Hundreds of Mitie staff striking  today at Dudley Group hospitals
Around 300 of the lowest-paid staff working at hospitals in Dudley will take strike action today (Friday) over their employer’s refusal to pay them a lump sum worth at least £1,655 that has already been given to hundreds of thousands of people employed by the NHS, says UNISON. The health staff, who work at Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (DGFT) but are employed by private contractor Mitie, began their 24-hour walkout at 5am. Another strike lasting 24 hours is lined up for next Thursday (29 February). The workers, who include cleaners, domestics, porters, catering staff and many other important hospital roles, must be ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 23, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release Mitie nhs pay private contractors Source Type: news

Prospective MPs urged to back new national care service
General election candidates from all parties are being asked to support the creation of a new national care service in England. UNISON says too many people across the country cannot access the social care they desperately need because the current system is broken. The union wants to see a new service based on high quality care and a fairly rewarded workforce. Although these changes wouldn’t happen overnight, the union believes the reforms would put an end to 15-minute home care visits, long waits for care packages, and low wages for staff. A national care service would also mean the quality of care is of the same high st...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 22, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Dan Ashley Tags: News Press release General election 2024 national care service pledge card wes streeting Source Type: news

Women ’ s health at work is a UNISON priority says conference
Women’s health at work was a key focus of UNISON’s national women’s conference, held in Brighton last week. Delegates passed motions with a specific focus on reproductive health, including one that called on the union to investigate and report on the needs of women workers in relation to endometriosis, menopause and menstruation. Another motion called on the union to campaign for paid leave for pregnancy loss. During the debate, several speakers shared their experiences at work after suffering miscarriages. One delegate described her line manager as saying to her: “Why are you crying? It wasn’t a real baby, j...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 20, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News 2024 women's conference Menopause Source Type: news

Blog: Celebrating our LGBT+ members and history
This month, UNISON has been celebrating LGBT+ History Month. It was founded in 2004, as an opportunity for everyone to raise awareness of the history, lives and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. UNISON has taken a look back at the positive contribution activists and members have made to the struggle for equality. Meanwhile, across the union, events continue to celebrate the union’s Year of LGBT+ Workers. The theme for the 2024 LGBT+ History Month is medicine – #UnderTheScope – serving as a reminder that the NHS and healthcare services would not be the same without LGBT+ people and thei...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 20, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Christina McAnea Tags: Article General Secretary's blog News lgbt history month Year of LGBT Workers Source Type: news

UNISON women pass emergency motion on Gaza
On the second day of UNISON’s women’s conference, delegates passed an emergency motion on solidarity with women in Gaza. The motion calls on the union to condemn the recent statement made by Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir that the Israeli army must shoot anyone approaching the border, including women and children. In a cabinet meeting earlier this week, he said: “We cannot have women and children getting close to the border … anyone who gets near must get a bullet”. Tamsain Hussain Gul, speaking through tears as she introduced the motion, said: “Women are watching their children be k...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 16, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News 2024 women's conference Gaza international Palestine Source Type: news

Christina McAnea lauds women who helped win NI peace
General secretary Christina McAnea was met with a standing ovation after she delivered the keynote speech on the second day of UNISON’s 2024 women’s conference in Brighton. Smiling as she greeted the hall of delegates, Ms McAnea gave a tribute to the first female regional secretary of UNISON, Inez McCormack. Ms McAnea described how she was in her early twenties when she first heard Ms McCormack speak at a trade union conference, saying that Ms McCormack – then Northern Ireland’s regional secretary for NUPE – “brought the conference alive. “She’d brought half a dozen women members with her to the confere...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 16, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News 2024 women's conference Christina McAnea equal pay Northern Ireland Source Type: news

Yoga instructors pose a strike problem for unbending council
Yoga, Pilates and aerobics instructors employed by Colchester City Council are to take strike action later this month after nearly a decade without a pay rise, UNISON announced today.The fitness instructors will walk out for seven days from Wednesday 28 February until Tuesday 5 March. Although the Leisure World and Northern Gateway Leisure Park trainers are directly employed by the council, they are not part of the same pay scheme as other staff.UNISON says unbending bosses at the local authority have refused to increase pay for yoga and Pilates coaches from £25 per session since 2015, while aerobics instructors have ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 16, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News ballot eastern region Industrial action strike Source Type: news

‘As a woman, my rights are not reduced by my LGBT+ comrades’
The first day of UNISON’s women’s conference, chaired by Sharon Foster in Brighton, passed several motions relating to LGBT+ rights, flexible working and female representation in the union. The day began with an impassioned speech from the union’s president Libby Nolan, who paid particular reference to Labour’s new deal for workers and the ongoing crisis in Palestine, describing it as a ‘war on women’. First, Ms Nolan said she was “determined that 2024, the year of LGBT+ workers, leaves a strong legacy.” Commending Labour’s new deal for workers, which promises day one rights for workers and a repeal of mi...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 16, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Simon Jackson Tags: Article News 2024 women's conference 2024 year of lgbt workers flexible working national women's conference NHS flexible working Palestine Source Type: news

UNISON urges Ofgem to act on customer bills
Britain’s energy regulator Ofgem must act to lower customer bills and secure a just transition for energy workers, following record rises in energy company profits, UNISON said today. The union is calling on the regulator to intervene and reduce high energy prices for consumers. It said that the scale of energy company profits is indicative of an imbalance in the market, and immediate action must be taken to rectify the situation. UNISON national secretary for energy Donna Rowe-Merriman said: “In the cost of living crisis, there is an urgent need for Ofgem to intervene to ensure that consumers are not drowning in debt....
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 16, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News energy bills just transition Source Type: news

Government must double  maternity pay so mothers can afford to eat and heat their homes, say UNISON and Maternity Action
The government must increase statutory maternity pay to £364.70 a week so new mothers are not forced back to work too early, say UNISON and Maternity Action today (Friday). Both organisations are concerned some women are cutting short their maternity leave, skipping meals and making other drastic choices because they cannot afford to live on the current statutory weekly amount of £172.48*. UNISON and Maternity Action are urging ministers to more than double the payment at the very least so women receive the equivalent of the national minimum wage of £10.42 an hour. A recent survey by Maternity Action on ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 16, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release maternity pay Source Type: news

NEC plans for the coming year
UNISON’s national executive council (NEC) met yesterday, for the first time this year, to discuss a substantial agenda, including the motions the council will be taking to national delegate conference in June. In her report opening the meeting, general secretary Christina McAnea applauded the achievements of 2023’s Year of Black Workers – not least in building a legacy for going forward. She noted that this year is the union’s Year of LGBT+ Workers, adding that she would be encouraging all branches and regions to ensure they supported and made a success of it. Ms McAnea reported on “a very cold 24 hours in Belfas...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 15, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News 2023 year of Black Workers 2024 year of lgbt workers Christina McAnea covid inquiry Libby Nolan Palestine Source Type: news

A union that keeps making LGBT+ history
This article was originally published in February 2020, but has been updated and amended for February 2024.   The article A union that keeps making LGBT+ history first appeared on the UNISON National site. (Source: UNISON Health care news)
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 15, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News LGBT members Source Type: news

UNISON calls on water regulator to protect customers and nature
UNISON is calling on the UK water regulator Ofwat and the UK government to stop water companies from increasing bills. The union says that instead, there should be a focus on legislation to make companies – not the public – pay to restore the waterways to good health and protect jobs in the industry. The water industry has hit the headlines again this week because of Ofwat’s plans to consult on banning bonuses for the bosses of water companies that have been found to have harmed the environment. But as well as failing the environment, companies are failing customers and workers as well, claims UNISON, with several c...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 15, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Simon Jackson Tags: Article water water environment and transport water industry Source Type: news

Decent NHS pay rise is crucial if both the workforce and the economy are to grow, say health unions
Proper investment in NHS staff is essential for both the UK’s economic success and if there’s to be any hope of filling record staff vacancies, health unions say today (Friday). A new report, compiled on behalf of 14 unions representing more than a million health workers in England, makes clear rebuilding the NHS workforce will be impossible without the fair, sustained wage rises central to recruiting and hanging on to staff. The unions also call for action from the government in the 2024/25 pay round to tackle the wage and staffing issues crucial to cutting the treatment backlog and giving patients the qualit...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 9, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release health workers nhs pay Source Type: news

Put  pay right and start to solve the NHS’ many problems
A proper pay rise for NHS staff in England this year is essential if there is to be any hope of filling the huge vacancies hole and stopping waiting lists from spiralling, says UNISON today (Friday). The union – representing ambulance workers, nurses, cleaners, medical secretaries, occupational therapists, porters and a whole host of other NHS staff – has urged Victoria Atkins to convene pay talks. UNISON says this would be the best way to agree the wage rise due in April, improve the experience of patients and avoid a repeat of last year’s strike action. UNISON, which is the biggest union in the NHS, has this week...
Source: UNISON Health care news - February 9, 2024 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News NHS nhs pay pay review body Source Type: news