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UNITE Parliamentary Staff Branch
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Winners of the Unite Parliamentary Staff Branch
On Thursday 18 June 2009 the results of the Caseworker of the Year 2009 Awards were announced as follows:
Barbara Charlesworth - Caseworker to James Purnell MP.
Runner Up: Adrian Garre - Caseworker to Tim Farron MP
Has prevented deportations, secured payments for hard-pressed hill farms through the Rural Payments Agency and has made himself available for constituents in crisis at all times of the week.
Roberta Crawley Caseworker to Martin Horwood MP
Gloria Nicholl Caseworker to Nick Herbert MP
Susan Raybould - Lynda Waltho MP
Lorraine Hefferin - Mark Todd MP
David Orr-Ewing - Norman Baker MP
Anna Coffey – Andrew Dismore MP
Gwyneth Everett – Jamie Reed MP
Pat Brooks – Jim Cunningham MP
Nora Mulready – David Lammy MP
Sue Heald – Stephen Hesford MP
At the same time the results of the Employing MP of the Year 2009 Award were announced as follows:
Neil Gerrard MP for Walthamstow
Mike Foster MP for Hastings and Rye
Sharon Hodgson MP – who encourages her staff in both their personal development and professional training.
Andrew Rosindell MP – values the input of his staff which makes the job worthwhile.
James Plaskitt MP – generous and loyal.
Don Foster MP – dedication to unlocking the potential of his staff.
2 April 2009
The 2009 Caseworker of the Year Awards are now open.
Nomination forms should be returned by the end of April 2009:
As last year, these awards, decided by a panel of judges from across the political spectrum, will reward some of the Caseworkers who have worked hard for constituents often in difficult circumstances.
The judges are:
This year for the first time MPs’ staff will be able to nominate their employing MP for an award. The Employing MP of the Year Award will encourage best practice in management.
The awards will be presented at the 25th Anniversary Reception of the T&G (Unite) Staff Branch, on Thursday 18th June 6-10pm in the Attlee Suite. To attend please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winners of the
Unite Parliamentary Staff Branch
On Thursday 3 July 2008, just a few yards from where MPs debated and voted their pay and allowances this month, on the same day the staff of MPs were holding a grass roots awards event to reward the hard work of caseworkers.
The Unite Parliamentary Staff Branch has over 400 members, but so far no recognition agreement from the House of Commons, and pay and conditions that many would find unacceptable.
Kevin Flack, branch secretary started the event by saying caseworkers, with pay scales starting below £14,000 per year are the unsung heroes of the Parliamentary estate and the event as organised by the branch to sing their praises. Kevin said “A caseworker has to be ready to deal with anything at the drop of a hat”.
The branch is cross party and 44 Caseworkers from all three main political parties were nominated in the awards. Judges said they found it fantastically difficult to choose between them. 14 Caseworkers were commended, 4 shortlisted and there was one overall winner.
Lib Dem MP Bob Russell first toasted all caseworkers, and then just hours after MPs had voted on their new pay package, Jack Dromey made a plea for better pay for MPs staff.
Jack Dromey, Unite Deputy General Secretary, speaking about the valuable work staff of MPs do said, “You cannot have democracy on the cheap, and because we have democracy on the cheap good people who do outstanding work don’t get the pay, terms and conditions of employment they deserve”.
Mr. Dromey then went on to announce the winner Andrea Samuelson, who works for Hastings Labour MP Michael Foster, he said: “She is a remarkable person who is typical of a remarkable breed.”
Andrea said “I am startled, I just do the job the best I can.”
Talking about her work Andrea said: “Generally the phone rings and someone says I’m being evicted today or I’m being deported today. Generally someone turns up at the door with a similar story, or they haven’t got their benefits or anything to live on. Meanwhile you have a pile that’s getting bigger and bigger of the cases you are dealing with. You just have to get on with it, and react - make the calls to sort people’s issues out.”
Andrea’s boss, MP Michael Foster, said that she’s indispensable. He said: “When you have a caseworker like Andrea she sorts out all these personal issues. In fact every MP needs a caseworker that can really understand and be empathetic, and solve the issues that come in day by day. I want everyone that comes to our office to feel better than when they left, whether we can help them or whether we can’t, and the great thing about Andrea is that they do.”
Dan Whittle Branch Chair said:
“We had MPs voting on a report that said their staff are underpaid compared to the market rate and do long hours – but doing an amazing public service, it was fantastic to work on an event that highlighted this. I feel that because of the awards MPs and the public will be even more on our side when it comes to our campaigns for better pay and conditions and for recognition.”
Last updated: 24 February 2011