Campaign Against Poverty


PSE team calls on government to tackle rising deprivation

The percentage of households who fall below society’s minimum standard of living has increased from 14 per cent to 33 per cent over the last 30 years, despite the size of the economy doubling.

This is one of the stark findings from the largest study of poverty and deprivation ever conducted in the UK. Full results of the ESRC PSE research were presented at a conference in London on June 19 and June 20, 2014.

Other key figures reveal that

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In-work poverty continues to rise

For the first time on record, the majority of people in poverty are in working families. Two-thirds of adults in these families are in work.

In 'Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2013' the Joseph Rowntree Foundation notes that in-work poverty began to rise around 2003/04 after being fairly static for the previous five or so years. It was this rise in poverty in working families that halted the progress in reducing poverty overall.

In 2011/12, there were around 13 million people in poverty in the UK. Of these, around 6.7 million were in a family where someone worked. The remaining 6.3 million were in workless working-age families or families where the adults were retired. This is the first time in the history of this data series where in-work poverty has made up the majority of poverty.

Living Wage campaign


In-work poverty a blight on this country

Commenting on the Rowntree report exposing the extent of in-work poverty, Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, said:

“This survey exposes the terrible dilemma experienced by so many people today. Faced with no job, many are being forced to grab whatever they can get - low paid, part-time work that doesn’t recognise their skills or experience.

“It is terribly demoralising for anyone working hard and still not able to earn enough to keep their family out of poverty. Many more workers are living under the constant threat of losing their jobs and the prospect of joining the army of unemployed.

“It is a blight on this country that we have so many living with in-work poverty. The Government should stop these damaging cuts, bring in the living wage and create long-term sustainable jobs through investment in housing and infrastructure.”


Wages, Poverty and Pay Day Loans: the reality of austerity

Friday 9th November, 12.30pm
St Mary’s Centre, Corporation Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2RW

The facts:

Pay freezes in the public and private sector are destroying the quality of life of working people, while the top earners pull further away and companies take an ever bigger share in profits.

As part of ‘Living Wage Week’ the Northern TUC is holding a conference to highlight and understand the scale of in-work poverty in the North East. It will show how austerity measures have depressed wages and increased the squeeze on living standards and increased hardship of people in low wage work. The event will explore the range of social and economic problems created by declining wages as well as identify some of the practical and political solutions we require.

There will be three sessions focusing on:

Our speakers are experts in their field and bring experience of key findings and developments that will be of use to trade unionists and campaigners. The event will culminate with the Kenny Bell Memorial Lecture to be given by John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want.

Speakers include:

Please register by Friday 2 November –, 0191 232 3175.  The event is free to attend.  Lunch and refreshments prior to the Lecture will be provided.


It Shouldn't Happen Here

There are an estimated 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. This shocking figure is expected to rise by 400,000 by 2015.

As the recession bites deeper we’re all feeling the pinch but it’s the poorest families who are feeling it most, despite the efforts of many low-income parents who are trying desperately hard to give their children a decent start in life.

Charity Save the Children is launching its first appeal in the UK for funds to help children at home as its research reveals the poorest parents are going hungry to feed their children.  The organisation’s report 'It Shouldn’t Happen Here' shows one in eight of the poorest children in the UK go without at least one hot meal a day.

The survey results set out in this report show that poverty leaves parents cutting back on food so their children don’t go hungry. It leaves children without a warm coat or new shoes. It means they miss out on experiences that are central to a happy childhood, such as going on a family holiday or having a friend round for tea.

A lack of jobs, stagnating wages, increased living costs and spending cuts are placing enormous pressure on families up and down the UK. Children’s experiences of poverty and the recession are  often overlooked. This report shines a light on these experiences.

Report 'It Shouldn't Happen Here'


The 'catastrophic effect' of Com Dem austerity on child poverty

Unicef is warning that austerity measures are reversing recent progress in tackling child poverty in the UK - which has a higher proportion of children in poverty (12%) than 21 of 35 economically advanced countries in the Unicef survey.

"We know that the number of children living in poverty in the UK is set to increase due to spending cuts. This will be a catastrophic blow to the futures of thousands of children, putting at risk their future health, education and chances of employment. said David Bull, the executive director of Unicef UK.

The report is a damning indictment of the Coalition Government by the universally respected United Nations agency promoting children’s rights.

UNICEF Report Card 10


Survey into use of food banks

The Women’s Network  has been campaigning as part of our anti poverty strategy about the introduction of Food Banks across the Region. We have also raised this with several local MPs. Could you please think about any members you know who may be affected, and encourage members to complete the Survey by 14 June.

Your assistance and co-operation is appreciated.

Questions for members using food banks

Questions for members who refer people to food banks



New on Site


Learning at Work Week

15-21 May 2017. The theme this year is Curious and Creative for Learning at Work Week.

Distance Courses

Starting 24 April 2017, these courses can be done online or paper based.


NEC Elections

Branch nominations and ballot details.

'There For You’ Newsletter

This newsletter includes an update on the changes to the Bereavement Support Payment as well as contact details for ‘Down to Earth’, who provide practical and emotional support throughout the funeral process.


Branch Lottery

Winners in March.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/13

Executive pay bandwagon rolls on

Cycle courier entitled to holiday pay

Employment law changes this April

New minimum wage rates kick in

UK lags on maternity

Merger heralds new teaching union

Consultation on caste discrimination



New courses for members and stewards.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/12

Inflation leaps to 3.2%

More regulation of gig economy needed

Appalling risk of suicides in construction

Fat cats — the great pay divide

Racist abuse after Brexit vote

Lack of diversity at top in Wales


Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on Monday 3 April.


Regional Disabled Members Group

Meeting on Tuesday 28 March 2017 at 4.30pm.

Misogyny as a Hate Crime

Nottinghamshire Police have taken the bold step to identify misogyny as a hate crime and Northern UNSION are keen for this to be replicated in our region. The aim of the event is to identify how we can move the issue forward across the region with all three Police and Crime Commissioners.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/11

Swings and scooters of inflation basket

No real improvement in weekly earnings

Cosmetic improvement with Living Wage

Zero-hours contracts at record high

Unemployment falls below 1.6 million


AGM 2017

Agenda and annual report.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/10

Economic forecasts in Hammond's Budget

Mixed fortunes in ethnic women's pay gap data

Company merger and acquisitions in 2016

Numbers on zero-hours contracts at a high

GMB take on DX delivery firm

Former chancellor's nice big earner

Charter to stop violence at work


March/Rally for Durham Teaching Assistants

Saturday 25 March. Hear grassroots, union and guest speakers and watch the Reel News film showing the Durham Teaching Assistants’ story.

LGBT Policy weekend

Saturday 25 March, to plan UNISON LGBT activities for the year ahead.

HOPE Not Hate Event

A joint training session for trade union and community activists on how to organise to defeat the politics of division.  18 March 2017.

NE People’s Assembly

March calendar of events and activities.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/9

Trade Union Act regs come into force

Gender pension gap leaves women short

Violence at work — the nasty truth

Bookseller's £7m salary

Money purchase pension are norm

British Gas denied appeal in Lock case

Government fails in ethnicity review


Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on Monday 6 March.

Retired members

Papers for the retired members' meeting on 17 March.


Branch Lottery

Winners in February.

Workers Memorial Day

Morning seminar and afternoon remembrance service in Hartlepool on Friday 28 April 2017. There is also an Eve of WMD ‘Gig’ on Thursday 27 April.


Labour Research Department Fact 79/8

Government green paper on pensions

A 'Stern diet' for fat cat directors' pay

Employers — don't miss out on talent

Argos repays £2.4 million to 37,000 staff

Economic growth revised upwards

Work fears of disabled people revealed

In the papers

Migrants have helped make Britain. It’s time to celebrate us

NHS at breaking point, according to British Medical Association

Councils prepare to cut essential services to fund adult social care

London transport spending equivalent to £1,500 more per head than North East


Labour Research Department Fact 79/7

Minimum wage cheats named and shamed

Inflation hits three-year high

Unemployment at 11-year low

Inflation erodes growth in weekly earnings

In the papers

Migrants are always the scapegoats. But now they’re taking on Ukip’s lies

I, Daniel Blake is a realistic depiction of life on benefits. Isn’t it?

English social care system for elderly facing 'complete collapse'

North East peers want law to make Government investigate impact of Brexit on region

North East recruitment drive revealed as jobless total in region rises

UK employment growth driven by foreign nationals, figures show

The NHS needs a rethink. Its priorities no longer make sense

Top Labour politicians come to 'UKIP area' Sunderland for Brexit debates and festival

Rothbury Community Hospital inpatient ward closure public meeting this week

Shopping will cost you more as prices rise, but is Brexit to blame?

Campaigners calling for u-turn over Post Office move

UK labour shortages reported as EU worker numbers fall

Britons living in the EU face Brexit backlash, leaked paper warns

Then the Daily Mail came for Gary Lineker, and we said: ‘Enough!’

Brexit survey revealed: What you would do if given second shot at EU referendum

Booming gig economy costs £4bn in lost tax and benefit payouts, says TUC

There will be a shameful betrayal of the Brexit low-paid

Welcome to the new dark ages, where only the wealthy can retire

NHS 'pays £7.5m a year for 20 most expensive agency doctors'

Drive to bring health and social care together is a well-intentioned mess


Disabled Members Policy Weekend

Sunderland, 19/20 May 2017.

Members training

Sign Language (BSL) Introduction, 2 March 2017

Dementia Workshop, 30 March 2017

Reps training

Regional Education Calendar 2017

In the papers

A&E in England had worst delays ever in January, leak suggests

Why was Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes the star of Prime Minister's questions?

Number of patients stuck in hospital 'far higher than NHS data shows'

It's time corporate tax dodgers started losing lucrative council contracts

More council housing needed in the North East - government report reveals

Council tax, youth funding and bins: 6 things to look out for from Sunderland budget meeting

TyneMet and South Tyneside colleges merger: What it means for jobs, campuses and its new name?

Labour Research Department Fact 79/6

Review of tribunal fees finally published

Plan to tackle abusive hiring practices

Insecure work on rise

Twenty eight directors share £68.37 million


Affiliations and donations

A list of affiliations and donations that the branch committee has approved since January 2015.


In the papers

UK faces return to inequality of Thatcher years, says report

NHS ID scheme could deter eligible patients, say MPs

Councils may cut social care provision due to underfunding, LGA says

Nursery schools: ‘What society gives children less chance than their parents?’

Council tax rise planned for Northumberland residents as authority faces £36m cuts

'Trump can't hack Trebs' - the best signs from Newcastle anti-Trump demonstration

Labour Research Department Fact 79/5

Racism at work

Economy grows but there's a shortfall

Advice on gender pay gap from Acas

Tories offer no solution on discrimination

Eight assaults a day in Welsh schools


A quarterly periodical updating branch reps on employment law.


Branch Lottery

Winners in January.


Young Members

Northern Region Young Members AGM

Black Members

UNISON Northern Region Black Members Forum AGM 2017.

LV Car Insurance

Discounted car insurance for UNISON members.


North East March and Rally for #ourNHS

In Newcastle on Saturday 4 February.

Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on 6 February.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/4

Death by a thousand fire service cuts

Guidance on stress

Modern-day slave traders jailed

Fees let bad bosses get off scot free

Top-ranked inclusive employers 2017

Get tough on pay, says pension funds


Women's Network AGM

Agenda and nomination form for the mmeting on 4 February.

Disabled Members

Annual Meeting of the Regional Disabled Members Self Organised Group on Tuesday 31 January 2017.

Members training

Mental Health Awareness Workshop on Thursday 16 February.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/3

Wales to ditch parts of 2016 Trade Union Act

Inflation rates at highest since 2014

Retail inflation eating into earnings growth

UK unemployment at nine-year low

In the Papers

Public sector pay poised to fall by thousands in real terms, TUC says

May’s promise on workers’ rights is hollow if she doesn’t get a deal

NHS crisis: the one act of self-sacrifice that could rescue our health service

Politicians have ignored the working class for too long

World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%

Crisis, what NHS crisis? Theresa May must stop this denial

Welsh government tables bill to overturn Trade Union Act


Anne Frank Trust Exhibition

UNISON have now been allocated two spots on the 16 January to have guided tours around the Anne Frank exhibition. 

Labour Research Department Fact 79/2

Courier's tribunal win against CitySprint

TUC warns over Brexit threat to workers' rights

Lame excuses for not paying minimum wage

High street store fined over safety

Manufacturing output edges higher

Child poverty briefing


Branch Lottery

Winners in December.


The Trade Union Act and UNISON's Political Fund

Consultation on political fund review: December-January

Reading Ahead

We are having our first Reading Ahead launch at Welford Learning Zone on 11 January between 10am and 11am.

Trade Union Reps courses

Book now to secure your place on one of the courses for Reps at Newcastle College starting in January 2017.

Northern Region Training Programme

UNISON courses in 2017. These courses are free and open to all members unless otherwise stated.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/1

'Precarious pay penalty' of zero-hours staff

Plans for a Universal Basic Income

2017 — economic forecasts for year

'Fat Cat Wednesday' has been and gone

Northern Ireland to reveal political gifts

UK's deficit in trade in goods gets ever worse

UK economic growth revised upwards