MPs have voted 274 to 12 recognise the state of Palestine in an important symbolic motion put forward by Labour MP Grahame Morris. The motion received an amendment submitted by former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, presenting it "as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution"
We’ve all seen the harrowing reports of the situation in Gaza, and although a ceasefire has been agreed, those in Gaza are picking up the pieces of shattered lives and homes after 50 days of bombardment.
This latest act of aggression, in what has been a decades long conflict between occupier and occupied, has seen more than 2,100 people in Gaza killed - most of whom where civilians and 500 of which were children. At least 11,000 people have been injured and more than 17,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.
A number vigils, rallies and protests have been held in the Northern region throughout the attack – attended and supported by UNISON activists. Our branch has assisted in a number of appeals in response to the crises, and on 29th August we sponsored an event with Palestine’s Ambassador to Great Britain, The Hon. Manuel Hassassian. This was in order to raise funds for community project in UN Palestinian refugee Camps.
Following the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers at the end of last week, Israeli soldiers have rounded up and arrested hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank, shot dead a 20-year-old man, and injured bystanders, including children, and protesters.
300,000 Palestinians are being held under siege or closure. Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem, East Jerusalem and Hebron are among the towns that have been subjected to night raids and ransackings. Israeli soldiers are on the streets of almost every population centre in the West Bank.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called on the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to tell the Israeli Government to end its collective punishment against Palestinians following the disappearance of the three Israelis. The international community must step up and speak out against the desperation and instability created by Israel’s illegal and inhumane actions.
The branch committee (March 2014) has donated £250 to the UNRWA appeal for Palestinian refugees.
Nearly one-third of the registered Palestine refugees, more than 1.5 million individuals, live in 58 recognized Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The commissioner general of The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the near east (UNRWA) Filippo Grandi said that Palestinian refugees needed continuous international attention.
Grandi recalled his visit to Yarmouk. “I have observed many conflicts in my career, but I have seldom encountered as much destruction, hunger, fear and despair as I saw in Yarmouk.We were left shocked and speechless. I witnessed this myself during my visit — emerged from the narrow streets looking more like ghosts than living people,” he said.
Many Palestinians have left Yarmouk, but almost 20,000 remain trapped inside.
Jean Butcher, the newly elected chair of UNISON's NEC international committee took part in a week-long trade union fact-finding delegation to the occupied Palestinian territories organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in July. The delegation arrived just as the first wave of evictions of Bedouin villages (Arab Israeli citizens) were taking place as part of the Israeli government's Prawer Plan which will result in the destruction of 35 'unrecognized' Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, and the dispossession of their historical lands in the Naqab (Negev).
Moved by the plight of the Bedouin, Jean subsequently spoke about her experience at PSC fringe meetings at both TUC and Labour Party conferences and at a joint seminar organised by UNISON's Eastern and South Eastern regions.
Gaza's only fresh water source is now too dangerous to drink and is contaminated with fertiliser and human waste, according to a shocking new report from Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Save the Children.
On the fifth anniversary of the blockade, Gaza's Children; Falling Behind, reveals desperate families are being forced to buy from private sources, not knowing that in most cases this water too is contaminated, often at ten times the safe level.
In July 2012 Newcastle UNISON donated £50 to Medical Aid for Palestinians to support their campaign.
Fazia Hussain, Joanne Lawton and Josie Bird formed the Northern TUC delegation to the Jafra Palestinian Youth Centre in the Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria in 2009. Their subsequent report explained the work of the Jafra Centre, described their experiences and sought financial support for various projects for Palestinian refugee children and young people organised by the Jafra Centre. The Northern TUC agreed to support Jafra and its projects and launched an appeal for funds to which affiliated trade unions responded positively. In December 2010 a monitoring visit took place and reported good progress was being made.
Jafra now needs our help more than ever. Palestinian refugees in camps in Syria broadly take the view that the conflict inside Syria is an internal Syrian matter and that they, the Palestinian refugees, are guests in that country. However, this does not protect them from the effects of the situation and Palestinians suffer most because of their lack of resources. The Syrian Pound is collapsing, there are shortages of food, medicines, petrol, diesel, bottled gas and there are long and regular power cuts. Crime including violent crime, unheard of before the conflict started, is now rampant.
One thing we can do to help Palestinian youth and their families in Syria, through the Jafra Centre, is to fund the purchase of electricity generators to keep medical facilities and blood banks going, provide warmth during the winter and to keep food fresh and medicines safe. A generator will cost around £3,000. The Northern TUC has called on those organisations who supported the original appeal, and to others, to make a donation to this Northern TUC appeal.
On 5 March 2012 the Branch Committee agrred to donate £500 to this appeal.
New courses for members and stewards.
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
Papers for the meeting on Monday 3 April.
Meeting on Tuesday 28 March 2017 at 4.30pm.
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.
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
Agenda and annual report.
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
Saturday 25 March. Hear grassroots, union and guest speakers and watch the Reel News film showing the Durham Teaching Assistants’ story.
Saturday 25 March, to plan UNISON LGBT activities for the year ahead.
A joint training session for trade union and community activists on how to organise to defeat the politics of division. 18 March 2017.
March calendar of events and activities.
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
Papers for the meeting on Monday 6 March.
Papers for the retired members' meeting on 17 March.
Winners in February.
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.
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
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
Minimum wage cheats named and shamed
Inflation hits three-year high
Unemployment at 11-year low
Inflation erodes growth in weekly earnings
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
Sunderland, 19/20 May 2017.
Sign Language (BSL) Introduction, 2 March 2017
Dementia Workshop, 30 March 2017
Regional Education Calendar 2017
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?
Review of tribunal fees finally published
Plan to tackle abusive hiring practices
Insecure work on rise
Twenty eight directors share £68.37 million
A list of affiliations and donations that the branch committee has approved since January 2015.
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
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.
Winners in January.
Northern Region Young Members AGM
UNISON Northern Region Black Members Forum AGM 2017.
Discounted car insurance for UNISON members.
In Newcastle on Saturday 4 February.
Papers for the meeting on 6 February.
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
Agenda and nomination form for the mmeting on 4 February.
Annual Meeting of the Regional Disabled Members Self Organised Group on Tuesday 31 January 2017.
Mental Health Awareness Workshop on Thursday 16 February.
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
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
UNISON have now been allocated two spots on the 16 January to have guided tours around the Anne Frank exhibition.
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
Winners in December.
Consultation on political fund review: December-January
We are having our first Reading Ahead launch at Welford Learning Zone on 11 January between 10am and 11am.
Book now to secure your place on one of the courses for Reps at Newcastle College starting in January 2017.
UNISON courses in 2017. These courses are free and open to all members unless otherwise stated.
'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