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Tuesday 1 July 2003

UNISON celebrates 10th Birthday with vow to continue campaigns

UNISON , Scotland's largest union, celebrates its 10 Anniversary today (1 July). The major public service union, which was created in 1993 by the merger of COHSE, NALGO and NUPE, has become the main representative of Scottish public service workers.

The union recently took over the Hub, in Edinburgh, where Dave Prentis, UNISON's General Secretary, put forward the union's arguments on the need to revitalise Scotland's public services, to Scotland's MSPs.

The union has had many successes over the last ten years, such as the Protocol on staffing in PPP/PFI schemes, and major advances in local government and NHS pay, but UNISON will spend the birthday continuing its campaigns against low pay and violence in Scotland's public services, and organising.

Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary said "We celebrate the many successes that UNISON has been instrumental in delivering over the last 10 years, but we will continue to organise and campaign for public services and those who deliver them.

"For example, whilst we welcome the low pay deal in Scotland's Health Service, and the successful fight of UNISON local government members for a decent pay rise some years back, it is appalling that we are still having to fight to bring Scotland's nursery nurses above the Low Pay Unit's low pay threshold."

Branches across Scotland are marking the anniversary by running public events, taking members and families out for celebrations and organising recruitment drives. These include recruitment stalls and visits to hospitals in the Western Isles and Aberdeen, visits to Loudon Castle Theme Park and Calderglen Country Park and a Balloon Race for the public (collection for the Children's Hospice Association) in Forfar. In Inverness a formal cake cutting ceremony takes place in the UNISON office.

Matt Smith said "UNISON's success is built on organisation, members involvement in their union, and ensuring we deliver what our members want. That is why it is appropriate that these principles shape the activities the union is arranging to mark our 10th Birthday.


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