Portrait of Jon Richards

Blog: UNISON delivers stunning blow on exit payments

Head of local government Jon Richards looks back at the latest Westminster U-turn – this time, after a legal challenge to its unfair plans

Government must use the time schools are closed to make them safer

Everyone wants schools to reopen fully but they must be safe

Ministers must wake up to the Covid threat in nurseries

New report paints a stark picture of the fear and anxiety

Government must help struggling councils urgently

Many are already on the brink financially

Testing plans need more detail

Government appears more concerned with headline grabbing

Government must let schools go online to rescue Christmas

Switch two weeks before Christmas would make all the difference

Typical classroom scene where an audience of school children

Teaching assistants covering twice as many lessons in the pandemic

UNISON survey reveals huge rise in numbers doing higher-grade work as teachers fall ill or fail to get tests

Thousands will suffer in retirement due to government’s public sector exit-payment cap

Ministers knew ordinary workers would be affected but they ploughed on regardless

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Survey reveals staff fears ahead of universities reopening

Pay, working hours and the threat from Covid-19 are major concerns

Ministers must fix council funding to avoid ​”catastrophic cuts”

At least £10bn needed to save essential services

Councils need much more to deal with coronavirus funding shortfall, says UNISON

Authorities face massive funding gap

English schools pause ‘the right thing to do’, says UNISON

Slowing down the reopening will allow proper planning

Ministers mustn’t forget important workers delivering essential services, says UNISON

Local government workers facing coronavirus risks and pressures

Government should listen to independent scientists and pull back from 1 June start date

Reopening must wait until it’s safer

Government must explain how school staff and pupils will be kept safe 

Ministers need to work with unions to create safe schools