UNISON international seminar, 20-22 March 2015

Steve Ludlum (Cuba Solidarity Campaign) talked about the continuing work of the CSC following the release of the Miami 5. Their view regarding the recently reported ‘normalisation in relationships’ between Cuba and the US is that Cuba have conceded nothing and the US changes are limited, with regime change still the objective. It is important to maintain pressure for the embargo to be lifted and for the removal of Cuba from list of state sponsors of terrorism (which Obama has since



Please add your support to a major new online campaign for the Miami Five.

Voices for the Five is a major new campaigning website bringing together international personalities and campaigners from all corners of the world to call for freedom for the Miami Five. René González, other family members and international personalities including actress Emma Thomspon, former archbishop of Canterbury Lord Rowan Williams, and author John Le Carré have already signed up to this online call for justice for the Five. You can add your name alongside them today on the link below.

It takes less than 10 seconds to add your name, and in just a few seconds more you can leave a personal message and picture, or video message too.
Visit today to see the full list of endorsers and messages from international supporters, to add your own name, and to find out how you can also attend and support the International Commission of Inquiry in to the Case of the Miami Five  at the Law Society in London on 7-8 March 2014.

“In the court we know we will never find justice. This is a political case. But we trust in the power of solidarity. Only a jury of one million people, people like you, can bring justice to these men.”

Elizabeth Palmiero, wife of Ramon Labaniño

The remaining four prisoners have been in US prisons for more than fifteen years. International campaigners need to join together today so that our voices are heard in the White House and the men are reunited with their families in Cuba.

Please add your name today and support the International Commission of Inquiry in March 2014.


Campaign continues for release of Cubans held in US

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis spoke at the annual vigil for the Miami 5 outside of the US Embassy on 17 September where he was joined by three members of the international committee, chair and vice-chair Jean Butcher and Stephen Kennedy and Kevin O'Grady.

The vigil was also addressed by two young Cuban trade unionists. Yamil Martinez and Yudith Camps, who were over in the UK on a speaking tour co-sponsored by UNISON. In addition to the vigil the young Cubans met with the NEC international committee and also met with representatives of the Eastern, South Eastern, Northern regions and UNISON Scotland.


International Forum: Cuba Solidarity

Thursday 19th September


TUC Regional Office, Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QE

Since 2008 Cuba Solidarity Campaign have taken more than 200 young trade unionists to take part in Cuba’s May Day celebrations and this visit provides the opportunity to reciprocate and learn from our Cuban comrades. Yamil Eduardo Martinez and Yudith Camps Alejo will discuss ‘the next generation’ of trade unionism in Cuba. Yamil and Yudith – whose whole lives have been spent under the US blockade – will look at the relationship that young people and the ‘post-1959 generation’ have with the Cuban Revolution and the role they have played in Cuba’s recent economic changes.
Yamil is a representative of the National Public Service Workers’ Union at the municipal and provincial level and will be a delegate at the 20th Congress of the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC) in January 2014. Yudith works at ICAP (Cuban Friendship Institute) and has responsibility for Middle Eastern and African countries. She has been a union branch secretary since March 2013.

Register: Melanie Lowden,


Cuban trade unionist visits us

Monday 8th October at 10.00am in a Committee Room, Civic Centre

Newcastle City Branch is hosting a visit from Maria Isabel Martinez, the General Secretary of the Cuban Health Workers Union SNTS. If you would like to come along and meet Maria and listen to the experience of Cuban health workers living and working under the 50 year old American trade blockade, could you please contact the branch office.


Young members delegation to Cuba, December 2010

James Imhoof, a member of our branch, recently joined other young UNISON members on a visit to Cuba. It is clear from James' report that all members of the delegation found much about the Cuban people and society that we can learn from. Keith Hodgson had this to say about the trip.

Our Young Members Delegation to Cuba arrived home safe and well after completing an excellent programme of work in Havana and Santiago. They have carried out all their tasks responsibly and have been excellent ambassadors for the Region.
As well as seeing at first hand all levels of Cuban Health Care, and re-juvenating our twinning links with Santiago they had the honour to meet 300 Doctors and Nurses about to leave for Haiti to help tackle the dreadful Cholera epidemic that is now sweeping the island. This was particularly moving and inspiring for the group.
Many thanks for those Branches and individuals who have given financial support to this delegation and to the Cuban medical missions this year. It has been really appreciated.
Keith Hodgson

Regional International Lead



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