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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.

NWAS UNISON NEEDS YOU!!!

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: https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2017/06/Joint-letter-to-Prime-Minister-1.pdf

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          
Poster
Q&A – your questions answered
Q & As
Poster
Application Form

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

NWAS AOM & SP Indicative Survey

Our Senior Paramedics and Assistant Operational Managers have asked for an Indicative Survey of members over NWAS’s decision to not pay them any more in recognition of the extra responsibilities they have under the new SPTL role. We ask all of our AOM and SP members to access the survey here:

https://surveymonkey.co.uk/r/unisonindicsurvey

The survey closes on June 2nd 2017.

NHS Pay Review Body Consultation on 1% Pay Award 2017

Dear NWAS UNISON branch member,

The NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) has recommended a 1% consolidated pay increase for all NHS Staff on Agenda for Change contracts. The Government has accepted the recommendation and pay for NHS staff will be increased from 1 April 2017. This is the consultation on how UNISON should respond. We want to know how members in your branch feel about the annual pay award and where you want UNISON, at branch, region and national levels, to put the most resource.
This is about the focus of national and regional UNISON resources. The Health Service Group Executive has not received soundings that there is the level of support necessary for a successful industrial action ballot so formally recommends that our efforts should instead be dedicated to an “earnings maximisation” strategy. However, we are running this consultation to check that this judgement is correct. If branches choose the “earnings max” strategy, we will dedicate resources to branches to deliver projects on those lines.
We are using “earnings max” as a shorthand for campaigns the Health Group could run to improve member earnings. This could include country-wide work such as pursuing a national approach to reprofiling band 1 jobs into band 2, regional projects to identify and resource high profile rebanding campaigns, as well as training and support for branches to pursue local campaigns in areas such as: living wage claim; local recruitment and retention premiums; challenging downbanding/supporting banding reviews; holiday pay and sick pay based on accurate earnings; and improved shift patterns.
If branches choose national industrial action to challenge the 2017/18 pay award, our national resource will be used to provide the administrative and logistical support needed for a national ballot.
OPTION A – Earnings maximisation
OPTION B – Resource a national ballot to challenge the 2017/18 pay award

We are now consulting with our members on Agenda for Change contracts for a Branch Decision. Please click on the following link to let us have your choice. Responses are needed by the 2nd May at the latest:

Please click on the following link to let us know your choice:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/nhspayconsultation    This has now closed.

Thanks

Jeff Gorman

Branch Secretary

NWAS UNISON