Blog: Reflecting on International Workers’ Memorial Day

Workers Memorial Day is a day that always reminds me that we are stronger together as a collective, as a trade union. Marking the annual day of reflection is always a sombre occasion. It’s a day where we think of those that we have lost and those that have been seriously injured in the workplace. […]

Somerset County Council reaffirms commitment to care workers

Somerset County Council has reaffirmed their commitment to care workers, promising them full pay for COVID related absences. The announcement comes after negotiations between UNISON and the council and means that if care workers are required to self-isolate they can afford to do so. In August 2020, the council became the first in the South […]

Women on South West frontline feeling pressures at work and home during pandemic

Women in key worker positions across the South West are losing sleep, spending more on household bills, and worrying about the pandemic’s impact on their children’s education and mental health, according to a survey published today (Wednesday) by UNISON. 

Vaccine booking system now open to frontline care workers

UNISON welcomes announcement that care workers who haven’t had a dose yet can make an appointment.

Care workers in the South West looking after sick and elderly still not getting regular Covid tests, says UNISON

Care home staff in the South West are still not receiving weekly Covid tests despite government promises, according to a survey published today (Thursday) by UNISON.

Dorset Council sign UNISON’s pledge to support care workers in the workplace

Dorset Council have today, Wednesday, signed up to UNISON’s ‘Stop the Spread’ pledge, a key initiative by the UK’s biggest trade union to support care workers in the fight against coronavirus. The commitments include key safety measures, such as priority testing for social care workers and providing life saving personal protective equipment. In addition, the […]

UNISON care packages delivered to schools across Devon

School support staff have been treated to care packages from UNISON as pupils have returned to the classroom. The packages were delivered to schools across Plymouth and Torbay over the last week. The packages are part of a wider campaign from the UK’s biggest trade union to have more health and safety representatives in the […]

Staffing, safety and vulnerable children must be priority for schools’ return, says UNISON

Responding to plans published today (Thursday) by the government for the full return of schools from September, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “Everyone wants all children to return to the classroom as soon as possible. There are still issues, though, around staffing and safety. “Test and trace must get a whole lot better for social […]

The main entrance to Weston General Hospital in Weston Super Mare. Person seen in the background wearing a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Urgent improvements needed at Weston Hospital after coronavirus failures, says UNISON

Health managers must take immediate action to sort out communication issues which left staff in the dark about major Covid-19 difficulties at Weston General Hospital in Weston-super-Mare, says UNISON today (Thursday).

New care home death figures show government claims of protecting the sector ​ring hollow, says UNISON

Responding to figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics showing more than 1,000 coronavirus related deaths have occured in South West care homes, UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said: “Over 1,000 families in the South West have lost loved ones to COVID-19 in care homes, many haven’t even had the chance to […]

Support staff have little confidence in government school safety plans, says UNISON

An overwhelming majority of school support staff don’t feel reassured by government claims that English schools are safe to open to more pupils from the beginning of June, according to a UNISON survey published today (Friday).

Major Somerset care provider achieves silver award in UNISON’s coronavirus safety charter

UNISON has today (Friday) awarded Discovery a silver award for meeting key standards in UNISON’s Care Worker Safety Charter. The award signals that Discovery are a regional leader in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus in care homes. Silver award recognises that Discovery have proactively engaged with UNISON and has met most of the […]

Hospital workers in Cornwall can’t afford to self-isolate, says UNISON

Cleaners, porters and catering staff working at Bodmin Hospital who are required to self-isolate could receive less than £100 per week, says UNISON. These frontline staff undertake vital jobs for the NHS but their employer GFM has said that employees will only receive statutory sick pay (SSP) if they are required to stay at home with […]

Care home deaths expose social care system ‘unfit for purpose’, says UNISON

Figures published today (Tuesday) by the Office for National Statistics show almost 1,000 care home deaths in the South West linked to coronavirus up to 8 May. In Bristol, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, COVID-19 deaths in care homes now exceed deaths from coronavirus in hospitals. The weekly increase in care home deaths is also higher […]

Education unions’ agree statement on the safe reopening of schools

Ministers should step back from 1 June target and put safety first.