Change To Convenor Constituencies From 10 August 2016

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Due to a restructure of Directorates at the major employer of the branch, convenors’ constituencies from 10 August 2016 have been reorganised as follows:

Stoke-On-Trent City Council staff and schools within the City of Stoke-On-Trent Boundary

Amber Robinson – Tel 01782 232263, mobile 07786 330404, email amber.robinson@stoke.gov.uk – Governance and City Director

Justin Ashton – Tel 01782 235453, mobile 07880 966510, email justin.ashton@stoke.gov.uk – Public Health & Adult Social Care, Finance, Children & Family Services (apart from Learning Services)

Brian Tomkinson – Tel 01782 235452, mobile 07767 814284, email brian.tomkinson@stoke.gov.uk – Place, Growth & Prosperity, Housing & Customer Services, Learning Services (part of Children & Family Services), School Based Staff

Other Workplaces:

Stoke-On-Trent College – Julie Harrison-Ball (steward) 01782 208208. Email jharr1sc@stokecoll.ac.uk

Other – Amber Robinson – contact details as above.

Unison Branch Newsletter August 2016

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This is a special edition of the branch newsletter which reminds existing members of the benefits of Unison membership and informs non-members about the work of the branch and what is available.

Features in this issue includes:

  • What is a trade union?
  • There For You
  • What can this branch do for you?
  • I am not a Unison member but…..
  • Whatever did the unions do for us?
  • What else can Unison offer?

It is well worth a read – Benefits of Membership 2016

Branch Recruitment Stall 19 July 2016

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Free cold drinks were offered at our latest recruitment stall in the Crush Hall on a scorching 19 July.  Other gifts included:

  • Pens
  • Rulers
  • Lanyards
  • Key Rings
  • Stress Pigs – for those frustrating days in the office.

Look out for us at other venues soon.

Branch Newsletter June 2016

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Information in this edition includes:

  • 175 Years of Chartism – Why The Vote Matters More Than Ever
  • TTIP Benefits – What Benefits!
  • Health & Safety Is Not A Dirty Word
  • What It’s Like To Be LGBT In The Workplace – One Member’s Experience

Well worth a read ………. June 2016

NJC Pay For 2016-2018 Settled

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Following a meeting of Local Government Representatives across Unison the union decided on Wednesday 27 April 2016 to accept the pay offer from the employers.

Head of Local Government Heather Wakefield said “Having talked to members in local government across England, Wales and Norther Ireland, we have decided that there are to be no further consultations and we have agreed to accept the employer’s pay offer for 2016/2018.”

In summary:

The offer is for a pay deal that would cover the two years from April 2016. Those on spinal points 18-49 would receive 1% in year one and the same again the following year. For the lowest paid (those on spinal points 6-17) this would mean a pay rise of between 6.6% and 1.01% for the first year and between 3.4% and 1.3% the second year.

However, as this authority pays the Living Wage, if your revised pay scale is still below this (£8.25 per hour) you will not see an increase in your actual pay.

The offer also includes a joint review of the NJC Pay spine and term-time working for school support staff.

Revised pay scales  – 2016-2018 pay scales

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact your Convenor for advice:

Children, Adult & Family Services – Justin Ashton – justin.ashton@stoke.gov.uk

Place & Schools Based Staff – Brian Tomkinson – brian.tomkinson@stoke.gov.uk

Public Health, Resources & Customer Services, City Director – Amber Robinson – amber.robinson@stoke.gov.uk

TTIP Benefits – What Benefits!

TTIP & Democracy

TTIP or the proposed Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership deal between the US and the EU continues to progress. There have so far been some thirteen rounds of talks, all behind closed doors between US and EU representatives to bring the proposals to fruition.

Many concerns still remain about this trade deal such as not protecting public services and in particular the NHS against full scale privatisation, erosion of consumer protections around food and environment and the opportunity under the investor dispute system for multinational corporations to sue governments where decisions made by governments may affect a company’s profits.

More recently a Freedom of Information request by pressure group Global Justice Now to the Department of Business Industry and Skills has brought to light that the trade deal is likely to have NO benefit to the UK.

The report by the London School of Economics commissioned in 2013 concluded the following.

  • There is little reason to think that an EU-US investment chapter will provide the UK with significant economic benefits.
  • There is little reason to think that an EU-US investment chapter will provide the UK with significant political benefits.
  • There is some reason to expect an EU-US investment chapter will impose meaningful economic costs on the UK. Based on Canada’s experience under NAFTA, we would expect an EU-US investment chapter to be regularly invoked by US investors against the UK for governmental actions that would normally not be challengeable under UK law.

[The Investment Chapter of TTIP is the part of the trade deal that covers investor protection.]

The response from BIS also revealed that no risk assessment had been carried out for the inclusion of investor protection in CETA – the free trade deal between Canada and EU that is even further down the process of approval than TTIP.

Its little wonder that the UK government don’t really want this broadcasting from the rooftops as it’s obviously damaging to their view that we should embrace TTIP lock, stock and barrel.

Rest assured Unison along with many other likeminded organisations and trade unions will continue to campaign and highlight the very real dangers that this new style trade deal will bring to everyday life for us all. Let’s face it, if the deal was so good you’d expect a well respected institution like the London School of Economics to champion its cause. Perhaps it’s not such a good thing after all.

To learn more about the dangers of TTIP go to www.nottip.org.uk and to read the article from The Independent newspaper on this latest development go to http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ttip-uk-government-only-did-one-assessment-of-trade-deal-and-found-it-had-lots-of-risks-and-no-a6999646.html

TTIP & Democracy

Branch Newsletter April 2016

Workers_Memorial_Day_2016_Logo_AW_72ppi Articles in this edition:

  • Calling All Branch Black Members
  • A Day In The Life Of A Rep
  • Remember To Have Your Say
  • North Staffs Trades Council Celebration Event
  • Workers Memorial Day Thursday 28 April 2016

Well worth a read – April 2016