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STUC March and Rally

8th September 2022



Unite the Union, including the Glasgow Retired Members Branch, was well represented at the march to and rally at the Scottish Parliament.

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Branch Waverley Trip

The Branch's Waverley trip to Dunoon was hit with bad luck for the second year running. The Waverley was unable to dock at Dunoon because of the sea conditons. Some members got off at Rothesey for lunch whilst some of us just stayed on board. Better luck next year?

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Campaigning Pensioners Call For Action from Ofgem

The Scottish Pensioners’ Forum, the campaigning organisation for older people in Scotland, today (Thursday 18th August 2022) applauded the decision of OFGEM non-executive director, Christine Farnish, to resign from the board, on a matter of principle, as she felt they were “[giving] too much benefit to companies at the expense of consumers.”

According to energy campaigners, Ofgem is currently presiding over a shambles. Due to its failure to scrutinise the finances of approximately 30 energy supply companies’ pre-licence, these companies have since gone bust, leaving consumers to pick up the bill whilst allowing millions of pounds in profits to be syphoned off by their directors.
Energy consumers in Scotland already suffer higher energy costs than anywhere else in the UK, yet they now face quarterly increases to their bills. According to an OFGEM spokesperson this is due to the “very real risk of suppliers going bust, which would heap yet more costs onto bills”

Rose Jackson, SPF Chair commented:
“It is a ridiculous situation that consumers should pay for the failure of suppliers who generate nothing but a culture of fear surrounding rising energy bills.
“At a time when consumers are generally facing massive hikes in their energy costs, many Scottish pensioners are facing the stark choice between eating and heating this winter.
“Britain is lauded as one of the world’s largest and most stable economies, yet it cannot secure basic necessities for the most vulnerable people in society.
“According to Ofgem’s own research in 2014, almost 80% of Scots were rationing their winter energy use and prices were nowhere near those predicted over the next few months – the consequences of this crisis are going to be catastrophic for so many.
“Money expert, Martin Lewis, was right when accusing Ofgem of having sold consumers down the river! The organisation has failed to protect the interests of customers, preferring to insulate the fat cats in their boardrooms instead.
“Ofgem has lost its focus and we sincerely hope that other members of the board follow the example set by one of their own and take off their rose-tinted glasses over the whole situation. Only then will things change!”

The Scottish Pensioners’ Forum will be holding a demonstration on Friday 26th August at 11AM at the Ofgem Offices in Glasgow, when they will also be handing in a letter, on behalf of their members and affiliates, on the urgent need for actionShape your future web project with sharp design and refine coded functions.

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New Branch Standing Orders

May's Branch meeting adopted new standing orders. They can be downloaded along with the union's standards for branches here

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Digital Exclusion Report

OFCOM has released a report digital exclusion among adults in the UK.

It shows that the number of adults in the UK unable to access the internet fell steadily in the years leading up to the pandemic, and that the pandemic has made people more reliant on internet access than ever before: the latest figures indicate that the number of households who do not have access to the internet at home currently stands at 6%.

However, the reports shows from research that online access is not the only factor in digital exclusion. Confidence in navigating the online sphere and knowing how to stay safe online are prerequisites to reaping the full benefits of the internet.

Furthermore, their research suggests that as the proportion of people without internet access declines, the negative impacts of remaining offline become more acute, as an increasing number of services and support networks become digital-only.


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The Girls of
Cartridge Hut No. 7

Monday May 2nd is this year’s International Workers’ Day. That afternoon (2pm) is also the first performance of our Creative Scotland funded play-with-songs ‘The Girls of Cartridge Hut No.7’.

The play revolves around an accident at Nobel’s Explosive factory, Ardeer, Stevenston, on the Ayrshire coast, in May 1884. The accident cost the lives of ten young female workers (one only 14 years old). But the girls were victims twice over, not only losing their lives but blamed for the accident by a Management keen to deflect any responsibility from themselves.

Their story starts with what happened to them in 1884 and finishes in 2022 as they take us on a whirlwind journey through the history of the Nobel / ICI site at Ardeer and the surrounding area.
It’s a dramatic journey - told in prose, music and rap - funny and sad by turns.

The venue for this event is, appropriately, Ardeer Community Centre in Stevenston - right on the doorstep of the old Nobel / ICI factory. While ideal for retired members who live in this part of Ayrshire, it would also be well worth the short trip from Glasgow for others (the venue is straight across the road from Stevenston station with a half-hourly service from Glasgow Central).

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Branch Banner at the
Stop the War demo
Sunday 6th March

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Unite Equalities Calendar 2022

Click the link to download the 2022 Equalities Calendar

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Stop Fire & Rehire
at Weetabix

If you make money for Weetabix we will be calling on you to join us in opposing their #Fireandrehire plans. We begin today with Unite Retired Members Branch Glasgow at Sainsbury's Tesco Asda in #Glasgow City Centre. There are no excuses, stand with us or be guilty by association!
#Takingthebiscuit #Cheetabix Unite Scotland

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UN Day of Older Persons

The Branch was represented at the demonstration on 30th September 2021 at the Scottish Parliament to mark the United Nations Day of Older Persons. 
Click on a picture to see it full-size.

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STUC Black History Month
Lecture 2021

Sir Geoff Palmer & Anita Shelton | Fri, 1 October 2021 | 18:00 – 19:15

Join the STUC Black Worker's Committee on Friday, 1 October 2021 for the annual Black History Month lecture: "In Conversation with Sir Geoff Palmer and Anita Shelton."

In 1989, Sir Geoff Palmer became Scotland’s first black professor and is Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Alongside his academic work, Sir Geoff is also a prominent human rights activist and has penned a book on race relations entitled Mr. White and the Ravens.

Anita Shelton has long been an active trade unionist (and is a member of Unite Retired Members Branch Glasgow), being a founding member of the STUC Black Workers’ Committee and a former member of the STUC General Council. Anita has been a member of national and regional committees of Unite the Union, and she was honoured with a Special Award in recognition of her work with and support of black trade unionists in Scotland by the STUC Women’s Committee.

The event will take place online.

To register click here

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Digital Equity for All Ages

SCOTTISH PENSIONERS’ FORUM

DEMONSTRATION TO MARK UN DAY OF OLDER PERSONS
SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT, HOLYROOD, EDINBURGH

*THURSDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER 2021*

To mark UN International Day of Older Persons 2021, the SPF, in conjunction with its members and affiliates, will be demonstrating outside The Scottish Parliament and calling for Ministers and MSP’s to recognise the contribution and dedication that older people have made, and continue to make, within society and in line with this year’s theme, bring awareness of the importance of digital inclusion for older people and the stereotypes and discrimination associated with the drive towards a digital age.
Join us to secure the same rights, both now and for future generations
We will be assembling from 10.45AM outside the Scottish Parliament.

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Universal social care and over 75s TV licence campaign

The TUC is holding an online Zoom event on Tuesday 21st September ,2021 from 1pm - 3pm.

Social care: the aim of the talk is to call for a universal social care, free at the point of delivery. The talk, by Lord Prem Sikka, will highlight the fundamental fault lines in social care. It will also show how free universal social care can be provided through the redistribution of income and wealth, without increasing the basic rate of income tax or an increase in the basic rate of national insurance. Lord Prem Sikka is an Emeritus Professor of Accounting at the University of Essex and the University of Sheffield.
Over 75s TV licence campaign: the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) is continuing to campaign for the re-instatement of the free TV licence for all over 75s. This important entitlement - which pensioners received to compensate for the low UK state pension - should be the responsibility of the government and not the BBC. The talk will be given by Beverley Morrison, NPC National Public Affairs Manager, who is an experienced journalist and public relations specialist.

To register for this event, please email dlewis@tuc.org.uk 

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Convalescent benefit

Branch members may be entitled to the benefit of an up to two weeks convalescent stay at the View Hotel, Eastbourne. The rules for whether you qualify are somewhat complex and depend on when you retired:

> before 1st August 2010; or
> on or after 1st August 2010 (but with different rules for 1st August 2010 to 31st march 2015);
and
> in either case require you to be paying the Retired Member Plus subscription; and
> in some cases, require you to have paid the Enhanced Subscription rate prior to retiral.

Full details can be seen in the following forms:
Click here to download the Convalescent Benefit Checklist, and
Click here to download the Convalescent care application form.

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WASPI Demo at Kelvingrove

The Branch banner was prominent at the WASPI demonstration at Kelvingrove on the 6th September 2021. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was one of a number of buildings throughout Scotland lit in purple in support of the continuing campaign. 

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Coastal Path Walk

Fantastic walk on the 27th August. The Inverclyde Coastal Path is highly recommended. Lovely views, historic with good paths. Our lively group chatted all the way to Gourock before a few wee swallies in a pub with a view! 8.5 km in total. We even saw and waved to the Waverley. Can't wait until next month's walk

We even saw and waved to the Waverley. Can't wait until next month's walk.
Linda Clarke

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Branch walking group launched

The first Branch Walking Group took place on Wednesday 28th July. The Walk, organised by Branch stalwarts Linda Clarke and Dave Sherry, was a great success with eleven people enjoying a great walk, great crack and ...... it didn't rain (well, not much) and the pub at the end was good too!

The walk route consisted of a circuit round Milngavie and Craigton, starting and finishing along part of the West Highland Way.

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Accessing Benefits Support

Trying to manage your finances when you are feeling stressed is hard and the benefits system can be like a navigating a maze where the route changes at every corner turned.
Our welfare system isn’t fit for purpose and it makes me angry to see people struggling. That’s why I have asked Unite Community to put together this guide. I want this to be a starting point so you have a good idea of where you can get help and financial support for as many things as possible.

Click here for the guide

Steve Turner
Unite Assistant General Secretary
with responsibility for Unite Community

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Scottish Pensioners' Forum

The Branch is affiliated to Scottish Pensioners' Forum (SPF) and would encourage members to join this worthwhile organisation as an individual member - it only costs £5 a year for pensioners.
The Scottish Pensioners’ Forum was set up in 1992 as an umbrella organisation for groups and individuals working and campaigning for a better deal for older people.
The Forum was initiated by the STUC Pensioners Committee as a "national" body, to allow pensioners to speak on behalf of pensioners and was set up after discussion with bodies such as Help the Aged, Age Concern and the Scottish Old Age Pensions Association (now Scottish Pensions Association).
Membership details here: http://www.scottishpensioners.org.uk/memberships

A copy of the SPF paper on a national care service can be downloaded here and a copy of the report on Covid-19 and older workers' safety downloaded here

Branch elects new Treasurer

Following the sad death of Maureen Gardner, the Branch has elected a new Treasurer. She is Linda Clarke. Prior to her retiral, Linda was employed in the NHS and was a member of Unite's NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Branch.

Facebook Discussion Group

Following discussion at the Branch, a Facebook discussion group has been set up. As it is a closed group, you will need to ask to be approved. Only approved members can see posts etc.
Branch members can join at:
If you click on the above link, it will open in your usual browser. If you are not already logged into Facebook on that browser, you will need to log-in (if you are not already on Facebook, you will need to join, if you wish to participate in the discussion group).
There are a few, common sense rules that you need to observe when using the discussion group, but they can be summarised as 'Be Nice'.

Glasgow Educational & Marshall Trust

If you who have younger relatives and friends from Glasgow seeking to return to education, the Glasgow Educational & Marshall Trust provides funding for the people of Glasgow to advance their academic or vocational qualifications - whatever age or stage.
The Trust gives grants to people who have lived in Glasgow for over 5 years to assist with furthering their education.
Amounts awarded range between £100 and £1250. We give around 60 grants every year to the value of about £50,000.
The Trust has been established for over 75 years and is in fact an amalgamation of a number of local Educational Charities.
The funds that the Trust distributes are solely from an investment fund that has been built up over generations.
The Trust has a board of 22 governors drawn from educational institutes, the churches, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Trade Union Council, The Trades House of Glasgow, The Merchants House of Glasgow.
Further information from: https://www.gemt.org.uk/

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