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Mon 6 Jan 2003

UNISON's 10th birthday in 2003

UNISON, Scotland's largest union reaches its 10th Anniversary in 2003 and is planning a series of activities throughout the year to mark the event.

The union organises and speaks for around 150,000 members in Scotland and is well known for its campaigning. It has been especially opposed the Government's continuing use of the private sector to run public services, but has also campaigned strongly for equality in the workplace and across society.

UNISON's Scottish Secretary, Matt Smith has issued a New Year message to all the union's 100+ Scottish Branches calling on them both to celebrate the union's achievements and to continue the campaign for renewal of Scotland's public services.

He said "We are in the forefront of many of the campaigns within society. We have had many achievements in our short life, including our major impact in the fight against low pay with UNISON members in Scotland's local government and health services winning pay claims, first for £5 an hour and now more.

"We have also been the union winning staff back into the public sector from health contractors and in the careers service.

"We have also much to celebrate in the creation of a Scottish Parliament and its delivery of a staffing protocol on PPP projects, although we will be continuing to campaign against PPPs as wasteful and inflexible methods of delivering public services."

UNISON is also planning a number of events to take place throughout the year. Glyn Hawker, UNISON's Scottish Organiser (Recruitment and Organisation) said "We are looking for events that will allow members to join in and celebrate the importance and value of UNISON membership and what is good about UNISON. I have asked branches to come back with suggestions for local or national events that will allow us to do this.

"Possible proposals include; local family days in public parks, gifts for new babies born to members on the 1 July (the date of the creation of UNISON), possible sponsorship of a theatre company for the year to get members discounted tickets and many other suggestions."

In addition the union wants to build on its already high profile around the Scottish Parliament and the elections. Matt Smith said, "We plan to have some event for the new Scottish Parliament elected on 1 May. It will be part of both the 10th Anniversary celebrations and our campaign for Scotland's public services."


[Note for Editors: UNISON is Scotland's largest union, it was created on 1 July 1993 by a merger of the three former public service unions, COHSE, NALGO and NUPE, and organises members across the public services - local government, healthcare, higher and further education, police support staffs, energy, water and the voluntary sector.]

For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary) 07771 548 997 (m) 0845 355 0845(w) Glyn Hawker (Scottish Org - Recr and Org) 07876 441 237(m) 0845 355 0845(w) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m) 0845 355 0845(w)