Thursday, 30 July 2015

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Police cuts applauded by Criminals


Commenting on today’s announcement that West Midlands Police Service need to make a further 2500 job loses:
 
Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
 
“This announcement is devastating news, West Midlands Police service have already suffered job losses and this further reduction will mean a scaling back of neighbourhood policing.
 
PCSO’s work on the front line of policing and can be seen walking the streets, talking to individuals and protecting the public on a daily basis. The loss of a futher 2500 posts will not only affect the hardworking people who are often the visible face of policing but will mean communities across the midlands see less of the people who make them feel safe.
 
It is clear that the only people who are going to be applauding this announcement are the criminals, PSCO’s know the communities they work in and rely on police support staff to carry out their roles, taking them away will effect police services at all levels.
 
The reason for these cuts is clear for all to see, it is a lack of funding, the West Midlands needs fair funding from government. We know that this region is being denied almost £43 million when other regions have had none denied.”

 

Monday, 20 July 2015

If pay austerity is over MPs, it should end for other public sector workers too

Commenting on the confirmation last week that MPs are to receive a 10 per cent pay rise, Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
 
"Pay austerity might be over for MPs, but it goes on and on for everyone else in the public sector.
 
If pay restraint is at an end for politicians – who are public servants too – it should also be over for nurses, teaching assistants, hospital cleaners, council staff and other public sector workers.
 
The government felt able to ignore the advice of the NHS pay review body, but not, it would seem, the equivalent body for MPs.
 
Not content with holding pay down for public sector workers for another four years, the government is spitefully going ahead with new laws to make it almost impossible for public servants to go on strike and win pay rises in future.
 
No wonder so many staff in our hospitals, schools and local councils are beginning to think they'd be better off working elsewhere."

 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Trade Union Bill proves the government is not on the side of working people

Commenting on the publication of the Trade Union Bill yesterday, Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
 
“The Bill proves that the government is not on the side of working people. These unfair changes will make it much harder for nurses, teaching assistants, midwives and other public sector workers to ever strike for a pay rise or challenge the behaviour of bad employers.
 
These spiteful proposals will deny millions of ordinary workers a voice at work. Strikes are rare and the decision to lose a day’s pay is never an easy one – especially for public sector workers who have suffered many years of pay restraint. When unions win a pay rise or safer working conditions for their members everyone in the workplace gets to benefit.
 
Democracy won't be enhanced by vindictively raising thresholds but by modernising balloting and allowing workers to vote from their phones and tablets.
 
Tory MPs who will be getting an 11% pay rise are imposing a 1% pay cap on nurses and care workers whilst at the same time shackling their ability to challenge this with a second class form of democracy. Less than 13 per cent of all MPs actually met the 40% threshold that the government are setting for workers.”

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Graph of the week - the National Living Wage con

This week George Osborne revealed his Budget and made much pay of introducing a new so called National Living Wage, which will start at £7.20 an hour in April. 

Apart from this being lower than the actual real Living Wage (£7.85 outside London and £9.15 in London) set by The Living Wage Foundation, it only applies if you are over 25. 

But the con does not stop there. At the same time as the National Minimum Wage effectively being raised to £7.20 the government will be reducing Working Tax Credits so despite the wage rise, low paid workers will be worse off. The graph above shows this clearly (hat tip for the graph to UNISON Scottish Organiser, Dave Watson).
 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Budget shuts public sector workers out of the recovery

Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget Statement today (Wednesday) Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
 
“Capping wages at a miserly one per cent for four more years for public sector workers will hasten the reluctant exit of many dedicated staff from our hospitals, schools and local councils.
 
The economy is growing yet public servants remain shut out of the recovery.
 
Despite bearing the brunt of austerity, they are to keep paying the price for the reckless behaviour of the banks.Britain won’t have public services fit for 21st century needs, unless wages for public servants are high enough to attract the best recruits.
 
Pay austerity might be over for MPs but it’s set to continue for many more years for everyone else in the public sector.An hourly rate of £7.20 is not a living wage. George Osborne’s announcement might look attractive at first glance but as tax credits are cruelly snatched away – leaving many workers £1,200 worse off – he’s simply giving to the low-paid with one hand and taking away with the other.
 
An independently set living wage already exists, and its higher rate assumes the full take up of in-work benefits. Renaming the minimum wage will mean fewer employers will feel obliged to pay staff any more than the law requires them to.”

 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Changes to Migrant Worker Rules


Commenting on the announcement Yesterday that the government plan to change migrant salary rules,
 
Ravi Subramanian, West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
 
"Five years ago the government took the short-sighted decision to cut the number of nursing training places, and the NHS is now paying the price.
 
So with too few nurses being trained in the UK, NHS trusts have been forced to recruit thousands of nurses from abroad. Quite apart from the devastating impact this has on health services around the world, recruiting staff from overseas hasn't come cheap for the NHS either. 
 
Now in a set of crazy new rules due to come into force next year anyone recruited from outside the EU since 2011 who isn't earning more than £35,000 within six years will have to go home. With demand on the NHS increasing all the time, the sudden departure of many highly-trained staff will mean certain chaos for the NHS. One in four nurses in London are from overseas.
 
And it's not just nurses who will be affected – many workers from overseas employed in care homes and in home care across the UK could also find themselves without a job with equally devastating consequences on the care of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
 
Strangely – despite the huge pressures on the NHS – the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) doesn't believe that the UK is suffering from a shortage of nurses. While ballet dancers, head chefs and nuclear waste managers might be on the official list of shortage occupations, nurses don't feature.
 
Aside from these proposals the MAC is also consulting on proposals to raise the salary threshold to £50,000 – if this happens, the NHS will never be able to recruit another nurse from outside the EU again.
 
Ministers must think again and put a stop to these rule changes before it is too late. Nurses and other health workers from overseas have made a vital and valuable contribution to the NHS over many years – without their hard work and dedication, the health service would have been unable to cope with increasing demand."

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Disappointment over conservative Majority Goverment

As the Queen opened this session of parliament UNISON West Midlands surveyed its members to gather their thoughts after the election. The question was simple, Are you pleased with the outcome of the general election?

The response from members who are nurses, teaching assistants, cleaners and porters working across public services in the region was a resounding 65% who said ‘no’.

Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:

“UNISON members across the West Midlands have endured attacks and austerity from a Conservative led government for the past 5 years and the thought of Mr Cameron and his party having free reign in the next is worrying.

For such an overwhelming majority of our members to say that they are disappointed with the outcome of the election and given they face, according to the independent Institute of Fiscal Studies, further cuts of £50bn, they are right to be worried."