22-24 January 2016

Black Members National Conference

16 February 2016

UNISON Northern Region Black Members AGM


Black Members Group

Black members in UNISON work together to win positive change in the workplace. The more of us that are actively involved the stronger we become. The stronger we are the more positive change we can achieve.

Black members play a key role in winning equality in the workplace and

Black Members' Officer: Ulela Kaferawanthu   Black members in UNISON   Black Members Archive


UNISON Northern Region Black Members Forum AGM 2017

Date:  Tuesday 21 February 2017

Time:  17:30

Venue:  UNISON Regional Office, 140-150 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6TH

A buffet will be available from 5pm (please email any dietary requirements).

Please confirm your attendance (for catering purposes) by email or by telephoning 0191 245 0870

Elect officers for Regional positions and service groups

Help develop the Regional Black Members Action Plan

Help to set out priorities for the following year

Please find attached the Officer Nomination form. 

Please make every effort to attend this important event and make sure your voice is heard in our union.

Nomination form


Motions for Black Members Conference 2017

Date:  Wednesday 17 August

Time:  16:00

Venue:  Committee Room, Civic Centre

This meeting will discuss motions for conference. This branch has a strong history of submitting motions to Black Members Conference and I would urge as many of you to attend the meeting as possible. If you are unable to attend but have an idea for a motion please contact Ulela Kaferawanthu – Black Members officer


Black Members Branch Meeting

Date:  Tuesday 20 September

Time:  16:00

Venue:  Committee Room, Civic Centre

This meeting will discuss priorities for Black members in the branch and how we respond to these and take any issues forward. Please can you confirm your attendance. with Ulela Kaferawanthu – Black Members officer


Black Members Forum

Date:  Wednesday 15 June

Time:  17:45

Venue:  Board Room on the 3rd Floor of Hartlepool Hospital.


Unison Northern Black Members 2016 Policy Weekend

Residential weekend open to all UNISON Black members

Date:  22/23 July 2016

Venue:  Marriott Hotel, Durham

Booking:  Application form to branch office.

Closing Date:   24 June 2016

Information:  Nicky RamanandiUlela Kaferawanthu


Black Members National Conference 2016

A report from Ulela Kaferawanthu (Branch Black Members Officer)

The National Black Members Conference, held in Llandudno between 22 and 24 February 2016, went very well. The delegates from Newcastle City Branch felt the Conference had been vital as it dealt with issues that were of the utmost interest to UNISON Black members.

The Conference started on Friday January 22nd with Regional meetings. In our Northern Region meeting, we scoped what needed to be done and issues that needed our specific attention, vis a vis, election of national officers and supporting specific issues that needed all our support from the Region.

The Regional meeting was then followed by the main Conference at 16:00 with the Chairman, Margaret Greer, welcoming delegates and visitors to the Conference and asking the first guest speaker Councillor Frank Bradfield Mayor of Llandudno to address the Conference.

After the address and welcoming speech by the Mayor, we had presentations on the Standing Orders Committee Report and the Annual Report 1 that was on Organising and Recruitment. These reports were adopted by the Conference through voting.

The reports were followed by a speech by the second guest speaker, Dave Prentis, UNISON Secretary, who presented a good speech to the Conference. This speech was followed by the Mandela Award Presentation. Margaret Greer received this award for her excellent work in Unison. Then Conference went on to debate the first motion of the Conference. This motion debate was the last item on the main conference session for Friday.

Following the end of the main session of the Conference, there were sessions for service groups. Some delegates from Newcastle City Branch participated in the Local Government Service group discussions where pertinent issues were discussed mainly on pay conditions, austerity, and campaigning amongst others.

The second day of the Conference began with Report 2 of the Standing Orders Committee which was accepted by delegates via a vote. This report was followed by the Annual Report 2: Campaigning and International which delegates voted to accept.

The first guest speaker for this day was Matilda MacAttram, Director of Black Mental Health UK, who spoke on Black Mental Health issues. The speech she gave was good highlighting the specific problems experienced by Black mental health sufferers in the United Kingdom. Matilda’s speech was followed by various debates on motions including the motion moved by Newcastle City Council: Recruiting and Organising Black Members.

The morning session for motion debates was followed by a speech by the second guest speaker for the day, Chuka Umunna, Labour MP who present a very good speech on the reason why Labour lost the General Election and how to learn from that.

The afternoon session of the Conference began with fringe meetings. Some of our branch members attended the meeting on the rise of Islamophobia and what was being done to mitigate threats arising from this rise. There were good discussions on this subject area.

Debates on motions followed the fringe meetings. Workshops and caucus meetings followed debates on motions. These marked the end of the Conference activities on the second day. A social event was provided on the evening of Saturday to ensure delegates and visitors were entertained.

The last day of the Conference comprised a presentation of the Standing Orders Report which delegates adopted via a vote. This presentation was followed by a speech from the final guest speaker, Wendy Nichols, the Unison President, who gave a good speech. The rest of the time for the conference was used to debate motions.

Over the three days, there was a wide range of motions debated and adopted for further action by the National Black Members Committee. There was near unanimity in the adoption of the motions moved.

The motions were grouped under three themes:

  1. Recruitment and organising
  2. Negotiating and bargaining
  3. Campaigns.

The majority of the motions were under the “campaigns” theme.

Newcastle Branch moved motion 3 titled “Recruiting and Organising Black Members” under the “the recruitment and organising” theme. This motion was the only one moved from the Northern Region.

This motion highlighted the problems associated with the recruitment of Black employees in UNISON and also lack of their participation as activists once they join UNISON.

The motion was very well received by the Conference with five delegates and an officer from the National Office standing to move their support and asking the Conference to support the action requests in the motion. The motion was adopted by the Conference and the National Black Members Committee.

To ensure increasing numbers of Black workers join our UNION and become activists after they join, the motion called upon the National Black Members Committee to:

1)      Encourage branches to work with their Black Members Officer and Black Members group to support recruitment activity amongst Black members of staff.

2)      Encourage Regions and Branches to work with Black activists to ensure that the makeup of committees is representative of the membership.

3)      Seek to work with Regional Black Members’ Committees to deliver training targeting Black members officers covering subjects such as becoming active, establishing a self-organised group and Challenging Racism in the Workplace.

4)      To assess our current recruitment material to see if this needs to be updated to reflect the workforce.

The list of the motions debated over the three days is ncluded in the full reportt to Branch Committee.

680 delegates and visitors attended the Conference. 2017 Conference is scheduled to be held at Brighton.


Black Members National Conference

Date:  22-24 January 2016

Venue:  Llandudno

Our Branch would like to send delegates and we need to submit details by Friday 23 October 2015. If you are interested in attending please let the Branch Office know before this deadline so that we can make the necessary arrangements. 

All expenses including travel, subsistence and child care are covered. We will also provide support and advice for delegates who have not been to conference before. You can request facility time from your manager to attend the conference.

For more information please contact either:

Nicky Ramanandi – Deputy Branch Secretary on 0191 2116039 or

Ulela Kaferawanthu – Branch Black Members Officer on 0191 02788243.


UNISON Northern Region Black Members AGM

Date:  Tuesday 16 February 2016

Time:  18:30

Venue:  UNISON Regional Office,140 to 150 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle

Registration: or telephone 0191 245 0870

A buffet will be available from 18:15 (please email any dietary requirements).

All black members in the Northern Region are invited to attend the Northern Black Member’s Self Organised Group Annual General Meeting for 2016.

There will be invited speakers on various issues, the election of officers, National Conference business and the Regional Black Member’s Action plan and priorities for the following year to be discussed and agreed. 


Nomination Form

Black Members

New on Site


Learning at Work Week

15-21 May 2017. The theme this year is Curious and Creative for Learning at Work Week.

Distance Courses

Starting 24 April 2017, these courses can be done online or paper based.


NEC Elections

Branch nominations and ballot details.

'There For You’ Newsletter

This newsletter includes an update on the changes to the Bereavement Support Payment as well as contact details for ‘Down to Earth’, who provide practical and emotional support throughout the funeral process.


Branch Lottery

Winners in March.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/13

Executive pay bandwagon rolls on

Cycle courier entitled to holiday pay

Employment law changes this April

New minimum wage rates kick in

UK lags on maternity

Merger heralds new teaching union

Consultation on caste discrimination



New courses for members and stewards.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/12

Inflation leaps to 3.2%

More regulation of gig economy needed

Appalling risk of suicides in construction

Fat cats — the great pay divide

Racist abuse after Brexit vote

Lack of diversity at top in Wales


Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on Monday 3 April.


Regional Disabled Members Group

Meeting on Tuesday 28 March 2017 at 4.30pm.

Misogyny as a Hate Crime

Nottinghamshire Police have taken the bold step to identify misogyny as a hate crime and Northern UNSION are keen for this to be replicated in our region. The aim of the event is to identify how we can move the issue forward across the region with all three Police and Crime Commissioners.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/11

Swings and scooters of inflation basket

No real improvement in weekly earnings

Cosmetic improvement with Living Wage

Zero-hours contracts at record high

Unemployment falls below 1.6 million


AGM 2017

Agenda and annual report.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/10

Economic forecasts in Hammond's Budget

Mixed fortunes in ethnic women's pay gap data

Company merger and acquisitions in 2016

Numbers on zero-hours contracts at a high

GMB take on DX delivery firm

Former chancellor's nice big earner

Charter to stop violence at work


March/Rally for Durham Teaching Assistants

Saturday 25 March. Hear grassroots, union and guest speakers and watch the Reel News film showing the Durham Teaching Assistants’ story.

LGBT Policy weekend

Saturday 25 March, to plan UNISON LGBT activities for the year ahead.

HOPE Not Hate Event

A joint training session for trade union and community activists on how to organise to defeat the politics of division.  18 March 2017.

NE People’s Assembly

March calendar of events and activities.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/9

Trade Union Act regs come into force

Gender pension gap leaves women short

Violence at work — the nasty truth

Bookseller's £7m salary

Money purchase pension are norm

British Gas denied appeal in Lock case

Government fails in ethnicity review


Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on Monday 6 March.

Retired members

Papers for the retired members' meeting on 17 March.


Branch Lottery

Winners in February.

Workers Memorial Day

Morning seminar and afternoon remembrance service in Hartlepool on Friday 28 April 2017. There is also an Eve of WMD ‘Gig’ on Thursday 27 April.


Labour Research Department Fact 79/8

Government green paper on pensions

A 'Stern diet' for fat cat directors' pay

Employers — don't miss out on talent

Argos repays £2.4 million to 37,000 staff

Economic growth revised upwards

Work fears of disabled people revealed

In the papers

Migrants have helped make Britain. It’s time to celebrate us

NHS at breaking point, according to British Medical Association

Councils prepare to cut essential services to fund adult social care

London transport spending equivalent to £1,500 more per head than North East


Labour Research Department Fact 79/7

Minimum wage cheats named and shamed

Inflation hits three-year high

Unemployment at 11-year low

Inflation erodes growth in weekly earnings

In the papers

Migrants are always the scapegoats. But now they’re taking on Ukip’s lies

I, Daniel Blake is a realistic depiction of life on benefits. Isn’t it?

English social care system for elderly facing 'complete collapse'

North East peers want law to make Government investigate impact of Brexit on region

North East recruitment drive revealed as jobless total in region rises

UK employment growth driven by foreign nationals, figures show

The NHS needs a rethink. Its priorities no longer make sense

Top Labour politicians come to 'UKIP area' Sunderland for Brexit debates and festival

Rothbury Community Hospital inpatient ward closure public meeting this week

Shopping will cost you more as prices rise, but is Brexit to blame?

Campaigners calling for u-turn over Post Office move

UK labour shortages reported as EU worker numbers fall

Britons living in the EU face Brexit backlash, leaked paper warns

Then the Daily Mail came for Gary Lineker, and we said: ‘Enough!’

Brexit survey revealed: What you would do if given second shot at EU referendum

Booming gig economy costs £4bn in lost tax and benefit payouts, says TUC

There will be a shameful betrayal of the Brexit low-paid

Welcome to the new dark ages, where only the wealthy can retire

NHS 'pays £7.5m a year for 20 most expensive agency doctors'

Drive to bring health and social care together is a well-intentioned mess


Disabled Members Policy Weekend

Sunderland, 19/20 May 2017.

Members training

Sign Language (BSL) Introduction, 2 March 2017

Dementia Workshop, 30 March 2017

Reps training

Regional Education Calendar 2017

In the papers

A&E in England had worst delays ever in January, leak suggests

Why was Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes the star of Prime Minister's questions?

Number of patients stuck in hospital 'far higher than NHS data shows'

It's time corporate tax dodgers started losing lucrative council contracts

More council housing needed in the North East - government report reveals

Council tax, youth funding and bins: 6 things to look out for from Sunderland budget meeting

TyneMet and South Tyneside colleges merger: What it means for jobs, campuses and its new name?

Labour Research Department Fact 79/6

Review of tribunal fees finally published

Plan to tackle abusive hiring practices

Insecure work on rise

Twenty eight directors share £68.37 million


Affiliations and donations

A list of affiliations and donations that the branch committee has approved since January 2015.


In the papers

UK faces return to inequality of Thatcher years, says report

NHS ID scheme could deter eligible patients, say MPs

Councils may cut social care provision due to underfunding, LGA says

Nursery schools: ‘What society gives children less chance than their parents?’

Council tax rise planned for Northumberland residents as authority faces £36m cuts

'Trump can't hack Trebs' - the best signs from Newcastle anti-Trump demonstration

Labour Research Department Fact 79/5

Racism at work

Economy grows but there's a shortfall

Advice on gender pay gap from Acas

Tories offer no solution on discrimination

Eight assaults a day in Welsh schools


A quarterly periodical updating branch reps on employment law.


Branch Lottery

Winners in January.


Young Members

Northern Region Young Members AGM

Black Members

UNISON Northern Region Black Members Forum AGM 2017.

LV Car Insurance

Discounted car insurance for UNISON members.


North East March and Rally for #ourNHS

In Newcastle on Saturday 4 February.

Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on 6 February.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/4

Death by a thousand fire service cuts

Guidance on stress

Modern-day slave traders jailed

Fees let bad bosses get off scot free

Top-ranked inclusive employers 2017

Get tough on pay, says pension funds


Women's Network AGM

Agenda and nomination form for the mmeting on 4 February.

Disabled Members

Annual Meeting of the Regional Disabled Members Self Organised Group on Tuesday 31 January 2017.

Members training

Mental Health Awareness Workshop on Thursday 16 February.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/3

Wales to ditch parts of 2016 Trade Union Act

Inflation rates at highest since 2014

Retail inflation eating into earnings growth

UK unemployment at nine-year low

In the Papers

Public sector pay poised to fall by thousands in real terms, TUC says

May’s promise on workers’ rights is hollow if she doesn’t get a deal

NHS crisis: the one act of self-sacrifice that could rescue our health service

Politicians have ignored the working class for too long

World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%

Crisis, what NHS crisis? Theresa May must stop this denial

Welsh government tables bill to overturn Trade Union Act


Anne Frank Trust Exhibition

UNISON have now been allocated two spots on the 16 January to have guided tours around the Anne Frank exhibition. 

Labour Research Department Fact 79/2

Courier's tribunal win against CitySprint

TUC warns over Brexit threat to workers' rights

Lame excuses for not paying minimum wage

High street store fined over safety

Manufacturing output edges higher

Child poverty briefing


Branch Lottery

Winners in December.


The Trade Union Act and UNISON's Political Fund

Consultation on political fund review: December-January

Reading Ahead

We are having our first Reading Ahead launch at Welford Learning Zone on 11 January between 10am and 11am.

Trade Union Reps courses

Book now to secure your place on one of the courses for Reps at Newcastle College starting in January 2017.

Northern Region Training Programme

UNISON courses in 2017. These courses are free and open to all members unless otherwise stated.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/1

'Precarious pay penalty' of zero-hours staff

Plans for a Universal Basic Income

2017 — economic forecasts for year

'Fat Cat Wednesday' has been and gone

Northern Ireland to reveal political gifts

UK's deficit in trade in goods gets ever worse

UK economic growth revised upwards