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Latest News

Health unions to consult ambulance staff over strike action on pay (25/04/16)

Ambulance workers in England are to be asked if they would be prepared to take action over pay. Their three unions – GMB, Unite and UNISON – today (Monday 25th April) announced they will be consulting ambulance staff over pay and grading – issues they say should have been dealt with a year ago.

Ambulance staff are frustrated at a lack of progress over promises made by the government and employers at the end of last year’s national NHS pay dispute.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “We thought the government and employers were acting in good faith when they promised to look at ambulance pay as a way of ending last year’s strike. But more than a year later, there’s been little progress – mainly because the ambulance trusts have no money to pay staff more, even if they wanted to.

“Resolving the main issue of pay and grading wouldn’t just help reward staff properly but it will also go some way towards solving the huge recruitment and retention crisis facing ambulance trusts.”

Unite national officer for health Barrie Brown said: “Jeremy Hunt’s offer came with no additional funding for the ambulance trusts. This has badly affected the progress of the unions’ negotiations with employers.

“What is happening is inevitable because everyone’s expectations were raised in January 2015 by an offer which has not been supported with the necessary funding by the government.”

GMB national officer for the NHS Rehana Azam said: “GMB and other unions have been left with no alternative but to consult ambulance staff in England with the potential for an industrial action ballot in the near future.

“Professional ambulance staff cannot be expected to keep picking up the slack for government incompetence on promises to invest, promises they have failed to deliver on.”

Each of the unions will now be consulting ambulance staff on how to resolve issues on pay.


UNISON welcomes government change of heart over check-off (19/04/16)

Commenting on the announcement in the Lords today (Tuesday) that the government is no longer to stop unions from collecting members’ subs via their pay packets, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“There’s much that’s wrong with the Trade Union Bill, but banning unions from using the check-off system to collect membership fees from employees in the public sector was among the most mean-spirited of all its proposals.

“But thanks to a good deal of union campaigning behind the scenes, UNISON and the TUC have built an effective coalition in the Lords that persuaded the government a ban would be both unjustified and unnecessary.

“Now at least UNISON can concentrate on campaigning to protect public sector employees at work and the services they deliver, safe in the knowledge that it will not have to spend the next year running around workplaces with direct debit forms for fear of losing much of its income.

“Employers and unions across the public sector will have breathed a collective sigh of relief at today’s news that there has been a sensible change of heart in Westminster. And there’s no cost to the public purse as a result of this decision.”


Disability cuts – a warped sense of priorities (17/03/16)

Yesterday’s budget was another brutal blow to for disabled people. And for those disabled people who are also public sector workers – including many UNISON members – it was a blow at least twice over.

The government’s decision to slash Personal Independence Payments (PIP) whilst giving a tax cut to those earning comfortably more than the average UK salary shows a warped sense of priorities. Those who will lose out will suffer a great deal, struggling to lead independent lives without the support that PIP provides.

Be in no doubt that disabled people have been hit – wilfully and painfully – by this budget. Hundreds of thousands are going to be hit to the tune of thousands of pounds each.

This is a cruel and targeted cut.

Unsurprisingly, the government already facing a great deal of resistance to these changes – including from within their own party. Many of you may have already heard about Graeme Ellis, who was (until yesterday) the webmaster of the Conservative Disability Group. Colin’s response to the attack on PIP and disabled people was straight and to the point.

He took down the Conservative Disability Group website.

What you may not know is that Graeme is a long standing UNISON member and activist. He’s a member of our disabled members forum and our homecare forum, as well as being active in his service group.

The public stand he has taken won’t have been done lightly. Nor, I imagine, will it have been an easy decision for him to make. But it was a decision that was brave and right. As he told the Mirror today:

“I’m appalled by what’s happened and wanted to make a very public statement. I’ve been a Conservative voter since I could vote. But as a lifelong Conservative I could no longer agree with what the government’s doing.”

When even those who have been lifelong Tories are turning their back on this government over callous decisions such as this one, it is surely time for them to rethink their attack on disabled people – and reverse this cruel cut.


Yorkshire ambulance paramedics win pay rise (29/02/16)

Agreement reached on regrading to reflect paramedics’ skills as UNISON prepared for industrial action ballot

UNISON has won pay rises for paramedics in Yorkshire, worth from £544 a year up to a possible £2,909 – depending on their current grades.

This month’s agreement with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service to regrade paramedics from band 5 to band 6 of the NHS pay system followed moves by UNISON to ballot for industrial action in the long-running dispute.

The union represents 80% of the trust’s paramedics and has argued since 2004 that they should have been graded at band six.

The recent agreement saw the industrial action ballot withdrawn.

“This is a success for both the UNISON negotiation team and the Yorkshire Ambulance Trust, who have been working flat out to find a solution to this long-standing problem,” said union regional organiser Ray Gray.

“Paramedics were wrongly graded way back in 2004 and, while it’s sad that it has taken this long to put it right, we are pleased that the paramedics are now going to receive a pay rate that truly reflects the work they do and the skill base that they have.

“We also hope that this is the first step of change to both retaining existing paramedics and bringing new ones in to the service.

“For some time, paramedics nationally have been leaving the service in droves because of the pay grade, stress, and conditions that they work under.

“This is the first step towards changing that position.”


Doncaster Raceday - Saturday 30 July 2016 (08/02/16)

Date for your diary: Saturday 30 July 2016

You can find all the details by downloading the poster here...


Regional Education Programme 2016 published (18/11/15)

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.

You can find the Education Programme 2016 here...

Education programme 2016In 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.

It is now 6 years since the Regional Council decided to increase the charges to branches of training courses and I am pleased to be able to report that the charges will remain unchanged for 2016.

Unfortunately there have been significant cuts to general further education funding and TUC funding has also been drastically cut. As a result of effective lobbying by the TUC, the previous Coalition government’s intention to remove fee remission was postponed to August 2016 thus enabling the region to keep charges to branches unchanged. Beyond this date future funding arrangements and charges to branches may change.

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).

This year for clarity we are also issuing a separate Members Only Training Programme detailing the courses, workshops and tasters available to non-activists. You can obtain a copy of this from your Branch Education Co-ordinator or Branch Secretary. It is also available on the UNISON regional website www.unison-yorks.org.uk.

UNISON courses are friendly, relaxed and provide an opportunity to meet new friends, they allow you to network with colleagues from other branches and to gain from their knowledge and experience. Working together with other Trade Unionists to achieve a common goal is an opportunity not to be missed and an experience to be grabbed with both hands! Please enjoy our courses and don’t be afraid to let us know what you think of them, all comments will be carefully considered and used to assist us improve our training programme.

Wendy Nichols
Regional Convenor

You can find the Education Programme 2016 here...


UNISON proud to sponsor BARLA

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...


Doncaster Raceday 2016

Doncaster raceday 2016

UNISON TV advert



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