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GMB UNION COVID 19 REDUNDANCY SUPPORT
Access to the GMB Union Redundancy Toolkit – A useful tool available to all members that guides you through some of the important things to consider GMB union, North West and Irish Region, Covid-19 and Redundancy Support The following support is available to all GMB members in the North West and Irish Region. Working alongside the ReachOut project and a number of partners across the region support has been established for GMB members to access whenever you need it. All enquiries are dealt with in confidence and can be accessed by contacting your local Union Learning Rep or a GMB Reach Out Project worker on 0161 877 9439 Dedicated Welfare Rights Advice Line – 0161 877 9439 The line is open Monday to Friday during office hours. Do you need some help with benefits? Have you had an application rejected and would like to appeal? Do you have a disability and need some extra support? Call today for a benefits health check! Employment Starter Packs - below are a number of starter packs to assist members in securing work. A good CV, covering letter and strong interview are all essential when looking for work. These starter packs set you on your way. Packs are available to download or can be posted on request. All starter packs contain a help sheet, templates and links to other support if needed. Simply click on the links below to register for your pack or call 0161 877 9439. CV Starter Pack Covering Letter Starter Pack Interview Techniques Starter Pack Free CV Writing Service – GMB Members can request help if they are not IT literate or are struggling.  The data for CV is collected through either online forms or over the telephone by a project worker.  This data will then be transferred into a workable CV for you to build on and use.   Simply click on the link below to begin building your CV or call 0161 877 9439 GMB Members Free CV Writing Service Confidential face to face Advice and Guidance - Available through Zoom, on site or at a learning centre (if safe to do so) GMB members can book a face to face meeting to discuss anything you may need help with. To book a meeting at a time to suit you, Email: info@gmbreachout.org.uk or call: 0161 877 9439 Access to the GMB Redundancy Toolkit – A useful tool available to all members that guides you through some of the important things to consider, as well as some useful hints and tips that can be requested as a digital download or accessed and viewed at the link below GMB ReachOut Redundancy Toolkit Onsite Redundancy Support Programme – Project workers can work with reps, branches and employers to put together a programme of support in a number of areas to help members through the redundancy process. Employability workshops ICT Functional Skills (Maths and English) Distance learning courses Financial advice sessions Welfare Rights - one to one sessions Financial advice – call 0161 877 9439 to arrange a confidential appointment. We can help in a number of ways, including: Independent one to one advice with a qualified financial adviser focussing on future planning, investments, retirement etc. Debt management & emergency support – a confidential one to one discussion looking at any debt issues you are having and help to overcome any challenges you may have. Training & Upskilling – Project workers can help members to access the training and skills they may need to move onto further employment or develop their prospects. Are you looking to retrain? Do you need help looking for a course? Are you missing a key qualification? Click here to see the latest list of courses available through the ReachOut Project Help is available by contacting the team on 0161 877 9439 or email info@gmbreachout.org.uk. Branch, Rep and Officer Support – If you would like any further information or you know of a workplace or colleagues that need help in any of the areas identified above please get in touch.   Hyperlink locations CV starter pack: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BTBY26D Cover Letter starter pack: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/97S7NG8 Interview Skills starter pack: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DJCSTYW GMB Members Free CV Writing Service: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CBYRLXP GMB ReachOut Redundancy Toolkit: https://issuu.com/stantonyscentre/docs/gmb_redundancy_booklet?fr=sY2Y5NjE3NjIzMjY GMB ReachOut Courses List: https://issuu.com/stantonyscentre/docs/6106_gmb_reachout_courses_final...
LIE TO GOVERNMENT IT IS A CRIME, THEY LIE TO US IT IS POLITICS
We are currently at a major crossroads in the life of this government and the future of democracy. If we lie to the government it’s a crime but when they Lie to us it it’s politics? We are currently at a major crossroads in the life of this government and the future of democracy. Telling Lies, law breaking and acting in bad faith are not good examples to offer up to society as a way to run a country. The knock on effect and the drive to the bottom is having and will continue to have serious implications for many parts of our nations and regions across the UK. What messages are the government sending to young impressionable people, looking to make their way in life? That It’s ok to promote greed and nepotism and flaunt the law, if it suits your long term aims. What are they saying to employers? Don’t worry about standing by negotiated agreements with your loyal workers, Ignore your tried and tested policies to maintain standards in equality and health and safety. As a union we are seeing those results first hand as our reps try and stem the tide of cuts in terms, conditions and staffing levels, mainly from rogue bosses, but also from decent employers who have been undermined by government policies and actions. They say one thing and do another, an all too common trait among the ruling elite of the day. Such as : Reneging on decent pay rises for all our NHS Heroes.  Taking their eye off the ball and allowing the country to almost run out of COVID-19 test equipment.  Drag their feet over ensuring test and trace is a “world beater” by handing the work to companies like SERCO. Ignoring their own laws when it comes to social distancing and other rules. This Tory government are guilty, Full of Broken promises and failed actions which are damaging enough on their own, but also further undermine the trust and confidence in government and the political system - a dangerous direction for any country to go. Who’d have thought that we would have to point out to the minister, who happens to be our Justice Secretary, that breaking the law even in a “specific and limited way” is still breaking the law. Surely that is sufficient evidence enough to disqualify him from office. Their excuses are mainly pathetic but even hilarious in some cases. In threatening to break international law by rejecting the Brexit agreement, we have heard from Tories that they are: “Lying in order to protect the integrity of UK.” How? By destroying any semblance of trust our international colleagues may still have in dealing with this government? They’ve shown the rest of the world they are prepared to rip up statutes that govern our trade and business. Of course that is all bad enough, but this government promised the public as part of their election campaign something completely different and have therefore mislead the population and lied to the electorate. This surely makes them unfit to rule. If our eyes are good enough and we look back not too far, government adviser Dominic Cummings blatantly took the piss when he publicly made the excuse that he was “testing his eyesight” in driving in the north of England and breaking government rules to control coronavirus. They lie, we know they lie and they know we know. Keeping the thread going - and there is an endless list - Education Secretary Gavin Williamson in trying to reassure parents, said testing would be available for schools returning from lockdown. But we now see they are only given 10 tests each, then told to use them in only exceptional circumstances and only when kids can’t access tests at home? This type of unacceptable behaviour is distorting the reality of where we are as a country and totally ignoring how government policies and practices impact on our people. But of course they know this and don’t care. The lack of control by Parliament over the way the Covid legislation - Health Protection Amendments were brought in and implemented is another glaring example of creating a false premise to protect society. Instead they have used it to fill the coffers of their Tory pals by handing out contracts left right and centre without any accountability. The lack of PPE for the NHS and Care Homes scandal should have been enough to bring down this government. However it gets worse as they continue to give massive contracts to companies who have never been associated with manufacturing or supplying protective equipment. This nepotism, corruption and further misuse of government power is a perversion of governance and democracy. Creating the post of head of Test and Trace for Dido Harding wife of a Tory MP and setting up, without openness or transparency, contracts for private companies like SERCO and NCO Europe (usually debt collectors) to do this essential work is dishonest, dangerous and politically scandalous. The British public need to demand due diligence and transparency on supply chains, and company expertise in providing PPE and test and trace services as we head towards a second wave of COVID-19 and winter flu arrives to overwhelm our NHS facilities. Passing blame is their forté. Blame for the spread of Covid onto care homes, young people and anyone else they can think of and the embarrassing shambles of Brexit onto the EU can’t continue because this truth or absence of it is a matter of life and death for many folk. Neil Smith Political Officer GMB North West & Irish Region...
STATEMENT FROM THE ELECTED GMB UNION NW&I REGION CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS
We have listened, we have taken action now we will proceed with unwavering determination Statement from the elected GMB union NW& I Region Central Executive Council members. Date: 3rd September 2020 Ref: External investigation Members may be aware of the recently published external report commissioned by the GMB Union Central Executive Council (CEC) in response to recent allegations made. The CEC consists of fellow members elected by you to protect the rule book and ensure transparency throughout. This investigation was commissioned by your CEC and fully supported by the North West and Irish region CEC delegation to do just that. The report makes for uncomfortable reading however, it is also now an opportunity to examine the recommendations made and for us as the CEC to take immediate action, on your behalf, to ensure the findings are dealt with, firm instruction is issued and appropriate action is taken. Thank you to all comrades who participated and communicated with Karon Monaghan QC and would like to give our full and unreserved assurances that these findings will be dealt with robustly, without delay and will make full use of the powers entrusted to us under the rule book. To all our members particularly in the North West and Irish region who work hard every day, without agenda and for the greater good of our union, workplaces and communities – Thank you. We are a strong union and whilst we navigate a dark period remain strong in the resolve that this report will ultimately make us stronger. We have listened, we have taken action now we will proceed with unwavering determination, on your behalf, to protect and defend our hardworking members whilst ensuring the rule book which has been entrusted to us, is protected and used correctly. Additional steps have been approved and fully supported by us to provide clarity in the area of finance over a 4-year period as well as overseeing other internal investigations to get to the heart of some of the issues that this difficult period has brought to light. We will not allow this report to reflect badly on our members and staff who work so tirelessly in search of justice for members. Equally we will not allow this to be buried or brushed under the carpet. The issues identified will be scrutinised and the recommendations outlined in the report will be addressed in full. Yours in solidarity and on behalf of the GMB Union North West and Irish Region elected CEC members: David Flanagan            Cath Sutton Margaret Gregg            Lorraine Winson               Robert Welham             David Hope CLICK HERE for the report...
GMB UNION UPDATE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES PAY AGREEMENT 2020-21
Agreement has been reached Local government services pay agreement 2020-21, GMB union update Pay Agreement has been reached between the National Employers and the NJC Trade Union Side on rates of pay applicable from 1 April 2020. GMB trade union and UNISON both voted to accept whilst Unite voted to reject. However, in line with the Constitution of the NJC, Unite accepts the collective majority decision of the other unions that the pay award will now be implemented. The new pay rates are attached at Annex 1. The new rates for allowances, up-rated by 2.75 per cent, are set out at Annex 2. (see below) The NJC has also agreed to enter into discussions on examining all options for ensuring the sector – and the NJC pay spine - can meet the challenge of the Government’s target for the National Living Wage in the coming years. Annual Leave The NJC has also agreed that from 1 April 2020, minimum annual leave will increase from 21 to 22 days for employees with less than five years’ service. The National Agreement Part 2 Para 7.2 will therefore, with effect from 1 April 2020, be amended to read as follows: 7.2 Annual Leave The minimum paid annual leave entitlement is twenty-two days with a further three days after five years of continuous service. The entitlement as expressed applies to five day working patterns. For alternative working patterns an equivalent leave entitlement should be calculated. Stress and Mental Health The NJC has further agreed that the Joint Secretaries will begin discussions on “a comprehensive joint national review of the workplace causes of stress and mental health”...
MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH IS A CLASS ISSUE NEIL SMITH GMB UNION POLITICAL OFFICER
Spending on things like health and social care is much lower here than in comparable European countries. This of course would be directly responsible for deaths, as well as mental health issues and addiction problems. Neil Smith, GMB union political officer, believes that ‘’matter of life and death is a class issue’’. We keep hearing that the pensionable age had to be raised because we are living longer. That might be the case in wealthier parts of the UK but not for those people living in the most deprived areas - some who can expect to die seven years earlier than their richer neighbours. Indeed recent research by the London School of Economics has shown that people not directly impacted by poverty are living to a ripe old age, while for poorer folk their life expectancy predictions overall are falling to the worst levels in the last 16 years. They say the worrying patterns are linked to widening social inequalities and leading to an increase in the number of avoidable deaths in “disadvantaged communities”. Many of these cases include people dying of poisoning by drugs, alcohol consumption and suicide among under 50s, which is a further worrying trend tied into austerity and lack of hope for many families and individuals. Unlike other similar European countries it appears these categories in the UK are leading causes of avoidable deaths for people aged 20-49. The figures are stark and clear, for example women living in most deprived areas of the UK have a life expectancy of 78 years and 8 months, set against 86 and 2 months for women living in least deprived areas. It should be no surprise that the issues we as a union fight and campaign for are part of the problem, including jobs, housing, health care and education. It appears the spending on things like health and social care is much lower here than in comparable European countries. This of course would be directly responsible for deaths, in particular as mental health and addiction problems grow and drink and drugs are seen as a way out of the poverty trap, then we are already at a disadvantage. An example of this is highlighted by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) who point out Richmond-upon-Thames had the highest male healthy life expectancy of 71.9 years which is nearly 19 years more than our men members born and living in Blackpool where it is just over 53 years. Women can expect to struggle in Nottingham where it is 54.2 years compared to 72.2 in the leafy suburbs of Wokingham, only 37 miles west of London. They say these life and death figures have stalled since 2011 and in some areas have gone backwards. The statistics are stark. They are shocking and unacceptable that life expectancy in the UK is lower than many of our European neighbours. What will they be like after the shambles of this government have caused further damage to our communities after Coronavirus and Brexit? As unemployment starts spreading like wildfire and rogue companies look to slash hard won pay, with terms and conditions under attack as they were during the Thatcher era. What about the state pension? There are also murmurings from Tories about not being able to afford the triple lock to protect pensions. Which by the way are substantially lower than a number of our European neighbours. Among suggestions and options being mooted are to reduce the pension benefits and increase national insurance contributions. encourage savers to increase private pension contributions.  An even worse scenario is that they try and scrap the state pension. Savers? How many of them do you know? How many people earn enough these days to regularly squirrel away funds into savings, pensions or Isa’s? There are people who can’t afford food or clothing for their kids, particularly in the same deprived areas with the highest early death rates. Is it within our mindset to even consider that they would suggest scrapping the old age pension scheme? It has been in place for 109 years and at one stage was means tested. Many one nation Tories accuse the left of scaremongering over this, but let’s be blunt, nothing is beyond this right wing cabal. Campaigning alliances of politicians, unions, charities and our communities need to change the debate to demand a higher level of income, in the form of decent salaries and benefits including pensions and for a reversal of policies by this government. It will enable a new civilised approach to society, which can look at tackling and wiping out poverty and the spectre of poor health and an early death for working class people.   Neil Smith GMB Union Political Officer GMB Union North West & Irish Region...
GMB TRADE UNION SAYS FACE COVERING U-TURN SHOWS MINISTERS MUST LISTEN TO WORKERS
GMB wrote to the Education Secretary back in mid-July challenging GMB trade union says, Face covering u-turn shows Ministers must listen to workers. GMB Union wrote to the Education Secretary in July challenging the Government’s position on face coverings GMB, the union for school staff, says the Government's u-turn on face coverings shows Ministers must learn to listen to workers. Karen Leonard, GMB National Officer, said: “GMB wrote to the Education Secretary back in mid-July challenging the Government’s position on face coverings in school during the pandemic. “Schools know social distancing will be extremely difficult and large ‘bubbles’ present a COVID-19 risk. All we wanted was for staff who felt the need to wear a mask not to be actively discouraged from doing so. “The Government appears to be ignoring the science in order to avoid a political hit. Now they’ve performed yet another u-turn. “It’s time Ministers learned to listen to the concerns of the school staff who will be instrumental in keeping our schools safe and, importantly, open.” Schools and colleges to reopen in full in September GMB understands it is an anxious time for our school and college staff members when the schools and colleges fully reopen in September and we have been clear throughout the pandemic that your health and safety is paramount including those of the pupils, their parents, and the wider community. Therefore can we remind you all to please familiarise yourself with your individual school's risk assessment and take time to read through it prior to the re-opening, Please contact your Headteacher in the first instance if you have not had communication or sight of the risk assessment. If you have any queries or concerns please contact your branch on the contact details below for further information and support. Contact your GMB Branch immediately if you are required to work without a risk assessment being carried out. Please click on the link below to see the government's Guidance for full opening on schools. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-campaign-launches-to-get-children-back-to-school-safely  ...
COVID-19 PAUL MCCARTHY GMB UNION REGIONAL SECRETARY
Upload Video:  Paul McCarthy GMB union regional secretary, on Covid-19 Video of Paul McCarthy GMB union regional secretary, on Covid-19...
GMB UNION MEMBER, COUNCILLOR JACQUELINE OWEN, UK CHILD FOOD POVERTY
Concerns for UK child poverty, Councillor Jacqueline Owen, GMB union member. Concerns for UK child poverty, Councillor Jacqueline Owen, GMB union member. Food glorious food… That catchy tune from the musical version of Dickens ‘Oliver’, how sad that for many children in 2020 Britain they still face daily hunger in one of the richest countries in the developed world. According to ‘The Guardian,’ in England ‘Almost 2,500 children have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition in the first six months of the year – double the number over the same period last year – prompting fresh concern that families are struggling to afford to feed themselves and that the pandemic has intensified the problem’.12 Jul 2020 As schools prepare to return in September, with COVID-19 social distancing Guidance in place I’ve been wondering what lunch times will look like and what will be on the menus in High schools; especially for those students entitled to Free School Meals (FSM) and those whose only cooked meal is the one they have in school. A packed lunch, containing a sandwich, bag of crisps and a piece of fruit doesn’t sound good enough to me or to Food Active, an organisation supported by the North West Directors of Public Health. They report ‘that only 1 in a 100 packed lunches meet the national school food standards with 82% containing unhealthy snacks, 60% having crisps in them and 61% sweetened drinks’. http://www.foodactive.org.uk/ In my role as a Councillor I am looking at ways to support those with low incomes to provide themselves and their families with affordable and nutritious food. In Longdendale we’re fortunate enough to have ‘The Bread and Butter Thing’ a Manchester based charity, which offers deeply discounted food to help those on a low income, recently a Community Kitchen, providing low cost ready-made meals has been set up with partners, we also run Holiday Kitchens for local children and have a very proactive Foodbank to support those in emergency need. https://breadandbutterthing.org/ If any members would like to share their views, experiences of food poverty and any projects or ideas of how to support people living in food poverty I’d love to hear about them. I’m also keen to hear from those of you working in school catering about how the nutritional needs of our young people will be met in the winter term. Email me at jacqueline.owen@tameside.gov.uk Cllr. Jacqueline Owen GMB Member...
GMB MEMBERS BALLOT FOR STRIKE ACTION AT NORTHERN GAS NETWORKS
98% of GMB Union members have voted to go to an official Industrial action GMB union members ballot for strike action at Northern Gas Networks. 98% of GMB Union members have voted to go to an official Industrial action ballot over pay. Northern Gas Networks (NGN) have made a derisory offer to GMB members which has been overwhelmingly rejected. Whilst the COVID 19 crisis had interrupted pay talks which begun before the lockdown, the initial offer from the company was rejected with Union officials asking the company to come back with an improved offer. However the company have now come back with a worse offer than before, blaming the COVID 19 crisis. Pay and terms and conditions have been under attack by NGN for several years with workers' pay packets stagnating whilst living costs rise. For years’ staff have become more and more disgruntled, with the latest move by the company pushing them over the edge and towards industrial action. GMB Regional officer Andrew Aldwinkle said: “Industrial action is always a last resort, but we’ve NGN ample opportunity to come back with an improved offer which they’ve refused to do. “Our members deliver a high-quality service that has enabled shareholders to reap the benefits of high dividends, whilst seeing their own pay struggle to keep up with the cost of living. “Our members have had enough, their vote in favour by 98% of members should be a warning to NGN that we cannot and will not go back to business as usual.”...
GMB UNION WANT TO WORK WITH CENTRICA ON BUSINESS RECOVERY
GMB want to work with Centrica on a shared recovery for the business GMB union want to work with Centrica on the business recovery. GMB Trade Union is the biggest union in British Gas and PH Jones, with over 10,000 members in every part of the business - 80% of the union membership in the company – and with members in almost every parliamentary constituency in the UK. British Gas – under parent company Centrica – announced plans in June to make 5,000 staff redundant and drive through changes to pay and terms and conditions for most the companies’ workers. Then last month they revealed their intention to fire and rehire the entire 20,000 work force if they did not ‘agree’ to the changes similar to British Airways. GMB want to work with Centrica on a shared recovery for the business which involves the workforce and ensures that necessary changes are made with the workers, not to them. The approach that management have taken so far has not made this possible. We expect many of our members are planning or will have been in touch asking for your support in calling for the company to withdraw the redundancy notices and take the threat of the fire and rehire off the table and negotiate with the GMB in good faith. We have a briefing note explaining in more details what has happened and what actions you can take to support your constituents and our members who have been affected. This can be accessed here: https://www.gmb.org.uk/sites/default/files/BG_MP_briefing_20August2020.pdf The five actions we are hoping you can take are set out below. Write to Centrica Chief Executive Chris O’Shea, chris.oshea@centrica.com, to ask that he withdraws his threat to fire and rehire the workforce and starts meaningful negotiations. You can find a draft letter here. Let us know when you have sent a letter and share any response you get. Join our MP’s call with British Gas reps.  3.30pm-4.30pm Thursday 10th September. Your office can email Tom Warnett on tom.warnett@gmb.org.uk to make arrangements. Support GMB members in British Gas on social media using the hashtag #StopTheBritishGasFire. Call for greater protections for workers against fire and rehire tactics. Thank you in advance for your support in this matter and for taking time to read the briefing. Gavin Sibthorpe GMB Political Officer What is the GMB trade union calling for? Centrica say that they need to make changes to the business to allow them to compete. But their approach has been to attempt to impose the changes on workers and threaten them with the sack if they don’t agree.We want to work with Centrica on a shared recovery for the business which involves the workforce and ensures that necessary changes are made withthe workers, not to them.The approach that management have taken so far has not made this possible.There isstill time for the company to negotiate in good faith, but first they must withdraw the redundancy notices and take the threat of the fire and rehire off the tableand get real about what is achievable Please also find below the link to Contact your MP on the UK Parliament Website that you may wish to use to contact your MP also.   https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/#jump-link-0  ...