25 November 2016
26 November 2016
3 December 2016
5 December 2016
3-5 March 2017
THERE FOR YOU
With rising fuel costs and another cold winter looming, many members are worried about how they’re going to pay this year’s winter fuel bills.
There for You, UNISON’s own charity has set up a limited fund to help UNISON members on low income by way of a one-off payment of £50 per household.
This year eligibility includes those in receipt of housing benefit and the amount of the grant has risen from £40 to £50 per eligible household.
Priority will be given to those who have not previously received this grant and no grants will be paid out until after the closing date of 17 February 2017.
To apply download the forms or contact the UNISON branch office.
The council has withdrawn its proposals to:
The Council will not reintroduce these proposals in the 2017-2020 budget timeline i.e. the next 3 years.
On this basis the UNISON Campaign Group has decided to call off the lobby of Labour Group arranged for Monday 5 December.
On behalf of the members who would have been affected UNISON has thanked all those who supoprted the short but vigorous campaign against the proposals.
UNISON believes the council were testing the staff’s resolve and now has to rebuild the staff’s trust and confidence in its employer. While UNISON will assist with that process we should not underestimate the worry and concern that staff directly affected by the original proposals have felt. UNISON believes that the council should have considered ALL alternatives before presenting the proposals to attack staff terms and conditions. Clearly there are alternatives.
The Council is proposing to:
UNISON members directly affected have reacted with fury and are demanding the council withdraw these proposals immediately.
The joint trade unions in Newcastle City Council have served notice on the employer that they refuse to negotiate on any attack on staff terms and conditions.
Paul Gilroy, Branch Secretary of UNISON Newcastle said “Our members have made their dismay and anger clear. A Labour council placing the burden of Tory austerity on to hard working council staff by cutting their pay is the final straw”.
He went on to say that “industrial action seems inevitable unless the council withdraws this proposal immediately”.
The online petition has more than 1000 signatures and UNISON has also distributed a paper version for use in workplaces. Please sign the petition as we intend to hand it in at the next council meeting on 11 January.
The BBC are monitoring the campaign and are very interested in interviewing staff who are directly affected by the proposals. This is just the coverage we need as there is nothing more powerful than staff explaining the impact of losing money on them and their family’s lives. Please contact the UNISON branch office if you’re willing to share your story.
In addition, if you’re happy for the Branch to feature your story in this campaign bulletin, please get in touch with us too.
New players in the Active Newcastle Singles Tennis League are being offered free entry to celebrate Andy Murray's fantastic achievement in becoming World Number 1!
The league organised players into groups at a similar level and is open to people of all standards. Players arrange their own matches between Thursday 24 November 2016 and Wednesday 1 February, 2017. All you need to do to have fun and improve your game at the same time is register here for a free place, complete the playing standard questionnaire and enter FREE OFFER NEWCASTLE COUNCIL under How You Heard or email email@example.com.
Newcastle City Council has released a proposal that:
Council staff say NO
UNISON say NO
Newcastle Council says it wants to "protect" vital services, but its solution is to attack the very staff delivering those services. Council staff are facing pay cuts of up to a third which would mean that many staff could not remain in these posts in the future. The reality for staff would be pay cuts forcing them in to debt, homes at risk, misery for them and their families.
BRANCH ELECTIONS 2017
Nomination forms for 2017 should be completed and returned to the branch office by 13 January 2017.
“The trade unions were informed today of council proposals to cease paying shift allowance and weekend enhancements, and to change the time night rate takes effect from 8.00 pm to 10.00 pm. Council managers will be briefing staff from tomorrow. The trade unions will attend the briefings and then speak to their members afterwards.”
Branch Secretary, 1 November
The proposals, part of the council’s budget for 2017, would result in 30% of the workforce, some 1800 staff, seeing their wages slashed by up to a third.
Be sure to let your UNISON steward know what you think of the council's plans.
The employers have rejected our claim for a flat rate increase of £1 an hour on all NJC pay points because:
“The Employers are very clearly of the view that the NJC reached, in good faith, an agreement on pay on 16 May 2016 that covers the period to 31 March 2018”
The NJC Committee agreed that all our efforts now need to go into campaigning for a positive outcome from the review of the pay spine and a decent offer in 2018. A further 1% pay offer for the majority in 2018/19 would not be acceptable. The Committee also felt that the review of the NJC pay spine, agreed as part of the 2016-2018 settlement, needs additional funding to ensure an outcome which is fair to all and tackles inequality in pay within the public sector. NJC pay is the lowest in the public sector, from the bottom to the top of the pay spine.
It was therefore agreed to start a campaign of political lobbying, which will call on branches and Regions to lobby councillors and MP’s for a fairer deal for school and council workers and for funding of the review of the pay spine. The union will also work to establish groups of parliamentary advocates within the English, Welsh and Northern Ireland parliaments to speak out for council and school workers and commission research to support a better deal for NJC workers in future.
The council’s announcement of their budget proposals for 2017 – 2020 which were presented to staff, UNISON, the public and the press missed out a significant issue, a proposal to remove premium time payments i.e. to stop paying enhancement rates for working weekends and evenings.
No premium payments impact directly on those staff who receive them currently but also opens up the possibility of 7 day working for other staff. You could find your service operating at a weekend without paying you any overtime payment. Would you be happy about that?
UNISON will be campaigning against this proposal and you should too. We’ll provide more details as they are released.
The council has announced its budget proposals for the next 3 years. The headlines are £70M reduction, £30M in 2017/18, £20M in 2018/19 and £20M in 2019/20.
Here’s a link to the Council published budget information, including IIA’s https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/your-council-and-democracy/budget-annual-report-and-spending/budget/budget-2017-18
UNISON branch officers will be offering support to worker groups and individual members affected directly by the proposals. If you need advice or support please contact:
Paul Gilroy - Resources, WCL (Adult), ACX
Nicky Ramanandi - Communities, I&D
Lynda Hardie – WCL (Children)
17-23 Oct is the tenth Get Online Week and UNISON have arranged a table in the Civic Centre Monday 17 October, 12.30-1.30pm, Why not pop down and have a try at some IT you may not normally use or would like to learn about. We will also be promoting courses if there is something you would like to do more specifically, or try a Tablet, Kindle or Laptop for the first time - full support will be given.
Why not take the opportunity to visit the new Welford Learning Zone open 10-12 Monday, Wednesday and Friday and receive one to one support to get online, or if you prefer try out a Kindle, Laptop or Tablet for the first time. Please contact Wendy Aitman to check on availability of spaces.
The Open University has launched 6 free online courses for people looking to move up in their career, or considering a change of direction. Fun, interactive and informative, each course takes approximately 15 hours to complete but can be studied in shorter chunks of time, the courses are:
For further details and how to register please contact Jane Yugire.
The branch is consulting members on the question:
Do you agree with the proposal that the additional pay claim for 2017/18 should be for “A flat increase of £1 an hour on all NJC pay points?”
This arises from a resolution of the Local Government Service Group Conference which included an instruction to submit an additional NJC pay claim for 2017/18 and to commence the process of consulting with branches and members on the composition of this claim after Conference. This reopens year 2 of the 2016/18 two-year pay NJC settlement agreed last May.
The additional claim will be a UNISON claim only because the other two NJC unions do not support it. Both GMB and Unite’s National Committees have discussed UNISON’s proposal for an additional claim. In response they have both stated that, given the collective decision of NJC trade unions to accept the 2016/18 two year pay settlement, they will not support a further pay claim for 2017. The Local Government Association has also indicated that they will not consider a claim received from one NJC union only.
Branch consultation will conclude on 3 October 2016.
As part of the 2016-18 pay settlement, the NJC agreed to conduct a review of the NJC pay spine. The primary reason for this review is the introduction of the National Living Wage.
The terms of reference for the review have now been agreed.
Members will have seen the publicity regarding a proposal to review the salaries of the Chief Executive and Directors from their present position of spot grades i.e. no incremental progression, to one including the provision to move up a scale incrementally based on performance.
UNISON were not involved in any discussion of the proposal prior to the publication of the information by the Chronicle. UNISON were subsequently briefed on the proposal on Tuesday 30 August.
The pay policy statement has been approved by Constitutional Committee, but is subject to agreement by full council on 7th September. The pay policy statement includes the text “The Trade Unions have also been consulted and briefed about the contents”, which is incorrect and the UNISON Branch Secretary has written to the Assistant Director of HR to demand that elected members are provided with a clarification that states that the Trade Unions were briefed post publication on the contents of the pay policy statement.
Following the publication of the review proposals, UNISON’s Branch Secretary met with the Chief Executive and expressed the union’s anger and disappointment that pay increases were being proposed at a time when cuts are being considered to the council’s budget for the next 3 years, and when we have seen an erosion year on year of the redundancy and protection arrangements. In addition, a letter has been sent to the Leader of the Council, and UNISON’s Branch Secretary has also spoken publicly of the union’s position, and this was reported in the Chronicle.
UNISON members who are unhappy at the proposals could assist the Branch by contacting your councillor (in Newcastle), who will be voting on the proposal, and explaining your opposition
Newcastle City Branch has challenged the City Council to become an accredited Living Wage employer. This means that the Council would increase wages of the lowest paid in the organisation in line with the increases of the Foundation Living Wage each November.
In addition we have challenged the council to make provision within its procurement policy to ensure that the contractors and businesses the council employs, include a provision that they also pay the Foundation Living Wage.
To register to vote, UNISON members must:
When you register you agree to:
The Labour party will be conducting the election. Queries about the ballot or members wishing to check if their applications have been accepted by the Labour Party should contact the Labour Party
UNISON’s nomination process
UNISON Labour Link, which represents those members who pay into the affiliated political fund, will follow standard procedures for agreeing any nomination.
This will mean:
If you do not already pay into the affiliated political fund (APF) you can transfer using the following form https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2013/06/On-line-Catalogue198443.pdf
For more information about getting involved in Unison Labour link or becoming a Unison delegate to Labour Party CLPs or for general questions get in touch with branch Labour Link Officer:
Ed Whitby firstname.lastname@example.org or 07740099479
The UNISON Disabled Members’ Conference 2016 takes place on 29th – 31st October in Brighton. We are looking for expressions of interest to attend the conference as a delegate from the branch. Travel and accommodation will be arranged by the branch and subsistence payments will be available.
The Yomp (a military term for a long-distance march) is an epic adventure challenge. Teams of 3-6 people take on 54 miles in 24 hours across the rugged terrain of the Scottish wilderness whilst raising money for soldiers, veterans and their families.
Helped by sponsorship from UNISON a team of members, the Tyne Tunnel Trekkers, entered the event which took place on 11 June in Perthshire.
The Trekkers completed the 54 mile 'gold' route in 22:22:42, coming in 43rd out of 94 teams.
Photo (left to right): Michael Ayre Senior Traffic Officer, Philip Dixon Senior Traffic Officer, Angus Fergusson Senior Traffic Officer and Anthony Harbison Controller.
UNISONProtect is very pleased to introduce a brand new product to their range - Female Cancer Cover.
Research by Macmillan Cancer support has identified that four out of five cancer patients are on average £570 a month worse off following their diagnosis*. This is the result of a combination of factors, including having to stop work while receiving treatment, needing extra childcare, higher household bills and transport costs to and from hospital, it all adds up.
Fawdon Community Centre will be hosting this Friendship Day family function on Sunday 18 December.
Free online resources for adult learners.
Rents drag working families into poverty
Worrying ignorance on asbestos in schools
TUC attacks cap on small claims
Government shunts Network Rail off track
Takeovers down in number, up in value
Manufacturing output shrinks again
Gig economy comes under scrutiny
UK economy — 0.5% growth confirmed
Executive pay and corporate governance
1Minimum wage rises from next April
Gender pay gap in London's public sector
Suspended prison sentences over safety
Notice of the branch AGM to be held on13 March 2017
Winners in November.
Calendar 2017 featuring the outstanding artwork from our schools competition.
The latest news on the terms and conditions dispute in 'Fightback 2' bulletin.
Find out how to make the most of your digital device on Tuesday 20 December 2016 at Newcastle Civic Centre.
As part of the This Girl Can initiative Active Newcastle are holding a lunch time running taster session on 12 December for women who don't currently run or who don't feel comfortable running.
Women's Network on 3 December and National Conference on 16 February.
Vauxhall Partners latest offer (which is valid until 18th December 2016) is up to £2,000 scrappage on an old car to put towards a brand new Vauxhall from across the range.
Hammond's first and last Autumn Statement
Disability-related sickness top issue
CitySprint latest gig economy target
May in reverse over workers on boards
Young face social mobility problem
Survey on risks of cleaning agents
On Sunday 27 November at the Cumberland Arms.
Lower housings costs keep inflation at 2.0%
September boost for average earnings
UK worst in OECD for investment in transport
A quarterly periodical updating stewards and reps on employment law.
New rates for voluntary Living Wage
Theatre of austerity
Unions take on gig economy firms
Fall in tribunal claims
Factory output down in third quarter
Two families win in courts over bedroom tax
Parents back striking teaching assistants in Durham despite school disruption
Durham teaching assistants strike for second day
County Durham teaching assistants go on strike
‘Confidence Building Session’ and ‘Foundation Certificate in Deafblindness’ added to the course calendar.
TUC Campaign to raise awareness of the impact of the government’s spending squeeze on the NHS in England and to call for a fair and sustainable funding in the lead up to the autumn statement.
Events in the North East.
The next 3-day course is in January.
Widespread benefits of union training
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016
Economy grows in third quarter
Give boost to childcare, say employers
Academies links with trustees' businesses
Two new additions to our library of quick, interactive online modules and Use-IT, a quick and fun way to check maths and English skills and much more.
Champions act as a confidential, sympathetic and well informed first point of contact for colleagues and raise awareness around the issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
You are invited to the Northern TUC’s Annual Reclaim the Night event which this year takes place in Newcastle on Saturday 26th November.
Investigation into grey area of self-employment
Government U-turn on safety appointment
Low pay in the UK 2016
Self-employment or precarious work?
Bullying a worrying problem in NHS
It may not be marriage guidance but it's helpful
Pay protection a reasonable adjustment
Papers for the meeting on 8 November.
Bournemouth International Centre, 3-5 March 2017. This conference is open to all UNISON members in the Community Sector.
Show Racism the Red Card are celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year and part of the celebration a night of comedy and music has been organised to take place on Friday 25 November
Weak average weekly earnings growth
Low pay in government
Jobless numbers on the rise in summer
Safety and health at work week
Pricier fuel and clothing pushes inflation higher
Three year proposals announced.
Wear Red Day, Friday 21 October.
The current issue of the Branch Newsletter includes:
More attacks on terms and conditions!
Public Sector Exit Caps
UNISON launches UK-wide campaign to celebrate public service champions
Additional Pay Claim 2017-18
Stars in our schools
Future Employee Benefits
Shift workers more prone to disease
Lucky 13 in boardroom
Manufacturing output still weak
Firms sign Dying to Work charter
Perils of hard Brexit for UK car industry
Commission and holiday pay ruling
UK's record deficit in trade in goods
Majority ignored on public sector exit pay
Long wait for gender pay gap to close
Sick leave benefits across Europe
How to shrink the great divide in UK
Women's mental health needs ignored
How to claim benefits for industrial injuries
Public meeting on 20 October.
Dealing with Difficult Conversations
UNISON members and their families are invited to support “Wear Red” Day, Friday 21 October, by going to work or going to school wearing something Red for the day and donating £1.
Teaching assistants to be balloted on strike action, despite split between GMB and Unison unions
Council's pay offer for teaching assistants rejected
Council votes to privatise services in shake-up of adult care in County Durham
Hospital overcrowding caused by 'political maladministration', say MPs
Is the North East Combined Authority now on the verge of collapse over devolution?
Protest planned against 'downgrading' of South Tyneside hospital services
Top hazards mentioned by safety reps
Auto-enrolment pushes up pension figures
Minimum wage rises
Apprenticeships — getting it right
How much of £86.9m is executive excess?
UNISON Newcastle want to create a new forum for members working in the charitable sector, and another for those working for housing associations
Papers for the meeting on 3 October..
Assemble 1pm outside the Laing Art Gallery (Blue Carpet)
The aim of the protest is to send out a clear and simple message: the EDL is not wanted in Newcastle, the north east or anywhere else. We must all stand together in unity in the face of Islamphobia, anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and fascism.
‘Wry, poignant and political songs that are as intelligent as they are entertaining’
Film director Ken Loach has contacted North East People's Assembly because he is looking for people to attend a special preview showing of his acclaimed new film 'I, Daniel Blake' which will be followed by a Q & A around the issues of austerity & welfare benefits raised by the film.
MPs to examine boardroom pay
Dress codes need a redesign for today
Care firms targeted over illegal wages
Workplace inspections on missing list
Shortfall in out-of-school services
Winners in September.
In July, growth in average weekly earnings was down to 2.2% from the previous month’s revised
The fall in the number of unemployed women more than compensated for the rise in the men’s total, Office for National Statistics figures show.
The retail inflation rate fell in August, while the consumer measure was steady, Office for National Statistics figures show.
The government should raise taxes on the wealthy to finance a £15 billion annual investment in affordable housing, free childcare and enhanced social security benefits to eradicate poverty in the UK, campaigners say in a report, We can solve poverty.
Don't make ordinary workers pay for Brexit, TUC urges government
Political battle lines drawn north and south of the River Tyne over devolution
Theresa May’s incompetence is creating an opposition within her own party
Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson and George Osborne among MPs hit by boundary shakeup
North East to lose four MPs in constituency shake-up plans
'Thanks, but no thanks': How devolution for the North East was ended in 155 words
UNISON consults on an additional pay claim for 2017/18 while the NJC agrees terms of reference for a review of the Pay Spine.
The course brochure for TUC Education courses in the Northern Region is now available to download.
Manufacturing output weakens in July
Tory contempt for health and safety
Forced retirement for one in eight
Decline in UK mergers and takeovers
Papers fopr the meeting on 13 September.
Regional meeting on Thursday 8 September.
UNISON Northern Women’s and International Committees are holding a joint event to raise funds for the Women’s Sugarcane Cutters Committee in the Valle del Cauca department of Colombia. World Headquarters, 7 October.
Learning lessons from EU referendum debate
Youth unemployment still stubbornly high
Action plan to help new and expectant mothers
GMB files claims against Addison Lee
BECTU to merge with Prospect in 2017
Economy grows in second quarter
Is the North East finally going to start consulting on its controversial devolution deal?
Youth unemployment could be exacerbated in wake of Brexit vote, report says
GP crisis as calls are made for appointments to be limited to no more than 25 a day
The NHS is ailing. Is a ringfenced tax the best remedy?
Shift workers are more susceptible to disease
MPs call for ban on plastic microbeads
Underemployment of BAME workers
Scottish public sector deficit unchanged
Acas guidance for young workers
Discussing the published motions for the National Disabled Conference.
An opportunity for people to enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed and fun setting (food, games and conversation!) and a way of getting to know other people who live locally and recognise that we have more in common than what divides us.
All supporters of the People's Assembly, living in north-east England, are very welcome to attend.
In Birmingham. Newcastle coach tickets £25 waged, £10 unwaged.
Papers for the meeting on 5 September..
When is a living wage “A Living Wage”?
New professional standards for teaching assistants published
Stars in our schools
Newcastle College Review & Redundancies
Labour Leadership Election
Time to debate LGPS changes as petition hits 100,000 signatures, says UNISON
Tyne & Wear LGPS
Disabled Members Officers
Durham Miner’s Gala
Death of Davey Hopper
Brexit damage to economy will outweigh modest wage gains, says study
Feet first, our NHS is limping towards privatisation
Yes, zero hours work can be banned: New Zealand has just done it
Earnings growth static
Minimum wage offenders named
Briefing on new housing Act
Cost of living in the UK on the rise
A quarterly periodical updating stewards and reps on employment law.
No pay restraint in UK boardrooms
'Hypocrisy' of Post Office bosses
Half of women suffer sexual harassment
Councils need greater powers to build houses
Factory output expands
Details and agenda for the LGBT Conference in Llandudno, 18-20 November.
Training session for members.
Special offer for UNISON members.
Winners in August.
This meeting will discuss Motions for Black Members Conference 2017.
Impact of public spending cuts on LGBT people and services.
Cut in interest rates
Days lost to strikes at very low level
Voluntary Living Wage needs revision
Rise in value of council outsourcing contracts
Search for gig economy in UK
National scandal of homecare wage cheats
Two courses have been added to the schedule:
Introduction to Understanding Autism
Confidence Building taster session.
Researchers would like to hear from you and will use what you tell them to raise awareness of the social care needs of LGBTQI disabled people and to highlight examples of things that do and don’t work very well.
Winners in July.
Union political funds bring in more income
Progress needed on transgender equality
Economy grows in second quarter
Green family used BHS as milch cow
Lack of progress on disability rights
Workers should take care in heat of the sun
One Day Introduction to the Local Government Pension Scheme, 28 September 2016.
Earnings growth dips
Air fares fuel inflation
UK's 'badge of shame' on disability rights
Unemployment hits 11-year low as numbers fall
Bridges to Learning one day regional workshops aimed at all staff working in Health, Social Care and Education.
Introduction to Counselling Skills
Your Skills, Your Future
More top executives on £1m or more a year
How deal with issue of fatigue
NLW — the first 100 days and a crisis
Below par academies
Forty executives living in ££££ land
Rise in deaths at work
Mesothelioma and its deadly toll
Poverty rise in the UK
Three more join Living Wage family
Papers for the meeting on 19 July.
An account of the 24 hour Cateran Yomp. Tyne Tunnel Trekkers raised over £1600 for the Army Benevolent Fund.
UK economy grows
Narrow majority for exit in EU referendum
Women part-timers lose out on pensions
Lack of support for disabled teachers
Small narrowing in UK current account deficit
Remuneration package of 32 averages £2.15m
Winners in June.
Papers for the meeting on 4 July..
Adverse impact of tribunal fees
'Reckless' to scrap NHS bursaries
Missing out on pensions and benefits
Call for 14-day self-certification period
Fathers missing out on paternity pay
Average earnings fillip on back of living wage
Retail price inflation rises in May
UK unemployment rate at 11-year low
Modern slavery judgment against firm
Employers don't have working carers' policy
Please come and join us in our vigil supporting and remembering the victims of the recent atrocity. Saturday 18 June, 6pm at Newcastle Civic Centre.
Dementia in workplace
Thirty execs rake in £70 million
Deaths after Johnson's fire service cuts
Value of inward M&A hits seven-year high
UK factory output 'recovers'
Climbdown on police spying on unions
New courses and taster sessions have been added to the course calendar for June and July.
Rise in numbers working from home
Economic growth confirmed for start of year
Remuneration for two totals over £55 million
Euro 2016 advice
Planes, trains and drones and lasers
Equal pay progress at Scottish council
Papers for the meeting on 13 June.