• University of Birmingham: let us choose to work flexibly
    Over the past year, we have successfully adapted to remote working made necessary by the pandemic. We have worked hard to ensure the work of the University has continued, in a safe and effective way. We have made sure systems still run, research is able to continue, and students are still able to have the best experience possible. Feedback from University management has rightly recognised this: "We can all feel proud of the quality of education that we have been able to maintain in the most difficult of circumstances. [It] is a testament to your dedication, and to the supportive environment that you have all helped to create." "Indeed, one of the more positive lessons of the pandemic is that we can do some pretty fabulous things online." (Emails to all staff from Head of College of Social Sciences) We have done all this from home. While the COVID-19 crisis has brought many challenges, there have also been opportunities. Being able to work from home has meant a better work-life balance, and more inclusive ways of working for disabled staff and those with caring responsibilities - often met by women. We are concerned that one of the few positive points of the COVID-19 pandemic - our ability to work flexibly and remotely, improving our work-life balance and our productivity - will be lost as we begin to emerge from lockdown. We ask the University to make sure this does not happen, and staff at all levels are enabled to keep working well. We Need to Keep Working Safely As the most recent lockdown begins to lift, we want to ensure we are able to keep these flexible working arrangements, where they work for us. This means ensuring that all those who want to continue to work from home, and for whom it is practical and accessible to do so, are able to keep the flexibility they have been able to work with, without having to go through onerous formal application processes. This also means ensuring disabled, chronically ill and neurodivergent staff have the right adjustments in place both at home and on campus, right from the beginning of their employment, to enable them to work safely, productively and flexibly. We ask the University to work with UCU, Unison, Unite and GMB to ensure all staff are able to work in ways that work for them, including having the right adjustments in place to enable us to work flexibly. The Benefits of Remote and Flexible Working It has been argued by organisations such as the Chartered Management Institute that home working, and other flexible working arrangements, can be a part of closing gender and disability pay and leadership gaps, as well as improving the attraction, retention, progression, and well-being of employees. The University of Birmingham’s own research into increased flexible working during COVID-19, in partnership with the University of Kent, found that most respondents noted they would prefer to work more flexibly in the future (including 52% of all parents and 66% of non-parents), after benefitting from a better work-life balance, increased productivity and improved wellbeing during lockdown. The University's Business School has also written about some of the benefits of home working, flexible working and blended approaches. Research from Cardiff University and the University of Southampton found that 70% of employees surveyed found their productivity either stayed the same or increased while they were working from home. The Government itself has argued flexible working - including flexi-time and home working - should be normalised, stating it would ‘boost productivity and particularly help women and those outside major cities’. By enabling all staff to continue working in ways that work for them, the University can make meaningful progress on some of its targets around dismantling structural barriers faced by groups within the University, as part of its 2021-24 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion scheme. This includes demonstrating the University’s commitment to being a “Disability Confident” employer, by ensuring the benefits of remote and flexible working for disabled people are not lost; and making it easier for those with caring responsibilities to balance these with their work. Home working can also contribute positively to the UoB Sustainable Travel Plan by reducing travel to campus and surrounding areas, and address the significant issues that staff have faced with parking on campus. Trust us to Work Well An earlier email from the chairs and co-chairs of the University’s staff networks stated that there was clear evidence of ‘a desire for global culture change that embeds a transparent trusted approach in relationships between staff and leaders.’ We ask the University of Birmingham to trust staff, who have consistently demonstrated their ability to adapt and deliver to a high standard, given the right support. We ask the University of Birmingham to demonstrate its worth as an employer that trusts and empowers its staff: trust us to work flexibly, in ways that work for us, and that benefit everyone.
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    Created by Birmingham UCU Picture
  • Normal pay for isolating Stoke Care Workers
    Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Stoke care workers have been, and continue to be, financially penalised for doing the right thing and protecting the vulnerable people they care for.   Proper sick pay is known to prevent the spread of infections to service users and the wider community. Care workers need the assurance that they will not be financially penalised when they need to self-isolate.   In Stoke, the majority of care workers who have spoken to UNISON have reported that instead of receiving their normal pay in line with Government guidance, they are having to survive on SSP at £96 per week, use annual leave, or in some cases get nothing at all. This is despite care employers receiving millions in public funds and being instructed to use them to pay self-isolating care workers their normal wages.
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    Created by Becca Kirkpatrick
  • Do Not Suspend Gender Pay Gap Reporting
    Tracking what happens to women’s pay is vital to building a fairer future and holding employers to account. Businesses have to report on a wide range of regulations/requirements - but gender pay gap reporting was the only one suspended last year. That can’t be right. Equality isn’t a nice value to have — it is essential. Especially in a time of crisis. Decades of progress in gender equality is being undone in a matter of months. Women have faced greater economic hardship through this pandemic, disproportionately losing jobs and income. Low paid women, black and minority ethnic (BME) women, disabled women and working mums are experiencing some of the most acute impacts. Women that were already at greater risk of being treated unfairly at work. Analysis by the TUC unearthed a staggering 35% pay gap for disabled women double that of the average gender pay gap, and that BME women are overrepresented in low paid, insecure jobs compared to white women and men. Join Grazia, Mother Pukka and the TUC as we call on Liz Truss MP, to maintain the requirement for larger employers to report on their gender pay gap in 2021 and to urgently introduce legislation requiring employers to report on ethnicity and disability pay gaps. We need you to show up for equal pay. Because equality isn’t a nice to have, it is fundamental. https://mcusercontent.com/ebd004a8047907dc47d269fd1/images/cb0315e4-99a5-4bb4-8d6d-0cfcd180bd0a.png
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    Created by Trades Union Congress, Mother Pukka and Grazia
  • Save Kiddycare Nursery in Mount Pleasant Mail Centre from closure
    Without the nursery, many posties, especially women, would not be able to work. The nursery has been a vital support to many in its 22-year history, enabling local people to take jobs at Mount Pleasant. Protecting Kiddycare Nursery also protects jobs for local people.
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    Created by Communication Workers Union UK Picture
  • Keep IVF and Reproductive Medicine Public: Save St. Mary’s DRM Service
    Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust announced to staff in March 2020 that they believe the current model of provision for reproductive medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital is not sustainable. Commissioners are now carrying out a scoping exercise on the service’s future, and this could result in a recommendation the service is tendered and could be at risk of privatisation. Staff members working for the St Mary’s Reproductive Medicine service provide a vital lifeline to women and families seeking fertility treatment in Greater Manchester. The service also provides specialist care to women with complex medical conditions, cancer, and who are undergoing gender reassignment, which are not accessible elsewhere in the city region or offered by other providers. If privatised, we are concerned that these specialist services could be at risk. Unions are concerned that many other private sector providers have higher treatment charges and inferior services. Furthermore, staff are in many cases paid less than NHS workers in the private healthcare sector, with less annual leave, sick pay and other essential benefits. We cannot allow this vital service to fall into private hands and be run for profit, when its purpose is to serve the public of our city.
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    Created by UNISON North West
  • End sexual harassment at work for freelancers too
    New research by the MU reveals 48% of members surveyed have been sexually harassed at work, and more than half have witnessed incidents of sexual harassment while working. 61% of musicians who took the survey told us they feel at greater risk of experiencing sexual harassment because of their freelance status. That’s why the Musicians’ Union is campaigning for stronger protections from sexual harassment at work that include freelancers too. Please sign the petition now to show your support. By signing the petition, you are reminding the Government that they have a duty to protect everyone from sexual harassment at work – including you, and musicians and other freelancers you know or whose work you enjoy. PREVENTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORK We asked 724 musicians about their experiences of sexual harassment at work. This research shows: • 48% have experienced sexual harassment at work • 58% have witnessed sexual harassment at work • 61% believe freelancers are at higher risk of being sexually harassed while working That’s not all; an overwhelming majority of members who experienced sexual harassment at work said that they did not report their experiences. And who can blame them. We’ve seen first-hand how difficult it is for freelancers to report sexual harassment and get any form of redress. It’s a clear sign that the system is broken, and we’re calling on Government to take this opportunity to fix it. PROTECT FREELANCERS TOO It should not be the responsibility of the self-employed or freelancers to protect themselves from sexual harassment. Do not let the Government forget that it has a duty to protect everyone at work. Add your voice to the call to protect freelancers too.
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  • General Election to Elect Our Prime Minister
    Boris Johnson is a right wing symbol for attacks on the most vulnerable sections of our society. Unelected, with no mandate equates to a free hand in decimating the Rights of workers, the NHS, the Climate. All our communities are in danger from this.
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    Created by John Blakemore
  • Bedford Hospital - Don’t Outsource Our Domestics or Cut Their Existing Hours!
    We, NHS workers and users recognise the hard work domestics do every day to keep the hospital and public safe. We support their fight to keep their jobs in the NHS. When hospital cleaning services are privatised infection rates go up and workers’ pay is cut. We also stand against the hospital’s attempt to make the domestics paid their own nationally agreed NHS pay deal by cutting their bank/overtime hours. Bedford Hospital is targeting its lowest-paid workers, many of whom are migrant women — we believe this is an attack on equality.
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    Created by Cathrine Ward
  • End sexual harassment at work
    Sexual harassment has no place in the workplace. But every day, people across the UK are sexually harassed at work. 1 in 2 women have been sexually harassed at work. 2 in 3 LGBT workers have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace - that's 68%. Currently, there is no legal duty on employers to take proactive action to prevent this from happening. We're demanding a new, easily enforceable legal duty requiring employers to take all reasonable steps to protect workers from sexual harassment and victimisation. Our laws rely on individuals reporting but #ThisIsNotWorking. The onus is on the victim to report - which can be isolating, confusing and potentially traumatic. Four out of five don’t feel able to report sexual harassment to their employer. It should not be down to the individual to prevent and manage their harassment alone. Tell the government to act now and change the law. https://mcusercontent.com/8afd273cb98bce4cdfe3e8bd2/images/f826d43b-dd6d-4dcc-9034-7c5ab4949b6d.png
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  • McDonald's: End harassment in your stores
    Whilst working at McDonald's, I suffered sexual harassment. When I sought help, I was fobbed off. McDonald’s closely monitors everything we do from how fast we prep orders to the type of lettuce we serve – it has the power and the responsibility to make sure all workers are protected from harassment on the job, but has failed to do so. They make billions in profit from our hard work, but you can’t put a price on our rights. Please, join our campaign and show McDonald's we are no longer facing this alone.
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  • Improve maternity pay for women pilots
    Only 6% of Britain's airline pilots are women. And almost every UK airline offers the absolute statutory minimum maternity pay provision. This is despite the fact that pilots have to repay their training loans – amounting to over £100,000 in many cases – even when on maternity leave. That means that women pilots on maternity leave lose up to 90% of their earnings and end up spending more money on their training loan repayments than they bring in in maternity pay – let alone anything left over for living costs. We need to make the piloting job more family friendly and attractive to women if we want to increase the number of women applying to become pilots. Many of the hardships associated with an 80-90% reduction in pay are obvious, particularly those which coincide with the extra expenditure involved in preparing for a new baby. Many women pilots are the highest earners within their families – the traditional ‘breadwinner’ role. Some are single parent families. Increasingly, women pilots are also servicing debt from the costs of higher education and flight training, along with saving for the costs of buying a first house. Women pilots have told us : “The current maternity package does not encourage women into aviation and in my case is stopping me from having the freedom to start a family when I am ready.” “The statutory maternity provision is less than half my loan repayment.” “Ultimately we found ourselves debating whether it would be better to keep the baby and move out of the home we have just settled in to, or have an abortion and spend a few years figuring out a financial plan”
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    Created by Richard Toomer