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Dear colleagues, welcome to our latest newsletter.

I do hope you are all safe and well in lockdown after surges in cases of Covid 19 and the inevitable rise in hospitalisations and ultimately an increase in deaths.

Our NHS workers and other key workers deserve our gratitude and solidarity and, in my message to government, a decent pay rise for their life saving work over the many months of the pandemic.

Read Bill's message in full HERE!

News

Trade unionists can help with the country’s vaccine effort

The Labour Party and the TUC are launching a 'Let’s vaccinate Britain' campaign to sign up thousands of volunteers as NHS England needs 50,000 stewards to help roll out the vaccine.

The sooner the vaccine is rolled out, the sooner we can begin to recover. That’s why we are calling on trade unionists to get involved in the vaccine roll out. Every effort made can make a difference.

Our brilliant NHS health professionals are giving the vaccinations. But they need all of us to support them to get everyone vaccinated.

Read our news item and blog to find out more and see how you can help.

TUC poll: 7 in 10 requests for furlough turned down for working mums

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of working mums who have applied for furlough following the latest school closures have had their requests turned down, according to a new TUC survey carried out in the past week and published today (Thursday).

The job retention scheme currently allows bosses to furlough parents who can’t work due to a lack of childcare.

But the TUC says many mums are missing out on this financial lifeline as the scheme is not promoted to parents.

The union body is also concerned some employers are refusing to furlough those who request it, leaving mums in an impossible situation where they are forced to reduce their hours at work, take unpaid leave and annual leave to cope, or leave their job altogether.

Read More...

Government must boost self-isolation support to get control of “spiralling” Covid-19 cases

The TUC has called on ministers to urgently increase financial support for people who have to self-isolate to help bring down Britain’s “spiralling” Covid-19 cases.

New polling by the TUC shows that a fifth (20%) of workers who have been forced to self-isolate, but unable to work at home, have received no sick pay (or wages) at all.

Read More...

Events

Q&A: Unfair dismissal | Wednesday 20 January | 2pm

Join us for our first webinar of 2021. 

We’ll be joined by Jo Seery from Thompsons Solicitors who will be taking your questions on unfair dismissal. She’ll be talking about the difference between fair and unfair dismissal, legal protections against unfair dismissal and what reps can do if it happens.

Jo Seery is a highly experienced senior employment rights solicitor and is also responsible for producing and providing training for the firm’s trade union clients.

Gerard Stilliard, from Thompsons, will also be talking on personal injury. Gerard has some 20 years’ experience of successful personal injury litigation.

If you have any questions, please post them in the ‘Ask a Question’ box.

Register here!

Responding to domestic abuse in the workplace | Friday 29 January | 2pm - 4pm | Zoom

Domestic abuse is always a workplace issue. Trade unions know that work is often a place of safety for those experiencing domestic abuse.
 
But at the moment, many workers are subject to stringent social distancing measures which mean they have to work from home, isolated from their support networks.
 
Join this training for trade union reps and activists on how to respond to this issue in the workplace, both during COVID-19 restrictions, and for the future.

Register here!

Campaigns

We need decent pay and secure work for key workers

The government directly sets the pay of six million key workers. They must act by giving workers a pay rise and tackling the insecure work many face.

It is time to end the low pay and insecure work that leave carers, supermarket workers, delivery drivers and many more of our most essential workers struggling.

Support the campaign HERE!

Don't let the government cut union learning

Actions you can take to support union learning:

1. Sign the petition

Sign the petition calling on the government to reverse cuts to union learning and ensure working people can access education and skills training.

2. Share your story 

We need stories from hundreds of people who've taken part in union learning, so we can show the government how important it is to workers, our families, and our communities.

3. Tell your MP to save union learning

Use this template to email your MP, letting them know why it is important to save union learning. Your voice matters.

Reports

Health & Safety guidance and research

NEW TUC Covid-19 guidance for union reps has been updated for January 2021.
The updated guidance includes info on:

  • Risk assessments
  • Ventilation
  • Shielding
  • Section 44
  • PPE
  • Testing and vaccines

…and more. Have a look and please share it with anyone who may find it helpful.
∙ Share the guidance on Facebook ∙ Twitter ∙ Whatsapp
 
RESEARCH on Covid safety
Do you work in the food and drinks industry? The TUC is working with researchers to create an evidence base of how safety measures have been used in these workplaces during the Covid pandemic. Whether you’re in agriculture, manufacturing, distribution or retail, if you’re working in part of the food and drinks supply chain we want to hear from you and your colleagues. You don’t need to be a union member to take part in this research, so please share far and wide! Closing date 15 January.

Learning

Handling Redundancies course | over 3 Fridays from 5 February - 26 February

We still have places available on our Handling Redundancies course starting early next month:

This course will help you improve your skills, update knowledge and assist you when preparing to take up issues with management. The course covers how employment law affects how redundancies should be handled, including rights and responsibilities including the new rules covering redundancies resulting from the recent Covid 19 pandemic.

Register HERE!

Or for further information about the course please contact: hazel.parker@eastridingcollege.ac.uk

Announcements

GMB British Gas 'Fire and Rehire' Strike Fund

In July, in the middle of the pandemic, British Gas owners Centrica commenced the process of firing its entire UK workforce of 20,000 so that it could re-employ them on new terms.  It sent out the statutory notice for these dismissals before negotiations had started on the proposed changes.  The result was a massive breakdown in trust between the workforce and their employer.

The company's offer was overwhelmingly rejected by British Gas workers. GMB members at British Gas have voted to take industrial action and have taken 5 days of strike action. They will take another 5 days of strike action in late January.

GMB have created a Crowdfunder to help support members affected by the strike action. If you'd like to donate, you can do so HERE! 

Please also share the Crowdfunder link through your networks if you can.

TUC Directory 2021 (GE366)
Members Price £11

The TUC Directory is our popular handbook of union information. Each member union is described in full, with details of key contacts. There's a handy unions-by-work sector list and infographics about union density and reach, using official statistics. And news planners will find the diary of key union events in 2021 particularly useful.

You can order the new TUC Directory online here

For more information on bulk discounts, card and cheque payments, please download the order form (pdf)

If you require assistance call 0207 467 1294 or email publications@tuc.org.uk

Hazards at Work 6th Edition (HS111) NOW AVAILABLE & IN STOCK! | Members Price £22 | Student discount £19.50

This is the Sixth edition of the TUC's bestselling guide to health and safety at work.

Used by reps, officers, employers, professionals in the field and even enforcement officers. This incredibly popular book is now even more informative at over 400 pages, an invaluable resource, which incorporates common hazards and cause of ill health at work, and how to assess and prevent them.

The book also contains HSE and other guidance, extensive checklists, case studies and web resources.

There are discounts on bulk orders, over 5 copies, please contact us for details.

Those on TUC approved courses can receive discount, please call for details 0207 467 1294. Or email at; publications@tuc.org.uk

Unions can have their logo printed on the cover
 at no extra cost, note this is available for orders of 100 or more copies. Please contact for details.

New eBook version now available

Click here for details.

Café Économique: Is this the end of the road for globalisation? A zoom talk by Dr Jonathan Perraton, University of Sheffield | Tuesday 2 February | 19:15 - 21:30

This talk will examine how the global economy has evolved and how it is likely to develop, and the impact this has had on incomes across the world. It will emphasise that globalisation is not an unstoppable force, but the outcome of policy decisions at the national and global levels.

If you are not already a member of the Café, please contact cafeeconomiqueleeds2019@gmail.com to join the meeting.
A zoom link and password will be sent to the email list close to the date of the talk.

MediaNorth Zoom event | Thursday 21 January | 6.00pm - 7.00pm

Phil Harrison author of The Age of Static: How TV Explains Modern Britain will be in conversation with MediaNorth editor Granville Williams. 

Phil is a television writer and cultural critic and was formerly Deputy TV Editor for Time Out. His book argues that television, more than any other art form, is political and that Britain still gets a sense of itself (often unpleasant) through the output of our national broadcasters. There's a hard-hitting chapter on  Reality TV which is grimly topical - in the States The Apprentice gave a platform to Donald Trump, here Katie Hopkins. Phil analyses how political populism and reality tv have created politicians like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.

The chapter, 'How the other half lives’, looks at class and examines programmes like Benefits StreetThe Jeremy Kyle Show and Shameless.

Plenty of material for a lively discussion and also for your questions too.

Register here!

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