Articles from Unison

Local MPs urge Birmingham University to resolve pay dispute

Support staff at Birmingham University are to take further strike action today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday) in their long-running industrial dispute over fair pay, equality and improved working conditions.

Unused Levy Funds: Hard up hospitals unable to take on apprentices

Apprenticeship restrictions mean hundreds of millions of pounds of NHS funds going to waste, says UNISON

Technician staff cuts put safety at risk in schools, and the problem’s growing

Almost a third of secondary school technicians (32%) think staff cuts are putting pupil safety at risk, according to a UNISON study published today (Friday).

Victory for staff as academy chain drops plans to axe jobs

UNISON has today (Wednesday) welcomed a decision by the Ormiston Academies Trust to drop plans to cut jobs across England, which it was feared could put the safety and support of pupils at primary and secondary schools at risk.

Birmingham University strikes cancelled as low paid workers secure pay increase

Cleaners, caterers and security guards at Birmingham University are celebrating after securing a pay rise following a series of campus strikes, UNISON announced today (Friday). Three days of strikes planned for Thursday 28, Friday 29 November and Monday 2 December have been cancelled. The decision follows a vote by staff to accept a pay offer of more than 4% for the lowest paid workers and 3% for the highest. Low-paid staff will receive an extra £817 a year with their hourly rate rising by 44p to £9.44. The increase will be backdated to 1 August 2019. The university pay offer exceeds the below-inflation 2% increase managers imposed on support staff last year, which originally sparked the dispute, says UNISON. UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “At last university managers have recognised staff deserve a decent pay rise and that 2% was not a fair offer. “It’s a shame workers had to strike to get their voices heard. We hope we can work with the university to improve the pay and prospects of all staff over the longer term. “The award should also send a powerful message to the University and Colleges Employers Association that they need to make a decent pay offer to staff across the country.”

81% Public service workers overwhelmingly keen to learn new skills

Public service workers ready to learn to ease redundancy fears, says UNISON A third of public service workers are worried they’ll lose their jobs due to technological innovation or government cuts, according to a UNISON survey published today (Thursday).

Academy chain’s plan to axe staff could risk school safety

The safety of pupils and staff could be at risk if Ormiston Academies Trust – which runs primary and secondary schools across England – follows through with plans to cut caretaking and maintenance jobs, says UNISON today (Friday).

Low-paid UCL workers celebrate UNISON-brokered pay deal

Hundreds of outsourced UCL staff are celebrating after UNISON secured the same pay, pension and annual leave rights as directly employed workers doing the same jobs.

Strike ballot for higher education staff over pay and pensions

Teaching assistants use own money to fund uniforms and trips to help struggling parents

Teaching assistants use own money to fund uniforms and trips to help struggling parents, says UNISON Teaching assistants are dipping into their own pockets to help cash-strapped families buy school uniforms, fund trips and provide lunch money, according to a survey by UNISON published today (Friday). Schools are also providing emergency supplies of groceries, with more than one in ten (12%) operating food banks for families. The findings are based on responses from across the UK of more than 4,500 (4,549) teaching assistants from primary and secondary schools. They highlight how pressured, low-income families are turning to schools for basic support, says UNISON.  More than half (54%) of respondents said parents are increasingly in need of more help, while just under half (49%) reported pupils arriving at school hungry more often. Two in five (41%) said they were witnessing increasing levels of poverty. The result is that teaching assistants are using their own money to provide extra help to those in need. More than a fifth (22%) had bought uniforms, a similar proportion (23%) PE kits, while 20% had helped pupils with lunch money.  Nearly one in five (17%) had even provided cash so children could go on school trip, according to the findings. The acts of kindness come as teaching assistants themselves are feeling the financial squeeze, says UNISON. More than three quarters (77%) of schools are making cutbacks, especially over the last couple of years, and more than half (52%) are axing school support staff jobs. Seven in (70%) of respondents said the number of support staff had decreased despite the number of children they were responsible for increasing (69%). The result is high stress levels (70%) and reduced morale (68%), with more than half (56%) considering leaving their jobs. UNISON head of education Jon Richards said:

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