Every member is allocated to a branch. Through the branch structures, they elect stewards and branch officers and delegates to the Cymru / Wales regional council.

Regional council

The regional council consists of delegates from all Cymru / Wales branches and meets three times a year to elect officers, committees, delegations etc., and set policies on general matters.

It oversees the work of Cymru / Wales regional committees. Pay and conditions issues specific to any particular service are dealt with by the service groups.

Regional committee

This consists of elected members from Cymru / Wales regional council, service group delegates and self-organised group delegates.

It has the key policy and strategy role between regional council meetings.

Regional convenor

This is the senior lay officer in the region, elected by the regional council. The current regional convenor is Peter Crews. The assistant convenor is Sarah Taylor, Flintshire's branch secretary. However, Sarah is still a full time officer here in the Unison branch office.

Regional staff

UNISON also employs staff in the region to support branches and members, including regional organisers, area organisers and local organisers who work closely with branches.

Staff in the region are headed by full-time regional secretary Margaret Thomas.

Regional staff and lay officers also work with the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government to represent members’ interests and advance their campaigning and policy priorities.

TUC national demonstration at Conservative Party conference

4 October 2015

10:00am–6:00pm

Oxford Road, Manchester

For information, please contact the branch office on 01352 704300 and book your place on the coach (free for Unison members, £5 for non-members)
Gre

Great News!

The Retired Members Group has been re-formed!

A meeting took place on Monday 6th July 2015, in the Daniel Owen Centre in Mold. New branch representatives were elected, the new chair is Peter Kane, and the Secretary is Moira Owen.

A newsletter is being produced and will be sent to all retired members. In order to save costs, it would help if this newsletter could be sent via email. To ensure we have your correct email address, please notify the Unison branch office at admin@unison-flintshire.org.uk.
8th May 2015

Dear friend,

The general election is over and I just wanted to write to you and thank you for all you did on behalf of UNISON before and during the campaign.

We are all still digesting the impact of the result however what we know already is that a Conservative majority government at Westminster is not what I or many in UNISON were hoping for. But the country has spoken. Our task now remains the same as it would be whichever party had won.

We will continue to fight to protect our members' rights, their jobs, and their pay. We will stand up to ministers if they put our members' jobs and livelihoods at risk, or they threaten those things we all care about – the NHS, the public services we all rely on and the quest for a fairer society.

A strong union movement has delivered so much for our society – and together we can do so much more in future. That’s why recruitment and organising remains such an important priority for all of us.

Whatever happens over the coming months, one thing is certain, we will need to stand together: strong, united and in unison.

With very best wishes

Dave Prentis

UNISON general secretary
News for Members Working in Further Education - 25th March 2015

Further and Adult Education are under attack and we need to take action ahead of the general election

On the 26th of February, the government announced cuts in adult further education of 24% in 2015-16. (This is on top of the 32% real terms cut to the adult skills budget since 2010) These cuts are a further blow to colleges which have already lost around one million learners. UNISON estimates that the cuts could lead to a loss of more than 400,000 college students in 2015/16 alone. These cuts will:

Reduce the number of adults returning to learn or to retrain at a time when most people agree that education, skills and retraining should be a priority

Place colleges under severe financial pressure, leading to course or possibly institutional closures and redundancies

Affect vulnerable learners most severely, as more flexible courses are axed in favour of apprenticeships

Affect higher level courses as fewer students will be able to access learning which acts as a 'stepping stone'

What you can do

Please use your networks to circulate the petition and information about the cuts. Further education provides people with a springboard to improve their education and skills, and cuts of this size will shut the door to those who need FE the most. Adult learning has long been a passport to raise aspirations transform, lives and achieve potential. We need to make this an election issue. Already we are receiving information about cuts and planned redundancies.

UNISON is working with other trade unions and key stakeholders including the Association of Colleges on a campaign to challenge this. Information on the campaign can be found at this blog Please sign the Petition here and forward this to your friends, family and colleagues. There are already 20,000 signatures. We also encourage branches and members to make contact with MPs and prospective MPs about the issue. Contact parliamentary election candidates about the funding cuts using our online tool

Already 39 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling to stop the cuts. Find out if your MP has signed it yet? A UNISON briefing is available here

Take part in the love FE Day

Take part in 'love FE day' next Thursday 26 March, which aims to celebrate lifelong learning and calls for a STOP to the potentially devastating proposed cuts to further education. The campaign partners ask you to mark the day by highlighting the importance of FE and what all of our communities stand to lose if these cuts go ahead. Please take part in as many of the suggested activities below that you can, encourage friends, colleagues and family to join with you.

How to take part:

Take a photo with our poster (or create your very own!), or just tell us why you love FE, and post to twitter or Instagram

using the tag #loveFE

Photos and messages will be displayed on the blog on the 26 March.

National Branch Seminar for Members in Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges

The numbers registering for the national branch seminar are very low. Clearly in the context of the above announcement the event takes on even greater significance. It will be a key focus of the event. The registration form and details are here

Read the joint union claim here

Staff Observations

A college has produced proposals to include observations of front line support staff. We would be interested in finding out if this is taking place at other colleges. We have not heard of colleges looking at graded observation for support staff as the focus was always on academic staff. The link to the survey is here

Pay Implementation

We continue to monitor the implementation of pay 2014/15. The link to the survey is here. Of the responses received 45% of the colleges are 'red light' colleges that are refusing to implement any of the pay offer or implement the Living Wage rate relevant at the time of the offer of £7.65.

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School Support Staff in Wales Circular - March 2014

Registration of Support Staff

Future Welsh Government proposals to ‘register’ some categories of support staff working in schools in Wales in line with teachers as part of a new body called the Education Workforce Council (EWC) are still under discussion whilst the legislation works its way through the Assembly legislative process. If the Bill passes in July 2014, the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) will be reformed some time after as the EWC to encompass some (not all) support staff as well as teaching roles.

Discussions are currently at an early stage and UNISON will have the opportunity to input into the formation of the new body. In principle, many UNISON members support registration. We have reflected this view whilst also outlining some of the challenges that need to be overcome in order for registration to be fair and meaningful. UNISON’s response and evidence (copy available upon request) at the initial stages of the Bill already summarises some key areas of concern such as who pays the fees, who exactly needs to be registered, the potential for disciplinary action, meaningful interpretation of levels / roles, adherence to a code of conduct etc. We are confident that the massive data collection exercise needed for registration will highlight the many anomalies of grades and roles that we have been consistently raising with Welsh Government, furthering our case for a National Body for School Support Staff in Wales.

NUT Industrial Action

The NUT teacher’s union have announced a further date for national strike action as part of their campaign against government proposals on teacher’s pay. They are planning to take action on Wednesday 26 March 2014. A summary on the NUT campaign can be found here: http://www.teachers.org.uk/files/parent-leaflet-a5-4pp-9223.pdf

It is very important that UNISON members working in Schools follow our advice and do not attempt to undermine the NUT Industrial Action. 

UNISON Advice:

UNISON respects the rights of other trade unions to take industrial action. UNISON members in schools have not been balloted for strike action or action short of strike action and therefore they are advised to continue with their normal duties and responsibilities. However, UNISON members should not take on any additional responsibilities being given to them directly as a result of the teachers’ industrial action.

School support staff should not be expected to provide cover for or take classes, where this would normally be done by teachers who are taking action. In particular, Higher Level Teaching Assistants or cover supervisors should only be taking classes or providing cover where they are contracted to do so, or it is timetabled or part of their normal duties. Staff should not be moved from the duties they would normally have carried out in order to cover classes and frustrate the industrial action of colleagues.

Members who are under pressure to cover should contact their UNISON rep, branch or region for further advice and support. Members are reminded that due to industrial relations legislation only those employees who have been involved in a legal ballot are allowed to take industrial action.
UCAC were originally taking Industrial Action alongside the NUT but we have received a circular today (12th March) stating that the UCAC action has now been called off.

Administration of medicines and procedures

The administration of medicines and medical procedures is a regular topic of discussion at the Cymru Wales Support Staff Forum. Recent success in the Glasgow Local Government Branch http://www.unison.org.uk/news/school-staff-accept-medication-deal following Industrial Action has spurred the Forum into thinking about how we might approach the issue in Wales. In England, the Department for Education (DfE) has recently issued new guidance for consultation. Whilst this will not affect Wales, it gave us justification to call a meeting with the Minster for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis AM, to open up discussions on how this issue might be tackled on a Wales wide basis.

This meeting took place in February and the Minister heard our concerns about the tasks that support staff were being asked to undertake, sometimes under the threat of disciplinary action if they refused. The initial outcome is that the Welsh Government have agreed to look at the issue more closely, which should lead to the formation of a group to work on the topic. As it was a short meeting, we did not expect anything concrete at this stage, however, we will be pursuing this strongly over the coming months – if necessary placing the topic on the agenda at a future Education Workforce Council sub group.

Cymru Wales Support Staff Forum and Conference dates

The Cymru Wales School Support Staff Forum and Conference will take place on the following dates during the year:

§ Friday 2nd May – Colwyn Bay

§ Friday 10th October – School Support Staff Conference, Venue TBC (South Wales) 

§ Friday 21st November – Cardiff

Whilst attendance is always improving, we would encourage LG branches to ensure that they are sending two delegates to the Forum (at least one of whom must work in a school or education setting) As well as creating space for school based reps to discuss issues of shared importance, the Forum is the key decision making body for the Region on matters affecting school support staff on a Wales wide level. If branches wish to nominate new delegates please forward the names and contact details to h.dunn-jones@unison.co.uk so that we can add them to the Forum mailing list.

Newsletter and Wales specific information

The next Cymru Wales School Support Staff newsletter will be ready by early April. The majority of the content has already been agreed, however, if Organisers or Activists have a specific story or item they would like to include that would be of interest to school support staff across Wales please get in touch and we will consider it. If not for this newsletter but a future edition. The Forum are looking to produce an additional leaflet on the administration of medicines in Wales which will reference current guidance and UNISON’s campaign for a Wales wide agreement on the administration of medicines.

Jess Cromie 

Regional Schools Lead – on behalf of the School Support Staff Forum.

Regional Organiser

UNISON Cymru Wales

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AGM - Thursday, 12 March 2015

Council Chamber at 12.30

Many thanks to all those who attended yesterday's AGM at County Hall - we were quorate and so were able to conclude the business of the branch in order to continue to run efficiently.

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10 October 2014


Outline of new proposals issued

Attached to this bulletin you will find the final proposals on NJC pay for 2014 -2016 which UNISON’s NJC Committee considered yesterday and agreed to consult on. The additional proposal – the fifth bullet point - is highlighted in red.

We will be issuing the detailed implications of the proposals for members on Monday, following an NJC Joint Secretaries meeting at which we will agree pay calculations for consultation. The intention is to ensure that the three unions and the LGA consult on exactly the same basis.

What about the consultation?

The consultation on the pay proposals will begin in the week beginning 20 October. It will be carried out in accordance with the Local Government Service Group’s Pay Consultation procedures agreed at Local Government conference. We will be asking branches to carry out local ballots of all members covered by the NJC, as far as possible. Regions will be asked to support branches in the consultation process.

All members whose pay is determined by the NJC will be eligible to vote, including those not balloted for industrial action.

Proposals

£1,065 (8.56%) on SCP5 with effect from 1 January 2015

£1,000 (7.93%) on SCP6 with effect from 1 January 2015

£800 (6.19%) on SCP7 with effect from 1 January 2015

£550 (4.13%) on SCP8 with effect from 1 January 2015

£350 (2.55%) on SCP9 with effect from 1 January 2015

£325 (2.32%) on SCP10 with effect from 1 January 2015

2.20% on SCPs 11 and above with effect from 1 January 2015

Removal of SCP5 with effect from 1 October 2015

£325 non-consolidated payment on SCPs 5, 6 & 7 to be paid in December 2014

£150 non-consolidated payment on SCPs 8, 9 & 10 to be paid in December 2014

£100 non-consolidated payment on SCPs 11-25 incl to be paid in December 2014

0.45% of proposed new salaries on SCPs 26-49 incl, of which £100 to be paid in December 2014 and the remaining balance to be paid in April 2015

NJC future work

Both Sides recognise that local government is undergoing a period of unprecedented change. The way that public services are designed and delivered is evolving at a rapid pace and against this background the NJC agrees that councils and their workforce need collective agreements that:
  • reward employees fairly and recognise the diverse needs of the workforce
  • attract, retain and train people with the skills needed for the future
  • enable local service providers to react more quickly to changing circumstances
  • facilitate effective partnership working and collaboration across organisations
  • remove or modify existing barriers to ensure employees can move more easily between different public sector employers
The NJC remains committed to national collective bargaining and aims to ensure that the bargaining machinery can reflect and support new ways of working. The NJC will focus on producing outputs that are relevant, fair and beneficial to both employers and those employed to provide public services.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND SCHOOL WORKERS’ PAY

JOINT ANNOUNCEMENT BY UNISON, GMB AND UNITE - 9th October 2014

The three unions which represent over 1.5 million workers in local government and schools – UNISON, GMB and UNITE - have today decided to suspend strike action planned for 14 October and consult their members on new proposals put forward by the Local Government Association as the best achievable by negotiation.

The proposals cover the period from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016.

In doing so, all three unions have made it clear that they want to strengthen the collective bargaining machinery covering local government and schools and move quickly to jointly tackle important issues facing their members with the Local Government Association. Members covered by the National Joint Council for Local Government have the lowest pay in the public sector and have suffered significant attacks on their conditions of work in recent years.

The unions will now move forward together to consult their members.

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9th October 2014

We have been informed this afternoon that the planned industrial action for the 14th October, has been suspended. This is due to the fact that an improved offer from the employers has been tabled at the NJC Committee meeting that took place today. Upon receipt of the full details of the offer, we will commence a round of consultation with the Unison membership to ascertain if the offer is acceptable or not.

We are endeavouring to contact all members for whom we have an email address this afternoon. However, we would be grateful for your assistance in helping to inform members of these developments.

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Please note: If you have an urgent query and our office is closed, please telephone UnisonDirect on 08000 857 857

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We are located at:

Flintshire County Unison Branch


Llwynegrin Hall

Mold

CH7 6NF

Contact us today!

If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:

 

+44 01352 704300 +44 01352 704300

admin@unison-flintshire.org.uk

 

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