University staff join national strike ballot against poverty pay

University support staff across the Eastern region are taking part in a national ballot on strike action over higher education pay involving 30,000 workers across the UK. Staff from the world-famous University of Cambridge started voting on strikes last week, along with their colleagues from the universities of Bedfordshire, Essex, East Anglia, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Anglia […]

Empowering women to take on menopause in the workplace

UNISON Eastern held another successful menopause workshop last week, with around a dozen women from Southend Borough Council taking part. They went to along to find out about and share experiences of the menopause as well as empower themselves to tackle the taboo subject inside and outside of work. UNISON Southend Borough Council branch secretary […]

UNISON launches Burston booklet for Year of the Young Worker

Often trapped by the challenges of low pay, in precarious, insecure jobs, struggling with rising housing costs, or just finding it difficult to get onto the next rung of the career ladder, young workers need trade unions. And trade unions need young workers — they are the here and now of our movement. UNISON places […]

‘Demoralising’ three-tier workforce creates £1,000 pay gap for Luton & Dunstable Hospital cleaners

Many cleaners at Luton & Dunstable Hospital are more than £1,000 a year worse off than their colleagues doing the same job because of a “confusing and demoralising” three-tier workforce created by outsourcer Engie, UNISON warns today. UNISON, the union representing workers at Luton & Dunstable Hospital, is calling on the Trust not to renew […]

Government only doing ‘half the job’ by replacing police officers, says UNISON

The government must replace hundreds of police community support officer (PCSO) and other police staff jobs axed across the east of England since the start of austerity, UNISON said today. The union warns that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to recruit extra police officers is not enough on its own to halt the rise in […]

Bedford buzzing for resource centre’s birthday

A year after opening its doors, UNISON’s Bedfordshire Resource Centre held a special open day to celebrate its first birthday on Friday. There were balloons, banners and a whole array of information displayed on the incredible work UNISON does for its members, public-sector workers and the wider community. New membership forms were given out and […]

‘Empowering and inspirational’ – a first-time view of UNISON’s annual parliament

National Delegate Conference is often referred to as UNISON’s parliament. It’s the place where thousands of our members come together from every branch in the country to debate the issues affecting public service workers and decide how UNISON will respond for the next year. First-time delegate Laura Wilkes (Suffolk Area Health) reports on an “empowering […]

National Assembly of Women celebrates PAH victory

The National Assembly of Women has celebrated the Princess Alexandra Hospital domestics’ fantastic victory against privatisation on the front page of its journal, Sisters. Inside, UNISON regional organiser Caroline Hennessy tells the history of the dispute and explains why the domestics were fighting to keep their jobs in the NHS. You can read Sisters Summer 2019 […]

Brandon school pays tribute to support staff stars

Forest Academy in Brandon celebrated the invaluable role played by its school support staff today. UNISON organised the ‘Stars in Our Schools’ event to promote the wonderful work school support staff do every day, and to make sure the world knows just how vital they are to every school. Nearly 50 support staff were presented […]

Cuts threaten to close vital NHS service preventing unnecessary hospital stays

Cambridgeshire health chiefs are threatening to shut down a vital service preventing thousands of over-65s going to hospital unnecessarily, UNISON warns today. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), responsible for planning and commissioning local NHS services, is planning £33 million of cuts next year to plug part of its £192m government funding deficit. […]

Thetford primary school celebrates support staff ‘stars’

School support staff were celebrated as “stars” during an event at Elveden Academy near Thetford today. Parents came in during a special assembly to present support staff with presents and VIP badges thanking them for their hard work, while children gave staff cards that they made themselves. One of the classrooms was turned into a […]

Bedford Hospital outsourcing would be harmful to patients

Bedford Hospital must abandon any efforts to outsource its domestic services for the good of staff and patients, UNISON says. The hospital informed domestic staff last week that it plans to market test its cleaning services, the first step towards them being sold out of the NHS. UNISON warns that outsourcing services would hit patient […]

Colchester Institute signs up to Dying to Work charter

Colchester Institute has signed a voluntary charter, making a commitment to employees to ensure that they are protected if diagnosed with a terminal illness. UNISON rep Marisa Baker joined Colchester Institute Principal and Chief Executive Alison Andreas and University and College Union branch secretary John Pullen-Appleby to sign the TUC’s Dying to Worker charter at […]

Closing Bedfordshire nursery a ‘body blow’ for the local community

Closing a nursery in Sharnbrook near Bedford would be a ‘body blow’ for the local community, UNISON warns. Sharnbrook Academy Federation, which runs the nursery attached to Sharnbrook Academy as well as four other Bedfordshire schools, has announced it will close Brook Day Nursery after failing to find an alternative provider. Brook Day provides a […]

East of England Ambulance Service workers celebrate overtime holiday pay victory

NHS staff who regularly do extra hours can celebrate a landmark court victory ensuring their extra work is taken into account when their holiday pay is calculated, UNISON says today. The Court of Appeal has found in favour of a paramedic and 12 of his colleagues who all work for the East of England Ambulance […]