UNISON’s Hampshire Health branch recently raised money for two local charities: Testlands – who help provide sporting opportunities for young people, and Southampton City Mission – a clothes and food bank.
Winter brings in to sharp focus the divisions in society. It’s a season when families try to make the most of Christmas and struggle to deal with soaring utility bills – and it’s also the season when the financial winners and losers under Tory and Coalition governments become clearer than ever. That’s why UNISON is campaigning for a decent pay rise for public service workers and UNISON branches like Hampshire Health are supporting local charity initiatives.
With a recent UNISON survey showing that more than one in three NHS workers having to turn to friends or family for financial support within the previous year, it even harder to argue that years of below-inflation pay rises haven’t taken their toll. This is why the same survey showed one in five workers are forced to do additional paid work on top of their NHS job and one in ten have pawned possessions to make ends meet.
UNISON is campaigning for a fair pay rise for NHS staff and for the government to Pay Up Now! and provide a decent pay rise across public services – and we’ve had some early successes, such as a petition signed by over 150,000 people that forced MP’s to discuss public pay. But the union is working to relieve pressure now, which is why UNISON provides grants for those in fuel poverty.
It’s also why in Southampton, UNISON Hampshire Health branch were proud to make a donation of £500 to education charity Testlands who have helped to provide sporting opportunities for young people in the city. The branch, who represents health workers across the county, also donated £1000 to a local food and clothes bank network Southampton City Mission. The network’s food banks donated over 950 food parcels in November alone with December’s figures set to be higher still.
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