UNISON celebrates the ‘unsung heroes’ of local government

A new campaign will raise the profile of the union’s 600,000 local government members

Photo: Jess Hurd

They are “the unsung heroes of the public sector”, the hundreds of thousands of local government workers who provide the vital services that keep our communities working.

UNISON represents 600,000 of them, including social workers, librarians, housing officers, refuse collectors, cleaners, homecare workers, youth workers, environmental health inspectors, and many more.

And now the union has launched its Local Service Champions campaign to ensure their efforts are recognised.

“We are determined to celebrate our local government members,” said UNISON deputy head of local government Mike Short.

“They are the unsung heroes of the public sector, too often not getting the credit they deserve for their work helping vulnerable people, working in our communities, providing vital local services.

“We have launched our campaign to help show the public the difference our members make every day.”

The campaign will include a social media and branch-based Celebration Day on 17 October, a short film for YouTube showcasing members’ work, new campaign materials, and joint work with the Labour Party to call for more funding for vital local government jobs.

And in the Spring issue of U magazine, 10 members speak about their work at the frontline of council services – all of which is indispensable.

As youth worker Bobby McKillop observes: “Youth work changes lives.”

When speaking of his role, trading standards officer Andy Langford says: “The main thing is protecting vulnerable consumers who can’t do things for themselves.”

And Gateway Officer Tracey Sutton Postlethwaite, whose remit is to prevent homelessness, says: “I get an opportunity to help change people’s lives, every day.

“If you can do that, then you’re making a difference.”

  • Learn more about the Local Service Champions campaign and read more in the next issue of U magazine – sent to all members of UNISON, later this month.