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BRANCH NEWS

 

 

PAY 2008

 

NEGOTIATIONS 

 

The re-opened National Joint Council talks kicked off on the afternoon of 12th August. Much of the meeting was spent discussing the process and timetable. UNISON and UNITE emphasised the need for urgent action to address this year’s pay offer and increasing inflation – as well as improvements to conditions to bring NJC employees into line with other public sector workers. We made it clear that industrial action is suspended – not called off - and that our members will be looking for some early signs of progress in the negotiations.  The next meeting is on 22nd August. 

 

It is vital that members and branches continue to apply maximum pressure to council leaders, councillors and MP’s for a better deal for our members during the negotiations.  Please take the time to write to your MP and your local councillor.  Click here for a model letter to your MP and here for one to your councillor.

 

Thanks and congratulations to those who took the action on 16th and 17th July.  For those members who didn’t take part on the premise that it wouldn’t achieve anything, how come the employers are back at the table?  They’re prepared to discuss our pay claim further, so there’s a possibility of an increased offer – there certainly wasn’t before we took action!

 

 

 

 

 

FURTHER ACTION

 

It would be foolish to think that the employers will offer anything half decent immediately, but it does mean that we have the opportunity to put more pressure on them by taking further action.

 

No decision has been taken on further action and any future decision would be subject to discussion by the Local Government Service Group Executive and the Industrial Action Committee.  However, the national NJC Committee will be meeting on 18th September and our national negotiators will want to have the fullest possible picture of members’ views by 16th September to provide a report.

 

We will be contacting Stewards by email where possible and asking them to consult their members and fill in a questionnaire.  However if you do not have a Steward, then you can fill in the questionnaire here.  Please return it by Thursday 11th September.

 

We hope that you’ll all support the idea of further action, as that’s our one hope of securing a decent pay deal.

 

SCOTTISH COLLEAGUES ON STRIKE ON 20TH AUGUST!

 

UNISON, UNITE and GMB took strike action in Scotland on 20th August over the SJC pay offer to local government workers of 2.5% for the next three years.  The Branch has already sent a message of support to our Scottish sisters and brothers.

 

SINGLE STATUS

 

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

 

SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF – LITTLE POCKET BOOK

 

These very useful booklets are still available from the Branch Office. 

 

This 168-paged booklet sets out the rights, responsibilities and duty of care for Support Staff in Schools. 

 

Some of the issues covered in the booklet include School Matters, Employment, Health, Safety, Welfare and Security and a mine of other useful information.

 

A must for all Support Staff in Schools.

 

If you would like a copy please contact Karen on 020 8760 5435. 

 

 

 

PENSIONS

The Government Regulations on the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) can be found on the Pension Update Page

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

 

EVENTS

 

October is Black History Month

 

Greater London Regional Black Members Committee along with GLA Unison Black Workers Group will be celebrating Black History Month in October.

 

One of the many events taking place - “Our Children are the Future” will be held on Friday 24th October 2008, at City Hall.  Due to limited seating and refreshments the Branch can send up to 8 delegates.

 

If you are interested in attending or for more information about the event, please contact anna.raghunanan@croydon.gov.uk.   Anna will need names and contact numbers and addresses by early October please as the relevant forms need to be submitted before 10th October.  Don’t miss out – contact Anna as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

End Child Poverty Event

 

 

The Keep the Promise march and event will be held in London on Saturday 4th October. 

 

This will provide tens of thousands of children, families and supporters from across the UK a unique opportunity to show their desire for an end to child poverty and to set the agenda for the following parliamentary session.

 

The event will begin with a short march led by children and families, accompanied by bands, into Trafalgar Square. Please assemble at Millbank, near Lambeth Bridge, from 11.30 am and the March will start at 12.30 pm.


In Trafalgar Square there will be activities from 1pm, but the event will begin when the March arrives at 2pm. There will be children's activities, entertainers, speeches and a mass moment to ensure the Government hears the strong demand for a better future for all our children.

 

For more information on the event, please visit www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/keepthepromiseevent

 

 

 

Tolpuddle 2008    

A large number of trade unionists attended this year’s Festival.  On Sunday 20th July there was the traditional parade of banners, with hundreds of people march up and down the main street of the village.

 

Numbers seem to be growing year by year (a sign of the times?) but it was a shame that we couldn’t display the Branch banner, but unfortunately, the Branch Secretary Malcolm Campbell couldn’t hold on to both ends at once.

 

 

 

Please put some thought to attending the Festival next year – it’s very worthwhile!

 

OTHER USEFUL INFO

UNISON Welfare Debtline and online Debtclinic

 

Many people fall into debt at some point in their lives. Sometimes all it takes is a small change in circumstances to tip the balance and turn a manageable situation into a debt problem.

UNISON Welfare are used to helping members who are struggling to cope with the stress and worry of debt. Through our partners at Payplan we can provide you with free and confidential advice to help clear your debts.

With Payplan's debt management plan you get:

  • Reduction of multiple debts to a single payment
  • Choice of payment methods including PayPoint cash option
  • An assigned case officer to call for advice throughout the repayment programme
  • Supported self-help if you prefer
  • A completely free service with no hidden charges

Payplan's debt management plan is paid for by the credit industry so every penny of your repayments goes towards your debts unlike some debt management companies who charge a fee.

This is just one of the ways they can help and you will be offered a solution that best meets your individual circumstances.

Payplan's advisers are aware of the types of grant that UNISON Welfare can offer and will refer you to us if they think we can help to ease your situation.

Contact details

 

Telephone UNISON Welfare Debtline Freephone 0800 389 3302 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm Saturdays.

UNISON Welfare Debtclinic, the online version of our debt advice service, contains advice and debt information and outlines some of the main debt problems. There are also diagnostic tools to help you set up the best recovery plan for your particular problem. Like UNISON Welfare Debtline the service is completely free to UNISON members. www.debtclinic.co.uk/unison

 

BRITANNIA BUILDING SOCIETY

 

The Branch has recently held two very successful Mortgage & Savings Days with Britannia Building Society, where Britannia’s advisers have helped our members save money. 

 

We hope to hold further days in the future but in the meantime you can download a PDF Voucher worth £5.00 which you can use to open a UNISON ISA account. 

 

If you require further details please get in touch with our Branch Contact Emma Thompson on 07790793286 or via email to emma.thompson@britannia.co.uk

 

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.

 

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.