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REGIONAL NEWS

 LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICE GROUP ELECTIONS

 

This is to elect representatives from the London Region to UNISON’s national leadership for Local Government.   Ballot papers are currently being sent out to members’ home addresses.  The closing date for returning your paper is Friday 16th May 2008.  Please ensure that you vote in this important election.  For more information of

 

Please note that our Branch have nominated DAVID EGGMORE (Branch Secretary, Camden) for the General Seat, and SONYA HOWARD (Women’s Officer, Kensington & Chelsea) for the Female Seat.

 

If you haven’t received your ballot paper by 21st April please contact UNISONDirect on 0845 355 0845.

 

               

GLA ELECTIONS - USE YOUR VOTE

UNISON is campaigning to turn back the BNP at the polls

 

Use your vote on 1st May. 

Are you registered to vote? Make sure you are - and encourage your friends and family to register too. You need to do this by 16th April.  Visit www.londonelects.co.uk to find out more, and download a registration form.

 

Hundreds of British National Party candidates are standing in this year's elections, we must be on our guard and fight against the politics of hate and challenge the lies that they spread. The BNP is trying to make capital out of people's fears over jobs, housing and immigration.  It is even attacking public service workers for demanding fair pay for delivering the services that our communities rely on.   It is a UNISON priority to stop the fascist party winning any seats in the 1st May elections. Trade unions have always fought for freedom, equality and tolerance. The BNP stands against all these values.

Let's show everyone what UNISON members are made of.  Use your vote and help us kick the BNP out of England.

 

BRANCH NEWS

 

SINGLE STATUS

 

For our latest update and details of the Appeals Procedure please click here.

 

PAY 2008

 

UNISON’s NJC Committee met on 8th April and agreed to carry out the normal consultation procedure (branch consultation via meetings and ballots leading to an aggregated response) starting straight away.

 

The consultation will be on the basis that the NJC committee is recommending rejection and will be campaigning for this. However, it is clear that we would need to carry out substantial and sustained strike action in order to get an improved offer. The consultation document will make it clear that in rejecting members would be committing themselves to escalating all-out action starting with a 2 day strike.

 

For your information, our counterparts in Scotland are also consulting with a recommendation to reject (a three year offer of 2.5% each year with no re-opener clause against rising inflation), UNISON is currently balloting members working for OFSTED for strike action over their pay offer and members working in the Probation Service and Meat Hygiene Service are also considering action.

 

Clearly we will face a battle to achieve a decent pay increase this year given that Gordon Brown has given such a high profile to his intention to keep Public Sector pay increases below 2% per year and his view that the pay deals should be spread over three years.  Yet again the Government seem intent on using Public Sector wage restraint as a means of controlling inflation.  This is clearly discriminatory and we must resist it in whatever way we can.

 

If anyone feels that Gordon Brown’s view is reasonable, they might do well to consider that the Institute for Fiscal Studies agrees with the TUC’s view that Public Sector pay doesn’t cause inflation.  Furthermore the Bank of England (hardly a rabidly left-wing organisation!) says that overall pay rises averaging 4.5% across the economy are consistent with a 2% inflation target if productivity and other factors are included.

 

Hopefully, this year we will see a united campaign by all Public Sector Unions to achieve a decent outcome to pay negotiations.  To this end, at a local level, we will be seeking to co-ordinate not only with the other local government unions (GMB and TGWU), but also with others such as the teaching unions and the civil service union. 

 

The NUT are taking strike action on 24th April, which is likely also to be a day of action for UCU (University & College Union) and for certain sections of PCS (Public & Commercial Services), possibly including the Department of Work & Pensions.  There is to be a demonstration assembling in Lincoln's Inn Fields at 11.00 a.m. which other unions are all welcome to attend.  Hopefully London UNISON branches will be able to join in.

PENSIONS

The consultation over possibly extending the full protection of the 85 Year Rule to 2020 continues.  John Healey, the Minister for Local Government, wants to be clear about the cost of this. He’s therefore awaiting the outcome of a review of the funds currently taking place.

The Government Regulations on the Scheme can be found on the Pension Update Page

You can also log-on to the UNISON National Website www.unison.co.uk for more up to date information. 

 

 

EVENTS

 

CROYDON MAY DAY MARCH & RALLY

 

Croydon Trades Council have organised a march and rally will take place on Saturday 26th April.  It is planned to assemble in Elmwood Road at 11.30 am, departing at 12.00 noon to march via the Town Centre to a Rally at Ruskin House at 1.00 pm.

 

There will be a barbeque following the Rally and guest speakers include Mark Serwotka (General Secretary PCS), Dave Harvey (Secretary Croydon NUT) and Peter Gibson (Secretary Croydon Retired Peoples Campaign).

 

All are welcome.

 

LOVE MUSIC HATE RACISM CARNIVAL

 

This year Love Music Hate Racism are celebrating the legendary Rock Against Racism event that took place in the very same park 30 years ago and which played a vital role within the Anti-Racism movement. 

 

Visit the website for the line-up, how to get there and more www.lmhrcarnival.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY – 28TH APRIL 2008

 

Croydon TUC, along with the Council, will be holding the annual Candle Lighting Ceremony in the Town Hall and is open to all.

 

The Ceremony will take place on Monday 28th April, with the Candle being lit at 10.00 am.  The Candle will burn for the whole week in remembrance of those who have died, been injured, or made ill by their work.

 

UNISON, along with the rest of the union movement and hazards campaigners, continues to demand new laws and enforcement strategies that treat deaths caused by employers’ recklessness or negligence, far more seriously than at present. UNISON also seeks a new way of working that guarantees a workers right to a voice and the right to a safe and healthy workplace.

HOPE NOT HATE 2008

 

 

Marking the 30th Anniversary of Rock Against Racism.  The line up includes Alabama 3, Misty in Roots and The Levellers for more details and ticket prices visit www.hopenothate.org.uk.

 

The event is supported by UNISON, UNITE, GMB, RMT, FBU, NUJ, SERTUC, Searchlight, The Daily Mirror, Show Racism the Red Card and Thompsons Solicitors.

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER INFO

 

CROYDE BAY

 

Don’t forget to check out the deals at UNISON’s Holiday Village in Croyde Bay.  Visit the website for all the latest offers www.croydeunison.co.uk.

 

 

SOCIAL CLUB

 

Discussions continue regarding the possible siting of a new Club.  We will inform members once there is something definite to report.  In the meantime we are still happy to receive any ideas people have regarding the facilities they would like to see offered.

 

We are currently planning to organise a ‘100 Club’ and Quiz Nights - further details to follow.

 

In order for the club to be a success, it is important that we can rely on you, so please support our efforts! 

 

CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS………

We are always looking for more members to get actively involved in the Branch. There are many areas where members don't have a local Steward.

So - if you would like to get more involved in the Branch and its decision making, take part in negotiations with management and represent members, why not become a Steward or Health and Safety Rep?

We won't throw you in at the deep end. There are many courses available that are organised through the TUC or UNISON and they run throughout the year. You will also have the support of the Branch Office. Time off for full training is available, please contact the Branch Office for more details or e-mail branchoffice@croydonunison.co.uk

ARE YOU GETTING IT?

Please let us know in the Branch Office if you have changed your address, either by phone on 8760-5435 or via e-mail to branchoffice@croydonunison.co.uk it’s important we keep your records up to date so that you are fully informed on matters that could affect you.

If you are prepared to be a workplace contact for us, which involves handing out UNISON information, Newsletters etc to your fellow UNISON members again please let us know in the Branch Office.

We want to make sure all our members are informed on what's happening in the Branch.