Welcome to UNISON Blaenau Gwent

Blaenau Gwent is a county borough in Wales, sharing its name with a parliamentary constituency.

Branch latest news, archive news and branch representatives

UNISON Office, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council,
Municipal Offices, Ebbw Vale, NP23 6XB
Telephone: 01495 355252

blaenau gwent map

Blaenau Gwent borders the unitary authority areas of Monmouthshire and Torfaen to the east, Caerphilly to the west and Powys to the north. Its main towns are Abertillery, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar. Its highest point is Coity Mountain at 1,896 feet.

UNISON USEFUL LINKS TO SAVE YOU MONEY

Please inform us if you see an outdated link, thank you.

Unison Winter Fuel Fund

WINTER FUEL GRANT

Worried about the relentless increase in fuel costs? Unison's charity There For You has set up a limited fund to help those on low incomes. You can apply for a grant of up to £200 towards your winter fuel bills.

> Visit winter fuel application form

welcome to unison gwent

Click Here To Join UNISON

Join UNISON Today

Social Media Links:

Facebook link
Twitter link

Budget planning

CHECK YOUR BENEFITS

It can often be tricky to figure out which benefits you are eligible for and how to claim.

Check your support now with the UNISON Benefits Calculator.

> Check benefits link here

Budget planning

BUDGET PLANNER

The first vital step in taking control of your finances is to create your own personal budget plan. Our user friendly budget planner is free to use and should only take minutes to complete if you have all your financial information to hand.
> Budget planner link here

Wellbeing breaks

WELLBEING MATTERS

Wellbeing breaks can provide welcome relief from stress and respite from difficult circumstances – this can include assisting with recovery from illness to help prepare for a return to work.

> Wellbeing breaks link here


June 2022

CARE WORKERS REAL LIVING WAGE NOW

Care workers must receive Real Living Wage, says UNISON

Read more link here

Home Health Care Worker

June 2022

SUPPORT FOR CARE WORKERS

Unison Wales is calling for a reversal of the profit making private sector provision which makes up the majority of care.

Local authorities must be able to deliver a national care service, in a modern and imaginative way, with the public reassured of the quality of care, continuity of care and relationships with a carer, and that public money should go directly into public care.

Care Workers

Carers are telling us they need a pay rise that will allow them to absorb the increase to the cost of living.

Private firms should not profit from people’s vulnerability says UNISON.

Read more link here


June 2022

DEMAND BETTER

Today we join Trades Union Congress (TUC) for the #DemandBetter march against the #CostOfLivingCrisis
Wales TUC. Cymru UNISON

TUC Demonstration

June 2022

date 18th June

DEMAND ACTION DEMONSTRATION

All public sector workers are being forced to deal with a toxic mix of a decade of cuts combined with low wages and sky high fuel and energy bills as the cost-of-living crisis deepens.

On Saturday June 18, the trade union movement will be taking to the streets of London to demand action and UNISON Cymru/Wales is providing three buses to get our members to this vital demonstration.

Find out how to book your place on the buses here: Complete bus transport details link here

Wales TUC Cymru Trades Union Congress / (TUC) UNISON / Unison Swansea Bay Health Branch / Members Group NPT Unison / Unison Carms / Cangen Unsain Gwynedd / UNISON North Wales / Health Branch UNISON Velindre and PHW Branch Unison / Bridgend Unison / Powys Local Government Branch / Unison Cardiff Branch

Demonstration 18th June

Bus Details For South West Wales

Pick-ups: Haverfordwest (train station) at 6.00am; Llanelli (train station) at 7.30am and Swansea Moto services M4 Junction 47 at 7.45am

Bus Details For South Wales

Pick-ups: Merthyr Tydfil (Civic Building) at 7.00am; Pontypridd (bus station) at 7.25am; Cardiff (Museum steps) at 8.00am and Newport (train station) at 8.30am

To book your branches place on these buses, please email Helen Dunn-Jones h.dunn-jones@unison.co.uk with the name, email, mobile number and pick up point for each traveller.

Return journey will be picking back up near Parliament Square at 3pm.


June 2022

date 7th June OR date 14th June OR date 15th June

UPDATE FOR TEACHING ASSISTANTS AND SCHOOL BASED MEMBERS

Unison has recently met with the Education Minister to share some of the feedback received in terms of the pilot on the longer school day. There isn’t much that we can say on this at the current time as the research of the pilot hasn’t been finalised yet and no decisions have been made.

In terms of changes to the school year, most of the research shows that there’s little to no benefit to them changing the term dates. Along with the other Education unions we are saying that now is not the time to be exploring any such changes – the impact from Covid is still being felt and is likely to be for some time. There are also some major reforms currently going on in education – namely the new curriculum and the ALN transformation, which reinforces why now would not be a good time to consider making any changes. Unison has said that we are willing to engage on discussing options when the time is right. Unison is heavily involved in all of the discussions and meetings and we will engage and update members as we go along.

A webinar for all school staff and other interested parties is going to be hosted by TUC on either 7th or 14th or 15th June at 6.00pm to discuss reform of the school year and see what the general feeling is across the whole workforce. As soon as its been arranged further details will be sent to all members.

Unison Blaenau Gwent Branch will be visiting all of the schools in the Borough over the next couple of months to engage fully with our members.

In the meantime, if you would like to speak with us direct, don't hesitate to contact us on 01495 355252 or email unison@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk


June 2022

DEADLINE DATEdate 12th June

WINDRUSH FUND

REMINDER: Windrush Day 2022 Funding is open for applications!

Apply now.

Windrush Fund application: Link here

Windrush Fund

June 2022

date 7th June

NJC 2022 PAY CAMPAIGN

7 June 2022 at 12:30pm–1:30pm
Add to Calendar. As part of the launch of our 2022 NJC pay campaign, UNISON will be holding a webinar for activists and organisers to explain the claim and campaign, as well as answer questions.

Find out how to book your place on the webinar here: NJC Pay Webinar link here

NJC 2022

May, June, July 2022

FREE COURSES

What's that? Did someone say FREE courses?

Free Workshop Courses

BOOK NOW!

Sessions are free and open to people over 16 with any level of experience - Book your space now.

Free Workshop Courses

May 2022

date 5th May

GENERAL SECRETARY BLOG

Use Thursday to hit the Tories in the ballot box.

As service users as well as providers, UNISON members know the challenges faced by councils after a decade of Conservative cuts.

Political leaders of all parties will be watching nervously to see how well their candidates do in this week’s local elections.

Results often show how happy or unhappy people are with their local politicians and the local services they’re getting.

Christina McAnea

But it’s also a big reflection on how satisfied voters are with national party leaders.

General Secretary Blog: Read more link here


May 2022

date 5th May

LOCAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS

In less than a week 16-year-olds will be voting for the first time in a local election in Wales.
Unison Wales has heard from first time voter Julia who told us public services are vital to her.
She said: "Voting is vital for me because without doing so, people may not see the change that they would like to see, in the government, and in their day-to-day lives.

"By voting everyone has a say in their future and positive change will be implemented."

"It is extremely important for me as it reminds me that as a community we have a say and in turn change will take place."

Local Elections

Let us know if you are voting for the first time & why public services are important for you.

#localelections2022 #LocalElections #LocalElectionsMatter UNISON Unison in Local Government


April 2022

LOCAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS

The local council elections in May are a great opportunity for UNISON Cymru Wales to talk about why it’s so important to invest in public services and in public service workers.

We want to influence politicians and public opinion to address the needs of working people and Welsh communities. We’re asking council candidates to pledge their support for UNISON’s priorities and work with us to deliver them.

#UNISONpriorities Read more link here

Local May Elections

Poster states: Local elections 2022. Fair funding for council services. #UNISONPriorities


April 2022

MONTH OF RAMADAN

The holy Muslim month of Ramadan falls neatly across April this year. Fasting began on 2 April and Eid-al-Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, is expected to fall on 1 May.

During this important holy period for Muslims, UNISON reminds both workers and employers that it is within the Equality Act 2010 for all employers to ensure flexible working and provide reasonable adjustments for staff wishing to observe Ramadan, which includes fasting, prayers, charity and reflecting on the Quran.

Read more link here

Ramadan

April 2022
date 2nd April

COST OF LIVING CRISIS

The Cost of Living Crisis is a political choice. Yet again the Tories are trying to make ordinary people pay.

Join People's Assembly nationwide protests on April 2nd to demand change.

#CostOfLivingCrisis #WeCantPay

Cost of living crisis

March 2022

WELSH LABOUR CONFERENCE

Our very own Dave Rees spoke at the Welsh Labour Conference over the weekend.

Dave spoke about the need to review the number of members at the Senedd and how too few of them fail to scrutinise the huge legislative programme effectively. He went on to state our need for a strong Senedd, one that continues to protect the people of Wales from the uncaring, self-serving Conservatives.

Labour Party Conference

March 2022

UKRAINE SUPPORT

UNISON is working with the international trade union movement to mobilise support for those affected by the war in Ukraine – and branches and members can help too.

Ukraine support links here

Ukraine support

March 2022

date 8th March

INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY

Happy #InternationalWomensDay2022

“I stand
on the sacrifices
of a million women before me
thinking
what can I do
to make this mountain taller
so the women after me
can see farther"

Taken from the poem, Legacy by Rupi Kaur.

International Womens Day

March 2022

date 1st March

SAINT DAVID'S DAY

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus

Happy St David's Day

Happy Saint David's Day

February 2022

date 9th Februarydate 16th February

March 2022

date 2nd Marchdate 9h March

UPCOMING TRAINING COURSES

Bullying & Harassment in the Workplace (Awareness) - 9 Feb
Hatred, Lies & Online Misinformation - 16 Feb
Menopause in the Workplace - 2 March
Bullying & Harassment in the Workplace (Awareness) - 9 March
Each session will be hosted via Teams, and will last approximately 1 hour from 12 to 1pm. If anyone would like to attend could they email daniel.perkins@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk


February 2022

date 22nd February

BLAENAU GWENT UNISON AGM 2022

Blaenau Gwent Unison's AGM will be taking place on 22 February at 12:00 – Please find included below a copy of the meeting agenda:

- Welcome
- Apologies
- Minutes from 2021 AGM (for accuracy)
- Chair’s Report
- Treasurer’s Report
- Auditors’ Report
- Honoraria
- Election of Officers
- Branch Assessment
- Motions
- Guest Speakers: Frank Bruno (via TEAMS)
- Closing Remarks

Blaenau Gwent activists

You will need to have access to TEAMS to be able to attend this event.

Link to our Blaenau Gwent AGM Teams meeting details


January 2021

LOCAL SERVICE CHAMPIONS AWARDS

The Local Service Champions Awards celebrate the invaluable contribution local authority staff make to our lives. We owe our champions a huge debt.

Nominations for the awards are now open – take 5 minutes to nominate someone that you feel has gone above and beyond during the past 18 months.

Link to nominate a Local Champion


December 2021

STRIKE ACTION BACKED

Welsh public back strike action for key workers to win a fair pay rise.

Link to news press release

Dave Rees

December 2021

date 17h November

CHRISTMAS PARTY IMPORTANT UPDATE

A message from Blaenau Gwent Unison branch:

It is with true disappointment the Blaenau Gwent Executive Branch of Unison have decided to postpone this year’s Christmas event for obvious reasons.

The new Covid variant has impacted greatly on the people of the borough and the rest of Wales.

The branch are fully aware of the impact social isolation has on members wellbeing and will be looking to hold further events in the spring/summer when safer to do so.

I hope you will support and understand your branches decision and please e-mail Ian Robins or phone 01495 355252 for your refund.

Christmas Party

CHRISTMAS PARTY

Tickets available from Monday 22nd November 2021 from the office. Please see note about refunds. Thank you.


December 2021

date 15th December

END OF YEAR ONLINE EVENT

After a tough and challenging year, you are invited to UNISON's end of year rally, to Fight for Fairness.

This new and exciting online event is next Wednesday, 15 December from 5.30pm to 7pm and is a chance to reflect on the many campaigns and the various victories we've enjoyed together – whilst looking ahead to some of the challenges to come, especially those on pay, funding cuts, climate change and equality.

Register for the rally now.

Link to our Zoom online event

Blaenau Gwent Online Event

November 2021

date 25th November

LGBT+ MEETING INVITE

As you may be aware Unison has various self-organised groups (SOGs), for members with protected characteristics.

For those members who identify themselves as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Plus Group (LGBT+) Unison would like to invite you to an online meeting of our Regional LGBT+ SOG.

The meeting is being held on Thursday 25th November at 12.30pm until 2.30pm.

If you would like to learn more about LGBT+ and what Unison and the group can do for you then please make a request to join the meeting by e-mailing Pat Jones taffdrum@yahoo.co.uk or Neil Kowalski-Davies neil.kowalski-davies@wales.nhs.uk and ask for the meeting link to be sent to you.

Also, if you would like to get involved with Unison locally, please drop your branch secretary an e-mail, Ian Robins, unison@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

Although we welcome the involvement of allies in LGBT+ activities, these meetings are only for members who identify as LGBT+. This is done to ensure the safety of members who may not be out in their workplace.


November 2021

date 23rd November

INTRODUCTION TO UNCONSCIOUS BIAS - TASTER SESSION

Tuesday 23rd November 2021
12 noon to 1pm - via Zoom

Unconscious Biases are the underlying attitudes and stereotypes that people unconsciously attribute to another person or group of people that affect how they understand and engage with them.

This course is being offered free to members, to book your place please email Daniel Perkins or call 01495 355252.


November 2021

date 6th November

MARCH WITH US - COP26

March with UNISON on the Cardiff COP26 Day of Action: 6 Nov. Assemble 12pm in front of the City Hall (by Brodies Coffee, Gorsedd Gardens, Cardiff, CF10 3NP).

Bring flags, banners and friends on this family-friendly march #wemaketomorrow

COP 26 Cardiff Day Of Action March

October 2021

A BIG THANK YOU

We are honoured to have been awarded the Cymru/Wales 'Recognition Award'.

We would like to say a big thank you to our stewards, officers and staff - All of whom have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.

Branch Reward

October 2021

STAFF SHORTAGES - GIVE US THE REAL PICTURE

UNISON wants to hear from members about the staff shortage crisis which is hitting the care sector right now. Can you fill out this short survey, so we can take the real picture to employers and government?

Link to a survey about staff shortages


October 2021

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Wales will be first UK nation to make teaching of black histories compulsory #BlackHistoryMonth

A MONUMENT of Wales’ first black headteacher and #BlackHistoryMonth campaigner was unveiled in Cardiff.

Betty Campbell, who died in 2017 at the age of 82, defied her doubters after being told as a child that her dream to become a head teacher was “insurmountable”.

Link to the statue unveiling


September 2021

Read PDF link here:
date 22nd SeptemberReject Vote

UNISON NATIONAL JOINT COUNCIL PAY OFFER 2021/2022 BALLOT

This online consultation ballot allows you to vote on whether to accept or reject the Local Government Employers' NJC pay offer. It is being run so that the UNISON NJC Committee can get a clear picture of members' views on the offer.

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT YOU USE YOUR VOTE.

By clicking on the PDF link left you'll be able to read the offer and then vote, voting closes at midday on the 22nd September 2021.


September 2021

date 17th September

LGBT+ BLACK AND DISABLED NETWORK

Last chance to sign up for UNISON's Black LGBT+ network meeting 11:30am–2:00pm and Disabled LGBT+ network meeting 4:00pm–6:30pm on 17 September.

This meeting gives you the opportunity to find out about the work that UNISON does for LGBT+ equality for Black and Disabled LGBT+ members in the workplace and wider community. You'll have the opportunity to talk to and question your reps on the national committee and also influence the work that UNISON does on LGBT+ equality. For more information please message us, or email out@unison.co.uk

LGBT+ Black Network
LGBT+ Disabled Network

August 2021

CLAPPING DOESN'T PAY THE BILLS

Public service workers deserve a decent pay increase.

Staff in the NHS, in social care, in schools, in councils, in the police and elsewhere, have provided vital services to our communities during the pandemic.

Pay has been cut in real terms over a decade of being frozen or capped. Follow UNISON Cymru Wales campaign. Campaign details along with our consultation on unfair pay offers

Fair Pay Advert

August 2021

date 16th August

HAVE YOUR SAY - FAIR PAY

Dear Unison member,

It has been 18 months of trials and tribulations for our fantastic local government staff across Wales and the rest of the UK. Unison want you to know the sacrifices and commitment made by you during the pandemic has been exemplary and should be recognised in the form of a decent pay offer in this year’s settlement.

The committee who negotiate the annual pay offer in Local Government is called the NJC (National Joint Council) and it is made up of employees (trade unions) and employers (Local Government Association).

The employees side (trade unions) recently received a final offer from the employers side which consists of a 1.75% pay increase from 1 April 2021, with 2.75% for those on pay point 1. The joint trade unions believe the offer is unacceptable and agreed to launch a consultation of members on this pay offer.

In order for your branch executive gain an understanding on how members feel about the offer please can you get in touch via email unison@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk or join Unison on a team’s meeting on Monday, 16th August, lunchtime 12.00pm – 12.30pm and let Unison know your views.

A link here to: How do you want to join your Microsoft Teams meeting?

We look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at the meeting.


July 2021

Read PDF links here:
English version:
PDF link for Important Information from the Welsh Ambulance Service July 2021 in English
Welsh version:
PDF link for Important Information from the Welsh Ambulance Service July 2021 in Welsh

WELSH AMBULANCE SERVICE - IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Quality is at the heart of everything we do. It’s an important factor in making sure our services meet your expectations. We care about your experience, and your feedback is vital in improving the quality of the care we provide. It helps us to see what is working well and what needs further improvement in the way we deliver services. We really want to deliver the best possible care, and your feedback will help us to keep striving to make the Welsh Ambulance Service the best it can be.


July 2021 Update

LET'S TALK

Blaenau Gwent UNISON are now able to offer members a new Talking Therapies initiative, which is accessed by completing a simple referral form. We can then put you in touch with a counsellor who can offer online or telephone support for issues such as work-related stress, anxiety and depression.

Sessions can be accessed quickly and arranged at a time to suit you. This support is offered free to all Blaenau Gwent UNISON members.

This initiative is being administered by Monmouthshire Branch, therefore if you would like to take up this opportunity, please email unisonmon@btconnect.com and a referral form will be sent to you. If you would like then to complete the form for you over the phone, please call 01291 675502 leaving your name, number and best time to call, and they will call you back to go through this with you. You can now apply online by clicking the link below.

Remember- it’s always good to talk #itsokaytonotbeokay Apply for Talking Therapies.


July 2021

Read the PDF report here
CERD Shadow Report For Wales

RACE EQUALITY FIRST - REPORT FOR WALES

UNISON Cymru/Wales Black Members’ Group has been working with Race Equality First on its report on the scale of racial inequality in Wales and how Westminster and Welsh governments must do a lot more to tackle racism. Chair of UNISON Black members, Kebba Manneh, said:

“This report is hard-hitting and the scale of the racism revealed may be shocking to some, but this is the reality for Black people every day. Our governments are failing to effectively tackle racism and address ethnic disparities in all areas of life. We want a Wales free of racial discrimination and Welsh government must take this report seriously and act on the recommendations. We need action! Well done to Race Equality First and UNISON Cymru Wales for all the work you have done on the report.”

The report identifies: -
• Police-recorded hate crimes rising by a third since 2016/17
• Ethnic minorities disproportionately stop-searched by the police across all four of Wales’ force areas
• Ethnic minorities remain substantially underrepresented in senior jobs in the public sector
• Ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poorer quality housing or work in precarious jobs, and face racial bullying in school and into their adult lives

The report has been submitted to the Committee of the UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.


July 2021

FAIR PAY

UNISON is calling for a 10% pay rise for all local government workers, as financial recognition for their commitment to public service.

Link here to Fair Pay details.

Fair Pay Councils And School Staff

July 2021

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

UNISON is clear: 1.5% is an insult to council and school staff and can’t be allowed to stand. Blog by head of local government and education, Jon Richards.

Read Jon Richards blog here.

Jon Richards

July 2021

date 1st July

THERE FOR YOU SCHOOL UNIFORM GRANTS 2021

There for You has once again set up a fund to help members on low incomes struggling with the cost of school uniforms. Grants of £50 per child are available, up to a maximum of £150 per family.

Applications are by downloadable form and will be available from Thursday 1 July at the link below. As always, this is a limited fund and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Please ring 01495 355252 if you require a hard copy of the application form.

Link here for school uniform grants.

School Uniform Help

June 2021

PUBLIC SECTOR HEROES

Keep your eyes peeled for more of our posters appearing throughout Blaenau Gwent over the next couple of months.

Thank you to all our amazing public sector heroes.

Public Sector Heroes

June 2021

WORKPLACE DISPUTES

Employers can no longer mistreat staff who take part in industrial action, says UNISON. Christina McAnea hails important victory for staff involved in strikes or disputes

Employers will no longer be able to get away with mistreating any employees who take part in union-organised workplace disputes following an important legal decision, says UNISON.

Link here to read Christina McAnea report.

Unison Support

Contact Blaenau Gwent Branch

UNISON Office
Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
Municipal Offices
Ebbw Vale
NP23 6XB
Telephone: 01495 355252