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28April2021IWMD

On 28 April, International Workers’ Memorial Day, we remember those who have died as a result of accidents, injuries or illnesses caused by work – and promise to fight for the living.

The events of the past 12 months make this day more poignant than ever. UNISON members have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. They have worried for their families, been infected themselves and tragically, some have paid the ultimate price for their dedication.

UNISON takes health and safety seriously and we have been recruiting more safety reps during the pandemic because we know they really make a difference. Workplaces with active trade union safety reps are twice as safe as those with none.


Apr 26, 2021

Apr 16, 2021

Apr 14, 2021

You are invited to the Dudley General Branch of UNISON AGM.  Please see attached documents below that will also be available at the meeting. 


The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 23rd March between 12:30 - 1:30 pm.

Please contact the branch on dudley_unison@msn.com for a link to the meeting.

Many Thanks


Mar 22, 2021
Results for position of Branch Secretary (Membership Services & Admin):
Theresa Kelly 91 ELECTED 
Joanne Prescott 46  
Spoilt Papers -  
Total 137  

Results for position of Branch Secretary (Service Conditions):
Paul Quigley 89 ELECTED 
Robert Underhill 48  
Spoilt Papers -  
Total 137  

Congratulations to Paul and Theresa.
Mar 16, 2021
Dudley General Branch of UNISON                
Tuesday 23rd March 2021

12.30pm – 1.30pm

In line with national guidance our Branch AGM will be online this year. Invitations will be emailed to you at the email address we hold on your record, we will send you details of how to log in to the meeting nearer the date.

The agenda and minutes of the last AGM will be sent out next week prior to the meeting and the officer’s reports and accounts will be distributed at or before the meeting where possible.

Items of any other business should be notified to the Chair of the meeting prior to its start. They will need to be accepted by both the Chair and the meeting before being placed on the agenda.

All Members Welcome
Mar 9, 2021

After the government’s announcement of a big bang full approach to school re-opening from 8 March, UNISON’s national schools committee met this week to discuss next steps. The committee agreed to keep on campaigning to get the government to step back and allow a phased re-opening.

We have already met with Department for Education officials to challenge the decision. We highlighted the need for all school staff to have early access to the vaccine and the areas of their guidance that need to be strengthened, such as ventilation and face coverings in primary schools. We will meet with the schools minister next week and re-emphasise these points, and working with the NEU, we are writing to MPs, councillors and mayors too.

Along with other unions we have sent our newly updated joint union risk assessment guidance directly to school leaders. Now we need to ensure the checklist is actively used by schools in their planning for 8 March.

New joint union RA checklist

Next week we will send you a new model escalation process which will help you to deal with members' problems if schools are forced to open in a big bang.

Following legal advice and in the context of infection rates dropping rapidly and the vaccination programme having an impact on the spread of the virus, UNISON (and other unions) will not be issuing a new national ‘section 44’ model letter as we did in January.

However, the risk of infection remains and some members may feel they face unacceptable risks and so need to take urgent action to ensure their safety, so we will include advice on how to use these rights for members locally in the new escalation process.

We have produced new joint union guidance for medically vulnerable or otherwise higher risk staff. This is being sent to members today and includes a model letter for them to send to their employers if necessary.

Vulnerable staff guidance

UNISON strongly believes school and early years staff deserve urgent assurances from the government that they will be offered vaccinations as a priority.

We continue to push this point with the government, but members can help pile on the pressure by asking their MPs to lobby the government. Please encourage members to use this simple tool to do so.

Priority vaccines

Finally, thank you to everyone who joined us for Wednesday evening's member meeting to discuss the wider reopening plans. If you missed it, you can watch a recording of it here.

Watch the event

Our dedicated schools and early years advice page is being updated to reflect the new situation.

Thank you as always for your hard work to protect our members.

Jon Richards
UNISON Head of Education


Mar 4, 2021

Please see UNISON's webpage on the government's plans to open college sites to more learners on 8 March 2021:

UNISON's Covid in colleges webpage

All classrooms/workshops in use should be adequately ventilated with air from outside. Detailed explanations of what constitutes adequate ventilation are linked to here.


Mar 4, 2021

The latest DFE document for full reopening of schools is now available:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963541/Schools_coronavirus_operational_guidance.pdf

Here is short summary of the main items:

  • All schools will open again for all pupils from the 8th March. Primaries can open to full capacity from day one.
  • Secondary schools can do a phased return during the first week only, and to allow establishment of testing in schools. Years 10-13 must be given priority to return.
  • Testing for COVID is voluntary but is ‘strongly’ recommended.
  • Testing will be LFT tests twice a week for secondary school children. Once each pupil has received 3 tests in school the pupil/school can then move to the home testing model.
  • No LFT in primary schools.
  • Face masks must be worn by pupils and teachers in secondary schools all the time, except when outside.
  • CEV children should stay at home-further advice will be issued.
  • CEV staff should not attend work and stay at home. They should be paid as if they are at work. Even if CEV staff have been vaccinated the PHE advice is they should stay at home. There will be further advice issued on this subject.
  • Pregnant and Breastfeeding staff (up to 6 months postnatal) should have a risk assessment carried out. Those over 28 weeks pregnant are higher at risk of incapacity should they catch corona.
  • Clinically vulnerable can continue to attend work.
  • School kitchens should be fully open.
  • GCSE and A and AS Level exams will not go ahead this year, all will be on teacher assessment.
  • If a school has two or more cases of coronavirus in 14 days, they must contact PHE for advice.
  • Test and Trace support payments of up to £500 are available as a one off to those working in schools on a low income who would suffer a loss of earnings due to self-isolating. Eligibility criteria.
  • Anyone in school who has had close contact with a positive tested person must be sent home. There is an extensive definition of close contact.
  • Staff testing is not mandatory, should a member of staff test positive using a LFT they must then isolate and follow up with a PCR test.
  • Schools should consider staggered start, finish, and break times for pupils.
  • Pupils are asked to avoid public transport if at all possible.
  • Staffrooms should have defined split areas.
  • There should be no assemblies or large gatherings for worship.
  • Ventilation verses temperature (specific guidance by HSE link in document).
  • Bubbles should be maintained.
  • Detailed advice if a child has a positive LFT.
  • Must not attend school for 10 days if required to self-isolate. Advice given from when the 10 days commences.
  • PHE advice is that the new variants doesn’t alter the system of controls advice.
  • All Risk assessments must be reviewed, updated, and shared with staff and H&S reps.
  • The school must have a plan on how to deal with outbreaks.

 

There are also further documents in respect of early years on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare


Feb 25, 2021

The ballot is now open for all members to vote for the two Branch Secretary positions that are being contested this year.  Members should have already received an email or a ballot paper through the post. 

If you have not received an email then contact the branch on 01384 444323 or email dudley_unison@msn.com.


Feb 23, 2021
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