Annual General Meetings

CRC Members moving to NPS – Subscriptions

There is no provision for deduction of contributions at source (DOCAS) for trade union subscriptions in the National Probation Service (NPS). On 25 June 2021 around 90% of members employed by Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) will transfer to NPS so to maintain Trade Union membership you will need to change the method of paying subs to Direct Debit.

The intention is to start collecting Direct Debit mandates from the week commencing 12 April. Members will continue paying via DOCAS up to CRC transfer to the NPS on 25 June 2021. The first DD deduction to be made on 30 July 2021. That is also NPS pay day.

Any CRC Staff joining UNISON between now and transfer can only pay subscriptions by DD.

You need not do anything at this stage, here is the process

Members with email addresses on our membership system WARMS will be contacted up to 3 times to complete a DD mandate. Once you have completed a mandate you will not receive further email requests. Between the second and third email a letter will be sent to all CRC members who have yet to complete a mandate.

An information page will be set up on the UNISON website where members can access the necessary forms to complete DD mandates.

The mandates will not be processed before 25 June. This will ensure that no members have two UNISON deductions in one pay period.

If you have any queries please contact the branch at



After ten years of budget cuts, the pandemic has laid bare the crucial importance of the services we provide.

Amidst the chaos, confusion and contradiction of Government, our members have delivered in the most difficult circumstances.

Yet the public appreciation has not been matched by a political commitment to our future. Indeed, a year on there are key workers pressured to go to work when ill and who don’t get full sick pay.

There can be no return to business as before, we need a new normal.

We need people representing us who really understand public services, who understand how hard it is for our families and who are committed to decent jobs.


Vital elections across Lancashire are coming up in 2021.  This includes:

  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Lancashire County Council
  • Local District Council elections in all areas that have annual elections
  • Unitary Council election in Blackburn
  • Local by-elections.

UNISON members will have between one and four votes for candidates in your area.

Life is busy and uncertain. Things can go wrong on the day and sometimes we miss the chance to have our say.

This is even more likely as the pandemic persists. You may be ill or have to self-isolate on polling day. You may be worried about going to a busy polling booth due to the virus.

Don’t take the risk of losing your voice! Sign up for a postal vote and vote at your leisure from home.

Find out how on the Government website:



Melvyn Hackney Funeral Service & donations

If you would like to watch the service tomorrow at 3.15pm the details are as follow; Login / Order ID: 76231Password: ugnwxahn

For any donations please visit


Blog: UNISON delivers stunning blow on exit payments

Head of local government Jon Richards looks back at the latest Westminster U-turn – this time, after a legal challenge to its unfair plans

In a stunning setback for the Westminster government, it has had to abandon the law commonly known as the Exit Cap Regulations, which it only introduced on 4 November last year.

In the minds of the government, the Daily Mail and other right-wing cheerleaders, these regulations were introduced to cut big pay outs to the highest paid public servants when they were made redundant. They set a ‘cap’ to pay outs of £95,000, which sounds a lot.

Except that the way the government introduced the regulations meant that moderately paid staff could have been caught up by the law. In particular, it would have affected those in the local government pension scheme (LGPS) who were made redundant over the age of 55, as their benefits are payable immediately without any early retirement reduction.

Employers have to cover additional money for the early retirement (so-called ‘pension strain costs’) and when these are added on top off any redundancy payments, this can quickly mount up and exceed the £95,000 cap.

UNISON and other unions made a legal challenge that was due to be heard in a few weeks. However, just as we were finalising our evidence, the government backed down – sneaking out the news on a Friday evening, hoping to dampen down any press coverage! We spotted it and made sure general secretary Christina McAnea got the main coverage on the BBC and in the Guardian.

The government says that it has disapplied the regulations, with a view to revoking them completely, because it may have had ‘unintended consequences’.

It’s hard to believe that, after five years of detailed discussions, during which we have consistently pointed out the flaws, the government has only just seen the evident perverse incentives and consequences. What it did spot was that our cause was just and it was going to lose.

Sadly, some members have already gone under the new regulations and others were in the process of being made redundant. The regulations have been disapplied from 12 February, but not backdated to the 4 November – although the government has called on employers to act as though it had been. So unpicking the consequences for members affected will not be straightforward and we will need to keep our legal options open.

We can also expect that a further set of draft regulations, aimed at introducing the exit cap into the LGPS, with additionally proposed reductions in severance payments and reduced pensions for those over 55, and which UNISON also strongly opposed, are likely to be put on hold and redrafted.

It’s worth noting that these regulations would only have kicked in when someone was made redundant. And with thousands of jobs having already gone across public services over the last decade of austerity, one job going is still one too many.

So we savour our victory and call on the government to abandon any future plans it may have of reintroducing an amended set of regulations. The government would be wiser to pay tribute to the public sector workers keeping this country going rather than trying to take away their hard-earned pay and conditions.

NPS Covid Bonus Exclusion Claim

Skills for Strength 2021

Registration for our 2021 Skills for Strength day is now open. This year’s exciting event will take place online.

Registration for Skills for Strength 2021 is now open. 

This is an exciting event for people who want to get more involved in UNISON and for our current activists to learn even more!

Skills for Strength is a convention for UNISON members in the North West, bringing us together with other trade unionists from across our region, country and from across the globe to share ideas, best practice and skills.

This is a practical event to help you win in the workplace, build our union and improve people’s working lives.

Registration is open to all UNISON North West activists and UNISON North West members who are looking to get more involved. Registration and attendance at the event is free and the 2021 event will take place online.

This year the event is themed around digital organising. But you don’t need digital skills or experience to attend. Just an enthusiasm for building union power! The event is open to all UNISON North West members.

Register here:


1300 – 1320 Welcome & opening speeches Glen Williams (Chair) Opening

Christina McAnea

Kevan Nelson

1320 – 1330 Digital check-in activity Valery Alzaga

1330 – 1430 Online to offline organising Bianka Nora & United4Respect

1430 – 1445 Break out discussion Facilitated discussion groups

1445 – 1500 Break

1500 – 1540 UNISON remote organising case studies Scotland Region

West Mids Region

North West Region

1540 – 1610 Digital organising during COVID-19 CJ Grimes –

1610 – 1620 Digital check-out activity Valery Alzaga

1620- 1630 NW Convenor closing speech Glen Williams

Register here:

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Elections

Re:  Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Elections

There are elections taking place across Lancashire on 6th May for both local Council’s but also the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). The PCC is an important elected position, especially for Police Staff UNISON members working for Lancashire Police.

Labour’s Clive Grunshaw is the current PCC and is seeking re-election for a third term as PCC. Despite huge cuts imposed on Lancashire by the Conservative Government the most recent inspection of Lancashire Police rated it as good in effectiveness and legitimacy and outstanding in efficiency. Clive has enacted a number of progressive policies including introducing the Living Wage, work on combatting modern slavery and he also has a positive relationship with our Lancashire Police UNISON Branch.

A major part of Clive’s campaign is highlighting that Lancashire has lost 750 Police Officers since 2010 but will receive only 153 back under the Government’s 20,000 new Police Officers policy. In Surrey they lost just 8 but will get back 78. This is not fair.

Clive has a petition to “get Lancashire’s Bobbies back” which Branches and activists are asked to support and share through their usual channels and local Trade Union networks. This campaign and others can be followed on both Twitter and Facebook.

Petition –

Twitter –

Facebook –

UNISON members can be encouraged to vote on 6th May 2021 and vote safely in the pandemic by signing up for a postal vote also

Please do what you can to support these messages and please circulate the petition. Thank You.

Yours sincerely

James Rupa

Regional Organiser

UNISON North West

Greater Manchester Citizens – Wed 24 Feb 7.00pm – 8.30pm


I hope you’re well. It’s been great to see that some UNISON members from Greater Manchester branches attended the free community organising training run by GM Citizens last month- this training will be run again in March so let me know if you missed out and would be keen to attend future sessions. There is further information on Citizens UK training at the bottom of this email.

Mayoral Assembly: We have had some relatively surprising news in that Elections in England and Wales to go ahead in May despite Covid… This changes the shape of Greater Manchester Citizens’ work for the next few months and means that the exciting Greater Manchester Citizens Mayoral Assembly event WILL take place in the final week of April- date TBC.

That makes this the perfect time to get involved in GMC- from planning the assembly event itself, to getting involved in GMC’s priority campaigns on making Greater Manchester a Living Wage region, fighting child poverty in our region, cleaning up the air in Greater Manchester and improving mental health services for local people. The next opportunity to do so is at a GMC event taking place at on Wednesday 24 February at 7pm. Please register here:

Learning Thursdays: Every Thursday afternoon from 4pm – 5.15pm Citizens UK will be holding a learning session for leaders on a variety of topics which you can register for beforehand. To register for these learning Thursday sessions and to see what will be covered in the February sessions visit this page –

Regional 3 Day Training: Citizens UK’s national 3-day training will take place from Wednesday 24th – Friday 26th March and will be done online. The Regional Community Leadership Training is aimed at leaders from Citizens UK member organisations who want to understand the method of broad-based community organising and apply the practical skills of community leadership to take action for social justice in their locality and strengthen their institution in the process. To find out more about the regional training in March please visit this page – If you are interested then email

The opportunities mentioned above are open to ALL UNISON members in Greater Manchester and I would be grateful if you could share this information with members of your branch.

If you want more information or have any questions, please email


Conor McGurran

Area Organiser (Communications & Media)

UNISON North West

07817 120 903

Dynamic Framework Provider Bid Winners announced

Please see below for the HMPPS announcement of the successful bidders for the Employment Training and Education contracts which have been let to the market:

Commissioned Rehabilitation Services contracts awarded

The first contracts for commissioned rehabilitative services under the new Dynamic Framework have been awarded. From 26 June 2021, Employment, Training and Education services will be delivered by:

  • Maximus – North West, Wales, West Midlands and London regions,
  • Ingeus – North East and East Midlands;
  • The Growth Company – Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Seetec – East of England, South West, Kent, Surrey & Sussex

The programme team is now working with the successful bidders to ensure they are ready to deliver services from day 1 of the new NPS organisation.  For South Central, none of the bids met the high-quality threshold, so the competition will be re-run shortly.  Contracts will also be awarded over the next three months for Accommodation, Personal Wellbeing and Women’s Services.  In Greater Manchester, the Programme is working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to co-commission rehabilitative services.

From UNISON’s point of view you will see that existing CRC parent companies Seetec and Ingeus (RRP) have been successful, alongside two new organisations – Maximus and the Growth Company.

UNISON has already had some contact with Maximus and now that the company’s bid has been accepted we will be looking to meet with them to discuss our relationship going forward. We already have relationships with Seetec and Ingeus and will make contact with the Growth Trust shortly we hope.

Under the Staff Transfer and Protections Agreement, CRC staff who transfer to one of the above organisations will have their terms and conditions protected under TUPE and their LGPS protected under Cabinet Office rules.

If you have any questions on this announcement please get in touch.

Ben Priestley

National Officer

Melvyn Hackney former Assistant Branch Secretary, Steward and PSO rep

The branch was saddened to hear the news of the recent passing of Melvyn and we pass on our condolences to his wife Sylvia and family. Melvyn was a staunch trade union member serving for many years on the Branch Committee, supporting members with day to day issues and representing the Branch in meetings with management. He was a vociferous defender of the erosion of role boundaries of the PSO role, a role he undertook and he was key as the spokesperson for the branch in relaying the unions position to management.

Above all Melvyn was a warm hearted and instantly likeable person, he was also professional in his approach to work be it in his role as an administrator at Hyde office or as an advocate for the probation service in his role as Court PSO in central Manchester.

Melvyn retired from the Probation Service in 2016 and remained a retired unison member. He retained a keen sense of social justice, he will be missed by many but we are left with fond memories

Picket Line Ashton Probation Office – Local Government Pension Strike 28th March 2006

The Future of Education

NPS Covid19 Health and Safety measures

Please find attached relevent safety measures covering the delivery aspects of the NPS, if you have any concerns regarding Covid and work please email us on

Easy Joiner Recuitment Tool

Easy Joiner 

UNISON NW has produced the following 2-minute video to show activists and members how they can use “Easy Joiner” to help recruit colleagues to UNISON – particularly when we don’t have workplace access.

How to use UNISON’s Easy Joiner recruitment tool – YouTubeAbout Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features Press Copyright Contact us Creators …

Anyone can register in seconds to quickly email personalized recruitment membership forms to colleagues and then check on the system to see whether they have joined or need a follow up. The system doesn’t replace the 1-1 conversation, but it is a very useful tool to help members and activists with recruitment activity – particularly when they don’t have direct access to colleagues in the workplace. Please watch the clip, share it with activists and show it at future online events such as Branch Committees, AGM’s and member / workplace meetings and help promote the widespread use of Easy Joiner.  

Skills for Strength – Digital Organising Convention

See below registration link for this year’s Skills for Strength Convention to be held via Zoom 13th March 1300 – 1630hrs.

As usual the event will be a fast-paced mix of world class speakers and local organising campaign case studies to inspire and equip members to build an even stronger workplace, branch and regional UNISON. 

This year the event is themed around digital organising. But you don’t need digital skills or experience to attend. Just an enthusiasm for building union power! The event is open to all UNISON NW members so please circulate and encourage attendance.  

March 13th  

1300 – 1320 Welcome & opening speeches Glen Williams (Chair) Opening Christina McAnea  Kevan Nelson 
1320 – 1330 Digital check-in activity Valery Alzaga 
1330 – 1430 Online to offline organising Bianka Nora  United4Respect   
1430 – 1445 Break out discussion Facilitated discussion groups 
1445 – 1500 Break  
1500 – 1540 UNISON remote organising case studies Scotland Region West Mids Region North West Region 
1540 – 1610 Digital organising during COVID-19 CJ Grimes – 
1610 – 1620 Digital check-out activity Valery Alzaga 
1620- 1630 NW Convenor closing speech Glen Williams 

Show Racism the Red Card

Show Racism the Red Card

TUC Ambassador Programme

We are working with Show Racism the Red Card to deliver the TUC Ambassador Programme.

The course is open to all NW UNISON members and runs for 3 hours per week 10:00am to 1:00pm for 6 Thursdays from 11thFebruary until 18thMarch.

The course aims to take participants on a journey from challenging the myths around immigration and Islam to tackling racism and hate crime in the workplace and communities.

Contact Kim Scott to

For more information contact Bob

Christina McAnea elected UNISON general secretary

‘I’m so grateful to everyone who voted for me and for the trust placed in me’

Christina McAnea has today been elected as general secretary of UNISON, the UK’s largest union.

Voting in the ballot was as follows:

Paul Holmes               45,220 (33.76%)

Christina McAnea       63,900 (47.7%)

Roger McKenzie         14,450 (10.79%)

Hugo Pierre                10,382 (7.75%).

Commenting on her election, Christina said: “I’m so grateful to everyone who voted for me and for the trust placed in me. I become general secretary at the most challenging time in recent history – both for our country and our public services.

“Health, care, council, police, energy, school, college and university staff have worked throughout the pandemic, and it’s their skill and dedication that will see us out the other side.

“Their union will continue to speak up for them and do all it can to protect them in the difficult months ahead. Despite the risks, the immense pressures and their sheer exhaustion, the dedication and commitment of our key workers knows no end.

“I will not let this government, nor any future one, forget that.

“Supporting public service workers through the pandemic, securing an early pay rise for NHS staff and ensuring the government backs down on its plans for an ill-judged pay freeze will be my immediate priorities.

“Pushing for the funding and the political will to create a quality, affordable national care service, where staff are respected and paid fairly, comes close behind.”

‘A fantastic general secretary’

Outgoing general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is a historic day for our union, and I am delighted that Christina – a close friend and colleague for over 30 years – has today been elected as general secretary of our great union.

“As an experienced and respected negotiator and passionate campaigner, I can think of no better person to pass the baton to and take our union forward.

“I am so proud that our union of over a million women now has its very first woman leader. Christina will be a fantastic general secretary, as she presides over a growing union.

“I know she will continue to stand up for public service workers everywhere, holding employers and the government to account in pursuit of the strong, well-funded services the UK’s communities both need and deserve.”

Currently one of UNISON’s five assistant general secretaries, Christina has worked at UNISON since its formation in 1993, having previously joined local government union NALGO as women’s officer in the late 1980s.

A leading negotiator

Christina grew up in Drumchapel, a big council housing estate in Glasgow. She left school at 16 and worked in the civil service, the NHS and retail before going to university at the age of 22.

Having achieved a degree in English and history, Christina first worked as a housing officer for Glasgow City Council, before moving to the GMB, where she advised workers taking cases against their employers to industrial tribunals.

In her time at UNISON, Christina has become the union’s most senior negotiator, with a wide-ranging public services brief covering health, education, social care, local government and equalities.

She has held senior positions across the union, negotiating on behalf of members working in police forces, schools, universities and colleges, and the NHS.

While head of health at the union, Christina played a key negotiating role in the national dispute over pensions, when up to two million public sector workers took part in a day of action in late 2011. Three years later, she was the lead negotiator in the first national health strike in England in 25 years.

Christina is a member of the ACAS Council, sits on the government’s COVID-19 social care stakeholder group and was the driving force behind the creation last year of the future social care coalition, a cross-party alliance of more than 80 organisations and individuals.

Christina is married, has two adult children and lives in South London.

Greater Manchester Citizens (free training)

Following on from the successful Greater Manchester Citizens Delegates Assembly before Christmas, there are several opportunities for Greater Manchester UNISON members to get involved in GM Citizens- including free training later this month.

1)There is FREE TRAINING for Greater Manchester UNISON members on how to make effective change in your communities.The one day community organising course will take place on 29 Jan 2021 from 9.30am-4pm on Zoom.You can register here.

2) GM Citizens have now launched three campaigns (Fair Work and Fighting Child Poverty/ Cleaner Air/ Improving Mental Health Services).UNISON members in Greater Manchester can play a part in all three campaigns and in planning for an exciting Mayoral Assembly event.Fill in this short form to express interest in getting involved in any or all of the above.

3) The next large Greater Manchester Citizens event will take place on Wednesday 24 Feb from 7-8.30pm. More details to follow.

All of the opportunities mentioned above are open to ALL UNISON members in Greater Manchester and I would be grateful if you could share this information with members of your branch.

If you want more information or have any questions, please

Thank you and have a good weekend!

Conor McGurran

Area Organiser (Communications & Media)

UNISON North West