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.

UNISON: Fighting for fair pay

NHS ballot

Vote YES in the NHS Pay Ballot (04/08/14)

Because your pay matters to you, it matters to UNISON.

Vote YESYou have told us you are angry about the insulting pay cuts and freezes being imposed on you. So now we believe it’s time to take action.

If the government gets its way only those at the top of their pay scale will get the 1% increase recommended by the independent Pay Review Body – everyone else gets nothing. But your bills keep going up and your work pressures increase.

Even if you do qualify for the 1% it will not increase your hourly rate so your overtime or unsocial hours payments will not increase. It’s no wonder you tell us you feel demoralised, demotivated and angry.

But don’t just tell us – tell the government by voting YES for both strike action and industrial action short of strike in response to the two questions in the UNISON pay ballot.

Look out for your ballot paper at home

The ballot opens 28 August and closes 18 September.

If you have not received your ballot paper by 3 September you can request one online at unison.org./my-unison/welcome,
or by calling UNISONdirect on 0800 0 857 857.

(Lines open Monday to Friday from 6am until midnight and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays. The ballot line closes at 12 noon on 15 September and this will be the last opportunity to request a ballot paper.)

Latest News

Speak out on 18 October 2014 (04/08/14)

Mobilise for the "biggest demo this country has ever seen on 18 October" - that is the rallying call from general secretary Dave Prentis as the union gears up for the TUC's Britain Needs a Pay Rise demonstration.

The demonstration - plus one in Scotland and possibly one in Northern Ireland - will come just days after local government and school workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland take co-ordinated industrial action over pay.

Ballots for industrial action are also taking place among Scottish local government workers, English and Welsh NHS members, academy school staff and meat hygiene workers.

"This autumn is where we make a stand on pay - this far and no further," said Mr Prentis.

But 18 October is not just about specific groups of UNISON members, or even all UNISON members.

Afetr four years of austerity, everyone - and the economy - needs fair pay, Mr Prentis said.

The message from UNISON to every region, branch and member is simple: "Our nation needs you there. We need you to make it happen."

Doncaster Care UK workers vote for 14 days strike over pay (04/08/14)

Care UK Workers on strike

Care workers in Doncaster will start 14 days’ strike action from 7 a.m. on Tuesday July 29.

The UNISON members voted for the action to support the pay claim for Care UK to introduce the national living wage rate of £7.65 an hour – above their current rate of just £7 – and a meaningful pay rise for all staff.

The latest action means the strikers will have taken a total of 48 days strike action since September 1 last year.

Regional Organiser Jim Bell said members at the company had suffered four years of pay freezes when they were employed in the public sector.

In addition, Care UK has slashed income by attacking income and conditions of service.
He said: “In total they have seen their pay cut by up to to 35 per cent in this period which is a massive hit and makes it impossible for them to meet the most basic costs of living.
“We are calling on Care UK to give them a meaningful pay rise and start the minimum pay rate at £7.65

“Care UK makes profits from bidding for publicly owned and tax payer funded public services. It then pays our members so little that they often have to turn to tax payer funded benefits just to survive.

“The company is making huge profits subsidised by all of us who pay tax. Meanwhile these most dedicated of public servants, who care for the most vulnerable people in society, are forced into crippling financial hardship.

“The company has forced our members to take strike action. They do this reluctantly and it causes great personal hardship and anxiety.

“But they are trying to protect the service they provide because if the company will not pay a fair rate, skilled and dedicated staff are forced to seek work elsewhere. It is the vulnerable clients and their families who will suffer terribly.”  

For further information contact Jim Bell on 07944 191 738 or Peter Carroll on 07785 620 422

Wanted: Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party (24/07/14)

Scarborough and Whitby PPC


HMIC Report Comfirms UNISON fears over demise of Neighbourhood Policing (22/07/14)

Today’s HMIC Report ‘Policing in Austerity: Meeting the Challenge’ bears out UNISON research showing that more than 3,500 front line police community support officer (PCSO) jobs in England have gone since the start of the coalition government. 

This is despite a commitment from ministers to protect front line policing.

In its report, HMIC expresses concern over the ability of forces to carry out neighbourhood policing. The report goes on to confirm that PCSO numbers have been slashed by 22%, with 10 forces cutting numbers well above the general 20% cut to police budgets.

UNISON's research, published in its Trouble in the Neighbourhood report, shows that nine police forces have cut more than 20% of their PCSOs. This includes a 49% reduction in the Metropolitan police, a loss of 2,280 PCSOs in the capital, almost two thirds of the overall cut, 31% in Merseyside and 28% in Essex.*

Only five police forces out of the 39 in England have maintained or increased their number of PCSOs. ** 

The UNISON research also reveals that 60% of UNISON members working as PCSOs had seen cuts in staff or resources in their police force. ***

As well as a reduction in the number of PCSOs, cuts in supporting roles also impact on front line policing as PCSOs often find themselves covering for these roles and spending less time out in the community.

Ben Priestley, UNISON National Officer said:

“Today's report is yet further proof that neighbourhood policing is dying on the beat. Cuts to neighbourhood teams are putting public safety and confidence in our police in jeopardy. 

"PSCOs play a key role in intelligence gathering, tackling minor crimes and anti social behaviour. They are a reassuring and deterring visible presence in our streets and without them crime is likely to rise, but they are under growing pressure to cover larger beats and often work alone. That is why UNISON is again calling on the Government to fund and maintain neighbourhood policing teams at their 2010 level."

Comments from PCSOs: 

“On my own Safer Community Team, numbers have been cut from 9 to 2; an 80% cut. All of the work we have done over the last decade is unravelling and we are powerless to stop it. Morale is at rock bottom.”

“We now have less staff and higher expectations from the public that cannot be met."

“At times there are very few officers on the street due to cuts. It's a struggle to deal with all the jobs that get called in.”

“Crime prevention officers and practical resources have gone. Posts are not being filled when they become available”
“We no longer work as a team and are left to work alone on a late evening... there is no back up close by if anything should go wrong, so this leaves the PCSO vulnerable.”

“Drastic reduction in vehicles which doesn’t directly impact on PCSOs, but means that warranted officers are further away should we require support. Larger neighbourhoods mean that PCSOs have to travel further on foot and operate more often as a solo foot patrol.”

In contrast to England, there has been a 57% rise in the number of PCSOs in Wales, with an extra 409 posts created, with dedicated funding from the Welsh Government.

* PCSO cuts have been 20% or higher in the following nine police forces:
City of London:         -71.15%
Met Police:               -49.09%
Merseyside:             -31.41%
Essex:                     -28.54%
Cumbria:                  -22.52%
Warwickshire:          -22.46%
Cambridgeshire:        -21.05%
Hertfordshire:             -20.99%
Northamptonshire:     -20.73%

** 87 PCSO jobs were created in England since March 2010.
1 in Wiltshire, 3 in Leicestershire, 24 in Nottinghamshire, 59 in Devon and Cornwall

*** UNISON represents around 6,000 PCSOs in England and Wales. 1,900 of them responded to the online survey – a response rate of almost 30%

The full HMIC report is available here:



Privatisation & job cuts confirmed Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS (26/06/14)

Privatisation & Job Cuts and Terms & Conditions attack confirmed at Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

Official document confirms huge cuts and privatisation plans at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

A report to C&H NHS Trust today confirms UNISON’s claim that they are planning huge job losses and pay cuts – and to advertise for private patients both here and overseas.
Last week UNISON claimed the plans were in place but the Trust flatly denied they had any such proposals.

The Trust’s Director of Estates, Planning Performance and Facilities, Lesley Hill, told the Huddersfield Examiner that there was “absolutely no truth” that the Trust planned to privatise up to 300 beds.

But now a report issued by the Trust’s Director of Operations Mags Barnaby to the Executive Board spells out their true intention.

Under a heading “Proposed Additional Schemes to Close The Gap”, the report states that the Trust must  ‘* Attract appropriate income from overseas visitors to the Trust.  * Explore opportunities for private patient income.’

The report also says the Trust must implement central Government cuts of £20 million this financial year and £19 million in 2015/16.

UNISON Regional Organiser Gary Cleaver said: “The scale of job losses which are envisioned in this shocking report will have a devastating impact on our members and their families.

“It will also put standards of patient care in grave jeopardy. Standards of health care will inevitably plummet, with longer waiting times from referral to treatment.

“ It will put lives at risk at the same time they are selling off NHS beds to private patients from across the world.

“The proposed savage cuts to our members’ terms and conditions include removing weekend pay rates and reducing pay for members on long-term sickness absence.
“The Trust has identified that by implementing the crippling cuts, there will be an effect on the quantity and quality of job applications received for NHS jobs.”

Mr Cleaver said people will be deeply alarmed to learn from the report that there are additional plans to sell off land and buildings which have been owned by the public for over 65 years.

The report makes it clear that within the next two years the number of NHS beds in both hospitals will be cut by 100 – and that is before the outcome of Trust’s Strategic Review.
“The Trust is implementing massive NHS cuts forced on us by the Conservative/Lib Dem Government,” he added.

“Their manifesto pledge that their “austerity” cuts would not have an impact on front-line NHS services is completely untrue, as we can see from this report.
“Cuts and privatisation are firmly on Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s agenda.

“UNISON calls on the Trust to come clean with us over their plans and to arrange, urgently, a full and open consultation with the public and the trade unions now that these proposals are in the public domain.”

Care UK strikers lobby private equity owners (14/05/14)

UNISON members

UNISON members working for Care UK took their struggle to London today, where they lobbied Bridgepoint Capital, the private equity investor that bought the company in 2010.

Care UK was handed a contract by Doncaster Council in 2013 to take over care of vulnerable people with severe learning difficulties, and has since announced that it wants to slash staff pay and conditions.

Straining to make himself heard over the sound as 53 angry members made their case outside its headquarters in posh Mayfair, UNISON regional organiser Jim Bell said that Bridgepoint Capital eventually allowed himself and a member into the building to make their case briefly.

The members were also determined to use their visit to take their case right to the heart of government at Downing Street.

General secretary Dave Prentis joined the strikers in Doncaster yesterday on their 23rd day of strike action.

Praising their "courage and self-sacrifice", he noted that they were "also fighting to preserve a service to some of the most vulnerable people in society."

UNISON has tried to negotiate with Care UK, which is refusing to change its position. A ballot of 150 UNISON members saw 90% voting for action and members have already taken several periods of sustained strike action, as well as action short of a strike.

The strikers will be holding a demonstration in Doncaster this Saturday, at the Civic Square, Waterdale, from 2pm, with speakers from UNISON, together with other unions and campaigners.

UNISON is asking branches to support our members by making donations to the hardship fund and to help these workers continue their fight.

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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