More attacks on terms and conditions

The council’s announcement of their budget proposals for 2017 – 2020 which were presented to staff, UNISON, the public and the press missed out a significant issue, a proposal to remove premium time payments i.e. to stop paying enhancement rates for working weekends and evenings.

No premium payments impact directly on those staff who receive them currently but also opens up the possibility of 7 day working for other staff. You could find your service operating at a weekend without paying you any overtime payment. Would you be happy about that?

UNISON will be campaigning against this proposal and you should too. We’ll provide more details as they are released.

Read more in October 'Outlines'


Three year budget proposals announced

The council has announced its budget proposals for the next 3 years. The headlines are £70M reduction, £30M in 2017/18, £20M in 2018/19 and £20M in 2019/20.

Here’s a link to the Council published budget information, including IIA’s

UNISON branch officers will be offering support to worker groups and individual members affected directly by the proposals. If you need advice or support please contact:

Paul Gilroy - Resources, WCL (Adult), ACX

Nicky Ramanandi  - Communities, I&D

Lynda Hardie – WCL (Children)

Read more


UNISON Get Online Week

17-23 Oct is the tenth Get Online Week and UNISON have arranged a table in the Civic Centre Monday 17 October, 12.30-1.30pm, Why not pop down and have a try at some IT you may not normally use or would like to learn about.  We will also be promoting courses if there is something you would like to do more specifically, or try a Tablet, Kindle or Laptop for the first time - full support will be given.

Why not take the opportunity to visit the new Welford Learning Zone open 10-12 Monday, Wednesday and Friday and receive one to one support to get online, or if you prefer try out a Kindle, Laptop or Tablet for the first time. Please contact Wendy Aitman to check on availability of spaces.


 6 New Free Open University Badged Courses  

The Open University has launched 6 free online courses for people looking to move up in their career, or considering a change of direction.  Fun, interactive and informative, each course takes approximately 15 hours to complete but can be studied in shorter chunks of time, the courses are:

For further details and how to register please contact Jane Yugire.


Additional Pay Claim for 2017/18

The branch is consulting members on the question:

Do you agree with the proposal that the additional pay claim for 2017/18 should be for “A flat increase of £1 an hour on all NJC pay points?”

This arises from a resolution of the Local Government Service Group Conference which included an instruction to submit an additional NJC pay claim for 2017/18 and to commence the process of consulting with branches and members on the composition of this claim after Conference. This reopens year 2 of the 2016/18 two-year pay NJC settlement agreed last May.

The additional claim will be a UNISON claim only because the other two NJC unions do not support it. Both GMB and Unite’s National Committees have discussed UNISON’s proposal for an additional claim. In response they have both stated that, given the collective decision of NJC trade unions to accept the 2016/18 two year pay settlement, they will not support a further pay claim for 2017. The Local Government Association has also indicated that they will not consider a claim received from one NJC union only.

Branch consultation will conclude on 3 October 2016.


Review of the NJC Green Book Pay Spine

As part of the 2016-18 pay settlement, the NJC agreed to conduct a review of the NJC pay spine. The primary reason for this review is the introduction of the National Living Wage.

The terms of reference for the review have now been agreed.

Read more


Chief Executive & Directors’ Pay

Members will have seen the publicity regarding a proposal to review the salaries of the Chief Executive and Directors from their present position of spot grades i.e. no incremental progression, to one including the provision to move up a scale incrementally based on performance.

UNISON were not involved in any discussion of the proposal prior to the publication of the information by the Chronicle. UNISON were subsequently briefed on the proposal on Tuesday 30 August.

The pay policy statement has been approved by Constitutional Committee, but is subject to agreement by full council on 7th September. The pay policy statement includes the text “The Trade Unions have also been consulted and briefed about the contents”, which is incorrect and the UNISON Branch Secretary has written to the Assistant Director of HR to demand that elected members are provided with a clarification that states that the Trade Unions were briefed post publication on the contents of the pay policy statement.

Following the publication of the review proposals, UNISON’s Branch Secretary met with the Chief Executive and expressed the union’s anger and disappointment that pay increases were being proposed at a time when cuts are being considered to the council’s budget for the next 3 years, and when we have seen an erosion year on year of the redundancy and protection arrangements. In addition, a letter has been sent to the Leader of the Council, and UNISON’s Branch Secretary has also spoken publicly of the union’s position, and this was reported in the Chronicle.

UNISON members who are unhappy at the proposals could assist the Branch by contacting your councillor (in Newcastle), who will be voting on the proposal, and explaining your opposition


A Fair Day's Pay

Newcastle City Branch has challenged the City Council to become an accredited Living Wage employer. This means that the Council would increase wages of the lowest paid in the organisation in line with the increases of the Foundation Living Wage each November.  

In addition we have challenged the council to make provision within its procurement policy to ensure that the contractors and businesses the council employs, include a provision that they also pay the Foundation Living Wage.

Read more


Labour Party Leadership Election and UNISON Members Entitled to Vote

To register to vote, UNISON members must:

When you register you agree to:

The Labour party will be conducting the election. Queries about the ballot or members wishing to check if their applications have been accepted by the Labour Party should contact the Labour Party

UNISON’s nomination process

UNISON Labour Link, which represents those members who pay into the affiliated political fund, will follow standard procedures for agreeing any nomination.

This will mean:

If you do not already pay into the affiliated political fund (APF) you can transfer using the following form

To check if you are member of APF you can check yourself here: or email

For more information about getting involved in Unison Labour link or becoming a Unison delegate to Labour Party CLPs or for general questions get in touch with branch Labour Link Officer:

Ed Whitby   or 07740099479

Frequently Asked Questions – Unison members and the Labour Leadership


Disabled Members’ Conference

The UNISON Disabled Members’ Conference 2016 takes place on 29th – 31st October in Brighton.  We are looking for expressions of interest to attend the conference as a delegate from the branch.  Travel and accommodation will be arranged by the branch and subsistence payments will be available. 

Read more


Tyne Tunnel Trekkers complete the Cateran Yomp

The Yomp (a military term for a long-distance march) is an epic adventure challenge. Teams of 3-6 people take on 54 miles in 24 hours across the rugged terrain of the Scottish wilderness whilst raising money for soldiers, veterans and their families.

Helped by sponsorship from UNISON a team of members, the Tyne Tunnel Trekkers, entered the event which took place on 11 June in Perthshire.

The Trekkers completed the 54 mile 'gold' route in 22:22:42, coming in 43rd out of 94 teams.

Photo (left to right): Michael Ayre Senior Traffic Officer, Philip Dixon Senior Traffic Officer, Angus Fergusson Senior Traffic Officer and Anthony Harbison Controller.

More photos


Female Cancer Cover

UNISONProtect is very pleased to introduce a brand new product to their range - Female Cancer Cover.

Research by Macmillan Cancer support has identified that four out of five cancer patients are on average £570 a month worse off following their diagnosis*. This is the result of a combination of factors, including having to stop work while receiving treatment, needing extra childcare, higher household bills and transport costs to and from hospital, it all adds up.

Read more


New on Site


Labour Research Department Fact 78/42

Weak average weekly earnings growth

Low pay in government

Jobless numbers on the rise in summer

Safety and health at work week

Pricier fuel and clothing pushes inflation higher


Council Budget

Three year proposals announced.

Show Racism the Red Card

Wear Red Day, Friday 21 October.

Outlines, October 2016

The current issue of the Branch Newsletter includes:

More attacks on terms and conditions!

Council Budget

Public Sector Exit Caps

UNISON launches UK-wide campaign to celebrate public service champions

Additional Pay Claim 2017-18

Stars in our schools

Future Employee Benefits


Labour Research Department Fact 78/41

Shift workers more prone to disease

Lucky 13 in boardroom

Manufacturing output still weak

Firms sign Dying to Work charter

Perils of hard Brexit for UK car industry

Commission and holiday pay ruling

UK's record deficit in trade in goods

Labour Research Department Fact 78/40

Majority ignored on public sector exit pay

Long wait for gender pay gap to close

Sick leave benefits across Europe

How to shrink the great divide in UK

Women's mental health needs ignored

How to claim benefits for industrial injuries


Colombians People’s Struggle for Peace

Public meeting on 20 October.

One Day  Bridges to Learning CPD Workshops

Dealing with Difficult Conversations

Managing Anxiety

Interview Skills


Show Racism the Red Card “Wear Red” Day

UNISON members and their families are invited to support “Wear Red” Day, Friday 21 October, by going to work or going to school wearing something Red for the day and donating £1.


In the Papers

Teaching assistants to be balloted on strike action, despite split between GMB and Unison unions

Council's pay offer for teaching assistants rejected

Council votes to privatise services in shake-up of adult care in County Durham

Hospital overcrowding caused by 'political maladministration', say MPs

Is the North East Combined Authority now on the verge of collapse over devolution?

Protest planned against 'downgrading' of South Tyneside hospital services

Labour Research Department Fact 78/39

Top hazards mentioned by safety reps

Auto-enrolment pushes up pension figures

Prospect grows

Minimum wage rises

Apprenticeships — getting it right

How much of £86.9m is executive excess?

Shaping the Future

UNISON Newcastle want to create a new forum for members working in the charitable sector, and another for those working for housing associations


Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on 3 October..

Newcastle Unites against the Racist EDL

24 September

Assemble 1pm outside the Laing Art Gallery (Blue Carpet)

The aim of the protest is to send out a clear and simple message: the EDL is not wanted in Newcastle, the north east or anywhere else. We must all stand together in unity in the face of Islamphobia, anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and fascism.

Leon Rosselson gig

24 September

‘Wry, poignant and political songs that are as intelligent as they are entertaining’

Film Preview Opportunity

3 October

Film director Ken Loach has contacted North East People's Assembly because he is looking for people to attend a special preview showing of his acclaimed new film 'I, Daniel Blake' which will be followed by a Q & A around the issues of austerity & welfare benefits raised by the film.

Labour Research Department Fact 78/38

MPs to examine boardroom pay

Dress codes need a redesign for today

Care firms targeted over illegal wages

Workplace inspections on missing list

Shortfall in out-of-school services

Branch Lottery

Winners in September.


Labour Research Department Fact 78/37

Earnings growth dip

In July, growth in average weekly earnings was down to 2.2% from the previous month’s revised

Unemployment among women falls

The fall in the number of unemployed women more than compensated for the rise in the men’s total, Office for National Statistics figures show.

Retail inflation down

The retail inflation rate fell in August, while the consumer measure was steady, Office for National Statistics figures show.

Campaigners set out how to solve poverty

The government should raise taxes on the wealthy to finance a £15 billion annual investment in affordable housing, free childcare and enhanced social security benefits to eradicate poverty in the UK, campaigners say in a report, We can solve poverty.

In the Papers

Don't make ordinary workers pay for Brexit, TUC urges government

Political battle lines drawn north and south of the River Tyne over devolution

Theresa May’s incompetence is creating an opposition within her own party

Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson and George Osborne among MPs hit by boundary shakeup

North East to lose four MPs in constituency shake-up plans

 'Thanks, but no thanks': How devolution for the North East was ended in 155 words



UNISON consults on an additional pay claim for 2017/18 while the NJC agrees terms of reference for a review of the Pay Spine.

TUC Education

The course brochure for TUC Education courses in the Northern Region is now available to download.

Labour Research Department Fact 78/36

Boardroom delight

Manufacturing output weakens in July

Tory contempt for health and safety

Forced retirement for one in eight

Decline in UK mergers and takeovers


Retired Members

Papers fopr the meeting on 13 September.


Disabled Members

Regional meeting on Thursday 8 September.


Solidarity Event

UNISON Northern Women’s and International Committees are holding a joint event to raise funds for the Women’s Sugarcane Cutters Committee in the Valle del Cauca department of Colombia. World Headquarters, 7 October.

Labour Research Department Fact 78/35

Learning lessons from EU referendum debate

Youth unemployment still stubbornly high

Action plan to help new and expectant mothers

GMB files claims against Addison Lee

BECTU to merge with Prospect in 2017

Economy grows in second quarter

In the Papers

Is the North East finally going to start consulting on its controversial devolution deal?

Youth unemployment could be exacerbated in wake of Brexit vote, report says

GP crisis as calls are made for appointments to be limited to no more than 25 a day

The NHS is ailing. Is a ringfenced tax the best remedy?


Labour Research Department Fact 78/34

Shift workers are more susceptible to disease

Motherhood's penalty

MPs call for ban on plastic microbeads

Underemployment of BAME workers

Scottish public sector deficit unchanged

Acas guidance for young workers


Disabled Members' Branch Meeting

31 August

Discussing the published motions for the National Disabled Conference.

Hope Not Hate’s Community Picnic

3 September

An opportunity for people to enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed and fun setting (food, games and conversation!) and a way of getting to know other people who live locally and recognise that we have more in common than what divides us.

North East People's Assembly AGM 2016

13 September

All supporters of the People's Assembly, living in north-east England, are very welcome to attend.

Protest The Tory Party Conference

2 October

In Birmingham. Newcastle coach tickets £25 waged, £10 unwaged.


Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on 5 September..


Outlines, August 2016

When is a living wage “A Living Wage”?

New professional standards for teaching assistants published

Stars in our schools

Newcastle College Review & Redundancies

Labour Leadership Election

Time to debate LGPS changes as petition hits 100,000 signatures, says UNISON

Tyne & Wear LGPS

Disabled Members Officers

Branch Organising

Durham Miner’s Gala

Death of Davey Hopper

Branch Learning

In the Papers

Brexit damage to economy will outweigh modest wage gains, says study

Feet first, our NHS is limping towards privatisation

Yes, zero hours work can be banned: New Zealand has just done it

Labour Research Department Fact 78/33

Unemployment down

Earnings growth static

Minimum wage offenders named

Briefing on new housing Act

Cost of living in the UK on the rise


UNIMAG 31, August 2016

A quarterly periodical updating stewards and reps on employment law.

Labour Research Department Fact 78/32

No pay restraint in UK boardrooms

'Hypocrisy' of Post Office bosses

Half of women suffer sexual harassment

Councils need greater powers to build houses

Factory output expands


National LGBT Conference

Details and agenda for the LGBT Conference in Llandudno, 18-20 November. 

What is Domestic Violence and Abuse?

Training session for members.

Panto – Beauty and the Beast

Special offer for UNISON members.

Branch Lottery

Winners in August.


Black Members meeting

This meeting will discuss Motions for Black Members Conference 2017.

UNISON survey

Impact of public spending cuts on LGBT people and services.


Labour Research Department Fact 78/31

Cut in interest rates

Days lost to strikes at very low level

Voluntary Living Wage needs revision

Rise in value of council outsourcing contracts

Search for gig economy in UK

National scandal of homecare wage cheats

New Courses

Two courses have been added to the schedule:

Introduction to Understanding Autism

Confidence Building taster session.

LGBT Survey

Researchers would like to hear from you and will use what you tell them to raise awareness of the social care needs of LGBTQI disabled people and to highlight examples of things that do and don’t work very well.

Branch Lottery

Winners in July.


Labour Research Department Fact 78/30

Union political funds bring in more income

Progress needed on transgender equality

Economy grows in second quarter

Green family used BHS as milch cow

Lack of progress on disability rights

Workers should take care in heat of the sun

Reps Training

One Day Introduction to the Local Government Pension Scheme, 28 September 2016.


Labour Research Department Fact 78/29

Earnings growth dips

Air fares fuel inflation

UK's 'badge of shame' on disability rights

Unemployment hits 11-year low as numbers fall


Training courses

Bridges to Learning one day  regional workshops aimed at all staff working in Health, Social Care and Education.

Emotional Resilience 

Introduction to Counselling Skills

Understanding Autism

Your Skills, Your Future


Labour Research Department Fact 78/28

More top executives on £1m or more a year

How deal with issue of fatigue

Manufacturing boost

NLW — the first 100 days and a crisis

Below par academies

Labour Research Department Fact 78/27

Forty executives living in ££££ land

Rise in deaths at work

Mesothelioma and its deadly toll

Poverty rise in the UK

Three more join Living Wage family


Retired members

Papers for the meeting on 19 July.


Tyne Tunnel Trekkers

An account of the 24 hour Cateran Yomp. Tyne Tunnel Trekkers raised over £1600 for the Army Benevolent Fund.

Labour Research Department Fact 78/26

UK economy grows

Narrow majority for exit in EU referendum

Women part-timers lose out on pensions

Lack of support for disabled teachers

Small narrowing in UK current account deficit

Remuneration package of 32 averages £2.15m


Branch Lottery

Winners in June.


Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on 4 July..


Labour Research Department Fact 78/25

Adverse impact of tribunal fees

'Reckless' to scrap NHS bursaries

Missing out on pensions and benefits

Call for 14-day self-certification period

Fathers missing out on paternity pay


Labour Research Department Fact 78/24

Average earnings fillip on back of living wage

Retail price inflation rises in May

UK unemployment rate at 11-year low

Modern slavery judgment against firm

Employers don't have working carers' policy


Orlando Vigil

Please come and join us in our vigil supporting and remembering the victims of the recent atrocity. Saturday 18 June, 6pm at Newcastle Civic Centre.


Labour Research Department Fact 78/23

Dementia in workplace

Thirty execs rake in £70 million

Deaths after Johnson's fire service cuts

Value of inward M&A hits seven-year high

UK factory output 'recovers'

Climbdown on police spying on unions


Members' training

New courses and taster sessions have been added to the course calendar for June and July.

Labour Research Department Fact 78/22

Rise in numbers working from home

Economic growth confirmed for start of year

Remuneration for two totals over £55 million

Euro 2016 advice

Planes, trains and drones and lasers

Equal pay progress at Scottish council


Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on 13 June.