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Summer 2012

The magazine for all UNISON members and their families

Public service gold Celebrating UNISON members Build a future that works on 20 October Conference, election and financial reports


Summer 2012

OUR BIGGEST EVER HOME INSURANCE DISCOUNT FOR UNISON MEMBERS

30%OFF

Members of UNISON can now benefit from UIA’s biggest ever discount of 30% off the price of home insurance. And now we have 3 different levels of policy available, depending on the cover that’s right for your home and your needs.

CLASSIC essential cover at a low price• To help you keep costs down, Classic provides essential cover at an affordable price. It provides £35,000 to protect your home’s contents and £300,000 to cover the cost of rebuilding your home.

FLEXI more cover and more options This more flexible option provides £75,000 to protect your home’s contents and £1m to cover the cost of rebuilding your home. Flexi has lower excesses than Classic cover and includes contents in the garden plus options to add more cover to meet your needs.

SIGNATURE our new comprehensive policy For complete peace of mind our Signature policy provides unlimited buildings cover and £150,000 of cover for contents. Also included as standard are; accidental damage; Home Emergency cover; legal

& identity theft and annual European travel cover. There are no excesses other than for escape of water and subsidence. Furthermore, all our policies offer cover on a ‘new for old’ basis (excludes clothing and household linen); 24/7 claims lines based in the UK; 5% off combined insurance; flood, escape of water and subsidence cover; plus the ability to specify items of value and add cover for bicycles away from home.

NO CHARGE FOR SPREADING THE COST Whichever policy is right for you there is no extra charge if you spread the cost with easy payments via monthly Direct Debit (other companies like Esure, LV and Swift Cover charge for this privilege‡ ).

Visit unisoninsurance.co.uk/offer * 30% off Home Insurance is subject to our usual acceptance criteria and is only available when the reference Public 312 is quoted. To be eligible for the offer a quote must be requested before 24.09.12. Offer only available to new customers. 2

• The Classic product is only available for properties with 2 or less bedrooms.


NEW!

E V I S U L C EX ICES PSORN MEMBERS FOR UNI

IF YOU * BUY NOW 5%OFF CUSTOMER SERVICE YOU CAN TRUST We are also proud of our high levels of customer service with 91% of our customers stating they were either satisfied or extremely satisfied. We’ll also give you up to £25 if your mortgage lender charges you for switching your buildings insurance to us. UIA Insurance is a mutual company, which means we are 100% owned by our policyholders, so any money we make is invested back into the company for the benefit of members. Why not call us today and see just how much you could save on the policy that’s right for you?

or call

NCE A R U S N I D COMBINE

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DIRECT D

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(quote ref: PUBLIC 312)

‡ Research carried out by UIA (Insurance) Ltd, June 2012. † For quality and protection purposes your call will be recorded. We exchange information with other insurance companies and police to prevent fraud. UNISON is an Introducer Appointed

Representative of UIA (Insurance) Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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Summer 2012

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Contents

38

Welcome to your new look U magazine. As it’s been going as long as UNISON (almost 20 years), we needed to find out if it was still giving you what you want from your union. So we talked to you about it. We ran surveys and focus groups, we listened to what you said and we hope we’ve responded. We’ve got great new features and a more portable and manageable size – which also means we’ve been able to improve it while spending less of your subs. We hope you like it, but please get in touch by writing to U magazine, UNISON centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY or emailing u.magazine@unison.co.uk and let us know what you think.

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Volume 20, number 2 U is published by UNISON – the public service union – and distributed to every member. Non members pay £30 a year. Editorial enquiries The Editor, UNISON centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY Tel: 0845 355 0845; Textphone 08000 967 968 Email: u.magazine@unison.co.uk Advertising Redactive Media Group, 17 Britton Street, London EC1M 5TP 020 7880 6200; info@redactive.co.uk While every effort is made to ensure the reliability of advertisers, UNISON cannot accept any liability. Inclusion of advertisements does not imply any recommendation. Design design-mill.co.uk Cover photo Marcus Rose Print TU ink Paper 100% Postconsumer waste Polywrap Oxo-degradable polythene. U magazine is available in audio format by contacting Pat Payne, UNISON communications, at the address above.


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20 Features

14 28 34 38

‘I’ve struggled so hard…’ One UNISON

member tells her story

Giving something back Local politics

transforms communities

Conference 2012

What will UNISON do this year?

Defender of the disadvantaged New

president Chris Tansley tells us why he’s cautiously upbeat

42

The fourth emergency service

Trouble at work? Call your UNISON rep

62 64

Financial statement

Regulars 9 News in brief 12 The big picture Does cutting jobs really make sense? 20 A day in the life of… the NHS 48 Me and my job Lock-keeper Peter Payne is fanatical about rain 50 Puzzle fun Your chance to win a digital radio 53 Bouquet for a member Celebrating our UNISON stars 55 Quiz Find out your true calling 56 Readers’ letters 58 Problems at work Got a problem? Get in touch 60 Heroes and villains and twitterview

Call 0845 355 0845 and talk to us

Monday to Friday 6am to midnight and Saturday 9am to 4pm. If you want to change membership details, call this number, visit the website or get in touch with your branch or region. Calls may be recorded for training purposes. Textphone 08000 967 968

Information for UNISON members

Election results

UNISON’s service group elections

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Summer 2012

Welcome to As you receive this new look, handbag-or-manbagsized U magazine we’ll be gripped by Olympic fever. I hope we’ll go for gold, but along with the sporting champions of 2012 let’s not forget our public service heroes. UNISON members keep the country going. We make sure it’s the sort of place we want our children to grow up in. So when I hear Tory politicians put our country’s future at risk, cutting everyone’s public services while their superrich friends carry on as usual, it makes me angry. UNISON members will be marching on 20 October. It’s a march for a future that works. I’ll be there and I hope you’ll join me.

Dave Prentis UNISON general secretary PS Find out more and sign up to the march at unison.org.uk/20102012.

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Whatever life throws at you UNISON Legal Services will help to protect you.

As a UNISON member you’re covered for:† Free legal advice and representation on: • Personal injury at work (including assaults) • Personal injury away from work • Road traffic accident injury • Industrial disease or illness • Criminal law representation (for work-related matters)

• 30 minutes free telephone advice for any non-work issues such as landlord disputes, neighbourhood disputes, matrimonial and consumer issues • Employment law accessed through your UNISON branch • Free will writing service

UNISON members and their families are covered for:† Free legal advice and representation on: • Personal injury away from work • Holiday injury* • Road traffic accident injury

• Special terms for clinical negligence cases • Reduced rates for conveyancing and family member wills

For more information call UNISONdirect on 0845 355 0845

† Qualifying period and exclusions apply. * Accidents outside of the UK are covered where cases can be pursued in the UK courts. Services in Northern Ireland are provided by Thompsons McClure Solicitors and by Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland. Thompsons Solicitors is a trading name of Thompsons Solicitors LLP and is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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Summer 2012

Simply visit visionexpress.com/unison

8


News in brief

Manchester youth work manager Liz Cameron and her marching shoes

National

Vote in pensions ballot If you’re eligible for local government pension scheme membership in England and Wales, make sure you vote over new proposals. The ballot runs from 31 July to 24 August. See unison.org.uk/pensions/lgps.asp. Heat or eat: choice won’t do “Feed the children or heat the house. That’s not a choice – that’s a disgrace,” was Win Wearmouth’s message at UNISON’s conference for members working in energy in Bournemouth. She criticised the energy companies that have been in the news “and not for the right reason... when customers see massive price hikes, they assume we’re part of the gravy train. We’re not.”

Marcus Rose

Do you want a future that works? If you believe that government cuts are not the way to deliver the future this country needs, then join us on 20 October at the TUC mass demonstration in London to let your feet do the talking. Visit unison.org.uk/20102012 and pledge to join us. And tell your family, friends and colleagues to join UNISON and let their feet do the talking too.

Tell your family, friends and colleagues to march with UNISON on 20 October”

Activated sludge terrifies workers Rosalene Ballan of Yorkshire Water described the horrifying hazards of activated sludge plants at the water, environment and transport conference in June. The plants have negative buoyancy, meaning that anyone who falls in has almost no chance of getting out alive. She joked: “It’s the ideal place to dispose of a dead body. If my husband disappears, that’s the first place you should start looking for the body.” But on a serious note, and in line with other members’ health and safety concerns, she called for safer working procedures at such sites. 9


Summer 2012

News in brief

East Midlands Notts members protest against jobs axe Nottinghamshire members protested against £180m of county council cuts over the next three years. The Tory council has already axed 2,500 jobs, with the threat of more to follow.

Addenbrookes cleaners fight pay cut Angry cleaners gathered outside Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge in May to burn letters from their employer Medirest telling them to take a 21% pay cut or be sacked. Regional organiser Phil Gooden said: “It’s a disgrace that already low-paid, hard-working staff are having their wages cut to increase the profits of the fat cats.”

Greater London Haringey school staff strike UNISON members at Downhills primary school in Haringey took strike action in June. They joined parents and other workers to take a stand against education secretary bully 10

Burning anger at 21% paycut

Michael Gove, who has sacked the school’s governors and is trying to force the school to become an academy.

Northern UNISON welcomes academy rejection UNISON has welcomed a decision by governors at South Tyneside’s Boldon School to reject academy status. Members at the school joined teaching colleagues, as well as the South Tyneside Public Services Alliance, to see off the attempt. After a decisive ballot result, the joint unions had a mandate for strike action. And they made a presentation to the school governors of the facts needed to convince them not to go ahead.

Northern Ireland Call for apology over radio comments UNISON has called on Lord Maginnis to apologise, after comments about gay people on a Radio Ulster programme caused heated debate. His provocative statements included the claim that gay people are a threat to children.

North West Community and unions save care homes Community campaigners in West Cumbria celebrated when Cumbria County Council voted to keep open two care homes that

Peter Everard Smith

Eastern


had been threatened by closure – Park Lodge in Aspatria and Richmond Park in Workington. The decision followed a sustained campaign that gathered over 10,000 signatures and drew support from councillors, GPs, clergy and a local Rugby League club.

Scotland Aberdeen halts sell-off plan Aberdeen City UNISON is celebrating after a successful campaign to stop the privatisation of corporate governance services. Aberdeen follows Edinburgh as the second major Scottish council to reject privatisation plans after a UNISON campaign.

South East Kids join care campaign Care workers and their children are campaigning in Sutton against a threatened 40% pay cut. They were transferred from the NHS to registered charity MCCH, but are now facing a 40% pay cut, equivalent to £10,000 a year.

attack on its Swindon branch office holders, who have been threatened with redundancy by the Conservative-controlled council. The council has voted to remove funding for two staff who currently undertake trade union work and represent thousands of UNISON members. At the same time, it is spending £1.3m on private consultants.

Wales/Cymru Union accuses school of bullying UNISON has accused the governing body of St Cuthbert’s RC School in Cardiff in June of running a “private empire” with little or no consideration for the children’s education and wellbeing. Regional organiser Steve Belcher said: “Three members have resigned during the last three years due to the bullying culture emanating from the head teacher’s office.”

West Midlands Birmingham Uni staff strike over pay Some 200 UNISON members at Birmingham University went on strike for two days in June after pay negotiations reached an impasse. UNISON’s members at the university earn as little as £13,000 a year. Last year the university’s surplus rose from £22.3m to £27m per year.

Yorkshire & Humberside Young members hit the streets More than 100 young members took to the streets of Leeds in May to campaign about the way young people are being hit by the government’s austerity measures. The street campaigning exercise was part of the union’s annual young members’ weekend.

South West Fight back against sack UNISON has vowed to fight an

The kids are alright… at campaigning

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Summer 2012

The big picture This public service worker’s salary is £20,000. Cutting her job saves money. Right or wrong?

9000

6000

The public benefits from the work she does

She also spends the rest of her salary in the local economy £13,623

When in work Gloria pays back taxes that total £8,596

£ 3000

0

-15000

Illustration: Steph Wise

12

£3,868 in income tax and national insurance

-12000

£2,316 in taxes on her spending

-9000

£1,712 in national insurance from her employer

-6000

£700 in council tax

-3000


£5,200 in housing benefit

£3,692 in job seekers’ allowance

£3,229 in child tax credits

£1,056 in child benefit

£700 in council tax benefit

£2,335 in child tax credits

£1,056 in child benefit

She still pays taxes on her spending, but less than if she was in work, at just £1,356

£

And she has a child so she gets support back – a total of £3,391

When she’s out of work Gloria needs £13,877 from the taxpayer The public no longer benefits from her work

She still shops locally but spends less, £7,976

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Summer 2012

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I’ve struggled so hard. I’ve done so much and come so far. But now I’m facing this uncertainty at this stage in my life, and sometimes my strength goes”

T

Chryssa Panoussiadou

he story of Barbara Stillman is one of guts and determination overcoming adversity. But the current economic climate and the cuts to public services are jeopardising all that Barbara, and many others like her, have strived to achieve. At the moment, 59 year-old Barbara is happily employed teaching English as a second language (ESOL) for a London borough. She has also qualified as a swimming instructor, teaching swimming in the evenings for the same council. To top it all, she has been picked to be an Olympic volunteer. But with local councils and hospitals facing massive cuts and 700,000 public service jobs expected to be lost, like many public service workers, Barbara is worried about the future.  15


Summer 2012

IT

has been a long, hard road for Barbara to get to where she is now. Having failed the 11 plus she left school with few qualifications and got a job as a school secretary. She joined UNISON then, and has been a member ever since. Barbara managed to study in the evenings while she was working, and to her own amazement, managed to get her A levels. She then started studying for a degree, still working during the day. Half way through, at the age of 26, she met her future husband and got married. Her first daughter was born when she was still working as a school secretary, and studying in the evenings. She went on to have three more children, including twins, within two years. But her husband became abusive and her marriage started to disintegrate. Although he wasn’t able to earn enough to support the family, he resented 16

Barbara working. He undermined her and tried – unsuccessfully – to stop her from gaining a City and Guilds teaching qualification. The situation deteriorated and the marriage ended badly. Barbara was left with four children, surviving on income support. Two of the children went to live with their father, so Barbara did not receive any financial support from him. “It was a terrible, terrible struggle on my own. I hit rock bottom – I don’t know how I got through that time,” she says now. She tried to take work which fitted around the children – telephone work from home, night-time cleaning jobs – but for five years she survived on benefits and what she calls the “safety net” of public services. She benefited from support in many ways which are currently under threat: today, half of all domestic violence services have closed, because of government cuts; 250 children’s centres have

closed; child benefit has been frozen and £18bn a year has been cut from housing benefit, tax credits and other support for women and families on low income. How much harder would it be now for somebody in this situation to turn her life around? For Barbara, the turningpoint came with a permanent job. “When I was 46 years old, an evening job as an ESOL teacher came up. I found that my students liked me and I was good at my work. It gave me confidence and I started to feel that I was managing to take control of my life,” she explains. When she turned 50 she finally got her first full-time post as an ESOL lecturer. “I really love my work. I do mainstream ESOL classes and also jobseeker courses, supporting people who are looking for work. My students are often in a similar situation to the one I was in myself and it feels good to be giving something back.”


Chryssa Panoussiadou

My students are often in a similar situation to the one I was in myself and it feels good to be giving something back”

Barbara is clearly a woman of great resourcefulness and energy. As well as ESOL classes during the day and swimming lessons in the evening, she takes part in her local writing circle and helps out at Crisis for Christmas. With her ebullience and warmth, you can see how much she has to offer to her students, community and friends. But the legacy of the divorce still plagues her in the form of the debt she took on in order to keep the family home. When it was hard to make ends meet, she did what so many of us do: she resorted to living on credit cards. Now that recession has hit, she is attempting to get her finances under control. “A couple of years ago I decided to get debt advice, and now I’m trying to manage my debts in the best way I can,” she says. “I recognise that I was feckless, but it is very frightening heading into your sixties with debts. Like all council employees, my pay has been

frozen, and prices are going up in front of my eyes.” Her pension situation is also a worry. Like many women of her age, she always thought she would be eligible for a state pension at the age of 60. Now she will have to work another five years to qualify. “If I lose my job, I don’t know how I’ll support myself. I won’t get my state pension until I’m 65, and my teacher’s pension is hardly worth anything at all because I only started working full-time at 50. “I’m aware that the safety net for people like me is dwindling. We’ve all been used to this environment where the public sector can step in and provide additional support, not just when things go wrong but also when things are just hard. As public services are cut, I really don’t think we’re ever going to get back to that again. It’s so important to protect those services while we can,” she says. The cuts and the effects of 17


Summer 2012

I hope that by speaking out I might be able to help others to make them feel they are not alone”

18

Chryssa Panoussiadou

recession hit all generations, and for each family member affected, there is a knock-on effect – especially on mothers like Barbara, who are themselves already struggling. Youth unemployment rates are rocketing, the education maintenance allowance has been axed and young people are emerging from university courses with massive debts. Barbara’s own 26 year-old son, who she supported through university, now has substantial student debts. He’s lucky to have found a job, but his private sector salary isn’t enough for him to pay a commercial rent. Like many young people, he is forced to move back in with his mother. “Education has allowed me to better my life, and because I was on benefits at the time, I was able to study cheaply. But I still got into debt,” she points out. “How are young people supposed to manage now?” Barbara’s 80 year-old mother

currently lives independently, and two of Barbara’s daughters live with her. Already many vital services for elderly people have been cut, and more are under threat. But if anything goes wrong she will have to sell her home to pay for her care, and that will mean that the daughters have nowhere to live. Once again, the knock-on effect is greater than official statistics allow. Even so, statistics

confirm that the cuts to public services are hitting women three times harder than men. Barbara is witness to it among her own friends. “Two of my closest friends have lost their jobs. I feel I’m lucky to still be in a job which I love, and which enables me to help other people,” she says. “I am very resourceful, but I feel I am on the fringes and could go under at any time. And I am not the only one in this situation. There are many, many like me. I hope that by speaking out I might be able to help others to make them feel they are not alone,” she says. The best defence against cuts, pay freezes and job losses is a strong union. When people come together and stand united, they can overcome the obstacles thrown in their way, and prevail against adversity. Solidarity and unity in difficult times is what trade unions are here for. ■ Clare Bayley c.bayley@unison.co.uk


Nearly three-quarters of those claiming carer’s allowance are women

What can UNISON do? If you’re facing the same issues as Barbara then UNISON can help There for you is UNISON’s charity. There for you offers: • financial help; • debt advice; • wellbeing breaks; • support and information. Find out more at unison.org.uk/ welfare or by contacting There for you, UNISON centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY or email thereforyou@unison.co.uk.

The bACKGROUND Women are hit three times by government cuts 1 Public-service job cuts hit women hardest • 65% of public service workers are women.

2 Benefits and service cuts hit women hardest • Women use public services and benefits more then men. • More than 120 SureStart children’s centres around the country have been axed in the last year, and the budget is down by 25%. • Women are more likely to experience domestic or sexual violence – but 60% of refuge services and 75% of outreach services had their funding cut from April last year; affecting at least 70,000 women.

3 It is mainly women who ‘fill the gaps’ as public services are axed • On average, women do two hours a week more unpaid work than men, they do three quarters of a family’s childcare during the week and twothirds at weekends. • Nearly three-quarters of those claiming carer’s allowance are women.

UNISON offers education and lifelong learning opportunities for members. This includes personal and career development courses ranging from Skills for Life through to professional qualifications, as well as training for union reps. We also offer learning discounts and a small educational grants scheme. Find out more at unison.org.uk/ laos/ or by contacting UNISON learning and organising services, UNISON centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY or email Learning&Organising Enquiries@unison.co.uk. If you’re worried about public service cuts then UNISON is campaigning against them. We do this nationally by campaigning, lobbying politicians, talking to journalists and running advertising campaigns. Locally, UNISON members campaign to protect the services they work in. To find out more check out our website at unison.org.uk.

SureStart budget down by 25% 19


Donna Hibbert on the ward 20

Marcus Rose

Marcus Rose

Summer 2012


A day in the life of ‌

the NHS

Walking the wards with our hospital heroes

21


Summer 2012

T

he NHS is feeling the brunt of the government’s reforms. Every member of the health service workforce fears for the future of the service they provide, from doctors and nurses, to the many healthcare providers in the community. Despite their concerns, every day they go to work and attend to the care of those who depend on them. UNISON decided to spend a day with some of these staff, in the West Midlands. We travelled to Manor Hospital in Walsall, and specifically to ward 20a, the elective orthopaedic ward, to observe senior sister Donna Hibbert and her team go about their work. 7am Donna starts her day by meeting the nurses and care support workers of the day shift, who are waiting for her in the staff room. Christine, a nurse from the night shift, gives her report on patient status, and the group discusses the medication and therapy needs of those about to be discharged. They discuss concerns over whether a patient will be able to return to sheltered accommodation. These staff are as engaged with patients’ aftercare as they are with their time on the ward. 22

Amy, a young cadet (or healthcare apprentice), bounds into the room, cheerily reminding everyone that it is Friday the 13th. And Donna informs everyone of the success of the previous day’s ward visit by senior members of the healthcare trust, including the chief executive. “We’ve got big brownie points”. 7.40 Everyone goes onto the ward, the care support workers stocking their carts with towels and equipment. Ward 20a is part of the Manor’s new building, which opened in 2010. The ward takes patients after surgery, for recovery from a range of procedures including hip and knee replacements and back surgery. There are 16 beds in total and 24 staff. “Some patients will be with us for three or four days, hip replacements for five,” Donna explains. “The first thing the nurses do when a new patient comes in is general observation – oxygen, colour of skin, check the wound to ensure that it’s not oozing, because an oozy wound can cause low blood pressure and lead to shock. If there’s anything abnormal they let the senior nurses know. There are halfhourly observations, and drugs are administered four times a day.”

We’re speaking in the long, wide corridor of the ward, which acts as its hub – Donna spends a lot of time here, alongside visiting doctors, pharmacists and her ward clerks. The mood is a buzz of camaraderie and easy teamwork. “It’s around this time in the morning that I allocate the beds for the patients who are coming onto the ward, from theatre. I also pop into 20c, where the daycare patients are seen, in case one of those becomes an overnight stay and needs a bed. “Then there is the doctors’ ward round. They will see their own patients, but I add jobs that I need them to do. Then we sort out the discharges, make sure they are safe to go home, and discuss people you want to discharge but can’t because of social reasons – they may need extra care at home, or to go to a care facility for a few weeks. For that, we need to work with the discharge liaison team. “There’s faxing to district nurses, arrangements for ambulance and medication, there’s a lot of documentation to be done.” She laughs. “There’s a great deal more than just opening the day and saying ‘bye, bye’.” 9.00 Donna has her morning meeting with the therapists: physiotherapists Tracey Rowley and Alice Brisco, and advanced


I feel very proud of the work we do. It’s satisfying to see people go through rehabilitation, then walk out at the end”

10.30 Tracey and Alice meet with Muriel Baird, a remarkably youthful 81-year-old who has just had a hip replacement. “It’s a shame they can’t just put a bit of oil on my hip,” she jokes, as the physios lead her to a mock staircase in the hall,

Tracey Rowley and Alice Brisco help Muriel Baird

Marcus Rose

occupational therapist Naseema Davids. These are the people who prepare the patients for the work of rehabilitation once they leave the hospital. “The scary bit is when you go home,” says Naseema. “I work out what aids patients will need, allowing them to be as independent as possible. “Sometimes I have to go to their property to see if it’s suitable, taking into account the layout of the house, furniture heights, whether they live alone or not. And I put together a treatment plan to meet all their needs. And of course, education is a big part of their recuperation.” Working closely with Naseema, Tracey and Alice talk patients through an exercise regime, both immediately after the operation and when they return as outpatients. “I do feel very proud of the work we do,” says Tracey, who has been a physio for 15 years. “It’s very satisfying to see people go through rehabilitation, then walk out at the end.”

with her physiotherapy

and patiently help her to practice going up and down the steps with elbow crutches. “It’s certainly feeling stiff. I feel like I’ve been on an assault course,” Muriel admits chirpily, when she is returned to her bed. “The hospital is fantastic,” she adds. “The nurses are unquestionably helpful. They are encouraging, they give me confidence, nothing is too much trouble for these girls.” Muriel might be exceptionally active for her age, but she is otherwise a typical patient for 23


Summer 2012

24


11.30 Care support worker Eduardo Alano checks the comfort of patient Simon Gilbert, who has just had surgery to his cruciate ligament after a fridge fell on his knee. Alice comes over and starts his exercises, which he clearly finds painful. “With knees, there is only a small window in which we can really impact on a patient’s range of movement,” she explains. “We need to get them up and walking quickly. If they stiffen up, it can be hard.” 12.00 Lunch break in the staff room. Eduardo recalls that when he used to work with an agency he was assigned all over the Midlands, often having to get up at 4am to make the journey. He succeeded in getting a permanent

Marcus Rose

the ward, Donna explains. “The population is getting older, its joints are wearing out, so the majority of our patients are elderly. You could say this is a little stopping station – you get a refit, then once everything is back in working order you carry on as normal. “It’s great to see an aged person like Muriel still managing, still going shopping, still going dancing,” she smiles. “When you sit and listen to their life story, it makes you appreciate what they’ve been through. And you’d be amazed at how they cope.”

The team

The bACKGROUND NHS staff are under increasing pressure In England, the NHS is dealing with the largest top-down reorganisation in history, on top of having to make £20bn efficiency savings. More competition means some services will come from organisations who care more about the bottom line than the patient. The number of private patients treated in NHS hospitals will grow. Those who can’t afford to go private will wait

in ever lengthening queues. And the national system of pay bargaining, Agenda for Change, is under increasing pressure, with employers driving down staff costs to compete for contracts. Get involved now in UNISON’s campaign to reclaim our NHS. Go to unison.org.uk/ournhs, facebook/ournhs or follow us on Twitter @ UNISONourNHS. 25


Summer 2012

FREE insULATion To ALL Unison MEMBERs And Unison EMpLoyEEs must apply by 30th november, 2012

As a Unison member or Unison employee you could save up to £175 on your energy bills with FREE loft insulation and up to £135 with FREE cavity wall insulation from British Gas*

Call 0800 107 2547 quoting iUM001 or visit britishgas. co.uk/insulation

How will it save me money? British Gas are working in partnership with UNISON and ‘There for you’ to provide free insulation to all UNISON members and all UNISON employees. Insulation locks in your heat, so you won’t need to have your heating on as much to stay warm. It’s not just a one-off saving either; it helps to save you money year after year.

What does it involve? It’s straightforward and takes less than a day. Loft insulation is a thick material simply rolled onto the loft floor. Cavity wall insulation is a filling blown into the gaps between the exterior walls. There’s little fuss or mess so you can get on with your daily routine.

How do i qualify for FREE home insulation? As long as your home isn’t any bigger than an average 4-bed detached house, your current insulation is less than 60mm deep, and your overall square meterage is within our limits, you qualify. Of course if you’re a tenant you’ll have to check with your landlord first, but we can help you with this too.

What do i need to do? Just give British Gas a call and they’ll arrange for an Energy Expert to come round to your home and carry out a FREE no obligation survey. All you have to do is set aside some time for British Gas to do the work. It really is that easy.

* British Gas install in mainland Great Britain only. Not all homes are suitable for insulation. Insulation must be completed by the 31st December, 2012. Savings figure source www.energysavingtrust.org. uk/Energy-saving-assumptions, May 2012. Actual savings depend on individual circumstances. Customers will only be eligible for the free loft and cavity wall measures recommended by appointed surveyor. Customers will only be eligible for free measures where we can insulate a minimum of two thirds of the total loft space or total wall space (when applied to the whole property). Free insulation is subject to square meterage limitations. Insulation beyond these limits is chargeable. The Offer is subject to availability and subject to change or withdrawal at any time including, without limitation, where the supply or installation of loft and/or cavity wall insulation (the ‘Products’) does not qualify for carbon emissions credits for the purpose of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (or any replacement scheme) or if the amount of carbon emissions credits for which the Products qualify is materially reduced. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Phone lines are open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-4pm on Saturday. Closed on Bank Holidays. Calls may be monitored and/or recorded for quality assurance and compliance purposes. ‘There for you’ is the working name of Unison Welfare registered charity no. 1023552/sCo. British Gas is the trading name of British Gas services Limited and British Gas new Heating Limited. Registered in England No. 6723244. Installation is provided by British Gas New Heating limited. Registered office: Millstream, Maidenhead Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 5GD. britishgas.co.uk

26


Marcus Rose

It’s great to see them still managing, still going shopping, still going dancing”

Dance class at the hip clinic

position at the hospital four years ago, lives close by and is now much happier. The hospital has a “golden heart” scheme, through which patients can commend individual members of staff. While many of the 20a staff post their certificates on the ward notice board, Eduardo proudly wears his golden heart on his lapel. “Everyone loves this ward,” says Elizabeth Pitt, a young nurse who qualified in September. “One of the reasons is because it’s new and clean, but another is that all the staff are friendly and there are enough of us to care for each of the patients. We have got a good team here. And if you haven’t got a good team, you’ve got nothing.” Ward clerk Shirley Brittain agrees. “If you don’t work as a team, you won’t know what you are doing. You rely on each other. I feel like I’m in the middle of

this big circle. And the girls are really good.” 1pm Alice and Tracey supervise the hip clinic, where outpatients return after six weeks to have their progress checked, move from crutches to walking sticks and learn a new set of exercises. “These are exercises for life,” Tracey tells them, “because there will always be a risk of dislocation.” At first glance, this could be a rehearsal room for dancers, with its long bar where five people line up for their exercises. But these folk are middle-aged and are not quite as limber as they once were. The mood is upbeat, but focused, as they learn new stretching exercises and practice walking on their new sticks. The physios are politely aghast when one of the five admits to already having worked on his allotment, brand new hip notwithstanding.

3.00 Donna takes a coffee break away from the ward – the only way she will be undisturbed. In the background, Simon Gilbert is already gamely walking on his crutches. “I’ve always wanted to be a nurse,” she reflects. “I started off in the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, as a cadet, and it just escalated from there. It was always about caring. I started my training thinking I’d branch out into midwifery, but then I went into orthopaedics. “At first I worked with trauma orthopaedics. To see patients coming in after some serious accidents, sometimes thinking ‘you will never walk out of here’, but then after a while seeing them get up, mobilise and go home, that was a real joy.” Donna qualified as a nurse in 1989 and, except for a brief spell in London, has worked in the West Midlands ever since. She has been a senior sister at The Manor since 2003. “I keep telling my team that I can’t do the job without them. We work together and maintain the same high standard. I always say, ‘Imagine it’s your family member and this is the care you would like for them.’ As long as the right care is given to the patients, then I’m happy.” ■ Demetrios Matheou d.matheou@unison.co.uk 27


Summer 2012

Mark Harvey

‘Giving something back’ Local politics tranforms communities

28


D

onna Green says that at the time of the 2010 general election, a life in politics “was not even a twinkle in my eye.” But the Tory victory changed all that. “After the general election I thought: ‘Oh no, not the Tories again’. It was a disaster,” she recalls. “And I felt I had to do something about it.” With the help of an enlightened Labour Party programme aimed at encouraging a new generation of representatives at local and national level, Donna has already achieved her goal. This May, just two years after her epiphany, she was elected as a Labour councillor in Barnsley. The specific aim of the Labour Party Future Candidates Programme is to build and support “a diverse pool of talented individuals” from which local Labour Party members can select their candidates for the next general election, local government elections, and other public offices that the party contests. The programme provides successful applicants with the practical skills and knowledge needed to win selection, then election in their chosen roles. But Donna, a health worker, single mum and UNISON member, made the first step herself.

“I had always been a Labour voter, and always interested in politics. But after the general election I actually joined the constituency Labour Party, and got involved fairly quickly – going to meetings, helping in other people’s election campaigns, door knocking and leafleting. I found it addictive. “Then I heard about the programme. My first thought was: ‘They don’t need people like me. I’m so new’. But I read the blurb, and it seemed to me that the party was genuinely reaching out to people from all kinds of backgrounds. “I felt that, as a single parent, I could bring an experience that is perhaps not that common in politics. It’s difficult for women with children, without additional support, to get involved. I wanted to represent that voice.” Around 120 people were selected for last year’s training scheme, nine of whom were UNISON members (eight of those being women). The programme started with a weekend residential training school in Sheffield, which Donna describes as “quite intensive”. Participants met councillors, MPs and local activists, hearing their perspectives on themes such as running campaigns, building relationships with branch and constituency members, and how 29


Summer 2012

30


I felt that as a single parent I could bring experience that is not that common in politics”

to present yourself in the public eye. “Helping with other people’s campaigns is obviously not the same as campaigning for yourself,” reflects Donna. “That is the key difference with this training, which is all about getting yourself elected. The programme demystifies that process, and gives you the confidence and the information you need to put yourself forward as a candidate. “I approached the course with an open mind. And the experience confirmed to me that I really wanted to do it, and I understood what was involved. I realised by the end of the weekend that I was really going to go for it.” For Donna, that meant standing at a local level, as a councillor. Within six months of the course she was accepted on her local Labour Party’s panel, which allowed her to put herself forward for any ward. She chose Kingstone ward, in Barnsley, because she had previously worked in the area, and knew people there. After winning a tough selection contest against a local candidate, in May she fought and won the seat from the Barnsley Independent Group, with 58% of the vote. She remembers the thrill of campaigning on her own behalf for the first time – at one point having the Labour MP

for Barnsley Central, Dan Jarvis, helping her out. “Knocking on people’s doors with an MP by your side is a real bonus,” she laughs, “it gives you a lot of credibility. But even when I was on my own I found that the majority of people were interested in what I had to say. I think they were impressed that someone had bothered to turn up.” The most challenging aspect, she says, was the sudden exposure. “Once you start canvassing, people see your photograph, they have your phone number, they have the right to contact you any time. That was something I hadn’t quite anticipated. It felt quite scary. But I’m getting use to it now.” Her council activities include two weekly surgeries, one with her fellow ward councillors, community meetings and work with branch members. Crime and the environment are the chief issues concerning her constituents. All the while, she continues to work as a programme manager for an NHS trust, specialising in substance misuse and reducing teenage conceptions. Being a councillor, she says, “is very hard work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. To meet and listen to people, then act in their interests, is a privilege.” Donna was 41 when she decided to add this new

dimension to her life. “My daughter is grown up now, but there was absolutely no way I could have done this 10 years ago. I would not have had the time, while working and being a single mum. “This is not about ambition, now, it’s not about me. It’s about putting something back, and doing the best I can.” ■ Demetrios Matheou d.matheou@unison.co.uk

ACTNOW The Labour Party Future Candidates Programme is looking for people who are “bright, able, community-spirited, enthusiastic and energetic”. The deadline for applications to the next programme is 12 October 2012. To find out more, go to labour.org.uk/nextgeneration. For more information on UNISON’s Labour Link go to unison.org.uk/labourlink.

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Summer 2012

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Summer 2012

National delegate conference In pictures

Left: Kerry Baugh, a support worker for people with learning disabilities from Wolverhampton will be

All photographs: Marcus Rose and Steve Forrest

marching on 20 October

A packed conference hall

34


NDC Conference 2012

Left: UNISON joins the digital age

A typical British summer

35


Summer 2012

‘We have to be brave, we have to be strong’ Key decisions and debates from June’s annual conference in Bournemouth

“W

e have to be brave, we have to be bold, we have to be strong. And together we’ll smash this pay freeze.” That was the message from Dave Prentis when he addressed the union’s national delegate conference in Bournemouth. With members struggling as the cost of food and fuel soar through the roof, they cannot afford to have their pay frozen yet again, he said. “Three quarters of people are forced to cut spending on food. One in four say they’re struggling to survive.” And pledging to battle privatisation, he said UNISON would “fight to preserve the welfare state, fight for better care for the elderly, for disabled people, for libraries, parks and open spaces, decent schools – and so much more.”

General secretary Dave Prentis takes time at conference to smash the pay freeze

Marcus Rose

‘We can win’

These services are not yours to sell off or give away” Marcus Rose

Outgoing president Eleanor Smith keeps an eye on proceedings

36

“We make a difference to people’s lives every day,” declared Rena Wood as UNISON vowed to fight back against the government’s pay policy. She listed the challenges facing public services: the pay freeze has seen the value of pay fall; morale is at a record low; the gender pay gap is growing; the North South divide is increasing. “People in work are facing poverty. It is wrong,” she declared. “But we’re in it together. We can fight together. We can win.”


NDC Conference 2012

We have a plan B

“Cameron is leading a government hellbent on bringing discord, disharmony, doubt and despair to ordinary people, their families and their communities,” declared outgoing president Eleanor Smith as she opened conference.

 She urged the conference delegates – and every member – to be at the TUC national demonstration on 20 October, which UNISON had taken the lead in organising. “I’m sure you’ll all be there painting the streets purple and green, just as we did in March last year – I know I will!”

The great economic crash was not caused by nurses or social workers, but by rampant free market casino capitalism, Jane Carolan told conference. But while the “Eton posh boys” in government don’t understand the problems, she added, UNISON does have a plan B: investment in public services and social housing to stimulate growth, coupled with bank regulation and taxation to prevent the highest earners avoiding paying their share.



Defending the NHS Delegates warned the Tory-led coalition that the NHS will be its downfall. NHS nurse 
James Anthony told conference that the health service has become “a toxic issue” for the government. 

 “We must defend our NHS at every turn and every corner, and fight privatisation wherever it is threatened,” he declared.

Organise for victory Organising must be at the heart of the union’s activity, conference declared. Thanking everyone for organising for 30 November, Sue Highton told delegates: “Because of all this workplace activity, we achieved something remarkable.

 “UNISON became more visible than before, because we worked as a whole union.”

ACTNOW For more reports from conference, see the web at unison.org.uk/ conference2012

Neville Lawrence brings audience to tears

Marcus Rose

Rallying call

We can make a difference Delegates were openly crying when Neville Lawrence spoke of the night in 1993 when his son Stephen Lawrence didn’t come home – and the subsequent long fight for justice over his racist murder. “At the beginning, I wanted some basic answers about the death of our son,” said Mr Lawrence. “But every door was closed to us. It was not until I came to UNISON conference that doors began to open.” Mr Lawrence backed UNISON’s campaign against police privatisation, stating simply: “It will be a disaster” 
Removing his jacket to reveal a ‘Stop Police Privatisation’ UNISON t-shirt, he added: “We want the police to be accountable to the public and not a fly-by-night private conglomerate.” And he vowed: “We’re going to fight tooth and nail. Down to the wire. You and I together can make a difference.” 37


Summer 2012

Marcus Rose

Defender of the disadvantaged New president Chris Tansley is cautiously upbeat

38


My dad’s lifelong fight against injustice was an inspiration”

“T

rade unions are the real defenders of the disadvantaged and those who really need a voice in society,” says new UNISON president Chris Tansley. A child social worker from Nottingham, Chris had a deeply religious childhood with a father who was a lay preacher in the Reformist church. “Despite my upbringing I’ve never been religious, but my dad’s lifelong fight against injustice was an inspiration. He was radical in his own way,” he says. Chris’s mother worked as an overlocker in a factory in Nottingham’s famous Lace Market, along with six of her sisters, producing underwear for firms such as M&S. Chris left school and trained to be a nurse, an unusual choice for a young man at that time. He enjoyed the work, but after two years decided it wasn’t for him. “I’m better at working with people, than in medical treatment,” he says. His social work career started when he went to work with Wandsworth Community Relations in London working in a specialist nursery for Black children with autism in the 1970s. It was during this time that Chris joined the demonstrations against the National Front in London and got involved in the

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. His commitment to fighting racism and the far right continues – his chosen presidential charity is Hope Not Hate, the campaign that counters racism and fascism. Chris then moved to Liverpool and worked with the Simon community offering sheltered housing for some of the many homeless alcoholics in the city. Finally in 1978, he trained to be a social worker. He joined the union as soon as he got his first job, and was soon active in his branch. His first major intervention was to introduce computers, a radical move in the 1980s, which he drove through despite some opposition. The father of two teenage children, Chris is still a governor at his local Nottingham infants school after 20 years, and has sat on employment tribunals for the last seven years. He has always used his position on UNISON’s NEC to highlight the valuable and often undervalued work that social workers do. And he is concerned to make sure that UNISON is the union for all the members who are harder to reach, and to draw them in. “I was always convinced that the best way to give maximum support for all our members – and to get at those pockets who

were disenfranchised – was to get the union organised. And I think our union’s a lot better now than it was.” But he’s under no illusion that he’s taking over the presidency at one of the most difficult times for our members. “What we’re involved with is back to the future – it’s Victorian values. This is the worst government we’ve had, worse than Thatcher,” he says. His determination is impressive, however, and as a seasoned campaigner, he even manages to be cautiously upbeat. “I don’t want to go backwards on all the progress we’ve made since those days. But the arguments against the austerity measures are now starting to be heard in other European countries and in America. We won’t let them take us backwards,” he says. ■ Clare Bayley c.bayley@unison.co.uk

ACTNOW Find out more about Chris’s presidential charity at hopenothate.org.uk

39


Summer 2012

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Annual book token worth £25 Open a UNISON Plus Suresave plan and you will be entitled to a book voucher worth £25 each year, for the duration of your plan.* *You will be eligible to claim your first book token when your plan has been open for three months.

To find out more and to apply:

Call freephone 0800 298 8185 quoting ref UNI SURE 05. Go to www.lighthousefa.co.uk/unisonplus-suresave UNISON Plus Suresave is provided by UNISON Plus Suresave is provided by Foresters Friendly Society. Foresters Friendly Society is the trading name of The Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. FSA Registration number 110029. Incorporated Friendly Society No. 511F. Foresters Friendly Society is an incorporated branch society registered in the United Kingdom. Lighthouse Financial Advice Limited, trading as Lighthouse Financial Advice, is an appointed representative of Lighthouse Advisory Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Lighthouse Financial Advice Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lighthouse Group plc. Registered in England No. 04795080. Registered Office: 26 Throgmorton Street, London, EC2N 2AN.

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41


Summer 2012

The fourth emergency service Trouble at work? Call your UNISON rep

U

42

All photographs: Mark Chilvers

NISON relies on those members who become reps; who lead the union, who get the work done, from branch level up. But what makes a rep – and what makes them tick? U magazine decided to explore just that. Gathered around a table at UNISON Centre on a sunny summer morning are four reps. Karen Smales is an assistant branch secretary from Leeds and York community and mental health branch assistant convenor – and she’s also done work with UNISON’s regional and national women’s groups. John Wears hails from Newcastle hospitals. He’s a deputy branch secretary at the moment and also the education officer, and has been active for about six years in total. Jenny Edwards is the joint branch secretary of Colchester health branch, and in previous years she’s been active in the union’s women’s group. Making up the quartet is Nikki Osborne, the Connexions UNISON rep in Hull. She’s been active for about 18 months and is the joint lead negotiator for Hull branch. U magazine: How did you become active in the union? KS: “I come from a background of a family that’s been involved in trade unions and community projects and things like that.

Nikki Osborne

I’m a tough old bird, me. If any problems arise, I just get on and do it!”

“I’d been a member for years, but like many people, I became a steward because there was an issue at work that wasn’t getting resolved – it was a pay issue, and this was pre-Agenda for Change days, and I just felt it was so unfair that people were employed on the same day to do the same job, on different terms and conditions and on a different pay band.


“It just didn’t make sense to me and we had a long fight to resolve that. Then I found I’d been nominated to become the Agenda for Change lead. You can’t even stop to go to the toilet! “But getting involved with the women’s group in Yorkshire and Humberside – that was what gave me the confidence and the desire to do more”. JW: “For me it was a local issue about annual leave – and it was a big issue that wasn’t being dealt with. “And when it was resolved, people actually got the annual leave they were entitled to and also some back pay – so I was very popular that week at work. “It went from there. Colleagues just said: ‘You should be a union rep’. And I didn’t know whether it was for me or not, but I talked to the UNISON branch secretary and I got more involved.” “I’ve become more active in the last three years. I’ve moved into education in the union, helping members gain the opportunities to learn and develop skills in ways that can make a huge difference to their lives.” NO: “I come from a completely different background, there was no politics at home – it was just Jilly Cooper and Jackie Collins.” KS: “Oh, but we had those as well!” NO: “I started work at Connexions about 11 years ago – and joined

Karen Smales

You win people’s trust and showing them what you can do is a sure way to help encourage others to become more active themselves”

John Wears

Jenny Edwards

43


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Facility time for union reps is under attack. But what’s the truth? Facility time means: • the UK economy is £12bn more productive; • at least £19m is saved from reduced dismissals; • unionised workplaces save £43m a year from fewer tribunal cases; • up to £356m a year is saved in recruitment costs because of lower dismissal and voluntary leaving rates.

If your facility time is under attack: • talk to your regional office and let them know what’s happening; • if you need help, ask for it; • make sure your employer knows that UNISON reps have statutory rights to take paid time off.

And get recruiting! Your employer won’t challenge facility time when they know the union is strong. New guidance on facility time has been sent to all branches and your union is developing new resources to deal with the attacks.

Mark Chilvers

the union at the same time, but didn’t get involved. Then the coalition came to power and started taking an axe to the service. “I’d been acting as a workplace contact, rather than a rep, because I’ve got a four year-old daughter and I work part time. But I ended up getting much more involved as we initiated a campaign to save the service. “And that’s basically how I became involved. “Since then, we’ve schemed and manipulated and plotted to keep a city centre base alongside all other young people’s services.” JE: “I started off in a closed shop. I was 17, 18 – doing an apprenticeship, and you had to be in the union – and I saw the strength of the union. And so every workplace I’ve ever been in, I’ve been in the union. “I never really thought about it: I mean, you don’t take out health insurance after your house has burned down, do you? “I became active when I was working in local government and I had an issue with my contract. The union sorted it out and I got loads of back pay and I thought: ‘That’s brilliant – they must be pretty good’.” U magazine: “It sounds like you all do a huge amount. How do you manage to balance your union work with your jobs, your families, all your commitments?”

Nikki Osborne and Jenny Edwards

45


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NUTRITION FOR A HEALTHY LIFESPAN


JE: “When I moved from Portsmouth to Colchester, I made a career change too, I moved from local government into health, and now I’m a joint branch secretary. “I do the bulk of the representation, and the person I share with, they do the bulk of the committee sitting.” KS: “Personally, I’ve never had any inclination to be a branch secretary. I don’t like all the administration and I don’t feel like I’ve got that particular set of skills. “I do think job sharing is the way to go in the future.” JE: “I agree, I’ve got family commitments and just seven hours a week for all my union duties.” KS: “We’re working in our own time too. When you’ve got a nurse that’s got a problem and it’s a weekend shift – well it’s not nine to five, is it? “That can pay off, you win people’s trust and showing them what you can do is a sure way to help encourage others to become more active themselves. “And if people see that you can still have a life, then they’re more likely to get involved.” JW: “I’ve got children too and a wife who works shifts so it’s important to manage my time, but the more you do it, the better you get.” U magazine: “It’s clear that dedication and a real commitment to helping your

fellow members is vital. So what do you get out of being active?” NO: “It’s that feeling of being part of a community. I lived in Hull and then London and then Hull again, but it wasn’t till my thirties that I finally found where I fitted in – in the trade union movement! “Before I joined, I’d had the usual misconceptions about trade unions, that they were all about men standing around braziers and being a bit aggressive.” KS: “Well, it’s important to stress that UNISON is very much a women’s union. “I remember the sense of community back in the 1980s when the miners – my father included – were on strike and I’d help with the soup kitchen. “It gave me confidence. I’m a tough old bird, me. If any problems arise, I just get on and do it! “But you know, even if you need to be firm with employers, there’s never any need to be rude. We can disagree without being disagreeable.” U magazine: “So, would you agree that what you do is really worthwhile?” NO: “Oh yes. It’s been worth the work to know that I’ve helped save those services and the jobs with them.” ■ Amanda Kendal a.kendal@unison.co.uk

It’s been worth the work to know that I’ve helped save those services and the jobs with them”

ACTNOW Could you rise to the challenge and become active in UNISON? To find out more talk to your local branch or visit the UNISON website at unison.org.uk/active/involved.asp

47


Summer 2012

Me and my job Peter Payne, a lock-keeper at St John’s Lock in Lechdale, Gloucestershire What do lock-keepers do? Lock-keeping is about assisting the safe passage of river users, and managing and maintaining the river’s water levels to minimise the risk of flooding, while ensuring that it’s deep enough for navigation. I’m also the site-manager, so I have to maintain the equipment and buildings – and gardening of course, to keep the grounds looking tidy and attractive. What makes it special? Being able to sit at my desk and see a kingfisher sitting on the balance beam. I’m surrounded by nature here. I’ve recorded 70 species of bird and 30 species of mammal over the years. What’s your favourite time of year? The summer’s lovely of course, but that’s our busy time. You’re on call 24 hours a day and on duty from 9am to 7pm. You’re getting hundreds of boats coming through, children shouting, dogs barking – and you have to be alert the whole time, you can’t relax. In the spring it’s all yours, and it is idyllic here. What gives you most satisfaction? This is the furthest upstream lock on the river Thames. I have to predict the water level each day for the following day so that I can 48

Peter Payne

I’m almost fanatical about different types of rain”

decide how much water to let through the weir. You’re dealing with the unknown, but with experience you get to know what it’ll be. There’s a lot of satisfaction in getting it right. What preoccupies you? I’m almost fanatical about different types of rain. The level of the river depends on the type of rain so in times of heavy rain I’ll be looking at two or three different forecasts around three or four times a day.


Is it stressful? In my previous job I knew what stress was like – I was a bank manager. Then I had a mid-life crisis and I wanted to find a job not connected with my previous life. So in the summer season things can get a bit busy, but I can’t really complain!

Chryssa Panoussiadou

Is it lonely? We lock-keepers are very autonomous, which suits me. We have team leaders but on a day-to-day basis I am trusted to manage the site. My next colleague is a mile and a half away, down the river. All the Thames lock-keepers get together a couple of times a year – we’re a very widespread family. But I’d say I have the best of both worlds: open countryside, and a ten minute walk into the local town, Lechlade.

In my previous job I knew what stress was like – I was a bank manager”

What’s the worst thing? I don’t like dealing with people who’ve had accidents. That can range from a broken arm to discovering a corpse. We do also have a few ‘splashers’ – people who fall in the river. It’s my responsibility to take control of the situation. A chap fell in last year who was well into his 70s. The crew were panicking and trying to pull him out but I knew the water level was very low, so I said, ‘Can you stand up?’ And he realised that he could – so I just lowered the ladder and he managed to climb out. Sounds like you’ve found your dream job… I was always interested in water and boats since I was a young lad. I moved here specifically to work on the river. I even stay on the river for my holidays – I have my own boat. This will be my ninth summer season at St John’s Lock. ■ Clare Bayley c.bayley@unison.co.uk

ACTNOW Join UNISON members like Peter in our march for a future that works on 20 October in London. For more information go to unison.org.uk/20102012.

49


Summer 2012

Puzzle fun! By Caper

Win a digital radio For your chance to win a digital radio, please send your filled-in grids for both of this issue’s crosswords in one envelope, together with your name and address, to U magazine crossword competition, UNISON centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY to reach us by Thursday 20 September. Winners from the last issue have received their prizes. Alphajig Each of the 26 answers starts with a different letter of the alphabet: solve the easy clues and work out where the answers go – use the answer lengths to give you help. I’ve even given you a few starts to get you going. Clues are in rhyming couplets for amusement only. A For which one might save, and when it’s wet (1, 5, 3) B Noise of 50

disapproval, it shows you object (3) C Short for bike, and a period, of course (5) D In backyard, it’s type of working horse (4) E This magazine, we hear, is a female sheep (3) F … and places for cultivation – and their upkeep (5) G They might work at Kew, cutting lawns in a crescent (9) H and another way of saying “Present!” (4) I It’s generally a thing to make you sick (7) J Types of cow – and potatoes among the pick ! (7) K He always has an opinion and is hard to bear (4-3) L A lack of strictness, discipline or care (7) M Extinct non-flier – big of wing (3) N Knot employed to

help you swing ! (5) O A strange thing or funny sort (6) P This could be Danish, puff, filo or short (6) Q Nature of something – or its worth (7) R Drink in America made from plants in the earth (4-4) S Like a tan – if applied out of a can (5-2) T Drink – Tony Benn is a great fan (3) U Salt Lake City – one of this state’s spots (4) V In football and tennis these are skillful shots (7) W Assess something in kilos or pounds (5) X Time when Santa’s doing his rounds (4) Y Northern Americans – folk like John Wayne (7) Z Spanish city in Aragon – that’s north east Spain(8)


Overlaps Each clue contains a definition of the answer as usual – but also a consecutive anagram of the answer, straddling more than one word but never “touching” the definition. For example: 7 Clubs are places selling drinks (4) Gives BARS, which is defined by places selling drinks, and can be found in Clubs are – all mixed up. Across 5 Ravenous mice eat assorted animals (7, 4) 7 Clubs are places selling drinks (4) 8 US government often calms Europe (5, 3) 9 Place to cook in ketchup (7) 11 Silly twit’s humorous (5) 13 Acknowledge - ready to concur (5) 14 Repeat dull bureaucratic procedure (3, 4) 16 Princes often scheme together (8) 17 Smooth sedan skidded (4) 18 Hammiest acting? Many school children hate studying it (11) Down 1 Another small planet (4) 2 Perplexed the dumb secretary (7) 3 Search beneath a long seat (5) 4 Left a file containing procedure to help you look younger (4-4) 5 Grandma’s having foul stuff to help get rid of whiskers (7, 4) 6 Nasty tramp shocks brainy show-off (11) 10 Nice store offers wood preservative (8) 12 Elgar enrages senior officer (7) 15 Drink spiced rum (5) 17 Pigs will drink (4)

Answers from last issue Alphajig Autopilot, Bishops, CIA , Dad, Exonerate, Foxtrot, Great, Hirsute, ICI, Jetty, Kendo, Lasted, Mini, Noticed , Octets, Prefect , Quit, Rude, See, Talkies, Utensils, Verdict, Woodwind, Xmas , Yells, Zip Code Left and right Across 1 Not quite right 8 Strict 9 Drowsy 10 Peseta 13 Elated 17 Storey 18 Serene 19 Durham 20 On edge 21 Noises 22 Comics 23 Monkey 24 Defend

Down 2 Outset 3 Quiver 4 In-tray 5 Eddies 6 Isobar 7 Hasten 10 Pseudonym 11 Sovereign 12 Tête-à-tête 14 Lemon sole 15 Test drive 16 Depressed Overlaps Across 1 Dodo 3 Fantasia 9 Methane 10 Rumba 11 Passe 12 Casino 14 And 16 Roach 18 Roe 19 Mantis 21 Miser 24 Otter 25 Cheroot 27 Hacienda 28 Lean Down 1 Dim 2 Dates 4 Axe 5 Terns 6 Seminar 7 Arab 8 Career 11 Plan 12 Class 13 Bear 15 Drastic 17 Hamlet 20 Terse 22 Score 23 Posh 25 Cod 26 Tin 51


Summer 2012

Croyde Bay perfect for this August bank holiday or an Autumn leisure break

August bank holiday from

£79

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per night

Per Room Family room sleeps 2 adults & 2 children

Breakfast & Dinner available

4 nights Tuesday 28th August £79 per room per night

6 nights Wednesday 22nd August £99 per room per night

Autumn leisure breaks

£80

November December 9th – 11th 16th – 18th 23rd – 25th

per person for 2 nights

30th Nov – 2nd Dec 7th – 9th 14th – 16th

the dates are Friday – Sunday

New Hotel!

• New Hotel • New Spa • New treatment rooms*

• Bed and Breakfast • Evening entertainment Luxury Hotel Room

Oasis Leisure Pool

Call 01271 890890 or book online at www.croydeunison.co.uk (UNISON Member Prices) Croyde Bay Holiday Resort, Croyde Bay, Nr Braunton, Devon, EX33 1QB Terms and Conditions apply, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Price includes UNISON discount and is room only. For August Bank holiday a minimum of 3 nights. For Autumn breaks a minimum of two nights. August offer expires on the 24th August 2012. Autumn offer expires on the 30th October 2012. New Bookings only, offer may be withdrawn at anytime. Subject to availability. *Spa 52 Treatments available at additional cost.


Summer 2012

Bouquet to a member Nicky Hetherington nominates schoolworker Karen Gomm

W

Chryssa Panoussiadou

e think all our members deserve a bouquet. And although we can’t send one to all 1.3 million of you, every issue we do send a bouquet of flowers to one member, nominated by friends, family or colleagues. It’s a token of our appreciation for your contribution and commitment. We’ve had lots of nominations for this issue – every one of whom deserves a bouquet. So we had to make a tough choice. Karen Gomm worked at Berriew CP School for many years, until she retired at the end of March this year. Her colleague Nicky Hetherington wanted her to receive a bouquet to show her how much she is missed, and “give her a really fantastic send off”. Karen’s hard work and dedication were really appreciated. She did many little tasks over and above her assigned duties, and was always ready to offer help and advice to less experienced staff. She often had useful suggestions for how to solve problems which hadn’t occurred to anyone else. Nicky says: “But more than just an excellent colleague and union member, she is also a valued friend to all of us. We miss you, Karen, and hope you are enjoying your retirement.” ■

Karen Gomm and Nicky Hetherington

If you’d like us to send someone a bouquet, write to us at Bouquet to a Member, U magazine, UNISON centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY or email u.magazine@unison.co.uk

Please state why your nominee deserves a bouquet, enclose their name and address and your contact number. We will pick out a lucky winner and send them flowers. 53


Summer 2012

54


How much of a banker are you? Billionaire banker? Millionaire Tory? Or hard-working public service worker?

B?

Gill Allen / Press Association Images

Lefteris Pitarakis / Press Association Images

A?

C?

Find out your true colours with our revealing quiz…

What did you score?

1 a b c

Mostly As Congratulations, you must be a billionaire banker! You’ll never have enough money to make you happy, so you’d better just keep on making more.

What does £20,000 mean to you? An average summer holiday. Monthly income from my investments. A year’s salary. And I still haven’t received the £250 the Chancellor promised to lift my low pay.

2 Is your pension gold-plated? a I hope so! Me and my accountant are doing our best to keep it away from the taxman. b I’m playing the long game – I’m lining myself up jobs with major corporations for when I retire from politics. c Hardly! I’m a hospital housekeeper and I’ve always paid into my pension, but even if I work to 65 it will only bring in £2,764 a year. 3 What’s your view of the NHS? a A fantastic opportunity for investment – bring on the sale! b An expensive drain on resources which I, personally, wouldn’t dream of using. c A cherished institution and a source of national pride. 4 a b c

What are public services for? I’ve absolutely no idea. Never use ‘em myself. Privatising, of course! What a silly question! They are our society’s glue, we couldn’t do without them.

Mostly Bs You must be a Tory cabinet minister. You have similar views to your buddies the bankers but you’re also working hard to increase the gap between rich and poor – well done. Mostly Cs Finally! You are clearly one of those hard-working, committed public service workers whose contribution to society is often overlooked but always invaluable. UNISON salutes you. 55


Summer 2012

Letters U welcomes readers’ letters

Grants for WW2 veterans I am writing to you on behalf of World War II veterans who, due to a lack of advertising, may not have been aware that in 2011 financial grants, Heroes Return II, were available from the Big Lottery Fund to enable veterans and or their widows to pay a visit of remembrance to the theatre of war that they were involved in. Veterans, male or female, widows and widowers of veterans, can all apply. The offer also extends to Wrens, merchant seamen, as well as WAAFs and ATSs who worked closely with active personnel. These grants are being extended to 31 December 2012. They range from £150 to cover travel and accommodation for a veteran, spouse and carer within the UK;  £1,300 to Northern Europe; and £5,500 to the Far East. For more information you can go to biglotteryfund.org.uk/ prog_heroes_return or call the application helpline on 0845 0000 121. Ted Cachart, Derbyshire

Well done U magazine Thank you very much for taking note of my last letter to you! I asked you not to print on 56

coloured paper that had no contrast and was indistinct now that I have severe visual problems. The winter edition of U magazine was almost all in black on white! Still small print in places, but much more distinct. Thanks again Miss Marjorie Holmes, Manchester

Anchors away! I am a member of the Southern Water branch of UNISON and am involved with the Jubilee Sailing Trust. The trust provides sailing adventures for disabled and able bodied people. I have sailed with them twice and for the last five years have been helping with the maintenance of the two tall ships that they run. They are planning a circumnavigation of the globe on the tall ship Lord Nelson between October 2012 and July 2014 to give disabled people in other countries the opportunity to experience sailing a tall ship. The trust is looking for people who would be interested in sailing the passage voyages between continents. You don’t need any sailing experience to take part and can be able bodied or disabled. I’d like to recommend that other UNISON members find out more and think about getting

involved. You can do this at jst. org.uk/sail-the-world.aspx or by calling Peter Birch at the trust on 023 8042 6868. Robert Keenan, Hampshire

Speaking out for pensioners I write not just as a retired UNISON member, but as Chair of Wirral Older People’s Parliament. We have over 1,200 members representing the voice of the older population of Wirral. I feel privileged. My husband and I both receive public service pensions which, along with our state pensions, give us enough to live on with dignity. I am appalled to see how badly so many other people are faring with incomes barely covering the basics of life. Our organisation is campaigning vigorously at a national level to try and raise the income of all older people, and opposing measures which are likely to reduce spending capacity. We want all older people to receive an income which allows them to eat, heat and enjoy life without counting every penny. We work regularly with the National Pensioners’ Convention on these issues. Our letters to ministers, civil servants and our local MPs are treated with respect and get detailed replies.


Every local authority area should have a campaigning group such as ours. We read about child poverty, which is inexcusable in the UK in 2012. So is pensioner poverty. It should be a memory of the past. If we all join the fight, the message will get through. Sandra Wall, Wirral

Support for learning skills A person with no skills or experience is not a lot of use to an employer. Students have to pay for the privilege of slaving away for several years to obtain a degree with no state support. When they have graduated they have amassed huge debts, then some of them with their degree find themselves (or their families) having to go on to pay for the privilege of being accepted for an internship with a company. This involves working for no pay for six months or more in the hope that the experience gained will result in a full-time paid job. I do not think it unreasonable that unemployed people with no skills are given the opportunity to work for six months, while being supported by the state, to gain skills and experience that they can then offer to a future employer. I have found that eligibility for continued employment depends very much on the attitude of the

employee. The world owes no-one a living, sad but true. Mrs Barbara Hopper, Worcester

Celebrating 20 years A celebration buffet was recently enjoyed by members of the retired members’ group of Blaenau Gwent branch, which is now 20 years old. The first meeting was held in late February 1992. As founder member and retired members’ secretary, I presided over the meeting along with the first chair, Mike O’Brien (the present chair, Graham Jones was not well enough to attend). Long may we continue. Eira Stroud, Bleanau Gwent

Change the world: watch films Take One Action is Scotland’s global action cinema project. It links audiences, movies, campaigners and communities to inspire shared responses to issues of global concern. The 2012 festival is planned for 20 September to 5 October 2012 in Edinburgh and Glasgow, supported by UNISON. For more information, check the UNISON Scotland website or follow the link: takeoneaction.org.uk/home Simon Macfarlane, Glasgow

Pension regrets I felt the need to write in order to point out a situation that many of our members who are retired are in. We have lived in a council rented house for the last 40 years. I put money by for my Hertfordshire county council pension, when I needed the monthly amount to fund our two children’s school trips and expenses instead. However, we are now in the situation of still being on housing benefit. Whatever tax changes or pension increases the government go on about, we still get the same amount. Rent just increases to compensate. Pensioners on housing benefit are caught in this situation. We feel that we should have used our income years ago to fund our family instead of funding a pension as we would now really be no worse off. Ian Howat, Hemel Hempstead

Please address letters to The Editor, UNISON centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY or email u.magazine@unison.co.uk. Include your full name and address (we won’t print it). We reserve the right to edit contributions. 57


Summer 2012

Problems at work

Got a problem? Get in touch…

D

ear UNISON, I’m a UNISON member and I’m having trouble at work. I’m bisexual and it’s never been an issue for me at work. However, recently I moved to a new department where one of my colleagues started making snide comments about me and my sexuality. I’m out but I still feel uncomfortable and intimidated by these comments and it’s really started to get me down. I don’t know whether I should make a fuss about it or not as I’m not sure if it would make any difference. On top of this I’ve heard that people may have to start paying to go to employment tribunal – in which case there’s no point in me making a complaint as I’m sure I couldn’t afford to do that. I’m feeling at the end of my tether. What should I do? Anon, Newcastle

Each issue UNISON experts will tackle a UNISON member’s problem at work. If you’d like help, get in touch at u.magazine@unison.co.uk or by writing to U magazine, UNISON centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY 58

National officer for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality Carola Towle says: “The first thing to know is that you’re never alone in UNISON. We can well understand how your snide colleague is getting you down. Your branch will help you take up the issue, but we suggest you also get in touch with our LGBT group for support. “Many UNISON branches have their own LGBT officers and all our 12 regions have flourishing LGBT groups. There’s lots of information, including regional group contacts, on our webpages at unison.org.uk/out. “We recognise that bi people can face particular issues of invisibility and biphobia. So within the LGBT group, we have a national network of bi members, who meet every July and then again at our LGBT conference in November. Bi members elect two reps to the national LGBT committee. “This year’s UNISON LGBT conference is in Brighton on 16-18 November. You apply via your branch – registration deadline is 21 September. Find out more about this and all our LGBT work at unison.org.uk/out or email us at out@unison.co.uk”. Head of legal services Adam Crème says: “Although the government is consulting on bringing in fees for lodging a claim with an employment tribunal, they have not been introduced yet. “However, there are strict deadlines for bringing tribunal claims. Usually, in the case of discrimination, the deadline is three months less one day of the discriminatory act that you are complaining of or the last act in a series of discriminatory acts. “Please make sure you talk to your local rep as soon as possible.” National officer for health and safety Robert Baughan says: “No one should have to put up with bullying but unfortunately a recent UNISON survey revealed that one in three employees are being bullied at work across the UK, with many more witnessing it. “Bullying is persistent intimidating and humiliating behaviour. It can be face-to face, in writing, by telephone, text messaging or email. It can lead to stress, depression and other serious health problems. It sounds like you’re being bullied and you don’t have to put up with it. Try talking to your local rep – if your branch has a safety rep they will be trained to support members who are being bullied at work. “More information can be found at the UNISON Bullying campaign webpage at unison.org.uk/safety.”


The background Employment tribunals need to remain free of charge Try talking to your local rep – if your branch has a safety rep they will be trained to support members who are being bullied at work” Going to an employment tribunal is never fun – but sometimes it’s the only way to protect your rights at work. The government is talking about introducing up-front fees of hundreds of pounds to submit claims, with limited reductions for the poorest people. There would possibly be extra fees for an actual tribunal hearing and for an application to the employment appeal tribunal. UNISON told the government this would be wrong because: • the fees are very expensive – under one option, it would be cheaper for someone to start a claim in the Supreme Court than to bring a claim in the employment tribunal; • it would be a waste of taxpayers’ money – collecting

the fees would cost 59p in every £1 charged; • there are no exemptions for small claims: an employee seeking payment of less than £250 would effectively have to write off the debt; • there are already plans to make big changes to the tribunal system – adding these complicated proposals to the mix without linking them to other changes could cause chaos. Most importantly, if someone is being treated unfairly at work – whether they’re being bullied, made to work somewhere unsafe or even denied their pay – then they need access to justice and not just if they can afford it. Justice shouldn’t only be available for those who can pay for it. That’s just not fair. ■ 59


Summer 2012

Heroes and villains

Who’s hot and who’s not?

2

1 Amy Marren is general secretary Dave Prentis’s UNISON hero this issue. Amy, whose swimming club is sponsored by UNISON, makes 60

her Paralympic debut this year at age 14. “She started swimming at four,” says Dave, “and now she’s in the Paralympics. Her hard work and talent are an inspiration and everyone here at UNISON is so proud of her.”

3 2 Ryan Jay, UNISON activist and librarian, started a youth club – Club 4 Teenz – at Gainsborough Library in 2007 when he was just 14. Now 18, he carried the Olympic Torch on 7 July through Bury St Edmonds. His Suffolk colleagues say:

Martin Jenkinson

Catherine Benson / Reuters

4 Heroes

Archant Suffolk

1


“Ryan carries out all his youth work on a voluntary basis alongside a library apprenticeship and his UNISON work. “We’re extremely proud of him and are really pleased to see him recognised in this way.” 3 Swansea-born Natasha Perdue, UNISON member and refuse collector will be weightlifting in the Olympics. Neil Rhodes, her Leeds branch secretary, says that: “Natasha came to train in Leeds and it’s been great having her here. “We’re really proud of her and we hope she does well!” Natasha will be repeating Olympic family history – her father competed in Mexico in 1968 and Munich in 1972.

Villain 4 Venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft wrote a report for David Cameron saying it should be easier to sack people without reason. He admits to doing no research for his report – but basing it on “conversations”.

To nominate your hero or villain write to: U magazine, UNISON centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY or email u.magazine@unison.co.uk

twitterview UNISON’s assistant general secretary for organising and recruitment Roger McKenzie @unisontweets: Roger, we keep hearing about union organising – but what does it mean?

 @unisonroger: It’s a way of working people coming together to stand up for each in a systematic way. #unisonorganising

 @unisontweets: Well that sounds brilliant – but how do you do it?

 @unisonroger: The main thing is to talk with your colleagues about what’s happening and what can be done to express collective power. #unisonorganising @unisontweets: What’s this hashtag you keep using? @unisonroger: #unisonorganising is what we do in UNISON. We organise in the public, private and voluntary sector.

 @unisontweets: What about if someone wanted to get involved in #unisonorganising? @unisonroger: Get involved in your branch and volunteer to do something to help your workmates stand up for each other. @unisontweets: What sort of things can members volunteer for?

 @unisonroger: There are lots of roles, including being a steward. Whatever you choose, you get training and support from the union. #unisonorganising

 @unisontweets: What sort of person becomes a steward or is active in the union?

 @unisonroger: Our activists come from all walks of life and backgrounds. We are stronger because of this. 61


Summer 2012

Statement of Financial Affairs 2011 Information for UNISON members

To members of UNISON as required by the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993. 1 Unison Income and Expenditure Statement for the year ended 31 December 2011 £000s Members’ subscriptions 173,403 Donations by Branch members 773 Members’ local levy 196 Non-membership income 12,726 Total income 187,098 Allocations to Political Funds (6,418) Operating income 180,680 Total expenditure (167,014) Net income 13,666 Net interest (307) Taxation (9) Net income for the year 13,350 Investment property revaluation 17,792 Actuarial losses on pension scheme (44,977) Deficit for the year (13,835) Reserves at 1 January 2011 120,026 Total reserves as at 31 December 2011 106,191 GENERAL POLITICAL FUND Income – members’ voluntary contributions 3,137 Total expenditure (3,456) Deficit before interest (319) Net interest 30 Deficit for the year (289) Reserves at 1 January 2011 4,469 Total reserves as at 31 December 2011 4,180

62

AFFILIATED POLITICAL FUND Income – members’ voluntary contributions 3,281 Total expenditure (2,374) Surplus before interest 907 Net interest 4 Surplus for the year 911 Reserves at 1 January 2011 686 Total reserves as at 31 December 2011 1,597 Note The Income and Expenditure Statement shown above is the sum of the General Fund and Industrial Action Fund at National, Region and Branch level plus our share of other UNISON activities, College of Operating Department Practitioners Ltd and Managers in Partnership. In addition the impact of the staff pension schemes has been included in full in accordance with FRS 17. The breakdown of overall surplus is as given below. General Fund National 22,984 Branches 1,244 Regional lay committees 268 24,496 Industrial Action Fund National 1,084 Branches 558 1,642 Group Companies and Pension scheme 5,004 Overall surplus for UNISON (before actuarial loss on pension scheme of £44,977,000) 31,142

2 Remuneration paid to President, General Secretary and Members of the Executive Statement of salaries and other taxable benefits provided to the president, the general secretary and members of the executive £ President – No salary or other taxable benefits nil General Secretary Basic salary 85,510 Salary sacrifice 9,275 London weighting 4,744 Taxable expenses 2,400 Car benefit 6,587 Total salary and benefits 108,516 Employer’s national insurance costs 10,417 Total salary and on costs for the year ended 31.12. 2011 118,933 UNISON operates a defined benefit pension scheme open to all staff, the General Secretary is a member of this scheme. Members of the scheme receive defined benefits under the Trust Deed and Rules. Members of the Executive – No salary or other taxable benefits nil 3 Statement to the Members “A member who is concerned that some irregularity may be occurring, or has occurred, in the conduct of the financial affairs of the Union may take steps with a view to investigating further, obtaining clarification and if necessary, securing regularisation of that conduct. The member may raise any such concern with such one or more of the following as it seems appropriate to raise it with: the officials of the Union, the trustees of the property of the union, the auditor or auditors of the union, the Certification


Officer (who is an independent officer appointed by the Secretary of State) and the police. Where a member believes that the financial affairs of the union have been or are being conducted in breach of the law or in breach of the rules of the union and contemplates bringing civil proceedings against the union or responsible officials or trustees, he should consider obtaining independent legal advice.” Before taking any steps as set out in the above paragraphs as laid down by the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993, it would be advisable for the member to communicate initially with the Branch Secretary, then the Regional Secretary and finally the Financial Officer or the General Secretary. After taking such steps, if the member is not satisfied then the member should resort to the remedies as set out in the first three paragraphs above. A full set of the financial statements is available for inspection from your branch secretary / regional secretary. INDEPENDENT AUDITOR REPORT TO THE MEMBERS OF UNISON We have audited the Financial Statements of UNISON for the year ended 31 December 2011 which comprise the Consolidated Revenue Account, the Consolidated Balance Sheet, the Consolidated Cash Flow Statement and the related notes, for the union and the group, plus the Affiliated Political Fund and the General Political Fund on pages 26 to 29. These Financial Statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention and the accounting policies set out therein. This report is made solely to UNISON’s members as a body. Our work has been undertaken so that we might state to

UNISON’s members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditors’ report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than UNISON and UNISON’s members as a body, for our audit work, or for the opinion we have formed. Respective Responsibilities of Officers and Auditor As explained more fully in the Statement of Officers’ Responsibility, the union’s officers are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view. We have been appointed as auditor under section 33 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992 and report in accordance with Section 36 of that Act. Our responsibility is to audit and express an opinion on the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland). Those standards require us to comply with the Auditing Practices Board’s Ethical Standards for Auditors. Scope of the audit of the financial statements An audit involves obtaining evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements sufficient to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or error. This includes an assessment of: whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the union’s circumstances and have been consistently applied and adequately disclosed; the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by the officers; and the overall presentation of the financial statements. We read all the financial and nonfinancial information in the Foreword and

the Report on the Financial Statements to identify material inconsistencies with the audited financial statements. If we become aware of any apparent material misstatements or inconsistencies we consider the implications for our report. Opinion on the Financial statements In our opinion the financial statements: give a true and fair view of the state of UNISON’s affairs as at 31 December 2011 and of its transactions for the year then ended; • have been properly prepared in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice; and • have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992. Matters on which we are required to report by exception We have nothing to report in respect of the following matters where the Trade Unions and Labour Relations Act 1992 requires us to report to you if, in our opinion: • proper accounting records have not been kept; • a satisfactory system of control over its accounting records, cash holdings and receipts and remittances has not been maintained; or • the financial statements are not in agreement with the accounting records or returns. Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP Statutory Auditor St Bride’s House 10 Salisbury Square London, EC4Y 8EH

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Summer 2012

Elec tion results UNISON’s service group elections

LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICE GROUP ELECTIONS 2012 Our report of voting for the above elections which closed at 5pm on 18th May 2012 is as follows: LOCAL GOVERNMENT – EASTERN Number of eligible voters: 44009 Number of votes cast: 4602 Turnout: 10.5% Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 33 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 1 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 4568 Reserved Seat Result (1 to elect) BROWN, Melissa 4018 ELECTED SMITH, Polly 550 LOCAL GOVERNMENT – EAST MIDLANDS Number of eligible voters: 53867 Number of votes cast: 4898 Turnout: 9.1% General Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 359 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 4 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 4535 Result (1 to elect) WARD, Gary 2447 ELECTED BUCKWELL, Richard 2088 Female Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 312 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 10 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 4576 Result (1 to elect) LLOYD, Jeanette 2489 ELECTED LEWIS, Jacqueline 2087 LOCAL GOVERNMENT – GREATER LONDON Number of eligible voters: 68418 Number of votes cast: 5807 Turnout: 8.5% General Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 343 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 7 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 5457 Result (1 to elect) McLOUGHLIN, John P 3083 ELECTED POCOCK, Laurence R 2374 Female Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 291 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 6 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 5510 Result (1 to elect) SUTTON, Doris 2928 ELECTED THOMPSON, Marsha 2582 Reserved Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 390 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 11 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 5406 Result (1 to elect) STACEY, Irene 2749 ELECTED STEEL, Helen 2657 LOCAL GOVERNMENT – NORTH WEST Number of eligible voters: 101843 Number of votes cast: 8341 Turnout: 8.2% General Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 521 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 8 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 7812 Result (1 to elect) WILLIAMS, Glen 4107 ELECTED NORTH, Steven 3705 Female Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 442 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 9 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 7890 Result (1 to elect) HALL, Brenda 4500 ELECTED EGAN, Andrea 3390

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT – NORTHERN IRELAND Number of eligible voters: 6704 Number of votes cast: 517 Turnout: 7.7% Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 1 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 1 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 515 General Seat Result (1 to elect) CARTON, Gabrielle 405 ELECTED FLYNN, Maggie 110 LOCAL GOVERNMENT – SOUTH WEST Number of eligible voters: 45672 Number of votes cast: 5075 Turnout: 11.1% Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 17 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 9 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 5049 General Seat Result (1 to elect) BEHAN, Nigel 2373 ELECTED RYLES, Stephen 1393 CORMACK, Simon 1283 LOCAL GOVERNMENT – WALES Number of eligible voters: 54104 Number of votes cast: 5057 Turnout: 9.3% Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 18 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 3 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 5036 General Seat Result (1 to elect) EVANS, Mark 3144 ELECTED MORGAN, David 1892 LOCAL GOVERNMENT – WEST MIDLANDS Number of eligible voters: 62996 Number of votes cast: 5351 Turnout: 8.5% Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 23 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 1 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 5327 General Seat Result (1 to elect) HUGHES, David 3633 ELECTED PRICE, James A 1694 LOCAL GOVERNMENT – YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE Number of eligible voters: 76249 Number of votes cast: 6848 Turnout: 9.0% General Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 561 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 8 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 6279 Result (1 to elect) PICKERSGILL, Glen 3488 ELECTED BOARD, James 2791 Female Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 845 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 9 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 5994 Result (1 to elect) WALLER, Angela 4541 ELECTED CROWTHER, Linda 1453 HEALTH SERVICE GROUP ELECTIONS 2012 Our report of voting for the above elections which closed at 5pm on 18th May 2012 is as follows: HEALTH – GREATER LONDON Number of eligible voters: Number of votes cast: Turnout: General Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): Number of votes found to be spoilt:

42815 4351 10.2% 487 16

Total number of valid votes to be counted: 3848 Result (1 to elect) DAVEY, Mike 2311 ELECTED HOCKEY, Len 1537 Female Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 326 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 19 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 4006 Result (1 to elect) MAIDEN, Janet 2299 ELECTED DANSO, Eddyna 1707 HEALTH – NORTH WEST Number of eligible voters: 60914 Number of votes cast: 6121 Turnout: 10% Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 10 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 9 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 6102 Female Seat Result (1 to elect) TURNER, Debra 3721 ELECTED REISSMANN, Karen J 2381 HEALTH – SOUTH WEST Number of eligible voters: 28474 Number of votes cast: 3657 Turnout: 12.8% Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 11 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 3 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 3643 General Seat Result (1 to elect) WAREHAM, Mark 1245 ELECTED* DAVEY, Roger 1235 CLAWSON, Jim 1163 *Result confirmed by recount HEALTH – YORKSHIRE & HUMBER Number of eligible voters: 46876 Number of votes cast: 5062 Turnout: 10.8% Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 25 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 5 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 5032 General Seat Result (1 to elect) O’MALLEY, Adrian 3780 ELECTED TURE, Amandeep 1252 HEALTH – EAST MIDLANDS Number of eligible voters: 29167 Number of votes cast: 2871 Turnout: 9.8% Number of votes found to be invalid: 7 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 2864 General Seat Result (1 to elect) WELSH, Archie 1442 ELECTED* BENN, Martin 1422 *Result confirmed by recount HEALTH – SOUTH EAST Number of eligible voters: 32118 Number of votes cast: 3347 Turnout: 10.4% Female Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 109 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 11 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 3227 Result (1 to elect) PROUT, Anne 1708 ELECTED PARKINSON, Susan 1519 Reserved Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 211 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 6 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 3130 Result (1 to elect) BUTCHER, Jean 1681 ELECTED RENNIE, Sharon 1449


HIGHER EDUCATION SERVICE GROUP ELECTIONS 2012 Our report of voting for the above elections which closed at 5pm on 18th May 2012 is as follows: HIGHER EDUCATION – GREATER LONDON Number of eligible voters: 4743 Number of votes cast: 708 Turnout: 14.9% General Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 36 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 2 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 670 Result (1 to elect) NICOLL, Alexander J 371 ELECTED JONES, Gwyn Richard 299 Female Seat Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 51 Number of votes found to be spoilt: 2 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 655 Result (1 to elect) COOPER, Molly L C 375 ELECTED BAPTISTE, Elizabeth 280 HIGHER EDUCATION – EAST MIDLANDS Number of eligible voters: 2149 Number of votes cast: 326 Turnout: 15.2% Number of votes found to be invalid: 3 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 323 General Seat Result (1 to elect) PEARSON, Rob 185 ELECTED RIPPON, Chris 138 HIGHER EDUCATION – EASTERN Number of eligible voters: 1416 Number of votes cast: 250 Turnout: 17.7% Number of votes found to be invalid: 2 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 248 General Seat Result (1 to elect) MEREDITH, Margaret 98 ELECTED SMITH, Mark 78 JOHNSON, Richard 72 HIGHER EDUCATION – SOUTH EAST Number of eligible voters: Number of votes cast: Turnout: Number of votes found to be invalid: Total number of valid votes to be counted: General Seat Result (1 to elect) APPLETON, Jon 251 BONSELL, Ivan 246 *Result confirmed by recount

3195 498 15.6% 1 497 ELECTED*

HIGHER EDUCATION – WEST MIDLANDS Number of eligible voters: 2226 Number of votes cast: 327 Turnout: 14.6% Number of votes found to be invalid: 1 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 326 General Seat Result (1 to elect) RAINE, Matthew 177 ELECTED DUGDALE, Daniel 149 ENERGY SERVICE GROUP ELECTION 2012 Our report of voting for the above elections which closed at 5pm on 18th May 2012 is as follows: ENERGY – EAST MIDLANDS Number of eligible voters: Number of votes cast: Turnout: General Seat

3356 257 7.7%

Number of votes found to be invalid: 23 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 234 Result (1 to elect) OSWIN, Nathan 142 ELECTED WOODS, Craig 92 Female Seat Number of votes found to be invalid: 34 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 223 Result (1 to elect) BYRON, Gillian 132 ELECTED SISODIA, Nimisha 91 ENERGY – NORTH WEST Number of eligible voters: 3636 Number of valid votes cast: 237 Turnout: 6.5% General Seat Result (1 to elect) MELIA, Michael 105 ELECTED DRING, Julie 73 BARKER, Greg 59 ENERGY – YORKSHIRE AND HUMBERSIDE Number of eligible voters: 1569 Number of valid votes cast: 87 Turnout: 5.5% General Seat Result (1 to elect) MIDDLETON, Jennifer 56 ELECTED HOLMES, Martin 31 POLICE & JUSTICE SERVICE GROUP ELECTIONS 2012 Our report of voting for the above elections which closed at 5pm on 18th May 2012 is as follows: POLICE & JUSTICE – EASTERN Number of eligible voters: 4126 Number of votes cast: 480 Turnout: 11.6% Number of votes found to be invalid: 2 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 478 Female Seat Result (1 to elect) GRANT, Tracy 274 ELECTED JONES, Franstine 204 POLICE & JUSTICE – PROBATION Number of eligible voters: 9787 Number of votes cast: 1008 Turnout: 10.3% Number of votes found to be invalid: 4 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 1004 General Seat Result (2 to elect) RICHARDSON, Neil 629 ELECTED LAY, Matthew 611 ELECTED BUTTERWORTH, Vance 352 POLICE & JUSTICE – YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE Number of eligible voters: 4174 Number of votes cast: 632 Turnout: 15.1% General Seat Number of votes found to be invalid: 27 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 605 Result (1 to elect) BULL, Garry 325 ELECTED VENTRESS, Ian 280 Female Seat Number of votes found to be invalid: 83 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 549 Result (1 to elect) STEINBERGEN, Michelle 333 ELECTED GARSIDE, Heidi 216

COMMUNITY – GREATER LONDON Number of eligible voters: Number of votes cast: Turnout: Number of votes found to be invalid: Total number of valid votes to be counted: General Seat Result (1 to elect) POWELL, Mary 469 BODMER, Joel 327

9403 798 8.5% 2 796 ELECTED

COMMUNITY – NORTH WEST Number of eligible voters: 6135 Number of votes cast: 552 Turnout: 9.0% Number of votes found to be invalid: 3 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 549 General Seat Result (1 to elect) RICHMOND, Mike 349 ELECTED AITMAN, Anthony 200 COMMUNITY – NORTHERN Number of eligible voters: 3066 Number of votes cast: 285 Turnout: 9.3% Number of votes found to be invalid: 3 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 282 General Seat Result (1 to elect) GRAY, Malcolm 172 ELECTED HOLLAND, Roger 110 COMMUNITY – YORKSHIRE & HUMBER Number of eligible voters: 3855 Number of votes cast: 339 Turnout 8.8% Number of votes found to be invalid (blank): 3 Total number of valid votes to be counted: 336 Female Seat Result (1 to elect) BOOTH, Jayne 172 ELECTED* FIRTH, Pauline 164 *Result confirmed by recount As Scrutineers appointed in accordance with Section 49 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (as amended), we are satisfied as to each of the matters specified in subsection 52(2) with regard to the election. The following points should be noted: a) The person appointed under section 51A to carry out the storage and counting of voting papers was Electoral Reform Services Limited. b) The person appointed under section 51A to carry out the distribution of voting papers was Electoral Reform Services Limited. c) A copy of the register of voters (as at the relevant date) was examined in accordance with section 49(3). The examination took place at our own instance and did not reveal any matter that should be brought to the attention of the trade union. We would draw your attention to sections 52(4), 52(5), and 52(6). Section 52(4) requires that a copy of this report be published and made available to all members of the union within a three month period from today. This does not, however, mean that every member has to be notified individually. Yours sincerely Alexander K Lonie Manager of Trade Union Sector

COMMUNITY SERVICE GROUP ELECTIONS 2012 Our report of voting for the above elections which closed at 5pm on 18th May 2012 is as follows:

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Summer 2012

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U Magazine  

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