UNISON appeals to councillors over pay freeze

UNISON, the largest union for local government workers, is today (16 Jan) writing to all councillors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, outlining the human stories behind the three year long local government pay freeze. The union is appealing to councillors to use their influence to pressure employers for a thaw. 

Retail price inflation yesterday edged up to 3.1%, piling yet more pressure onto local government workers and their families. Even the lowest paid have not received a penny to help them cope with the rising cost of living. Most employers have refused to honour George Osborne’s pledge to pay a £250 increase to all public sector workers earning less than £21,000. 

Special Home Insurance offer for Unison members and their immediate family


UIA Insurance are offering members 12 Months Home Insurance for the price of 10 for a limited time. On top of that, you will also get a 5% discount if you buy buildings and contents insurance and there's no extra charge for monthly payments by Direct Debit. So why not join the many satisfied Unison members already benefiting from great savings with our home insurance.

To find out what savings could be made members should call 0800 66 88 55 or visit www.unisoninsurance.co.uk (Terms and conditions apply - see website for details. Offer is only available to new customers.

Please note this outstanding offer is available to Unison members until 29th January 2013.

 

UNISON members also get 5% online discount on travel insurance.

Free access to Publications online for Unison members

Did you know you could be reading ALL of LRD's published output from anywhere with an internet connection via Publications Online??????? Access our huge archive on workplace rights plus Labour Research and Workplace Report. Here are your login details:

username: unison. password: tango69

*Start using this amazing resource HERE

The new UNISON app


Unison AppOn 20 October hundreds of thousands of people will gather in London, Glasgow and Belfast to 
March for a Future that Works.

UNISON members believe cutting vital public services hurts the most vulnerable members of our society - people who can least afford to pay the price of the recession caused by the bankers.

Join us on 20 October, and send a strong message to the government that we want a policy that will create jobs and growth, a society that benefits from world class public services and a commitment to a fairer future.

And in the build up to 20 October, UNISON has introduced a free smartphone app that will help you stay connected, keeping you updated in the run up and on the day.

As well as keeping you up-to-date about the march, the app provides guidance about your rights at work (we're the first trade union in the UK to do this).

It's free and will be useful to anyone working in the UK.

Download the app* Link to an external websiteiTunes - UNISON app

The UNISON app offers the following:

  • Up to date advice on your rights at work
  • Inside news on protecting public services
  • Animations
  • Get active - information and advice on how to fight austerity
  • Join UNISON
  • Update your membership details

* Available for iPhone now, and coming soon for Blackberry, Android and Windows 7.

Face up to the challenges of a new year

2013Ending the public sector pay freeze should be a key plank in a plan to get the economy moving and fuel growth in 2013, after a hard year for families and workers in 2012.

"It's not just the unemployed who are struggling; the number of working people in poverty is on the rise in Tory Britain. The coalition government is hitting working families and it is hitting them hard," says general secretary Dave Prentis

Union organisers are increasingly reporting that public sector workers are being forced to rely on food banks to feed their families, and the union's welfare charity, There for You, has reported a large increase in members seeking help.

read more on the Main Unison website

BRIEFING ON THE PUBLIC SERVICE PENSIONS BILL

This Bill was laid before parliament on 13 September 2012 and the second reading of The Bill is scheduled for 22 October 2012.

The purpose of The Bill is to set out how new Public Service Pension Schemes can be created in the future including how they are to be governed and also the type of benefits they should include:

Governance

The Bill sets out that every Scheme should have a Scheme Manager and that the Scheme regulations must provide for the establishment of a Board responsible for assisting the Scheme Manager. The Bill sets out that the main powers of the Board would be to ensure effective and efficient administration of the Scheme and whether any member of the Board has a conflict of interest. It would allow Scheme regulations to set out the areas that the Board could consider.

UNISON will be pushing clarify and strengthen this section, in particular how this applies to the proposals that have been put forward for the governance of the Local Government Pension Scheme. We would want to ensure that the wording will allow that there can be a Central Board for the Local Government Pension Scheme consisting of employer and trade union nominees separate from all the Boards and Committees of the Local Government Pension Fund. We will also be considering amendments to strengthen the provision on conflict of interest and the legal status of the Board and in whose interest the Board should operate. Outside The Bill, UNISON will continue to push for the regulations of the LGPS to be amended to allow greater participation of Scheme members in the running of their Scheme.

Pension Reform

UNISON warned today that many workers will still face poverty in retirement, despite the government’s claims that its proposed overhaul of the state pension system will improve pensions.

Millions of workers will also be clobbered with higher national insurance payments under the plans.

 

As the government today issues its long-awaited white paper on state pension reform, UNISON said that radical action was needed to halt the decline in pension provision in the UK, which stands to leave many people in financial misery in retirement.

Local government pension scheme - Ballot

LGPS ImageYou should have received your ballot paper for the UNISON ballot on the new proposals for the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

If not, the ballot helpline is now open: if you have not received your ballot paper, or need a replacement, call the helpline straight away on 0845 355 0845.

Remember, you can vote by post or online, and the ballot closes on 24 August at 10am.

There is a lot of information about how the proposals might affect you on the Local Government Pension Scheme page of UNISON's website at unison.org.uk/pensions/lgps.asp.

 

The ballot closes on 24 August. The ballot helpline is 0845 355 0845 and it will be open until 10am on 21 August.

38 DEGREES LOGO

GP out-of-hours services

Update: over 70,000 of us have signed the petition demanding an urgent MP investigation into GP out-of-hours services provided by private health companies.


If we can get the petition to 100,000, we can deliver it by hand to a powerful committee of MPs. With 100,000 names they won’t be able to overlook the huge public demand for a full investigation.

Lots of 38 Degrees members have shared deeply worrying stories about privately run out-of-hours GP services. We can help make sure no more lives are put at risk. Let’s demand an investigation now.

Please sign to help get the petition to 100,000 today:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/GP-out-of-hours

March 20th OctoberDo you want a future that works?

 UNISON members and their families do.

The poorest and most vulnerable in our society do. Young people and older people alike do.

How about where you work? If you and your colleagues believe that government cuts are not the way to deliver the future that this country needs, then you need to let your feet do the talking.

Make sure you and your branch join us on 20 October at the TUC mass demonstration in London to show this government that their austerity agenda is standing in the way of delivering the jobs and growth that this country needs.

Energy bill crisis

We are facing an energy bill crisis. Households are suffering huge financial hardship, and cold homes are damaging the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. The increased risk of death from cold homes to the elderly is well established, and illnesses caused by cold homes cost the NHS nearly one billion pounds each year. 

This winter many UNISON members will be worried about paying their gas and electricity bills as prices go up and wages stay the same. And they’re not alone. Fuel poverty in the UK is increasing and today one in four households are in fuel poverty.

UNISON can help.

No legs, one arm, one finger - you're fit for work!

Thats the shocking message from Tuesday nights 'Dispatches' programme on Channel 4!

Using undercover filming, reporter Jackie Long investigates the controversial processes used to assess whether sickness and disability benefit claimants should be declared fit for work.  You can view the programme at Channel 4 On demand online here 


If you find the programme shocking, you can add your name to 'PatsPetition' on the HM government petition site here or follow @patspetition on twitter to find out more, or using hashtags #onthesick and #spartacusreport.

In addition, the disability organisation Scope has an interesting article regarding the programme here including a link for you to directly contact your MP regarding the unfair treatment of disabled people. 

Disability can affect any one of us or our families at any time, treating the most vulnerable people in our society in this way has to stop now!

Channel 4 DispatchesPats Petition

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