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Latest Branch News

General Election – It’s easy to register online

Want a voice? Wants an MP who helps you and backs you? Make sure your registered to vote by 22 May to have a vote in this year’s General Election just go online at: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

School Uniform Grant 2017

Applications for the 2017 School Uniform Grant are now open. UNISON have set up a limited fund to help members on low income with school uniform costs by way of a one-off payment of up to £120. For more details and to apply, please download the documents below. Closing date for applications is 21 July 2017.

School Uniform Grant Poster

School Uniform Grant Q&A Sheet

School Uniform Grant Application Form

Update on weekly pay

The University have made significant changes to their proposals for moving staff from weekly to monthly pay. Instead of the loan of just 2 week's money which was originally repayable over just 4 months the University originally offered, the University are now offering a 4 week payment made up of:

  • A 2 week non repayable ex gratia payment  
  • A 2 week ‘loan’ but which staff do not have to pay back if they leave after 5 years. If someone leaves within 5 years then it is deducted from their notice pay minus 1/60th for every month they have worked. No deduction is made from your normal wages for this loan.

We are organising a meeting for members affected in the near future. Whilst we are disappointed the University are scrapping weekly pay to fit with an IT system, the package on offer is a good deal and one we strongly recommend members accept.

Thank you to all the members who took the time to fill in the hardship questionnaire and the volunteer who inputted them all and also wrote up a list of local councillors and MPs. We would like to thank the following MPs and Councillors for their support on this issue: Richard Burden MP, Roger Godsiff MP, Rob Marris MP and Councillors Mahmood Hussain, Deirdre Alden and Robert Alden.
Richard Burden, Roger Godsiff and Stephen McCabe have supported us consistently on lots of issues, including the real Living Wage campaign.

UNISON Advice to accept the offer

UNISON advice is therefore to sign the agreement to change from weekly to monthly pay.  If staff do not sign the University have stated they will dismiss and re-engage staff onto a new contract, but without the incentive package. Whilst it is regrettable the University are choosing to handle it in this wa,y the incentive package is a good one and one which we believe members should take.
If you have any questions please contact Matt Raine or Lee Crutchley.

Changes to car parking charging hours

The University have announced a change in the daily charging period for car parking (currently 9.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays) to 8am to 6pm on weekdays and have also informed us that: "The policy in respect of staff will otherwise remain unchanged, although there will be increases in visitor parking charges to deter hospital staff and visitors from taking advantage of the cheaper rates in University car parks and therefore reducing the availability of spaces for University purposes."

This will have a significant impact on the lowest paid staff once again at University, in particular for part time cleaning staff who often work 6am to 9pm. This is another ill thought out policy from the University, many transport links are very poor to the University at the best of times, but at 5.30am in the morning getting a bus is extremely difficult and unreliable making public transport just not an option for many staff.

UNISON will be challenging this change. There are far better options than always resorting to hitting staff, particularly as external visitors pay visitor rates not staff rates as the University should know so hitting staff is completely nonsensical.

UNISON have a requested meetings with the University on this and also on car parking arrangements in general as we know it’s an increasing problem.