07899715085 or 07899713498 unison1@wirral.gov.uk

Coronavirus update 24.08.20

Dear Member

Hi Everyone! We hope you had a restful weekend and have had a good start to the working week.

2020 Pay offer

As you will be aware, Wirral Unison members voted to reject the Local Government pay offer of 2.75% in the consultative ballot last month. As we reported last week, a meeting was held to discuss the North West results at the Regional Local Government Service Group. Regionally, the North West also voted to reject the offer.

However, we are disappointed to inform you that this result was not echoed nationally and therefore the unions’ national NJC committee voted to accept the offer.

We know that for all of you who voted to reject the offer, this will be extremely disappointing news and we share this feeling. We are proud however, that our members made their feelings clear about the pay offer and thank all of you who voted in the ballot.


UNISON nationally has always been clear that we want to see a full return to schools as soon as possible, but the safety of staff, pupils, parents and our communities must come first.

In July the government issued its guidance for schools on planning for a full return of pupils in England at the beginning of the autumn term.

We believe the guidance falls short. We’ve told the government that test and trace must improve; that vulnerable pupils should be a priority; that we need more cleaners; that teaching assistants mustn’t become substitute teachers; that high risk staff need to be safe; and that schools need more funding.

Unison have produced a series of updated FAQ’s for members so that you know where you stand (and where UNISON stands) on a range of issues, including face coverings, cleaning, social distancing, childcare, cover supervision and lots more.

They cover all school settings: primaries, secondaries, special schools, nursery schools and early years. You can read the FAQ’s by following this link UNISON FAQ's Schools

You may be aware that we recently wrote to all school leaders in Wirral seeking confirmation that plans are in place to ensure a safe return in September and we are continuing to review the responses from schools.

We would also expect that members would, by now have had sight of the risk assessments for their schools. If you have not seen your schools risk assessment for opening in September or you are concerned about any aspect of a return to school, please do contact us as soon as you can.

Clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable workers

Following the changes to government guidelines covering clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) and clinically vulnerable (CV) workers, the NJC Local Government Employers issued revised advice for employers to reflect these changes. With regards individual risk assessments, the guidance highlights to employers that these are important but stops short of stating that an individual risk assessment should be offered to all vulnerable workers.

UNISON believes this advice does not go far enough in protecting our members. We maintain that any worker who is either clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable should be offered an individual risk assessment. This is also the position set out in the Joint Unions Risk Assessment Checklist for schools, produced by Unison, Unite, GMB and NEU.  

In our view, all staff who are either clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable should be offered an individual risk assessment, and depending on the outcome of that assessment, additional protection, or continued home working, may be needed for some individuals.
If you are in a vulnerable category and your employer is talking about a return  to the workplace, we encourage you to request an individual risk assessment. If you have any concerns about returning to the workplace, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Women Who Changed the World, Ida B Wells, 9th September 2020

This series of webinars looks at different women throughout history that have worked to improve the world. This second, hour long webinar looks at the life of Ida B Wells. 

Ida B Wells was born in to slavery. She witnessed the American Civil War and the Reconstruction as a child and spent her adult life living under punishing and segregating ‘Jim Crow’ laws in Memphis. At 16, she took on the responsibility for her 5 younger siblings after the death of her parents.

After the murder of a close friend by lynching, Ida researched and reported on lynchings in the South. For her work she received death threats and could no longer return home. She went on to become a leading speaker against lynching, had 4 children and worked to manage childcare and speaking tours.

Ida took inspiration from women’s suffrage in England and created her own suffrage groups for black women. She went on to form the NAACP but then was largely overlooked by history until recently.

This webinar will explore Ida’s life and the social and political issues of the day that influenced her through an archive of pictures, adverts and newspaper pages of the time.
To book a place on this webinar, please follow the link below.

That’s all for today everyone. As always, please feel free to pass our updates on to colleagues and encourage them to join Unison if they haven’t already. Here’s the link to join up! JOIN UNISON

Enjoy your evening and we will be back in touch with further updates soon.

In solidarity!

Lois and Dave

Branch Office: 0151 666 3040

Central email: unison1@wirral.gov.uk

Published on: August 25, 2020