UNISON’S RESPONSE TO THE BUDGET

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Commenting on the Spring Budget UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

On pay
“For almost a decade nurses, teaching assistants, town hall staff and others in the public sector have had their wages frozen or been given minuscule pay rises.

“These are the people keeping the NHS, schools and local communities afloat in tough times. The pay boost for Westminster politicians should’ve signalled a decent pay rise for the rest of the public sector, especially with inflation almost double the one per cent cap.

“But without a mention from the Chancellor, public service employees will be feeling they’re the forgotten part of the ‘jam’ generation. Most are not managing at all.  read the full article

“REMEMBER THE DEAD: FIGHT FOR THE LIVING” – INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ MEMORIAL DAY, 28TH APRIL 2017

Every year, we mark International Workers’ Memorial Day by drawing attention to the horrendous number of workers killed or injured while doing their jobs. In the UK alone, around 50,000 people die every year from work-related illnesses and accidents, and many more suffer ill health and injuries.  For many of our members, stress is the biggest concern, often caused by overwork.  Others are at greater risk because of who they are: workplace equality can be as important as robust health and safety measures in ensuring the welfare of all. Everyone should take health and safety seriously, and look out for vulnerable colleagues.

Your Union is active in helping to keep everyone safe. We are represented on the University’s  Health, Safety and Welfare committee, and stewards are trained to deal with health and safety issues locally. Advice and support is available from Will Tierney, our new Health and Safety Officer, but also from UNISON expertise at local and national level.

For more information, and for details on how you can mark the day yourself, visit these links:Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living on this year’s International Workers Memorial Day

Details of this year’s local activities are yet to be finalised – in the past there has usually been a rally outside the Town Hall to mark a minute’s silence from 12pm – but we will keep you informed as and when information becomes available.

A BIT OF HISTORY:

The American AFL-CIO union was the first to declare 28th April “Workers’ Memorial Day”, in 1970. The day has been an international labour movement event since 1989, and was introduced to Britain in 1992.

 

 

 

 

CHANGES TO THE “RIGHT TO REQUEST FLEXIBLE WORKING” POLICY

UNISON, alongside the other unions at SHU, has agreed changes to the “Right to Request Flexible Working” policy.

The law gives employees a “right to request” changes to their working pattern in order to help balance work and home life.  Although there is no legal right to have a request granted automatically, it must be considered seriously.  Sheffield Hallam’s policy is that managers should view requests positively and try to accommodate requests where feasible, subject to business need.

Staff can exercise their legal right to request flexible working at any time, but for many years University policy has encouraged staff who want to work flexibly to discuss this informally with their manager. Often, the desired changes can be agreed without the need to submit a formal request under the legislation.   However, the current policy requires that if the changes being requested constitute a contractual change (a change in hours, for example) – as they often would – then a formal application has to be made, even if the line manager supports the request.

The newly revised policy, agreed through discussions with UNISON and the other unions, will enable a flexible working request to be approved by a line manager even if the change is contractual (so long as the line manager is authorised to do so). In other words, where staff can reach agreement with their manager there will usually no longer be any need to submit a formal application .    Of course, if agreement cannot be reached informally, staff will still be able to exercise their formal “right to request” by making an application under the legislative framework.

This change will save time, reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork, and should make the process of requesting flexible working a much less onerous and anxious one for our members.

For advice on the policy, or on making a request, contact your local steward or UNISON contact.

At the time of writing, the revised flexible working policy has not yet been uploaded to the intranet (https://portal.shu.ac.uk/departments/HRD/polproc/flex/Pages/home.aspx), but this should happen soon.

 

 

 

 

 

IT’S OUR NHS RALLY IN LONDON

nhs demo

The government’s chronic underfunding of the NHS threatens to destroy the service and could lead to further privatisation.

If you’re angry at the state of the NHS, join the People’s Assembly and campaigners across the country on a march for the NHS to Parliament on Saturday 4th March.

Book your place online or call/text 07941 332993. Tickets £20 wages/£10 unwaged.

NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION

stand up to racismSaturday 18 March 2017  Stand Up To Racism National Demonstration  London
Stand Up To Racism has called a national demonstration to coincide with the UN Anti-Racism Day. Find details of transport from Sheffield.

Over 50 MPs, peers, trade unionists and Jewish and Muslim leaders have joined together in backing a ‘Stand Up to Trump Stand Up to Racism’ demonstration. 

The demonstration is backed by Doreen Lawrence, Rabbi Lee Wax and members of The Muslim Council of Britain and is supported by shadow cabinet members Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry as well as leading backbenchers Clive Lewis, Chuka Umunna, Lisa Nandy, Bill Morris, Neil Kinnock and Peter Hain and trade union leaders including the National Union of Teachers’ Kevin Courtney and Unite’s Len McCluskey.

 

HOLOCAUST HERITAGE AND LEARNING CENTRE

Sheffield Unite Against Fascism public meeting on Tuesday 14 March, 6pm – 7.30pm,

Central United Reformed Church, Norfolk St, Sheffield S1 2JB

Holocaust Heritage

‘Introducing the new Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre for the North’ 

Please join us on the night to hear about this important initiative and participate in the discussion how Sheffield can contribute.

Speakers include:

Lilian Black, Chair, The Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association

Sue Pearson, a Kinderstransport refugee who lives in Sheffield

Chair: John Campbell

For more information about the new centre in the north please see https://www.hlf.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/holocaust-heritage-and-learning-centre-north

 

 

 

FRIENDS OF EDWARD CARPENTER WEEKEND

Saturday 25th/Sunday 26th February

The Friends of Edward Carpenter are celebrating LGBT+ History Month and Marking and Celebrating the Partial Decriminalisation of Homosexuality in Britain in 1967. We are organising events with SAYiT and other local organisations and are fundraising for FOEC, SAYiT and Rape Crisis. 

See the Facebook page for these events.

Saturday 25th February Millennium Galleries, Arundel Gate, Sheffield

Sunday 26th February 2017 Sheffield Hallam University – The HUBS, Paternoster Row,