Camden UNISON Members’ Fund was set up to help members in immediate and severe financial difficulties. It is wholly funded by the branch and the treasurer and trustees are UNISON members who work for Camden.
How can the fund help?
The fund can give loans for things such as;
• Travel costs to attend a close relative’s funeral abroad
• Payment of rent arrears where there is a threat of eviction
• Emergency payments to the Child Support Agency
• Payments to prevent the disconnection of utilities such as gas, electricity or water.
The fund cannot help with personal purchases (cars, furniture, washing machines etc), holidays or situations where other agencies can help (purchase of school uniforms for instance).
The upper limit for a loan is normally £500, but trustees can use their discretion if a slightly larger loan is needed.
Who qualifies for the service?
You must be a current member of Camden UNISON (you will be expected to bring your payslip to prove you are paying membership deductions). You must also have worked for Camden for a year and have no plans to leave in the next 12 months.
Is the service confidential?
Entirely. The only people who know that you have approached us for a loan are the branch administrator, the trustees who spoke to you and your shop steward if you were referred by them. We will try to make sure that the trustees you meet do not work in your service or know you. If we agree to give you a loan, Human Resources payroll will need to be informed to arrange repayment of the loan from your salary.
How does it work?
Two trustees will aim to see you within two working days of you making contact. They will meet you in private and let you explain why you need a loan. If we are able to help you we will issue a cheque immediately, normally to the utility company or landlord. We do not recommend payments into your bank account as you may not be able to draw on this if your account is overdrawn. You pay back the loan in ten equal monthly instalments, direct from your salary to Camden UNISON. If you are not paid directly by Camden (for instance if you employed by an outsourced organisation) we can make other arrangements.
What if UNISON cannot help?
For other loans, UNISON nationally operates a welfare service which can help in cases of unforeseen hardship. We can give you the contacts you need to make an application.
How can I find out more?
Get in touch with the branch office (See below) and they will put you in touch with one of the fund trustees.
Interested in becoming a fund trustee?
Trustees are ordinary Camden UNISON members, just like you. We are always looking for more trustees to come on board so if you want to find out more get in contact with the branch office.
Contacting the branch office
Phone 020 7974 1633. If no one can take your call messages left on the answerphone/office voicemail are treated in confidence.