Save our Dementia Service

Save our Dementia Service – Stop this cut!

See below for a petition and lobby that you can support

Southend Council’s proposed budget for 2024/5 includes stopping all funding for Southend’s award-winning dementia support service. This is a team who provide a whole range of support to dementia sufferers and their carers.

The Council say they think this may be picked up by our social work teams and other organisations. Social work teams are already overstretched and they don’t deliver this type of service. Voluntary sector services like Citizens’ Advice don’t have the capacity or the relevant specialism.

The support groups the dementia service has set up won’t survive and the workers will no longer be there to deliver one-to-one help and information.

The result will be that people with dementia and their carers are left alone coping with this condition. They will suffer more stress and worse health outcomes. The cost of this will sooner or later come back to other Council services or the NHS – it’s an inhumane cut and it’s short sighted – it will cost us all more in the long run.

UNISON is talking to our members about the impact on jobs and on the service, but there are also a consultation, a petition and a lobby that you can take part in to help to fight this damaging cut:

Council Consultation:

You can make your views known through the Council’s own public consultation process:

sign this petition and share it with anyone you can:

dementia petition graphic




JOIN A Lobby OF Council Scrutiny Committee 1st February

Please also support this lobby of the Council’s Budget, Policy and Resources Scrutiny committee on the steps of the Civic Centre at 5:30pm on Thursday 1st February. It’s being organised by concerned users of the service who are desperate about the impact on them and their loved ones. It’s a chance to highlight this issue before the damage is done. Let councillors know our feelings about this proposal. Tell your colleagues and friends!

dementia event details

Link to Facebook event here:

Council Cuts to Jobs and Terms & Conditions

Council Jobs, Services and Terms and Conditions are under Attack!wrecking b

Southend Council pretend to the media that they have ‘saved’ some public services. This is nonsense – they were the ones who threatened services including libraries and children’s centres in the first place! It was the reaction of the public to the proposals that made them do a U-Turn. That’s  welcome, but in reality other jobs and services are still under threat and they are coming for our basic terms and conditions.

Jobs and Services

The Council propose to axe up to 80 posts in total. These include amongst others ICT, Adult Social Care Operations and Commissioning and the complete closure of the award-winning community Dementia service.

Terms and Conditions

On top of these attacks, they are now planning to come for some of our basic terms and conditions, which affect every one of us.

  • Sick pay:  slashed from 6 months full pay and 6 months’ half pay down to 3 month’s full and 3 months half.
  • Redundancy pay:  cut to the legal minimum (a loss of around 50%)
  • Pay protection: cut from 3 years to 1 year

 This is the end result of years of austerity by national government. Council funding has been slashed and now they are turning on us.

The Council know that more people will be sick as a result of increased pressure and fewer staff to get the work done. They know they will need to make jobs redundant as funding falls. They know staff will be downgraded as they carry out sweeping restructures. They want it all on the cheap.

Carry on working harder – but with less benefits!

The Council’s wholly-owned ‘companies’ like Southend Care and South Essex Homes already employ new staff on worse pay and conditions – they aren’t even in the Local Government Pension Scheme. This is what they want for all of us.

These proposals represent a major attack on some of the areas where council jobs are still better than the private sector – and it is just the thin end of the wedge. This is the start of the ‘race to the bottom’ – a long term trend to only pay the bare legal minimum.

If we put up with this they will come for more – perhaps breaking with national pay rises and the pension scheme.

It seems there is money for ‘transformation’ and consultants or for expensive agency workers but not for jobs that actually deliver services.

We have already seen years of a squeeze on jobs and of worsening services. We can’t let them get away with this. We did not cause these problems and we should not pay the price. The Council should be standing up to the government, not making us pay.

What you can do

At the moment, nothing is set in stone. These proposals can be stopped. We cannot afford to roll over at the first threat. The proposed cuts to jobs and to our basic terms and conditions must be challenged. We have the collective strength to stop this going ahead.

We need to hear your views on these cuts and how they will affect you.

  • UNISON has negotiated official time off for all members to join one of our members’ meetings and discuss the issues and plan action:
    • In-person: Thursday 25th January, 4pm, Committee Room 6, Civic Centre
    • Teams: Friday 26th January, 9:30am. Teams link here
    • Tell  your manager which meeting you will be attending. If you have any problems getting released let the UNISON office know.
  • If you or your colleagues are not in a union join UNISON now:
  • Let us know how you are being affected by cuts and restructures: email

We deserve better. Let’s hold this council and the government to account – don’t let them make us pay with our jobs, services and our terms and conditions.

Branch AGM 2023

Southend UNISON Annual General Meeting

5:15pm, Tuesday 21st March 2023, Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend

Guest Speakers include Andrea Egan, UNISON’s national president.

agmposter2023 in person qrThis is an in-person meeting. All members welcome – it’s your union and this is an important part of our democracy. There’s a free buffet and prize draw for members who attend.

Find out more and let us know you’re coming here:

Solidarity with Rail Unions

Solidarity with Rail Unions striking for Pay, Jobs and Services

rmt picket
UNISON members support Southend RMT picket line

We in Southend  UNISON want to express our solidarity with you all in the strike action you are currently taking.  You are showing this Tory government that we are prepared to stand up and resist the biggest attack on our living standards in a generation and demand that we do not pay for their crisis.

The Tories are very quick to say that it’s our wages that cause inflation, now at the highest it’s been for years, even though working class people have suffered pay cuts over the last decade. If they want to find the cause, they need look no further than their billionaire mates who have got richer during the pandemic. Or just look at how much profit the private train companies have made and how much their bosses are pocketing. As the CWU have said, our bosses use Swiss Banks whilst we use food banks – but your fight is a real challenge to that.

Organising to defend our right to decent pay and conditions and to fight for the services we provide is something we all need to do. We know that without ticket offices and station staff, the service will be less accessible and less safe, especially for the vulnerable. And without enough maintenance workers we will all be less safe. Your fight is also our fight, and you are giving hope across the trade union movement.

The Tories have always protected the rich: as they try to cut our pay, they also remove the limits on City bonuses and they give their family and friends contracts worth billions of pounds. Then they try to divide us with racist policies threatening to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, with sexist polices saying working class women who can’t budget or cook are the reason for foodbanks. But we will not be divided by this bunch of bigots.

The Tories are in a crisis, fighting amongst themselves without a leader, so now is the best time to take them on. We stand in solidarity with you, and your victory can help build the resistance against their attacks.

In Solidarity,

Claire Wormald– Branch Secretary Southend  UNISON

Louise McDermott-  Branch Chair Southend UNISON

Stop Rwanda Flights


Southend UNISON supports this Twitterstorm called by the TUC, Care4Calais and Stand Up To Racism. Stop the inhuman (and useless) policy of flying asylum seekers and refugees to be held in detention in  Rwanda.

Reshare this!

Branch secretary Claire Wormald says:

Claire Stop Rwanda







‘Let’s show the government our anger – and our strength’

UNISON General Secretary’s speech to Local Government Conference 2022

General secretary Christina McAnea tells UNISON’s local government conference to get their branches ‘strike ready’ and ensure a big turnout at the TUC demo on 18 June

Christin Macanea
Christina McAnea speaking to UNISON National Local Government Conference Photo Steve Forrest/Workers’ Photos

“Please, please join us this Saturday, 18 June in London. Join the whole trade union movement – and let’s show the government our anger, our outrage, but above all, let’s show them our strength.”

That was the clarion call from Christina McAnea today, as she addressed UNISON’s local government service group conference in Brighton.

It was the first live conference for the sector group since the pandemic began and she used the opportunity to convey a message of hope but also to issue a strong challenge to activists in “every single branch – go back to your branch and do everything you can to be strike ready”.

Greeted by cheers around the hall, she opened by telling delegates that it was “great to be back. To be here with the workers whose labour keeps our communities going … while a useless Tory government parties in the corridors of power”.

Saying that her highlight of the week will be “being here tomorrow to celebrate our local service champions”, she went on to develop her theme of the range of vital roles that local government workers had carried out since the emergence of COVID.

On that theme, Ms McAnea highlighted the absurdity of Prime Minister Boris Johnson behaving as though he were responsible for the successful vaccine rollout. She said: “You were essential for the rollout – though seldom acknowledged – the glue that helped that whole process together.”

Local government workers were undervalued and undermined, and, while the Conservative government is “the architect of the cost of living crisis”, now they want to blame public service workers, she noted.

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have stood by and allowed the fuel and energy crisis to grow.

Saying these workers are “forgotten is too kind – these are deliberate choices”, when we’re in the middle of the biggest fall in living standards in decades.

Many councils are in serious trouble after years of cuts.

But there is hope. The general secretary reminded delegates that Barnet in north London had gone from a Tory council to a Labour one in May, after many years, during which the ‘Easy Barnet’ model, which saw “anything that moved was outsourced”. The new council faced a real challenge, but as neighbouring Enfield, which has insourced 17 services in the last four years, has shown, it can be done.

Ms McAnea applauded some of the union’s victories: by Sandwell leisure workers – first against their employer’s fire and rehire policy, and then for a return to national pay terms; – of Perth and Kinross, where members time back for term time workers who developed COVID in school holidays; for a new, recent strike ballot at Glasgow City Council that has seen the council back down again on equal pay.

She mentioned too, next week’s action at St Monica’s Trust in the South West, where care workers will walk out in a new dispute over fire and rehire.

But the general secretary was also concerned as to why so many ballots have low turnouts.

“A low turnout is exactly what the Tories wanted when they introduced [anti-union] legislation”, she said. “We need to look honestly at how that happened.

“We will back future strike action in this cost of living crisis … let’s make that disappointing turnout a distant memory and let’s make Saturday’s demonstration a massive show of strength.”


June 18th – unions say it’s Time for A Change!

Trade Union March and Rally in Central London June 18th

18 june logoCost of Living crisis : We Demand Better – Enough is Enough!

Organised by the national Trades Union Congress (TUC)

Assembles from 10:30 at Portland Place, march starts at 12:00

Book places on the free coach from Southend! Email us at with a Subject line of ‘June 18th Coach’ and let us know how many seats you’d like!

On Saturday 18 June, the trade union movement will be taking to the streets to demand action on18 June flyer the cost of living – a new deal for working people, and a pay rise for all workers.

Families across the country are bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living storm.

Every worker needs a real pay rise in 2022.

The government needs to act now. Let’s come together on 18 June to speak out.

UNISON members will be marching with thousands of people from all over the UK, followed by rally in Parliament Square. Join us in London!

Southend Coach leaves Royal Mail Short Street 8:30am, picking up along A13, last stop Basildon.

March Schedule

10:30 – Gather at Portland place W1B 1PR (The short march will form up at Whitehall Place at 11am)

12:00 – March departs toward Parliament square

13:00 – Rally starts in Parliament square – Westminster,
London SW1 3BD



International Womens Day 2022

International Womens Day Events

Watch for announcements of local activities and join these national events:


Webinar: Eve of International Women’s Day Event – Fighting For The Right To Choose; 7 March, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
IWD Empower
On the Eve of International Women’s Day, UNISON’s National International Committee and National Women’s Committee will be hosting a webinar on defending abortion rights.

Speakers include Kerry Abel, Abortion Rights UK, Renee Bracey Sherman, We Testify, USA, Mara Rivera from Argentina and Naomi Connor from Alliance for Choice, Northern Ireland. Our General Secretary Christina McAnea will also say a few words and we have a wonderful musician Juanita Euka performing to open and close the event. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.

Join Zoom Meeting


Find out more

Webinar: Building Safe and Healthy Workplaces for Women; 8 March, 4:00pm – 5:45pm
IWD H and S
On International Women’s Day, UNISON’s National Health and Safety Committee and National Women’s Committee will be hosting a webinar on the hazards in women’s work.

We will hear from a variety of speakers looking at the hazards women face in the workplace and how we can organise around them. We will be joined by international speaker, Professor Karen Messing, from the University of Quebec whose ground-breaking book ‘One Eyed Science’ published in the late 90s exposed the lack of research and protections for women workers.

You will need to register in advance to take part. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Register Now

Find out more