International Workers Memorial Day

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The trade union movement will be holding this commemoration to mark this
international day highlighting deaths and illnesses caused by issues in the workplace.
We know that as austerity and cuts bite deeper we are all put under more pressure at
work with stress and depression being a common cause. At times of economic crisis we
as unions need to fight even harder for decent health and safety standards in our
workplace

Tuesday 28th April

12pm – 1pm. Garden between St Mary’s Street
and Bayley Lane at the rear of Drapers (formerly
Browns) 

Still The Enemy Within

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There are two chances to catch the film ‘Still the Enemy Within’ about the miners strike. Please pass this on to anyone interested.

Thu. 30th  April 2015 @ 6.10 pm 

Warwick Arts Centre
Phone: 024 76 524 524
A unique insight into the dramatic events surrounding the 1984 – 85 “British Miners’ Strike”.
Thirty years on, this is the raw first-hand experience of those who lived through Britain’s long strike.

 The Guardian comment  “A documentary as gripping as a thriller”

Visit the documentary website via – http://the-enemy-within.org.uk/

Also showing –


On Sunday 10 May at 1.30 pm at the Herbert Art Gallery Coventry and Warwickshire People’s Assembly will be showing the film ‘Still the Enemy Within’ about the miners’ strike in 1984-85.

Admission is free but we will be asking for donations on the day. We are also asking trade unions/other interested organisations to sponsor the event – we have already received some sponsorship from a Unite branch but more are needed to support this event and our future activities to fight against austerity. 


Please ask your organisation to sponsor this, cheques payable to Coventry and Warwickshire People’s Assembly, c/o 42 Stanley Road, Coventry CV5 6FF .

Tickets are limited, please book here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/still-the-enemy-within-tickets-16600417295

PUBLIC MEETING – KEEP TESS & JOB SHOP SERVICES PUBLIC

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COVENTRY PEOPLE NEED QUALITY JOBS

Public Meeting for Service Users, Staff, Carers and all Coventry Residents

Service users, carers and Council staff are dismayed that the Council’s Place Directorate are proposing to discontinue flagship services for vulnerable adults & young people with learning disabilities, autism and severe and enduring mental ill health. In addition the proposals could implement post cuts at the highly successful Job Shop.

These services are delivered by some of the most able, dedicated and expert staff in their field, not just in Coventry but nationally. TESS won a national Award for its service only last year, winning Team of the Year from the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) for its outstanding work in encouraging employers to employ those furthest from the labour market. There are currently no other services able to continue this work. The impact for the most vulnerable, their families and employers will be significant.

Please help us to save these services. Ensure all Coventry residents have access to quality jobs, training and education opportunities!

UNISON Dismay at proposal to cut Job Support to Vulnerable Coventry Residents

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Unison has responded with dismay to news that the Council’s Place Directorate management are proposing to discontinue The Employment Support Service (TESS), which is a flagship services for vulnerable adults and young people with learning disabilities, autism and severe and enduring mental ill health, as well as implementing post cuts at the highly successful Job Shop.

The proposals will see 10 posts deleted at the TESS project, putting all post holders at risk of redundancy. This alongside the deletion of two specialist employment advisor roles at the Job Shop, to be replaced by recruiting new staff at a lower grade. The services being proposed for deletion are delivered by some of the most able, dedicated and expert staff in their field, not just in Coventry but nationally.

This explains how TESS won a national Award for its service only last year, winning Team of the Year from the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE), for its outstanding work in encouraging employers to employ those furthest from the labour market. TESS is also one of a small number of services nationally to be awarded Centre of Excellence status by the Centre for Mental Health, for its work with people who have severe mental health difficulties. TESS is a unique service in Coventry. There are currently no other services able to continue this work. The impact of losing this service for the most vulnerable, their families and employers will be significant.

The review proposals throw the Council’s pledge to protect the ‘most vulnerable’ into doubt. Suggestions the TESS service may be funded through ‘alternative’ means seem half formed. Unison is not convinced that those making the decisions have actually thought through how services are currently delivered. We believe direct public investment is the key to the high quality delivery, for which TESS and the Job Shop have become well known.

Unison is also aware that the Council has an opportunity to bid for substantial European Union money. This opportunity explicitly includes funding to support those facing mental health issues, as well as other groups such as young people and the long term unemployed. If a bid is successful, EU resource could develop and enhance the existing services, without the need for any redundancies. This seems to be a case of senior management making a short term saving to tick a box on the Council’s budget spreadsheet, at a time when local people are desperate to find work.

Sarah Feeney, Coventry City Unison Branch Secretary said, ‘This review proposal gives the impression that Council members and senior managers in Place Directorate see services like TESS as an ‘optional extra’, ‘fluffy’ or ‘nice to do’. They are not – they are the very core of Council provision, supporting those most in need. TESS and the Job Shop give Coventry people, who are struggling, the help they need to get a job and financial security for themselves and their families. We will not benefit from all the new investment and buildings in Coventry, if local residents looking for work are thrown back on the scrapheap, carry on being dependent on benefits and are kept out of the picture when it comes to the new jobs on offer.’

A short term investment from reserves for this year would mean that the existing staff resource and networks can be maintained to ensure the Council can maximise opportunity to deliver a successful service, using external funding from next year. Frankly this cut package is neither necessary nor needed at this time, even if one accepts the wider context of austerity, which Unison of course does not.

This review should be put back in the filing cabinet, which would be a sensible decision for unemployed Coventry residents, for the Council itself to avoid substantial potential redundancy costs, for the staff whose jobs are at risk, and for the Council tax

Contact: Sarah Feeney, 02476 521127, or phone Branch Office via 02476 550829

email – sarah.feeney@unisoncoventry.co.uk

Contact Coventry Unison via the above address or visit on the web via www.coventryunison.co.uk, our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/coventry.unison.  Follow @coventryunison on twitter.

Background Note: TESS was established in 1993 to bridge the gap between people accessing social care support and mainstream employment providers; this gap has significantly increased for many disabled people and people with mental health difficulties. With employment rates below 8% for people with learning disabilities and severe mental ill health and 15% for people with autism compared to 46.3% for working age disabled people and 76.4% for non-disabled people (2012 Labour Market Survey). People with the ability and determination to work are being written off as unemployable, passed from provider to provider with no real hope of getting into a job.

The cost to the public purse of supporting an unemployed job seeker is £9,400. This rises significantly when supporting a TESS service user. According to the National Audit Report 2011 the average cost in welfare benefits for a person with learning disabilities is £15,000 per year, this excludes housing benefit, health and social care support costs which can be significant and long-term. Cost Benefit analysis of Supported Employment has demonstrated they are a more cost effective way of supporting people, compared to providing on-going support in day services, professional support through secondary mental health services and continuing to pay welfare benefits, resulting in savings to the tax payer.

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