both nationally and internationally. This is an essential course for those who want to become effective as workplace representatives and is compulsory for new accreditation.