We can achieve so much together

Last night I spoke at the annual general meeting of the largest union branch in Europe – our Glasgow health branch.

The branch represents 18,000 members, with more people in one branch than most unions have in Scotland as a whole. And in the past year they recruited nearly 2,000 new UNISON members – a remarkable achievement.

But it’s not just the size of the branch that’s impressive, it’s the way it’s run by dedicated activists who all give so much for their fellow members and the community they serve. They’re a model of how our union can organise, walking each ward weekly, supporting friends and colleagues and constantly visible.

And they’re an example of what building strong relationships with employers – based on respect – can achieve. Last year I was honoured to open their new resource centre, and it’s still going strong as a visible representation of what Cathy, Rose, Frances and their branch colleagues do to help UNISON members each and every day.

There is much that UNISON in other branches, in Scotland and across the UK, can learn from successful branches like the Glasgow health branch. They’re a reminder that even in these difficult times, we can achieve so much together.