Torbay NHS pays out after cleaning fluid leaves workers sick

Cleaners at a Torquay hospital have won £70,000 in damages after they fell ill, having been exposed to a hazardous chemical disinfectant at work. The 22 cleaning staff – who belong to public service union UNISON and all work for the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust – began using Actichlor seven years ago, […]

Learning disability service showdown over transfer date

Staff at Somerset’s Learning Disability Service (LDS) will today (15 March 2017) hold a silent rally outside the final cabinet meeting before pre-election purdah kicks in.  LDS staff will use the slogan “#guiltyofcaring”, reflecting their feeling of being targeted for their commitment to the LDS.  Staff are deeply concerned over the Tory council’s decision to hand […]

CCG cutting health staff out of the picture over Devon hospital closures

Plans to close community hospitals in Exeter, Honiton, Okehampton and Seaton have today come under fire from public service union UNISON over the Northern, Eastern, and Western (NEW) Devon clinical commissioning group’s (CCG) failure to consult staff. Concerns over the lack of engagement with staff were raised by the union in October 2016, but since then […]

Pressure mounts on health bosses as UNISON leads cuts challenge

Cornwall’s health restructure plan, known as “Shaping our future” will this week be put under the microscope by the public service union UNISON, first at the “save our NHS” rally in Truro on Saturday, and again on Monday as representatives begin three days of giving evidence to Cornwall council’s health scrutiny committee. UNISON’s presentation to […]

Somerset scrutiny meeting puts learning disability cuts under the microscope

Plans to outsource Somerset’s learning disability service (LDS) to the national company Dimensions are to come under fire this Wednesday (1 March 2017) at a county council scrutiny committee. Councillors on the committee will examine the case put forward by the cabinet to see whether Dimensions’ plan aligns with the service that staff and service […]

UNISON launches NHS funding crisis campaign with central Plymouth event

Healthcare staff will this Tuesday (28 February 2017) be out campaigning in central Plymouth with their union, UNISON, over the dire state of health and social care funding in Devon. The event is one of a series organised to raise awareness of the increasingly difficult nature of work in health and social care services as funding […]

Blog: making progress in Plymouth

Plymouth in UNISON branch full-time rep Kevin Treweeks reflects on his nomination for a Get Active award It should have been ME! I’ve been to quite a few South West activists awards nights over the last few years so it was a strange feeling to be a nominee this year. I had a great speech […]

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Disability service staff and users to lobby Somerset council over threat to care

Staff and service users of Somerset’s learning disability service (LDS) will this Wednesday (15.02.17) attend the county council meeting to pressure their representatives to stick to promises made over the transfer of the LDS to Dimensions. Cabinet members previously assured stakeholders that sustainable, quality care was the driver of any handover, not cost-cutting. But plans have […]

Failure at the top of Children’s Services has let South Glos residents down

Commenting on today’s Ofsted report which rated South Gloucestershire council’s services for children as “inadequate”, and highlighted poor performance among senior management and political leadership, UNISON South Glos branch secretary Andrew Went said: “It’s time for a proper inquiry into how children’s services have been allowed to slide downhill, putting vulnerable people at risk. Questions […]

Report shows Bristol council must change, but cuts are root problem

Commenting on the publication of Steve Bundred’s report in Bristol city council’s financial mismanagement, UNISON Bristol branch secretary Steve Crawshaw said: “Any report should be welcomed that aids delivering the high quality public services that Bristolians deserve. UNISON called for an investigation on these lines in August 2016‎. “The Mayor is right to take a hard look at poor […]

Focus on care not cost for Somerset’s learning disability service

  Staff and service users of Somerset’s learning disability service have reacted with dismay to the Tory council’s decision to hand it over to a national company with plans to cut jobs and quality. Dimensions, the company who ended up as the only bidder in the county council’s contracting process, is proposing to make staff […]

Why we have to save Somerset’s Learning Disabilities service

In April, Learning Disabilities services in Somerset are set to be handed over from Somerset County Council (SCC) to a new Somerset Social Enterprise. UNISON is concerned that this is a money-saving exercise which will shift the focus away from care and onto cost. Martyn Krajniewski is a Support Leader at Colliers Court, Frome and […]

Government starving Bristol of services it needs to thrive

Commenting on the £64m cuts proposals published today by Bristol city council, UNISON South West regional organiser Gavin Brooks said: “There is no escaping the impact these proposals will have on public services in the city. Despite efforts to take the edge off, that means fewer residents receiving the support, care and amenities that we need our council […]

Save Swindon libraries protesters

Swindon library closures show consequences of squeezed council funds

Commenting on plans finalised today to shut ten of Swindon’s fifteen libraries and reduce the opening hours of the remaining buildings, UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said: “With only five libraries left, Swindon will lose the expertise and experience of staff, and the service will be harder to access for older people or […]

New offer from UNISON to solve Tricuro dispute

UNISON is calling on care company Tricuro to make a joint approach with GMB and Unite unions asking the three shareholder councils for more resources, in a fresh bid to end the dispute. With new government rules allowing a 3% rise in the social care precept and the councils now also each getting a share […]