UNISON is Britain's biggest and brightest trade union with a membership of over 1.3 million. Yorkshire & Humberside region alone has over 145,000 members. Our members are people working in the public services, for private contractors providing public services and in the essential utilities. They include frontline staff and managers working full or part time in local authorities, the NHS, the police service, colleges and schools, the electricity, gas and water industries, transport and the voluntary sector.


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UNISON National Young Members Weekend 2015 - get involved (18/01/15)

YM Weekend 2015

UNISON National Young Members Weekend 2015
Friday 15 May - Sunday 17 May 2015
at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Nottingham.

Dear Young Member,

The details of the 2015 UNISON National Young Members Weekend have been confirmed and this year it is to be held in Nottingham. 

Who can attend?

Any young member (under the age of 27 on 17 May 2015) who is interested in getting actively involved in organising and campaigning in UNISON.

Each region is strongly encouraged to send its full entitlement of 10 young members, at least 50% of whom must be women. Yorkshire and Humberside will give priority to those who would be attending for the first time or are from an under-represented group.

What is on offer?

The weekend includes plenary sessions, education and training, campaigning exercises, discussions, and social activities.  The weekend will take place against a background of attacks on public services and on young people, so one focus will be a practical campaigning activity, including approaching members of the public to get our case across. The weekend brings together more than 100 young members from across the UK to find out more about the union and, more importantly, how they can play a part in our campaigning to defend public services.  It’s a great way to network, meet new friends, socialise and find out how to get active.

What does it cost?

£280 per young member payable by the Branch.  This rate includes accommodation for Friday and Saturday nights, dinner on Friday, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday.  There are no regionally funded places available.

Can partners attend?

Yes, UNISON has negotiated a rate of an additional £10 per night for the weekend for members who wish to bring a partner (this rate is for bed and breakfast only). To book for dinner as well it is an additional £25.00 per night, and for lunch on the Sataurday or Sunday it is a further £13.95. Payment must be made in advance (full details are on the Application Form)

Members who wish to bring their child(ren)

Children under 14 are given bed and breakfast accommodation free. Lunches are taken in the crèche at no charge. Evening meals for children are charged at £6.95 per meal.

Travel costs and reasonable adjustments (including crèche)

Travel costs are met centrally. Members are expected to use Stewart Corporate Travel to travel to and from this event. This is in order to control costs but also as part of our policy to support public transport and our commitment to the green agenda.

Details about how members can book travel (through Stewart Corporate Travel), and register for reasonable adjustments, including dietary adjustments, and for crèche services will be emailed to members immediately after their registration for the weekend is confirmed, along with the deadline for return.

How is it being promoted? 

The weekend is being promoted through EFocus, on the young members webpages, and in various other outlets and at various UNISON events.  There is a flyer to promote and I attach a pdf for distribution through your networks.  In the meantime, please would  you do your best to support and promote this event and please would you encourage any young members you may know to register their interest with me by completing the attached Expression of Interest Form.

How to register an interest in attending?

If you are interested and want to attend please let me know asap by completing the attached Form and return it to me.  The deadline for return is 4pm on the 11th March 201.  The necessary membership checks will be completed and the Region will then confirm with the individual if they have secured a place during week commencing 16 March 2015.

Thanks for all your support and co-operation.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get back to me.

With thanks and kind regards

Rianne Johnson
Area Organiser (UNISON Yorkshire & Humberside)

NHS pay proposals (09/02/15)


The industrial action UNISON health members held last year, together with the threat of further strikes in 2015, resulted in the government increasing the money they plan to spend on NHS pay from April onwards.

(You can find the pay offer in brief here...)

There is a new offer from the government which we believe UNISON health members should have an opportunity to consider. This is why we suspended our strike action and are consulting on the offer that has been made. Members of other NHS trade unions are also being consulted on this offer.

UNISON will accept or reject this offer based on the view of the majority of members – so it is vital that all health members take part in the consultation.

While it is fair to say this is an improved offer in many ways, it is not better for everyone. It does increase pay for our lowest paid members and for the 60% of staff who were subject to the planned pay freeze. However, some senior staff are penalised by it.

UNISON believes that this is the best offer that will be achieved through a negotiation and without the need to continue our programme of industrial action. If the majority of UNISON members are not in favour of accepting it then health members will be asked to take further industrial action starting with a strike on Friday 13 March.

All members will be sent a ballot paper to their home address along with a copy of the A4 2-sided letter from head of health Christina McAnea and a pre-paid return envelope. This needs to be returned by 10am on Monday 2 March 2015. If members do not receive a ballot paper by 2pm on 23 February 2015 they should ring 0800 0 857 857 to request a duplicate.

Many branches will be holding workplace meetings to discuss this offer and what it means for staff and it is important that UNISON members find out what the pay proposals mean for them. There are some frequently asked questions here and UNISON reps can also help answer questions. The union urges all health members to take part in this ballot and have their say on pay.

The pay offer in brief

  • 1% consolidated pay rise for all staff up to point 42 (top of Band 8b) from April 1 2015
  • No-one in the NHS would earn less than £15,100 per year (FTE):
  • Deletion of pay point 1 (bottom of Band 1)
  • Increase of pay point 2 to £15,100 per annum (new lowest pay point in Band 1)
  • £200 additional consolidated pay rise for staff on pay points 3-8 (Top of band 1, all Band 2 and some of Band 3)
  • A one-year increment freeze (2015-16) for staff on pay point 34 (Band 8a) and above
  • Talks on changing the redundancy scheme including introduction of a new minimum and maximum for calculation of redundancy payments and ending the facility for employer top-ups for early retirement on the grounds of redundancy
  • Additional concessions for staff employed by Ambulance Trusts in England

What you should do now

  1. Find out what this means for you. These proposals will ‘consolidate’ an increase into your annual salary and your hourly rate. That means that the difference to your earnings will depend on things like how many unsocial hours you work, any overtime, and additional payments based on your basic salary.
  2. The union’s strong advice is that you should read the more detailed information about the pay offer which you will find on the UNISON website or from your branch rep, to see how the proposals would affect your earnings. If you have any questions, please speak to your rep in the first instance, as they have access to further help and advice.
  3. Find out if your branch is holding meetings about the proposals and go along and have your say.
  4. Look out for your ballot paper and use your vote.
  5. Not a member of UNISON? Join now and have your say.

Doncaster Raceday 2015: Date announced (13/01/15)

Doncaster races 2015

UNISON NHS members in England set to strike in new year (05/01/15)

UNISON members working in the NHS in England will walkout for 12 hours between 9am – 9pm on Thursday 29th January.

They will then work to rule between Friday 30 and Tuesday 24 February which means they will be working their contracted hours and will take their breaks and not do unpaid overtime. This will be followed a 24-hour strike on Wednesday 25 February.

UNISON members along with workers from 11 other Trade Unions have already taken two four-hour stoppages in October and November. This third round of action is in protest at the Government’s decision to reject the 1% pay rise for NHS staff as recommended by the independent Pay Review Body in 2014 and the fact most will be denied a pay increase in 2015/16.

Christina McAnea UNISON Head of Health said:

"We warned months ago that this dispute is here to stay unless the Government and NHS employers are prepared to negotiate with us.

"Today (Friday 19 December) is likely to be the busiest day in the NHS with ambulance and A&E staff put under huge pressure to deal with the fallout from the many Christmas parties taking place across the country.

"We have decided not to take strike action over the Christmas period as services are already at breaking point at this time. Our members are demonstrating their concern for patient safety. I only wish the employers and Government would do the same.

"Instead they are being completely irresponsible by refusing to have meaningful negotiations on how we resolve this dispute. And they are putting patients lives at risk.

"Our members’ pay has been frozen or held down for the past five years and there is no end in sight. On average, they have lost around 10% in the value of their pay over the life of this parliament.

"We now have no option but to escalate and plan for longer strikes. The anger among health workers has reached levels where they are now ready to walk out for 24 hours. NHS staff have been singled out by this coalition government for the worst treatment across the public sector.

"Other groups will get their recommended pay increases – for MPs this is 11%.

"In the NHS, many workers are facing serious financial hardship especially at this time of year. It is a national disgrace that 77,000 NHS staff still don’t receive the Living Wage and that many have to rely on food banks. The governments in Wales and Scotland have committed to paying this.

"All we are asking is for fair and decent pay for NHS workers."

UNISON is the largest union in the NHS representing over 450,000 across the UK

Worried about paying your winter fuel bill? Help is on hand (17/12/14)

Winter fuel help

With rising fuel costs and another cold winter many members are worried
about how they’re going to pay this year’s winter fuel bills.

Help is on hand
“There for You” has set up a limited fund to help UNISON members on
low income by way of a one-off payment of up to £40.

To apply download the APPLICATION FORM or
simply contact your UNISON branch office.

  • Everyone that applies will receive a booklet giving information about other help that may be available and how to reduce your fuel costs in the future.
  • There is a limited amount in the winter fuel grants fund and once exhausted no further awards can be made. Priority will be given to those who have not previously applied.
  • Your application must be received no later than 13 February 2015. Applications will then be processed and decisions communicated over the following few weeks.

UNISON proud to sponsor BARLA (04/12/14)

UNISON Yorkshire & Humberside Region have sponsored The British Amateur Rugby League Association for many years and this relationship continues to flourish.

You can find the latest photos here...

Regional Education Programme 2015 published (27/11/14)

Once again we have endeavoured to offer courses to suit everyone, as Lifelong Learning is still high on our agenda. We have courses tailored to the needs of activists and members alike and there are a number of new courses designed to further develop the skills of our activists.

In addition to our Regional Education Team, our Regional, Area and Local Organisers are working with branches, among the other organising duties they undertake, to develop Lifelong learning.

The programme is designed to help you and your branch. UNISON needs more, better equipped and motivated activists. The courses provided are aimed at building confidence and developing abilities.

Courses are available for potential, new and more experienced activists seeking to improve their knowledge and skills. We are sure that both you and UNISON will benefit from the experience. It is never too late to learn.

Branch development is vital in recruiting, organising and retaining members. We are constantly striving to increase membership and provide a better service. Increasing membership and developing new activists from all sectors of the union will make us stronger and more representative of our members.

In January 2010, Regional Council decided to increase the prices of training courses for the first time in 5 years and to update our cancellation policy. These charges have been held so there is no price increase for 2015.

In 2011 there were also changes to the TUC funding which meant that our basic courses for stewards, health and safety representatives and UNISON learning representatives have all had to become 5 day courses and because of this the cost of a 5 day residential course is now £150.

No one should be out of pocket attending UNISON courses. Branches and the Region contribute towards the cost of courses. Additional travel costs and additional carer costs can be claimed from your branch (details of help can be found in the programme).

You can find the Education Programme 2015 here...

Training the next generation - Developing Apprentices in UNISON (04/11/14)


Branches urged to follow the momentum for a living wage (11/09/14)

Branches could be "pushing against an open door" in trying to persuade public sector employers to pay the living wage, UNISON says.

"They're just waiting for us to ask them," suggests Charlie Carruth, a regional officer with the union's Yorkshire & Humberside region. "And that’s what branches should be doing. Make a living wage pay claim. Just ask."

Mr Carruth's optimism is based on the strides made by the union and others in turning Sheffield into a living wage city across public services, while also making inroads throughout the region.

Sheffield City Council is already a living wage employer and is committed to making all would-be contractors agree to the living wage in their contracts.

UNISON has made successful living wage claims to Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust, which has agreed to bring 2,000 staff up to the living wage from January 2015, as well as a clinical commissioning group in the city.

Other bodies, such as Sheffield University and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust are proving harder to crack. But in these cases UNISON is playing the long game, says Mr Carruth.

"Our strategy is to put living wage claims in across the board, backed up with statistics on pay and the cost of living. If we get a positive, then great. If not, we don’t go straight into battle, but build pressure by getting others to sign up.

"We're trying to pick employers off strategically, keeping the pressure on."

Elsewhere in the region, Rotherham NHS Trust, the Yorkshire NHS Trust and four CCGs across South Yorkshire have also agreed to pay the living wage.

UNISON learned from the cash-strapped Rotherham trust that although it couldn't afford the living wage itself, when it approached its CCG the commissioners agreed to pay the difference - thus revealing another approach for the campaign.

"Any trust could do this," says Mr Carruth.

"Employers are realising that they can do a lot of good and it's not costing them a lot of money. Plus, it's making them look good. It’' a virtuous circle. And the momentum is building."

Doncaster Raceday: 1 August 2015

Doncaster raceday

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