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

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UNISON slams extra payments for GPs diagnosing dementia (22/10/14)
The Government’s plans to pay GPs an extra £55 for each patient they diagnose with dementia are an “outrage”, says UNISON, the UK’s biggest health union.

The announcement of the extra money has angered members who have been denied a 1 per cent pay rise this year by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Gary Cleaver, Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Organiser for UNISON, said: “We are as concerned as everyone else that an estimated 350,000 people suffering from dementia go undiagnosed.

“But GPs and hospital staff are all trained to do this diagnosis with a simple set of questions. It is a relatively quick, routine process and if people are going undiagnosed that failure should be addressed urgently, right across the health service, to find out why.

“Mental health services are in crisis across the country because of Government underfunding. Care services are beset with the scandal of zero hours contracts and a high turnover of minimum wage staff.

“More money should be going into treatment for people suffering from dementia, not into the pockets of a relatively small number of GPs – most of whom have never sought to receive extra payment for doing their job.

“This proposed six months of extra payments to doctors - for doing what is a routine part of their contracts - could cost up to £19 million nationally.

“Our members on the health front-line, such as nurses and paramedics, have endured years of falling real income and have been told by Mr Hunt that they are not even worth a below inflation 1 per cent rise this year.

“We are told there is no money available for NHS workers, yet as soon as the Government thinks they can gain positive publicity from throwing money at a problem, they can find it instantly.

“This sends a clear message that high earners need to get paid even more to carry out their basic duties while already low paid NHS staff are condemned to doing more for less.

“It makes it plain for all to see that this Government operates a double standard when it comes to the NHS - and the economy as a whole.

“The wealthiest are becoming even wealthier while the majority are forced into poverty under the smokescreen of so-called ‘necessary austerity’.”


Care UK strikers hit the streets of London (08/10/14)

Striking Care UK workers took their struggle to the streets of London today, as they used an open-top bus ride to raise awareness of their dispute.

In the morning, they had lobbied the headquarters of private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital, which owns Care UK.

Later, they were welcomed at UNISON Centre by members of the union's NEC, the president, Lucia McKeever, and the rest of the presidential team, and general secretary Dave Prentis.

When their current spell of industrial action ends, they will have been on strike for 90 days.

Last weekend, Twitter was abuzz with reminders that Care UK's chairman, John Nash, was made a peer after donating £247,250 to the Conservative Party.

Those donations included £21,000 to former shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley as he drew up the Tory health reforms.

 Care UK has been handed £102.6m of NHS contracts. According to a Mirrorreport, the company's healthcare revenue soared by 63.2% from £189.7m a year in 2012 to £309.5m last year.


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."


Y&H Regional Black Members Upcoming meetings published (25/04/14)

You can find a list of meeting dates and training opportunities here...


 

Regional Education Programme 2014 published (26/11/13)

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 new 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.

Download the 2013 Education Programme and 2013 Calendar here...


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