Saturday, 17 March 2018

Please come along to a public talk this Thursday 22nd March on child prisoners as part of our 150th Anniversary events

Please join us for a public talk on Thursday 22nd March at 7pm on Palestinian child prisoners to be held in the Unite the Union office, 42-44 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5TJ.

This event is co-hosted by Aberdeen Trades Union Council and Scottish Palestine Solidarity Aberdeen and is part of a year of activities to mark the 150th anniversary of ATUC in 2018.

Kate Ramsden, UNISON NEC member and a member of the ATUC Executive has dedicated her career to defending children’s rights, and will be introducing a discussion on what we can do from Scotland to stand up for the rights of Palestinian children.  

Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) has submitted a motion to this year's STUC Congress condemning the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli courts and prisons and calling for action to end the detention and mis-treatment of Palestinian minors by Israel.

The text includes the phrase below.

‘The arrest of 16 year old Ahed Tamimi has shone a spotlight on Israel’s systematic abuse of minors through the process of military detention. The treatment of Ahed rightly generated a global response, but her situation is far from unique. Each year, the Israeli military arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. Palestinian children encounter ill-treatment and a denial of their basic rights. This is in clear breach of their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory.’

Please join us for this important event.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Solidarity to Unite members in First Bus taking action against cuts in pay and conditions

Aberdeen Trades Union Council sends support and solidarity to Unite members in First Aberdeen who will begin an overtime ban from Friday 16th March followed by a series of one day strikes, culminating in a week-long strike from 26th March.
ATUC is calling on all affiliates and supporters not to use First Aberdeen buses on strike days, in solidarity with striking workers.

The dispute is a result of imposed changes to terms and condition in pay, overtime rates, sick pay, removal of paid breaks and longer working days with split shifts.

The imposed changes will lead to cuts in pay for workers ranging from 10% to 23% depending on the level of overtime worked.

The vote for action was overwhelming. Unite members voted 95% in favour of action and action short of strike in an 81% turnout.

Unite regional officer, Willie Wallace said: “First Bus is arguing that they need  these changes to stem the decline in their financial performance, but when Unite put alternative suggestions for making the savings to the company, these were rejected.

"Our members have shown by the high vote for industrial action, how angry they are with First Bus around the imposition of these cuts and have been forced, reluctantly, to withdraw their labour.

“We have a situation where a two-tier workforce has meant new starts are employed on lesser terms and conditions than those on older contracts. This needs to stop and our members have made this clear with this result.

“First Aberdeen should reconsider Unite’s proposals which would halt this action.”

ATUC sends another message of solidarity and support to UCU Aberdeen

Aberdeen Trades Union Council has sent a further message of solidarity to our colleagues in our affiliated union, the UCU who tomorrow will conclude 14 days of strike action to defend their pensions.

President Kathleen Kennedy, elected at the AGM on 14th March sent an email of support to Aberdeen UCU. Delegates at the AGM also pledged a donation of £100 to the UCU Aberdeen hardship fund.

The UCU Aberdeen website reports that more than 50% of Aberdeen UCU members responded to an informal consultation regarding the output of the ACAS talks between UCU and Universities UK.

Dr David Watts represented Aberdeen at the UCU HQ meeting which took place in London on Tuesday.

The branch had to react quickly and made every effort, given the deadline, to engage all members in forming a collective response. The position of the branch is that Aberdeen UCU rejects the proposal brokered via the Acas-mediated talks.

It should be noted this position is in keeping with that made public by many other branches.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Come along to the Aberdeen Trades Union Council AGM on Wed 14th March

Delegates and associates are urged to come along to the ATUC AGM on Wednesday 14th March at  22a Adelphi, Aberdeen at 7.30pm.

This is a very important meeting where new officers are elected for the coming year, the accounts for 2017 are approved and plans made for the forthcoming events in our 150th anniversary year.

We have important events coming up including International Workers' Memorial Day and our May Day March and Rally as well as the STUC Congress in April.

We really hope that as many delegates as possible will attend and look forward to seeing you then.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

ATUC - we must organise to win for our members

Joint-President Tyrinne Rutherford used his speech at the Aberdeen City Civic Reception launching the 150th anniversary celebrations of the ATUC, to highlight the challenges facing trade unions now and to call on us to organise to win for our members.
Tyrinne Rutherford

“BROTHERS SISTERS COMRADES; If you look at the history of employers’ treatment of worker through history their goal hasn’t changed, but their tactics have.

They still want to pay us peanuts to maximise profit and they’ll do that to any that they see fits.

For instance zero hour contracts, and the fact they want contracts to be a bit of paper that say you'll work when we want you to work, go home when we want you to go home and this is your pay.

Remember what you were taught about the Victorian era of men turning up to the factory each morning with no guarantee of work or pay. That’s what the gig economy is like. Ask those workers at Deliveroo racing each other to get people’s order of food.

A Brief History of the ATUC

Vice President, Kathleen Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy Vice President gave a very brief account of the history of Aberdeen Trades Union Council at the Aberdeen City Council's Civic Reception

ATUC began obviously in 1868 given we are celebrating our 150th year this year and the launch of our anniversary celebrations being this Aberdeen City Council's civic reception  
When preparing for this talk Kathleen discovered the foundations were being laid before that - in fact in 1846 as there was an 'agreement' between different trades to support each other as the textile industry collapsed and the service sector began inhibited the development of trade unionism - well nothing changed there? But they haven't yet and they won't!

In 1868 during a 10 weeks Stone Mason's strike in the Granite City saw the coming together of 13 societies of masons and branches under  the leadership of John Jessiman  chairmanship to form the Trades Council - which we know as ATUC.
Morag Lawrence's (Assistant secretary) Great Gran was affected by this strike, in fact she was going to a wedding and couldn't afford new clothes for the wedding! So she and others went into a shop here in Aberdeen. Tried on new clothes and then putting on their own clothes on top and left without paying! They did get caught and Morag's Great Gran was imprisoned - this shows the impact of the strike and the hardship it meant for people - it's good to see Morag as part of the ATUC today and illustrates just how much her family has been in trade unionism over the years.

Aberdeen Trades Union Council launches its 150th Anniversary year in style

Kevin Hutchens, Kathleen Kennedy, Satnam Ner,
Barney Crockett, Tyrinne Rutherford and
Grahame Smith
Aberdeen Trades Union Council's 150th Anniversary celebrations got off to a high profile start this week with three excellent events formally launching our anniversary year and recognising the work of the ATUC locally.

Our thanks go to the STUC and Aberdeen City Council for hosting receptions to mark this important year.

STUC reception and launch of research proposal
The events began with a reception on Wednesday afternoon, 7th March hosted by the STUC in the Town House, Aberdeen to mark our150th anniversary. We were delighted that the General Council held their meeting in Aberdeen before this event.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

STUC brings support and solidarity to UCU members striking to defend their pensions

The STUC brought messages of support to striking UCU members in Aberdeen today as their Deputy General Secretary visited picket lines around the city.

The STUC General Council held a special meeting in Aberdeen to mark the 150th anniversary celebrations for the Aberdeen Trades Union Council.

Deputy General Secretary, Dave Moxham, took the opportunity to visit the UCU Aberdeen picket lines this morning, bringing solidarity messages from all the General Council members and the hundreds of thousands of workers across Scotland that they collectively represent.

Aberdeen Trades Union Council would like to add our own message of solidarity and support to our colleagues in the UCU in their ongoing fight to defend their pensions and to pay tribute to their members for their solid backing for the 14 days of strike action.

STUC General Council to join Aberdeen TUC in 150th Anniversary celebration and launch new research project into the Aberdeen Economy

Grahame Smith
On Wednesday 7th March, the STUC General Council will convene in Aberdeen City Chambers for a special meeting to mark the 150th Anniversary of Aberdeen TUC.

At a special meeting with Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire trade unionists at 1.30pm in the City Chambers, STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith will launch a new research project into the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire economy.

 Grahame Smith said,

 “Trade unions continue to play a vital role in Aberdeen and the Aberdeen TUC has a proud history of standing up for workers in the area.  It is an enormous pleasure to come to Aberdeen along with trade union leaders from across Scotland to mark the historic anniversary.

“Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire economy is of vital importance to the Scottish economy. Yet in recent years it has seen significant changes. The fall in oil and gas prices has led to a loss of offshore jobs and a change in the composition of the workforce. Significant investment in capital infrastructure projects has led to a boost in the construction workforce, although with large-scale infrastructure projects coming to an end this is likely to change further.  

"This research will look at the changing nature of the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire economy, particularly within the energy, construction and public service sectors.”

Thursday, 1 March 2018

STUC and Aberdeen City Council helps ATUC launch its 150th Anniversary Celebrations

Aberdeen Trades Union Council will formally launch its 150th Anniversary Celebrations by welcoming the STUC General Council to Aberdeen Town House for its meeting on 7th March.

Following the meeting the STUC General Council will meet with ATUC officers and delegates in the Town and County Hall in the Town House, Aberdeen and will present the research that the STUC is proposing to undertake on the North East economy.

Kathleen Kennedy, Vice President said, "We are delighted that the STUC General Council has travelled to Aberdeen for their General Council Meeting and to host this afternoon reception to kick start our 150th anniversary celebrations.

"We are particularly pleased that they have chosen this event to present their proposals for their special research project on the economy of the North East of Scotland.

"We hope that as many ATUC delegates as possible will get along to this event."

Dave Moxham, Depute General Secretary of the STUC said, "We are delighted to host this reception which will include members of the STUC General Council and trade unionists from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. 

"The event will mark the anniversary of the ATUC but will also provide an opportunity for discussion on the challenges facing the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire economies and the quality of work."

Civic Reception
This will be followed in the evening by a Civic Reception organised by Aberdeen City Council and hosted by the Lord Provost. 

Kevin Hutchens, President said, "This event is a celebration of 150 years of Trade Union activity in the City of Aberdeen and in Aberdeenshire.

"The Trade Union Movement is proud of its history of fighting for the rights of workers in the City and Shire."

Attendance at this event is by invitation.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

ATUC 150th Anniversary Year Diary


  • January 24 - Film "Belonging" at Belmont Cinema
  • January 28 - Sunday - Holocaust Memorial Day, Castlegate
  • March 3 - Protest Conservative Conference, AECC 0800 hours - 1730 hours
  • March 7 - STUC Event - Aberdeen City Council's Civic Reception
  • March 8 - International Women's Day's rally at the Castlegate at 1830
  • March 22 - Public talk on Palestinian Child Prisoners
  • April 28 - International Workers Memorial Day (memorial held at Persley) 
  • May 5 - Mayday March
  • May 26 - Aberdeen Pride
  • June/July  - International Brigade Memorial Trust event (date to be confirmed)
  • November 9 - Aberdeenshire Council's Civic Reception
  • November 24 - St Andrews Day March

Keep checking this as dates will be added throughout the year as we celebrate our 150th Anniversary

Protest the Tory Conference in Aberdeen on 3rd March 2018

ATUC delegates are urged to get along to a protest against cuts and austerity at the Conservative Party Conference in the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. The protest will last from 8am to 5.30pm on Saturday 3rd of March 2018 outside the conference entrance of the AECC.

The protest will highlight the damage of austerity by having a food bank collection outside the conference alongside the picketing. We will display it for them all to see! Please bring along a small contribution for the food bank.

This will show that the people of Aberdeen stand united against the cuts and the fall in living standards that are leaving so many in absolute poverty. 

The organisers said, "Austerity is a cruel and politically motivated agenda that results in us all suffering. We see disabled deaths rise, we see higher levels of child poverty, we see higher levels of working poor all whilst the rich friends of the Tories are getting richer; richer on the back of our suffering.

"This on top of the shameful Rape Clause supported by Ruth Davidson! Let's show them we are a community who have compassion and care. Let's show them we will defend our poorest and most vulnerable!"

Click here for more information on Facebook

Thursday, 22 February 2018

UCU Strike at University of Aberdeen to Defend Pensions

ATUC sends solidarity and support to University of Aberdeen staff in the University and College Union (UCU) who will begin fourteen days of strikes throughout the rest of February and into March today after drastic cuts to staff pensions were announced which would see their pension entitlements being cut by £10,000 a year.

They join colleagues from over 60 branches across the country who are fighting to defend their pensions after plans to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) continue to be pushed through.  This is following the current trend of attacks on pensions across other sectors, where profit and short term concerns are used to justify sweeping changes to pensions at the expense of workers.

Staff have also received support and backing from students and the Aberdeen University Student Association who said:
"AUSA are in support of the strike: we believe that our lecturers deserve fair pay and conditions, and recognise the long-term negative effects these pension cuts will have on the quality of students’ education" - AUSA
Staff and students have set up a number of fund-raising events for the strike action - if you'd like to get involved, go along to one of their Aberdeen events here:

For more information see Aberdeen UCU's twitter feed, and website at

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Celebrate International Women's Day with the ATUC on 8th March in the Castlegate, Aberdeen.

Come and celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 in the North East of Scotland at a Rally in the Castlegate, Aberdeen beginning at 6.30pm.

Organised by Aberdeen Trades Union Council (ATUC) the event will be compered again this year by ATUC Vice-President, Kathleen Kennedy. A great line up of speakers include Gemma Clark, speaking on behalf of the ATUC, Christina McGonigle, Gaelic TV presenter, Cllr Alison Evison, President of CoSLA, Cllr Ross Cassie, a speaker from the WASPI campaign, Rev Robert Smith Rubislaw Church and trade union speakers and supporters.

International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality.

The International Women’s Day website states: “With the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away - there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress

“And with global activism for women's equality fuelled by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp and more - there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity.

“While we know that gender parity won't happen overnight, the good news is that across the world women are making positive gains day by day. Plus, there's indeed a very strong and growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support.”

So please join us on Thursday 8th March. Women and the men who support us are all welcome!

Monday, 5 February 2018

Next ATUC Delegates meeting on Wednesday 07 February 2018

The second ATUC Delegates meeting of the year will be held on Wednesday 07 February 2018 at 7.30pm within the ATUC premises at 22A Adelphi Aberdeen.

The 150th year events will once again be key agenda item, including the Civic Reception event happening on Wednesday 7 March 2018 to launch our 150th birthday celebrations.

Other agenda items include the Annual Report 2017 for which adverts and articles have been steadily received. We will also be discussing arrangements for International Women's Day, International Workers' Memorial Day and May Day as well as the AGM in March.

Please remember that this meeting is the nominations meeting for office bearers and post holders for the year ahead, in preparation for the AGM being held on 14 March 2018.

We hope as many Delegates as possible can attend this important meeting.

Sunday, 4 February 2018


Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual event organised by Aberdeen City Council which the ATUC and local trade unions support. It took place this year on the 28th January.

Here ATUC Vice-President, Kathleen Kennedy, who attended to represent the ATUC gives an account of a very moving event. With thanks to Norman Adams, Aberdeen City Council for the photographs.

"Holocaust Memorial Day marks the liberation from Auschwitz-Birkenau which was the Nazi's largest death camp. Having been there last year I can tell you it was large - almost as large as a small town!

This event was held downstairs in the Belmont cinema which was most appropriate as we remember how many lost their lives and tried to hide from the Nazis.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Holocaust Memorial Day Aberdeen 28th January - "The Power of Words"

You are invited to attend an event in Belmont Film House, Aberdeen on 28th January 2018 to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

Entitled "The Power of Words" the event will begin with a reception and refreshments at 11.30am and the film, Sarah's Key will be shown at 1pm. The full programme is detailed below.

You can book a place by clicking here.

Programme at the
The Belmont Cinema
28th January 2018

Presented by

11:30 – 12:00

Reception with refreshments and  musical rendition

dr Wojciech Golec and mgr Marcin Zupanski from the University of Silesia

12:00 – 12:10

Welcome and Introductions by the Lord Provost – Lighting of the candle

Lord Provost

12:10 – 12:13

The power of words… poem recital

Tommy Campbell
12:13 – 12:20

Lessons from Auschwitz
Learning From Auschwitz students

12:20 – 12: 40

‘ONEG SZABAT – Letter from the underground archives of the Warsaw Ghetto 

Professor Tomasz Kawski from the University of Kazimierz Wielki

12:40 – 12:50 

Sumaripen: Why Remembrance Matters

David Donaldson


Yiddish lullaby 

Helen Lynch

13:00 – 14:50

Sarah’s Key

A feature film by
Gilles Paquet-Brenner

15:00 – end

The power of words is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018. 
Words can make a difference – both for good and evil.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Solidarity to CWU in their fight to protect members pensions, pay and conditions

Aberdeen Trade Union Council sends solidarity and support to our colleagues in the Communications Workers' Union in their ongoing dispute with Royal Mail and in their current negotiations.

George Ross, Branch Secretary, Grampian and Shetland CWU branch said, "Following a ballot with a huge 89.1% turnout of the members backing Industrial Action, Royal Mail has about turned on manyof their hard and fast proposals and a deal is currently being drawn up and will hopefully put to the members in the very near future."

This will include protections for pensions, pay and terms and conditions.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

ATUC Trade Union Affiliations due for 2018

This year promises to be a busy year for the ATUC, as along with our usual support of branches and organisations we will be celebrating our 150th anniversary year. We have some really exciting plans and we very much hope your trade union will support us by affiliating for 2018.

We can only exist because trade unions like yours support us, and whether your branch has been a long time affiliate, or you wish to join us for the first time this year, we’d be very happy for your support.
Please note that affiliations and renewals should be made by the end of February if you want to participate in the ATUC’s Annual General Meeting.

Affiliating is simple and easy to do online – just click the Affiliate Online button in the top right of this page or go direct to complete the form online. We will then send an invoice to the branch contact you nominate.

If your branch already affiliates, but you know of other branches in your union who don’t then please spread the word! 

Want to find out more?  Download our "Why Affiliate" leaflet.

Support our Annual Report - Please book your Adverts!

It's that time of year again, and the ATUC are looking for organisations to help sponsor our 2017 annual report, to be published next year, by taking out adverts to be included in the publication.

Organisations taking adverts in this way allow us to produce the well respected Annual Report each year which is distributed to trade union and other organisations, as well as being made available at the annual STUC conference.  It's a great way to get your branch or organisation noticed, as well as helping us to cover the costs of producing the report.

Annual Report advert costs are as follows:
  • Full-page colour - £200.00
  • Full-page black & white - £100.00
  • Half-page black & white - £50.00
To make it even easier you can now submit your annual report advert request online, including uploading your copy ready artwork/poster.  We'll then invoice you for the selected amount.

Just complete our online form.