Monthly Archives: January 2013

Teaching Assistants Are ‘Vital To Schools’ Say Headteachers

UNISON commission a new survey in Autumn 2012 of school leaders which reveals that the vast majority of head teachers believe that their school could not run without the hard work of teaching assistants (TAs). Hand Print

The in-depth survey reveals that 95% of heads and school leaders believe TAs add significant value to the team around children, including to those with special educational needs.

The survey also outlines best practice, and reports that TAs could play an even greater role in improving quality given better supervision and deployment.

The school leaders are overwhelmingly supportive of the work that TAs do in a mix of pastoral, teaching and administrative roles, leading some to call for TAs to get better training, pay and employment conditions.

You can read the full report here.

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Filed under Education, News

Kensington & Chelsea UNISON Elections for Branch Officers and Stewards 2013

Kensington & Chelsea UNISON is looking for people to put their names forward to serve as stewards and Branch officers. Do you want to gain knowledge and experience of trade union activity? Do you want to help fight for a better deal for yourself and your colleagues? We always need individuals who want to become more involved with the Branch on an activist level.

As a UNISON steward you basically do three things:

  • Keep the Branch informed about developments in your workplace
  • Keep the UNISON members in your workplace informed and recruit new members
  • Represent Branch members who need help

If you want to start on the process of becoming a full workplace steward the first step you need to be nominated by members in your workplace. Your will need to complete this form and ask two UNISON members in your workplace to nominate and second it.

Once we have received this we let the College’s personnel department know about your election as steward/workplace representative.

You then need to attend a training course: Introductory Organising Stewards (3 days). By law you are entitled to paid time off from work to attend these courses.

The courses are held locally in London and we will pay any travel or subsistence costs. A list of course details and dates can be found here.

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Filed under Branch Meetings

Pay Update – Pay Negotiations 2013-14

The Joint Trade Union Side met on 10 January 2013 to discuss the current situation regarding NJC[i]  pay negotiations and how to support and intensify local campaigning.Pay Picturwe

Following  discussions in December, the Employers are now seeking further feedback from their constituents on their response to our pay claim for 2013 -14.  This informal consultation will end on 18 January and we should hear the outcome within two to three weeks after this date.  So far they have made us no formal offer.

In the light of the Employers’ consultation, it was agreed at the NJC Committee on 10 January to step up the union’s NJC Pay Matters campaign and ask branches to lobby councillors on pay which we will be doing.

Following the meeting an email is being sent to all councillors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland asking them to:

  • Support a decent pay rise for all NJC workers to compensate for the    three-year pay freeze and inflation
  • Lobby their council leadership and cabinet to ask the English, Welsh and Northern Ireland Local Government Associations and Local Government Employers to press the Coalition to fund a decent pay rise. 
  • Talk to their employees directly to find out what the three-year pay freeze has meant for them personally.

The government’s pay policy is for a 1% increase in public sector pay. We believe that all NJC workers should be paid the 1% increase promised by government. But we also believe that they should receive further recognition of the three-year pay freeze which has decimated their incomes in the substantial increase that we sought in our claim.

Members’ Online Survey

Later in January UNISON will be issuing a brief online survey to all members in local government asking them for their views on how the pay freeze, job losses and attacks to terms and conditions are affecting them at work and at home. The results will be used to support the case for a fair pay rise in the press and media. Please look out for the survey and we encourage all our members working in local government to complete it. The link to the survey will be issued soon. 

The NJC Committee is aware that members are very concerned about redundancies and local cuts to conditions as the Coalition cuts deeper into local government funding. However, we believe that it is vital to send a strong message to the Employers that Pay Matters. There are local elections in May and further changes in political control could provide a more favourable climate for negotiations in 2014 and beyond.


[i] NJC – National Joint Council for Local Government Services. National body for negotiating the pay and conditions of staff employed by local authorities. It consists of representatives of the trade unions recognised for local government staff and the employing authorities.

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Filed under Pay and Conditions

Representing our members

Unison shop stewards and health-and-safety reps have been representing individual members with a range of problems this month, including long-term sickness, pay progression, health and safety and bullying problems. Shop stewards are ordinary workers like you, who volunteer to represent their fellow members. Extensive training and agreed time off is available for shop stewards. There’s no substitute for the local knowledge and experience a shop steward can bring, so we really need one rep in every team. Could you represent your team? Call the Unison office for details.

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Filed under Advice and Guidance