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:
Barnet Care Workers: 90% majority back strike action
Barnet UNISON has concluded a ballot of care workers based on an “improved offer” from Your Choice Barnet (YCB) following negotiations in July. The offer still means members would lose 8.31% from their wages rather than 9.5%. It still represents huge cuts to wages when other workers up and down the country have rejected a 1% per cent pay rise. On a 73% turnout 90% voted in favour of taking action to reinstate their pay.
The Observer view on why a fair society should prize its care workers
Care workers do a valuable and essential job and deserve to be properly rewarded, not treated so disgracefully. http://www.theguardian.com
Saturday 13th September between 11am and 9.30pm
in The Wiend area of Wigan Town Centre
The FREE Annual Open Air Festival celebrates, via the medium of poetry, music and song, film and a range of other activities, the life and ideas of Wigan born and bred Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676) and the 17th Century ‘Diggers’ movement he became the inspirational theorist and spokesperson of.
Also known as the ‘True Levellers’, the Diggers were one of the first truly egalitarian political movements of the poor and propertyless anywhere in the World, and the first to argue for full equality of men and women. Winstanley and they famously asserted: “The World was made a common treasury for all!”
This year’s event will be taking place in the gardens adjacent to The Wiend, containing the ‘Face of Wigan’ statue, and the forecourt of the new Wigan Life Centre (unofficially renamed by us “Gerrard Winstanley Place”) between 11am and 9.30pm. Last year’s festival was a resounding success, with some of the best weather of the year helping to swell the crowd to around 2000 over the course of the day.
Attila The Stockbroker was top of a bill of 24 separate acts including choirs, poets, three local bands, two duos and two professional actors. We are hopeful Attila and actor John Graham Davies (who played the part of Gerrard Winstanley in a symbolic re-enactment of the digging and sowing at St. George’s Hill near Weybridge in Surrey in 1649 which gave the Digger’s their nickname) will perform once again at this year’s festival, along with some of the most popular acts from last year’s event, and some new and more well known ones as well. Further details of events & performers on the day: http://bit.ly/1sfWnWO
Last year’s Festival also included a film showing, exhibition, audio visual presentation, and a beer tent for which we commissioned our own Wigan brewed ‘Gerrard Winstanley’ and ‘Diggers 1649′ ales, both of which proved very popular and we are hopeful will be available again this year.
Unison sports and social will pay for: Train Fare and a couple of drinks to all members who go
Contact Unison Bolton on 01204 338901 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place (so we have numbers)
Arrangements - Meet at Bolton Train station 12 noon on 13th September.
Local government and school support workers to strike again
UNISON's local government and school support workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to hold a second day of strike action on Tuesday 30 September.
The announcement follows the strike on 10 July, which saw around a million public service workers walk out in an increasingly bitter dispute over pay.
The union is calling on the Local Government Association to engage in further talks to resolve this year's pay dispute. The current offer would see 90% of local government and school support workers receive a mere 1% increase, on the back of three successive years of pay freezes and below inflation rises in 2013 and 2014. Pay has declined by 18% since 2010 and most councils have also imposed severe cuts on conditions such as unsocial hours payments.
UNISON Head of Local Government, Heather Wakefield, said:
"The strike on 10 July sent a strong message to the employers that local government and school support workers are fed up and angry with being exploited. It is a disgrace that so many workers and their families are forced to live on poverty pay. There was widespread public support for our members, the majority of whom are low paid and part-time women workers whose good will has been taken for granted for too long.
"Despite four years of vicious government cuts, they continue to educate and support children in schools, maintain crucial local services, keep our communities clean and safe places to live and protect the homeless and vulnerable.
"No local government or school support worker should be paid below the Living Wage. It's time for the employers to come back to the negotiating table and work with us to secure a decent offer for our members and end this damaging dispute."
Poll shows public support for strike action
An independent poll has revealed 70% of the public back the right to strike with the majority believing the government is waging an 'unjust war' on public sector workers.
The Survation poll has shown a high level of support for local government workers with 58% supporting a pay increase of £1 per hour. Significantly, two-thirds of those polled disagreed with the Government’s decision to cap wages below inflation pay until 2018.
Across the regions, support is highest in the north where over half of those polled (58%) say a wage raise of £1 per hour is justified and in London where more than half (59%) back better pay. In Scotland, four in five people (78%) back the workers' right to strike.
NJC Pay BALLOT RESULT
The UNISON NJC Committee has confirmed that members will be called to take part in industrial action on 10th July. The employers will be notified by the union of members on strike. You do not have to notify your manager.
You should direct any queries you have about the strike action to your section steward or departmental convenor. If you cannot contact them please contact the union office on 338901 or email@example.com.
HERE is a useful Q&A which should address most general queries.
A letter from the Branch Secretary
I would like to respond to the comments made by individual market traders in the Bolton News and address their concerns. The industrial action on 10th July involved members from six trades unions but given the traders have singled out UNISON I would like to put the record straight.
The law requires trades unions to give notice to employers seven days before any action takes place in order that contingency plans are put in place. In this case UNISON informed Bolton Council on 27th June; 21 days before the proposed action. UNISON worked with Bolton Council to ensure that all essential services to the most vulnerable were maintained. The trades unions were informed on Tuesday 8th July that the market was to open without the staff who would normally maintain the cleanliness of the market and therefore the safety of traders and customers.
Two thirds of local government workers earn less than the average wage of £21, 000 annually. Nationally half a million workers earn less than the living wage. Pay in local government has fallen in real terms since this government came to office. 400,000 jobs have been lost; 1400 of those in Bolton alone.
It is in the interests of business in the town to support our struggle. More money and more jobs mean that people will spend more on our market. Of course industrial action causes disruption, what would be the point of striking if it didn’t? We regret any short term inconvenience to the public. However, we know it is essential in the fight to prevent the long term decline of Northern towns like Bolton, who have been disproportionately hit by government cuts. We are already seeing the consequences. You only have to walk round Bolton town centre to see the effect of a low wage economy on local businesses, many of whom have been forced to close in the last four years. Unless everyone joins the fight to improve living standards, it will continue to spiral downwards affecting everyone’s long term livelihood and not just for one day.
As the largest trade union in the town with six and half thousand members we have considerable spending power. We have an ethical procurement policy in that we do not use companies like Amazon, whose tax contributions do not reflect their massive wealth. We source our goods and services from companies which respect the rights of workers, and the overwhelming amount of our money is spent with small businesses in the town; we always use town centre caterers, we have a large IT contract with a local company in Horwich, and we have recently purchased t-shirts and fleeces from Bolton Market. We were a vociferous supporter of the campaign to keep the Market Hall open for small, local traders.
We are not your enemies we are your customers.
Strike Day Photos
The effect of the Employer’s offer on your pension
Examples for various spinal column points of the impact that accepting the Employer’s 1% offer will have on your pension EVERY year. And the effect on your lump sum pension pot. In the examples given, the member plans to retire on 31 March 2015.
However you look at it, the impact of falling pay on your present pay and your future is dramatic.
INFORMATION FOR THOSE MEMBERS WHO WOULD BE IN HARDSHIP AS A RESULT OF TAKING STRIKE ACTION
There is no doubt that most workers cannot afford to lose a days pay in today’s climate of rising energy bills, rents, travel and the prospective of rising interest rates. However, workers in local government have lost 20% of the entire earnings over the last five years. The effect on pension alone is considerably more than a days pay. Someone on £21,734 (grade 5) with 10 years in the pension scheme has lost and will continue to lose £546.13 every year and £359.09 off their lump sum. Other examples are contained the attached fact sheet produced by UNISON. Please share this information with your colleagues.
So in reality no one can afford not to strike.
However, UNISON is aware that some members will be in severe hardship as a result of losing pay on 10th July and for those members the union has a hardship fund administered on a strict confidential basis by three officers of the branch. Applications should be made to the union office after strike action has been taken (as proof of loss of earnings is required). Applications will be treated as a priority and cash payments given if necessary.
Members experiencing hardship now can access the UNISON welfare scheme “There for You”. This is a registered charity and provides all year round help for members with anything from wellbeing breaks to financial assistance. This is a registered charity and members can apply to the scheme by contacting the union office who will then put you in contact with the union’s welfare officer.
If you require any further information contact your section steward. If you cannot contact your steward please contact the branch office on 338901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Government Strike July 10th
A Message from David Crausby MP
“ The Public sector has suffered draconian cuts over this last four years under the Coalition Government.
The Liberals and Tories in Westminster have been responsible for reductions in both living standards for employees and services for the public with unfortunately more to come. In my view you have had no choice but to take action on July 10th and as such you have my full support.
Someone has to carry the banner and despite the fact that your wages have been so drastically reduced you have had the courage to do something.
Congratulations, I wish you every success.
David Crausby MP
Local Government Strike July 10th
A Message from Julie Hilling MP
I am writing to wish you luck in the public sector strike being held on Thursday 10th July.
Local Government and other public sector workers, many of whom are on low pay, have been cruelly targeted by David Cameron and George Osborne’s Government. The Government has consistently targeted the public sector, particularly in Labour held authorities, for unfair and disproportionate cuts at the same time as giving a tax cut to millionaires. With the changes to pensions and the loss of jobs, workers are being expected to do more for less. Things will only get worse with the further cuts the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition is proposing, making it impossible for councils and other parts of the public sector to maintain the crucial services we need in our communities.
Another below inflation offer of a one percent pay rise for some of Bolton West’s most hard working individuals who undertake difficult and vital jobs locally is a huge disappointment. Families and individuals are already struggling with the cost of living crisis affecting the cost of the food we buy and the bills we pay, meaning that many workers cannot make ends meet. We are still the sixth richest country in the world and yet we have people dependent on foodbanks to feed their families. We need the Government to take action to protect hardworking people rather than threatening to introduce further legislation to restrict the ability of workers to take industrial action.
I can assure you I continue to campaign for fairer wage increases for working people in Bolton West as well as campaign against the other regressive policies of this Tory-led Government
Please keep me informed about any developments.
Julie Hilling MP
Member of Parliament for Bolton West
Local Government Strike July 10th
A Message from Alan Johnson of
Bolton Green Party.
Sorry i can't be with you today, but i would like to show support and solidarity to you on behalf of the Green Party in Bolton.
We know that strike action is always the option of last resort, and something never taken lightly.
Your fight, is our fight, and that of millions of workers across the country, against this vicious CON-DEM Government and its attacks on the living standards of ordinary people, through it's austerity programme.
You did not cause the deficit, the blame lays at the feet of successive Government failings, and the Banking fraternity, this Government is doing the city of London's bidding, your action today will send a message loud and clear, that enough is enough, what is needed is tax cuts for the rich must be reversed, tax evasion, and avoidance by the big corporations, and the super-rich must be stopped.
Those with the broadest shoulders should pay their fair share in tax, and this government should stop punishing the poor, success to you in your struggle for fair pay.
Bolton Green Party
Message of Support ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
The Northwest Probation & CAFCASS branch of unison send our support and solidarity to our fellow members as they prepare to take strike action on the 10th July
We acknowledge that local Government and school support staff are predominantly low paid workers, mainly women and a high proportion are part time. With half a million earning less than the Living Wage and a further half million are below even the Government’s definition of low pay. The lowest-paid council staff barely receive the statutory National Minimum Wage.
Frozen public sector pay impacts on thousands of households in the North West, with knock-on effects to local economies across the region.
We understand that your members do not take this action lightly but with the real value of local government pay having fallen by a staggering 20% since 2010 and a government that is only willing to listen to its cronies within the banking sector, you have no choice .
We will undertake to ensure that all our branch members have the true grasp of the difficulties that this government forces you to face and encourage them to attend your picket lines and further support your members.
International and Communications Officer
Northwest Probation & CAFCASS, UNISON
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).
Total Recall - Campaign grows for new MP laws
Hundreds of thousands of people have signed an online petition to give the voters recall powers over elected MPs at Westminster. This would mean legislation which helps put voters in the driving seat. A group of MPs have already started an Early Day Motion (EDM) - a petition for MPs which will prove how many are on side. The more of us that get in touch with our MPs to ask them to sign the EDM, the more likely they are to sign it - and the more likely it will lead to us securing a law that would allow voters to sack MPs who don’t behave properly. Find out more at: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/Real-recall-QS
Would you like to save up to 40% off Home Insurance?*
As well as this great offer, here are some more reasons to get a quote from UIA Insurance:
· Spread the cost of home insurance with interest-free direct debits (something that many insurance companies will charge you for)
· Save an additional 10% when you buy combined buildings and contents insurance
· We will pay any switching fee that your current provider may charge – up to £25
· UK based call centre
Just call 0800 023 2003 or click on www.unisoninsurance.co.uk for a quote.
As a mutual company, we are owned by our policyholders, which helps us to keep premiums low, provide excellent products and employ highly trained staff to give you the best service possible.
Competitive rates are also available on Pet & Travel Insurance.
*Offer is subject to terms and conditions http://www.uia.co.uk/terms--conditions and usual underwriting criteria.
For quality and protection purposes your call will be recorded. UNISON is an Introducer Appointed Representative of UIA (Insurance) Ltd and UIA (Insurance Services) Ltd. UIA Travel and Pet insurance are provided by third parties, see www.uia.co.uk/terms--conditions for details. UIA (Insurance) Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. UIA (Insurance Services) Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Offer available until 23rd September 2014.
Worried about back to school costs?
UNISON re-launches school uniform scheme
UNISON is once more launching a scheme to help members on low incomes deal with the cost of school uniforms.
Families with children living on a low income struggle constantly to make ends meet - and this can be particularly acute before the new school year begins when those extra costs hit hard. The union's welfare charity, There for You, has once more set up a limited fund to help members on low incomes deal with the cost of school uniforms.
· Do not have savings in excess of £800 (this includes a rolling balance in your bank account).
· No one in household has received a grant from UNISON Welfare 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.
The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is Friday 11 July 2014 but as grants are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis (subject to meeting the eligibility criteria) and there is only a limited fund we recommend applying as soon as possible.
Minute's silence for people killed at work
UNION members held a minute’s silence to remember people who had been killed while at work. http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk
Icy slip ended care worker’s career
A management decision to ignore a basic safety requirement meant a dedicated care support worker could not work again. The sheltered housing scheme employee, whose name has not been released, was forced to retire early after being knocked unconscious when she slipped on an icy and ungritted pavement. The UNISON member was awarded £50,000 in compensation after being left without her job and with permanent problems with her balance. She was carrying out a routine visit to a new resident on the sheltered housing scheme. Her head and neck took the brunt of the fall on the slippery pavement. The 62 year-old was taken to hospital and underwent an MRI and CAT scan and was diagnosed with vestibular dysfunction. The condition causes chronic dizziness and imbalance which doctors advised she is likely to suffer from for the rest of her life. Seven months after the incident, the care support worker decided she would not be able to return to work because she found her condition too limiting and, on her GP’s advice, took early retirement. The union established that the employer had failed to implement an adverse weather policy, despite one of the claimant’s colleagues suffering a fall on the ungritted pavement just three days prior to her fall.
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
Children's services could be outsourced under new proposals
‘Nearly all’ council children’s services functions will be able to be delegated to third parties under new Government proposals.
The Department for Education has launched a consultation on its proposed regulations, with the results and the Government’s response due to be published in the summer.
However, if the proposals were approved, councils would continue to be held ultimately responsible.
The consultation read: ‘Delegation does not remove responsibility from the local authority for ensuring their statutory obligations are met and any breach of those obligations would be treated as a breach by the local authority.
‘Services provided under delegated arrangements will be considered by Ofsted as part of its single framework inspection arrangements and the local authority held to account.’
The Government believes its proposals will allow councils to ‘harness third party expertise’ and ‘stimulate new approaches to securing improvements in children’s services’.
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.
Read it HERE
'I am not OK!
Bolton local government UNISON branch showing solidarity with workers in South Korea 'I am not OK!' is the message to government. Support railway workers' right to strike in Korea
Bolton MPs presented with postcards supporting the campaign against Zero Hours contracts.
UNISON “There for You”
With rising fuel costs and another cold winter many members are worried about how they’re going to pay this year’s winter fuel bills.
Help is on hand
UNISON “There for You” has set up a limited fund to help UNISON members on a low-income by way of a one-off payment of up to £40.
To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:
1) total household income less than £18,000 a year (after tax/other deductions)
2) total household savings no more than £800 (including rolling bank balances)
3) paid UNISON subs for more than one month
4) no household member received financial assistance from UNISON in last 6 months
Please find the application form HERE.
Accommodation Strategy Implementation
The enclosed pack of information contains, as a basis for consultation, the plans and strategy for accommodating Council staff following the decision to empty and dispose of four major office buildings in Bolton town centre. MORE
How 'bedroom tax' has left 11,000 people in Bolton waiting for just 91 one-bed homes
BOLTON is facing a “bedroom tax” crisis after it was revealed more than 11,000 people are on the waiting list for just 91 one-bed homes.
The “bedroom tax” was introduced in April in an effort to cut waiting lists for larger families.
People in receipt of Housing Benefit have their benefits reduced if they are in homes deemed to be too big for their needs, losing 14 per cent for one spare bedroom and 25 per cent for two or more.
But critics have hit out of the scheme, claiming there is not enough social housing, especially one-bedroom properties, available for people to downsize.
Twitter - BBEDTAX
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