UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

A day in the life of a UNISON Branch Secretary

The Guardian visits Stockport to spend a day with Angie Rayner, UNISON Branch Secretary, and gets an insight into the hard work of the much maligned local union officials who carry out union duties on paid facility time:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/money

‘Rayner spends her working day, not to mention huge chunks of her own time, negotiating with senior council officers and councillors on behalf of around 4,000 Unison members.
 She wrangles with the local authority over pay and conditions, the impact of government spending cuts on council-run services and staff, as well as advising it on equality and employment matters. She also supports union members who are being made redundant, facing a disciplinary, or who have whistleblower-type concerns.

During the meetings I attend with her, she challenges and cajoles council leaders at every opportunity, quick to pounce on an issue, which might have negative fallout for the workers she represents. She reminds me that these public sector employees are not paper-pushing stereotypes, but hard-working public servants, many of whom are at the forefront of services – the social workers and home helps who assist the most vulnerable in society.’