Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Thomson Solicitors

Thomsons are the Solicitors for UNISON members and the headline statistics for January to March 2016 are as follows:-
·       178 cases opened;
·       78 successful cases concluded;
·       £1,403,897 obtained in damages;
·       £17,998 average award in each case
·       £467,965 average damages per month;
·       3% of cases turned down;
·       142 wills prepared;
·       129 members were given general free legal advice;
·       9 conveyancing cases opened
  • 10 criminal case opened

Trade unions bill

Last week the Trade Union Bill went back to the House of Commons. We didn’t manage to defeat the entire bill, but we did manage to remove several elements of it that would have irrevocably damaged the trade union movement.

UNISON members across the UK took part. There were marches in major cities, members visited their MPs and wrote to their local councillors, others attended Parliament for a mass lobby, there was a week of action in February, and much more.

The final bill looks drastically different from when it was proposed last year. And to achieve that, we ran a campaign to be proud of.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

International Workers Memorial Day - 28 April

Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers. The 28 April annual event is marked all over the world, as workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a plethora of other activities to mark the day
As preparations begin for this year’s event, the TUC has announced the global campaign focus. “In 2016 the theme for the day is ‘Strong Laws – Strong enforcement – Strong Unions’ because across the world we are seeing growing attacks on health and safety protection, including in Britain where the government have removed protection from millions of self-employed workers, and across Europe where the European Commission is pursuing a dangerous deregulatory strategy,” the union body said.
“However strong laws are not enough if they are not going to be enforced. That is why we need proper inspections and enforcement action against those who break the laws.”
The TUC said that in UK the number of inspections has fallen dramatically in the past five years, while in many other countries enforcement is non-existent. “That is why we also need strong unions. Unionised workplaces are safer, yet the government is trying to stop unions protecting the health and safety of their members by restricting the right of health and safety representatives to take time off to keep the workplace safer, and also trying to reduce our right to strike when things go wrong.

Holyrood election 2016

An update on our Scottish Parliament election campaign activity:

·       UNISON has published the main UNISON Scotland election manifesto ‘Public Services and the Good Society’. You can download a copy here.

·       With the manifesto they have published the results of a public opinion poll commissioned from the pollsters Survation. You can read a summary of the main points at our Public Works blog . The headline is that public services are voter's top priority.

·       UNISON's dedicated SP2016 page has the first two manifestos on policing and early years/childcare. These will be followed by manifestos on health inequalities, social care and local government funding.

Stop TTIP and CETA

As well as the broader UNISON campaigning in the lead up to the election UNISON needs your help to convince your local MSP candidates that they must speak out against the controversial trade deals TTIP and CETA. We already know that these two massive trade deals between the EU and the US (TTIP), and the EU and Canada (CETA) present a real threat to public services, food standards, workers’ rights and the environment.  Both will grant new powers to big business at the expense of democracy. They must be stopped.

Please write to your local Holyrood election candidates and call on them to commit to opposing TTIP and CETA if elected. Take action here

More than three million people across Europe have signed the petition to stop TTIP and CETA. Together we can stop these dodgy trade deals.  Click here to contact your MSP candidates today.

EU Referendum

UNISON is to campaign for the UK to stay part of the European Union, and will be encouraging its 1.3 million members to vote remain on 23 June.

The decision was taken today (Wednesday) at a meeting of the union’s governing NEC, and follows an extensive UK-wide consultation and survey across UNISON’s branches.

The fear that Brexit would mean the loss of the many workplace rights – parental leave, paid holiday, protection for part-timers and limits on excessive hours – that UK employees have come to take for granted is the most important issue in the coming referendum, according to UNISON’s overwhelmingly female membership.

Concern over what might happen to those employment rights should the UK vote to leave the EU was closely followed by worries about the plight of the country’s public services if Britain opted to go it alone.

In the consultative survey, almost four in five (78%) of UNISON branches wanted the union to take a stance in the EU referendum. Of these, the overwhelming majority (95%) wanted UNISON to campaign for the UK to stay in Europe.

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