Latest Unite Activist Bulletin

Here’s the latest news from Unite in our region:

New Unite Community Centre Opens

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The new Community Support Centre in Farsley, Leeds, was officially opened on 11 February 2015 by Karen Reay, Unite regional secretary, Joe Rollin, Unite community coordinator, and Jamie Hanley, Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Pudsey.

The centre will provide help and support for individuals and for the community as a whole. People will be able to learn new skills, obtain support with welfare problems and get support in looking for.

With the cruel use of benefit sanctions and the devastating cuts, such as the bedroom tax, housing benefit cuts and ATOS to name a few, the centre will introduce ‘benefit buddying’, which will offer peer-to-peer support for the most vulnerable people who will suffer as a result of these cuts and who have difficulties with benefit claims.

Karen Reay, said “This exciting development in Leeds brings Unite into communities, helping people who have lost the most from the Government’s austerity programme”. Joe Rollin added “I’m really pleased that we are opening this centre in Leeds where the local community is in great need of support, and this centre will go some way to providing that assistance”.

Jamie Hanley, who is renting space within the centre for his General Election campaign said “I’m really excited to be in the heart of Farsley with Unite. Having spoken to thousands of residents in the Farsley and Pudsey area I know that the Unite Community Support Centre will deliver the support and advice that so many people need”

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 Unite and Yorkshire Ambulance Service agree to normalise relations

Unite and Yorkshire Ambulance Service have reached agreement to normalise relations and to reinstate union recognition. In a joint statement, the union and YAS said that the delivery of a first class ambulane service for the people of Yorkshire and Humberside is a priority.

In a message to members at YAS, Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said “I am delighted to be writing to you following what we hope to be the successful conclusion of our dispute with your employer”. He went on to say “what is clear is that no agreement would have been possible without the support of Unite members throughout the lengthy period of this dispute and for that I want to thank you”.

Terry Cunliffe, regional officer, said that “both YAS and Unite are looking forward to forging a new relationship based on mutual respect and a commitment to the people of Yorkshire and Humberside”.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service Branch wish to thank everyone who has supported them in their campaign for re-recognition.

Recognition agreements in our region

After a year of meeting members and the employer, and recruiting and organising members, Unite have signed a Voluntary Recognition Agreement with Translift Freight. The bargaining unit is made up of approximately 44 workers. Members have elected representatives on site who are now being trained.

In another recognitition agreement, members at Esco/Hydra Tools, Rotherham and Doncaster sought a firming up of the long standing relationship with the employer. As such, a Voluntary Recognition Agreement has been signed off by Unite and the employer.

Shop Steward reinstated at Optare

In December a shop steward at Optare was unfairly dismissed following an incident with another member. On his dismissal, a ballot of members was held asking if they were prepared to take part in industrial action in support of the steward. The result was a resounding ‘yes’.

Following the result and the leverage campaign that followed, the shop steward was reinstated. A meeting was held between Richard Bedford, regional officer, and approximately 160 Optare members to thank them for their show of solidarity.

Register to vote!

With less than three months to go until the General and Local elections, it’s important that you register to vote so that you can have your voice heard.

The last date you can register to vote is 20 April 2015. You can now register online at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

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