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PLEASE NOTE: With the move to our new website, we are no longer regularly updating this blog. See the latest updates from our website on the right or click here for the new website.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Health and Social Care briefing

Health and Social Care integration: Proposed model will increase workloads and affect services. Avoidance of Disputes and major concerns about workloads. (pdf)

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

UNISON meeting: All social care workers & assistants in homecare & reablement FRI 14 OCT 2016

East Neighbourhood Office
101 Niddrie Mains Road
EH16 4DS
1.30–2.30 or 2.30–3.30

You will be aware that we have now entered Phase 2 of the Health & Social Care/NHS Integration Process. UNISON is aware of concerns raised as to the accuracy of the information being passed to you by senior management. With this in mind, UNISON is holding two workplace meetings for all UNISON members with the purpose of answering any questions that you have.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Thursday, 18 August 2016

UNISON: Andrew Burns ‘respectful, positive and constructive’ in dealings with unions

UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch has reacted to the news that Edinburgh Council leader Andrew Burns is to stand down at the next election.

UNISON Edinburgh lead negotiator Tom Connolly said: “Andrew has always made himself available to UNISON and the other trade unions and has engaged with us on regular basis throughout his time as leader. He has always done this in a respectful, positive and constructive manner.”

Along with the unions, Andrew Burns played an important role in stopping the wholesale privatisation of Edinburgh’s services. His willingness to forge alliances and cooperation with others where they had a common aim to defend Edinburgh’s services led to the unique Capital Coalition.

John Stevenson, Edinburgh Branch President added: “Huge challenges face Andrew for the rest of his term of office as local government carries the lion’s share of Westminster and Holyrood cuts. Not least of those will be how to stand by the pledge of no compulsory redundancies.”

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Want to vote in the Labour leadership election?

Want to vote in the Labour leadership election?: UNISON members who are part of Labour Link are entitled to a say in Labour’s Leadership – and will get a vote – but only if you are registered before 8 August 2016. You can sign up  here to registe…

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Great UNISON Book Binge

UNISON will be collecting books for Community H.E.A.R.T throughout April and May 2016.

What we’re looking for
• Pre-reading Material
• Easy Readers
• Story Books
• Factual Books
• Reading Scheme Books
• Dictionaries
• Children's Novels
• Encyclopaedias (no more than 10 years old)

Please contact Chris Goodsell on
0131 558 7041 or deliver to UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT

Community HEART's Founding Director and President is Denis Goldberg who was convicted at the same trial as Nelson Mandela and spent 22 years in prison for fighting Apartheid. Click here for more details.

Friday, 22 April 2016

UNISON, the union in Edinburgh opposing ALL jobs cuts

UNISON is opposing all job cuts in Edinburgh and is calling on the other unions to do the same. UNISON is therefore urging the Unite union to reconsider and withdraw its proposals to the council to cut jobs in the concierge service.

While we are engaging with the council, giving our views on all of the reviews under way, UNISON will never argue that anyone’s job should be cut.

UNISON is clear that there is a difference between engaging constructively in the reviews and doing the council’s cuts for them.

You can join UNISON at

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Cuts threaten safer housing for private tenants – and will lose council money, says UNISON

UNISON’s Edinburgh branch is warning that cuts to the council’s Private Rented Service Team could threaten safer housing for private tenants and lose the council hundreds of thousands in income.

The team ensures private landlords meet safety standards, especially in relation to houses of multiple occupation (HMO). They work closely with owners, agents and architects at the planning stages to ensure buildings comply with HMO standards.

Their work with public safety and the fire service is also key to ensuring that houses of multiple occupation are safe. Registered and unregistered lets and unlicensed HMO properties are investigated and reported on.

Landlords pay £55 to register and £11 for each property and with the number of registered landlords going up from 26,000 to 42,000 since 2008, income for the council is substantial - £9.7 million since 2011. But it could be more. It is suspected that there may be thousands of unregistered landlords in Edinburgh and cuts in staffing will hinder the ability to track these down, with all that means for protection for tenants and income for the council.

A UNISON Edinburgh spokesperson said: “The team has been working understaffed and under budget for years while workloads continue to increase. PRS staff have identified where savings could be made and where further revenue could be obtained, whilst continuing to provide a good service to landlords, agents, tenants and other stakeholders but this has been ignored.

“The council has pledged to: ‘Enforce tenancy agreements (Council and private landlord) with a view to ensuring tenants and landlords fulfil their good conduct responsibilities.’ How will this pledge be delivered with the Private Rented Service being cut?”


Monday, 11 April 2016

UNISON statement on Edinburgh schools closures

UNISON is deeply concerned about the safety implication for pupils and staff of the faults found in PPP schools in Edinburgh.

The union expects there to be a full and detailed inquiry and will want assurances that safety will be the top priority in any decisions taken about re-opening the schools.

For many years UNISON has spoken out against the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Private Public Partnerships (PPP) and the current Scottish Government's Non-Profit Distributing schemes (NPD) as wasteful and grossly expensive ways of providing public services. They reap massive profits for the private sector with little risk to them and are much more expensive than direct building.

PPP debt from previous governments is over £22 billion. The current government's NPD scheme means that Scottish councils, colleges, the NHS, government departments and Transport Scotland are committed to paying a further £6 billion for 20 Scottish Futures Trust privately financed and managed projects.

UNISON's 'Combating Austerity' report calls on government and councils to look to buy out these costly schemes wherever it is practical to do so.

See also

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Transport Review Update

Following union representation the consultation period for the Transport Review has been extended by two weeks till the 3rd April. We are still awaiting proposals for the road workers rota, winter
gritting and the permanent employment of staff from the capital budget. In reality it may need to be extended again.

Road Workers
Reports suggest that Edinburgh`s roads have a repair backlog running in to hundreds of millions of pounds, that a temporary repair team has been created and what the press call the worst roads in Scotland.

UNISON therefore finds it incredible that the council are paying skilled roads staff to leave the council and then issue contracts to private contractors.

Despite a 2 year review, which had the support of the councillors, pointing the direction of travel towards increasing the size of the in-house roads team to bid for additional work the transformation team have only sought to reduce the staffing levels to cut the wage bill and privatise the work.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Remember the AGM on Mon 22 Feb

Remember the Branch AGM on Monday 22 February 2016 6-8pm at the Augustine Church, George IV Bridge Edinburgh. Teas and coffees from 5.30pm.

The Agenda, Annual Report and Supplementary Agenda are all online at . For hard copies call 0131 558 7488 or email

See you there!

Friday, 22 January 2016

The silent slaughter of council services. Full text of joint union submission

This is the full text of the submission by Tom Connolly, Staff Side Secretary, to the City of Edinburgh Council Budget Meeting on 21 January 2016

As we face yet another year of cuts, the trade unions have grave concerns about the impact that these cuts will have on Service provision and on our members Terms and Conditions.

These continuous cuts will have a negative impact on the public of Edinburgh who rely on council services, in particular the poorest and most deprived, the most vulnerable children, young people and families, the elderly, the disabled and all who reside in the areas of greatest deprivation in our city.

Through the current Transformation programme we are told time and time again that we need to become more lean and agile. What this means in practice is; work harder with less. Our members have and always will work hard to deliver the vital services they provide to the public. However, staff are reaching breaking point and are finding themselves overstretched and unable to access the resources that they need to carry out their work safely. Services are becoming too thin and too fragile. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

UNISON lobby against ‘silent slaughter’ of council services

Edinburgh UNISON will lobby the City of Edinburgh Council budget meeting on Thursday 21 January 2016 from 08.45-9.45 against 2,000 job losses and £160 million in cuts to services over four years.

Tom Connolly, UNISON Edinburgh lead negotiator, said: “On top of the existing quest to find £150 million in cuts, the recent Scottish Government financial settlement means Edinburgh has to find another £10 million in cuts to jobs and services.

“2,000 jobs are being lost – that’s seven times the number lost at Tata Steel in Scotland. The Scottish Government have rightly set up a task force on steel jobs but they say nothing about local government. It has become the silent slaughter of council jobs and services.”

Monday, 18 January 2016

Cuts on top of cuts - January newsletter

Come to the lobby on 21 January; UNISON fights off increment cut; more must be done to stop compulsory redundancies and keeping bosses to procedures. Click here for a PDF

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Edinburgh signs up to UNISON Ethical Care Charter pledge

The pledge says: "The City of Edinburgh Council endorses the principles of the UNISON Ethical Care Charter and commits to working in partnership with UNISON towards its implementation.”

Amanda Kerr, UNISON branch secretary,
Ricky Henderson, Council Health & Social Care convener,
 Kirsten Hey, UNISON Health & Social Care steward,
and Andrew Burns, Council leader, sign the pledge
UNISON's Ethical Care Charter aims to establish a minimum baseline for the safety, quality and dignity of care by ensuring employment conditions which a) do not routinely shortchange clients and b) ensure the recruitment and retention of a more stable workforce through more sustainable pay, conditions and training levels.

Branch secretary Amanda Kerr said: "This is the first step on a long road to full implementation of the Charter. We congratulate the Council in signing up to this pledge and we know it is a tough commitment to make when the Council faces such huge cuts in its funding. However, there should be no greater priority than dignity and quality of care for those who need it, and dignity and quality of pay and conditions for those who deliver that care."

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Come to the UNISON AGM on 22 Feb

The Branch Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday 22 February 2016 in the Augustine Church, George IV Bridge Edinburgh, from 6pm to 8pm at the latest.

Branch secretary Amanda Kerr said: "This is a very important meeting. Please make every effort to participate. With all that the branch faces with cuts in jobs and services and possibly attacks on pay and conditions this is probably the most important AGM we have ever called.

"If anyone needs assistance or advice about submitting issues to the meeting, please feel free to contact the Branch Office."

A preliminary notice was issued on 15 December 2015. Click here to go to the AGM page on our website for deadlines and how to nominate for officer positions and submit motions.