PRESS RELEASE – UNISON legal victory sees employment tribunal fees scrapped

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Employment tribunal fees will be scrapped after UNISON won a landmark court victory against the government on July 26th, 2017. The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees four years ago.

From Wednesday this week, anyone who has been treated illegally or unfairly at work will no longer have to pay to take their employers to court. The government will also have to refund more than £27m to the thousands of people charged for taking claims to tribunals since July 2013.

Anyone in England, Scotland and Wales wanting to pursue a case against their employer has had to find as much as £1,200. This has been a huge expense for many low-paid employees, says UNISON.

Reacting to this morning‘s decision, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“The government has been acting unlawfully, and has been proved wrong – not just on simple economics, but on constitutional law and basic fairness too. It’s a major victory for employees everywhere. UNISON took the case on behalf of anyone who’s ever been wronged at work, or who might be in future. Unscrupulous employers no longer have the upper hand. We’ll never know how many people missed out because they couldn’t afford the expense of fees. But at last this tax on justice has been lifted.”

ENDS

To keep in contact with Coventry City UNISON visit us on the web via www.coventryunison.co.uk, our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/coventry.unison. Follow @coventryunison on twitter.

Download the press release here and place on your notice board 🙂 jul72617unisonpressrelease

PRESS RELEASE – Coventry City UNISON Response – Government Funding of Schools’ budgets

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The government’s funding announcement last Monday is disappointing. It means a return to smoke and mirrors statements on school funding. UNISON has said that whilst any extra money is welcome, it isn’t enough to stop the huge cuts that schools are making.

Calculations published on the School Cuts organisations’ website show that under the Conservative Party’s manifesto plans for school funding, schools faced a loss of £11.6 billion in real terms between 2015/16 and 2021/22. The extra money pledged today is not sufficient to make up this loss. The government says it will ensure no school faces loss of funding in cash terms. In real terms, inflation will mean schools will be £2.1bn worse off in 2019/20 even after this increase is implemented.

Schools are already cutting curriculum choices, activities for pupils and teaching and support staff posts. Richard Harty, Coventry UNISON Schools’ Lead said “We are calling on the government to find further additional funding to protect all schools and avoid damaging cuts to children’s education…We are already seeing job losses in some schools in Coventry”.

As this is not new money, the government has been forced to reallocate money from a range of areas. For example, £280m will come from the free schools’ programme. The National Audit Office has questioned if this programme provides value for money. Nevertheless, the government now expects local authorities to fund 30 of the 140 planned schools.

This government announcement shows the power of the school cuts campaign run by unions, parents, politicians and local communities. We will continue to build the campaign. We call on the Government to find ‘new’ money to protect all schools in real terms and avoid these damaging cuts to children’s education.”

UNISON National Head of Education Jon Richards said: “Considerable extra money is needed to reverse the damage already done. Teachers and pupils are paying a high price because support staff have been axedThe loss of these jobs with other cuts is placing school children at risk. The government should be investing in their futures.”

ENDS

To keep in contact with Coventry City UNISON visit us on the web via www.coventryunison.co.uk, our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/coventry.unison. Follow @coventryunison on twitter.

DOWNLOAD THIS PRESS RELEASE HERE – jul72417unisonpressrelease

A straightforward demand for this summer: Pay Up Now!

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Public services need a pay rise

UNISON members in public services have suffered a pay squeeze for far too long – and the government had proposed another five years of austerity and caps on pay levels. But since the general election, the government is weaker than ever and has no mandate for further austerity measures.

Already there has been talk of freeing up the pay review bodies to allow them to recommend higher awards – but that only applies to some of our members. UNISON is determined to spend the summer building up the pressure on public service pay – for all our members.

Whether you work in local government, the NHS, police, education or any other public service – you need a pay rise. But they won’t pay up unless we speak up.
So from now until the budget in November, we’ll be making a lot of noise on pay. 

In addition to our sector pay negotiations and campaigns, UNISON will be running a high-profile, public campaign to put pressure on politicians to support three key demands: ending the pay cap; putting money aside for an immediate rise for all public service workers, and restoring normal PRB and bargaining arrangements for all our sectors, free of political interference.

Look out for campaign materials and actions you and your members can take to drive the campaign forward and make sure the government has to Pay Up Now!