This years Kensington and Chelsea Council staff ball takes place on Friday 2 June, 6pm to 11.30pm, in the Great Hall.
If you are a member of staff you can book your tickets from firstname.lastname@example.org
More details can be found here.
To vote in the General Election on 8 June 2017 you must be on the Electoral Register by 22 May 2017
You don’t need to register again if you’ve already registered, but you might wish to check that you are on the Register. To do this your need to contact your local Electoral Registration Office. You can find contact details for it using the ‘postcode search facility’ on the front page of the Your Vote Matters website https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/
You should register to vote if you are:
Please note that a non-UK citizen who is resident in the UK and is married to a UK citizen, is not automatically eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary elections. And not all people born in the UK are automatically UK citizens, children born in the UK after 1 January 1983 are only British citizens if either their father or their mother is also British or, and if both parents are foreign nationals, they are legally ‘settled’ in the UK.
More details about who is eligible to register and vote in different UK based elections is available at: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/43954/Part-B-Entitlement-to-register-March-2010.pdf
By the way, it is too late to register for the 4 May 2017 local elections.
If you go to https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote you can:
To register to vote using the online facility should only take 5 minutes. You will need your National Insurance Number and perhaps your Passport Number, if you have one.
You can also join the Electoral Register by post. The form that you need to complete can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/607718/Register_to_vote_living_in_england_and_wales.pdf
There are strong personal and political reasons for joining the Register. If your name is on the Register you can choose to vote, or indeed, choose not to vote, but if your name is not on the Register, you lose that choice. Citizens casting their vote in elections is a central part of our democracy. And it is not glib to say that men, and especially women, campaigned, fought and died to win the right to vote. In some parts of the world people are still fighting for democratic elections, so we should not take the right to vote lightly, or take it for granted.
Elections are your opportunity to determine the path of politics in your community and in the UK.
And if that is not enough to convince you, your local Electoral Registration Office could fine you £80 if you fail to join the register.
If you are resident in more than one place, you can register in multiple locations, but you may only vote in one at each election.
Everything you need to know about voting in the UK can be found at the Your Vote Matters website https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/ including the address and contact information of your local Electoral Registration Office.
The Save Wornington College campaign has collected over 1600 signatures for the petition.
They will now be addressing the RBKC Full Council Meeting on Wednesday 26th April at the Town Hall, on Hornton Street and we will take this opportunity to explain to the Councillors why the much loved adult education establishment is far too important an institution to be turned into more unaffordable housing with an unseen commitment to re-provide a smaller educational space.
The Save Wornington College campaign will highlight to the Council how the College has brought many positive, life changing opportunities to the North Kensington community and how this important resource needs to be protected for the future.
They will asking RBKC to support their demands that the entire building remains in educational use, that there is no reduction in the provision and diversity of courses offered, that there are no staff cuts and that the creche and other facilities on the Wornington site are protected.
There are three ways that you can help support the campaign over the coming month:
The meeting will take place at 6.30pm at the Venture Centre in Wornington Road on Thursday 20th April to make some placards and banners in preparation for the rally and address to the Council on 26th April. Materials will be supplied and the session will end with an informal social gathering at the nearby pub “The Eagle” to discuss the campaign.
The gathering will take place outside the Town Hall in Hornton Street at 6.00pm on Wednesday 26th April to hold a rally prior to the campaign’s address to the Full RBKC Council Meeting that will commence in the main Council Chamber at 6.30pm. Please spread the word among the community about this important event.
There will be a meeting at the Venture Centre at 6.30pm on Thursday 4th May to reflect on the address to Full Council and to plan the future of the Save Wornngton College campaign. Meeting will end at 8.00pm.
A reminder that the UNISON National Executive Committee (NEC) elections began on 3 April and will close on 28 April.
Turnout is often low in these vital elections and we would hope you would participate.
Members should have not received their ballot papers in the post by now and if not then contact UNISON Direct on 08000857857 to ensure they get a replacement.
UNISON has been consulting our members for their views on the government’s plans to introduce a National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) for children and family social workers who carry out statutory roles. The Government plans to begin the roll out this year to your council and 30 others across England. The full list is here.
Our social worker members’ responses to our survey show that they overwhelmingly oppose the introduction of this system. Our social care forum has also requested that we oppose it. UNISON have therefore written the a letter that will be sent to the Leader and chief executive of this council and the 30 others, outlining our members’ objections and requesting that they refuse to participate in the roll out of NAAS. The letter can be viewed here.
Once the Children and Social Work Bill becomes law and we have the finalised details relating the NAAS, we will then explore the implications of members not participating in it. In the meantime we should focus our efforts on encouraging councils to not participate in the scheme.
PS. The Association of Directors of Children’s Services have today highlighted their criticisms of the system http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2017/03/14/social-worker-accreditation-scheme-poor-value-directors-warn/
The 2017 Branch AGM was held on Wednesday 15 Feb in the Small Hall at Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall.
Sean Fox, Haringey Branch Secretary & National Joint Council Member for Greater London was the speaker at yesterday’s Branch AGM. Sean sits on the UNISON national committee that negotiates on pay with the local government employer.
NJC scales are local government pay scales, which are extensively used in the voluntary sector. They are a result of negotiations between trade unions. Due to government restricted pay increases spinal points have begun to bunch up. Negotiations on a revised pay spine will begin in March, after the pay data to be used to model alternatives has been finalised and jointly agreed with the LGA.
Last year’s nominal 1% increase was actually wiped out by the 1 1/2 % increase made by the government to our members National Insurance contributions.
In 2010 and 2011 there was a national pay freeze in local government and no pay increase was given. Since then there has been an annual 1% pay increase and we are currently in the second year of a two-year 1% pay deal. The government (under Chancellor Osbourne) restricted local government pay increase to 1% until 2020. This would mean that earnings for our members in local government would be worth 1/3 less than in 2010.
Additionally this pay suppression is further impacted by higher inflation.
The UNION and its members will have to take action if they are to achieve a decent offer. If this fails to happen we run the risk of becoming accustomed to annual 1% increases and continual pay deterioration.
A copy of the AGM booklet can be downloaded here.
National Joint Council (NJC) Pay Spine Review
As part of the 2016-18 pay deal, the NJC agreed to review the NJC pay spine and established a working group to conduct the review. UNISON’s NJC Executive members and an NJC Committee low paid member represent UNISON on the working group.
At its first meeting on 11 January, the working group agreed (on a without prejudice basis) to proceed according to the three principles below:
We anticipate negotiations on a revised pay spine will begin in March, after the pay data to be used to model alternatives has been finalised and jointly agreed with the LGA.
NJC Pay Claim 2018/19
The NJC Committee has agreed to make our pay aspirations clear to the LGA while the negotiations on the pay spine take place. The intention is to lodge the 2018 pay claim by June this year, subject to agreement with GMB and Unite.
Our proposed timetable for agreeing, discussing and lodging the claim is:
27 April: NJC Committee discuss and agrees draft claim for consultation with branches and members
2 May: Start of consultation over the claim
26 May: End of consultation
31 May: NJC Committee meets and agrees UNISON’s proposals for the claim
June TU Side meets soon after and agrees the claim for submission
The NJC Committee has also considered our campaign for more funding for both the pay spine review and future pay increases above 1%. The Committee believes the current situation calls for:
A union-wide campaign calling for an end to public sector pay restraint
An NJC campaign, based on a claim for 2018 -19, which demonstrates our pay aspirations to the LGA and highlights low pay in local government and schools to the public
A widespread political campaign to get recognition of the need and support for additional funding for the pay spine review and NJC pay in the longer term
We have already taken some steps to raise the issue within the LGA Labour Group, amongst MPs and with the DCLG Select Committee. We will also need significant political pressure from Regions and branches. Campaign details will follow.