Blog: Give your ❤️ to our unions

It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, which also means it’s ❤️Unions Week. Whatever your relationship status, you can still show your endless love for your trade union.
Besides me shamelessly trying to fit a few love puns and song titles into this blog, you’ll find here my message about how important unions are to me, to everyone’s working lives and to the whole of society.

I’ve spent my whole working life in the trade union movement, because I know that trade unions make life better for working people. Unions help boost pay by up to £60,000 over a working life, while workers in unionised workplaces also have better pensions and much safer workplaces.

On any given day, there could be a new reason why someone needs their trade union. It might be for a national pay deal, for a local re-banding claim, for better protections in the workplace – as during COVID – or for support with a grievance or disciplinary.

Trade unions will always be needed, and right now that need is growing stronger every day that this Westminster government stays in power. As long as the Tories are in Parliament, working people’s lives and living standards are being hammered. It’s been so clear in their attacks on workers’ rights and trade union rights that they don’t have workers’ best interests at heart.

Getting to meet so many of our members and activists is the best part of being general secretary. And I’m proud that UNISON gives public service workers a union for life – from school uniform grants, representation for student nurses and our young members’ forum, right through to our support for retired members.

So, this ❤️Unions Week, remember that UNISON loves you just the way you are. And why not take the opportunity this week to show your love for UNISON, by telling more of your friends and work colleagues all the good reasons to join us.

Link to Blog: Give your ❤️ to our unions

Watch and Share our new ❤️ UNISON film
UNISON addressing the Urgent Call for NHS Scotland Reform

The Scottish NHS is at a crucial juncture, facing challenges that demand immediate attention and action. UNISON, Scotland's largest NHS trade union, has raised significant concerns about the impact of budget cuts on the quality and safety of healthcare services. The union's letter to the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health, and Social Care outlines these issues in detail, emphasizing the need for a constructive dialogue and immediate reforms.

Budget constraints have led to overspending accusations, but UNISON argues this is a misrepresentation of the underlying issue: chronic underfunding. The NHS in Scotland struggles to meet rising demand, and cost-cutting measures, such as the reduction of vacant posts and essential services like the staff shuttle bus in Lothian, exacerbate access and service delivery problems. These cuts not only affect patient care but also increase the workload and stress on existing staff, leading to a cycle of inefficiency and decreased morale among healthcare workers.

UNISON's letter highlights specific instances of concern, including the unilateral decision to cancel the staff shuttle bus in Lothian, disputes over cutting vacant posts in Glasgow, and the need to cut unfunded beds in NHS Ayrshire and Arran. These examples illustrate the broader issue of "right-sizing" the NHS—not through cuts but through informed, community-involved discussions about modernizing and adequately funding the service.

The letter concludes with a call to action, urging the Cabinet Secretary to engage with UNISON and other stakeholders to ensure that any reforms are patient-centered, adequately funded, and designed to sustainably improve the NHS in Scotland. It's a call for a balanced approach that respects the needs of both healthcare workers and the communities they serve.

As Scotland's NHS faces these critical challenges, it's clear that open dialogue, comprehensive planning, and a commitment to investment are essential. The health of the nation depends on it.

Please see the links below to documents for further details and for the letter sent to the new Scottish health Secretary from UNISON.

Link to Letter sent to the new Health Secretary from UNISON.

Link to document on the staffing crisis within the NHS.

The 2024 Pay Claim: A Milestone for NHS Scotland’s Agenda for Change Staff

The 2024 Pay Claim: A Milestone for NHS Scotland’s Agenda for Change Staff

In a significant move, NHS Scotland’s staff, covered under the Agenda for Change (AfC), have laid down a comprehensive pay claim for the year 2024. This pay claim, agreed upon and submitted by all trade unions and professional organizations represented on the Scottish Terms & Conditions Committee (STAC), marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing discourse around fair compensation and working conditions within the healthcare sector.

The Essence of Fair Pay in Healthcare

The healthcare industry, undeniably, is the backbone of our society, more so in challenging times such as these. The dedication and hard work of NHS staff have always been crucial, but the recent global events have spotlighted the absolute necessity of ensuring that these workers are fairly compensated. The 2024 Pay Claim is not just about numbers on a paycheck; it’s about recognizing the value of these indispensable members of our community.

Negotiating for a Better Tomorrow

Negotiations for pay claims within the NHS are a complex process, involving a myriad of stakeholders. It’s a testament to the collective spirit of the NHS workforce and their representatives that they have come together to submit a unified claim. Such solidarity is essential, as it sends a clear message about the collective priorities of healthcare workers, emphasizing the need for a sustainable, fair pay structure that reflects their invaluable contribution to society.

The Impact of the Pay Claim

A successful pay claim can have far-reaching effects. Firstly, it can significantly improve morale among NHS staff, leading to enhanced job satisfaction and, ultimately, better patient care. Secondly, it can help in retaining existing staff and attracting new talent, crucial for the sustainability of healthcare services. Lastly, it sets a precedent for other sectors, highlighting the importance of fair work conditions and adequate compensation.

Looking Forward

As we look toward the resolution of the 2024 Pay Claim, it’s important to remember the broader implications of this effort. It’s about more than just the immediate financial upliftment of NHS staff; it’s about fostering a culture of respect, appreciation, and fairness within the healthcare sector and beyond.

The journey ahead may be fraught with challenges, but the unity and determination shown by NHS Scotland’s staff and their representatives offer a beacon of hope. It’s a reminder that when we stand together for a just cause, the path towards positive change becomes a little less arduous.

Let us all support the NHS Scotland staff in their 2024 Pay Claim, understanding that their fight for fair pay is a step towards a better healthcare system for everyone.

"Securing Your Future: How Quilter Financial Advisers and Unison Are Guiding You Through the Cost of Living Crisis"

In these challenging times, finding a beacon of guidance and support can make all the difference in navigating financial uncertainties. Quilter Financial Advisers, previously known as Lighthouse Financial Advice, has stepped up in collaboration with Unison to offer bespoke financial advice aimed at helping individuals and families weather the cost of living crisis. Our partnership underscores a commitment to provide accessible, expert financial planning services that cater to the unique needs of each person. From safeguarding your future with tailored advice to optimizing your financial resources, we're here to ensure that your financial well-being is secured. Embrace this opportunity to take control of your financial destiny with trusted advisers by your side.

Please click on the links below for all information.

LFA Rebrand Flyer Oct 23_FINALLFA Rebrand Flyer Oct 23_FINAL

QFA Affinity Manager Flyer Jan 2024

QFA-Educational Events -Flyer-Jan 2024

Unison college educational opportunity for all Unison members

Exciting Educational Opportunity Alert! 

UNISON College and The Open University are thrilled to announce a pioneering collaboration! For the first time, we’re offering our members exclusive access to university-level Microcredential courses and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Short Courses.

The Open University have collaborated to provide members with access to university-level Microcredential courses, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Short Courses.

Why This Matters?
These courses are specially designed for those either making a return to education or looking to continue their learning journey. Thanks to The Open University’s flexible approach, these opportunities are perfect for accommodating diverse learning styles, backgrounds, and the varied schedules of our members.

What’s in It for You?
This collaboration is your gateway to explore university-level education and professional short courses that promise to enhance your skills, knowledge, and career development. It’s an exceptional chance to invest in yourself and your future!

Mark Your Calendars!
The courses will be available across 2024 in March, July, October, and December. But hurry, the first application deadline is fast approaching on 9th February!

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to elevate your educational and professional journey with us.

For more information and to apply, here are the links. Microcredential courses, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Short Courses.

Let’s embrace this journey of learning and growth together. See you in class!