Report shows action is needed to reduce Covid impact on Black community, says UNISON
Commenting on Public Health England’s report published today (Tuesday) into disparities in the effects of Covid-19 upon different parts of society, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This reveals a complex picture in which race, age, deprivation, occupation, sex and underlying health have all played a part. “But it’s clear those who often face the biggest challenges of inequality are being hit harder by this disease. And the report comes at a time when racial injustice is hitting the headlines around the globe. “The government must do all it can to protect those&n...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 2, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release BAME coronavirus dave prentis Source Type: news

Blog: As lockdowns ease, anxiety grows and confusion reigns
It’s now been nearly three months of lockdown in the UK and we are still living through the most extraordinary times. Though as restrictions are being relaxed, at different rates in the four nations of the UK, the sense of confusion is growing and not easing. The government’s own scientific advisors claim that decisions are being made for political and not scientific reasons; people who were meant to be shielding are now allowed to go out and some schools in England opened this week, with some year groups returning to lessons, but some parents keeping their children at home. Confusion reigns. And with it anxiet...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 2, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog coronavirus Covid-19 dave prentis Source Type: news

Academy chain failing to protect staff and pupils, say unions
National academy chain the David Ross Education Trust has failed to consult staff properly on Covid-19 risk planning ahead of a wider reopening of its schools, say UNISON and GMB today (Tuesday). The unions have made a formal complaint to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) about the trust, which runs 34 schools in total across London, the East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside. In their letter to the HSE, UNISON and GMB say the trust has put the safety of employees and pupils at ‘serious and imminent risk’. This is as result of the academy chain leaving insufficient time to consult with staff over t...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 2, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: Article academy schools coronavirus schools Covid-19 David Ross Education Trust Source Type: news

Time for ‘answers and actions’ on coronavirus effect on Black community
Commenting on reports today (Tuesday) that publication of a Public Health England review into the impact of the coronavirus on the BAME community has been delayed, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “It’s completely unacceptable for this report to be delayed. Coronavirus has a disproportionate impact on Black communities and on Black public service workers. “It’s time for answers and actions, not more delays. The findings should be published today.” Notes to editors: – UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 2, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release BAME coronavirus dave prentis public health England Source Type: news

Help There for You be there for them
UNISON members are not only on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, they’ve also feeling the impact of the pandemic in many ways, from losing loved ones to losing pay. Members in need have been turning to their union for help – and UNISON, through its unique welfare charity, There for You, has been there for them. At the time of writing, the union has already agreed more than 900 requests for assistance for a £250 emergency grant. But as the coronavirus crisis continues, Sian Stockham, the chair of the industrial action committee, is appealing to all branches to help bolster the funds that allow u...
Source: UNISON Health care news - June 1, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News coronavirus Covid-19 Sian Stockham there for you Source Type: news

Angela Rayner chats to UNISON carers
Before becoming an MP, Angela Rayner was a care worker and UNISON rep. One of the reasons she stood to become an MP was to help make sure that care workers were treated better. Speaking to 12 care workers on an online call this week, she introduced herself as Angie, saying “I’m one of you guys. “There’s no better way of understanding what’s been happening than by listening to care workers themselves.” With the promise of anonymity, the carers on the call spoke frankly about their unsafe working conditions, low pay and the personal protective equipment (PPE) challenges thrown up by COVID-...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 29, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News angela rayner care workers coronavirus Covid-19 Source Type: news

Blog: a long way to go on equal pay
Today, 29 May, is an opportunity to celebrate 50 years since the introduction of the Equal Pay Act. UNISON has led the way in using the legislation to achieve equal pay for significant numbers of low-paid women members – school staff, nursery workers, care workers, caterers and cleaners – who are doing the same work as men. However, figures published earlier this week show that there are 29,000 equal pay claims a year – in spite of the Equal Pay Act. We’ve made a lot of progress, but there is still a lot to do to end long-term inequality in pay for women. Factors that underlie pay inequality have be...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 29, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News carers Christina McAnea coronavirus Covid-19 equal pay social care unison women Source Type: news

New agreement to ensure NHS staff in England are paid properly for every working hour
Health workers across England should now be paid properly for every hour they’re at work during the pandemic, following an agreement reached between health unions and NHS employers today (Friday). Since March staff have been working flat out, treating and caring for patients, and keeping the NHS running under immense pressure – but often not getting paid for all the hours they put in, says UNISON. Some NHS trusts have made sure staff are paid for every hour of overtime worked, but this hasn’t been the case everywhere. That’s why 15 unions representing staff working in English NHS trusts – incl...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 29, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus health pay Sara Gorton Unpaid overtime Source Type: news

We ’re winning for care in the COVID-19 pandemic
During COVID-19, care workers have been caring for those most vulnerable to the virus, while facing the triple whammy of an inadequate government response, unfair conditions and a dysfunctional care system. But UNISON has been fighting for them – and winning. Here we look back at some of those victories. A care home member in Norfolk contacted UNISON, concerned about a shortage of masks. The union contacted local officials who arranged for 300 masks to be quickly transferred, while supply line issues were also dealt with. In Scotland, UNISON negotiated with the Scottish government to secure the Scottish Liv...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 27, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Rachael Henry Tags: Article care homes care workers coronavirus Covid-19 Source Type: news

Winning for care
Care workers have faced some of the toughest circumstances during COVID-19. Caring for those most vulnerable to the virus, whilst grappling with failures from an inadequate government response, unfair conditions and a dysfunctional care system. But UNISON have been fighting back. And we have been winning. Here, we share some victories from care workers campaigns throughout the UK in the last few weeks. In Norfolk, a care home member contacted UNISON concerned about a lack of masks. UNISON contacted local officials who arranged for 300 masks to be quickly transferred while supply line issues were sorted. In Leeds,...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 27, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Rachael Henry Tags: Article Source Type: news

New care home death figures show government claims of protecting the sector  ​ring hollow
Responding to figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics showing more than half of all deaths linked to coronavirus occurred in care homes, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “It’s shameful that hundreds of people in care homes are still dying of C​o​vid-19 every week. “Vulnerable residents and ​care workers looking after them have been left to fight the disease alone. Many staff still don’t have the safety kit or tests they need. Government claims of a protective ring being placed a...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 26, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release adult social care care crisis Christina McAnea Covid-19 deaths ONS Source Type: news

Blog: A u-turn from the government and a real victory for our union
This week, years of UNISON campaigning and lobbying brought about a massive change for many of our members. UNISON has opposed the Immigration Health Surcharge since its inception in 2015, for a simple reason – it’s fundamentally unfair. Migrant workers already contribute to the NHS the same way we all do – by paying their taxes. Not only do migrant workers make a “fair contribution” and then pay extra with the surcharge, those working in the NHS, social care and other health roles make a third contribution with their work. They provide care for others, day in day out, knowing that they have ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 22, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News Source Type: news

Government should listen to independent scientists and pull back from 1 June start date
Commenting on the report on school safety from the committee of independent scientists chaired by Sir David King published today (Friday), UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “This is the evidence school staff and parents have been waiting for. Not only do these scientists say the government’s plans for schools in England are premature, they also suggest any risks to children would be halved by waiting a fortnight. “Ministers need to heed these concerns, stop doggedly pushing schools to meet the arbitrary 1 June deadline, and ensure proper tracking and tracing is up and running firs...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 22, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus coronavirus schools Jon Richards Source Type: news

Unions urge immediate protection of Black probation workers from COVID-19
UNISON is calling on the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies to proactively reduce risk for Black probation staff. NHS England confirmed on 7 May 2020 that members of Black communities are at a disproportionate risk of fatal COVID-19. The NHS has subsequently issued detailed guidance for NHS employers to undertake specific risk assessments of the vulnerability of Black/BAME staff to COVID-19 and take appropriate action to reduce their exposure to and risk from the disease. The police service has quickly adopted the same approach for police officers and police staff, and now UNISON, NAPO and GM...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 22, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News black members Covid-19 national probation service Source Type: news

Tell us your lockdown story
At UNISON we’ve been very busy since the start of the coronavirus crisis writing stories about members on the frontline, focussing on the amazing work they do – saving lives and keeping the country running. We’ve also been busy holding the government to account and campaigning for PPE to make sure our members and all key workers are protected – both financially and physically – at this incredibly difficult time. But not all of our members have been contributing in such a high-profile way, on the front line. So, we’d also like to shine a light on some of the more unusual, imaginative, eve...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 22, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article coronavirus Covid-19 Source Type: news

‘I’ve felt like I’m more at risk of exhaustion than COVID-19’
UNISON member Sarah Wall is a team leader in a homeless hostel in Birmingham. In the week that the lockdown was announced, Birmingham City Council urged local services to get all rough sleepers off the streets. Sarah remembers it clearly. “The busiest Monday I’ve ever had was at the end of March. There was a lot of last-minute pressure from Birmingham City Council for us to get everyone off the street. “Two weeks before that, all the local housing providers were called into a meeting to look at potential strategies for rehousing people. “Usually, the rough sleeper team go out and approach ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 22, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article coronavirus Covid-19 homeless homelessness housing local government Source Type: news

Funding must go to care workers in need, not employers ’ bank accounts, says UNISON
The government must introduce measures to ensure employers don’t hold on to millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money intended for hard-up care workers, says UNISON today (Thursday). The funding is part of a £600m social care package announced last week by the Prime Minister. Some of the money is aimed at providing financial help to care staff self-isolating with Covid-19 symptoms so they do not feel pressured into going into work. Its intention is also to top up the wages of those doing shifts at several care homes by encouraging them to reduce the number of workplaces they visit. But UNISON ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 21, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release care homes care workers coronavirus Source Type: news

Exemptions would be welcome but health surcharge should be scrapped, says UNISON
Responding to Labour leader Keir Starmer’s proposal at Prime Minister’s questions today (Wednesday) that health and care staff should be exempted from the immigration health surcharge, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Dealing with the pandemic has shown more than ever how NHS and care services rely on staff from overseas. It beggars belief that we’re making them pay extra to work here and keep us safe. “Workers who come to the UK pay for the services they use through tax and national insurance. This fee should be scrapped completely but exempting health and care staff...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 20, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release Christina McAnea NHS staff Source Type: news

Blog: The inequality of the pandemic
By Christina McAnea, UNSION assistant general secretary The evidence of COVID-19’s devastating impact on Black workers should shock us all. We don’t yet have the whole picture. Undoubtedly, the reasons are complex.   But too many of the theories flying around imply Black communities are in some way responsible for the devastating toll on them. Lifestyle, family structure, eating habits, language barriers. The list goes on. This victim–blaming absolves policy makers and employers of responsibility at exactly the time w...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 19, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Blogs black members coronavirus Covid-19 equality Source Type: news

UNISON demands extra government funding to save universities from crisis
Higher education member Bill Acharjee (above) works at Solent University in Southampton as a research governance officer, with the task of ensuring that students and academics maintain ethical standards while they conduct their research projects. He’s thoughtful, conscientious. And while working from home during the COVID-19 crisis, he has a very sobering thought. “A world without universities would be tragic,” he says. “I just can’t comprehend it.” But there’s a very real danger some may struggle to survive, Mr Acharjee feels, if the government continues to refuse to come to the a...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 19, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Demetrios Matheou Tags: Article News coronavirus higher education Covid-19 Source Type: news

Government ’ s treatment of migrant workers is shameful
Commenting on the second reading of the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea today (Monday) said: “Pushing ahead with the Immigration Bill is a triumph of bloody-mindedness over common sense. “Migrant workers are in the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 in care homes, propping up a neglected system that would collapse without them. “Hundreds of thousands of care jobs are unfilled, yet the government is intent on cutting off a source of ski...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 18, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release Christina McAnea frontline immigration immigration bill migrant workers Source Type: news

How to be a good lockdown neighbour
UNISON member Lynn Gillespie works for a housing association in Coventry as a Safer Neighbourhoods Officer. Her job involves responding to tenant complaints about anti-social behaviour and she organises injunctions and possessions. Lynn is on the frontline of housing, and the job isn’t always easy. “Anti-social behaviour is behaviour that affects a community, like drug dealing, noise nuisance, or racial harassment,” says Lynn. “We have various means of tackling it, and some of those tools include legal procedures.” Lynn responds to tenants’ complaints about their neighbours. Her role has...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 18, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article Communities in Unison community housing housing associations Source Type: news

Blog: Keeping the lights on
From the start of the Coronavirus crisis, the whole nation has united behind our key workers, acknowledging, celebrating and supporting the massive contribution that UNISON makes in critical public services like our NHS, social care and schools. Yet it’s not only those sectors where public service workers are helping to keep our communities going – far from it. Every single UNISON member is playing a vital role – including the thousands of workers in the energy sector who are quite literally keeping the lights on and our homes warm. I am so proud of the dedication and commitment our energy members have sh...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 15, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News Source Type: news

Health unions publish blueprint for the safe opening up of the NHS
Fast, comprehensive and accessible testing, and the ongoing, ample supply of protective kit are among measures that must be in place for the NHS to be opened up safely as the UK begins to ease the lockdown, say health unions today (Friday). The 16 unions – including UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Unite and GMB – have drawn up a nine-point blueprint, which also calls for staff to be paid properly for every hour worked. The unions want to ensure that – as out-patient clinics and operations resume – the NHS continues to opera...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 15, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release blueprint Covid-19 NHS PPE Source Type: news

Education unions agree statement on the safe reopening of schools
Unions with members in the education sector today (Wednesday) published a joint statement on the safe reopening of schools. It follows a longer statement addressed to the secretary of state for education on Friday (8 May), which fully detailed the principles and tests necessary for the safe reopening of schools. It has been signed by UNISON, AEP, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NSEAD, Prospect and Unite. Full text of today’s statement: “We all want schools to re-open, but that should only happen when it is safe to do so. The government is showing a lack of understanding about the dangers of the spread of coronavirus wi...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 13, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus coronavirus schools education school staff TUC Source Type: news

Unions set out five tests government and colleges must meet before staff and students can return
Staff and student safety must be guaranteed before colleges can reopen, said trade unions today (Wednesday) as they set out five tests* that must be met by government and colleges. Unions representing staff working in further education colleges^ called for stringent hygiene measures, protection for vulnerable people and isolation for all suspected cases to avoid colleges becoming Covid-19 hotspots. The unions said that social distancing plans had to extend beyond the classroom to cover things like travelling to and from college and socialising. To help deal with those challenges, they said that staff and students who can w...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 13, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release Covid-19 education fe further education Leigh powell Source Type: news

Keeping key workers safe while travelling must remain paramount, says UNISON
Responding to new government guidance about using public transport during the coronavirus pandemic announced today (Tuesday), UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Many NHS, care, police, council and school staff don’t have cars and are reliant on public transport to get to work. Ensuring they can still travel safely is paramount. “Other workers and employers should think hard about making non-essential journeys and avoid buses, tubes and trains wherever possible to prevent a second wave of infection. “Any businesses still closed should open up their car parks for free to all key workers who ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 12, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus dave prentis key workers Source Type: news

Chancellor ’s furlough extension offers some certainty to workers, says UNISON 
Responding to Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the extension of the job retention scheme, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis today (Tuesday) said:  “Extending the scheme until the autumn and keeping payment levels at 80% of salaries is the right thing to do and shows the Chancellor has been listening to unions. “It’s good news for millions of workers in need of some security during uncertain times. “Supporting a part-time return to work from August is a sensible move which gives employers time to ensure workplaces are safe.” Notes to editors: – UN...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 12, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release chancellor Covid-19 dave prentis furlough pay Source Type: news

Care home death rates show continued need for PPE and testing, says UNISON
Responding to new figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics showing care home deaths linked to coronavirus have increased by more than 2,400 in a week, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “There’s clearly no major slowdown in the devastation being caused in care homes, causing heartache for so many families. Not only those of vulnerable residents, but care workers who have suffered high death rates. “This underlines why any return to work must be managed safely to avoid key workers being exposed to the virus as they travel, putting further lives at ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 12, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release care workers Christina McAnea coronavirus health workers coronavirus testing PPE residential care homes Source Type: news

Blog: Safety for all workers is UNISON ’ s bottom line
The past seven weeks have been difficult for all of us. For most of the country, there has been confinement at home, unable to see family and friends, and a deep anxiety about what the future will bring. For many UNISON members, there has been the entirely different pressure of going to work, with all the health risks that entails, and the added fear of infecting family members. NHS workers and care workers in particular have worked in incredibly difficult circumstances, sometimes without the necessary equipment they need to ensure their safety. Each week we take to our doorsteps and our windows to clap for them. But we al...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 12, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News coronavirus Covid-19 Source Type: news

New ways for members to get legal help
Here’s a simple guide for branches to help our members get the support they need, when they need it. Employment advice Members with issues relating directly to their work should still go direct to their branch, but to speed things up, we have adapted the case form to make it more streamlined. COVID-19 and PPE issues If members have any concerns about PPE in their workplace, these should also be raised directly with their branch who are best placed to negotiate with the employer and support their members. Non-employment legal advice UNISON has set up a new direct phone number to our legal services provider Thompsons ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 12, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Article Legal legal services Source Type: news

Voluntary redeployment at a COVID testing centre: ‘ I ’ m proud to be part of the NHS family ’
Almost half the staff in the NHS (around 470,000 people) are in clinical support or infrastructure support roles – these include porters, administrators, medical secretaries, telephonists, cleaners, caretakers and laundry staff. These workers make up the operational services group in UNISON’s health group. In ‘normal times’ these vital workers keep the NHS running, making sure patients and their families get the best treatment possible. But during the COVID-19 crisis, they’re pulling out all the stops, changing shifts, and often undertaking redeployment to assist where they&rsqu...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 12, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article coronavirus testing Covid-19 health one team Source Type: news

High Covid-19 deaths among care staff ‘ shocking ’ , says UNISON
Responding to figures released today (Monday) by the Office for National Statistics showing death rates involving Covid-19 are significantly raised among care workers and home care staff, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “These shocking figures reveal how care staff are literally putting their lives on the line by going to work. “Their jobs can’t be done without getting up close to the vulnerable and elderly individuals they care for in residential homes and in the community. “Having access to personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for employees and residents. It&r...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 11, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release care staff Covid-19 deaths Office for National Statistics Source Type: news

The return to work must be safe, says UNISON
Commenting on the Prime Minister’s address to the nation today (Sunday), UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The return to work must be safe. There must be no cutting corners, no playing fast and loose with employees’ safety. The economy is important, but lives are too. “If safety isn’t paramount, then infections will increase and there’ll be a second wave that risks overwhelming the NHS and social care. “Many health, care and other key workers use trains, buses and tubes to get to work. Their safety must not be compromised by crowded public transport. “The governmen...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 10, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus dave prentis lockdown Source Type: news

It ’s ‘fortunate’ that temporary register not needed for nursing and midwifery students, says UNISON
Responding to a decision today (Thursday) by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) not to create a specific nursing student part of the temporary register, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “We’re glad it’s not been necessary for the NMC to open the temporary register to students. “Thousands of students have stepped forward to assist during this crisis and we’re very proud of them. Fortunately though, the demand hasn’t reached the levels anticipated. “The priority throughout the pandemic has been to keep student nurses and midwives as safe as possible. It’s also ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 7, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release NMC nursing and midwifery students temporary register Source Type: news

Frightened workers self-isolating to protect vulnerable loved ones shouldn ’t be punished
The government must do more to protect key workers threatened with dismissal or put on unpaid leave if they’re off work self-isolating because of vulnerable relatives, says UNISON today (Wednesday). Anxious staff have come to UNISON with heartbreaking stories, terrified that if forced to go into work, they might take the virus home – with potentially devastating consequences. Local government and NHS employers have put agreements in place to protect the income of any staff off work because of the health of family members. But some employers – including councils and schools – are instead using Public...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 6, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus dave prentis sick pay Source Type: news

Needless care home deaths can be prevented if staff get safety kit, says UNISON
Responding to figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics showing care home deaths linked to coronavirus have increased by more than 2,500 in a week, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Each of these deaths is a tragedy for the families who have lost a loved one. “It’s not too late to save lives. The rate of infection can be reduced if care workers have proper access to protective kit. “This would help stop the virus spreading between residents or being brought in from outside. “But this can only happen if the government and employers ens...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 5, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release care homes coronavirus deaths PPE Source Type: news

Volunteers help tackle the NHS equipment crisis
People who care about the safety of NHS workers are doing their bit to help – because they feel they’ve been left with no choice. Some people have volunteered to help on Facebook, via a group called For the Love of Scrubs UK, and are making scrubs for staff in their own local hospitals. One of those volunteers is retired UNISON staff member Wavenie Jones. “I used to sew over 20 years ago and I loved it,” she says. “I made clothes for myself, friends and family, and also made a few home furnishings. “I put my sewing machine away when life got busy and forgot all about this super craf...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 5, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article coronavirus Covid-19 NHS volunteers Source Type: news

UNISON urges government to support universities properly
UNISON is calling on the government to provide meaningful support for higher education, as institutions face growing financial problems as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many universities are already experiencing difficulties and the COVID-19 crisis means that they are likely to face a lot fewer student admissions in the autumn. A recent study for the University and College Union estimated that universities face a potential loss of £2.5bn, with 30,000 jobs potentially at risk. The government published plans yesterday to support the sector through the pandemic, a month after the joint unions wrote a letter...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 5, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: News coronavirus Covid-19 education services higher education universities Source Type: news

Elderly and vulnerable people still at risk from poor advice from some care homes, says UNISON
Some care companies are still failing to give staff accurate guidance on using personal protective equipment (PPE) – creating serious dangers for workers, care home residents and the elderly living in their own homes, says UNISON today (Monday). Concerned care staff working in residential homes are telling the union they’re being denied access to vital kit because it’s locked away, or their employers say they don’t need it because no-one has Covid-19 symptoms. But UNISON says this is in clear breach of Public Health England (PHE) guidance. The latest PHE guidance for care homes s...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 4, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release care workers Christina McAnea coronavirus PPE Source Type: news

COVID-19: Black and female workers – more impacted than the rest
UNISON believes that the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on different groups is devastatingly different and is becoming increasingly clear. In evidence to parliament this week, the union asserted that COVID-19 is tracking and deepening long-term inequalities in our society. UNISON Assistant General Secretary Christina McAnea said: “Inequalities emerging through the pandemic are chilling evidence to support UNISON’s demands on workplace rights and decent public services. We need them both now and in the future.” In evidence to the cross-party Women and Equalities Committee this week, UNISON set out how ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 1, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article black members coronavirus Covid Covid-19 equalities PPE women Source Type: news

You are doing so much to protect us, we have to protect you: a May Day message from Dave Prentis
On International Workers’ Day 2020, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has issued a message to all UNISON members and activists. In his first video message after being in lockdown, Dave sends a clear message of thanks to all UNISON members. Watch the video on YouTube: In the video, Dave said: “Good morning everyone. Just a short personal message from me to thank all of you – our members, our activists – for all the work that you are doing to protect our societies and our communities.” “The work is so essential, and we will ensure that your union is there with you throughout this cris...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 1, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article coronavirus dave prentis May Day Source Type: news

‘You are doing so much to protect us, we have to protect you‘: a May Day message from Dave Prentis
On International Workers’ Day 2020, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has issued a message to all UNISON members and activists. In his first video message after being in lockdown, Dave sends a clear message of thanks to all UNISON members. Watch the video on YouTube: In the video, Dave said: “Good morning everyone. Just a short personal message from me to thank all of you – our members, our activists – for all the work that you are doing to protect our societies and our communities.” “The work is so essential, and we will ensure that your union is there with you throughout this cris...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 1, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article Source Type: news

“ You are doing so much to protect us, we have to protect you ” : a May Day message from Dave Prentis
On International Workers’ Day 2020, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has issued a message to all UNISON members and activists. In his first video message after being in lockdown, Dave sends a clear message of thanks to all UNISON members. Watch the video on YouTube: In the video, Dave said: “Good morning everyone. Just a short personal message from me to thank all of you – our members, our activists – for all the work that you are doing to protect our societies and our communities.” “The work is so essential, and we will ensure that your union is there with you throughout this cris...
Source: UNISON Health care news - May 1, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article Source Type: news

Blog: Denis Goldberg – a tireless campaigner for justice, and a friend
I was saddened to hear the news that our comrade and friend Denis Goldberg had passed away late on 29 April. Denis dedicated his life to the struggle against apartheid and the building of a new, non racial South Africa. He was freedom fighter, an inspirational and visionary politician and a tireless campaigner for justice, rights and democracy. Denis was arrested in 1963 alongside other members of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, and was sentenced to life imprisonment, as one of the Rivonia trialists, including Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada. Whilst his black comrades were incarcerated on Rob...
Source: UNISON Health care news - April 30, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: General secretary's blog international south africa Source Type: news

UNISON welcomes visa extension announcement
UNISON has welcomed news that health and care workers from oversees, and their families, whose visas are due to expire before 1 October will have them automatically extended for free. This will apply to staff in the NHS and independent sector and will include their family members. The government has also confirmed that family members and dependants of healthcare workers who pass away as result of contracting the virus will be offered indefinite leave to remain. The move followed representation from UNISON and pressure across the service. “We’re pleased to see gaps in the ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - April 30, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: News care workers coronavirus coronavirus health workers Covid-19 health care immigration NHS Source Type: news

UNISON welcomes Supreme Court decision on ethical LGPS investment
UNISON has welcomed a Supreme Court decision overturning a ban on Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) investment decisions which differ from government foreign and defence policy. Yesterday’s decision overturned regulations introduced in 2016 which banned the funds from disinvesting in companies or countries on ethical grounds, except where the government has imposed official sanctions. These were aimed at campaigns calling on pension funds to disinvest from companies which profit from, for instance, arms sales or the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Reacting to the court’s decision, UNISON head...
Source: UNISON Health care news - April 30, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article disinvestment international LGPS local government pale pensions pensions divestment Source Type: news

Sixth form staff in England consulting on pay
UNISON members working in English sixth form colleges are being asked their opinion on a new pay offer for this year (2019-20) and next, in an online consultation that closes on 15 May. College employers have made a final offer for the two years, following extensive negotiations by UNISON, which will see pay rise by a minimum of 5.34% by January next year. This will consist of three staged increases in pay and allowances: a 1.5% rise backdated to the start of the college year on 1 September 2019; a 1.25% increase on those new rates backdated to 1 April this year, with higher rises for the lower paid; a further 2.5% increa...
Source: UNISON Health care news - April 29, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: News bargaining colleges education services pay pay negotiating and bargaining sixth form sixth form colleges Source Type: news

Extension of NHS death in service benefits to all healthcare workers is the least we can do
Commenting on the government announcement today (Monday) that NHS death-in-service benefits are to be extended to all health and care staff who die from contracting Covid-19, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “It’s only right the families of all those who worked for the NHS or in social care, and who’ve sadly lost their lives to the virus, are properly provided for. “Until now, the relatives of any low-paid health worker who died and had opted out of the NHS pension scheme would’ve received nothing. Nor would the families of care workers on precarious contracts. Thankf...
Source: UNISON Health care news - April 27, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release care workers coronavirus dave prentis death in service health workers minute's silence Source Type: news

Blog: A moment of silence is the very least that we can do
Tomorrow, the nation will fall silent at 11am to honour and remember all of the health, care and other key workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus. It’s an opportunity for us all to take a moment to pay our respects and give thanks to for the lives of those who saved lives, kept key services running and the rest of the country safe. It’s also a further opportunity to show our love to their families, and to remind everyone of the real danger that key workers are placing themselves in to keep our country going and our communities safe. Our union has been leading the calls for this commemoration which tak...
Source: UNISON Health care news - April 27, 2020 Category: UK Health Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News coronavirus IWMD Source Type: news