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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.

Young Member Weekender: 17-18 October 2015

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Latest News

Are you a Personal Assistant? A learning grant could help (21/07/15)

UNISON Personal Learning Development Grants
For PERSONAL CARE ASSISTANT MEMBERS
working in private or charity-run/ voluntary aided homes
or employed directly by individuals

We know how difficult it is to afford training to improve your job prospects due to huge increases in course fees and the withdrawal by many employers of financial support for career development.

Members who provide personal care in private or charity-run/ voluntary aided homes or individual’s own homes make up an increasing proportion of UNISON’s membership. To help you get on at work and develop your career, UNISON is piloting Personal Learning Development Grants with this group of members. 10 awards of up to £300 each are offered for course fees.

These grants can be used for a wide range of courses. They can help pay for fees on any general non-vocational course (e.g. IT courses, skills training, languages etc.) or any vocational course relevant to working in public services (e.g. counselling, accountancy and management courses would be supported but not beautician training or electronic engineering!). This includes Personal Care Assistant members working for private contractors or employers who deliver public services.

We will give preference to members with few or no qualifications when allocating these awards. We are also keen to hear from members who are active in their branch. However applications are welcomed from all members who deliver personal care in private or community run-homes.

To Apply
Complete and return the application form HERE to reach us by 27 August 2015. We will consider all applications on that date so that grant criteria can be applied fairly, and let all applicants know the outcome very shortly after that date.

 

UNISON ACTIVE Summer 2015 Magazine (09/07/15)

UNISON ACTIVE Summer 2015

 

Budget shuts public sector workers out of the recovery (08/07/15)

Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget Statement today (Wednesday 8th July) UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said:

“Capping wages at a miserly one per cent for four more years for public sector workers will hasten the reluctant exit of many dedicated staff from our hospitals, schools and local councils.

“The economy is growing yet public servants remain shut out of the recovery. Despite bearing the brunt of austerity, they are to keep paying the price for the reckless behaviour of the banks.

“Britain won’t have public services fit for 21st century needs, unless wages for public servants are high enough to attract the best recruits. Pay austerity might be over for MPs but it’s set to continue for many more years for everyone else in the public sector.

“An hourly rate of £7.20 is not a living wage. George Osborne’s announcement might look attractive at first glance but as tax credits are cruelly snatched away – leaving many workers £1,200 worse off – he’s simply giving to the low-paid with one hand and taking away with the other.

“An independently set living wage already exists, and its higher rate assumes the full take up of in-work benefits. Renaming the minimum wage will mean fewer employers will feel obliged to pay staff any more than the law requires them to.”

 

Higher Education - Nice pay if you can get it! (17/06/15)

UNISON campaigns for fair pay across Higher Education.  Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made by UNISON revealed some shocking figures about how our Universities pay their staff*.

We’re asking for Fairness, Transparency and the Living Wage in Higher Education.

FAIRNESS –

  • Vice Chancellors (VCs) in Yorkshire & Humber earn an average £244,000 a year.
  • The highest paid VC receives £378,000; the lowest paid receives almost £148,000.
  • All Universities pay a number of staff more than £100,000 per year.
  • VCs earn up to 25 times the hourly rate of the lowest paid employed at their Universities.
  • For two years running most HE staff have been offered only a 1% rise in national negotiations, while VCs have received a 39% rise (2012/13) or almost 17% (2013/14).
  • Universities in Yorkshire & Humber spend up to £3m per year on agency staff.

TRANSPARENCY –

  • Salaries for VCs and the highest paid are decided by remuneration committees which meet privately.
  • No information is published or shared on criteria, or how these salaries are justified.
  • Many VCs received a huge hike in their pension contributions, rather than a visible salary increase.
  • UNISON has to make FOI requests to gather financial information on pay in HE.

LIVING WAGE –

  • Many HE institutions still fail to pay the Living Wage to their lowest paid staff.
  • Only one University in Yorkshire has signed up to be an accredited Living Wage employer.  This means the others can drop below Living Wage pay rates whenever these change.
  • Companies providing outsourced services – such as cleaning, catering and security – can set their own wages and terms and conditions, below Living Wage and lower than colleagues employed by the University. 
  • Only the University’s insistence can make Living Wage a condition of awarding a contract to outsourced services.

Fed up?  Angry? 
Join the UNISON campaign to see Fairness, Transparency and Living Wage at your University.

More details from your branch.

 

Leeds City Council signs up to Ethical Care Charter (01/05/2015)

Ethical Care Charter

(Pic: Leader of Leeds City Council Keith Wakefield stands alongside Cliff Williams, UNISON Assistant General Secretary, signing UNISON's Ethical Care Charter)

Leeds City Council signs up to Ethical Care Charter to answer Mayday calls of care workers

Making sure there are minimum standards for care at home for both the people who receive it and the workers who provide it are priorities for Leeds City Council as they become of the largest local authorities to sign up to UNISON's Ethical Care Charter.

The charter commits to carers not having to rush from client to client and that people should keep the same carer wherever possible. It also commits employers to provide guaranteed hours contracts as the norm rather than zero hours contracts, to pay for travel time and a target of paying at least the living wage of £7.85 per hour.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“This May Day is a great opportunity to reflect on the vital contribution care workers make to our communities. We are determined to make sure Leeds City Council is rewarding homecare workers properly for the vital services they provide every day to thousands of Leeds citizens.

"Leeds is the biggest city to sign up to the charter and we are absolutely committed to people in Leeds receiving the high-quality homecare we would all want for ourselves and for our loved ones. That means we need to recognise everyone who receives homecare as an individual person, with their own particular needs.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:

"This Charter gives a benchmark for the future of homecare in Leeds, and we are very proud to have signed up to it. Providing care can be one of the toughest roles to have, and if we don’t treat those delivering it decently, it makes it harder for them to do the job properly.”

UNISON Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Williams, said:

“We know how tough it is when budgets are under so much pressure, so we are particularly pleased Leeds City Council has been able to adopt UNISON's Ethical Care Charter.

"It shows a clear commitment that staff are properly rewarded and respected for the work they do with vulnerable people in our communities.

"Home care workers are dedicated to providing the best care that they can. The council's adoption of the charter enables good employment conditions and quality training, which helps to reduce staff turnover and improve the quality of care for service users."

Providers will have to minimise zero-hours contracts, pay at least the national minimum wage and move towards paying a living wage of £7.85 per hour. There will also be a commitment to providing training.

 

LV = Great Cricket Ticket giveaway! (21/04/15)

Once again, LV are giving away a pair of LV= County Championship tickets to UNISON members to watch one day’s play during the 2015 season. It’s going to be another exciting year of cricket as Division 1 champions Yorkshire play away to Worcestershire, and Division 2 winners Hampshire host Sussex on the opening weekend of the 12 April.

DOWNLOAD THE FORM HERE!

To be in with a chance of claiming two free tickets just fill in and return the coupon here, stating in order of preference the three counties you would most like to visit in 2015.

Successful applicants will receive two ticket vouchers for a county of their choice, valid
for one day of an LV= County Championship match. The vouchers are only valid for
matches played at the First Class County Grounds (see list) – festival and secondary
grounds are not included in this promotion.

Please note that tickets are subject to availability and will be despatched to successful applicants within 28 days. All fixtures can be found at:
www.LV.com/cricket

DOWNLOAD THE FORM HERE!

Expires 30/09/15

 

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...


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 races 2015

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