Branch

  • 'Due' notice for the 2016 AGM

    Due to reasons beyond our control, being the 'sale' of the lease on the Bailey Rooms.  We have unfortunately had to seek an alternative venue for our AGM next year.  We have been fortunate to be able to hire the hall at Casle Hill Methodist Church, which is a very short walk from the Shire Hall site. 

    Due to an existing booking of the hall, we have also had to reschedule the date to Tuesday 1st March 2016.  For those who have an interest in rules, this remains within UNISON rules for when an AGM has to be concluded by.  All details will be forwarded in the next few weeks.

    Due to the above, the Branch Management Team would like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.  We do not have any speakers confirmed, but as soon as we have, we will be announcing it on this part of the website.

    In Solidarity

     

  • #HeatherforGS

    A quorate Branch committee meeting agreed to support Heather Wakefield in her bid to become UNISON’s General Secretary.  For those who do not know who Heather is, Heather is Head of Local Government, Police and Justice for UNISON.  Heather spoke at our AGM in 2014, her passion for Local Gov was apparent then, and has not dwindled in the intervening time.

    As the Branch has now endorsed a candidate, we ask that when you receive your voting papers that you seriously consider and follow your Branch committees endorsement.  The Branch is positive that Heather will make a fantastic General Secretary!

    To find out why the Branch is supporting Heather, read Heathers’ Blog and find out. 

    Branch Committee

  • 2016 AGM Report

    This years AGM took place at a new venue,though it was just over the road on our main site of Shire Hall, numbers were well down on previous years.  As the calibre of the speakers was again high the only reasons for the lower than expected turn out were put at the new venue and that the implementation of the cuts had largely been dealth with.  Do let the Branch know what stopped you attending, or what would make you attend in the future.

    Those who did attend heard a passionate speech from the Council's Labour leader Ashley Walsh.  Ashley detailed the disasterous decision taken at the February Budget meeting not to raise Council tax this year, and only to implement the Adult Social Care precept.  The blame was firmly at the feet of Tory and Ukip Councillors, for those who attended part, or as I did upto 17.30, the meeting lasted until after 2200 hours!  That was certainly a correct assessment of the decision.  I heard Tory and Ukip Councillors trading issues to garner support for the budget proposal put forward by the Conservative group, a truly worrying future.  

    Prior to Ashley speaking, Branch Chair Clare Andrews welcomed everyone and went through the normal business of the AGM.  Our finance officer presented the 'budget' for 2016 and answered questions from the floor on spending in last years accounts.  It was agreed that a more detailed explanation of the groups the Branch affiliates to and donates money would be provided next year.  I then went through my 5 page Branch Secretary Report, highlighting the issues many members are speaking to me about, performance pay and the proliferation of PIP's, rising levels of stress caused by work and the danger of raising this especially if you work in Social Care.  And of course the £45 million pounds of savings for this year, and the following 4 years whilst this Government remains in power.  Surely this Council will be reduced to a hollow husk by 2020, with our administartive capital being Northampton.

    Several members spoke to me afterwards or emailed to say that they found Ashley a good speaker, but several more spoke very highly about our second speaker Prf. Keith Ewing.  Keith is a distinguished academic and author of many articles on employment legislation.  He co-wrote the Institute of Employment Rights response to the Trade Union Bill and I had asked him to report on this major issue.  A major issue not only for Trade Unionist, but for all worker's.  The bill may be wrapped up in a TU wrapper, but it's effect crosses all boundaries, so all workers need to unite and fight against this Bill.

    Keith's knowledge on this subject was very apparent, without any notes he delivered a 20 minute lecture on the perils this Bill will bring to worker's, and the weakening of Trade Union involvement in areas such as collective bargaining; your hourly rate of pay.  It is due to come back to The Commons with a few amendments http://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2016/lords-trade-union-bill/ shortly, so we need to be ready to continue our resistance to this Bill.

    In Solidarity;  Rob Turner

  • 2016 AGM Speakers confirmed

    Cambridgeshire County Branch is delighted to announce that we have two confirmed speakers, for our 2016 AGM. 

    We have the Leader of the Labour Group at the County Council, Ashley Walsh.  Councillor Walsh's ward is the Petersfield area of Cambridge.  For those who don't know where Petersfield is, Mill Road is said to divide the ward, North and South.  Ashley is the relatively new leader of the Labour group, taking on the role from Paul Sales in May 2015, after being voted as the Petersfield representative in the previous years elections. 

     

    Above:  Ashley on the campaign trail with the Branch's friend and MEP Richard Howitt  Below:  Professor Keith Ewing; President of the Institute of Employment Rights and a very informative booklet.

                                

    We are delighted to have as a speaker Professor Keith Ewing.  Keith is Professor of Public Law at King's College London. He has written extensively on labour law including recognition procedures and international standards. He is also the President of the Institute of Employment Rights, a 'Think Tank' for the Labour movement.  The Branch is well aware of the work the Institute does in support of workers.  Much of our Employment Law guidance comes from institute as we subscribe to their site, in return for booklets and pamphlets on employment matters.  Many of you will of taken part, and still are, in the Anti Trade Union Bill campaign.  One of the most useful pieces of  literature was Professor Ewings booklet, which was produced with John Hendry QC,

    The Branch looks forward to greeting both speakers at our 2016 AGM and the usual Q & A session.  We hope that you will too.

    In Solidarity

    Rob Turner                                                                                                                                                            

    Branch Secretary

  • Retired members links

    Retired members are represented by Eric Smith and Sheila Morley, both long time active members of this Branch.  When Eric took on the reins as Retired Member's Secretary, he set up an alternative social media outlet to communicate with retired members.  Retired members can contact Eric and Sheila at the email address found below, or alternatively contact the Branch direct on 01223 717015 and we will put you in contact.

    The Branch welcomes the involvement of all retired members in our campaigns to preserve our working terms and conditions.  As Eric rightly states, 'What action can they take out on us, they can't sack us'.  In recognition of the value the Branch places on its retired members, in 2016 the Branch Committee voted to give all retiring members, free retired membership.

    If you want further information on becoming an active retired member, and find out what retired members get up to in support of the Branch, then get in touch with the Branch office, or with Eric, or Sheila direct via the email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • UNISON Stress Survey

    UNISON is calling on the union’s safety reps to get organised – and members to get involved -in this year’s European Health and Safety week: 19-25 October 2015

    The Branch is asking members and non-members to identify the different ways in which work situations can affect their own personal health and wellbeing by filling in the national stress survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EHSW2015. Please circulate amongst work colleagues, or direct them to the website.

    The survey was originally launched two years ago and, by asking members to fill it in again, we will be able to see how things have changed and how the austerity agenda has affected their health, safety and well being.

    It gives members a chance to tell us, in confidence, how overwork, lack of control and difficult working conditions have contributed to their stress levels.