Sunday, 27 January 2013

Election addresses for all six candidacies in the Branch election 2013

Deputy Branch Secretary Election Address 2013
Candidate: Mike Calvert       

Why should I vote for Mike Calvert as Deputy Branch Secretary?

I am re-standing for the position of Deputy Branch Secretary.

This is a position I have held since 2009.
Previously I was Assistant Branch Secretary, and Convenor of Adult Social Services.
In my role as Deputy Branch Secretary I cover every section and all aspects of the membership and the branch.
I have over 30 years experience as a trade union activist and representative.

In my role as Deputy Branch Secretary I represent the Branch Secretary in her absence. This means attending high level meetings with management and Councillors.

I assist the Branch Secretary and my colleagues with campaigns: an example was the strike on November 30th 2011. We had one of the best turnouts in the Greater London region. Similarly I was pivotal in organising around the 20th October 2012 TUC march.

However, personal and collective representation is the bread and butter of any trade union branch. Campaigns come and go but our members need us on a day to day basis.

In the past 18 months, the branch has dealt with around 500 pieces of casework. Of these, 355 were dealt with by the Branch Office, and a substantial number were dealt with by me.

One of the roles of the Deputy Branch Secretary is to advise and mentor stewards. A high level of experience is required and I have a proven track record in this area.
I am a team player and am supported by the Branch Secretary Jane Doolan and other colleagues. We support, communicate and work together as a strong team in the interests of the members.

My record is second to none when bringing services back in-house: I led on the negotiations with the Council over ISEP (Islington Schools Environmental Project), when we won the argument with the Councillors to keep the service in-house rather than it being outsourced.
I have been involved with Jane Doolan in all the lengthy negotiations over bringing the cleansing contract back from Enterprise, including arguing with the Labour leadership to force management to re-open negotiations with the trade unions.
I will do the same with Care UK and Aquaterra.

This branch led the fight against acceptance of the pensions deal and we will do the same over the pay freeze. We will lead the fight for a substantial pay rise.

Jane and I are the architects of the Branch policy on “No cuts whatever they are and wherever they come from”!
There are more cuts coming and we need a firm and determined leadership.

We face really hard times ahead in 2013-2014 and beyond. We need experience, continuity and commitment to continue fighting for the best interests of you, our members.
That is my only concern.
I am the ONLY candidate with the experience, commitment and continuity for the future.

I would urge you to vote for me.

I would urge you to also support:

Keith Facey-Communications Officer
Colin Finney-Labour Link Officer

Deputy Branch Secretary:
Lynne Moffat and Sonita Singh (job-share candidates)

Who we are?

Together we have been involved with Unison for over 35 years, we are socialists and committed to the idea of acting and organising collectively in our workplaces and wider society. We face a constant onslaught from the government in our workplaces and our communities.  We have led disputes, strikes and campaigns and we place our struggles within a broader labour movement fight back against this onslaught.

We have been shop stewards and convenors, representing members individually, collectively and at reviews / re-organisations alongside our daily job.

We have represented Islington Unison policy at national and regional levels.

We have participated in formal action and were heavily involved on the ground prior to the pension’s action. We share our member’s disappointment over the ending of this dispute. We gained more than we would have without the action, but we could have won more. If elected we would continue to press for an increase in the fightback against the huge cuts we face. 

Why are we standing?

We believe that our way of organising in our workplaces would be well placed within this role. We will focus on establishing workplace meetings and recruiting local workplace reps to ensure that more of our membership has access to union reps who can take their views forward. We want to continue and increase our role of supporting and developing reps and representing members. We can bring our experiences to the office making it more inclusive and transparent.

We welcome the increased activity in privatised areas including new stewards in Acquaterra (leisure services) and look forward to continuing the campaign to bring them back in house, harnessing the momentum which has come with the return of other services.

If elected we will bring fresh energy and impetus into the branch office. Sharing our facility time would allow us to do this while keeping a keen sense of what it is like to work on the frontline, like our members. We too understand the increasing pressures we all face as the cuts bite.

What we will do

We promise to get 'out and about'; we would like to plan workplace surgeries, have weekly briefings, make the union more visible. We will keep members informed of relevant issues and outcomes of meetings. We will ensure members receive timely responses to all their enquiries.
We believe members join and support a union which is visible, strong, fighting and campaigning.

We will support our membership and encourage our reps; making the most of all our facility time. We will work together and be as flexible as possible. We will strive to increase membership, and continue to promote and develop the self-organised groups.

We will take a full and active part in branch structures such as the branch committee.
We will endeavour to ensure the committee is held accountable to our membership, that our member’s views are taken forward and that committee decisions are acted upon, implemented and communicated to our membership.


Communications Officer election address 2013.

Candidate : Keith Facey.

My name is Keith Facey and I will be contesting the position of communications officer for the 2013 local branch elections. I work in Housing Direct and I have been a UNION activist from day one of commencement of my employment with the Council. I have held a number of branch positions over the years and have undertaken representation of members.

I am also aware of the importance of working as part of a team both as a call agent and as a branch officer

I have a vision for the branch newsletter and I want it to be attractive. punchy and dynamic.
It must appeal to all our members and not just the small core of activists. I want it to be inclusive and this means that hard-copies will have to go out to our members as well as electronic copies. People often forget that we also have members working for external organisations.

The branch blog is an invaluable resource but not every member has access to a computer to view it.

I intend to work closely with branch officers in developing the blog and I want to create a brand for the newsletter which is identifiable with Islington UNISON.

If elected I intend to propose to the branch committee that we organise a competition amongst the branch membership with a view to giving our branch newsletter a name.
Because when all is said and done it is your newsletter.

My aim is to produce a number of newsletters throughout the year and to supplement them with regular newsbytes. I want the newsletters and newsbytes to not only appeal to members but to non-members as well. I want people to pick-up our publicity and want to know more!

The role of communications officer is more than just producing a newsletter or helping with the blog.

I intend to include a membership application form with every piece of publicity I produce.

The union is not just a collection of officers and stewards. It is our current members and those we can potentially recruit. Unless we up our game on publicity we will find it more difficult to recruit members.

I want potential members to look at our publicity, look overleaf and want to fill out a membership form to join.

I am standing for election because I believe I can make a difference. I believe I can produce publicity that the branch can be proud of.

I have already said that I am a team player and I have a good working relationship with the current branch officers.

Please vote for me as your communications officer.

There are two other contested posts.
Mike Calvert is standing for Deputy Branch Secretary and Colin Finney is standing as Labour Link Officer. I would also urge you to vote for these two people.


Vote Paul Murphy for Communications Officer
For a UNISON that fights ConDem cuts

As UNISON members we continue to face massive attacks on our pay, public services and the welfare state. In real terms, our pay has fallen by 15%, the worst pay cut since the 1930s. Public sector jobs are at the lowest level for a decade, and under-employment has increased by a million since 2008.
UNISON needs to be well-organised to fight back on a number of local and national issues. Nationally, we desperately need action on pay, which would in turn boost resistance to job cuts. We must resist this government’s attacks on equality and its disgraceful scapegoating of the poor (and working poor) in its savaging of benefits. While I welcome the current council reducing privatisation by bringing housing and education back in-house, there is still more to do. I have pressed locally for firm negotiations with HR to resist detriment to our conditions, as with sick or flexi policies.
Communication means reaching out to all our members (not just individual reps or officers) and recruiting. I produce the current UNISON newsletter which I hope highlights the main issues of concern to Islington UNISON members and encourages readers to discuss hot topics, now issued after Branch Committees to keep members informed as issues arise (after I have checked facts with those involved in the issues). I have started a branch Comunications group which oversees how the branch gets Islington UNISON’s message across by a variety of means, including a blog.
But it’s not just about electronic communication.  I help organise shop and reps meetings at my sites and recruitment tables outside other sites. Communication in this sense, between reps and members, is vital in building a more active, stronger union. This helped increase UNISON membership by over 50% at North Rd, and I hope to do likewise at Newington Barrow Way (to where I have recently moved). I would like to see UNISON consistently visible and an approachable presence in every site, with regular meetings and one-to-one chats with members. It’s good to listen before taking action and your information and feedback is vital.
If re-elected as a branch officer, I will continue to represent members on individual cases, assist and encourage reps in every site so we can build a thorough and effective UNISON response, rather than overload a few reps.
I am a socialist and will work with anyone who wants to fight cuts, build equality and a stronger, campaigning union. In this election I shall be voting for Lynne Moffat/Sonita Singh for deputy branch secretary and Andrew Berry for Labour Link officer.
Actions speak louder than words. But let’s have both – so start by telling me stories from your site today!  If you have any issues, news or suggestions, feel free to contact me on 07932 695668.


Re-elect, Andrew Berry:  Labour Link Officer
Also vote Lynne Moffat/Sonita Singh: Deputy Branch Secretary and Paul Murphy: Communications Officer.

Experience and positions held:
·         Deputy/Assistant  Branch Secretary 1999 -2009
·         UNISON regional Committee 2002-current
·         UNISON National Local government Standing Orders committee, 2009 - 2013
·         Islington Branch Labour Link officer 2009 - current
·         Labour Representation Committee*, Executive committee.
·         Vice Chair, Campaign for State Education.
·         Parent governor Highbury Grove School.

*Campaigning for the Labour Party to have socialist values not New Labour values
What Is the Labour Link?
A number of trade unions are affiliated to the Labour Party and this means they can send delegates to conferences, attend local constituency party meetings, move motions and influence policy. UNISON actually has two political funds. One of which is a fund that is affiliated to the Labour Party. About a third of members nationally pay into this and branches are encouraged to link with local Labour parties.
As a branch we send delegates to three different constituencies . Attending these meeting is an opportunity to push and sometime push very hard our policies.  As part of the link I also work closely with Jeremy Corbyn MP.
Staff Manifesto
I was fundamental in the development of the staff manifesto, one of only two branches in the country that sort to get commitments from the Labour party at local level before local elections. In 2010 these included:
•             We strongly prefer the provision of existing Council Services through directly employed and accountable staff and will look to bring services back in-house where it is in the interests of staff and residents to do so.
•             Along with all Labour councillors, we oppose the idea of a local government pay freeze in 2010.
Within the Labour Party I have also been active in opposing schools becoming academies.  Whilst the Council does not have the power to stop academies, their opposition has helped win campaigns to halt them at Poole’s Park and The Bridge schools
 If re-elected I will negotiate new commitments for the 2014 Council election.
Bring services back in house
HFI, Education services (CEA) and Cleaning have come back in house and street cleaning and waste services are soon to follow. However many services remain privatised including leisure services, parking and security. The much criticised Care UK continues to run residential care for older people. We need continue to lobby and campaign for Labour to bring more services back in-house and step up campaigns when/ if they renege on pledges.
Labour should not implement cuts
Facts tell us that Labour councils are being financially hit harder than Tory/Lib Dem Councils. Labour councils are often representing some of the poorest communities.  Islington has the second highest child poverty rates in London, confirming what we know:   that we are not all in it together. It is not acceptable that Labour councils take this lying down. They must stand up to this government, and ally themselves to the communities and trade unions and refuse to make cuts to services.

Labour Link officer election address 2013.

Candidate : Colin Finney.

My name is Colin Finney and I am contesting the Labour Link post for the 2013 Islington local elections.

I see the link officer’s role as a very crucial and accountable role to get the very best for us as members.

Politicians today are failing to remember the mere members of our union, which are those that have elected these into power.

I have lived and worked in Islington all my life and have experienced the ups and downs of different political influences.  What I would say is I am:

Relentless in promoting  unison and joint working labour views
Committed to a fairer deal for the members
Keen to listen to the views of members and labour representatives
Willing to go all the way to provide that vital link between union and political differences to find a common ground so we have our say!


We must work closely with the labour group to provide better opportunities for the members and to ensure job security is maintained, especially for crucial front line services.  The impact of this role is very important and I would hope that It would not only have an influential steer on local issues within Islington but reaching out as far as national to ensure the echoes of “our members come first!”

The current policies of Cameron and Osborne hurt the most vulnerable in society, those who did not create this crisis and makes a mockery of the fact that we are all in this together. We are not. The pain that is being inflected by this government of millionaires promise to bear no fruit except further hardship and misery.

My task will be to hold those who we have put in power locally to be accountable to our union and its members, ensuring they are not only working with us to provide better opportunities but create a sense of fairness and install a plan that will blossom and create a fortress of labour leadership not for only for today but for years to come.

I want to promote members' views and argue for the implementation of UNISON policies, which will improve working terms and conditions, help protect public services and create a better Islington.
I will forge a relationship with our councilors and executive members to ensure they attend our meetings and are accountable to the views of us as members.
Together we are stronger!

Colin Finney.

There are two other contested posts.
Keith Facey is standing for Communications Officer and Mike Calvert is standing as Deputy Branch Secretary. I would also urge you to vote for these two people.

Vote Colin Finney.

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