Showing posts with label your UNISON. Show all posts
Showing posts with label your UNISON. Show all posts

Thursday 2 March 2023

Why the country can afford your pay rise


As UNISON members prepare for a fifth day of strikes in England on 8 March – with thousands more health workers preparing to join the action – the government stubbornly refuses to engage in talks with all the health unions or to consider improving its miserly pay award.

And all the while, Rishi Sunak and his ministers peddle the same lies and misinformation, to distract from their simple failure to do the right thing. UNISON policy officer Guy Collis applies a scalpel to some of their worst fictions.

Myth: Increasing NHS pay will fuel inflation

Fact: Economic organizations such as the International Monetary Fund have found little evidence that raising pay will lead to the “wage price spiral” that conservative commentators fear. The real crisis is in pay and living standards, which not only directly affects health workers but, by reducing workers’ purchasing power, also damages local economies and the UK’s wider growth prospects.

Myth: The government does not have the money for bigger pay rises

Fact: Figures show that the government recorded a budget surplus of more than £5bn in the month of January 2023. In addition, government borrowing is currently £30bn less than predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility. So the money is there; it just needs government to make health workers its priority.

Myth: All parts of the economy are having to accept cutbacks in the current crisis

Fact: Recent weeks have seen huge profits reported by banks and energy and oil companies. For example, British Gas owner Centrica reported record profits of £3.3bn, while BP and Shell combined to make an eye-watering £55bn in the past year. So while some firms are making money from the spike in energy costs, NHS staff and other workers are left to pay the price. In addition, bankers’ bonuses are once again set to run into billions, regardless of performance.

Myth: No government could afford to increase pay for NHS staff  

Fact: Rishi Sunak does not need to look far for a different approach to disputes over NHS pay. Governments in Wales and Scotland have shown that there is an alternative to the intransigence of the Westminster government. In both nations more money has been found for health staff as a way of attempting to bring disputes to an end.

Myth: The Pay Review Body decides what staff should be paid, so the government’s hands are tied

Fact: As it always does, the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) made a recommendation to the government for an NHS pay award for 2022/23. Ministers can and have responded differently, in different years, to the PRB, on issues such as whether to implement recommendations in full or in part, or whether to delay or stage recommended pay awards. For example, in 2008-10 and again in 2018-2020 the government settled NHS pay outside of the PRB process.

Governments have also previously chosen to top up PRB recommendations when necessary. So, NHS pay remains the responsibility of the government, however much it might seek to hide behind the pay review body process.

Myth: Health staff have already received a generous pay rise for 2022/23

Fact: At the start of 2022 UNISON and the other health unions asked ministers to short-cut the lengthy PRB process and make a swift inflation-proof pay rise to all NHS staff, to be implemented from April that year. Instead, the government waited until late July to announce the award of £1,400 that the PRB had recommended in May – and health workers did not receive the increase until September. Not only had the government failed to match the unions’ pay claim, but what was offered at this late date was quickly swallowed up by rocketing energy bills.

Myth: The government has started meaningful pay talks with the trade unions

Fact: Health workers in five unions, including UNISON, are involved in industrial action over NHS pay. But last week it emerged that the government had invited the RCN for pay talks, but not the other unions. Choosing to speak to just one of the unions will not be sufficient to stop the strikes taking place and such divisive action risks making a bad situation even worse.

Myth: The unions are responsible for escalating the NHS pay dispute

Fact: Rather than entering early talks with the unions or engaging with all trade unions in the current dispute, the government has embarked on draconian new anti-strike legislation which it is seeking to rush through Parliament with minimal scrutiny. The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill has been attacked by politicians from across the political spectrum, with the government’s own impact assessment admitting that it could make disruption worse by forcing staff to opt for other forms of industrial action, such as overtime bans. Regrettably, the government continues to favour provocation over negotiation.

Myth: The public does not support health staff taking action to improve their pay

Fact: Opinion polls continue to show resounding levels of support for striking health workers. This is in stark contrast to public attitudes to the government’s handling of the NHS: a recent report suggests that just 8% of people in England think the UK government has the right policies for the NHS.

Myth: NHS staff have been protected from the worst of austerity in the past decade

Fact: Recent analysis from the TUC shows that hundreds of thousands of NHS workers have lost at least “a year’s worth of salary” because their pay has not kept pace with inflation since 2010. In addition to deteriorating living standards, health workers have worked through the worst pandemic for a century, and the most recent NHS staff survey found that nearly half the workforce had felt unwell as a result of work-related stress at some point in the past year.

Little surprise, then, that the NHS in England is currently struggling with unprecedented staff vacancies of 133,000.

Please Note Oxford City are note part of national pay negations at this time and have a local pay agreement in place  

Tuesday 8 December 2020

A new collective agreement on 2021 pay for Oxford City staff

To all members of Oxford City Branch of UNISON

UNISON has successfully reached an agreement with the Council following several negotiation meetings with Branch Secretaries, on a new collective agreement which will come into effect from 1st April 2021.

The current three-year local pay collective agreement is due to finish next year, at the end of March 2021. In the midst of this, members have worked hard and tirelessly throughout one of the most difficult periods in living memory. We felt that this could not go unrecognised.

It has never been a more important time to be a member of UNISON.

The significant challenges that COVID-19 has placed on all of us also presents a challenge on the medium-term financial plans of both Oxford City Council and ODS. 

In spite of this, Oxford City Branch of UNISON on behalf of its members, have negotiated a one-year agreement following a meeting with the Council and ODS on 25 November 2020.

This one-year pay deal is effective from 1 April 2021 and will give members:

●            A one-off consolidated ‘Recognition’ payment of £400.00 to all staff on permanent or fixed-term contracts of not less than six months at 1 April 2021;

●            Which will be paid on 1 April 2021;

●            With no conditions attached to the payment.

A number of areas were also touched upon by UNISON during these negotiations, such as:

●            Organisational change/ re-deployment;

●            Flexible working – including the homeworking allowance;

●            And grading arrangements for senior roles.

This modest offer precedes ongoing and future negotiations on a more comprehensive pay deal for 2022 – 2023 that UNISON will have with the Council and ODS on your behalf.

UNISON’s strength is through its members.

We welcome and encourage others to join a growing family of more than 1.4 million people across the UK.


On behalf of UNISON Branch Committee

Thursday 3 December 2020

We need your input and views so we can increasing participation

The UNISON South East region is committed to increasing participation in all of its decision making structures. We want all areas of our membership to be fully represented and have their voices heard on the issues that matter to them. In response to a regional policy agreed at this year's AGM, we are consulting with all branches and Self Organised Groups and reviewing our structures and ways of working.

We have developed a questionnaire which allows you to feedback on what the barriers to participation are, and give suggestions to how we may be able to do things differently to make it easier for you and others to get more involved. Please take the time to complete this survey and help us shape the outcome of this review. The findings of the survey will be considered by the working group and will result in recommendations to the Regional Council AGM in 2022.

Here’s the link for the questionnaire, it should take less than 5 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is open for one month, until 6 January 2021. 

Monday 27 July 2020

General Secretary election 2020: timetable agreed

The union's National Executive Council at a meeting on 23 July 2020, agreed a timetable for the election of the post of general secretary.

Full details and procedures are available:
Details and Procedures (PDF)
Nomination period
The nomination period will run from 10 August to 25 September 2020.

Any meetings held to agree a nomination must take place between these dates.

All nominating bodies will receive an email from Civica Election Services on 10 August with details about how nominations can be submitted.
Any ballot will run from 28 October to 27 November 2020.

Any results will be issued on 11 January 2021.
Eligibility to vote
All members, including retired members (but not honorary members), who are on the union's membership register as of 28 July 2020, will be entitled to vote in this election.

Members not on the membership register on 28 July 2020 will not be able to vote.
Returning Officer and Scrutineer
The returning officer and scrutineer for this election is Civica Election Services.
Email: Tel: 020 8365 8909
Any complaint about the conduct or fairness of this election must be received no later than 5pm on 4 December 2020. Complaints must be in writing and should enclose any supporting documentation.

Complaints should be sent to Civica Election Services.

Any queries on this information or this election should be directed to the Member Liaison Unit at the UNISON centre.

Email: Tel: 020 7121 5399

Monday 13 July 2020

Equality Survey 2020 COVID-19

Tell us about your experiences during the coronavirus pandemic.
The results will be used to direct our work with government, employers and others in keeping workers safe and fighting for better conditions at work.

If you complete the survey and give us your email address, you will be entered into a prize draw to win up to £100 worth of shopping vouchers. 
Share your experiences

Saturday 18 April 2020

A thought for the weekend

I'll tell you a tale, that's been recently written.
Of a powerful army, so Great it saved Britain.
They didn't have bombs & they didn't have planes.
They fought with their hearts & they fought with their brains.
They didn't have bullets, armed just with a mask.
We sent them to war, with one simple task.
To show us the way, to lead & inspire us.
To protect us from harm & fight off the virus.
It couldn't be stopped by our bullet proof vests.
An invisible enemy invaded our chests.
So we called on our weapon, our soldiers in Blue.
"All Doctors, All Nurses, Your Country needs you".
We clapped on our streets, hearts bursting with pride.
As they went off to war, while we stayed inside.
They struggled at first, as they searched for supplies.
But they stared down the virus, in the whites of its eyes.
They leaped from the trenches & didn't think twice.
Some never came back, the ultimate price.
So tired, so weary, yet still they fought on.
As the virus was beaten & the battle was won.
So many of us, owe so much, to so few.
The brave & the bold, our heroes in Blue.
So let's line the streets & remember our debt.
We love you, our heroes. Lest we forget.🌈

Friday 17 April 2020

Thank you from ODS

ODS workers thanked

Refuse collectors at ODS have been receiving thanks from our residents for their continued delivery of the collection service. We sent out our filmmaker, Sharon Woodward, to film the collectors’ appreciation. Please take a look at the resulting video 

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

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 19 December 2019

UNISON support over Christmas

UNISONDirect opening times 
Monday to Friday: 6 am-midnight
  • Saturday: 10 am-4 pm
  • Sunday: Closed

Christmas and New Year opening hours:

Monday 23 December: Normal hours, as above
Christmas Eve: 6am to 3pm
Christmas Day and Boxing Day: Closed
27 to 30 December: Normal hours, as above
New Year’s Eve: 6am to 3pm
New Year’s Day: Closed

Tuesday 17 December 2019

The Twelve Myths of Christmas

Christmas is a special time of year. Even so, it doesn't stop health and safety being - wrongly - cited as a reason for preventing pretty harmless activities from going ahead. Not only does this needlessly ruin the festive spirit but it also trivialises the true purpose of health and safety: protecting people from real risks at, or connected with, work.
In the run up to Christmas we will publish the top twelve festive myths, gifted to HSE from media reports and correspondence received.

Sunday 3 November 2019

Wednesday 11 September 2019

'No More Dirty Money' campaign

Oxford City Branch of UNISON is inviting staff to vote in the 'No More Dirty Money' campaign. Should we divest our pension scheme from fossil fuels? Ballots in the kitchen areas at St Aldate's Chambers.

Thursday 1 August 2019

Missed talking mental health?

Don’t worry catch up the webinar recording of Chris O’Sullivan from the Mental Health Foundation discussing practical ways for union reps to promote good mental health in the workplace.

it is just a click away Webinar 

Tuesday 30 July 2019

local service champions

A huge network of people work together to keep our local communities going. Yet very few of us probably recognise the vital local services that we come into contact with everyday. It’s time to give our local service champions the recognition they deserve.

Friday 26 July 2019

Universal Credit scams

Citizens Advice Oxford and Oxford City Council are warning Oxford residents against Universal Credit scams that could leave them seriously out of pocket.

If someone asks for your personal details and says they can get you a government grant or a cheap loan for a fee, it's a scam - and you could end up on Universal Credit as a result. For more info, see our joint release with…

UNISON is proud to be unique among unions in having a dedicated charity, There for You, which supports our members when life gets tough

All UNISON members are eligible for complimentary financial reviews which can take place at home, over the phone or at work so don't take the risk without seeking advice from us if you need our help we are just a click away. 
If you are a member and you are experiencing financial difficulties, whatever the circumstances, There for You can offer you support.
To get help and support just click one of the links below or Check our easy to use benefits calculator to find out if you could be entitled to claim additional benefits.

Financial assistance

Universal credit and other benefits

General advice

UNISON will never be too big or busy to care and support you when ever you need us all you need to do is ask

There for You give vital assistance to people in need in the form of debt advice, listening and support, financial assistance, breaks and holidays, and personal advice.

2024 Levellers' Day

  Oxford & District Trades Union Council has booked a coach from Oxford to Burford for Levellers' Day on Saturday, 18 May 2024.   We...