This branch condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has already resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and a growing refugee crisis. We call for the immediate withdrawal of the Russian military from Ukraine.
Inherent in the situation is the risk of even greater escalation which could result in a catastrophic loss of life and widespread destruction.
We oppose the invasion of Russia into Ukraine – we also oppose the expansion of NATO through central and eastern Europe which has inflamed the situation. We will also oppose any NATO intervention in Ukraine.
As a public sector union, we send our support to all trade unionists and workers within Ukraine, many of whom will be continuing to carry out their jobs in extreme conditions. We support attempts by the trade union movement in Ukraine to continue organising whilst recognising that the Zelensky government is not a friend of trade unions nor minorities.
Despite the terrible situation and facing substantial intimidation and danger, we show our complete solidarity with those within Russia who have taken to the streets in over 50 cities against Putin and the war, with at least 10000 protestors being arrested for speaking out against the war
We also show our solidarity with independent trade unions in Belarus and Russia who have issued anti war statements.
Unlike every government involved in this war – the trade union movement seeks to unite workers across and within national boundaries – we call for the unity of working class people in Ukraine and Russia. We defend the right of self determination for all in the region. Against nationalism and war we stand for internationalism, working class unity and solidarity.
The Tory government has once again shown its utter hypocrisy – pretending to stand for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ yet barely taking in any refugees. Refugees should be welcomed and not subject to a tortuous process that puts up barriers – with full access to welfare, housing and with the right to work. Furthermore Johnson criticises Russia – yet is trying to bring in the PCSC bill that would see a clampdown on the right to protest and demonstrate.
We also condemn politicians such as Keir Starmer who have attempted to paint those who oppose the war and oppose NATO as supporters of Putin. This witchunting atmosphere represents a clampdown on the democratic right to free speech and enables racism against ordinary Russians living in the UK and elsewhere, as well as increasing the threats against anti war campaigners. We also note that Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South, has received death threats and been labelled as ‘Putin’s whore’. We condemn these abhorrent threats on Zarah Sultana and the anti war movement
We recognise that ‘hard hitting economic sanctions’ in fact impact on ordinary working class people the most in both Russia and the UK through higher fuel and food prices for example. We see how in countries like Iraq where sanctions were introduced against Saddam Hussein, that it was ordinary Iraqis who suffered the most. We support workers’ action against the Russian and NATO war machines.
Our branch resolves to:
Support protests against the war in Ukraine and further escalation. We need a mass anti war movement here in the UK and across the world.
Send messages of support to workers and trade unions that have taken action against the war
Where possible seek to make links with trade unions in the region
Make a donation to the international trade union appeal as publicised by UNISON
Seek to make links as appropriate with local communities impacted by the war and where applicable help the call for donations of goods to send to Ukraine
UNISON Coventry City have just had a great victory for our members at Lower Ford St.
The employees, who are mostly grade 2 or 3, have not been paid properly for bank holidays since they came onto CCC terms and conditions in 2017. Coventry City UNISON became aware of this last month.
It is now confirmed that all those whose pay has been missed will receive payment. Coventry City UNISON are pleased for members there, particularly those who are on the lowest grades. Our corporate rep and branch secretary were happy to be involved in resolving this issue.
Coventry City UNISON are aware that a number of service areas are trying to take action to alleviate the impact of the bin drivers strike. We have had contact from multiple members who are concerned that what they are being asked to do may undermine the lawful industrial action being undertaken by UNITE.
The branch is aware that there will be a variety of views amongst our membership on the action taken by Unite but we are clear as your Trade Union. It is unacceptable of managers to ask you to do the work of a striking colleague. If this is happening to you, we would urge you to get in touch with us to discuss your concerns. We will support you to tell your manager that your union has given clear advice: you should not be doing the work of a striking colleague. For the avoidance of any doubt, this would be about being told to collect domestic rubbish, moving rubbish around the city – whether it be from your workplace or a household.
Council staff who kept local services and schools running deserve a real pay rise…Staff working for councils and in schools are worth more than the 1.75% pay offer put forward by employers after working through the worst of times
The consultation… Nationally, members in local government were asked to vote on the employers’ pay offer of 1.75%, and 79% voted to reject it.
As a Branch, 91.2% of the members who voted, rejected the offer.
Disappointingly, our turnout figures meant that if this consultation was a formal Industrial Action Ballot, we would not have met the threshold for action even though the number of people rejecting it was clear.
We really need everyone to have their say on pay and are encouraging everyone to vote in the upcoming Industrial Action Ballot.
Thank you… As a Branch, we would like to thank everyone who voted in the consultation but we encourage many more of you to do so in the Industrial Ballot coming out soon. It really is important as every single vote makes a massive difference.
What is happening next… UNISON’s NJC Committee, representing 400,000 members in local government in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, has agreed to ballot members for industrial action over pay.
Council and school workers have been the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly and often at risk to our own safety to serve their communities.
Meanwhile, since 2010 the value of our pay has fallen in real terms by 25%. The 1.75% pay offer is completely inadequate and UNISON members have made their feelings about it clear.
Work will now begin on preparing for the industrial action ballot, in which UNISON will ask members to vote ‘YES’ to taking action in support of the campaign for better pay.
Keep looking out for more information
Are your details up to date? It is now vital that the details we hold for you are correct. We especially need to know if your job, workplace, or your postal address has changed. It is also crucial for us to be able to contact you either by phone or more importantly, by email.
If you would like to check your details, please contact UNISONdirect on 0800 0857 857, call the branch on 02476 550 829 or visit www.unison.org.uk/my-unison where you can check and amend your details online.
Most schools have opted to break for the summer rather than continue with catch-up. A reminder for all TTO employees that you can be asked to work over the summer break but cannot be forced to. If you agree, you should be paid for these extra hours.
Schools will have been planning staffing for next year. Any member on a temporary contract for more than two years should contact us for support in getting their contract made permanent.
The local authority has advised schools to continue with their current risk management arrangements unchanged up to the end of the term. If your school is not following this advice, let us know. There is a snag as NHS test and trace will not be supporting schools with contact tracing. This is being queried with the DfE.
It’s too early to say what the position will be in September, but we intend to continue talking to LA about this over the Summer. UNISON’s national Schools Committee agreed in late June that the government needs to:
• Re-introduce previous rules on face coverings and reduce bubble sizes to prevent further disruption • Give schools the funding and logistical support to implement stronger preventative measures, including improved ventilation and smaller bubbles to stop further transmission of the virus in September • Keep current measures on bubbles and self-isolation for close contacts in place for at the least the first half of the autumn term until there is clear evidence that there is not another transmission spike in schools. • Increase testing capacity at school so that pupils can be tested on-site. Ongoing concerns about the accuracy of the rapid lateral flow tests, mean they should not be used as a ‘green light’ for close contacts or as an alternative to self-isolation.
UNISON is saying this because cases are rising rapidly, hospitals are near to capacity and admissions are rising, the risk of long COVID particularly for younger workers who aren’t fully vaccinated, and the risk to those who are still clinically vulnerable.
Keep in touch during the break as we expect further developments.
Growing our Union… It’s not just personal benefits that a union provides. You too can be part of the movement that gave the world weekends off, the national minimum wage, workplace pensions, the right not to be sacked for being pregnant or sick and many more legal rights.
These achievements have only been possible because people came together to work collectively, for the benefit of millions.
Make sure your friends and colleagues know about unions
UNISON is a large union, with around 1.3 million members. That’s a lot of people to have on your side when there’s trouble. But it could be more.
Across the economy, trade union membership is quite low – and most workplaces will include workers who aren’t members of any union. But the more union members there are at work – the higher our ‘union density’ in the jargon – the stronger our voice and more able we are to protect one another.
And what’s true in individual workplaces and councils, NHS trusts, other public bodies is also true of society as a whole.
The first and most obvious way to grow the movement is to ask people to join. Most people who aren’t in a union give one simple reason: “Because no-one asked.” So let’s ask them. It’s easier than you think.
There’s a saying in union circles that “like recruits like” – in other words, potential members are more likely to be recruited by colleagues they know and trust.
So talk with your colleagues about the union: be honest and be prepared to listen to their concerns and issues. Please spread the word and help UNISON to grow stronger.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been numerous discussions and announcements about the use of leave – including where leave has accumulated that would otherwise have been taken in normal times.
We have urged the employer to take a flexible approach on this – of course from the point of view of mental health and wellbeing members should take leave to ensure they get appropriate rest and recuperation. At the same time, it must be recognised that many members are far more restricted in terms of travel and what this leave can be used for.
There is an agreement that some leave can be carried over, but from what members have told us this may be being applied differently across the council.
We have put together a short survey to allow us to get a picture of the situation, and to where necessary to take up the situation. This has been emailed to all Council staff members of our branch. Contact us direct if you have not received this email. We would be grateful if you would take the time to complete it.
Branch Consultation shows that UNISON members overwhelmingly want decent pay!
Thank you to all UNISON members who took part in our recent consultation on what our pay claim should be for 2021/2022.
UNISON, the largest public service union, has responded with dismay to news that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is considering the implementation of a pay freeze for public sector staff, including thousands of Coventry residents.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said today (Friday): ‘Key workers across all public services remain at the heart of the fight against Covid…pay restraint …would be a cruel body blow to health, care, and public service employees working tirelessly to get us through the pandemic. It would also backfire badly with the public. The government must do what’s right next week and announce the wage rise all staff have more than earned. Anything less, risks destroying morale when the entire country is counting on them’.
The news comes as the Coventry City UNISON branch reveals that our members overwhelmingly voted for a 10% pay rise in an indicative consultation. This reflects real hardship for many public service staff, the impact of COVID-19 on hard-working families, and the continued negative influence of over a decade of austerity.
The results of the branch consultation on the 2021/2022 pay claim are below: There were 3 options
A) 5% or £10 per hour pay rate whichever is greater B) 8% or £10 per hour pay rate whichever is greater C) 10%
Members voted as follows
A) 8.1% B) 9.7% C) 82.1%
Therefore we have reported back to the national union that our branch thinks the union should submit a claim for 10%.
Quite simply, our members deserve decent pay for providing vital public services.
UNISON has been pushing the employer – @coventrycc – on issues for members working at home. The key issues that we have been raising is about flexi-time being denied to members and the provision of equipment due to working from home going to be longer term than was originally thought.
HR have now confirmed to UNISON that they are not advising that flexi cannot be accrued or used and that they met with all senior service managers last week to confirm that fact.
If your manager is denying you the use of Flexi then please get in touch so that we can resolve this issue.
The issue of equipment is still not resolved with the employer – we continue to raise individually on behalf of members and collectively that people are struggling to work at home due to lack of proper equipment.
Strategic Management Board did confirm this week that they are looking into this matter now and hope to come back shortly with some responses on the issues we have been raising.
UNISON believe that the employer needs to ensure that people have the same ability to work in proper surroundings whether they are at home or in the office and it is not acceptable that four months into this crisis people are not able to access equipment that they need. If you have concerns about lack of equipment then please get in touch.
The other big issue is returning to work – it is clear that with social distancing in force not all staff will be able to return to their normal place of work full time. We continue to work with service areas on risk assessments and proposals for this to happen safely where it can.
Libraries have consulted on their risk assessments and UNISON have been very impressed with the work that they have done and the approach to joint working. If your manager is starting to talk about a return to work then please get in touch and check that we are aware and included in those discussions.