Update for Coventry City Council Staff – Unions Facility Time Dispute. 

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UNISON is pleased to update you regarding the Trades Unions Facility Time Dispute.
 We have reached an agreement with the Local Authority who have committed to the following: 

The City Council has agreed to invite the Trades Unions into meaningful negotiations which will include the full disclosure of information.

The negotiations will initially try to resolve issues within the envelope of the existing facility time agreement.

As a gesture of good faith, the Council have agreed that the conclusion of negotiations will now be on 1st October 2015 as opposed to the previously stated implementation date of 1st September 2015. ‘   

Whilst we acknowledge we have difficult negotiations ahead, UNISON and our sister unions are pleased to have achieved an agreeable way forward.

We hope you agree that this is a favourable result with all unions involved in the dispute working together.

Unison would like to thank all those who gave their support. We will keep you informed of developments as they arise.

Summer 2015 – new issue of Ulearn magazine out now

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The latest issue of ‘Ulearn’, the national Unison magazine for Learning and Education is now available. You can read it online by visiting this link – click here
If you are interested in finding out more about our Learning and Education work, please get in touch by contacting the branch Learning Reps using the emails below
paul.hunt@unisoncoventry.co.uk

mike.wallace@unisoncoventry.co.uk

Solidarity from Coventry City Unison to Greek public sector workers

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This Wednesday members of the Greek public sector union federation, ADEDY, will take part in a 24 hour general strike against the brutal austerity measures that are being proposed by the EU, IMF, European Central Bank and sadly accepted by the Greek government as part of the ‘bail out’ deal agreed earlier this week.
The deal will include mass scale privatisations, devastating job losses, increases in VAT (which will hit working class people the most) and will do nothing to help ordinary Greeks who have been ravaged by austerity.
Since the economic crisis of 2008, there have been 11,000 suicides related to the crash, youth unemployment has gone over 40 per cent and the International Red Cross have had to set up facilities in Athens to administer basic medical supplies.
Our branch of Unison believes it is critical to show support to workers in other countries campaigning against these destructive attacks. We show our solidarity by sending greetings to the ADEDY in Greece and by redoubling our efforts to defend trade union rights, public services, our terms and conditions and to build a strong anti-austerity movement here in the UK as part of a Europe wide movement that puts people and public services before profit.
Email adedy@adedy.gr if you wish to send your own message of support.
Thanks
Coventry Unison

  

Copy of letter to Cllr Lucas from Newcastle Unison

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Dear Ann, 

It has been brought to my attention that Coventry City Council is significantly reducing the facility time for trade unions organising within the Council, I and my Branch believe this is a regressive step and will ultimately cost Coventry more than the savings realised by its removal. Successive examinations of the “value” of trade union facility time have concluded that:

 

The four main benefits from the use of facility time are*:

Provision of a ready-made structure for meaningful consultation and negotiation saves money and reassures members that their views are valued in decision-making.

Facilitation of partnership working with trade unions improves workplace relations and the reputation of an employer as ‘a good place to work’.

Earlier intervention in relation to complaints, grievances and disciplinaries prevents escalation into more serious problems and saves organisations (and taxpayers) money by reducing the impact on staff time and possible legal costs.

Better communication during restructuring and redundancy processes improves understanding of decisions, minimises negative impacts and reduces the number of working days lost through industrial action.

* The Value of Trade Union Facility Time – Insight, Challenges and Solutions produced by NatCen Social Research June 2012

 

In my experience of many years of supporting UNISON members in Newcastle, the relationship built up between union officers on full time release and officers of the council, has ensured a positive environment in which very difficult negotiations can take place, and I am sure the same applies in Coventry. The remorseless attack on Local Government by the previous Coalition Government and it’s continuation under a wholly Conservative Government requires a concerted and coordinated resistance by like-minded groups and the fact that a Labour controlled Authority is taking this decision is even more difficult to accept. It is very difficult to take seriously any Labour Council’s criticism of the Government’s austerity programme who subsequently remove workers right to adequate representation. This can only be viewed as a crude attempt to reduce the ability of workers to fight off attacks by that same employer.

 

Newcastle City UNISON would urge you to reconsider this proposal at the earliest opportunity.

 

Yours with respect and solidarity.

 

Paul

 

Paul Gilroy

Branch Secretary

 

Website address http://www.newcastle.gov.uk

UNISON Branch http://www.unison-newcastle.org.uk

 

UNISON                            

Room 145

Civic Centre

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 8QH

Facilities Dispute with Coventry City Council – Draft Letter to MP’s

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Dear (Your MP), I am writing to you regarding the disgraceful decision of the Labour council to directly attack facility time and trade union rights at Coventry City Council.  As a Labour member, I hope you understand the reason why staff need to access skilled reps to deal with workplace issues. This is a fundamental, democratic right.
Are you aware that in the current climate of endless change: restructuring of staff, increasing workloads, job insecurity and micro-management, stress levels have never been higher and pressure on us to reach targets unrelenting?

This is the time we need more support, not less from our trade unions.

I find it appalling that Labour Councillors, many of whom are trade union members themselves, are embarking on this course of action.  I have come to expect the right-wing, anti-union, message from the Tories, UKIP; Taxpayers Alliance etc. because all they ever see is what they believe to be savings to the taxpayer.  They clearly have no understanding of how industrial relations work or the ‘real savings’ that facility time brings as studies carried out have shown.

If your party remain insistent on forcing through these unnecessary and undemocratic changes, I fear that the relations between Labour and the trade union movement in the City (and more widely) will become seriously damaged.  It is Labour’s job to fight the Conservative government’s cuts both locally and nationally: not to attack the trade unions (some of which pay into your party coffers) and represent many of your supporters.

I hope that you will support the joint trade unions in opposing these measures and join with us to convince Councillor Lucas that this is a serious error of judgement.

Yours sincerely,
(Your name and address here)

Word Version – Click Here – Dear MP

Facilities Dispute with Coventry City Council – Draft text for letter to your Councillor

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Dear (Name of your Councillor), I am writing to you regarding the disgraceful decision of the Labour council to directly attack facility time and trade union rights at Coventry City Council.  As a Labour member, I hope you understand the reason why staff need to access skilled reps to deal with workplace issues. This is a fundamental, democratic right.

Are you aware that in the current climate of endless change: restructuring of staff, increasing workloads, job insecurity and micro-management, stress levels has never been higher and pressure on us to reach targets unrelenting?

This is the time we need more support, not less from our trade unions.

I find it appalling that Labour Councillors, many of whom are trade union members themselves, are embarking on this course of action.  I have come to expect the right-wing, anti-union, message from the Tories, UKIP; Taxpayers Alliance etc. because all they ever see is what they believe to be savings to the taxpayer.  They clearly have no understanding of how industrial relations work or the ‘real savings’ that facility time brings as studies carried out have shown.

I hope that you will support the joint trade unions in opposing these measures (like some of your colleagues have indicated they will) and join with us to convince Cllr Lucas that this is a serious error of judgement.

Yours sincerely,

(Your name and address)

Word version – click here – Dear Councillor

Message to Coventry Unison Members & Supporters

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As agreed by the branch, we have prepared model letters to councillors and MPs which you can use to support your union in our facility dispute with Coventry City Council.

In addition to the model letters, please note that you can find your local MPs’ details on http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mps/ or both MPs and Councillors on https://www.writetothem.com/

As mentioned before, we see the Council’s move as counter-productive on so many levels and we are doing all we can to spread the message:

We have taken out an advert in the Coventry Observer this week.

 We also recommend you listen to the interview on BBC CWR Shane O’Connor show (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02vgz0h#auto) with Professor Kim Hoque of Warwick Business School which was on at approx. 8.08am – 8.16am last Friday morning.

NB: please do any letter-writing, petition signing etc at home or in your own time and not using work facilities.

 

SAVE THE EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT SERVICE – TESS – By Liz Crowter – Save TESS Pressure Group

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Hello and thank you for reading this.

I’m Liz Crowter and my daughter is Heidi.

We would like to ask for your support to help save a really important and valuable Coventry service that works with some of our most vulnerable adults and young people.

TESS (The Employment Support Service) is funded by Coventry City Council. The service has been helping people with learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities and mental health issues gain and stay in employment for more than 22 years.

Like a lot of disabled people, Heidi wants the same opportunities in life that we all want. To be as independent as possible and be part of the community, having a job and earning her own money is an important part of this. TESS have been instrumental in finding her work experiences and supporting both her and the employer in those experiences. Without TESS she would be unable to fulfil her dream of getting and keeping a valuable job and place in the work force.

Despite vowing to protect the most vulnerable, the Council is planning on closing TESS in December if it can not find the money. TESS is a unique service in Coventry, 100’s of people depend on its support both now and in the future. We cant just sit back and let the Council close this vital service.

BUT WE CAN NOT DO THIS ALONE

WE REALLY DO NEED YOUR HELP

Help save employment support for disabled people

Thank You

Richard with his mum Jane

Jane says: “If people like Richard aren’t in work, it’s a false economy because they’d instead claim benefits. TESS helped Richard get a job 15 years ago and without the ongoing support they have provided when there have been changes at work he wouldn’t still be there. Richard’s mixing with people who don’t have learning disabilities. He’s more independent and has learned about money and social interaction. Please help us to save TESS for people like Richard and all the other people out there, who have such a lot to offer given the chance and support”.

How can you help?

  • Please sign our e-petition at http://epetitions.coventry.gov.uk/2015/04/save-the -employment-support-service/ and ask your family, friends and others to.

    Please note: once you submit your name on the e-petition you will receive a reply asking you to click on a link to confirm that you are who you say you are, if you don’t do this your signature will not count. Please check your “junk” folder as this is where it often ends up.

  • Would you be willing to help collect signatures for our petition? If you would then please contact me (details below) and I will send you details.
  • Follow us on Facebook and send the link to others who may support us https:// www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Employment-Support-Service- TESS/1628758824033355?fref=ts
  • Write to, call or see your local Councillor and MP and ask them what they are doing to save TESS and protect some of the most vulnerable people in Coventry.

Join the Save TESS Pressure Group Contact Liz Crowter Email: liz.crowter@lfsbc.org.uk or Call: 07542571427

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WE ARE NOT ALL IN IT TOGETHER – Protest Against George Osborne’s Emergency Budget – Assemble btwn 5-5.30 pm, Broadgate, Coventry, Wednesday 8th July

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The only ‘emergency’ is the Tories’ desperate rush to cut as much of the welfare state as they can before they are rumbled. 250,000 people demonstrated in London against austerity on June 20th. Come and join the fightback, tell your friends, family and workmates.

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