Stop the Spread

Care workers are on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. Caring for those most vulnerable to the virus, care workers must be able to self-isolate if they show symptoms. Yet care workers cannot afford to do this. This puts  public health at risk. Help us to demand #FullPayForCarers to #StopTheSpread.

The government are putting public health and the lives of the vulnerable at risk. Care workers are paid less than supermarket workers and when they go off sick they only get £96 a week. Forced to make the choice between their family’s survival and the people they care for, carers are going into work, even when they have symptoms of the virus. They simply cannot afford to self-isolate. This is reckless and the government must put public safety first.

The government are putting public health and the lives of the vulnerable at risk. Care workers are often paid less than supermarket workers and when they go off sick, they only get £96 a week. Forced to make the choice between their family’s survival and the people they care for, many carers are being forced to go into work, when they should be following public health advice and staying at home. Most simply cannot afford to self-isolate ir shield. This is reckless and the government must put public safety first.

👊Speak up for #FullPayForCarers

Share the #StopTheSpread campaign on Facebook

Share the #StopTheSpread campaign on Twitter

The government have provided £600 million emergency funding for care homes, in part “to ensure that when social care staff need to be away from work for infection control purposes, they are not penalised for doing so.” `This is a step in the right direction.

But if this money doesn’t reach care workers pockets, it will do nothing to contain the virus.

“Funding must go to care workers in need, not employers’ bank accounts,” says UNISON. Read our call to government here

The government is currently planning to dump the money into cowboy care companies bank accounts and use oversretched local authorities as a middle man. This is not the time for half hearted gestures.

We have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and asked him to put the right plan in place.

Read the letter in full here.

Our General Secretary is asking you to help #StopTheSpread.

We are pushing the governmentto do the right thing but we need you behind us, telling them you’re with us. Please tell the government that public safety rests on care workers being able to self isolate and shield. We need #FullPayForCarers to #StopTheSpread.

👊Speak up for #FullPayForCarers

A u-turn from the government and a real victory for our union

This week, years of UNISON campaigning and lobbying brought about a massive change for many of our members. UNISON has opposed the Immigration Health Surcharge since its inception in 2015, for a simple reason – it’s fundamentally unfair. Migrant workers already contribute to the NHS the same way we all do – by paying their taxes.

Not only do migrant workers make a “fair contribution” and then pay extra with the surcharge, those working in the NHS, social care and other health roles make a third contribution with their work. They provide care for others, day in day out, knowing that they have to pay extra to access healthcare for themselves and their families.

During the pandemic, they’ve done this knowing they are risking their lives at the same time.

Back in 2018, one nurse told us that she was already trying to save £150 every month, by working more overtime, to pay the health surcharge before her visa renewal in 2020. She calculated that it would cost her almost £2,000 altogether. This was money that couldn’t be used to buy food, pay rent or bills.

This is a clear injustice, and one UNISON is determined to reverse. We have lobbied ministers, civil servants and employers. We have campaigned with health and migrant rights charities against the charge. We have worked with opposition politicians to consistently raise the concerns of UNISON members.

So yesterday’s announcement that the government would be scrapping the charge for health and social care workers was a real victory for our union, and forced the government into a screeching u-turn. It means that many UNISON members, migrants working in health and social care, looking after our communities, will be spared this deeply unfair charge. But UNISON won’t stop there. We will continue to campaign for the surcharge to be scrapped for everyone. So that no UNISON member – no migrant whatsoever – is expected to pay extra to access the NHS that exists for all of us, an NHS so many of them have helped to build, an NHS that relies on their contributions.

Joint Trade Union Statement on Covid-19 and Black/BAME Probation Staff

Police and Justice all-member survey on lifting the Covid-19 Lockdown

Please complete the attached questionnaire , the link to the survey below

UNISON NPS Members Newsletter – Covid-19 Bulletin 4

Additional Guidance: NPS Covid19 Special Payments Scheme

Please find below some additional guidance received from the NPS which confirms that there is no rigid minimum for the number of days/weeks which staff have to undertake an offender facing role to qualify for the covid19 special circumstances payment of £150/month. If you have any questions regarding this or other matters please contact the branch via email to

We had tried to address this issue as part of the FAQs – but we have set no central limit or minimum, for the number of days or weeks for which staff would be working in the circumstances described on paragraphs 46 and 47.  We do pro rata if staff are absent.

There is an expectation that it is paid to staff  who are “undertaking offender-facing work as part of their day-to-day work”  (see FAQ question 8)

We have intended that managers will have some flexibility and we are monitoring the application at Divisional level.

COVID19 Special Circumstances Payment

46.          This payment is available to all staff working in NPS sites across the country during the COVID19 period in recognition of the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves working in and reflects that some aspects of the role will be temporarily more challenging, which staff will need to manage flexibly to help manage probation services.

47.          ACOs/Heads of Units may pay a COVID19 Special Circumstances payment to any staff working in an offender facing role and should apply the payment flexibly. For example, this may also be used, for staff who are not normally in offender facing roles, but volunteer to do additional duties to support the operational line.

We have also provided guidance via the FAQs

7.       How do I pro rata the £150 Special Circumstances Payment?

These bonuses have been implemented to provide recognition for the exceptional circumstances people are working under. If an individual is not at work, for any reason, they are not considered to be experiencing the challenging circumstances.

NTS 2020-03 states that if staff complete a part month due to absence (e.g. annual leave, sickness, self-isolation etc.), their bonus payment will be applied to the nearest full week (Paragraph 23 and 28).

A full week is considered to be made up of 5 days (regardless of shift pattern, as per current policy) therefore if there is less than 2.5 days of absence, it can be treated as a full week and they are entitled to the bonus. If there is more than 2.5 days of absence, it cannot be treated as a full week so will not be entitled to the bonus. Therefore the pro-rata payment in the case of absence should be calculated based on the number of full weeks (based on whether they have been absent for 2.5 days or less) completed in that month. The bonus should not be reduced due to Bank Holidays or for days when staff are not due to be at work, i.e. scheduled absences such as working from home as a result of restricted working arrangements due to the COVID-19 situation.

For part-time staff, in the same way as for rest days, we cannot count days upon which a member of staff was not scheduled to work anyway as non-attendance. The exception to this is where scheduled rest days etc. fall within a block of other absence (e.g. sickness, self-isolation or leave) where clearly the member of staff would not have attended had those days been scheduled working days.

4 weeks (Full month): £150
3 weeks: £112.50

2 weeks: £75

1 Week: £37.50

It is long standing pay policy that the working week, regardless of actual days worked for those who are on shift patterns, for contracted hours to be averaged out across 5 working days. This is so that the approach for such purposes as calculating unauthorised absence deductions etc. can be applied equally to both operational and not-operational staff. 2.5 days is therefore half of a working week. The same methodology is to be applied to other payments

Payments are to be pro-rated by individual weeks, you cannot carry days over or count days cumulatively across the weeks.

8.       How do I sign up for the Special Circumstances Payment?

With the COVID19 Extra Hours Special Bonus Scheme, staff need to sign up to agree to undertake the additional hours. 

However the Special Circumstances Payment is paid to staff who are undertaking offender-facing work as part of their day-to-day work, including those who have been redeployed to undertake offender facing work.

9.       Can you clarify which staff are entitled to the special circumstances payment?

The Special Circumstances Payment was included within the suite of COVID 19 Special Payments Scheme measures to acknowledge the challenging environmental circumstances staff in offender facing roles would experience. 

All staff, across all grades who are offender facing can claim this payment for the duration that their duties fulfil these criteria. 

Staff whose substantive role is not offender-facing, are able to claim for a full/part month (as appropriate) if they volunteer to do offender facing work, they are suitably trained AND there is a resourcing requirement to allocate them to these tasks instead of staff who substantively would be detailed. 

Probation Managers should not allocate usually non-offender facing staff to offender facing work based simply on them volunteering to do so – there needs to be a resourcing gap to be filled

I hope this answers your question – but please let me know if you have any further issues arising


Ministry of JusticeRussell SwabyActing Deputy HR Divisional Director  (NPS, HQ & Wales)People Group

International Workers Memorial Day – Minutes Silence – 11am on Tuesday 28 April

Image preview

Sent on behalf of the NW Regional H&S Committee (NWRHSC)


The purpose of International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) has never been more prescient in this time of global health crisis.

Every year on April 28th, all around the world the trade union movement unites to remember those who have lost their lives at work, or from work-related injury and diseases. We renew our efforts to organise collectively to prevent more deaths, injuries and disease as a result of work.

The coronavirus pandemic affects every worker regardless of sector or locality. Tens of thousands of workers worldwide have died. More have fallen ill or continue to go to work risking their lives. Many workers are still attending work ill-equipped and without the necessary safety measures in place.

While we may not be able to attend the memorial events which usually take place on IWMD, as public gatherings around the world are not advised or allowed; there are many ways branches can take part in our collective day of remembrance and solidarity.

How branches can take part

At 11am on Tuesday 28th April, take part in the minute’s silence.

It will be a moment to pay tribute to the sacrifice made of so many workers during the pandemic, to remember those who have sadly lost their lives, and to thank all those who continue to do vital work at great risk.

·        IWMD is supported by the government, and branches can request employers mark it, by asking the workforce to cease work for one minute at 11am.

·        Help spread the word about the minute’s silence, by encouraging as many friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to take part, whether in their workplace or at home.

·        Join the 1 minutes silence on Facebook hosted by UNISON and Emergency Services News to honour the key workers who have died.

·        You can quickly spread the word by posting this tweetsharing this Facebook status or asking your contacts on WhatsApp to join you in taking part in the silence.

·        Use the window of your home or your workplace noticeboard to raise awareness of IWMD, or share one online with the attached poster produced by Hazards Campaign .

·        Download the attached images to share on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp.

Please share any ways in which your branch is organising by contacting UNISON NW Communications & Media Organiser so we can share more widely through social media and the UNISON NW website.

Support for the bereaved

As we come together to remember those who have lost their lives, we can also reach out to support those experiencing grief.

There are practical steps branches can take to remember colleagues, like a book of condolences or setting up an online memorial page.

Experiencing a bereavement in isolation will be particularly tough as attendance at funerals is currently restricted due to social distancing measures. To honour the loss of a fellow worker a minute silence or vigil could allow colleagues the opportunity to come together to remember collectively. Branches may also wish to send a card, flowers or other tokens of condolence to the family.

We remember those we have lost.

We organise in their memory.

Thank you for everything you do to support our members and their loved ones.

Yours sincerely



Please refer to the link below

NW INTOUCH April 2020


Please refer to the link below for welfare assistance/advice

In these uncertain times


NPS Guidance for extraordinary Payments

All staff Amy Rees
Director General of Probation and Wales   HM Prison and Probation Service 102 Petty France London SWIH 9AJ      
23 March 2020
HM Prison & Probation Service

Dear / Annwyl staff

Guidance for extraordinary payments during COVID-19 response period

I am writing to you today to provide you with guidance as to claims for extraordinary payment/s that are being made available to you during this unprecedented time.

Challenges will present themselves as we face decreased capacity across the country in the probation system but we need to ensure that we are prepared to meet them head on.

I acknowledge the current and future challenges that will be faced by you personally as a valued member of the National Probation Service (NPS) as we move to solidify our workforce response to COVID-19.

To recognise the fact that many of you will go above and beyond your ordinary duties we are providing additional payment/s. You provide an invaluable service to the community as an integral part of the criminal justice system, and even more so in these uncertain times. These measures are available to all staff within the NPS at the relevant grades. Please discuss how they apply in your individual circumstances with your line manager.

We anticipate you may have some further queries on this guidance and the extraordinary payments being made available, which we hope are addressed below and will be further communicated in forthcoming publications on the intranet or in writing to you directly.

I would also like to reinforce the HR guidance about staff with an underlying health condition:

Some employees might have a condition or be taking medication which means that they have a compromised immune system, for example (but not exhaustive), asthma, diabetes, heart disease. They might, therefore, be reluctant to come into contact with people who might have the coronavirus and so not wish to come into work or travel on public transport even if they are not themselves unwell.

If it is possible for these employees to work from home you should permit them to do so. Some employees, however will not be able to do their job from home. If it is not possible for the employee to work from home in these circumstances we would expect paid special leave to be given.

Managers will need to exercise discretion and discuss with an individual their particular needs.

Yours sincerely

Amy Rees

Director General of Probation and Wales

Cyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol y Gwasanaeth Prawf a Chymru, Gwasanaeth Carchardai a Phrawf EM 


Who does this relate to?

This guidance is relevant to all staff in the NPS if qualifying for specific NPS extraordinary payments.

Why are the NPS providing these additional payment/s?

As we react to the progress of COVID-19 we face the reality that some staff will need to self-isolate or take time off to deal with illness.

We will experience shortages of available staff to carry out core probation functions across the country and therefore will be asking staff that are willing and able to absorb additional work to protect the functionality and integrity of the system.

In acknowledgement of the additional burden this will place upon many of you we wish to provide additional payment/s in the attempt to ease this burden.

Are these taxed?

Like all bonuses, these extraordinary payments will be taxed in the usual way, and will paid as non-pensionable bonuses.

How do I keep track of how many hours I have worked?

We encourage you to keep track of the hours worked during this period of time. We will provide a template spreadsheet which you should complete and have your manager clear.

Further guidance will be provided in due course via the intranet on how to submit this cleared spreadsheet to SSCL to have your additional payments actioned.

Is this mandatory?

No. It will not be mandatory for you to take on additional work during these times.

But we do hope that if you are willing and able to assist during this unprecedented time that these payment/s are representative of the additional work you take on to ensure the proper functioning of the probation system and the security of those that it seeks to help and protect. 

What if I have more questions?

Please direct any further questions you have to the People Group COVID-19 team which has been formed to deal with queries.

The team can be contacted at this address:  

You may also wish to speak to your manager for further support and guidance.

Further guidance will be provided in the coming days on the intranet and in writing if necessary.

Guidance matrix for extraordinary payments




UCU solidarity social This Thursday 5th March at English Lounge

UCU members at the University of Manchester are taking 14 more strike days in their dispute over pay, casualisation, pay inequality, pensions and workload.

Come and join the solidarity social from 6pm onwards at the English Lounge, High St

– bring collections, donations, messages of support etc.

There’s an appeal for support leaflet at
And a collection sheet at

For more information about the dispute see:

Karen Reissmann

Your chance to shape the biggest event of the 2020 Greater Manchester Mayoral election

Thanks to those who attended our screening of Sorry We Missed You. The film is incredibly powerful and definitely got us thinking about how we can tackle low pay, insecure work and poverty in Greater Manchester.


We are now in the midst of planning Greater Manchester Citizens Mayoral Assembly event, which will take place on Thursday 30 April from 6-8.30pm at Holy Name Church, M13 9PG. This is Citizens’ showpiece event and will also be the most significant moment in the Mayoral election campaign. Please put this date in your diary and begin mobilising attendance from your branch. Eventbrite link to follow.

In 2017, UNISON’s Greater Manchester branches played a significant role in a huge, vibrant and powerful event. Now is your chance to get involved in Greater Manchester’s second ever mayoral assembly. The next Mayoral Assembly planning meeting will take place on Tuesday 3 March from 6-8pm at Arena Point, M3 1UN. Here we will be discussing the three topics we will be taking to the mayoral candidates (Fair work/combating child poverty, clean air/better public transport and mental health/improving support services.) We will be getting together 

UNISON Money Talk

Addaction members strike action

Addaction members in Wigan and Leigh will begin a period of 5 days strike action from Thursday 27th February ending Wednesday 4th March

2 Picket lines will be held on 27th, 28th Feb and 2nd, 3rd March from 8 am till 12 noon at Coops Building, King Street West, Wigan and  at Kennedy House, Brunswik Street, Leigh

On 4th March a picket line will be in place from 12 noon till 4 pm at the Coops Building in Wigan only

We would also like to invite you to attend a rally in support of the strikers which is being held in advance of the Wigan Council meeting, which will be held on 4th March at 4.30 pm in the area between between Wigan Life Centre and Wigan Town Hall in the Town Centre.  Please let me know y return of email  if you would like to address the rally with messages of support, or send a message that can be conveyed to the striking workers

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information

Best Wishes

Lizanne Devonport

Disputes Team Lead

UNISON North West

0161 831 1624

UCU Members Strike Support

Dear comrades,

UCU members at the University of Manchester need your support. After eight strike days last year they have started fourteen more. They are fighting for job security, reasonable workloads, decent pay and pensions, and against casualisation and pay inequality on gender and race. Many University staff are on badly paid temporary contracts for fewer hours than the work requires. Many are forced to take other work. Properly paid, secure jobs with achievable workloads are essential for the quality of education.

The remaining strike days are 24-26 February, 2-5 and 9-13 March. Send messages of support to or tweet @UM_UCU.

The local hardship fund is: 
Account name: UCU University of Manchester
Sort code:  60-83-01
Account Number:  20392565
Reference: Hardship Fund

In solidarity
Ian Allinson
President – Manchester Trades Union Council
07985 438 553 email is from Manchester TUC. Find us
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