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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TUC Young Workers' Month: November 2015 (06/10/15)

YM Month Poster


Drop the Trade Union Bill (20/09/15)

We, the hard-working people providing public services in this country, need our MPs to focus on the real problems the country faces, not on waging irrelevant battles against unions. Give us the respect we deserve: stop fighting our right to be represented and supported; come and talk to us about how we can work together for a better future.

The bill undermines the right to strike

The bill subjects trade union members to unprecedented levels of civil and criminal penalties, regulations and technical and monitoring requirements that will effectively end the right to strike.

The option to go on strike is an important democratic right because, although it is only ever used as a last resort, it provides people with another opportunity to put pressure on their employers to solve disagreements.

When UNISON members vote to go on strike and lose a day’s pay it is always as the last resort. When asked how they felt about going on strike UNISON members say things like,“Unhappy that it had to come to this kind of action, but felt it was right to protect my standard of living”, “if it is absolutely necessary and all other means have not succeeded then willing to do so”, It’s a necessary evil. We shouldn’t have to go on strike, but it may be the only way to get things sorted”

The use of agency workers during strikes undermines the right to strike and could make public services unsafe

Employers will be allowed to bring in agency workers when their employees are on strike, which undermines the right to strike and could impact on the safety and quality of the services normally provided by trained and qualified staff.

People need to be able to trust that staff providing services are properly trained and qualified, that may not be the case with people who are brought in for a day to replace striking staff. Not only will it put those agency workers in a difficult and stressful position as they are asked to cover a service in a workplace they are not familiar with, it may also compromise the safety of the services that are provided.

The bill undermines the right to peaceful protest and could result in ASBOs for people on picket lines

When UNISON members protest during strikes they already comply with a detailed Code of Practice but the bill would allow the police to issue ASBOs to people on picket lines, it will give employers the ability to use an injunction to stop the protest, it will require a picket line organiser to wear an identifying badge or armband and be at the picket line at all times or contactable by the police at short notice, and it will require all activities to be announced at least 14 days in advance including details as specific as the words in Facebook posts.

Peaceful protest is an important part of an open and democratic society and there should be no place for a law that makes criminals of people making their voices heard in this way.

Trade unions improve the UK for everyone  

UNISON and other trade unions are a fundamental part of UK society and have had a positive impact on all citizens through achievements like: a national minimum wage, the abolition of child labour, improved worker safety, improving living standards by reducing the number of hours in the working week and encouraging a healthy work/life balance, improved parental leave, equality legislation, minimum holiday and sickness entitlements.


Latest Regional Young Members Bulletin is published (04/08/15)

UNISON Yorkshire & Humberside Young Members have published their latest bulletin.

RYM Bulletin 2015It's worth a read...

  • Young people attacked by cuts
  • Don't mourn - Organise!
  • Young Member Weekender 17-18 October 2015
  • Regional Young Members Forum
  • Housing Charter for young people
  • £10 an hour: A new target for the minimum wage
  • Pride in UNISON
  • Young members campaigning in their local communities

You can download it here...


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

UNISON Personal Learning Development Grants
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.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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...

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