Support the march on 13 October – it’s a matter of life and death!

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Walk for Denise raises cash for Sussex Cancer Fund

Some of the walkers enjoy a well-earned drink after completing our Walk for Denise from the Peace Statue to The Venue in Hove on Friday, 14th September.

They were met by Denise’s husband, Alex Knutsen, our former branch secretary (on the right of the picture) who thanked the walkers and accepted the donations collected on the night for the Sussex Cancer Fund.

Denise was the schools convenor for the branch and sadly died in July after a long battle with cancer. denisewalk

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A walk for Denise Knutsen

All Brighton and Hove Unison Branch members, their families and friends are invited to join a short walk in memory of our friend and colleague Denise Knutsen, who died in July after a long battle with cancer. Denise was the senior steward for schools staff in our branch.

The walk will take place on

Friday, 14th September, from 5pm – 7pm.

We will gather at the Peace Statue on the seafront at 5pm for a walk – or stroll – along Hove seafront to the Venue (formerly the Babylon Lounge) and finish with  a well-deserved drink (alcoholic or non- alcoholic) there.

You may like to ask for sponsorship for the walk, but if not come along anyway and make a contribution to the fund for cancer charities that Denise’s family has asked us to support.

If you think you can join us let us know by calling the branch office on 01273 291611 – leave a message if we’re not there.

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Calling time on privatised services

In an email to all staff last week, Leader of Southampton City Council Christopher Hammond stated:

“…over the last 11 years the nature of local government has changed significantly, as has the city and the needs of our customers. As a result, Full Council has today made the decision that the time is right to bring the services currently provided by Capita back in-house.”

Capita currently provide Customer Services, HR Pay, Revenues & Benefits, Procurement, Health & Safety, Print, Post Room and IT services for the local authority. All of this work will now be brought back into the council, with all staff members in those roles TUPE’d back under contract with SCC.

SCC are going to be working with Capita to develop detailed plans and timescales for this transition. Face to face briefings have been planned for Capita staff which began on Friday 20 July, with briefings for SCC staff beginning Tuesday 24 July. UNISON representatives will attend as many as is practicable.

The council’s Unison branch responded with:

Southampton District UNISON welcomes the decision of Southampton City Councillors to bring back in-house operations run under the Strategic Services Partnership that have been run by Capita since 2007.

UNISON believes that services are best provided in-house in order to ensure value for money for Southampton tax payers, accountability and the flexibility for the council to respond to changing needs and priorities. We will support our members through the transition process and ensure that the workforce are fully involved in the consultation and design of future services.

Southampton First

A divorce from Capita means SCC can better follow its Southampton First policy, a commitment to “…utilise in-house services to meet SCC requirements where such capability exists and where “SCC Best Value” can be demonstrated.”

This means SCC will always look to provide in-house services instead of instantly outsourcing.

What does this mean for members in Southampton?

In terms of timescales, UNISON is aware of the following: the contract notice period is (at least) 12 months from the date of formal notification, meaning the contract should end July 2019. This would signal the point at which Capita staff are officially transferred over to SCC.

However, it may be possible to transfer some services earlier if both Capita and the Council agree. Your UNISON branch will provide updates as soon as is possible to any members affected by early transfers.

It is important to note that UNISON believes this process will bring transferred employees many benefits. It’s no secret that the branch have a better relationship with SCC leadership than Capita, which puts us in a better bargaining position for SCC employees.

Also, any positive changes we negotiate with SCC regarding staff terms and conditions or council policy will affect all staff providing public services. Previously, those benefits would not have been extended to Capita employees – even though members working for Capita are providing a public service funded by the taxpayer. We are optimistic that this transfer will see an improvement to the terms and conditions of staff currently employed by Capita and an increase in morale.

Finally, this move works for citizens. It means that taxpayer money will be reinvested into local services, instead of profits being siphoned off and paid out to shareholders. Capita are experts in winning contracts to provide public services, local authorities are experts in providing public services

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Team Administrator vacancy



Please note the closing date for applications is Monday, 20th August

UNISON Brighton & Hove LG Branch currently has a vacancy for a Team Administrator, 12 hours per week, to work at the Branch Office in Brighton Town Hall.

We are seeking an enthusiastic, friendly, hard-working person to join the team at the Branch to provide an administrative service, assisting the Branch Secretary, Branch Officers and Caseworkers. Here is the job description and person specification Job Description and person spec unison administrator

The post is for a 12 hour per week contract but we are needing someone with the flexibility to offer some extra hours from time to time during  busy periods.

The starting hourly rate is £9.78 per hour with annual incremental rises.

If you feel you could be part of this busy team, please send in a CV, together with a covering letter giving contact details to:


Richard Woolven and Diana Leach

UNISON Branch Office

Brighton Town Hall

Brighton BN1 1JA


Or e-mail:


Closing date for applications is Monday 20th August 2018



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Please donate in memory of Denise Knutsen

As many of you will know, Denise Knutsen, Schools convenor at this branch,  died recently after a long illness.  Her husband Alex, and her children are fundraising for Sussex Cancer Care in memory of Denise,  and they are trying to reach a target of 8k to replace broken equipment at the Centre.

Today the branch received a donation of £279 from staff in Business Ops (Finance).  This was raised by arranging and holding an “ORBIS World Cup” event.  On behalf of Alex, and Denise’s children, we  are deeply grateful to you all for your efforts in memory of a wonderful friend and colleague.

For any who would like to make a contribution to this worthwhile cause, please feel free to visit:

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A celebration of the life of Denise Knutsen

A celebration of the life of Denise Knutsen

Anyone who knew Denise is invited to a celebration of her  life and achievements as follows:

2.30pm, Thursday 2nd August, 2018, at Woodvale Crematorium, South Chapel, Lewes Road, Brighton.

4.30pm  Same day – the “After Party” at the Good Companions, Function Room, Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 3TE.

Her husband Alex Knutsen, on behalf of the family, has requested no flowers but says the following about what people can do in Denise’s memory:

“Donations – Denise wanted real change for real people, so the chosen charity (which also benefits the NHS and MacMillan – our “heroes”) is the Sussex Cancer Fund Wish List at

In addition, on the day, there will be a bucket collection for Lost  Cats, so she wants your spare change/some of those plastic bank notes welcome as well! We always had older lost cats and they cost a blooming fortune – neither of us cared, we loved each and every one of them.”



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