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Stars in Our Schools is an annual celebration of school support staff. This year’s event will place on Friday 29 November 2019 – but we encourage schools to join in whenever suits them around this date!

School support staff are vital to help children learn, keep them safe, healthy and keep the school running smoothly; Yet they don’t get the attention they deserve despite making up half the school workforce.

To learn how you can get involved, please see the Special Stars website and the resources they have available:

Nov 12, 2019

Climate change is the greatest environmental threat humanity has ever faced and the biggest challenge. It is caused by the build-up of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels and the destruction of areas that store massive amounts of carbon like the world’s rainforests.

On 29th November 2019 Birmingham Youth Strike 4 Climate are out on the march again, meeting at 11am at St Martins Church (by the old rag market).

This is one of the last chances before the General Election in December to make the voices of our Youth heard by politicians – and to show them that we all care about the state of our planet, show your support however you can.

We are in a Climate Emergency.

Follow Birmingham Youth Strike 4 Climate on Twitter here
Follow Birmingham Youth Strike 4 Climate on Facebook here


Nov 12, 2019

The Local Government Association have now finished consulting local authorities on the trade unions’ pay claim, and on 5 November the Employers’ Side had their first formal meeting. Following this meeting, they wrote to the unions advising us that we won’t receive an initial pay offer until the new year, due to the current political uncertainty.

This will obviously be a huge disappointment to our members. As negotiations normally take some time, we don’t see why they can’t start the negotiating process much sooner.

We have made our views on this very clear, and we will continue to push for pay talks to start as soon as possible.

In the meantime, branches and members are urged to talk to your councils and councillors about the delay. Many of them will be sympathetic to our situation – please get them to put pressure on the LGA to get the pay talks going.

For Dudley Councillors click here

For Sandwell Councillors click here and enter your postcode

For Solihull Councillors click here

For Walsall Councillors click here and enter your postcode

For Wolverhampton Councillors click here and enter your postcode

To find a Birmingham City Council councillor click here and enter your postcode.

(Excerpt from Pay Up Now Bulletin-8 November 2019 Issue Number 04)

Nov 12, 2019

The Annual General Meeting of the Branch will be held on Tuesday 25th February 2020 12.30pm until 1.30pm at the Banqueting Suite, Dudley Town Hall, St James’s Road, Dudley, DY1 1HP. All members are invited to attend. This is your formal notice of the meeting under Branch Rule 6. Unison is keen to encourage members to attend and if you require any assistance in attending please contact the branch office by 12 noon on Friday 24th January 2020. The types of assistance which can be provided include, but are not limited to, transport, signing and childcare. No reasonable request will be refused.

Please see the attached calling notice for nomination of Branch Officers and Stewards, plus Motions to take to AGM.

Nov 12, 2019

UNISON hosts the Macmillan Coffee & Cake Morning - Friday 27th September 9.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m. at the UNISON Office, Council House, Dudley.

Sep 27, 2019

Pete Lowe – who is “made in UNISON” – is standing to be the Labour Party candidate for West Midlands Metro Mayor, and UNISON is proud to be backing him, as he is “one of us.”

After consultation with a wide range of people, Pete has now announced some of his initial policies, as outlined below:


  • Pete will declare a homelessness emergency on his first day in office
  • Pete will bring together the seven constituent local authorities and wider partners to co-ordinate a credible, ethical and effective response
  • Pete will relentlessly expose the direct link between cruel Tory austerity and the massive increase in homelessness in our towns and cities


  • Pete will take radical action to protect the rights of tenants and leaseholders, holding rogue landlords to account and creating a level playing field for all
  • Pete will be hawkish about maximising the amount of social housing in planning deals and will press for accelerated council house building
  • Pete will lobby to ensure that every citizen of the West Midlands can lead a long and independent life in their own home


  • Pete will act to make sure that public transport is safe, convenient and accessible
  • Pete will work with others to bring about a plan to deliver a modern, sustainable and integrated public transport system, fit for the 21st century
  • Pete will lobby to bring about municipal oversight and ownership of public transport, including guaranteeing free and affordable travel for the young, old and disadvantaged


  • Pete will establish a People’s Bank for the West Midlands
  • Pete will challenge the public, third and private sectors to understand and act upon the positive impact their own spending power can have on the local economy
  • Pete believes in an economy that enables wealth to be created in a sustainable way and ensures that said wealth is shared fairly; an economy where carers enjoy the same prosperity as entrepreneurs, in a way that nourishes the planet and doesn’t destroy it.

Developing Potential for all 

  • Pete will take immediate action to ensure the system delivers for everybody. 8,000 young people in the West Midlands are currently not in education, employment or training; that’s 8,000 too many and a scandal that needs to end
  • Pete will divert the money the current mayor squanders on his high rolling consultant friends and invest it in projects rooted in our communities
  • Pete will argue for a skills and training system that meets young people where they are and encourages them to maximise their potential, including earning a real living wage, regardless of age

Where you live

  • Pete will continue to ensure that the team around him reflects the rich diversity of the West Midlands
  • Pete will challenge others to meet and exceed the highest standards of equalities practice in the delivery of goods and services to the public
  • Pete will set about closing the health inequalities gap that means some of our poorest citizens live a decade less than their richer neighbours

Public Standards of Office

  • Pete will develop a code of conduct for the Office of Mayor that will hold him, and his successors, to the highest standards of public account
  • Pete will hold an all members policy conference to involve all Labour members from the outset of his candidacy


Pete will be announcing more policies in the next few weeks that will cover how he will:

  • Implement a Green New Deal across the region that works for all of our communities
  • How he will use the office of Mayor to fight the far-right and to challenge the use of racially inflammatory language by politicians
  • Build on the work he has already done as the former Leader of Dudley Labour Group to improve the representation of women, BAME people and other under-represented groups in the Mayor’s Office and the wider Combined Authority constituent councils.
  • Plus a whole host of other ideas


If you want more information about his campaign please go to his website:

Please back Pete Lowe. He is made in UNISON, and he is one of us. He is best placed to beat Andy Street.


Ravi Subramanian
Regional Secretary
UNISON (West Midlands), 24 Livery Street, Birmingham B3 2PA

Aug 6, 2019

We have a proud record of campaigning with WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) to improve the pension rights of women. If ever there was a time to stand up and be counted as a WASPI woman, it is now. 

WASPI are asking you to give up some time to make a formal complaint to the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) for a case of maladministration. This involves filling in and posting a number of templated letters to the DWP. The more people that join in the campaign, the more likely it is that the Government will be compelled to make remedy for the “grotesque disadvantage” and financial loss that women have suffered. There are 3.8 million affected by the lack of notice of the 1995 and 2011 Pensions Acts. Not all of them even know its happened.

For more information and resources for making your complaint, please look at

Jul 8, 2019

Hundreds have taken to the streets to protest against the unnecessary and unwanted closure of Stourbridge College.

Nearly 1,000 students will be pushed to Dudley and Halesowen colleges after it closes this summer. 

Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet), which runs the site, has tried to argue feebly that the move was needed due to £6m debts and was "in the best interests of our learners".

UNISON maintains that disadvantaged students will be worst affected, with the plans increasing travel times and costs for students. 

Leigh Powell, our Unison national officer, said unions wanted to know exactly how the decision had been reached to sell off the site, and called for another consultation.

"These people are sitting in a room with spreadsheets and they're not looking at what effect it will have on people's lives," she said.

"Suddenly, for students and staff to be told at the beginning of May your college is shutting down was a shock."

The University and College Union (UCU) meanwhile claims staff and students are undoubtedly paying the price for poor management. The UCU also claimed the move made "little financial sense" with millions of pounds being spent refurbishing the Hagley Road campus.

Jul 8, 2019

The schools haven't broken up yet, but already we're thinking ahead. For families living on low incomes it can be difficult to make ends meet – especially when the new school year begins and the extra costs hit hard.

But it's not all bad news – help is available. UNISON's welfare charity, There for You, has once again got a limited fund to help members on low incomes towards the costs of school uniforms.

Please complete our application form and send to:

There for You
130 Euston Road

The closing date is Friday, 19 July.

Jul 4, 2019

Campaign to make UNISON’s LGBT group more inclusive by changing the name to LGBT+ 

UNISON Steward Sarah Carr at Conference. Photo taken by Steward Juliet Parker. 

Jun 25, 2019
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