Llais - Ceredigion Unison
and a Happy New Year
2009 has been a challenging
year for the Unison Ceredigion
Branch. Stewards and Officers
have worked hard to support
members through problems
presented by Council Housing
Stock Transfer, school closures,
School Workforce re-modelling
and numerous other issues
affecting individuals. In
particular we have to thank the
Branch Secretary, Cathy Graham,
for her tireless efforts on behalf
My hope for 2010 is that more of
you will get involved either
as Work Place Stewards, Work
Place Contacts or Health and
Safety Representatives. With your
participation the Branch will be
stronger and more able to meet
the difficult times ahead.
On behalf of all the Branch
Stewards and Officers I would
like to wish you and your families
a very Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year, I look forward to
seeing you at the Annual General
Meeting on 17th February 2010.
3 wheels on my wagon ...
Keith Evans trials out
the three wheeler on the
Word has it that the authority are renewing their work vans. In
the interest of economy it has been reported that procurement
officer Hywyn Pritchard is keen on obtaining new three wheeler
Robin Reliant vehicles being built under licence in Kazakhstan.
Apart from the excellent deal being offered the main criteria was
the approximate saving of 1,500 tyres per year. Trials are being
undertaken on Ceredigion roads at present. It has been reported that
Highway Transport Managers are concerned that this exercise would
cut corners and fully laden these vehicles would
not be stable on our county roads.
Issue 26 December 2009
photo: Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk
Barber warns cuts
will ‘Break Britain’
Brendan is the current General Secretary of Trades Union Congress.
He took up the post in 2003, becoming only the 9th person to hold the
position since its introduction in 1922.
The General Secretary is responsible for the effective operation of the TUC
and for leading implementation of policies set by the annual Congress
and the organisation’s General Council.
Public-spending cuts would spark a “double-dip” recession
and push unemployment to over four million, TUC general
secretary Brendan barber warned.
Mr Barber said it was “astonishing” that calls were being made to
cut public-sector deficit as a top priority.
Speaking at the recent TUC Congress in Liverpool, Mr Barber
said the economy was still in a “very precarious” position.
“Cut the stimulus off and the economy would go into
decline again. Public -spending cuts will provoke a doublequick, double dip recession”, he said.
“Unemployment could well exceed four million and it would
take many years before there was any chance of returning
to anything like full employment. That would scar for life a
whole generation of young people.
Mr Barber said a deficits were an inevitable symptom”
of a recession, adding:”When the economy shrinks,
governments need to spend more on benefits but get less
tax income and there has been a spectacular collapse in tax
income in this recession.”
Mr Barber said the recession could not be tackled without
making the short-term deficit bigger.
“The only real choice is whether you have a deficit caused
by effective investment to hasten recovery or one caused
by making the recession deeper and longer. Choosing the
latter is pure economic masochism”.
He added that savings could be made by not renewing the
Trident nuclear system and by scrapping ID cards.
“Voters do not want cuts in spending on public services”.
Prolonged mass unemployment would not just do
economic damage, but would have terrible social effects.
“I don’t think Britain is broken, but this would
be one way to break it”.
News from .....
In these uncertain economic times
workers need the protection of a
union more than ever. But as well
as being there in case things go
wrong, UNISON have been busy
trying to make sure any problems
The branch has written to the Chief
Executive asking for the following:
1. A copy of the council’s medium term financial plan. This plan looks at finances over the next 3-5 years and is regularly updated.
2. A copy of the statement of accounts.
This gives the council’s income and
expenditure for the last financial year
3. Information about the current and predicted level of reserves
4. What the council has budgeted for
pay awards for the next two years
When we have all this information
we will analyse it and raise further
questions with the council.
How can I CRACK THE CREDIT
CRUNCH ? ? ?
Here’s some things you can do to help yourself
in these uncertain times:
1. If there is no rep in your workplace, consider becoming one (training will be given). If you don’t want to be a rep, become a contact point. This way you and your colleagues will know what UNISON is
doing. Please contact Cathy Branch Secretary on 07971 811189 or email: [email protected]
2. Write to your AM and MP opposing cuts in
public sector jobs and services, utilise some of the arguments contained in the Brendon
Barber article on page 2
3. If you have any ideas about how the council can save money without cutting jobs or
services please feed these back to the branch. We will raise them with the council.
4. Pass this magazine on to non-members and
encourage them to join. More members means UNISON’s voice is louder-and that benefits existing members too.
After 43 years Local Government Service,
25 of which were with Ceredigion Brian Davies
Principal Environmental Health Officer (Food and
Safety) recently retired. Colleagues and friends
gathered at a party held in Aberaeron Yacht Club
to celebrate Brian’s illustrious career and wish him
well for his future adventures. Although originally
from Glyneath , Brian is now a fully fledged Cardi
and will be pursuing his interests by following
Cardigan RFC and keeping a close eye on the
topsy-turvy world of Glamorgan County Cricket
Club. He will also now have plenty of time to
indulge his passion for opera, foreign travel and
cultivating the “set-aside” land in his back garden.
5. Make use of the benefits from UNISON’s affiliates on pages 6,7,10
EQUAL PAY CLAIMS
Across Wales, many thousands of UNISON
members are receiving, or have already
received, offers of back pay ranging from a few
hundred to several thousand pounds. Many are
realising that they too. Many also qualify and
are submitting enquiry forms to the UNISON
Regional office in Cardiff. Most manual workers
not receiving a bonus may qualify. These
include Carers, Cleaners and catering Staff.
Many non-manual workers cam also qualify,
especially those paid less than Spinal Column
Point (SCP) 22.
Over 9,000 claims have been lodged by
members in Wales. This is 25% of UNISON”s
equal pay claims across the UK. There are
potentially 34,000 more across branches
If you think you may have a claim, contact
Cathy. Please note, however, that claims are
being dealt with by the regional office in Cardiff.
Friends and colleagues wish Brian a long
and healthy retirement and thank him for his
contributions to Ceredigion County Council over
what has been a dedicated and colourful career.
ADD YOUR NAME TO UNISON’S
‘A MILLION VOICES FOR CHANGE’
We want to see changes that put people before
profit and and public interest before private greed.
We are calling for:
Unison has more than a million members delivering
essential services to the public. Services that
protect, enrich and change lives.
ADD YOUR NAME BY VISITING:
“I am not going to sign up to this”
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, the UK’s largest
public sector union, recently reacted angrily to the 1%, two
year pay cap
cap on public
“I am not
going to sign
up to this. I
feel – they feel angry and betrayed. It is just not on to make
nurses, social workers, dinner ladies, cleaners and hospital
porters pay the price for the folly of the bankers.
“The people who earn most should pay the most. Instead we
have the disgraceful spectacle of rich bankers threatening
to leave the country if they don’t get their massive bonuses.
Where is their loyalty? In tough times the rich should show
leadership, not run off to the nearest tax haven.
“We have no idea what inflation will be like in 2011 and
beyond. Nor do we know what the future price will be of
essentials such as food and fuel. We are on the same side of
the street as our members and I won’t let
them see their living standards eroded.
“Capping pension contributions will reduce
the already small public sector pensions
even further. The average pension in local
government is just £4,000 a year and less
than £2,000 for women. This predicted £1bn
savings could end up being paid out as
benefits to those very same workers to keep
them out of poverty in retirement.
“We know that for every £1 a public sector
work earns they spend 70p in their local
community. Any squeeze on their pay will
put a stranglehold on local businesses and
services, cutting off much needed income.
“We know that if our public services are
cut just when our communities need them
most, the manufacturing industry will also
go into crisis. Manufacturing is dependent
on public procurement to keep going.
Attacking public service jobs and pay is
misguided. It will make the recession worse.
It will undo all the work that has been done
towards giving our communities world-class
mpetition - £25.00 for the WINNER
Locate each of the listed names in the grid. Once complete, read
down the unused letters which will spell out a Movie.
N G A
W D L
To enter the competition, locate the listed names in the grid. Once complete, the unused letters will
spell out a MOVIE. To enter please send your answer (the movie) to Ann Jones, UNISON, Canolfan
Rheidol, Rhodfa Padarn, Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3UE or by email to [email protected]
ceredigion.gov.uk. Please include your name, address, daytime contact number, department and
workplace location. First correct entry wins £25.00.
The winner of the last competition was won by Hefin Jones, Corporate Passenger Transport Unit, HPW,
who receives the £25 and a goody bag.
to a private company. Unison was concerned that
a joint venture company would be profit driven
and therefore detrimental to Council staff and the
citizens of Ceredigion. To date Ceredigion County
Council has discussed Architects, Clerk of Works,
Engineering Consultancy and Quantity Surveyors
as being part of this project with associated
support staff. Powys and Gwynedd County
Councils have looked at different options.
Ceredigion, Powys Gwynedd ...
DHPW Shared Services
A long time a go in 2007 Price Waterhouse
Cooper were commissioned to evaluate the
feasibility of developing a Shared Services
Organisation to provide frontline ‘technical’
services over the three Counties of Ceredigion,
Gwynedd and Powys. Following the initial report,
Ceredigion County Council opted not to pursue
taking the process further although Powys and
Gwynedd Councils did and further examined the
two preferred options identified in the original
This Autumn Deloitte’s were asked to review the
business case for a joint venture company.
The conclusions of the review were clear in that in
the current economic climate a Joint Venture with
a private sector partner is unlikely to provide the
financial savings which the councils are seeking.
On that basis the project is to explore how a
public sector shared service can be developed.
Powys and Gwynedd Councils came to the view
that a successful Shared Services Organisation
would be far more effective if Ceredigion was
included. Ceredigion County Council was then
requested to reconsider its position and invited to
re-engage in the process of further investigating
a Shared Services approach.
Unison has welcomed this news although we
have also expressed concern about the availability
of resources to take this project forward with
particular regard to staff workloads. There are
also many issues to be resolved. We were pleased
to note that all 3 Councils remain committed to
keeping jobs local and also to increased training
and career development possibilities being
At that time the Cabinet resolved that the Council
the potential for
a Shared Services
It was at this
point that Unison
was involved and we immediately expressed
concern over any proposed TUPE transfer of staff
It was pleasing to note many Councillors
attending the DHPW Scrutiny Committee also
supported the move away from private sector
For more information or to let us have your comments please contact
Cathy Graham, Branch Secretary on 07971 811189 or
email: [email protected]
PAY CLAIM 2010 - 2011
The claim covers care assistants, cleaners, social
workers, teaching assistants, librarians and refuse
collectors among others, who are at the bottom of
the public sector pay league.
NOT A LIVING WAGE
A quarter of a million part-time workers in
local government earn less than £6.50 an hour.
Probation staff on the lowest scale now earn
nearly £2,000 more than the lowest paid in local
government. Police staff earn over a £1,000 more.
Since 1998, basic pay settlements in the NHS have
out-stripped those in local government. Our pay is
only 89% of average public sector pay.
A LIVING WAGE?
The hourly wage a worker needs to achieve
a genuine “living wage’ is £7.15 for a twoearner family with two children, even if they
take up their full benefit entitlement. Many of
us are far below that modest rate.
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION
Low pay prevents many of us, especially part
timers, from joining the Local Government
Pension Scheme. As minimum contributions
will increase by 5% in April 2010 this situation
will not improve.
There’s never been a Better Time to be in Unison because.....
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Times are hard for councils and no job is safe. If cuts come you will be better suported if you are organised in UNISON
We know that when times get hard managers can get tougher.
Some councils will use the credit crunch as “political cover’ to cut back jobs and privatise services
UNISON does not help people on matters that arose before they were a member -so complete an application form on line www.ceredigion
You can get the benefit of the UNISON PLUS offers on this page and page 7 and 10.
Unison membership? Have you changed jobs or moved house? Did you let us know?
It is important we hold up-to-date information about you, your job and your contact details. If we
don’t know where you work, we wont be able to consult with you when things are happening in your
workplace. And if we don’t have the right contact information for you, we wont be able to send you
the information you need to get the most out of being in the union. To update your details.
Join the UNISON branch team and become a shop steward or contact point. Call on: 07971 811189
or email: [email protected]
Tempting Holiday Offers for Unison Members
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Meet your favourite stars from Strictly
on our fantastic Warner hotel breaks. Enjoy show stopping routines, take part
in dance tuition and meet the stars!
3nts Half Board, dates from Feb- Jul
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Price based on 26 February at
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Price based on 09 November, flying
*EXCLUSIVE* to UNISON Members
ARE YOU STUCK FOR GIFT
IDEAS? WHY NOT BUY A UNISON TRAVEL CLUB GIFT VOUCHER
DENOMINATIONS OF £25, £50 & £10
THESE ARE just some of the packages on offer. For
further details go to [email protected]
Did you know you can now search and book your holiday
online at www.unisontravelclub.co.uk
Go on, take a look... what are you waiting for! If you don’t
see something to suit you, then let our highly experienced sales consultants do the searching for you. Call 0845
130 2633 or email
All offers are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at anytime.
Please enquire for full terms and conditions for each offer.
ABTA No. K2984
A good evening out
Just some of the faces of those who ventured
down to Oakwood for the exclusive evening
for Unison members and their families on
July 3rd 2009. Any other photos or reports?
If so, send a copy to the Publicity Team or
through your local rep.
Free courses for all UNISON
I found the course
and enjoyable. This has
encouraged me to continue
with my learning and enrol
onto another course.
Jean, Bro Morgannwg Health Branch
Understanding Psychology course
v Try one of those Opening courses starting 1st of February 2010. All of the courses have been developed for new learners or those who
have not done any learning for a number of years.
v There are no entry requirements and
they assume no special knowledge and no experience of studying. They are run by the
Open University and lead to recognised qualifications.
v There are 11 topics to choose from:
v The cost of each course is usually £115 but UNISON is able to pay the full course fee for our members.
v The courses are run via distance learning so you can study where and when you like. You will receive course materials and support by telephone and/or e.mail whenever you need it from your personal Open University tutor. You will need to study for a few hours each week over 20 weeks.
The link below provides further details about the
content of each course
Starting with Psychology
Starting with Maths
Starting with Law
Learning to Change
Making sense of the Arts
Exploring Sport online
If you would like further information on
these courses or you wish to confirm
your place on the next course then
George Nicholas, Lifelong Learning Officer
on 07974 465680 or e.mail:
The Establishing a Culture of Learning (Eacol) Project is
funded by The Welsh Assembly Government through the
Wales Union Learning Fund (Wulf ). The Aim of the project
is to help all unison members in Wales to become more involved in lifelong learning and develop their
skils and confidence at work through learning.
Training Course at
The following officers and
representatives of the branch recently
attended a course on Grievance and
organised by Unison.
Back row from left to right Daniel Titley, Meirion Williams,
Mike Garner, Alun Evans,
Adrian Williams, Rod Ellis.
Front row from left to right Dominic Mahoney, George Nicholas,
Cathy Graham, Ann Jones and
Vaughan Griffiths and on
the floor Annie James.
There is also a UNISON Welfare debit
line to offer advice to members who are
experiencing financial hardship. Those who
have used it have commented on how helpful
and supportive it was. This service can be
accessed by a free phone number
Registered Charity No. 1023552
UNISON National Welfare is a unique confidential
service for UNISON members and their families
- it is a registered charity. The Branch Welfare
works within its structure and supports members
in a variety of ways mainly through offering
confidential advice and financial assistance in the
form of grants and loans.
and is open from 8 am - 9pm Monday - Friday
and from 9 am to 1 pm on a Saturday.
The Branch Welfare can also assist members who
meet the criteria for other services such as Get
Well Family Holidays and other breaks available
for low income families who fulfil the appropriate
criteria. It also acts as a signpost to other
organisations that may be able to help members
to resolve their problems.
Colleagues from the course:
Recently Ann Jones Welfare Officer for
Ceredigion UNISON attended a weekend
Welfare course in Southport, where she
gained valuable training and support from
other Welfare Officers enabling her to take on
her new role of Welfare Officer for Ceredigion.
Since this training Ann has successfully
helped 2 members from Ceredigion with
their application for Financial Assistance. If
you require a confidential chat with Ann then
please get in touch on
Anghard Davies daughter of Meinir Davies
(Finance) winning third prize at the Royal
Welsh Winter Fare. The family are all keen
supporters of the Appeal
In 2010 Ceredigion will be the host county
of the Royal Welsh Show held at Builth
Wells. Over the last year many people
within the county have been fund raising
for the appeal. Money raised will be
Ceredigion’s contribution towards a new
Food Hall at the showground. Amongst
the fund raisers, organisers and supporters
there are many council Unison staff
involved in this effort from North, Mid,
South and all points in between. If you are
a Unison member and have any articles or
photographs on other subjects please get
Cliff Bates (CE Dept)
£30 M&S Vouchers
When you buy car insurance on the phone before 21
December 2009 not only will you get a 5% discount, you
will also receive £30 M&S vouchers. LV=FRIZZELL car
insurance also gives you:
• Up to 75% No Claims Discount
• Extra discount if you arrange more than one car insurance
policy in your household
For further details go to: www.frizzell.co.uk/unison/car
Choosing car insurance on the basis
of price alone means you may get a
policy that suits your pocket but doesn’t
necessarily give you the cover you want.
We’ve been given 5 stars by Defaqto.
Printed on 100%
Printed by Ceredigion Reprographics Service