Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Backwell Secondary School to become an Academy

Governors at Backwell School have voted in favour of becoming an Academy under the new rules brought in by the Coalition Government. Find out why UNISON opposes academies by going to http://www.unison.org.uk/education/defendyourschool/

North Somerset already has one school - Wyvern - due to become an Academy under the old rules on 1st May 2011. Our members at Wyvern are already facing a restructure, with some of their jobs disappearing from the new structure. The Cabot Learning Federation are also proposing to move school support staff from the NJC pay scale to their own pay scale. North Somerset UNISON have submitted a lengthy document opposing Wyvern's conversion to an Academy.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Friday, 26 November 2010

Diary of cuts 26th November

The branch is getting more news about how North Somerset Council intend to make £42 million worth of cuts. The indications are that they will be cutting terms and conditions and privatising services, but we will get more details on 1st December.

On Thursday the Branch Secretary met with members affected by the transfer of the Museum to Weston Town Council. Many of our members are currently affected by forthcoming transfers to new employers - Winter Gardens, Playhouse, Tourist Information Centre, Churchill and Wyvern Sports Centres, as well as Wyvern School which will become an Academy in May 2011.

We will be taking advice on balloting those members directly affected by the reduction to enhancements - overtime, evening, weekend and bank holiday working, call out and standby payments.

Our members at NHS North Somerset, formerly the PCT, have just begun a consultation on moving to a Social Enterprise.

Members at NSHousing have been placed at risk of redundancy due to changes in the Supporting People Funding.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Public Spending Cuts are not the only way to cut the deficit

UNISON's view is that the Coalition government's savage cuts to public spending are not the only or even the right way to cut the deficit. We believe that those who caused the recession should pay for it, that is banks and other financial institutions. We need to make our taxation system fairer, close tax loop holes and tax havens and collect the billions of tax which remain uncollected every year. The Coalition goverment's cuts target the most poor and vulnerable people in our society and coincidentally these are the people who are least likely to be able to defend themselves. UNISON has a crucial role to play in defending the public services which many people rely on.  Check out UNISON's alternative budget by going to: http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/18887.pdf. UNISON members need to be getting the message across that the cuts are ideological and are designed to reduce the welfare state which our parents and grandparents fought so hard to create.

Dates for your diaries

Dates for your diaries:

1st December - North Somerset Council will meet with the trade unions to discuss their budget position. Council staff are already being informed at meetings with managers.

14th December at 2 pm - North Somerset Executive meet to discuss budget proposals.

18th January 2011 at 6 pm - North Somerset Council meet to discuss budget proposals.

1st February 2011 at 2 pm - North Somerset Executive meet to approve budget.

22nd February 2011 at 6 pm - Council meet to set their budget. UNISON encourages all members to attend and lobby councillors.

26th March 2011 - TUC Rally against the Cuts in London - branch will be organising a coach to take members to London. All interested members should contact the branch office on 01934 634759 or unison@n-somerset.gov.uk.

North Somerset UNISON Branch Secretary's Diary of the Cuts

The North Somerset branch of UNISON has started this blog so that all members of the branch who have access to the web can keep in touch about the cuts which are affecting their workplaces. Branch Secretary Helen Thornton will aim to write a blog once a week to keep members informed of what's been happening in the branch that week. We strongly encourage members to add their own comments to the blog.

Tuesday 23rd November - Western Daily Press contact Branch Secretary re: North Somerset Council press release announcing the advertisement of a Commercial and Contracts Manager, who will be responsible for outsourcing services, along with managing existing contracts. The job is JM8 grade, a salary of £60k per year and as a result doesn't go through Job Evaluation panels at the council, which UNISON reps sit on. To put it bluntly we knew nothing about it. Branch Secretary gives comment to Western Daily Press on UNISON's opposition to the privatisation of public services because it is our view that the private sector provide a poorer quality and more expensive service, when private companies put profits before people. We also oppose the use of public money to create profits for private companies. This gives us an indication (as if we didn't know already) that the council intend to privatise many of their services.

Wednesday 24th November - 3 UNISON reps walk out of a terms and conditions meeting with the Head of HR at North Somerset Council because of his statement to implement changes to enhancements for council employees, despite our objections to them because of equal pay issues and as as result our refusal to agree to this change. Our colleagues in the teaching unions also walk out with us. The changes to enhancements will affect our lowest paid members, most of whom are women. North Somerset Council are now likely to issue new contracts to affected staff. It is also now likely we will be consulting members on some form of industrial action.