The branch recently sent a delegation to the Local Government Conference in Brighton 18-19 June 2018.
A comprehensive report with outstanding drawings has been produced by one of our delegates, Duncan Bourne.
Well worth a read…… Conference Delegation Report
The latest branch newsletter is available.
- Health & Safety Spotlight – Stress At Work
- What Have The Trade Unions Ever Done For Us – SOT Council no longer attacking terms and conditions for those who work unsocial hours
- Did you ever wonder where Unison’s colours came from?
- Ever wondered how your Local Government Pension is invested?
- When did women get the right to vote and what was the Representation Of The People Act?
- There For You – Unison’s Welfare Service For Members
Well worth a read – February 2018
Does the colour scheme on the medal look familiar to you? Do you know what it is? Well, it is actually a hunger strike medal from the women’s suffrage movement and represents the colours of the suffragettes. In 1908 the women’s Social and Political Union or WSPU adopted the colour scheme of purple, white and green which would distinguish them in the political movement. Emmelin Pethick-Lawrence, editor of the weekly newspaper Votes For Women wrote “Purple as everyone knows is the royal colour, white stands for purity in private and public life and green is the colour of hope and the emblem of spring.”
During January 2018 members in the West Midlands Region received £119,472 in compensation payments for Personal Injury payments and for February the figure was £127,995.00.
For March 2018 members in the region received £77,305.18 and members of the branch £2,000. For April members in the region received £137,633.10 and for May £72,544.35.
A rather quiet period for members of our branch but it still always pays to be a Unison member!!
Our delegate to the Unison National LGBT Conference held in Brighton 17-19 November 2017 has produced an excellent report.
- A first time delegate’s experience
- Non binary inclusion
- Negotiating LGBT equality
- International LGBT issues
- Campaigning, recruiting and organising
Well worth a read – LGBT Conference November 2017
Unison’s National LGBT Newsletter – Out – Autumn 2017 issued on 28 November 2017 is also available – Out In Unison Autumn 2017
New evidence of the good unions do has been published by the TUC in a series of reports.
The reports by academics Alex Bryson and John Forth take account of the characteristics of the workplace, including size, industry and ownership, to isolate the impact of unions themselves on what happens at work.
The studies also take account of how strong the union is in the workplace and whether an individual worker is actually a member of a union or not. They also analysed the impact of collective and workplace bargaining agreements separately.
The top five findings are:
- unions are good for pay: Bryson and Forth found that unions secured a 6.5% increase in pay across like workplaces
- unions improve training: union members are up to 5% more likely to have received off-the-job training in the past year
- unions are better for family life: workers in unionised workplaces are less likely to say that there is a long hours culture at work and employers in workplaces with a strong union are less likely to say that it’s up to the individual employees to balance their family and work life;
- unions keep the workforce stable: unions reduce the number of people who voluntarily leave their place of work, reducing turnover and
- unions are good for innovation: Bryson and Forth found that workplaces with collective and workplace bargaining agreements had higher scores for innovation.
These studies, say the TUC provide fresh evidence for what union members and enlightened employers have always known – a strong union is good for workers and good for business.
Organisations should consult unions before making changes to contracts that will affect their members, the Court of Appeal has said, in a ruling that could have wide-ranging repercussions for employers.
The ruling came in a case brought by public service union Unison along with two park police officers who had been made redundant by the London Borough of Wandsworth.
In 2013 an employment tribunal decided that not only could the two officers bring unfair dismissal claims but Unison could also bring a claim over the borough’s failure to consult on the redundancies. In December 2015, the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided that none of the three parties had any right to bring a claim.
The Court of Appeal found the two officers had no right to claim unfair dismissal. However, it also decided that because of European Human Rights Legislation, Unison could take action against the borough for the failure to consult on the redundancies. It added that the union could also bring a claim if the terms and conditions of contracts or the rights of their members had been affected more generally.
Unison said the ruling would make it much harder to ignore unions when changes were being made in the workplace.
Prior to the Court of Appeal ruling, employers only had to consult with unions where the law explicitly said they must – for example, in TUPE or redundancy negotiations. The decision means unions may now need to be consulted in decisions about issues, such as holiday pay and working hours, where they affect union members.
“The message to bosses is they will have to treat their staff more fairly over pay and working conditions” said Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis. “If they fail to consult unions then they will be acting unlawfully and could be taken to court.”