Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Dear all

We would like to reassure you all, that UNISON will be here for you during these difficult times ahead. The office will still be open but at reduced times and days, if you do need us the best option is to call or email first to save you a wasted trip, but your first point of contact should always be your local steward. Their contact details can be found at if for some reason they are not available then please contact one of us listed below.

There are going to be many challenges ahead of us all and you may be asked to do things differently from your normal daily tasks. We know that you all will rise to the challenge’s that will come. If you are asked to support another roll or support another area and are or unhappy or concerned about it then please talk to your manager in the first instance, if you still have concerns please contact us and we will do our best to help.

Oxford City Council staff are well known for great public service in times of need never has there been a time when  we all need to pull together and support each other.

Lastly, We just want to say stay safe all of you.



0800 0 857 857

In Solidarity

On Behalf of Oxford City Branch of UNISON

Monday, 2 March 2020




Our current pay deal expires at the end of March 2021, therefore this year UNISON and Unite officers will be starting to negotiate a new pay deal for Oxford City Council and Oxford Direct Services colleagues to be effective from April 2021.

We, therefore, need to have input from all Trade Union members, via this survey, to guide us in the negotiations. Please complete the survey online using via this LINK  or using a paper copy available from your steward which can then be returned to your workplace reps/steward or via the ballot boxes or to the UNISON office in the Town Hall or the Unite office at Horspath

We kindly ask all Oxford City Council and Oxford Direct Services trade Union, members to take part in this survey as the results will help your Unions to shape the deal going forward.

Colleagues who are not a member of either of the Unions, Unite and UNISON cannot take part in this consultation, however joining either of the unions will enable those colleagues to have their say.

Just as a reminder the final year of the existing pay deal will see an increase in salary as from April this year 2020

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Covid-19 - guidance for UNISON members

UNISON has been working with the relevant government departments to help ensure public services and public service workers are prepared and equipped to deal with Covid-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus.

Guidance for hospitals and NHS staff was published this week by NHS employers, UNISON, and other health unions. The aim of this is to ensure staff know exactly what to do with individuals who are concerned they have the virus and how to treat patients, with minimal risk to themselves. The guidance also seeks to reassure both health employees and the public, alerting everyone to be vigilant to prevent the wider spread of the virus.

Advice has also been issued by the Department for Education for schools and school workers. UNISON has issued additional advice for branches and activists should you become aware of any schools closed following suspected instances of Covid-19.

These sensible contingency plans will help reassure staff and the public that public services are fully prepared for any eventuality. Encouraging individuals to take everyday precautions is essential. But so is the need not to panic or feel unduly alarmed. Being fully prepared now could make the world of difference later.

Advice for anyone concerned they have developed symptoms of Covid-19 can be found on the NHS website.
As more advice becomes available for other areas, we will do all we can to make sure branches and activists have the information they need to respond to this fast moving situation.

How to deal with Coronavirus or COVID–19

Everyone's talking about how to deal with Coronavirus or COVID–19. One suggestion is to stay away from work if you're feeling unwell. But many people don't get sick pay for the first three days, so could you do that if you had to? Check out our advice on Coronavirus or COVID–19 and sick pay

­čöĚSick pay - negotiating guidance for workplaces
­čöĚSick leave and sick pay - your rights
­čöĚCoronavirus - guidance for hospitals and NHS staff

Join a union. Get active #joinUNISON

Friday, 28 February 2020

Friday, 7 February 2020

Update your details today

We can only keep in touch with you if we know where you are!
There are several easy ways to keep your workplace, home address and other details up to date…
  • Online at MyUNISON on the UK site by clicking here.
  • Email the branch at
  • By phone…
    01865 25 3892
    (08.30 – 16.00 Monday to Thursday and 08.30 to 15.00 on Fridays.
    Or UNISONdirect 0800 0 857 857
    Or freephone textphone 0800 0 967 968
    Lines are open 6am-midnight Monday-Friday and 9am-4pm Saturdays

Thursday, 6 February 2020

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. 

And it works too well.

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn't realize how much they've been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind. 

1. They tell blatant lies.
You know it's an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they're setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you're not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal. 
2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof. 
You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs. 
3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition. 
They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you'd be a worthy person if only you didn't have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being. 
4. They wear you down over time.
This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often...and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It's the "frog in the frying pan" analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what's happening to it. 
5. Their actions do not match their words.
When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are sayingWhat they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue. 
6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you. 
This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don't have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, "Well maybe they aren't so bad." Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also, look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter. 
7. They know confusion weakens people. 
Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans' natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.  
8. They project.
They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter's own behaviour. 
9. They try to align people against you.
Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, "This person knows that you're not right," or "This person knows you're useless too." Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don't know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that's exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.
10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.
This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter because it's dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It's a master technique.  
11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.
By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You've never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It's a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the "correct" information—which isn't correct information at all.
If you need support UNISON are here 24/7 to help.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Branch Women’s Officer @ Oxford City Branch of UNISON

Branch Women’s Officer Post

The branch women’s officer (BWO) offers the opportunity to bring about important changes for women in the workplace. 

UNISON will provide a bespoke suite of Women’s Training Courses as preparation and ongoing support for the role, and the BWO can network and work collaboratively with other branch women’s officers in their area. They can become involved in, and receive support from, the  South East Regional Women’s Committee, attend national women’s conference and help UNISON agree its work plan priorities for the national women’s committee.

The branch women’s officer’s role (which can be job shared) includes:

  • Building links with women’s sector organizations and where appropriate signposting to specialist organizations for women (domestic abuse/Rape Crisis) and assisting in negotiations on employer policies on violence against women.

  • Ensuring that the branch has a wide range of resources for women, such as books, videos and leaflets, and making these resources accessible to all women in the branch.

  • Organizing a women’s group and identifying concerns.

  • Identifying women members of the branch, and liaising with the branch committee on progress towards proportionality.

  • Being a focal point for women’s issues for members and raising issues affecting women, particularly those with service conditions implications with the branch committee.

  • Supporting women in their issues generally and campaigning on issues that are important to women.


Contact your Unison Branch Secretary for guidance on how to proceed.

Sunday, 26 January 2020


Heart UNISON is part of Heart Unions Week, a national event organised by the TUC to celebrate unions and make sure everyone knows why we’re vital at work.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Annual General Meeting

The following are the arrangements for the Annual General Meeting of the branch and details of the elections that will be held in this branch.

The AGM will be held on:
Friday 28th February 2020
15:00 – 16:00
In the Long Room
Oxford Town Hall
St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1BX

The AGM is open to all members and its function is to allow an opportunity for members to receive reports from Branch Officers/Stewards on the performance of the branch in the previous year, including the campaigns that we have been involved with, our services to members and the branch accounts. Members have an opportunity to ask questions about reports that are submitted including the financial accounts of the branch.

Motions/Amendments to Branch Rules
As a full member you are entitled to submit motions and amendments to branch rules to the AGM so that they can be debated,  For a motion to be competent the subject must be relevant to the functions of the branch and be submitted in time for its inclusion on the agenda of the AGM. The final date for motions to be submitted is 12 noon, Friday 31 January 2020.

Election of Branch Officers/Stewards etc
This AGM also endorses the election of Branch Officers and stewards for the forthcoming year 2020/21. if you would like to stand please click the quick link on the right hand side of the page.

All existing stewards and Branch Officers who wish to continue in their role for a further year should return a nomination form.

Any full member of the union can stand for election to any of the Branch Officer Positions (except for the Labour Link Officer who must be a member of the Labour Party), subject to obtaining the appropriate number of members to support the nomination.

Nominations should be received at the Branch Office no later than 12 noon on Friday 07 February 2020. In the event of there being more than one nomination for any officer post a ballot will be held of all full members to determine the successful candidate, in the case of Labour Link Officer any election will be held of Labour Link members only

Branch AGM and Election Timetable
1. Motions, Rule Amendments, to be received by 12 noon on Friday 31 January 2020
2. Branch Officer Nominations, Steward nominations etc. to be received by 12 noon on Friday 07 February 2020
3. Monday 17 February 2020 Ballots papers issued, if required
4. Final Agenda published Monday 24 February 2020
5. AGM - Friday 28th February 2020, subject to the meetings being quorate.

Join us for a free cheese and wine available from 16:00. Tea and coffee will also be provided from 14:00

Finally, just to remind you that our union is a democratic organisation that is member led and the AGM and election process is important in ensuring that the union is and remains accountable to its members, not just for its policies and its activities but also in determining those members who will go on and speak for the union and our members. We therefore encourage you to play a full part in the process and to ask your colleagues to do likewise.

I look forward to seeing you on 28 February

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Each new year is a chance to look forwards as well as back

Your union will always be there to stand up for you, every single day of this new decade

Each new year is a chance to look forwards as well as back. To plan for the future, but also to reflect on the year that’s behind us.
2020 marks not just a new year, but a new decade – and one that brings with it a great deal of uncertainty. The election that brought 2019 to a close ensures that we will leave the EU in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have been elected on a wafer thin manifesto that leaves us all in the dark about what comes after Brexit, especially when it comes to public services.
However you voted in last year’s election, I know that you understand more than anyone the pressures that the services you provide are under. 2020 will be another challenging year for public services, but I also know that there’s no group of people I’d trust more than UNISON members to care for, protect and educate our communities through the difficult times.
In return, I promise that your union will always be there to stand up for you, every single day of this new decade.

Read the full story here

Never Again - Lessons of the Holocaust exhibition opening rally

Craig Simmons, Lord Mayor of Oxford
Naomi Clayden, Oxford Jewish Congregation
and Oxford Stand Up To Racism

The Never Again Lessons of the Holocaust education exhibition will run from Saturday 18th January until Monday 27th January inclusive. Opening times: Mon - Fri 10-6pm, Saturdays 10-5pm, Sundays – Closed.

The exhibition is organised by Oxford Stand Up To Racism is supported by: Oxford Jewish Congregation, Oxford City Council, Oxford Unite Against Fascism, Oxford Love Music Hate Racism, Oxford & District Trades Council, Oxfordshire Unison Health, CWU South Central Postal, PCS DWP Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Oxford Unite SE/6232, Oxfordshire NEU, Oxfordshire County UNISON, Henley CLP, with more support expected.

The Holocaust fundamentally challenged the foundations of civilization and serves as a warning of the horror that fascism can unleash. The magnitude of the Holocaust, planned and carried out by the Nazis, must be forever seared in our collective memory. The Nazis "Final Solution" saw the extermination of 6 million Jews in an attempt to ethnically cleanse Europe of all Jews. The terrible suffering of the many millions of other victims of the Nazis has left an indelible scar across Europe as well.

This event is organised by Oxford Stand Up To Racism as part of a national campaign to oppose the rise in racism and racist attacks, and combat attempts by fascists to rehabilitate their dangerous politics. We are working with other groups to organise protests across the world on UN Anti-racism day on March 21st 2020. We urge everyone who wishes to free the world of racism and the threat of fascism to join the national march in London.

To book seats on the Oxford transport visit:

The antiracist movement needs your support in 2020. Please make a donation to Stand Up To Racism:

Time to listen STAY AT HOME