See also Medical Aid for PalestiniansPalestine Solidarity Campaign



Toward a two-state solution

MPs have voted 274 to 12 recognise the state of Palestine in an important symbolic motion put forward by Labour MP Grahame Morris. The motion received an amendment submitted by former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, presenting it "as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution"

International Report - Branch Committee November 2014


Thousands dead and injured in Gaza

We’ve all seen the harrowing reports of the situation in Gaza, and although a ceasefire has been agreed, those in Gaza are picking up the pieces of shattered lives and homes after 50 days of bombardment.

This latest act of aggression, in what has been a decades long conflict between occupier and occupied, has seen more than 2,100 people in Gaza killed - most of whom where civilians and 500 of which were children. At least 11,000 people have been injured and more than 17,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

A number vigils, rallies and protests have been held in the Northern region throughout the attack – attended and supported by UNISON activists. Our branch has assisted in a number of appeals in response to the crises, and on 29th August we sponsored an event with Palestine’s Ambassador to Great Britain, The Hon. Manuel Hassassian. This was in order to raise funds for community project in UN Palestinian refugee Camps.

International Report - Branch Committee October 2014


Palestinians Under Siege

Following the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers at the end of last week, Israeli soldiers have rounded up and arrested hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank, shot dead a 20-year-old man, and injured bystanders, including children, and protesters.

300,000 Palestinians are being held under siege or closure. Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem, East Jerusalem and Hebron are among the towns that have been subjected to night raids and ransackings. Israeli soldiers are on the streets of almost every population centre in the West Bank.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign  has called on the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to tell the Israeli Government to end its collective punishment against Palestinians following the disappearance of the three Israelis. The international community must step up and speak out against the desperation and instability created by Israel’s illegal and inhumane actions.

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Branch aid for refugees

The branch committee (March 2014) has donated £250 to the UNRWA appeal for Palestinian refugees

Nearly one-third of the registered Palestine refugees, more than 1.5 million individuals, live in 58 recognized Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The commissioner general of The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the near east (UNRWA) Filippo Grandi said that Palestinian refugees needed continuous international attention.

Grandi recalled his visit to Yarmouk.   “I have observed many conflicts in my career, but I have seldom encountered as much destruction, hunger, fear and despair as I saw in Yarmouk.We were left shocked and speechless. I witnessed this myself during my visit — emerged from the narrow streets looking more like ghosts than living people,” he said.

Many Palestinians have left Yarmouk, but almost 20,000 remain trapped inside.

Jakarta Post, 17 March 2014

Josie Bird's account of her visit to Yarmouk Camp in April 2009

Israel plan to evict Bedouins

Jean Butcher, the newly elected chair of UNISON's NEC international committee took part in a week-long trade union fact-finding delegation to the occupied Palestinian territories organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in July. The delegation arrived just as the first wave of evictions of Bedouin villages (Arab Israeli citizens) were taking place as part of the Israeli government's Prawer Plan which will result in the destruction of 35 'unrecognized' Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, and the dispossession of their historical lands in the Naqab (Negev).

Moved by the plight of the Bedouin, Jean subsequently spoke about her experience at PSC fringe meetings at both TUC and Labour Party conferences and at a joint seminar organised by UNISON's Eastern and South Eastern regions.


Gaza's deadly drinking water

Gaza's only fresh water source is now too dangerous to drink and is contaminated with fertiliser and human waste, according to a shocking new report from Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Save the Children.

On the fifth anniversary of the blockade, Gaza's Children; Falling Behind, reveals desperate families are being forced to buy from private sources, not knowing that in most cases this water too is contaminated, often at ten times the safe level.

In July 2012 Newcastle UNISON donated £50 to Medical Aid for Palestinians to support their campaign.

The blockade of Gaza: Five years on


Jafra Palestinian Youth Centre

Fazia Hussain, Joanne Lawton and Josie Bird formed the Northern TUC delegation to the Jafra Palestinian Youth Centre in the Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria in 2009. Their subsequent report explained the work of the Jafra Centre, described their experiences and sought financial support for various projects for Palestinian refugee children and young people organised by the Jafra Centre. The Northern TUC agreed to support Jafra and its projects and launched an appeal for funds to which affiliated trade unions responded positively. In December 2010 a monitoring visit took place and reported good progress was being made.

Jafra now needs our help more than ever. Palestinian refugees in camps in Syria broadly take the view that the conflict inside Syria is an internal Syrian matter and that they, the Palestinian refugees, are guests in that country. However, this does not protect them from the effects of the situation and Palestinians suffer most because of their lack of resources. The Syrian Pound is collapsing, there are shortages of food, medicines, petrol, diesel, bottled gas and there are long and regular power cuts. Crime including violent crime, unheard of before the conflict started, is now rampant.

One thing we can do to help Palestinian youth and their families in Syria, through the Jafra Centre, is to fund the purchase of electricity generators to keep medical facilities and blood banks going, provide warmth during the winter and to keep food fresh and medicines safe. A generator will cost around £3,000. The Northern TUC has called on those organisations who supported the original appeal, and to others, to make a donation to this Northern TUC appeal.

On 5 March 2012 the Branch Committee agrred to donate £500 to this appeal.


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