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. […]

Luton needs support to avoid council cash catastrophe

Slashing £22m from Luton Council’s budget would be ‘catastrophic’ for the town, UNISON warns today. Councils across the UK face the prospect of huge deficits because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Luton has been particularly hard hit due to its reliance on revenues from the airport. It predicts a yearly loss of at least £49m because […]

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 […]

There’s nothing ‘mad’ about health and safety

Continuing his blogs during the Covid-19 crisis, UNISON Eastern acting regional secretary Tim Roberts looks at the trade union movement’s renewed emphasis on safety. Safety at work has been always been central to trade unionism. Since the birthing throes of the modern trade union movement in the early 19th century, organised workers have sought to […]

Suffolk County Council must not rush through children’s centres shake up during global pandemic

Suffolk County Council is rushing through its controversial shake-up of children’s centres without proper public scrutiny under cover of the coronavirus crisis, UNISON warns today. UNISON has written to Mary Evans, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, to raise concerns about the decision to continue with plans to cut services at more than half […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

Five thousand more Thank Yous from UNISON Eastern

In the first of a series of blogs during the Covid-19 crisis, UNISON Eastern acting regional secretary Tim Roberts welcomes 5,000 new members to the region. Despite all the tribulations of the last few weeks, there have been a few positives emerge. The public has rediscovered an appreciation for our public services, most clearly expressed […]