Friday, 20 February 2015

Free Learning Event

UNISON and Ruskin College

Free Learning Event 

 10am until 4pm 18 March 2015
 @ Ruskin College,
Dunstan Rd, 
Old Headington, 

The learning event is open to all UNISON members and non-members. It is free of charge but for catering purposes you will need to return an application form. If you are a UNISON member and would like travel costs to be covered, you will need to contact your local UNISON branch.
For more information about the above please contact Katia Widlak on 07508 080 397 or

To celebrate and promote the benefits of adult learning, UNISON in partnership with Ruskin College is organising a taster day of courses and workshops for everyone.

The event will showcase Ruskin College’s courses ranging from informal short courses to degree level and UNISON’s learning activities and opportunities.

The event will include a market place where you will get information from various stalls about what UNISON and Ruskin College have to offer. The marketplace will be available throughout the day to answer your questions. Please come and join us!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

staff slice cards

Dear Members

At yesterday’s AGM we raised the issue of staff slice cards and it is the Council’s indication that they want to increase the price of the Staff Slice Cards from £25 per year to £20 per month. UNISON considered this increase is completely unnecessary. We have asked Management for the breakdown of the savings they hope to make, to enable us to challenge the figures, but to no avail. We have expressed our view to Councillor Bob Price and Councillor Ed Turner.

The savings in the budget are of £25K for 2016/17 from the Human Resources and Facilities budget and it states that the Slice Card would then cost £20 per month!

We feel we got our strong argument across to Councillor Price and Councillor Turner and they took this on board. We also reiterated that it is against the spirit of the Council’s Wellbeing Strategy.

With that in mind, there is a Wellbeing Survey live at the moment you can select Respond by filling in the online questionnaire

It is a very short questionnaire and closes on Friday. We urge all members and non- members to complete this survey and voice your opinion of the Staff Slice Card increase for 2016/17.

For information on Staff Leisure Card visit this intranet page: http://occweb/intranet/documents/staff-leisure-membership-application-form-201415

It could not be found in Employee Information > Pay and Reward >> Staff Leisure Card

Current Prices are:

1.    Individual Card (Swimming and Dry Sports) £25.00 per year.
2.    Individual Card (Dry Sports only) £20.00 per year.
3.    Family Card (Swimming and Dry Sports) £37.00 per year
4.    Duplicate Card £5.00

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Stewards Required

Stewards Required!

Without stewards there would be no one there to act as the link between members and the union and to organise and support people in the workplace.

What rights do you get as a steward?
In workplaces where UNISON is recognized by the employer stewards have rights to time off for training and to carry out their work. This includes:
  •  Meetings with members and management
  • Preparation and research
  • Keeping members informed

You will be entitled to training and mentoring.
All new stewards are encouraged to take advantage of the courses unison offers. There are a wide range of courses many of which are provided on a local level.
Support and advice are readily available.
Colleagues, workplace contacts and more experienced stewards, health and safety reps and branch officers will all help you. Most branches will make sure that reps have details of local union officers who can give prompt advice and guidance. Your regional organiser, regional education officer, women's officer and branch support teams are based in the regional office and can be approached for assistance through your branch secretary.

Contact or speak to your local steward for more information

Stewards are the backbone


Branch Secretary’s Report from this years AGM

Branch Secretary’s Report 

Stewards and Officers and Members:- Here we are again, another year has passed, this job really doesn’t get any easier, but it would be even harder without the support from all of you here today, so I need to say a huge thank you to all of you.

Nothing really changes in the world of trade unions in the workplace. The past year has been yet another difficult year for all of your elected stewards and Officers, who have been dealing with a multitude of issues.

As a branch committee we have had to deal with many things from representing members who have fallen foul of disciplinary, attendance policies etc. Re-structures appear to have tailed off slightly but only to be replaced with the Admin review. We have had to make some difficult decisions, which to be fair is why you have elected us.

Policies:- Every year we are trying to improve on existing policies when they come up for review, for example we have just recently agreed a much need improved family leave policy, which takes into account the new legislation relating to maternity/Paternity leave, but what we are particularly proud of is that we now have is recognition for fertility treatment, and have achieved some paid time off for both the female receiving the treatment and also partners wishing to take time off work to support a partner undergoing fertility treatment for up to two days paid leave in any leave year.  Now we know that this isn’t overly generous, but it’s a great start, and I think this is a first in local Government, so maybe we are helping to change perceptions.
The attendance Policy that was reviewed last year was imposed upon us, and implemented without Trade Union Agreement. We were unable to negotiate a better deal for those of us who suffer with a Disability related illnesses, this particular issue was a big deal for us, and that is one of the reasons why we couldn’t agree to it.
Now we are getting into dangerous territory as an organisation. We have been given a new policy to review, the Employee Data Monitoring Policy, this will give the employer the right to use CCTV monitoring and any other electronic monitoring equipment to spy on employees and to use the data collected when carrying out  Disciplinary’ s, or attendance issues, it is imperative that we kick this into touch, personally I believe this is illegal and they shouldn’t be able to do this unless there is strong evidence to suggest that a crime is being committed. On this basis I have requested advice from our Regional representatives.
It is vital that we have your support on this one; we will take it to a ballot if necessary.  This is an invasion of your privacy; we must not allow this policy to go through! It’s a step to far” I have already had two cases in the last 12 months within the same service area, where CCTV footage and entry fob data has been the main driving force behind two long serving members of staff, with no previous records of a disciplinary nature. This is nothing short of Spying on you, together we can tell the Council what we think! But we must be one voice!!
Re-structures/Admin Review 
Re-structures was the main focus for the branch in previous years, and haven’t we had some bad ones!! Whilst they haven’t completely gone away, they are being disguised under the banner of the Admin Re-view, even after repeated warnings to the employer about how this will not work in this authority, (as we are too small and to diverse) it is clear that our opinions have not been considered, I would challenge anyone who has already been through this process to tell me if they completely understand how this works, Because it has certainly baffled me and my colleagues on your Branch Committee.

We as a branch are very concerned about the Admin Review for some good reasons, primarily, we are concerned that some individuals will be unnecessarily made redundant based on their poor review outcomes. Secondly if they are so concerned about productivity, it is our belief this is going to have a huge detrimental effect on just that, it really does not make any sense what’s so ever.  

Partnership Payment
As many of you will remember we had quite an issue with the way that the Partnership Payment was calculated, as it appeared that HR had moved the goal posts without seeking agreement, or at least finalising it! this in turn, meant that some of you were a £100 light in your salaries.  That being said we came out the other side with a much better deal going forward for all eligible recipients.

Recruitment will always be one of our main focuses; to be affective; we must at all costs, keep our membership numbers up! And that isn’t just our responsibility as a branch committee, but yours as well, we are all part of this union, and I urge you strongly, to encourage your colleagues who are not members, or new starters to Join, tell them what we do, tell them don’t leave it till it’s too late,  because if they do leave it, they’re in trouble, and we cannot represent them until they have been a member for six weeks. I think we have proven to you all, how valuable it is to have a trade union presence within the workplace.  Without them your T&Cs would be appalling!

Nice Things
We recently funded the purchase of Table Tennis equipment, which has been well used and a few competitions have taken place, it has to be one of the best things we have invested in for a while. If you fancy a game get in-touch with David Brown in Regeneration-Major Projects team.

The Membership Christmas Parties were a great success again especially the Raffles, this year we will be doing something similar, unless any of you has any better ideas please let us know, if it’s affordable, we’ll do it.

Once again thank you all for your continued support.

Caroline Glendinning

Branch Secretary

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Annual General Meeting

Oxford City Branch

Annual General Meeting

3:00 – 4:00 pm Tuesday 17th February 2015
The Long Room, Town Hall


Minutes of the AGM 2014
Annual Branch Report (Secretary, Caroline Glendinning)
Ratification of Elections of Stewards (Chair, David Hawkins)
Ratification of Elections of Branch Officers (David Hawkins)
Nominations for delegates to Annual Conference 2015
Affilliations (Caroline Glendinning)
Leader of the Council Bob Price and Deputy Leader Ed Turner
Treasurer's Report and Presentation of Branch Accounts (Gwen)
Honoraria 2013–14

Any Other Business  The Chair or Secretary must be informed of the matter before the meeting is opened

Followed at 4: 15 pm by Cheese and Wine in The Long Room, The Town Hall.

Pledge support for public services

Pledge support for public services and keep up to date with UNISON's general election work.

Let’s say thank you to all our key workers

UNISON has become a partner in the /together coalition, which this weekend will unite the country to celebrate the NHS’ birthday and ...