PRESS RELEASE From Edgwick Play Centre Campaign

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On Saturday 30th January we will be having a rally outside Edgwick Play Centre at 12:00pm, followed by a demonstration outside the council building 2 hours later at 2:00pm. This is to try to help prevent the closure of our play centres. Our local schools including St Elizabeth’s and our local police centre are determined to help us keep this open, and have spoke out with their concerns if they are to be closed. We hope to have them attend our demonstration too.

My children Kimberly, aged 11 and Rhian, aged 7 will be affected by the closure of the centre. Kimberly is now at secondary school and her favorite thing to do is to play football, which if not for the play centre, she would rarely be able to do this as she feels unable to join the boys at her school to play, and her girl friends at her school do not play football. Rhian has built up a lot of confidence since she started going to the play centre. When she first went she would not speak to more than a few children. Now she speaks to several children there, and even joins in with games such as musical statues, which when she first started she would not have done. I am very concerned with the safety of the park if the play centre closes, as the staff there report any suspicious activity that they witness to the local police.

Here are other quotes from parents, using their own words.

Lucy O’Donoghue’s child Saskia goes to the play centre states: “The closure of the play centre will have a very big negative affect/impact on our family. I am a single mum with no transport and limited resources, my daughter is an only child and play centre provide a safe positive, multicultural, tolerant environment for her to play, trips to go on”. 

Lisa Archrar whose children Adriam and Mishara go to the play centre says: “It will mean I would be unable to ework to provide for my family”.

Salma Begum’s child Muhammed goes there says: “There will be nowhere to go. If parents need to go to work children will be able to know that child(s) is/are safe without having to worry”. 

Roxanne Richmond’s child Olivia goes to the play centre says: “The play centre has a huge impact on Olivia’s social skills and enables her to mix with the children from all sorts of backgrounds and ethnic groups; This enables her to become more confident and has brought her lots of new social skills”. 

My daughter Kimberly said: “Most of these kids like me, have made brilliant friends ans has helped with socialisation. It’s so sad”.

Please note I have attached some quotes to the email and would like to invite you to attend the rally and demonstration so you can see for yourselves how much we want to keep this play centre open.

 Yours faithfully,
 Simon Evans.

Important information regarding pay claim consultation – ballot papers going out.

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Over the next few days Coventry City Unison members on national terms & conditions will be receiving ballot papers regarding the current pay claim from April 16. The employers are offering us a paltry 2 per cent deal over 2 years (1 per cent per year). Bearing in mind that a report out today from the TUC shows that in the West Midlands average pay in real terms is worth £38 per week less compared to 2008 and when there is more stress and pressure in the work place UNISON feels this is not good enough.

There will be full information included in the covering letter with the consultative ballot paper. You will see that the recommendation from UNISON (and our colleagues in UNITE) is to reject the deal.

In a slight change to the norm, as well as being able to choose whether to accept or reject – those choosing rejection will also be able to tick up to 3 boxes. These are reject with – all out strike action, selective action, action short of a strike.

Your local reps would recommend the offer is rejected and all three boxes are ticked. This will give more strength to our negotiators to try and get a better deal.

Remember this is a consultative ballot, not an industrial action ballot. We need all members to respond whatever your view is so the national union can get an accurate picture of what we as members think.

**  If you have recently changed address and/or would like to update email/phone contact details, please email our branch office – office@unisoncoventry.co.uk so your records can be updated.  This will allow us to keep you fully informed of what’s going on at Coventry City Council. **

As ever any comments or questions get in touch.

PRESS RELEASE from Coventry against Racism – Coventry Anti Racist Group condemns neo Nazi rock groups performing in Coventry

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“It was brought to our attention that the Lime Tree Club was hosting performances by some Neo Nazi rock groups. Representatives of Coventry Against Racism met with the Lime Tree Club committee back in January 2015. We explained to them the nature of the events they were allowing to be booked at the venue. We told them that the organisations that were booking the events were linked to Extreme Right-wing organisations across Europe and that several of the bands that they booked for the events had Neo-Nazi links. We let them know that the events were attracting Nazi sympathisers from across the UK and that the reason why the location of their event bookings were only released a few hours prior to the events being held was to prevent counter demonstrations by groups and organisations opposed to Racists, Fascists and Nazis.

In October whilst the rest of Coventry were building towards the commemoration of the 75th Blitz anniversary, the Lime Tree Club chose to allow the hosting of yet another event by the same organisation. Coventry is a city of fair play, peace and reconciliation. So the Lime Tree club lets down the majority of its customers by continuing to stage hate performances by Neo- Nazi rock bands.

Coventry Against Racism tried to talk to representatives of the Lime Tree club but no real progress was made, as these hate performances still continue. So after we raised this matter to Coventry City Council, it was decided by council officials to de-list the club from the Council’s community directory. This is a positive move as the Lime Tree club frankly risk tarnishing the image of Coventry. We, at Coventry Against Racism, very much hope that common sense will now prevail and these Neo-Nazis events in our city will stop”.

Note for Editors

Coventry Against racism is a broad based community and trade union group that campaigns against racism in all its forms in Coventry and wider.

Coventry Unison Learning Stall – Wed 13th Jan

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The Unison Learning stall will be at Christchurch House on Wednesday (13 January).

The stall will be available from 12noon-2pm in the ground floor reception area.
Members will be able to access information on education and learning opportunities including:
Return to Learn
Women’s Lives
IT courses
‘Open Learn’ – Unison and the Open University
Activist/member training and development opportunities
The new West Midlands Education and Learning website
Unison benefits including: free legal support; Insurance; car deals
and much more!
There will also be information on Council Education, including:
Skills for Life
Workforce Development
Adult Education

All welcome (members and non members) to go along and discuss options and Make 2016 the year you find out how UNISON membership can really benefit you!

*Would you like to help UNISON promote education in your area as a Workplace Learning Rep? Get in contact with the Branch Office on 024 7655 0829 or e-mail mike.wallace@unisoncoventry.co.uk or paul.hunt@unisoncoventry.co.uk.

SUPPORT THE JUNIOR DOCTORS STRIKE

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On Tuesday 12th January, at 8am, Junior Doctors will begin the first day of their planned strike action.

Picket lines will be outside the University Hospital, Walsgrave from 8am and at 1pm on the same day, Junor Doctors will be holding a ‘Meet the Doctors’ event outside Coventry Cathedral.

If you can attend one or both of the events to demonstrate your support that would be great. If you read on you will note that the Junior Doctors are asking trade unions and supporters to bring banners and placards. You can also send messages of support to: gerard.millen@gmail.com

Below are excerpts from an appeal ‘A call from the BMA – to our fellow workers, trade unionists and activists: we need you!’ by Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis, a member of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee National Executive. The full statement can be read here
“Junior Doctors across England will be commencing industrial action on Tuesday 12th January. We are opposing this government’s attempt to impose an unsafe new contract on the medical profession. It is our view that the proposed contract represents an existential danger to the NHS as an institution.

You may be aware that the BMA had initially suspended its planned industrial action at the start of December and returned to talks with the Department of Health. That decision was made in good faith. However, over the last few weeks, in the course of negotiations with Government we have encountered only intransigence. It is clear that the government perceives our contract issue as pivotal for its attempt to “reform” the NHS towards a neoliberal, commercialised system.

It is therefore evident to us that we have no choice but to transform our 98% ballot mandate into action. The developments of the next few months will have consequences stretching far into the future. This government is wilfully putting at risk our patients’ safety, the tolerability of our working lives as NHS workers and the very viability of the NHS as a publicly-funded, publicly-provided service.

On behalf of the entire BMA we thank you all for your incredible support so far. Many of you will have seen the details with regards to the planned action and I will reiterate them below. We invite you to come out and display your visible support for us on the days of action.

The action will begin with an emergency care-only model, which would see junior doctors provide the same level of service that happens in their given specialty, hospital or GP practice on Christmas Day. It will then escalate to full walk-outs. 

The action as proposed is:
Emergency care only — 24 hrs from 8am Tuesday 12 January to 8am Wednesday 13 January
Emergency care only — 48 hrs from 8am Tuesday 26th January to 8am Thursday 28 January
Full withdrawal of labour — from 8am to 5pm Wednesday 10th February
The aim is to picket all major hospitals in England on all three days of proposed action. Pickets will be in the vicinity of the main entrances and will start at 8am, continuing until at least 12.30pm. However, many picket sites will continue into the evening, especially at the larger hospitals.

Along with the pickets there will be parallel “Meet the Doctors” events at nearby transport stops or public spaces. We will direct you to these events from the picket.

Please turn up on the days of action, and give us your support. We will then inform you if other local events are planned on the day. If you are an allied health worker, trade unionist or campaigner please do consider bringing along the banner representing your organisation, your working uniform or similar. We would appreciate it however if banners in explicit endorsement of specific political parties are not displayed and that any selling of campaign literature such as newspapers is relatively discreet.

On the days of action, please do debate us, educate us and invite us to address your colleagues in your workplace or trade union branch.”

As the Junior Doctors are highlighting, this dispute is not just about their contracts, it’s about the future of our NHS. We all must help to win this campaign and to give maximum support to the Junior Doctors.

Jane Nellist
Secretary, Coventry TUC

Save Edgwick & Eagle Street Play Centres

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As part of the Council cuts and as part of the the ‘Connecting Communities’ Consultation some of the parents from Edgwick and Eagle Street Play Centres have organised a demo on January 30th at midday, at Edgwick Play Centre at midday and then meeting again in town for a demonstration outside the Council House at 2pm the same day. They are also meeting on Friday 15th January at 5:30pm to plan more information and to add more ideas.

Coventry Unison will be supporting this campaign and urge our members to attend the demo if possible. The Campaign also has a Facebook Page – Save Edgwick & Eagle Street Play Centressave our play centres

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