Wednesday, 29 March 2017

International Workers' Memorial Day

International Workers' Memorial Day - More events and resources

News is coming in about various events and activities to mark this year's International Workers' Memorial Day.
We've heard from: UNISON member and Hartlepool TUC President, Edwin Jeffries; UNISON Pembrokeshire Local Government Branch; UNISON West Midlands Health and Safety Forum; and UNISON Cymru Wales Region.  UNISON's Health Conference will be marking the Day, as will UNISON's Further Education and Sixth Form College Seminar.  Staff at UNISON Centre will be holding a minutes silence at 12 midday on Friday 28 April.  And numerous UNISON members, activists, and staff will be speaking at events across the country.

We'll be posting these and other details on our website (see the "events" page) and by social media (FaceBook and twitter - see logos below for our links) in the coming days and weeks.

But we also want to hear about your planned activities no matter how large or small, just send a reply to this email or email Vincent at:

Don't forget, UNISON's IWMD webpage has further information and resources, including our IWMD poster and leaflet to download or order.  You can now also download our pdf to create your own IWMD flags from our webpage or direct from here.
Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living on this year's International Workers' Memorial Day!

The Health and Safety Unit

Friday, 24 March 2017

Did you know that immediately apply for an introductory loan of up to £2000 repayable over a term of up to 60 months

OXFORDSHIRE CREDIT UNION already run payroll deduction schemes through the employers listed below and are in discussions with other Oxfordshire employers.
  • Oxford Bus Company
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Oxford City Council
  • South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council
Employees who can pay to their credit union account by a payroll deduction can immediately apply for an introductory loan of up to £2000 repayable over a term of up to 60 months
Payroll deduction also makes saving easy through our range of savings accounts to help you budget for Xmas, Eid, Diwali, holidays or any other special occasion.

Call now

Call 01865 777 757 to start saving today...
Information for employers
If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity to save money by payroll deduction, or would like to offer your employees access to secure savings accounts and low cost loans, please contact us.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Is today your day to join Oxford Credit Union

About membership of OCU

Anyone who lives or works within the county of Oxfordshire can join OCU.  And even if you move away from Oxfordshire you can still remain a member.

All you need to do when you join is to start saving a regular amount each month.  If you would like to join us and start saving, please call 01865 777 757 or download an application form.  We make a £2 charge for joining which will be deducted from your first payment. We have an annual charge of £5 for managing your account, we waive this fee if the balance in your account is more than £50 or if you are making regular savings.
In order to comply with anti-money-laundering regulations we will need to see proof of ID and address.  You can send us a photocopy of a driving licence, passport or birth certificate.
Payroll deductions:   Members who work in Oxford University Hospital Trust, the Oxford Bus Company, Unipart, Oxford City Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council or South Oxfordshire can pay into their OCU account directly through a deduction from their payroll. More about the advantages of payroll deductions here. Download a OCU Payroll Deduction form.
Standing orders and cash:  Other members can save using either a standing order arrangement with their bank or by paying in cash using a PayPoint card (provided by OCU) at a retailer displaying the PayPoint sign – eg a local corner shop or garage. Just call us and we’ll talk you through this.  Download a Standing Order Mandate.
Redirecting your Child Benefit to your OCU account:  Use the Child Benefit redirection form if you would like your Child Benefit to be added directly to your OCU savings.
All our forms are available to be downloaded directly from the Forms and documents page.

Oxfordshire Branches Survey: LG Reorganisation

You will probably have seen in recent weeks campaign materials for “One Oxfordshire”, a proposal for local government reorganisation initiated by Oxfordshire County Council. You may also have seen counter proposals, particularly if you live or work in Oxford City or Cherwell which are opposed to the plan.
The One Oxfordshire proposals would mean a single unitary authority covering the whole of Oxfordshire responsible for all the services currently provided by District and County Councils.
The Government will have the final say on the proposals and we don’t yet know what it will decide but UNISON wants to know your concerns and priorities so that we are ready to support our members interests once the decision is announced. Any changes, whether it is a single unitary authority or unitary authorities based on existing district council boundaries or some other formulation, is bound to impact on our members who are directly employed by a local authority but also those whose jobs are linked to the councils through contracts or funding arrangements, and of course those who live in Oxfordshire regardless of where they work.
It will be a great help in this if you could take a few minutes to complete this survey by Friday 7 April.

Please feel free to ask your work colleagues to complete it too, regardless of whether they are UNISON members. You can do this by forwarding them the link.

Kind regards
Caroline Raine (Area Organiser) 

One Oxfordshire Survey
It only takes a few minutes!
Click here for the survey

Find out more about better oxfordshire click here

Monday, 20 March 2017

How you can help tackle ill health at work

How you can help tackle ill health at work

Many health conditions are caused or made worse by work. The priorities for HSE are to reduce:
  • lung disease
  • stress
  • injuries to backs, necks, shoulders and arms
We need you to play your part too. Tell us about:
  • what you are doing in your workplace? any ideas you have to reduce these health problems at work

Find out more about what we are doing on our health and work web pages

Friday, 17 March 2017

The “Hands off Oxford City” campaign

The “Hands off Oxford City” campaign we supported in response to community and staff concerns has been hugely successful and achieved more than 10,000 signatures to the petition against the proposals.
This is a huge vote of confidence in the City Council and the other District Councils and we are proud of the public and staff support.
If you would like to help further, please consider contacting your MP:
Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP, Member of Parliament for Oxford East
Nicola Blackwood MP, Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon
John Howell MP, Member of Parliament for Henley
Victoria Prentis MP, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire
Rt Hon Edward Vaizey MP, Member of Parliament for Didcot and Wantage
Robert Courts MP, Member of Parliament for Witney and West Oxfordshire
Finally, Oxford City Branch Of UNISON would like to take this opportunity to again say a huge thank you to you all for your support for the campaign.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind everybody that our argument is with the County Unitary proposals and not with staff or Councillors in organisations supporting it.
Our argument and campaign has been, and always will be, respectful of other's different views, and long must this continue, together in solidarity with all our trade union brothers and sisters, in UNISON.

Together we are stronger.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Winning for members  |  Scottish local government ballot  |   Send to a friend   |

14 MARCH 2017
£178,000 compensation won for seven members
photograph of scales, symbolising justice
UNISON wins payout for unfairly dismissed drug treatment staff
A group of workers who supported adults with addiction issues in the North West have won a court victory after a private company left them jobless, thanks to support from UNISON.

The seven members received £178,000 compensation after UNISON took Arch Initiatives to an employment tribunal when the company refused to take on the staff, whose jobs were transferred from the Greater Manchester West NHS Foundation Trust, arguing that the jobs changed and TUPE regulations did not apply.

One of those who lost their jobs without even receiving redundancy pay was Denise Holcroft who said:  “There’s never a good time to be told you’re out of a job, but this was so stressful. I couldn’t pay my bills and had to take what work I could just to cover my mortgage.”

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

All eyes on the metro mayors from UNISON U digital

The balance of power in English politics will be shifting ever so slightly this year – away from Whitehall and Westminster towards the regions, in the form of the first tranche of directly elected “metro mayors”.
On 4 May, the public will elect mayors in six city-regions: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Sheffield City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands and West of England.
These mayors will exercise a significant amount of power over areas such as housing, transport and even health.
And that’s why UNISON has been working hard to ensure that public services are at the forefront of people’s minds during the mayoral elections.
With the support of the general political fund, regions have been promoting the union’s Public Service Champions campaign, and encouraging people to vote for candidates who are prepared to support and protect public services.
James Anthony, who chairs the union’s general political fund, says: “While the mayors have different powers in different parts of the country, what these elections share is an opportunity to raise our concerns about the current state of public services.
“The committee has approved bids to support local mayoral campaigns in Greater Manchester, Tees Valley and West Midlands.  This will be backed up by UK-wide advertising that highlights the way in which the invaluable work that our members do and which communities depend upon is being dangerously undermined by austerity.”
Mr Anthony adds that all elections offer an opportunity to achieve the same goal as the union’s Public Service Champions campaign – “to highlight the pressures facing our schools, local government, social care, the NHS and policing, and to send a message to the government that they must change course urgently.”
Born of the Tory Party’s general election manifesto, the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 has paved the way for a level of regional devolution akin to that currently enjoyed by the London Mayor.
Working alongside combined authorities – which represent existing local councils – the metro mayors will set strategies to grow their area’s economy, while exercising powers over housing, transport and skills.
Their powers will vary, depending on the devolution deals that each city-region has agreed with the government.
For example, Greater Manchester’s mayor will also have responsibility for health and social care and will take over the powers of the police and crime commissioner.
The new role is attracting some high profile politicians, who spy a greater opportunity to effect change than they might have on the back benches or in opposition.
Sadiq Khan has already made the transition in London, and now the former Labour health secretary Andy Burnham (above, speaking to the NHS Confederaton) is the party’s candidate in Greater Manchester.
Another notable candidate is UNISON member Sue Jeffrey, who is contesting Tees Valley for Labour.
Ms Jeffrey, who is leader of Redcar and Cleveland council, is committed to bringing meaningful job growth, sustainability, and investment across the whole of the Tees Valley.
She is also a strong campaigner for the protection and promotion of the region’s public services.
UNISON regional secretary Clare Williams says: “UNISON is proud to support Sue Jeffrey. We know that strong leadership is required to bring investment into the area, provide quality jobs and training, and enhance and protect our vital public services.
“Sue is  an experienced campaigner and woman’s rights activist with a tried and tested record in speaking up for the people of the Tees Valley and promoting the interests of the area.”

Friday, 3 March 2017

Response to “Better Oxfordshire” proposal from Oxford City Council

Oxford City Council response to “Better Oxfordshire” proposal
Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council, responds to the launch of Oxfordshire County Council’s “Better Oxfordshire” proposal.
Councillor Price said: “The County Council’s revised proposal confirms its plan to remove from local control almost all issues that really matter to people’s quality of life.
  • Decision making on key issues affecting people’s lives will no longer be made locally. For example, control over council housing, economic growth and development planning would be removed from local control and managed centrally.
  • Governance of the city is still not addressed in a way that city residents would find acceptable. Instead, Oxford residents are offered a ‘convention’ that no one really understands and shows that the County Council still does not know how to manage the unique requirements of the city.
  • The proposals have continually been altered. The County Council should send the latest proposals to every household in Oxfordshire for comment before wholesale changes are made to local accountability and decision making.
  • We just do not believe the County Council’s figures. The latest figures suggest that council tax would be kept low in the rural districts and inflated in the city through what is currently an illegal additional charge to city residents (known as a precept).
“Our position remains the same. We call on the County Council to end this wasteful exercise that now seems more confused than ever and focus instead on solving the issues we are all facing over housing, infrastructure and skills shortages.”

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 ...