• Scottish NHS members vote for three-year pay deal

    UNISON members working for the NHS in Scotland have voted by 94% in favour of a new three-year pay deal worth at least 9% over 2018, 2019 and 2020.
    The vote comes after a four-week, online ballot that gave 60,000 NHS workers the chance to have their say.
    “Today, I am pleased to announce that 94% of UNISON members have voted to accept a pay deal which will put an additional £400m into NHS workers pay packets in Scotland,” announced UNISON Scotland health committee chair Thomas W
  • UNISON makes call for proper careers advice in England and Wales

    UNISON congratulates the 300,000 young people in England and Wales who sat their A levels this summer and will receive their results.
    The union recognises the work they put in for the exams, like their 139,000 peers in Scotland who received their SQA results on 7 August, and hopes their results are what they want.
    The union also highlights the importance of UNISON members providing careers advice all year round, in schools and colleges, to help young people reach their potential.
    In Scotland, UN
  • UNISON and National Police Chiefs’ Council to tackle worrying levels of sexual harassment

    Police chiefs have pledged to act over high levels of sexual harassment among police staff working for forces in England and Wales, as set out in a report published today (Thursday) by UNISON, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of Surrey.
    The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) says the report highlights some ‘outdated and unacceptable behaviour’ that must be ‘rooted out’. Details include some police staff (4%) being pre
  • Do you know a health hero and want to make sure they’re recognised?

    Do you know a support worker in the NHS who deserves national recognition for their dedication?
    Perhaps you’re one yourself?
    Then the Our Health Heroes awards, organised by Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for Health, could be just the thing for you
    The awards recognise and promote the significant contribution support workers make in delivering patient care and celebrate those who take special pride in their roles.
    So if you work in the health service and kn
  • Advertisement

  • Yorkshire hospitals strike called off after trust halts privatisation plan

    A three-day strike by UNISON members at the Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust, which was scheduled to begin on Monday, has been called off after the trust’s management lifted the threat of creating a wholly-owned subsidiary.
    The trust had intended to set up the company and transfer the contracts of cleaners, maintenance workers, IT staff and canteen staff to it. The subsidiary could have then been sold to a private company.
    But at a meeting earlier this week, director Mark Braden confirmed
  • Coming soon: service group executive by-elections

    By-elections are due to be held for 59 seats on the union’s service group executives or SGEs.
    The nomination period will open on Monday 10 September 2018 and close at 5pm on Friday 19 October 2018. Procedures and nomination forms will be available to download from the UNISON website from 29 August.
    Branches should ensure that the names of the branch chairperson and secretary are current and up to date on the RMS. This is because nominations will only be accepted if they are authorised by t
  • Pension costs – are they transparent enough?

    MPs are looking into pension fund costs and charges, and UNISON is asking members to fill in a survey on their pensions.
    This will help provide information to be included in the union’s submission to the to the Commons work and pensions select committee, which is carrying out the inquiry.
    The union has also produced a briefing on the issues, which will help members fill in the very short questionnaire. The more UNISON members who fill in the survey, the more evidence UNISON will have to in
  • There was a time …

    ChangesBath and North East Somerset – Saltford Library now volunteer.
    Lancashire – Bamber Bridge to reopen as council-run.
    Northern Ireland – Fines library users more than c. £100k per year.National newsDigitisation Grant 2018 winners announced – Townsweb Archiving. “The Grant offers funding of up to £5000 to enable UK cultural heritage institutions to digitise their collections and open up access to them online, you can watch the full winners announceme
  • Advertisement

  • Have your say on private tenancies

    Do you have any views on how to make longer tenancies easier in England’s privately rented housing sector? Well UNISON is asking you to share them with the government.
    Westminster’s department of housing, communities and local government is in the middle of a consultation over proposals on “overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies in the private rented sector”.  As housing is a devolved matter in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the proposals and consultation
  • Blog: Universal Credit is creating chaos in family finances

    Millions of people on low incomes struggle to get by. They have little in savings. They budget weekly or monthly.
    They just about manage, but they worry about the cost of living. Any unplanned financial changes – emergency car repairs, broken household appliances or a large gas bill – can throw their finances into complete confusion.
    The last thing they need is for the government to create added chaos for them.Yet that is precisely what Universal Credit is doing – creating chao
  • Blog: Why we’re fighting on over sleep-in payments

    Last month the Court of Appeal delivered a ruling that was a hammer blow for thousands of care workers who work sleep-in shifts. The court has denied them the hourly minimum pay that is the very least that they deserve.
    In the aftermath of that ruling, we made a commitment to those care workers – and everyone affected by this landmark case – that we would keep fighting for what is right. That includes continuing to fight on in the highest court in the land – the Supreme Court.
  • Northamptonshire County Council cuts will devastate lives, warns UNISON

    Cuts confirmed today (Thursday) by Northamptonshire County Council will devastate lives and leave vulnerable people and their families without essential support despite denials from the Council, says UNISON.
    The Council, which effectively went bankrupt earlier this year, held a meeting today about its on-going budget crisis but failed to reveal any further details. UNISON warns that this lack of transparency is creating an atmosphere of ‘fear and uncertainty’ for residents and for st
  • Advertisement

  • A funny thing happened on the way around the library

    Editorial
    A few “extra” features today, Craft Council have been in touch about their collections and resources for library loan and Silva Linings have similarly contacted in order to let libraries know about a carer-based theatre show they’d love to tour in libraries. There’s also an email from Bristol to let everyone know about the weekly lunchtime lectures they put on there. I love this sharing of info and glad to be service. But I must say I love the idea of enter
  • UNISON seeks leave to appeal on sleep-in case

    UNISON has asked the Supreme Court this week for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal decision that care workers’ sleep-in shifts do not count as work time and do need to be paid in line with the national minimum wage.
    The Supreme Court will now decide whether to grant the union the right to appeal against the July decision by the Court of Appeal.
    That decided in favour of an appeal from mental health charity and care provider, Mencap, against an employment appeal tribunal decision
  • Inferior university pension plans must not become the norm, says UNISON

    Support staff at two leading universities are facing damaging pension shake-ups, UNISON said today (Wednesday).
    The changes proposed by The University of Manchester and Staffordshire University will mostly affect low-paid female staff such as cleaners, catering staff, and administrators.
    At The University of Manchester, over 4,000 employees face having their pensions cut by 20%.
    The proposals would also mean that for those already enrolled in the scheme, instead of receiving a pension based on t
  • Inferior university pension plans must not become the norm

    Support staff at two leading universities are facing damaging pension shake-ups, UNISON said today (Wednesday).
    The changes proposed by The University of Manchester and Staffordshire University will mostly affect low-paid female staff such as cleaners, catering staff, and administrators.
    At The University of Manchester, over 4,000 employees face having their pensions cut by 20%.
    The proposals would also mean that for those already enrolled in the scheme, instead of receiving a pension based on t
  • Blog: Our whole union stands by our members in Northamptonshire

    For years now, UNISON has been drawing attention to the disastrous mis-management, poor leadership and chronic underfunding of Northamptonshire County Council – and demanding change.
    Northamptonshire has become a watchword for local government failure, and a salutary warning to those who believe that privatisation is the answer for local services. This is a council that has pursued an extreme low council tax, high outsourcing policy that has pushed the authority to the very brink – l
  • UNISON responds to CPAG report on Universal Credit failings

    Commenting on a report published today (Monday) by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) on Universal Credit, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:
    “It’s wrong that working people are losing money because of flaws in the system.
    “This is causing chaos as this report starkly highlights. No family should be hundreds of pounds worse off just because of when they’re paid. It means they can’t budget.
    “The government has created this mess and it need
  • 2018: when merely being life-changing is not enough

    Editorial
    There are now two councils, Northamptonshire and East Sussex, who have announced that they aim to provide a “legal minimum” level of service. This is due to deep (nearly 50%) cuts in government funding since 2010 and, at least in the case of Northants, fairly gross financial incompetence. It’s suspected that more will be added to the list. So, that’s bad news for libraries. The sector has “statutory” protection but that is overseen by the DCMS minist
  • ‘You don’t achieve anything in the movement by yourself’

    UNISON’s new president Gordon McKay is a mental health nurse from the union’s Ayrshire and Arran health branch. He’s been a member of the union for 31 years, having joined the NHS in 1987 and UNISON forebear NUPE on the very same day.
    “In working class communities in Scotland, that’s what you did – you joined your union straight away,” he says.
    But he’s keen to stress that joining a union was far from an unthinking action. “It was recognised
  • Higher education members to be balloted on strike action

    UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive (HESGE) is to organise a national industrial action ballot after over two thirds of those members who voted in a recent branch consultation, rejected the national pay offer.The ballot, taking place in the autumn, will call on members to vote to take strike action to improve the current pay offer and seek to co-ordinate strikes with other HE unions.As the Trade Union Act requires a 50% turnout to ensure any subsequent strike action, the
  • Another subco stopped before it’s started

    UNISON members at the University Hospitals of Leicester were celebrating this week after being told that they won’t be transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary company.
    The proposal in Leicester would have seen members who currently provide services in-house being transferred to a separate company (subco).
    UNISON branch secretary Mandy Marsden said: “This is a magical moment for us.
    “We were called into a meeting on Monday and informed by the Chief Executive that the subsidiary
  • Northamptonshire County Council plans are going too far, warns UNISON

    Plans by Northamptonshire County Council to announce yet more cuts and closures to services will leave the most vulnerable people in the county with nowhere to turn, says UNISON today (Wednesday).
    The Council, which effectively went bankrupt earlier this year, has called an emergency meeting this evening.  At this, it’s likely councillors will announce cuts that could leave services in breach of the legal minimum local authorities must provide, or be closed altogether.
    There are fears
  • Libraries have innovation all sewn up

    Editorial
    Innovation is not a problem in libraryland. Have a read of the new ACE report “Libraries welcome everyone” to see this in action and then read the article by Carnegie on the Taskforce website. You can then have a wistful browse of an article about French beach libraries (come on Llandudno!) and then read about toy sleepovers. Then, perhaps have a giggle at the silliness of the reactionaries who worry about Drag Queen Storytimes. Moving on to tech, it’s good to see Som
  • Justice restored

    It’s one year since UNISON beat the government at the Supreme Court and forced an immediate change in the law.
    The case made headlines. Now we can tell the full story of how David beat Goliath. It’s a remarkable, epic tale that spans over four years. And it’s all true.
    We hear from the people who made it happen and the ordinary members who are currently fighting for what’s right, thanks to that famous win.
    If you ever want to know what difference your union make
  • Drop in criminals facing court as police lack resources to investigate

    In the twelve months to March 2018, just one in 11 reported crimes ended in court, while in 2017 it was one in eight.
    UNISON analysis of the data shows that one reason for the drop is that police are struggling to find enough evidence to convict criminals. From 2017 to 2018 there was an 18% rise in criminal investigations closed because of ‘evidential difficulties’, figures from the Home Office show.
    Of the 4,877,000 crimes reported in the twelve months to March 2018, nearly one in 1
  • Meet our NHS

    Kalliopi Kolagki, front centre, with colleagues at Watford General          © Jess Hurd
    Kalliopi Kolagki is a nurse in the Accident and Emergency ward of Watford General Hospital. Originally from Greece, she’s been in Watford for 18 months and is one of hundreds of EU workers on the hospital staff. She’s enthusiastic and professional, and speaks of her experience as “very positive”. But she also has a very particular anecdote that speaks volu
  • The future of our parks is not looking rosy

    Rose Westall is a UNISON member who contacted us last year to tell us about the demise of her local park. “It’s already isolating being a first-time mum in a village” she says, “now it’s even harder having no play facilities.
    “The play area has been closed since December 2016 due to vandalism of a small area, not the whole site. I have chased this up with the clerk and was told it would be sorted by March. It hasn’t.
    “What makes it especially hard
  • The future for parks is not looking rosy

    Rose Westall is a UNISON member who contacted us last year to tell us about the demise of her local park. “It’s already isolating being a first-time mum in a village” she says, “now it’s even harder having no play facilities.”
    “The play area has been closed since December 2016 due to vandalism of a small area, not the whole site. I have chased this up with the clerk and was told it would be sorted by March. It hasn’t.
    “What makes it especiall
  • Birmingham City Council cuts care workers’ hours at the expense of local people

    UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has today (Tuesday) joined striking care workers on the picket line in Birmingham.
    More than 250 care workers are taking strike action in response to the City Council’s plans to dramatically cut their working hours, resulting in a significant loss of income, says UNISON.
    UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “I’m proud to join our care workers this morning in Birmingham.
    “No-one goes on strike lightly, especially care workers wh
  • Getting hot, hot, hot – July at UNISON

    The month started with a couple of anniversaries. You may have heard us talk about them before but they’re both so blinkin’ important we are repeating them here. In chronological order (and because it’s all about us!) UNISON celebrated its 25th birthday on the first of the month.
    We looked back at some of the highlights of our first quarter century and reminisced about the music, fashion, and other news that was making the headlines back in 1993. Oh and we made a ‘gloriou
  • ‘Lacklustre’ probation rescue plan will fail, says UNISON

    Commenting on Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service’s (HMPPS) rescue plan for probation announced today (Friday), UNISON national officer for probation Ben Priestley said:
    “These lacklustre proposals are half-hearted and ill-thought-out.
    “Last month the Justice Select Committee laid bare the failings of the government’s probation reforms. This rescue plan is just more of the same. Probation will still be disastrously split as this failed experiment i
  • ‘Lacklustre’ probation rescue plan will fail

    Commenting on Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service’s (HMPPS) rescue plan for probation announced today (Friday), UNISON national officer for probation Ben Priestley said:
    “These lacklustre proposals are half-hearted and ill-thought-out.
    “Last month the Justice Select Committee laid bare the failings of the government’s probation reforms. This rescue plan is just more of the same. Probation will still be disastrously split as this failed experiment i
  • A city square with a roof

    ChangesAngus – Montrose and Carnoustie libraries upgraded.National newsThose long summers of learning and visiting the library have been shelved – Evening Standard. “My library was full of kids, all of us unknowingly learning and discovering, as Alan Bennett told me in my borrowed copy of The History Boys, that reading a book you cannot be lonely: “It is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” But now those hands are being snatched away. Councils are shutti
  • Blog: A year on, our employment tribunal fees win is changing lives

    A year ago today, our union won a huge victory for working people, when we defeated the government on employment tribunal fees.
    This was a result that could only have been achieved by our union. Only UNISON was able to commit the significant resources over a prolonged period of time that was necessary to win the case. Our fantastic legal team fought every step of the way with dedication, passion and skill to right this historic wrong. I promised UNISON members that we would fight this case to th
  • A year on, our employment tribunal fees win is changing lives

    A year ago today, our union won a huge victory for working people, when we defeated the government on employment tribunal fees.
    This was a result that could only have been achieved by our union. Only UNISON was able to commit the significant resources over a prolonged period of time that was necessary to win the case. Our fantastic legal team fought every step of the way with dedication, passion and skill to right this historic wrong. I promised UNISON members that we would fight this case to th
  • Government owes workers millions one year on from employment tribunal win, says UNISON

    Thousands of people treated unfairly at work have still not been refunded hundreds of pounds they paid out to take their employers to court, says UNISON today (Thursday).
    It is a year today since a landmark Supreme Court decision led to the scrapping of employment tribunal fees, following a successful legal case brought by UNISON.
    But since then, the government has refunded just £6.6m despite collecting £32m in fees from claimants who had previously paid to take t
  • Government owes workers millions one year on from employment tribunal fees win

    Thousands of people treated unfairly at work have still not been refunded hundreds of pounds they paid out to take their employers to court, says UNISON today (Thursday).
    It is a year today since a landmark Supreme Court decision led to the scrapping of employment tribunal fees, following a successful legal case brought by UNISON.
    But since then, the government has refunded just £6.6m despite collecting £32m in fees from claimants who had previously paid to take t
  • Further education needs an urgent injection of funding

    Earlier this month, the joint unions met with the Association of Colleges (AoC) to discuss the pay claim of 5%, or £1500, whichever is the greater, for further education staff.
    The AoC have asked for the joint unions to support them in demanding a specific pay injection from the government that will be ring-fenced for staff pay. The proposed pay package that has been offered, contingent on this funding offer being accepted, is 5% over two years.
    UNISON’s committee is now discussing h
  • Pay announcements are “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, says UNISON

    Commenting on the announcements on public sector pay today (Tuesday), UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said:
    “Behind the good news headlines, the government is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul. Without extra money from the Treasury to fund these pay increases, services and jobs somewhere will have to be cut.
    “Ministers have finally recognised the damage and hardship their ill-thought-out pay policies have inflicted on public services and millions of public servants
  • BLOG: UNISON members keep our services running over the summer – they deserve our thanks

    We are now, undisputedly, in the summer holiday season. In the weeks ahead, millions of people will head off around the UK and out of the country on holiday – taking a break from their day to day.
    I know that many UNISON members will be looking forward to a break too – with family, friends, loved ones or some alone time away from home. For public service workers more than most, a holiday is an opportunity to take time away from the stresses and strains of work and relax. Wh
  • UNISON lawyer wins major human rights award

    UNISON legal officer Shantha David has been named Human Rights Lawyer of the Year by the civil rights campaigner Liberty.
    Ms David was honoured for her leading role in UNISON’s landmark legal victory last year, when the union successfully defeated the government over its introduction of employment tribunal fees.
    This is the latest of a series of awards won by the in-house legal team, for taking and winning the case. Ms David led the litigation for four and a half years, through the High Co
  • UNISON responds to new health secretary’s plans for NHS

    Friday 20 July 2018For immediate release
    UNISON responds to new health secretary’s plans for NHS
    Commenting on Matt Hancock’s first speech as health secretary today (Friday), UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:
    “Hardworking health staff will be heartened by the government’s new focus on the NHS workforce, and its commitment to tackling the issues that have such an impact on how they do their jobs.
    “It’s reassuring that the health secretary a
  • The fight to save Chesterfield hospital

    UNISON members are campaigning to stop their jobs being outsourced from Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation, with a key decision on their futures being made at a board meeting next week (Wednesday 25 July).
    The board at the hospital are meeting to decide whether to transfer services such as estates and facilities to a wholly owned subsidiary company, a move that could mean staff losing the benefits and protections of working for the NHS.
    A similar situation recently occurred at Wrightington,
  • Firefighting, in more ways than one

    There are many people in the fire service who play a vital but hidden role in saving lives. As the enquiry into the Grenfell fire – the UK’s worst in recent years plays out on the news – we’re taking a look at this under-appreciated group of workers, many of them UNISON members.
    Did you know that when firefighters arrive at a blaze one of the first things they do is find a water hydrant to fix their hose to? Hundreds of thousands of these hydrants are hidden in the ground
  • Catch it if you can: sharp decline in bookfunds and lack of minorities in childrens’ books

    Editorial
    I don’t often entirely agree with Tim Coates.. Few public librarians do as he tends to blame the profession for its miseries, which, considering the budgetary reductions since 2010 is a hard line to take. However, he’s written an excellent piece in the BookSeller pointing out the dramatic reductions to bookfunds in the last decade. Tim has access to the full CIPFA figures for decades and so can do this sort of thing. Sadly, such statistics are barred from ordinary mort
  • Goodbye to a truly inspirational activist

    Last weekend I heard the news that Denise Knutsen had sadly passed away.
    Denise was a truly inspirational activist, dedicated, hard working and with a heart of solid gold. I first got to know Denise during the groundbreaking teaching assistants strike in Brighton. Denise led that dispute with energy, determination and her legendary humour, roping us all in at the outset to attend picket lines, protests and mass meetings. Empowering and encouraging all “her schools members,” Denise sh
  • Blog: Goodbye to a truly inspirational activist

    Last weekend I heard the news that Denise Knutsen had sadly passed away.
    Denise was a truly inspirational activist, dedicated, hard working and with a heart of solid gold. I first got to know Denise during the groundbreaking teaching assistants strike in Brighton. Denise led that dispute with energy, determination and her legendary humour, roping us all in at the outset to attend picket lines, protests and mass meetings. Empowering and encouraging all “her schools members,” Denise sh
  • Cutting Suffolk’s police community support officers risks public safety, says UNISON

    Plans announced today (Tuesday) to axe more than half of Suffolk’s police community support officers (PCSOs) would put public safety at risk, says UNISON.
    The proposed cuts by Suffolk Constabulary would see a 78% reduction in the number of PCSOs in the county since 2010, says the union*.
    UNISON national officer for police and justice Ben Priestley said: “Cutting frontline PCSOs is short-sighted and reckless.
    “PCSOs are not only a reassuring, visible presence in communities
  • Older workers deserve access to training, says UNISON

    Responding to the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee report on the weak enforcement of age discrimination law published today (Tuesday), UNISON head of learning and organising services Teresa Donegan said:
    “It’s unacceptable that any worker would be discriminated against because of their age, but without a mandatory reporting system this will continue to be a huge problem in the workplace.
    “Older workers, particularly women, feel at a disadvantage right f

Follow @LibraryUknws on Twitter!