Hackney Unison AGM 2016!

Hi Hackney Local Government Unison members!
A reminder that we have our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 24th February 2016, between 12 and 2pm, though please get there to register at 11.45, at The Round Chapel, Lower Clapton Road, E5 OLY.
This is the most important Unison meeting of the year where members decide on the policy of the union for the year ahead and agree elections of the Branch Officers. All council, Hackney Homes and Learning Trust Unison members have 1.5 hours, in addition to the lunch hour, time off agreed by management to attend this meeting.
Hackney Council is facing budget cuts of £60 million in the next 3 years and if we want to defend our jobs and services we deliver we need maximum unity to stop the governmenst onslaught against the public sector.
Don’t leave it to someone else to defend your job and your service!
There is a hot lunch and drinks for all who attend.

AGM Flyer 2016 pdf v3 (1)P1010309


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Solidarity with the Junior Doctors strikes in Hackney January 2016.

Hackney Unison Branch Secretaries will be on the Junior Doctors picket line on Tuesday 12th January 2016

A statement from our sister Unison branch at Homerton Hospital

“Hi all

… the doctors are coming out on strike after talks with the Government over the proposed new contract broke down. The main issue is still the same – inadequate contractual safeguards on safe working and cuts in unsocial hours payments which will slash wages for those working shifts. If the Government wins, it will pave the way to pushing this through for all NHS workers.

There are 3 dates announced

• 8am, Tuesday 12 January to 8am, Wednesday 13 January — emergency care only
• 8am, Tuesday 26 January to 8am Thursday 28 January — emergency care only
• 8am to 5pm, Wednesday 10 February — full withdrawal of labour
On Tuesday 12th January there will be a picket line at main hospital entrance from 8am and probably the back entrance on Clifden Road. This will be maintained all day.

The doctors are also planning to have groups doing ‘Meet the Doctors’ by Homerton Station in the morning/ evening commuter rush and in front of Hackney Town Hall over lunchtime (1-2pm).

Please do join them at any of these times if possible and encourage your members to do so.

If I get more specific times for the Homerton Station I will let you know and will also update you before the next strike dates.

In solidarity

Lorna Solomon
Homerton Hospital UNISON branch ”

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Defend Our National Health Service – Save our Student Bursary for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals March Saturday January 9th!

The government are proposing to scrap the NHS student bursary and from 2017, are asking future nurses, midwives and other allied health professionals to pay up to £50,000 to train to care. Our future nurses and midwives will never pay this debt off and we are the least paid members of society. Often, we’re already in debt from our first degrees, why perpetuate this false economy? Whose high interest rates fall, again, into the hands of for-profit enterprise.

This started as a student protest but we stand in solidarity with the wider movement defending our NHS. We work in hospital as part of our training: we bath, feed, administer medication, tend wounds, manage extreme emotions, visit people in their homes, wear our heart on our sleeves, with a smile on our face every day that we go to work. We care: bringing hope to the most most troubled and in support of those most in need.

We need to learn in hospital, under supervision of good, efficient nurses and midwives but we also need to learn from research, from best practice. The government funds research, it needs to start using it. As student nurses, midwives and other allied health professionals, our bursary means we are paid roughly £3 for each hour we work in hospital. This does not cover our living costs but it does offer some support in an increasingly money driven society.

The government needs to consult practitioners not those with commercial interests.

We stand with the general public: our representatives in parliament, clinicians, health and social care workers, the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, Unite, the Royal College of Midwives, the Peoples Assembly, University and College Union, the National Health Action Party, the Student Assembly Against Austerity, The National Health Singers.

We are calling for solidarity from allied health care workers and members of the public to support. Want to find out more? Want to help out? Get in touch. See you on the streets.

Speakers include nurses, midwives and supporting MPs.





Meet at St Thomas Hospital, Westminster Bridge 12pm. We will march down York Road to Waterloo Bridge and then across to the Strand. From here we will make our way down Whitehall to Downing Street. Please see the pinned post below for the map!

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Trade Union Responses to RICS Consultation

Following the realease in October of management plans to restrcuture the RICS service areas Hackney Unison along with Homerton Unison, the CSP and Unite have been working together to support our members affected by the review.

These documents have been submitted on behalf of trade union members working both in the Council and Homerton Hospital.

Letter of Objection

Letter of Objection

Counter Proposal (with costs)

Joint Union Counter Proposals RICS Final

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Holding The Line

With just two weeks to go until we go on strike the Government has made a renewed pay offer in an insulting attempt to avert a walk out on 14th October.
Whilst the offer is risible it shows that the action we are taking is having an effect on a wavering Government. (A breakdown of the complicated offer can be found below)
At the same time Midwives become the latest group of workers to vote for strike action and will walk out, for the first time in their history, on 13th October along with NHS workers.
With civil servants in the PCS union striking on the 15th, a million and a half workers will be taking action, across the public sector, over the week, all for fair pay.
In local government we ALL need to do our bit and keep the pressure up on the Tories, who this week, at their conference, are busy telling us how much more they will make us suffer if they win the next election.
Whilst the Tories meet to sup champagne and wonder which MP will be next to defect to the despicable UKIP the mega global accounting firm Ersnt and Young reported yesterday that they forecast a ‘lost decade’ of wage growth.
EY are the latest pundits to remind us that we have been paid less and less in real terms, every year for the past 30 and confirm that, in their opinion, this is set to continue until at least 2017.
There is however some good news in their otherwise pretty gloomy report. The report which can be viewed here: http://www.ey.com/UK/en/Issues/Business-environment/Financial-markets-and-economy/EY-ITEM-Club-special-report-on-consumer-spending—In-detail says that as the labour market grows ‘the biggest benefits are likely to be enjoyed at the top end the income distribution range’, so that’s alright then! the rich continue to get richer and the rest of us just have to soak up the pain.
We must surely realise that we have real power and in the run up to the election the Tories won’t want a load of industrial strife. There are growing calls for an increase in living standards and this can only be achieved by paying workers more.
Our claim is fair and affordable, it’s all about priorities and what we value as a society. We think most people believe in decent public services staffed by properly paid workers but the Government do all they can to undermine workers rights, pay and conditions for no other reason than to bolster the profits of big business and vested interest.
But the tables are turning and in the run up to a week of strike action followed by a massive demonstration on the 18th in Central London we MUST join with all the other workers walking out in two weeks time and hold the line and if we do we can expect more concessions from the Government and a better standard of living for everyone in the public sector.
This dispute is bigger than local government it’s not just about pay, it is a struggle against austerity and the mendacious policies of the rich and powerful who want us to do as they say rather than do as they do.



The breakdown of the renewed pay offer has been very helpfully prepared by Lambeth Unison and can be viewed here: Offer and Comment

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Don’t Leave it to Someone Else to Win You Your Pay Rise

Tomorrow we strike and every union member should be taking action to secure a better pay rise for everyone working in Local Government.

Most of the employment rights we have now were won by people taking strike action, such as the 40 hour week, the right to join a union, pensions and holiday pay. All of these struggles involved people making a sacrifice to achieve improvements for everybody. Before they won those struggles people often worked 10 or 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and when they too old to work they often ended up in the poorhouse. Despite being on the breadline, those workers went on strike and relied on solidarity and donations to survive. Thanks to their inspiring efforts our lives are much easier compared to how they lived.

Every person who crosses a picket line makes it more likely that a strike will fail.
Every person who is on strike makes it more likely we will get an increased pay offer.

If you think you can’t afford to go on strike, hardship payments are available to help. If you still think you can’t afford to go on strike, ask yourself, how will you cope next year when food, housing, heating and fuel costs have gone up even more, but your wages haven’t because you didn’t come out on strike.

A lot of different arguments are put up against strike action, mainly promoted by those in power who don’t want any change. They are repeated to us by managers and the media, because they don’t want us to fight and gain improvements. Here are some common ones:

“There is no point in going on strike, nothing ever changes”
This is exactly what those in power want you to believe, so they can keep paying you a pittance knowing that you are not going to do anything about it. The opposite is the truth – only collective action achieves change.

“Going on strike costs more than we gain”
Deductions for a strike are made once and based on 1/365 of your annual pay. In reality this means that you will only lose a small portion of your actual daily rate but an increase in pay stays in our pay packets and then our pensions for ever. For anyone on less than £25k pa, the current 1% offer means you’ll get less than the £250 pa increase promised to public sector workers from 2010. 1% is an insult.

“We’re providing an important service and I don’t like to let people down”
No-one does, but we can’t allow the Government to abuse our goodwill. Government lean on us to say how important it is that we are at work to provide vital services, yet then don’t want to pay us a decent wage to do that job. The services we provide are vital to the community and the only way we can show how important we are is to withdraw our labour for the day. Staff providing life and limb services have already been exempted from the strike so all emergencies will be dealt with.

“We’re in a period of austerity, the country can’t afford it”
Since 2009, while we have suffered a nearly 20% pay cut in real terms, the wealth of the top 1000 individuals in the country has doubled to a staggering £519 billion – more than the combined income of all Local Authorities! Our austerity has been their gain. Private business has more money on deposit now than at any time in history. We did not create the recession this was driven by the greed and carelessness of the financiers and speculators who are now richer than they have ever been. Enough is enough.

“We went on strike previously and it didn’t achieve anything”
This is not the case. We went on strike in 2011 and won massive concessions on our pensions. Anyway we should not apply this logic to going on strike as it is self defeating. Sometimes we win and sometimes we don’t but if we don’t fight we never win.

Don’t leave it to your colleagues to win you your pay rise

Join the strike on July 10

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Join the Strike on 10 July

As Thursday approaches we write to ask all members working for the Council or in a state maintained school to take strike action on 10 July.
Let’s be very clear about this, the only way workers can affect any change in this dispute is to withdraw their labour en masse, on the day of the strike.
That means you and me and every other Unison member working for Hackney Council.
Council workers provide more public services, to more people, more often than any other part of the public sector. Despite this we have all been hit harder than any other part of the public sector since the Tories took office in 2010.
Since 2010 we have received just 1% extra pay. To be clear that’s not 1% extra per year but just 1% in the last four years.
In fact the TUC tell us that the average full time London worker is now receiving, in real terms, £3,151 per year less than they were in 2010.
We’ve taken a hit on our pay and not taken action during this time but it is simply unfair for workers who provide such a varied and vital range of services to be expected to keep losing out every year.
The loss in real terms pay is compounded by the fact that so many staff have lost their jobs over the past four years. This means that we are all working harder than ever before but on less money in real terms than four years ago. In fact our living standards have dropped to the lowest level for nearly a century and this has to stop.
And that’s not all the government that expects us to take the hit for their failed policies in the economy has made such swinging cuts that many more staff will face the chop over the next couple of years.
What does this all mean? Simple:
Either we work harder and harder on less and less each year making it more and more difficult for us to make ends meet.
Or we all take a stand and all go on strike on Thursday for a decent pay rise.
This is not a fight with our employers but a fight with this government none of whom have ever understood what it is to struggle on low pay like so many of our members working in schools or in part time jobs in the manual sector. The government does not care about any of us they just want to cut our jobs and hand our services over to their millionaire friends in the private sector who will bleed the state dry for the benefit of their shareholders.
We can make a difference and we can win but we can only win if we fight, if you are in Unison you should be on strike on Thursday.

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