Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Food & drink vending facilities in Council offices – your views are needed!

We’ve been asked by the Council for UNISON’s view on the continued provision of vending facilities in Council buildings, in particular at the offices at Orchardbank, County Buildings and Bruce House in Arbroath.

So if you have a few minutes, could you share your thoughts with us on the following points? You can do this by replying to our Facebook post at 'Angus UNISON', in the comment section at the bottom of this post or emailing the Branch at office@unison-angus.org.uk:

·        Do you use the vending facilities at present?

·        Are they currently sited at the best location in each office?

·        In the absence of any local shops (particularly on the Orchardbank campus) do the vending machines give you an option for a drink or snack that you would not otherwise leave the building for?

·        Would you like to see an improved range of items for purchase e.g. healthy options, rolls/sandwiches etc? If so, any items in particular?

It would be great to hear from you by the end of the week so that we can respond formally to the Council’s request for our members views!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Equality & Human Rights Commission: Scotland

Are you interested in influencing our work and the impact of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland?
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is Britain’s national equality and human rights body. We operate in Scotland, England and Wales.

Our job is to help make Britain fairer. We do this by safeguarding and enforcing the laws that protect people’s rights to fairness, dignity and respect.

We are looking for people from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experience and who have a passion and commitment to furthering equality in Scotland.

The EHRC Scotland Committee is a statutory committee which advises the Commission on its work in Scotland. It is chaired by the EHRC Scotland Commissioner, Dr Lesley Sawers. We are currently recruiting for new members of the Committee to join the team to support and advise in key areas of equality and human rights in Scotland.

You may never have considered a Committee position before or know much about us – but your experience may be invaluable to the work of the Commission in Scotland. Come along and explore further – We’d love to meet you.

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of the Committee, what is involved in being a member and how to apply then we are hosting a couple of open day sessions on the following dates: 

Monday 4 September from 11.30 to 2.00 at Tayside Deaf Hub, The Old Mill, 23 Brown Street, Dundee http://www.taysidedeafhub.org.uk/

Wednesday 6 September from 4.00 to 6.30 at The Studio, 67 Hope Street, Glasgow – Aspire Room, 8th Floor

To book your place and find out more details on the sessions, please contact Gillian.Lawrence@equalityhumanrights.com
If you have any dietary requirements or reasonable adjustments, please contact Gillian.Lawrence@equalityhumanrights.com

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Drop-in Time

Remember, if you're needing to speak to UNISON about any particular work related issues….or indeed just want to say hello, we are still working out of Room LG6 in Bruce House, Arbroath! There's some changes to when we're available for the remainder until this Friday - these can be found below, along with details of when we're here next week.
Wed 2nd: 0900 – 0945, 1115 - 1245
Thu 3rd: 0900 - 1230
Fri 4th: 0900 – 1200
Tue 8th: 1400 - 1600
Wed 9th: 0900 - 1200
Thu 10th: 0900 - 1630
Fri 11th: 0900 - 1230
Future dates (and indeed any late changes) will be advised via these pages and on the Angus UNISON Facebook pages.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


I am delighted to tell you that UNISON Legal Services has been successful in its challenge to Employment Tribunal Fees.  Today, the Supreme Court, the UK'S highest court, ruled that the Government acted unlawfully when it introduced fees to bring claims in the Employment Tribunals in England, Scotland and Wales. Since 2013, workers have had to pay as much as £1,200 plus to have claims for sex discrimination or unfair dismissal heard at Tribunal.

I am so very proud that it is our union which has successfully challenged this great injustice. As the Supreme Court has said Employment Tribunals play a vital role in enforcing employment rights by employees and workers including the low paid. The Court found that UNISON's evidence showed that the fall in claims when fees came in was 'so sharp, so substantial and so sustained' that fees could not reasonably be afforded by those on low to middle incomes. It also held that fees particularly deterred claims of low value which as we know are generally brought by the most vulnerable workers.

This historic judgement makes heavy criticism of the Government's actions. It found that the system of fees introduced in 2013 infringed constitutional rights. The Court said that citizens' right of access to the courts which is guaranteed by Magna Carta was effectively prevented by the Fees Order which introduced fees in Employment Tribunals. The level at which the fees had been set contravened 'elementary economics and plain common sense'.

This decision in our union's case will benefit all working people.

Our next steps are to call for the Government to

·         quash the rules relating to fees,
·         reimburse all fees paid since 2013,
·         immediately remove all references to fees on ET claim forms and government literature, websites and advice; and
·         pay UNISON's costs in full.

I would like to thank all members of UNISON Legal Services who have worked tirelessly on this case but particular mention should be made of Adam Creme, Shantha David, Ben Patrick, Kate Osborne and Grant Haycock and to Bronwyn McKenna, AGS, who has worked with me on this.

Yours sincerely

Dave Prentis

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

UNISON Equality Survey

Last year nearly 5,000 UNISON members took part in our national equality survey about their experience of equality in the workplace – one of the biggest responses to any survey ever run by UNISON. We used the results to brief our service groups and self-organised groups on key equality issues for their bargaining and organising agendas. This year we want to try for 6000 members taking part.
The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2V868JJ
It takes just 5-10 minutes to complete. It can be done anonymously, although if you want to be entered into a prize draw to win 3 nights at Croyde Bay you have an option to leave your email address.

The survey closes on Monday 7 August.

I would be grateful if you could distribute this to your members.

Find out more about Croyde Bay Holiday Resort 

2017/2018 Pay Award

The Branch received the following communication from Angus Council's Head of HR earlier today:
'As you will be aware the pay award for Chief Officers, Craft and Local Government Employees for 2017/18 has been agreed. The confirmation circulars from CoSLA were received on Friday. The payroll team will implement the new rates in the August pay run and the backpay from 1 April will be paid in the September pay run. We have publicised this information for employees also'.
The pay award is an increase of £350.00 for all staff earning under £35,000 per year (based on a 37 hour week and pro rata). Staff earning over £35,000 will receive a 1% increase.
The award is also payable to members employed by AngusAlive.
CoSLA have agreed to a joint approach to the Scottish Government making the case for additional resources for local government and if this was successful they recognise that additional money for future pay awards is a priority. UNISON Scotland will be meeting with COSLA soon to start preliminary discussions on a future Pay Strategy and hope to conclude this by December this year.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Local Government Elections: Question Time!

Some questions for our candidates in next week's local government elections have been written by UNISON Scotland. Why not get in touch with those standing and ask them all, some, or even just one of these questions.....

Let the Branch know how you get on!

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