UNISON Yorkshire & Humberside Region

UNISON is Britain's largest public services union with a membership of over 1.3 million. Yorkshire & Humberside region alone has over 145,000 members. Our members are people working in the public services, for private contractors providing public services and in the essential utilities. They include frontline staff and managers working full or part time in local authorities, the NHS, the police service, colleges and schools, the electricity, gas and water industries, transport and the voluntary sector.

25 years in UNISON

25 years in UNISON

25 years in UNISON (01/08/18)

UNISON came into being 25 years ago. In the face of hostile trade union legislation, and attempts to decimate and privatise our public services, we have grown and become strong.

Of our 1.3 million members around 80% are women making us the biggest organisation representing women in the UK. That alone is cause for celebration. But there’s so much more to celebrate and, as a young forward-looking union that is proud of its past, we will be celebrating for the whole year – from July 2018 to June 2019.

Three unions – Nupe, Nalgo and Cohse – came together on 1 July 1993 on ‘Vesting Day’ to form one union to represent all public service workers, wherever they work.

There’s no denying that things are difficult for public services and the dedicated staff who provide them. We can’t forget the cuts, privatisation and pay restraint that have become an unwelcome part of our members’ lives. But we will never forget how proud we are of our members, proud of the jobs they do and proud of the public services they provide.

For 25 years we have challenged unfair employment practices and defended jobs and pensions. We have taken legal cases and won a staggering £775m in compensation for our members. We have stood up for fairness and equality – and we’re not about to stop.

That is why we are taking this opportunity to celebrate 25 years of our achievements. This is an ideal opportunity to remember why it’s good to belong to a union that is campaigning, caring and visionary – and here for the next 25 years and beyond.


Latest News

An end to privatisation must be a year one priority for Labour (25/09/18)

Opening the debate on privatisation at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool today (Tuesday 25 September 2018), UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis

Opening the debate on privatisation at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool today (Tuesday), UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“UNISON has always led the fight against privatisation, in the past all too frequently against the New Labour leadership.

“Year after year, I stood at this rostrum, and was heckled and hissed at by New Labour ministers for opposing their privatisation plans.

“Gullible ministers, who’d been seduced by the promises of vulture capitalism, sucked in by G4S, Capita and Carillion, and bedazzled by the chief executives of multinational companies who promised so much, yet delivered so little.

“But much has changed thanks to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. Those dark days are gone.

“The country must never go back to the time when it was beholden to the profiteers, seduced by their false promises, and by the mantra that private was good and public bad.

“A mile from here stands the Royal Liverpool Hospital – a shell of a hospital, that’s half built, effectively a £300m building site.

“It’s been abandoned by Carillion, the company that everyone said was too big to fail.

“Carillion, a private company that was praised by the Tories and lauded by New Labour, has now left a trail of destruction in its wake.

“Workers were unpaid and apprentices were sacked, and this great city has been left without its promised new hospital. An epic monument to failure.

“And just as Grenfell will forever be associated with neglect, so Carillion will always be associated with greed.

“But at long last the Labour Party is led by those who oppose privatisation of all our public services.

“I’ve waited all my life for this. Our party, led by Jeremy Corbyn – a proud UNISON member, has always stood with us on protests.

“Campaigning against hospital closures, council cuts and privatisation. He’s
the kind of Member of Parliament our party needs, who stands with you when times are tough, and not just when they want something.

“So everyone in this hall, and every MP must get behind our leader, get behind the policies, and get behind the party to campaign for the best manifesto ever put to the British people.

“It’s a party that works not for the rich but for the cleaners, the carers, the cooks, the teaching assistants, nurses, and all other public sector workers.

“They need our party preparing for power, looking outwards, moving upwards and standing united. That’s what our country needs.

“That’s what the children sleeping rough on the streets of cities like this need. And what the dozens of Birmingham care workers who travelled here yesterday need.

“They’ve taken 21 days of strike action, fighting pay cuts, and a cut in their hours.

“We need unity now more than ever, to be united behind radical policies, not outdated dogmas of the past, united behind a leadership that is no longer timid.

“For the first time in a generation, we have the opportunity to be bold and bring public sector workers who’ve been privatised back into local government, and back into the health service where they belong.

“An end to privatisation must be a year one priority for a Labour government, not an aspiration. A day one commitment to end the scourge of privatisation and bring all services back in house.”


VIDEO: Return to Learn & Women's Lives Award Ceremony 2018 (31/08/18)


Branches across Yorkshire & Humberside celebrate the NHS at 70 (12/07/18)

Our union is so proud of our NHS, not just because we’re the largest health union in the country, but also because the National Health Service embodies our union’s values. A universal public service. Free at the point of use. With health and care as priorities – not profit.

The NHS is perhaps the greatest achievement of our movement. A beacon to the world. And the greatest example of Socialism in action and the basic decency and fairness of our labour movement.

Born amidst the rubble of war, opposed by churches, charities and doctors – it was a ray of hope in that bleak time, and it remains one today.

UNISON Y&H Gambia Project - Annual Report 2017 / 2018 (18/04/18)
Hull recycling workers strike for sick pay - donations needed (03/04/18)

Branch appeals for donations to hardship fund as workers start two weeks on the picket line for sick pay from international company worth hundreds of millions.

Recycling workers working for FCC Environment in Hull have started two weeks of strike action for decent pay sick pay, and are asking for donations to their hardship fund.

The 14-day strike, which started on 29 March, is the second round of action, following a week-long strike at the beginning of the month.

The UNISON members are mounting a picket from 6am every day at the FCC Wilmington waste transfer station in Hull.

Their employer is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a Spanish company that describes itself as “a worldwide leader in citizen services, specialised in environment, water and infrastructure”. It reported a 12.7% increase in earnings in the first quarter of 2017, totalling $188m globally.

But UNISON Hull City branch secretary Adrian Kennett says that, “despite the company’s significant profits, it refuses to to pay the workers who make them the profits decent pay and conditions.”

The branch has been campaigning for a better sick scheme for a long time. Last year, a member was diagnosed with cancer, but was denied sick pay.

“We asked for this to be included in pay talks,” says Mr Kennett, but the company refused.

At the same time, that company has not increased a pay offer of 2.5% increase, which most of our members were going to get anyway as part of the increase in the national minimum wage, which came into effect on 1 April.

“This has left our members with no choice but to take industrial action,” says UNISON.

The branch, supported by Yorkshire and Humberside region, is asking fellow UNISON branches to give generously to support the strikers, with cheques made payable to UNISON Hull City and sent to:

UNISON Hull City branch
Town Hall Chambers
39 Alfred Gelder Street


UNISON Active Magazine Spring 2018 - published (06/04/18)

You can find all the Active magazines here...


Regional Education Programme 2018 published (06/11/17)

Welcome to the Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Education and Training Programme for 2018. It is our priority to have diverse and suitable courses to meet all the needs of both activists and members. This year we have endeavored to have courses as widely accessible as possible by offering access across the region, and making more use of the TUC both in the classroom and online. We are supporting new venues this year from Hull to Sheffield as well as delivering more at the Regional HQ in Leeds; we will also continue to use Northern College in Barnsley.

You can find the 2018 Education Programme here...

Education programmeThe Tory cuts have been deeply affecting not only Trade Union education, but all adult further education, which makes our Lifelong Learning approach even more important for our members, potential members, and activists. In addition to our Regional Education Team, our Organisers will continue working with branches, alongside the other organising duties they undertake, to develop Lifelong Learning and ensure activists are trained to the highest up-to-date standards. Learning and training are now firmly embedded within all branches development and future plans.

The programme is designed to increase access to the most up to date training UNISON can offer, both for new and developing existing activists. The courses provided are directly aimed at building confidence and developing skills and abilities. We are sure that both you and UNISON will benefit from the experience. It is never too late to learn.

Branch development is vital in recruiting, organising and retaining members. We are constantly striving to increase membership and provide a better service. Increasing membership and developing new activists from all sectors of the union will make us stronger and more representative of our members.

Unfortunately, due to Tory Government continued cuts, there have been significant reductions in general further education funding and TUC funding has also been drastically cut. As a result of effective lobbying by the TUC, the previous Coalition government’s intention to remove fee remission was postponed to August 2016, thus enabling the region to keep charges to branches down to a minimum.

No member should be out of pocket attending UNISON courses. Branches and the Region will continue to contribute to ensure this, and ensure access is freely available to as many members/activists as possible. Any additional travel costs or carer costs can be claimed from your branch, but you do need to speak to your branch and get their agreement in advance (details of help can be found within this programme).

For clarity, we also offer a separate members only training programme detailing some of the courses/workshops UNISON offers for non activist members. You can obtain a copy of this from your Branch Education Co-ordinator or Branch Secretary. You can always find it on our website at www.unison-yorks.org.uk/education.html.

We pride ourselves on offering a very friendly, relaxed and supportive learning environment, and providing opportunities to meet new people, make new friends, and build networks with other branches and activist learners to build on knowledge and skills. Working together with other trade unionists to achieve common goals is at the fundamental core of our organisation and we offer many opportunities for development.

So please access and enjoy our learning offer and don’t be afraid to provide both positive and negative feedback as we are always striving to improve your learning experience and all feedback is carefully considered and used to improve our delivery.

This year we are offering much more content online, with short workshops with the TUC fully online and integrated courses using webinars and e-Notes. I hope you will participate and enjoy what we have to offer and I firmly believe UNISON has the best trained activists of any union in the UK.

Wendy Nichols
Regional Convenor

You can find the 2018 Education Programme here...


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