SUCCESS IN HOLIDAY CALCULATIONS Unite the union entered negotiations with David Brown Gears, Huddersfield, in respect of the way the company calculated holiday pay. Unite took this action as it felt that the holiday pay did not reflect a normal working week’s wage. With support from the Unite legal team and the support of members, Richard Bedford, Unite regional officer, presented the case for the calculation to be amend to reflect a working week (ie a 13 week average to include all overtime and shift allowance, as well as back pay, to August 2015). The company disagreed and offered a 13 week average going forward for the first 20 days’ holiday. In consultation with the stewards, Unite disputed this and lodged 120+ cases with ACAS for early conciliation. This prompted the company to return to the table and agree to back pay. Richard Beford said, “the result of our negotiations on this matter led to an agreement giving average pay going forward on 20 holidays and back pay was paid to 69 members between £2.71 and £2,231.30. In total, 13 workers were paid above £1,000”. DOUBLE SUCCESS AT THE UNIONLEARN AWARDS Two nominations were entered from Unite’s NEYH region into the annual prestigious Unionlearn Awards which were presented on 4th July at the 10th Annual Conference held at TUC, Congress House. Richard Gilbert a Unite ULR at Kirklees Council won the ‘Highly Commended’ Award for his dedication and hard work in supporting Unite members with Adult Literacy needs. This was followed by retired/ Community member and volunteer Brian Clarke from the Unite Barnsley Community Centre, gaining the accolade of ‘Winner’ for his great work in supporting disadvantage members in the Barnsley area, especially those with ESOL and ICT needs. FIRST CLASS COLLECTION The regional Legal and Affiliated Services stand at the Durham Miners’ Gala and the Great Yorkshire Show collected £138.00 in donations for Unite members who had recently taken part in strike action at First Leeds.
A GIANT OF THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT Just days after this year’s Durham Miners’ Gala, Unite, and the whole trade union movement, was shocked to hear of the death of Davey Hopper, General Secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association. Davey was a long-time friend and comrade of Unite and Karen Reay, regional secretary, said “Davey will be missed throughout the trade union movement. He was truly one of the giants of the movement”. Davey’s funeral took place on Friday 29 July 2016 with Jeremy Corbyn MP, the Labour Party Leader, and Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, amongst the mourners. Responding to the news of Davey’s death, Len McCluskey said “on behalf of Unite the union I offer our deepest, most sincere condolences to Davey’s family, and to all members of the Durham Miners’ Association.” “Hearts will be heavy as we reflect upon the loss of this brilliant and determined man, a giant of our movement, a man dedicated to justice, equality and the betterment of his community”.