International Workers Memorial Day 2022

On Thursday (28th), trade unionists and campaigners met at the Workers’ Memorial Tree in Princes Street Garden to mark International Workers Memorial Day, an annual event to commemorate those that have died at and due to work and to galvanise our fight to protect the health and safety at workers.

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May Day celebrations

Come celebration International Workers Day in Edinburgh at two events.

May Day Cabaret on 1 May

The May Day cabaret on is Sunday 1 May at 7:30pm at the Southside Community Centre, featuring performances from:

  • Rab Noakes
  • Becci Wallace
  • Susan Morrison
  • Calum Baird
  • Ghazi Hussein
  • Iona Lee plus more guests.

Buy tickets for the May Day Cabaret

May Day March and Rally on 7 May

The May Day march and rally is on Saturday 7 May, assembling at 11:30am at the top end of Johnson Terrace to march at 12 midday and rally at the Pleasance Theatre at 12:30pm, where there will be music from Penny Stone and Calum Baird.

Speakers include:

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International Women’s Day on 8 March

This International Women’s Day, our branch would like to draw attention to the historical successes women have achieved within the union movement.

In the past, as now, women within the workforce have struggled with low, sometimes poverty wages and insecure terms and conditions.

Take our survey on women and trade unions in the Council

Cradley Heath chainmakers’ fight for a fair wage

In 1910 the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath won a battle to establish the right to a fair wage following a 10-week strike. This landmark victory changed the lives of thousands of workers who were earning little more than ‘starvation wages’.

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HeartUnions week is 14 to 20 February

What have the unions ever done for us?

Apart from the 5-day work week, the 40 hour week—and continuing reduction, paid annual leave, sick pay, paid maternity leave, flexible working, improvements to pay, health and safety at work, the right to accompaniment in formal proceedings, protection against unfair dismissal, bullying, victimisation…

Unions are vital to ensuring the rights of workers and that their voices are heard. Unions make sure that employers see workers as people with a life beyond their job—and that how they are treated and valued at their job has a huge impact on their life.

The week of 14 February is the TUC’s HeartUnions week—a time to celebrate the value of trade unions in the workplace and in society as a whole and to encourage as many people as possible to join a union.

Find out more about HeartUnions week and register for the online events to learn more about unions and how they win for workers.

What does your union mean to you?

As part of this week we would welcome comments—either using the box below or by contacting a rep directly—on what your union means to you.

Has being part of the union helped you at work? Have you felt supported by other reps and members? Do you have ideas about how you’d like your union to work? Let us know!

LGBT+ history month

Throughout February we are celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender + (LGBT+) history month, a time to remember the struggles, key figures and events in the fight for rights and against discrimination, a fight that continues to this day in society and the workplace.

The theme for this year is politics in art: ‘the arc is long’, taken from Martin Luther King’s quote “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice”.

Visit the LGBT+ history month site for resources and events, including an event on 9 February hosted by the University of Edinburgh—’From the 1969 Stonewall Riots to Lesbian & Gays Support the Miners Group: a history or revolt, defiance and solidarity.’

Read how the Council are marking LGBT+ history month on Newsbeat.

Fight for LGBT+ rights and equality in the Council

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Low paid, overworked, undervalued—Audit Scotland’s findings on social care

Last week Audit Scotland published a social care briefing analysing the state of the sector and the challenges it faces. We encourage all staff in Health and Social Care to read this and provide a brief overview in the following article.

The findings confirm what Unite CEC Branch has long believed: that social care staff are low paid, overworked and undervalued, and that the current staffing crisis is not caused by external circumstances, but exposed by them. The cause of the crisis is historical poor treatment and undervaluing of social care workers.

The briefing raises further alarms about the marketisation of social care, which is particularly worrying as the SNP’s National Care Service (NCS)—or National Commissioning Service, as would be more accurate—is on the horizon. Proponents of the free market would argue that competition between companies increases standards and increases the range service users can choose from, yet the briefing reports with concern that

commissioning focuses on cost rather than quality. Competition between providers has been at the expense of collaboration and quality.

And later in the report

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Race Equality Week is 7 to 13 February

This year, from 7 to 13 February, we celebrate the second Race Equality Week. The week is a UK-wide event by Race Equality Matters, a group founded following the Black Lives Matter movement, that challenges organisations to seriously address issues of race in the workplace.

Learn about Race Equality Week.

See how the Council is marking the week on Newsbeat.

What you can do to fight for racial equality in the Council

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