Here is a round-up of our news this week.  As always, if you have an issue or problem you would like to speak to us about, please get in touch at unison@leeds.ac.uk:

  • Online Member meetings – we held our first two online member meetings this week: on Monday we met with Trinity members and on Tuesday we met with members from across our Branch.  Thanks to those who came along to the meetings, we hope you found them informative and interesting.  We will be holding an all-member online meeting each month and the next two meetings will be held on Tuesday, 3 November 12:30-1:30 and Tuesday, 1 December 12:30-1:30.  We will send out further information about these meetings, including the links to join them, in the coming weeks.
  • Black History Month – October is Black History Month and we have a new page on our website with lots of exciting content to help celebrate.  We’d encourage you to click on the link and take a look!  We’ll also be updating our social media regularly with information relating to UK and international Black activism and TU solidarity with anti-racism.  The Branch will also be hosting a talk by Tariq Mehmood, one of the Bradford 12, towards the end of the month.  Details to follow!
  • General Secretary Election – voting for the new General Secretary of UNISON opens on Wednesday, 28 October 2020.  You will receive a ballot pack by post, which will include your postal ballot paper and statements from all candidates who are on the ballot. This ballot pack will be sent to the address you have logged with UNISON.  If you need to update your address, you can do so here or by emailing us at unison@leeds.ac.uk  If you do not receive your ballot pack by 10 November, you can call 0800 0857 857 to request a new one to be sent.  The deadline to return your vote is 5pm on Friday, 27 November 2020.  We would encourage you all to vote in this election, this is your chance to have your say on who you want to lead our union.  We previously contacted all members via email to let them know the outcome of our Branch nomination, held on 17 September, for a candidate:  the Branch voted for Paul Holmes and our 100-word statement in support of this nomination is as follows:

The Branch Committee voted for Paul Holmes based on his detailed candidate statement as well as the answers he gave at the regionally organised hustings, his current position as a lay member of UNISON as a Branch Secretary, his commitment to increasing the funding of Branches, his promise to only take his current working wage as his salary (£32,000) and his strong commitment to fighting for members.  We are supportive of the prospect of change that Paul can deliver within UNISON’s leadership and how this will positively impact Branches and members. (91 words)

  • CV-19 Weekly Figures – you will have seen the email from Roger Gair on Wednesday, publishing active cases of CV-19 among staff and students.  These figures will be updated weekly on Wednesdays.  All three campus Trade Unions are meeting with the University to discuss these figures, what they mean for the campus remaining open and whether further statistics can be offered alongside the data already published.
  • Pemberstone plan for demolition – After a two-year long battle by families to save their homes, 70 homes in the Sugar Hill estate in Oulton, Leeds remain at risk of demolition. Pemberstone, the company that owns the land, are trying to win permission to knock down the existing homes and “regenerate” the estate with less affordable housing.  You can read more about this campaign here

Please get in touch with us if you need support or advice at unison@leeds.ac.uk or by contacting one of our Branch reps or Officers directly.