Friday, 23 October 2015

17th Annual West Midlands Health Conference

Health branch activists from across the West Midlands region, gathered at the Bescott Stadium in Walsall for their 17th regional annual health conference.

The general secretary, Dave Prentis, opened the conference with a morale boosting speech to delegates. Dave reassured conference that in spite of the barrage of anti trade union legislation UNISON remained strong and popular amongst working people.

To illustrate this he told conference that since this government came to power over 700,000 people of the have joined unison which demonstrates that unions are as relevant today as they always have been.

Delegates then split into 3 focus group sessions on:

Change Management and Downbanding – facilitated by Alan Lofthouse

Managing Sickness Absence (incorporating stress in the workplace) – facilitated by Robert Baughan

The Changing Face of UNISON - facilitated by Dave Johnson

After lunch delegates listen to 2 presentations followed by QAs on:

- TUC’s Work on Public Services and Austerity – Matt Dykes, TUC Senior Policy Officer for - Public Services

- Trade Union Bill – Rob Smith, Thompsons


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Personal Injury Success - September

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 September this year we won over £232,500 for our members.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

UNISON’s reaction to the Prime Minister’s speech in Manchester

Commenting on David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative party conference today (Wednesday) in Manchester, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said:
"The Prime Minister talks of launching an ‘all-out assault on poverty’, but his government is soon to make almost three million working families and their five million children significantly poorer. Cuts to tax credits next April will hit the incomes of families already struggling to get by, forcing them deeper and deeper into debt.
David Cameron recognises the need to make the UK's inflated housing market more affordable, yet anyone wanting to buy one of the new 'affordable' starter homes needs to be earning at least £76,000 a year in London, or £50,000 elsewhere.
According to the Treasury, only 30 per cent of the population earn more than £50,000, pricing the starter homes way beyond the reach of most workers, including public servants like nurses, teaching assistants, PCSOs and school cleaners.
Developers given the option of providing 'affordable' housing are likely to opt for homes to sell rather than rent, leaving anyone who doesn't earn enough to get a mortgage high and dry.
This housing crisis is forcing public sector workers to live further and further from their places of work. Four more years of pay restraint and the cuts to tax credits will make it increasingly difficult for local hospitals and councils to recruit and retain staff.
The government must commit to a national public house building programme to deliver the low rent and affordable homes people need. This would lower housing costs, cut the housing benefit bill, and make it much easier for people to rent or own their own homes.”

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Graph of the Week - What percentage of voters voted for their MP?

We've blogged about this before but with today's TUC demonstration at the Tory Party Conference and the proposed Trade Union Bill we thought it would be worth reprising this graph.

The government's Trade Union Bill aims to introduce a 50% voting threshold for union strike ballot turnouts, and a requirement that 40% of those entitled to vote must back action in "essential public services" - health, education, fire and transport. 

The recent General Election resulted in only 84 out of 650 MPs (less than 13 per cent) meeting the threshold of 40 per cent of the electorate voting for them. 

This week's graph of the week (to make it larger click on it) shows the proportion of the electorate voting for their MP. All parliamentary seats are shown by a bar but due to space limitations not everyone is labelled on the vertical axis. The graph shows the 566 red bars showing those that do not meet the 40 per cent threshold and the 84 green bars where the threshold was met.

West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
"Compared to the increasingly out of touch Tory MPs, working people now have a second class form of democracy when they fight for workplace justice,  It's one law for MPs and another law for workers."