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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

You are the people who stand up for Edinburgh's services - New Year message from branch president

This year was dominated by the independence referendum, pay, and the continuing savage cuts to local government. UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch played a major campaigning role in all three.

We ran a hustings early in the referendum campaign and activists on both sides campaigned to ensure that public services and social justice were at the forefront of the debate. Independence, or even the new powers under devolution, are worthless unless politicians are prepared to use the powers to tackle poverty and inequality.

Nowhere does that stand out more than in local government. 40,000 jobs have been lost across Scotland with services cut to the bone. People outsourced by local councils to care for the most vulnerable are paid poverty wages. Even more cuts are to come with more jobs lost and those left behind facing intolerable stresses to keep services going.

It is a disgrace that, amidst all that, politicians line up to criticise local councils while at the same time starving them of the funds they need. The fact is that, independence or enhanced devolution aside, the powers are there to do something about these cuts now. All it takes is politicians with the will to use them.

But there have been successes. We have won the living wage for council staff and the campaign goes on to win the living wage for workers in procured services.

In her first year as branch secretary Amanda Kerr has shown great leadership and built a new outlook on organisation in the branch with members’ surgeries and a ‘member benefits day’ that saw a surge in recruitment.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Health & Safety - Cold weather advice

 We have been approached by members in a number of workplaces complaining both about the cold temperatures and about the failure of management to improve these.

The Council's Frequently Asked Questions section on the Orb states that

"Q1. My office is too hot/cold. What can be done to make it more comfortable?

Normally the temperature in an office should not be less than 16°C. No maximum temperature is specified in the legislation which only requires it to be 'reasonably comfortable'.

By law offices should be provided with thermometers so that you can check the temperature. During times when the main heating or cooling systems break down or when extremes of temperature are experienced (e.g. mid winter or high summer) then temporary heating or cooling can be provided.

Individual preferences on temperature vary and it is often difficult to achieve a temperature that everyone will find comfortable. Most people are happy with a temperature within the range of 18°C and 24°C.

Where the main heating/cooling system is defective then this should be reported through your normal management structure or, in buildings serviced by Facilities Management, to the Facilities Helpdesk.

Q2. There is an uncomfortable draught in our office. I think it might be giving me a frozen shoulder.

The Health and Safety (Workplace) Regulations 1992 require workplaces to be kept free from uncomfortable draughts. Your manager will need to identify the source of the draught and either take action to eliminate the draught or reorganise the arrangement of the workstations to minimise exposure to the draught.

It may be necessary to obtain technical assistance from service areas in the Council who have responsibility for the maintenance of Council properties (e.g. Property Management; Facilities Management)"

Further Information

It is clear that the intention is to maintain a temperature of between 18 - 24 degrees in the working environment. Offices should have access to thermometers so that accurate readings can be taken in the areas where workers are complaining.

The HSE recommend that employers should consider carrying out a Thermal Comfort Risk Assessment where 10% of workers in an air conditioned office or 15% of workers in a naturally ventilated office complain of being too hot or too cold. I would recommend that in any instances where the temperature is out with the 18 - 24 range are reported on a Council Accident/Incident form as it has the potential to cause harm.

It could be that even temperatures within this banding are not acceptable. There are air comfort factors other than temperature for example air quality, wind chill and humidity that can make workers feel uncomfortable in a workplace where on the face of it measurement by temperature alone makes the workplace seem within the guidance.

Particular workers for example pregnant workers, workers with a pre existing medical condition or older workers may suffer within the range. The nature of the work also has an affect.

Wholly sedentary (permanently desk based staff for example) will need a higher workplace temperature to be comfortable than more physically active workers.

Another issue that has come up is that of workers who are required to work outdoors during the severe weather. Your manager is responsible for your Health and Safety. If duties outside a set workplace are part of your job then the Risk Assessment of your job should reflect this. Severe weather is a factor that needs to be taken into account.

If the Risk Assessment doesn't do this then it needs to be revised when severe weather is a factor. Whether workers should be carrying out duties in adverse conditions is a decision for managers to make but they must ensure that the work is safely carried out.

Issues such as lone working, the provision of PPE (protective clothing) or temporary transfer to other duties are amongst the issues that managers may want to consider.

Please ensure that if you complete an accident/incident form it should be forwarded to your manager who should in turn forward it to Health and Safety Section. A copy should also be forwarded to your Safety Representative. If you don't have one on your site please forward it to the Branch Health and Safety Officer, UNISON Branch Office, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.

The Health and Safety Executive define a manager's responsibilities for Thermal Comfort with regard to Cold Temperatures as follows; "This section outlines your responsibilities as a manager, and suggests some ways you can improve thermal comfort in the workplace.

· Managing thermal comfort in the workplace

· In organisations where thermal discomfort in indoor environments is a risk, it is vital that management provides a visible commitment to the health and well-being of their employees.

· In many workplaces, thermal discomfort may only occur during unscheduled repair and maintenance work, when heating ventilation and air conditioning systems either break down or don't work as intended, e.g. during the hottest or coldest months. When this occurs, it is important to consider the possible impact of increased thermal discomfort on employees.

· It is the responsibility of management to ensure that a company adapts as necessary to reduce or eliminate the risk of thermal discomfort amongst the employees. If thermal discomfort is a risk, and your employees are complaining and/or reporting illnesses that may be caused by the thermal environment, then you will be required to develop a thermal comfort programme:

· You may need to train and/or re-train staff. Training may be required for the thermal comfort risk assessments, analysis of data, and interpretation of results and implementation of controls. Training may also be required to explain to staff how, by modifying their working practices (such as clothing worn, work rate etc), they may be able to adapt to their thermal environment.

· The thermal conditions may need to be monitored and where possible recorded.

· Health surveillance or medical screening may be required for staff that have special requirements such as pregnancy, certain illnesses, disabilities and/or maybe taking medication. Medical advice should be sought if necessary.

· Adequate and appropriate risk assessment procedures are essential. Records of all procedures and results should be kept as part of your risk management programme.

· Working habits and current practices need to be reviewed periodically and (where necessary) changed, to meet your obligations to control the risks your employees may face. When people are too cold You can help ensure thermal comfort when working in the cold by:

· providing adequate workplace heating, e.g. portable heaters; · reducing cold exposure by designing processes that minimise exposure to cold areas and cold products where possible;

· reducing draughts;

· providing insulating floor coverings or special footwear when workers have to stand for long periods on cold floors;

· providing appropriate protective clothing for cold environments

· introducing formal systems of work to limit exposure, e.g. flexible working patterns, job rotation;

· allowing sufficient breaks to enable employees to get hot drinks or to warm up in heated areas".

If you have any queries about problems in your workplace please contact your local Safety Representative or the Branch Health and Safety Officer.

Dave McConnell
Branch Health and Safety Officer

Friday, 5 December 2014

UNISON response to Edinburgh cuts - government must put cash in

As Edinburgh fights to find £67 million in cuts on top of almost £200 million in recent years, UNISON’s Edinburgh Branch is calling on the Scottish Government to put cash in now ‘before local services disappear for ever’.

“All the salami slicing has now been done. Reorganisations, back office cuts that create more work and are false economies, and a wage freeze have delivered as much as they can and we are going to see frontline services disappearing never to return”, warned John Stevenson, UNISON Edinburgh branch president.

“Councils like Edinburgh cannot wait for a review of funding a year down the road. The Scottish Government must step in now before local government becomes unviable.”

UNISON has yet to consult on the detail of the budget cuts but it is warning that lessons from the past need to be learned. It understands that a neighbourhood system is envisaged with cuts at middle management level. This is deeply worrying in several services which are only able to carry on functioning because managers are covering for staff shortages and to manage huge workloads. The dangers of undermanaged services for staff and for service users have been writ large in Edinburgh before and in other authorities.

Aberdeen had a neighbourhood system that was roundly condemned in a child protection inspection. Edinburgh had a neighbourhood system a few years ago that cost £9 million and lost direct lines of accountability for social work which was also criticised in an inspection. Any new system must learn from these lessons.

UNISON will also be demanding that the council sticks to its no compulsory redundancy pledge.

“One of the biggest pressures faced by councils amidst the cuts is the growing need for social care and children’s services. These are all provided directly by people, many of whom are paid a pittance. Cut the people and you cut the services”, added UNISON’s Tom Connolly who is secretary for the staff side of all the council unions.

“Labour and the SNP have shown in Edinburgh that they can work together and we are calling on them to stand up for the services they were elected to protect”.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Bhopal commemoration 3 December Greyfriars

A commemoration of the world's worst industrial disaster will be held on Wednesday 3 December at Greyfriars Kirkyard Memorial 5.45pm for 6.00pm. All welcome. There is still no justice for the victims. Click here for more details. Also see the UNISON Scotland site for details of delegation that will be in Bhopal on 3 December.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

UNISON Edinburgh Members' Benefits Day

Friday 14 November 2014 10am-2.30pm Courtyard Area Waverly Court Edinburgh
Check out how you could save up to £250 a year with your UNISON membership.

All new members joining on the day will be entered into a prize draw!

Prizes include:
KINDLE FIRE HDX
TOSHIBA TOUCHSCREEN TABLET
DESIGNER SUNGLASSESS
CROYDE BAY £75 HOLIDAY VOUCHER
SHOPPING VOUCHERS
New members joining between 14-21 November will also be entered and existing members can enter here
Click here or on the graphic for a poster.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Holiday Pay Claims Important Update

Since our earlier briefings on holiday pay claims, a number of employers have attempted to limit their liability for back pay by including additional money for holiday pay in workers’ pay.

This triggers the time limit for claims with the effect that many claims may go out of time. Where this has been done by a large employer like a local authority, you will already have received advice from UNISON.

If your pay now includes an element of additional pay, the time for bringing a claim will have started from the date on which you were last underpaid holiday pay. If there are more than three months since the last time holiday pay did not include additional sums, then you will be unable to pursue a claim.

The branch will be sending out a more detailed briefing very soon, but you should contact us now if you think you are running out of time because your employer has made additional payments for past underpaid holidays. Go to http://www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/holidaypay/index.html for more information.

Friday, 17 October 2014

New branch briefing on pay

Why we are being balloted again. PLEASE VOTE! New branch briefing on employer's proposals. Hold workplace meetings now. Click here for the briefing.

UNISON Scotland has suspended the strike planned for 21 October after an improved offer from employers. The ballot will run from 20 October to 3 November.

The employers have responded to two out of three of UNISON’s demands. These are significant enough for the leadership to consult members under UNISON procedures on whether they think it is enough to settle for this year - with a major pay campaign next year - or whether the action continues.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

UNISON Scotland: Talks progress. 21 October strike suspended

UNISON Scotland: Talks progress. 21 October strike suspended - new consultative ballot ...: Following a meeting of UNISON’s Scottish Local Government Committee today, the committee has taken the decision to suspend strike action planned for 21 October and consult our members on new proposals put forward by the Scottish Employers (CoSLA).

The proposals concentrate on three areas of our dispute: the future participation in the agreed bargaining machinery; consolidation of the living wage; and the deletion of spinal column point below the level of the living wage.

The view of the Scottish Local Government Committee is that these proposals represent a significant change to the current award. In line with our agreed procedures UNISON is consulting members on the revised pay offer from the employers and a full consultative ballot will now take place.

The ballot will open on Monday 20 October 2014 and close on Monday 3 November 2014.

More details to follow...

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Vote now for fair pay

See UNISON Edinburgh's new newsletter here on the pay ballot running from 9 to 29 September 2014. The ballot asks members whether they are prepared to take strike action to force the employers to respect the joint negotiating machinery and return to the negotiating table.

The Scottish Employers have imposed a pay award of 1% from 1 April 2014. And they have refused to negotiate on UNISON's claim for this period which was:
  • An additional £1 per hour for all staff conditioned to the Scottish Joint Council scheme.
  • Consolidation of the Living Wage
  • Deletion of spinal column points below the level of the Living Wage
This action by the employers is unacceptable and shows a blatant disregard for the agreed bargaining structures and threatens the future of nationally agreed pay awards.

Branch Secretary, Amanda Kerr, said “Over the last few years we have witnessed a drop in real terms to our wages while the cost of living has increased significantly.

“Our members, who work tirelessly providing vital public services across Edinburgh deserve nothing less than fair pay and it is a complete insult to impose one per cent. We also want to get back to proper negotiations and the agreed bargaining machinery.”

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

UNISON urges council to keep pre-retirement programme

Unions representing workers at the City of Edinburgh Council are today urging councillors to resist plans to abandon a scheme that allows staff to prepare for retirement. The scheme allows paid days off in the last year of work but the council now want to heap the cost on to employees. This could cost a cleaner £3,000 in their last year before retirement.

UNISON's Tom Connolly, speaking for the joint unions, said: "A positive change in legislation is being used as an excuse by the council management team to attempt to hive off the cost of the transition into retirement entirely onto employees."

He slammed an HQ bias which ignores the "psychological, emotional, social and other issues facing thousands of low paid Council staff - staff who have often spent decades looking after and caring for the most vulnerable children, young people elderly and disabled members of the community, we also have the manual workers who ensure our environment is kept clean and our public parks and gardens are well kept, all the above tending to be seen as low status, often physically demanding work."

"Some of the lowest paid staff in the country. Out in all weathers providing services to the public, home care, refuse, residential child care. These staff give years to the public sector reserving very little in return. Working above and beyond their contracted hours. The council management team is out of touch with the grass route staff."

And when it comes to cost, the council is ignoring the millions it saves by staff who regularly work 'above and beyond' in unpaid overtime to keep services going. TUC figures show that more than a quarter (27.4 per cent) of public sector staff did unpaid overtime of almost eight hours a week in 2013.

The full text of the submission being made today by Tom Connolly follows:

UNISON urges Provost to decline Qatar invite

Qatar's Kafala system that removes workers' human rights is cited by UNISON as a reason for the Lord Provost to decline an invitation to visit the country.

Branch International Officer Chris Goodsell is making this submission to the council today:

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Edinburgh College job evaluation update

Following on from our previous briefings about the Edinburgh College Job Evaluation process and outcomes we are in a position to give our members an update from the recent discussions with your management. New briefing covers updated job descriptions, pay protection, legal position at http://www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/edinburghcollege/


Care home briefing on 12 hour rotas

Care Home management have issued 90 day notices in respect of the service-wide implementation of 12 hour rotas. This follows on from the completion of the ‘pilot’ scheme run at Drumbrae Care Home from May 2013 until July 2014.
   UNISON is setting up a range of workplace meetings. We need to hear your views and whether to proceed to a consultative ballot. See full details and get a copy of the briefing on the website here http://www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/socialwork/carehomes.html

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

URGENT - NORMAL PAY FOR HOLIDAY CLAIMS

The following letter is going out to all members working for the City of Edinburgh Council. Please read carefully. You MAY have a claim:

"As we have previously informed you, on 22 May 2014, UNISON member Joe Lock was successful in his claim, Lock v British Gas. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) found that a worker’s annual leave pay should include commission payments if these were part of normal pay. The Employment Tribunal will decide how UK law will now be interpreted in light of this decision. It is likely that whatever decision is reached by the Employment Tribunal will be appealed through the higher courts, so it may be a long time before any payments are received.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Gaza: 'We march for three things. The children, the children, the children.'

#Gaza Edinburgh’s Princes Street came to a halt again this week when marchers stopped and sat for two minutes silence to remember the dead in Gaza. Even onlookers respected the silence and applauded as the demonstrators set off again for Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland.(From the UNISONActive blog)

On the 90 minute march, people carried a card, each with the name of one of the 2,000 Palestinians, almost 400 of them children, killed by Israeli forces. It was a poignant and powerful way of highlighting the human cost.

The demands were straightforward: An immediate end to the killing, Israel to lift the siege and to abide by UN resolutions. An end to arms sales to Israel and boycott, divestment and sanctions to bring pressure on the Israeli government. A free Palestine.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Job evaluation members' briefings Edinburgh College

Members' briefings on job evaluation will be held in Edinburgh College from Monday 11 August 2014 (see in college for details). UNISON has produced a briefing (click here) which is going out today 8 August.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

UNISON urges Edinburgh council to keep local people’s say over care services

UNISON will urge Edinburgh council to stick to its joint plan with the NHS for integrating health and social care services at today’s Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee (Tuesday 5 August 2014 10am City Chambers).

The union says the ‘body corporate’ plan is the best way to ensure local people keep their local say over services, while ensuring fully joined up working with the NHS.

At this late stage, with only seven months to implementation, the union expects moves to ditch the joint project in favour of passing everything across to the NHS. This is despite two years of joint planning by the council and the NHS, along with the unions, to build a jointly led integrated service.

UNISON officer Kirsten Hey, who works as an Occupational Therapist, will warn councillors that any change to plans at this stage would “cause extreme disruption to the integration process”.

She will warn that transferring everything to the NHS would create legal problems for the council like its duty to provide Mental Health Officers, confusion about the legal role of the Chief Social Work Officer when the people she is responsible for are working for another agency, and the host of problems that will come in terms of continuity of service, pay, conditions, pensions and professional accountability. 

The union will quote evidence from Northern Ireland and New Zealand that single budget, medical led services end up with resources being diverted away from local community supports.

Kirsten Hey will say: “We feel strongly that it is in everybody’s interests for integration to work well. A joint board model is the best way to achieve integrated services leading to better outcomes for the people of Edinburgh.

“It will retain council control of social care services, with all the democratic accountability that goes along with that. It will retain the council’s credibility in the eyes of the public who voted for you to run our services, not transfer them elsewhere.

“That means local people keep their local say over services, while ensuring they benefit from fully joined up working with the NHS.

“And even more importantly than all of those things, it will enable the integration process to proceed without interruption so that we can all get on with what we want and need to do – improving health and social care services for the people of this city.”

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Thousands in Edinburgh demand peace for Gaza

Thousands turned out on in Edinburgh on Saturday to demand an end to the killing in Gaza. The Edinburgh UNISON banner was there as the rally at the Mound moved along Princes Street for a minute's silence and ended at Bute House, the First Minister's official residence.
  
Edinburgh UNISON banner - Tom Connolly
Hundreds also gathered in Aberdeen in the fourth consecutive week of demonstrations in the city. More than 60,000 also rallied in London. Malcolm Chisholm MSP and Aamer Anwar were among the speakers at the Edinburgh rally.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Listening to members

The Branch has set up plans to communicate better with members over the next few months with drop in surgeries, more branch newsletters and better use of the website. See the website for more details http://www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/workingforyou/index.html

Thursday, 17 July 2014

NORMAL PAY FOR HOLIDAYS CLAIMS

A decision by the European Court of Justice could mean employees who normally get paid enhancements like overtime, shifts and commission - but not when they are on holiday - might be able to make a claim for back money.

It is not clear how many members may be affected (Edinburgh Council has stated that all employees regularly receiving working time payments like shift allowance also get those in with their holiday pay). However the Branch is writing to all the all of the employers where we have members as follows:-

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Solidarity with local government and schools strikers

#J10strike A great speech by UNISON's Sue Glithero in Manchester today outlines why our colleagues in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have been on strike today. She said: "We are the 600 different job types in local government and school support providing cradle to grave services - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Often unseen. But increasingly doing far, far more work to plug the growing holes. For much, much less reward.

"We are also the lowest paid workers in the entire public sector. That’s who we are.

"We are proud of our jobs. Proud of our public services. And we are proud of our union and our sister unions for taking a stand on low pay."

Read her full speech at http://unisonactive.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/we-are-long-overdue-fair-pay-rise-and.html

Scottish Local Government branch secretaries will meet on 24 July to plan th next steps afer a big majority vote by Scottish members for an action ballot.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

UNISON Edinburgh website not updating

We cannot update the  branch website at the moment. Please check the blog at http://unisonedinburgh.blogspot.co.uk/ or facebook and twitter for updates until the problem is sorted by our service provider. We will issue further updates on the blog as we get them.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Edinburgh Mayday: Unions must give hope - Owen Jones

A great turnout at Edinburgh's Mayday march and rally today heard Owen Jones call on the labour movement to give people hope and defend the NHS, the welfare state and all that was won by 'struggle and sacrifice' in our history.

"We need to give hope to those who get up in the morning to go to work to earn their poverty. We should say that if you are in work the least you can expect is a living wage", he told the packed rally at the Pleasance theatre.

The money is there. Governments can always find billions for war, to bomb and to kill but they tell the disabled they can't afford for them to have a so-called spare room. They demonise those on benefits by talking up the £1.2 billion wrongly claimed, and doing nothing about the £25 billion lost in tax avoidance to the richest.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Free viewing of The Spirit of '45 tonight 6pm Edinburgh City Chambers

To celebrate May Day (International Workers Day) the joint trade unions have organised a special showing of the acclaimed Ken Loach documentary ‘The Spirit Of 45’. We will also be marking 30 years since the Miners' Strike and 10 years since the Nursery Nurses' strike. Following the screening there will be snacks and refreshments and a group discussion and feedback. The objective of the evening will be to build a campaign around ‘Pride in our public services’.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Edinburgh marches against austerity

UNISON joined hundreds of marchers in Edinburgh on Saturday to demand an end to austerity. The rally was planned to give the message loud and clear to the Tory Party conference being held in the city but marchers were angered when the march was diverted away from the planned route past Conference centre.

The march was backed by the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Edinburgh Anti-Cuts Alliance, anti-bedroom tax groups, disability campaigners and many more. A minute's silence was held at the Festival Square rally in memory of Bob Crow and Tony Benn.

UNISON Banners and contingents from Edinburgh City, Police Staff Scotland and Dundee City joined that March from the Mound to Festival Square passing within shouting distance to the Tory Conference but diverted from the original planned route.

Earlier in the week, demonstrators dressed in panda outfits reminded the Prime Minister that there were more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs. Edinburgh Zoo’s Tian Tian and Yang Guang outnumber Tory MP David Mundell by two to one.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Weekend of Action Against Tory Party Conference

MARCH AND RALLY: SATURDAY 15 MARCH
Assemble 11.00am at THE MOUND PRECINCT
Set off at 11.30am
March past the Scottish Tory Party Conference
Rally in FESTIVAL SQUARE

Speakers include: Jackie Bailie MSP, Aamer Anwar, Neil Finlay MSP& Carol Duggan from Justice for Mark Duggan + speakers from trade unions and campaigns from across Scotland.
Supported by: Scotland Trade Union Congress (STUC), Glasgow Unite Community, All Scotland Bedroom tax federation, Edinburgh Anti-Cuts Aliance, Edinburgh East Save Our Services, Greater Leith Against The Cuts, North Edinburgh Fights Back, All Lothian Bedroom Tax Federation, Disability History Scotland, Edinburgh Radical Independence Campaign, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), Unite the Resistance Scotland, Edinburgh Stop the War Coalition, BARAC Scotland, Edinburgh Unite Against Fascism and many more.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Remember the AGM 6pm tonight!

You could win an iPad Mini or a Samsung Galaxy tab in the free prize draw at the Branch AGM tonight at 6pm in the Augustine Church, George IV Bridge Edinburgh. The AGM is your opportunity to participate in the democratic process of your union. Please bring your UNISON membership card or a recent pay slip with evidence of subscription payment as proof of membership for admission to the AGM. For full details go to http://www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/meetings/agm.html

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Remember the AGM Thursday 27 Feb

You could win an iPad Mini or a Samsung Galaxy tab in the free prize draw at the Branch AGM on Thursday 27 February at 6pm in the Augustine Church, George IV Bridge Edinburgh. The AGM is your opportunity to participate in the democratic process of your union. Please bring your UNISON membership card or a recent pay slip with evidence of subscription payment as proof of membership for admission to the AGM. For full details go to http://www.unison-edinburgh.org.uk/meetings/agm.html

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

AGM reminder - 27 February. Win an iPad mini

The AGM will take place at 6pm on Thursday 27th February 2014 in the Augustine Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. The AGM is your opportunity to participate in the democratic process of your union.
  Please bring your UNISON membership card or a recent pay slip with evidence of subscription payment as proof of membership for admission to the AGM.
   A free prize draw will take for all those attending the AGM. Prizes include an iPad mini and a Samsung Galaxy tab.
   Please encourage other members in your workplace to attend. Click here or on the image for a poster for your notice board.

UNISON Winter Fuel Grant - Apply Now

Worried about paying your winter fuel bill? With rising fuel costs and another cold winter many members are worried about how they’re going to pay this year’s winter fuel bills. Help is on hand. “There for You” has set up a limited fund to help UNISON members on low income by way of a one off payment of up to £40. To apply and download the application form visit http://unison.org/thereforyou  or simply contact your UNISON branch office. Everyone that applies will receive a booklet giving information about other help that may be available and how to reduce your fuel costs in the future.
Get the application form here and apply by 28 February

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

UNISON to lobby Edinburgh Council against cuts Thurs 13 Feb 08.30 City Chambers

UNISON, the union representing most Edinburgh Council workers, will lobby the council budget meeting on Thursday 13 February from 08.30 to 09.30 to expose the effects of austerity cuts on jobs and services.

“Edinburgh Council plans to put through £36 million in cuts. This is on top of £90 million since 2011, and £175 million since 2007. Services just cannot survive with this kind of attack year on year”, said John Stevenson, the union’s Edinburgh Branch President.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Lobby against Edinburgh Council Cuts Thurs 13 Feb 08.30 - 09.30 City Chambers

Edinburgh Council plans to put through £36 million in cuts on 13 February. This is on top of £90 million since 2011, and £175 million since 2007. Services just cannot survive with this kind of attack year on year.

We know the cuts are driven by Westminster. We know that Holyrood has just passed these cuts on, singling out local government for the lion's share. But we want to hear our politicians standing up for our local services, not just passing the cuts on.

As UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: "No school cleaner gambled billions on the stock exchange - No home carer, no social worker, no librarian. None of them created this recession. Why should they be expected to pay for it?"

Council services are about people. People provide them and people rely on them. Every service is affected. These cuts have a real human cost. A human cost like...

Thursday, 30 January 2014

URGENT ADVICE TO MEMBERS - ROAD SERVICES SUMMER and WINTER ROTA

30 January 2014: Following a meeting with UNISON Stewards today, the Regional Officer and Branch Secretary met with Philip Barr, Head of Organisational Development (City of Edinburgh Council) for urgent discussions regarding the fact that non contracted members would not participate in the Winter Rota after 31st January 2014.
"In the meantime I must caution you not to withdraw from the Winter Rota on the 31st of January and put yourself in a position of risk." Andrew Barnett, Douglas Black. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Edinburgh council budget staff side response

The Trade Union Side recognises that the City of Edinburgh Council like all other local authorities have seen a substantial reduction in their Grant Allocation from the Scottish Government and continue to operate within the financial constraints resulting from the Council Tax Freeze.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Branch AGM deadlines

Nominations for branch officers must be in by noon on Wednesday 15 January and motions or rule changes must be in by noon on Friday 17 January. The AGM is on Thursday 27 February, 6pm at the Augustine Church, George IV Bridge Edinburgh. Click here for a poster for your workplace.