Goodbye to a truly inspirational activist
Last weekend I heard the news that Denise Knutsen had sadly passed away. Denise was a truly inspirational activist, dedicated, hard working and with a heart of solid gold. I first got to know Denise during the groundbreaking teaching assistants strike in Brighton. Denise led that dispute with energy, determination and her legendary humour, roping us all in at the outset to attend picket lines, protests and mass meetings. Empowering and encouraging all “her schools members,” Denise showed true leadership at every stage, earning widespread respect that never waned. We kept in touch and whenever we met at conferen...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 18, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Lucy Shaddock Tags: General secretary's blog News Source Type: news

Older workers deserve access to training, says UNISON
Responding to the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee report on the weak enforcement of age discrimination law published today (Tuesday), UNISON head of learning and organising services Teresa Donegan said: “It’s unacceptable that any worker would be discriminated against because of their age, but without a mandatory reporting system this will continue to be a huge problem in the workplace. “Older workers, particularly women, feel at a disadvantage right from the recruitment phase. Workers need to be given not just access to training, but also the resources and time to take advantage...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 17, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Anna Mauremootoo Tags: Press release education and training older workers Source Type: news

Plans to cut care workers ’ pay on hold
Care workers in Bath and North East Somerset have called off strike action today (Monday) after an agreement was reached between UNISON and Sirona Care & Health. Sirona has halted its plans to restructure working patterns that would leave carers “owing” bosses 30 minutes of work per shift. The agreement came after Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) council referred the issue to the Health & Wellbeing scrutiny panel, which is expected to meet at the end of September. UNISON south west regional organiser John Drake said: “Coming to this agreement after the council’s decision makes sense....
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 16, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article adult care adult social care care homes save care now unison south west Source Type: news

Blog: Thank you school support staff – without you schools couldn ’t function
By now, school support staff across our union will either have left their schools for the summer, or be getting ready to do so as the long school year comes to a close. Working in schools can be hugely rewarding – but it’s also incredibly hard work and doesn’t always come with the support and thanks that such vital work deserves. Teachers undoubtedly do great work in our schools, but they aren’t the only educators. Teaching Assistants play a vital role in the modern classroom, building a learning environment that supports all children and helping everyone to reach their potential. Caretakers, clean...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 16, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News school school support staff Source Type: news

When I went to Parliament and spoke up for care workers
Nicole Stanfield Caile writes: In June, myself and other care workers were given the opportunity, through UNISON, to meet at Parliament with Barbara Keeley, shadow cabinet minister for social care and mental health. I was invited because I had taken part in the development of the residential care charter in 2016. Most of the care workers present at the meeting were from areas around London or in the north. I was proud to represent my corner of the UK, the south west. The meeting began with a warm welcome from Ms. Keeley and her staff, who thanked us for our hard work in care and for attending. Ms. Keeley began by talking a...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 16, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article Blogs adult social care health and social care Source Type: news

Strike action called off in East Dunbartonshire
Talks are continuing this week in the East Dunbartonshire recycling and waste dispute after significant progress was made and planned industrial action last week was called off. After industrial action was taken from 21 to 26 June, UNISON together with Unite and GMB suspended strike action planned for the end of last week. A work to rule remains in place across the council. The dispute centres on East Dunbartonshire Council’s proposals to cut the terms and conditions of the workforce, including redundancy terms, a reduction of three days annual leave, the removal of enhanced overtime rates, and an extension of the wo...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 16, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article Scotland scotland local government Source Type: news

Just how much public service workers are spending on rent
In most parts of the UK, the price of renting a home has risen steadily, while public sector salaries… well, they haven’t. This rise in rents combined with pay cuts has resulted in a situation that, for many, is simply unsustainable. UNISON has investigated just how much public sector workers are spending on rent. Our new analysis looks specifically at five public sector jobs – an porter in NHS England, a special needs teaching assistant, a refuse driver, a nurse and a police community support officer – and how much of their monthly salary they have to spend on rent, depending on where they live. i...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 13, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rosa Ellis Tags: Article P.S data housing Source Type: news

Sleep-in shifts judgment is a huge mistake
The legal decision today (Friday) not to count sleep-in shifts as working time is wrong, and is at odds with legal precedents and a common sense understanding of what counts as work, says UNISON. Today’s Court of Appeal judgment in favour of Mencap overturns a previous ruling at an employment appeal tribunal in April 2017. UNISON took the initial case to an employment tribunal on behalf of care worker Claire Tomlinson-Blake. It argued that sleep-in shifts should count as working time, and should be paid at hourly minimum wage rates or higher. The union argues that most care workers on sleep-in shifts aren’t sle...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 13, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Charlotte Jeffs Tags: News Press release dave prentis mencap social care Source Type: news

Hospital trust drops plans to outsource NHS staff to private company
  Friday 6 July 2018 For immediate release Hospital trust drops plans to outsource NHS staff to private company  A hospital trust has reversed its decision to outsource NHS staff to a subsidiary – or ‘subco’ – company, UNISON has announced today (Friday). Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust (WWLNHS) has agreed to drop plans to transfer more than 900 workers including porters, cleaners and catering staff to NHS subsidiary firm WWL Solutions. This follows new this afternoon that Wigan Council has stepped in with a financial deal. The plans to move staff to...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 6, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Charlotte Jeffs Tags: News Press release Source Type: news

Social workers are overworked but the data is hiding it
“Children and family social work has always been a challenging and busy field, however after 20 years in it I feel I can say that I have never seen things this bad.” Kerie Anne is a UNISON member living in London, and her view is shared by many social workers who speak to UNISON –  they frequently tell us that social workers have more work and are under more pressure than ever. But how to quantify this? Every year the government’s Department for Education publishes data on the children and families social work workforce, which includes data on caseloads. Unfortunately, we’ve found it does...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 6, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rosa Ellis Tags: Article social work social workers Stand up for social work Source Type: news

Happy Birthday to our NHS – the greatest achievement of our movement
Today, our union and our whole country celebrates the 70th birthday of our NHS. I’m so proud to see UNISON members – both those who work in our health service, and those who rely on it – leading the celebrations in hospitals and communities across the country. Our union is so proud of our NHS, not just because we’re the largest health union in the country, but also because the National Health Service embodies our union’s values. A universal public service. Free at the point of use. With health and care as priorities – not profit. For me, the NHS is the greatest achievement of our moveme...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 5, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News NHS 70 NHS birthday Source Type: news

Hollywood star Michael Sheen surprises first person born in the NHS
At one minute past midnight on 5 July 1948, Aneira Thomas was born. She wasn’t just any new baby, she was the first baby to be born in the NHS. Aneira would be forever linked to the NHS; she grew up to work for the organisation itself as a mental health nurse, and to be a member of the organisation that is fighting to protect it (that’s UNISON). Aneira is a passionate defender of the NHS, and she’s also a huge fan of fellow Welshperson Michael Sheen. So as a 70th birthday present for her, UNISON set up a surprise meeting with her favourite actor. Watch the film above to see how the two got along.  ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 4, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rosa Ellis Tags: Article health NHS Source Type: news

New strike dates announced in Wigan ‘subco‘ dispute
WWL strikers with general secretary Dave Prentis on the 30 June NHS march in London Hospital workers in Wigan will strike for another seven days in two weeks time, as their dispute over being outsourced to a private company wholly owned by their NHS trust continues. Formal notice of the strike, which will start at 6am on 17 July, was sent to the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust after their latest five-day action ended yesterday. This will be the fourth period of industrial action taken by UNISON members who work in roles including portering, cleaning and catering. The trust’s plan to outsource nearly 900 staff...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 4, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article News health health care hospitals NHS one team for patient care outsourcing wholly owned subsidiaries Source Type: news

St Helens and Warrington housing members win 3.1% pay rise
UNISON members kept up the pressure on Torus after rejecting the first 25 offer and balloting for industrial action. UNISON members working for a north-west housing group have won a 3.1% pay rise after rejecting an earlier offer and balloting for industrial action. Some 700 workers employed by Torus Housing in Warrington and St Helens will get the pay rise in their July pay packets, backdated to April. Staff who work in a range of roles including administrators, customer service advisers, housing officers and maintenance staff voted to accept the latest offer after early voting to take industrial action over a 2% offer. &l...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 3, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article News community housing housing associations Industrial action north west region pay Source Type: news

What would you do?
What would you do if you saw a colleague being ‘dressed down’ by a manager in public, to the extent that they were left in tears? You’d try to support and comfort them, obviously. But for Ayrshire mental health nurse Gordon McKay in the early 1990s, the reaction was more than that. “I just thought: ‘You know, I ain’t putting up with any of that. And if I can help people who either want to challenge that sort of behaviour or just need someone to talk to, then yeah, that’s gonna be me’,” he recalls. It was that incident that put him on the path to becoming a union ac...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 2, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article health care new nursing president presidential team Source Type: news

March for the NHS – how it went down, in pictures
This Saturday thousands of people marched through central London to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS, and show that they’re willing to fight for it. This is how the day went down.   It was a bright and early start for the UNISON staff members, who arrived with boxes of placards, flags, purple Hawaiian leis, and birthday cakes for the NHS.     We strapped some young men to purple balloons, to make sure all UNISON members knew where to find the UNISON contingent. They were pleased about it really.   A staff member demonstrated how to hold placards. That is some top-notch placard holding rig...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 2, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rosa Ellis Tags: Article News health care National Health Service NHS NHS 70 NHS birthday nhs70 Source Type: news

UNISON is busting out all over – our monthly highlights
If it’s June, it’s the seaside. If it’s 2018, it’s Brighton. Once again, UNISON activists gathered in the south coast resort last month for our national delegate conference – the annual parliament that sets the priorities for the year ahead and decides policies for the union. And there was a special theme to this year’s conference – our 25th. Yes, UNISON was formed on 1 July 1993 and conference saw the start of our 25thbirthday celebrations. Those first 25 years, and the values that will remain key to UNISON for the next quarter century and beyond, were summed in a specially commis...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 2, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article News 2018 National Delegate Conference health pay National Health Service NHS NHS 70 violence at work wholly owned subsidiaries Windrush Source Type: news

1993 and all that …
First off, as someone probably hasn’t ever said, history is just the same things happening with different people. So a Conservative government led by a weak Prime Minister who had come to power on the back of an internal Tory election seemed to be on the brink of losing office and led a party obsessed with, and riven by, divisions on Europe. Replace Brexit with Maastricht and you get the drift. But good news was that the “longest recession since the 1930s” was officially over and the economy grew by 0.2% in the first three months of the year. Meanwhile, unemployment hit three million and the Bank of Engla...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 29, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article Source Type: news

Happy birthday UNISON
25 years ago, public service workers came together to form UNISON. Many people said that a public service union was the right idea, but at the wrong time. Others said that NUPE, COHSE and NALGO were too different and that bringing them together was doomed to fail. A quarter of a century on, 1.3 million UNISON members like you know how wrong the naysayers were, how much we have to celebrate together and how wrong it is to ever count out UNISON members like you. As the people who heal us, educate us, keep us safe and ensure that we receive care, support and vital services every single day, UNISON people are special people, a...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 29, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News Source Type: news

Blog: Richard and Margaret represent …
Bright and early Tuesday morning, we were ready and raring to get stuck into UNISON conference and proudly represent our private contractor members. Despite a long journey down from the north, with lots of big issues on the agenda, we were excited to be in Brighton. We both plucked up the courage to get up and speak on the conference floor. It’s nerve wracking but we both knew it was really important for the voice of private contractor members to be heard loud and clear. Richard ‘proposed’ the private contractors motion and spoke about the appalling pay and conditions private contract workers face. H...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 29, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rachael Henry Tags: Blogs private care companies private conractors private contractors private contractors seminar Source Type: news

How recent pay deals affect staff at private contractors
At UNISON we know that many members deliver public services but are employed by private contractors. If that’s you, you may be wondering how recent pay deals for the sector you work in will affect you. Be assured, UNISON negotiators have not forgotten you. We are fighting to get you the same benefits as your colleagues in the private sector. Read on for the latest update on pay for health workers and local government workers. Health workers pay update UNISON have recently negotiated with the government to get a new three year pay deal in the NHS in England. UNISON members working for the NHS in England voted overwhel...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 29, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rachael Henry Tags: Content update News private care companies private conractors private contractors Source Type: news

Blog: Say no to Subcos
Today I’ve been on the picket lines in Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh, where NHS workers are on strike. They want to stay part of our National Health Service, but their employer wants to turf them out into a subsidiary company – a “subco”. We know what a threat subcos are. They’re a threat to jobs and terms and conditions. They’re a slippery slope towards backdoor privatisation. That’s why this strike action – which has so much support amongst staff and the local community – is so important to our union. This is a strategic dispute for our union. We need to knock back s...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 28, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News NHS subcos Source Type: news

UNISON ’ s legal team win top honour for employment tribunal fees court case
UNISON’s in-house legal team have won yet another award for its landmark victory in the Supreme Court last year, when the union defeated the government over its introduction of employment tribunal fees. It was voted Litigation Team of the Year in The Lawyer magazine’s prestigious annual awards on Tuesday, for “great tenacity and perseverance and a result that makes a real difference to a great many people.” In 2013 the then Lord Chancellor introduced tribunal fees that effectively denied members their access to justice in the employment courts. UNISON’s single-handed, four-year legal battle to...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 28, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Demetrios Matheou Tags: Article employment tribunal fees legal services Source Type: news

‘We want to stay in the NHS: for ourselves and future generations’
Susan Ratchford, Michael Purcell, Hazel Leatherbarrow and Jeanette Alcker are four UNISON health members who are on strike today. More than 500 UNISON members are in dispute with Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust over the outsourcing of their jobs to a ‘wholly owned subsidiary’. At last week’s UNISON conference, they chatted to Sara Gorton, UNISON’s head of health, about why they’re going on strike, their passion for the NHS and their determination to protect our health service from privatisation by the back door. Sara Gorton: Tell me about what has happened in your trust. Susan Ratchfor...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 28, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rachael Henry Tags: Article News health health care hospitals NHS one team for patient care outsourcing Sara Gorton wholly owned subsidiaries Source Type: news

Reckless decision prompts third round of strike action at NHS Trust  
The decision taken today (Wednesday) by the board of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust to push ahead with the outsourcing of hundreds of staff is reckless and foolhardly, says UNISON. Responding to the decision, staff at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust are taking five days of strike action, starting at 6am tomorrow (Thursday). This is the third strike by employees in protest at the proposals. The trust plans to transfer around 900 staff, working as porters, cleaners and caterers, to the wholly owned subsidiary, WWL Solutions. UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Despite being given every op...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 27, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Clare Santry Tags: Press release dave prentis health NHS North West wholly owned subsidiaries Source Type: news

The shocking rise of TB in cows
New data shows bovine TB is on the rise in England, proving that independent meat inspectors are needed more than ever. The government has just published data showing 4,288 cows had to be slaughtered because of TB in March this year, up from the 3,900 in February, and continuing the general upward trend. Since 1996 – when the data goes back to ­– there has been a massive 980% increase in cows slaughtered because of TB. The disease is on the rise in England and Wales, but not in Scotland, which is considered ‘bovine TB free.’ But why does bovine TB matter? It is possible for humans to catch TB i...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 27, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rosa Ellis Tags: P.S data Source Type: news

NHS outsourcing is bad for staff and bad for patients
The planned outsourcing of staff at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust is not in the interests of staff nor patients, says UNISON. UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has written to the head of the north west NHS Trust outlining some key concerns about the proposal to establish a wholly owned subsidiary. Around 900 staff, working as porters, cleaners and caterers, would be transferred to the new company, WWL Solutions. UNISON research finds that the case for outsourcing is based almost entirely on tax advantages, and not on service improvement. It also finds that wholly owned subsidiaries are creating a two-tier wor...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 26, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Charlotte Jeffs Tags: News Press release dave prentis NHS North West north west region outsourcing strike Source Type: news

Coming together to celebrate our NHS
From the very outset, our movement had a dream – healthcare for all, at no cost, available to everyone. Seventy years ago that dream became a reality, with the establishment of the National Health Service. Fathered by Nye Bevan, but built and maintained by the hands of millions health workers, the NHS – not the buildings, but the people – is the crowning achievement of the labour movement, a clear example of socialism in action and the envy of the world. Next week, our NHS reaches its latest major milestone – 70 years. Generations have been born and cared for in it. All of us, wherever we live or wo...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 25, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News demo NHS Source Type: news

Hospital parking: staff at some trusts paying 200 times more than others
A UNISON investigation has found that parking outside work is becoming more and more of a problem for NHS staff in England. “I have been nursing for 38 years and I am getting stressed and angry as I leave for work wondering if I will get parked” – UNISON member We found that: Staff are being charged wildly differing amounts to park at work depending on the hospital trust; some workers are paying but not actually being able to park because the trusts issue too many permits; many car parks are not maintained to the extent that some staff feel unsafe in them; and some staff are being fined and even taken to...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 22, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rosa Ellis Tags: Article P.S data health hospital parking NHS England Source Type: news

Labour government would bring back genuine national pay in education, says Angela Rayner MP
Speaking at UNISON’s annual national conference today (Friday) in Brighton, shadow secretary of state for education Angela Rayner MP said: “I became who I am today thanks to this union.  Because I wasn’t born in to the movement – I was made in it.  That is why I am so proud to be back here on the 25th anniversary of Unison, celebrating our defining values that remain as relevant today as at any time in our history. “UNISON is truly a great trade union, and a great trade union is made up of great trade unionists. We know what it is to be part of a movement. That we each...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 22, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Charlotte Jeffs Tags: Article 2018 National Delegate Conference labour Labour Party Source Type: news

Tax cut for rich means billions lost to Exchequer
Cutting income tax for people earning more than £1m per year has deprived the Exchequer of more than £11.1bn over the past sixyears, according to new analysis by UNISON published today (Sunday). The government’s decision to reduce the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p in April 2013 has also saved the rich hundreds of thousands of pounds, while public sector workers have not had a decent pay rise in years, says the union. An examination of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) statistics by UNISON shows that between 15,000 and 19,000 taxpayers earned in excess of £1m over the past sixyears. This is si...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 22, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Charlotte Jeffs Tags: News Press release dave prentis government nurses public services social care Tax UNISON Source Type: news

‘The work you do saves and transforms lives’
Labour shadow education secretary and UNISON member Angela Rayner outlined a number of key public sector aims of a future Labour government, in a rousing speech in Brighton today. These would include introducing a “genuine” pay bargaining body for all education staff, bringing back the NHS bursaries for nurses and restoring the Union Learning Fund to pre-Tory government levels. “The Tories will always thank you for the work you do,” she told delegates. “But Labour will always pay you for the job you do.” Remembering her days as a UNISON activist, Ms Rayner joked that in her first nationa...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 22, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Demetrios Matheou Tags: Article 2018 National Delegate Conference education labour link Labour Party NDC 2018 Source Type: news

Race equality in the UK is going backwards, says conference
UNISON is calling on the current and future governments to renew a commitment to race equality at work and in the wider society. The demand comes as the UK is gripped by “an increasingly toxic debate around migration and race, creating an even more hostile environment for migrant and Black workers”, national conference delegates heard. In a debate asking “How far have we come?” in the 50 years since the first Race Relations Act was amended in 1968, the resounding answer from delegates was negative. Said Jackie Wallace of Camden local government: “It looks like we have not come far at all &ndas...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 21, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Demetrios Matheou Tags: Article News 2018 National Delegate Conference black members BREXIT challenging racism Source Type: news

Meghan, Trump and UNISON – Dr Johnson stirs it up
“I congratulate you on your new Duchess. I’m also a proud African American woman with a passion for justice, though I have a little more experience than she does.” American trade unionist Dr Lorretta Johnson began her speech to UNISON’s national conference today with humour, but she moved on to a rousing and compassionate call to arms that had delegates on their feet. Currently the secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Dr Johnson explained that her six decades of union activism began in 1966 when she became a teacher’s aide [similar to a teaching assistant in the UK...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 21, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rosa Ellis Tags: Article 2018 National Delegate Conference international public services international Source Type: news

UNISON conference makes the case for a ‘ Workers ’ Brexit ’
UNISON must fight for a “Workers’ Brexit” that will ensure that hard-won human and workers’ rights are not lost when the UK leaves Europe, Brighton delegates agreed this week. The union also reiterated its desire for parliament to be central to the exit negotiations. The alternative was that the Tory government’s internal divisions and ideological entrenchment “is in real danger of pushing the country towards a cliff edge”. The union discussed Brexit on Wednesday, on the eve of a Commons vote that narrowly passed the EU Withdrawal Bill, in a way that continued to cast doubt on parl...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 21, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Demetrios Matheou Tags: Article News BREXIT eu migrant Feb 2017 eu migrant lobby health and social care NHS Source Type: news

Making 2018 the year for young workers
“Research shows that you don’t join a union by the time you’re 25, you’re much less likely to join one later in life,” UNISON national young members forum chair Kendal Bromley-Bewes told delegates at the union’s national delegate conference this morning. She was introducing a motion on making 2019 the year of young workers, after the presentation of the young members’ organising award – renamed in honour of late president Eric Roberts – to the Cymru/Wales young members’ group. This was in recognition of the Respect Your Youth campaign, highlighting the importance ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 20, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article 2018 National Delegate Conference Cymru Wales Young Members UNISON Cymru/Wales young workers Source Type: news

The alarming crisis in health and social care
“As it prepares to turn 70, the NHS is coming towards the worst decade in its existence as far as funding goes,” began the discussion of health and social care. The mover of the motion said that, “services have been repeatedly run down by a government that prefers tax cuts for the wealthy to a well-funded NHS… we now have a permanent winter for our NHS and workloads and stress loads have gone through the roof for many members.” Tracy Holmes, from Sefton local government branch, told delegates about the bad practise in homecare she had witnessed: from visits of just five minutes scheduled...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 19, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Rosa Ellis Tags: Article health health care NDC 2018 save care now social care Source Type: news

“We’re just getting started,” declares Dave Prentis in key conference speech
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis began his speech to conference by introducing member Michael Braithwaite, who lost his job due to the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy, and who was present in the hall. –”Not only is the UK your home,” he said to Michael, “Your union, UNISON, is your home too. And we will protect you.” In the 25th year since UNISON was formed from the merger of COHSE, NALGO and NUPE, Mr Prentis reminded the hall that in 1993 people thought that the formation of one union for public service workers was ‘the right idea at the wrong time.&rsqu...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 19, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article 2018 National Delegate Conference general secretary Source Type: news

UNISON vows to fight for the Good Friday Agreement
UNISON vowed to support members in Northern Ireland and the union’s structures in the nation to defend the Good Friday Agreement and work for human rights, when its national delegate conference opened for business in Brighton this morning. Motions on delivering on the promise of the agreement, and protecting human rights and equality in Northern Ireland were at the top of the agenda as delegates began their discussions. In the year that marks the 20th anniversary of the agreement, Gabrielle Carton of Northern Ireland UNISON, told delegates that the union “has always fought for a just peace, not just the absence...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 19, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article 2018 National Delegate Conference Northern Ireland Source Type: news

Further education colleges in crisis
UNISON vowed to continue to fight for further education jobs and to negotiate the best conditions for workers in the face of drastic and on-going cuts. Local government conference heard that with more than 30,000 UNISON members working in further education and sixth form colleges across the UK, there continues to be concerns about the future of FE provision. A recent National Audit office report revealed that more than half of all colleges are in deficit and could face an uncertain future. This is despite the sector having lost one million learners since 2009 and 16 to 18s receiving the same funding as they did in 1990. &l...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 19, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article 2018 Local Government Conference further education northern region Source Type: news

A time to review and renew the ‘ family ’ union
“UNISON is not just a trade union, it is a family,” president Margaret McKee declared as she marked her final presidential week by opening the union’s national delegate conference in Brighton this morning. She told delegates that it had been a great honour to be president for the past 12 months, though she had her first experience of presidential duties in tragic circumstances the year before, alongside then senior vice president Carol Sewell, when president Eric Roberts tragically died part way through his term. She started her speech by thanking Carol, and former presidents, for the support they and oth...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 19, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article 2018 National Delegate Conference NDC 2018 presidential team Source Type: news

Social workers say no to national assessment scheme
Speakers at the local government conference today called for a boycott of the government’s controversial plan to introduce an accreditation system for children and family social workers. Malcolm Jarvis of Salford moved a motion to “Say no to National Assessment and Accreditation”, telling delegates that the work done by social workers in children’s services is “absolutely crucial to the welfare of children and families”. Yet, at a time when children’s services are experiencing a funding shortfall of £600m, the government is giving £23m to private companies – inclu...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 18, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article Source Type: news

Local authorities must work to eradicate exploitation, says UNISON
Local authorities are not doing enough to protect workers’ rights globally, according to research published today (Monday) by UNISON. According to the report Ethical Procurement in UK Local Authorities, produced by People & Planet on behalf of UNISON, only eight of the 190 local authorities looked at had a standalone ethical procurement policy. The UK local government sector spent almost £60 billion on goods and services in 2016 – a huge percentage of the market – giving local authorities vast potential to influence environmental and employment policies, says UNISON. Products bought and used by ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 18, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Charlotte Jeffs Tags: News Press release heather wakefield local government procurement Source Type: news

Energy workers face turbulent times
Members in the energy sector are facing job losses, attacks on their terms and conditions and uncertainty about the future in what is “a turbulent time for the energy industry”, said Jenny Middleton, chair of the energy service group executive (SGE) opening the group’s conference today (Monday). The conference agenda included motions on the proposed merger of two Big 6 energy suppliers, Npower and SSE, renationalisation of the energy industry, and a move to hydrogen gas. Middleton said that as well as facing attacks on their terms and conditions, members had to cope with “attacks on our sector from ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 18, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article 2018 Energy Conference EDF Energy NPower SSE Source Type: news

Culture is a human need
“Human beings need culture: libraries, museums, parks, open spaces…” Margaret Gallagher of South Lanarkshire UNISON told the union’s local government conference this morning. But with the cuts to library provision across the UK, she said, “the government is closing a gate that should be open”. Delegate after delegate strode to the rostrum to catalogue the destruction of the library service across the UK. Gillian Southby from the Vale of Glamorgan noted that her authority used to have nine libraries. “But now there are only four full-time libraries. Two years ago, five were put int...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 18, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article 2018 Local Government Conference libraries library and culture service love your libraries Source Type: news

Vital local services are collapsing say council staff in UNISON survey
Local government spending cuts have left councils across the UK unable to meet the needs of local communities and, in some cases, are putting the public at risk, says UNISON today (Monday). A survey, released to coincide with the union’s local government conference, reveals that eight in ten (79%) council workers have no confidence in the future of local services, and half (50%) are thinking of leaving their jobs for less stressful work elsewhere. The survey – of 21,000 local government employees working across all services – reveals that two-thirds (67%) say residents don’t receive help and support...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 18, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Charlotte Jeffs Tags: Article austerity cuts dave prentis local authorities local government public services Source Type: news

UNISON calls for properly funded council housing
Council housing transformed people’s lives and can do so again with “a well- funded, well-resourced service” to make sure there are enough homes “accessible to workers on modest incomes,” UNISON declared at its local government conference in Brighton. Meeting just three days after the anniversary of the Grenfell fire which killed 72 people in their homes in west London, the conference also called on the government to fund “necessary fire safety and improvement works”. Moving a successful composite motion, John McLoughlin (pictured), speaking for the service group executive, said th...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 17, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article 2018 Local Government Conference Grenfell Tower housing housing crisis Source Type: news

Councils are bringing public services back in house
“More and more public councils are bringing public services back in house,” Angela Warner of UNISON’s local government executive told delegates at the service group conference in Brighton. Speaking as part of a debate on privatisation and bringing services back in-house, she called for a UK-wide campaign similar to UNISON Scotland’s Public Works campaign. And as part of that, she said, council “procurement policies need to be rewritten to default in-house provision. She was backed up by Tracey Holmes of Sefton who  reported that councils of different persuasions are bringing services in h...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 17, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article 2018 Local Government Conference outsourcing privatisation Source Type: news

Shout it from the rooftops, declares local government conference
“We should be shouting from the rooftops about what we do,” Carmarthenshire delegate Mark Evans told the local government conference today, as conference called for a campaign to raise the profile of local government workers. The motion was overwhelmingly carried, after many delegates spoke passionately about the lack of recognition or support for the work done by local government employees, and the devastating effects of government cuts. This lack of recognition has made it easy for the government to cut local government funding at a much greater rate than for any other part of the public sector, delegates hea...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 17, 2018 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article 2018 Local Government Conference Source Type: news