Saturday, 14 February 2015

Aberdeenshire cuts impact 'devastating' says UNISON

Aberdeenshire UNISON has warned that the council’s planned cuts over the next five years will hit jobs and services hard and will continue to have a devastating impact on the quality of life in Aberdeenshire, especially for our most vulnerable.

The branch has called on Aberdeenshire councillors to minimise job losses and to keep their commitment to no compulsory redundancies and to maintain services to the most vulnerable.

Branch Secretary Inez Teece said, “We recognise that the council is in a difficult position, especially with the continued council tax freeze and we would urge the Scottish Government to reconsider this as we have shown that it only benefits the better off.

UNISON wins Comhairle living wage backdating

UNISON’s Western Isles Local Government Branch has welcomed the Comhairle’s recent agreement to backdate payment of the National Living Wage to its lowest-earning staff to April 2013.

Back in November the Comhairle, following an intensive campaign by UNISON, agreed to pay the Living Wage for 2014 exclusive of Distant Islands Allowance. However, the council disagreed with the union over its obligation to also back-date living wage payments to April 2013 – which UNISON maintained had already been agreed as part of a national pay award.

UNISON Branch Secretary, Alison MacCorquodale (pictured) said: “UNISON welcomes the Comhairle’s agreement to finally back-date payment of the Living Wage to April 2013. We pushed the Comhairle hard to sort this out before Christmas, but they appeared to be burying their heads in the sand!”

Friday, 13 February 2015

UNISON intervention ensures 27 jobs retained at Stornoway call-handling centre

Friday 13 February 2015

UNISON, the public-sector trade union, has helped to ensure the retention of 27 jobs at the Consumer Advice Direct (CAD) call-handling centre in Stornoway after members were issued with redundancy notices early in the New Year.
Flora Somerville, UNISON Branch Organiser, met recently with local politicians and senior management from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) - which currently contracts-out the delivery of the consumer advisory service to CAD. 

Flora said: “We understand that following our intervention, a further one-year contract is being negotiated which safeguards our members’ jobs for twelve months whilst consideration is given to the longer-term.

"There was the additional risk that under a new contract, CAD would opt not to continue in Stornoway and that jobs would transfer to Glasgow.
"We have however received assurances from CAS that they are fully committed to keeping the Stornoway call centre in operation.”

Letters dated 1 January 2015 had been issued to all staff advising them that CAD “decided to make them redundant” with effect from 31 March 2015.

UNISON, Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Outer Hebrides Parliamentary representatives have since been in discussions with CAS about their intentions for the Stornoway call-centre.
Located at Gleann Seileach, Stornoway, Citizens Advice Direct handles consumer calls from all over Scotland and deals with hundreds of enquires each day.

HIE originally invested over £400,000 in the call-centre, taking the view that the company would expand in future.

Monday, 9 February 2015

UNISON Scotland & the General Election

Mike Kirby, Scottish Secretary: 'During the election campaign we will strive to keep UNISON policies and objectives fore and centre of the political debate. UNISON priorities of an end to Tory austerity, fair employment and trade union rights, pay and public services... by challenging all political parties on what they will do for our people.'

#Showthelove... Ask First Minister to act on climate change

Love is in the air this for everything that climate change threatens.

And Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is asking us all to tell First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that we believe a new global climate deal must be agreed at United Nations talks in Paris in December this year.

In the new Show the Love campaign, members and supporters of SCCS members across Scotland, including UNISON, are contacting the First Minister with a simple message:

Please ensure we deliver on Scotland's world-leading climate commitments and make sure Scotland plays a proactive role in striving for an ambitious global deal in Paris in December.

You can take part by email from the SCCS website , remembering to write into the email some of the things you love that are under threat if we don't make the switch to a low carbon economy.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

UNISON Scotland Communications Awards results

The judges this year were Danny Phillips, Communications Officer, Jane Carolan NEC and John Stevenson, Chair of the committee. They found the awards enormously difficult to judge.

So difficult that the judges couldn’t agree and for some categories we had to go to that thing we don’t tend to do much in Scotland – A vote!

This was because the difference between the entries was so close with different bits appealing to different judges for different reasons.

It’s a long way of saying all of the entries had really strong points and no one should be disappointed at losing out.

So a good starting place is to congratulate all the entrants for the work they do – especially when we know so much communications work is done in activists’ own time.