Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Personal Injury Success - 2015

Every month UNISON wins thousands of pounds for our members who are injured at work or at home through no fault of their own.

Unlike no-win no-fee lawyers the union does not charge for this service and all the compensation goes to the member. 

2015 was another record year for claim success in the West Midlands, working with our dedicated Trade Union Solicitors, Thompsons  ( our members where awarded over £2 million during 2015.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

UNISON Support Junior Doctors Strike

Across England today NHS staff will be using their breaks and lunchtimes to join their junior doctor colleagues on BMA picket lines, says UNISON.

Many suspect the dispute over government plans to cut payments for night and weekend work is likely to be a dress rehearsal for what could happen should ministers turn their attention to the wider NHS workforce.

Health workers across the NHS are in total support of the junior doctors’ refusal to accept changes to their unsocial hours payments that the health secretary has been attempting to impose, says UNISON.

Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:

"An NHS where the same high quality care is provided, regardless of the time of day or the day of the week, will notcome cheap. But Jeremy Hunt thinks he can offer more to patients by paying dedicated healthcare professionals much less.

Other NHS staff fear that the dispute with junior doctors could be the dry run for a much bigger confrontation. They suspect ministers also want to axe the unsocial hours payments that they get for working nights and weekends.

Working additional night and weekend shifts has helped many health staff survive the government's harsh and ongoing pay freeze. That's why so many of them across England will be joining picket lines during their breaks and lunchtimes tomorrow to show the health secretary that, while everyone wants to see a seven day NHS, his approach to achieving it is completely wrong."

Friday, 18 December 2015

Syrian Refugee families arrive in Brirmingham

Seven Syrian Refugee families came to Birmingham yesterday. The Amirah Foundation is coordinating their welcome into Birmingham.

Ravi Subramanian, Regional Secretary of UNISON West Midlands delivering seven welcome bags of food and essentials from UNISON.

Over the next few weeks the union will be doing more to support these and other families as they start a new life away from the death and destruction in Syria.


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Personal Injury Success

Every month UNISON wins thousands of pounds for our members who are injured at work or at home through no fault of their own.

Unlike no-win no-fee lawyers the union does not charge for this service and all the compensation goes to the member.

In November this year we won over £54,000 for our members.

Friday, 27 November 2015

UNISON Urges Meaning Negotiations

As staff at BBraun Sterilog return to work after a 24 hour stoppage and begin a seven day work to rule, UNISON urges the employer to enter meaningful negotiations to being the dispute to a close.

Staff employed by the company, BBraun Sterilog, are employed to clean and sterilise surgical equipment. This is used in hospitals across Birmingham including the Women’s and Children’s Hospitals. They are taking industrial action because of a threat by the company to remove breaks.

Ray Salmon, UNISON West Midlands Regional Organiser said:

“Following a successful day of action yesterday we urge the BBraun Serilog, as well as hospitals in the Pan Birmingham NHS Trusts, to come to the table and participate in meaningful negotiations to end this dispute.

The staff working at the company work in sterile environments. This is to ensure the public can go in to operating theatres knowing hospital staff caring for them have clean and sterile equipment with which to carry out their work. What this means for the staff is working in a hot and oppressive environment, wearing surgical scrubs. There is limited opportunity for them to take refreshments except within these short breaks.”

UNISON and the staff are keen to bring the dispute to a close but this can only be done if all parties engage in the negotiating process.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Tax credits u-turn will bring huge relief to nearly three million working families, says UNISON

Commenting on the announcement today (Wednesday) that the Chancellor is to reverse his planned cuts to tax credits, Ravi Subramanian UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:

“Nearly three million working families countrywide have breathed a collective sigh of relief. Since the cuts were announced in the summer, parents have faced increasing anxiety over losing the tax credits they rely upon so heavily.

“We’re pleased that the Chancellor has made good use of the thinking time last month’s Lords vote gave the government.

But the real credit for today’s decision goes to the many brave parents who talked publicly about their already stretched finances, and the distress and hardship the cuts would cause. Their stories convinced the government this unfair tax credits grab was wrong.

The government must now do more to encourage employers to pay staff more – at least the real living wage of £8.25 an hour. This would make a difference to the many low-income families still struggling to make ends meet.

In 2018 new claims for tax credits will stop, and the families receiving them will start to be switched on to Universal Credit. The Chancellor must not use this change as a way to revive his original plans and leave working families worse off in 2020 than today.”

UNISON reacts to spending review announcement on NHS

Commenting on the announcement on the NHS today (Wednesday) by the Chancellor, Ravi Subramanian Unison West Midlands Regional Secretary said

"So far the government’s plans for funding the NHS have been all smoke and mirrors. There has been no consistent plan to deal with the social care crisis and its consequent impact on the NHS.

There’s also been no strategy to prepare and adapt the health service to deal with the challenges of an ageing population, or one strategy to fairly pay its overworked staff.

The new funding will do little to stop long ambulance queues outside A&E departments and little to help organisations that are already in black alert.

Also commenting on the scrapping of bursaries for student nurses, Ravi added:

“Scrapping student nurse bursaries at a time when the NHS is struggling with a shortage of nurses is wrong and irresponsible.

The bursary is a major incentive for people to train as nurses as it helps attract older and diverse candidates. Nurses are already the lowest paid of all those who take vocational degrees. The starting salary is lower than a newly qualified teacher or a graduate police officer. Adding financial pressures onto roles that are so vital makes no sense and will deter many from applying."

UNISON Warns of Disruption to Hospitals Across Birmingham

UNISON has today warned of disruption to hospitals across Birmingham as staff employed to provide sterile serves to all the major trusts in the area take industrial action this Thursday (26th November 2015). 
Employees of BBraun Sterilog will be striking over the decision by their employer to dismiss any staff who refuse to give up their breaks while at work. There will be an all out, 24 hour stoppage from 0001hrs on the 26th November 2015 and staff will work to rule from then on.
The staff provide specialist services to sterilise medical instruments used in hospital theatres and specialist units. The action is likely to affect hospitals such as The QE, the Children’s Hospital and the major A+E departments in the city.
The dispute follows an attempt by BBraun to force staff to give up breaks. The work they carry out is in a controlled environment which prevents them from taking refreshments while in the workplace, irrespective of the temperatures, protective equipment they have to wear or a number of other difficult working conditions. Many of these staff have had these breaks for a number of years which predate their employment with BBraun before being transferred to the private company from the NHS.
Ray Salmon UNISON West Midlands Regional Organiser said:
“It is disappointing that this has come to a strike. We have tried to resolve this amicably but BBraun have consistently refused to listen to their staff or offer a sensible resolution. Once our members made it clear they didn’t feel they could give up their breaks the company changed from a reasonable employer to take a hard line and have taken steps to dismiss staff’.
Despite the potential impact on major NHS services across Birmingham the NHS trusts have refused to assist and resolve the dispute.”
Ray Salmon added
‘I have never experienced such a poor response from the NHS Trusts on an issue like this. They transferred their staff to BBraun and despite contracting them to provide the service they think they can ignore this action. This is a very dangerous position to take.’