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The situation with schools at the moment is very fluid.

UNISON along with teaching unions and other support staff unions were given a schedule last Thursday announced publicly on the same day by the Education Minister of how schools would re-open.

This was set out in a circular from the EA which we attach a link to HERE.

It set out dates which are different in part from the rest of the UK.

Critical and Intensive Care - Staffing Pressures.

UNISON along with other health unions is currently engaging with Health Trusts and The Department of Health on a number of critical issues.

Staffing pressure which are causing real challenges in the delivery of intensive care covid and non covid related across the acute sector.

Employers are working to respond to the growing crisis by seeking voluntary response from staff.

However nursing staff may soon be faced with  directed assignments outside of their normal duties.

To mark International Migrants Day on 18 December, UNISON pays tribute and thanks all workers, migrant and local, who continue to risk their lives to provide essential services and keep vital sections of the economy going through the COVID19 pandemic.

UNISON is deeply saddened to learn of the death of our member Shirley Lucey, a dedicated Home Care worker with Belfast Trust,  who died from Covid 19 last week.   The tribute from Shirley's colleagues is deeply moving and we share their regard for Shirley.  We extend our condolence to her sister Linda and family circle and to her colleagues in the South and East Belfast branch of UNISON.  We call on everyone, everywhere to help keep the health care team safe.

Read the latest Newsletter here:

The NHS has begun this week to deliver the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19. Immunisation of targeted groups of the public in priority groups and some NHS staff has taken place.

We have updated our branch guidance which you can access below.

We also attach information for health branches who represent members in social care.

In October UNISON welcomed the extension of the Department of Health's scheme providing publicly funded financial support to care home owners to subsidise statutory sick pay up to 80% of average salary for workers when they are self-isolating, shielding or ill due to Covid-19.

We raised concerns about its implementation, as it appeared then that many providers were dragging their feet and failing to access the funding.

On this International Human Rights Day, UNISON Regional Secretary Patricia McKeown sends a message of support for the Make Our Future Fair campaign calling for a strong and enforceable Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

Register for the Human Rights Consortium Make Our Future Fair Campaign Launch:

Today (9th December) the Minister for Health, Robin Swann MLA, has announced that pay lost by health and social care workers taking industrial action from November 2019 to January 2020 will be returned. Reacting to this announcement, UNISON Head of Bargaining and Representation Anne Speed said:

Today (3rd December) marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities. UNESCO’s theme on this day is “Building Back Better: towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post covid-19 world by, for and with persons with disabilities.” 

UNISON, the largest public sector trade union in Northern Ireland is calling on all Governments and the Northern Ireland Executive for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in society, including covid-19 response and recovery.