Harlow hospital cleaners vote on strikes against outsourcing plan

Cleaners at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow are voting on strike action over bosses’ plans to privatise domestic services and kick them out of the NHS, UNISON says today. The domestics warn that patients will suffer if their jobs are transferred out of the NHS as a new private company would cut corners to make […]

UNISON leader Prentis backs PAH domestics’ battle

The leader of the UK’s biggest trade union today backed Harlow’s hospital cleaners fighting to keep their jobs in the NHS. Speaking to UNISON’s health conference in Bournemouth, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis paid tribute to the NHS workers on the front line in the battle against privatisation. Pointing to UNISON’s successful battles against wholly […]

Staff and parents petition to save Bedfordshire nursery

Staff and parents fighting to stop the closure of a popular Bedford nursery tried to hand in a petition today to save the centre. But the chair of Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF), which runs Brook Day Nursery, refused to accept the 250-strong petition presented by UNISON. The nursery, based at the Sharnbrook Academy site, already […]

Hospital workers make their opportunities multiply

Workers at West Suffolk Hospital are taking advantage of the opportunity to fill gaps in their maths knowledge thanks to an exciting project backed by UNISON, the Workers Educational Association and their employer. Nearly a dozen hospital staff – both clinical and non-clinical – started Functional Maths classes this week. At the end of the […]

Haileybury Turnford celebrates Stars in Our Schools

Haileybury Turnford School in Hertfordshire celebrated the fantastic work of its support staff this month. Staff enjoyed a lunchtime meeting with food and goodie bags, provide by UNISON Hertfordshire, earlier this month. UNISON organises Stars in Our Schools events across the UK to promote the wonderful work school support staff do every day, and to […]

PAH domestics to ballot over privatisation plans

Cleaners at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow will ballot on industrial action over bosses’ refusal to bin the privatisation of domestic services, UNISON says today. UNISON has written to the Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust today to formally declare an industrial dispute, warning that outsourcing cleaning services will be bad for staff and patients. UNISON told […]

Environment Agency workers balloted after real-terms pay cut imposed

Environment Agency workers are being balloted on industrial action after bosses imposed a miserly 1.3% pay deal. The government agency told staff it would force them to accept the below-inflation offer after UNISON members voted to reject it by an overwhelming 91%. With inflation running at 3.3%, the offer is in reality a 2% pay […]

Teaching assistants subject to ‘truly shocking violence’ at Braintree special needs school

Teaching assistants at a special needs school in Braintree are being bitten, kicked and spat on but managers are doing nothing about the violence, school support staff union UNISON warns today. A survey of support staff at The Edith Borthwick School found that 82% are worried about levels of violence, but only 19% of respondents […]

UNISON welcomes Harlow MP’s support in campaign against privatisation at Princess Alexandra Hospital

Harlow MP Robert Halfon has written to Princess Alexandra Hospital today, urging it to “reconsider” contracting out its cleaning services. The MP’s intervention came after UNISON representatives met him last week to explain their concerns over plans to privatise domestic services at the hospital. Cleaners from the hospital warned that outsourcing would create a two-tier […]

Essex County Council rejects chance to listen to the public

Essex county councillors voted down calls yesterday to abandon their swingeing cuts to library services. An extraordinary council meeting was called after nearly 60,000 people signed petitions condemning a consultation on the future of libraries that will close at least 25. A further 18 libraries will close if no volunteer groups can be found to […]

PAH cleaners will call dispute if privatisation plans go ahead

Cleaners at Princess Alexandra Hospital have put their bosses on notice that unless the hospital ditches “hazardous” plans to privatise cleaning services, they will go into dispute, UNISON says today. If a dispute is declared, the PAH Trust will have to come to the negotiating table to try to resolve problems. If that fails external conciliation […]

Rebuilding trade union power

Trade unions exist to redress the power imbalance between an employer and workers – to help improve pay and secure better conditions in the workplace. Individual employees operating on their own hardly ever achieve anything positive. Demands for better wages, a more secure contract, extra holiday or a decent pension are all too easily ignored […]

‘You don’t improve library services by shutting them down,’ UNISON tells Essex County Council

Essex County Council’s aim to improve services while shutting down libraries “beggars belief,” UNISON says today in its response to the Council’s library closures consultation. UNISON, the union representing Essex libraries’ more than 400 staff, warns that the closures and reduced service would spell disaster for job seekers, Universal Credit claimants and some of the […]

Norfolk trade unionists send solidarity to Birmingham homecare strikers

Trade unionists in Norwich collected over £400 for striking homecare workers in Birmingham last week at a screening of inspirational new documentary Nae Pasaran. Nae Pasaran tells the true story of how workers in East Kilbride struck a blow against General Pinochet’s fascist regime by refusing to service Rolls Royce fighter engines for the Chilean […]

‘Ruinous’ central government cuts set to hit Norfolk nurseries

Three nurseries in Norfolk are set to close because of “ruinous” central government cuts to children services, UNISON warns today. All three nurseries run by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust – two in Thetford and one in Bowthorpe, Norwich – face closure despite the Trust’s efforts to find the cash to keep them […]