General Secretary Election – – Final Reminder – Closing date 27th November!

be heard. use your voice

What’s it all about?

The general secretary election is your chance to vote to elect the most senior person in the union. Being a member, or retired member, of UNISON entitles you to a vote if you were a member on 28 July 2020.

Who is the general secretary?

The general secretary is the leader of our union and represents you and the other 1.3 million members of UNISON in meetings with politicians across the UK, in discussions with employers and when working with other trade unions. They speak up for you and are the public face of your union, in the press, on TV and on social media.

Dave Prentis, the union’s current general secretary retires at the end of 2020 after 20 years in the job. The law – and UNISON’s rule book – says we have to elect our general secretary every five years.

Why should I vote?

This is your chance to have a say in who leads the union and who represents all our members.  The election only comes around every five years so use your vote and make sure your voice is heard.

How do I vote?

The ballot opens on 28 October so please look out for your ballot paper, which will be sent by post to your home address.

This pack contains everything you need to cast your vote – a ballot paper, information from the candidates and a pre-paid envelope to post your completed ballot back (no stamp needed). So, look out for your pack, pick your preferred candidate and pop your ballot paper in the post.

The ballot is being run on our behalf by an independent organisation called Civica Election Services (CES).

Make sure you post your completed ballot in plenty of time to CES by 5pm on November 27. It will be freepost, so don’t worry about a stamp.

Your election pack will include the ballot paper, and the pre-paid return envelope. There will also be information about the candidates who are standing to be general secretary.

If anything is missing from your election pack, or you lose your ballot paper please call our ballot helpline free on 0800 0 857 857 or on textphone 0800 0 967 968. The helpline opens on 10 November and closes on 20 November.

Who are the candidates in this election?

The following have been confirmed as candidates in the election to choose a new general secretary for UNISON. Their names are listed below in the order they will appear on the ballot paper and in the election address booklet.

Paul Holmes

Nominated by one service group executive, two regional councils and 99 branches.

Christina McAnea

Nominated by the national executive council (NEC), five service group executives, nine regional councils and 210 branches.

Roger McKenzie

Nominated by one service group executive, one regional council and 104 branches.

Hugo Pierre

Nominated by 31 branches.

Lighthouse Financial Advice – UNISON Money Talk Newsletter Nov 2020

Covid contracts need proper scrutiny to end gravy train

Ministers must be held to account after spending billions of pounds of public money 

Commenting on the National Audit Office report issued today (Wednesday) examining the government’s lack of transparency when awarding contracts valued at £18 billion to tackle Covid-19, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“Billions of pounds of public money have been handed out with no proper checks and balances.

“Without an open and transparent process, this looks suspiciously like ​ministers have been lining the ​pockets of ​their political pals. This was vital equipment to keep health and care workers safe and halt the spread of the infection – not a get-rich-quick scheme.

“Ministers must be held to account and the government gravy train, whether driven by favours or incompetence, has to stop.”

Notes to editors: 
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.    

Media contacts
Garfield Myrie M: 07432 741565 E:
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E:

Posted on

Unison COVID Response Fund

Please find a link to the main Unison website for details of welfare support for those adversely affected by the pandemic.

Lockdown 2 and CRCs

At the National CRC Committee on 4 November it was agreed to contact  HMPPS with regard to the new Lockdown in England expressing our concern that CRC’s appear to be required to work to a Recovery and Transition Model that was signed off some 3 months ago when we were in a very different place with regard to the pandemic.

Since then the HMPPS Update: New National Restrictions in England (below) has been issued. There is therefore little chance of HMPPS offering different advice. It’s also the case that different approaches have been adopted in different CRCs.

Accordingly Unison NWPC branch will be making representations to the Interserve and Sodexo managed CRC’s in the North West that CRC staff  appear to be required to work to a Recovery and Transition Model that was signed off some 3 months ago when we were in a very different place with regard to the pandemic.

In addition the Government has issued revised guidance covering people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV).

Clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV)  staff must work from home. If they cannot work from home, then redeployment opportunities could be considered if this would enable them to work from home. But if a CEV employee cannot work from home, they  should stay at home, work if they can, and must be paid normal full pay.

For employees who are Clinically Vulnerable (CV), staff should only attend the workplace if it is COVID-secure. If an employee expresses concerns about returning to the workplace, the employer should address these concerns and carry out an individual risk assessment. If COVID-secure requirements are not met, the employee should not return to work until appropriate measures are in place; until then, the employee should remain at home on normal full pay.

If you have any concerns in this regard i.e. your working situation please contact the branch on

HMPPS Update: New National Restrictions in England

Following the Parliamentary vote yesterday, we are all facing additional COVID-19 restrictions in England. The restrictions commenced today and will continue until 2 December. I am writing to update you on our operating plans in England for the period of these restrictions.

Across our services we have taken every opportunity to refine our strategy and operations to limit the spread of the virus since March. As we enter this new phase of the pandemic, we have swiftly assessed our operational plans and applied the learning we have from our experiences to date. We have additional mitigations in place which were not available in March and put us in a stronger position to limit the impact of any outbreak. For example, we have fully implemented our compartmentalisation strategy in prisons, we are rolling out a comprehensive testing programme and we have increased our use of PPE across all services.


In the probation service, our aim is to continue to deliver our core probation services under our established exceptional delivery framework, as we have been doing over recent months, prioritising public protection and risk management.  We will follow the principles of our Roadmap to Recovery, while protecting the health and well-being of our staff and service users by following public health advice. Our Regional Probation Directors and CRC CEOs will continue to make decisions on how to best deliver probation services in regions based on local circumstances and staffing levels and adjusting their exceptional delivery plans as needed.  We will continue to deliver Accredited Programmes and Unpaid Work wherever possible, consistent with government and public health guidance.  Our Approved Premises will also remain open, with amendments to how they operate where necessary.


In the prison service, our COVID-19 National Framework commits us to keep reviewing the balance of risks we face. Our strategy is based upon rapidly identifying and tackling outbreaks wherever they occur, rather than pre-emptively imposing a lockdown of regimes across the estate.

During the period of the national restrictions we will need to temporarily pause social visits to adults at all sites in England. There will be exemptions for compassionate reasons which can be approved by a Governor locally. We will continue to prioritise supporting video calls for prisoners and their loved ones to encourage continued contact during the restrictions period.

Official visits – such as access to legal advice – will continue although remote access through telephone or video conferencing should be used as a priority. Support to Offender Management and Parole Board activity remotely and face to face should continue where safe to do so.

Our other priorities that we will continue to deliver are: access to exercise and education areas; continued delivery of workshops where these have been reopened since March; structured wing activities and one to one sessions between prisoners and their key workers; particularly for those who are vulnerable or high risk.

Other activities such as corporate worship, library attendance or access to barbering/hairdressing will be suspended in line with community restrictions, as in Welsh prisons during the Wales firebreak. However, exceptions can be made if removing an activity would cause significant harm to the wellbeing of an individual and these will be agreed on a case by case basis. We will continue to offset the impact of regime restrictions by offering free PIN credit, supplementary food packs, and payments for those not able to access work.


Social visits to children in the youth estate will continue where sites remain safe to offer them. We will continue to work with our co-commissioners to operate as full a regime as possible for the children in our care across Young Offender Institutions (YOIs), Secure Training Centres (STCs) and Secure Children’s Homes (SCHs). As in the community, we will aim to continue to provide education, including physical education to children across the youth estate. We will also ensure access to advocacy services and Custody Support Planning (CuSP).

Access to all aspects of health care for young people will remain paramount. It often helps our young people to access other areas within our secure estate, particularly education.

I am grateful for the valuable support and contribution all our partners are making to ensure that we can operate our services as safely as we are able to. Our latest information and advice in relation to the pandemic is continually updated on

Jo Farrar



There for You (UNISON Welfare)

Members experiencing financial and emotional difficulties can contact our welfare charity, There for You, which provides a confidential advice and support service for members and their dependants.
COVID-19 support

Are you suffering financially as a result of coronavirus? Apply for a grant to help you during this difficult time. In addition to There for You funds, we have received generous grants from CHSA and UNISON which enable us to support members who are struggling. See the financial assistance section below for more information and to apply.

Financial assistance

If you are a member and you are experiencing financial difficulties, whatever the circumstances, There for You can offer you support.

Read more

Check your benefits

Make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to with the UNISON Benefits Calculator, and see what help is available from benefits if you’re affected by coronavirus.

Read more

Wellbeing breaks

Wellbeing breaks can provide welcome relief from stress and respite from difficult circumstances. We can help you towards the costs of a break, depending on your financial situation.

Read more

General advice

There for You provides a confidential service for members over the phone or in person if you are experiencing personal difficulties.

Read more

Help with debt

Peace of mind is closer than you might think. Turn to UNISON Debtline, a debt advice service for UNISON members offering free and confidential advice to help you clear your debts and manage your money for the future.

Read more

Support There for You

There for You relies on the help and support of volunteers like you to give vital assistance to people in need in the form of debt advice, listening and support, financial assistance, breaks and holidays, and personal advice.

Read more

Credit unions

There for You Credit Union Service offers UNISON members access to low interest loans and a range of savings products through our UK network of partner credit unions.

Read more

Any member needing support can also contact the branch on 07902 792741 or email to:


If you wish to read the full submission you can download from here

NW UNISON Webinars

NW UNISON Webinars

To celebrate Black History Month we have an online event in conjunction with the Peoples History Museum.

Find out about William Cuffay, leader of the London Chartists.

Wednesday 21st October 4:00 – 5:00pm

Contact Kim Scott to register

Supporting and Developing New Stewards, Reps and Activists

An interactive discussion for branch officers and experienced activists on training and mentoring.

Friday 16th October 11:00am -12:00pm

Contact Kim Scott to register

If you need any further information about the Webinars please contact Bob Kelly

Bob Kelly

Regional Education Organiser


0795 750 6031

Joint Trade Union Pay Bulletin – NPS

JTU 23/20 9 October 2020


Napo, UNISON and GMB/SCOOP are still in negotiations over this year’s pay award for NPS staff. We know that members are frustrated and angry about the delay to them receiving their increments, which were due back in April. The unions took this up with the Probation Minister at the time in order to try to move progress, so it is of grave concern that members have had to wait this long for something which is a contractual entitlement.

We can now report that, having submitted our pay claim on 12 March, the unions received an opening pay offer from NPS on 23 September. Since that time, we have been in talks with the employer to seek to improve this initial offer.

While these talks are ongoing, it has been agreed that, in the interim, NPS should implement the pay progression element of the award immediately. This is because eligible staff, who are not already at the top of their pay band, are contractually entitled to progress to the next highest pay point in their pay band with effect from 1 April 2020. This was confirmed to staff earlier in the year by NPS.

Members who are eligible for a pay increment in April of this year can therefore expect to receive payment for this in their October pay packet, including all monies due backdated to 1 April this year. The unions have been reassured by NPS that this will include backpay in relation to unsocial hours payments and overtime earned since this date.

Members will remember that the unions put in the following pay claim for 2020 back in March this year:

· A two-year award to cover the 2020 and 2021 pay years

· An increase in the value of all pay points above the Retail Prices Index (RPI) of inflation on 1 April 2020 and 1 April 2021

· An increase in the value of all NPS allowances above the Retail Prices Index (RPI) of inflation on 1 April 2020 and 1 April 2021

· Automatic Pay Progression (in both years of the claim) in line with 2 year pay modernisation award

· Deletion of Pay Band 1

· Removal of Pay Band Overlaps

The unions remain committed to delivering against our pay claim, so while increments will be paid this month, the remainder of this year’s pay award will be the subject of further negotiations. The final offer to come out of these talks will be put to members by the three unions in a ballot as soon as it is available.

Ian Lawrence Ben Priestley George Georgiou

General Secretary National Officer National Officer


URGENT Update – 95K cap on public sector exit payments

CRC Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement Accepted

Women Working and Living Through Covid

Dear All

North West Region Womens Committee Webinar – Friday 16th October 2020 from 11am-1pm.

Please click on the link below to register for the North West Region Women’s Committee seminar, being held virtually as a webinar this year because of the current Covid restrictions.

North West Regional Women’s Committee Annual Seminar
UNISON NW Women: Working and Living Through Covid Joining instructions will be emailed to you once you have registered for the

You’ll see a range of speakers, including former Women’s Committee member Kim Johnson MP (Liverpool Riverside), have kindly volunteered their time to talk about Women Working and Living Through Covid. Committee vice-co-chair Teresa Connally will also give tips on how to write conference motions in response to requests for this at last year’s regional women’s conference. 

The Committee Secretariat hopes as many Women in UNISON as possible will take part.

CRC Ballot Newsletter and FAQs

National Agreement QA – Support Material for Tus only
PensionUnder what ‘exceptional circumstances’ may an employee not be eligible for LGPS & CSPS?  Employees will only be excluded from the LGPS & CSPS in exceptional circumstances.  Such exceptional circumstances could include where a high earning employee was offered the choice, by the CRC in respect of a portion of their salary, to receive such sum as either salary or pension, and chose salary.  In such a situation to allow the employee to join the LGPS in respect of their elected higher salary would be viewed as an unjust enrichment.  In such circumstances HMPPS (NPS) will ensure that the pension provisions which applied prior to transfer will be offered to the employee post transfer and will not be less than the statutory auto enrolment minimum. Further guidance can be obtained via 2013 LGPS Regulations 3 (1)(b) and Civil Service Pension Alpha Scheme Regulation 14(3)
RedundancyWill redundancy be offered to all grades?  There may be a targeted scheme for a limited number of employees to exit on voluntary redundancy terms. Current data suggests this scheme will be primarily targeted towards senior leadership and corporate services roles. The probation service will be subject to significant demand in future years and our primary focus is on retaining and adding to the probation workforce.
Transfer MechanismWhy is a staff transfer scheme being used to transfer staff from current providers to NPS but TUPE being used to transfer staff to Dynamic Framework providers?  The Programme position is that the mechanism for staff transfers in relation to probation services transferring into HMPPS (NPS) would be via Staff Transfer Scheme (STS) as the transfer of such services could be considered “an administrative reorganisation of public administrative authorities” or “the transfer of administrative functions between public administrative authorities” and accordingly would fall within the ‘Henke’ exception.   However, as plans for the Dynamic Framework (DF) competition have evolved, we felt it necessary to review whether TUPE could apply to the transfer of these services taking into account, amongst other things, the nature of the local rehabilitation activities to be procured from providers appointed to this framework. Unlike the lift and shift of probation services carried out to date, we believe the providers appointed to carry out rehabilitation activities to be procured under the DF are likely to be assessed as carrying on ‘economic activities’ (either for profit or not for profit) on a commercial basis. As such, and taking into account the latest case law, we are of the view that TUPE is expected to apply to the transfer of services under the DF subject to the usual requirements for a relevant transfer as set out in the regulations.   Accordingly, whilst a STS will continue to be relied upon for transfers to HMPPS (NPS), TUPE will apply to transfers to DF providers.  
Impact on Wales Transferees in 2019If the National Agreement is agreed what will happen to the T&Cs of the group of staff who transferred to Wales from Seetec in Dec 2019At the point of transfer in Dec 2019 the group of staff transferring to HMPPS (NPS) Wales from Seetec retained their current T&C’s. If the National Agreement is agreed then the T&Cs for this group will be applied retrospectively to the date of transfer in Dec 2019.
PensionsWhat happens to employees current occupational pensions upon transfer to HMPPS (NPS)?This depends on members existing arrangements and how long they have participated in those arrangements. We are unable to give any guidance except to say they will need to contact their current provider.  
PayHow will staff assimilate to the NPS Pay structure      If a CRC staff member transfers across and is on an annual salary at the same rate as a recognised NPS pay point in their NPS pay band then they will transfer onto the same figure within the NPS pay band and there will be no impact on their salary from the transfer.   Please see the examples below, in particular example 3         Example 1: BAND 2   Current CRC Basic Salary – £18,654   Pay on assimilation to the NPS structure – £18,833   The salary of £18,654 is not a recognised pay point on the NPS pay structure. The employee will assimilate onto the nearest higher pay point on the Band 2 scale and receive an increase of £179.   Example 2: BAND 3: Current CRC Basic Salary – £29,000   Pay on assimilation to the NPS structure – £28,200 (Pay Band maximum)   The employee will assimilate to the maximum of the Band 2 pay scale which is currently £28,200. They will not suffer a drop in their take home pay. We will apply pay protection to the difference of £1,200 per annum and this will be paid as an erodible mark time allowance for three years from the date of transfer.   Example 3: BAND 4   Current CRC Basic Salary – £30,208   Pay on assimilation to the NPS structure – £30,208   As the pay point of £30,208 already exists in the NPS pay structure, the employee will remain on their existing basic salary. There will be no impact on their annual salary from the transfer to the NPS. This is also the salary used for the next NPS pay award, subject to the national NPS pay award position.    
PayWhat happens when Pay Protection for former CRC staff payments ends?Pay Protection Pay Protection is achieved by the payment of a separate and erodible mark time allowance. This is a separate allowance and limited to three years duration. Your NPS basic annual salary will remain in payment and will not be impacted by the end of your pay protection.   A mark time allowance will be shown separately on your payslip and this is the figure that will cease after three years. Your NPS basic annual salary will remain unchanged by the pay protection. Your NPS basic annual salary will be treated for pay award purposes in the same manner as every other NPS employee and may increase with the annual pay awards dependent on the national NPS pay position.   At the end of the three years there will be no impact on the NPS annual salary or any NPS allowances. However if the Mark Time allowance is still in payment then this will cease after three years if it has not eroded before then.  
National AgreementWho does the National Agreement apply to?The Agreement is with the Probation Trade Unions and extends to CRCs and their staff that transfer, either to HMPPS (NPS), or to Dynamic Framework Providers only.  It does not extend to staff in other employers (CRC parent organisations, subcontractor or supply chain) because we could not negotiate an agreement with the Probation TU’s where they do not have a negotiating remit.  These staff would transfer to the NPS with their contractual terms protected in June 2021.  The Agreement would be the basis for alignment discussions for these groups.  
Continuity of ServiceWhat service will be protected if I transfer to a DF provider?Continuous service with a CRC, including continuous service with a former Probation Trust and predecessor/s will count as a period of continuous service post transfer and the change of employer does not break continuity of employment.   Please refer to paragraphs 6 and 7 of the separate Voluntary Redundancy (VR) / Voluntary Severance (VS) document for details of what service will count for VR / VS purposes.  

Consultation on CRC to NPS/DFP Staff Transfer & Protections Powerpoint Summary


North West Regional Black Members Committee (NWRBMC) AGM


The North West Regional Black Members Committee (NWRBMC) AGM will be held on Thursday 8th October 2020 at 4.30pm

The meeting will take place by Zoom joining
details will be sent out at a later date. The agenda and notes of the previous meeting are to follow.
Please find attached the following -: NWRBMC Nomination Form 2020/21
Nominations are now open for the UNISON North West Regional Black Members
Committee positions and will close at 5PM on Friday 11th September 2020. Results
will be ratified at the Annual General Meeting on the 08th October 2020, 4.30pm to
Further detail about the timetable and process for all positions are outlined in the
attached document.
Any vacant positions after the close of the nominations can be elected to and ratified
from the floor at the AGM, where a position is contested on the day those members
concerned will be given the opportunity to address the AGM
If you are interested in a position on the committee please complete the attached form
with the relevant details and email it by return to It is your
responsibility to ensure your nomination is received by 5PM on Friday 11th
September 2020.
Any queries or further information please contact
Please circulate as widely as possible.
Kind Regards



If you wish to check your details you can also email the branch at

Greater Manchester Against Evictions