What you need to know…

ATSL Contract UNISON members in Greater Manchester are being urged to vote for Strike Action in a bid to get rid of the inequality that exists in PTS Greater Manchester compared to the rest of the PTS Staff in the Trust. For over 18 months now, NWAS UNISON has been consulting with the Trust, highlighting concerns about the two-tier service that exists in Manchester and we have asked them to harmonise the terms and conditions of the affected staff and put them onto Agenda for Change. Although we have been successful in getting overtime rates, unsocial hour payments and a guaranteed annual pay uplift that mirrors the national agreement for our ATSL members, we have now reached a point where we consider that too much time has passed, and not enough progress has been made. A large majority of ATSL members voted for Industrial Action when we conducted our Indicative Survey and we informed NWAS of the result. This did not change any-thing, so we have now been left with no option but to formally register a dispute with NWAS and ballot our members for Strike Action.
You will receive your ballot paper around the 8th February 2018 and your vote must reach us be-fore the ballot closing date of 28th February 2018.
If members vote ‘YES’ to Strike Action, it is likely to result in  a days strike in late March 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions? (FAQ’s)I am not a UNISON member. Can I join and take part in the ballot?
Provided an individual is registered as a UNISON member before 29th January 2018 they should call 01228 814684 and request a ballot paper. Individuals can become a member instantly by calling 0800 171 2193 or join online

I am a UNISON member and I have not received a ballot paper
Contact UNISON on 01228 814684 and request a ballot paper.

What about the impact on patients?
UNISON understands that members do not like taking action that affects communities. However, planned Industrial Action also raises public awareness of the issue and how it may affect their local services.

Do I have to go on strike?
UNISON recognises that taking strike action is very challenging. However, all other options of negotiations with the employer have been exhausted. UNISON members are being balloted on whether they are prepared to take strike action in order to harmonise the terms and conditions onto Agenda for Change. Sometimes, a ‘YES’ vote is enough to encourage the employer to re-consider their position and to recommence negotiations. If Industrial Action is initiated, then NWAS UNISON asks that every balloted member observes the strike and to show solidarity with colleagues. Balloted members who do not observe the strike undermine our bargaining power, and makes it harder for us to protect our members in the future. If the outcome of the ballot leads to strike action, then we ask that you do not work but instead contact your local rep and volunteer to help out on the picket lines. This is not illegal, it isn’t dangerous, and it can be fun! It shows that everyone is united in taking strike action. UNISON only takes strike action as a last resort once every other avenue has been exhausted.

Would I have to tell my employer that I would be taking strike action?

Employer’s might send you a formal-sounding letter asking you to declare in advance whether you will be taking industrial action. You are under no obligation to inform your employer in advance as to whether you will be taking part in strike action. UNISON is legally required to give your employer some statistical information about UNISON members taking industrial action, but we do not give individual names.

Am I breaking my contract by taking strike action?
All effective industrial action is a breach of your contract of employment. The law protects workers from dismissal whilst taking part in lawful industrial action at any time within 12 weeks of the start of the action and depending on the circumstances, dismissal may also be unfair if it takes place later.

How would it affect my pension?
In some strikes (short ones) employers may not withhold superannuation contributions and there-fore participation in strike action has not generally affected pensions. Nonetheless it is a possibility. However, employers that do choose to withhold contributions usually make provision for members to make up pension and Additional Voluntary Contribution deficits from their pay.

What if I am part time?
UNISON believes that any deduction must be pro-rata for part time staff. The deduction must only be for your contracted hours. You should contact your local UNISON rep if you think that your employer has deducted more than they should.


2018 A.G.M.

We look forward to  seeing you at our 2018 Annual General Meetings, details of which are below:

Greater Manchester AGM – 1st February 2018

Venue:  UNISON Regional Office, Arena Point, Manchester, M3 1UN

Time: 1.30pm

Cheshire and Mersey AGM – 7th February 2018

Venue: Birchwood Fire and Ambulance Station, Ordnance Avenue, Warrington, WA3 6QS

Time: 1.30pm

Cumbria and Lancashire AGM – 8th February 2018

Venue: Penrith Golf Club, Salkeld Road, Penrith, CA11 8SG

Time: 1.30pm

Food and refreshments will be provided at all of these events. If you have any special requirements, please let us know.


Technical Difficulties

Please be advised that our website and forum are having serious technical difficulties. Please accept our apologies, we are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. If you require any help or advice, please contact your local representative or Area Convenor. Alternatively, contact UNISON Direct on 0800 0857857.Read More

Tribunal Fee Victory for UNISON members and other Workers

UNISON has won a landmark court victory today (Wednesday) against the government, which means that employment tribunal fees will now be scrapped.
The Supreme Court – the UK’s highest court – has unanimously ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees four years ago. From today, anyone who has been treated illegally or unfairly at work will no longer have to pay to take their employers to court – as a direct result of UNISON’s legal challenge.
The government will also have to refund more than £27m to the thousands of people charged for taking claims to tribunals. This is since July 2013, when fees were introduced by Chris Grayling, the then Lord Chancellor. Anyone in England, Scotland and Wales wanting to pursue a case against their employer has had to find as much as £1,200. This has been a huge expense for many low-paid employees, says UNISON.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The government is not above the law. But when ministers introduced fees they were disregarding laws many centuries old, and showing little concern for employees seeking justice following illegal treatment at work.
“The government has been acting unlawfully, and has been proved wrong – not just on simple economics, but on constitutional law and basic fairness too.
“It’s a major victory for employees everywhere. UNISON took the case on behalf of anyone who’s ever been wronged at work, or who might be in future. Unscrupulous employers no longer have the upper hand.
“These unfair fees have let law-breaking bosses off the hook these past four years, and left badly treated staff with no choice but to put up or shut up.
“We’ll never know how many people missed out because they couldn’t afford the expense of fees. But at last this tax on justice has been lifted.”
UNISON assistant general secretary Bronwyn McKenna said: “The Supreme Court correctly criticised the government’s failure when it set the fees to consider the public benefits flowing from the enforcement of legal rights enacted by Parliament.
“The effective enforcement of these rights is fundamental to Parliamentary democracy and integral to the development of UK law. UNISON’s case has helped clarify the law and gives certainty to citizens and businesses in their everyday lives.”
The decision marks the end of a four-year fight by UNISON to overturn the government’s introduction of fees.

Another Win for UNISON

UNISON has won a landmark court victory today (Friday) that makes it much harder for employers to ignore staff when making major changes in the workplace.
The Court of Appeal ruling means that for the first time employers will be obliged to consult with unions around any workplace issues that affect their members.
Until now, unions only had the right to be consulted where the law required this, for example in TUPE regulations where employees transfer from one employer to another, and in redundancy cases. The ruling means employers will also have to involve unions in issues such as those around working hours and holiday pay.
It will benefit thousands of employees whose rights at work are under threat and means that employers will face greater scrutiny over their treatment of staff, says UNISON. The victory came about after the union took up a case involving parks police who were made redundant by the London Borough of Wandsworth.
The Court of Appeal ruled that UNISON had the right to be consulted by Wandsworth over the job losses. UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is the second major legal victory in a week for working people. It means that employees in any workplace where there’s a union will now benefit from greater protection at work.
“The message to bosses is they will have to treat their staff more fairly over pay and working conditions. If they fail to consult unions then they will be acting unlawfully and could be taken to court.”

Ambulance workers revealed as the group hardest-hit by Tories’ attack on public sector pay

A damning study by the TUC shows paramedics have seen their annual pay cut by £6,140 since 2010 as 999 workers descend on Parliament. Hero ambulance workers are revealed today as the hardest-hit of any major public sector group by the Tories’ brutal attack on pay. NHS dieticians have also suffered a similar hit, with prisons officers close behind with a brutal £5,731 cut. Firefighters have lost £4770 and teachers £4,473 since the austerity began in 2010, the trade union chiefs found.

The figures are revealed in a damning new report by the TUC comparing pay rates with the rise in RPI inflation – seen by many experts as the real cost of living. A post-election poll by the TUC showed that 76% of voters want to give public sector workers a pay rise – including 68% of Conservative voters. TUC reps will descend on Parliament today to present a petition with more than 30,000 signatures demanding an end to the cruel pay freeze.


Anti Austerity March – 1st October 2017

On the 1st July, NWAS UNISON members joined thousands of other people in London to demonstrate against Austerity. Unfortunately, due to relatively short notice, many of our members missed out on the opportunity to join us. 

NWAS UNISON members with Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary at the Anti Austerity march in London on 1st July 2017.

On October 1st, another anti-austerity march is taking place in central Manchester which is the weekend of the Conservative Party Conference. Already, the pressure being applied to the Governments policies is forcing them to change the way that they are doing things. Only this week, the Fire Brigade has been offered a 2% pay increase for this year and a 3% next year and this is despite the cap on public sector pay.

We want as many of our NWAS UNISON members from all over the North West to join us on this march on the 1st October. Full details are due to be published next week but we expect it to start at All Saints from 1230hrs. We will publish more details once we have them but if you are interested, please contact us and let us know.

UNISON writes to the Prime Minister on NHS Pay

UNISON has been at the forefront of challenging the Conservative government on their failing approach to NHS funding, in particular their cruel and self-defeating policy of NHS pay restraint. The other NHS trade unions have joined us in writing to the Prime Minister, urging her to resolve the workforce shortage and ensure safe patient care by:
 guaranteeing safe staffing across all services
 removing the pay cap
 addressing the real-terms loss of earnings
We have made it clear that austerity and a lack of investment in public services was a significant factor in the general election result, and there is clear public support for proper investment in public services. UNISON National Secretary for Health, Sara Gorton, has invited Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to meet the NHS trade unions to discuss how this can be taken forward.
The letter to the Prime Minister can be accessed online:

Manchester Arena Bomb

NWAS UNISON would like to pay tribute to our members who faced the horrific scenes at the Manchester Arena bombing last night (22nd May 2017) and to also recognise the hard working members in our EOC at Parkway.

We have received many calls and messages from UNISON Branches across the UK and we would like to thank them all for their support. Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary emailed this morning to say “After last night’s terrible events I hope everyone in the branch is ok. Please pass on my thanks to all our members who as always continue to work over and above the call of duty, I am so proud you are all part of our union”.


We encourage all of our members to access the counselling services, additional numbers are listed below:

Lorraine Balfe    07983 49033   Stockport/Stalybridge

Karen Bradley    01772 462512/07814 386103   Preston

Jayne Dinsdale  0161 2923406 / 07977 201215   Stockport

Ellen Daly  01257 425606 / 07805 584379   Wigan

Diane Edwards 07939 922123   Warrington

Catherine Saville  07881 238643   Clitheroe

Sandra Marston  07970 465752   Macclesfield

Pamela Winter  01457 871597 / 07702 504983  Oldham

Sheila Warhurst  0161 9280730 / Altrincham

Neil Jordan  07970 829391   Oldham

We would also like to thank our colleagues from surrounding ambulance services who provided additional resources to support the core service we provide to the public.

We hope that all of your family and friends are safe and well. Remember that we are here to support you both in and outside of work. if you need any help or assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.





School Grants

We are pleased to announce the launch of this year’s School Uniform Grant programme.

 Attached for your information:

Application form & survey          
Q&A – your questions answered
Q & As
Application Form

This is just one more example of the benefits of being a UNISON member.