Please see below updates from the branch.
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR
We would like to take this opportunity to offer best wishes for Christmas and New Year. Whilst we know that many of you will have to be in work over the festive period, we hope that you do get some time to have a well-deserved break after what has been another difficult year. Thank you for continuing to deliver the vital public services that the country has relied upon during the pandemic and we hope that 2022 will be a less challenging year for everyone.
The branch office will close for Christmas at 12 noon on Friday 24th December 2021 and reopen for calls/emails on 4th January 2022. If you require urgent assistance over the festive period then you can call UNISON Direct on 0800 0 857 857. The opening times are as follows:
|24 December 2021||6am – 3pm|
|25 December 2021||CLOSED|
|26 December 2021||CLOSED|
|27 December 2021||CLOSED|
|28 December 2021||CLOSED|
|29 December 2021||6am – 12 Midnight|
|30 December 2021||6am – 12 Midnight|
|31 December 2021||6am – 3pm|
|1 January 2022||CLOSED|
|2 January 2022||CLOSED|
|3 January 2022||CLOSED|
|4 January 2022||6am – 12 Midnight|
If something urgent arises on one of the days that UNISON Direct is closed then please call the branch on 01484 456 945 and the answerphone message will provide you with details of how to access support. Members whose stewards are in work should continue to approach them for advice in the first instance.
NJC INDUSTRIAL ACTION BALLOT – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. VOTE YES! FOR ACTION ON PAY
For those members who have been balloted for industrial action over NJC (Council and schools) pay, please remember to return your ballot paper if you have not already done so. The deadline is 14 January 2022. If you have any queries you can visit
If you want to see how the current pay offer represents a pay cut once inflation is taken into account then you can visit
and enter your salary details. It only takes a minute and should really help you to understand the impact on your finances of an inadequate pay offer.
MILEAGE/HOMEWORKING PAYMENTS – KIRKLEES COUNCIL
A number of members at the Council have contacted the branch recently regarding concerns about the mileage expenses they are able to claim. We have asked the Council to revise its travel and mileage policy to ensure it is consistent and fair and hope to be able to report on progress in the New Year.
The queries about mileage have also highlighted that some members have had their job base moved as a result of the closure of Council buildings but have not received a disturbance payment in consequence. Members are therefore reminded that the Kirklees Employee Handbook provides for disturbance payments to be made to those employees up to and including Grade 12 whose job base is moved by the Council. Payments are made for up to two years and cover circumstances where relocation is at least two miles from the current designated job base.
If you have had your job base moved recently, and qualify for a disturbance payment but this has not been paid, you should raise this with your line manager in the first instance. If this does not resolve matters then please contact the branch for support. We have asked the Council to remind managers of the need to make payments to staff whose work location is changed.
Regarding homeworking, as the instruction to work from home “where you can” is now back in place we have asked the Council to once again pay the homeworking allowance for those who are working from home to comply with the government instruction. Earlier this year, the Council confirmed it would make homeworking allowance payments to cover 1st October 2020 to 31st March 2021 for those employees paid up to scp 50 who were temporarily working from home due to the pandemic. Although it was anticipated that this decision would not be repeated we are clearly back in exceptional circumstances and colleagues who are now expected to remain at home should not have to bear the burden of the high cost of energy bills for following the government instruction. We know that many other employers have never made homeworking payments but we hope that Kirklees will once again ensure that staff who are required to work from home through the winter are supported.
BRANCH ACTIONS AND SUCCESSES IN 2021
As 2021 draws to a close, we wanted to share with you just some of the actions that the branch has taken over the past 12 months to support members.
- Challenged employers to protect the health and safety of their staff through the pandemic. The branch has reviewed hundreds of risk assessments and argued for greater protections where necessary.
- Opposed “fire and rehire” practices at employers such as Valorum Care – the union is now pursuing legal claims against this company on behalf of affected members.
- Asked employers to implement policies to support workers experiencing the menopause.
- Helped in the fight against racism by providing legal assistance to members who have been discriminated against at work.
- Secured thousands of pounds in compensation for members with a variety of other legal claims.
- Challenged employers to ensure continued pension provision for workers outsourced from the public sector.
- Signed up to the TUC Dying to Work Charter with Kirklees Council to ensure workers with terminal illnesses are supported. Other employers will hopefully follow suit in 2022.
Along with the above, the branch has adapted to the pandemic by facilitating meetings via Zoom and other digital platforms where needed and also continued to represent a huge number of members with individual cases. The branch expresses its gratitude to all its representatives and staff for their hard work throughout the past year in supporting members through such challenging circumstances.
With best wishes