Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Dave Prentis Speech Full NDC 2018

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis marks the start of the union's 25th anniversary year with a speech recalling some of the battles and successes of the past. 

And he had a message for the Prime Minister: "Fund our NHS and all our public services. Or call an election and we'll elect a government that will." 




What is Anxiety?








Tuesday, 12 June 2018

#Our NHS is 70 - National celebration & demonstration


June 30
Organised by: The People's Assembly, HCT, TUC, Unison, Unite, GMB, RCN, RCM, BMA & BDA
Book free seat on Oxford transport @ ouh.org.uk/bookings/June30.html
or call 07503169657

Say yes to:
● A publicly owned NHS that is free for all
● Proper funding and proper staffing
● Support for our wonderful NHS workers
● World class services for every community

#OurNHS70 - Free, for all, forever
The NHS belongs to us. Access to healthcare is a human right. Our post-war generation created a National Health Service that delivered world class care to all on the basis of need. For 70 years #ourNHS has set a shining example to the world of what can be achieved when we make the choice to look after the collective good.
But #ourNHS is under attack. A decade of austerity, underfunding and top down reforms have stretched our health service to breaking point. Services are being cut and cancelled, hospitals and wards are closing, there are staffing shortages across every part of the system and increasing parts of our health service are being outsourced to private companies.
Never has there been a more urgent time in her 70 year history to stand up and defend what is yours. For what the last generation built. You have paid for it. You deserve it.
#OurNHS is a loved and cherished part of every community. Come out to defend it on June 9th in Oxford and on 30th June in London. Bring your family, your friends, your loved ones and anyone who cares about the future of healthcare in this country.


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Dress codes and sex discrimination guidance

New guidance on Dress Codes and Sex Discrimination has been published by the Government Equalities Offices.

The guidance reminds employers that dress policies for men and women do not have to be identical, but standards imposed should be equivalent.

It also warns that requiring any gender-specific items, such as high heels, make up or have manicured nails, is likely to be unlawful.





Tuesday, 5 June 2018

TUC WorkSmart app

The TUC has launched a pilot version of a new app – WorkSmart – that helps young people to progress at work, build relationships with co-workers, and learn about their rights. 

A thousand workers have already signed up. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Joining together in a trade union is still the best way to get a better deal at work. But unions need to reach out to the young workers in workplaces where there isn’t a union. “That’s why today we’ve launched a new pilot, WorkSmart – to find a way to get the benefits of trade unions to the young workers who need us most.”


Click here to download the WorkSmart App




Helping with the cost of school uniforms

There for You has once again got a limited fund to help members deal with the costs of school uniforms
UNISON is once more launching a scheme to help members on low incomes deal with the cost of buying school uniforms.
Families living on low income with children struggle constantly to make ends meet – and this can be particularly acute before the new school year begins when the extra costs hit hard.
The union’s welfare charity There for You has once again got a limited fund to help members deal with the costs of school uniforms.
Download the applications form Here
The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is Friday 20 July.



Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Survey about cuts to local council budgets and your working lives


We have recently launched a survey of our members about the impact of local government cuts on services, and the impact on their working lives – including workplace stress, use of food banks, and undertaking unpaid overtime.

This forms part of our campaigning and lobbying strategy to secure more money for local government in the Autumn Budget.

It is essential that we receive as many responses as possible from members, so that we have results for all branches that can be used for campaigning.

Please share this survey with your colleagues and encourage them to fill it in. The deadline is 11th June.


CLICK HERE TO START SURVEY





Saturday, 26 May 2018

Check out www.ambulanceLGBT.org

There's lots to get involved with this summer... Pride events, a photo competition and the first ever LGBT staff survey!






Sunday, 20 May 2018

Remember, if you are stressed or not feeling well, there is help available. Check out the Mental Health Foundation page for advice. Don't stay silent.








Saturday, 19 May 2018

How can I identify the signs of stress?

Everyone experiences stress. However, when it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible, and while stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for:

  • feelings of constant worry or anxiety
  • feelings of being overwhelmed
  • difficulty concentrating
  • mood swings or changes in your mood
  • irritability or having a short temper
  • difficulty relaxing
  • depression
  • low self-esteem
  • eating more or less than usual
  • changes in your sleeping habits
  • using alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs to relax
  • aches and pains, particularly muscle tension
  • diarrhoea and constipation
  • feelings of nausea or dizziness
  • loss of sex drive.


For a free copy of there book on how to cope Click here


Test your stress


For Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 (14-20 May), we're focusing on stress. See how stressed you are by taking our short test, which uses the evidence-based perceived stress scale (PSS).

Stress is not a mental health problem in itself but it is a key cause of mental health problems like depression and anxiety and is often linked to self-harm and suicide. Stress is also known to lead to physical health problems like muscle and joint pain and cardiovascular problems.

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/stress-test



Friday, 11 May 2018

It's almost time for us to Step Up! For Public Services.

Here's all the logistical info you need for the day.

Arriving and forming up
The UNISON block of the march will form up on The Embankment by Embankment Pier. We have been allocated Zone 2 which will be marked out by the TUC with signs on lamp posts, From 9.30am the area will be clearly visible due to the presence of six of large purple UNISON balloons.

The best way to get on to The Embankment by foot is from The Strand via the side streets Surrey Street and Arundel Street

Marchers should access the form up area from the rear and make their way forwards towards Zone 2 and the purple UNISON balloons.

The key tube stations are Blackfriars, Southwark, St Paul’s and Waterloo. Temple tube station is likely to be closed as it is very small, so make alternative plans.

March Length and Route
View the march route here. March lengths are as follows:
  • Long March – Embankment tube to Wellington Arch entrance of Hyde Park - 1.7 miles
  • Short March – St James Street to Wellington Arch entrance of Hyde Park – 0.8 miles

Legal Assistance
In the event of any legal issues, UNISON has arranged a helpline through Thompsons for members on the day: Tel: 0800 587 7530

Rally
The rally in Hyde Park is due to end no later than 4.00pm.



Monday, 30 April 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at UNISON

The GDPR is a EU Regulation designed to give you better control over how your personal data is used. While the major targets of the legislation are the big multinationals, like Facebook and the other big companies that sell your data for a profit, the GDPR applies to everyone including UNISON. Therefore, please take a moment to check the preferences you have given us that will let us keep you informed about what’s happening in UNISON both nationally and at branch level. It’s very simple to do this through your “MyUNISON” portal – for details see how to change your contact preferences below. Please check and correct your other personal details at the same time. Please help us to support you.

How to change your contact preferences:

1.    Go to the national UNISON website (www.unison.org.uk) and click on “My UNISON in the top strap-line (www.unison.org.uk/my-unison).
2.    If this is the first time you have done this, you will need to register, which requires knowing your UNISON membership number. You can get this from your membership card or by ringing UNISONdirect on 08000 857 857.
3.    If you have already registered and have an account, you will need to login (you will need your UNISON membership number and the password you created when you first registered.
4.    Click on “My Details” and then “View full personal details here”.
5.    In the top section titled “About you”, click on “Edit”.
6.    Scroll down the page, completing as many details as you feel happy entering until you get towards the bottom, where it asks for Email addresses.
7.    Please ensure that there is at least one email address (personal or work) entered and preferably enter both – please indicate which one you would prefer us to use.
8.    Please set “UNISON Mail” to “I am happy to receive correspondence from UNISON if appropriate” – if you do not do this, the branch cannot send you the branch newsletter, information about pay increases, etc.
9.    If you wish to receive information from UNISON’s partners, you will need to set “Third Party Mail” to “Allow my details to be available for third party mailings”.
10.    Please tick the box against “Email” or the branch cannot contact you by email.  If you are happy to be contacted by phone and/or text as well, you should tick those boxes as well.
11.    Click the “Save button” and then “Log out” in the top strap-line.




Saturday, 28 April 2018

Step up on 12 May in London



To book a seat on the Oxford City branch of UNISON's coach email 12maycaoch@gmail.com





Free travel paid for by Oxford City Branch of UNISON







Stress awareness

Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow but only empties today of its strengths. 
– Charles H. Spurgeon




Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Is it worth the money to be in UNISON?

A question we are asked a lot, and it is always great to receive feedback from our members, proving that when you need us we are there to support You, during and after your time of need.


Dear Unison

I just wanted to thank Unison for the recent support I received during a disciplinary investigation/hearing. I was until recently wondering whether to cancel my membership as I thought it was not that important to me and i wanted to try and skim my finances down slightly however I’m really glad i didn’t as the support i received from Lorraine Francis was brilliant and I really appreciated someone so knowledgeable to help and support me through the matter.

Lorraine was not only supportive but gave tremendous empathy as she knew my job role. My experience was positive and I really appreciated the help.

Well done Unison and Lorraine !!  




If you ever struggle to pay your membership subs or are thinking of leaving us, please talk to us first, we may be able to help or guild. 







Friday, 20 April 2018

National Table Tennis Day




Save the Date - Wednesday July 18


The date for National Table Tennis Day has been announced! Register your interest to be the first to hear about our exciting plans for the day and how you can get involved! 





Sunday, 8 April 2018

UK bosses are risking workforce stress burnout

With April marking Stress Awareness Month, a new report has found UK businesses are in danger of having their workforces experience burnout, as despite a huge number feeling stressed at work, few bosses are doing anything to help.
For those British adults in employment, work is by far the most common cause of stress (59 per cent). Yet almost one in two (45 per cent) of British businesses do not offer anything to help alleviate this, according to a study of 3,000 UK workers carried out by Perkbox, the UK’s fastest growing employee benefits platform, as part of the 2018 UK Workplace Stress Report.
This is despite the fact that one in four (25 per cent) struggle to be as productive at work when stressed, and almost the same number find themselves disengaged with work as a result. In fact, at least one in 10 (10 per cent) of us will call in sick due to stress, while seven per cent will look for a new job.



Friday, 6 April 2018

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Minimum wage and national living wage

The national living wage and national minimum wage set minimum hourly rates that employers must legally pay workers in the UK.
How much is the national minimumwage?
National minimum wage levels vary, depending on your age and whether you are an apprentice. It is reviewed every year, with changes introduced every April.
From 1 April 2018, the hourly national minimum wage rates are:
  • £7.83 for workers aged 25 and above (the so-called national living wage);
  • £7.38 for workers aged 21-24;
  • £5.90 for workers aged 18-20;
  • £4.20 for workers aged 16-17;
  • £3.70 for apprentices under 19, or in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Before this, from 1 April 2017, they were:
  • £7.50 for workers aged 25 and above;
  • £7.05 for workers aged 21-24;
  • £5.60 for workers aged 18-20;
  • £4.05 for workers aged 16-17;
  • £3.50 for apprentices under 19, or in the first year of their apprenticeship.
“National living wage”
The top tier of the national minimum wage, payable to workers aged 25 and over, was labelled as a “national living wage” when it was introduced by the government in April 2016.
The government has set a target for this wage to rise to 60% of average earnings by 2020. However, the wage does not truly reflect a living wage, since it is not based on the cost of living.
Living wage
The Living Wage Foundation, an independent organisation that campaigns for a living wage  based on the true cost of living, announces its independently calculated wage rate at the beginning of living Wage Week, which takes place over the first week of November every year.
The living wage currently stands at £8.75 an hour outside London, and £10.20 an hour in London.
Who is eligible for the national minimum wage ?
Most workers are eligible for the national minimum wage – even if you agree to work for less or your contract says you are entitled to less. Employers are legally required to pay at least the national minimum wage.
What to do if you are paid less than the national minimum wage
If you are being paid less than the national minimum wage, speak to your UNISON representative. They can help you receive the correct amount of pay.

Work related stress - Video interviews - Tony’s Story



This video looks at the story of someone with work-related stress, and how they dealt with it and were supported in the workplace.



Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month takes place every April and has since it first launched in 1992. Throughout this period of time, teams of experts aim to increase public awareness about stress. This includes highlighting the causes of stress, the negative effects stress can have on the mind and body, and how to relieve stress.

Most people will experience stress at some point in their life, but constant or extreme stress is bad for both the mind and body. Stress can be caused by a sudden traumatic event or even just the expectations of daily life.

There are many ways to minimize stress such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, talking about your feelings, and dedicating time to relaxing. If you are suffering from stress, you can find help and resources on the internet, or you can seek advice from a healthcare professional.

If left unchecked, stress can be deadly — in fact, stress is often referred to as the “silent killer” because although its effects are not immediately apparent, it can lead to a number of serious health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease. This is why Stress Awareness Month is important — it informs people about stress and provides them with the tools and resources to manage it.

Useful websites and organisations

NHS mood self-assessment quiz
Stressbusting website – for information about stress and techniques for coping
The Be Mindful website – for guidance on mindfulness
• Mind’s Infoline (0300 123 3393/info@mind.org.uk) – for information on support groups and mental health services in your local area
Health Assured’s 4 week programme on sleep


Saturday, 31 March 2018

Today is transday of visibility

⚧  Check out UNISON's great guide to being a good trans ally. It all comes down to listening to trans people, challenging transphobia, and being a good person!

Click for more info





Tips for being a good trans ally In general

• Speak up for trans people and trans equality and against transphobia.
• Speak up when there are trans people present. Don’t leave it to trans people to defend trans equality.
• Speak up when there are no trans people present. Transphobia is always wrong and shouldn’t be ignored.
• Do this in meetings, on social media, with family and friends.
• Don’t assume you know who is trans or who is affected by anti-trans discrimination. There may be people with a trans history in your branch or workplace who are now just living their lives. Other colleagues may have trans family members.
• Transphobia is no laughing matter. It’s just as important to challenge it when it is presented in a jokey way.



Saturday, 3 March 2018

Thanks to UNISON members, vital public services are still running

The snow and difficult weather conditions of the past week have been challenging for everyone. We’re not a country that is best suited to this kind of weather at the best of times – especially not in March.
However, what has been abundantly clear once again in recent days is how remarkable public service workers are. Winter weather makes it harder to support those who need help in our communities – especially in rural and remote areas – but UNISON members have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that help still arrives.
Thanks to UNISON members, vital public services are still running.
So thank you to the homecare worker, who travels miles from house to house ensuring that the elderly and the vulnerable are safe, warm and cared for – a lifeline for so many, even when its hazardous on the roads.
Thanks to the NHS staff who fight their way into work to make sure our health service keeps running during the cold snap. And to the ambulance staff who carry on undeterred to make sure that an emergency in the snow receives the same care that all emergencies do.
Thanks to those local authority staff, including those out late and night and early in the morning gritting the roads so that the country keeps moving even when the snow is piling up.
Thanks to the school staff, the caretakers keeping schools open and safe where they can, and those managing the process of school closures where they’re unavoidable.
Thank you to all public servants working through the cold and the snow to support everyone who needs you. You are the pride of our union, our communities and our country.


You make all of us proud of our union.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Did you every wonder where UNISON’s colours came from?






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 UNISON 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.”




UNISON lottery

🤑UNISON members: we've relaunched the UNISON lottery, giving you a chance to win up to a grand and help your fellow members at the same time 👍



Find out what’s going on at this years National delegate conference

Click here to read all the latest news