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The employers for council workers and school support staff have finally made a pay offer that was due on 1 April 2021.

 

“The National Employers wish to make the following one-year offer:
• With effect from 1 April 2021, an increase of 1.50 per cent on all NJC pay
points 1 and above
• Completion of the outstanding work of the joint Term-Time Only review
group”

UNISON head of local government Jon Richards said: “This is a disappointing offer, especially after a year in which council staff have done so much to help local communities gripped by the pandemic.

Council staff will feel that their efforts over the past 15 months haven’t been recognised.

“Unions will now discuss the offer with their national local government committees before formally responding. It’s likely they’ll want the employers to think again and come back and negotiate an offer that better reflects the worth and value of the dedicated school and council workforce.”


Jun 10, 2021

 

Four education unions representing teachers and support staff are today (Tuesday) calling on the government to reinstate face coverings in schools to limit coronavirus spread.

With infections on the rise once more, the unions have issued a joint statement demanding a range of safety measures to keep education on track and reduce the risk of further closures.

The unions that have signed are UNISON, GMB, Unite and NEU. The joint statement says:

“Education unions are deeply concerned that secondary school age students now have the highest rates of Covid-19 infection of all age groups, according to Public Health England (PHE) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, and those rates are rising.

“At the weekend, the Health Secretary acknowledged that ‘a huge proportion of the latest cases are in children’, that they pass on the virus to the local community and face risks from long Covid.

“That means over the next few weeks more children and young people are likely to be ?off self-isolating and missing out on face-to-face education.

“PHE has advised that the Delta variant is more transmissible, can lead to more serious infections and vaccine?s may be less effective against it.

“Action must be taken now to make face-to-face learning safer over the remain?der of ?the school term?. Outbreaks mean bubbles, classes or entire year groups ?must be ?sent home. The priority must be to avoid any further loss of education.

“This includes the rollout of vaccinations for ?pupils, following the ?Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) view that these are safe for ?those aged 12 ?and over. This will help reduce transmission, school disruption and the risks of long Covid.

“Pupils should be offered the vaccine, ?as is already happening in many other countries, ?as soon as the J?oint C?ommittee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) gives ?its approval. Schools and colleges must be given the right support ?and resources to enable pupils to be vaccinated on site.

“In addition, the government should minimise the loss of face-to-face education ?by:

  • ?Re?introducing with immediate effect the requirement for students and staff to wear face coverings in all areas of secondary schools and colleges, including classrooms.
  • Making resources available to schools with poor ventilation ?to purchase carbon dioxide monitors and air filters. Outdoor lesson?s should be encouraged wherever possible.
  • Undertaking an urgent review of the guidance on bubbles and the isolation of contacts given the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant.
  • Releasing the data on the number of cases of the Delta variant in education setting?s, not just figures concerning outbreaks. The longer this data is withheld, the more it ?looks like ministers have something ?to hide.”

Media contacts: 
GMB M: 07958 156846 E: press.office@gmb.org.uk
NEU M: 07879 480061 E: caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk
UNISON M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
UNITE M: 07768 693940 E: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org


Jun 10, 2021

The pay offer keeps up with inflation, but does not catch up with pay lost to HE staff over the past ten years

UNISON higher education logo

UNISON’s higher education service group executive have met and rejected the final pay offer made by HE national employers UCEA.

Earlier this year, UNISON joined other education unions to submit a claim for a £2,500 increase, and a minimum wage of £10 per hour, or £10.85 for people in London.

The final pay offer made by UCEA is a 1.5% increase for the majority of HE staff. HE staff on lower pay points have been offered higher percentage increases on a sliding scale, between 1.54% and 3.6%.

The pay offer would mean that the lowest pay point would be equivalent to the current foundation living wage rate of £9.50, and only for those working a 35-hour week. It fell far short of the claim for a £2,500 increase and was silent on seeking a 35-hour working week for all, on a Scottish sub-committee and on tackling outsourcing.

UNISON national officer Ruth Levin said: “Whilst this pay offer finally brings the pay freeze to an end, it simply doesn’t go far enough to address the loss in value of the wages of higher education staff working so hard to keep their universities going.”

Those working on the lowest pay points who work more than 35 hours per week will still earn less than the foundation living wage rates.

The employers offered joint national work on career development, tackling the gender, ethnic and disability pay gaps, workload management and the impact of COVID, pay spine compression and redeployment.

You can read the final offer in full here.


May 20, 2021

 

Imagine the situation:  Your job involves you travelling from your office to other locations during your working day.  This might be to inspect a property, visit a client or meet colleagues in another organisation.  The time you take to travel between your office and the other location you would expect to be paid for, right?  Of course - it’s part of your work for your employer and you wouldn’t be doing it otherwise.

Now, imagine, as a result of the pandemic you are forced to work from home.  But your employer now tells you that, because you are working from home, if you travel to another location during the day, you will have to clock out for the duration of the journey there and the journey back.  No matter how long that journey takes.

If you don’t have to imagine this situation, if this is now the reality of your working day, we would like to hear from you.  Several UNISON members have contacted us already and we are trying to identify which employees are affected, with a view to making a collective claim.

Please contact us on dudley_unison@msn.com, title your email “Travel Time”, and tell us where you work.  All contacts held in confidence.

We have also put this request on our Facebook page if you would like to share it.

 

Best regards,

Paul / Theresa

 

Paul Quigley / Theresa Kelly

Branch Secretaries

UNISON Dudley General Branch

 

Branch website: http://unisondudleygeneral.org.uk

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dudleyunison


May 13, 2021

With the upcoming elections and Local Government Pay rise, we would like to hear from you, the members on:

Why you deserve a decent pay rise of 10%

so what we need is: 

  • a paragraph saying why
  • a picture of you to go with your quote
  • or a short video of you saying why

We know why public service workers deserve a decent pay rise, but lets show everyone else why too, including potential members of our union and members of the public to get their support.

This includes Branch Officers and Stewards for the Branch.

If you wish to send them through, please send it to:

Nicola.Moran@birminghamunison.co.uk & James.Burnett@birminghamunison.co.uk to collate and send to the Regional team for the Regional social media platforms.


May 4, 2021

Pay freeze should be on voters’ minds

Voters are being reminded that thousands of public sector staff face a government pay freeze in a campaign launched today (Monday) by UNISON ahead of the local elections next week.

Care home staff, hospital porters and teaching assistants are among key workers featured in a series of hard-hitting films that show them carrying out vital jobs during the pandemic when many people were safe at home.

Mercury Prize winner Speech Debelle has recorded the voiceovers for the black and white videos that urge people to ‘vote for fair pay in the May elections’.

The films, which will be shown on Facebook and YouTube, remind people how public service staff have ‘stepped up’, only to be let down by the government despite the physical and emotional strain they have faced.

The government has recommended a rise of just 1% for NHS workers that UNISON and other health unions have branded ‘derisory’. A one-year pay freeze for most public sector key workers was also announced by Rishi Sunak last November.

UNISON says voting for change at the ballot box is an opportunity for the public to show the government they don’t want key workers taken for granted or their pay squeezed.

In addition to a proper increase for all key workers, the union wants care staff to receive at least the real living wage of £9.50 an hour (or £10.85 in London), and all NHS staff to receive at least a £2,000 rise (£10.23 an hour minimum).

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Public sector workers have been at the heart of the country’s fight against the pandemic. It’s thanks to them that loved ones have been cared for, bins emptied and children educated.

“They’ve kept communities safe by providing vital services and giving 100 per cent. But the government is set on squeezing their wages.

“A pay boost for the public sector would actually help the wider economy. Yet ministers insist on pitting workers against each other with false claims.

“This is your chance to stop them being taken for granted. Choose wisely when casting your vote.”

Notes to editors: 
– Elections for 145 English local councils, for the mayor of London, London assembly, police and crime commissioners and directly elected mayors of city regions take place in England on 6 May.
– The government says a pay freeze is necessary because pay has been rising faster in the public sector than the private. However, UNISON says this doesn’t take into account how public sector pay has fallen behind during years of pay restraint. The real value of pay after inflation is now typically 18% below what it was in 2009.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts: 
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk
Fatima Ayad M: 07908 377215 E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk


May 4, 2021

Sadly, I have to say farewell as the Branch Lifelong Learning Coordinator.
The Tory Government has ended the Union Learning Fund (ULF). The ULF was created in 1998 by the then Labour Government and has provided workplace learning to thousands of workers on hundreds of subjects.

This is a blatantly political attack on union learning by the Tories. It is ironic that they talk of promoting workplace learning on the one hand whilst removing the ULF on the other.

We had been promised another year’s funding but the Tories have chosen to renege on the agreement.

In the last nine years our Learning Project has delivered:

  • Over 10,000 learning places to members.
  • Over 1000 workshops.
  • Over 30 workshop subjects
  • Won 6 learning awards

Equality and diversity have been at the heart of everything we have done by working in harmony with the Self Organised Groups.

Additionally members have been given opportunities to participate in a variety of creative activities, such as the Friendship Festival, UNISON singers and the Global University of Lifelong Learning course.

The details are contained in a unique free illustrated booklet For the Love of Learning’ – Physical copies are available free from the Branch Office or downloadable from the above link.

Although the informal learning events and workshops will be reduced, the rest of our UNISON Learning programme will be available via the Branch and Regional Office

Contacts:

Charlie Friel, Birmingham Branch
Gurdeep Singh, West Midlands Region.

The Union Learning Fund is dead…
but long live UNISON Lifelong Learning. 

l thank you for all your support and friendship over all the years. I remain a member of the extended UNISON family so I look forward to the our next meeting. It has been a privilege.

In Solidarity,
peace and light

– Donald McCombie 


May 4, 2021

Council and school workers have kept the country going, and after a decade of cuts, it’s time for a decent pay rise.

UNISON is calling for a 10% pay rise for local government workers.

This would pull the lowest paid to above £10 per hour – ?lifting them above the ?real ?living ?wage of £9.50 per hour (outside London).

Staff working in local government have seen up to 25% wiped from the value of their pay, after ten years of savage local authority cuts and pay restraint.

Local government workers have kept the country going during the COVID crisis, facing daily risks to do vital work and keep communities safe.

UNISON is clear – it is time for fair pay for council and school workers

The NJC pay claim was submitted by the trade unions (UNISON, Unite and GMB) representing 1.4 million local government workers on Monday 15 February 2021.

Dudley Unison Branch will be making clear to local councillors that we need their support.  Councillors can speak up, making clear that our cause is a just one and must be supported.

Many councillors are up for re-election on 6th May and should be judged on whether they support public servants who have got us through the pandemic.

We know councils face a substantial funding gap due to 10 years of austerity, the impact of Covid-19, and the Government’s failure to deliver on its promise to support councils through the pandemic.  So, we want the UK Government to provide more funds to meet our claim.  But our campaign will be much more powerful if councils and councillors join us in this demand. 

 

Please use the  email your councillor tool below to ask your councillor to support us: https://action.unison.org.uk/page/47685/action/1

We also ask that you make sure the details we hold for you are up to date.  Check on My UNISON. It is crucial we can contact you over the coming months about the fight for your pay rise. It is crucial that all members play their part. It takes two minutes.  https://action.unison.org.uk/page/47685/action/1

If you wish to find out more about the 2021/2022 pay claim, just click on the links below for the pay campaign PowerPoint presentation and the briefing and member Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5JGMuT7JTU  Pay campaign PowerPoint presentation: https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2021/02/NJC-Fair-Pay-Now-2021-Presentation.pptx

Best Regards

 

Theresa Kelly and Paul Quigley

Branch Secretaries

UNISON Dudley General Branch 

( Direct: 01384 81 5109 01384 816769

UNISON Branch: http://unisondudleygeneral.org.uk


Apr 30, 2021

 

As we approach International Workers’ Memorial Day, acting national officer for health and safety Robert Baughan looks back at a year when workplace safety took centre stage

Wednesday 28 April is International Workers’ Memorial Day. This is the day when we get together to remember all those who have died through their work, and rededicate ourselves to the fight for the living.

But never has this annual day – and the act of remembrance – felt more important.

Thousands of workers across the UK will be continuing to care for those suffering from COVID-19 or delivering the vital public services that protect us and keep us and our communities going – as they have over the past year of pandemic.

Their health and safety is entwined with everyone’s health and safety. And in working as they have, they’re potentially putting their safety – and possibly even their lives – at risk. UNISON says ‘thank you’ to every single key worker for everything they are doing for our communities during this unprecedented period.

In many cases these workers know that, simply by doing their jobs, they are putting themselves at risk. The efforts of those working in the health and social care setting have rightly been acknowledged. Yet there are also many others – such as those working in childcare, police, refuse collection, hostels, rescue centres, utilities and transport services, to name just a few – whose work and dedication often goes unacknowledged.

Tragically, some of these workers have died during the pandemic.
In some cases, there will have been cases where not enough was done to protect them – whether in terms of a failure to enforce social distancing, a failure to protect workers with underlying health conditions or a failure to provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them safe.

While improvements have been seen in some areas, more needs to be done – specifically in relation to assessing the risks our members are facing and ensuring that all staff who require it are getting the PPE needed to do the job safely.

This union has never been afraid to demand the highest standards for workers – to speak out and hold the government to account on providing the right PPE when staff need it, and to hold bad employers to account who are not doing enough to keep their workers safe.

Over the past year of the pandemic, UNISON has made a concrete difference to members’ lives, by helping to improve their safety at work.

Our campaign on PPE made a difference on improving supply, while behind the scenes the union also had success in improving guidance for employers on PPE – and much more.

UNISON’s work also helped encourage the Health and Safety Executive to introduce random spot checks in the health and social care sectors.

While such moves are limited in number – and not at the level that the union would ideally want – they at least send the message to employers that they will be held to account if they ignore the safety of their workforce.

The union has continued to grow throughout the pandemic, particularly in schools and the social care sector, while there has also been an increase in the number of trained safety reps.

The past year has given a timely reminder that unionised workplaces are safer workplaces. On this International Workers’ Memorial Day UNISON is calling on everyone to hold a minute’s silence, at 11am, specifically to remember those who have died of COVID-19 while carrying out their work.

Other things you can do include:

  • tweet at us – @unisontheunion – with your pictures of public service workers, whether of yourselves or colleagues continuing to do the jobs that are keeping us all safe;
  • if you are having a problem getting PPE, let us know;
  • email any other COVID-19 safety related issues to healthandsafety@unison.co.uk.

 

 

 

https://magazine.unison.org.uk/2021/04/12/workplace-safety-affects-us-all/


Apr 27, 2021

UNISON responds to George Floyd’s murder case

“Others who abuse their power must be held to account before the law”

Derek Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis police officer, has been found guilty of murdering George Floyd in May 2020.

After a landmark 15-day trial involving 44 witnesses, Chauvin is believed to be the second Minneapolis police officer to be convicted of murder, and the first white officer.

UNISON national secretary for equalities Gloria Mills commented: “This verdict is about holding Derek Chauvin to account for his actions, his abuse of authority, his cruel and inhumane murder of George Floyd.

“George Floyd pleaded for his life saying I can’t breathe. Today, the world can breathe a sigh of relief that Chauvin has been held to account for defiling George Floyd’s right to life and human rights.

“This is a small measure of justice for George Floyd’s family, only because the world was watching and millions across the world stood up for George Floyd and re-affirmed that his life as a Black man mattered. Others who abuse their power must be held to account before the law”.

The other three officers involved in Floyd’s arrest—Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng—will face trial in August.

Responding to the conviction, Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother said: “This is monumental. This is historic. This is a pivotal moment in history.”


Apr 26, 2021
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