The branch recognised International Women’s Day this year with a series of visits to workplaces in South Aberdeenshire as well as holding a stall in Woodhill House.
International Women’s Day is 8th March every year. However the branch celebrated it on the 6th and 9th March.
Branch equalities officer, Kathleen Kennedy said, “International Women's Day began in 1913 - it aims to work worldwide to eliminate discrimination against women.
“UNISON's membership is three quarters women hence we thought it was only right to celebrate.”
Kathleen, along with Morag Lawrence Pension Champion chose to go to an area which they hadn't really visited before - Banchory/Aboyne. Unfortunately, local steward, Jackie Roy wasn’t able to go along on the day.
Kathleen and Morag visited Banchory Social Work office, where the staff were really welcoming and appreciative that they had made the effort to come out and invited them back. Unfortunately plans to return to Banchory area around the end of March have had to be postponed due to the Cornavirus pandemic. However, it is still on the agenda
Aboyne Academy were also very welcoming. They had organised for Morag and Kathleen coming, with a room set aside and some members were already looking for them when they arrived.
Kathleen, Morag Lawrence and Ann McEvoy (UNISON Local Organiser) also held a stall in Woodhill House where Kathleen had been based for 25 years and where all three had worked at some point up until recently.
Kathleen explained, “The idea behind the stall was to celebrate International Women's Day and give out cup cakes to members and freebies and answer any queries. Also to try and encourage non members to join the union and receive any freebies as well.”
She added, “We had also hoped from there to start conversations on how we can both support our women members and help them support each other as this could over time develop into a 'self organised group'.”
Kathleen went on, “Although this time we were visiting to celebrate International Women's Day we are keen to visit all locations where we have members to meet and get to know our members and hear their issues if they have any, as well as recruiting more members.”
If you would like a visit once the lockdown is over, or have any equalities issues or queries, please let Kathleen know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathleen added, “We are all too aware how wide the Aberdeenshire and North East Voluntary Sector is so although our stewards would like to visit all establishments regularly, we aren't physical able.
“If one thing that is good come out of the Cornavirus panademic it is a lot of us have used more technology so if we can't get always get you physically we maybe can virtually!
“We really do want to hear from you. Maybe you have an idea that would be good for the Branch or a campaign. We will look into everything and no matter where you are in the Branch you are important and we are all equal.”