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 […]

Public service staff encouraged to apply for Covid-19 financial help

UNISON Eastern members facing financial hardship because of Covid-19 are being encouraged to apply for special grants to help them get by. UNISON’s There For You charity has set up a £250,000 fund to help members get through these difficult times. The centrally administered fund means UNISON members can quickly access grants of £250 if […]

UNISON members keep Essex communities running

While most eyes are on the NHS during this crisis, UNISON members across our public services are mucking in and doing their bit. Sue Hayden, who chairs UNISON Eastern’s local government committee, and her team in Uttlesford District Council are working flat out to help the elderly and vulnerable during the crisis. “The council’s communities, […]

Council chiefs urged to sign life-saving social care pledge

UNISON is urging councils to sign up to a “life-saving” pledge protecting care workers. The union has called on all county councils and unitary authorities across the east of England to commit to a set of minimum standards that will help protect care workers and service-users against the spread of coronavirus. They include priority testing […]

‘A wonderful friend and scientist’ – UNISON pays tribute to Anglian Water’s Linden Fairman

UNISON Eastern is sorry to learn of the death of Linden Fairman, a member at Anglian Water, who died from Covid 19 earlier this month. Colleague Val Neech saluted the memory of “a wonderful friend and scientist.” Linden first worked for Anglian Water at Cotton ValleyWRC in the late 1980s, leaving in the late ’90s […]

Staff in new coronavirus East of England surge centre will need proper PPE and training, says UNISON

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital announced today that it will house the East of England’s first coronavirus regional surge centre. The centre will add 170 ventilated beds for coronavirus cases across the region, aiming to ensure patients get the specialised care they need. It can be used and adapted depending on demand, so may function as […]

Private ambulance staff agree to pay self-isolating staff properly

UNISON campaigning has pushed private ambulance firms providing NHS services to properly pay self-isolating staff. The union believes all NHS staff, whether working for contractors or directly employed, should enjoy the same terms and conditions, but reps were dismayed to learn that some firms were still only paying statutory sick pay to staff self-isolating because […]

UNISON Bedford Borough donates PPE to front-line council workers

Trade unionists at Bedford Borough Council have donated hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and other personal protective equipment to defend front-line workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bedford Borough UNISON branch bought the equipment to support staff still required to meet people face to face, such as carers, social workers and those in the 24/7 HUB, […]

Activist education goes online

With the covid-19 virus preventing us delivering our activist education programme face to face, we’ve begun looking at alternative ways to train our stewards. UNISON is now offering activists the opportunity to train online, with courses for stewards, health and safety reps and union learning reps stage one and two already available. Some of these have […]

UNISON supports nursing students who want to join the pandemic fight

Final year nursing students will be safely supported if they want to join the fight against coronavirus, thanks to UNISON negotiators. The government announced plans last week to allow nursing students to spend the final six months of their course on clinical placement. UNISON quickly surveyed hundreds of students to get their views. Most said […]

North West Anglia Hospitals Trust moves to outsource services in midst of coronavirus pandemic

North West Anglia Hospitals is planning to outsource a raft of services, including logistics, patient services and catering, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, UNISON warns. The proposals would be risky at the best of times but are ‘downright reckless’ in the midst of a public health emergency, says the union. It would mean all ‘soft […]

East of England council workers rally for more pay

Council workers from the East of England lobbied local government chiefs in Bury St Edmunds today, calling for a real pay rise after a decade of austerity. Since 2009, council and school workers’ real-terms pay has dropped by 22%. UNISON, GMB and Unite submitted a pay claim last summer, asking for a 10% rise and […]