Domestic violence increases under lockdown

As you may be aware from reports in the media, incidents of domestic violence and abuse have risen following lock down.

UNISON has a comprehensive guide on Domestic Violence and Abuse https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2017/02/24192.pdf which includes guidance for reps and branches on how to support members as well as the model policy for employers. On Page 4 you will find helpful numbers that members can access, which members might find useful.

“If you are concerned for your own or someone else’s immediate safety, ring the police on 999 

If you or a friend needs help call 0808 2000 247 the freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge) or email: helpline@womensaid.org.uk. The helpline is a member of Language Line and can provide access to an interpreter for non-English speaking callers. The helpline can also access the BT Type Talk Service.

National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline for LGBT people experiencing domestic abuse. Call 0800 999 5428 Monday to Wednesday 10am to 5pm, Thursday 10am to 8pm, Friday 1pm to 5pm and Sunday 12pm to 4pm.  Tuesday 1pm to 5pm is a trans specific service. Email: help@galop.org.uk Online chat: 3pm to 7pm Saturday, 3pm to 7pm Sunday www.galop.org.uk

Men’s Advice Line for men experiencing domestic violence. Call 0808 801 0327 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm or email: info@mensadviceline.org.uk

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Long live May Day!

On Friday at 07:00 UTC, the world’s first global virtual May Day celebration will begin. That’s 08:00 in London.

Working together with the International Trade Union Confederation and all the global union federations, the Labourstart organisation is hosting a 12- hour long broadcast of videos and live events from trade unions around the globe.

They have collected videos made especially for May Day from unions on every continent.

They will send out a reminder before the event begins and will be asking you on Friday to join them at https://www.labourstart.org/mayday.

They hope to share a provisional schedule of what they are showing a day before the broadcast.

Over the next few days, they need your help to raise awareness of this incredible event.

  • Please note the start time in your diaries and join when you can, throughout the day.
  • Please spread the word in your unions by email and on social media.
  • If you have contacts in your local media (television, radio, newspapers, etc) please alert them to the press release and encourage them to cover the event.
  • In some places, the event will be shown on local television stations — we encourage you to find many ways to share the event to the widest possible audience.

May Day is our international workers’ holiday — it will not be shut-down or locked-down.

Long live international workers’ solidarity!  Long live May Day!

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Remember the dead – fight for the living!

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Demand more PPE and testing!

Remember the dead. Fight for the living!
Keep up the pressure for proper PPE and testing

Next Tuesday, 28th April, is International Workers Memorial Day, when trade unionists all over the world remember workers killed while doing their jobs.
Never has this been more relevant and important, as the COVID-19 crisis continues to take lives, especially within the caring services and among key workers who are putting their lives on the line to care for others
Often they are working without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and in the UK the government’s mismanagement of the crisis has severely restricted the availability of testing.
The lockdown means what we can do as a branch is limited. But we can all observe a minute’s silence at 11am on Tuesday wherever we are – working from home or in our workplace. After that we could use home-made posters and banners to demand more PPE and testing. Take a picture of yourself with your poster and send it to the branch so we can make an online display to play our part in the battle for proper protection for all workers. Send your pictures to susan.bowes@brighton-hove.gov.uk and we will post them on our website and Facebook page.
Remember the dead. FIGHT FOR THE LIVING!

For more information check out the People before Profit: Health Worker COVID Activists Facebook page

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Employers make pay offer

NJC employers offer and joint union response

The Local Government Association has made an increased pay offer for staff on NJC pay and conditions.
Unison’s national negotiators have not accepted that this is the employers’ final offer, as a number of areas remain unresolved. They have asked the employers to write jointly with Unison to the government to seek additional funds for an improved offer and also called for a further negotiating meeting.
Further updates will follow as the situation unfolds.

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Read the employers offer

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Read the NJC joint union response

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Branch AGM postponed until further notice

Due to the precautions needed to try and prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus) the Brighton and Hove Unitary Unison Branch AGM, due to take place on 26th March, has been postponed until further notice.

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Branch statement on Coronavirus

These are very difficult and worrying times for all of us.  You may have an elderly relative you are concerned about, or wonder how you are going to support your kids and work from home if the schools close.  You may be worried because you have a health condition, or what is going to happen to the small business owners and self-employed people you know.

Those of us employed in local government are some of the the lucky ones, as our employer has sick pay and self-isolation procedures in place for us.  Others we know may not be that lucky.  If you are a member of Brighton & Hove Branch and have any worries or concerns, do contact us.  If you need support in the community, want to offer support, or want to stand in solidarity with campaigns and petitions calling for more help for some of the most economically vulnerable, please see the links below.

As always Brighton & Hove Unison stands in solidarity with you and hopes you and your friends and family stay well.

Brighton Covid Mutual Aid (if you can offer support or need it locally)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/491658741529273/

Small business emergency grant:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/11/sunak–budget-lifeline-small-firms-coronavirus

TUC Advice to Unions and Union members:

https://www.tuc.org.uk/resource/covid-19-coronavirus-guidance-unions

Self employed petition:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300336

Petition to protect renters:

https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-prime-minister-of-great-britain-robert-jenrick-mp-secretary-of-state-for-housing-coronavirus-protect-renters-now?

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March Against Racism

Race hate crime is on the rise and the far-right are organising all around the country. Racist graffiti has appeared in our own city recently.

Boris Johnson’s re-election means that the Tories’ racist agenda will also continue.

As anti-racists, we need to show that we will fight all racism and resist the Tory government’s attempts to divide and rule.

The national  March Against Racism in London will be held on UN Anti-Racism Day –  Saturday, 21st March. Join other Unison members from our branch on the day.

For more details go to standuptoracism.org.uk or find them on Twitter at @AntiRacismDay or on Facebook at Stand Up to Racism.

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Unison supports Moulsecoomb strikers

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Unison members joined parents and other trade unions on the picket outside Moulsecoomb Primary School last Thursday (21st November.)

The NEU and GMB unions were striking in protest at the government’s attempts to force the school to become an academy. Unison has also balloted its members at the school and won 100% support for a strike.

A vibrant parent-led campaign is opposing the attempt to privatise the school. They want it to remain in local authority control, where it is at the heart of the community it serves. Speakers at the rally after the picket included Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle and the President of the NEU teachers’ union.

Pic: Dave Jones, NEU

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Disability Pride talk marks International Day of Disabled people

Unison members are among those invited to this event organised by Brighton & Hove City Council:

Why I Started Disability Pride’ Talk and Q&A from Jenny Skelton

Tuesday 3 December, 12.30 – 2pm

Brighton Town Hall, Council Chamber

To mark International Day of Disabled People, Jenny Skelton, founder of Disability Pride will tell her story about why she started Disability Pride , and about her new campaign #ComingOutAsDisabled.

This free session is open to all council staff and friends and family of staff are also welcome to join the conversation. Bookings will be taken on a first come, first serve basis via the following link: https://bit.ly/2s2o5xX

This forms part of the council’s new ‘Diverse Stories Series’, following successful sessions, ‘Let’s Talk Gender with Jules’ in April, ‘Streets Paved with Gold’ – a performance to celebrate National Windrush Day 2019 in June, and ‘Who was Thomas Highflyer’ – a screening to celebrate Black History Month in October.

The series aims to support staff awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion through storytelling and hearing about other people’s authentic lived experiences.

If you have any access requirements please contact: equalities@brighton-hove.gov.uk  in advance of the event.

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