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The government will need to inject £280m into the NHS by the end of the decade, or ministers will find themselves in breach of their own minimum wage laws, warn unions representing health service employees in the UK today (Friday). In their annual submission to the NHS pay review body, the unions say that because the pay of health workers has failed to keep pace with inflation, within five years the lowest paid employees will be earning less than the minimum ...


Healthcare assistants (HCAs) working in the NHS are doing the jobs of nurses without the equivalent pay or education, says a report from UNISON published today (Friday). Two in five (39%) say they have not received the training necessary to provide the care expected of them such as looking after dementia patients, according to the report­­ Care on the cheap. Less than half (45%) of HCAs feel the tasks they are asked to do­ – including giving patients medication, doing heart checks ...


Government told to think again on promoting private healthcare

UNISON report shows up role of Department for International Development in promoting healthcare privatisation to some of the world’s poorest countries The UK government needs to rethink its agenda of promoting privatisation in the global South, especially in healthcare, says UNISON. As MPs and ministers, including new international development secretary Piti Patel, return from their summer breaks, the union is urging her department to stop promoting privatisation in healthcare. “UNISON believes DfID [the Department ...


In recent years, a huge amount of time has been spent talking about the levels of debt that the country faces – but far too little time has been spent on the debt that millions of British families have to deal with. Perversely, the government’s pursuit of austerity in an attempt to reduce government debt has contributed to higher levels of personal debt for many households – including those public-service workers who have suffered eight years of zero pay rises, followed ...


Save over £200 through the Marriage Allowance tax break

“3.6 million of the 4.1 million eligible couples are still missing out on a tax benefit of £220 each year” Marriage Allowance allows a spouse or civil partner who doesn’t pay tax to transfer part of their tax-free personal allowance to their partner, if their partner pays income tax at the basic rate of 20%. The saving is worth up to £220 for the 2016/17 tax year, and it takes just a few minutes to claim ...


UNISON gives evidence on growing social care funding crisis

The crisis in adult social care is set to worsen due to a growing funding gap, UNISON has told the Communities and Local Government Committee In June the Committee launched an inquiry into the financial sustainability of local authority adult social care and the quality of care provided. UNISON said the funding shortfall is going to get worse, and the move to allow councils in England to add an extra 2% to annual council ...


Who is your Health Hero?

Nominations are now open for the UK’s only dedicated awards scheme to celebrate the healthcare support workforce Do you know a support worker in the NHS who deserves national recognition for their dedication? Perhaps you’re one yourself? Then the Our Health Heroes awards, organised by UNISON, in partnership with Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for Health, could be just the thing for you. Nominations are now open for the UK’s only dedicated awards scheme to celebrate the healthcare support workforce, recognising and promoting ...


A fairer national minimum wage remains an ‘urgent need’

  There remains an “urgent need” to raise the national minimum wage to the level of a “proper living wage”, UNISON said today, as it made its annual submission to the Low Pay Commission. In its evidence, UNISON calls on the commission to honour its 2014 commitment to seek “significantly faster increases in the minimum wage”, which will deliver “major improvements” for workers aged under 25 and apprentices. The union also urges commissioners to stick to a “straight path” in uprating the national ...


Staff Meetings

UNISON South & East Belfast will be holding two meetings over the next few weeks, please come along and these issues are so important.  


Single Pay Frequency Victory

STATEMENT FROM PATRICIA McKEOWN, REGIONAL SECRETARY VICTORY FOR UNISON CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT THE LOWEST PAID! UNISON welcomes the Health Minister’s decision to retain weekly and fortnightly pay for health workers following UNISON’s intensive campaign and our recent decision to ballot for strike action. The Minister has recognised that women workers, low paid and part time particularly, would be adversely affected by the change. We note that the Minister has ‘halted’ the move to single pay frequency rather than completely abandoning it. Consequently UNISON ...