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UNISON Advice to Members on NUT Industrial Action (01/7/16)

UNISON respects the rights of other trade unions to take industrial action and supports the NUTs action.

However UNISON members in schools have not been balloted and are therefore advised to continue with their normal duties and responsibilities and should not take on any additional responsibilities being given to them directly as a result of the teachers’ industrial action.

School support staff should not be expected to provide cover for or take classes, where this would normally be done by teachers who are taking action. In particular, Higher Level Teaching Assistants or cover supervisors should only be taking classes or providing cover where they are contracted to do so, it is timetabled or part of their normal duties.

Staff should not be moved from the duties they would normally have carried out in order to cover classes and frustrate the industrial action of colleagues. Members who are under pressure to cover should contact their UNISON rep or the branch office for further advice and support.

Members are reminded that due to industrial relations legislation, only those employees who have been involved in a legal ballot are allowed to take industrial action.

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom Event - 16 July 2016

Celebrate the launch of TV producer Tony Garnett's autobiography 'The Day the Music Died' on Saturday 16 July 2016 2-5pm at Unity Works, Wakefield
Tony Garnett will be talking about his classic series The Price of Coal (Part 1, directed by Ken Loach will also be screened) and a tribute to Kes writer Barry Hines.

Tickets are £5. Please click here for more information

Leeds UNISON Walking Group (17/05/15)

Check out the walks here...

The Groups has a different walk each month, apart from August. Everyone is welcome, not only UNISON members, so encourage your family, friends and colleagues to come along.  The walks are on a Sunday and range from 4 miles to 9 miles.  If you would like to be included on the mailing list for information please contact the branch office on 0113 245 8442 or for more information contact Stephen Johnson on 0113 267 5487 or email Steve on walkingowl2@gmail.com


Forwards Not Backwards on Climate Change! (02/05/16)

In the past year, our Government has moved backwards on climate change. It has undermined renewable energy and energy efficiency and fast-tracked fracking. In Yorkshire, this has cost jobs, threatened businesses and put communities at risk. Even the government’s independent advisors, the Committee on Climate have warned that investors are losing confidence and the Government risks missing its climate targets.

Taking action on climate change would be win-win for Yorkshire, creating:

  • Jobs Renewable energy and energy efficiency could create thousands of jobs, many times more than fracking.
  • Clean Air Improving public transport could help to prevent 1000 premature deaths per year from air pollution in West Yorks alone
  • Safe Water Stop Knostrop becoming a dumping ground for fracking's toxic waste.
  • Warm Homes Upgrading our housing would improve the health of the 240,000 households in Yorkshire who live in fuel poverty.
  • Energy that doesn’t cost the earth Investment in renewable energy will protect us from rising gas prices and help us to avoid dangerous climate change.

Find out more about how the Government is moving backwards on climate change http://www.campaigncc.org/goingbackwards

You can help to protect local communities in Yorkshire and make the government stop its backtracking on climate change.

Get involved in local groups

  • Climate Action Leeds
  • West Yorkshire Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change

UNISON welcomes government change of heart over check-off (20/04/16)

Commenting on the announcement in the Lords today (Tuesday 19th April 2016) that the government is no longer to stop unions from collecting members’ subs via their pay packets, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“There’s much that’s wrong with the Trade Union Bill, but banning unions from using the check-off system to collect membership fees from employees in the public sector was among the most mean-spirited of all its proposals.

“But thanks to a good deal of union campaigning behind the scenes, UNISON and the TUC have built an effective coalition in the Lords that persuaded the government a ban would be both unjustified and unnecessary.

“Now at least UNISON can concentrate on campaigning to protect public sector employees at work and the services they deliver, safe in the knowledge that it will not have to spend the next year running around workplaces with direct debit forms for fear of losing much of its income.

“Employers and unions across the public sector will have breathed a collective sigh of relief at today’s news that there has been a sensible change of heart in Westminster. And there’s no cost to the public purse as a result of this decision.”


UNISON Labour Link Meeting: Thursday 19th May 2016

You are invited to a Branch UNISON Labour Link Meeting on

Thursday 19th May 2016
12 noon to 1.00 p.m.
UNISON Branch Office
160a Woodhouse Lane. Leeds, LS2 9EN


  1. Michael McGowan, former Labour Party MEP speaking about the EU
  2. Labour Party Reports
  3. Ideas for Future Meetings
  4. Any Other Business

Please make every effort to attend. I look forward to seeing you there.

Glen Pickersgill
Branch APF Officer

LGPS pension: Please sign the petition (05/04/16)

PENSIONS: Parliamentary Petition on the LGPS Investment Funds

The government wants to use the money in your pension funds to invest in their pet infrastructure projects. This potentially puts at risk the money that should be used to pay your pensions. There has been no debate in Parliament over this issue and we need to try and make sure it gets debated. We have established a Parliamentary petition which requires 100,000 signatures.

Sign the Parliamentary petition by clicking here

Now pass it on to a colleague – they don’t have to be a UNISON member to sign!

Debate in the House the Local Government Pension Scheme Investment Regulations

5 million people rely on the LGPS to pay their pensions. Government wants powers over LGPS investment funds, but they could gamble away members’ money on infrastructure projects. This is not allowed in any other UK scheme, including the MPs'. The LGPS must be invested in members’ best interests.

Parliament must debate this issue and make the government accountable for these powers of intervention as any such direction may breach the law. Specifically Article 18 paragraph 3 of the EU Directive 41/2003 Institutions for Occupational Retire Provision: “Member States shall not require institutions located in their territory to invest in particular categories of assets.”

Colin Meech, National Officer
UNISON, Capital Stewardship Programme


Leeds City Council signs up to Ethical Care Charter (01/05/2015)

UNISON's Ethical Charter

(Pic: Leader of Leeds City Council Keith Wakefield stands alongside Cliff Williams, UNISON Assistant General Secretary, signing UNISON's Ethical Care Charter)

Leeds City Council signs up to Ethical Care Charter to answer Mayday calls of care workers

Making sure there are minimum standards for care at home for both the people who receive it and the workers who provide it are priorities for Leeds City Council as they become of the largest local authorities to sign up to UNISON's Ethical Care Charter.

The charter commits to carers not having to rush from client to client and that people should keep the same carer wherever possible. It also commits employers to provide guaranteed hours contracts as the norm rather than zero hours contracts, to pay for travel time and a target of paying at least the living wage of £7.85 per hour.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“This May Day is a great opportunity to reflect on the vital contribution care workers make to our communities. We are determined to make sure Leeds City Council is rewarding homecare workers properly for the vital services they provide every day to thousands of Leeds citizens.

"Leeds is the biggest city to sign up to the charter and we are absolutely committed to people in Leeds receiving the high-quality homecare we would all want for ourselves and for our loved ones. That means we need to recognise everyone who receives homecare as an individual person, with their own particular needs.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:

"This Charter gives a benchmark for the future of homecare in Leeds, and we are very proud to have signed up to it. Providing care can be one of the toughest roles to have, and if we don’t treat those delivering it decently, it makes it harder for them to do the job properly.”

UNISON Assistant General Secretary, Cliff Williams, said:

“We know how tough it is when budgets are under so much pressure, so we are particularly pleased Leeds City Council has been able to adopt UNISON's Ethical Care Charter.

"It shows a clear commitment that staff are properly rewarded and respected for the work they do with vulnerable people in our communities.

"Home care workers are dedicated to providing the best care that they can. The council's adoption of the charter enables good employment conditions and quality training, which helps to reduce staff turnover and improve the quality of care for service users."

Providers will have to minimise zero-hours contracts, pay at least the national minimum wage and move towards paying a living wage of £7.85 per hour. There will also be a commitment to providing training.


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School Uniform Grant 2016 - Apply now

School Uniform Grant 2016

UNISON has set up a limited fund to members on low income with school uniform costs by way of a one-off payment of upto £120. Closing date for applications is 15 July 2016.

For more information please read the Q&As and then download the Application Form.




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