Monthly Archives: February 2015

Photo Opportunity

Durham unite community and Unemployed Workers centre activists in Calthorpe Arms with Channel 4’s John Snow the night before the TUC unemployed workers conference in London.

Jon snow

Unite supports day of action against Work Capability Assessments

When: Monday 2 March 2015

Where: Cities across the UK  and a demonstration at 1pm at Maximus HQ, 29 Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1H 9BU.

Community Membership logo - small

Members of Unite Community, part of the UK’s largest trade union, will be supporting Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) in a national day of action against the government’s Work Capability Assessments (WCA) and the corporation Maximus which has replaced ATOS as the contractor to carry out the assessment of disabled people for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

American for profit corporation Maximus take over WCAs on 1 March after previous contractor ATOS pulled out of the contract following a hugely successful campaign which highlighted that Work Capability Assessments were not fit for purpose and thousands of disabled people were put through huge hardship by a brutal tick-box regime that is designed to take people off benefits.

Unite equalities national officer Siobhan Endean said: Unite disabled members are sending a message to Maximus. The company should realise it has taken up a poisoned chalice and pull out of this contract with the Condem government.

“The dreaded Work Capability Assessment costs lives. We supported disabled people in the campaign to convince ATOS to withdraw from the WCA contract, we will continue to support disabled people in the campaign against the Maximus until the government scraps the Work Capability Assessment and starts treating disabled people with dignity and justice.  

“Maximus is taking over the WCA contract worth £500m, meanwhile little has changed: Maximus will be based in the same inaccessible buildings and the fundamental flaws of the assessment remain the same. At the heart of these assessments is the Tory governments drive to take people off benefits with a brutal and humiliating tick-box regime.

“We are calling on this government to stop this degrading policy and introduce a fairer transparent single assessment, operated within the public sector that restores dignity to the sick and disabled.”

In 2013, in cases where people have been deemed fit to work, and had their benefits’ cut over 40% have had their appeals upheld. However the appeals process can take months while some of the most vulnerable disabled are plunged into poverty.

The ‘tick-box’ nature of the tests does not cater for the complex nature of people’s illnesses, particularly for those with mental illness. This has also led in many cases to those with long term degenerative and terminal illnesses, such as Parkinson’s and cancer being told they were fit for work.

Durham and Sunderland  Unite Community branches will be outside JobCentre Plus in Sunderland, 60-66 John Street SR1 1QT from 11am to 1pm. Do come and join us

County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank

The Clothing Bank was open at Brandon Welfare Hall yesterday. As always, many thanks to our helpers and donors for their generosity.CBank 1

As always there was a steady stream of people through the doors- children’s clothes seemed to be popular this time. We also heard that Unite The Union branch based at Nissan have donated £500 to The Clothing Bank.  Huge thank you to them.

CBank 2

However, the most exciting thing that happened to the Clothing Bank this week was the delivery of this beauty, bought for us by Unite Community

WP_000234 (1)

Our very own storage container, delivered today. This will enable us to store the clothes and toiletries in one location – rather than the four we currently use and will also increase the amount of space we have.WP_000240

Shelves and insulation are being put into the container in the next few days by DIY-savvy volunteers. It is not an exaggeration to say that we love our container!

Updated Anti Sanctions Protest List

Here is an updated list of anti-sanctions protests taking place in our region on March 19th

1)Teesside Anti Sanctions Protest March 19th 12 o’clock Jobcentre Plus Employment Center . Town Centre
Address: 79 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2BA

2) Grimsby Anti Sanctions Protest March 19th 12 o’clock Rally at Riverside Square

3)Barnsley Anti Sanctions Protest
Meet Barnsley Town Centre (Out Side Boots the Chemist 34-40 Cheapside,
Barnsley S70 1RT) at 12.15 pm, For Protests at various Town Centre Locations.

4)Huddersfield
NO SANCTIONS FOR CLAIMANTS!!
NO TARGETS FOR STAFF!!

DEMONSTRATION AGAINST BENEFIT SANCTIONS
THURSDAY MARCH 19 2015
12.00 MIDDAY
UPPERHEAD ROW (NEAR THE BUS STATION)
HUDDERSFIELD

5)Newcastle
Meet 12 O’clock
Newcastle City Jobcentre Plus,
1 Cathedral Square,
Mosley Street,
Newcastle Upon Tyne,
NE1 1EE.

6)Leeds Unite Community Anti Sanctions Demo Meet 12 O’Clock Address: 64 Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LH (Outside Body Shop) For Protests at various Town Centre Locations.
Bring Friends, Banners, Flags, Music, Noise and Imagination!

7)Sunderland Protest
60-66 John Street
Sunderland
United Kingdom
SR1 1QT

12 pm to 2 pm
8)Doncaster Protest
Doncaster Crossgate House, Wood street  Doncaster DN1 3LL
11 am to 1pm

9)Selby Anti Sanctions Demo
Unite the Union Anti Sanctions Demo
12 Noon Outside the Selby Job Centre
Flaxley Road YO8 3BH

10)Sheffield No to Sanctions
Meet 12 noon at Hartshead Square S1 2FD outside Atos Assessment Centre for protests at various city centre locations No Sanctions for Claimants, No Targets for Staff

11) Redcar Protest

10 a.m. – Redcar Jobcentre Plus, Portland House, West Dyke Road, TS10 1DH
12) Stockton Protest
2 p.m. – Stockton Jobcentre Plus, Bridge Road, TS18 3BW

Scrap the Works Capability Assessment

Support the National Day of Action on Monday 2nd March

UNITE Community, in solidarity with Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC), is calling on our members to mobilize and show solidarity with those impacted by the continued Tory policy of Work Capability Assessments where disabled people are assessed whether they are fit to work.
On March 2nd, DPAC – has called on a national day of action in 28 cities against the corporation Maximus which has replaced ATOS as the DWP’s contractor to carry out Work Capability Assessments.

In 2013, 10,600 people died within six weeks of being declared ‘fit for work’ by ATOS. Over 40 per cent of cases where people were deemed fit to work, and had their benefits cut had their appeals upheld. However the appeals process can take months, leaving some of the most vulnerable disabled members of our communities plunged into poverty.

The campaign against ATOS was hugely successful and the company were driven out because their brand was so damaged but Works Capability Assessments remain and are now being done by Maximum.

“These assessments were not fit for purpose under ATOS and now Maximum will continue to do the DWP’s dirty work. Thousands of people lost their benefits and were put through hell by this brutal tick-box regime that is designed to take people off benefits.” Said Steve Turner Unite assistant general secretary

Maximus will begin to carry out assessments starting March 1st 2015. This contract is worth £500m Maximus, who are being paid £200m more than ATOS.

The time for us to end this regime of WCA is now before Maximus can begin their work

For more details about the National day of action are on the DPAC website: www.dpac.uk.net

For a list of actions to show solidarity with on March 2nd around the country: https://www.dpac.uk.net/2015/01/maximus-day-of-action-2nd-of-march-list-of-events-around-the-uk-scrapwca/

The main London action is taking place at Queen Anne’s Gate London SW1H 9BU at 1 pm leaflet is attached with this email

For more information about how we as UNITE Community members can show solidarity contact:community@unitetheunion.org

With Banners Held High

The full programme for the With Banners Held High event 7th of March. Tickets for the night time events are sold out with only day time tickets now available.

WBHH-Programme

Full programme here: WBHH-20 Prog

Anti Sanctions Protests

Protests against sanctions will be taking place in the following locations across the north east, Yorkshire and Humberside. Please try to attend on March 19th and send a message to the Government that the sanctions regime is cruel and unfair. Say no to sanctions and no to targets for staff!

Demonstration against benefit cuts, Durham

1)Teesside Anti Sanctions Protest March 19th 12 o’clock
Jobcentre Plus
Employment Center . Town Centre
Address: 79 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2BA

2) Grimsby Anti Sanctions Protest March 19th 12 o’clock
Rally at Riverside Square

3)Barnsley Anti Sanctions Protest
Meet Barnsley Town Centre (Out Side Boots the Chemist 34-40 Cheapside,
Barnsley S70 1RT) at 12.15 pm, For Protests at various Town Centre Locations.

4)Huddersfield
NO SANCTIONS FOR CLAIMANTS!!
NO TARGETS FOR STAFF!!

DEMONSTRATION AGAINST BENEFIT SANCTIONS
THURSDAY MARCH 19 2015
12.00 MIDDAY
UPPERHEAD ROW (NEAR THE BUS STATION)
HUDDERSFIELD

5)Newcastle
Meet 12 O’clock
Newcastle City Jobcentre Plus,
1 Cathedral Square,
Mosley Street,
Newcastle Upon Tyne,
NE1 1EE.

6)Leeds Unite Community Anti Sanctions Demo
Meet 12 O’Clock Address: 64 Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LH
(Outside Body Shop) For Protests at various Town Centre Locations.
Bring Friends, Banners, Flags, Music, Noise and Imagination!

7)Sunderland Protest
60-66 John Street
Sunderland
United Kingdom
SR1 1QT

12 pm to 2 pm
8)Doncaster Protest
Doncaster Crossgate House, Wood street  Doncaster DN1 3LL
11 am to 1pm

9)Selby Anti Sanctions Demo
Unite the Union Anti Sanctions Demo
12 Noon Outside the Selby Job Centre
Flaxley Road YO8 3BH

10)Sheffield No to Sanctions

Meet 12 noon at Hartshead Square S1 2FD outside Atos Assessment Centre for protests at various city centre locations
No Sanctions for Claimants, No Targets for Staff

If you have been sanctioned this leaflet may be helpful

Job 6444 Guide Sanctions (1)