News From our Regional Secretary

The government announced a further attack on workers with their proposed Trade Union Bill that would introduce a 50% voting threshold for union strike ballot turnouts, and a requirement that 40% of those entitled to vote must back action in “essential public services” – health, education, fire and transport.
This graph takes a look at how many MPs actually meet this threshold. I think you will be surprised at the answer:
Members in Probation to take Industrial Action
UNISON members in the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies have voted for industrial action over the 0% pay offer for 2014.
73% voted yes to take part in a strike and 88% voted yes to action short of strike action. UNISON’s National Probation Committee have agreed a programme of industrial action which has subsequently been endorsed by UNISON’s industrial action committee.
The hope is that the ballot result will encourage the employers to re-open pay talks to improve the offer, however if they do not, the industrial action will start with a 24 hour strike on Thursday 11 June and be followed by a period of action short of strike action. For more info go here:
Changes to the operation of UNISON direct numbers
Major changes to the way 0845 numbers operate come into force on 1 July. This includes changes to the way calls are charged to the caller; and the information that needs to be given to the caller about those charges. In addition from the 1 July, calls made on mobile phones to “free phone”  numbers will be actually be “free”.
Over the past two years the union has introduced free phone numbers for UNISONdirect and run down the use of the 0845 number .  We now need to close the 0845 number down completely.
The main number remains free phone 0800 0 857 857.  Any member phoning the 0845 number will hear a message asking them to redial the free phone number.  The 0845 number  will cease to operate completely from September.
Chainmakers Festival – Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 July, Cradley Heath

See attached flyer:chainmakers2015 (PDF)


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