Supporting retired members through COVID-19

UNISON Scotland retired members committee

Members of the Scottish Retired Members Committee are grappling with increasing success with the video technology to continue to meet during the COVID-19 lockdown.

We are exploring ways that we can help our members through these times and looking to our future so we can hit the ground running when things start to ease down bit by bit and get back to some form of normality.

The way things have been unfolding through this crisis has put into sharp focus the degree to which society and government routinely discriminate against older citizens. We are preparing to redouble our campaigning to get older people their proper place in society.

While everyone is having to deal with the changes that Covid 19 has made to our day to day lives, those of advancing years and those with disabilities are more likely to have more problems and challenges arising from lockdown and it may well be that some of our retired members are struggling to cope.

It is worth remembering that UNISON There For You (UNISON welfare) is also available for retired members. You can contact the service on or 02071215620 .

The Scottish retired members committee (SRMC) is made up of 16 retired members representing most sectors, nominated from their branch to be elected through our Scottish Council.

Some key players

Jean McBride from North Lanarkshire branch is our hard working minute taker. Jean also works hard at bringing forward our health and social care issues for older people and brings to the forefront her knowledge and experience in motions for our conferences.

Rose Jackson from Edinburgh City Branch represents our members on the Scottish Pensioners Forum (SPF) and is the vice chair. Rose and the SPF met up with the Scottish minister for older people and equalities Christine Mckelvie, to look at a way forward and discuss proposals that the government has to help those that have been placed on lockdown for 12 weeks and more due to health reason. This is a great opportunity to input the concerns of our retired members into these discussions.

Jo Mclean, Lothian Health Branch, is our delegate to the national retired members committee. Jo is a strong voice for us in Scotland. Morag Houston, NHS Glasgow, Clyde & CVS is our delegate on the Scottish Committee where she puts forwards the issues for our retired members. The branch also funds our Mac Senior newsletter.

We also want to thank Liam Chalmers, Dumfries & Galloway branch retired members, without whom the production of our Mac Senior would be impossible.

Other active members include Ron Kerr from Dundee City Branch. He and Gray Allan of Falkirk manage to get newsletters to their retired members so it is great that some branches are not forgetting retired members at this vulnerable time. Thanks also to Barry who volunteered to help print and post letters. Keep Safe All!

• Contacts: Chair Tom Lithgow, secretary Barbara Fulton babsunison@ 0141 881 8257

By Babs Fulton, retired members secretary