Welcome to UNISON Hull City

Welcome to UNISON, our Trade Union. We support and protect almost 1.3 million working people and offer a huge range of benefits to our members. We represent over 5,500 members in the Hull City Branch of UNISON and those employees engaged in delivering public services allied to the Council, in addition we have members in Further Education Colleges and the Community and Voluntary Sector within the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Public service champions

Public service champions

Latest news

HCUK Members Bulletin - October 2016 (18/11/16)

You can download the bulletin - or read the full story below.

Redundancy update

On Wednesday 12th October the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) made the decision to end the compulsory redundancy process in all areas, except the nurseries, as they were close to reaching the savings they required.

We have been in dispute with the College from early in the process because of the scale of the cuts, the speed at which the cuts were to be made, the manner in which they were being implemented, and the lack of meaningful consultation with the trade unions.

We had a very good turnout for the indicative ballot with the vast majority of those who voted being in favour of industrial action, and we only avoided an official ballot for strike action because the threat of a large number of compulsory redundancies was withdrawn.

We know that this was aided by the pressure brought to bear by the trade unions, on behalf of members, UNISON was able send a loud and clear message to the employer that our members would not sit back and accept the outrageous treatment by senior management due to the result of the indicative ballot, so thank you to everyone who participated.

There are still a number of outstanding issues:

The Nurseries:

Despite some very strong alternative proposals from the nursery staff, and pressure from UNISON and GMB, the SLT are continuing with their plan to close all three nurseries by the end of December.

SLT are currently considering a new proposal and seeking interest from private companies to take over some or all of the nursery sites. UNISON has asked for an extension of the consultation period and of the proposed closure as we don’t think there has been sufficient duty of care to the staff and, particularly, to the 80 children who use the nurseries.

As we know the service provided enables many young people and adults to access education we are appalled at the decision to end this provision, yet again another example of how cuts impact on our community.

We would encourage members to support their colleagues in the nurseries and raise the issue with their MP, local councillor and support any future campaigns

Staff without posts: When the redundancy process ended last Wednesday a number of staff were left with reduced hours or a role that had disappeared. UNISON will continue to work with members to ensure that they are suitably redeployed or compensated for roles that have been removed.

Feedback on the process: We have asked SLT for a meeting to discuss the problems that were caused by the redundancy process. These include the short timescale to deal with 150 staff at risk, running the VR and compulsory redundancy processes side by side, the mistakes in data, letters and meetings that occurred, failures in the college’s duty of care for some members that were at risk of losing their job, and the general disorganisation that surrounded the process.

Please contact us if there are any issues you would like us to raise.

UNISON has made a proposal to SLT that a working group should be formed consisting of members from SLT and the trade unions in order to put together a fit for purpose industrial consultation and negotiation frame work to ensure in any future restructures the same mistakes are not made again.

Vote of no Confidence

UNISON, UCU and the GMB met with the Governors recently to discuss the vote of no confidence. There was an open and honest discussion and the Governors seemed prepared to listen to our concerns and take these points back to the SLT:

1.         Speed and accuracy of the redundancy process (both this year and in previous years)
2.         Reactive not proactive approach of the SLT to the issues facing the Group
3.         Communication between the TUs and the SLT
4.         The need for earlier dialogue through offline conversations between the TUs and the SLT about operational matters
5.         Opportunities for staff to be involved in curriculum reviews affecting their role;
6.         The themes raised in the 15/16 staff survey
7.         Extension of the timescale for the proposed closure of the nurseries.

We agreed to meet again next month to discuss progress on these issues.

Pay offer

The final 2016 National Joint Forum (NJF) meeting took place between the six college unions and the Association of Colleges (AoC) on 21 September 2016 to further consider the 2016/7 pay claim. At the meeting, the employers made a first and final offer of an increase of 1% on all salary points, or £250 whichever is the greater.

The offer also includes information on: proposed joint guidance on closing the gender pay gap, a reminder for colleges on their obligations and joint agreement on the transfer of temporary staff to permanent contracts and a recommendation that colleges consider implementing the Real Living Wage.

UNISON is extremely disappointment at the offer, as it falls way short of the aspirations of our claim and we know how real terms pay is falling for workers in the public sector However, along with the other FE unions we have agreed to consult with members on the offer.

UNISON Activists

As a full time officer, I would like to thank Lesley Smallwood for all of the hard work that she has undertaken on behalf of all UNISON members across the whole of HCUK, and the essential part she has played in the consultations and negotiations with the SLT and Governors and her support for members, throughout what has been a hard and stressful process for everyone in the organisation, UNISON as an organisation would have found this very difficult without Lesley’s efforts. (From Jimmy Wharvell)

We are pleased to say that we now have people who have volunteered to be work place contacts and as a Union Health and Safety Representative in Hull College, thank you to them.

However we are still in desperate need of a Steward in Hull College.

This can be a hard, and at times very frustrating role, but it is a role which can be fun, and extremely rewarding, knowing that you are helping yourself and fellow members in the workplace.by being in a position to influence and change workplace issues and practices in the college. You will also support and represent other UNISON members in the college. You can also be the voice for UNISON members in Hull College in the branch. You will be able to learn or enhance skills such as negotiating, influencing, and representing people.

As a Steward you will receive support from your branch and region, you will also be able to attend training courses where you can learn about how to support members, learn about the vital role trade unions play in protecting terms and conditions and meet fellow union stewards who can offer support.

If you would like to take on this role please contact the branch and a nomination form can be sent to you, or if you are considering the role and have questions someone will be able to discuss these with you.

New members

The strength of any union is in its members, and the more members we have, the stronger the union’s voice is. It is becoming more and more important that we have as many UNISON members in Hull College possible this is clearly illustrated by recent events at the college where the SLT put many members at risk of redundancy, in many cases without any necessity.

This process has brought anxiety and worry to many people, and also uncertainty about their jobs for the future. Everyone hopes that staff will not be put in this same position next year, but there are no guarantees.

This is why, now, more than ever all staff in the college should belong to a trade union, and for support staff this should be UNISON.

This is why we ask you to encourage your friends and colleagues working in HCUK to join UNISON, this latest round of cuts highlights the fact we never know when we may well need UNISON, who knows when it may be them who are facing issues including, redundancy, disciplinary, grievance, sickness, and without being a member of UNISON, who will be there to support them and represent them to safeguard their job, advocate and support them in the many issues related to our working lives.

The governments ongoing Austerity agenda has made it clear that the public sector is fair game and we must support each other to defend it for future generation and the first vital step in this is joining a trade union.

Union density protects collective bargaining and ensures that management have to consult and negotiate with you via the trade unions.

Unison membership also ensures that if you have a legal claim the fees for tribunals are paid by UNISON and this cost can be substantial.

With this newsletter we have enclosed a “Recruit a Friend”, which will mean that if you get someone else to join UNISON, not only will you be doing them a favour, you can also get a reward for yourself.

If you have any workplace issues please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind Regards

Lesley Smallwood – UNISON Steward
Jimmy Wharvell – Area Organiser
Adrian Kennett Branch Secretary


Professional standards for teaching assistants (29/06/16)

Advice for headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants, governing boards and employers

You can find it here...


Local Government Pay Offer - important note (02/05/16)

Dear Member

Please find attached the NJC bulletin.

Can I make it clear that your branch of UNISON after a ballot voted to reject the offer as did the Yorkshire and Humberside region.

This offer is in real terms a pay cut.

The governments offer such as it is further highlights how undervalued we are in the public sector.

As a branch we will continue to fight at a regional and national level to highlight the issue of pay.

Yours sincerely

Adrian Kennett
Branch Secretary


Final Agenda for 2016 AGM (29/02/16)
Further Education Pay 2016 (25/02/16)

FE Strike Feb 2016

College workers in England voted by 2 to 1 to go on strike on 24 February following a 0% pay ‘offer’.

College workers in England have been offered no pay rise, when many have lost the equivalent of more than £3,000 over the last five years because of inflation and pay restraint.

In a consultation UNISON members voted overwhelmingly to reject the employers’ offer of no pay rise and balloted for industrial action on pay.

Members voted by 2 to 1 in favour of strike action and by 4 to 1 in favour of action short of a strike.

The issue

College workers have had below-inflation pay deals for the last five years and some are as much as the equivalent of £3,000 worse off. This is a 17% cut in real terms since 2010.

UNISON wrote to individual colleges to ask for a better pay offer for staff

In a consultation, UNISON members overwhelmingly rejected the employers’ offer of no pay rise. So UNISON wrote to individual colleges giving them another chance, asking them to make a better local offer. Sadly only a small number made improved offers. More than half didn’t reply.

Members working in further education were balloted over industrial action on pay

UNISON took the tough decision to ballot members over industrial action on pay. The government’s recent Comprehensive Spending Review was less harsh on further education funding than had been predicted and we believe that there is money available in colleges to pay college staff what they deserve.

College staff have picked up the extra work and cuts, redundancies and reorganisations have taken their toll on pay and morale, but the employers aren’t offering anything in return.

UNISON is working with our sister union UCU (which is also in dispute), and other unions to seek to get an improved offer.

Still time for colleges to make a better offer

There is still time for colleges to make a better offer. That’s why we are calling on the further education national employers’ organisation, the Association of Colleges, to come back to the table and reopen national pay negotiations.

Get involved

In order to win a fairer pay deal we need your help. Please:

  • talk to colleagues in your workplace about pay and why no pay rise is unacceptable to you
  • encourage non-members to join UNISON
  • go to your workplace meetings to discuss the pay campaign
  • ask your local UNISON representative how you can get more involved.


Hull City Branch - Cycle of Meetings 2016 (29/01/16)

Get active in UNISON

The branch brings you together with other employees who face common issues in the workplace and enable you to get support from the union, work with your colleagues and make your views felt in UNISON. Get active!

If you are a UNISON rep check out our policies section which sets out some of the Councils policies from grievance and disciplinaries to dignity at work.

Cuts fightback!

We don't believe the coalition when they say we are all in this together – their public service cuts will hit the most vulnerable the hardest. Find out more...

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