Wednesday 30 November 2016

Don't Panic!

Dear member

Islington Council in their infinite wisdom are imposing the Random testing part of their Drugs and Alcohol Policy as of tomorrow, December 1st.

However, there will be no random testing until 1st March 2017.

Islington have yet to contract out the testing to a company, though we suspect it will be Randox.

The Council are still unclear as to which posts are safety critical. This means discussions will continue with Health and Safety.

Unfortunately the lead person from HR involved in discussions so far is no longer with us.

So watch this space!!!

If you have any concerns or queries please do not hesitate to contact:

Jane Doolan

Mike Calvert

Diana James

A Branch newsletter will be going out over the next few weeks with a fuller report.
We will also be exploring a ballot of our members.

We are still in dispute with the Council and the next phase is a meeting with the Chief Executive.

Best regards

Jane Doolan
Branch Secretary

Mike Calvert
Deputy Branch Secretary

Diana James 
Assistant Branch Secretary

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Islington Unison

Friday 7 October 2016

Our very own Alan Wylie

Monday 25 July 2016

UNISON Members backing the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn

UNISON Members backing the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn

The National Labour Link Committee after consulting members will make the decision on whether or not it will support Jeremy Corbyn again please comment with name position and branch if you wish to sign the statement and make sure you respond to the consultation when it starts.
We the undersigned UNISON members support Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. We are disappointed he is facing a new leadership election after winning 59.5% vote less than a year ago. We call on UNISON to once again nominate Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn has successfully repositioned the party as an anti-austerity party and as opposition has lead a battle in parliament defeating the government plans on 22 occasions. Jeremy supports UNISON policies and we support Jeremy.

Andrew Berry, National Labour Link Committee, Islington UNISON Labour Link Officer, Islington North CLP
Gray Allan, National Labour Link Committee, Falkirk UNISON Branch Secretary
Mark Fisher. UNISON NEC and National Labour Link Committee
Paula Barker, UNISON North West Regional Convenor.
Tony Wilson, UNISON NEC member North West Region
Sonya Howard, UNISON NEC member, Branch Secretary K&C and Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP
Maggie Cook, UNISON NEC Member , Branch Chair Falkirk Council UNISON , Member of Scottish Labour Link Committee & Trade Union Liaison Officer Linlithgow CLP
Paul Gilroy UNISON  NEC member, Newcastle City Branch Secretary
Jonathan Dunning, UNISON NEC
Sarah Littlewood UNISON NEC member Y&H region
Stephen Wood, LGBT Officer, Wakefield District Unison
Steven Ellis, Branch Secretary, Birkbeck UNISON
John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON, Enfield Labour Party member
George Binette, Camden UNISON Branch Secretary & UNISON Branch Delegate to Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP.
Sarah Feeney, Branch Secretary, Coventry City UNISON
Marsha Jane Thompson, Branch Secretary Havering UNISON
Sean Fox, Joint Branch Secretary Haringey UNISON, & Mitcham and Morden CLP
Diane Jones, Branch Secretary and Education Officer, Aberystwyth University UNISON Branch.
Mark Wareham, Branch Secretary, Salisbury Health Branch
Nick Middleton Branch Secretary Plymouth in UNISON
Adrian Turner Wolverhampton General Branch Secretary
Laney Walsh, Branch Secretary Redditch and Bromsgrove.
Jonathan Lee Branch Secretary & Labour Link officer Hastings & Eastbourne Healthcare branch
Ben Jackson Branch Secretary Manchester Community and Mental Health UNISON Branch
Jane Gebbie ,Neath Port Talbot County Branch
Ass. Branch Sec
Alan James, Shropshire General, Branch Secretary
Gareth Roach, Assistant Branch Secretary, Cardiff &Vale Unison Health Branch
Paul Couchman Deputy Branch Secretary, Surrey County Branch.
Terry McPartlan, Chair Gateshead UNISON LG
Dan Nichols, Labour Link Officer, UNISON LFEPA
Andrea Egan Labour Link Bolton
Berny Parkes, Chair, Dorset County Branch LG
Vicki Morris, University of Nottingham UNISON branch chair
Angela Feeney, UNISON Political Officer Lanarkshire Health Branch
Esther Townsend, Bexley Unison Labour Link Officer
Rupert Holman, Unison Labour Link, University of Nottingham
Cathy Roblin, Labour link officer Southampton district branch and labour link SE regional committee.
Anjona Roy, Northants County Branch Labourlink officer
Andy Dowland, Labour link officer Chelsea and Westminster hospital branch
Philip Lewis, Camden Unison labour link officer, Camden UNISON Vice Chair & Branch Health & Safety officer & Conv. Supporting peoples UNISON Regional Health & Safety Comm. Vice chair unison NHSC
Alex Anthony Havering Branch - APF Officer. Member of Hornchurch & Upminster CLP. And Labour Link Delegate for the National Young Members Forum.
Khaled Kiswani, West London Mental Health branch, Young member officer, Greater London Region young members Forum: publicity executive officer
Ed Whitby Labour link officer, Newcastle City Unison
Kevin Ward Middlesex University UNISON Labour Link officer
Lisa Dempster, senior steward and international relations officer, Knowsley branch.
Robert Quinn, Senior Steward Adult Social Care and Membership Officer Knowsley Unison Branch
Joanna Burns - Kent & Medway Unison Welfare officer - Labour member - Maidstone CLP
James Robinson Branch Treasurer Knowsley
Steve Abbott treasurer North East Lincolnshire
Patrick Hunter, Barnet Unison Housing Convenor, TULO Hendon CLP, Chair Barnet Labour Local Campaign Forum
Ian Royal TT2 Convener Newcastle City Branch.
James Walkling, Young Members officer Salford Health & Co Chair North West Young Unison
Ann Bywater, UNISON Communications Officer, Leicestershire County Council branch
Jane Carter Welfare Officer, Bristol Branch
Ian Malcolm-Walker National Disabled Members Committee 2010-2013
Angela Read, Unison Steward, Call Derbyshire, Derbyshire County Council
Marie Macrae, Unison Fife, Retired Members. And Scotland Retired Members Committee.
Hugh Jordan, Barnet UNISON Health & Safety Officer/Libraries Convenor and Chipping Barnet CLP member
Nick Read Unison Steward Corporate Resources Derbyshire County Council
Tim Parkin, Shop steward, Lewisham local government branch
Joy Taylor, Unison Steward, Hampshire County Council.
Tara Topteagarden, Unison Steward, Refugee Council, Community and Voluntary Sector Branch
Rose.Bulfin, UNISON Life Member formally Salisbury Health Branch now retired to Bolsover area
Val Graham, Labour Link delegate to Chesterfield CLP
Paul Swift, Notts UNISON Labour Link delegate to Broxtowe CLP
Jacqui Brown, Housing Associations Branch
Dave Farrar retired LBTH loc gov
Michaela Griffin Newcastle branch
Diane Atherton-Blenkiron, Unison Steward, Keele University
Kerry Clarke, Wolverhampton General Branch
Louise Paine, Labour Party member. Cornwall member
Gill fletcher Liverpool City council.
Caroline Powls member of Brent Council unison
Ingrid Green Nottingham City
Katie Roberts, Nottingham Unison (labour link) member
Jane Connor, Greenwich Local Government Branch
Rachel Salmon, Hackney Council
Glenn Sutherland, Lambeth
Matthew Stiles, Greenwich Local Govt and Vol Sector
Karen Michael, Norfolk County Branch
Elizabeth Pettit, Labour Member, Cambridge Unison member
Claire Weiss, Waltham Forest retired members' section
Michael Cole. Middlesex University, UNISON. Enfield Southgate CLP member.
Luke Turnbull, Huddersfield and calderdale health branch
Claire Miller, Member of Manchester community and mental health branch
Jo Turner Student Support Adviser BSC
Trish Thomas

UNISON Consultation on Labour Leadership nomination

UNISON Consultation on Labour Leadership nomination:

Islington UNISON members who pay into the Affiliated Political Fund (Labour Link) will soon be consulted on who UNISON should nominate; I understand this process will be carried out by email.

It is disappointing that after last year’s leadership election where Jeremy Corbyn won and overwhelming mandate to lead the Labour Party, we are once again having a leadership election less than 12 months since the last. A letter from a number of trade unions General Secretaries including UNISONs Dave Prentis, described it as “an unwelcome distraction”, The Islington branch also made it clear in a statement during the attempted coup that “We stand by our union’s decision to support Corbyn for leader”

Dave Prentis said the following, as the attempted coup was unfolding “Last summer, our union nominated Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader, and a great number of our members voted for him in the Labour leadership contest. Support for Jeremy remains the position of this union, as determined by our members through our democratic structures.”

At the Labour Link Forum two weeks ago a gathering 200 elected delegates from around the country passed the following:

This “Forum continues to support Jeremy Corbyn with his anti-austerity platform and his belief in a new kind of politics that is progressive and fair in its outlook.”

Please respond to the consultation when you get it and consider the previous union statements above when you do so.

How to get a vote in Labour Leadership Election

If you got a vote in last year’s labour leadership election you should get a vote this time, but if anything has changed eg your email or home address then please register as a supporter once again.

If you didn't get a vote last time as long as you joined prior to January 12th 2016 then you need to register here.

You have to be a member of UNISON affiliated political fund to get a vote but if in doubt fill in form rather than lose your vote.

Deadline to register as an affiliated supporter in August 8th


Andrew Berry, Labour Link Officer




Tuesday 19 July 2016

Voting in the Labour Leadership Election 2016

Voting in the Labour Leadership Election August-September 2016

If you got a vote in last years labour leadership election you should get a vote this time, but if anything has changed eg your email address then please register as a supporter once again.

If you didn't get a vote last time, as long as you're a UNISON member who joined prior to January 12th and pay into the Affiliated Political Fund or APF/Labour Link, you can get a vote but you must register here

To check if you pay into the UNISON Affiliated Political Fund you can do so online here:

You will need your membership number in order to go to UNISON details.

Alternatively you can ring UNISON direct on 0800 0857 857.

If you don't pay into UNISON's Affiliated Political Fund/Labour Link you won't get a vote and as the rules stand, changing political funds (from the General Political Fund or GPF to the APF/Labour Link) at this point will not get you a vote either.

However if you are in doubt then please fill in affiliated supporters form anyway. 

The deadline to register as an affiliated supporter in August 8th 2016

If you are not eligible for any of the above and are not a Labour Party member who has been a member since before January 12th, the only option to get a vote is to pay £25.

The rate has clearly been set to a price to discourage people from voting and I am far from happy about the cost and will be raising it with the UNISON NEC, however its unlikely that it will changed.

The deadline to register as a registered supporter is 5pm Wednesday 20th July.

Comradely Regards

Andrew Berry
Labour Link Officer

Diana James reports on 2016 National Conference

Diana James, one of our two delegates to the National Delegate Conference this year in Brighton, has written the following excellent snapshot summaries of the events at NDC each day.

We publish them for your information

 22 June 2016

A moving speech today by the Southwark privatised care worker called by social worker to come and support an elderly client with dementia who had been burgled at 4 in morning because she had no family and the social worker was going on leave. Social Services didn't know what to do. She was asked to support the client through the police interview and stay overnight. Of course she did and went beyond the call of duty and contract because she cares on all levels - it isn't 'just a job' and although her pay rate is appalling she has honour and dedication like all the other care workers that Dave and George need to recognise and ensure have proper employment rights and Living Wage - bring them back into Local Authority -Now!

Jo Cox stood for tolerance justice not just here but in the rest of world .

Jeremy Corbyn

Diana James

22 June at 10:33 ·

Great speech from Jeremy Corbyn this morning - inspirational solidarity -let's all work together for a fairer society.

Diana James

23 June at 10:12 ·

UNISON National Delegates Conference - Rosa Pavanelli - General Secretary , PSI

David Cameron - trying to cut off the oxygen to the unions and destroying the social fabric if this country.
Everywhere - globally democracy is under attack. Whatever is decided by Britain today on EU -all governments contribute to the will of the EU. It isn't faceless bureacrats.

Since crash 2008 workers rights, public services reduced- a global attack - it isn't only a matter of wealth - it is about power and control.

TTIP and other trade agreements are not about trade, business and opportunity - about creating rules to set up corporates to defy government rules. Companies can take regulation that effect their ability to make profits - the profit of few multi-national we have to pay, we lose our public services and privatisation is progressed. Public opinion is beginning internationally - South America- to understand whay is happening with these trade agreements.

PSI ; UNISON support workers in West Africa living through Ebola to gain workers' rights and unionisation - 5 months and 700 health workers died. Working towards equality -worked with workers sacked in Ebola emergency who exposed the terrible working conditions. Need for public investment in those countries and working with young workers in South Africa - PSI and UNISON - stop race to the bottom - suffering for the profits of multi-national corporations- trillions of American dollars in global tax havens - tax evasion is a crime and seen as a crime - we need to stop poverty and inequality - itvis unacceptable. We are prevented by the greedy few to have full human rights.

Without the right to strike we have no ability to counter attack and challenge our enemies. We must stand together and expose all the inequality and injustice- join together in solidarity and make the change globally.

Diana James

24 June at 12:00 ·

UNISON National Delegates Conference currently debating fuel poverty - last 5 yrs 20 000 deaths and in last winter increase77%.why are the poorest in our society charged more because the have to use fuel keys and can't afford to set up direct debits - we are the 5th/6th richest country in the world. As a society we should be disgusted with ourselves. The privatised Utilities owned by a minority making profits out of all of us and out if the poorest. A basic human right . What's not to like! How can anyone deny another individual this entitlement let alone make profit out of other's poverty.

Diana James

24 June at 12:25 ·

UNISON National Delegates Conference -Motion 5 -Debate on Bullying & Harassment -Young People - Young members shared their personal experiences this morning as recipients of bullying & harassment - at primary school, at secondary school, at college and the other day a young Black worker shared how at 16 -12 years ago at just turning 16 in error she got on the bus with her under 16 year old bus pass just like all the previous days- she just hadn't realised - she was arrested by the police -handcuffed and put in a police van where she was verbally abused because is Black. She received a letter of apology from the police - the damage was done and never to be undone. It wS clear that she stills suffer from the trauma. The other young members speaking today to Motion 5 were targeted because they were perceived to be 'different' - suffering verbal, physical, psychological abuse - heartbreaking. The impact on their self-esteem, confidence and achievement etc - huge. Feeling that they had nowhere to turn to and no support from the schools, colleges, the employer. UNISON Self-Organised Groups -Black, Young Members, LGBT , Disabled, have empowered them to gain confidence and self-esteem and I hope they all carry on growing stronger.

Diana James

24 June at 14:32 ·

UNISON National Delegates Conference - Motion 74 - Women and the State Pension - women born early fifties are excluded-because of Tory Pension reform- to full single tier state pension - Men born of same age are eligible - massive gender gap in pension provision - How can this be legal ? Can't the Human Rights and Equalities Acts still exist! A nurse in her 60s is speaking and she finds that she has had her state pension deferred another 2.5 years and may have to work longer for her NHS pension. Lola Black worker - talks of the 32% gender gap -pensions - she's a rousing speaker and says the Tories have struck the word of Equalities out of the dictionary and they need to get 'Equality' back into 'Quality'.

Diana James

24 June at 14:35 ·

The Tory government accelerated the 'reform' of State Pensions further disadvantaging women and deepening state pension gender inequality

Thursday 14 July 2016

Jane Doolan writes to the Islington Tribune on The Bridge School

Dear Editor
Islington UNISON is very disappointed that a meeting of school governors took the decision to apply for Academy status. UNISON and NUT members lobbied the governors. The unions have met with the Head Teacher and a school governor to raise our concerns and we will continue to highlight those concerns throughout the summer.
Apart from our opposition to academies we have genuine concerns around the terms and conditions of our members. In particular the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
In a letter to staff following the governors decision. They wrote "You are correct to refer to the LGPS deficit that will be transferred to the Multi Academy Trust (MAT). This has arisen from the way the scheme has been run. Your rights to future  benefits are protected by government guarantee, however it is a financial burden that in the opinion of the governors is improperly born by the MAT. It should be borne by Central Government and we have written to the Minister asking it to do so and would ask the unions to bring pressure to bear to the same effect".
This is of grave concern to UNISON members and w are currently seeking legal advice.
Yours Sincerely
Jane Doolan
UNISON Branch Secretary

(Jane Doolan, Branch Secretary of Islington UNISON, second from left next to Jeremy Corbyn)

Statement on 132nd Durham Miners' Gala

Contrary to recent press reports, Labour MPs who refused to support Jeremy Corbyn in the recent vote of confidence have not been "banned" or "barred" from attending this year's Gala. The Gala is a public event which anyone can attend.
However, the invitations to attend the official Durham Miners’ Association events and functions, stand on the balcony of the County Hotel and grace the platform on the Racecourse have been rescinded. 
Jeremy Corbyn is a guest of the Durham Miners’ Association at this year’s Gala and we will not allow those who have sought to humiliate him and undermine the democratic process in the Labour Party the honour of taking part in the aforementioned Gala traditions.
Dave Hopper, General Secretary, Durham Miners' Association
Monday 4th July 2016

Teachers ignored as governors vote to turn special school into an academy reports Islington Tribune

Teachers ignored as governors vote to turn special school into an academy

Published: 8 July, 2016

TEACHERS were left feeling ignored last night (Thursday) as governors voted in favour of converting an “outstanding” ­special needs school into an academy against their wishes.
The governing body at The Bridge London, which has two sites in Holloway, voted to break away from council control after a heated meeting and overwhelming opposition from its teaching staff.
Paul Atkin, from Islington National Union of Teachers (NUT), said it was a “sad day” for Islington schools.

A source told the Tribune he had had reports of 15 members of staff handing in their notice in the wake of the vote, although this had not been confirmed last night.
In a secret ballot in May, 119 teachers and teaching assistants voted against the plan, with just one in favour. But the final say was held by governors who held a vote on Wednesday.
As a borough, Islington has largely managed to avoid the sweeping national trend for ­converting from traditional council control to academy status.

The Bridge has tried once before to make the change, but at that time governors voted against the plan after a campaign by teachers and ­parents.
The Tribune understands Wednesday’s vote was split, with at least two of the 14-strong governing body voting against.

The Bridge London, whose headteacher is Penny Barratt, runs an Islington council-maintained primary school on the same site as Hunger­ford Primary School, and a secondary school on the same site as Holloway School. Both are rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.

The vote has raised fears that The Bridge’s close working relationship with those schools will be jeopardised.
Mr Atkin told the Tribune: “The Bridge was built by Islington on shared sites with Hungerford and Holloway schools so that special and mainstream schools could work closely together. The overlap of sites is now an administrative nightmare to unravel as The Bridge becomes unaccountable to the local community and subject to company law.

“Two academy trusts a month are being reported to the Department for Education for financial irregularities. If The Bridge becomes one of them the consequence is forced incorporation into a larger Academy Trust. This would be the end for the school’s distinctive ethos. Staff are concerned that this is a risky venture.”

Barry Edwards, a governor at Hungerford, said the two schools shared a playground and kitchen. “There could be considerable problems,” he said, adding that “lots of money” could end up in the hands of lawyers as The Bridge seeks autonomy. “That has nothing to do with kids getting a better education,” he said.

The Bridge has said it wants all its facilities to become part of a new, autonomous trust free from Town Hall control to allow “opportunities for cost savings on non-teaching and learning issues” and “greater investment in teaching and learning”.

In a consultation document, the school said: “There is a pressing need for an increased number of special school places for pupils with autism.”

Town Hall education chief Joe Caluori said: “I’m really disappointed that the governors have taken this decision, especially as staff were overwhelmingly against it. I haven’t seen any evidence of enthusiasm for it from the parents. I feel for a decision this big it would have been much better for parents to have been more involved than they have been in the process. However, we still see The Bridge as an important part of our community of schools in Islington and we know the headteacher sees it that way as well.”

The governing body had yet to make a statement last night, but Ms Barratt said earlier this year: “We are looking at what structure would best allow us to meet the needs of our pupils. Governors will take all views into account when they take their decision.”

Rosemary Plummer (Islington UNISON Schools Convenor second from left) and Support Staff lobby Board of Governors at The Bridge School

Jeremy Corbyn speaks to Durham Miners Gala on July 10, 2016

The 132nd Durham Miners' Gala will be remembered for a long time, as a record crowd filled the streets of Durham city. On the racecourse, the largest crowd for generations – including thousands of young people – gathered in an incredible show of support for the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn and heard from supportive Labour MPs and trade union leaders including Dennis Skinner and Frances O'Grady.
In a powerful speech, Corbyn said: "There’s no pressure on me. None whatsoever. The real pressure – real pressure – is when you don’t have enough money to feed your kids, when you don’t have a roof over your head, when you are wondering if you are going to be cared for."
The hero's welcome which Corbyn received in the Labour heartland of Durham exposed the lie peddled by hostile MPs and the media that somehow he "doesn't connect with traditional Labour voters." The truth is that finally in Jeremy Corbyn, traditional Labour supporters, trade unionists and young people have someone who will tirelessly champion their interests.