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 […]

Keeping up appearances – the public service champion looking after Ipswich’s green spaces

For millions of us, the coronavirus has turned life and work upside down. But many key workers are keeping going as normal, keeping the country ticking over while most of us stay indoors. Adrian Gale is one of the army of local service workers keeping the job up as normal — albeit at a bit more of a distance to usual. He’s spent the […]

Local council staff join International Workers Memorial Day minute’s silence

Local government staff in Cambridgeshire are being encouraged to take part in a minute’s silence for the key workers who have lost their lives because of the coronavirus pandemic. Trade unionists around the world honour those killed at work every April 28 as International Workers Memorial Day. This year will take on a special significance […]

Kings Lynn hospital staff to join minute’s silence for key worker victims of Covid-19

Queen Elizabeth Hospital staff will take part in a minute’s silence on International Workers Memorial Day to remember a colleague who died from the coronavirus. Chrissie Emerson, a healthcare assistant at QEH and much-loved mother and grandmother, is one of more than 100 healthcare workers who have lost their lives during the pandemic. UNISON and […]

NHS organisations must be honest with staff over PPE stocks, says UNISON

New Public Health England guidelines have watered down the level of protection needed for front line health staff battling the Covid-19 epidemic. Staff will be told they can now use plastic aprons rather than full-length gowns, when there are shortages. UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “These are absolute worst case scenario measures, which staff […]

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 says a big thank you to our key workers

As the nation prepares for to clap for carers again tonight, UNISON is speaking up for our members with national and local newspaper ads. The ads thank UNISON members for the extraordinary work they are doing to fight coronavirus. As the public continues to pay tribute to health, care and essential workers, the union is […]

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, […]

Nearly 300 council workers on zero-hours contracts win pay and job protection

UNISON has today welcomed the news that nearly 300 workers on zero-hours contracts at Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City councils will have their pay and hours protected during the Covid-19 pandemic. The union took the issue up with managers after a number of ‘relief staff’ on zero-hours contracts raised concerns. Relief staff work in reablement […]

West Suffolk Hospital’s staff engagement helping it to battle Covid-19, says union rep returning to the front line

A trade union rep returning to the front lines of the NHS to join the battle against Covid-19 today praised West Suffolk Hospital’s response to the pandemic. UNISON Suffolk Health branch secretary Paul Pearson is returning to his role as an operating department practitioner in theatres and critical care, helping patients with Covid-19 and those going through emergency surgery […]

Tim Roberts appointed as acting regional secretary

Tim Roberts has been appointed UNISON Eastern’s acting regional secretary following Chris Jenkinson’s departure to the East Midlands. Currently a regional manager leading the Essex team, Tim will take the reins as the most senior official in the region until a full recruitment process can take place for the permanent position. Tim paid tribute to […]

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 […]