This September, communities and workplaces across the UK will join together for the Great Big Green Week – and UNISON members will be marking Green UNISON Week in support, using it to celebrate, discuss and share how the union is working to green public services.
From 18_26 of the month, branches across the UK are organising a week of activities to call for urgent action to tackle climate change.
Green UNISON Week also gives members the chance to show support for the school climate strike on 24 September.
UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Green UNISON Week gives young people a global space to demand politicians take seriously the damage being done to our planet and act to save its future.
“To support young people’s demand, we’ll be encouraging branches to talk to employers on how they can reduce their own carbon footprints, but more importantly, ensure their employers have a plan to green their workplaces completely. That way we can all begin to make a big difference quickly.”
Anti-trade union laws mean that UNISON branches cannot take strike action, but there are many ways to show your support for the school campaigners and take part in Green UNISON Week.
Find out if your UNISON branch has an environment rep. If not, encourage your branch and any interested members to get involved and become green reps. You can find others who share your concerns about climate change and let Green UNISON Week be your springboard into starting a new green UNISON network where you work.
Find out what your employer is doing to reduce the organisation’s environmental impact. Ask your employer to share this information with UNISON.
Hold a UNISON green event. You could run a lunchtime stall in the canteen, a film show, or a talk. Why not invite a speaker such as a school student climate striker to support young people on the 24 September, a local environmental campaign group or a Cop26 Coalition speaker.
Take part in UNISON’s green survey that will be advertised during the week itself.
Run a green workplace training activity. Talk to your UNISON learning rep/s and look into running a lunchtime activity session for green reps and members who’d like to learn more.
Get ready for November’s UN Glasgow Cop26 events and activities. Green UNISON Week helps branches to get ready to participate in the green events and activities throughout November when the UK hosts the UN Cop26 Climate Change talks.
In particular, the global youth climate strike on Friday 5 November, and the International Day of Global Action on Saturday 6 November, with massive marches and rallies in Glasgow, London and 10 cities across the UK.
TUC Congress fringe webinar, Future-proof every workplace: How trade unions can lead a just climate transitionTuesday 14th September, 1:30pm-2:30pm, online. Register here.
On Wednesday September 22, take part in the biggest global conversation about our future by joining Global Day of Action to Climate and Employment Proof our Work. Sign up to the ITUC Day of Action to Climate and Employment Proof Our Work.
Take part in our green survey to be published during Green UNISON Week
On Thursday 23 September, join the UNISON Green Network webinar. Sign up to our network to receive green updates here and you will automatically receive a link to the webinar. You will also be able to access UNISON resources, including guidance on green bargaining and being a green workplace rep.
To find out what is happening at the November UN Cop26 in Glasgow and how branches can take part, visit the Cop26 Coalition website, which also provides details of Cop26 Glasgow events from 31 October to 12 November, including UK-wide demonstrations on 6 November.