UNISON Scotland celebrated the high standard of communications and campaigning work throughout its branches at the union’s Scottish Council on Saturday. It was another great year for UNISON Scotland’s annual communications awards as activists from across the country shared their communication successes. The standard of entries was praised by the judging panel who thanked all entrants for taking the time – mostly their own time – to inform, involve and enthuse members, to take forward local and national campaigns, fighting for jobs, pay, conditions, safety and equality. Jane Aitchison, vice-chair of UNISON Scotland’s campaigns and communications committee, commended all the activists for their efforts and highlighted how important their work was to the entire union.
This year the judges were David Stainthorpe, communications activist from Dumfries and Galloway; Tom O’Hair, communications activist from NHS; and Jane herself. Jane paid tribute to Sam Macartney, a member of the Communications Committee who was due to be a judge, and passed away suddenly just over two weeks ago. Jane said: “We will sadly miss him on the Communications Committee, for his contribution as someone who had a real grasp and clarity about what it is to be a trade unionist and how to engage members and colleagues alike – and just for being Sam.”
Jane praised activists for the tremendous standard of work and for congratulated them all in helping to build a stronger union. She continued: “Combining social media with traditional printing publications and never forgetting the importance of speaking to members face-to-face, branches are indeed getting their messages out to members, the employers and the politicians.
“We greatly appreciate the sponsorship of the Awards by UIA, Liverpool Victoria, Lighthouse Financial Advice, and TC Branding Group. So yes they are going to get a plug today. But not just because they are sponsors but because the insurance deals, free financial advice, and using the branded merchandise from our sponsors, should all help to recruit and retain members.”
Now to find out the winners of UNISON’s communications awards 2019/20.
Best Printed Category
UIA Gold Award
The UIA Gold Award went to Scottish Border public services for “an array of well-designed material, including regular magazines and eye-catching posters such as great use of an eye-catching posters such as the ‘are you a busy bee? should your job be a band 3?'”
CCC Silver Award
The committee’s Silver Award went to NHS24 for “good use of a traditional newspaper format, providing members with a colourful and seasonal flavour to each newsletter with a balance between factual and humorous articles.”
CCC Bronze Award
The committee’s Bronze Award, went to the LGBT+ Committee for “a colourful, photo-filled newsletter full of relevant information, providing a very readable alternative to their online presence, updated with relevant and factual information for the LGBT+ community.”
CCC Gold Award
The committee’s Gold Award went to the Young Members Committee for “an excellent, hard-hitting, mental health awareness campaign, reaching out to young people, parents and friends to help inform and support. With a number of events and smashing material, including a Mood Manual. This was backed up by their successful ‘How’s your Heid’ campaign.”
CCC Silver Award
The Committee’s Silver Award went to the Scottish Disabled Members Committee for “an impressive campaign that raises the profile of disabled members in the workplace, with a regular and lively newsletter, frequent social media updates, using their own many skills and pulling in the experts when they need them. At it’s core, a series of training events that enable our activists to deal head-on with the treatment of disabled people at work.”
TC Branding Group Bronze Award
The TC Branding Group Bronze Award went to Renfrewshire UNISON for “a very effective home care campaign, building a Home Care Manifesto based on their members’ views to give a formal footing their negotiations with the Health Care Partnership. Some fantastic quick wins included permanent contracts for all staff and the partnership paying for home carers SSSC registration. Of course, against the current difficult climate for social care, the fight goes on and the branch continues to support their members in many ways such as organising a pre-SVQ course.”
Best Online Presence Awards
CCC Gold award
The CCC Gold Award went to Fife Health for “a web presence with a newly-introduced and well-designed website to complement existing social media. It featured a good range of material including great information on pay gaps between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Nice pictures and a real ‘human touch’.”
CCC Silver Award
The CCC Silver Award went to NHS Glasgow Clyde and CVS for “a full complement of online provision including an easy-to-navigate, simple website and up-to-date social media including extensive use of great pictures and video material.”
Lighthouse Financial Bronze Award
The Lighthouse Financial Bronze Award went to NHS24 for “a nice new website, to complement their existing social media, coupled with the option to book an appointment online, and also a useful app.”
Special Recruitment Prize
Liverpool Victoria Special Recruitment Prize
The Liverpool Victoria Special Recruitment Prize went to Fife Health. It was refreshing that people were recruiting and actually enjoying themselves and this Fife Health weren’t the only branch that was doing this. The branch received the award for: a productive campaign that includes a high-profile sponsorship of an ice hockey team taking UNISON to the wider public and the players to the hospital – that’s for visits! And they have reaped the recruitment rewards with 162 new members.”
Chris Bartter award for creativity in communications
The Chris Bartter award for creativity in communications went to UNISON Shetland for “their excellent calendars which provided a 365 day reminder of members’ contributions to their union. And they weren’t just any old calendar; the branch holds a competition for their members and gets some smashing entries, and then couple this information details about the branch, the union’s principles and its affilated organisations.”
Thanks again to our sponsors.
And well done everyone! Keep up the good work.
This year the judges were David Stainthorpe, communications activist from Dumfries and Galloway, Tom O’Hair, communications activist from NHS, and Jane Aitchison, vice-chair of the UNISON Scotland Communications and Campaigns Committee.