Wednesday, 24 February 2016

UNISON back strike action by further education college staff

Thousands of staff at further education colleges across England are set to walk out today (Wednesday) causing major disruption to lessons.

Lecturers, librarians, technicians,cleaners and caretakers who belong to UNISON and the University and College Union (UCU) are among those taking part in the one-day strike over pay. West Midlands colleges affected by the in the dispute include:
North Shropshire College
Warwickshire College
Walsall College
Stafford College
Solihull College
South Worcestershire College
Stoke-On-Trent College
North Warwickshire & Hinckley College
Bournville College Of FE
Hereward College of Further Education
City College Coventry
South Staffordshire College
Birmingham Metropolitan College
South and City College Birmingham
Heart of Worcestershire College

The protest is against a recommended pay freeze by the Association of Colleges, following several years where staff have had very low pay rises, resulting in a real-terms pay cut for some of up to 17 per cent.

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis – who is to show his support for striking workers by visiting a college picket line in London later today – said:

"Some colleges have promised their employees a pay rise, but the vast majority are determined not to budge from the zero per cent recommended. We urge the Association to follow the example of those more enlightened colleges who want to come back to the table to try to resolve this dispute.

“The real villains in this dispute are government ministers, whose funding cuts over several years have left colleges in dire financial straits. But it shouldn't be further education employees paying the price

“After years of pay freezes and real terms pay cuts, staff have been left with no choice but to take action to win a fair deal. It’s time for the college employers to do the right thing, get back around the table and make a decent pay offer thatrewards all college staff for their dedication and hard work.”

UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt – who will address a rally for further education staff in London today – added:

“A pay freeze is an insult to the commitment and enthusiasm of staff working in further education, and fails to address the real-terms pay cut they have suffered in recent years. Strike action is always a last resort but our members are clear that the Association of Colleges needs to return to the table with an appropriate pay offer in order to resolve this dispute.”

Three quarters (74 per cent) of UCU members who voted in the union’s ballot at the end of last year backed strike action. Last month, UNISON also backed industrial action with two thirds (66 per cent) of those who voted backing the walkout.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Personal Injury Success

Every month UNISON wins thousands of pounds for our members who are injured at work or at home through no fault of their own.

Unlike no-win no-fee lawyers the union does not charge for this service and all the compensation goes to the member.

In January this year we won over £204,000 for our members

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Personal Injury Success - 2015

Every month UNISON wins thousands of pounds for our members who are injured at work or at home through no fault of their own.

Unlike no-win no-fee lawyers the union does not charge for this service and all the compensation goes to the member. 

2015 was another record year for claim success in the West Midlands, working with our dedicated Trade Union Solicitors, Thompsons  ( our members where awarded over £2 million during 2015.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

UNISON Support Junior Doctors Strike

Across England today NHS staff will be using their breaks and lunchtimes to join their junior doctor colleagues on BMA picket lines, says UNISON.

Many suspect the dispute over government plans to cut payments for night and weekend work is likely to be a dress rehearsal for what could happen should ministers turn their attention to the wider NHS workforce.

Health workers across the NHS are in total support of the junior doctors’ refusal to accept changes to their unsocial hours payments that the health secretary has been attempting to impose, says UNISON.

Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:

"An NHS where the same high quality care is provided, regardless of the time of day or the day of the week, will notcome cheap. But Jeremy Hunt thinks he can offer more to patients by paying dedicated healthcare professionals much less.

Other NHS staff fear that the dispute with junior doctors could be the dry run for a much bigger confrontation. They suspect ministers also want to axe the unsocial hours payments that they get for working nights and weekends.

Working additional night and weekend shifts has helped many health staff survive the government's harsh and ongoing pay freeze. That's why so many of them across England will be joining picket lines during their breaks and lunchtimes tomorrow to show the health secretary that, while everyone wants to see a seven day NHS, his approach to achieving it is completely wrong."

Friday, 18 December 2015

Syrian Refugee families arrive in Brirmingham

Seven Syrian Refugee families came to Birmingham yesterday. The Amirah Foundation is coordinating their welcome into Birmingham.

Ravi Subramanian, Regional Secretary of UNISON West Midlands delivering seven welcome bags of food and essentials from UNISON.

Over the next few weeks the union will be doing more to support these and other families as they start a new life away from the death and destruction in Syria.


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Personal Injury Success

Every month UNISON wins thousands of pounds for our members who are injured at work or at home through no fault of their own.

Unlike no-win no-fee lawyers the union does not charge for this service and all the compensation goes to the member.

In November this year we won over £54,000 for our members.

Friday, 27 November 2015

UNISON Urges Meaning Negotiations

As staff at BBraun Sterilog return to work after a 24 hour stoppage and begin a seven day work to rule, UNISON urges the employer to enter meaningful negotiations to being the dispute to a close.

Staff employed by the company, BBraun Sterilog, are employed to clean and sterilise surgical equipment. This is used in hospitals across Birmingham including the Women’s and Children’s Hospitals. They are taking industrial action because of a threat by the company to remove breaks.

Ray Salmon, UNISON West Midlands Regional Organiser said:

“Following a successful day of action yesterday we urge the BBraun Serilog, as well as hospitals in the Pan Birmingham NHS Trusts, to come to the table and participate in meaningful negotiations to end this dispute.

The staff working at the company work in sterile environments. This is to ensure the public can go in to operating theatres knowing hospital staff caring for them have clean and sterile equipment with which to carry out their work. What this means for the staff is working in a hot and oppressive environment, wearing surgical scrubs. There is limited opportunity for them to take refreshments except within these short breaks.”

UNISON and the staff are keen to bring the dispute to a close but this can only be done if all parties engage in the negotiating process.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Tax credits u-turn will bring huge relief to nearly three million working families, says UNISON

Commenting on the announcement today (Wednesday) that the Chancellor is to reverse his planned cuts to tax credits, Ravi Subramanian UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:

“Nearly three million working families countrywide have breathed a collective sigh of relief. Since the cuts were announced in the summer, parents have faced increasing anxiety over losing the tax credits they rely upon so heavily.

“We’re pleased that the Chancellor has made good use of the thinking time last month’s Lords vote gave the government.

But the real credit for today’s decision goes to the many brave parents who talked publicly about their already stretched finances, and the distress and hardship the cuts would cause. Their stories convinced the government this unfair tax credits grab was wrong.

The government must now do more to encourage employers to pay staff more – at least the real living wage of £8.25 an hour. This would make a difference to the many low-income families still struggling to make ends meet.

In 2018 new claims for tax credits will stop, and the families receiving them will start to be switched on to Universal Credit. The Chancellor must not use this change as a way to revive his original plans and leave working families worse off in 2020 than today.”