School support staff warn ‘big bang’ return to school is a safety risk

Nearly three in four school support staff in the East of England have been anxious about the return to classrooms this week, with many fearing measures to keep them safe are inadequate, according to a survey published today by UNISON. The findings provide a snapshot of the concerns of staff as schools in England reopen […]

Recruitment pledges must be backed by decent wage rise if NHS is to thrive

Paying staff properly is a vital part of building the NHS for the future, says UNISON as it calls on the public to protest ​this evening about the government’s “pitiful” wage offer. Plans to recruit more staff are not enough to protect the health system and will only have an effect if experienced staff are […]

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital chiefs must act after staff survey reveals mass discontent

The NHS Staff Survey was published today, putting the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital bottom of the league for quality or care and revealing huge levels of staff disengagement. UNISON Norfolk & Norwich Acute Hospitals branch secretary Andy Campling said:

“This survey must act as a wake-up call across the trust. Staff have spoken in huge numbers – the […]

Suffolk ambulance staff denied Covid sick pay, says UNISON

Front line patient transport staff in Suffolk are only receiving statutory sick pay of £95 a week when they have to self-isolate. Private ambulance firm Ezec is contracted by the NHS to transport patients around Suffolk, including those discharged from hospitals to care homes. Workers say they are not given enough time between jobs to […]

Schools should not open the floodgates to a new wave

Schools should avoid opening the floodgates to a new wave of Covid infections by staggering the full return to the classroom, UNISON says today. Schools across the east of England are due to fully reopen on Monday, with an enhanced testing regime and face coverings for secondary school pupils. But UNISON warns that this may […]

At least £40m needed by councils in East of England to deliver basic public services

Councils in the East of England have a funding shortfall of at least £40m between them for this financial year, putting at risk services such as libraries, child protection, care for the elderly, road maintenance and public health programmes, according to new figures released today by UNISON. Worst hit in the region is Bedford Borough […]

NHS staff ​across the East of England urge the chancellor to do the right thing and fund a pay rise

NHS workers ​in the East of England have asked the chancellor to recognise the work they’ve done to protect lives and fund a decent pay rise in tomorrow’s Budget, says UNISON today. More than 60,000 health care assistants, porters, operating theatre staff, nurses, caterers, ambulance staff, cleaners and members of the public across the UK […]

Next week’s budget could be a turning point for our country

If Rishi Sunak puts workers first on Wednesday he could turn Britain’s fortunes around

Tom Hunt’s snub a ‘slap in the face’ for pandemic heroes

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt’s refusal to meet his constituents to discuss public-sector pay is a slap in the face for the heroes who are getting us through the pandemic, say unions. The Conservative MP turned down an invitation from the Ipswich and District Trades Union Council to explain the economic and moral case for a […]

British trade unionists ‘must keep up solidarity with Colombia’

It’s essential that British trade unionists continue to support their Colombian counterparts, Justice for Colombia’s Nick MacWilliam told an online meeting organised by UNISON Eastern’s international committee last night. He recounted how the Latin American country has been torn apart by years of violence, as authoritarian neoliberal governments closed down democratic space so much that […]

Women on Covid frontline feeling pressures at work and home during pandemic

Women in key worker positions across the East of England are losing sleep, spending more on household bills, and worrying about the pandemic’s impact on their children’s education and mental health, according to a survey published today by UNISON. The findings are based on responses from over 2,000 women including teaching assistants, nurses, council workers and police staff. They provide a comprehensive insight […]

This week trade unions are sharing the love

Tim Roberts celebrates ♥️Unions Week in his latest blog

Pay staff fairly to tackle care recruitment crisis

Government ministers must improve care pay if they’re to succeed in filling huge numbers of vacancies, UNISON says today. The government has launched a new recruitment campaign ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference’ to boost the number of workers in adult social care as existing staff are forced to take time off to self-isolate or […]

Hitting wages of key workers would be ‘worst possible’ blow to economy

Government plans to hold down public-sector pay will cause a £156m blow to the East of England’s economy, a TUC analysis shows today. A total of £1.3bn will be cut from keyworker pay settlements in England this year, after the chancellor announced the squeeze in November 2020, causing a forecast £1.7bn hit to England’s economy […]

‘The general public is calling us heroes and going out and clapping for us – let’s put those claps into words’

Organisations and activists came together from across the political spectrum this week with a positive response to the crisis in social care. UNISON’s Pay Fair for Care rally urged one and all to stand up for care workers and keep up the pressure on government. The event – co-hosted with the Future Social Care Coalition, […]