Monthly Archives: July 2016

NPC Report for 2016

Branch retired members Verena Beane, Sue Clark, Rochana Lowton and Allen Hawley attended as delegates the NPC Pensioners Parliament at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on 14-16 June 2016.

Click here to read their comprehensive report of the conference.

 Ret mem at NPC



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Kensington and Chelsea Branch Meeting, 18 July 2016-07-18

Speaker: Roger McKenzie Assistant General Secretary at UNISON

The referendum has resulted in an increase in racist abuse. Some people where taken in byRoger the rhetoric that divides people, saying some of us are better than others and life would be better without those kinds of people around. Even some people from black community have been heard saying things against Eastern Europeans. It has made for a poisonous atmosphere.

The message has been there’s no point standing together -it’s everyone for themselves.

Many UNISON members working in the UK who originating from the EU report feeling unwelcome in the UK now. “Why do they want us to go?” they ask.

170,000 people join UNISON year.

60% of those who join UNISON come from the private sector. Recognition is difficult in this sector because many private sectors employers are hostile and the only thing we can do it go in on the back of the member’s right to be accompanied. This does not give the union the means to negotiate or consult on pay and conditions with the employer.

On the other side, lots of people have been leaving UNISON because they are made redundant or have had enough of working in public service. Higher workloads caused by fewer staff compounded by continuous job uncertainly and near zero pay increases have all contributed towards poor morale and staff leaving.

Gateshead UNISON says that they now have more staff who want to go on redundancy than there are jobs being made redundant

High levels of Privatisation in the Home Office is a warning that the new prime minister will be pursuing the privatising agenda.

Roger will be doing a number of road shows supporting EU members in the workplaces across the UK Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants. The trade union movement will have to support those under attack.

Now is the time to get the message across to the politicians processing leaving Europe; that we value other EU nationals working in the UK and that we want to retain our employment rights.

UNISON needs to be well organised on the ground with reps to assist members and recruit.

We have shown that we can fight anti-union legislation, managing to stop the removal of DOCAS by the Trade Union Bill. However history tells us that the government will come back for more.

Working people may have their disagreements but we need to stick together. Need to build together and build the movement for working people.

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Professional standards for Teaching Assistants launched

UNISON, working with a range of partners, has produced a Link that will enhance the work and profile of teaching assistants.

UNISON began work on the standards three years ago, working with the National Education Trust. Our work was picked up by the Department for Education (DfE) who set up a working party to develop the standards. Unfortunately the new government decided not to publish the final draft.

The DfE intervention unfortunately wasted two years, during which time we could have implemented the standards and get them up and running in schools. During this period UNISON has been involved in the production of standards for other schools staff including Link and Link

These new teaching assistant standards continue the professional work that UNISON does for our school support staff members.

We have taken the opportunity of reviewing the DfEs final draft and worked with a wider group of partners so the new standards are now produced and endorsed by UNISON, NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers), NET (National Education Trust), London Leadership Strategy, and Maximising TAs, with involvement and support from Rob Webster (UCL Institute of Education), Paula Bosanquet (University of East London), Maria Constantinou, schools-based practitioner, and Dame Kate Dethridge NLE, Headteacher of Churchend Academy Teaching School (home of the Reading Teaching School Alliance) and former chair of the DfE working group that drafted the standards.

You can find a copy of the standards here .

An article on story of the standards appears in Schools Week magazine: Link

The new standards will bring teaching assistants into line with their teacher and head teacher colleagues, both of whom already have their own sets of standards. The standards help to clarify the roles of teaching assistants as well as training and development expectations.

Ruth Levin  

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Rise in Hate Crime after EU Referendum Vote will not be tolerated, say Councillors

Racist, religious and faith motivated hate crimes were already rising in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea over the past year due to international events and the lead up to the divisive European Union Referendum campaign, but after the Brexit vote on 23rd May, a substantial minority of misguided people in London and the UK believe they have the right to racially abuse and attack anyone they decide is either not British or should not be present in the UK.

Kensington and Chelsea Labour Councillors will absolutely not tolerate any sort of racist orhate crime discriminatory behaviour or attacks against the residents and communities that we are elected to represent, nor tolerate hate crime behaviour against visitors and people who work in the Borough and who commute from other parts of London.

Labour Councillors have held meetings with Kensington and Chelsea’s Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Tariq Sarwar, to impress on him the importance of the police taking action to protect our residents, their places of worship and community centres from the possibility of hate crime incidents at this time.

The police have assured Councillors that they will not tolerate hate crime now or at any time, that they are carrying out hate crime reviews every 24 hours, that there are extra police patrols on the streets, and that they are working with Ward Councillors, the Council and leading community members to give reassurance and support.

Labour Councillor, Pat Mason, who is also Chair of the Council’s Crime and Disorder Committee, said:

“We have had some hate incidents in the Borough in recent days, including racist graffiti sprayed on a school in Golborne, so I have to say that if anyone is caught doing this or racially abusing or attacking our residents, they will face the wrath of local people and the full force of the law. There are more than 40 different nationalities living in peaceful togetherness in RBKC and North Kensington and we are not going to tolerate anyone who thinks they have the right to play out their twisted views on our streets”.

Labour Councillor Emma Dent Coad, who also sits on the Crime and Disorder Committee, said: ‘We must establish zero tolerance for hate crime. Please report it immediately with as full a description as possible, with photos if this does not put you in danger. Call the police on 101, or do not hesitate to call 999 if violence is threatened. Some of us are wearing a safety pin to denote that we will stand against hate crime and intervene if we can. Remember that making racist comments is a crime; report it.’


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