Now’s our chance for a society that works for all

Acting regional secretary Tim Roberts urges public sector workers to grab this chance to shape the new normal

In the back room but on the front line – NHS admin in the crisis

It’s not just doctors and nurses who make up the NHS. It take a whole team to keep the health service going. And while cleaners, caterers and porters are visible and getting thanks, many seem to forget how vital administrators are to the NHS family. UNISON Eastern spoke to Lily Martin, an admin worker in Addenbrooke’s Patient […]

£22m of cuts would mean misery for Luton

Plans for £22m of cuts and hundreds of job losses at Luton Borough Council will ‘heap misery’ on the town, UNISON warns today. The Council faces a £50m shortfall because of the Covid-19 pandemic, mainly because of its reliance on income from the airport. The £11.2m from central Government falls well short of what’s needed […]

Eastern region pilots new reps recertification course

UNISON Eastern has been picked to trial a brand new online version of the recertification course. The course is an integral part of UNISON’s activist education arsenal, with all reps expected to undergo recertification every five years to make sure our activists keep up to date with legal changes and organising priorities. It’s designed for […]

‘I feel inspired by it’ – how we’ve taken activist education online

To mark Adult Learners Week, we speak to James Young about training to be a rep during the Covid-19 pandemic. Having joined UNISON nearly three decades ago, James decided to take the plunge a few months ago and become a rep. “I’ve always believed UNISON was a good organisation to be part of, one with shared goals […]

MPs urged to extend free scheme to all frontline care and NHS staff

A government scheme exempting overseas workers from visa fees for one year should be extended to all care staff and NHS employees, says UNISON today. The union is backing an amendment brought by MP Yvette Cooper to the Immigration Bill that would ensure many more staff – such as social care workers, hospital cleaners, healthcare assistants and porters […]

Lessons to be learned by government after limited schools’ reopening across East of England, says UNISON

Rushed government reopening plans have led to guidelines on ‘safe’ class sizes being ignored by some schools in the East of England, according to a survey published by UNISON today. Nearly a quarter (23%) of support staff say primary schools have operated class sizes bigger than the 15 pupils per group maximum recommended to maintain social distancing. The data was compiled from the responses of […]

Giving all our NHS heroes cause for celebration

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 there’s been an outpouring of generosity shown towards the NHS and its staff from members of the public, businesses and retailers. Hospitals have been flooded with donations for staff and shops and supermarkets have offered concessions to NHS staff and other key workers. However, UNISON’s Norfolk Community Health branch discovered […]

Back to school like never before

With many schools across the UK reopening classrooms this week, UNISON Eastern acting regional secretary talked to activists in Thurrock about going back to school for his latest blog post. The government’s rush to reopen classrooms has been the main front in UNISON’s battle against coronavirus in recent weeks. Many schools have encouraged extra students […]

Probation staff haven’t let the wheels of justice stop turning

The wheels of justice are still turning throughout the coronavirus pandemic – and they’re turning faster than ever in the probation service. Elisa Vasquez-Walters was one of the many UNISON probation workers putting the pedal to the metal to make the government’s early release scheme — aimed at stopping prisons becoming Covid-19 hotspots — a success. […]

Luton needs support to avoid council cash catastrophe

Slashing £22m from Luton Council’s budget would be ‘catastrophic’ for the town, UNISON warns today. Councils across the UK face the prospect of huge deficits because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Luton has been particularly hard hit due to its reliance on revenues from the airport. It predicts a yearly loss of at least £49m because […]

UNISON Eastern welcomes firefighters’ support for education workers

UNISON Eastern has welcomed the Fire Brigades Union Eastern Region’s backing for education workers opposing the reopening of schools. Nine unions representing teachers, support staff and heads issued a joint statement this month urging the government not to push on with increasing pupil numbers until it is safe to do so. In a letter to local […]

There’s nothing ‘mad’ about health and safety

Continuing his blogs during the Covid-19 crisis, UNISON Eastern acting regional secretary Tim Roberts looks at the trade union movement’s renewed emphasis on safety. Safety at work has been always been central to trade unionism. Since the birthing throes of the modern trade union movement in the early 19th century, organised workers have sought to […]

‘It’s been tiring and stressful – but it’s nice to be appreciated’

We sometimes forget how important bin collections are to our national health. Without regular collections we’d see a huge increase in vermin and disease. It’s not something we want at the best of times, but with our NHS under unprecedented pressures, many have rediscovered the importance of our refuse collectors. Mark Pavitt is one of […]

UNISON Living during the pandemic

UNISON doesn’t just provide strength and protection at work. UNISON Living offers members great deals on insurance, travel, shopping and much more. Like everyone else, our partners providing these services have been forced to change the way they operate because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But they’re still committed to providing the best service possible to […]