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Blackpool’s services for children and young people were rated as “inadequate” by the Ofsted inspectors following their visit late last year.
The commissioner returns next week to review progress so far, and we are pleased that trades unions look to be involved in the feedback process this time, and this is where you come in. It’s important that the feedback isn’t just from senior management, it needs to include views from all the stakeholders.


  • UNISON will be able to represent your views
  • UNISON can make your voice heard
  • UNISON will be able to report the opinions of members across childrens services but can also protect their anonymity

So, if you fall into any of these categories and you’re a UNISON member (and if not, whyever not?) please get in touch and tell us what you think.

Advanced Practitioner  Business Support Contact Officer
Employment Adviser Finance/Admin Legal Officer
Legal Support Personal Adviser Social Work Assistant
Social Worker Solicitor Support Worker
     (and many more besides . . .)

There is an opportunity here to identify problems but also to be part of the solution. Above all else this is about protecting our members’ interests.
Tell us what you would like the commissioner to hear. Please e-mail the branch confidentially with your views at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Our New Branch Officers - 2019/20


At our AGM on Friday 22nd February, we ratified our branch officers for 2019/20. We can now confirm that Rob Baldock was elected to the Assistant Branch Secretary role, and Neil Adams became our new Branch Secretary. Congratulations to them both.

Neil Profile Pic rob baldock 450

Neil Adams
Branch Secretary

Rob Baldock
Assistant Branch Secretary


Our thanks go to Dave Dickinson for all his hard work and dedication during his time as Branch Secretary, and prior to that as Assistant Branch Secretary. His has led the branch into a stronger position and we hope this will continue going forward. We wish him the best of luck for the future.

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Speak UP for your School #speakupforschools


The recent pay deal put more money in your pocket, but it’s still not enough. And, in places, terms and conditions are under attack as schools look for ways to save money.
We can’t go on like this. Your school is too important to be put at risk by failing government policies, increasing workloads, funding and staffing cuts, which hurt support staff, teachers, and of course, children.

Have your say

UNISON is asking you to speak up for your school in our consultative ballot:

  • We want to know what you think, and what you are prepared to do, to help us defend schools against further cuts and job losses
  • It’s about stopping workload increases and defending your pay, terms and conditions

The branch will be holding meetings on the following dates:

Date  Time     Venue
 28/1/19  4pm  Moor Park Leisure Centre
 29/1/19  4pm  Palatine Library, St. Annes Road
The online consultation opens on 22 January 2019 – check the UNISON website for all ballot updates

It’s just three simple questions and your answers will help us in our campaign and negotiations with employers and the government.

Together we are stronger – now is our chance to get schools the funding they deserve
What happens next

Check that we have your current email address at

  • We will send you an email when the ballot opens explaining how you can vote.
  • Visit speakupforschools to get more information on the issues and a link to the online ballot.
  • To vote you will need your date of birth and your National Insurance number or UNISON membership number.

Not in UNISON?  You can JOIN US today and Speak UP for your School

Find out more

If you want to find out more, UNISON has created a national website which you can find here.


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Get help with winter fuel bills with our winter fuel grants


Members living on a low income constantly struggle to make ends meet – and this can be particularly acute in the winter when the cost of heating homes rises as the outside temperature falls.

But it’s not all bad news – help IS available. The union’s welfare charity There for You has once more set up a limited fund to help members on low incomes towards the cost of their winter fuel bill through a one-off payment of £60.

The process is very similar to previous years and an amount of money has been ring-fenced to support this initiative. However, once it’s gone it’s gone!

So don’t miss out. Apply early and send your form and supporting paperwork in as soon as possible. All the information you need can be found below. Alternatively, contact UNISON Direct on 0800 0857 857 for a form to be sent to you.

Just one more thing: please don’t keep details of this grant a secret. Help us to help even more members and let your work colleagues know that help is at hand. There will be many, like you, worrying about how they will cope this winter.

Completed applications need to be sent to There for You, (WFG) UNISON Centre, 130 Euston Road, London, NW1 2AY by Friday 15 February 2019 at the latest.

Winter Fuel Grant application form

Winter Fuel Grant Q&A

Winter Fuel Grant poster

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Annual General Meeting 2019 - Friday 22nd February, Stanley Park Golf Club


Our 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Friday 22nd February 2019, 6.30pm, Stanley Park Golf Club, North Park Drive. It will be followed by a Northern Soul night and buffet.

At the AGM we will elect our Branch Officers, Representatives and ratify the election of Workplace Stewards for the forthcoming year.

The preliminary agenda is available here. If you wish to submit a motion, please send it to the Branch Office, with the name of the proposer and seconder by no later than Friday 28th December 2018.

A nomination form for Branch Officers, Representatives and Workplace Stewards has been posted to all our members, these are also be available to print off from here.  If you wish to stand for a position in the branch, please ensure that your nomination form is received at the Branch Office by no later than noon on Friday 21st December 2018.

All branch members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting and can bring along their partners or a guest for the Northern Soul night and buffet that follows.

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Dear Member

Please see the model letter for individual UNISON members to use when dealing with managers in relation to the withdrawal of personal vehicles for Council business.  This can be downloaded as Model ECU word document here, or in Model ECU letter pdf format here.

This follows information which has been brought to UNISON's attention this morning. An email from HR has been forwarded to managers who have then cascaded it to staff and is in relation to the Council's Expenses Policy.

It states that, in accordance with the Expenses Policy, staff should not be reimbursed from petty cash. This is a red herring. This only applies to expenses which have already been incurred.

The Council is putting pressure on UNISON members to provide their own money - in effect, their own petty cash - to pay for transport. We strongly urge people to be resolute and refuse to do this.

We are urging you NOT to use your own money to pay for alternative transport. You are under no contractual obligation to do so. If Council departments have not made arrangements for how they will deal with the refusal of staff to use their vehicles, then that is their responsibility.

They have had a significant period to prepare for this, so we ask people not to make the situation easier for the Council.

This action will only work if members refuse to use their cars en masse and also refuse to use their own money to pay for transport. It is the only way the Council will be forced to see that their policy to take approximately £1,000 off you per year is a mistake.

If staff use their car for Council business or pay up front for travel expenses, it will undermine our effectiveness.

We must remain united!



Dave Dickinson


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Essential Car User (ECU) - Call for Action



UNISON is calling on all members who formerly received Essential Car User (ECU) allowance to stop using their car for Council business from the 1st of November.

This follows Blackpool Council deciding to terminate all Essential Car User (ECU) payments from that date when everyone will then be classed as ‘casual’ car users. The information seems to have been sent to those who have signed up to the buy-out. (NB: The Council has informed UNISON that the buy-out will be extended to all staff who lost their entitlement to ECU following the compliance review in 2017.)

UNISON has consistently stated that the Council’s decision to withdraw the allowance is a huge mistake. Not only is it unfair in expecting staff to continue to use their car without being paid an allowance for wear and tear, damage etc, but it would also be more costly to pay staff to use alternative modes of transport.

In meeting after meeting with the Council, we have repeatedly argued that the withdrawal of ECU is a false economy. The only way of demonstrating this now is for staff to exercise their contractual right to not use their vehicles for work business.

The responsibility for this state of affairs lies squarely with the Council. The onus, therefore, is on the Council to continue to provide services to the public at the same level of efficiency as when staff were paid the ECU allowance. Members, in exercising their right to not use their own car, should simply state to their manager that they will not be using their car for work business. We will not tolerate any attempts by managers to encourage, cajole or threaten staff into using their vehicles for work if they have clearly stated that they will not use it.

UNISON must stress that voluntarily withdrawing the use of your own car is not industrial action as staff are no longer contractually obliged to provide or use their car for work. You will not be refusing to travel or carry out your duties but the Council will have to put an alternative in place to facilitate any travel that you have to undertake.

While we acknowledge that there will be occasions when members will find it difficult to not use their car, the only way we can have a significant impact is to consistently refuse to use it. 

We have complied a document, "Information For UNISON Members Who Are Casual Car Users", which addresses the issues you may experience in refusing to use your car..  This can be downloaded here.

The strength of a union is its members willingness to fight back against unfair working practices. We urge you to stop using your car for FREE and to encourage staff who aren’t UNISON members to join and to take part.

If you have any questions, please contact the branch on 01253 478492 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A .pdf copy of this notice can be downloaded here.


Dave Dickinson


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