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Workers' rights are important and every worker, union member or not relies on these rights every working day of their life.
Last year the rules on a claim of "unfair dismissal" changed with the length of "qualification time in work" changing from one to two years! Now each case which proceeds to a full tribunal no longer needs to be heard by three tribunal members - it can be heard by a legally qualified chairperson alone without the two lay members who come from employer and employee (trade union) back grounds.
Now if you wish to take a claim to the Employment Tribunal service (part of the Ministry of Justice) you are required to pay fees. The fees can be as high as £1,200 for "complex" cases. UNISON has applied for a Judicial Review which will consider arguments against these fees - these arguments are scheduled to be heard in October.
Unison is committed to challenging what could be seen as a price on access to justice. In the meantime every branch and all branch officers and stewards are being equipped to work with their members to fully record claims which may be resolved through processes in the workplace, or may ultimately lead to an application to an Employment Tribunal.
Employment Tribunal members are trained and committed to making the experience during a tribunal as accessible as possible within the rules that govern their service.
"UNISON has always given its members the choice of opting in to its affiliated political fund, that gives them a say in the democratic processes of the Labour Party, or of opting in to the General Political Fund, independent of any political party. Our processes are democratic and transparent. UNISON has never operated the arrangement whereby we pay Labour Party membership fees for new members.
Trade unions are a vital and intrinsic part of the Labour Party and, together, we have helped ordinary working men and women have a say in the democratic processes of this country and a say in Labour Party policy.
However, UNISON believes that the current debate about the relationship between Labour and the unions, played out so publicly in the media, is an unforgiveable diversion from the real issues that this country faces.
There are 2.5 million people out of work, young people without a future, families having to rely on food banks and payday loan sharks to make ends meet, and massive cuts to our public services. And our members have seen the value of their pay cut by up to 16% as a result of years of pay freezes.
Those are the issues that matter to people. UNISON will continue to fight to protect and defend its members from attack and to help the most vulnerable in our society. We expect the Labour Party to do the same."
General Secretary of UNISON
The North East LGBT + Development Group agreed to organise a Rainbow Family and Friends Event, 2-5pm in Union Terrace Gardens on 21st September. The event would hopefully be a regular event designed to foster good relations and provide a social focus for LGBT + people, family and friends. It also provides opportunities for local organisations and businesses to gather evidence for any corporate and social responsibility work or accreditation.Unfortunately the Pride event in Aberdeen this year has been cancelled. After the success of our IDAHO dinner, the NE LGBT + Development Group has decided to step in and at short notice organise an alternative less commercial event. Our group is made up of service providers to the LGBT + community and those who provide direct 1:1 support.
Click here for further info
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