Schools newsletter – term time claim update


At the recent Annual General Meetings, members were provided with an update by Keith Bradley, Regional Officer regarding the term time claim against St Helens Council. Keith reported, disappointingly, of St Helens Council’s continued reluctance to engage with UNISON while they wait for the result of the Brazel Court Case. The outcome of the Hearing due in Spring, has been put back to June 2022. Once this result is known UNISON and the branch will contact you.

In the meantime, some Academies have negotiated settlements and paid their staff the outstanding amounts owed, which are usually based on 5 years and 3 months payments, as a result of the Greenwich term time settlement case.

The Regional Officer reiterated the importance for any
member who leaves St Helens Council or takes retirement to ensure they keep up some form of membership to keep their claim alive. 
No membership no claim!


Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has been urged to extend the availability of free COVID-19 tests in England, beyond the end of March 2022.

Under the government’s Living with COVID plan, most people in England will no longer receive free PCR or lateral flow tests after 1 April.  But with cases still high – and rising – and hospital admissions rising across all age groups, the unions believe the move could have “harmful consequences for the most vulnerable in society.”

Low pay continues to be a concern in local government. The bottom spinal column point is now £9.50 outside London. This is below the Real Living Wage of £9.90. The government has now set a new target for the National Living Wage of two-thirds of average earnings by 2024, with the age eligibility for the highest tier dropping to 23 in 2021 and then 21 by 2024 (thereby eliminating a separate rate for 21-24-year-olds). To achieve this, we calculate that local government pay at the bottom end needs to rise by at least 4.1% on the bottom pay point in the next 3 pay awards, just to keep up with the legal minimum

UNISON has an existing Conference policy calling for a £10 an hour minimum wage.

The proposals

The NJC Committee agreed that our core objective must continue to focus on the restoration of decent pay levels for all members and a bold claim is needed.

The Committee also wanted to keep the claim simple and agreed not to recommend the inclusion of any NJC conditions in this pay claim. It is hoped that a simple pay claim will make it easier to engage members in a strong, vocal pay campaign.

The Committee have formulated two options for the ‘headline’ claim for the 2022 pay claim. Rather than simply propose one option, the Committee is keen to get a clear picture of members’ views hence, asking you to let us know your preference by using the button below on the following two options:

OPTION A: RPI plus 2%

RPI is currently at 7.8%. Members are facing huge cost of living increases. For example, with the energy price cap increasing, the average energy bill is expected to rise by over £700 a year. Rental prices are up by 8.3%, and fuel by 27.4%.

OPTION B: A flat rate of £2000 on each pay point

This would help to address low pay at the bottom end whilst giving all members a significant increase.

To give some examples of the percentage increase members would get if this were implemented: for pay points 1 – 3 it would represent an 11% increase. Pay points 15 – 21 would get an 8% increase, and 33 – 40 a 5% increase.

To see the flat rate of £2000 as a percentage of each pay point, please see the table below.

Option B percentages

Consultative Ballot Form

You are already part of UNISON – but we know that lots of your work colleagues have yet to join a union. There is strength in numbers and we would encourage you to speak up for UNISON and ask your colleagues to JOIN.

Recruit a new UNISON Member to the St Helens Branch between 1-29 April and receive a £10 reward, once the first subscription has been paid. The more members you recruit the more money you will receive.

Application Forms & Recruitment information is available from the branch or online. Please ring or email the branch and we will drop off or send you the forms.

Simply get the application form to the Branch Office together with the form below and wait for your reward. Application Forms need to be delivered into the Branch by 4.00 pm 29 April 2022 to qualify.

Good LUCK!

Recruitment – Application Form