What a year!

We kicked off 2018 with our annual Get Active event and awards ceremony which saw members from across the region receive awards for their hard work for and on behalf of their fellow members and Plymouth in UNISON were crowned Branch of the Year.

In February we saw off privatisation of Southmead Hospital following a hard fought member-led campaign.

March rolled around and we received the news that the Gloucester subco was pushing ahead, UNISON worked hard to ensure that members transferring over received support throughout the process.

The Living Wage was back at the University of Bath by April and Sirona care workers were notified of potential changes to contracts and began considering strike action as a result.

Before we knew it May arrived and UNISON teamed up with the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust to celebrate ODP day. The ballot for Sirona closed and strike dates were announced. Cornwall Council became the first in the South West to sign up to UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter.

World Cup fever gripped the nation in June and as Kane was striking, so were Sirona members in Bath. Over 100 care workers took action outside care homes in a dispute over pay.

In July we celebrated the NHS turning 70! Celebrations were held in hospitals and workplaces across the South West. Giant cards and delicious cakes formed part of the fun in Cornwall. Another successful Tolpuddle Festival took place with Jeremy Corbyn addressing a packed crowd.

Despite Theresa May and Sajid Javid thanking Salisbury NHS staff in their handling of the Novichok incidents, they faced subco threats in September. The threats were placed on hold but could return in the New Year.

Plymouth City Council signed UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter in October with Dave Prentis joining stewards for the signing.

In November UNISON was officially named the UK’s biggest trade union with 1.3 million members! In the South West we revealed the extent of bullying and sexual harassment in the South West Ambulance Service, a story which received national press coverage and was the result of months of hard work behind the scenes from our dedicated activists in the Trust. Dave Prentis joined the Sirona strikers on the picket lines and Bristol Council and the University of Bristol committed to paying all their staff at least the real Living Wage.

Right on cue, our annual Get Active event for January 2019 was announced and is almost fully booked.

In 2019 UNISON will be celebrating the year of young workers, more details will be announced in the New Year!

We know some of you will be working throughout the festive period but we hope you enjoy any time you do get with friends and family.