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BRANCH NEWS

 

PAY 2008 – “YES” VOTE FOR INDUSTRIAL ACTION!

 

The results of the national strike ballot of UNISON members working in Local Government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were announced on Monday 23rd June.

 

Nearly 600,000 UNISON members were balloted and 55% of those who voted were in favour of strike action in support of our pay claim for 6% or 50p an hour whichever was the greater – and against the employers’ miserable final offer of 2.45% (well below inflation).

 

Commenting on the ballot result, General Secretary Dave Prentis said: "This is a solid vote for action and a clear message to the local government employers that our members are willing to fight for a decent pay rise. They are fed up and angry that they are expected to accept pay cut after pay cut, while prices go through the roof. Workers who have to use their cars for work are being hit hard too by spiralling fuel costs and they end up subsidising their employers."

 

What Next?

 

The ballot results were considered by our national negotiators – the National Joint Council (NJC) Committee - yesterday (Tuesday 24th June).  The NJC Committee will now make a request to the Industrial Action Committee of the National Executive Council, which will meet on Friday 27th June, to authorise strike action.

 

If this authorisation is given, the Union will then give a minimum of seven days notice to each employer of the days on which strike action will be taking place.  The likely dates are 16th and 17th July 2008.

 

The history of strikes in pursuit of pay awards shows that the employers do change their position in the face of concerted action. The last two strikes for pay were in 1989 and 2002. On both occasions we received a better offer. A calculation of how much these increases were worth over the years shows that it’s very worthwhile taking the action.

 

Remember How Miserly the Employers’ Offer is……….

 

The employers’ “final” offer is 2.45% (the speech marks are there because they’ll come up with more if we make a determined stand).

 

This is less than the Government’s preferred measure of inflation, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is currently 3.3%.  It lags even further behind the Retail Price Index (RPI), which is a much truer reflection of the rise in the cost of living.  Unlike the CPI, it includes the cost of housing and council tax and currently stands at 4.3%.

 

So what our employers are offering is a pay cut – the cost of things we buy will rise more than the amount of money in our pocket does.

 

And it’s not just this year.  We’ve lost ground year after year compared with workers in the private sector.  The employers also want to tie us into a deal for the next two years by the end of this year.

 

We need to send out a message to our employers and the Government that we’re prepared to fight – otherwise they’ll tread all over us again and again.  As far as they’re concerned, our standard of living is expendable, on the basis that keeping our wages down controls inflation.  This is, of course, nonsense – everyone is now aware that it’s the rise in the price of fuel and food that has had the biggest effect.  If it were the rise in wages that caused inflation, we’ be paying for other people’s wage increases.  As it is we’re asked to take a pay cut because things are more expensive – how logical or fair it that?

 

Members should also be aware that accepting this derisory offer would have given the green light to our employers for future pay rises.  They have stated that they aim to reach agreement on the 2009 and 2010 pay awards by 31st December 2008.  Clearly they’ll seek an increase for the next two years in line with this year’s.  If we accepted a pay cut this year we’d be facing pay cuts for the next two years as well! 

 

Finally the employers also want to review our National Agreements as set out in The Green Book.  You can rest assured that they won’t be looking to improve our Terms and Conditions!  Showing that we’re prepared to take industrial action over the pay offer will clearly make them think carefully about whether they can risk further attacks on us. 

 

Financial Hardship

 

The Branch recognises that taking strike action can cause genuine financial hardship for some members.  If people really cannot afford to go without 2 days pay, we would rather help them out financially than not have those members out on strike.   In such cases we would ask members to apply to our Welfare Officer to be considered for financial assistance.  Contact the Branch Office - all requests will be treated in the strictest confidence.

 

 

WE DESERVE A DECENT PAY RISE – TAKE THE ACTION!

 

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. 

NATIONAL NEWS

NJC CAR ALLOWANCES

 

The Car Allowance rates for 2008-9 have just recently been announced. 

 

The new rates are as follows:

 

 

 

451-999cc

 

1000-1199cc

 

1200-1450cc

ESSENTIAL USERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lump Sum per annum

£753

 

£849

 

£1,059

 

 

 

 

 

 

Per mile first 8,500

34.0p

 

36.9p

 

45.8p

 

 

 

 

 

 

Per mile after 8,500

13.3p

 

13.6p

 

15.8p

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASUAL USERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Per mile first 8,500

42.9p

 

46.9p

 

58.7p

 

 

 

 

 

 

Per mile after 8,500

13.3p

 

13.6p

 

15.8p

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petrol Element per mile (for both categories)

9.227p

 

9.804p

 

10.695p

 

 

The petrol element of the allowance formula is based on a price of 103.52p per litre (470.6p per gallon) for unleaded petrol, based on actual pump prices in the first two weeks of January (as surveyed by the AA on behalf of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders).

 

On 8th April a request was made to the Employers to review the petrol element of the formula given the increase of petrol prices, but they weren’t prepared to do so.

 

The new rates are effective from April 2008.

 

 

EVENTS

 

CROYDON UNISON SOCIAL CLUB CHARITY QUIZ NIGHT

 

IN AID OF WORLDVISION’S FAR EAST DISASTER APPEALS – Wednesday 25th June

 

A special Quiz presented by Mr Wally Ross-Gower

 

7:45pm start

Maximum 4 per Team (£10 per team)

At Ruskin House, Coombe Road, Croydon

 

Prize raffle on the night – contributions welcome!

 

 

Please note that we intend recommencing regular monthly Croydon UNISON Social Club quizzes at Ruskin House this summer

 

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.