Kirklees Unison – E-Bulletin

Dear Member

As you will be aware, the vast majority of legal restrictions relating to Covid-19 are due to be dropped from Monday 19 July albeit at a time when case numbers are rising rapidly.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that your safety remains our priority and we do not expect any employer to use Monday’s “reopening” as an opportunity to ditch all the health & safety measures that have been put in place to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19. Employers still need to ensure suitable risk assessments are in place and if you have any concerns about the steps that your employer is taking in relation to the easing of restrictions – including the return of employees to workplaces where they have been working from home – please do not hesitate to contact your local UNISON rep or the branch office.

One particular area of concern is the government’s removal of the legal requirement to wear face coverings in many of the indoor settings where they were previously required. UNISON believes dropping mandatory mask wearing is premature and likely to lead to confusion and contention. We therefore support the decisions of those employers who continue, at this stage, to expect the use of face coverings in situations where risk assessments have deemed them to be necessary (e.g. in communal indoor areas).

Please remember that UNISON has a dedicated page which is regularly updated and which sets out lots of useful information about your rights during the pandemic. You can find it here:

Please see below further updates from the branch:

SCHOOLS MEMBERS’ MEETING – TUESDAY 20 JULY – 5PM

All schools-based members are invited to an online meeting with national UNISON officers to find out more about what the ending of Covid restrictions means for the new academic year and how UNISON can support you. You can join the meeting by accessing the link below:

Join the meeting (on 20th July, 5pm)

SCHOOL UNIFORM GRANTS

Struggling to make ends meet? Worried about back to school costs?

Help is at hand. There is a fund to help UNISON members on low incomes with school uniform costs by way of a one-off payment of £50 per child, up to a maximum of £150 per family. This is always a popular programme so please get your application in quickly. We have a limited fund and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

You can find out more information and an application form here:

RACISM & EURO 2021

Members will be aware of the sickening racist abuse recently directed towards members of the England men’s football team. You can find the union’s statement about this here:

We would like to remind members that UNISON has a zero tolerance approach to racism and any member who is suffering from racism in the workplace will have the branch’s full support in challenging this.

NJC PAY

We are still awaiting a response from the employers in relation to our request for an improved pay offer above the insulting 1.5% previously put forward in May. Once an offer is received and our national committee has met to agree a way forward, an update will be provided.

In the meantime, you can help our campaign by using the resources that can be found here:

There are videos to share, social media graphics and a tool to easily email your MP asking them to support the pay claim and demand proper funding from central government.

UNISON’S THERE FOR YOU GUIDE TO BETTER WELLBEING

We know how tough this past 18 months have been for all our members – especially because you have been the ones keeping the country going at a time of unprecedented crisis. If you feel you may be struggling then you may wish to have a look at our brief guide to better wellbeing:

The guide contains some tips on how to improve your wellbeing and also places where you can find additional support.

With best wishes
Kirklees UNISON