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News Date16 Nov 2018
News ItemFriday Round up

Hello Everyone,

Monday started with the Employee Consultation Forum (ECF) for LGSS. It is a good opportunity to meet with other UNISON Branches at CCC & MKC and to hear all that is going on across the partners. The Interim MD is due to leave at the end of the month and there is no confirmation yet to her replacement or whether the contract will be extended. We will keep you updated.

Lorna attended a briefing on Universal Credit on Monday afternoon. This is a very worrying time for people. We have some good briefing notes that are available on Sally Keeble’s website – Please do look at these if you need to advise any customers who may be affected.

Tuesday saw the Ofsted Report on Children’s Services. Once again, I want to reiterate that the frontline Staff do an amazing job in very difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, years of treating Staff badly with poor T’s & C’s will have a damaging effect on all teams and services within the authority. We are telling NCC that they must put all Staff back on National T’s & C’s if they are to run effectively. Please see the message below that we put out on Social Media:-

"Once again, we see Northamptonshire County Council in a poor light from yet another Government Report – this time Ofsted. UNISON Northants County Branch would like to acknowledge the hard work that Staff in the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and Early Help department carry out for the Authority. They work tirelessly and incredibly long hours in very difficult circumstances with overwhelming caseloads. It is of course as a result of poor pay and conditions that it is impossible to recruit and retain staff throughout the authority. UNISON, along with other Unions, are once again calling for a return to NJC terms and conditions to help beleaguered Staff. It is time for NCC to pay staff fairly."

Also, on Tuesday I attended Cabinet with Lorna & Kev. The rules have changed on who can address Cabinet. Members of the public now must submit their questions in advance of the meeting and can longer address Cabinet in the form of a speech. Elected Members, who are not part of the Cabinet or a leader of their Party, also must register questions in advance and cannot speak on any item not notified in advance. It didn’t make the meeting flow very well.

Next week we have “Transgender Day of Remembrance” on Tuesday 20th November. This is to honour the memory of those whose lives have been lost around the world due to acts of anti-transgender violence. Around the country, UNISON will be marking the occasion with vigils and other awareness raising activities. Our branch will be holding a stall at the One Angel Square atrium, between 11.30am – 2pm. Please pop by for general LGBT information, and to find out about becoming a “Trans Ally” to work colleagues, friends or family who identify as trans. Anyone can be a trans ally, it’s not complicated and UNISON can help you to improve your confidence with this. For any queries, please contact Ben King (LGBT Officer) by emailing
In the evening local LGBT groups are hosting a vigil and readings at 7pm at the Boston Clipper (LGBT bar) in Northampton, all are welcome to join and UNISON is supporting this.

Have a great weekend - Penny

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