Blog: LGBT+, COVID-19 and mental health
COVID-19 has meant it’s a pretty scary time to be a human. Add into the mix being LGBT+, Black, disabled and/or a woman and life can be even more difficult. And because of prejudice and discrimination, people from the LGBT+ community are more likely to experience mental health problems. In the wider community, around 1 in 4 people are affected by mental ill health. But in the LGBT+ community these figures can be as high as 70%, with trans people – and in particular young trans people – significantly over-represented (41% having attempted to end their lives). Meanwhile, over the past 10 years dedicate...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - August 4, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Blogs equality LGBT Mental health matters Source Type: news

Government must do all it can to defend jobs and stave off mass unemployment, says UNISON
Commenting on Labour’s call for the government to defend jobs and think again about winding down the furlough scheme, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said today (Thursday): “The economic turmoil of the pandemic is far from over. Workers need all the financial support they can get to avoid the spectre of mass unemployment in the next few months. “The government must pull back from the brink and continue giving a helping hand. “But ministers must also make sure that our services are in a fit state to cope with a second coronavirus wave. That means giving NHS workers an early and significant pay ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - July 30, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release dave prentis Labour Party Source Type: news

Sunderland members give out 3,000 gift packs to local government workers
UNISON members in Sunderland have created a heartwarming support campaign for local government workers. With 3,000 appreciation gift packs delivered to frontline workers, workplace posters and city billboards, UNISON City of Sunderland branch was determined to make sure that local government workers knew how recognised and appreciated they are. “When the country went into lockdown, it was frightening times,” says UNISON branch secretary Diane Peacock. “A lot of people were working from home, but a lot of UNISON members still had to carry on working. We wanted to do something for them to let them know how ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - July 29, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News Covid-19 local government Source Type: news

More cleaners needed to make  ​English schools safe for return of pupils and staff, says UNISON
Some cleaners ​in English schools are ​still having to work without protective kit and not given the ‘deep-clean’ training needed to keep people safe, says a survey published today (Thursday) by UNISON. ​ The union is calling on the government to provide schools with money to hire extra cleaners. Figures released by UNISON show that almost ​three in ten (29%) staff say there has been no increase in cleaning services since many schools reopened at the start of June. The survey was based on responses from more than 8,000 employees working in primary, ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - July 23, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release clean schools Covid-19 Source Type: news

Time to give a fair pay rise to all  public service workers
Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement that around 900,000 public service workers – including teachers, police and the armed forces – will get a backdated pay increase, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said today (Tuesday): “The dedication and hugely important part played by all NHS, care, council, police and school staff during the pandemic is clear for all to see. “But pay rises must be funded or already-stretched public services will feel an even greater pinch. “The government must show its appreciation by coming up with the cash now to give the rest of the NHS sta...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - July 21, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release dave prentis fair pay public services Source Type: news

UNISON Equality Survey 2020 – tell us about your experiences during the pandemic
Equality is one of UNISON’s core values and since 2016 we have run an annual survey asking members about their experiences of equality and discrimination at work. With so many UNISON members on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic, this year we want to hear from you about your experiences during the crisis. The results will be used to direct our work with government, employers and others in keeping workers safe and fighting for better conditions at work. Your answers matter to us, so if you complete the survey and give us your email address, you will be entered into a prize draw to win up to £100 worth o...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - July 17, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Josephine Grahl Tags: Article Equality News black members coronavirus Covid-19 disabled members equality survey LGBT members women young members Source Type: news

The government must invest in NHS staff too, says UNISON  
Responding to the announcement today (Friday) that the NHS is to get £3bn to help prepare for a possible second wave of Covid-19, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “The NHS needs all the resources available to ensure it’s well-prepared for a resurgence. Securing plentiful supplies of personal protective equipment to keep staff and patients safe and getting the entire NHS running again all come at a price. “But the government must invest in staff too. Providing the funding so everyone in the NHS can get an early pay rise this year would make health workers feel valued after all they&r...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - July 17, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release coronavirus health workers nhs pay Source Type: news

UNISON reports 40,000 calls to members during lockdown
UNISON has made a record number of 41,000 calls to members since the lockdown began, as the union rapidly adjusted to the circumstances created by the pandemic. In the first few days of lockdown, the union rapidly adapted its member communications plans to make sure it could still be there for members in such an unprecedented time. It was vital members knew their union was there for them and that there would be no break in contact and support. As well as launching the COVID-19 Response Fund and keeping all UNISON online channels updated with the latest information, over 300 staff (including UNISON secretary general Da...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - July 14, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article Covid-19 membership Source Type: news

Frontline care and health workers face thousands of pounds of government  ​visa charges
​Thousands of low-paid migrant care and health staff have been shut out of a government scheme that would save them thousands of pounds in visa ​renewal fees, says UNISON ​today (Thursday). The frontline ​staff are dismayed the government has blocked them from receiving a free one-year visa extension​, which has been granted to some key workers because of the pandemic. The visa extension programme for health workers was introduced ​at the end of April and is only open to 3,000 NHS professionals, ​including dentists, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics and psy...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - July 2, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release Boris Johnson Christina McAnea health Home Office migrant workers one-year visa social care Source Type: news

Together, let ’ s thank all our carers
The group unites a wide range of supporters who intend to heal divisions and reconnect society over the course of the next decade, after a bruising few years. It includes NHS bodies, including the NHS Confederation and NHS England, as well as organisations and employers such as the BBC, the Mirror, Aviva, the Young Vic Theatre and ITV. There are religious groups such as the Muslim Council of Great Britain, sporting bodies including the Football Association and UK Sport, and a number of civil society organisations like the Jo Cox Foundation, the Runnymede Trust and the Girl Guides. It has been backed b...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 30, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News Clap for Carers Covid-19 NHS Source Type: news

Investment must be bigger to protect and strengthen valued public services
Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement today (Tuesday) of a “new deal” for capital investment in the UK, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The pandemic has taken a massive toll on the economy and it’ll take a lot to get the country back on its feet. “Investment in public services is the way forward. These moves are in the right direction but must be far bolder if they’re to do more than patch up the damage from a decade of cuts. “The UK can’t simply build its way out of trouble while local authorities still have to shut local serv...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 30, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus council cuts dave prentis Investment Source Type: news

Blog: Retired members are facing a raft of COVID problems
Retired members have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have underlying health problems and we are in one of the most vulnerable groups, with high fatalities. Those living in care homes have been particularly at risk. The lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health staff and care workers, together with those in their care, has been massive and led to numerous unnecessary deaths. Please spare a thought for all victims of this invisible enemy and pay tribute to essential workers who continue to risk their lives on our behalf.  All fear the unknown – not knowing who will succumb ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 29, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article coronavirus Covid-19 retired members Source Type: news

Meat workers put at risk by safety check failures, says UNISON
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has failed to carry out basic on-site Covid-19 safety assessments, which put ​hundreds of workers at risk of coronavirus infection in the meat slaughter and processing industry in England and Wales, says UNISON ​today (Monday). The union has written about its concerns to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which is now investigating whether there have been breaches of safety regulations over the failure to carry out proper workplace risk assessments. It comes as a number of sizeable outbreaks have been reported recently involving dozens of ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 29, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus environmental health food safety paul bell Source Type: news

UNISON launches new casework system to help branches
UNISON now has its own system, developed especially to help you manage your casework. You can keep your information all in one place, with stewards, branch officers and branch staff all able to access members’ case information securely anytime, anywhere – and on any device. It has a live link to UNISON’s membership system, so you can verify members status and contact details instantly. You can also refer cases to your region at the click of a button. No more spreadsheets, paper files or case forms. No more GDPR worries or having to rely on employers’ systems to store your confidential case files. Ca...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 29, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article activists activists education CaseWeb Key documents and tools for activists Source Type: news

UNISON sets out to recruit more safety reps amid COVID crisis
UNISON is launching a new campaign, Be on the safe side, to recruit more safety reps in workplaces across the UK – as the need for them becomes greater than ever. The union has campaigned tirelessly on health and safety issues to protect its members at work during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also supported its safety reps in carrying out their difficult role, whether ensuring that members have access to correct PPE, conducting workplace risk assessments or addressing the particular risks to Black and vulnerable workers. COVID-19: Your rights at work “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fact that ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 29, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Demetrios Matheou Tags: Article News coronavirus Covid-19 health and safety health and safety reps Source Type: news

Recovered from COVID-19? You could help the NHS
Plasma donation is safe, easy and could save lives.  NHS Blood and Transplant has already collected over 6,000 units of plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19, and these have started to be used for transfusing into patients in hospital who are seriously ill.  If you have had coronavirus, you can donate at any of the 23 donor centres or pop up centres. If you, or someone you know has had a positive test – or symptoms of coronavirus – you can get in touch and book an appointment to donate by telephone at 0300 123 23 23 or online here. The article Recovered from COVID-19? You could help the ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 24, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News coronavirus Covid-19 NHS NHSBT Source Type: news

UNISON urges co-operation over reopening schools
UNISON is calling on the government to work with the union urgently, to help ensure that schools can re-open safely in the autumn. The prime minister has announced an easing of lockdown and the relaxation of the two-metre social distancing rule ​from 4 July. But reducing social distancing to “one metre plus” (one metre, in conjunction with other measures, such as face coverings and hand washing) still won’t allow schools to function normally. The union says that huge practical problems need to be overcome to ensure that: schools are cleaned properly, by the right staff; school meals are delivered ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 24, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News coronavirus coronavirus schools Covid-19 school staff Source Type: news

A national care service is the only way to prevent more deaths
The pandemic has exposed the fault lines in the social care system, which requires substantial reform if its many structural, financial and operational weaknesses are to be tackled, says UNISON in a new strategy document released today (Wednesday). Care After Covid: A Vision for Social Care sets out how the fragmented, crisis-riven sector could be transformed into a national care system. One that the union says could cope with the day-to-day challenges of caring for vulnerable people and be better prepared for a future health emergency of the same severity as the current pandemic. Improved regulation and government ov...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 24, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release adult social care Christina McAnea Covid-19 Strategy Source Type: news

Huge  membership rise for UNISON ahead of new recruitment ad campaign launch​
A new recruitment campaign, ​aimed at increasing the record number of public service workers who’ve joined UNISON since the start of the pandemic, is being launched by the union today (Monday). The 60-second animated advert is being screened on Sky, ITV, Channel 4 and YouTube with the message that no worker should feel alone in ​these uncertain times. The film was created by the GOOD Agency, with whom UNISON has worked for seven years, along with animation studio Coffee & TV. At its heart are ​the ​messages that reassurance, peace of mind and ​secur...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 22, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus membership recruitment campaign Source Type: news

Blog: Grenfell must not be allowed to be another example of justice denied
This Sunday marks three years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Three years since the deaths of 72 innocent people in the most horrific circumstances, in their own homes. Three years since the worst residential fire since the Second World War. The lives lost at Grenfell exposed government failings on housing, investment, safety standards, deregulation and building control. These were avoidable deaths, but the choices that could have saved lives weren’t made. And they still aren’t being made today. 23,000 households are still living in unsafe residential tower blocks – in both the social and private rented...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 12, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News Grenfell Tower Source Type: news

Labour takes forward UNISON domestic abuse amendments
Jess Phillips, the shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, is to take forward two UNISON workplace-related amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill. UNISON is concerned about how domestic abuse affects victims in their workplace as well as in the home. Protections at work can ensure that victims are not trapped in a dangerous relationship because they are concerned about the security of their employment. For victims of domestic abuse, work can be a lifeline to independence and survival. The amendments suggested by UNISON and being taken forward by Ms Phillips are:  Paid domestic abuse leave The governm...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 9, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News domestic abuse domestic violence women Source Type: news

Blog: A major disappointment – but just the latest for Black people
This report was eagerly awaited as its terms of reference promised action to deal with the disproportionate impact we knew that COVID-19 has had on Black frontline workers and communities. Over 60% of NHS workers who have died from coronavirus are from Black communities, rising to over 90% of doctors. Earlier reports from the Office for National Statistics and the Institute for Fiscal Studies had already highlighted the impact of social deprivation and inequalities as key factors with clear evidence that coronavirus seems to thrive on inequality. But this report makes no recommendations – not one – to deal with...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 8, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Martin Cullen Tags: Blogs black members coronavirus Covid-19 george floyd national black committee racism Source Type: news

UNISON wins clearer COVID-19 guidance for its disabled members
UNISON has successfully lobbied for the government’s COVID-19 guidance to acknowledge that many of the ‘extremely vulnerable’ people who have been instructed to shield at home during the pandemic are also workers – whose employers may not have been sympathetic. Until the end of May, the guidance on shielding did not adequately take into account disabled people in employment. UNISON national officer for disability equality Deirdre Costigan said: “From the beginning, we’ve had members on the list whose employers were demanding that they go to work – they were not allowed to work from...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 8, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Demetrios Matheou Tags: Article News bargaining coronavirus Covid-19 disabled members Source Type: news

Care home company under investigation following multiple  COVID deaths, says UNISON
A major social care company has been reported to regulators after the deaths of multiple residents from COVID-19, says UNISON today (Thursday). The three homes in Sheffield, where the deaths occurred and are run by Horizon Care, are now under investigation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after staff raised a catalogue of safety and hygiene concerns with UNISON. The union has written to the CQC outlining practices at Woodhill House, Woodhill Lodge and Woodhill Grange, which UNISON says breach safety guidelines for residents and staff. Issues highlighted to UNISON by employees include managers asking care work...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 4, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release care homes Covid-19 CQC investigation Horizon Care PPE Source Type: news

Police and justice committee adds voice to George Floyd protests
UNISON’s police and justice executive committee has today joined those condemning the killing by police of George Floyd in the US. In a statement, the committee said: “We call for those responsible to be brought to justice and express our profound sympathy to the family and friends of George Floyd. “We stand with those peacefully campaigning to end all forms of racism in law enforcement, in the administration of justice and in wider society. “We join with those demanding – yet again – that the faith of Black communities in the police, courts, prison or probation must be built on foundati...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 4, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News international Police and justice staff police staff racism Source Type: news

US unrest is a reminder to stand up to racism
  Commenting on the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the resulting civil unrest across the US, UNISON assistant general secretary Roger McKenzie said: “The death of George Floyd has reminded the world once again of the racism that scars US society. It exists too in the shameful brutality of some police officers, whipped up further by the disgraceful actions of Donald Trump. “That these are scenes still being witnessed in 21st century America is truly shocking. Black communities feel attacked on all sides – from the virus, the resulting mass unemployment and the appalling action...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - June 1, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus racism roger mckenzie Source Type: news

Kindness in the age of COVID-19
Despite the overwhelming nature of COVID-19, people have been stepping up to support their friends and their communities. Here are some heartwarming UNISON members’ experiences of kindness during the coronavirus pandemic. Alison Hann says: “Our branch welfare officer, Aly Thornton, sent small gifts to each member of her work team. “It really lifted spirits and she did it anonymously, so the gift kept giving as people tried to guess who the mystery gift giver was. “So kind, so thoughtful.” Craig Stevens from Telford explains that “the school I work in has been giving us free lun...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 28, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article coronavirus Covid-19 Source Type: news

Support staff losing sleep and suffering anxiety ahead of return to school in England, says UNISON
Anxiety is widespread among school workers about their safety, their families’ and that of pupils ahead of a return to the classroom across England, says UNISON today (Thursday). On the day unions are due to meet with education secretary Gavin Williamson, UNISON has published a catalogue of concerns from support staff who make up more than half the schools’ workforce. Teaching assistants, catering staff, administrative workers, caretakers and other school employees have told the union they are being banned from wearing protective masks, denied gloves when handing packed lunches to parents and being spat at by c...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 28, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release coronavirus schools PPE Alert Source Type: news

Making a difference for care during COVID-19
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 share 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 Living Wag...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 27, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Rachael Henry Tags: Article care homes care workers coronavirus Covid-19 Source Type: news

Ministers mustn ’t forget important workers delivering essential services, says UNISON
The government must do more to help thousands of “hidden workers” who are being put under extra pressure or are seeing their health put at risk as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, says UNISON today (Tuesday). Alongside the frontline health and care staff, there are people around the UK keeping essential services going, who are being largely forgotten as they too face serious dangers and are being overwhelmed with work, the union warns. They include refuse collectors, housing officers, social workers and teaching assistants whose work must continue but who are often unable to keep a safe distance or not ent...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 26, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus Jon Richards local government refuse collectors social workers teaching assistants Source Type: news

Support staff have little confidence in government school safety plans, says UNISON
An overwhelming majority of school support staff don’t feel reassured by government claims that English schools are safe to open to more pupils from the beginning of June, according to a UNISON survey published today (Friday). Only 2% of employees felt reassured by the Prime Minister saying it was safe to open schools more widely from 1 June. Almost all staff (96%) felt ministers hadn’t put safety first when developing their back to school plans, according to the survey of 45,200 teaching and classroom assistants, cleaners, administrative, managem...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 22, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Lucy Shaddock Tags: News Press release coronavirus coronavirus schools Covid-19 Source Type: news

Scrapping of NHS surcharge for migrant health and care workers ‘long overdue’
Commenting on the announcement that NHS and care workers are to be exempt from paying the NHS surcharge, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is long overdue. The pandemic has shown the enormous contribution of overseas workers to our health and care system. They’re putting their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. “It’s a moral injustice to ask migrant staff to make double the contribution of others and pay extra for the very services they help provide. “This must also apply to the workers’ families. And the government should go further by removing the ch...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 21, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release adult social care dave prentis health migrant workers Source Type: news

Care home deaths expose social care system ‘unfit for purpose ’ , says UNISON
Responding to figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics showing UK care home deaths linked to coronavirus have now exceeded 10,000, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “This is a shocking price paid by elderly and vulnerable people whose families believed they were being kept safe. “These deaths show the government’s failure to support those in society who are most in need of care. “Staff looking after these residents have effectively been abandoned too. They’ve struggled with protective equipment shortages, testing delays...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 19, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release adult social care care workers coronavirus coronavirus testing PPE Source Type: news

A lifelong champion for working people
Today our union lost one of our most passionate and dedicated activists, and a longstanding and loyal friend to me. Denis Keatings has been active in our union from its inception, as branch secretary of Mater Hospital Branch and more recently as Joint Regional Convenor for Northern Ireland. Denis was a lifelong champion for working people, constantly seeking to advance the cause of public service workers, whether within UNISON or across Northern Ireland. He was loved, admired and respected by his fellow members, activists and friends for decades – in UNISON and in NUPE. In that time, Northern Ireland went through the...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 15, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Dave Prentis Tags: General secretary's blog News Denis Keatings Source Type: news

Support staff mustn ’t be exploited by schools reopening, says UNISON
Responding to new Department for Education (DFE) guidance on the reopening of primary schools and nurseries and to meetings held today (Friday) between unions, officials and government scientists on the risk of Coronavirus transmission by children, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “Safety for staff and pupils has to be the number one priority. Yet the DFE guidance has a number of holes, and the government has neither met unions’ safety tests nor its own. That’s why the beginning of June for reopening is unrealistic. “The guidance encourages schools to use support staff to fill gaps if tea...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 15, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: News Press release Covid-19 reopening support workers teaching assistants Source Type: news

Three UNISON nurses stranded in the Philippines
Mignun Kim Mier (Kim), Mareter Gabi and Aileen Arancon are three nurses who work for the NHS in Newcastle. Since the beginning of March, the coronavirus outbreak has left them stranded in the Philippines and they haven’t been able to come home. On 9 March, Kim, Mareter and Aileen travelled to the Philippines together for Kim’s wedding. Three days after they had landed, the government cancelled all weddings and public gatherings. Then, five days later, all flights out of the country were suspended for two weeks. The women made two attempts to find flight connections to get back to the UK, but as the Philipp...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 14, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article coronavirus Covid-19 health nurses Source Type: news

Give an extra clap for operating theatre staff working on the COVID-19 frontline, says UNISON
People across the country are being urged to recognise the work of operating department practitioners (ODPs) in caring for patients during the Coronavirus pandemic, says UNISON today (Thursday). To mark annual National ODP Day today, the union and the College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP) are encouraging everyone to give an extra clap at 8pm this evening on their doorsteps for these NHS staff. ODPs work in operating theatres as well as in other areas within hospitals providing critical care. Their job is to provide complex care to patients at all stages of their operation, including the anaest...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 14, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Sophie Goodchild Tags: Article News Press release #ODPday Clap for Our Carers Covid-19 ODPs 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...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 13, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus education school staff TUC Source Type: news

Country craves clarity and a safe return to work, says UNISON
Commenting on the government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy published today (Monday), UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Getting the UK working again, while stopping the spread of the virus, saving lives and keeping us all safe is paramount. “Clarity, not confusion, is essential if this is to happen. But the danger is that people are now more bewildered than they are reassured. This is made worse now that England is out of step with the rest of the UK. “The UK has got to get back to work and school, but it must be a safe return for workers and their families. Otherwise all the benefits of th...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 11, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus coronavirus testing dave prentis PPE Source Type: news

Government must explain how school staff and pupils will be kept safe  
Ministers must stop dodging the issue of safety and provide a clear explanation of how schools keep pupils, staff and parents safe before any mass reopening, says UNISON responding to the government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy published today (Monday). School support staff are worried at what they see as the government’s ‘cavalier’ approach to safety in English schools, which will needlessly put their health, and that of children and parents, at risk, UNISON says. Scotland and Wales taking ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 11, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Garfield Myrie Tags: News Press release Covid-19 Jon Richards PPE schools Source Type: news

Action needed to address higher coronavirus death rates ​for Black people
Commenting on figures released today (Thursday) by the Office for National Statistics showing disproportionately high Covid-19 death rates for Black people, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Time and again, we’ve seen how people from black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities suffer health problems caused by disadvantage and poverty, which could make them more susceptible. “Tackling the causes of these social issues is long overdue. “Organisations and employers must also look at whether staff from these communities are concentrated in higher risk job roles, often lacking s...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 7, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release BAME coronavirus equality Source Type: news

Health unions call on Matt Hancock to recognise student contribution and abolish tuition fees
Four leading unions have called on the Health Secretary to recognise the significant contribution by – and disruption to – nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare students during the current crisis by abolishing tuition fees and reimbursing those already paid. The Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, UNISON and the National Union of Students (NUS) have today (6 May) written to Matt Hancock asking him to “acknowledge students’ selfless service, not only with words, but in a tangible and quantifiable way”. They are asking that he: reimburse tuition fees or forgive current d...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 6, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release coronavirus nursing nursing students tuition fees Source Type: news

A diary from the COVID frontline
What’s it like working on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis? Stuart Tuckwood is UNISON’s national officer for nursing. Before working for the union, he was a rapid response nurse. As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, Stuart – and many others – went back to the wards to help out. In between shifts and supporting our members, Stuart is making weekly videos about life working on the wards. We’ll be sharing them on social media, where you can ask him a question or share your own experience. To join in, reply to our tweet here – and please share. You can follow Stuart on Twitter @St...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 6, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News coronavirus Covid-19 nursing the nation Stuart Tuckwood video Source Type: news

Police staff unions ask for 6.5% pay rise (England and Wales)
Police staff unions in England and Wales have submitted a 2020 pay claim for a rise of 6.5% or £1,200 a year, whichever is higher. UNISON and the other unions who sit on the police staff council (Unite and the GMB) are also asking for a 6.5% increase on stand-by and overnight away-from-home allowances, an additional day’s leave and for apprenticeships to be job evaluated and paid appropriately. “Police staff in England and Wales are working above and beyond to protect communities during the COVID-19 crisis,” said UNISON national officer Ben Priestley, the trade union side secretary of the police sta...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 4, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: News pay pay and conditions pay negotiating and bargaining police and justice police staff police staff pay Source Type: news

Blog: Worth more than a clap
What is your health worth? How about your safety? Or your community? How much do green spaces and clean streets matter to you? A happy childhood? Someone to look after you when you’re old? It’s not an exaggeration to say that council and school workers are instrumental to so many things that we hold dear. COVID-19 has reminded us all how important our key workers are. And they have just been offered a 2.75% pay rise in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You might think that’s better than nothing. But local authority funding has been halved since 2010, which has left many council and school workers with ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 4, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Jon Richards Tags: Blogs council pay local government pay negotiating and bargaining Pay up now NJC schools Source Type: news

Local government pay – UNISON statement
UNISON will continue to campaign for more funds for local government, allowing employers to improve their final pay offer for council and school staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although employers have said that their offer of a 2.75% increase is final, they have also said that they will approach the government for more money for local government pay for 2020-21. Pay outside Scotland is negotiated through the national joint council for local government services, and the union says it is not in position to consult members on the offer until the government’s response is known. UNISON NJC committee statemen...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 4, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Tony Braisby Tags: Article council pay local government pay negotiating and bargaining Pay up now NJC schools Source Type: news

COVID-19: Black and female workers – affected more 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 meat hygiene - May 1, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article black members coronavirus Covid Covid-19 equalities PPE women Source Type: news

Ramadan and COVID-19
Ramadan lasts from 24 April until 23 May, and is a period of abstinence, fasting and reflection. But the COVID-19 pandemic means this Ramadan will look very different for UNISON’s Muslim members, especially key workers. Just over three per cent of the 1.4 million NHS workforce is from a Muslim background and many of those will be fasting and working at the same time. UNISON national officer for Black members Margaret Greer said: “Many Muslim members will be observing this month’s Ramadan, while working at the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic with pressures unlike anything they would ever have experi...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 1, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Janey Starling Tags: Article News black members Covid-19 Ramadan Ramadan 2020 Source Type: news

UNISON welcomes move to pause VAT on PPE
UNISON has welcomed the decision by the government to temporarily scrap VAT on the sale of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 crisis. The UK’s social care system is largely reliant on private providers and PPE, including masks and gloves, was previously subject to 20% VAT, which could not always be reclaimed by care providers. The Treasury estimates that the cut will save more than £100 million for those buying PPE. UNISON national officer Andrew Dobbie welcomed the move, noting that the union had called for it two weeks ago: “The government now needs to redouble efforts to make sure ...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - May 1, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Amanda Kendal Tags: Article News care workers coronavirus Covid-19 PPE Source Type: news

Care home death figures are shameful, says UNISON
Responding to new figures released today (Wednesday) that show a steep rise in coronavirus deaths due to the inclusion of those in care homes, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Care workers have been crying out for essential safety equipment, clear guidance and widespread virus testing for weeks. The risks have been plain to see and these new figures paint a stark picture of how the pandemic has been sweeping through residential homes across the UK. “The most vulnerable people in society and the staff who look after them needed proper protection from the start. “This is a source o...
Source: UNISON meat hygiene - April 29, 2020 Category: Food Science Authors: Anthony Barnes Tags: News Press release care workers coronavirus residential care homes Source Type: news