End of Year Message From UNISON Regional Organiser Steve Belcher

2020 has probably been the most challenging for everyone working in the public sector. The public health crisis caused by COVID19 changed everything, not just in work but in everything we knew as normal.

Our members responded with the professionalism and commitment that we all knew we could expect. Our crucial services continued to be delivered and the vulnerable in our communities were cared for. This was in the face of considerable risks to their personal safety.

Our members also needed the support of their trade union more than ever and our activists ensured that support was given. Working from home, furloughs and shielding suddenly became terms that we needed to familiarise ourselves with and advise our members on. Positive working relationships with most of the employers we deal with meant that we were able to reach agreements that helped our members cope with the enormous changes.

The provision of PPE became vital for all of our frontline workers, the public soon realised who the key workers in the country really were and they weren’t hedge fund managers or city traders. They were care workers, teaching assistants, cleaners, nurses and all NHS workers. Basically public sector workers.

Our UNISON Stewards & Branch Officers devoted more time then ever to supporting & representing our members along with the day to day union duties and for many, working in their substantive roles.

I’m just taking this opportunity to thank all of you for everything you do to ensure that UNISON remains the biggest and best trade union, not just in the UK but the World.

It’ll be a different Christmas to the ones that we are used to but for those of you who aren’t working take a well earned rest and let’s come back in 2021 refreshed and ready to face the challenges ahead. For those who are working over the holidays make sure you have some time in the New Year to relax with your families and recharge your batteries.

Merry Christmas

Steve Belcher
Regional Organiser
UNISON Cymru/Wales

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