Motivated staff, who never seemed to run out of energy or passion

Portsmouth Health UNISON’s Mark Inch is a trainee clinical scientist and the branch’s Labour Link and Young Member’s Officer; he was recently redeployed onto a COVID-19 ward at the Queen Alexandra Hospital and wanted to thank his colleagues for their tremendous efforts. Portsmouth has been particularly hard hit by the virus with over 200 deaths […]

Teamwork and compassion – meeting the challenges of Covid-19 testing

Agnes Sitjar, is a UNISON Steward at Andover, Basingstoke & Winchester Hospitals branch and is part of the team that was the first in UK hospital’s to develop a live test for Covid-19. Agnes spoke to us about the challenges she has been facing during Covid-19: “As a Specialist Biomedical Scientist in Microbiology in Hampshire […]

Exemptions would be welcome but health surcharge should be scrapped

Responding to Labour leader Keir Starmer’s proposal at Prime Minister’s questions yesterday (Wednesday) that health and care staff should be exempted from the immigration health surcharge, UNISON South East regional secretary Steve Torrance said: “Dealing with the pandemic has shown more than ever how NHS and care services rely on staff from overseas. It beggars belief that […]

Game changing innovations in PPE at Southampton General

We hear from Rebecca Storer, a Health Care Assistant (HCA) and UNISON member at University Hospital Southampton, on what it’s been like working through the Covid-19 crisis, and how the crisis has led to innovations in PPE.   I’ve worked as an HCA in the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) at University Hospital Southampton for almost two years. We look after patients arriving from the Emergency […]

Nursing the nation today and every day

International Nurses Day is celebrated every year across the whole nursing family. But why today? May 12 is the birth date of the most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale, and 2020 marks 200 years since she was born. Learn more about Florence Nightingale Today, UNISON, the biggest union in healthcare, represents the whole nursing family, including registered […]

I just hope we are not forgotten when everything calms down

We hear from one of #OurHeroes, a Probation Officer in Hampshire, about how the outbreak of Covid-19 has affected him. ‘I have been a Probation Officer for over 18 years, working in offender management for the majority of my career. My job involves working with people in custody and managing the risks of offenders on […]

Supporting each other, laughing and sometimes, crying together

Pictured L-R: UNISON steward Toni Parker, Branch Secretary Debbie Miles, with members of the switchboard team at East Surrey Hospital The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted all the work that the frontline staff of the NHS and other key workers undertake. But if it wasn’t for the efforts and dedication of ‘behind the scenes’ departments such as […]

“You are doing so much to protect us, we have to protect you” – UNISON’s May Day message

On International Worker’s Day 2020, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis has issued a message to all UNISON members and activists.

Surrey County UNISON pay tribute to Sandra Ayliffe

Tribute from Paul Couchman, Branch Secretary of Surrey County UNISON We found out last week that our friend and comrade, Sandra Ayliffe, has died from the Coronavirus. This was Sandra (third from left) protesting about 15 years ago, with colleagues and residents, against the closure of The Summers care home where she worked. Sandra was […]

Isle of Wight volunteers make scrubs for NHS and care homes

The Isle of Wight Local Government Branch are so proud of our Assistant Branch Secretary, Barbara Milton, who is currently going the extra mile on the Island to ensure there are enough scrubs for the NHS and local care homes.  Barbara was keen to help out, recognising that our key workers and carers are putting […]

Remembering together – whilst staying safely apart

UNISON is used to organising events that bring people together. But when Covid-19 means we need to show support for each other by keeping our distance, then the way that we bring people together looks very different. On Tuesday 28 April, our union was one of those that called for a minute’s silence in memory of […]

“If we can pull together, I believe we can come through this troubled time”

Jenny Ford, Branch Secretary at Portsmouth Health, has seen rapid changes in the hospitals in Solent NHS Trust. As Facilities manager for St James’ Hospital (a mental health hospital) and St Mary’s (a community hospital), Jenny divides her time between the two sites. Jenny spoke to us about the challenges her team have faced responding […]

Covid-19 is the worst crisis in generations, but it is showing us the very best in humanity

First of all, I hope you, your families, your colleagues and your friends are all staying safe and keeping well.   This week I have been speaking to branch secretaries across the South East, starting with our health branches, to make sure that we, as a region, offer the best support and assistance during this time. The stories I have heard from the frontlines of the Covid-19 crisis have been truly harrowing.   I have heard of large–scale redeployments, with many activists now working […]

“It’s all a learning curve at the moment, but the council have been amazing”

Eastleigh UNISON are so proud of their members actions during this difficult time. Many staff working for Eastleigh Borough Council have been redeployed and are now undertaking different roles in order to support areas that are under pressure due to the current pandemic. Branch Secretary Karen Springham would especially like to thank staff for their […]

Isle of Wight branch secretary calls for more PPE, more testing

On 28th April, we mark Workers Memorial Day. For trade unions like UNISON across the world, this is the day when we remember those who have been killed, injured or made sick at work. And when we do so, we use it as a reminder that trade unions need to continue to fight for proper […]