Important News Bulletin
Where there is a will, there is a way!
No "Smoothwall" IT security can stop the GMB from informing our members ?? - lol!!
We have a number of items of interest, so please scan all the way down, because - hopefully - something (maybe even everything!) will be of interest.
1. Of interest to our Schools membership, especially Teaching Assistants.
GMB are pleased to advise that the reimbursement of your EWC registration fees has been protected in the Budget discussions. Members will recall that GMB led the way in insisting that TA's should not have to pay this fee, as it was a requirement of employment.
Solicitors, Social Workers and Teachers are all required to be registered with their respective occupational standards body and have these fees met by the employer, so we argued - successfully - that TA's should be treated equally. This money has been protected in the current Budget savings plans, so - once again - GMB looks after its very valued pupil support staff.
2. Budget news - the 2016/17 proposals are now available online - https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/Your-Council/Council-finance/Council-Budget/Pages/default.aspx
Your GMB senior representatives continue to make their presence felt in discussions with Senior Management, and - as always - lead the way in seeking to ensure that jobs and terms & conditions are the highest priority.
We know that the hard-working, committed Council staff - whether they are in waste & cleansing, social services, schools, communities, finance, ICT, Hubs or environment, or wherever - provide a valued service to the Citizens of Cardiff. We need to protect those front-line services that make the quality of life so much better for so many, so that remains our key mantra.
The link above should take you to the appropriate information (available in Welsh too).
3. Changes to Pension (LGPS) rules - attached is a two page GMB Pension Briefing, that outlines changes - imposed from Westminster - that cap the exit payments. This may, at first glance, look like something of concern for only the highest paid employees, but it could effect modest earners with long service too, should they decide to take VS.
Hopefully, it is self-explanatory, but if anyone is unclear or concerned about how it might effect them, please don't hesitate to contact Ken, Angie, your local rep or this e-mail address.
The attachment is below, entitled "GMB-Reforms to Public Sector Exit Payments…"
4. Benefits? They're just for the unemployed or sick, aren't they? - short answer, NO!
Our good friends and colleagues working in the Central Library HUB have asked us to promote the claiming of Housing Benefit. Seems some people think that this is only available to you if you are unemployed or on long term sickness; this is possibly unsurprising, considering the media sensationalism and ignorant comments emanating from some corners of Westminster!!
We are happy to oblige, and please find attached - in both English and Welsh - a leaflet that explains the availability of rent support (Hosing Benefit or HB has it is frequently referred to) for those on a low income, those who work part time or with a number of dependents.
There is also a link to a "Entitlement Calculator" which members are welcome to check if they are entitled. The money is there; it is designed to support people; so check it out now!
HB calculator link - http://apps8.cardiff.gov.uk/benefits/
The attachments (in Welsh & English) are also below.
[A big thank you to the lovely Helen & Delyth in Central Library Hub for all their help, and to all our colleagues working in HUBs xxx]
5. Cardiff event for GMB Schools Reps, & for GMB LA Stewards - Friday, 2nd December 2016.
There is a Stewards/Reps briefing, being held in the Cardiff (Newport Road) offices of GMB on Friday 2nd December, with an agenda that covers topics of interest for an active representative.
The morning session (starting at 10am) is definitely geared towards schools based staff, with the afternoon more relevant for Local Government in general. Any steward interested should speak to the Branch Secretary first, before applying.
6. (Lastly!!) Grunwick - 40 years since this iconic dispute. An exhibition in London.
Some of us older activists well remember the incredible Mrs Jayaben Desai (sadly no longer with us) and her colleagues at the Grunwick photo processing labs, and their historic battle against the evil George Ward and his backers from the far-right extremist Freedom Association.
These brave, courageous ladies (with a little bit of help from the Trade Union movement) took on a repressive employer, back in 1976, asking for humane working conditions and to be treated in a fair manner. They were members of APEX (which merged into GMB in the 1980's), and their story is one of incredible integrity and courage.
To commemorate the 4oth anniversary of this dispute, there is an exhibition - from now until 2nd April 2017 - at the :-
Brent Museum & Archives, The Library at Willesden Green, 95 High Road, London. NW10 2SF.
I'm going, hope many of you do too!
Thank you, as always, for reading!!
GMB CARDIFF 1 Branch