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16th March 2023

Thank You Julie

Julie Yackiminie with Eric Auld Print, "Into Aberdeen"Aberdeen Universities Branch bid a fond farewell to Julie Yackiminie as she stood down from her post as branch chair after many years of service to UNISON. 

Colin Jones, UNISON Convener at the Robert Gordon University said, “I became involved in UNISON twenty years ago when Julie asked for people to help ‘give out leaflets’.  She was a great mentor and support and was always there to provide advice on issues where she would often be able to give that alternative perspective or come up with something you hadn’t thought of.  It has been a pleasure working with her over all this time as both a friend and colleague, and I’d like to personally thank her for everything she’s done for the branch.”

Julie said, “I enjoyed my 28 years as a steward and member of the branch committee.  I met many people I would never have met and I was also given opportunities I would never have had. It was very rewarding being a UNISON steward and activist, knowing that in some small way I had helped someone. I would urge members to think about becoming a steward or helping the union out in any way they can.”

Owen Cox, branch chair also added, “Working with Julie stimulates everybody’s imagination and people dare to dream about real change.  She was an inspiration to me and to all of us. We wish her well, but it’s not lost on me how much we will miss her.”

Julie, who is due to retire later this year, was presented with a print entitled “Into Aberdeen” by North East artist Eric Auld, in recognition of all the work she had done for the branch, and for members.

Categories: Branch | Information | Members

17th February 2023

Celebrating International Women's Day 2023

Internation Women's Day Event 2023The Aberdeen Universities UNISON Branch would like to invite you to an event celebrating International Women's Day 2023.  Two talks by two women's rights activists who supported the women liberation movement in Aberdeen for many years.

Wednesday March 8th 2023 at 12:30pm - 3pm
Sir Duncan Rice Library, Lower Ground Seminar Room, Aberdeen, AB24 3AA

This is a hybrid event, in person and online. If attending online a teams link will be sent one day before the event.


A woman’s work is never done: Campaigning for women’s and worker’s rights in Aberdeen over the last fifty years

Sandra MacDonald

Born in Africa, brought up in Aberdeen, Sandra studied at Aberdeen and Strathclyde Universities, working in tourism in the North-East before switching to the oil industry, where she worked for over 30 years. A life-long campaigner for women’s and workers’ rights, Sandra was elected to represent St Machar ward on the city council from 2003 to 2007, where she worked hard to enable local people to have their say on decisions affecting their communities. Sandra is a member of Aberdeen Women’s Alliance, Workers’ Educational Association and Grampian Regional Equality Council.

'Dreaming dangerously: Women's Liberation in Aberdeen'

Chris Aldred

Chris Aldred (Durndell 1970-4) was active in Aberdeen’s women’s liberation groups in the 1970s. Her involvement inspired lifelong work in education, especially adult education and work with communities. She continues to be active in trade unions and contributed to early STUC and TUC initiatives in trade union education for and about women, as well as organising and teaching a range of community-based courses for women.


Categories: Events | Information

21st June 2022

RGU Agrees 35 Hour Week and Increased Holidays

We're worth it.Members at the Robert Gordon University will have seen the email from the Principal, Prof Steve Olivier with regard to harmonising working hours and leave entitlement.

UNISON are delighted that we have managed to achieve this agreement at RGU after many years.  To be clear for all staff, the 35 hour week and harmonisation of holidays with academic staff is directly due to the efforts of UNISON and other trade unions.  The principal of fairness in holidays and the 35 hour week was a key part of the framework agreement back in 2006, and was to be implemented across the Higher Education sector.

UNISON at RGU have continually raised this issue with the University, however until recently little progress had been made.  With the onset of the pandemic and the rise of hybrid working, we raised this issue once again with the University, particularly in the context of further benefits applying to some staff - i.e. those who have the option of working from home, whilst staff who do not have that option could not.  At the same time those staff still suffered the significant inequality where holidays were not only less than academic staff, but also less than professional and support staff on higher grades.

We were encouraged therefore when we had one of our first meetings with Prof Olivier, and raised the issue of working hours and harmonisation of holidays.  In that meeting Prof Olivier was clear that he also shared the concern over this inequality and was keen to do something about it.  This then culminated in a meeting earlier this month where UNISON was very happy to agree to the proposed changes through our collective bargaining agreement, on behalf of all staff.

Those changes met our expectations in full and mean that:

  • All P&SS staff will reduce hours from 37 to 35 per week, with no loss of pay, and no detriment – part time staff will reduce hours pro-rata – hourly rate will increase.
  • All P&SS staff will increase holidays to match academic staff (36 days + 10 fixed days).  That means our lowest paid staff will receive an addition 8 days holiday a year (from 28+10 previously).

I'm sure you will all agree that this is a great result for all staff, and will welcome the news in the same way that we did.


Categories: Benefits | Information | Members | RGU

15th December 2021

Branch Christmas Competition 2021 - RESULTS

Christmas TreeThe branch held our prize draw for our fantastic Christmas Competition yesterday and we're pleased to announce we now have our three prize winners and fourteen runners up for this year.

The prizes this year were:

  • an amazing Acer Predator Gaming Laptop.
  • two fantastic Apple iPad Minis (2021)
  • and Fourteen runners up received £25 Vouchers!

Our prize winners draw was overseen by our Branch Chairperson, Julie Yackiminie and Branch Secretary Owen Cox on Tuesday and were:

  • First Prize:  Elinor Sutherland
  • Second Prizes:  Randall Gillespie & Jayne Marooth
  • Runners-up:  Henry Cheese, Lindsey Connon, Shirley Cooper, David Duthie, George Irvine, Lucyna Ksiazek, Alan McLean, Ailsa McWhirter, Susan Mitchell, Joanne Saripanidis, Marie Sherriffs, Jan Smith, Jill Smith, and Stephanie Spence.

Our competition this year was an anagram, "HURLPOD".  The letters were are all mixed up, but could be rearranged to spell out a name often associated with Christmas - which was of course "RUDOLPH".   Well done to everyone who got the right answer!

Congratulations to all our winners, and to everyone out there, have a Happy Christmas and New Year!

Categories: Information | Branch

21st December 2018

Branch Christmas Competition 2018 - Results

Christmas TreeThe branch held our prize draw for our fantastic Christmas Competition and we're pleased to announce we now have our five prize winners for this year.

The prizes this year were:

  • an amazing MSI GL62M Gaming Laptop, with NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics and Intel Core processor. 
  • our ever popular Dinner and a Show for Two (x2)
  • and our Luxury Christmas hampers (x2)

Our prize winners were drawn by our independent adjudicator on Wednesday and were:

  • First Prize:  Raymond Reid
  • Second Prizes:  Lyn Mair & Craig Wilson
  • Third Prizes:  Spencer Bartholomew & Enohi Ibekwe

Christmas Maze AnswerOur competition this year was a maze members were asked to help Rudolph find his way through to get his Christmas present.  The options were A: Spinning Top, B: Teddy Bear or C: Wheely Dog.

There were a lot of maze runners out there who got the right answer - the correct answer was B: Teddy Bear.

Congratulations to all our winners, and to everyone out there, have a Happy Christmas and New Year!

Categories: Members | Benefits | Information

26th May 2018

UNISON at Grampian Pride

Today saw the first Grampian Pride march down Union Street in Aberdeen which had hundreds of people proudly raising their rainbow flags and enjoying the sunshine in an inspiring event by the LGBT+ community, joined by their friends and allies from all walks of life.

Our new LGBT branch officers, Craig and Hamish were there along with other branch members in support of the event - it was a beautiful day full of beautiful people - we look forward to next year!  See our facebook gallery for more photos of the event.

Categories: Members | Information | Branch

10th February 2016

Branch Wins Scottish Communications Awards

The branch has won two prizes in this year's UNISON Scottish Communications awards, with winners announced last weekend at UNISON's Scottish Council meeting.

This year the branch submitted two entries, one for our relaunched printed newsletter sent out to members periodically.  This has been well received by members and we aim to continue to produce several issues a year.  We won the top prize "Gold Award" for our printed newsletter, for which the branch received a cheque for £150.

Our second entry was for our relaunched website, which has a new responsive design, which works well with today's mobile phones and tablets, as well as on the desktop.  It also has a clean modern look to it and links in to social media Twitter and Facebook feeds.  We won the second prize "Silver Award" for the website, and received a cheque for £100.

Categories: Branch | Information

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