Thank You Teaching Assistants

To All Teaching Assistants,

Mr Gove may not value Teaching Assistants, but here at UNISON we believe you are a vital part of our Children’s Education and as the school years ends we just wanted to say a quick thank you on behalf of all our members for all the hard work and dedication you’ve put in; we know many of you go above and beyond what’s required.

Thank You!

See more about UNISON’s Campaign to Save Teaching Assistants

You might want to sign this petition.

If you are not a member of UNISON, you’re always welcome to join us, find out more about us here:

Read more about government plans to abolish teaching assistants.

UNISON Can Help With School Uniform Costs

If you're struggling with the rising cost of living, and worried about how you'll be able to cope with back-to-school costs, UNISON might be able to help.

The union's welfare charity, There For You, has set up a limited fund to help with school uniform costs with a one-off payment of up to £120, and is now accepting applications from members on low incomes.

To apply, and to find out if you may be eligible, download the application form. Alternatively, you can contact the branch.

You will need to submit completed application forms by 5 July 2013.

The Women Chainmakers' Festival 2013

A Festival celebrating an historic strike by women Chainmakers will return to Cradley Heath this weekend.

The ninth Women Chainmakers festival will be held in Bearmore Park in Cradley Heath on 8th June, preceded by a new addition to the festival -'Friday night at the Chainmakers'.

The venue for both events, Bearmore Mound, is in the heart of the Cradley Heath community where the Chainmakers worked and lived - and fought their successful ten week dispute to secure a minimum wage for their sector.

Bank Holiday - Branch Office Closure

Please note the Branch Office will be closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday 27th May 2013 and Tuesday 28th May 2013.  If your call is urgent please contact UNISON Direct on 0845 355 0845.  The office will re-open at 9am on Wednesday 29th May 2013.

Workers Memorial Day Commemorative Bench

As part of Workers Memorial Day on Sunday 28th April, the Branch today unveiled a commemorative bench on Route 55 of the National Cycle Network, near Crows Nest Lane car park, Gnosall, to remember those killed, made ill, or injured by their own or someone else’s work.

UNISON Warns: Foolish to ignore the voice of 50,000 ‘Support Stafford Hospital’ protesters

The community of Staffordshire turned out in their tens of thousands on Saturday (20 April) in a united march calling for full NHS acute services at Stafford Hospital. The march spilled through the streets and alleys of Stafford taking almost an hour to clear the starting line in Market Square. The crowd packed tightly into the grounds of the hospital waving rally banners and chanting.

Ray Salmon, West Midlands Regional Organiser, said:

International Workers’ Memorial Day - 28th April

On every 28 April, International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) is held to remember the dead, and fight for the living.   We remember those killed, made ill, or injured by their or someone else’s work.

More information can be found on the National UNISON webpage.

UNISON Demonstrating Support for Stafford Hospital

Details: Saturday 20 April 2013 a demonstration march leaves Market Square, Stafford at 2pm

UNISON members will take part in a demonstration on Saturday 20 April to help save acute health services at Stafford Hospital. They will join ‘The Support Stafford Hospital’ campaign which leaves Market Square Stafford at 2pm in a march to Stafford Hospital.

Ray Salmon, West Midlands Regional Organiser said:

European Advocate General: "Privatised workers should retain ongoing parity of pay & conditions"

The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union, today backed UNISON’s claim that privatised workers should continue to benefit from increased pay and conditions negotiated at their previous workplace, setting an important legal precedent.

Over the past seven years, UNISON has argued that 24 members transferred from the London Borough of Lewisham to Parkwood Leisure, were entitled, under their contracts of employment, to continue to benefit from nationally agreed pay and terms negotiated by the local government pay body.

World Book Day

Today is World Book Day with events taking place across the country at Schools, Libraries and book shops.

Reading is one of the cornerstones of learning and is also one of the cheapest forms of entertainment available.

Why not check out to find an event near you or simply visit your local library or bookshop.

If you have children their school / nursery should have provided them with a book voucher entitling them to a free book from a specially produced range or £1 off any other book.

Reading is fun so go on, treat yourself to a book!

Stuart Nixon
Union Learning Rep, Staffordshire UNISON