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What are UNISON There for You Winter Fuel Grants?

In addition to our normal range of services and in response to the growing difficulty many members on
low income are experiencing paying their fuel bills, a programme has been put in place that will assist
our most vulnerable members.

How much are the Grants?

They are one-off grants of up to £60 per household.

Am I eligible?

    • You must be a UNISON member and have paid 4 weeks subscriptions before the launch date of this programme (3/12/18)
    • Have a total net annual household income of £18,000 or less. (Note: By ‘net income’ we mean all salary including your partner's after tax, national insurance, superannuation and trade union subscriptions only. Your calculation should include any Tax Credits, Universal Credit or child maintenance received. Do not include Child Benefit, the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
    • You are responsible for meeting the household fuel bills and are struggling financially

Is there anything else that may affect my entitlement to apply?

  • You and your partner (if applicable) must not have combined savings, or rolling bank balance, of more than £800.
  • You must not have received financial assistance from UNISON There for You during the previous six months (excluding School Uniform Grant)
  • Applications are limited to one per household and priority is given to those who have not previously applied for the Winter fuel grant

How do I apply?

To apply for a Winter Fuel Grant simply:

Deadline

We must receive your application by 15 February 2019. Applications will then be processed and decisions communicated over the following weeks

 


Nov 22, 2018

Following on from the disappointing Court of Appeal ruling on sleep-in shifts the Government has issued new guidance on the issue.

UNISON branches are encouraged to monitor how councils are delivering and/or commissioning sleep-in contracts to ensure that care workers are paid for all the hours they are working.

As you will be aware, back in July 2018, the Court of Appeal recently overturned previous legal decisions and found that those workers engaged on ‘sleep in’ shifts are to be treated as being ‘available for work’ as opposed to working time. This letter is to update you regarding new guidance the government has issued.

At the time of the Court of Appeal judgment, we wrote to you to highlight the risk that commissioners will use this ruling as an opportunity to return to previous practice of paying care workers a nominal lump sum for sleep-in shifts. UNISON believes that doing this carries serious reputational risks for commissioners. We view this as an irresponsible attack on the incomes of already low paid care workers

This risk has now significantly increased, due to the new National Minimum Wage guidance issued by the government which states “If the employer provides suitable facilities for sleeping, minimum wage must be paid for time when the worker is required to be awake for the purpose of working, but not for time the worker is permitted to sleep."

An application to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the decision in the sleep-in case has been made. Whilst we await a definitive legal decision we are asking UNISON branches to be vigilant of any changes in commissioning and employer practice in this area. In particular, any moves to return to lump sum payments which do not take account of National Minimum Wage payment for sleep-in shifts should be resisted.

Maintaining pay levels is important, not least because of increasingly high levels of turnover in the care sector fuelled by a failure to pay and treat staff fairly. These turnover rates are having a significant impact on the quality of care that is being delivered.

UNISON is aware that many commissioners are experiencing significant financial difficulties which is why we are lobbying the Government for more money to be allocated to social care.

If you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact m.egan@unison.co.uk

With best wishes
Jon Richards
National Secretary
Local Government, Police and Justice Section


Nov 22, 2018

The Department of Health and Social Care recently announced that it had created a new website that gives care workers the opportunity to share their views about what needs to happen to improve the care system.

The views submitted on the website are shared with government ministers on a regular basis. Please encourage your care worker members to contribute to make them aware of the scale of the problems in the care sector.

This autumn the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, launched a digital platform that allows health and social care workers in England to provide feedback about their working lives - https://dhscworkforce.crowdicity.com

The website encourages workers to contribute their views around the six following areas:

  • Challenge 1: Feeling empowered and achieving their full potential.
  • Challenge 2: Working without fear of bullying, discrimination or violence.
  • Challenge 3: Having access to the training, development and support that staff need.
  • Challenge 4: Feeling included and valued.
  • Challenge 5: Getting the basics right.
  • Challenge 6: How can we measure success?


We have been told by civil servants that this new website is intended to supplement and
not replace other mechanisms for providing feedback on the working lives of health and
social care workers.

Given that Government Ministers are regularly informed of the views of the care workers
that have contributed to the site please take this opportunity to encourage your social care
members to register for the site and contribute their views, particularly around the myriad
of challenges that they face in their jobs. We are particularly keen for care workers to
stress the need for improved levels of pay and training in the sector.

We have been assured that care workers are able to contribute to the website on an
anonymous basis.

Details of the website have already been distributed by UNISON health branches to their
members.

With best wishes
Jon Richards
National Secretary
Local Government, Police and Justice Section


Nov 22, 2018
We are absolutely delighted to welcome you to our biggest ever free prize draw – the chance to win an amazing 7 Night Holiday worth over £2,000 at the UNISON Croyde Bay Resort in North Devon where you plus 5 family or friendswill all be staying in a luxury 3 bedroom lodge.

This incredible prize includes breakfast each day for up to 6 guests£200 towards your travel or expenses and is valid for bookings throughout the year.
 
Set in one of the most beautiful parts of North Devon; Croyde Bay Holiday Resort - a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award Winning Resort for the last 5 years - has been owned and operated by UNISON for the past 80 years and is open throughout the year for unique holiday or short break experiences. The resorts fantastic location is a big factor in giving guests a holiday that lingers long in the memory and there’s a superb beach, rolling dunes, great surf and a cool village. On resort there’s alarge indoor swimming pool, gym and a big selection of leisure and entertainment facilities.
 
This exclusive UNISON free prize draw is open until April 30th 2019 and the lucky winner will receive a voucher valid for use until November 2019. Please use the link below to enter
 
 
  

Nov 9, 2018

Nov 6, 2018
This week,  the Chancellor Philip Hamond announced his latest Autumn Budget.  The Welfare Benefit changes are spread out over the next few years.
 
Similar to the Budget last year , there are some useful changes for Universal Credit claimants in the pipeline.
Click on the link to access the guide(from our members' area).
 

Nov 1, 2018
We have been able to keep our 01384 444323 telephone number and this should be fully working now if you need to contact us.
Oct 29, 2018

Celebrate the Stars in Our Schools

Help UNISON and schools across the UK celebrate the often unsung stars of our children’s education on 25 November

Do you know a star in your local school? Help UNISON, and schools, celebrate our school support staff on 25 November. Anyone can get involved in helping to organise a Stars in Our Schools event.

Last year, hundreds of schools across the country organised events to celebrate a contribution that often goes unseen or unrecognised.

UNISON has 250,000 members in schools and Stars in Our Schools aims to counter that invisibility.

And anyone can get involved: whether you are a parent, or grandparent, a school governor, UNISON activist or a member of school support staff – you can help celebrate the forgotten ‘stars’ in our schools.

Every school can take part: over the past few years, primaries, secondaries, special schools, academies, maintained and faith schools have all been involved.

UNISON organises this nationwide celebration of the hard work by dedicated staff tucked away behind the scenes of our schools – from cleaners to catering staff, teaching and classroom assistants to technicians, admin workers to maintenance staff and many more.


Oct 26, 2018

 


Oct 1, 2018

On the 3rd October we will be moving back to our Dudley offices. Please note that there may be some disruption to services during the move.

Our full address will be: UNISON Dudley General, Council House, Priory Road, Dudley DY1 1HF.

Our telephone number 01384 444323 will cease working on this date and is expected to be replaced by 01214 394321. Our 01384 815394 number will remain the same.

Update: We have kept our 01384 444323 number and you can now use this again to contact us.

Kind regards
David Nicholls
Branch Admin


Sep 21, 2018
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