Environment Agency workers balloted after real-terms pay cut imposed

Environment Agency workers are being balloted on industrial action after bosses imposed a miserly 1.3% pay deal. The government agency told staff it would force them to accept the below-inflation offer after UNISON members voted to reject it by an overwhelming 91%. With inflation running at 3.3%, the offer is in reality a 2% pay […]

Teaching assistants subject to ‘truly shocking violence’ at Braintree special needs school

Teaching assistants at a special needs school in Braintree are being bitten, kicked and spat on but managers are doing nothing about the violence, school support staff union UNISON warns today. A survey of support staff at The Edith Borthwick School found that 82% are worried about levels of violence, but only 19% of respondents […]

UNISON welcomes Harlow MP’s support in campaign against privatisation at Princess Alexandra Hospital

Harlow MP Robert Halfon has written to Princess Alexandra Hospital today, urging it to “reconsider” contracting out its cleaning services. The MP’s intervention came after UNISON representatives met him last week to explain their concerns over plans to privatise domestic services at the hospital. Cleaners from the hospital warned that outsourcing would create a two-tier […]

Essex County Council rejects chance to listen to the public

Essex county councillors voted down calls yesterday to abandon their swingeing cuts to library services. An extraordinary council meeting was called after nearly 60,000 people signed petitions condemning a consultation on the future of libraries that will close at least 25. A further 18 libraries will close if no volunteer groups can be found to […]

PAH cleaners will call dispute if privatisation plans go ahead

Cleaners at Princess Alexandra Hospital have put their bosses on notice that unless the hospital ditches “hazardous” plans to privatise cleaning services, they will go into dispute, UNISON says today. If a dispute is declared, the PAH Trust will have to come to the negotiating table to try to resolve problems. If that fails external conciliation […]

Rebuilding trade union power

Trade unions exist to redress the power imbalance between an employer and workers – to help improve pay and secure better conditions in the workplace. Individual employees operating on their own hardly ever achieve anything positive. Demands for better wages, a more secure contract, extra holiday or a decent pension are all too easily ignored […]

‘You don’t improve library services by shutting them down,’ UNISON tells Essex County Council

Essex County Council’s aim to improve services while shutting down libraries “beggars belief,” UNISON says today in its response to the Council’s library closures consultation. UNISON, the union representing Essex libraries’ more than 400 staff, warns that the closures and reduced service would spell disaster for job seekers, Universal Credit claimants and some of the […]

Norfolk trade unionists send solidarity to Birmingham homecare strikers

Trade unionists in Norwich collected over £400 for striking homecare workers in Birmingham last week at a screening of inspirational new documentary Nae Pasaran. Nae Pasaran tells the true story of how workers in East Kilbride struck a blow against General Pinochet’s fascist regime by refusing to service Rolls Royce fighter engines for the Chilean […]

‘Ruinous’ central government cuts set to hit Norfolk nurseries

Three nurseries in Norfolk are set to close because of “ruinous” central government cuts to children services, UNISON warns today. All three nurseries run by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust – two in Thetford and one in Bowthorpe, Norwich – face closure despite the Trust’s efforts to find the cash to keep them […]

One UNISON weekend – the programmes have landed

Preparations are well under way for our second annual Eastern Region ONE UNISON Weekend event. The weekend will consist of a choice between workshops open to all UNISON activists, training for newly elected branch officers or the new presentation and media skills course for more experienced activists and branch officers. The programme is hot off […]

Princess Alexandra Hospital’s move to outsource cleaners is ‘breathtaking,’ says UNISON

Bosses at the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow have made the ‘breathtaking’ decision to put their cleaning services out to tender, UNISON says today. The Trust has already begun market testing its domestic and estates services. It is now inviting private companies to bid on running the services and is expected to appoint […]

Essex says loud and clear: Don’t close our libraries

Hundreds of people marched through Chelmsford on Saturday telling Essex County Council to scrap plans to dozens of libraries. The Council has opened a consultation into the future of its 74 libraries, involving closing 25 immediately and condemning a further 18 to closure if community groups can’t be found to run them for free. More […]

Essex school support staff learning

We’re offering school support staff in Essex the chance to do some one-day training courses with the Open University. If you’re interested please fill out this short survey and return it to our organiser Tom Hemmings, whose details are in the file, so we can find out how best to deliver the training.

Young public-sector workers launch campaign against sexual harassment

Young trade unionists launch a campaign today tackling sexual harassment in the workplace. UNISON Eastern’s young workers committee is distributing thousands of postcards to UNISON members across the region, raising awareness of sexual harassment and advising people how to deal with it. The ‘Uncomfortable Yet?’ campaign includes a video and posters to display in hospitals, […]

Southend Hospital staff to enjoy same pay and conditions as the rest of the NHS

UNISON welcomes the news that staff at Southend Hospital will now enjoy the same pay and conditions as everyone else in the NHS. Southend University Hospital is the only NHS Trust in the UK outside the national agreement on pay, terms and conditions known as Agenda for Change. The local terms mean staff in Southend […]