Branch News


Video of branch at the International Brigades Memorial Trust Commemoration July 2012

Branch members were once again out in force for the International Brigades Memorial Trust (IBMT) Commemoration in July at the Jubilee Gardens in London.

Click here for a video of the event, which shows Chair Max Freedman laying flowers at the memorial on behalf of the branch. The branch is affiliated to the IBMT and we encourage members to also sign up as individual members, which can be done here.

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Training courses in August for MPs’ staff

Summer Recess is a good time to look at what courses you could be going on to build your skills. The courses below are being run by Capita in August and are free for MPs’ staff to attend. Book by filling out the forms available on the w4mp website. As always, if you work in the MP’s constituency office and would prefer a regional course so you don’t have to travel to London, please email lauren.edwards@unitepsbranch.org

1st August People Skills & Communication Influencing & Persuading Skills 1 Day London
3rd August People Skills & Communication Creative Problem Solving Skills 1 Day London
7th August People Skills & Communication Time Management 1 Day London
10th August People Skills & Communication Dealing with the Media 1 Day London
13th August People Skills & Communication Influencing & Persuading skills 1 Day London
16th August People Skills & Communication HR for Line Managers 1 Day London
21-22 August People Skills & Communication Public Speaking (2 days) 2 Days London
24th August People Skills & Communication Performing Under Pressure 1 Day London
30th August People Skills & Communication Read Faster, Read Smarter 1 Day London
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Drinks reception to celebrate World Pride – Thursday 5th July

This year World Pride takes place in London, to coincide with the London Olympics.

To celebrate this and show the Unite Parliamentary Staff Branch commitment to the LGBT community, Unite 1/427 branch would like to invite colleagues to a DRINKS RECEPTION on Thursday, 5th July from 6.30pm to 8.00pm in the Jubilee Room
 
PLEASE RSVP to sarah.mcguire@unitepsbranch.org

http://www.unitetheunion.org/resources/equalities_2011/lgbt_equality.aspx

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No Fault Dismissal Consultation

Working for Members of Parliament, we are considered to be employees of “micro businesses”, which employ fewer than ten staff. Following the Beecroft Review, the Government is currently consulting on whether a system of ‘compensated no fault dismissal’ should be introduced for such micro businesses, and what the consequences could be, including the wider impact on both employer and employee confidence.

As a union branch, we already see too many instances where our members have been eased out of their positions because of the whims of their bosses, and so we are concerned at these proposals that could make for even more job insecurity at Parliament. There are already too few protections, particularly during employees’ probationary periods.

Please take a few minutes to submit your concerns about this to the BIS consultation.  http://www.bis.gov.uk/Consultations/call-for-evidence-dealing-with-dismissal.

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CANCELLED – Branch social on Thursday 10 May cancelled due to PCS strike action

Sorry but we have had to cancel our social for the evening of Thursday 10 May in the Jubilee Room.

House staff who are members of PCS will be on strike for their pensions that day.

We ask branch members to respect picket lines and speak to their bosses about working from an alternative location. We will be rearranging the social for another time and will post details up here when they are available.

If you’d like to show your support outside of work hours, information about rallies and demos is available here.

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Advice surgery for branch members coming up in May

An advice surgery for branch members will be held 1pm Thursday 24 May in the meeting rooms on the 1st floor of Portcullis House.

We will do them by short appointment so if you’d like to drop by and discuss an employment issue or just get general advice just email lauren.edwards@unitepsbranch.org before Wednesday 23 May. 

Telephone surgeries will be arranged for any branch members who work in constituency offices. 

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Volunteers needed for Workers Beer Company at upcoming festivals

It’s that time of the year again, when we can put in for volunteer places at various festivals through the Workers Beer Company. As a volunteer behind the bars you get free entry to the festival, a couple of drinks when your shift is over, and when you are not working (shifts are usually six hours long) you can enjoy the music and the atmosphere of the festival. The money from members working at these events goes to the branch and members decide how it gets spent. Below are the events available for this year.

If you are interested in taking part please email lauren.edwards@unitepsbranch.org with your name, contact details, Unite membership number and which festival/s you want to go to by Friday 27 April . First priority is given to branch members but if you have partners or friends who would be interested in going too please let me know. Please be sure you can go to the festival, as last minute cancellations can’t be replaced with other volunteers and it will count against your participation in future years:

  • Women Chainmakers Festival 9th June – Sandwell W. Midlands (no camping)
  • Crystal Palace Garden Party 23/24th June (no camping)
  • Latitude 12/15th July (travel to site 11th July, leave 16th July -camping)
  • Tolpuddle 13/15th July (onsite days tbc)
  • Reading 24/26th August (travel to site 23rd August, leave 27th August – camping)
  • Leeds 24/26th August (travel to site 23rd August, leave 27th August- camping)
  • Proms in the Park 8/9th Sept – no camping/transport Continue reading
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Branch support for locked-out Mayr-Melnhof Packaging workers

At our April meeting, the branch voted in favour of making a donation to Unite members at Mayr-Melnhof Packaging, who have been locked out by the company for almost 2 months.

Unite is to take legal action against the Austrian owned company over the unlawful dismissal of its workforce and closure of the site in Bootle, Liverpool. The latest update on the dispute from the union is available for branch members to read here.

The donation has now been sent off and a message of support for the workers sent on behalf of the branch. Sogat Process Chapel replied, saying “thanks for your support, its great to know people haven’t forgotten about us.”

If any members wish to send individual donations to support the workers, they can send cheques to Sogat Process Chapel c/o Phil Morgan, 2 Chantry Court, Forge Street, Crewe, Cheshire CW1 2DL.

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Social next week for interns and branch members

The union branch will be holding an interns social from 5:30pm this Tuesday 3 April in the back room of the Sports and Social on the Parliamentary Estate.

It will be branch members and interns only as we’ll be putting money towards drinks for people, so please RSVP to our Social Secretary at sarah.mcguire@unitepsbranch.org

Hope to see you there!

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LGBT Parliament – ParliOut AGM today

ParliOut AGM

March 22nd at 18:30 Conference Room E – 7 Millbank

Dear ParliOut Member,

You are invited to the AGM of ParliOut on 22nd March 2012.

The committee would like to hear your thoughts on the past 10 months (since the last AGM) and any ideas for future events. It would be great if you could answer these quick questions prior to the AGM or think about them for the meeting:

  1. Out of 10, how would you rate ParliOut’s work in the past 12 months?
  2. What do you think has been ParliOut’s greatest success or most enjoyable event during this period and why?
  3. What do you think has been ParliOut’s greatest difficulty or least enjoyable event during this period and why?
  4. Are there any specific topics you would like ParliOut’s meetings to address in the coming 12 months?
  5. Are there any new areas or initiatives you would like ParliOut to undertake in the coming 12 months?

The AGM is also a chance to get involved with the ParliOut committee by becoming a committee member for the coming year. Please see the attached Terms of Reference for details of how to nominate yourself.

Daniel and Jean are current co-chairs so members who can’t attend but would like to be nominated as potential committee members can submit their requests to them.

The current responsibilities of Committee members include communication, event organisation, coordination of the Advice and Guidance Service and relationship management with external organisations and the ParliOut Advisory Board.

We would really value your feedback and ideas at the AGM and would like to thank members in advance for their constructive comments and for supporting the meeting in a positive way.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on 22nd.

All the best,

The ParliOut Committee

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