07899715085 or 07899713498 unison1@wirral.gov.uk

Coronavirus update 28.09.20

Dear Member

Hello Everyone! We hope you all had a lovely weekend and have had a good start to the working week so far.

Working from Home

Some of our members may have seen reports in the media regarding the management of homeworkers; of course many members will be working from home at the moment and may have mixed feelings about the experience. Reports at the weekend however have highlighted how some employers are using increased levels of surveillance in an attempt to “recreate the oversight of the office at home.” In effect this is about monitoring when people are logged on. This is a worrying development but we want to be clear that, as far as we are aware, none of our employers are using these techniques.

That does not mean to say that in individual cases some managers may seek to monitor staff quite closely; this may be using Microsoft Teams, checking emails, or setting up unnecessarily frequent virtual meetings. If any of our members feel they are being subject to excessive monitoring, please do let us know.

More generally we want to see agreements in place so expectations of homeworking are clear on both sides. We know of course, that many of us are working from home in accordance with government guidance and to minimise the risk of infection and we have no reason to doubt that employers are taking account of this.

Financial impact of Covid 19 on women

Thousands of women are being adversely affected by the Universal Credit chaos especially during this Covid 19 pandemic. Many families are left devastated and penniless as the number of people attending food banks for emergency support continue to rise.

To measure the scale and severity of this crisis and get the decision makers to listen to us, we are inviting you to share your story with us. click here to share your UC story

5 week wait

Everyone who applies for Universal Credit has to wait at least five weeks for their first payment. This is leaving people without access to even the basics for five weeks, forcing them to rely on food banks and even pushing some people into homelessness. This is an utterly inhumane and indefensible approach. The Department for Work and Pensions must make the first Universal Credit payment within the first two weeks of the claim being made. People cannot be left destitute with no safety net.

UNISON is throwing its support behind the Trussell Trust’s campaign,#5weekstoolong, to end the five week wait for Universal Credit. support the campaign_5weekstoolong

Two child limit

UNISON campaigns against the two-child limit on tax credits and universal credit claimants. The ‘two child limit’ policy means that people will no longer receive an additional allowance (£2,780/year) for a third or subsequent child, born on or after 6 April 2017, unless special circumstances apply. This will increase child poverty and increase trauma for rape victims.

UNISON were instrumental in the creation of the coalition campaign, All Kids Count, which brings together 52 organisations to oppose the two-child limit. allkidscount_campaign

Stop Brackenwood Juniors Academisation

Consultation is currently taking place over the proposed conversation of Brackenwood Junior school to an academy as part of a Multi Academy Trust. Unison’s position is one of opposition to academies, as we believe it brings division within education, and undermines accountability. In the case of this particular school, it is not clear what the imperative is for the change or how it will benefit pupils, staff or the community.

Together with the teachers union the NEU, Wirral Unison have organised a public rally which will take place on Facebook this Friday 2 October at 5:30pm. We would be grateful if you could attend the meeting, like and share  the link to facebook rally

95,000 Cap on Exit Payments

The Westminster Government has tabled, at short notice (as soon as the 30th Sept, this Wednesday!), the final votes on the regulations that will impose a £95,000 cap on all exit payments in the public sector.  

This was a move trumpeted as limiting fat cat payouts, but under government proposals it will affect those on rather more modest salaries. This is because the draft regulations place on an absolute cap of £95,000 on all public sector exit payments, including pension elements. The £95k cap would be particularly punitive in local government, because Local Government Pension Strain costs are included as part of the £95k  – even though this is money the individual does not receive. The result is that many members on very moderate salaries could be affected, if they have long service.

We are asking members particularly those who may be affected to write to their MP before Wednesday. Here is a model letter that you can modify/personalise as needed and email to your MP

That’s all for today everyone. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or require support.

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’ll be in touch soon with further updates.    

In solidarity!

Your Wirral Unison Team

Branch Office: 0151 666 3040

Central email: unison1@wirral.gov.uk

Published on: September 29, 2020