Category Archives: public record



3.30-5pm, Wed 8 March
Room 10.10/11/12 in 5PS
and on TEAMS


Come along to the Camden UNISON Annual General Meeting and take part in the discussions around what the union branch has been doing and what we can plan for the coming year. It’s your union, so make sure you get involved and have your say!

Paid time off (including reasonable travel time) has been agreed.

If you haven’t yet joined Camden UNISON you can contact us on

The anti-strike bill is draconian and undemocratic, and will do nothing to fix the problems this government has caused


The anti-strike bill is draconian and undemocratic, and will do nothing to fix the problems this government has caused

Thousands of UK workers are being forced to take industrial action to protect their pay, standard of living and the services they provide. But rather than helping workers live decent lives and improving the services that millions of people rely on every day, the Westminster government is turning its back on working people.

Strikes are always a symptom of a problem but the government’s answer is to fast-track the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill that will add further restrictions on the right to strike in the health, education, transport, and fire and rescue services, as well as border security and parts of the nuclear, radioactive waste and fuel sectors.

That won’t fix the deep-rooted causes of industrial disputes which is the government’s inability to manage the country’s public services and our economy.

UNISON is supporting the TUC’s campaign to defend the right to strike because this government believes its priority is taking away a legitimate part of industrial negotiations and more importantly, a fundamental right of workers – to withdraw their labour.

UNISON’s members are essential workers in public services, and our strike action takes place only after thorough plans for emergency cover have been negotiated and agreed with employers. But if the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill is passed by parliament, even if workers vote for legal industrial action, they could be forced to cross picket lines or be sacked if they don’t.

The UK already has among the most draconian restrictions on the right to strike in Europe, and the UK government’s plans would push it even further away from normal, democratic practice across Europe.

These draconian and undemocratic measures are about to be imposed on us, against our will. This is on top of high inflation, a pay crisis in our public sector, the NHS on its knees, and an economic outlook as grim as the constant sleaze that flows out of Whitehall.

This bill will do nothing to change any situation imposed by a government that has spent over a decade creating the situation we’re in now and we must be part of the campaign to defeat it.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to hurt workers everywhere, we need to be able to stand together and choose to strike when we must. These laws will do nothing to fix this crisis – they will make it even harder for working people to get pay rises.

The UK already has some of the most restrictive trade union laws in the world – but workers have been pushed into action by a government and employers that won’t listen. You can’t legislate away the depth of anger workers feel about how they’ve been treated.

Every working person is under attack from these new laws. Join the campaign. We must defend the right to strike.

Camden UNISON Branch Office
3rd Floor Crowndale Centre
218-220 Eversholt Street

Tel: 020 7974 1633


Camden UNISON Branch elections and AGM

Branch elections for all steward and branch officer posts are scheduled each year.

Please think about how you can be involved, or if you’re interested in standing for any of the roles and want to find out more about them.

Any union branch is only strong and able to make a difference because of members being involved, so we’re always keen to increase our numbers of stewards and officers – it really does make a difference.

This year we face the biggest attack on our living standards for a generation from the government and their friends in big business. However, recent months have shown how being in a trade union and being organised can make a difference and be part of the resistance to those attacks.

Our elections are part of making sure that we are ready to resist. We try not to make the branch too bureaucratic, so we have two main groups of elected roles. These are shop stewards (often known as reps) and branch officers.

Shop stewards are elected by a group of members who work together (in a ‘shop’) and they represent that group of members both individually and as a collective group. The shop stewards meet each month as a committee for each department – we have an agreement with the Council that you are released from work to attend that meeting.

Branch officers have specific roles, such as Branch Secretary, Chair, Treasurer and more. These roles tend to look at our work across the council, on corporate issues we raise or are raised with us, and about general campaigning/activities. Some, such as the Treasurer, are clearly very specific. Rather than write a long description of each roles, if you are at all interested in finding out more about any of the roles, contact and we can arrange a chat.

Stewards and branch officers make a real difference to the success of a union branch. A lot of you will have had stewards represent you in meetings with managers, or have been involved in a restructure where stewards and branch officers have raised issues with management.

In recent years we have been involved in negotiations around our terms and conditions that have led to improvements, and of course over the last two years in trying to make sure you are as safe as possible at work because of coronavirus. You will hopefully also be aware of the campaigning we have done on challenging inequalities, around the climate emergency and the cost of living crisis. And of course, the more stewards we have, the more we are able to stand up for our rights.
Therefore, I would really urge you to think about becoming a steward and/or branch officer. You will get training, and a lot of support from other stewards.

The nomination period runs from Monday 9 Jan until Friday 3 Feb.

Camden UNISON Annual General Meeting

Camden UNISON AGM is taking place on Wednesday 8 March in the late afternoon. We will be requesting paid time off to attend for Council workers. More details will be out soon, including if the meeting will be in person, online or hybrid, but please put the date in your diary to keep the time free.


Liz Wheatley
Branch Secretary

Tel: 020 7974 1633

Camden UNISON Branch Office
3rd Floor Crowndale Centre
218-220 Eversholt Street

UNISON stands with migrant workers in Qatar – beyond football

UNISON has been campaigning about the lack of LGBT+ rights in Qatar and about the horrific treatment of migrant workers there – without whom there wouldn’t even be the stadiums where the World Cup matches are being played. Thousands of migrant workers have died building them, and we stand with migrant workers campaigning for their rights and for financial reparations to the families of those who died building the stadiums and the surrounding cities and infrastructure.

Read more about it in the link below:

UNISON stands with migrant workers in Qatar – beyond football | Article, News | News | UNISON National


CBWG Annual General Meeting


The CBWG Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022 as a hybrid meeting in person and on MS Teams. The Chair, Hugo Pierre, welcomed people to the meeting and highlighted that it was the CBWG’s 40th anniversary year. The CBWG had had a 40th anniversary gala event at the Irish Centre in October at which one of the early founders, Azim Hajee, and Neville Lawrence had addressed the audience. Neville had thanked the trade union movement for their support of the campaign for justice for his son (photos and videos of anniversary gala available in the CBWG page of this website).

Lester Holloway, the editor of The Voice newspaper, addressed the meeting via MS Teams. He highlighted that – for the last 20 years – Black unemployment had been at least twice as high as white unemployment. Earnings for ethnic minority workers also tended to be lower, and this had an impact on level of home ownership and inter-generational wealth transfer, as poorer families were less able to buy homes and had less wealth to pass onto their children.
He also highlighted the impact of the coronavirus lockdowns, which had harmed workers in precarious employment who were not always able to benefit from furlough schemes. This had followed on from the effects of years of austerity, which had disproportionately harmed racial minority communities.

Lester also spoke of the importance of trade unions in fighting for better terms and conditions for workers and warned of the pending future attacks on trade unions by the Conservative government. He condemned the government’s drive to leave the European Convention on Human Rights and draft its own “British Bill of Rights”.

After Lester Holloway, Camden Unison Branch Secretary, Liz Wheatley, addressed the meeting. She echoed Lester’s points about austerity and lockdown having disproportionately hit many low-paid Black and minority ethnic workers. She pointed out that the rich had continued to get richer, while many others suffered financially. There were now more than 170 billionaires in the UK; and the Prime Minister, his wife and in-laws were also very rich. Given his affluence and that of many other ministers, the Conservative government led by Rishi Sunak did not appreciate the problems ordinary people faced and was not interested in tackling them.

Liz also said that the recent furore over people crossing the Channel on small boats and the plan to force asylum seekers to go to Rwanda were illustrations of the danger of scapegoating of migrants and refugees to divert attention from austerity. She said that Camden Unison would stand alongside other groups in campaigning against this.

Liz Wheatley added that, given the scandals around Boris Johnson and the fact that Liz Truss had been forced out after less than 50 days, the Conservative government was weak and it might be possible for workers in dispute to win concessions from them. She said that activists from Camden Unison had supported the CWU and RMT on the picket line in their disputes.

Vino Sangarapillai and ‘Jare Oyewole, the Co-Convenors, spoke to illustrate highlights of their written reports. In particular, progress had been made in terms of increasing the proportion of employees from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds and there had been an increase in representation at the top of the structure. ‘Jare said the Council had pledged to have no “all-white shortlists” for roles at Level 5 and above.

The meeting heard from members on the various concerns they had about the way that restructures had taken place and how interviews were conducted. It was also noted that “blind” recruitment was not really possible as, for internal applicants, the information they provided on the form in terms of outlining their achievements would identify who they were to the recruiter.

The meeting then heard from one of the Council’s Diversity and Inclusion Programme Officers. The presentation was about the Council’s Anti-Racism Learning Offer (ARLO), which more than 80% of staff had participated in. Face-to-face sessions had been available for staff who were not office or computer-based. The aim of her service was to embed the learning from the ARLO in the organisation. A 2-hour E-learning module was also being developed. This would be mandatory for staff.


the following officers were elected to the CBWG Executive:

• Chairperson – Hugo Pierre
• Convenors – ‘Jare Oyewole and Vino Sangarapillai
• Treasurer – Judy Frederick

• Communications Officer – Jahnelle Hutton-Parr

• Executive members –
Dolly Akin-Agunbiade
Clive Collins
Asif Iqbal
Muna Matewos
 Sandra Soteriou
Lioko Mabika
Emma Le Blanc



Nov ‘22 Our Pay Rise must not lead to Job Cuts



Camden schools have received the minimum per pupil funding increase from the Government since 2018. Next year the current estimates for Camden given by the DfE increase funding by 0.5%! How can this be when inflation is 20 times that at 10.1%. on average Camden mainstream schools have lost £941 per pupil in real terms since 2015.

This has placed most schools in a very precarious situation. Many schools are now running deficit budgets, where they use some past savings to pay for day-to-day School Funding. Some have run out of savings.

UNISON have now agreed the pay rise for school support staff. The flat rate increase of £2,355 (see panel) means that the lowest paid school workers will see a 10.5% pay rise. Teaching Assistants in Camden schools will see an increase of around 9%.For most school support staff, this is our biggest pay rise in over two decades.

And it still won’t keep our heads above water. The last 10 years has seen our pay cut by at least 20% compared to inflation.

But the work we do in schools has never been more valuable. Inclusion has meant more children with more complex needs are supported in or out of class by support staff. The pandemic required us to support children so that essential workers could go to work. Now increased numbers of children require wellbeing and emotional support. And the support we give in the Early Years is far more intense than pre-pandemic.

If the Government doesn’t increase Camden’s schools funding to meet the increased running costs, Governing Bodies could cut staff and the achievement levels for Camden’s children will suffer.
We don’t want that to happen. We want properly staffed schools that can meet the needs of Camden’s children and schools need the funding to do that. Camden UNISON will be consulting you on how we campaign to get the funding for our schools. If funding hits jobs, pay or conditions we can ballot for action across the borough. This would be a powerful campaign that could get proper funding for our schools.


Your Pay Rise 2022.

Your November pay includes your annual cost of living pay rise negotiated by UNISON and agreed nationally for school and council staff from 1st April this year.

Camden UNISON members voted to reject this offer by 4 to 1 as it is not in line with inflation – 11.7%.

However, this flat rate rise of £2,355 in Camden, is a 10% increase for the lowest paid members, 7.5% for Nursery Nurses & HLTAs and over 9% for Teaching Assistants.

The table below shows what your Back pay in November should be if you work 35 hours a week TTO. For different weekly hours just divide by 35 and multiply by your hours.

Continuous Service                Scale 1-5                      Sc 6 & over

Under 5                                    1,176.89                         1,192.61

5 – 10                                         1,203.33                        1,203.33

10 – 15                                       1,203.33                         1,219.76

15 – 20                                       1,214.23                         1,230.97

20 – 25                                      1,219.76                          1,236.66

25 – 30                                      1,225.34                         1,242.39

Over 30                                    1,230.97                         1,248.18

All amounts for a 35 hour week TTO
You will also get paid for one additional days holiday pro-rata.




If school support staff are not in a UNION that can negotiate your pay, terms and conditions they
need to join with you. Please ask them to join.
And if you don’t have a shop steward in your school, you’re only getting half the support you need.
Members with stewards are better informed and deal with issues that come up – Please elect one!
For further information either call 020 7974 3996 or email

Demonstrate against the Cost of Living Crisis Join us on the TUC national march 11am, Saturday 18 June, Portland Place W1A


We live in the sixth richest country in the world. Yet over 4.3 million children live in poverty, and last year at least two million people relied on foodbanks because their income didn’t cover the cost of living. Inflation is the highest it’s been for decades and we’ve all seen our energy bills shoot up. Working class people are struggling to pay for both heating and eating. We are living through the most severe cost of living crisis in generations.

So in this cost of living crisis, what has been the response from the Tories and their friends?

Well, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the richest MP and the first to ever be in the Sunday Times Rich List (£730m fortune jointly with his wife Akshata Murty, numerous homes including a mansion in California complete with a pet spa), said last month, “I cannot pretend this will be easy”. But of course it will be easy for him and his family – they have £20m saved up from not paying UK taxes.

Tory MP Lee Anderson, who claimed over £220,000 in expenses last year, said the problem is that we can’t budget properly or cook cheap meals from scratch. Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England with a £575,000 annual pay cheque, said that the rest of us should “think and reflect” before seeking a pay rise.

Home Office minister Rachel Maclean (last year’s expenses claimed were £213,000) said that we needed to work more hours or get a better paid job if we were struggling.

But the real problem is that the jobs we do don’t have proper wages – for instance a newly qualified nurse gets around £25,000 a year. No wonder there are over 110,000 vacancies in the NHS.

But the money is there. As our fuel bills have gone up, BP, Shell and Chevron between them collected £22,000,000,000 in profits in just the first three months of this year. And since the pandemic, that threw millions of working class people in to poverty and debt, there are now more UK billionaires than ever and their combined wealth has increased. That newly qualified nurse would have to work for 40,000 years and never spend a penny to become a billionaire.

It’s a different world in the city. A report by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) released this week has found that just in March, almost £6bn was paid out in bankers’ bonuses, and overall, their bonuses are back to the obscene levels they reached before the 2008 financial crash.

So if there’s plenty of money to make sure that no-one goes cold or hungry, the problem is about political priorities. After much resistance, Sunak has finally announced a one-off energy windfall tax, but that won’t cut it.

I’m the Branch Secretary of Camden UNISON, the trade union that organises and represents Camden Council workers, and our members will be joining the demonstration called by the TUC. Over the last decade, our wages have gone down 25%, which means we work a day a week for free compared to 2012. At the same time, the Tories have halved funding to councils, making it harder for us to provide the services all of us need.

Throughout the pandemic, like lots of you, our members helped to provide services – in schools, care homes and many more places, and we got yet another pay cut in real terms this year as thanks. And now it’s become clear that whilst we were all working, Johnson and his mates were having Wine Time Fridays and karaoke parties, getting so drunk that they had fights, being rude and abusive to cleaning staff – breaking all the covid rules that they made. It’s time for all of us to come together to say enough is enough.

The Tories are in a state of crisis – only this week almost half of their MPs voted that they had no confidence in their leader. This was a worse result than Theresa May got, and she was forced to resign within six months. Boris Johnson even got booed at the Queen’s jubilee party. They are clearly weak and divided, so now is the time for us to force the Tories to change those political priorities or get out.

That’s why trade unions have come together and will be on the TUC protest on Saturday 18 June. This demonstration is our chance to tell the Tories that we have had enough of their austerity, that we want to see people put before profit. We will be assembling from 11am in Portland Place (outside the BBC) with the Camden UNISON banner before marching off at 12 noon. Join us!


Asif Iqbal’s BSL bill interview to Camden Unison

Asif has kindly agreed to give Camden Unison an interview on the day that the British Sign Language bill is being approved by the House of Lords.

The approval of this bill is an historical event which follows years of campaigning. Asif has been involved in the campaign from the beginning and represents deaf and disabled Camden Unison members as well as being directly involved in the changes Camden is implementing.

YouTube videos of Asif intervening at Unison National meetings for disabled member are also available  through Unison National website.

No To Austerity TUC National Demonstration Saturday 18 June


Assemble 11am Portland Place W1A, Rally 1pm Parliament Square


Join UNISON on the TUC national demonstration in London on 18 June and take action over the cost of living crisis.


The demonstration is an opportunity for us to tell the Tories that they need to support working class people through this financial crisis instead of giving dodgy contracts to their friends and families.


According to a recent report from Oxfam, the 10 richest men in the world have seen their wealth double to $1.5tn since the start of the pandemic, widening the gap between rich and poor. They are currently richer than the poorest 40% of the global population, about 3.1 billion people.


A one-off 99% windfall tax on their Covid wealth gains could pay to vaccinate the entire world and provide the resources to tackle climate change, provide universal healthcare, and address gender-based violence in 80 countries. Even after a 99% levy, the top 10 billionaires would be $8bn better off between them than they were before the pandemic.

We’re constantly told that there isn’t enough money for the services we need, for everyone to have a decent life, to fund clean water, decent housing, health and education globally and locally.


But it’s not about lack of wealth, it’s about wealth distribution – and 18 June is part of us coming together to do something about it. Get your marching shoes ready!

Global Day for Climate Justice


Saturday 6 November
11am – Finsbury Circus Garden (Trade Union assembly point)
12noon – Bank of England, Threadneedle Street (main assembly point)
3pm – Rally in Trafalgar Square

Around the world, millions of people will be marching on 6 Nov for climate justice whilst world leaders meet in Glasgow for the COP26 talks. Camden UNISON will be part of the protests in London, starting at the trade union assembly point where we will march with other union members to join the main demonstration. The climate emergency is a huge threat to us all, and so we need to march in large numbers to make sure the politicians hear us. Please do everything you can to join the protest and march with the Camden UNISON banner.
As the COP26 talks begin, some governments and ministers have already tried to undermine any serious attempts to reduce global warming and fossil fuel use, or talk of only meeting ‘targets’ by 2050. And Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak announced in the recent budget that they will spend £1.7bn to build a new nuclear power plant at Sizewell, that domestic flight passenger fuel duty will be cut, and that petrol and diesel duty will be frozen for the twelfth consecutive year. These are not the actions of a government serious about combatting climate change.
To add insult to injury, whilst politicians and royalty are inside the conference, Greta Thunberg, the person who has done most to bring the climate emergency to the top of our agenda, has not been given a pass. But she will still be in Glasgow, joining the Fridays4Future strikes and protests and leading the kind of action we need to force world leaders to take note and take action.
So be part of making a difference – join us on the Global Day for Climate Justice