Bolton Council joint trades unions are calling on all workers to attend this important meeting on 16th February. This meeting will be attended by the leader of the council, Cllr Cliff Morris and his cabinet, made up of 13 Labour councillors.
They will be voting on our future as workers and for many citizens of this town.The Council plans are to cut services, reduce demand and set up arms length companies. Our fear for the future is that Bolton will become a commissioning council where the majority of services will be outsourced and only a small number of directly employed, mainly senior officers will remain as commissioning and monitoring officers.
We are calling on all council workers to wear black on this day to signify the darkness of the cuts facing us.
NOTE: You cannot attend this meeting in works time so please book your flexi, TOIL or annual leave now.
Our main concerns are:
Outsourcing adult social care and creating a two tier workforce
As much as £3m for private consultants, senior managers & secondments to help to implement the cuts
A further £17m cuts are expected in 2018
Our concern is that the next round of cuts will see services made leaner ready for privatisation Further increases in workloads and stress as jobs are cut & our colleagues are made redundant
If you can’t attend the meeting we are asking you to wear black on this day and do two things
Bolton Council is making £43m cuts; it plans to create a two tier workforce in adult social care and 500 job losses right across the council.
Follow this link to contact your MP and councillor.
UNISON Winter Fuel Grant 2015
UNISON is once again offering its winter fuel grant to members who may be struggling to meet their heating costs this winter. The following eligibility criteria apply:
· You must have paid at least four weeks subscriptions before 8 December 2014 to be eligible for consideration.
· You do not have savings in excess of £800 (this includes a rolling balance in your bank account).
· No one in your household has received a grant from UNISON There for you in the last six months
· Household net income (excluding Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)) is less than £18,000 pa.
You will not be eligible for a grant if your household NET income is greater than £18,000
Only ONE application per household will be considered and the maximum grant is £40. Cheques will be made payable to the applicant.
• There is a limited amount in the winter fuel grants fund and once exhausted no further awards can be made. Priority will be given to those who have not previously applied.
• Applications must be received no later than 13 February 2015. Applications will then be processed and decisions communicated over the following few weeks.
Please find the application form attached – there will some available in the Branch Office. Alternatively, if anyone would like a copy printed out and sent to them (or multiple copies sent out to a workplace) please get in touch with the Branch.
Please remember too that if any members are struggling financially or experiencing debt issues, There For You can offer support, debt advice and financial assistance all year round – for example in 2012 they allocated 4,000 grants totalling £750,000. The Branch has a Welfare Officer who can support members and help submit an application for assistance; if you would like to make an appointment with her then please contact the Branch.
The UNISON Welfare Debtline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - freephone 0800 389 3302 or members can access the free online Payplan tools to help them come up with their own plan.
Union's wishlist for improving Bolton in 2015
BOLTON’S biggest union has released its own set of new year’s resolutions for political parties ahead of the general election.
The Bolton branch of Unison, the public service trade union, is calling for Britain to be taken in a fresh political and economic direction in 2015.
They say they will lobby Bolton’s councillors and MPs to support their agenda, which includes more investment in local authorities and transport, tackling tax avoidance and fraud and scrapping the "bedroom tax". MORE
AGM 2015 Timetable
AGM Weds 4th March @ 12.00pm
|Friday 12th December||Deadline for Officer Reports (to include pictures)|
|Friday 12th December||Deadline for motions and rule amendments|
|W/C 26th January||Absolute deadline for papers at branch office – gives 3 – 4 weeks to stuff envelopes, frank and post.|
|January||Stewards papers to include Officer nominations, stewards form and conference delegates form|
|Monday 5th January||Nominations for Stewards, Officers Post and Conference Delegates open|
|Thursday 5th February||Stewards Committees to elect Convenors|
|Monday 23rd February||Deadline for papers / bulletin to land on members doorsteps|
|Friday 27th February||Close of nomination for Officer Posts and Conference delegates|
Barnet Care Workers strike 22& 23 January 2015
Published on 15 Jan 2015 This short video provides a snap shot of past and present challenges for all of our members this year and beyond. Council services across the UK are facing Armageddon with the funding cuts contained within the Autumn Statement. Our branch will do what we can locally but this needs a nationally coordinated trade union response.
UNISON member gets car crash payout
A social worker who suffered nerve and soft tissue damage as a result of a road traffic accident unrelated to her job has secured £3,105 in compensation. The 64-year-old from Somerset was driving on the B3128 outside of Bristol, when another driver suddenly drove into the rear of her car, propelling her forward into a vehicle in front. Her car was severely damaged and as a result of the collision she suffered nerve and soft tissue injuries to the base of her spine. In the weeks that followed, the UNISON member found that her injuries affected her personal, social and work life as she was unable to exercise or lift, and she needed two weeks off work whilst she recovered. Investigations by lawyers brought in by UNISON found that the incident was the result of the other driver’s failure to pay sufficient attention to the road. The defendant driver admitted liability and compensation was secured. UNISON regional secretary Joanne Kaye said: “This was a frightening road accident that was caused by one driver’s failure to pay attention to the road. Her membership of UNISON ensured that she had access to specialist lawyers who were able to secure her 100 per cent of her compensation.”
IMPORTANT MEETINGS DATES 2015
Activists Meeting – Save our Services
(Union members /retired members, Support groups, Bolton against the bedroom tax)
Friday 9th January -12 noon – Socialist Club
Public meeting - run by Bolton council about the cuts
The Library Theatre - Le Mans Crescent Tuesday 13 January from 6.30-8.30pm
Council meetings - Lobbying
Monday 16th February 2pm Cabinet Meeting – Festival Hall
Wednesday 25th February 7pm Council Meeting – Council Chambers
For further details contact Martin McMulkin via unison branch 338901
Dates for Special LG Conference 2015
Dates for Special LG Conference (11:00 am until 4:30 pm, Tues 24th March, The Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3EE
|Deadline for submission of motions||06 February 2015 at 12:00|
|Publication of preliminary agenda||16 February 2015 at 17:00|
|Deadline for submission of delegates||02 March 2015 at 17:00|
|Deadline for creche places and reasonable adjustment requests for access||09 March 2015 at 17:00|
|Deadline for submission of amendments||11 March 2015 at 12:00|
|Publication of final agenda||19 March 2015 at 17:00|
|Deadline for submitting change of delegates||19 March 2015 at 17:00|
Download nomination form
Shared parental leave became law on 1st December 2014
A new shared parental leave (ShPL) and pay system applying to parents and adopters of children due or adopted on or after 5 April 2015, is set to be introduced. Mothers, fathers and adopters can opt to share parental leave around their child’s birth or placement.
UNISON very much welcomes the introduction of shared parental leave as the new system will allow parents and adopters more flexibility in how they care for their child during the first year.
Eligible mothers and fathers will have the right to share up to 52 weeks’ leave to care for their child (minus the period that the mother has spent on maternity leave) and up to 37 weeks’ shared parental pay (paid at the same rate as statutory maternity pay).
The regulations came into force on 1 December 2014 and apply to parents and adopters of children due, or adopted, on or after 5 April 2015.
The government intends to publish further guidance on how the system will work in practice, but in the meantime employers will need to prepare shared parental leave policies and amend their existing maternity, paternity and adoption policies, to take account of the new system.
Employers that currently provide enhanced maternity pay and benefits will also need to consider how they propose to structure any enhanced shared parental pay and benefits.
Please contact your workplace steward for more information
Fracking Conference Blackpool 30th January 2015
Colleagues the GMB North West & Irish region will be holding a 1 day conference in Blackpool on Fracking on Friday January 30th 2015, we will be hearing from both sides of the argument ie anti fracking and the Industry, as Lancashire seems to be the epi centre of everything Fracking it should be quite an interesting day,
The conference is by invitation only and if you wish to attend could you please contact either my secretary Pippa Atherton at email@example.com or by direct phone line 0161-622-4997 or myself on the number below to register, once registered further details will be sent nearer the time
kind regards Neil
Regional Political Officer
GMB Trade Union
North West & Irish Region
Bolton Unison supports the NHS Organ Donation campaign
Most people say they would accept organ donation for themselves or their family & most people say they would register as an organ donor if someone asked.
Registering as an Organ Donor is easy – simply follow the link below...
Holiday pay too low? Act now
Two recent legal cases on holiday pay could mean that UNISON members may have claims for underpayment if they did not receive their normal pay when on annual leave
Lock vs British Gas - additional payments for annual leave periods
Joan Pritchard-Jones Retirement
Bernadette Gallagher Branch Secretary presenting Joan with a bouquet of flowers.
UNISON Adult Services Convenor, Joan Pritchard-Jones, retired at the end of October. Joan has worked in Adult Social Care for nearly 30 years. She first started work as a Home Care worker in 1986 before transferring to work at The Merton, Extra Care Housing Scheme three years later. Throughout Joan’s working life she has been an active union representative and a popular colleague and friend to a great many people across the department.
Read it HERE
Workshop for Parent-Carers and Practitioners
Parent Participation workshops – being offered to both parent carers and practitioners delivered by the brilliant Caroline Cuerdon Tomlinson from ‘My Life’. These set of workshops will take you a journey of a life time and shouldn’t be missed. The dates are 12th, 19th, 26th January then 9th 23rd February and 2nd March (you will need to commit to the six sessions to get the best possible outcome) 9.45pm – 2.45pm (Venue to be confirmed).
To book a place or for any information please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07909187121
Unison Equalities Lead for People with Disability and Life Long Learning Officer
Winter programme from Zac’s
For all young people with special educational needs and disabilities aged 10 - 25 yrs. Read it HERE
Healthcare assistant violently attacked at work
A healthcare assistant, who was attacked by a patient with a known history of aggression, has been awarded an undisclosed sum in compensation. When answering the ward doorbell, the UNISON member was grabbed and thrown two metres across the room by the patient, who suffers from schizophrenia. The healthcare assistant landed heavily on the floor, fracturing her left wrist and finger. She was forced to take five months off work to recover from her injuries, during which time she relied on help from friends and family as she was unable to drive. She also spent four weeks in plaster and had a course of physiotherapy lasting 13 weeks. The patient who attacked her had a history of violence and aggression. He should not have been on the ward as the staff at the hospital had not been given sufficient training on how to deal with a patient who posed such a danger. On the day of the incident the patient had refused to take his medication. UNISON's head of health Christina McAnea said: “Nobody should experience violence at work, but unfortunately it does happen, and the risk of exposure for people working in certain areas of the health service is becoming more common. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that staff are protected, or at the very least have adequate training, to deal with what can sometimes be very dangerous working environments.”
Read it HERE
The Hoot Speedy Loan
Exclusively for Bolton at Home and Bolton Council employees
The Hoot Speedy Loan offers you the ability to borrow up to £400 without high interest charges or hidden fees. As a responsible lender we want to help you avoid the cost, panic and stress that may come from using a payday lender when that unexpected expense occurs.
Speedy Loans are typically paid with 3 monthly payments, helping you get your finances back on track.
To be eligible for a Hoot Speedy Loan you must*:
· Be over the age of 18
· Be an employee of either Bolton at Home or Bolton Council
· Have a bank account
· Have access to an email account
· Have a debit card for repayment
Apply by 3.00pm Monday to Friday and we guarantee a decision within 2 working days.
Representative Example: £400 Speedy Loan over 3 months
3 monthly repayments of £141.42
Total charge for credit £24.24@
Total repaid £424.24
Representative APR% 42.6%
Compare that to a typical payday loan that could have an APR% of over 5800%!
*Please note that meeting these criteria does not guarantee acceptance.
@Total credit charges paid will depend on date of first repayment.
To find out how to apply and to download the application form, go to http://www.wisewithmoney.org.uk/speedy/
Speedy Loans are intended for short term occasional use only and shouldn’t be used to manage existing debt or if you’re already feeling the strain financially. You should be sure that you can afford the repayments before applying for the loan.
For more information visit the Hoot website<http://www.wisewithmoney.org.uk/speedy/>
David Crausby MP backs Ethical Care Campaign.
There has been a great deal of news coverage recently about the use of zero hours contracts and calls for the minimum wage to be replaced by a ‘living wage’. These are huge issues within social care services for elderly and disabled people. There have been also been major concerns about the increased reliance on 15 minute care visits. Short pop-in visits mean that vulnerable and isolated people will have care that is rushed and lacking indignity. UNISON argues that quality care cannot be provided on the cheap – it needs investment. UNISON nationally has launched a campaign for local councils to sign up the Ethical Care Charter. Bolton Unison has launched a local e-petition calling on Bolton Council to support the Ethical Care Charter. David Crausby MP for Bolton North East has agreed to give this his full support. For further details and to sign the petition please follow the link below.
The Bolton Unison epetition can be found at:
Strike Day Photos
Please help support The Not Shop
Help support Bolton at Home Not Shop by donating any unused / unwanted school uniforms
We are collecting any item of local school uniform ( or uniform minus logos) which will be placed in the Not Shop, Breightmet for our customers to swap or use.
The Not Shop has been set up as part of a staff Risky Business suggestion and in conjunction with a local charity will not only provide much needed school uniform for the local community but also provide volunteer opportunities for our tenants and customers…
Please dig out those unused and unwanted school clothes ( shoes , wellies ) and place in a plastic bag ready for collection on Friday 27th June .
Drop Off Locations
Valley House – 1st Floor Windsor room, 2nd Floor flowers room
Riverside Ferns room
Any Bolton at Home UCAN centre
Keep Volunteering Voluntary
UNISON and several charities are opposing the introduction of government-sanctioned Community Work Placements in its ‘help to work’ scheme which began in April. Government rules makes it compulsory for a long term claimant to either do "intensive" coaching, meet an adviser every day, or do a community work placement. The Community programme requires participants to take on unpaid community-based work experience placement of up to 30 hours each week for up to six months. UNISON has pledged its opposition to the use of “workfare” in the charity sector and has signed up to the Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign. The government scheme has faced heavy criticism for not offering real opportunities for the unemployed, and creating a scheme which does nothing more than falsify real unemployment figures. http://www.keepvolunteeringvoluntary.net/
Bolton says - Stop violence against women !
The Branch Committee of Bolton Unison which is made up of union stewards, convenors and branch officers recently gave its support to the campaigns to stop violence against women. A branch committee resolution noted the case of Pakistani woman, Farzana Parveen who was stoned to death in May this year. The incident took place outside a courthouse in Lahore for the perceived crime of choosing her own husband – against the wishes of her family. Violence against women is recognised by the United Nations as a worldwide problem - "There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable" (Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon).
The Unity Warehouse Discount Club
Save money and time The Unity Warehouse Discount Club on Home phone, broadband, mobile, gas and electricity.
We will be looking to have a local representative down at the branch to discuss how they can save you money – watch this space !! alternatively click on the page and make contact with the rep Emma Saunders Tel: 07828697092
Bolton Council Golf Society - no joining fees for Unison members in 2014
We are offering Unison members free membership for the 2014 season (fee usually £5.00), please note that the offer is not open to anyone who is or has previously been a society member, proof of Unison membership will be required).
We have members at various levels so you don’t need to be Luke Donald to come and have some fun with the emphasis being on fun rather than being over competitive.
We usually hold 8 events a year, 1 a month from March to October, playing local courses whenever possible with events varying from full events (27 holes with breakfast, lunch and an evening meal) to smaller events (18 holes with breakfast and lunch), the society caps the prices of events with full day events never costing more than £40. There are prizes at each event for nearest the pin and longest drive, members compete for the Members Shield and The Massey. The society is non-profit making with any profits being donated to Bolton Hospice.
The April event on 25.04.14 is being held at Great Lever and Farnworth Golf Club, for £35 you will get 30 holes of golf, breakfast, lunch and evening meal plus competition entry. Deposits of £20 are now being taken, for further information or an application form please e-mail email@example.com
“A tale of Bob in Barnet”
The “A Tale of Bob in Barnet” provides an insight into the challenges facing Barnet UNISON and our members. Many of the challenges we are facing are no different to what other trade unions and community campaigns have been facing since the Coalition government unleashed Austerity in our workplaces, our homes, our services.
The health and safety of older workers
The New Local Government Pension Scheme (England and Wales)
The new LGPS started on 1 April 2014 in line with an agreement between the unions, employers and the government. This briefing provides a summary of the benefits and protections that are now laid down in law.
Government under fire for outsourcing scandalsThe Government’s ability to negotiate and manage contracts with outsourcing providers has been criticised in damning report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). www.localgov.co.uk
Joint Union Lunch Time Pay Protest
Bolton Town Hall Square - Tuesday 4th February
We had an excellent response on Bolton Town Hall square on Tuesday 4th February as we
kicked off the local government pay campaign with a lunch time rally and low pay soup kitchen. We gave out hundreds of leaflets, collected postcards and signatures on petitions as well as giving cups of soup to passers-by.
There was a positive reception to our claim for fair pay for everyone and a living wage for the lowest paid. People readily understood that our members in local government have had years of pay freezes and 1% rises in the face of spiralling living costs have rocketed.
Although we often hear politicians and people in the media attempting to divide public sector workers from private sector workers, this was not our experience on the precinct yesterday. Several people said “good luck” and “good on you” when we talked about our pay campaign for a £1 an hour increase.
What you need to know
Unison has seen a sharp rise in the number of safeguarding cases, whilst they are mainly within schools it is an issue which effects ALL staff. These have led to disciplinary action and in some cases dismissal. UNISON has put together some safety tips, please use them, it could save your job.
When you join facebook, ensure you ‘lock’ your page so only people YOU choose can view your pages, photo’s etc.
DO NOT under any circumstances ‘make friends’ with any service user.
Do not talk about your work base, in your status. Your Authority or manager is your employer and you can be disciplined for writing anything derogatory about them or your workplace.
It isn’t wise to be commenting about your personal life activities when you are on sick leave.
MAKE SURE YOU FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH THE COUNCIL’S ‘I.T POLICY’
These are now safeguarding issues. An employer can discipline you if they believe your comments bring ‘The employer into disrepute’. Ignorance could lose you your job and is not a defence.
Free financial advice
UNISON Debtline offers members and their families a range of services from advice on budgeting and council tax arrears to debt management plans. MORE
90pc of staff fear for their jobs says council survey
‘Living wage’ vow by social housing group
Call to put a stop to 4,000pc loan rates
Academies are not ‘magic wand’ for better education of our pupils
Why the rush to become Academies?
Form: Join Us
Print off and send to
Ground Floor Howell Croft House
Howell Croft North
(please note UNISON rules prohibit representation and legal assistance until you have been a member for 4 weeks)
Misplaced or lost your membership card? Click on this link and get a new one.
Office Opening Hours
Monday - Friday 9am-4pm
Telephone 01204 338901
Ground Floor Howell Croft House
Howell Croft North Bolton