Get Help with School Uniforms

Get Help with your Scchool Uniforms

help with school uniformsAs many people struggle through the pandemic, the extra cost of sending the children back to school now looms on the horizon.

But UNISON is here to help. There For You, our welfare charity, has launched its School Uniform Grant, offering a one-off £50 per school age child, up to a cost of £150, to help cover the cost of uniforms.

To be eligible, you must meet the following:

  • You are a member and have paid 4 weeks subscriptions before 3 August (the launch date of this programme);
  • You are financially responsible for the child/children and receiving Child Benefit for them;
  • You have total combined (yourself and your partner if applicable) savings/rolling bank balance(s) of less than £1,000, and;
    • Either you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
    • Or you have an annual net salary of less than £18,000 (combined salary with partner must be less than £18,000 p.a. if applicable).

If you qualify, head over to UNISON’s national page to read more small print and apply.

School Uniform Grant

There For You offers the School Uniform Grant every year to help out low-paid public servants. Here’s what a few of the recipients of last year’s grant had to say.

“A big thank you for your help in ensuring my daughter had the best possible start to her new high school, without this support I would have struggled.”

“Thank you so much for the uniform grant it has been a life saver. I was able to buy two new cardigans which she was desperate for! Two ties and the school’s official bag which she has always wanted.”

“Thank you so much for helping us as a family with the school uniform grant. It really took the worry out of shopping. (I’ve cried in Clarks before at the price!)”

“Thank you for supporting me with their uniform costs and enabling me to send them off looking so smart, I’m a very, very proud single mum today.”

As many people struggle through the pandemic, the extra cost of sending the children back to school now looms on the horizon.

But UNISON is here to help. There For You, our welfare charity, has launched its School Uniform Grant, offering a one-off £50 per school age child, up to a cost of £150, to help cover the cost of uniforms.

To be eligible, you must meet the following:

  • You are a member and have paid 4 weeks subscriptions before 3 August (the launch date of this programme);
  • You are financially responsible for the child/children and receiving Child Benefit for them;
  • You have total combined (yourself and your partner if applicable) savings/rolling bank balance(s) of less than £1,000, and;
    • Either you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
    • Or you have an annual net salary of less than £18,000 (combined salary with partner must be less than £18,000 p.a. if applicable).

If you qualify, head over to UNISON’s national page to read more small print and apply.

School Uniform Grant

There For You offers the School Uniform Grant every year to help out low-paid public servants. Here’s what a few of the recipients of last year’s grant had to say.

“A big thank you for your help in ensuring my daughter had the best possible start to her new high school, without this support I would have struggled.”

“Thank you so much for the uniform grant it has been a life saver. I was able to buy two new cardigans which she was desperate for! Two ties and the school’s official bag which she has always wanted.”

“Thank you so much for helping us as a family with the school uniform grant. It really took the worry out of shopping. (I’ve cried in Clarks before at the price!)”

“Thank you for supporting me with their uniform costs and enabling me to send them off looking so smart, I’m a very, very proud single mum today.”

As many people struggle through the pandemic, the extra cost of sending the children back to school now looms on the horizon.

But UNISON is here to help. There For You, our welfare charity, has launched its School Uniform Grant, offering a one-off £50 per school age child, up to a cost of £150, to help cover the cost of uniforms.

To be eligible, you must meet the following:

  • You are a member and have paid 4 weeks subscriptions before 3 August (the launch date of this programme);
  • You are financially responsible for the child/children and receiving Child Benefit for them;
  • You have total combined (yourself and your partner if applicable) savings/rolling bank balance(s) of less than £1,000, and;
    • Either you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
    • Or you have an annual net salary of less than £18,000 (combined salary with partner must be less than £18,000 p.a. if applicable).

If you qualify, head over to UNISON’s national page to read more small print and apply.

School Uniform Grant

There For You offers the School Uniform Grant every year to help out low-paid public servants. Here’s what a few of the recipients of last year’s grant had to say.

“A big thank you for your help in ensuring my daughter had the best possible start to her new high school, without this support I would have struggled.”

“Thank you so much for the uniform grant it has been a life saver. I was able to buy two new cardigans which she was desperate for! Two ties and the school’s official bag which she has always wanted.”

“Thank you so much for helping us as a family with the school uniform grant. It really took the worry out of shopping. (I’ve cried in Clarks before at the price!)”

“Thank you for supporting me with their uniform costs and enabling me to send them off looking so smart, I’m a very, very proud single mum today.”

Apply today

8th August – Essex March for Fair NHS Pay

Saturday 8th August, March for Fair Pay for NHS Workers-

March organised by local NHS nurses and other staff to protest at being left out of pay rises for some other areas of the public sector (like doctors and police). Part of a national day of demonstrations. Meet 11am at Basildon Hospital for a short socially-distanced march to a town centre rally. #NHSWorkersSayNo
#NHSPay15

8th August NHS March Flyer

UNISON’s response to government spending statement

Money for public services would mean a quicker recovery

UNISON’s General Secretary Dave Prentis issued his response to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Covid-19 spending statement. See the full response here.

Picture of twenty pound note“Proper investment in our public services would help speed the country back to recovery and more prosperous, certain times. It would heal over the deep cracks in care and the NHS exposed by the pandemic.

“With extra funds, national and local public services could provide many more jobs. A much-deserved early pay rise for health workers and council staff would mean money in their pockets to be spent on local high streets.

Have Your Say On Pay!

Council and Schools Pay Deal – Make up your mind on ‘final offer’

The national employers in local government have made what they say is their ‘final offer’ on the 2020 pay deal. If you work in the council or schools (or other groups who get the ‘NJC’ pay rise), UNISON is arranging for all members to take part in a ballot on this offer. Southend branch will soon be sending out information about how you can vote.

Find out about the employers’ offer – make up your mind whether or not to accept it: You can find information about the ‘offer’ on the national UNISON website here.

2020 pay photos

Have we got your contact details?

If you want to have your say, we need to make sure we have up to date contact details for you. You can update your details online at My Unison

UNISON Action on Sickness and Stress

UNISON Action on Sickness and Stress

More and more of us face formal sickness processes at work, with the stress of knowing our jobs could be on the line through no fault of our own.

Southend UNISON stewards recently  took part in 2 days of training looking at how best to support  members when they are faced with a formal sickness absence process.

Sickness training delegates
Southend activists on the Sickness Process training course

In Southend branch we know these processes are becoming more and more common. We find cases also more often relate to stress and anxiety, often due to the volume of work and lack of management support or to  long-standing underlying health issues which employers are failing to address with ‘reasonable adjustments’ as set out in the Equalities Act.

UNISON nationally and as a branch has highlighted how the massive cuts in local government funding since 2008 were bound to store up trouble as staff workloads have doubled as the workforce has been axed.

It’s coming home to roost now with increased sickness figures relating  to stress are increasingly being reported.

Find out more about stress at work and what you can do to  protect yourself and make our workplaces safe – see UNISON’s advice here!

Find out more about ‘reasonable adjustments’ to support your disability/health issues on the Worksmart site  here

Contact your steward or the branch if you  have questions, ideas or need our help.

SPEAK UP FOR SCHOOLS – VOTE TODAY! #SpeakUpForSchools

Feature image reading: "SPEAK UP FOR MY SCHOOL – VOTE TODAY! Alongside text is a photograph of Jo Gull (Southend UNISON Steward) and Caron Mullins (UNISON Schools Organiser, Eastern Region) at an awareness raising event at Greenways Primary School.
Jo Gull (Southend UNISON Steward) and Caron Mullins (UNISON Schools Organiser, Eastern Region).

Caron and I organised a SPEAK UP FOR SCHOOLS event at Greenways Primary School on 28th January.

The event supported by Principal Mr Ashley Eastwood raised awareness of the UNISON Consultative Ballot about support staff pay, terms and conditions and workload.

UNISON represents around 250,000 school support staff across the UK and those members do fantastic work to help children learn, keep them safe and healthy and schools running smoothly.

If you haven’t done so already VOTE TODAY and have your say on what’s happening at the school where you work.

The consultation ballot is now open and will run until 5th March.

For more information about the SPEAK UP FOR SCHOOLS campaign and to join UNISON click here.

All the best,

Jo Gull
Southend UNISON Steward, Greenways Primary School

SAVE OUR local SERVICES, Protect Our Communities. Support SAVE OUR SERVICES DAY on Thursday 6th December!

Announcement graphic reading: "Save Our Local Services."

Dear Officers, Stewards and Members,

On Thursday 6th December for SOS Day, we are focusing on the role our members play in keeping people safe. Workers in trading standards, environmental health, social services, schools and many others are the unsung heroes of our communities. However, cuts to council budgets have put these jobs under extreme pressure and our communities at risk.

Do you work in a service that helps to keep communities safe?

If so, tell us how cuts have affected your job and the service you work in.

Whether your job has obvious and high profile impact on people’s safety, or whether it’s a role that doesn’t often get any limelight but has safety implications that might surprise people, we’d like to hear from you.

So please get in touch using the form in the “tell us your story” section on the UNISON Save Our Services campaign page or contact the branch office. We will use your comments in our campaigning to highlight the impact of cuts on local services and let us know if you’re happy for us to publish your name.

What else could you do?

On SOS Day you could also hold a workplace meeting, talk to colleagues in public safety-related roles about how cuts have impacted their jobs and local services, or do something much bigger. Download the Save Our local Services toolkit and contact the branch office for some ideas!

All the best,

Claire Wormald
Branch Secretary

Grovember: Let’s grow our union. Get a fellow worker to join today!

Announcement graphic reading: "Grovember – Let's grow our union."

Dear Officers, Stewards and Members,

We’re in the final week of November and our month-long push for growth: Grovember.

We can all feel very optimistic about what everyone has achieved so far – but there is still time before the campaign formally comes to a close this weekend for one final effort to get a fellow worker to join.

So everyone, let’s get talking, getting names on application forms (which can be collected from the branch office) – and using the  Easy Joiner  tool to get potential members signed up digitally in just two easy steps.

Let’s remember to highlight the strengths that makes UNISON and our branch great – and highlight the special thank-you offers that give members and their families the chance to save money on holidays, days out and theatre trips.

 ▹ Find out more about Grovember and the resources to help you 
 ▹ Find out more about our offers for new and existing members 
 ▹ Have you signed up at least one member? You could win cash! 

All the best,

Claire Wormald
Branch Secretary

Southend UNISON members join the #StandUpToRacism demo – 17th November 2018

Photograph of Southend UNISON members and friends with branch banner.
Southend UNISON members and friends with branch banner. Photograph by Tim Fransen

Southend UNISON branch members joined 40,000 people in London supporting the Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) demo to Whitehall on Saturday.

“Hey Hey Theresa May! Refugees are here to stay!”

“Stop the deportations! Black and White, Unite and Fight!”

It was a real statement of opposition to the rise of racism and fascism in the UK and across Europe, there was also a large and powerful contingent of anti-fascists from Brazil who are opposed to Bolsonaro, the new far-right President.

There was only a very small group of fascists sighted in Whitehall Wetherspoons who ended our day nicely by being arrested and marched away in handcuffs by the Police.

Photograph of marchers gathering in Portland Place, London.
Marchers gathering in Portland Place, London. Photograph by Paul Stygal

Thanks to all those who came along (and thanks to Paul Stygal and Tim Fransen for the photos). Look out for the local SUTR meeting which we will hopefully be able to arrange early in the New Year. With the Tories and their austerity measures causing such poverty and misery in this country, we need to organise as soon as possible to ensure they can’t use racism to divide us.

Photograph of Tom Robinson speaking at the rally outside Downing Street.
Tom Robinson speaking at the rally outside Downing Street. Photograph by Paul Stygal

For older readers, here is the ‘real Tom(my) Robinson’ speaking at the rally outside Downing Street. He played the Anti-Nazi League rally in 1978 alongside The Clash and X-Ray Spex and is still fighting the fight in 2018.


National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism & Racism in pictures.

Photographs by Tim Fransen

Also click here to view Paul Stygal’s excellent Facebook album and for more photographs of the National Unity Demonstration by Tim Fransen click here.

REMINDER: National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism & Racism this SATURDAY 17th November – FREE coach seats available for Southend UNISON members.

Announcement graphic reading: “National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism and Racism, Saturday 17th November, FREE coach seats available for Southend UNISON members."

Southend UNISON has booked a coach for the National Unity Demonstration Against Fascism & Racism this Saturday 17th November – pickup points and times below.

If you are interested in joining this important demonstration, please contact the branch ASAP to book your coach seat.

Coach seats are free for Southend UNISON members. If you know any non‑UNISON members who would also like to attend please get them to contact us ASAP – tickets are £10 for non-members (concessions are available).

TIME PICK-UP (AND DROP-OFF) POINTS
9:00am ASDA SHOEBURYNESS North Shoebury Road, Shoeburyness SS3 8DA
9:15am OLD WALNUT TREE(formerly THE WHITE HORSE) Southchurch Road, Southend-on-Sea SS2 4XA
9:25am VICTORIA CIRCUS Bus lay-by behind the Odeon Cinema
9:30am PALACE THEATRE 430 London Rd, Westcliff-on-Sea SS0 9LA
9:40am The ELMS 1060 London Road, Leigh-on-Sea SS9 3ND
9:50am HADLEIGH CHURCH
10:00am The TARPOT London Road, South Benfleet SS7 5SQ

Return from London: 4:30pm (approx.)

We are experiencing the biggest rise in support for fascism, the far right, racism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism since the 1930s. In Britain, fascists and racists are mobilising on a scale not seen for decades. We must unite against this threat.

As you know the majority of society opposes fascism and racism, but we can only defeat this threat if we come together and take action. This demonstration will show that we are proud of our diversity, and we stand united in our determination to drive back this toxic cloud of hate.

Join the Southend UNISON coach on Saturday and let’s help flush this vile movement back down the sewer where it belongs. We hope to see you on the coach and for more information please visit the National Unity Demonstration Facebook page and/or contact the Branch Office.

All the best,

Claire Wormald
Branch Secretary