Articles from Unison

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:

School uniform supplier must show it doesn’t profit from sweatshop labour, say education unions

One of the UK’s largest school uniform manufacturers has today (Monday) been challenged by unions to show its clothing isn’t being made using sweatshop labour.

Landmark case confirms statutory minimum annual leave for all workers #FutureofEmployment

UNISON have secured a victory at the Court of Appeal affecting hundreds of thousands of employees working part-time and irregular hours or patterns. 

College staff need training in handling weapon-related incidents, warns UNISON

Staff and students have suffered serious injuries as a result of offensive weapons being brought into colleges, according to a UNISON survey published today (Tuesday).

UNISON announces second strike date at Halley Academy

UNISON, along with GMB and NEU, will strike on Tuesday 14 May to protest against redundancies at Halley Academy, a mixed secondary school in Greenwich.

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