Thursday 21 February 2019

STUC survey on mental ill health - please take a few minutes to complete

The STUC launched a survey on mental ill health on 7th February - #timetotalk day – a national day raising awareness about mental ill health.

 “We are all in it together: exploring our personal and collective power around mental health” –  looks at the root causes of mental ill health in work, how to challenge these, and wider societal issues around mental health. 

The survey will be open until 19th May, so please go on and complete it and share widely.

A report of the findings will be prepared for the event in June, ahead of further campaign work on this issue.

Sarah Collins, Policy Officer said, "Trade Unions can provide a space to support people with mental ill health. They are also vital in challenging employers whose workplace cultures create mental ill health"

The STUC equalities committees are holding an event in June (details tbc) on the need to ensure trade union reps, particularly health and safety reps, are at the forefront of designing, implementing and enforcing workplace practices which eradicate mental ill health caused or exacerbated by work.  

This event will look at the findings of the survey.

Saturday 16 February 2019

Come along to our International Women's Day Event and #BalanceforBetter

#BalanceforBetter Please join Aberdeen Trades Union Council as we celebrate International Women's Day.

Come along at 6pm to a short rally in St Nicholas Square with some inspirational speakers and music, then walk a short distance to the ATUC offices for a social event - a short film, some light refreshments and an open mic opportunity for folk to contribute any thoughts/ comments they have.

The IWD theme this year is #BalanceforBetter. Download and print your selfie card here -
- and start posting pictures of your pledges in our Facebook event page. And get your workplace, school, club, union posting too!

Hope you can join us for what should be a great evening!

Friday 15 February 2019

UNISON calls on the Aberdeenshire council to love their staff and defend services on Valentine’s day

Members of Aberdeenshire UNISON delivered a Valentine Card to councillors arriving for the Budget meeting at Woodhill House on Thursday 14th February.

The verse in the card reads, “Roses are red, Violets are blue, We love our council services, The crucial work we do. So show how much you love us too, Please – no ifs, no buts, Protect your staff and services, And say no more to cuts.”

The branch is warning that proposals which could see up to another 150 post from the council will have a disastrous impact on staff and services.

Kate Ramsden, Branch co-chair said, “This will have far reaching effects on existing staff that are already struggling to carry out their duties in the time that they are paid, because of salami slicing over the past 8 years and will inevitably have a knock on effect on services.”

Thursday 7 February 2019


At their monthly meeting, Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) delegates voiced their support for the hundreds of Kurds currently on indefinite hunger strike, and demanded action to end the isolation of Kurdish political leader Abdullah Öcalan with the following statement;

‘Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) stands with our Kurdish comrades currently on indefinite hunger strike, and echoes their call for an end to the isolation of Kurdish political leader Abdullah Öcalan, incarcerated on the Turkish prison island of İmralı for the past 20 years. Such isolation is deemed a form of torture, outlawed by international law. ATUC calls on the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture to carry out its fundamental duty and visit Öcalan in prison. We also call on our elected representatives to do all in their power to see that pressure is put on Turkey to comply with human rights legislation.

Furthermore, we recognise the respect with which Öcalan is held by millions of Kurds who regard him as their leader; the hugely progressive impact of his ideas on women’s rights, democracy, and multi-ethnic society; and the vital role that he can play in negotiating a peaceful settlement between the Kurds and the Turkish Government.

International solidarity and action were required to end South African apartheid and see Nelson Mandela lead his people to freedom and justice after decades of imprisonment on Robben Island. The Kurdish people in their struggle for justice demand no less from us – and they demand justice for their imprisoned leader, locked in isolation in his island prison.’

Friday 1 February 2019

Call for action to end isolation in Turkish prison of Kurdish leader

ATUC Secretary, Fiona Napier, is calling for action in support of the Kurdish men and women on indefinite hunger strike, all with the same single demand – for Turkey to end the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, incarcerated for the last 20 years in a Turkish prison on the island of İmralı.  

The hunger strikers in Strasbourg: Kurdish Democratic Society Congress-Europe co-chair Yüksel Koç, HDP Urfa former MP Dilek Öcalan, Kurdish politician Mustafa Sarıkaya and journalist Gülistan Çiya İke, Nurgül Başaran, Ramazan İmir, Mehmet Nimet Sevim, Mohamad Ghaderi, Denis Durgut, Ayvaz Ece, Kardo Bokani, Kerem Solhan, Agit Ural and Ekrem Yılmaz.(Photo courtesy of ANF News)
On 23rd January, Fiona, along with Sarah Glynn (Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan)  travelled to Strasbourg with messages of solidarity for the 14 Kurdish men and women currently in week six of a hunger strike calling for an end to Ocalan's isolation. 
Originally sentenced to death in 1999, Öcalan had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment when Turkey abolished the death penalty as part of its bid to be admitted to membership of the European Union. Since 1999, he has been held on İmralı, frequently in isolation and routinely denied family visits and access to his lawyer. This isolation has intensified over the past decade, and Öcalan has not been allowed to see his lawyer since 2011. These are conditions that contravene both Turkey’s own constitution, and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

The current mass hunger strike began on November 7th, 2018, when Leyla Güven (a Turkish MP imprisoned in January 2018 following her vocal criticism of the Turkish invasion of Afrin) announced the start of her hunger strike in court, during the third hearing of her case.