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."

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Fee Increase for Health Professionals

UNISON is asking MP’s to sign an Early Day Motion (EDM) which gives a voice to member’s opposition to the Health and Care Profession Council’s (HCPC) plans to increase fees by 12.5%.

The 330,000 health professionals, who will be affected by this change have no choice but to register with the council, are calling for this increase to be put on hold until the Health Select committee holds its annual accountability hearing.

Claire Campbell, UNISON West Midland Regional Manager and Political Lead, said:

“The proposed increase will have a significant impact on our members who have no choice but to pay the fee levied on them by the HCPC. The increase of 12.5% comes on top of  a 5% rise in 2014, this would mean a total increase of 17.5% in just 2 years.

The HCPC successfully increased its general reserves by nearly £1 million last year  but continues with little public or parliamentary Scrutiny.UNISON members have seen minimal pay rises and increased workloads over a number of years and are struggling to afford continued increase of this nature.

This motion (EDM41) simply asks for the planned increase to be put on hold until the health select committee has met and held its annual accountability hearing.”

UNISON is asking MPs from all sides of the house to sign the motion as well as table written or oral parliamentary questions.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Graph of the week - Proportion of the electorate voting for their MP

This week the government announced a further attack on workers with their proposed Trade Union Bill that would introduce a 50% voting threshold for union strike ballot turnouts, and a requirement that 40% of those entitled to vote must back action in "essential public services" - health, education, fire and transport. 

The recent General Election resulted in only 84 out of 650 MPs (less than 13 per cent) meeting the threshold of 40 per cent of the electorate voting for them. 

This week''s graph of the week (to make it larger click on it) shows the proportion of the electorate voting for their MP. All parliamentary seats are shown by a bar but due to space limitations not everyone is labelled on the vertical axis. The graph shows the 566 red bars showing those that do not meet the 40 per cent threshold and the 84 green bars where the threshold was met.

West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
"Compared to the increasingly out of touch Tory MPs, working people now have a second class form of democracy when they fight for workplace justice,  It's one law for MPs and another law for workers."

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Graph of the week - The 10 seats where the Green vote was bigger than the Tory majority

There are 10 seats where the Green vote is bigger than the Tory majority.

Obviously it is not clear that every Green voter would have voted Labour, but some may have done if they had known it could have elected a Labour, instead of Tory MP.

With Sinn Fein not taking their 4 seats in Westminster, 324 seats are required for a working majority. The Tories got 331. If 8 out of 10 of the seats above were won by Labour the Tories would not have a majority in Westminster.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Proposed changes to strike laws


Following the comments from newly appointed Business Secretary, Sajid Javid regarding significant changes to strike laws,
 
Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
 
“This government has only been in power for a few days and already they are attacking workers,
 
Mr Javid, whose government was elected on just 36.9% of the vote is introducing second class democracy for workers.
 
At his first Cabinet meeting the prime minister said that they needed to focus on ‘bread and butter' ways of improving peoples lives’ but if restricting the rights of the average employee is a top priority then it is clear they are focusing on ‘Silver spoons and caviar’ for employers and private companies.”

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Health workers fear for future of NHS


UNISON West Midlands have today revealed that over 90% of members working in the NHS surveyed are worried about the future of the NHS.
 
UNISON recently surveyed thousands of members across the West Midlands asking how worried they are about the future of the NHS. This lead to the stark truth that 93% of health workers are worried about the future of the NHS.
 
Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
 
“UNISON members are at the front line of delivering services in the NHS and work in roles such as nurses, health care assistants, cleaners, porters, and receptionists.
 
Our members cover the roles that keep the NHS working and functioning as a world class service.This survey shows the recently highlighted public concern about the NHS is well placed because the over 90% of the workers in the NHS are also worried.
 
On 7 May people have the chance to vote to ensure that the NHS gets the investment it needs and remains a public service free from privatisation.”

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Graph of the week - this government broke the economy

The government claims that the economy was contracting when they came to power in May 2010, but the graph above shows the economy contracted after the global banking crash and started growing in 2009. The dip in economic growth comes after the first two of George Osborne's budgets.

It was this government that stalled the economic recovery after the global crash.

With a hat tip to Paul Mason on Twitter @paulmasonnews