PRESS RELEASE – Coventry Unison to Build and Support city wide Campaign against Trade Union Bill

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Coventry City Branch of Unison is deeply concerned that:

  • For the first time, employers will be able to break strikes by bringing in agency workers to cover for strikers. This could have big safety implications, lead to worse public services, and will undermine the right to strike.
  • The Bill proposes huge restrictions on peaceful picketing and protests.
  • The Bill proposes attacks on union reps in the public sector, restrictions on how unions collect and spend our money and lots more unnecessary red tape.This week the chief executive of Thompson’s Solicitors told MPs the Trade Union Bill is “unlawful, unwarranted and unworkable” . In his evidence to the Trade Union Bill Committee, Steve Cavalier said it appeared the Bill had been designed specifically to make it difficult, if not impossible, to take the necessary steps to comply with its provisions. He said: “It is an unwarranted ideological attack on internationally recognised rights in this country.”UNISON Coventry City Branch spokesperson Richard Harty said. “Not only is this a moral outrage and direct attack on trade union members in the UK and workers’ fundamental human rights rights, we now have a definitive response from Employment Lawyers that this is unlawful”. Unison in Coventry will work with our sister unions in the City Council, the Coventry TUC, other trade unionists and the public to ensure the campaign against this Bill gathers momentum. For details of our campaign work and future events contact Coventry City Unison via the above address or visit on the web via http://www.coventryunison.co.uk, our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/coventry.unison.
  • Follow @coventryunison on twitter.

PRESS RELEASE – UNISON criticises the Conservatives in Coventry

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UNISON is concerned at the comments made by the Conservatives about Council cuts in the city, notably on the future of Libraries. Whilst UNISON has been campaigning to keep Libraries, it is rather rich of the Conservatives to complain about their closure.

When we consider that £850 billion has been spent on bailing out the banks in the UK and Local Authorities such as Coventry have had spending cuts of more than 40% imposed by the Conservative government, you wonder what on earth is going on. More than a thousand workers have lost their jobs and more are to come. The Conservatives can’t have it both ways. It would be more helpful if there was a campaign to put local government at the heart of renewing our economy, as we did after the Second World War, and not see it as a burden on society. Cuts in services are affecting everyone, and particularly the poorest. This coalition Government is destroying the very fabric of society not rebuilding it.

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Contact: Richard Harty 07941 344294, richard.harty@unisoncoventry.co.uk

Contact Coventry Unison via 308, Broadgate House, Broadgate, Coventry, or visit on the web via www.coventryunison.co.uk, or our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/coventry.unison. Follow @coventryunison on twitter.

PRESS RELEASE – UNISON welcomes Council assurance re Libraries

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Coventry City Branch of UNISON has welcomed the announcement that no City Library will close in the coming twelve months. UNISON is campaigning to protect public services and is happy to work with the elected members to ensure that a comprehensive and efficient Library service is there for current and future citizens but also that jobs within those services are protected.

“UNISON will continue to work with the authority to lobby for a fairer financial settlement from Government to seek to protect all the services that are currently at risk.”  Sarah Feeney Branch Secretary

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Sarah Feeney

024 76521127

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.

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PRESS RELEASE – Coventry City UNISON Launches campaign against Cuts to Children’s centres and Youth Services

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The City Council is considering a budget that proposes to cut finance to Children’s Centres, Youth programmes and Community Centres. City Centre First would see £5,000,000 cut in the next 3 years by “reviewing “ and “rationalising” Council Buildings:

18 Children Centres,
9 Youth Clubs
21 Community Centres

All fall within the focus of the proposal in respect of reduction in services.

The review of Children’s Centres in 2012 saw day care places cut and staffing reduced but remained a key part of the Councils Early Intervention and Prevention strategy to help families in need of extra support. Youth Clubs also experienced reduction in services last year.

UNISON strongly objects to the Councils view that earlier reductions to services were made “without having a fundamental impact on services delivered to the people of Coventry.” Vital sessions ranging from Dads groups, and “talk First” sessions to parenting groups are now at risk. UNISON will work with staff, service users and community groups to lobby the authority who prioritise buildings and businesses over people and services.

George Sands, UNISON convenor for the People Directorate, said

‘It doesn’t make sense to neglect these services, it is short sighted of the Council. I believe that they make a difference to peoples lives’’. The council should see these centres as the assets they are. The loss of these centres will impact upon essential early intervention and prevention, which is not just about focussing on “troubled families”. The impact will not be felt immediately but will have an effect on demand for expensive interventions later in a young person’s life’.
ENDS

Notes to editors

https://covunison.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/unison-coventry-city-local-government-branch-response-to-the-coventry-city-council-budgetary-council-proposals-for-2015.pdf

Contact details: George Sands 024 76521128, 07535526039 george.sands@unisoncoventry.co.uk

STATEMENT – UNISON Coventry City Branch response to the Coventry City Council Budgetary Council proposals for 2015/16

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·              UNISON is fundamentally opposed to the budget cuts proposed in the pre-budget report 2015/16 (02.12.15)

·              “Windfalls” or one off income provides opportunity to preserve services in the short term pending lobbying for a fair settlement for the City.

·             We are concerned that budget medium term forecasts are not subject to public consultation.

·              An inevitability scenario is being created of the need for cuts when the Councils reserves have risen dramatically to more than £81million and there are assets of nearly a billion pounds.

·              UNISON wants to see the use of assets and reserves to offset the deficit and protect fundamental services for the benefit of all our citizens and protects jobs

·               Equality Impact assessments would show disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable, young and old.

·              Clarity is needed about the sale of assets to Coventry University in the city centre – prime land.

·              The council should be seeking to maximise grants to stop services from collapsing.

·              How can you grow Business rates and what contingency is there for over spend on the Friargate development?

·              It is unacceptable to say that service cuts so far have had little adverse effect – There is no longer a universal offer from Children’s Centres to families for example.

·              Who will be undertaking services identified in 6.6 of the Budget report? We all have a right to know and how will that save money?

·              When will the Council start talking to Coventry people about what services they want rather than making assumptions?

·              Why are the Council paying down a £4million debt when there was no need, given the level of borrowing rates being so low and when there are fundamental cuts proposed?

·              Why are we cutting Public health when we are a Marmot city?

·              Why cut Adult Education when it is doing so well?

·              How can the Council close Children’s centres without it having a serious impact on safeguarding?

·              Fuel and Energy prices have dropped – has this been factored in to the Budgetary position?

·              Why hasn’t the Council considered an increase in Council Tax beyond 1%?

 Ends – Click Here for the full response to the budget proposals from Coventry City Unison UNISON Coventry City Local Government Branch response to the Coventry City Council Budgetary Council proposals for 2015

PRESS RELEASE – Budget proposals likely to increase inequality

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Councils largest trade union UNISON oppose the city centre first strategy  that would see Council run Services reduced in neighbourhoods with key services (Libraries, Children’s Centres, Community Centres, Adult Education Settings) facing closure.

The proposition, outlined in briefest terms in the budget would see Council run Library Service points reduced from 17 to just 5, with 4 hubs operating a service in areas deemed to be of greatest deprivation with the hope that communities will take up the running of others  (with no cost to the council).

UNISON has launched a campaign and petition to challenge the budget proposal in order to preserve a high quality fully accountable Public Library Service employing professional, well trained staff.

Dawn Palmer-Ward corporate rep from UNISON said

“Whilst we agree with Cllr Kershaw’s definition of our Library Service as a golden thread running through our communities, it is a thread he and others are willing to unpick, endangering access to books, information, ideas, education and technology. The value of libraries, as centres of the local community, essential for the well-being of young and old is being ignored in the pursuit of the balanced budget. UNISON cannot stand by and allow a lifeline to the community to be decimated”.

ENDS

PRESS RELEASE – ‘An End to direct Council provided Care’

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Monday 27th October 2014

For Immediate release

Coventry City Council is currently considering ceasing being a direct provider of care and support to citizens. A report posted on their website on 9th September (page 24) reveals the council is undertaking work to “understand the costs and benefits” of ceasing to provide a number of services. These services include

  • the promoting independent living service(PILS)
  • Day Opportunities for adults with dementia or learning difficulties
  • Transport (associated with internally provided services)
  • Housing with Care (currently 11 locations in the city)
  • Residential Care
  • Integrated Community Equipment services (providing specialist equipment and aids)

The authority expect this move will reduce the overall cost of social care but could see the loss of in excess of 500 jobs from the council not including the knock on effect on support services to these areas.

UNISON Coventry District Branch, whose motto is “for public service not private profit” is concerned about the impact of these forthcoming decisions upon their members their jobs and the quality services they provide to the most vulnerable in the city. Consistently the impact of local authority budget cuts falls upon the most vulnerable in our communities and those on the lowest pay. The report also highlights the vital role libraries are to play as part of the social care support provision in the city in delivering information and advice, yet this week it was revealed that Libraries also face closure.

Dawn Palmer-Ward, UNISON Corporate Representative for the People Directorate said

“citizens of Coventry need to be aware of the discussions currently taking place within the city council that will have a drastic impact on the services they rely on. Our members’ jobs aren’t the only things at risk when services are run for profit or cease to run at all. It is of particular concern that yet again low paid female workers are likely to bear the brunt of the local authorities drive to balance the budget.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The report can be found via the following link

http://www.coventry.gov.uk/downloads/download/3309/adult_social_care_commissioning_and_personalisation_plan_2014

PRESS RELEASE – Coventry Local Government Workers ‘Locked Out’ of Recovery

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Click here for the Press Release – locked out press release

Local government workers in Coventry are not benefitting from the recovery.

UNISON is holding a lunch time protest on 20th August at 12.30 pm in Broadgate Square.

This will be to highlight the colossal cut in wages council workers have suffered in recent years. While the highest paid are enjoying bumper pay rises, council employees have to cut back on food, heating and bare essentials.

Since 2010 electricity prices have risen 28% and gas prices have risen by 38%. In the same period council employees’ wages have risen by 2%.

With 1,000 jobs cut already, and another 1,000 to go this year, council workers are expecting to do more for less, while struggling to feed themselves and their families.

UNISON’s members are being locked out of the recovery and need a decent pay rise, to support them and their local economy.

Contact: Chris Burrow 02476 521126 for info

Twitter hashtag for the event will be #lockedout

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND SCHOOL SUPPORT WORKERS TO STRIKE AGAIN

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UNISON’s local government and school support workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to hold a second day of strike action on Tuesday 30 September.

The announcement follows the strike on 10 July, which saw around a million public service workers walk out in an increasingly bitter dispute over pay.

The union is calling on the Local Government Association to engage in further talks to resolve this year’s pay dispute. The current offer would see 90% of local government and school support workers receive a mere 1% increase, on the back of three successive years of pay freezes and below inflation rises in 2013 and 2014. Pay has declined by 18% since 2010 and most councils have also imposed severe cuts on conditions such as unsocial hours payments.

 

Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary
Tel. 0121 685 3170 or 0790 434 3342 r.subramanian@unison.co.uk

Simon Holder Area Organiser (Campaigns and Communication)
Email: s.holder@unison.co.uk Direct Line: 0121 685 (3105) Blackberry: 07946555174