Home                                        Join            


BRANCH NEWS

 

 

ALL OUT ON 16TH & 17TH JULY!

 

UNISON members in Local Government all over the country will be taking strike action next week in response to the Employers’ derisory offer of 2.45% for our pay increase this year.  UNITE members will also be out.

 

WHY ARE WE GOING ON STRIKE?

 

The Employers’ offer is below the rate of inflation and therefore is in real terms a pay cut.  The Retail Price Index (RPI), generally considered as the most accurate measure of inflation, stood at 4.3% in May.  Even the Government’s preferred measure, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), was 3.3% and that doesn’t include the cost of housing and Council Tax.  So the cost of living has risen by more than they are offering us as a cost of living increase!

 

The amount the employers have offered is largely influenced by the Government’s intention to keep Public Sector pay increases at a low level in order to control inflation.  But Public Sector workers don’t cause inflation. The government’s own office for national statistics says recent inflation rises have been caused by increased housing costs and higher food, petrol and oil prices – not Public Sector pay. 

 

The Employers say 2.45% is the limit of their affordability but have never justified their statement - and that didn’t stop them making efficiency savings of £1 billion more than the Government required last year.

 

It has been made clear that 2.45% is the most that we will be offered through negotiation.  So we were left with a choice of accepting a pay cut or taking industrial action to bring the Employers back to the negotiating table.  That’s why we went to a ballot and there was a majority voting in favour of taking strike action.

 

UNISON is a democratic, member-led organisation and we wouldn’t want it any other way.  All members in Local Government had the chance to vote and therefore all members need to abide by the decision.

 

For more facts about how unfairly we are treated compared to others click here

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO……

 

  • Don’t go into work on 16th and 17th July.
  • Make sure other UNISON members in your workplace are taking the action.
  • Check with your Steward whether there is to be a Picket Line at your workplace.
  • If there is join it!
  • If there isn’t (or if you don’t have a Steward), contact the Branch Office to find out the nearest Picket Line and join it.
  • Placards and leaflets should be available within the next few days (we’re awaiting delivery) – contact the Branch Office for more information.

 

EXEMPTIONS

 

NO MEMBERS ARE EXEMPT FROM TAKING STRIKE ACTION UNLESS THEY HAVE A LETTER FROM THE BRANCH STATING THAT THEY ARE.

 

However, members who fall into the following categories will usually be granted exemption:

 

  • Members who are in their last year of service and are members of the Local Government Pension Scheme.
  • Pregnant women who have notified The Council of the expected date of birth.
  • Members whose state benefits may be affected if they take part in strike action.  These members must get advice from the benefits office or Citizen’s Advice Bureau as it will depend on the individual's circumstances as to whether they should be exempted from the action.

 

We have also been asked by The Council to grant exemptions on the grounds of Life and Limb cover.  We are currently considering these in order to make sure that such cover is kept to the minimum level necessary.

 

IF YOU THINK THAT ANY OF THE ABOVE APPLIES TO YOU, CONTACT THE BRANCH OFFICE AND WE WILL MAKE A DECISION REGARDING YOU CASE.

 

Any members receiving exemption are expected to donate two days’ pay to the Industrial Action Hardship Fund.

 

MEMBERS IN GENUINE FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY

 

The Branch recognises that taking Strike action can cause genuine financial hardship.  If members really cannot afford to go without 2 days pay, we would rather help them out financially than not have them out on strike.  In such cases we would ask members to apply to our Welfare Officer for financial assistance.   Please contact the Branch Office for an application form.  All cases will be considered on the basis of need and will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

 

ANNUAL LEAVE

 

If you have already booked leave that includes the two days of strike action, you need to notify your line-manager that you wish to cancel leave for those two days.  It is important that any member not in work on those days is counted as taking strike action.

 

MARCH AND RALLY IN CENTRAL LONDON

 

On the first day of strike action (Wednesday 16th July) there will be a Rally in Central London at Friends Meeting House (opposite Euston Station).  At the time of writing, plans for a March from Lincoln’s Inn Field to Friends Meeting House were still being discussed with the Police.  This information will be updated as soon as we know the outcome of these discussions – watch this space.

 

RALLY IN CROYDON

 

On the second day of strike action (Thursday 17th July), it’s possible that sections of PCS will be out on strike in pursuit of their pay claim.  If this is the case it’s intended to hold a lunchtime Rally at Ruskin House again this information will be updated when we have confirmation of this.  

      

SINGLE STATUS

 

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

 

SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF – LITTLE POCKET BOOK

 

We now have a supply of these very useful booklets 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

 

TOLPUDDLE FESTIVAL

 

Friday 18th July 2008 - Sunday 20th July inclusive

 

Trade unions commemorate the Tolpuddle Martyrs every year in July. Rallies – held in Tolpuddle since Victorian times – have evolved into a weekend-long music and arts festival attended by families and young people as well as union stalwarts.

“Although we still cover the serious issues and trade union campaigns, we’ve created an environment where people can come and have a great time together with friends and comrades, and have a nice summer's day out, whatever their music tastes or political outlook,” says festival organiser Nigel Costley of the South West regional TUC.

UNISON is one of the official sponsors of the event.

Get the programme - Download this document as an Adobe PDF file

 

OTHER INFO

 

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.