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Union reps are key in this crisis


The education unions have fought to protect their members and to prevent the infection spreading through our schools. Health unions are still pressing for proper PPE as Covid patients fill more hospital beds. Union reps are standing up for public-facing workers such as bus drivers and shop workers are trying to support the overwhelming majority of people who are following the rules but face abuse from a selfish few. Safety reps are pressing managers to review measures in place in the light of a more infectious virus.

Unions are fighting to protect jobs and support those faced with redundancy. Learning reps are giving vital advice and assistance.

In every sector it is union reps that are crucial to keeping us safe and protecting our livelihoods.
Now it is union reps mobilising volunteers to help the vaccination programme and will work to make it as easy as possible for people to get the jab.
Thanks and solidarity to every union rep.

Nigel Costley
South West TUC Regional Secretary

Trade union directories

The latest South West TUC Directory is available to download.
All union officers and contact details along with local trades union councils.
Download the Directory here

Barry’s campaign spreads on bus fires

A number of fires on buses alerted Barry West, RMT South West Regional Organiser to the dangers for drivers and passengers. His warnings have spread as more bus fires have occurred. The media interest has gone from Somerset to Scotland.


8-14 February
The annual #HeartUnions week will highlight the good work of unions as they give a voice and power to workers during the pandemic. 
Activists and reps will be equipped with online organising skills with webinars and guides, and unions and regions will be organising events to celebrate unions in communities. 

Let us know your plans. More information will be added here the coming weeks

Heart Unions Cornwall

8 February 7-8pm
Hear about the positive role of unions in Cornwall throughout the last year and how to face the challenges ahead. Speakers so far from GMB, UNISON, USDAW, NEU and Cornwall Trades Union Council.

Register here

Unions at the heart of health and safety 

Wednesday 10 February 11am-12:30pm 
Safety of people at work has never been more important and union reps – especially health and safety reps have been front-line champions throughout the crisis.
Here is a chance to share the work that has been done and get the latest news from Shelly Asquith, TUC Health and Safety Officer.

Register here

South West TUC Green Workplace network

Friday 26 February 11am-12.30pm
The climate emergency is still here. Join this new network for workers interested in promoting a green agenda in our workplaces.
We will discuss how we can, together, improve working practices and policies as well as share ideas to tackle the climate crisis.

Register here

Bipin Pitrola

On January 5th Usdaw trade union officer Bipin Pitrola passed away due to Covid 19. It was shocking and sad for Usdaw staff, reps and every one who knew Bipin. 
Bipin’s family have asked that we share the livestream invite to his funeral as widely as possible in order everyone who wants to can share his wonderful life.

New training and skills opportunities

The West of England Recovery Taskforce has launched a raft of new investments and initiatives to help residents with the training and skills they need to improve their job prospects as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Unemployed people being offered learning and work experience opportunities with businesses where there are vacancies;  
  • 400 new A-Level equivalent qualifications in the region thanks to the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee; and 
  • A new £2m digital skills investment programme to help give residents and businesses the skills they need.  
Find out more through WECA’s new web portal 



Public sector pay and solidarity 

Wednesday 27 January 7pm 
Dorset Trades Union Council Annual General Meeting with Mark Serwotka, General Secretary Public and Commercial Services Union and Janet Maiden, nurse and UNISON Branch Chair at a central London hospital, speaking in a personal capacity. 
These are desperate times for all public sector workers. Ten years of austerity have cut services to the bone and beyond with a huge swathe of redundancies and job losses leaving workers asked to do more and more with less and for less. Now more that ever we need to stand together in solidarity to resist more austerity, more cuts, more job losses and greater erosion of trade union rights. 

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 871 2963 8085 Passcode: 473184 

Renters’ Rights Workshops

Thursday 18 February 4-5pm  – register here
Thursday 25 March 6-7pm  – register here
Are you a private renter in Bristol? Not sure of your rights? Join an online workshops and get some free housing advice.
Sign up for one of the workshops if you'd like to know where you stand when it comes to joint tenancies, deposits and deductions, and getting repairs done, or have questions you’d like.




Tolpuddle makes the case for festivals

The South West TUC added its weight to the voice of festival organisers heard by the recent Select Committee of MPs. The Committee was told how festivals require a long planning process and that the Covid crisis makes it almost impossible to commit resources for events this year. The Committee supported ideas for some sort of government-backed insurance scheme for festivals recognising their importance to the music and creative industries as well as the human value of such events.


Register to join here 
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