Tag Archives: Politics

Save our Services day of action

Parliamentary drop-in session on Wednesday 16 November to raise awareness of the devastating impact of cuts to older people’s social care services.

The session forms part of UNISON’s Save Our Local Services (SOS) campaign.

It will be a chance for you to find out more about the impact of the government’s unfair cuts to local government funding on the care of the elderly as well as care workers.

There will also be the opportunity to have your photo taken in support of the campaign day and sign a pledge board that will read:

I call on the government to increase funding to older people’s social care services.”

 As you will know, social care services that support older people (aged over 65) – mainly homecare, residential care and, day care services – are vital for them to live independent and happier lives at home and in their communities.

Age UK has estimated that £1.95bn has been lost from social care budgets over the past 10 years due to central government cuts.

It is clear that these cuts are having a detrimental impact on older people’s services.

As part of research UNISON is currently compiling, we carried out a survey of social care workers on their experience of the impact of budget cuts over the past six years. 64% of the 1,075 respondents said that they had found there was a higher number of patients with more intensive care needs.

At the same time, 65% of the responders said there fewer staff and 63% of the respondents said that they had less time to spend with patients.

So as demand for services has increased, there are fewer staff, spending less time with patients.

So please to take part in the day of action on 16 November and show your support for this vital campaign – for better care for older people and an end to the downward spiral in pay and terms and conditions for those working in this sector.

We would be delighted if you would be able to attend.

Please RSVP to Chris Russell at Connect Communications on c.russell@connectpa.co.uk or 020  592 9592.

EU Referendum – UNISON Position

The result of the EU referendum on 23 June is on a knife edge. Given that the polls suggest a very close result and UNISON’s strongly held view that members will be better off if the UK remains part of the EU, we have been writing to members to try and boost voter turn-out.

All the evidence suggests that the lower the turnout on the day, the greater the risk of the UK leaving the EU. We know all members will weigh the arguments very carefully before voting on 23 June and that we respect their views completely.

UNISON’s role is to look out for members’ jobs and do everything we can to defend and where possible enhance their pay and standard of living. We will continue to do this regardless of the outcome of the referendum. In fulfilling our role, we have tried to assess the evidence and arguments on both sides of the EU referendum debate – and let members know what we think the impact will be on jobs, public services, employment rights if the UK leaves.

UNISON did not enter onto this position lightly, or in an undemocratic way. The union held an extensive six-week consultation across the entire UK earlier in the year. All branches were invited to take part and send in responses to help shape our approach to the referendum. This process showed overwhelming support for the union campaigning for a remain position.

UNISON is not an uncritical supporter of the EU. The union’s position is that we are better off if we remain and seek to improve the EU from within. In the final analysis we are backing Remain for the following reasons:

  • The regulations we rely on to protect members at work are enshrined in EU law and upheld by the European Court of Justice. Leaving would mean that critical rights – such as paid holiday, fair working hours, equal rights for part-time workers and maternity and paternity leave – are no longer guaranteed. The politicians that are likely to lead the country if we leave the EU are no friends of rights at work.
  • Leaving the EU would put the standard of living of our members at risk. Uncertainty is bad for any economy because it reduces investment and damages consumer confidence. The uncertainty of leaving the EU would hit all of us financially, driving up interest and mortgage rates, increasing prices and threatening jobs.
  • Leaving the EU would threaten public services. As the recent past has shown, a weaker economy leads to reduced government spending on everything from local government to the NHS, and policing to education. With the public sector already struggling to keep its head above water, we feel this is the wrong time to take that risk.

BURSARY OR BUST MARCH: Continuing the fight to save NHS bursaries

BURSARY OR BUST

We have called another march against the cuts to the NHS bursary. We are a grassroots, student led campaign and need your support! March with us for NHS bursaries and for the FUTURE OF THE NHS!

NHS bursaries are a LIFELINE for many – the cuts will affect podiatrists, physiotherapists, dental nurses, speech and language therapists, radiographers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, midwives, nurses, dieticians and other AHP’s.

We, NHS students, work up to 50% in clinical placements (full time) which is why the bursary is fundamental to us because working part time is very difficult. We are not asking for special treatment, we simply want to keep our financial support in order to be healthcare professionals. If the NHS bursary is cut, it will mean only those who can afford to pay will become healthcare professionals. We strongly believe that a diverse range of people in healthcare professions is important.

We believe that less people will want to train, or retrain, to be healthcare professionals. For nursing, the evidence shows that less equals higher mortality rates. There is currently a deficit of 24,000 nurses which is set to continue to grow. An apprenticeship route has also been proposed for nursing which would mean that those training would recieve approximately £3 an hour. We feel that this is incredibly unfair.

In Osborne’s Autumn spending review, it was revealed that NHS bursaries would be cut and replaced with a loan system. Furthermore, with a freeze on loan repayment thresholds and a rigid Agenda for Change pay scale, NHS students who qualify into their professions will be dealt with further cuts in their pay. The NHS bursary campaigners support free education for all.

The imposition of a loan system is an attempt at breaking the tie between students and the NHS to pave the way for the complete dismantling of the health service in order to privatise and profit. NHS bursary cuts are simply the tip of the iceberg.

Please join us!
Supported by: The Peoples Assembly, DPAC, King’s College London Student Union, Unite, NUS, Unison,the RCN and GMB!

We will have a special performance from the AMAZING NHS CHOIR!!!
SPEAKERS INCLUDING:
Vivienne Westwood
Roger Mckenzie Assistant General Secretary of Unison.
Dr Aislinn Mcklin-Dougherty and Dr Mona Kamal
Our amazing Helen Corry reading some of her wonderful and original poems
Ann Corry a patient and lover of the NHS
More to follow very soon…..watch this space

 

BURSARY OR BUST MARCH: Continuing the fight to save NHS bursaries

BURSARY OR BUST

We have called another march against the cuts to the NHS bursary. We are a grassroots, student led campaign and need your support! March with us for NHS bursaries and for the FUTURE OF THE NHS!

NHS bursaries are a LIFELINE for many – the cuts will affect podiatrists, physiotherapists, dental nurses, speech and language therapists, radiographers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, midwives, nurses, dieticians and other AHP’s.

We, NHS students, work up to 50% in clinical placements (full time) which is why the bursary is fundamental to us because working part time is very difficult. We are not asking for special treatment, we simply want to keep our financial support in order to be healthcare professionals. If the NHS bursary is cut, it will mean only those who can afford to pay will become healthcare professionals. We strongly believe that a diverse range of people in healthcare professions is important.

We believe that less people will want to train, or retrain, to be healthcare professionals. For nursing, the evidence shows that less equals higher mortality rates. There is currently a deficit of 24,000 nurses which is set to continue to grow. An apprenticeship route has also been proposed for nursing which would mean that those training would recieve approximately £3 an hour. We feel that this is incredibly unfair.

In Osborne’s Autumn spending review, it was revealed that NHS bursaries would be cut and replaced with a loan system. Furthermore, with a freeze on loan repayment thresholds and a rigid Agenda for Change pay scale, NHS students who qualify into their professions will be dealt with further cuts in their pay. The NHS bursary campaigners support free education for all.

The imposition of a loan system is an attempt at breaking the tie between students and the NHS to pave the way for the complete dismantling of the health service in order to privatise and profit. NHS bursary cuts are simply the tip of the iceberg.

Please join us!
Supported by: The Peoples Assembly, DPAC, King’s College London Student Union, Unite, NUS, Unison,the RCN and GMB!

We will have a special performance from the AMAZING NHS CHOIR!!!
SPEAKERS INCLUDING:
Vivienne Westwood
Roger Mckenzie Assistant General Secretary of Unison.
Dr Aislinn Mcklin-Dougherty and Dr Mona Kamal
Our amazing Helen Corry reading some of her wonderful and original poems
Ann Corry a patient and lover of the NHS
More to follow very soon…..watch this space

 

More Details

The Trade Union Bill

Rarely is a government Bill as blatantly nasty, partisan and undemocratic as this government’s proposed Trade Union Bill.  The Bill seeks to:

  • bring in a threshold requirement of a 50% turnout for industrial action ballots and – for “important public sector services – a requirement of at least 40% of all eligible voters in favour of action;
  • end the ban on using agency workers to replace permanent staff during strikes;
  • introduce a mandatory requirement for unions to inform police and employers of strike plans 14 days in advance, including any proposed use of placards or loudspeakers, blogs or social media. The “lead person” on any picket line will have to wear an armband and gives their details to police and employers.
  • regulate and restrict workplace facility time;
  • prohibit the direct deduction of trade union subs from members wages in the public sector; and
  • require all members to give their written consent to opt into UNISON’s political fund – this is the fund that enables UNISON to conduct political campaigns (on pensions, hospital closures, etc.) and (via affiliated funding) ensure that UNISON’s polices are at the centre of the Labour party.

The Bill recently suffered 3 defeats in the House of Lords and has been referred back to the House of Commons.  This means that the struggle to defeat this malicious Bill is far from over.

What Can You Do?   This Bill is a direct attack on working people which means you. It will undermine your ability to have your voice heard loudly and clearly at work, and hand yet more power to employers.  Contact your MP by clicking on the following link, completing the email details and pressing ‘Submit’: E-Mail MP action

Become active in the campaign to stop the Bill by signing up for regular branch Defeat the Bill updates.

TUC mass lobby of Parliament – protect the right to strike

Join union members from across the UK for a rally and lobby of MPs against the undemocratic Trade Union Bill.

UNISON thinks MPs should be focusing on the real problems this country faces, not undermining people’s right to be supported at work. That’s why thousands of people are going to Parliament to talk to their MPs on 2 November.  

Debating the Future – Election 2015 and the LGBT+ Community

The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats will debate their manifestos for the future of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality at an election year event being hosted by SONET, the London South Bank University Staff sexual orientation network.

Representatives from party-affiliated groups LGBTory, LGBT Labour and LGBT+ Lib Dems will outline their record, plans and what they see as the key challenges for the LGBT community in the UK and abroad ahead of the 2015 general election.

The debate will include audience participation with questions being accepted in advance of the event via e-mail s.o.network@lsbu.ac.uk or by tweeting @SONET_LSBU with hashtag #LGBTDebate.

The event is free and ticketed, open to all students, staff, members of the education and research community and anyone who has an interest in LGBT+ matters. It will also be available to follow live on Twitter, @SONET_LSBU.