Page 1


SUTR: Come on the March 18th Demonstration

Libraries: Are Services and Jobs under threat?

City and County of Swansea


Tory fees for employment tribunals attack our rights

The government’s long-awaited review of the impact of fees was published in January, and shows a 70% drop in the number of cases taken to employment tribunals over the past three and a half years.

But despite the review accepting that there’s been a “sharp, significant and sustained” drop in the number of claims, ministers have decided access to justice hasn’t been affected. The government says the fall is because workers are choosing not to bring cases, opting instead to spend their money elsewhere. Under the changes low-paid women have been the biggest losers, especially those who are pregnant

➥ p2

Public Service Not Private Profit

Jeremy Corbyn – backed by Labour MPs from all wings of the party – has called on Trump’s state visit to be cancelled, and for the appeasement of this far right bigot to end. Meanwhile, Theresa May wouldn’t criticise Trump, wouldn’t condemn Trump and wouldn’t even cancel his invite to Buckingham Palace while he’s targeting those from Muslim countries. But she would hold his hand.

Dave Prentis.

No Justice

Right now, it’s a dangerous time for our politics and for our society. The historic successes of our movement are under threat while the forces of hate and division are on the rise. For those with labour values, that’s difficult to watch. This week, tens of thousands of people were on the streets across our country, protesting against the vile, racist immigration policies of Donald Trump. Trump is a man of grotesque vulgarity who has broken all of the rules of politics, honesty, decency and morality....UNISON will always stand against hatred, and we’ll always speak out when we see it. Unlike our Prime Minister – we won’t hold hands with bigots and racists...

All cuts are unacceptable, including cutting justice for workers

The government’s decision to demand a fee from anyone taking their employer to court was illjudged, has failed to save the taxpayer money, and prevented thousands of badly treated workers from getting justice, says UNISON.

UNISON condemns Trump and 'Theresa the Appeaser'

Hate Trump?

➥ p4

February 2017

continued from front page or on maternity leave.Although employees on very low wages can get assistance to pay the fees, even those earning the national minimum wage aren’t always entitled to help. Low-paid lose When the changes were introduced ministers claimed the move would save the taxpayer money. But the review shows the government is only recouping a fraction of the cost of tribunals – just 13 per cent. Commenting on the review – which was meant to have been published in the summer of 2014 – UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The introduction of fees was a terrible decision. The Lord Chancellor should be big enough now to accept her department got this one badly wrong. Tribunal fees should be scrapped immediately, before any more law-breaking employers escape punishment because wronged workers simply don’t have the cash to take them to court. Unfortunately it’s now much harder for people who’ve been treated unfairly at work to seek justice. Women have been the biggest losers, bad bosses the undoubted winners. The government originally said making people pay would weed out vexatious claims. All it’s done is punish lower paid employees with genuine grievances. That’s why our legal challenge continues.” The union first mounted its legal challenge against the decision to make employees pay to bring a case against their employers in July 2013. Its appeal will be heard in the Supreme Court on 27 and 28 March 2017. Employment Tribunal facts: Employment tribunal fees were introduced on 29 July 2013. Fees start at around £160 to issue a type A claim (e.g. wage claims, breach of contract etc), and £250 for a type B claim (e.g. unfair dismissal, discrimination etc). There’s also a further hearing fee of £230 for Type A and £950 for Type B claims. Appeals at the employment appeal tribunals also attract a £400 lodging and £1,200 hearing fee.

Timeline – 29 July 2013: Fees are introduced and UNISON seeks permission in the High Court to bring judicial review proceedings. – October/November 2013: UNISON’s first claim is heard in the High Court. – December 2013: Ministry of Justice statistics for July to September 2013 show a 56 per cent drop in claims compared to the same period the previous year collections/tribunals-statistics – February 2014: UNISON’s challenge is unsuccessful. The High Court states that the claim brought was premature and new proceedings should be lodged, if and when further evidence is available. – March 2014: Official figures for October 2013 to December 2013 show a 79 per cent drop in claims collections/tribunals-statistics – May 2014: UNISON is granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. – June 2014: The figures for January to March 2014 show a 81 per cent drop in claims https:// collections/tribunals-statistics – September 2014: There’s an 81 per cent drop in claims for April to June 2014 government/collections/tribunalsstatistics – September 2014: UNISON’s Court of Appeal claim is stayed to allow a second High Court challenge. – October 2014: UNISON brings its second judicial review challenge. – December 2014: UNISON’s second challenge is unsuccessful. – April 2015: the Court of Appeal hears UNISON’s appeals in relation to both High Court claims. – 26 August 2015: UNISON is unsuccessful at the Court of Appeal and an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court is made. – 26 February 2016: the Supreme Court gives UNISON permission to continue its legal challenge. – 31 January 2017: the government publishes a review of fees, and proposes a further consultation, including help for those on the national minimum wage. – 27 & 28 March 2017: UK Supreme Court to hear UNISON’S appeal.

Safer Internet Day was on Febru

Online and social-media bullying abuse - ofte - is a growing problem. Councillor Lis Burne recently addressed a UNISON Cymru/Wales

My first experience of cyber abuse was on the afternoon of Sunday 24 March 2013. I had tweeted asking for recommendations for a local hairdresser and a local blogger took exception and attacked me for finding time to have my hair done.

Cyber abuse makes when someone arriv doorstep unannounc checking where you you’re out and abou Personal safety has real issue. Safety

Tweet While he wasn’t to know that my request was so I could look reasonable to attend my sister’s funeral, it struck me - and many of my followers - as completely inappropriate. My hair and its colour appears to be a recurring theme in the relentless, critical posts deliberately orchestrated by the blog since that day. I’ve been more fortunate than many female politicians. I have not received threats of a sexual nature and only one that could be interpreted as personally threatening, when a post was ended with the words ‘lock and load’.

That’s why I was so hear about UNISON breaking work on cy was delighted to spe recent event. It can f when frustration with bureaucracy boils ov abusive online rant b resident. But once th has been released, a can take place to se situation can be sort

Withdrawing from so avoid this would affe ability to contact me and so, for me, that’ option.

Unison Sports & Social 2 Cribbs Causeway Day Trip, Bristol May 20th Stratford Upon Avon Day Trip July 15th Birmingham Day Trip August 12th London Day Trip November 11th Children’s Christmas Party*** Dec 2nd TBC Bath Christmas Market December 9th

Prices fro Prices from Prices fro Prices from

Prices from

***Please note that you must be a Unison member for your c be eligible to attend the Christmas Party.

Further information and booking forms are available from the Office, Room153G, Guildhall Swansea / unison@swansea.g 01792 635271


The internet is part of most children’s lives. Whilst postive, adults who have children in their care need to understand the risks. Please find below some websites that you should find useful for protecting your child online, especially on various social media sites: safety-centre/

en especially targeting women and girls ett from Vale of Glamorgan Council s workshop on tackling cyber abuse

m £6.00 m £7.00 m £8.00 m £11.00

m £7.00

child to

e Unison /

Unison has demanded answers


Democrats leaflet that raises the

Most of the cyber abuse I experience is politically motivated, either by people seeking to tap into my followers to boost their own profile, or using blogs or multiple posts to create a virtual ‘wall of noise’ in an attempt to silence me or misrepresent my comment or post.





It is the latter that I find most disturbing, as it is insidious in its nature and has much wider implications for free speech, with the risk large sectors of the community being silenced. Choices I have a simple choice. I know that when I walk away from active politics the abuse will probably stop. But I worry for the many people who have told me about their experience of cyber abuse. They tell me of how, for them, the ‘wall of noise’ can feel as if the whole world is against them.

Grown adults and young people alike have told me how they have withdrawn from social media following a torrent of abuse related to an innocent post, and how they feel alienated and without a voice. If we believe in openness, transparency and freedom of speech, then cyber abuse must be addressed quickly before only the loudest and most abusive have a voice.

Swansea. As well as being a

Two thirds of UNISON members are women, many of whom have experienced some form of online abuse.

given firm assurances by the

pleased to N’s groundyber abuse and eak at their feel like abuse h red tape and ver into an by a local hat frustration a conversation ee if the ted.


question of Library closures in

s you cautious ves on your ced – ‘just live’ – or when t on your own. become a very

ocial media to ect people’s e to find help – s not an

Cutting jobs and culture?

That’s why UNISON Cymru/ Wales has created a new course: Combatting cyber violence towards women and girls. The day-course guides women from understanding online abuse to actively advocating against it.The region is hoping to roll the training out to all its branches, in order to raise awareness and help put an end to all forms of cyber bullying.

Successful strike at Health Board Supported by the Swansea Council UNISON, our Health colleagues at the Hospital Sterilisation and Disinfection Unit (HSDU) at ABMU Health Board have been taking strike over equal pay. The skill and dedicated work of these NHS staff is vital. They decontaminate operating theatres, wards, clinics and A&E departments, and prepare surgical equipment to the highest standard of cleanliness. In a familiar issue to Local Government workers, these skilled technicians but are still working to JD's that were written in 2004. Other Health Boards in Wales have upgraded their HSDU staff from band 2 to band 3 which is still only an increase of starting pay from £8.25 an hour to £8.49. After almost two years of negotiations with management there was a 79% turnout and a 96% vote for action by Unison members.








members who work in the libraries throughout Swansea became very concerned that the library in which they work may be destined for closure. UNISON have in the past been leader of the council Rob Stewart there are no plans to close any of the Libraries in Swansea. Nevertheless



England and Wales see small local libraries as easy targets as they make the Tories' cuts. UNISON has successfully campaigned to save local libraries in other parts of Wales and England.

Sponsored by UNISON, our aim is to make Merthyr Rising Wales's leading town centre arts and ideas festival.

March Against Racism on March 18th Stand Up To Racism is organising three major national demonstrations.With the support of the TUC in London, Glasgow and Cardiff on Saturday 18th March, they are part of international action on UN anti-racism day. Brexit The protests will come just as Theresa May says she will invoke article 50 to trigger “Brexit”. May’s government is keeping the question of immigration at the centre of British politics. May, the Tories and the Tory press continue to scapegoat migrants and refugees for the cuts they make. The protests also come against a backdrop of a spike in hate crime after the EU referendum, the election of Donald Trump as US president and growing support for the far right across much of Europe. Movement We want to go onto the streets in our tens of thousands on 18 March, both to make a bold anti-racist statement, but also to continue to lay the basis for developing Stand Up To Racism as a mass movement across Britain. To help build the demonstration and get involved please email the branch at events/1835780643355768/




S 1

Dump Tr

STAND S UP TO U RACISM R London, Glasgow & Cardiff

11am, Grange Gardens, Cardiff CF11 7LJ

Supported Supported by by theTUC TUCCymru Wales

Noto toracism, racism, ##No Islamophobia, Islamophobia, antisemitism and antisemitism fascism and fascism # Refugees #welcome Refugees # welcome Black Lives Matter ##Black Lives UKIP out of the Matter Assembly

Demonstration organised by Stand Up To Racism. Keep in touch:



Unison Office, Rm 153-G, The Guildhall, Swansea 01792 635271 Branch Secretary: Chris Cooze

Unison has over 100 trained union reps throughout the council, schools and FE colleges. We will advise, support and represent you collectively and individually on issues from sickness, disciplinaries to legal matters inside and outside the workplace. If you need advice or representation please contact the Senior Steward(s) or Contact for your department below or go to your workplace steward. Alternatively please contact the branch office. SENIOR STEWARD SOCIAL SERVICES ALISON DAVIES 01792 636351 / 07941757853 SIMON JONES 637559/ 07858411470 DAVID WHITE 635180/ 07870465697





‘Stand Up To Racism’

Email: FB: 'Stand Up To Racism Wales'

Contact us:



This newsletter is produced by the City and County of Swansea Unison Branch. Any letters, comments or suggestions for articles should be posted to the branch address or emailed to Correspondence is not guaranteed to be published and contents may not necessarily reflect Unison policy.


Feb 2017 newsletter  

Feb 2017 newsletter

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you