Category Archives: Branch Secretary

Branch Secretary Update – 14.5.20

Dear Member,

We hope you’re well and keeping safe.

Last Sunday Boris Johnson delivered a very confusing statement, which left many of us feeling a little confused.

This week we have studied all the government updates, and had communication from, and with, numerous employers.

Private Sector Care
We are still listening to you regarding PPE, and while we are pleased situations have improved for a few of you, we do know that the situation is far from perfect. Please continue to contact us. Your Health and Safety is of our upmost importance.

DCC
I am continuing to have twice weekly meetings with Derby City Council, The Council are still looking for employees to consider being redeployed whilst we are working through the pandemic. If this is something you can consider please complete the Skills Audit or speak direct to your Manager / Head of service.
If you are employed by DCC and on a zero Hours contract, please get in touch if you are continuing to have issues regarding your pay. I have been assured this is being looked into. I am hoping our members issues are now resolved.

Health and Safety
Dennis Jackson is our Branch Health and Safety Officer. Please contact Dennis direct with any H&S concerns. They do not have to be COVID-19 related. Dennis can be contacted by email Denis.jackson@derby.gov.uk

Nurseries / Schools / Academies
As you will be aware Boris Johnson has said Schools ‘may’ reopen on June 1st.
As a branch we have asked our school members to complete a short survey, which I am sharing your responses with the National Schools Committee this afternoon (Thursday 14th), your views are important. Thank you, just short of 300 of you have completed the survey. This is a fantastic response.

Nationally UNISON along with Teaching Unions are in regular discussions regarding the safe reopening of our schools. If you are on Facebook I would recommend following our branch Facebook page (UNISON Derby City Branch) and also “Schools in UNISON” Facebook page – This is the National page, and has all the press releases and communications shared with the Government. Now really is the time to be part of UNISON. UNISON wants to protects you, the children you work with and the families you all go home to. We have to do this together!

All Members
COVID-19 has left us all in very different and difficult circumstances, for some this has had a direct impact on our household finances, you may need to be putting extra in the electricity meter. Needing to purchase extra food shopping as the whole family is home all day, especially if you have children.

You may have additional expenses of travelling to and from work. If you are up against it, and need a bit of help. Do not hesitate to contact us, our UNISON charity “there for you” may be able to help. The COVID-19 fund is there to help you. This is extremely private, if we can help you we will!

It’s really important our members realise that we are still able to support in meetings, sickness, disciplinary meetings, ill health etc etc. These meetings can happen in a range of ways but we currently are not having face to face meetings. Please contact the branch if you require support.

We have a long journey ahead of us before work life and home life return to whatever our new normal will be. We are in this together & we will come out of this together.

Please share this email with any colleague / friend who may not receive the email, and also with any colleague who is thinking of joining our union. Now truly is the time! Never before have we needed each other as much as we do now.

https://joining.unison.org.uk/join-unison-today/

Keep in touch, stay safe and stay well.

Becky Everett
Branch Secretary.
UNISON Derby City Branch.

 

 

Can You Help?

Dear Member

This first part of this update is for Derby City Council Employees, Can you help?

Many of you are calling us at the moment and I have had many discussions about transferable skills, please do not think you don’t have any, we all do, we all have so many skills that give us the ability to help others in these crazy situations we find ourselves in.

I have been involved in discussions with DCC, and we at UNISON are very much aware that essential service areas such as caring roles, crematorium and cemeteries roles, and refuse collectors role are in desperate need of some extra hands to the deck. After many of the phone calls I’ve taken I know lots of you want to help out in these difficult times.

Do we have any UNISON gym junkies who are missing there regular workout, could you help out with the amazing refuse team? full training is being delivered and full support from the managers and the team themselves. Every one of us wants our bin emptied right now! not having them emptied just causes us more stress and anxiety. Are you part of a team in your “normal” day job, could a few of you rise to a challenge? could you?

We all want to be looked after and cared for in our older years and right now its even more important, Our UNISON carers in our homes and in the community are doing a fantastic job, but again this is a service area where DCC are really struggling to get extra support. Every one of us cares for and has looked after someone at some point, could you offer some time now to help and support this service?

Our very own UNISON Derby City Branch Women’s Officer (Anita Jones) is being redeployed to help with essential services at one the city’s care homes. We fully support Anita and wish her well in this role.

Please remember, if you cant offer full time hours, one day a week helps keep these vital services running, 4 hours a day twice a week would also help, what can you offer? How can you help?   For refuse you will need to be physically fit to be able to pull/push bins and walk to and from the refuse truck.  For the other services you will need to have good customer care skills and be able to deal sensitively with vulnerable citizens.  You will be given appropriate training and PPE for the role.  All posts require travel to the site.

This will truly be very rewarding work and you will make a huge difference to the people of Derby. If you are interested in volunteering for this rewarding work, please complete the skills audit on the attached link here (Derby City Council Employees only) and the Redeployment Hub will be in touch with you.

Derby Volunteers at the Community Hub, for anyone who wishes to volunteer.

Volunteers are working hard to support those who need an extra helping hand during this pandemic. However, we still more need volunteers to help deliver this vital support across the city. We are receiving calls now from citizens who have no-one to rely on and we need to try and help fill that gap. We need your help to collect and deliver shopping, supplies, prescriptions etc.

Any volunteers who’d like to offer their services and those who need help can contact DerbyDirect on 01332 640000. The lines are open between 9.00am and 6.00pm every day, or you can email the Hub.
Deaf people can use our text service 0777 4333412.
Please share with any friends or family members, especially to those who have recently been furloughed. We’d also welcome any colleagues who would like to register as volunteers in their own time.

Many of you are already delivering Essential Services and we send our continued THANKS to you.

UNISON Derby City Branch want to thank you in advance for considering these opportunities to support these Essential job roles and want to say a huge THANK YOU to you all. We are fully supportive of the great work that is being done by all the volunteers and especially volunteers who have offered to be redeployed to other critical front line services.

Kind regards
Becky Everett
Branch Secretary
UNISON Derby City Branch

Your Important UNISON Update – April 2020

Dear members,

We hope you are keeping safe and well, personally I am starting to struggle with the lock down restrictions. I am missing my family terribly as many of you also are. However, I will continue to follow the guidelines as we all want some kind of normal back – although I’m guessing we will be anything but normal for some time yet. It’s also ok to admit we are not doing ok. Phone a friend, a relative, try a new hobby whatever helps you, do it! We are in this together!

I thought I’d take this opportunity to update you on a few things that are still high on the agenda within the branch. As you can imagine COVID-19 has taken over most of our work and dealing with live situations has been of most importance however it is important that you know other matters have not been forgotten.

Private sector and Academies
Zero Hours contracts are still causing some very stressful situations for members within the private sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to put pressure on the employers and encourage them to furlough staff so our members are not suffering a material detriment. Of course we cant enforce the employer to do the right thing but we will support you by putting the pressure on. Please continue to contact us if you are facing difficulty. Our UNISON charity may be able to help you during these times. (more information further on in the branch update.

Equal Pay update
We have heard from Matthew Pull, the solicitor who is leading on the Equal Pay claims we have across our branch.
The good news is that the Council have dropped 58 of the out of time points they were raising, and Matthew expects this trend to continue as DCC are required to firm up the points they are taking.  The tribunal have arranged a 2 day hearing to determine all of the preliminary issues on the 7th and 8th October (this is the earliest the judge could go in light of the current restrictions/circumstances. We will of course keep you updated as and when we hear any updated news.

Derby City Council
We have also been informed this week (22/04/2020) that DCC are putting a pause on the adding photos to your email addresses, we are pleased that a pause has been put on this. UNISON, GMB and UNITE have informed DCC that the having no option to “opt out” and the fact the collective and individual grievances are not being recognised we have no option but to open a dispute. While we are not opening the dispute at this time Derby City Council recognises we do need to talk more about this. We respect that the situation is currently paused as COVID-19 work continues. We hope that discussions will begin as soon as time allows and I am still hopeful an “opt out” option can be introduced I will keep you updated.

We have been heartened to hear so many of you have volunteered to be redeployed to other services during the pandemic, UNISON branch officers have also got involved and doing our bit for our city, Anita Jones our women’s Officer has been redeployed to one of the Care Homes in the city, Our Equalities Officer (Tracey) and Welfare Officer (Jayne) are both still working within there school settings and myself and Julie Walker (our Treasurer) have been supporting the team at Nottingham Road Cemetery.

Financial support
We know for many of you these times can be tough financially, please do get in touch with us if you are struggling. Our “there for you” charity may be able to help you.
Everyone being at home all day and eating more food will be adding a strain to an already tight budget.
Gas and electric meters not lasting till the next pay day like they normally would.
Public transport not running and taxis are expensive to get to and from your essential work.
“there for you” may be able to help.
Do not struggle, you are not on your own.
Please get in touch help@derbyunison.org
The process is confidential.

Show your support colouring pages
Recently we sent out a message to you which contained some colouring pictures we were really pleased how many of you requested the pictures to be posted out, We now look forward to seeing them coloured in and on display. I’ve got mine in my car (not that my car is going anywhere at the minute) and on my front door. We can still send these to you if you cant print off at home. please email help@derbyunison.org

A Teaching assistant asked us if she could print for the children who are in school to colour, the answer was Yes, if these colouring pictures help some one adult or child then yes print, colour and display. We really do want to see the pictures displayed. you can alternatively click on the link here

International Workers Memorial Day 
Next week is International workers Memorial Day Tuesday 28th April at 11am we will be remembering all who have lost their life while at work, this year especially we will be thinking of all key workers who have lost there life to COVID-19
The hash tag #neverforgotten will be being used. We welcome you to join us as we silently remember our fallen key workers. We will have more about this on our Facebook page UNISON -Derby City Branch

Please continue to support each other, keep safe, keep well and stay home.

Keep in touch.

Becky Everett
UNISON Derby City Branch
Branch Secretary
beckyeverett@derbyunison.org