Government must act swiftly to cap ‘horrific’ energy price hikes, says UNISON  
Responding to Ofgem’s confirmation today (Thursday) that the energy price cap will be updated more frequently, UNISON head of energy Matt Lay said: “The government must stop pretending it’s done enough. Support for consumers has so far been pitiful. Other European governments have been both swifter and bolder to lessen the blows from big bills. “All but the richest consumers face a terrifying prospect this winter. Many simply don’t have the means to pay. Swift and radical government action is needed to cap the horrific price hikes predicted. Otherwise, there will be a crisis of unimaginable...
Source: UNISON Health care news - August 4, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release energy price cap Source Type: news

£30m ambulance contract as effective as sticking plaster on wound, says UNISON
Commenting on the new £30m contract awarded by NHS England to St John Ambulance in an attempt to ease pressure on the ambulance service, UNISON ambulance lead Alan Lofthouse said: “Th​is move ​is not what an under-pressure NHS needs. It will be about as effective as sticking a ​tiny plaster on a gaping wound. “Putting additional non-NHS ambulances on the road without ​tackling the staffing crisis or the lack of capacity in A&E departments will mean even longer vehicle queues ​outside hospitals. “The money ​would have been far better spent investing in pay, staffing, services and social care, s...
Source: UNISON Health care news - August 2, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Fatima Ayad Tags: News Press release alan lofthouse Ambulance Source Type: news

UNISON recommends that EA members reject ‘ insulting ’ offer
UNISON members working for the Environment Agency (EA) are being consulted on the latest pay offer, with the union recommending that they reject the employer’s offer of 2%, plus a £345 one-off consolidated payment, and take part in industrial action to seek improvements. The offer falls short of the claim the EA unions jointly submitted in March this year and follows a 0% rise for most staff in 2021 after a decade of below inflation pay rises. UNISON national secretary Donna Rowe-Merriman said: “EA Members are seeing this offer as an insult – especially as offers for other public sector workers are higher. “The EA...
Source: UNISON Health care news - August 2, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News environment agency WET Source Type: news

Ridiculous pay plans would have spelt total disaster for the NHS, says UNISON
Commenting on reports today (Tuesday) that Conservative Party leadership contender Liz Truss has backed down on plans to cut the pay of public servants across the UK, UNISON deputy head of health Helga Pile said: “The NHS is in the depths of the biggest staffing crisis it’s ever faced. Last month’s below-inflation pay award isn’t enough to stop experienced health workers from leaving a service that’s on the edge. This ridiculous policy would have spelt total disaster. “Rather than make ill thought-out promises to appeal to Conservative party members, candidates should be thinking about ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - August 2, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Fatima Ayad Tags: News Press release cost of living Helga Pile Put NHS pay right Source Type: news

Strikes to go ahead after exam board fails to improve pay offer, says UNISON    
Staff at exam board AQA are to go ahead with a 72-hour walkout starting tomorrow (Friday) after the employer failed to re-open talks over pay​, said UNISON. The workers, including those who help organise the awarding of grades, will strike from Friday to Sunday (31 July) in action that could mean delays for students awaiting their GCSE and A-level results. Many of the 180 staff affected say they’re struggling financially following successive below-inflation pay awards. Their pay increased by 0.6%​ last year, and AQA has offered 3% this year, which UNISON says represents another real-terms pay cut, with inflation a...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 28, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Fatima Ayad Tags: News Press release AQA public sector pay Source Type: news

Scottish council staff back industrial action
Thousands of council workers across Scotland have voted to take industrial action, UNISON announced yesterday. The decision comes after the the largest strike ballot among council workers in over a decade. The action will disrupt schools, early years centres, nurseries and waste and recycling centres across the country. UNISON members in all councils across Scotland overwhelmingly voted to reject the final offer of 2% from COSLA – the Scottish local government employers’ association – with nine local authority branches exceeding the required 50% turnout threshold required by the Trade Union Act. UNISON head of lo...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 27, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News local government Scotland Source Type: news

General secretary reiterates need for branches to be ‘ strike ready ’
General secretary Christina McAnea reiterated the need for UNISON branches to be “strike ready” when she addressed today’s meeting of the union’s national executive council (NEC). Rearranged from last week, after being postponed due to the heat emergency, this was the first meeting of the council after June’s national delegate conference (NDC) and was chaired by the new president, Andrea Egan. Ms McAnea looked back to conference and to the TUC demo in London that came at the end of the union’s week in Brighton (pictured). It had been a big ask, she said, coming as it did the day after NDC closed. Yet, “as eve...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 26, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News cost of living NEC Source Type: news

When we have no choice but to strike
UNISON’s higher education strike ballot opened last Friday (22 July) and we’re holding an online rally this Thursday to help branches organise to get the vote out. Higher education salaries are now worth a shocking 20% less in real terms than in 2009. Our claim was for a pay uplift of at least inflation (RPI) plus 2%, but with inflation now running at 9.4%, the final offer from employers fell well short. They’re offering 3% to all on spine point 20 and above, with a taper of between 9 and 3.1% for those on lower spine points. It’s no surprise then, that we’re recommending that our HE members vote ‘yes’ to tak...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 26, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Christina McAnea Tags: Article General secretary's blog News Source Type: news

Newly qualified paramedics enjoy UNISON-won pay boost
Many newly qualified paramedics in the East of England are beginning to see an increase in their pay this month after fighting together for better banding. UNISON supported staff to put a collective grievance in against the trust over the newly qualified paramedic (NQP) role. When the role was introduced in 2016, it was agreed that NQPs would be on band five for a two-year “consolidation of learning” period to display the knowledge, in order to go up to band six. NQPs complained that there were unfair and unnecessary delays to the process that were leaving them out of pocket. The difference between band five and the bo...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 25, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News ambulance workers paramedics Source Type: news

Strike dates set after exam board fails on pay
Staff at exam board AQA are to stage a 72-hour walkout later this week ​that could affect the delivery of thousands of GCSE and A-level results. The employees, including those involved in organising the awarding of grades, will walk out for three days from Friday 29 to Sunday 31 July in a dispute over pay. Many of the 180 staff affected say they’re struggling to make ends meet following successive below-inflation pay awards. Last year, they received an increase of 0.6%​. This year they’ve been offered 3% – another real-terms pay cut, with inflation currently 9.4% and predicted to rise even further. The workers ...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 25, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News education Source Type: news

Louder and prouder: UNISON launches trans equality campaign
At the 2022 local government and national delegate conferences, UNISON unanimously passed motions on trans equality, recognising the importance of the union being loud and visible in support of its trans members. On Friday 15 July, UNISON launched its trans equality campaign, which features updated guidance on trans workers’ rights. The campaign has four objectives: • to roll out trans ally training across all UNISON regions; • to build trans and non-binary member activism to organise and campaign on workplace issues; • to ensure workplaces are safe by adopting UNISON’s model trans policy; and • to fight to...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 25, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News LGBT trans rights Source Type: news

Government must act now to ensure pupils ’ learning is not disrupted in ​September
Unions have jointly written to new education secretary James Cleverly ​today (Friday) calling for urgent action during the summer holidays to protect schools in England ahead of the next Covid wave. The letter has been sent by​ seven unions representing leaders and staff in schools – UNISON, ASCL, NAHT, NEU, GMB, NASUWT and Unite – and says ministers must use the time during ​the summer break to implement a range of measures to minimise disruption and cut lost learning. These include improved ventilation, air filtration, free lateral flow tests, renewed public guidance on reducing risks and a fresh push on e...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 22, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release school; covid; unions Source Type: news

Government plans to use agency workers to break strikes  ​are dangerous and unlawful
A new law allowing employers to use agency workers to replace striking staff during industrial disputes is to be challenged in the courts, UNISON has announced today (​Friday). The UK’s largest union says it plans to take the government to court over the controversial change to the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003, which came into force yesterday (Thursday 21 July). The union has written to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng about its intention to seek a judicial review of the new regulations, which it believes are unlawful. The secretary of state now has 14 days to respond, othe...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 22, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release agency workers Christina McAnea strikes Source Type: news

Tax relief for NHS staff – don’t lose out!
We know that the current cost of living crisis, years of below-inflation pay increases and inadequate mileage reimbursement rates mean that our members working in the NHS are under an increasing amount of financial strain. And we know that for many of our members, all of this means every penny matters when it comes to making ends meet. That’s why we want our members to benefit from our longstanding agreement with HMRC, which allows for health members working in certain professions to claim tax relief for cleaning their uniforms, and for nurses and midwives – their shoes and socks. You may also be eligible for tax reli...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 21, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Cleopatra Parthenoglou Tags: Article Source Type: news

UNISON-supported legal victory secures new holiday rights for all workers  
All workers in the UK will now receive the same minimum level of paid annual holiday leave, regardless of how many hours they work, following a landmark legal judgment by the Supreme Court today (Wednesday).   The case, Harpur Trust v Brazel & UNISON, was taken by music teacher Lesley Brazel. She argued her employer was wrong to give her fewer days of annual leave than the legal minimum because she only worked during the school term. UNISON got involved in the Brazel case because of its implications for thousands of school staff employed on term-time only contracts. The situation had previously been confused bec...
Source: UNISON Health care news - July 20, 2022 Category: UK Health Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release annual leave term-time contracts Source Type: news