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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Behind the grim death count are thousands more barely able to keep going

Tim Roberts considers the NHS staff left dealing with the fallout from 100,000 Covid deaths in his latest blog

Working mums aren’t getting the support they should be during lockdown

Tim Roberts looks at the shocking results of new TUC survey on the job retention scheme in his latest blog post

We’ll be glad to see the back of 2020, but we can’t take it easy in 2021

Public service workers have earned their applause this year, says Tim Roberts, but the fight for real recognition goes onc

Swift action needed to stop Essex major incident spiralling out of control

Local authorities in Essex declared a “major incident” today as the number of coronavirus cases threatens to overwhelm health services in the county. Hospitals are struggling with “significant growing demand,” says the Essex Resilience Forum, a body drawing together NHS, emergency services and local authorities. The announcement has been made in response to a “significant […]

Social care staff and service users deserve better than this mess

When Covid-19 struck we quickly turned our attention to the social care sector. It doesn’t take any great intellect or foresight to realise that when you’re faced with a virus that hits the elderly and vulnerable hardest, you need to do everything possible to make care homes and domiciliary care safe. Needless to say this […]

Care workers in the east of England looking after sick and elderly still not getting regular Covid tests

Care home staff in the east of England are still not receiving weekly Covid tests despite government promises, according to a survey published today by UNISON. One in ten (10%) employees in residential care, who look after people aged over 65 and those with dementia, say they’ve not had regular swab checks. This fails to […]

Covid response fund reopens

UNISON’s Covid-19 response fund reopens today, offering grants of up to £500 to help members affected by the pandemic. If you are a UNISON member, you can apply for the fund if your income has been affected in any of the following ways: You and/or your partner are currently furloughed; You and/or your partner are […]

Survey reveals staff fears ahead of universities reopening

University staff including cleaners, security guards and administrative workers are facing a perfect storm of pressures that are leaving them out of pocket, and feeling increasingly anxious, a UNISON survey published this week has found. More than 160 employees in the east of England completed the union’s annual higher education survey, which exposed concerns about pay, working hours and […]

You know that a lot of Black nurses have passed away and think ‘it could be me’

Cambridge nurse Victor Tapah shares his story on the front lines against Covid-19

Work in social care? We want to hear from you!

Despite the gradual return to normal, Covid-19 is still a real and present danger in care homes. Staff have been deeply affected by the virus and will continue to face significant challenges as the rest of the country opens back up. The government has announced a £600m infection control fund to help stop the spread […]

It’s been all hands on deck – how we’re keeping police support staff safe

It’s not just in the NHS or local councils that UNISON members have been keeping our public services above water during the pandemic. In police forces across the UK, police community support officers (PCSOs), control room staff, scene of crime officers and many other support workers are proud to be in UNISON. Carol Johnson is one of […]