February 15, 2015
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Lobby Manchester Council to Protest at Cuts in Mental Health Services

Branch members and Manchester User Network members held a Valentine’s Day demonstration against the cuts in Mental Health Services on Saturday 14th February.  We handed out postcards and asked people to sign petitions to say that we Love Manchester but HATE the cuts which the city council is making in public health funded services.

Recovery & Connect, Supported Housing, Community Floating Support and the Health & Wellbeing Service are all facing massive cuts or total closure.  The responses the branch submitted to the council’s consultation are available from the Branch Office.  The council have paid no attention to our call for the cuts to be halted because of the devastating effect they will have on service users and on staff.

We will be lobbying the full council meeting on Friday 6th March, from 9am on the Town Hall steps in Albert Square.  Please come to show your disgust at these cuts to essential mental health services.

 

February 15, 2015
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VOTE TO REJECT THE PAY OFFER

The strikes planned for 29th January and 25th February were postponed so that all members employed in the NHS could be consulted about an offer from the government.  Having considered this offer, the Branch Committee recommends that members should REJECT this offer.  It is completely inadequate, doesn’t come near to the claim, and will mean a PAY CUT for nearly all members – because it gives nothing for this year, 2014/15, and is below inflation for 2015/16.

If you are employed in the NHS, on Agenda for Change terms and conditions, you will receive a ballot paper from UNISON, which must be returned by 10am on Monday 2nd March to UNISON HQ (there will be a reply paid envelope with the ballot paper).

All members who will be balloted should have received an information sheet from the branch giving details of the offer, and why the Branch Committee recommends that you reject it.  If you haven’t had it, please contact Ben Jackson in the Union Office at Chorlton House (email: ben.jackson@mhsc.nhs.uk)

January 27, 2015
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STRIKE POSTPONED ON THURSDAY 29 January

The strike which was planned for Thursday 29th January has been postponed.  Talks between the NHS unions and the government have led to an ‘offer’.  We will now be consulted on this to see if we want to reject it and carry on with our industrial action, or accept it – which would decide our pay until the end of March 2016.

We don’t have many details yet, but we do know that there is NO OFFER OF A PAY RISE for this year backdated to April 2014.  The offer is just from April 2015.

Information about the offer will be circulated to all members as soon as possible, and we will hold meetings to explain it and consult with members.

November 30, 2014
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Strike in January and February

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The two strikes so far, on 14th October and 24th November, have been very successful.  The aim has been to get good media publicity, which we certainly have around the country.  We do not want to harm patients and service users – and many of them, and the public as a whole, have said that they support our action.

Now we’re preparing for two longer strikes: 12 hours, from 9am to 9pm on Thursday 29th January, and 24 hours from midnight to midnight on Wednesday 24th February.

On Thursday 29th January, join the picket line at Chorlton House from 9am-11am (Ben Jackson, the Branch Secretary, has promised to supply special breakfast butties to all of us there!).  Then we’ll all be going to the rally at 12.30pm in the basement of the Students Union of Manchester University, on Oxford Road.  Join us there even if you can’t get to the picket line.

Our strikes have already forced the government to enter into talks with the trade unions.  Previously, Jeremy Hunt was refusing even to meet the trade unions, saying the decision had been made not to implement the recommendation of the Pay Review Body.   We must keep up the pressure on the government.  This is not just a fight for our pay now, but if we win, it could stop the government from making further cuts in our pay.  They have announced – and are supported by the NHS Employers organisation – that they want to slash unsocial hours payments, ultimately to make us work at any time on any day of the week for no extra pay.

For photos of the strike on 14th October, see above (Chorlton House) and the slideshow.

November 18, 2014
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Making sense of the new NHS

Making sense of the new NHS – after implementation of the Health & Social Care Bill

1. Introduction

Despite UNISON’s campaigning, the Health and Social Care Bill received royal assent to become an Act of Parliament on 27 March 2012. Along with accompanying reforms such as Any Qualified Provider and attacks on terms and conditions, the Act has major implications for UNISON members and for the NHS in England.

2. The new NHS

The new NHS introduced 1st April 2013 lost 2 layers we have been used to; the strategic health authorities and Primary Care Trusts.  Our branch had members from both these organisations in Manchester and are now in the process of saying goodbye to these members who are moving to different UNISON branches.

3.  New Structures

In their place the government is devolving responsibility for the majority of commissioning to local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which will be made up largely of GPs, with some limited involvement for hospital consultants and nurses.

4.    How has this affected our Trust

At this time (April 2013) there has not been any difference to our trust than other trusts.  However, we are aware that Manchester CCG’s have commissioned a report from a private consultancy (Mental Health Matters).

November 18, 2014
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Crisis in Mental Health

Following the very successful Crisis in Mental Health meeting in November 2014, various campaign actions are being planned.  These include:

Valentine’s Day Protest, Saturday 14th February, 11.00 Albert Square: against the proposed cuts in mental health services.

Lobby of City Council meeting when budget decision will be confirmed, Friday 6th March, 9am, Town Hall steps, Albert Square.

Crisis in Mental Health Services Conference, Saturday 14th March, 11am-3pm, at Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JQ.  There will be speakers, workshops, campaigning ideas.

 

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November 8, 2013
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Unison Call For Changes to Hospital Whistle Blowing Laws

This branch supports unison’s call for a change in whistleblowing laws.  The current laws are too narrow and not fit for purpose.

Our employer is currently using their whistle Blowing policy to look at concerns raised by individual and groups of staff (including many Unison Members) but the laws are they are and employers policies do not stand up to true whistleblowing and can make it more difficult rather than easier for staff to have concerns answered.

Members of the branch executive have recently had training about the Francis Report and how to ensure the Trust Executive & Managers are compliant with their responsibilities to care.  The whistleblowing policy is just one part of this.

Look out for a UNISON Survey for members and non-members – Being sent to you and delivered to your work areas soon!

We will be shortly sending surveys to members within the Mental Health Trust to find a snap shot of how they are currently find their working practices and pressures within their roles.

UNISON calls for change to hospital whistleblowing laws

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, has called for a change to whistleblowing laws in the NHS to make sure that all staff are able to report concerns with confidence.

In a report that examines the overall lessons that should be learnt from the Francis, Berwick, Keogh and Cavendish investigations into the NHS, UNISON has made a number of key recommendations that it believes will help to change the culture in the NHS.

The union says that its recommendations will ensure that staff are engaged, valued, listened to and ultimately able to deliver better standards of patient care.

Click here to read Unison Head of Health, Christina McAnae’s opinion … Continue Reading →

November 8, 2013
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Individual Representation

If you are a Unison Member and require advice or representation from a Branch Steward then please contact your nearest steward.

Please see the Branch Activists page for details of Stewards and H&S Representatives in your area of the organisation.

 

 

 

November 8, 2013
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FBU Pensions Dispute

 

Well donDSC_2615e to the FBU for continuing their fight against government attacks to reduce their pension and increase their working age.

Please visit the FBU website for further information on the dispute and to support their petition to the Government.  http://www.fbu.org.uk/

 

 

 

Caroline visited fire fighters at the Withingon Station on their picket line on 1st November.  Look out for further action and visit your local station.

FBU Picket Line 1 Nov 2013

 

Contact the branch if you would like a branch executive member to attend with you or would like to take the branch banner.

November 1, 2013
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JOINT STRIKE ACTION IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Please see message of support forwarded to our Unison Colleages taking joint strike action today with the UCU.

Well done to them for leading the fight back.  Please see Unison News for further details

“I would like to offer you support on behalf of Manchester Community & Mental Health Branch Unison.

Continue Reading →

October 16, 2013
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Branch Support Cross Union Anti-Fascist Demo

No to fascism!  

United demonstration in Liverpool

 

Following attacks at Unite’s office in Liverpool and of PCS activists Unite the Union called a demonstration in Liverpool on Saturday 12th October 2013.  Just 2 weeks after the magnificent demonstration in Manchester in support of the NHS; the trade union movement again pulled together to show that it is also united to fight the threat of the far right.  Unison members again made up a large contingent on the day.
A clear theme of the demonstration and the rally which followed was the MEP elections due to take place in 2014 and the importance of ousting Nick Griffin as one of the North West’s members of the European Parliament.  He does not represent us!
It is a central aim of Trade Unions to fight racism and fascism and build unity and acceptance in our society.  It was good to see cross union unity to fight the enemies of the EDL, BNP, North West Infadels and other fascist organisations.
Another key theme of the rally was the decision of Tommy Robinson to move from the EDL to the Quilliam Organisation.  We should see this as a victory for all the activists, including those from this branch who have supported the fight against the EDL and Unite Against Fascisms fight against the EDL.
The last UAF rally attended by the branch showed that the EDL were losing their position as a street army, being forced to hold the demonstration in Farnworth park well away from the public they hope to influence.  They are without doubt demoralised.
One highlight but definite warning that we need to stay on guard was the Greek speaker who described their anti-fascists movement’s role in the arrest and imprisonment of Golden Dawn members who had recently murdered a prominent rapper.
We must remain strong in the our aims for unity and continue to fight racism, facism and discrimination whenever it surfaces.
To find out more about how to become involved in a Self Organised Group or as an Equalities Officer please contact Caroline – caroline.ridgway1@mhsc.nhs.uk or 07748 960950

 

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