A message for Branch Secretaries
Dear Branch Secretary
There for You is UNISON’s welfare charity that helps members who experience hard times. In the current coronavirus crisis, that’s pretty much everyone.
There for You is helping more and more members who find that their limited income has been hit by the crisis:-
· Some are losing work and have no income because they are on zero-hour contracts
· Some are having their hours cut or being made redundant without redundancy pay
· Many are also facing a situation where someone in the household is self-employed and family income has drastically dropped
· Some members and their families are self-isolating. So members need emergency grants from There for You.
Helping members in this situation is what UNISON and our welfare charity is here for. It’s basic solidarity. And our branches can help extend that solidarity by making a donation to There for You.
Branches are encouraged to consider making donations to There for You.
A number of branches have asked if they can donate to There for You from their industrial action funds. The short answer is: given the extraordinary circumstances – Yes, to a maximum of 5% of industrial action fund.
However this decision to use up to 5% of industrial action funds must be agreed by either a branch committee or the chairperson, branch secretary and treasurer.
The union’s rules allow branches to transfer 5% of their industrial action fund to general funds each year, if that is agreed by a general meeting of members.
But the coronavirus lock-down and social distancing measures mean meetings can’t take place for branches to make that democratic decision. After careful consideration, UNISON’s presidential team – the most senior lay members of the union – has agreed to take the decision on behalf of all branches in this unique situation.
This means that every branch can donate up to 5% of its industrial action fund to the national There for You fund.
Like the welfare charity, branches’ industrial action funds are there to provide solidarity for members on rainy days. Well it’s pouring down: for our members; for health workers and care workers; for frontline and many unsung workers providing key services at this crucial time and for our members who are affected by COVID-19 or a loss of income.
Donations can be send via direct bank transfer to:
Account name: Unison Welfare (Charity) There for You
Unity Trust Bank
Sort code: 60-83-01
Account number: 20215147.
Please also include a reference, consisting of your branch number and the letters COV to identify the type of donation. To be doubly sure, it would help if branches email There for You’s Paul Haylock on firstname.lastname@example.org when they’ve made a donation.
The There for You offices at UNISON Centre in London are currently closed and not receiving mail, so please don’t send cheques.
Our members need us. They need our support and solidarity. And your branch can help provide it.
More information can be found here
With best wishes
UNISON Greater London Region