Articles

In the back room but on the front line – NHS admin in the crisis

It’s not just doctors and nurses who make up the NHS. It take a whole team to keep the health service going. And while cleaners, caterers and porters are visible and getting thanks, many seem to forget how vital administrators are to the NHS family. UNISON Eastern spoke to Lily Martin, an admin worker in Addenbrooke’s Patient […]

Eastern region pilots new reps recertification course

UNISON Eastern has been picked to trial a brand new online version of the recertification course. The course is an integral part of UNISON’s activist education arsenal, with all reps expected to undergo recertification every five years to make sure our activists keep up to date with legal changes and organising priorities. It’s designed for […]

‘I feel inspired by it’ – how we’ve taken activist education online

To mark Adult Learners Week, we speak to James Young about training to be a rep during the Covid-19 pandemic. Having joined UNISON nearly three decades ago, James decided to take the plunge a few months ago and become a rep. “I’ve always believed UNISON was a good organisation to be part of, one with shared goals […]

‘Everyone wonders “am I next” but we pull through together’

Sam Hemraj talks to us about working through the crisis as a healthcare assistant

Giving all our NHS heroes cause for celebration

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 there’s been an outpouring of generosity shown towards the NHS and its staff from members of the public, businesses and retailers. Hospitals have been flooded with donations for staff and shops and supermarkets have offered concessions to NHS staff and other key workers. However, UNISON’s Norfolk Community Health branch discovered […]

Probation staff haven’t let the wheels of justice stop turning

The wheels of justice are still turning throughout the coronavirus pandemic – and they’re turning faster than ever in the probation service. Elisa Vasquez-Walters was one of the many UNISON probation workers putting the pedal to the metal to make the government’s early release scheme — aimed at stopping prisons becoming Covid-19 hotspots — a success. […]

UNISON Eastern welcomes firefighters’ support for education workers

UNISON Eastern has welcomed the Fire Brigades Union Eastern Region’s backing for education workers opposing the reopening of schools. Nine unions representing teachers, support staff and heads issued a joint statement this month urging the government not to push on with increasing pupil numbers until it is safe to do so. In a letter to local […]

‘It’s been tiring and stressful – but it’s nice to be appreciated’

We sometimes forget how important bin collections are to our national health. Without regular collections we’d see a huge increase in vermin and disease. It’s not something we want at the best of times, but with our NHS under unprecedented pressures, many have rediscovered the importance of our refuse collectors. Mark Pavitt is one of […]

UNISON Living during the pandemic

UNISON doesn’t just provide strength and protection at work. UNISON Living offers members great deals on insurance, travel, shopping and much more. Like everyone else, our partners providing these services have been forced to change the way they operate because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But they’re still committed to providing the best service possible to […]

Give Stevenage the life support it needs, UNISON urges

Stevenage Borough Council is reportedly on the brink of effectively declaring bankruptcy, according to reports today. The council is considering issuing a section 114 notice, which would mean severe cuts to balance its books, gutting vital local services and putting staff on the dole. UNISON Eastern regional organiser Nalin Cooke warned it would be “disastrous […]

‘Our work is more crucial now than ever’ – social workers on the front line against coronavirus

Social workers are an essential, if often overlooked, part of the health service. Tasked with making sure people have a safe place and enough support once they leave hospital, the pressure is on as health trusts try to keep every bed possible available for Covid-19. UNISON Eastern spoke to Jess Carrington, a hospital social worker […]

UNISON welcomes greater commitment to ambulance staff mental health

Eastern ambulance staff will have greater support and training alongside earlier intervention to protect their mental health as part of a new action plan announced this week. The action plan follows an independent investigation into the deaths of three East of England Ambulance Service Trust employees in a short space of time last November. Independent […]

‘Yes I’m on the front lines, but I don’t see myself as a keyworker’

If you’ve been driving to work through the Essex countryside, reassured that even in these uncertain times, the roadsides still look prim and proper, you could have Richard Bond to thank. He’s a idverde worker, driving a mower on the country routes in Colchester Borough, working with his team on the front line through Covid-19, as normal […]

MPs back UNISON’s Stop the Spread pledge for care workers

Labour MPs are lining up behind UNISON Eastern’s Stop the Spread pledge. It calls on councils to commit to an achievable set of standards to protect care workers and service-users during the Covid 19 pandemic. They include priority testing for social care workers carried out in work time and with transport paid, suitable personal protective […]

Celebrate nursing’s pioneers – and the colleagues we’ve lost

This year’s International Nurses’ Day comes as we’re more thankful than ever for our nursing family. UNISON Eastern health committee chair Joyce Aldridge, a nurse in Essex, has this message. Each year we celebrate International Nurses’ Day on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth – the founder of modern nursing. It is an opportunity to […]