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Despite repeated promises that there would be no general election before 2020, Theresa May did another massive u-turn this week and announced that the country will be going to the polls on June 8. She blamed other political parties for her decision because they had the audacity to challenge her on ‘hard Brexit’, which we know will only benefit the wealthy and do nothing for ordinary working people.
At a time of unprecedented national and international uncertainty, the Tories have thrown the country into a snap general election – but that gives us an opportunity to have our say about the future of our country. As a campaigning union, UNISON has always made the case for, and will continue to fight for quality public services, delivered by valued public sector staff. Our current campaign on Public Service Champions embodies just that and we all have an opportunity to play our part in the campaign.

But as Britain prepares to leave the EU, this election needs to be about the future of our public services and the austerity agenda that the Tory Party has unleashed upon those services for the past seven years. They have not met one target that they have set on austerity, yet blindly continue to make public services their scapegoat. They cannot and must not be given a renewed mandate for further cuts, outsourcing of services and axing our rights at work. If we don’t act now, by 2020 we simply may not have any public services left to defend.

UNISON will be working to promote an alternative vision for public services and campaigning against a so called 'hard Brexit' but we must not lose sight of what happens after Brexit. We want a country that supports the most vulnerable, adequately funds the vital services that are so desperately needed such as social care and the NHS and invests in the future through high standards of education and training for the next generations.

We need to ensure everyone who is eligible to vote is actually
registered to vote and has a voice in this election. Please make sure you are registered and share information about how to register far and wide.

Unions challenge universities to improve pay that has ‘significantly fallen behind inflation’

Higher education unions have submitted a joint pay claim for 2017-18 to the national employers’ organisation, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

The claim has been submitted by UNISON, UCU, Unite, GMB and EiS. This year’s joint higher education national pay claim is aimed at ensuring that everyone working in the sector, whatever their role, has a fair and decent pay uplift, improving their working lives.

Key points from the claim are:

  • An increase to all spine points on the national pay scale of RPI plus £1,200, or RPI plus 3%, whichever is greater;
  • £10 per hour minimum wage with all HEIs to become living wage employers, ensuring all campus staff are paid at least the Living Wage Foundation rate.

Full details of the claim can be downloaded here.

The unions believe that agreement on this claim would deliver improvements in staff morale and equalities that universities urgently need to tackle.

The claim has a number of other elements, addressing the continuing use of zero hours contracts, excessive workloads, eliminating the gender pay gap and establishing a Scottish sub-committee. The joint unions have expressed that they would consider a two-year pay offer that contains reference to both RPI – ‘keep up’ – and a ‘catch up’ element.

UNISON national officer Ruth Levin said: “Universities for a long time have relied on the goodwill of employees to work excessive hours and take on more work without increases in their pay.

“The joint unions are challenging universities to address pay that has significantly fallen behind inflation. This claim sets out the unions’ agenda to ensure that no one working for a university is paid below the living wage.”

She continued: “In addition there needs to be further work by the sector to address the problem of excessive workloads and hours of work, the gender pay gap, precarious working practices and the growing divergence between nations.”

The first pay negotiating meeting is scheduled to take place on 30 March 2017.

PM starts two-year process of leaving the EU; UNISON will continue to defend our members, our rights and public services
Article 50 has been triggered, and the formal process of leaving the EU is beginning.

There is a great deal on the line, and these negotiations will define the future of our country for generations. Yet we still know far too little about what the government’s red lines are.

By contrast, UNISON’s position on Brexit is clear and unshakeable. 
  • Our rights at work, many of which are enshrined in EU law, must be protected and guaranteed.
  • Likewise, we want to see the right to remain for EU nationals – including 67,000 UNISON members – as a starting point in negotiations with the rest of Europe. 
  • And leaving the EU cannot be used as an excuse to further decimate our public services, which are already suffering from relentless spending cuts


Here you will find everything connected with the 2015-16 Pay Claim

Here you will find all the information about the 2016 pay claim

Articles for and about the Branch

All competitions that are open to UNISON members will be listed here.

Articles for and about Member Benefits

Articles from the National Office

Information connected to and about the Regional Office Closures

Articles about University Issues