Category Archives: Uncategorized

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


Take The Knee 6pm, Tuesday 25 May Outside 5PS

Up and down the country, people will be taking the knee outside their workplaces and in their communities. This has been an important action over the last year, from local street communities to professional sports people. Taking the knee didn’t start last year though – above is a picture of Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama, during one of the most famous marches in the history of the civil rights movement. It was taken up in the first wave of Black Lives Matter protests and has continued to be central today.

So if you are able to make the journey safely, or are currently working in a Camden building and can make it, please join us outside 5PS at 6pm on Tuesday where we can take the knee together.

Nationally, this is organised jointly by the TUC and Stand Up To Racism, and UNISON is encouraging members to take part.


Liz Wheatley
Branch Secretary
London Borough of Camden

Union Live Webinar – COVID-19 Vaccine 11am-12noon, Thurs 11 Feb

Vaccination and immunisation is an important issue in the midst of a pandemic. Many of us are too young to remember when diseases like smallpox and polio were common and so it can seem like they just ‘disappeared’, but this is not the case. But every new disease or virus brings new questions and concerns about how to stay safe individually and as a community. As a trade union, we want to make sure that our members have access to reliable sources of information before making a decision.

In order to do this, the council has facilitated a live webinar for union (UNISON, NEU and GMB) members. This will have a similar format to other webinars that have taken place in the last couple of weeks, with medical and public health speakers who will be able to answer questions that you have about the vaccine. This is a great opportunity to ask about anything you want to know about the vaccine. At this one there will also be the chance to ask coronavirus-related employment questions – we will try to answer as many questions as possible in the session, but if we run out of time or you ask a complicated one that we need to check out information to answer fully, then we will do a later response.

In order to get as many questions answered as possible – medical or employment – it would really help if you can send them in advance. You can email them to and we can compile and forward them before the webinar. Please get questions to us by 12 noon on Tuesday 9 Feb and say if you would like to remain anonymous. There will be more about the webinar in a reminder email to all members early next week and the link to join it will be sent out again.

Tory School Meal Scandal

News over the last few days has been dominated by the vote in the House of Commons to deny help for children who usually get free school meals over this half-term and Christmas. This is a real disgrace – the 322 Tory MPs who voted against free school meals being extended have a basic parliamentary income of over £26m (also more than the total COVID-relief given to Greater Manchester). And of course they also claim thousands in expenses – Matt Hancock claimed over £60k last year – and have all their meals at the Commons subsidised by us. The huge response by ordinary people to make sure no child goes hungry is amazing, but shouldn’t be needed in one of the richest countries in the world.
However, we know that some of our members and their children will be affected by this, so please see below for a link where children and young people who are entitled to free school meals can go this week:
And here’s the links to a couple of petitions you may want to spend a few minutes signing. The first is by Marcus Rashford calling for the government to provide free school meals in the holidays, and the second is calling for an end to MPs subsidised meals:


Dear Camden UNISON member,


First of all, we hope that you’re all keeping as well as possible. This is a worrying time for us all and making sure you are as safe as possible is really important.If you work for one of the private companies on a Camden Council contract, there will be some differences to the situation for members who work directly for Camden. We are trying to send out emails to you via your employer group, so an email will go out to members working for NSL, and for those of you working for Caterlink.

For information now, though, the work you do for both of those companies is critical for Camden to respond to the CV19 crisis. Caterlink staff are helping to provide the meals for children in the schools and wider community. NSL are, amongst other things, making sure that health workers have access to the additional parking spaces reserved for them so they can get to work safely and quickly, and to keep the public transport (buses) running for essential workers to use. There will be more detail in the specific emails.

But UNISON believes the same guidelines on pay when having symptoms or self-isolating should be in place, and you should not lose out financially if you are ill/have to stay at home in line with government advice due to CV19. If you are told otherwise, please speak to your local rep and email

We also believe that in some of the jobs you already do, you should have things like sanitiser and/or wipes as appropriate as you can’t easily access soap and water whilst carrying out an important role where you have contact with, for example, door handles, lifts, vehicles. Ask your manager locally for this, but if it is not provided contact your rep or email to discuss.

I hope that this is helpful information, you can also find more on the national UNISON website, but if you have any queries, please email us.

And don’t forget to show your support for our NHS workers tonight!


Liz Wheatley
Branch Secretary
Telephone:   020 7974 1633


3rd floor Crowndale Centre
218 Eversholt Street
London NW1 1BD


Justice4Grenfell – Silent March Thurs 14 Nov, 7pm, Notting Hill Methodist Church


MEMORIAL164_2[1]There is a monthly Justice4Grenfell Silent March this Thursday. Camden UNISON have been on quite a lot of these in the last two and a half years. However, after the release of the first part of the inquiry report it seems very important that we go this month. The attack on firefighters who risked their lives has been a disgrace, and the comments of Jacob Rees-Mogg (saying he would have ignored the fire brigade advice and left the building, implying he is cleverer than Grenfell residents) an insult to all of those in the tower. Therefore we’re joining the march with the Camden UNISON banner. We’re leaving the branch office in the Crowndale Centre by 6pm if you want to travel with us, otherwise look for the banner at 7pm at Notting Hill Methodist Church, 240 Lancaster Rd W11 4AH.

Branch officers meeting minutes October 2018

Summary minutes of the Camden Unison branch officers meeting held on Tuesday 2 October 2018. Continue reading

Branch committee meeting minutes September 2018

Summary minutes from the Camden Unison branch committee meeting of 17 September 2018. Continue reading

Term time only pay calculator

For schools workers, Camden UNISON has produced a term time only pay calculator, to check you are being paid correctly. Continue reading

Camden NSL workers on strike for fair pay

Camden UNISON members working for private company NSL as traffic wardens have been taking 5 days of strike action this week as part of their fight for decent pay. Continue reading